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Grilling Up a Balanced Meal!
May 24, 2021   08:25 PM
by Tessa Comstock, MS RD LD

Welcome to the first edition of OdomRD’s Cooking Corner! The warming weather and the glimpses of Bluebonnets on the roadside provide affirmation that, yes, spring is finally here! I think it is safe to say that most of America has a newfound appreciation for the outdoors after a year of cabin fever. So, there is no better way to maximize your time outdoors than to cook an entire meal on the grill, including dessert, using products made in Texas! Grilling can bring back some less than tasty memories for some— hamburgers deemed fit to be used as a hockey puck, rare chicken to provide you with the most literal version of farm to table. BUT have no fear! Mastering the art of grilling does not have to be daunting. We hope this video and blog will help to increase your time outdoors, elevate your palate, and support locally owned Texas products!

 

EQUIPMENT:

-BBQ grill

-Skewers or Grill Pan

-Thermometer

-Basting brush

-Pineapple Corer

-Chef’s knife

 

INGREDIENTS:

-Chicken- We used leg quarters from Moody’s Meat Market located in Corpus Christi, TX.

-Vegetables- Any type will do! We used zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and onions but other suggestions include mushrooms, asparagus, and tomatoes.

-Olive oil- Texas Hill Country Olive Co is our olive oil of choice. They are located in Dripping Springs and have a wonderful collection of olive oils (flavored too!) and balsamic vinaigrettes

-Chicken Shit Seasoning- This seasoning comes from Big Cock Ranch located in Lexington, TX. They have a variety of seasonings to pair with your favorite steak or veggies (the Special Shit Seasoning is what we used on our veggies).

-Special Shit Seasoning

-Fischer and Wieser Charred Pineapple Bourbon Sauce- Located in Fredericksburg, TX, Fischer and Wieser has a wide variety of sauces and include pictures on the label as a guide for pairing with meats. Any of their sauces would work. Also available at HEB.

-Cinnamon

-Cayenne Pepper

-Fresh mango and pineapple cut into large pieces and half rounds, respectively

FOR THE CHICKEN

  1. Sanitize your work area
  2. Rinse the chicken, place on a large pan or plate, and pat dry
  3. In a small bowl, pour olive oil and use a basting brush to coat chicken.

**TIP: If using chicken with skin on,  coat underneath skin with olive oil too.

  1. Generously coat the chicken, top, bottom, and under the skin, with the Chicken Shit seasoning.
  2. In a small bowl, pour marinade and use a basting brush to coat underneath the skin only. If cooking with skinless chicken, skip this step but have the marinade and basting brush ready to coat chicken towards the end of the cooking time.
  3. Turn the grill on and coat with cooking spray.

**TIP: Try adding a smoky flavor! Soak wood chips in water while prepping the chicken. Create a boat out of aluminum foil, place the wood chips in the boat, and place the boat under the grill. The wood chips can last for 1-2 more times of grilling.

  1. Let the grill heat to 375-400o This will be the temperature range to keep the grill throughout the entire process.
  2. Once the grill has reached the desired temperature, place the chicken skin side up on the grill.
  3. Monitor the temperature and allow chicken to cook for ~30 minutes. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. Once the chicken is in the 150o temperature range, apply the marinade to the tops of the chicken and flip the chicken skin side down. Let the chicken cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Flip the chicken over and check the temperature. The chicken is safe to remove from the grill once it has reached a temperature of 165o

FOR THE VEGETABLES

  1. Wash vegetables and pat dry. Cut vegetables to desired thickness and size.

**TIP: If using skewers, cut vegetables to approximate equal size.

  1. Place cut vegetables in a bowl and toss with olive oil and add a generous amount of Special Shit seasoning.
  2. Place vegetables on grill pan or skewers.

**TIP: If using skewers, make sure to space vegetables evenly apart so that they will cook evenly.

  1. Place vegetables on grill. Maintain grill temperature between 375-400oF for 20-30 minutes or until desired tenderness.

FOR THE FRUIT

  1. Cut fresh mango into large chunks. Use a corer to de-core pineapple into rings. Place mango and pineapple in a bowl and toss with 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of Cayenne pepper.
  2. Place fruit on a grill pan. Maintain grill temperature between 375-400oF for 20-30 minutes or until desired doneness. Fruit will be slightly darker in color and have some char.

 

ENJOY!!

Food Prep and Grilling by Cynthia Spurgat, MS, RD, LD

Videography and Post-Production by Tessa Comstock, MS, RD, LD

Sweets & Allergies - How the Easter Bunny Helps
Mar 30, 2021   06:36 PM
by Tessa Comstock, MS RD LD

Easter is coming up! It’s a time of celebration, and Easter egg hunts and baskets are going to be plentiful. But how do we navigate things like food allergies and blood sugar control for diabetics? Our bodies don’t take time off for a holiday! In fact, food allergies affect 5.6 million American children under 18. Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction requires an emergency room visit! More than 40% of children with food allergies experience severe reactions, which are life-threatening, and immediate treatment is required.

How do I know if a food contains allergens? Ingredients labels can help identify if a food contains one of these allergens, but it’s important to know how to read these labels. Sometimes labels make it easy to identify allergens, stating that a food “CONTAINS” or “MAY CONTAIN” some common allergens. These are not suitable for those allergic to that food. Additionally, not all food labels provide these distinctions, so it’s important to read ingredient labels to make sure the product does not contain allergens. When in doubt, leave it out if you cannot confirm there are no allergens, and you are trying to be mindful of those with allergies.



Allergen-Free Foods certainly do exist! There are allergy-friendly food manufacturers that clearly label their products. Some brands that target this population even exclude common allergens in all of their products! An internet search for “Allergen free foods” will provide a useful list. Some of these brands and companies even have candy!

Easter treats and sugar: How Not To Overdo it 

Once we’ve hunted those eggs and discovered our treats at Easter, it’s hard not to dig in to our favorite things! What do we need to keep in mind?

How much sugar can I have in one day? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, less than 10% of calories should come from added sugars per day, which is most of the sugar found in candy. (Note: 1 gram of sugar=4 calories.) Added sugars can be found on the nutrition facts label, but sometimes it is not separated from natural sugars already found in that food and is just listed as “Sugars.” For example, yogurt naturally contains 12 g lactose per cup, but sometimes has added sugar that isn’t listed as “Added Sugars”. In this case, it’s better to count “sugars” in your total daily intake, trying not to exceed the amount listed in the table below. Maximum daily amounts for kids and adults are listed below in grams, based on the calorie recommendations for gender and age group:

Age Group and Gender

Maximum Amount of Added Sugar Daily Based on DGA Calorie Levels

Child, 1-3 years

25 g

Female, 4-8

30 g

Male, 4-8

35-40 g*

Female, 9-13

40 g

Male, 9-13

45 g

Female, 14-18

45 g

Male, 14-18

55-80 g

Female, 19-30

50 g

Male, 19-30

60-75 g*

Female, 31-50

45 g

Male, 31-50

55 g

Female, 51+

40 g

Male, 51+

50 g

Source: 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Appendix 1. www.dietaryguidelines.gov

*Ranges are based on higher calorie needs, which depend on height, weight, and activity level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that these are generalized recommendations, and you or your loved ones may have different needs!

How much is in one piece? Even the “fun size” and “mini” versions of each candy bar can still pack a pretty big punch in calories and sugar, most of which will be considered “Added Sugar.” Each type varies, and here is a list for reference:

Candy

Serving Size

Calories

Carbs (g)

Fat (g)

3 Musketeers

Fun Size Bar

70

13

2

Baby Ruth Bar

Fun Size Bar

83

12

4

Butterfinger

Fun Size Bar

100

15

4

Tootsie Pop

One Pop

60

15

1

Good and Plenty’s

15 pieces

64

16

0

Hershey’s Assorted Minis

One Miniature

42

5

3

Junior Mints

Snack Size Box

80

16

2

Kit Kat Bar

Snack Size Bar

90

11

5

M&M’s

Fun Size Bag

100

15

5

Milky Way

Fun Size Bar

75

12

3

Milky Way Dark

Fun Size Bar

84

14

3

Mounds

Fun Size Bar

92

11

5

Reese’s

One Cup

110

12

6.5

Reese’s Pieces

Fun Size Bag

95

11

4.5

Skittles

Fun Size Bag

60

14

1

Smarties

One Roll

25

6

0

Snickers

Fun Size Bar

95

12

5

Sweet Tarts

Fun Size Pack

23

5

0

Twix

Fun Size

80

10

4

Whoppers

Fun Size Box

30

6

1

York Peppermint Patty

Snack Size

70

14

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: JumpstartMD.org. https://www.jumpstartmd.com/resources/healthy-living/fat-carbs-calories-halloween-candy/

How can I make it easier to limit intake? Pairing a piece of candy with some protein, fruit, whole grain, or vegetables makes it easier to just have a single piece at a time. A fun-size bar with some peanut butter and apples, popcorn and almonds, cheese and whole-grain crackers, or berries and pecans are some ideas that pair well with chocolate and make the candy treat a bit heartier, slowing the blood sugar spike from the candy. 

If the Easter Bunny needs to make some goodies available for someone that can’t always consume typical Easter treats, here are some ideas to promote inclusion:

 
  • Glow sticks
  • Pencils or crayons
  • Bubbles
  • Noisemakers
  • Puzzles
  • Notepads
  • Stickers
  • Beads
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Moldable putty and clay (make sure it’s gluten free!)
  • Kites
  • Bubble bath
  • Sunglasses
  • Books
  • Water guns
  • Legos
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Puzzles
  • Twisty straws
  • Finger puppets


    …and so many more ideas!

 

Happy Easter from OdomRD! Let us know if we can help with any other ideas to help the Easter Bunny make it a safe holiday for all!

Power Outages: What To Do
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Texas suffered a statewide power outage that lasted several days for some households, and safely storing food became a HUGE focus for many people! We've created a printable handout to post on your fridge or wherever it's handy in case you suffer an electricity outage in the future. It's not a guarantee that food will be lost in the event of an outage, and we've highlighted the Dos and Don'ts to prevent food loss and foods that are riskier to keep safely.


Preparation is key in any event, so please add this to your resources!

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