KRON 4 | “Meatless” Foods Made with Meat

You’ve gone meatless, but do you really know what’s in your breath mints and “heart healthy” peanuts? KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, chats with me and I reveal twelve processed foods that may seem meatless but are derived from animals (cows, pigs, and/or fish) or may contain some animal by-products.

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1. Jell-O® and Candy: Examples include gummy candies, Starburst chews, Altoids: Many foods contain gelatin which is a protein derived from the collagen of cow or pig bones, cartilage, tendons, and skin. Gelatins are used as thickening or stabilizing agents in a variety of candies and gelatin-containing desserts.

Planters peanuts2. Peanuts: Some brands of peanuts, such as Planters® Dry Roasted Peanuts, contain gelatin. The gelatin helps the salt, spices and flavorings adhere to the nuts.

At first glance, they all look the same! And by the end of the day, the different varieties are intermixed on the shelves.

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Planters® Dry Roasted Peanuts + Unsalted and Lightly Salted versions. The brands all have similar packaging including the “Heart Healthy” heart.

If you grab the wrong one, you can end up with just plain peanuts or peanuts with salt OR…

Ingredients in Planters® Dry Roasted Peanuts: PEANUTS, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SEA SALT, SPICES (CONTAINS CELERY), DRIED ONION, DRIED GARLIC, PAPRIKA, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUGAR, GELATIN, TORULA YEAST, CORNSTARCH, DRIED CORN SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN. CONTAINS: PEANUT.

Continue reading “KRON 4 | “Meatless” Foods Made with Meat”

ABC 10 | Healthy Summer Treats

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Last week I appeared on ABC 10’s lifestyle/news program in Sacramento (Sac & Co.) with Host Mellisa Paul for their “Healthy Summer Treats” segment. I took advantage of many of the sweet summer fruits in season.

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On the menu…

Summer Fruit Bruschetta (fresh basil, strawberries, nectarines, and raspberry balsamic glaze) served on Dr. Kracker Seedlander Crispbread with cranberry mascarpone* (Italian cream cheese).

The mascarpone is a decadent “treat” due to its creamy milk fat content. To ‘thin’ out the fat, I created more volume by adding the raspberry balsamic glaze used in the bruschetta + chopped berries. The cheese is meant to be thinly spread on the cracker to help hold the bruschetta on the cracker and balance out the acidity of the bruschetta. A healthier substitute for mascarpone is Greek cream cheese which has half the fat/calories per tablespoon but has a more acidic, tangy taste.

The Seggiano raspberry balsamic glaze is a naturally dense, balsamic vinegar glaze, made with just cooked grape must, wine vinegar, and natural raspberry juice.

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Hawaiian guacamole (fresh avocado, mango, and pineapple) served with Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. Boost your brain health by serving this dip with an assortment of fresh veggies, on fresh grilled salmon, or with beans. Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E and healthy fat — great for your heart, brain, and skin!

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“Salad Bars” — A salad in a bar! These baked treats are made with whole grain flours, almond flour, almond milk, flaxseeds, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, banana, apple, applesauce, and zante currants. Contain no dairy or eggs.

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Quick Homemade Almond Milk (used in the Salad Bars above)

Mini Fruit Pizza with Plain Nonfat Greek yogurt (as the “cheese”) and strawberry fruit spread (as “the pizza sauce”) + various plant-based toppings (fresh fruit, nuts and seeds) on a multigrain thin sandwich bun.

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Freshly brewed Hibiscus Raspberry tea infused with fresh citrus and berries

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ABC 10 | Vegetarian Hawaiian Luau

Guest appearance on ABC 10 lifestyle show

VIDEO: Native Hawaiian cuisine traditionally consisted of meat (pig and fowl), fish and shellfish, pineapples, coconuts, coconut milk, sweet potatoes, taro, seaweed, and sea salt as a condiment. Here’s an updated veggie version of some historical Hawaiian dishes which incorporate some of these native foods. I chatted with host Mellisa Paul on Sac & Co, ABC10’s local morning TV show out of Sacramento, about how to host a vegetarian Hawaiian luau.

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Here’s what I prepared for the show:

  • Vegetarian Poke: tofu, mango, avocado, wakame (seaweed to impart the flavor of the sea), sweet onions (e.g., Maui or Vidalia onions), green onions, macadamia nuts, Hawaiian sea salt
  • Vegetarian Lau Lau: sweet potato, spinach, sweet onions, green onions, coconut milk, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, Hawaiian sea salt, and collard greens
  • Hibiscus Cooler 
  • Mango Freeze
  • Sparkling POG Juice
  • Haupia with fresh fruit and edible flowers (coconut dessert – pudding style)
  • Hawaiian bread pudding
  • Fresh pineapple in freshly cut coconut bowls

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: If you cannot find Maui or Vidalia onions, look for an onion that has a flattened vs round globe shape. These onions are less pungent due to their low amount of sulfur compounds which allows their ‘sweetness’ (sugar) to come through.

♥ Daily Dose | Do You Need a B-12 Booster?

VitaminsDid you ever think being deficient in one small vitamin could do so much damage? Unfortunately, B12 deficiency and borderline deficiency are relatively common — especially among older adults. Cardiac patients need to be especially aware.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and plays a key role in cell metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and the normal functioning of your brain and nervous system. A severe B12 deficiency can lead to:

  • Nerve damage
  • Memory loss
  • Incontinence
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Deep depression
  • Paranoia and delusions
  • Severe neurologic problems
  • Blood diseases

Who’s at Risk?    Continue reading “♥ Daily Dose | Do You Need a B-12 Booster?”

What to Do When Your Teen Turns Vegetarian

Your teenager declares that s/he is now a vegetarian. What do you do? Here are some tips and food ideas to meld your child’s new practice into your family’s lifestyle.

Let Go of the Apron Strings  Let your teen cook. Deviating from your family’s eating style is a sign of autonomy, and cooking is an act of independence. Your teen can run the show and be as creative as desired with ingredients. Give your teen some praise and respect for learning how to make new things and discover new tastes. By sharing their food with family and friends, your child can connect with others and find satisfaction in expanding their culinary point of view.

California Spinach DipVeggie Basics  Often teens transition to vegetarianism by eating a diet of pizza, junk food and sweets…and by gaining weight. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are the basics for building a healthy vegetarian foundation that will help your teen thrive and grow into a healthy adult.

Salads  Abandon your current vision of a salad, i.e., lots of leaves and dressing. Salads can be power-packed with nutrition, color, freshness and best of all, they can be spontaneous and easy to create. Teens love to be inventive (no rules!), so encourage them to be free spirits in the kitchen and create some ‘off-the-cuff’ salads with fruit and grains too.

Fresh StrawberriesHealthy Tip:  Use darker greens like romaine, red leaf, arugula, baby beet greens, and gourmet salad blends over iceberg. Think color and toss in splashes of bright orange, red, yellow, and purple produce. Add anything you have on hand — from pasta, bell peppers, beets, corn kernels, cubed tofu, beans, nuts/seeds, raisins, wheat germ, quinoa, crusty bread. Winning ideas:   Continue reading “What to Do When Your Teen Turns Vegetarian”