Saturday, October 31, 2009
- the 1918 influenza pandemic
- severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
- avian influenza H5N1
- creutzfeldt-jakob disease
- e. coli 0157:H7
- lyme disease
- west nile virus
- yellow fever
Many modern diseases started out as zoonotic diseases. Examples include measles and smallpox. The appearance of new zoonotic pathogens in human populations has increased due to the increased contact between humans and wildlife. The other influencing factor that helps spread diseases in a quick manner across continents is due to air travel. You can get anywhere in the world within 24 hours. Climate change is also an important consideration.
New funding is being made available by the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) for five new initiatives. USAID is putting effort into this research funding in order for the world to be better prepared for infectious diseases. A good example of an infectious disease that we are all experiencing is H1N1. One of these five initiatives will be done by the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) who is receiving funding of up to $75 million over five years to develop a global early warning system called PREDICT. The UC Davis team is developing a global consortium to implement an early warning system. They will be active in hotspots around the world where wildlife hosts have significant interactions with domestic animals and high-density human populations. I know this must sound like a hollywood movie and if fact there have been some movies made on this very topic. Sometimes fiction is not far from the truth.
So why does this all make sense. It has to do with the holistic concept of recognizing that human, animal and environmental health are all linked and need to be thought of as 'One Health'. This concept makes tremendous sense to me. The science daily article quoted above provides a bit more information on the work to be done by the UC Davis. Global pandemic diseases can have a huge effect on human and animal health and the economic impact can not be ignored.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I recently found a recipe that takes a basic chicken vegetable soup and then adds peanut butter to it. This addition of peanut butter changed the taste of the soup. I like peanut butter, almond butter and the other nut butters. You will always find peanut butter and almond butter in my kitchen. Even the dog likes peanut butter. In fact, he loves peanut butter. If he is left at home because he can’t come with us on an outing, we always take a big dollop of peanut butter and put it inside one of his toys. He watches with anticipation while we maneuver the peanut butter into the small opening of the toy on top of the kitchen counter. He usually doesn’t sit quietly but is springing a bit off the floor with some excitement. He lies on the front rug with this rubber toys between his paws and effectively licks out the peanut butter. He has us well trained.
Let’s get back to the soup….The soup is simply delicious. It is a keeper and I have been having it for lunch for the past three days. It is on the menu again tomorrow. The soup has a smooth nutty taste and smells great. The recipe calls for chicken but you can use turkey. I had a frozen turkey carcass that I knew would make great stock so I used that instead. Here is the recipe.
PEANUT BUTTER VEGETABLE CHICKEN SOUP
10 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 small potatoes, diced
4 medium size carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cups shredded zucchini
½ bell pepper, diced
1 - 28 oz can of tomatoes or 6 frozen tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup peanut butter
¼ to ½ cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine broth, chicken and veggies in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are tender. You can simmer for a longer period of time if time allows.
2. Add peanut butter, cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir until peanut butter is blended. Simmer for 3 minutes or so. Makes 10 servings.
Instead of using chicken broth you can make turkey broth from a turkey carcass. You can also add other vegetables including corn niblets, broccoli or cauliflower.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I came across this recipe on the internet site simplyrecipes.com and thought it would be interesting to make for several reasons. I like walnuts, apples and blue cheese and I thought that the combination of all three of them would work well. Secondly, it looked more simple to make as you only needed one pie crust instead of the usual two for a pie. The recipe calls for a 10 inch pie crust. You can buy a flat pie crust or make one. I made my pie crust and since my recipe makes two pie crusts, I froze one of them for future use.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot, edamame beans and celery and cook for another minute or two. Drain into a colander and set aside Cover the colander with the lid from the pot to keep it warm.
- In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, chili sauce and sugar.
- Add the spinach, green onions, chicken and noodle mixture to the large bowl. Toss well. The heat from the noodles will wilt the spinach.
Friday, October 23, 2009
- Basic cooked parsnips. Slice up several parsnips and cook over a medium boil until tender. Drain and serve. I like to add a few dabs of butter and some fresh ground pepper to the parsnips on my plate.
- Mashed parsnips with potatoes and carrots. There are several combinations you can choose from. I have cooked sliced parsnips with sliced potatoes and carrots until tender. Drain and mash well with a little bit of butter and milk. You can also add a tsp or two of low fat cream cheese when you are starting to mash this mixture. You can also just cook parsnips and potatoes and leave the carrots out. The proportions of potatoes to parsnips and carrots are equal. I use two small potatoes, two parsnips and two carrots. I love the combination of these three root vegetables.
- French fries. These fries are made in the oven, baked at 375 degrees F. I cut up potatoes, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch sticks which are about the size of store bought frozen fries. Toss in a mixing bowl with about two to three tbsp of olive oil. You can add salt and pepper and fresh or dried rosemary (1 tsp) to the mixture in the bowl. The amount of root vegetables you cut depends on how many you are feeding. When I am figuring out the amount of vegetables to cut up, I don't plan to have enough for leftovers as these fries lose their crispness in the fridge overnight. After tossing them well in the bowl, spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until browned. Half way through the cooking time, turn them over. Some people will line the baking sheet with parchment paper for an easier clean up and less mess. I like using my pampered chef clay baking dishes as I don't need to turn the root mixture half way through the cooking time and I don't use parchment paper. The veggies brown and crisp up really nicely using the clay baking dishes.
- Split pea soup with dill. This recipe from Bonnie Stern is one of my favorite soups during the winter. I will make it sometime over the next month and provide the full recipe. The recipe uses green split peas, carrots, potatoes and parsnips. Towards the end of the cooking time you add some dried spaghetti broken into smaller pieces and dill.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Besides making soups, I like baking. Not the fancy tarts, multi layered cakes with different kinds of frosting or fancy cheesecakes but breads, muffins, pies and cookies. It is what I call the basic food groups. Besides the cookbooks that I collect which are kept in their bookcase, I keep an organized and tabbed recipe binder. My binder is organized much like a cookbook and similar food groups are kept together. I have one section on muffins, breads and cereals. I decided tonight to make a great low fat muffin. If you are counting points, one muffin is one point on WW.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
- Heat oil in large soup pot and saute the onions, celery, sweet pepper and garlic on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots and parsnips to the pot. Saute for a few minutes.
- Add the stock, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- You need to puree the soup, either the whole pot or half to two thirds. You can puree using a blender, a puree hand wand or a potato masher. When chopping the vegetables before adding them to the pot at the start of the recipe, I decided to finely chop the carrots, cauliflower, sweet potato and parsnips in the blender. It took several sessions as this is a lot of vegetables. I did not chop the celery, onions and sweet pepper using a blender but did it using a knife and cutting board.
- Add the milk, dill and thyme and salt and pepper to taste. This recipe makes about 8 servings.