HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)
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Week: 572.6 Guest: Don Mauer, Author of Lean and Lovin' It Topic: Ushering in a low fat summer..... Producer/Host: Steve Girard
NEMA: I hope you're familiar with the name Don Mauer... because we've had him on the show occasionally.... and I mean literally around the holidays... to get some special insights on cooking lean through the seasons, and to get some great recipes from his book, Lean & Lovin' It... from Chapters Publishers. Now, Don was over the 300 pound mark several years ago when a photo and doctor's advice motivated a loss of more than a hundred pounds. But the problem remained, as always, how to keep it off...? Especially when you've been a great cook since the teen years? After taking most of the fat from his and his grandmother's classic recipes, Don found the magic line between flavorful and blah...and incorporated the technique and the recipes in his book. With his e-mail address inside, so people could touch base....
MAUER: It's been absolutely tremendous. This is what I love... because I put my address and my e-mail address in the book so people can communicate with me... which I think is really neat. And I've had people come back and go, " Don, I bought your book, I had a weight problem"...or..."my husband was diagnosed with a heart problem or high blood pressure, and I had to change the way that I was cooking... and I was looking for some answers, and I found your book, and I started making the things in the book. And everybody in my family loves everything, because we can have meat loaf, we can have macaroni and cheese, we can have great chocolate brownies.. and my husband's lost weight, and I've lost weight... and my kids love to eat the food that we put on the table..." And that kind of feedback is just tremendous... I love hearing all those things. That people really like the food that I create...that is so satisfying, I can't begin to explain it. blah,blah.....
NEMA: With the slide from Spring into Summer, I thought we'd put some recipes on the table we can use to continue our healthy eating...that are delicious and low fat.... but I thought I'd throw a challenge out... and ask about one of my favorites... fruited muffins....
MAUER: Strawberry season is coming, and blueberry season isn't far behind... I don't think there's anything finer that really says Summer to me than real fresh, ripe, sweet blueberries. And I created what I think is a fabulous, fresh blueberry yogurt muffin that is out of this world. Frozen blueberries work in this too... but I think the flavor of a fresh blueberry bursting in my mouth is just fabulous. And here's my recipe for fresh blueberry yogurt muffins. I think this combines two things: I love fresh blueberries and yogurt is so good for you, you can't believe it. This is what you're going to need:
Two cups all purpose flour ( not self-rising)
One tablespoon of baking powder (I know that sounds like a lot, but that's what gives these 'lift')
One half teaspoon of salt (and if you're on a sodium restricted food plan, you can omit that)
One cup of fresh blueberries (rinsed and picked over, and you can use a cup of frozen there)
12 whole blueberries (because you're going to use those whole blueberries to top each one of the muffins)
4 large egg whites, at room temperature (and the reason they are at 'room temperature' is because they will whip up lighter if they're at room temperature than if they're ice cold, right out of your refrigerator)
1/2 cup, plus three teaspoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract
and 1 & 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt (and you'll want that yogurt at room temperature, too)
Now....here's how you make 'em:
* Set your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. * In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Add the blueberries, and stir to lightly coat the berries in the flour. An then, set that all aside. * In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until they reach a soft peak stage. In other words, they will form, but not hard. ....Add the vanilla, the sugar and the yogurt. Mix for 15 seconds, until combined. * Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients and the blueberries, and with a rubber spatula, stir and fold together only until the flour is moistened. The batter is not meant to be smooth, so don't over mix it.
Now, what you're doing here, and let me just explain briefly, is... you don't want to over mix this batter because it will make for a tough muffin.
Divide the batter evenly among the cups of a non-stick, 12 cup muffin pan. Place a blueberry in the center of each muffin, sprinkle a quarter teaspoon of sugar evenly over each muffin, and bake them for 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from tins immediately, and let them cool before serving. And if you like those cupcake inserts, you know, use the foil ones. I think the foil ones peel away more easily than the paper ones do. This is absolutely fabulous.
NEMA: Now, the same kinds of things you've done to this muffin recipe to make it low fat can apply to a lot of different kinds of muffins.
MAUER: So, what I did was I took this same, basic recipe for the blueberries, and created all sorts of fabulous muffins. It's one of the things that I do in my book, Lean and Lovin' It, is to give you a whole variety of ways. You can make a cinnamon raisin muffin, if that's something that you like in the morning, by using a cup of raisins instead of the blueberries, and two tablespoons of grand marnier or cognac in there... and you're going to soak those raisins in the brandy or cognac.... and put them in the microwave oven for... very briefly, about a minute on high, so that they soften up and absorb some of that liquid. And then you're going to use three teaspoons of sugar and mix that together with a little bit of the ground cinnamon... and then put that in the batter so you get this cinnamon raisin muffin. It's absolutely wonderful. And if it's warm enough out that you can get some fresh apricots, a cup of fresh chopped apricots are just out of this world. And you're going to substitute a cup of the apricots for a cup of the blueberries. And you might want to chop a small chunk of apricot up... and put just one little small chunk of apricot on the top of each of the muffins. That's fabulous too. And you know, cherry muffins, sometime around July, the Michigan cherries start coming in, and cherries start coming in across the country. I think cherry muffins are fabulous, and you can use a cup of fresh, sweet... or even tart cherries soaked in a little bit of warm white wine.... but you're going to want to coat those cherries in flour so they don't sink to the bottom of the muffins. That's why you coat the blueberries, too.
NEMA: Another of my favorites...getting some fish on the grill...
MAUER: You know, I think, that's one of the things I love... in terms of being lean and staying lean: outdoor grilling is a great way to prepare a main course, because the fat drips off of whatever meat, or fish or seafood into the bottom of the grill, and doesn't stay on the meat. And it adds flavor! So, that's a great bargain, a terrific lean bargain in my book. And what I do is I love to do fish on the grill, because I think there are a lot of fish out there that are very mildly flavored, and perfect to do on the grill.... especially if you have one of those grill racks where you can easily flip it back and forth. I've got a wonderful recipe for grilled flounder, with mustard. And you can either broil it inside... if it's too chilly outside to fire up the grill, you could do it under a broiler. Or you could do this out on the grill.
And this is what you're going to need to do my broiled flounder with mustard: Four flounder filets, boned ( they're going to be about 6 ounces each, looking' for totally for 24 ounces, or about a pound and a half of flounder, at your fish shop)
Two tablespoons of dijon style mustard ( Again, you don't have to stick with this. I like dijon style because it's got a wonderful flavor to it. But right now, there's a million different mustards out there and they've got all kinds of different flavors... so you don't have to stick with that.)
A little bit of fresh ground, black pepper
Two tablespoons of fresh snipped chives
And one lime, quartered.
.... and I have a fresh herb garden at my house, and the first thing that comes up in the Spring is those chives and the last thing to go down in the Winter is those chives. Chives are fabulous... and they're fat free. I love 'em.
Now, you're going to get your broiler inside heated up... or it's time to start those charcoal briquettes heating up outside. And while that's getting ready, lightly spray a broiling pan... or that fish rack, with a little bit of vegetable oil spray... I'm talking about Pam or those kinds of sprays... place the filets on the rack or the pan, and then with the pastry brush, spread the mustard over the fish. And then, grind some of that black pepper on there... and it doesn't matter how much. Hey, if you like things with a bite, grind a lot on there... or grind a little bit on there. Place the pan under the broiler for five minutes... or out on the preheated grill for 5 minutes... until the mustard bubbles. You're going to see it begin to brown. Don't turn it... and place each filet on a separate plate, once they're done, sprinkle with the fresh chives... and serve with a wedge of lime on the side. And you squeeze that fresh lime on... it's going to give this a wonderful flavor. It's a great finish to this dish.
....And you don't have to stick with flounder, either. You go, "Don, I haven't got any flounder at my market"! Cod is wonderful, as is any lightly flavored fish... if halibut's there, halibut's wonderful, and very low in fat. And all of these will work with this recipe.
NEMA: What about that new salad..... I haven't made this one yet...
MAUER: I make a tangy cabbage salad that I think is absolutely out of this world. And it's wonderful... cabbage is so good for us. You know, they say the cruciferous vegetables...which are like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage... are really healthy. They have things inside that are really good for us, and help keep us disease free. Which I think is wonderful. And the neat thing about this cabbage salad is that you don't have to cook the cabbage for it, so that means all the vitamins and minerals in the cabbage are going to remain intact. This has got a fabulous flavor to it... and I think you're going to love it.
First you're going to need these ingredients for the dressing:
3/4 cup of non-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup of non-fat, plain yogurt
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons of distilled white vinegar (or you could do cider vinegar too)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon salt ( now, if you're on that sodium free diet, leave that salt out)
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground white pepper (this is going to give this a unique flavor)
...and then for the salad part:
a small head of green cabbage ( about 1 1/2 pounds, you're going to shred that...with a knife or in a food processor)
One medium red bell pepper, minced
3 green onions, minced (and that's the white and green parts, too)
...and 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
This comes together so fast, you're not going to believe it.
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until combined. So, toss all those in a bowl and whisk them together... it'll probably take you about 20 seconds.
Then in a big salad bowl, add the salad ingredients. That is: the cabbage, the bell pepper, the onions and the carrots. And then add the dressing on top, with a rubber spatula stir and fold until they're completely coated with the dressings. And then what you'll want to do is cover and chill this for about an hour...because that allows the flavor to bloom and mellow and develop in this. And it will soften the cabbage a little bit, but it will still have crunch. And you want to serve this cold. And this is unbelievable! This has less than a half a gram of fat per serving. But the flavor is out of this world.
NEMA: Don Mauer's book, Lean and Lovin' It, has become my favorite because it is simple to follow, and the flavor is there. It's at your bookstores from Chapters Publishing. Happy cooking. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.
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NEMA: Thanks for joining us for today's program. If you have any comments or suggestions, contact this station. Or visit our home page at: www.nemahealth.com/ ...for a look at transcripts of this or past programs, or to find out more about the National Emergency Medicine Association. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.
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