Grilling on Meatless Monday

It’s that time of year again, when we fire up the grill and take our dinners outside! Usually, meat is in the spotlight for a cookout, but if you’re looking for a lighter spread for the hot weather, seek out the produce section! Many seasonal vegetables turn out great after some time on the grill – sometimes they even produce some unexpected flavors!

Follow these tips for great vegetables on the grill!

Think outside the box. When it comes to grilling vegetables, you can’t go wrong with the usual suspects – peppers, eggplant, onions, and zucchini. But many more vegetables – and fruits – are delicious after being grilled. Try artichokes and romaine lettuce or avocados and cucumbers!

Experiment with seasonings. While the combination of olive oil, salt, and pepper is a classic way to bring out the flavor of grilled veggies, seasonings provide flavor options from around the globe! You can go as mild, savory, or spicy as you want with Caribbean-style jerk seasoning, Italian seasoning, Mexican-style, Indian-style… be creative!

Use stand-ins for meat. Sometimes people will still miss burgers and hot dogs despite the best veggie platter, but those cravings can still be satisfied with meatless options. Swap out burgers for portabella mushrooms, or use vegetarian versions of hot dogs, meat crumbles, and bacon to add a savory flavor. Grilling firm tofu or tempeh will not only provide protein but also absorb the flavor from the veggies and smoke. Download our Meatless Monday Burger Cookbook for even more ideas.

Try different delivery systems. Veggies are great on their own, but they can be even better when served as part of a meal. Grilled veggies are perfect for tacos – fajitas, anyone? – and don’t rule out grilling pizza! Try skewers for shish kabobs or throw grilled veggies in a salad.

Don’t forget dessert! Vegetables don’t own the grilling game. Several fruits take on great new flavors after being grilled when the heat makes them caramelize. Pineapples and stone fruits, like peaches, plums and apricots, are perfect for grilling. But less expected choices like watermelons, grapes, apples, strawberries, and bananas also work great on the grill. Just be careful – fruits will cook a lot faster, so keep an eye on them and let them rest a bit before eating!

Source: Meatless Monday

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Marinated Skewers of Fresh Tortellini, artichoke hearts, and Cherry Tomatoes in a Savoury Italian Mixture

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
24 cooked small fresh spinach tortellini with cheese (cooked without salt)
24 cooked small fresh cheese tortellini (cooked without salt)
12 small cherry tomatoes, halved

Marinade

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried whole basil
1 teaspoon dried whole oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Method

  1. Combine first 8 ingredients of the marinade in a saucepan. Gradually stir in water and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook 30 seconds, stirring with a wire whisk. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  2. Cut 6 artichoke hearts into quarters. Reserve remaining artichokes for another use.
  3. Alternate tortellini, cherry tomatoes, and artichokes on 24 (6-inch) skewers. Place in a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Pour cider vinegar mixture over kabobs, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours, turning occasionally. Drain and place on a serving platter.

Makes 24 skewers.

Source: Cooking Light magazine

In Pictures: Food of Vegetarian Restaurants in London, U.K.

Falls Lead to Declines in Seniors

More than half of elderly patients (age 65 and older) who visited an emergency department because of injuries sustained in a fall suffered adverse events – including additional falls, hospitalization and death – within 6 months. The results of a study examining how risk factors predict recurrent falls and adverse events were published online yesterday in Annals of Emergency Medicine (“Revisit, Subsequent Hospitalization, Recurrent Fall and Death within 6 Months after a Fall among Elderly Emergency Department Patients”).

Seniors who fall and end up in the ER are more likely to have additional medical problems in the future.

“Our study shows an even higher rate of adverse events than previous studies have,” said lead study author Jiraporn Sri-on, MD, of Navamindradhiraj University in Bangkok, Thailand. “Patients taking psychiatric and/or sedative medications had even more adverse events. This is concerning because these types of drugs are commonly prescribed for elderly patients in community and residential care settings.”

Of patients who visited the emergency department for injuries sustained in a fall, 7.7 percent developed adverse events within 7 days, 21.4 percent developed adverse events within 30 days and 50.3 percent developed adverse events within 6 months. Within 6 months, 22.6 percent had at least one additional fall, 42.6 percent revisited the emergency department, 31.1 percent had subsequent hospitalization and 2.6 percent had died.

Risk factors associated with adverse events within 6 months of an emergency department visit for a fall included diabetes, polypharmacy (five or more medications), and psychiatric and/or sedative medications.

“Emergency physicians have a tremendous opportunity to reduce the very high adverse event rate among older emergency patients who have fallen,” said Dr. Sri-on. “Fall guidelines exist and work needs to be done to increase their implementation in emergency departments so patients can be educated on how not to fall again once they have been discharged from the emergency department.”

The American College of Emergency Physicians recently produced and promoted a public education video urging people to take the “7 Step Fall Challenge” to help prevent falls.

Source: American College of Emergency Physicians

Fasting Blood Sugar and Fasting Insulin identified as New Biomarkers for Weight Loss

WEIGHT LOSS Personalized diet approach could lead to greater weight loss and maintenance success. Researchers from the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen today announced the findings from a weight loss biomarker study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN).

The study, “Pretreatment fasting plasma glucose and insulin modify dietary weight loss success: results from 3 randomized clinical trials,” found that fasting blood sugar and/or fasting insulin can be used to select the optimal diet and to predict weight loss, particularly for people with prediabetes or diabetes.

The research analyzed data from three diet clinical trials which collectively looked at more than 1,200 individuals – Diet, Obesity, and Genes (DiOGenes); the OPUS Supermarket intervention (SHOPUS); and the Nutrient-gene interactions in human obesity (NUGENOB). The findings suggest that for most people with prediabetes, a diet rich with vegetables fruits and wholegrains should be recommended for weight loss and could potentially improve diabetes markers. For people with type 2 diabetes, the analysis found that a diet rich in healthy fats from plant sources would be effective for achieving weight loss. These diets could also be effective independent of caloric restriction.

Two simple biomarkers with a large effect

“Recognizing fasting plasma glucose as a key biomarker enables a new interpretation of the data from many previous studies, which could potentially lead to a breakthrough in personalized nutrition,” said Arne Astrup, M.D., Head of Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at University of Copenhagen. “The beauty of this concept is its simplicity. While we are looking into other biomarkers, it is quite amazing how much more we can do for our patients just by using those two simple biomarkers. We will continue to participate in and support research to explore additional biomarkers such as gut microbiota and genomics approaches, which may offer more insights and help to more effectively customize the right diet for specific individuals.”

The latest findings, as reported in AJCN, have garnered international support with further analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado, Tufts University, and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBER OBN). Presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions on June 11, 2017, the additional research includes an examination of patients in the Prevencion Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED Study), a Randomized Trial of a Low-CHO Diet for Obesity (CHO Study), and The Healthy Weight for Living Study. The different studies (six in total) employed a variety of nutrition strategies, including caloric restriction and ad libitum diets, varying the contributions of carbohydrate and fat, and increasing fiber intake.

The study was inspired by a finding in an early trial of Gelesis100, a novel hydrogel which demonstrated pronounced weight loss in people with prediabetes. The latest findings, as published in AJCN, concluded that a personalized nutritional approach based on an individual’s biomarkers will lead to improved weight loss and maintenance success. The University of Copenhagen will continue to collaborate with the study’s authors and other experts to advance this research and help find solutions for people around the world who struggle with weight loss.

Source: University of Copenhagen


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