Become a Part-Time Vegetarian! This Delectable Portabella Burger Recipe Will Make a Convert Out of Anyone

By Dietitian and Wellness Educator, Elizabeth Kahn

Why become a part-time vegetarian? Because it is healthy and delicious.

One does not have to be completely vegetarian, carnivorous or vegan (plant-based) to be healthy. You can, like me, become a part-time vegan and vegetarian.

As a nutritionist, I do not regularly advocate a completely vegan or vegetarian diet, as I think meat can be fine in moderation, but, since most of us need to eat more vegetables, I do advise more fruits and vegetables and less animal products for most people. However it is worth noting, and as I have said before, we CAN get all necessary nutrients from plants.

The obstacles most people face in eating more plants and less animal products are knowledge, convenience and habit. I have been on a learning curve myself, as I continue to evolve and become more and more vegan or “plant based”.  I am leaning vegan for health and ethical reasons, though it is a personal choice. Ignorance can be bliss, but bliss is not a good word for many of the animal products I was eating. I eat about 80% less animal foods than before, but, converting is not always easy. So if you want to eat more vegan foods, be it for moral, health reasons or both, I will continue to share my successes in vegan and vegetarian cuisine with the hope that it will lead to more people eating more fresh, whole plant foods, as that is what the data says is most healthy.

My latest vegetarian creation was a Portabella BBQ Western Burger. Compare the nutrient value of this delectable dish with a typical beef hamburger. This mouthwatering creation has 220 fewer calories, 7 grams less saturated fat, 17 grams less total fat, 60 milligrams less sodium, 80 mg less cholesterol and much more fiber than a beef burger does.

Portabella BBQ Western Burger

Ingredients:

1 portabella mushroom

1 whole-grain hamburger bun

1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

1 onion slice

1 tomato slice

1 piece lettuce

2 slices mozzarella or vegan cheese

Non-stick cooking spray or 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Directions:

Sauté mushroom in oil or cooking spray for 2-3 minutes. Turn mushroom over, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Toast bun for 1 minute. Place mushroom on lightly toasted bun and place cheese slices on top. Set in oven open-face or closed, and bake or broil until cheese is melted (2-3 minutes).  Remove. Add barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion and slice in half (as it may get messy). Serve and enjoy!

Adaptations: You could use a teriyaki or other sauce instead of barbecue sauce. Get creative. Some of the most delicious meals I have cooked were based on what I had in the garden, cupboard or fridge!

 

Vegan Goulash – By Beth Kahn, Dietitian

So what to make for dinner? Tonight I answered that question by creating a delicious and simple, vegan dish. Try this easy recipe to enjoy a low-cal, healthy and hearty meal.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa grain

1 vegan sausage, sliced

1 half onion, sliced

1 teaspoon vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce, spices or other flavored sauce

1 portabella mushroom, sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions: Cook quinoa per instructions and set aside. Blanch frozen peas in hot water. Set aside. Saute onion, mushrooms and sausage in oil or non-stick cooking spray for 2-3 minutes. Add peas, sauce or spices and stir until heated. Add sausage mixture to quinoa. Serve, enjoy and feel and look great! Serves 2.

Note: Many other vegetables can be added in place of peas. For example, try adding fresh spinach or chopped broccoli.

 

Nutritious and Delicious Macaroni and Cheese

By Dietitian and Wellness Educator, Elizabeth Kahn

Try this recipe I adapted from the “Homemade Mac and Cheese” recipe from All Recipes.com. This recipe has less fat and calories and more protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals than the original, and is delicious!

Healthy Homemade Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat, rice or quinoa elbow macaroni

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 cups unsweetened plant milk

1/4 cup all natural plant-based margarine

2 1/2 tablespoons whole-wheat or alternative grain flour

2 tablespoons all natural plant-based margarine

1/2 cup whole wheat or panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Paprika (see note*)

Directions: 1. Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain. 2. In a saucepan, melt margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick.* Put macaroni in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well. 3. Melt margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon paprika. 4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Serve. Makes 4 servings.

*You can add rest of paprika at this point (see step 2) for a more golden, yellow color.

Adapted from: Homemade Mac and Cheese. All Recipes. Retrieved 4/20/2012 from, http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?RecipeID=11679&origin=detail&&Servings=4.

 

Healthy Cookies

By Dietitian and Wellness Educator, Elizabeth Kahn

Last night I had a sweet tooth and since I did not have anything sweet in the house, I baked cookies. I pulled out my classic Better Homes cookbook and, as I often do in cooking and baking, made ingredient substitutions. I substituted plant-based margarine for butter and shortening, and whole wheat or alternative grain flour for white flour. My adapted version has more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals and less cholesterol and saturated fat than the original. While it still has sugar, it is a much healthier recipe, and you could even substitute honey for sugar. A banana could be substituted for the egg to make it even healthier, and spices like cinnamon could be added to spice it up and increase the health benefits. Not only were these cookies delicious, but I felt more nourished than if I eaten store bought cookies or cookies made from the standard recipe. Tasty and healthy substituting is one of the best kept secrets about nutrition. If you try these cookies or plan to, please like this post on Facebook or comment on the blog and let us know! Feel free to share your own creations with us too.

Better Homes and Garden’s Adapted Basic Drop Cookie Recipe

1- 1/4 cups whole wheat or other grain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plant-based margarine

1/2 cup sugar or honey

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg (or 1 banana and another 1/2 teaspoon baking soda)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with natural cooking spray or plant-based margarine (or use a non-stick cookie sheet). In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine with electric mixer for 30 seconds until smooth. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg (or banana) and vanilla. Beat well. Add flour mixture to margarine mixture and beat well. Drop from a teaspoon 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 30-36. Enjoy!

Resource:

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (1981). Bantam Books: New York.

 

One-Day Diet for Acidosis

By Dietitian and Wellness Educator, Elizabeth Kahn

Avoid taking pills for high levels of body acid, instead try the following diet. This diet can restore acid balance without the need for over-the-counter pills or prescription medications. Powerful pills can often cause other problems and nutrient deficiencies. Since the original problem was most likely caused by a diet high in acidic foods, the ideal solution is to eat more alkalizing foods and balance body chemistry naturally.

Breakfast:

Green tea, with soy milk optional (intended to replace coffee for coffee drinkers but if you are not, skip)

Peach soy yogurt

4 ounces apple juice mixed with 4 ounces pure aloe vera juice

Snack:

Almonds

Lunch:

Salad (lettuce, onion, avocado, raisins optional) with lemon and sea salt or seasoned canola oil dressing (no vinegar)

Lima bean soup (try Allrecipes.com:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Luscious-Lima-Bean-Soup-II/Detail.aspx?src=rss, but substitute a natural, vegetable, margarine-like spread like Earth Balance for butter and leave out bacon, butter beans and pepper)

Alkalizing tea (i.e. Body Rescue)

Snack:

Corn chips with guacamole (avocados, sea salt, onion and lime juice)

Dinner:

Baked chicken, with canola oil and herbs (optional: Portobello mushroom sandwich on millet bread, which is ideal instead of meat)

Baked potato with natural margarine-like spread

Steamed broccoli

Millet bread toasted, with natural margarine-like spread (with chicken option)

Water

Optional: 4 ounces aloe vera juice mixed with 2-4 ounces apple juice

Tips:

You may add water and many fruits and vegetables to the above diet, but avoid tomatoes, tomato-based products and asparagus, as well as white flour, butter, eggs, coffee and alcohol as much as possible.

For a list of more foods to eat and avoid see my more in-depth article about the topic at: http://anutritionrevolution.com/health-tips/351/. Follow a diet like this or with other basic foods until symptoms disappear. If this is not sufficient try contacting a naturopathic doctor for more detailed analysis and treatment for your condition. You can find a naturopath on sites like www.Wellness.com.

Sources:

  1. Balch, P.A. (2006). Prescription for nutritional healing (4th ed.). New York: Avery Publishing.
  2. Bowers, A. (2011, June 14). How to get rid of too much acid in the body. Retrieved February 5, 2012, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/267260-how-to-get-rid-of-too-much-acid-in-the-body/.
  3. Kahn, E. (2011, October 21). Got GERD? Learn to balance body pH naturally. Retrieved February 5, 2012 from, http://anutritionrevolution.com/health-tips/351/.
  4. Luscious Lime Bean Soup II. Retrieved February 5, 2012 from, http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Luscious-Lima-Bean-Soup-II/Detail.aspx?src=rss.

Book Signing – Round Hill Country Club, Alamo, CA

My New Brochure

Happy holidays! Here is a link to my new brochure.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxlOHGHh6ZOwMDQyNDY0OGQtZmU1YS00MmU3LWEyZDctNDQwZjNmYjRkZTFl

Peace and natural healing,

Elizabeth

How to Get Nutrition Consulting Paid for by Insurance

Nutrition therapy can be a helpful component in medical therapy, but often it is not covered by insurance. It cannot only improve an individual’s health, but it also can save money on health-care costs. According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM), getting nutritional therapy is cost effective. Dietitians can help people manage conditions such as high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney and heart problems and diabetes. A study by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., showed that more than half the people who saw a dietitian only a few times lowered their cholesterol so much that they no longer needed cholesterol medication. Nutrition therapy saved the health-care system about $60,000 per year in prescription drug costs. According to the IOM report, nutrition therapy can mean a savings of millions of dollars. For example, if Medicare beneficiaries with high-blood pressure received nutrition therapy, health-care costs over a five-year period could be cut by an estimated $52 million dollars. These cost savings could be increased for every disease nutrition therapy was applied to. The IOM report’s authors concluded that Medicare should cover nutrition counseling. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover nutrition counseling but, fortunately, more and more insurance carriers are now seeing the advantages of seeing a nutritionist (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50695&pf=3&page=1).

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need

  • Phone
  • Computer
  • Insurance company information
  • Doctor’s contact information
  1. How to Get Insurance Coverage for Nutrition Counseling

    • 1

      Insurance may be more likely to cover nutrition therapy for certain medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease or high-blood pressure for which diet therapy and modification is recognized as one aspect of treatment (Dr.Weil.com, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400314/nutritional-consultations).

    • 2

      First call or see your doctor to see if you can get a referral for a dietitian. This will increase the likelihood nutrition therapy will be covered by insurance.

    • 3

      Call, go online to the insurance companies website or email your insurance provider to find out what coverage they offer for nutrition counseling. Some insurance companies might cover it entirely and some might offer a 10 to 20 percent discount.

    • 4

      A good bet for getting nutrition visits covered by insurance is to see a registered dietitian. You can contact the American Dietetic Association’s Nutrition Network Referral Service at (800) 366-1655 (weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Standard Time) for contact information for dietitians in your area ( http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50695&pf=3&page=1).

    • 5

      Even if your insurer says your policy doesn’t cover dietary counseling, send in the paperwork anyway and see what happens. If you have a doctor’s written referral to a dietitian, include a copy. Also include a letter, signed by both your dietitian and your doctor, detailing the medical need for your treatment.
      In correspondence refer to dietitian visits as “medical nutrition therapy” or nutrition “management” or “treatment.” Try to avoid the term counseling as it does not imply a medical necessity.

    • 6

      Instead of speaking with an adjuster, ask your dietitian to talk to the medical director of the health plan to consider covering nutritional counseling, says Michele Mathieu, Director of Health Care Financing at the American Dietetic Association.

    • 7

      Emphasize the dollar savings. Have your dietitian, doctor or both detail the progress you have been  making and how much money is being saved as a result. For instance, if you have lost weight or been able to reduce medication, explain this to them. Add up the actual dollars that have been saved. Many insurance companies are demanding to see actual results from dietitian visits before they will begin to cover them. They might start authorizing them if they see progress is being made.

    • 8

      Be persistent. Even if your claims are rejected, continue to submit them after every visit, especially if you are getting better. If you are persistent you are more likely than not to get it. Even if you do not receive insurance coverage, you will be making the insurance company aware of the effectiveness of nutrition, and with each claim filed, you will have cast a vote for insurance coverage for nutrition therapy.

 

Resources

 

Book Signing at Ofelia’s Kitchen in Livermore, CA

 

Vegan Baking for the Layperson

Allrecipes.comVegan for the Holidays

By Elizabeth Kahn, Dietitian and Wellness Educator

It is possible to survive off of – and even bake with – plant food alone. People who do not consume any animal products are called “vegan” or someone who eats a plant-based diet (the term vegan also refers to someone who lives strictly without any animal products). I have known a few incredible “vegan” cooks and have tasted, and now make myself, some of their delectable dishes. Vegan desserts can be especially delicious.

Why have a vegan diet or plant based diet? The majority of Americans consume too many animal products and not enough plant foods, and therefore, most people in this country should probably become more “vegan”.

Plant foods are extremely healthy. Plant foods have more vitamins and minerals and less saturated fat and cholesterol than animal products. Plant foods also have far fewer calories than animal products do, overall.

Eating a carnivorous diet may be purely due to habit and limited knowledge about vegan cooking. It may then help to know a few tricks of this healthier cooking trade.

Vegan Baking

In baking, one medium banana and a teaspoon of baking soda, or soy yogurt can be used to replace one egg. This can add moisture and improve taste. Plant milk (coconut, rice, almond, hemp) can be used in place of cow’s milk in recipes, and vegetable margarine can be used instead of butter.

Like most any skill, vegan cooking can be learned. Try these and other recipe substitutions and not only will you be eating more plant foods, which most of us need to do anyway, but you will also reduce your total caloric intake, have more energy and will look and feel healthier. Cheers to a happy holiday season and to good health! Happy baking.