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Gobble, Gobble, turkey day is right around the corner!

19 Nov

OK, you get home with the turkey and still have to figure out how long it will take for this huge, (seems like 400 pound) bird to thaw so you can have the perfect dinner. Here is the information you will want to save so years to come, the perfect turkey will be placed on the table. The key also is to buy your turkey ahead of time so you have enough time to thaw it.  celebration-315079__180

Safety ways to thaw turkey

The USDA recommends three ways to defrost turkeys; in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. Never defrost a turkey on the counter!!!

Refrigerator thawing

For every 5 pounds of turkey allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time in a refrigerator set at 40F. After thawing, keep turkey refrigerated for only 1-2 days. Use the following chart:

 Size of turkey                           Thawing time in the refrigerator

8 to 12 pounds                                     1 to 2 days

12 to 16 pounds                                   2 to 3 days

16 to 20 pounds                                  3 to 4 days

20 to 24 pounds                                  4 to 5 days

Cold water thawing

If you forget to thaw the turkey or don’t have room in the refrigerator for thawing, don’t panic. You can submerge the bird or cut-up parts in cold water in its airtight packaging (follow manufacturer’s directions) or in a leak-proof bag. Allow about 30 minutes defrosting time per pound of turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes to be sure it stays cold. The following times are suggested for thawing in water:

 Size of turkey                         Hours to defrost

8 to 12 pounds                              4 to 6 hours

12 to 16 pounds                            6 to 8 hours

16 to 20 pounds                           8 to 10 hours

20 to 24 pounds                           10 to 12 hours

Turkeys thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately.

Microwave thawing

Read and follow the oven manufacturer’s instructions. Check the instructions for the size turkey that will fit in your oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use for thawing. Turkey thawed by this method should be cooked immediately.

For more information about thawing, cooking, and storing your turkey leftovers please visit

or contact your local extension office for more information.

Happy and safe Thanksgiving!!


The power of Kiwi!

20 Oct

When I do my grocery shopping I don’t buy Kiwi because isn’t sweet enough for my husband’s and son’s palate. In this past month, Kiwi is becoming part of our weekly diet thanks to the information passed from my mother to us.

kiwi2Kiwi is packed with vitamins, minerals, and soluble and insoluble fiber. These are some of the reasons why kiwi can help to protect against heart disease. Surprisingly, one large kiwi has twice the amount of Vitamin C than of an orange and is loaded with lutein, which reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. Also it has copper, which is important for bone strength, brain development, and building immunity; and potassium, which aids in efficient heart functioning and helps to control blood pressure. The fuzzy skin can be removed or eaten, as it also contains nutrients which are similar to the skin of a peach.

Add it to fruit salad, chicken salad, cereal, pancakes, or desserts for an extra punch of nutrients.


1 ½ cups cooked chicken, cubed

¼ cup celery, chopped

¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon salt

2 kiwifruit, pared, sliced, divided


  • Combine chicken, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise and salt
  • Quarter half of kiwifruit slices; gently stir into chicken mixture
  • Spoon onto 2 lettuce-lined salad plates.
  • Garnish each serving with remaining kiwifruit slices.

Serves 2.

Try kiwi in different recipes or use it as part of your smoothies. Kiwi is another power fruit!

What is a Zucchini? An experience from our Mobile Farmers Market in DeKalb Extension

28 Aug

market 1

The afternoon was sunny and hot and I was working at one of the stops of our mobile farmers market at an apartment complex where a diverse group of seniors live. One of our clients came to our group and after checking all the products that were available for sale that day asked us the following question: What is a zucchini? According with his own words he didn’t know and has never tasted before.

You can imagine our surprise! Zucchini is one of the most abundant produce during summer, and is one of those we eat as a vegetable when in reality is a fruit.

Zucchini taste better when is about 6 to 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. When we buy it like that we can enjoy it when is tender and has a delicious flavor even if we eat it raw. You can shred the larger pieces and use them to bake zucchini bread and other bake goods.

Zucchini, with its intense green color is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, B and C and other nutrients. One cup of zucchini has approximately 35 calories, making it a perfect addition to a healthy eating diet.

Our friendly client left very pleased for visiting our mobile market that day. He left with a good supply of zucchini, learned something new about it and had the opportunity to taste one of our most popular recipes: Zucchini Italian Style. We invite you to prepare this quick and delicious recipe before summer goes away and take advantage of the plentiful zucchini at its best! Enjoy!


Cucurbita_pepo_Summer_Squash_Yellow_and_Green_Zucchini_zucchineZucchini Italian-Style


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

4 medium zucchini trimmed

1 canned stewed tomatoes, regular or low sodium

1/4 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs

1/4 teaspoon coarse—ground black pepper

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Wash hands and assemble clean equipment. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and zucchini; stir-fry for about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, Italian herbs, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and steam 4 to 5 minutes or until zucchini is still slightly crisp.Stir in cheese and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.


Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount Per Serving: 1 cup

Calories 132

9 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of protein, Cholesterol 5 mg,

2 g fiber

Sodium 365 mg or 153 mg with low sodium stew tomatoes

¡Las increíbles CEBOLLAS!

19 May

Cocino casi todos los días en casa, y cuando lo hago uso cebollas como ingrediente principal en mis recetas. Además del gran sabor que este vegetal le da a mis comidas, también proporciona nutrientes increíbles. Quiero compartir con ustedes la información que hallé sobre el valor nutricional de la cebolla. Sé que después de que lea esta información, usted cocinará más con cebollas:

La cebolla es una de las fuentes más importantes de antioxidantes en la dieta humana de acuerdo a los reportes del profesor adjunto Rui Hai Lui de la Universidad de Cornell. Estos antioxidantes le otorgan a la cebolla su sabor dulce y su aroma distinguido. Al consumir cebolla su cuerpo obtiene fibra soluble y flavonoides, que son compuestos de antioxidantes que combaten los radicales libres. Estos flavonoides actúan como anticoagulante, disminuyen la inflamación y combaten el cáncer. fotolia_14367447_XS[1]

El tipo Western Yellow contiene 11 veces más antioxidantes que el tipo Western White y otorga la protección más fuerte contra la producción de células cancerosas en el hígado. Las cebollas e Western Whites contienen la menor cantidad de antioxidantes entre las diferentes variedades de cebollas y ofrecen la menor cantidad de protección contra las células cancerosas. Las cebollas Shallots, Western Yellow, Northern Red and las cebollas amarillas amargas colaboran en la inhibición del crecimiento de células cancerosas, lo que puede ayudar en la protección contra el desarrollo de cáncer de colon y de hígado.

La inflamación en el cuerpo puede causar graves síntomas de asma, artritis, y enfermedades del corazón. De acuerdo a un estudio publicado en el 2010 en “Los Aspectos Moleculares de la Medicina,” el consumo regular de compuestos órgano sulfuros provenientes de las cebollas y del ajo, pueden prevenir el desarrollo de enfermedades del corazón.

Las cebollas actúan como anticoagulantes en la sangre, debido al contenido de tiosulfatos, agentes que proveen las cebollas con su olor amargo que causa ojos lagrimosos al estar en contacto con este vegetal. De igual manera, este componente de sulfuro previene que las plaquetas se unan operando como un anticoagulante natural. Cuando las plaquetas se agrupan en la sangre, el riesgo a un derrame cerebral o a un ataque al corazón aumenta de gran manera. Para obtener un máximo contenido de tiosulfatos, consuma la cebolla cruda, ya que al cocinarlas, la cantidad de este componente se disminuye. Si usted toma medicina anticoagulante, consulte con su doctor sobre el consume de cebollas y su medicina, ya que usted no quiere que su sangre se haga muy delgada.

De igual manera, las cebollas contienen una forma especial de fibra soluble llamada fructan (polímero de la fructosa). Al consumir fructan, esta fibra soluble se convierte en una sustancia parecida a un gel en el colon que se transforma en ácidos grasos. Estos ácidos grasos actúan como un laxante natural, estimulando el funcionamiento de los intestinos. Este polímero también promueve el crecimiento de bacteria buena en los intestinos, lo que puede ayudar a combatir infecciones en el colon.

¿Qué le parece? ¡Yo creo que las cebollas son increíbles!!


The Incredible ONIONS!

19 May

I cook almost every day at home, and when cooking I use onions as the main ingredient in my recipes. Besides the great flavor this vegetable add to my meals, it also provides wonderful nutrients. I want to share with you the information I found about the nutritional value of onions. I know that after reading this information you will cook more with onions:

One of the most significant sources of antioxidants in the human diet is onions, reports Cornell University Associate Professor Rui Hai Lui. These antioxidants provide this vegetable with its sweet flavors and distinct aroma. Consuming onions supplies your body with soluble fiber and flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that fight free radicals. These flavonoids assist in thinning your blood, decreasing inflammation and fighting cancer.  fotolia_14367447_XS[1]

The Western Yellow type contains 11 times more antioxidants than the Western White type and provides the strongest protection against the production of liver cancer cells. The Western Whites contain the least amount of antioxidants among onion varieties and offer the least protection against cancer cells. Shallots, Western Yellow, Northern Red and pungent yellow onions assist in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, which may protect against the development of colon and liver cancer.

Inflammation in your body can cause and exacerbate symptoms of asthma, arthritis and heart disease. According to a 2010 study published in “Molecular Aspects of Medicine,” regular consumption of organosulfur compounds from onions and garlic can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

Onions may assist in thinning your blood, as they contain thiosulfinates – the agents that provide an onion with its pungent odor and cause teary eyes when you come in contact with this vegetable. Additionally, this sulfur compound prevents platelets in your blood from aggregating and operates as a natural blood thinner. When platelets cluster in your blood, your risk for experiencing a stroke or heart attack significantly increases. Eat your onions raw for maximum thiosulfinate content, as cooking onions significantly decreases the quantity of this compound. If you take a prescription blood thinner, consult with your physician about consuming onions in conjunction with your medication, as you do not want your blood to become too thin.

Onions also contain a special form of soluble fiber known as fructan. When you consume fructan, this soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance in your colon and converts to fatty acids. These fatty acids act as a natural laxative, stimulating bowel movements. The fructan in onions, inulin fructan, promotes the growth of good bacteria in your intestines, which may combat any infections in your colon.

So, what do you think? I think onions are amazing!


Prepare las comidas en casa para empezar su estilo de vida saludable

11 Apr

images[4]Preparar y comer comidas en casa es un paso importante para comer saludable. Usted puede preparar comidas saludables, fáciles y rápidas en casa. Tan solo recuerde estos simples pasos: Planear, comprar, preparar y comer.


  • Mantenga una lista de las comidas favoritas de su familia. Separe 30 minutos para planear para la siguiente semana.
  • Haga una lista de los platos principales y de los acompañantes que servirá cada día de la semana. Seleccione recetas con pocos ingredientes y que necesiten solo técnicas de cocina rápidas.
  • Pegue el menú en la nevera donde todos lo puedan ver.
  • Escuche los comentarios de su familia sobre el menú y use la lista de los platos favoritos de su familia incluyendo los platos principales, las ensaladas, los vegetales, las frutas y los postres.
  • Busque ideas de platos principales y de acompañantes rápidos y saludables en libros de cocina, periódicos, sitios de internet, o revistas y agréguelos a su lista. Mantenga estas recetas en fólderes o en cajas.


  • Compre con regularidad una vez a la semana o al mes, asi ahorra dinero, tiempo y gasolina.
  • Compre frutas y vegetales en estación porque es más barato y sabe mejor.
  • Visite su farmer’s market más cercano y ahorre dinero al comprar calidad.
  • Compre solo lo de su lista asi no gasta demás y no olvida los ingredientes para las recetas de su menú.
  • No compre con hambre. Consuma un snack o una de sus comidas antes de mercar.
  • Los chicos puede ayudar, déjelos escoger una fruta o un vegetal Nuevo o algo que en realidad les guste mucho.


  • Sea estricto con su plan.salad-istock-TaylorLittle[1]
  • Lave y prepare sus frutas y vegetales con anticipación.
  • Prepare demás del plato principal para otra comida.
  • Agregue una fruta o vegetal favorito en lata o congelado.
  • Revise su plan de comidas todas las tarde y saque su comida congelada al refrigerador la noche anterior para que se descongele de manera segura para la siguiente cena.
  • Involucre a los chicos, es divertido para todos. Los ninos van a probar nuevas cosas si ayudan en la cocina. Recuerde la seguridad en la comida haciéndolos lavar sus manos en la cocina con frecuencia.


  • Comer juntos: Hágalo una prioridad, es una gran oportunidad para compartir en familia. Los chicos comen más despacio que los adultos, así que tome su tiempo durante las comidas y disfrute de unos minutos demás sentados en la mesa antes de limpiar.
  • Apague la televisión, la radio, el teléfono, para que todos disfruten de la conversación sin distracciones. Deje que las personas dejen mensaje o apague el sonido de su teléfono para evitar las distracciones.
  • Compartan los eventos del día preguntándole a cada persona sobre una actividad divertida o algo bueno que haya ocurrido durante el día. Es un rato agradable para saber sobre eventos especiales de la escuela o sobre los logros de los chicos.
  • Haga elecciones saludables: Es más fácil cuando se preparan las comidas en casa y la familia se sienta en la mesa a compartir la comida. Es una buena oportunidad para hablar y servir de modelo sobre comer saludable, los tamaños de las porciones, y probar nuevos alimentos.

Para recetas fáciles y saludables contacte su oficina de Extensión más cercana.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution

24 Feb

Our body must get the Omega-3 fatty acids from food. Foods high in Omega-3 include fish, vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables.

Omega-3 fats are special because they provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. Omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.

Omega-3 fats are a key family of polyunsaturated fats. There are three main omega-3s:

  • (EPA) and (DHA) come mainly from fish, so they are sometimes called marine omega-3s.
  • (ALA), the most common omega-3 fatty acid in most Western diets, is found in vegetable oils and nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds and flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, and some animal fat, especially in grass-fed animals.

The human body generally uses ALA for energy, and conversion into EPA and DHA is very limited. So you really need to eat fish to obtain the healthy benefits of the marine omega-3.  teriyaki-salmon-hl-523893-x[1]

Due to the benefits of marine omega-3 fatty acids, it is important to eat fish or other seafood one to two times per week, particularly fatty (dark meat) fish that are richer in EPA and DHA. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant and nursing mothers. From the third trimester until the second year of life, a developing child needs a steady supply of DHA to form the brain and other parts of the nervous system. Many women shy away from eating fish because of concerns that mercury and other possible contaminants might harm their babies, yet the evidence for harm from lack of omega-3 fats is far more consistent, and a balance of benefit vs. risk is easily obtained.

Teriyaki Salmon with Zucchini


Low-sodium teriyaki sauce

2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Sesame seeds

2 small zucchini, thinly sliced

4 scallions, chopped

Canola oil


Combine 5 tablespoons teriyaki sauce and fish in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate 20 minutes. Toast sesame seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and set aside. Drain fish, discarding marinade. Add fish to skillet, and cook 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 5 more minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from skillet, and keep warm. Add the zucchini, scallions, and 2 teaspoons oil to skillet. Sauté 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

Yield: Serves 2 (serving size: 1 salmon fillet and about 1 cup zucchini)

Calories per serving: 376, Fat per serving: 16g, Saturated fat per serving: 3g, Monounsaturated fat per serving: 6g, Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 7g, Protein per serving: 40g, Carbohydrates per serving: 11g, Fiber per serving: 3g, Cholesterol per serving: 87mg, Iron per serving: 5mg

Sodium per serving: 375mg, Calcium per serving: 53mg

Recipe from

What is normal eating?

4 Feb

Normal eating is:

  • Being able to eat when you are hungry and continue to eat until you are satisfied.
  • Being able to choose food you like, eat it, and truly get enough of it, not just stopping to eat because you think you should.
  • Being able to use moderate constraint on your food selection in order to consume the right food, without being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods.
  • Giving yourself permission to eat because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good.
  • Normal eating consists of three meals a day or it can mean choosing to snack in between.
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful when they are fresh.
  • Is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.
  • It also means under eating at times and wishing you had more.
  • Trusting your body to make up for eating mistakes.

In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your emotions, your schedule, your hunger and your proximity to

There are times however, when food is employed as a means to deal with stress, sadness and or boredom. Learning to eat mindfully can help foster a sense of balance in regard to food consumption, and therefore help us to develop a healthy relationship with food.

Spices Galore for the Holidays, read to the end for a special surprise

20 Dec

Spices_in_an_Indian_marketspices 2

During a recent class with senior adults I had the opportunity to ask them about one behavior they changed  related to their nutrition practices in 2014. After much of a discussion, the very bubbly Maria, remember one! Yes, she said, “I remember what you said about using garlic powder instead of garlic salt.” And why is that? , I asked. Well “We all know that we need to reduce the amount of salt we consume every day, especially those who like me have high blood pressure and diabetes”. She continued to say: “You know that we know what to do, but it is hard, but now when I go to the store I prefer the garlic or onion powder instead of the salt versions”. The rest of the group started to make comments about the class we had earlier about cutting the salt….. I was very please to noticed what  they learned about sodium and that they were willing to make changes.

During the Holidays we will prepare all of our favorite recipes and some of them will call for salt. Try to reduce the amount you use by a 1/4 or a 1/2 There are many spices we can use instead, for food preparation. Some examples include the following: allspice for tomatoes, cayenne for vegetables, cloves for winter squash and holiday drinks, ginger for poultry, basil for vegetables and pasta salad, oregano for pork, rosemary for cauliflower and tarragon for potatoes. Which one is your favorite?

A couple of hints should be considered. If you are trying new spices to prepare your recipes make few changes until you discover if you like the taste. Buy a few, especially because they tend to be expensive. Consider a  visit your local dollar store where you can find a good variety at a good price.  Keep your spices in a dry place and try to use them within a year. They will  also last longer  if you store them inside the freezer. Prepare your stews, soups, salads and sauces a day ahead so the flavors can blend. Since we are about too celebrate the holidays I have a little treat for our readers. If you post  a comment on our blog  mentioning which one is your favorite spice and how you use it, you will be enter in a drawing of a set of spices, courtesy of bilingualopinions! Let’s the spices flow and happy cooking!!!

Extension reaches out to the Burmese population

12 Dec


Jessica Hill demonstrate different spices participants can use instead of salt, to prepare healthier meals.

DeKalb County is the third most populated county in the state of Georgia. County officials usually highlight the fact that DeKalb has been recognized as one of Georgia’s most culturally diverse communities. More than 64 languages representing Asian, Hispanic, European, and African cultures are spoken. The county has also become a shelter for Asian, African, Iraqi and Latino people who seek asylum due to difficult circumstances in their home countries.
DeKalb County recently delivered a cancer prevention class to a group of Burmese women and children in collaboration with the county’s Women’s Refugee Center. The class, presented with the assistance of an interpreter, provided a great opportunity to educate these new comers and expose them to Extension and the University of Georgia. Funded in part by the American Cancer Society, this class provides crucial information to participants about the importance of early detection, screening activities, and nutrition practices in the prevention of cancer. The group enjoyed tasting new recipes that were low in fat and rich in fiber and nutrients. This class is offered to the community at no cost. For more information, please contact your local Extension office. In DeKalb County, call 404-298-4080 and in Gwinnett County, call 678-377-4014.