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Robinsbite: April 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fire Up the Grill! 5 Minute Marinades for Summer

In the past week, I've been treated to two delicious-I-didn't-have-to-do-a-thing-home-cooked meals. Lucky me!

Both meals contained marinated and grilled meat. Since grilling season is upon us, I thought that two, basic marinade recipes to keep in our back pockets were in order. There is truly no need to buy pre-made marinades. Have you looked at the label on those? Check out the added sugars and salt the next time you pick one of those bottles and throw it into your cart. If you watch your salt and sugar intake, this is a great place for those ingredients to hide. Many people have no realization that these ingredients are added in large quantities at times. Same goes for salad dressings. All I'm saying is that it's SIMPLE and FAST to make your own marinade and odds are that you have many, if not all, of the ingredients at home right now! We're talking less than 5 minutes to whip these up.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Marinade (2 loins)
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c bourbon or whiskey
2 T brown sugar
Whisk together and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Grilled Flank Steak Marinade (2 1/4 pounds of steak)
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
4 1/2 T honey
6 large garlic cloves, minced
3 T chopped fresh rosemary or 1 T dried
1 1/2 T coarsely ground pepper
1 1/2 t salt
Whisk together and allow meat to marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.

This particular recipe is on, but was actually created by Chef Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain's Steak and Chop house in Dallas.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • Yep, that's it!

    It's easy to make homemade salad dressings, too. I love to do a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil with a good splash of red wine vinegar directly onto my salad. Add freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt and toss. Any flavored vinegar will work-my newest addiction is white balsamic vinegar.

    Tell me your favorite homemade marinades and salad dressings!

    Many thanks to Cari and Rachelle for sharing their recipes with me! And, thanks for dinner!

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
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    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Jamie Oliver, Lisa Greene and Me. Food Revolution Time!

    Tonight is the season finale of one of the most talked about TV shows in America. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution ends tonight and I, for one, can't wait to see the finale. You know, you can love him, you can hate him, you can think he is doing this all for publicity, etc. But in the end, he is making a difference. How do I know that? Because YOU are watching. WE are watching. AMERICANS and their CHILDREN are watching. For some, it's the first stages of CHANGE. And isn't that what we need around here? You know the old saying..if the behavior doesn't change, the outcome doesn't change.

    Join me and a group of changing Americans TONIGHT for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Finale Watch Party at Picasso's Pizza and Grill at 7215 Skillman Road (at Walnut Hill) in Dallas, TX 75231 We will start at 7:00pm.

    Processed Kids author Lisa Greene will be there tonight as well.
    Light appetizers will be served, drinks and dinner will be available for purchase.
    Please RSVP. If you will notice, on the bottom left-hand corner, there is a RSVP click-through to join us!

    I know that many of you are not in Dallas, so I'm curious to know what you are going to do to watch the finale this evening. How are you going to celebrate and start your own REVOLUTION? What kinds of food will you be putting out on your buffet table for friends and family from now on? Kinda makes you think-doesn't it. That's the point-exactly.

    It's true that nutrition information is confusing and that feeding our kids and ourselves can be compromised without the knowledge, time or effort that it requires to do so. If you or your family would benefit from seeing a registered dietitian, please go to here and click on "Find a Professional". Enter in your zip code and you'll have a list of folks you can select from. Or, ask your MD for a referral. It will be the best time and money you spend all year. I promise.

    Please comment on this post with your thoughts and views. I am so interested in what you have to say. For those of you in Dallas/Ft.Worth area, I hope to see you tonight!

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    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Jessica Seinfeld I am Not! Or am I? Blending Veggies into your Diet

    You all know the Jessica Seinfeld book Deceptively Delicious, right? It's where she suggests "sneaking" fruits and vegetables into children's diets. I am strongly opposed to this tactic as I feel that kids need to be told the truth and accept the consequences-whatever their parents feel is appropriate. When we "sneak" in fruits and veggies, we are telling our children that they are "bad" foods and that we have to be deceptive (as the title states) in order for our kids to eat them. Would you like be given food thinking it's one thing only to be told later that you ate a cup of brussel sprouts unknowingly? So yes, I, and a number of my colleagues are against it. However, many are for it and have found success. Feel free to pick your side. I do not judge.

    So, yesterday was a hectic day and I was nowhere close to the amount of fruits and veggies I needed for my daily consumption. And honestly, without even asking him, I knew my husband was nowhere close, either.

    I knew I was going to make something with ground turkey and had decided on turkey burgers. Fast forward about 10 minutes and there was ground turkey cooking on the stove top, jarred spaghetti sauce in a pot and thawed whole wheat pasta on the counter (That's right, you can cook and freeze pasta if you'd like). I grabbed 2 big handfuls of broccoli and 2 handfuls of carrots. Put them in a freezer bag with about an inch of water and microwaved them until soft. Popped them in the blender, along with 2 handfuls of spinach and boom! I had several servings of veggies right there! Put the blended mixture into the spaghetti sauce (more veggies!) and stirred well. Served with the turkey meat and the pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

    My husband LOVED it and ate every bit. Oh, did I tell you that my husband eats lettuce, green beans and asparagus--that's it. Those are his top (and only) 3 vegetables that he likes. When I asked him if he wanted to know what he just ate, his response was "something with a lot of fiber in it? " (He knows me and my love of fiber so well). I told him what was in it and he said "just keep doing this and I'll eat it".

    How I HATE, HATE, HATE to agree with Jessica Seinfeld, I'm afraid I must with regard to this. It's good to be proven wrong sometimes. But don't tell her, okay?

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    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Post Script: Think You are Not At Risk For Heart Disease

    As you know, my last blog discussed the sudden and massive heart attack of the husband of a friend of mine. I'm saddened to report that he passed away yesterday. I will be attending his funeral today.

    Heart disease doesn't happen to "someone else" or in "so & so's family". It happens to all of us. Yes, this man did have risk factors-but perhaps not the obvious ones. I've heard people say "but he wasn't overweight" and "he ate fairly well". However, his father had a heart attack at age 50, so his family history was key.

    He left a wife and 2 children. His daughter's last vision of him was being taken away in an ambulance. She never got to see him again. Please send good thoughts their way today as they say their final good bye.

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    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Think You Aren't at Risk for Heart Disease? Think Again.

    I just saw a friend's husband in the intensive care unit after suffering a massive heart attack. If that vision doesn't kick you in the butt to take better care of yourself (eating better, exercising, seeing your MD regularly, stopping smoking, taking meds as prescribed), I don't know what will.

    I've seen this many, many times as I've worked in hospitals earlier in my career. But now that I'm married and have a son, it looks a whole lot different. This man is 43 years old, a son, a husband and father of 2. I'm 40, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a niece and so on. My Dad had a heart attack when he was 53. My Grandfather had a heart attack at an early age, too.

    Think you are not at risk? Think again-especially women. You did know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, right? Not breast cancer or any other disease as you might think. Heart disease is the #1 reason we lose our wives, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, aunts, cousins, nieces, etc.

    Do you know the risk factors? If not, here they are (from

    What are the major risk factors that can't be changed?
    Increasing Age

    Male Sex (Gender)
    Heredity (Including Race)

    What are the major risk factors you can modify, treat or control by changing your lifestyle or taking medicine?
    Tobacco Smoke
    High Blood Cholesterol
    High Blood Pressure
    Physical Inactivity
    Obesity and Overweight
    Diabetes Mellitus

    What other factors contribute to heart disease risk?

    Diet and Nutrition

    Not sure about your risks? Go here to take the Heart Attack-Coronary Heart Disease-Metabolic Syndrome Risk Assessment

    Take a look and see where you are. Notice that the majority of the risk factors are factors that WE can control. We CAN exercise more, we CAN eat more fruits and veggies, we CAN stop smoking, we CAN control our weight. We CAN take steps to decrease the stress in our lives. This is all GREAT news.

    My Life Check is another self assessment tool to track your health offered by the American Heart Association. It takes about 5 minutes or so to complete. I just took it and received a 7 out of 10. Not up to my standards. (although because I did not have current blood pressure, cholesterol or fasting blood sugar available, that may have been part of the cause). Regardless, I can tell you that I would not hit a 10 out of 10 even with those numbers available. I am now one of the 45,000 plus people who have made the pledge to make improvements. Care to join me?

    Lesson to me: go to my Doctor and get those numbers-now!

    Lesson to you: find out your risk factors, make changes where you can, join the fight in saving your life. If not for you, do it for your wife, husband, children, grandchildren, sister, brother, mother or father. Believe me, they still need you to be here for a long time. And so do you.

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    Monday, April 12, 2010

    WTF? Get Your Mind out of the Gutter and into the GUT!

    WTF. It's often seen as an acronym for a less than tasteful phrase. In my world, WTF could not be a more important question since it stands for "Where's the Fiber?". Oh, how I wish I could claim that I came up with this, but I have to give credit where credit is due and that goes to Dave Grotto, RD. I "borrowed" it from him because I saw it on his Facebook page. I admit it.

    Anyway, fiber is such a good thing. Many of you may now recognize my love of fiber. I love it. I talk about it, I educate people about it, I read about it and I eat it-all day long. And as I do this, I am lowering my risk for colon cancer, decreasing my blood cholesterol, maintaining a regular blood sugar and keeping everything moving through the system. Like a broom sweeping everything through your gut. Keeping the pipes clean. I think you get the drift.

    Soluble, Insoluble-it's all good. Finding it is easy--fruits & veggies (especially with the peels), 100% whole grains, wheat bran, oats, oat bran, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, even pills and powders. Of course, my preference is to get the daily recommendation for adults of 25-35 grams from food. My #1 fiber source is All Bran, with raspberries coming in a close second with 8 grams in 1 cup.

    That's right-I love those little twigs. No, they don't taste like twigs or sticks as some like to say even before they taste them. They are truly delicious. As many of you know, I'm a purist. So I am good with the Original All Bran. No flakes, buds or medleys for me. Just my twigs, low fat soy milk and 1/2 of a banana and I'm good to go. And when I say good to go, I mean good to GO.

    Why? 1/2 cup of these babies contain:
    80 calories
    1 gram of fat
    10 grams of fiber. (That's right, I said 10 grams!)

    You may have heard it referred to as Colon Blow. And I'd have to say that is pretty accurate. If you are squeamish about the colon and other bodily functions, it may be best for you to keep clicking. However, if you are like me, or any of my colleagues, this is a regular discussion. Staying regular is critical for everyone of all ages, particularly young kiddos and the elderly population. If you are interested in incorporating All Bran or upping your fiber content in general, here are my suggestions:

    1. Do it s-l-o-w-l-y.
    2. Drink lots of water to help the fiber move through your system.
    3. If you start increasing your fiber intake by eating All-Bran, start by sprinkling a handful in your other cereal or in your yogurt, in a trail mix or just a small handful. Again, add it s-l-o-w-l-y.
    4. In the first few days of increasing your fiber, you may want to be near a bathroom. I'm not kidding.

    You are jump starting your intestines and they will revolt a bit-just until you get used to it. I promise.

    Disclaimer: I do not represent All Bran or Kellogg's ...I just am a true fan of the cereal. For more info, go here. I also like the National Fiber Council website. I'd love to hear about your fiber stories--where do you get your fiber and do you have any fiber websites you like? Please let me know.

    Yours in fiber,

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    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Passover Ends-Feast with Yeast!!

    Another Passover has ended. Another stock pile of Matzoh is staring those who "keep" Passover in the face. Most are sick and tired of eating the "cracker" for the last week. One can only eat so much matzoh peanut butter and jelly, matzoh grilled cheese, matzoh and eggs, matzoh pizza and chocolate & toffee covered matzoh. Not to mention the constipation! Or, for others, the opposite! Just keeping it real, folks.

    Check out this video below for 20 ideas on what to do with your leftover Matzoh!

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