SPICE IT UP

By Jane Sylvestre, RD - 1/24/2012

I would like to take a new angle on my blogs and make them more patient driven. I want to use this opportunity to answer patient questions. Please e-mail any questions that you would like addressed in my blog. My e-mail address is janesylvestre@massweightloss.com

I am also looking for new support group ideas. If you have a topic you would like covered in support group you can e-mail me that information as well. Linda and I just came up with a schedule of topic ideas for support groups for this year, but they are not set in stone and we would be happy to incorporate any ideas you would like addressed. Keep an eye on our website and we will have our support group topics listed soon.

I am in the midst of my 6 week January / February nutrition class. We have a great group of patients who are super motivated to continue on their weight loss journey. Sometimes, just being around other people who are motivated is motivation in itself. Surround yourself with people who understand your struggles and are supportive of your efforts. You can find that support from our support groups, nutrition classes or appointments with any of our staff. Remember to keep your nutrition appointments for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year post op. If you are not meeting with a dietitian on a regular basis you should call our new office at 508-668-4400 to set up an appointment with me. You can also meet with Linda or Amy at Norwood Hospital by calling 781-278-6255. My next nutrition class will start in April. Detailed information will be out soon.

One of my favorite components of my nutrition class is the week we talk about cooking. We even have a couple of chefs in our class right now. I love to cook too. I wish I had more time to experiment with new recipes every day. I do try to try at least one new recipe a week. This is a great way to keep your menus exciting! I feel badly when I see food records of people eating the exact same foods day after day. Sometimes this can get so boring that people will go back to eating whatever. That is usually what happens with dieting too. Experiment with new recipes and try new and exciting foods! In class, I prepare a couple recipes for all to try. This month, one of the recipes I will be preparing is a Tex mex quinoa with black beans and corn. This is a recipe from "Vegetarian Times" that has been passed around our office by Patty who works at the front desk. She is wonderful if you have not already met her. Everyone here loved the recipe and many make it on a regular basis. I hesitated sharing this recipe with our patients because it has corn in it which can be a challenge for some of our patients. The key to tolerating smaller pieces of food like corn, nuts or popcorn is to truly take your time eating them and make sure you chew them very well and not swallow them whole. Don't swallow mouthfuls or handfuls at a time. I love this recipe because it is made with Quinoa (pronounced Keen Wa) which is a 100% whole grain and complete protein all in one! Quinoa is cooked very similar to rice, but is not as sticky and tolerated better by our patients. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1.5 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup prepared black bean soup, such as Dr. McDougall's

1 cup milk or medium picante sauce, divided (can also try Newman's own pineapple salsa)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

1.5 cups cooked black beans or one 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen yellow corn, drained

4 green onions (scallions) thinly sliced

1-2 Tbsp chopped, pickled jalapeno chilies

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a medium deep-sided skillet or wok over medium heat.

2. Add cumin and cook 2 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted, stirring often.

3. Add soup, ½ cup water, ½ cup picante sauce and quinoa.

4. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat.

5. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook 10-12 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

6. Stir in beans and corn and cook, covered, 7-10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. The mixture will still be quite moist.

7. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ½ cup picante sauce, green onions and jalapenos.

8. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Nutrition Information per 1 cup serving:

367 Kcal, 15 grams protein, 7 grams fat and 64 grams carb.

Enjoy! Jane

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