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Country Pride Food Services

By Fred Fort 21 Jul, 2016

By Dana Yarn, RDLD

Are you doing cardiovascular exercise every day and not seeing any results in terms of weight loss and or performance? If you are performing steady state cardio for a certain period of time as your workout you may want to try HIIT (high intensity interval training) training to reap the benefits of fat loss and improved cardiovascular health. After working in a large corporate health club for almost 10 years I saw the same people get on the same elliptical machine with the same body year after year, doing steady state cardio. They could see tremendous results by cutting total time in half and increasing the intensity of their cardio workouts.

The good news about HIIT training is the workouts tend to be short and because of the intensity it is recommended to only do them 2-3 times per week. On the other days you can do steady state cardio as “recovery,” and of course resistance training is essential for optimal health and body composition.

Research.

Convincing and ongoing research proves that the best form of exercise is short bursts of high intensity exercise.

Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, it also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics/cardio, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), which improves body composition, energy, and overall fitness.

One study published in the   Journal of Obesity   reported that 12 weeks of HIIT will result in significant reductions in total abdominal, trunk, and visceral fat while giving you significant increases in overall power and performance.

What HIIT workout should you start with?

At my studio I have a class titled HIIT and we incorporate Tabata intervals into the class. Tabata method created by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher who studied athletic performance. The method is 20 seconds of drop dead effort followed by 10 seconds of complete rest repeated for 8 rounds totaling 4 minutes. This type of interval training is great for anyone who is looking to try HIIT.

  • Warm up with 3-5 minutes of walking, light jogging or calisthenics.
  • Complete 1 round of Tabata (the 20 seconds could be jump squats, sprinting, box jump, switch lunges, etc.)
  • Cool down 3-5 minutes.
  • As you progress you can increase the number of rounds of Tabatas.

Other versions of HIIT include 15 seconds of work followed by double the amount of rest (30 seconds). Working ultimately up to 2 minutes of work.

Here is an example of a 12 week HIIT training program.

Week Work/Rest
1-2 15 sec./30 sec.
3-4 30 sec./60 sec.
5-6 45 sec./90 sec.
7-8 1 min./2 min.
9-10 1.5 min./3 min.
11-12 2 min./4 min.
Warm up & cool down 3-5 minutes. Total time with warm up and cool down should not exceed 30 minutes.

The great part is this can be done on a bike, in a pool, at a track, inside, outside, etc.

I hope this encourages you to shake up your workouts with some HIIT training even if it means just a few rounds of Tabata per week!



By Fred Fort 27 May, 2016

Serves 8

As a registered dietitian, I love hosting healthy dinner parties. One of my favorite ingredients is shrimp, because it’s a lean protein and good source of vitamin D. However, it can be tricky to cook a large batch of shrimp just in time for your guests without overcooking it. The beauty of using a crock pot is that you can allow your dish to finish cooking while you greet your guests. The bell peppers in this dish provide more than aesthetic appeal as a good source of potassium and the antioxidants beta-carotene and capsaicin. Quinoa is an excellent plant-based source of protein that provides all the essential amino acids as well as plenty of fiber. Unlike other starchy vegetables, peas also provide protein and fiber which are nutrients beneficial for satiety and blood glucose control. Serve this colorful dish that requires little active preparation time and be assured that your guests will receive a delicious meal with a host of nutritional benefits.

Ingredients For the Quinoa:
1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed
½ cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or diced
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup sweet peas
5 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the shrimp:
2 lbs. Blue Ribbon shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 cup each of red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1 cup white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
5 fresh bay leaves
Salt and white pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon

Directions:
1. Bring vegetable broth and wine to a boil. Add quinoa and peas, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook 25-35 minutes, stirring often. Quinoa is done when it “pops” and looks like it has formed tails.

2. Sauté garlic, peppers, and onions with vegetable broth until slightly softened. Transfer to crock pot, add herbs, wine, and shrimp. Cook 30 minutes on low setting or until shrimp are pink and curled. Squeeze with fresh lemon juice and serve.

Nutrition information (per serving): 338 calories, 5 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 34 grams of protein

By Fred Fort 20 Apr, 2016

4 servings

While paying attention to the ingredients used when cooking is crucial, the preparation method must also be considered. Baking, roasting, poaching, and boiling are ways to prepare foods without adding any cooking fat, which helps to avoid unnecessary calories. To satisfy the urge for something crisp and crunchy, try this recipe which uses pine nuts to add texture. Like other nuts, pine nuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats and magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that most Americans may not be getting enough of, and it has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. So exchange fried chicken, which is full of trans fat and refined carbohydrates, for this dish instead for fewer calories and greater nutritional value.

Ingredients:
4 Blue Ribbon chicken breasts
16 fresh mozzarella pearls (or 4 ounces cubed mozzarella)
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup egg whites
1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes
½ cup diced green and yellow bell peppers
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 cloves minced garlic
4 tsp. oregano
2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice chicken breasts down the middle to create a pocket and squeeze with juice from the lemons. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Use a food processor or spice grinder to blend pine nuts into a course powder.
4. Coat each chicken breast with egg whites followed by pine nuts and arrange in baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.
5. Combine tomatoes, diced bell peppers, salt, pepper, garlic, and balsamic vinegar.
6. Stuff each chicken breast with the tomato and pepper mixture, followed by 4 pearls (or 1 ounce) of mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve atop a bed of baby greens.

Nutritional information for one chicken breast: 328 calories, 31 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber

By Fred Fort 08 Mar, 2016

Makes 6 Servings

Often times, when we think of Italian food, rich, heavy, starchy dishes with pasta and cheese come to mind. Lasagna is a perfect example, and oftentimes is accompanied by garlic bread on the side. Many recipes reduce the meat or cheese in lasagna recipes to decrease calories, however these ingredients are full of valuable protein. Protein is an essential nutrient that has many important functions, most commonly known for being the building block of our muscles. It also helps to build antibodies to protect us against infections. In addition, protein is more effective than carbohydrates in decreasing hunger and providing satiety. It promotes stable blood sugar, so it is beneficial to include some protein at every mealtime. However, many protein rich foods are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, so be sure to choose low-fat varieties when available and avoid consuming too much protein overall. Speak with a registered dietitian to find out how much protein you need to reach your personal health goals.

Ingredients:

1 lb. Blue Ribbon All-Natural Ground Beef
¼ cup jarred tomato sauce
2 bell peppers, assorted colors, cut into thins strips
½ yellow onion, cut into thin strips
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup liquid egg whites
1 tsp. crushed fennel
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
12 cup muffin tin
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a nonstick skillet, sauté peppers, onions, and garlic. Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onions become translucent. Set aside.
2. Cook ground beef in same skillet. To reduce fat, drain beef in a colander, and then move to a plate lined with paper towels. Let sit for one minute, and blot ground beef with paper towels.
3. Move ground beef back to skillet on low-heat, and add tomato sauce and spices. Cook 1 minute or until warm.
4. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray. Add a thin layer of egg whites to each cup. Top with a layer of ricotta cheese, followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella, and a spoonful of the ground beef. Repeat starting with the egg whites. Top with the sautéed pepper and onion mixture, followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella.
5. Baked for 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil, followed by 10 minutes uncovered.
6. Enjoy lasagna cups with a salad and a slice of garlic bread if desired.

Nutrition Information (per 2 cups): 250 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 35 grams of protein

By Fred Fort 03 Feb, 2016

Serves 2

This recipe is low in carbohydrates, gluten-free, and appropriate for people with diabetes. Avoiding excess carbohydrates and consuming protein and fiber can help to keep blood sugar stable, which is also beneficial for weight management. The daikon in this recipe provides fiber and the shrimp is a lean source of protein. Although this dish is low in calories, these nutrients promote satiety and can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. While cheese can be high in fat and cholesterol, feta and goat cheese have strong flavors, so you can enhance the flavor of the dish without having to use a lot.

Ingredients:
Spiral slicer
2 large daikon radishes
10 ounces Blue Ribbon shrimp
4 Tbsp. goat cheese
½ cup fat-free feta cheese
2 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
2 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup dry white wine
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. olive oil

Directions

1. Use spiral slicer to cut daikon into thin, noodle-like strands.
2. Cook daikon in a dry, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, to reduce moisture content.
3. Remove daikon from skillet and set aside. Coat skillet with olive oil and add minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 1 minutes, then add shrimp. Cook 2 minutes, then add lemon juice and wine. Cook until shrimp begin to turn opaque and curl. Add goat cheese, feta, crushed red pepper and basil.
4. Plate daikon “noodles” and top with shrimp. Enjoy!

One serving provides 347 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, and 44 grams of protein

Tips and suggestions:
If you don’t have a spiral slicer, you can use a vegetable peeler to cut the daikon into ribbon strips
If you want to include real pasta noodle, choose the whole wheat variety and replace half of it with the daikon
Use real white wine instead of cooking wine, which tends to be high in sodium


By Fred Fort 13 Jan, 2016

Bruschetta is known for rather simple ingredients: tomatoes, basil, and toasted bread. The ingredients in this recipe don’t vary too much from the classic; however the preparation method is different. Typically, the tomatoes are diced and flavored without cooking. In this version, the vegetables are roasted for a deeper, caramelized flavor. Additionally, tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is better absorbed by the body after cooking. Lycopene is also fat-soluble, so be sure not to skimp on the olive oil called for in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 whole head plus 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Vidalia onion, cut in half
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed with fingers
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 sourdough baguette
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place tomatoes and onion in a baking dish, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place head of garlic on baking rack. Cook until onions and tomatoes are caramelized, about 45 minutes.

2. Remove vegetables from oven and allow to cool. Preheat broiler. In the meantime, slice sourdough into 1” thick slices. Combine ¼ cup of olive oil with minced garlic, fennel, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Brush each slice of bread with olive oil mixture. Place sliced bread under broiler and brown on each side, watching closely.

3. Remove bread and place aside. Dice roasted onion once cooled. Combine with tomatoes. Remove skin from garlic and cut off one end of head. Squeeze roasted garlic out into the tomato mixture. Add basil, balsamic vinegar, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Top toasted bread with tomato mixture and enjoy!

Suggestions:

  • Use a multigrain or whole wheat baguette for extra fiber.
  • Combine roasted tomato mixture with whole wheat pasta and low-fat mozzarella or cannellini beans for a vegetarian meal.
  • Replace baguette with grilled Blue Ribbon chicken breast for a low-carbohydrate option.
By Fred Fort 28 Dec, 2015

This time of year often calls for hearty, savory dishes that make your mouth water. It’s possible to enjoy these flavors while keeping options light and healthy. This dish uses a combination of pork sausage and lean ground turkey to provide the sensation of eating sausage while reducing the sodium and fat. Instead of being smothered with melted cheese, the peppers are topped with a colorful salsa that contains beans for fiber and extra protein, as well as Castelvetrano olives that provide a crunchy bite, fruity flavor, and a burst of bright green. Olives are a good source of monounsaturated fats. This dish will add some red and green to your dining table, as well as protein, fiber, vitamin C, lycopene and heart healthy fats.

Ingredients

Peppers:
16 ounces Blue Ribbon lean ground turkey
3 links Blue Ribbon pork sausage, removed from casing
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 red bell peppers
3 green bell peppers
Salsa:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp. finely minced basil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
15 Castelvetrano olives (any green olives will work), fined diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Sauté onions and garlic with 1 tsp. olive oil or cooking spray in a nonstick pan. Add ground turkey and sausage until onions and translucent and turkey is no longer pink. Add spices.

2. Combine salsa ingredients and let sit in refrigerator at least 30 minutes (overnight is recommended).

3. Broil peppers on each side for 1-2 minutes. Add turkey mixture to peppers and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until peppers are slightly softened.

4. Top each pepper with a spoonful of salsa and enjoy!

By Fred Fort 22 Jul, 2015

A flavorful twist on traditional coleslaw.

Difficulty: Medium
Total Number of Servings- 6-8
Serving Size: ½-1 c
Prep: 15 min.

Ingredients

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium head green cabbage, shredded
1 bell pepper sliced thin
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

Directions

Combine lime juice, cumin, garlic cloves, chili sauce, olive oil in bowel then toss in all vegetables, herbs and season with salt and pepper before serving.

By Fred Fort 22 Jul, 2015

Summer is a great time to throw all kinds of things on the grill! Never tried grilled avocado? Give it a whirl!

Ingredients:

Avocados
Olive Oil
Coarse Salt

Instructions:

1. Cut avocados in half and remove pits.
2. Brush each half with a good dose of olive oil.
3. Place on grill face down (inside of avocado toward the heat, leave the skin on and facing up).
4. Grill for about 5 minutes at medium high heat.
5. Remove from grill, scoop out the avocado, add salt.

*Can be enjoyed all by itself, on top of bread, with eggs, on a salad, anywhere really!

By Fred Fort 22 Jul, 2015

A delicious flavor departure from your customary shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Difficulty: Easy
Total Number of Servings: 6
Serving Size: approximately ½ cup

Ingredients:

¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1 ½ pound shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 6 hours. Drain and discard the marinade. Serve cold.

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Country Pride Food Services

By Fred Fort 21 Jul, 2016

By Dana Yarn, RDLD

Are you doing cardiovascular exercise every day and not seeing any results in terms of weight loss and or performance? If you are performing steady state cardio for a certain period of time as your workout you may want to try HIIT (high intensity interval training) training to reap the benefits of fat loss and improved cardiovascular health. After working in a large corporate health club for almost 10 years I saw the same people get on the same elliptical machine with the same body year after year, doing steady state cardio. They could see tremendous results by cutting total time in half and increasing the intensity of their cardio workouts.

The good news about HIIT training is the workouts tend to be short and because of the intensity it is recommended to only do them 2-3 times per week. On the other days you can do steady state cardio as “recovery,” and of course resistance training is essential for optimal health and body composition.

Research.

Convincing and ongoing research proves that the best form of exercise is short bursts of high intensity exercise.

Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, it also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics/cardio, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), which improves body composition, energy, and overall fitness.

One study published in the   Journal of Obesity   reported that 12 weeks of HIIT will result in significant reductions in total abdominal, trunk, and visceral fat while giving you significant increases in overall power and performance.

What HIIT workout should you start with?

At my studio I have a class titled HIIT and we incorporate Tabata intervals into the class. Tabata method created by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher who studied athletic performance. The method is 20 seconds of drop dead effort followed by 10 seconds of complete rest repeated for 8 rounds totaling 4 minutes. This type of interval training is great for anyone who is looking to try HIIT.

  • Warm up with 3-5 minutes of walking, light jogging or calisthenics.
  • Complete 1 round of Tabata (the 20 seconds could be jump squats, sprinting, box jump, switch lunges, etc.)
  • Cool down 3-5 minutes.
  • As you progress you can increase the number of rounds of Tabatas.

Other versions of HIIT include 15 seconds of work followed by double the amount of rest (30 seconds). Working ultimately up to 2 minutes of work.

Here is an example of a 12 week HIIT training program.

Week Work/Rest
1-2 15 sec./30 sec.
3-4 30 sec./60 sec.
5-6 45 sec./90 sec.
7-8 1 min./2 min.
9-10 1.5 min./3 min.
11-12 2 min./4 min.
Warm up & cool down 3-5 minutes. Total time with warm up and cool down should not exceed 30 minutes.

The great part is this can be done on a bike, in a pool, at a track, inside, outside, etc.

I hope this encourages you to shake up your workouts with some HIIT training even if it means just a few rounds of Tabata per week!



By Fred Fort 27 May, 2016

Serves 8

As a registered dietitian, I love hosting healthy dinner parties. One of my favorite ingredients is shrimp, because it’s a lean protein and good source of vitamin D. However, it can be tricky to cook a large batch of shrimp just in time for your guests without overcooking it. The beauty of using a crock pot is that you can allow your dish to finish cooking while you greet your guests. The bell peppers in this dish provide more than aesthetic appeal as a good source of potassium and the antioxidants beta-carotene and capsaicin. Quinoa is an excellent plant-based source of protein that provides all the essential amino acids as well as plenty of fiber. Unlike other starchy vegetables, peas also provide protein and fiber which are nutrients beneficial for satiety and blood glucose control. Serve this colorful dish that requires little active preparation time and be assured that your guests will receive a delicious meal with a host of nutritional benefits.

Ingredients For the Quinoa:
1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed
½ cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or diced
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup sweet peas
5 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the shrimp:
2 lbs. Blue Ribbon shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 cup each of red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1 cup white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
5 fresh bay leaves
Salt and white pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon

Directions:
1. Bring vegetable broth and wine to a boil. Add quinoa and peas, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook 25-35 minutes, stirring often. Quinoa is done when it “pops” and looks like it has formed tails.

2. Sauté garlic, peppers, and onions with vegetable broth until slightly softened. Transfer to crock pot, add herbs, wine, and shrimp. Cook 30 minutes on low setting or until shrimp are pink and curled. Squeeze with fresh lemon juice and serve.

Nutrition information (per serving): 338 calories, 5 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 34 grams of protein

By Fred Fort 20 Apr, 2016

4 servings

While paying attention to the ingredients used when cooking is crucial, the preparation method must also be considered. Baking, roasting, poaching, and boiling are ways to prepare foods without adding any cooking fat, which helps to avoid unnecessary calories. To satisfy the urge for something crisp and crunchy, try this recipe which uses pine nuts to add texture. Like other nuts, pine nuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats and magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that most Americans may not be getting enough of, and it has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. So exchange fried chicken, which is full of trans fat and refined carbohydrates, for this dish instead for fewer calories and greater nutritional value.

Ingredients:
4 Blue Ribbon chicken breasts
16 fresh mozzarella pearls (or 4 ounces cubed mozzarella)
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup egg whites
1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes
½ cup diced green and yellow bell peppers
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 cloves minced garlic
4 tsp. oregano
2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice chicken breasts down the middle to create a pocket and squeeze with juice from the lemons. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Use a food processor or spice grinder to blend pine nuts into a course powder.
4. Coat each chicken breast with egg whites followed by pine nuts and arrange in baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.
5. Combine tomatoes, diced bell peppers, salt, pepper, garlic, and balsamic vinegar.
6. Stuff each chicken breast with the tomato and pepper mixture, followed by 4 pearls (or 1 ounce) of mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve atop a bed of baby greens.

Nutritional information for one chicken breast: 328 calories, 31 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber

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