Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Recipe Redux: Chinese Fried Rice

The theme for this month's Recipe Redux is "Vintage Side Dishes".  Being of an Asian descent, I grew up eating a lot of rice and continue to love eating rice every day! So from an old vegetarian cookbook from 1971 called "Vegetarian Cookery 5", I chose to "redux" a recipe called "Chinese Fried Rice". I actually "reduxed" and "maximized" this recipe.  I reduced the sodium content by using Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  Saturated fat content was reduced by using Trader Joe's liquid egg whites.  Fiber was maximized by using brown rice instead of white rice and adding more vegetables.  This is very easy to prepare!

2/3 cup of egg substitute (in this case I used Trader Joe's Liquid Egg Whites)
1 cup of cooked mixed frozen vegetables (I used a green peas, corn, and carrot mixture and placed in the microwave for a minute
2 cups of cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp chopped green onions
1 1/2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos 
Canola Oil dispensed from vegetable oil mister (This also allows you to use less oil resulting in less calories added)

Scramble egg substitute in a small pan using at least 3 sprays from vegetable oil mister.
Saute the rest of the ingredients in another pan using 5 or 6 sprays of canola oil for about ten minutes or less while stirring frequently.  A few sprinkles of water may be needed according to desired consistency.
Mix in the scrambled egg white substitute and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Now it's time for you to enjoy your good-for-you fried rice!

Please take the time to look below and try out other "reduxed" vintage recipes by my fellow Recipe Reduxers! 

What is your favorite rice dish? 
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nutrition Bit: Hydration by Tara Johnson, RD

I teach a class called "Capstone" in the Nutrition and Dietetics program here at Loma Linda University. Two projects out of four for this course are video/television appearances. This is to give our dietetic students training and exposure to being in front of the camera.  We have been busy in the studio this quarter, but also having a lot of fun.

One of the projects is a 30-second segment, which is more like a commercial, but giving healthy nutrition tips.  The students voted on naming their individual video clips "Nutrition Bits".  The "Nutrition Bits" will be aired on SmartLifestyle TV network in between programs.

Here is a sample of one of the "Nutrition Bits".  This "Nutrition Bit" features our graduate student, Tara Johnson, who passed her Registered Dietitian exam last October 11, 2012.  Tara is an outstanding student and now RD.  She will be graduating by the end of this school year in June, 2013.  So, if anyone wants to hire her, she will be ready to work for you!

I certainly hope Tara has encouraged you to make sure that your hydration status is up to par!

If you are interested in becoming a registered dietitian, please visit our website at


How do you keep hydrated throughout the day?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Keeping it Simple: Cinnamon

My eyes recently caught a post that stated cinnamon is a good source of iron...and that it was a fact. I immediately thought, "How can a spice be a good source of iron?" Even if it wasn't heme-iron, but if it had an impressive amount of non-heme iron, that would at least be pretty good.  My "registered dietitian thinking cap" knew it couldn't be so, but I proceeded to look up the nutritional analysis of iron in cinnamon anyway, because I could be absolutely wrong.  I wouldn't mind if I was proven wrong.

I looked in the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory and typed in ground cinnamon. For one tablespoon of cinnamon, only .65 mg if iron is provided.  (Swallowing even one teaspoon of cinnamon is dangerous, because that can result unpleasant side effects. Don't even try it!  Trust me on this.)  I looked up two other references and it showed that for 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, the same amount of iron was indicated. 

We need about 18 mg of iron (preferably heme iron) day, so if 1 tablespoon of cinnamon supplies less than 1 mg of iron, this would be equivalent to almost 12 tablespoons of cinnamon to meet your needs. 

Please don't rely on cinnamon as an adequate source of iron. Most animal product sources contain the heme-iron that is desirable for good iron absorption; however, if you are a vegetarian, then obtaining iron through vegetable sources is fine, but pay extra attention to having a food source rich in vitamin C with every meal.  The vitamin C in food will aid in absorption of iron.  Indeed, this would also be good for those who are not vegetarians.

Cinnamon does have other desirable benefits and adds wonderful flavor to food.  However, just know that it is not a desirable source of iron.

What food items or beverages to you enjoy cinnamon in?