Thursday, April 30, 2009

H1N1: Prevention

by Anthony J. Sepe


The swine flu has hit hard; however, with precautions, let’s reduce the risk.  Many parents are receiving letters urging precaution, to keep sick children home, and  other safeguards to prevent swine flu.  The letter also warns of closing schools if the flu starts spreading.  Health officials, do remain on alert, but it’s not panic time.  President Obama said in his speech last evening:  “good hand-washing is key.”  Washing hands thoroughly is appropriate and good hygiene is ‘key.’ 


The take away here:  hand-washing is so important, particularly, related to food service and food-serving.  Just as important, is cooking food properly to their appropriate internal temperature, which will kill harmful bacteria.  With that said, it is still safe to eat, “the other white meat,” pork. 


The following is a wonderful recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork.  It makes 6 servings and is 4 points per serving, according to Weight Watcher’s, a program near and dear to my heart for those that follow the ‘Points’ Program. (I used to teach the program for successful weight loss.) 

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1 can (15-16 oz) pineapple tidbits (canned in juice)

2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. cider vinegar

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp sesame or peanut oil.

1-1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin, cut into 1” cubes

2 cups fresh or frozen bell pepper strips


1.  Dain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice; set pineapple aside.  In small bowl or cup, combine reserved juice, the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved; set aside.


2. In wok, or similar pan, heat oil over high heat.  Add pork; stir-fry until well browned, 5-10 minutes.  Stir in peppers and reserved pineapple.  Add reserved juice mixture; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is cooked through, 5-10 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:  197 calories; 4.6g fat; 0.7g fiber      



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!” Guest-Chef Ryan Boudreaux aka Cajun Chef Ryan, Chef for Emeril’s Homebase

by Anthony J. Sepe

Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  To those that know, this is a healthy repeat, but for those that are unaware and are new to the blog, this is my way of “giving back.”  It is also a way to “Pay it Forward.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce this week, Chef Ryan, my colleague and friend, along with his, Baked Tomatoes.


Cajun Chef Ryan


North Carolina State University Computer Training Unit Raleigh, NC

Cold Fusion MX Level I and Level II Coursework

1998 to 2000

University of Phoenix Metairie, LA

Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems; September 2000; GPA 3.8 out of 4.0

1999 to 2000

New Horizons (Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center) Metairie, LA

MCSE NT 4.0 Certification Course; MCP acquired October 2000

1990 to 1991

University of New Orleans, Metropolitan College New Orleans, LA

Certificate of Completion in Microcomputers, Specialization in WordPerfect 5.1, 1991

1983 to 1985

Delgado Community College New Orleans, LA

Associate Degree in Art Sciences, Specialization in Culinary Arts, 1985

1980 to 1982

Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA Studies in Forestry and Wildlife

The Delgado Community College Associate Degree in Art Sciences with specialization in Culinary Arts was part of a 3 year culinary apprenticeship program in conjunction with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the New Orleans Chapter of the ACF known as ACF-NO, or Les Chefs de Cuisine de la Louisiane . The first two years of my apprenticeship were completed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans and the final year was at the Columns Hotel, which is a National Historic Landmark. Upon completion of the apprenticeship program at the Columns Hotel I was promoted to Sous Chef. I also held a part-time job as cook at Nature’s Way Restaurant during this time period, however, this work experience was not included as part of the apprenticeship program.


Ryan Boudreaux, aka Cajun Chef Ryan


Residence: Wake Forest, North Carolina

Blog address:



North Carolina State University Computer Training Unit Raleigh, NC

Cold Fusion MX Level I and Level II Coursework

1998 to 2000

University of Phoenix Metairie, LA

Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems; September 2000; GPA 3.8 out of 4.0

1999 to 2000

New Horizons (Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center) Metairie, LA

MCSE NT 4.0 Certification Course; MCP acquired October 2000

1990 to 1991

University of New Orleans, Metropolitan College New Orleans, LA

Certificate of Completion in Microcomputers, Specialization in WordPerfect 5.1, 1991

1983 to 1985

Delgado Community College New Orleans, LA

Associate Degree in Art Sciences, Specialization in Culinary Arts, 1985

1980 to 1982

Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA Studies in Forestry and Wildlife

The Delgado Community College Associate Degree in Art Sciences with specialization in Culinary Arts was part of a 3 year culinary apprenticeship program in conjunction with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the New Orleans Chapter of the ACF known as ACF-NO, or Les Chefs de Cuisine de la Louisiane . The first two years of my apprenticeship were completed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans and the final year was at the Columns Hotel, which is a National Historic Landmark. Upon completion of the apprenticeship program at the Columns Hotel I was promoted to Sous Chef. I also held a part-time job as cook at Nature’s Way Restaurant during this time period, however, this work experience was not included as part of the apprenticeship program.

Work Experience

What follows is the complete work resume with the most recent history listed at the top:

Current Employer: Excel Management Systems, Inc

Position: Web Designer

Industry: Federal Government

Location: Research Triangle Park, NC

Employer: Emeril's Homebase, LLC

Position: Technology Technician

Industry: Restaurant

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Diamond Data Systems

Position: Technology Technician

Industry: Technology

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Club Corp of America

Position: Food and Beverage Director

Industry: Country Club / Fitness Center

Location: La Place, LA

Employer: Cuco's Mexican Cafe

Position: Manager

Industry: Restaurant

Location: Gretna, LA

Employer: Boudreaux's Restaurant

Position: Owner / Chef

Industry: Restaurant

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Perry Oceanographics

Position: Chief Steward

Industry: Oceanographics

Location: Riviera Beach, FL

Employer: Delgado Community College

Position: Culinary Instructor

Industry: Education

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Copeland's of New Orleans

Position: Manager

Industry: Restaurant

Location: Metarie, LA

Employer: National Medical Enterprises

Position: Food Service Director

Industry: Health Care

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Health Care International

Position: Executive Chef

Industry: Health Care

Location: Metairie, LA

Employer: Eiffel Tower Restaurant

Position: Sauté Cook

Industry: Restaurant

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Innovative Catering

Position: Chef

Industry: Restaurant

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Columns Hotel

Position: Sous Chef

Industry: Restaurant

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Nature’s Way Restaurant

Position: Cook

Industry: Restaurant

Location: New Orleans, LA

Employer: Hyatt Regency Hotel

Position: Saucier / Apprentice

Industry: Restaurant

Location: New Orleans, LA


I have always wanted to record and document the knowledge base of information and material that I have collected for 33+ years of my cooking experience, with 21 of them spent as a professional chef. So it is with great pleasure that I started the Cajun Chef Ryan blog in May of 2008 which has been the focal point of my project for putting into digital form what is currently stored in my brain and a dozen or so notebooks, 3-ring binders, and many manila folders from the 18 various restaurants and institutions that allowed me to cook and chef throughout my culinary career.

In the Beginning…
I started out my cooking curiosity by taking frozen Jeno’s Pizzas and piling on custom toppings like mushrooms, black olives, Italian seasoning, extra pepperoni slices, and extra cheese. My pizza combinations varied, but this started my early days of cooking at home in the pre-teen years. During the summer of 1974 I was 12 years old and staying at home getting bored and having not much to do. I was watching The French Chef Julia Child on the local PBS station WYES channel 12 in New Orleans and enjoyed the 30 minute cooking lessons. One morning Julia Child spent the entire show demonstrating the techniques and varieties of making French omelets’. I was fascinated with how she mixed up the eggs with water and not milk, and added some parsley, salt and pepper, and stirred it up just a bit with a fork, but not too much. She also demonstrated how to make the flip and then the tri-fold technique. I was so motivated after the airing of that show I immediately went into the kitchen and proceeded to break about 2 dozen eggs before I perfected the flip technique. Later that day and after confessing to my mother what happened to all the eggs I soon became known for my omelet making, especially as I continued to perfect them on most weekend mornings. Through the years I also cooked omelets for friends at their houses and started a tradition of making various combinations including Western, Ham and Cheddar, Cream Cheese and Chive, Smoke Oyster, Shrimp and Cheddar, and even some that were not so popular like Sauerkraut and Swiss.
My mom and I also started an appreciation for making fresh baked breads, she used to make this fabulous Dilly Bread that was out of this world, and it started in motion my fascination with yeast and whole wheat flour. We would make many and varied whole wheat and whole grain breads. Yeast became a passion for me as I was awestruck with the organism and how it worked and its lengthy history going back to the Roman Empire. In the late 1970’s our passion for fresh bread ultimately landed my dad in the hospital for a 10 day stay due to horrible and crippling stomach pains. Eventually after a biopsy of the intestines did the doctors determine that he suffered from Celiac Disease, or more commonly known today as an allergy to gluten. Gluten is the combination of starches that make up 80% of the protein found mainly in wheat, rye, and barley. It is also the building block that holds together wheat products including breads, pastas, beers, grain alcohols, and other wheat based products. This was my first experience with a food related allergy and restricted diets.
Getting Paid to Cook….oh boy!
My professional culinary experience range includes working in the kitchens of major and minor hotels, 5 star restaurants, a private law firm dining room, a catering company, a health food restaurant, a franchise chain themed Cajun restaurant and a Mexican restaurant, health clubs, country clubs, hospitals, and my own restaurant Boudreaux’s.
In my 21 years of professional restaurant experience I started out as an apprentice at the Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans, LA. I enrolled in the Culinary Apprenticeship Program at the New Orleans Regional Technical Institute in the spring of 1983 and started the apprenticeship in the fall working downtown at the Hyatt Hotel banquets department. I can remember interviewing with Chef Kurt Wolf and having no previous experience other than cooking at home, Chef Wolf asked me if I had ever prepared meals for a large number of people.
I had just returned from my 2 1/2 month solo bicycle tour in the American southwest and related my story about how I prepared a meal for about 25 people at the Durango Youth Hostel. I had told the director of the hostel that I was going to attend culinary school upon my return to New Orleans and he was excited to hear it and then encouraged me to prepare a meal and might even make some money at it too! So I pulled the ingredients together and made a large batch or two of Eggplant Parmesan and a huge Garden Salad, some of the ingredients came from a garden that the youth hostel maintained. By the way, I weeded the garden one day in lieu of paying rent for a few days. I also cleared about $50.00 from of the vegetarian meal, the folks loved it! And I had fun too, my first professional cooking experience!
So there you have it! My first steps in what continues to be an adventure in cooking and culinary gastronomy. What followed in the next 21 years of professional culinary growth would take up another post and I may just leave it at that for now. However, some of the hats that I wore in those 21 years included the following stations and positions of the kitchens and restaurants: banquet cook, garde manger, saucier, broiler, sauté, pantry, sous chef, chef, executive chef, kitchen manager, dining room manager, food and beverage director, food service director, and owner/proprietor.
My current project is to transfer into digital form all the hand written and typed recipes from my note books, binders, and folders. I will compile the recipes into an eBook format and organize them for future distribution in a CD or even DVD media format. I will most likely charge a small price for these eBooks, but have not determined the value at this time, most likely it will be to cover my time and materials.
While I do not get paid to cook these days, I am still a chef at heart and still love to cook at home with my wife Monique and son Benjamin. Monique is my little “sous chef” and Ben has become the “Muffin Man” lately as he will bake a couple batches of them every week it seems. We all love to cook and especially to eat! Happy eating!

Here is a favorite family favorite recipe from Chef Ryan:



©  Baked Tomatoes

Recipe reprinted with permission from “” by Ryan Boudreaux.


4, each Tomatoes, medium

1 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 Tbsp Thyme

1/2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning Mix

1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt

1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

1/2 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs

Procedure Steps:

1. Pre-healt oven to 375 degrees f.

2. Combine the mayo, herbs, salt and parmesan until well-mixed.

3. Cut the tomatoes into halves and place onto baking dish.

4. Spoon the mayo mixture evenly onto each of the 8 tomato halves.

5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and tomatoes are soft.


Ryan adds that this dish is one that his wife prepares whenever they have some tomatoes that need to be cooked or on a whim when they have the hankering for them too!  These go well as a side dish with just about anything, even with a salad like we did with some Caesar salad the other night.

Remember to visit Ryan Boudreaux, aka Cajun Chef Ryan at:

Blog address:




Friday, April 24, 2009

Sugar and you: With Lemon-Grilled Chicken

by Anthony J Sepe


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Have you ever thought about sugar?  Honey? Brown sugar? White Sugar?  Which is more nutritious?… is honey or brown sugar better for you than white sugar?  Well, that’s a common misconception, too.  Honey, actually is a mixture of sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose, and other sugars), formed from nectar of bees.  Ounce for ounce, the nutrient content of honey and table sugar is about the same.  Here though is a difference:  a teaspoon of honey weights slightly more than a teaspoon of table sugar, it has somewhat more calories and carbohydrate.  Honey is sweeter than table sugar, so less can be used to sweeten foods.  Brown sugar is merely sugar crystals, flavored with molasses.  From a nutritional standpoint, it too has 16 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon—the same amount as table sugar.


Often we hear of refined sugar.  Refined sugar is most simply described as sugar, separated either from the stalk of sugar cane or from the beet root of sugar beet.  The sugar-containing juice of the plant is extracted, then processed into dried sugar crystals.  It’s sold as granulated or white sugar.  Scientifically, C6H12O6.

In the following recipe, I add,1 tsp of lite soy sauce, 1 tsp of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of jelly and mix together.  This off-sets the lemon with a “bitter-sweet” taste.



Lemon Grilled Chicken


1 lemon

2 Tablespoons of olive oil1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. dried marjoram

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp. lite soy sauce

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. jelly

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts


Preparation Method:

1.  Use a peeler to remove strips of zest from half of the lemon, then trim into fine strips with a small knife.  Reserve and et aside.  Grate the other side of the lemon to make 1 tablespoon zest.  Finally, squeeze the juice from the lemon into a bowl.

2.  In a large bowl, combing the lemon zest and juice, oil, garlic, parsley, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.  Pour in the mixture of lite soy sauce,brown sugar and jelly.  Add the chicken breasts to the bowl and spoon the marinade over the chicken until well-coated.  Cover with plastic Wrap.  chill for 30 minutes, or overnight if you have the time.

3.  Preheat the griddle, grill or broiler to medium heat.  Put the chicken pieces on the griddle, reserving marinade.  Cook chicken until cooked through out, about 10 minutes on each side.  Brush with reserved marinade 2-3 times during cooking.   Sprinkle with reserved lemon strips and service immediately.  Garnish with parsley sprigs.


Serve with:  Grilled or sautéed mushrooms and mixed pasta salad.

Nutritional Information:  Calories 252, fat8.9g Sat fat 1.5g,carbs 1.7g

Serves: 4


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recipe: Carrot & Cumin Soup

by Anthony J Sepe


Carrot soups are very popular and the cumin, tomato, potato, and celery give the soup a richness and depth.


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  1. 3 Tbs. butter or margarine
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 12 oz. carrots, sliced
  5. 3-3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  6. 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  7. 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  8. 4 oz. potato, diced
  9. 2 tsp. tomato paste
  10. 2 tsp lemon juice
  11. 2 fresh bay leaves
  12. 1-1/4 cups of skim milk
  13. salt and pepper
  14. celery leaves, to garnish



  1. Melt the butter or margarine in a large pan.  Add the onion and garlic and cook very gently until softened.
  2. Add the carrots and cook gently for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently and taking care they do not brown.
  3. Add the stock, cumin, seasoning, celery, potato, tomato paste, lemon juice, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove and discard the bay leaves, cool the soup a little and then press it through a strainer or process in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  5. Pour the soup into a clean pan, add the milk, and bring to a boil over low heat.  Taste and adjust the seasoning , if necessary.
  6. Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish each serving with a small celery leaf and serve.



NUTRITIONAL information:

calories…..114; protein…..3g; carbohydrate…..12g; fat…..6g; sugars…..8g

Recipe Source:1,000 Low fat, salt, sugar, cholesterol healthy recipes

Enjoy!!! AJS

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!” Guest-Chef Reyna Franco exudes and drizzles with NATURAL Sweetness; contributes family favorite Banana Challah French-Toast

by Anthony J Sepe

Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  To those that know, this is a healthy repeat, but for those that are unaware and are new to the blog, this is my way of “giving back.”  It is also a way to “Pay it Forward.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce this week, Reyna Franco, my colleague, along with her, Banana Challah French Toast . 


Reyna Franco, MS, RD, CDN, CPT

Reyna has expertise in both nutrition and fitness. She is a registered dietitian (RD) and a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer. Reyna has a private practice in New York City where she provides nutrition counseling and personal training to her clients. She combines a holistic approach with science-based nutrition and exercise research. Her clients range in age from young children to older adults. She has been very successful providing nutrition and fitness guidance to beginner exercisers and Olympic hopefuls. Additionally, she gives nutrition and wellness presentations to sports clubs, schools and community centers. Reyna is also the renal dietitian and the cardiac rehab nutrition educator for New York Downtown Hospital. She takes pride in her work and is an enthusiastic coach.

When Reyna is not counseling clients, performing workshops or writing articles, you may find her cycling, running, swimming, skiing, or rock–climbing.

To learn more about Reyna, visit her website:

Here is a favorite family breakfast recipe from Reyna:

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©  Banana - Challah French Toast

Recipe reprinted with permission from “” by Reyna Franco.


2 slices of challah for each person

1 egg for 2 slices of challah

Sliced bananas

2 Tb Milk

Vanilla extract

Butter for the pan



Slice challah.  Two slices for each person.  Slice the banana into thin slices.  Beat 1 egg for every 2 slices of challah.  For example, if you are serving 4 people, you will need 4 eggs and 8 slices of challah.  Add 2 tablespoons of milk to the eggs.  Add a dash of vanilla extract.  Beat that up.  Warm up the frying pan on a low heat and add enough butter to grease the bottom.  Dip the challah in the egg. Coat both sides of the bread.  Place into pan.  Place banana slices over the bread while in the pan.  When the cooked side is light brown, gently flip it over.  Cook the other side until light brown.  Remove from pan.  The bananas make this breakfast dish naturally sweet, it doesn't need syrup.  Enjoy!

Reyna Franco, MS, RD, CDN, CPT

Nutrition and Exercise Consulting

PS: Remember to visit Reyna, and she can be contacted at the following:


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Recipe: Cranberry Jell-O Salad

by Anthony J Sepe




  1. 1 pkg cherry Jell-O or raspberry Jell-O
  2. 8 oz cranberries
  3. 1 orange
  4. 1 apple
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 cup walnuts



  1. Prepare Jell-O according to package directions. 
  2. Grind all cranberries, apple, orange and add to Jell-O.
  3. Add sugar, salt and walnuts; let set.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Recipe: Wehani Rice Seafood Paella


Wehani, developed by Lundberg Farms, is a reddish-brown hybrid of Indian basmati and long-grain brown rice.  In this paella, if offers a pleasing taste and texture variation when combined with short-grain brown rice.  Did you know? Toasting the rice cracks the bran layer and causes the grains to burst open and become soft and creamy as they cook?  Delicious!!!


Wehani rice Seafood Paella

copyright Photo by James Carriere



  1. 1 1/2 cups short-grain brown rice
  2. 1/2 cup Wehai rice
  3. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  4. 1 cup of finely chopped onion
  5. 1 Tbsp of coarsely chopped garlic
  6. 1 teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika
  7. 1/3 cup of finely chopped cooked chorizo
  8. 1 8ox bottle clam juice
  9. 2 3/4 cups water
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. 1# medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
  12. 1/2 # bay scallops, rinsed
  13. 1 medium roasted red bell pepper (bottled are fined too, seeded and cut)
  14. 1 cup frozen green peas
  15. 2 Tbsp of drained capers (I use a lot more)
  16. 3 Tbsp fresh minced parsley
  17. The zest of 1 large lemon
  18. Freshly ground black pepper to taste



1. Set a heavy 4 qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  When hot, add short-grain and Wehani rice and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Push rice to one side.  Add oil in empty spot; stir-in onion, garlic, and paprika.  Stir to incorporate rice.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, 2-3 minutes.

2. Lower heat to medium.  Stir in chorizo, clam juice, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender, about 40 minutes or so.

3. Stir in shrimp, cover, and cook for 3 minutes over low-heat.  Stir in scallops, bell pepper, green peas, and capers.  Cover and continue cooking until shrimp and scallops are cooked, 1-2 minutes more.  Add black pepper, and season to taste with salt and paprika.  Garnish each portion with parsley and lemon zest!

Recipe Source: Lorna Sass* Staff Delicious Living


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Recipe: Black Japonica Rice with Thai Chicken Curry



Black Japonica Rice with Thai Chicken Curry is actually a blend of Japanese short-grain black rice and medium-grain mahogany rice, also developed by Lundberg Family Farms.  Thanks to the flavor-paced Thai curry paste, available in most grocery stores, this curry has complex flavor though it is quick and easy to prepare.


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    Chicken Curry                 Japonica Rice


  1. 21/2 cups water
  2. pinch of salt to water (if desired)
  3. 11/4 cups black Japonica rice
  4. 1 14 ox can coconut milk
  5. 2-3 tsp. Thai green curry paste
  6. 1 14.5 oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  7. 2 lb bone-in split chicken breasts, skinned
  8. 4 scallions, thinly sliced (keep white and green parts separate)
  9. 3 T fresh chopped cilantro
  10. 2-3 Tbsp. fresh line juice
  11. Soy sauce (optional)
  12. Fresh cilantro and lime wedges, for garnish


  1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a heavy, 2-quart pot or Dutch oven.  Stir in rice.  Reduce heat, over, simmer until some grains have burst open and rice is tender, about 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, blend coconut milk and curry paste until smooth.  Add tomatoes with juices, chicken, and whites of scallions.   Bring to a low boil over medium heat.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked, 20-30 minutes.  Remove chicken. Shred or chop meat and discard bones.  Return chicke3n to pot along with green scallion parts, cilantro, lime juice to taste, plus soy sauce, if desired.
  3. To serve, press about 3/4 cup rice into a ramekin or a coffee cup.  Unmold onto center of plate.  Spoon chicken curry around rice.  Garnish rice and curry with additional cilantro.  Set a few lime wedges to one side.


479 calories, 16g fat;9gsat fat;88mg chol;41g protein, 41 g carb, 4gfiber;211mg sodium Source: Staff at Delicious Living

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!” Guest-Chef Monika Woolsey inspired by and shares, Mumbai

by Anthony J Sepe


Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  To those that know, this is a healthy repeat, but for those that are unaware and are new to the blog, this is my way of “giving back.”  It is also a way to “Pay it Forward.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce this week, Monika Woolsey, my mentor; my colleague; my friend, along with her Chicken Strawberry Salad a la Mumbai


Monika Woolsey

Monika M. Woolsey, MS, RD

Monika M. Woolsey, President and Founder of After the Diet Network, is a nutritionist and exercise physiologist with 25 years of experience in nutrition and exercise counseling.   She received her bachelor's degree in Nutrition from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and her master's degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

After the Diet currently focuses on providing products and services related to nutrition/lifestyle options for stress-related illnesses to the public and the medical professionals who serve them.  Primary demographics currently served include:

  • Couples with infertility, through the inCYST Network and the Fertile Intentions programs
  • Individuals using psychotropic medications
  • Professional flight crews, through the Air Vitals program

Her thoughts on these issues can be found on several blogs,,, and

Monika's experience with stress started with her graduate work in exercise physiology and continued with work in 4 different eating disorder treatment centers. She wrote/edited the American Dietetic Association's first book on eating disorders, entitled, "Eating Disorders: A Clinical Guide to Counseling and Treatment".   Her business base is primarily based in Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California.

Special Honors

Based on her 7 summers of volunteer work at the American Diabetes Association Camp, Monika was invited in 1989 to join a delegation of medical professionals who traveled to Lithuania to conduct a conference on diabetes management.  This was the first delegation of American professionals who had traveled to Lithuania from the United States since World War II.

Monika was the 2004 invited speaker for the Cornell University Dorothy Proud Lecture series, an endowed lecture series that annually invites a  Cornell alumnus back to Ithaca to share their career history with students and faculty.

Monika is also active in the Arizona Animal Welfare League and the Arizona League of Conservation Voters.

Here is her recipe:

© Chicken Strawberry Salad a la Mumbai

Recipe reprinted with permission from “After the Diet” by Monika Woolsey

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“Strawberry Chicken Salad”                        “Jicama”


1 tbsp canola oil

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp plain yogurt

juice of one lime

1 tbsp honey

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 jicama, peeled and cubed

1 cup strawberries, cubed

salt and pepper

salad greens



Cook curry powder in canola oil over medium heat until fragrant, being sure to stir to avoid burning.  Remove from heat and stir in yogurt, lime juice, and honey.

Combine chicken and jicama in a bowl.  Port curry dressing over combo and stir to coat.  Add strawberries and almonds; gently toss.  Season to taste with salt and pepper

Serve over salad greens.

Makes 6 servings.


PS:  Remember to visit Monika’s blogs, as noted above, along with her website, which is located at the following address:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recipe: No-Bake Raspberry-Lemon Bars

by Anthony J Sepe




2 pkg (6oz. each) fresh raspberries, divided (about 21/2 cups)

12 squares Nabisco Grahams, crushed

2 T butter or margarine, melted

2 pkg 8oz Philadelphia fat-free cream cheese, softened

1 jar 7 oz. jet-puffed marshmallow creme

1 T lemon juice



Reserve 20 raspberries for garnish.  Mix crumbs and butter together; press firmly into bottom of 9-inch square baking pan.  Refrigerate crust while making filling.

Beat cream cheese, marshmallow creme, and lemon juice with electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.  Stir in raspberries; spoon into crust.  Refrigerate 4 hours. Cut into 20 bars to serve. Top each with a raspberry.

Makes 20 serving, 1 bar each.

Nutrition information per serving:

80 calories, 2g total fat; 0.5g saturated fat, < 5mg chol; 115mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber,9gsugars, 2g protein

Original Recipe Source:  Nabisco/


Friday, April 10, 2009

Food illnesses held steady

by Anthony J Sepe




The Associated Press reports that Americans didn’t  suffer more food poisoning last year despite high-profile  outbreaks involving peppers, peanut butter and other foods, according to a government report released Thursday.

Rates of food-borne illnesses have been holding steady for 5 years.  They had been declining from the mid-1990’s until the beginning of this decade, mainly because of improvements in the meat and poultry industry, some experts say.

But produce-associated food poisonings have been increasing, and the nation is no longer whittling down food-borne disease, government officials said.

“Progress has plateaued,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and prevention, a co-author of the report.

The report looks at the occurrence of about 10 leading food-borne illnesses in 10 states that participate in a federally funded food poisoning monitoring system.

The research appears in this week’s issue of the CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Salmonella remained the most common cause of food poisoning, triggering more than 7,400 lab-confirmed illnesses in those states.  That translates to a rate of about 16 cases for every 100,000 people.  There has been no significant change in the salmonella rate in recent years, CDC officials.

An estimated 87 million cases of food-borne illnesses occur in the US each year, including 371,000 deaths, according to an Associated Press calculation that used the CDC formula and current population estimates.

Easter is comin’: Portion-siZe, does matter !

By Anthony J Sepe


!cid__04-09-09_1346 With Easter coming, and, just around the corner, here’s some of my handy-dandies to keep in mind: Each serving has approximately 4-5 gms of total fat:

  • 1 tsp. stick margarine or butter
  • 1 tsp. regular mayo
  • 2 tsp. of salad dressing
  • 3 tsp. (which = 1 Tbsp) of light margarine
  • 3 tsp. of reduced-fat mayo
  • 3 tsp. of cream cheese
  • 4 tsp of a light cream
  • 4 tsp. of sour cream

The big thing here: notice the amount of each item, despite the fact that each is still typically 4-5 grms of total fat.  Everything in moderation, and, portion-size does matter, but we can still have fun and still enjoy our food.//

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Diabetes? I’m a Diabetic? NOT!… (with me)

by Anthony J Sepe



Diabetes, you ask about.  One of the many things we do as Dietitians,’ is to  assess  an individuals nutritional status.  In doing so, we know that a metabolic disorder or medical condition can prevent our body from absorbing specific nutrients, such as carbohydrates or protein.  One common example, diabetes, which is the inability to produce enough insulin, the hormone our bodies use to metabolize carbohydrates. 

I’ve often been told over the years by patients, ‘ I’m a diabetic.’   However, when in treatment with me, quickly, and I hasten to add, very quickly-- it is learned, that,   YOU ARE NOT A DIABETIC, but rather, “YOU ARE A PERSON WITH DIABETES  Now, re-read that statement again.  Let it sink-in.  Next, I would like you to take a piece of paper.  Draw a large circle.  Inside the circle, please write your name.  Outside of the circle, draw spokes, (like rays of the sun) all the way around the circle.  Further, on each line or ray of the circle, write something about yourself.  For example, mother, wife, daughter, friend, PTA Director, bowling leader, father, golfer … etc. (I think you get the idea)

Do you know why I just did that exercise with you?  Because you are a person.  You are a person who may happen to have diabetes, or you may have been just diagnosed with diabetes, or you may be a person that has maintained tight control of your diabetes.  In any of these situations, you are a person-first, because you still are the mother, wife, daughter, friend PTA Director, bowling leader, father, golfer, or tax accountant, or what have you.  If you have a headache, are you still the same person?  If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or low blood sugar, are you still the same person?  Well, then, here I teach you that:  Because you may be someone with Diabetes, you are still the same person, and, don’t let it define you.  All those spokes around the circle that I had you draw, make-up-you! 

Diabetes can affect many millions of Americans, without, even knowing they have it.  Diabetes, of course, must be effectively managed and managed properly.  I said earlier, that diabetes was the inability to produce enough insulin, which is the hormone our bodies use to metabolize carbohydrates.  Another way to say the same thing, is simply:  diabetes affects the way your body and my body uses energy in our food.

Glucose is sugar and is let go from a carbohydrate in our food.  When the sugar is in the blood, its then known as, blood sugar and sometimes, blood glucose.  Insulin takes care of and controls this blood sugar (in those individuals that do not have difficulties with insulin or otherwise are healthy individuals.)  Glucose then goes to a receptor on the cells (like a vacuum cleaner that sucks it inside the cells) and it gets converted into energy.

With diabetes, ‘the person with diabetes’ often times will have difficulty keeping the blood sugar stable.  Our bodies don’t make enough insulin and can’t use it correctly.  Carbohydrates, protein and fats are not used in the right kind of way.  The sugar builds-up in the blood, which then causes the blood sugar levels to go up.  It should be used for energy, but instead, is spilled over into the urine, and excreted.  This makes the bean-shaped kidneys work twice-as -hard, which can cause constant running to the bathroom to urinate.  It can also cause someone to be very thirsty, and  constantly drink water because of trying to quench thirst.   Therefore, following an eating plan is very important for  ‘a person who has diabetes.’

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!” Guest-Chef Tram Le, Surfer Dietitian: Makes ‘Nutrition to Kitchen’-mouth-watering food—a breeze


by Anthony J. Sepe


Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  To those that know, this is a healthy repeat, but for those that are unaware and are new to the blog, this is my way of “giving back.”  It is also a way to “Pay it Forward.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce this week, Tram Le, and her Da-Nang Style Chicken Sandwich—with a bust of flavorful Chili-Garlic Mayo sauce. 


IMG_0810-Tram Le

  Tram Le, RD

Tram Le, RD, is a Clinical Dietitian in Hawaii, and owner of Nutrition to Fit, LLC. Tram’s philosophy on health and wellness centers on the balance between mind, body, and spirit.  Staying healthy in this day in age is a hard thing, and it’s not just the food you eat.  It’s trying to balance between nourishing your body, mind and spirit by working on the relationships you have with yourself, family, work, and friends.  Services provided include nutrition counseling and wellness consultations and cooking classes.

Tram’s philosophy extends to her daily life, where she enjoys doing exercise
that is fun for her, like pilates, surfing, biking, hiking, and doing yoga.
She is also an enthusiastic cook and loves to spend time developing recipes
in her kitchen, and sharing her meals with others through her blog, *Nutrition
to Kitchen* (
Tram Le, RD

Here's my recipe for Da-Nang Style Chicken Sandwiches:


© photo (Tram, Le)


© Da Nang-Style Chicken Sandwich*                                                                  Reprinted with permission by Tram Le, RD from “Nutrition to Fit, LLC” at 

Sandwich Ingredients:

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
12.5 oz canned chunk chicken breast, packed in water and drained (easy and
quick alternative to poaching then shredding your chicken breast if you’re
in a hurry like I am!)
3/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste (I didn’t use any because the chicken was also packed in
broth, already adding some salt to it)


© photo (Tram Le)


*Sandwich Sauce: Chili-Garlic Mayo  
2 Tbsp fat-free mayo
1 1/2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
4 handfuls of cilantro leaves



1.  In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over med-high heat.  After
a couple minutes, add the yellow onion and garlic.  Sautee and stir around
for about another 2 minutes, until slightly softened.  Add the drained
chicken breast.  Break up the chunks with a spatula and sautee well.  Add
the sugar, black pepper, and salt if needed.  Continue stirring until the
mixture is slightly browned, about another 5-6 minutes.

2.  To make the chili-garlic mayonnaise, simply combine the chili-garlic
sauce and mayo.

3.  Assemble: Spread a thin layer of the chili-garlic mayonnaise on one side
of the hamburger bun.  Add about 3 ounces of the chicken mixture, top with
cilantro leaves, and top with the other half of the bun.  Serve!


Thanks Anthony, have a great day!


PS: Don’t forget to visit Tram’s eye-appealing and mouth-watering blog !

Tram Le, RD

Friday, April 3, 2009

Massacre: In my hometown, NY gunman kills, 13

By Anthony J Sepe



(AP Photo/WBNG-TV)

**In this photo rendered from video and released by WBNG-TV in Binghamton, N.Y., authorities take up positions behind a vehicle, Friday, April 3, 2009, in Binghamton, N.Y. At least four people were shot and as many as 41 people taken hostage Friday morning at an immigration services center in western New York state, according to media reports.**

I’m off topic today everyone, which, as many of you have come to know, I usually do not deviate from Nutrition, food or related topics, but today is a very sad day—here in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, with the massacre of so many killed and wounded. 

The AP writers, sister TV stations and streaming video captured the unfortunate tragedy unfolding, that marked this horrible day for so many.  Quietness, shock and disbelief filled the city.  People were glued to their TV’s and cell-phones for updates.  My own cell-phone ringing from relatives calling out of concern to see if we were okay, and not near the tragedy.  The truth is, the deadly scene is approximately, 10- minutes away from me, and I pass the Civic Association  in my travels, frequently.  

The (AP) reported here in BINGHAMTON, N.Y. that a  gunman barricaded the back door of a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full of immigrants taking a citizenship class Friday, killing 13 people before apparently committing suicide, officials said.

Investigators said they had yet to establish a motive for the massacre, which was at least the fifth deadly mass shooting in the U.S. in the past month alone.

The gunman _ believed to be a Vietnamese immigrant himself _ had recently been let go from IBM, said Rep. Maurice Hinchey, whose congressional district includes Binghamton. But IBM could not immediately confirm that.

The attack came just after 10 a.m. at the American Civic Association, an organization that helps immigrants settle in this country. Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said the gunman parked his car against the back door, "making sure nobody could escape," then stormed through the front, shooting two receptionists, apparently without a word.

The killer then entered a room just off the reception area and fired on a citizenship class.

"The people were trying to better themselves, trying to become citizens," the police chief said.

One receptionist was killed, while the other, who was shot in the abdomen, pretended to be dead, then crawled under a desk and called 911, he said. Police said they arrived within two minutes. The rest of those killed were shot in the classroom. Four people were critically wounded.

The man believed to have carried out the attack was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an office, a satchel containing ammunition slung around his neck, authorities said. Police found two handguns _ a 9 mm and a .45-caliber _ as well as a hunting knife, authorities said.

Thirty-seven people in all were rescued from the building, included 26 who hid in the boiler room in the basement, cowering there for three hours while police methodically searched the building and tried to determine whether the gunman was still alive and whether he was holding any hostages, Zikuski said. Those in the basement stayed in contact with police by cell phone, switching from one phone to another when their batteries ran out, Zikuski said. Others hid in closets and under desks.

At one point, police led a number of men out of the building in plastic handcuffs while they tried to sort out the victims from the killer or killers.

Most of the people brought out couldn't speak English, the chief said.

Alex Galkin, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, said he was taking English classes when he heard a shot and quickly went to the basement with about 20 other people.

"It was just panic," Galkin said.

Zhanar Tokhtabayeva, a 30-year-old from Kazakhstan, said she was in an English class when she heard a shot and her teacher screamed for everyone to go to the storage room.

"I heard the shots, every shot. I heard no screams, just silence, shooting," she said. "I heard shooting, very long time, and I was thinking, when will this stop? I was thinking that my life was finished."

Gov. David Paterson said the massacre was probably "the worst tragedy and senseless crime in the history of this city." Noting mass killings in Alabama and Oakland, Calif., last month, he said: "When are we going to be able to curb the kind of violence that is so fraught and so rapid that we can't even keep track of the incidents?"

The community center was holding class "for those who want to become citizens of the United States of America, who wanted to be part of the American Dream, and so tragically may have had that hope thwarted today," the governor said. "But there still is an American dream, and all of us who are Americans will try to heal this very, very deep wound in the city of Binghamton."

The suspected gunman carried ID with the name of 42-year-old Jiverly Voong of nearby Johnson City, N.Y., but that was believed to be an alias, said a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The police chief would not confirm the name of the dead man with the ammunition satchel, saying authorities were still trying to establish with certainty that he was the gunman.

"We have no idea what the motive is," Zikuski said. He said the suspected gunman "was no stranger" to the community center, and may have gone there to take a class.

A woman who answered the phone at a listing for Henry D. Voong said she was Jiverly Voong's sister but would not give her name. She said her brother had been in the country for 28 years and had citizenship.

"The police just called me and said he got shot," she said. Asked if she was aware that he might have been involved in the shooting, she said: "How? He didn't have a gun. I think somebody involved, not him. I think he got shot by somebody else."

"I think there's a misunderstanding over here because I want to know, too," she said.

Waiting outside a Catholic Charities office where counselors were tending to relatives of victims, Omri Yigal said his wife, Delores, was taking English lessons when the gunman attacked. He had no word on what happened to her.

"At this point, I know the scale of what happened, but I just hope Delores is OK," the Filipino immigrant said. "I haven't got any information. ... The only thing I have right now is hope."

The American Civic Association helps immigrants in the Binghamton area with citizenship, resettlement and family reunification. The shootings took place in a neighborhood of homes and small businesses in downtown Binghamton, a city of about 47,000 situated 140 miles northwest of New York City.

The Binghamton area was the home to Endicott-Johnson shoe company and the birthplace of IBM, which between them employed tens of thousands of workers before the shoe company closed a decade ago and IBM downsized in recent years.

A string of attacks in the U.S. in the last month left 44 people dead in all.

A gunman killed 10 people and himself in Samson, Ala.; a traffic stop shootout in Oakland, Calif., left four police officers and the gunman dead; an apparent murder-suicide in Santa Clara, Calif., left six dead; and a gunman went on a rampage at a nursing home Sunday, killing seven elderly residents and a nurse who cared for them.


Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers George M. Walsh and Chris Carola in Albany; Kimberly Hefling and Devlin Barrett in Washington; Michael Hill in Binghamton; and John Wawrow in Buffalo, N.Y.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nipped in the bud; possibly?

by Anthony J Sepe



Yesterday, we talked about the salmonella-tainted pistachios.  And, today, it appears from different news service reports that the reason it didn’t take dozens of illnesses for federal regulators to learn about salmonella-tainted pistachios has nothing to do with federal regulations.

Seemingly, routine, but unrequired testing by a manufacturer for Kraft Foods Inc. first detected the contamination almost 2-weeks ago, when workers at a plant in Illinois decided to check roasted nuts going into huge vats of trail mix.  Private auditors hired by Kraft later found problems they think caused the contamination at a supplier’s processing facility in central California.

Two weeks ago?  I guess it seems like a long time to me.  It appears that something’s still wrong with this picture to me.   

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Again? First, peanut butter; now—pistachio nuts: Officials probe firm

by Anthony J Sepe


109879026973o1S1 The associated press reports and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials are investigating a central California plant that processed pistachios tied to nationwide recalls of trail mix and bagged nuts because of possible salmonella contamination.  (Approximately six -hundred medical cases of documented illness and 9 deaths were linked to the previous salmonella contamination case, just recently.) 

The California Department of Public Health said Monday it was investigating Setton Farms in Tulare County.

Officials say Setton sent its pistachios to the Georgia Nut Co., which recalled its Kraft Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix on Wednesday.

Grocery operator Kroger Co. says the California firm also supplied the line of pistachios it recalled because of possible salmonella contamination.  Those nuts were sold in 31 states.  No illnesses have been reported, thus far.