#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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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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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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Bananas, breakfast, Breakfast Rituals, cafe food, DIY, Fruit, vegetarian

B is for .. Banana

Banana bread is another Aussie cafe staple. There are many variations that you can make, my latest variation is to add berries and chia to give it a bit of tartness and texture. I’ve also added lemon before which can complement the blueberry, as it gives it more of a lift and works well with yoghurt.

Oven – 180 fan forced

Loaf tin, greased and floured (this creates a good crust)

Recipe

3 large bananas (just over 1 cup) mashed

2 eggs

1/4 cup rice bran oil

3 dessertspoons chia seeds

1/4 cup yoghurt (I use passionfruit vaalia)

1 cup self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix the mashed banana with the wet ingredients together and add chia seeds

Add in the self raising flour and baking powder and mix together until combined

Pour into loaf tin and bake for 40 mins. You may need to put some foil over the top for the last 10 mins

Share with a friend and a mug of your favourite tea or coffee

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