#winter, dietitians, Easy Recipes, eating well being healthy, Money Saving, Soup, vegetarian, vitamin D

Vitamin D

Winter is HERE. What now?! Stay healthy and don’t forget about Vitamin D.

Hi everyone! In our last post we covered Vitamin C. So I’d like to chat about Vitamin D next – are you getting enough?  Vitamin D has a vital role in the body.  A fat soluble compound, its responsible for increasing the absorption of calcium, magnesium, phosphate and zinc in the intestine and its essential for strong bones, muscle and immune system.  Vitamin D plus calcium supplementation effectively reduces fractures and falls in older men and women. Vitamin D is measured in International Units (IU) or micrograms (15 μg) per day and it is recommended to have:

–     600 IU (15 μg) per day for people aged ≤ 70 years; and
–     800 IU (20 μg) per day for those aged > 70 years.

Whilst most Vitamin D can be obtained from exposure to sunlight, but when sun exposure is minimal, vitamin D intake from dietary sources and supplementation should be monitored regularly as deficiencies can cause bone and muscle pain, and have a negative effect on the immune system.

Mushrooms are one of my favourite foods which are also rich in Vitamin D. There are several different types which you can use in different ways to improve the Vitamin D content of your diet., from shitake (chinese) mushrooms in stirfry to porcini in risotto and the classic button is always good on toast for breakfast. So much variety.

Exposing 100gm of mushrooms to sunlight for one hour will generate your daily needs of Vitamin D. winter sun for an hour will generate your daily requirement of vitamin D. The Medical Journal of Australia recommends “for moderately fair-skinned people, a walk with arms exposed for 6–7 minutes mid morning or mid afternoon in summer, and with as much bare skin exposed as feasible for 7–40 minutes (depending on latitude) at noon in winter, on most days, is likely to be helpful in maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in the body.”  Most people only get five to 10 per cent of their vitamin D from food. THATS RIGHT. Only 10 per cent. So its important to GET OUTSIDE and get some sun.

There are a number of other foods which contain Vitamin D naturally such as oily fish, and eggs but it is difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from diet alone so make sure you get some sunlight each day as well as these food types.  Margarine and some types of milk have added vitamin D.

People in high-risk groups may require higher doses. See your Dr if you are concerned about your Vitamin D levels.

One of my favourite winter dishes is soup so heres a recipe for Mushroom soup courtesy of the Australian Healthy food guide magazine.

Creamy mushroom soup

Recipe courtesy of Liz Macri of the Health Food Guide magazine.

Serves: 4
Time to make: 55 mins, prep 25 mins, cook 25-30 mins
See more at: http://healthyfoodguide.com.au

Ingredients

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 400g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 200g Swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 4 cups reduced-salt vegie stock
  • 1/2 cup light thickened cream
  • toasted wholegrain bread, to serve

Instructions

Step 1 – Spray a large saucepan with oil and cook mushrooms over high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove and set aside.

Step 2 – Spray the pan with more oil and cook onion, garlic and half the thyme over medium-high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat. Add stock and mushrooms. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until soup has reduced slightly.

Step 3 – Blend soup with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in 1/3 cup light thickened cream. Gently simmer for a few minutes. Divide soup among bowls, swirl through remaining cream and sprinkle with remaining thyme. Serve with toast.

Variations – Use any mixture of mushrooms. Try flat mushrooms or use more Swiss browns for a stronger, earthier flavour.

Nutritional information (per serve)

Kilojoules:  1,070kJ   Calories: 256cal

Protein: 14.2g                        Total fat: 7.9g

Saturated fat: 4.2g    Carbohydrates: 29.2g

Sugars: 6.8g               Dietary fibre: 5.7g

Sodium: 795mg         Calcium: 37mg

Iron: 1.1mg

References/Further Reading:

  1. Vitamin D and Health in adults in Australia and New Zealand – a position statement. Nowson, McGrath et al (2012): https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2012/196/11/vitamin-d-and-health-adults-australia-and-new-zealand-position-statement
  2. Sunlight and Vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers and cardiovascular disease. Holick MF (2004): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585788
  3. Vitamin D and Healthy Living – Vic. Government Website https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-d
  4. Australian Mushroom Council http://www.australianmushrooms.com.au/
  5. Healthy Food Guide Magazine http://healthyfoodguide.com.au/recipes/2010/july/creamy-mushroom-soup

 

 

 

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#winter, DIY, Easy Recipes, Healthy dinner ideas, Home cooked, Money Saving

When you don’t really feel like cooking

Lately its been quite crisp and the wintery weather has made me feel like warm food.

Last month I posted a mexican bowl as some of you will remember. I probably make this about once a month but the mixture lasts awhile if you add a couple of beans and other extras to it. It freezes nicely too which is handy when you have a mid week work disaster and can’t cook, just get it out and defrost it. This recipe is a healthy source of protein and iron, and the addition of the legumes, rice or vegetables plus salad provides a valuable source of fibre.

1 pack of lean, reduced fat/heart healthy mince, about 600gms
1 tin of red kidney beans, or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 white onion, diced
1 Mexican seasoning mix (or if you don’t have any or don’t want to buy it, you can use a mix of paprika, cumin and chilli powder, I would use equal parts cumin and paprika and a small amount of the chilli powder)
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons water

Method
Gently cook the onion until soft. Add in the seasoning mix or herbs and the mince. Cook mixture until brown. Add in the tomatoes and water and simmer..

To Serve – my favourite suggestions

  1. bake a plain potato – leave the skin on and make a cross mark in the top. Heat in the microwave or oven it if you have time – when cooked, top with some cheese and the mix. Enjoy. You could also use a sweet potato cut in half, with some of it scooped out – like a souped up potato skin. Alternatively, you could get a large courgette – halve it lengthwise and scoop out a small canal in the middle – add the mix, top with vegetables of your choice and add some grated cheese – and bake in a 180deg oven for 15 mins.
  2. in a small bowl place a cup of cooked brown rice. top with 1/2 cup of the mince mix, and about 1 tablespoon of chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, 1 tablespoon of rinsed and drained corn kernels, coriander leaves, grated tasty cheese and a generous dollop of natural yoghurt. Top with sriracha sauce.
  3. Make nachos  – but especially serve the mince with corn chips and a freshly made guacamole – take one ripe avo and mash it with a squeeze of lime, chilli flakes, and a tablespoon of finely chopped red onion -assemble and serve. Enjoy with friends!
    For more recipes including a lasagne recipe from the Womens Weekly NZ site click  Here  or the Foodtolove.com.au site  Here
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#winter, Easy Recipes, Home cooked, Mid week lunches, Money Saving, Prepare ahead of time, Soup

on saturdays we make soup

Its been hard to find the time to sit down and write. In between work and gym, I’ve been doing some online studies. I am doing an online Diploma of Business and Entrepreneurship which has been good so far and gives me some good things to think about outside of hospital life. I’ve still been cooking but just not writing so much. So today I’ve decided to share my usual Saturday morning routine when I’m at home. Lately on Saturday mornings I’ve been making soup.

Here are my top four go to soup recipes for you… I’m going to put these into an PDF recipe booklet with some of my top healthy veggie bowl recipes and will share that link soon.

  1. CARROT & LENTIL SOUP (I did this for LIVE BELOW THE LINE)
  2. GINGER, TOMATO & TUMERIC LENTIL SOUP
  3. PORK & FENNEL MINESTRONE
  4. PUMPKIN & COCONUT (VEGAN)

1. CARROT & LENTIL (aka LIVE BELOW THE LINE soup) – a classic soup recipe you need if, like me you are trying to eat well but on a budget. I did this back in May when I did the Live Below the Line Challenge where you try to feed yourself on less than $10 a week or $2 a day. It was interesting but I kinda felt comforted by the simple flavours of this soup, so its become a regular recipe now.

You’ll need:

1 cup of red lentils
2 cups water, with a stock cube added
2 medium carrots, grated roughly
1 diced tomato
1 diced onion

Method:

Place all lentils, onion and stock in a medium pot and bring to the boil until lentils are soft and well cooked. This should take about 20 mins. Then add in the carrot and tomato and bring to the boil. Simmer on for another 10-15 and then serve with salt and pepper.

 

2. GINGER, TOMATO & TURMERIC & LENTIL SOUP

You’ll need:

1 cup red lentils
2 cups water plus an extra 2 cups for later
2 stock cubes
2 medium carrots
2 diced onions
1 Tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 diced tomato
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Method: In a medium pot, gently sauté the diced onions in a small amount of olive oil. When they are translucent, add in the ginger and turmeric powder and fry together for a minute. Add in the tomato paste, the stock, and the lentils.
Boil this for about 15-20 minutes then add in the carrots and tomatoes. Boil steadily on a medium heat and then reduce the heat. Add parsley and season to taste.
Serve hot.
PORK AND FENNEL MINESTRONE – This totally reminds me of a Bourke street bakery sausage roll. Next time I should pop a puff pastry lid on it.

Ingredients

150gms pork sausage or mince seasoned with salt and pepper and rolled into smaller than teaspoon sized meatballs
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, bruised and toasted
1 bunch of parsley
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tin of diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 celery stalks chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini chopped
1 cup elbow pasta

Method

Dice the vegetables and finely chop parsley and its stalks
In a medium pot, gently sauce the onion and fennel seed. Add in the celery, carrot and cook until soft. Then add in the meatballs, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and zucchini.

Cover with stock and add in the pasta. Bring to the boil until the pasta is cooked.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread.

4. PUMPKIN & COCONUT

Super easy to make, I’m sure we all have a recipe for this.

1 butternut pumpkin (about 700gms) cut into large squares and skin removed
2 cups water
1 stock cube, vegetarian
3 – 4 slices of fresh Ginger or 1-2 cloves Garlic (you can choose your own adventure here)
1 x 400ml can light coconut milk

Method

Place the pumpkin cubes into a large wide based pot.
Boil the water and dissolve the stock cube in it. Pour over the pumpkin and cover with lid. Depending on how much pumpkin you use, you may need to add more water, but be careful not to add too much or the soup may end up a bit watery.

Boil water until the pumpkin cubes are soft. Cool for 30mins.

Blend or use a hand mixer to puree the pumpkin. Replace in the pot and put it back on the stove. Add coconut milk and gently heat until warm but do not boil as the coconut milk might split.

Serve topped with crunchy croutons, smashed crackers or dry roasted edamame beans.

ALL SOUPS WILL SERVE ABOUT 6 so invite your friends around 🙂

 

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