What’s for Dinner?

Home Cooked Italian-style Dinner

The Menu

Appetizers

Crispy bacon and boiled potato, broad beans and onion, and salad with lettuce, snap pea, tomato.

Green Peas Risotto

Advertisements

Ricotta Pancakes with Tomato and Arugula

Ingredients

300 g baby roma tomato
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1-1/4 cups milk
1-1/4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
30 g butter
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
250 g arugula
1/2 small red onion, about 50 g, sliced thinly

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220ºC/425ºF.
  2. Place tomatoes in a small baking dish. Drizzle with half the oil, then season. Roast for l0 minutes or until skins just split.
  3. Whisk ricotta and egg in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in milk, then flour. Stir in basil and parmesan. Season.
  4. Melt a little of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Pour 1/4-cups of mixture into pan, allowing room for spreading. Cook pancakes for 2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Stack pancakes and cover to keep warm.
  5. Wipe out pan with paper towel. Repeat step 4 with the remaining butter and batter to make a total of 12 pancakes.
  6. Place arugula and onion in a medium bowl with vinegar and remaining oil, season to taste. Toss gently to combine.
  7. Serve warm pancakes topped with arugula mixture and tomatoes.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Everyday Powerfoods

In Pictures: Pocket Sandwiches

DASH Diet Can Reduce Heart Failure Risk in People Under 75

A diet proven to have beneficial effects on high blood pressure also may reduce the risk of heart failure in people under age 75, according to a study led by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health.

The observational study of more than 4,500 people showed that those individuals under 75 who most closely adhered to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet had a significantly lower risk of developing heart failure than those whose eating habits were least in keeping with the diet.

The research is published in the current online issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Only a few prior studies have examined the effects of the DASH diet on the incidence of heart failure, and they have yielded conflicting results,” said the study’s lead author, Claudia L. Campos, M.D., associate professor of general internal medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine. “This research showed that following the DASH diet can reduce the risk of developing heart failure by almost half, which is better than any medicine.”

The DASH diet emphasizes the eating of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products while reducing consumption of salt, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages. It is similar to the Mediterranean diet but differs in recommending low-fat dairy products and excluding alcoholic beverages.

For the study the researchers reviewed the cardiovascular health records over 13 years of 4,478 men and women of multiple ethnicities from six U.S. sites who were between ages 45 and 84 with no history of cardiovascular disease when they were enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis between 2000 and 2002.

The assessment of their dietary habits was based on their responses to a 120-item questionnaire covering the serving size and frequency of consumption of specific foods and beverages. Using this data, the study team divided the participants into five groups, each representing 20 percent of the study population, based on how well (or poorly) their eating habits aligned with the DASH diet.

The risk of heart failure did not vary significantly by DASH compliance for the population as a whole, but it did for participants under 75, with those in the group with the highest DASH compliance group having an incidence rate 40 percent lower than those in the lowest compliance group.

“Heart failure is a frequent cause of hospitalization in older adults and is associated with substantial health care costs, so identifying modifiable risk factors for of heart failure is an important public health goal,” Campos said. “This research provides a framework for further exploration of the DASH diet as an effective element in the primary prevention of heart failure.”

Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Good Sleep Quality and Good Mood Lead to Good Working Memory with Age

A team of psychologists has found strong associations between working memory — a fundamental building block of a functioning mind — and three health-related factors: sleep, age, and depressed mood. The team also reports that each of these factors is associated with different aspects of working memory.

Working memory is the part of short-term memory that temporarily stores and manages information required for cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. Working memory is critically involved in many higher cognitive functions, including intelligence, creative problem-solving, language, and action-planning. It plays a major role in how we process, use, and remember information.

The researchers, led by Weiwei Zhang, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, found that age is negatively related to the “qualitative” aspect of working memory–that is, how strong or how accurate the memory is. In other words, the older the person, the weaker and less precise the person’s memory. In contrast, poor sleep quality and depressed mood are linked to a reduced likelihood of remembering a previously experienced event — the “quantitative” aspect of working memory.

“Other researchers have already linked each of these factors separately to overall working memory function, but our work looked at how these factors are associated with memory quality and quantity – the first time this has been done,” Zhang said. “All three factors are interrelated. For example, seniors are more likely to experience negative mood than younger adults. Poor sleep quality is also often associated with depressed mood. The piecemeal approach used in previous investigations on these relationships — examining the relationship between one of these health-related factors and working memory — could open up the possibility that an observed effect may be influenced by other factors.”

The researchers are the first to statistically isolate the effects of the three factors on working memory quantity and quality. Although all three factors contribute to a common complaint about foggy memory, they seem to behave in different ways and may result from potentially independent mechanisms in the brain. These findings could lead to future interventions and treatments to counteract the negative impacts of these factors on working memory.

Research results appear in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

The researchers performed two studies. In the first study, they sampled 110 college students for self-reported measures of sleep quality and depressed mood and their independent relationship to experimental measures of working memory. In the second study, the researchers sampled 31 members of a community ranging in age from 21 to 77 years. In this study, the researchers investigated age and its relationship to working memory.

“We are more confident now about how each one of these factors impacts working memory,” Zhang said. “This could give us a better understanding of the underlying mechanism in age-related dementia. For the mind to work at its best, it is important that senior citizens ensure they have good sleep quality and be in a good mood.”

Source: EurekAlert!


Today’s Comic