baking, BBQ accompaniments, cafe food, Cardioprotective food, Easy Recipes, Healthy dinner ideas, Home cooked, Mid week lunches, Prepare ahead of time, vegetarian

My Cheat loaf … not for cheat days!!

This thing, this loaf, is not a cheat day meal – its a vegetarian meat loaf comprised of chickpeas, black eye beans and vegetables. I know I make a lot of loaf style things and its just because they are easy to make. Baking something is so easy to do in between emails and laundry, it basically cooks itself once the oven timer has been set!

I came across this recipe on the Connoisseurus Veg blog and its become popular with my home crew who usually love their meat. I didn’t have all the ingredients that Alissa used so this one is more basic that her recipe, I didn’t have flaxseeds or the liquid smoke either – it was a bit fancy for me. But still successful – particularly with the brothers and my mom who are usually huge meat fans. I also substituted out one of the cans of chickpeas for black eye beans which Edgell have finally started to be sell here in Aus now. I first tried these when I lived in the states and I loved them. They are a good source of protein and fibre and mix in well with the chickpeas in terms of flavour and legumes are usually quite economical as well. The other thing I like about this recipe is that it is super simple; all you have to do is fill your food processor and blitz until everything is a bit crumbly and broken down to a mince consistency.

You’ll need:

Food processor – large capacity – or you could use a small one but just blend it in batches.

1 x400g tin of chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 x400g tin of black eye beans drained and rinsed

2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 onion, 2 carrots & 2 celery sticks … all diced. I chop my veggies a bit larger so that some of them are still visible in the loaf once its cooked.
Salt & Pepper to season – you could add in extra paprika or other herbs if you like.

2 Tablespoons each of Olive Oil, Worcester sauce, Low Sodium Soy, Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Soy Milk or dairy alternative – increase to 1/2 cup if mixture is too dry after blending.

Maple Glaze Ingredients – in a small bowl, mix together
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika

Once the mix is blended, place into a lined loaf tin, top with tomato maple glaze and bake for 40 mins at 180 degrees. This will be quite soft so I would recommend eating it when its cooled for awhile, you could bake it in the morning and let it sit for bit.

I’ve taken to serving it with my other side dishes like some stirfried tofu or asian greens or sometimes have it with a green salad. Its even nice cold. My little brother who I think is actually a genius has taken to shallow frying it for an extra crunchy element, and served with polenta. And I also think it might be good with a serve of sweet potato fries *drools*!

Overall, its versatile. Give it a go and let me know your thoughts on it.. on a meatfree monday perhaps?

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breakfast, dietitians, What to eat when

Accredited Practising Dietitians Vs. Nutritionists. What is the difference, you ask?

Why APDs should be the specialists of choice for people needing advice for medical conditions.

Dietitians (or Dieticians) are highly trained individuals and we are specialists in the application of medical nutrition therapy. This year  it has been 10 years since I qualified from the University of Wollongong in Australia. Here in Australia, we study either a 4 year undergraduate degree in Nutrition & Dietetics straight out of high school – or if you are like me, a combined Undergraduate Science and Business degree, and then a Masters degree in Nutrition & Dietetics + research thesis.

Much of our Dietitian training centers around medical knowledge, scientific research around nutrition, and taking individual dietary histories, action planning and solution designing for an individual depending on their medical condition and nutrition status. We study the human body and biochemistry as well as metabolism and food in order to get a good understanding of the role nutrition can have to protect against illness and in reducing the progression of medical conditions like obesity and diabetes. We also train in hospital before we graduate.

As a dietitian working in hospital, I see a variety of clients from different areas and it is never the same day twice. Our work in hospitals is a given since we know malnutrition can be a consequence of hospitalisation or long illnesses.

Today for example, I was referred a client by one of the Geriatricians I work with for optimisation of energy after she was admitted to hospital quite weak, and having been unable to eat for several days at home.

She is on several different types of medication and has a cancer of her bile duct which has affected normal food digestion and absorption. We discussed her usual weight, diet and made a plan for her to preserve her en

ergy, muscle mass and strength.

She was great in that she was able to eat still, compared with some other patients who might require feeding via a nasogastric tube or special intravenous like drip called Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).

Contrast that with this afternoon and I have just seen a 50 year old male client who had an elevated Glucose Tolerance Test for weight loss with a background familial late onset diabetes. He is otherwise well and healthy, and wants to lose weight to allow him to be fitter and healthier. He told me that his personal trainer yelled at him for eating muesli in the morning because of the sugar content. I find this pretty unreasonable advice especially given that this client is bordering on type 2 diabetes but it is not uncommon for Personal Trainers to provide restrictive dietary advice. He needs the right advice to navigate his current situation and a meal plan which can provide nourishment and reduce the risk of advancement to diabetes, which unbalanced eating can sometimes do. This client is already feeling tired given his health status, and was considering restricting his intake of breakfast until he came to see me today.

avo-affirmations

Nutritionists, which have more of a whole food approach, might work more at a general population or public health level, or on a project basis within a food company. Nutrition Australia has a voluntary register for nutritionists which you can check out here http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/nutritionist-or-dietitian

The Nutrition Society of Australia does too, look one up here http://nsa.asn.au/find-a-registered-nutritionist/

Nutritionists can study at the University level, and I became a Nutritionist before I became a Dietitian. Usually a Dietitian is also qualified as a Nutritionist, but it is never the other way around. Today there are many Tafe style, Diploma level courses offering qualifications of sorts which do not give the same level of academic vigour and scientific inquiry into Dietetics as a 4 year undergraduate University degree, or Graduate level qualification, however this title is not protected by any laws here and therefore this means that anyone could call themselves a Dietitian even if they are not someone who has gone to University, done the study, and qualified for their degree without being prosecuted for doing so.

Even though our title is not protected legally, our credentialing body, the Dietitians Association of Australia keeps a register of all Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) and holds us accountable for our work. We also have to complete a mentoring program to qualify as an APD when starting out, and then we must complete 30 hours of professional development education each year to retain our credentials. See this link to find an APD in your area. http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/find-an-apd

I’ve been very lucky and been able to travel and work in other countries since qualifying for my degree back in 2006 from Wollongong University. In the United States, there are licensure laws which exist within the individual states to reassure consumers that they are accessing dietary advice from individuals with an the right education and experience. Their system is different depending on the state and the licensing laws around the Registered Dietitian credential. I worked pro bono and did a lot of voluntary work in the US in my travels there, and did not work in hospital as I did in the UK., so my work there had more of a public health and community focus. I learnt a lot from these experiences and I loved my time in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, the term Registered Dietitian (RD) is protected by the Health and Care Professions council and anyone using this title without the relevant qualification to match it could be subject to prosecution and a fine of up to 5,000 pounds. Read more about it here https://www.hpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/protectedtitles/

Overall, reflecting on the last 10 years, I can definitely say that my education began when I first stepped onto University grounds and it has continued each year since with every different role I have undertaken both here and in the UK. I relish my role as a Dietitian and it is always a pleasure to assist people to optimise their health and live happier and healthier lives.

The final point about dietitians vs. nutritionists are that we are recognised by Australian Health Funds, Medicare, and the Department of Veterans affairs and have item numbers we can use under Medicare. Most comprehensive health funds cover dietitian visits as well with some funds paying up to 55% back on our fees. The sad thing is that some health funds have started to cover nutritionists and naturopaths now, not only dietitians as they once did. Shame on you health funds.

So before going to visit someone who uses either of these terms, check if they are registered with an appropriate credentialing body, check your health fund and your coverage level. But most of all, enjoy the experience. We are here to empower and assist you to optimise your nutrition.

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baking, BBQ accompaniments, DIY, Easy Recipes, Healthy dinner ideas, Home cooked, Prepare ahead of time, vegetarian

Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Capsicums

These make a good veggie lunch or can be a side to any roast dinner.

You’ll need:

5 or 6 traffic light capsicums all around the same size
3/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup aborio rice
1/2 cup French (blue) lentils
1 medium onion, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 -3 cups chicken or veg. stock
salt and pepper

This is an absorption method recipe. You could also use a rice cooker for this mixture.
Heat up 1 Tablespoon of oil in a heavy based deep pan. Fry the onions in the oil until they are translucent. Make sure the heat is not high as you don’t want to brown the onions. Then add the rice, quinoa and lentils. You could rinse these in a sieve before you add them in if you like. Mix to combine with onion and add in the stock. Place the lid on top and let simmer for 5 mins. Stir the pot every 5-6 mins. it should take around 15 mins to cook.
You can vary this recipe by adding different seasoning or combinations like bacon and onion to fit the occasion. You could also add toasted almond slivers, sultanas or walnuts in the rice.

When cooked, allow to cool for 5 mins or so while you prep the capsicum.

Line a deep baking tray with greaseproof paper. Wash the capsicums and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the tops off about 1 inch from the stalk and remove the seeds inside and in the top. Place them on the tray.

Stuff each capsicum with the quinoa and lentil mixture.
Replace the lid of the capsicum.
Spray with olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper.
Baked in a mod. oven (180 deg) for 15-20 mins, or until the outer skin of the capsicum has cooked.

Serve with a side of your favourite protein or salad.

Enjoy!

 

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Uncategorized

I’m Thankful for – BULLET JOURNALLING

I owe my life to bullet journalling right now. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with things to do, journalling is a great way to organise your thoughts and get things done.

But ‘Bullet Journalling’ is another way of to do listing your life. So I have always been a bit of a list maker but lately I have been trying to complete my lists that day. The other thing I have been doing is instead of using a normal book, I have taken to writing up my lists on small square pads of paper. Sometimes of the sticky note kind. If its not square its okay too..  Because they are disposable I figure I have to do everything on the list in the moment rather than keeping it in a book that I don’t open. The smaller the better, as it helps me to condense what I need to put down, into the smaller space. Even my colleagues have noticed I do this with patient energy and protein requirements.. sometimes there is a trail of post it notes after a day at work… which I stick in my work journal.

Try it. Or read about it here and don’t. Your choice!

Bullet journalling, I owe you.

 

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