Monday, October 31, 2011

More calcium, Owl cupcakes and chicken wellington

Spinach and cheese stuffed Chicken ‘wellington’
Food Diary (October 30, 2011)
Breakfast: Semolina porridge with plums
Lunch: Spinach and cheese stuffed chicken ‘wellington’, pickled apple salad
Dinner: Yellow peas in tomato sauce with polenta bread

The chicken wellington was a twist of the more popular beef wellington. Chicken replaced beef, sourdough bread dough replaced puff pastry, and spinach and cheese replaced duxelles.  Pretty much everything was replaced except for salt. The sourdough 'cover' was not buttery and crispy like puff pastry but overall the dish was tasty.

Today's Favourite Photo
Owl cupcakes

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Care2
The article says that keeping your bones strong is key to preventing osteoporosis, the bone loss that leads to poor posture, back pain, hip fracture, and many of the other problems that can sideline us as we age. Calcium is important for sure. Here are “9 sneaky ways to get more calcium”:
1.      Cheat with treats: Check the calcium content of frozen yogurt. Even commercially processed frozen yogurt contains 200 to 300 milligrams per cup — less than regular yogurt (300 to 400 milligrams) but still impressive. Another suggestion is to use evaporated milk when making treats such as cakes. One cup contains 660 milligrams of calcium.
2.      Make some cheesy main dishes: Cheeses are excellent sources of calcium
3.      Focus on fortification: Many foods are now fortified to help boost calcium intake. Orange juice, breakfast cereals, soy milk, and any food labeled “calcium fortified” provide great ways to sneak calcium into your diet unnoticed.
4.      Soak up the soy: Calcium-fortified soy milk actually has more calcium in it than milk — up to 400 milligrams a cup. And recent studies show that the calcium in soy milk is as easily absorbed as that in regular milk. Sneak in more calcium by snacking on fresh or dried soybeans, too. Tofu is also calcium-rich: One half-cup serving contains 250 milligrams, which is 25 percent of your daily needs. For still more calcium, choose tofu that’s preserved with calcium sulfate, making it an even better bone-builder.
5.      Green your diet: Kale, broccoli, lettuce, bok choy, cabbage, and other leafy greens are great sources of calcium. The problem is, the calcium in greens is not as easily absorbed as that in dairy if the greens contain naturally occuring substances called oxalates. Spinach, chard, and beet greens are higher in oxalates. It’s not a big issue unless you’re getting most of your calcium from nondairy sources. If so, try creating calcium-rich combinations, such as a spinach or lettuce salad topped with sesame seeds or beans (also good calcium sources) and cheese.
6.      Make your calcium supplement a combo pill: Having adequate magnesium stores is crucial for calcium absorption. In fact, research shows that high levels of calcium and low levels of magnesium can actually contribute to bone loss. Balance is key, too: Experts recommend a 2-to-1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. If you’re taking 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, you need 500 milligrams of magnesium. One more thing: Your body can only absorb about 500 milligrams of calcium at a time; it excretes the rest. So you’re better off taking a calcium supplement in smaller doses twice a day, morning and evening. Calcium carbonate must be taken with meals, and you can take calcium citrate with or without food.
7.      Accompany calcium with vitamin D: Vitamin D is crucial to bone health, and it has a synergistic relationship with calcium. Research shows we lose 2 to 4 percent of our bone density during the winter due to vitamin D deficiency. To combat that, most experts now recommend getting 15 minutes a day of sunlight to help your body build vitamin D naturally, and taking at least 1,000 IUs (International Units) of vitamin D — usually you’ll need a separate supplement to get enough.
8.      Cut down on coffee (or drink lattes): Too much caffeine can weaken bones by increasing the rate of calcium excretion. Avoid this risk by limiting yourself to two cups a day. If you have trouble giving up extra cups of coffee, you can mitigate the calcium loss by choosing a latte or café au lait or adding a few tablespoons of milk or cream (not nondairy creamer) to your coffee.
9.      Beware of high-protein diets: Diets high in animal protein can actually leach calcium from your bones. That’s because protein is broken down into components that are acidic, and your body uses calcium to buffer them. If you eat a lot of red meat and eggs (in one to two meals per day), you’re even more likely to need to boost your calcium intake.

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  1. Wow! That's a very good looking lunch.
    Hmm... what a downer. Have to cut down my red meat intake and go stand in the sun more. I was informed that after a certain age, it's quite useless to do anything to boost calcium intake.

  2. Aaaah! I've totally forgotten to restock my calcium tablets for over a month now! :S Thank heavens for green vegetables, soy milk, and Cheerios :P

  3. Good tips on increasing calcium in the diet! It's something that I really do worry about!

  4. Your chicken Wellington looks like from an excellent restaurant! Perfectly shaped and appealing. You are so modest saying it was "tasty". I'm sure it was fantastic!
    I have already heard about the bones, calcium etc., but unfortunately I still think I don't have enough cheese and other food rich in calcium.
    However, the high-protein diets point is very surprising (I don't do any of these diets, but it's now so in fashion, I can only imagine the damages in the future!).
    Another interesting thing I have heard about calcium is that countries where people consume the biggest amounts of milk products have the highest level of ostheoporosis! It only confirms what you have written here and that many people don't assimilate milk (intolerance, allergy).

  5. What a beautiful chicken dish - It's my first time learning about Wellington. The spinach laters are really neat too! I'm a mom and I need to make sure my kids as well as I'm getting enough calcium! Thanks for this helpful info!

  6. ping: thank you. I am wondering whether having BBQ’s outside is a better idea:) I am guessing the body slows down in many respects as we get older.

    Hannah: how did Cheerios make an appearance!

    Lorraine: I haven’t been worrying about it at all but maybe I should

    Sissi: thank you so much for your kind words. I thought you are enough cheese but I guess when it comes to wine and cheese it is never enough:) I didn’t know about the milk study, very interesting. I wonder whether we should trust nutritionists or statisticians more!

    Nami: you should try beef wellington, good meeting of pastry and meat!

  7. I love your ideas for the wellington! I think sourdough is better than puff pastry anyway. :P

    I'm always trying to get more calcium, so I take a pill, drink lots of calcium-fortified almond milk and have some kind of green every day! Great tips!

  8. Your chicken and spinach "Wellington" looks delicious and healthy!

  9. I have always always wanted to do a wellingotn but never had the nerve. IT is like the first dish a chef is asked to make on Hell's Kitchen and they always mess it up and I am always scared i would do the same but yours looks amazing! I need to shake it off and just get in there and do it!

  10. your chicken wellington looks amazing! i love valerie's owl cupcakes. the use of the oreo is so much fun!

    ps - you have to use sweet rice flour - it has a different type of texture (sticky like texture!) rice flour is more grainy.

  11. Mr. Three-Cookies, I certainly have enough wine to profit from all its advantages ;-) but not cheese I think...
    (By the way, congratulations!!!!!)

  12. Your wellington looks superb and the cupcakes are so cute!!!

  13. Joanne: thank you for the ‘endorsement’:)

    Yummychunklet: thank you

    Kitchen Belleicious: In Hells Kitchen its a mess up if the meat is medium instead of rare for example. In the home this would be eaten without much complaints!

    Junia: thank you, that’s a great use of oreos.

    Sissi: I am sure you’ve had enough wine but you must not stop:) Thank you, I was pleased.

    Sylvia: thank you

  14. Wow that chicken wellington looks so perfect! You had a nice meal there