My Recipe

Stir-fried Rice Stick with Pork, Chili and Vegetables


8 oz dried rice stick (medium size)
8 oz boneless pork sirloin chop
6 oz cabbage
5 oz broccoli florets
2 oz red bell pepper
1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
2 to 3 (1½-inch) pieces fresh red Thai chili (thinly sliced)

Pork Marinade:

2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp water
3/4 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp oil


1 Tbsp ground bean sauce
1/2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sweet soy sauce
1/2 tsp chicken broth mix
1 Tbsp vinegar
4 Tbsp water


  1. Cut pork into thin slices. Add marinade and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  2. Thinly slice cabbage. Cut big broccoli florets into 2 to 3 pieces.
  3. Cut bell pepper into 1½-inch long thin strips
  4. Mix seasoning ingredients.
  5. Boil 10 cups of water in a wok. Add rice stick and submerge completely in the boiling water. Bring to a slight simmer. Cover wok and turn off heat. Stand for 5 minutes. Remove and rinse with running cold tap water until completely cooled. Drain.
  6. Pour off water from wok. Dry, reheat wok and add 1/2 Tbsp oil. Stir-fry cabbage on medium heat for 1 minute. Add 3 Tbsp water and 1/4 tsp chicken broth mix. Cover and cook until tender crisp, about 1½ minutes.
  7. Rinse and dry wok if required. Add 1 Tbsp oil. Stir-fry broccoli for 1 minute. Add 1 Tbsp water. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Add bell pepper, toss for 30 seconds. Remove.
  8. Rinse, dry, reheat wok and add 2 Tbsp oil. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add pork, stir-fry until no longer pink. Add chili, toss for 20 seconds. Add seasoning and noodle. Toss to combine. Return vegetables to wok. Toss until heated through. Remove and serve.

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 200, Fat 12.9 g, Carbohydrate 8 g, Fibre 1 g, Sugar 2 g, Cholesterol 36 mg, Sodium 530 mg, Protein 14 g.

Food Trend: Consumers Want More Protein

Move over, calories, fat and whole grains: There’s a new nutritional element catching consumers’ eyes. It’s protein, and it’s what a growing number of consumers are looking to get more of in their diets, say officials at market research firm The NPD Group.

“There’s always a new thing in the food industry,” said NPD Food and Beverage Analyst Darren Seifer. “It’s protein’s time to shine.”

According to recent NPD research, one quarter of adults say they look for protein on nutrition labels, up from 18 percent in 2004. Most everything else on nutrition labels is declining in viewership, including calories, fat, whole grains, dietary fiber, Omega-3s and antioxidants.

“It signals a shift in what we are seeing,” Seifer said. “People might be shifting to looking for protein.”

While getting more protein may seem like something only CrossFit athletes and Paleo devotees would be concerned about, this shift transcends all types of consumers, NPD found.

“All [age groups] are trying to do it,” Seifer said. “Why they are doing it is different.”

Younger consumers are looking to increase their protein as a way to build muscle or as a source of good energy, while older consumers are doing it for health reasons, mainly to avoid eating foods or ingredients deemed bad.

Consumers are eating all kinds of proteins, but many are choosing less expensive plant-based proteins over high-cost animal meat.

“They are going to get their protein, but they’re going to keep their wallets in check.”

Arguably, the perfect example of consumers’ growing desire to get more protein for less money is Greek yogurt, which has seen an increase in consumption in recent years. Yogurt is also appealing to protein-seekers because of its high probiotic content, as 30 percent of consumers say they are looking to get more probiotics, according to NPD.

Though consumers want to get more protein in their diets, few are aware of just how much they need, NPD found. As a result, when promoting products or dishes with high protein, manufacturers and operators will have success with some marketing messages over others, Seifer said. For example, consumers surveyed said they’d like to see more labels like “good source of protein” and “high in protein” versus the number of protein grams, a nutrition fact that may mean little to most consumers.

“It’s not a bad idea to call it out,” Seifer explained. “Labels on menus take doubt away for consumers.”

Read more . . . . .

Depression Plus Diabetes May Boost Dementia Risk

Each threatens brain health, and combination is worse, study suggests.

Depression and diabetes are each hard on the brain, and having both conditions may significantly raise the risk of dementia, according to new research.

“What this argues for is, we need to do a better job of both identifying diabetes and depression and then really treating them once identified,” said study researcher Dr. Dimitry Davydow, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

His team looked at dementia risk among 2.4 million people in Denmark, age 50 and older, who had depression, type 2 diabetes or both, and compared them with people who had neither condition.

The researchers also took into account pre-existing medical conditions, such as cerebral vascular problems, complications such as kidney problems and other ailments.

“Even after taking those into account, diabetes itself raised the risk of dementia by 15 percent, depression by 83 percent and the two together by 107 percent,” Davydow said.

The association was especially strong in people younger than 65. In that age group, “a quarter of the cases [of dementia] were attributed to depression and diabetes,” he said.

In Western populations, type 2 diabetes and major depression are increasingly common. And as many as 20 percent of people with diabetes, which is rapidly increasing in younger groups, also have depression, the researchers said in background notes with the study.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to look at this issue in this way,” Davydow said. The findings were published online April 15 in JAMA Psychiatry.

The study points out a complicated link between depression, diabetes and dementia, but does not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

“There is lots of evidence that those who struggle with depression are more likely to develop chronic medical problems like diabetes and heart disease and high blood pressure,” Davydow said.

“They are less likely to take medications if they are depressed. Those who have diabetes are more likely to suffer from depression,” he added.

Moreover, diabetes makes it more likely that plaque will develop in blood vessels, which can lead to strokes and dementia, Davydow said.

Diabetes and depression each threaten brain health, said Dr. Charles Reynolds III, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and author of a commentary accompanying the study.

Both ”pose threats to vascular health, thereby impeding maintenance of healthy brain aging and functioning, and posing a risk for cognitive decline,” he said.

Reynolds urged those who have a combination of diabetes and depression to get treatment for both in order to protect their brain.

“Lifestyle choices, such as increasing physical activity, will also benefit the management of both conditions,” he added.

The research team — led by Davydow and the study’s recently deceased first author, Dr. Wayne Katon — followed the study participants from 2007 through 2013. All patients were dementia-free at the start.

The researchers said nearly 20 percent of participants had a diagnosis of depression, about 9 percent had diabetes, and nearly 4 percent had both.

Over the study period, more than 59,600 men and women (2.4 percent) got dementia — at age 81, on average. Of those, 26 percent had only depression, 11 percent had only type 2 diabetes and nearly 7 percent had both.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Healthy Grain-filled Mushrooms


18 white mushrooms
1/4 cup canned nonfat reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup cooked, cold long-grain white rice
2 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika


  1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop the stems finely.
  3. In a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the shallot and mushroom stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, combine the vegetable mixture, rice, mayonnaise, tarragon, and half the cheese.
  5. Using a paper towel, wipe out the frying pan and place over medium heat. Add the oil and mushroom caps and saute until coated with oil, 20-30 seconds. Arrange the caps, stem end up, on a baking sheet. Mound about 2 teaspoons of the rice mixture in each cap. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. If made in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  6. Bake until the cheese is lightly browned and the mushrooms are tender but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes.
  7. Before serving, dust each cap lightly with the paprika.

Makes 6 servings

Source: Mayo Clinic

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