Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 7: Superfoods Rx

I just finished reading the book Superfoods Rx.  It was a pretty good read.  I agree with a lot of what was written (with a couple exceptions).  I also found that as a family we eat many of the same foods.  My goal for this week is to rework the next couple week's menu plan to include Dr. Pratt's recommendations, at least the ones I agree with.

The 14 superfoods and their sidekicks along with the daily/weekly amount follows:
  1. Beans-any along with sugar snap peas and green peas-eat four 1/2 cup servings weekly
  2. Blueberries-also purple grapes, and any other fresh, frozen or dried berry-1 to 2 cups daily
  3. Broccoli-cabbage, kale cauliflower, collards, bok choy, mustard greens, Swiss chard-1/2 to 1 cup daily
  4. Oats-any whole grain (wheat germ and flaxseed, brown rice, barley, quinoa, couscous, etc.)-5-7 servings daily
  5. Oranges-lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, limes-juice counts-1 serving daily
  6. Pumpkin-carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, orange bell pepper-1/2 cup most days
  7. Wild Salmon-Alaskan halibut, canned albacore tuna, sardines, herring, trout-2-4 times a week
  8. Soy-will be skipping this
  9. Spinach-kale, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, bok choy, romaine lettuce, orange bell peppers-1 cup steamed or 2 cups raw on most days
  10. Tea-1 or more cups daily
  11. Tomatoes-watermelon, papaya, strawberry guava-1 serving of processed tomatoes daily and multiple servings fresh during the week
  12. Turkey (skinless breast)-skinless chicken breast-3-4 servings per week of 3-4 ounces (I will not be eating poulty this frequently-maybe 2 times weekly.)
  13. Walnuts-almonds, sesame seeds, peanuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pecans, cashews-1 ounce 5 times a week
  14. Yogurt-kefir-2 cups daily
 A sample day might look something like this...
Breakfast-Granola (4, 13), Strawberry Yogurt (2, 14), and Orange Juice (5)
Mid Morning Snack-Tuna Salad on whole wheat Crackers (7, 4)
Lunch-Bean Burrito on a Whole Wheat Tortilla with Cheese and Salsa (1, 4, 11), Romaine/Spinach Salad with Almonds and a Raspberry Vinagrette (2, 9, 13)
Snack-Oatmeal and Sweet Potato Mini Muffins, Smoothie made with blueberries, banana, spinach and yogurt (4, 6, 2, 9, 14)
Dinner-Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (whole wheat pasta), Caesar Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Iced Tea (12, 4, 9, 3, 10)

This is probably a little overkill.  I'm thinking that most days I won't get every superfood in, but these are foods that I already prepare for my family.  It shouldn't take much time or energy to come up with serveral foods that hit two or three superfoods and make sure I incorporate them into our weekly diet. 

Let's talk about that fettuccine, shall we?  This is the one dish that when the kids ask, "What's for dinner?" and I tell them that we're having fettuccine alfredo, I always hear, "YES!!!"  For a long time the meal sounded daunting because it's served in fancy Italian restaurants, but it's really pretty easy.

Ingredients (to fix a meal for 5 with enough leftovers for 2 kids and a daddy to take to school/work)
1 pound whole wheat fettuccine (or spaghetti as that's all I had)
2 T. olive oil
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips or cubed (about 3/4 pound)
4 T. butter
4 T. whole white wheat flour (or AP flour works too, and gives the dish a white, creamier appearance, I just don't keep any around)
2 Cups chicken broth
6 ounces cream cheese, cut in cubes
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (additional cheese needed for topping if desired)

Optional add-ins
steamed peas and carrots or chopped broccoli

Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain.  While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet and saute chicken breasts until cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add butter and when melted, add flour and whisk in to make a roux.  Cook over medium heat a few minutes and then add chicken broth.  Continue to cook and stir until thickened.  Add cream cheese and stir until melted.  Add parmesan and (you got it), stir until melted.   Re-add the chicken to the skillet along with any add-ins that you desire.  Heat through.  Place noodles on serving plate and top with alfredo sauce.  Or, if you have small kids, and it's easier, dump the sauce into the big pot of drained noodles and stir it around and then put it on the plate.  We aren't much for presentation at our house. LOL!  Sprinkle with shredded parmesan if desired.

Cost analysis (I think I might start doing this regularly)
 1 pound whole wheat fettuccine $.89
2 T. olive oil $.25
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips or cubed (about 3/4 pound) $1
4 T. butter $.27
4 T. whole white wheat flour (or AP flour works too, and gives the dish a white, creamier appearance, I just don't keep any around) $.11
2 Cups chicken broth-free, made and froze after I cooked a whole chicken
6 ounces cream cheese, cut in cubes $.89 for 8 oz.
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (additional cheese needed for topping if desired) $.42
Optional add-ins
steamed peas and carrots or chopped broccoli $.45 (8 oz. frozen)

Total for entree = $4.28

To this meal, we also had honey-glazed carrots at about $.50
$4.78

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing about the book. I am going to try this recipe. I have a kiddo who doesnt do red sauce. Thanks

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  2. Hmmm we really need to get better about some of those super foods and having them everyday! Though I do think I may check out that book so I can see what I think of it myself :)

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