Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Recipe: Easy Tilapia with Spinach Artichoke Dip

4 oz. thawed tilapia
2  tablespoons of spinach artichoke dip or spinach dip* 
2 tsp Parmesan cheese

*available in deli area of most Walmart and Publix stores

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place frozen individual wrapped tilapia in shallow bowl of hot water to thaw.  Line a pie tin with foil and spray with Pam cooking spray.  Place thawed tilapia on foil and top with spinach dip and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes. Makes one serving.


One Serving: 200 Calories / 11g fat / 20mg cholesterol /  333mg sodium / 25g protein

Submitted by: Kathy Israel

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

10 Healthy and Interesting Protein Dishes

  1. Shrimp Cocktail – It doesn’t get any easier than this!
  2. Chili and Beans –  Try ground beef, chicken or turkey and experiment with different beans to add fiber and additional vitamins and minerals.  Some of our favorites are kidney beans, black beans, pinto or white beans.
  3. Chicken/Tuna/Seafood Salad – try serving on melba toast or other crunchy treat such as your favorite fresh vegetable.  Boiled egg can always be added for additional taste, interest and protein.  Don’t forget to add your favorite dry seasonings, celery, diced apple or other ingredient so that you can alter the flavor to meet your new taste preferences.
  4. Egg Salad – can be made with boiled eggs, scrambled eggs or egg substitute 

    Flavor ideas:  Try seasoning with yellow curry, well-chopped celery, cayenne pepper and/or chives.  Greek yogurt or light olive oil mayonnaise work great to bind the egg mixture and provide moisture.  Try serving on well toasted whole grain bread as an open-faced sandwich with diced fresh tomato.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Salmon or Crab Cakes – These delicious treats from the sea are a regular delight on dinner tables across the world.  To keep these healthy, try baking them or frying in light cooking spray or baking them in a muffin pan.  There are many recipes available online.

    Flavor ideas:  Try dipping them in Greek yogurt seasoned with Greek seasoning, dill or your favorite dry seasoning for additional flavor and moisture.
  1. Ginger Chicken Wrap – You will need boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced  and light sesame ginger salad dressing and Boston or bibb lettuce leaves.  Simply wash and pat the lettuce leaf dry, spoon about 1-2 ounces of chicken breast into the center and top with the sesame dressing.  Additional favorite toppings might include fresh mango salsa, shredded carrot and cabbage slaw, red onion or fresh ginger.

  2. Strawberry Cottage Cheese Dessert – 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1 Tbsp. strawberry light or Greek yogurt.  Mix yogurt and cottage cheese together and add fresh or canned fruit if desired.

  3. Black Bean Pepper Salad (recipe coming soon!)

  4. Tofu Black Bean Dip – There are several recipes floating around at your local grocer or available online.  One of our patients absolutely loves this dish seasoned with a packet taco seasoning and baked in the oven.  Your kids won’t even know there is tofu in this dish!

  5. Homemade Hummus –  Homemade versions of hummus can have a higher content of protein.  There are recipes available online and at your local grocer made out of chick peas, black beans, etc.  This is a delicious dip or spread and goes great with turkey, celery, tomatoes or carrots!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Protein Challenge

After bariatric surgery, patients are encouraged to eat protein first at mealtimes, followed by non-starchy vegetables and eventually carbohydrates including fruit, whole grains and starchy vegetables.  The focus on protein is due to the small space available, often referred to as the stomach pouch or sleeve.  Patients are encouraged to eat and/or drink an adequate amount of protein. The body is unable to compensate well without an adequate amount of protein in the diet, so we are not especially interested in supplementing carbohydrate intake for the moment.  As time goes on, the patient’s food intake increases enough to support a normal, healthy body weight, and carbohydrates will be part of that plan.  Proceed during your weight loss phase with a slow re-introduction of carbohydrates while always meeting your daily protein needs.

Meeting your protein needs may feel like a chore, but it adds up to just about 15-25 grams of protein per meal for most. 

It is not uncommon for patients to wind up eating too much saturated fat while attempting to meet protein needs.  Be cautious of your intake of “protein” sources such as sausage, bacon, turkey bacon, jerky bites and sticks, bologna, salami, weenies, canned meats, Vienna sausage, Spam, tuna in oil, etc.  They are more likely a great source of fat rather than a healthy source of lean protein. 

Weighing and measuring
Purchase a basic food scale to assist you in learning about protein portions and how to determine the number of grams per serving.  Generally, one ounce of lean protein has about 7 grams of protein!  You can use common household items to help eyeball the amount that you wish to place on your dinner plate.  A deck of cards is often used to represent approximately 3 ounces of lean meat and about 20 grams of protein!

So, whether it’s shrimp cocktail or smoked turkey, weigh the item on the food scale to accurately and easily determine the protein content.
Remember:  1 oz. lean protein = 7 grams protein

Don’t forget to respect the band, pouch or sleeve when making food choices!  Refer to your Orientation handout for the basics on chewing foods thoroughly, appropriate selections and post-op diet advancement.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipe: Pam's Mini Quiche Muffins

1 1/2 cup Egg beaters - egg
1/2 cup Shredded mild cheddar cheese
2/3 cup finely shredded, low moisture, part skim mozarella cheese
1 cup mushroom stems & pieces (4 oz canned-rinsed)
2 slices Oscar Meyer smoked ham, water added, 96% fat free
3 tsp Bacon Flavor Bits

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT Bacon Bits...spray mini muffin pan with Pam Cooking Spray. Fill with egg mixture until almost full. Sprinkle Bacon Bits on top of each. Bake 15 minutes or  until golden brown. Knife should come out clean in center of muffin when fully cooked. Pop them out and enjoy! Freeze leftovers. Yield: 20 muffins.

Serving Size 1 muffin
Per Serving: 35 calories / 1 carb / 124mg sodium / 4g protein 3mg cholesterol / 2g fat

Submitted by: Pam Adams

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Recipe: Easy Crab Cakes

2 cans (6 ounces each) crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
¼ egg substitute
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
¼ cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
¼ cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Non-stick cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine the crab, breadcrumbs, egg substitute, onions, red pepper, mayonnaise, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Divide mixture into eight portions, form into 2 inch balls.
  • Flatten to ½ inch thickness
  • Lightly spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray
  • Place crab cakes on tray-place one inch apart
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown)
  • Turn crab cakes and bake 10-15 minutes longer (until golden brown)
  • Yield: 8 Crab Cakes

Per Crab Cake: 61 calories / 7g protein / 6g carbs