About Dr. Gourmet

My name is Timothy Harlan and I am both a physician and a chef. This blog is a general collection of information and random ideas on eating great food and eating healthy.

You can find out more at the Dr. Gourmet web site. Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!

Categories

Breakfast Options from Artisan Bistro : Dr. Gourmet Reviews

Mediterranean Breakfast Stack and Huevos Rancheros Verde

I have said this many times when writing this column: I just don’t know why the category of frozen breakfast food exists. Breakfast is so easy that it seems silly to spend about three or four times as much money than you have to by pulling a package from the freezer and heating it in the microwave. It takes about the same amount of time to toast a slice of bread and scramble an egg. But there are more and more breakfast foods in the freezer case, leading me to believe that there is demand, so here we are reviewing a few more.

Artisan Bistro is a brand that we generally think well of here at Dr. Gourmet World Headquarters. They have had some misses but their seafood meals are amongst the best on the market. We had high hopes for their breakfast products and started with the Mediterranean Breakfast Stack. Breakfast options from Artisan Bistro »

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Holiday Brussels Sprouts : New Recipes @ DrGourmet.com

Holiday Brussels Sprouts

I call these “holiday” brussels sprouts, but they can be for any time of the year. It is just that the cranberries make them so festive, and the rich savory flavor of the ham combined with the sweetness of the cranberries makes a great complement to the slight bitterness of the sprouts. Serve this with a savory pork dish or roasted chicken breast.

Honey Mustard Sage Pork Tenderloin

Searing meat does not take a lot of oil. The key is a hot pan and to leave the meat alone. It seems that the pork is sticking to the pan, but as the proteins cook the meat will shrink slightly and the surface caramelizes. That is the point at which the pork will release from the pan. Turn it over and repeat. It requires patience and one technique is to shake the pan slightly. When the meat is ready to turn, it will shake away from being stuck to the pan.

More Holiday Side Dish Suggestions

Roasted Yams with Rosemary
This recipe is so quick and simple. The roasted yams are great hot but the dish was designed to be taken on picnics or for that late summer meal when you want something that’s cool but with substance.

Mashed Yams
This is the perfect recipe to substitute for mashed potatoes. The same creamy mashed potato dish that’s so comforting with the twist of added flavor. And the added benefit of more fiber!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts
This recipe is a variation of the Lemon Butter Brussels Sprouts. The idea for shredding them is not mine but a friend Chef Michael Omo, from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. He served these to me at a lovely dinner in his home. At first I thought they were leeks, the flavor was so luscious and sweet. If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try them a la Chef Omo.

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
While this recipe is cooking your house will fill up with the lovely aroma of thyme. Great hot or cold, take this dish to your next potluck: easy, colorful and delicious.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Fruits' fiber for life : Dr. Gourmet's Health and Nutrition Bites

The Mediterranean Diet is considered a pattern of eating with nine components: vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, cereals (whole grains), fish, olive oil, dairy products, meats, and alcohol. Last week we discussed a study that suggests that it’s the overall pattern – not one specific component - that contributes to reduced cellular aging.Nevertheless, research continues into the effects of the specific components in an effort to understand how those individual nine points contribute to the diet as a whole.

In Spain, an ongoing study known as PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) (in English: Prevention with the Mediterranean Diet) yields today’s insights into the role of fiber in the Mediterranean Diet (Am J Clin Nutr 2014;100:1498-1507).

Between 2003 and 2009, the PREDIMED study authors recruited over 8,000 total participants: men between the ages of 55 and 80 and women 60 to 80 who were at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. They had no active heart disease at the start of the study, but they either had type 2 diabetes or had at least 3 risk factors for heart disease (these include things like smoking, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol scores, overweight or obesity, or family history of heart disease). The participants responded to detailed dietary questionnaires on a yearly basis and also provided blood samples for lab testing. Fruits’ fiber »

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Multiple Intolerances; Rennet; Cilantro: Ask Dr. Gourmet

Dear Dr. Gourmet,

Q: I have discovered I am lactose intolerant, as well as gluten intolerant. Do these afflictions often go together? Does taking lactase “with the first bite” of cheese really help?

A: Lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity are not related. There is a condition where some people develop an allergic type reaction to the proteins in milk, but this is not the same as lactose intolerance. Using lactase products, however, can help a lot for many people with lactose deficiency. Gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance »

Q: My husband is taking Coumadin, so can’t have cilantro. I have read that celery leaves could substitute. Celery is low in Vitamin K, but I can’t find anything about celery leaves. Also, does dried coriander seed have the same high content as cilantro? Is there anything else you can suggest that could substitute for cilantro in flavor?

A: I am not sure where you got the idea that your husband could not have cilantro. One-quarter cup of cilantro contains 12.4 micrograms of Vitamin K, which would be considered fairly safe for those taking Coumadin (warfarin). A quarter of a cup of cilantro is a fair amount of cilantro, however – few recipes will yield that much cilantro in a single serving. Coumadin (warfarin) and cilantro »

Q: Can you please tell me if Parmigiano – Reggiano cheese is suitable for vegetarians? If not what is the animal ingredient used?

A: The essential ingredients in Parmigiano – Reggiano, as with most cheeses, are milk, salt and rennet.

It depends on the type of vegetarian that you are whether you will eat cheese or not. Rennet is a complex of enzymes that helps catalyze the fermentation of the cheese and is considered an animal product because it is produced in the animal’s stomach.Rennet and Parmigiano-Reggiano »

Have a question? Send it to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and your question may be answered in this newsletter. Dr. Harlan regrets that due to time constraints, he can not answer all questions submitted. Your question may already have been answered in our Ask Dr. Gourmet archive.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

More Holiday Suggestions for Smaller Groups : Dr. Gourmet Newsletter

Chef Tim Says….

 More than one patient has told me in the last few weeks that they really appreciated the holiday suggestions for smaller groups of people. Today’s featured recipe and the suggested sides is in response to that. It is deceptively simple: minced shallots with honey, mustard, and sage over pork tenderloin. Ready to serve in about thirty minutes, in that same time you can roast yams, parsnips, and carrots and have a whole meal for four people. Even if you’re just cooking for yourself, you’ll have great leftovers that you can use in other ways, including toppings for salads or sandwich fixings.

Pork tenderloin is lean and flavorful. You can roast it, braise it, grill it, or cut it into medallions for small filets – almost anything. This recipe can be doubled for two tenderloins since in most grocery stores they are sold in 2 packs, with each tenderloin in the pack being about a pound.

Honey Mustard Sage Pork Tenderloin

Searing meat does not take a lot of oil. The key is a hot pan and to leave the meat alone. It seems that the pork is sticking to the pan, but as the proteins cook the meat will shrink slightly and the surface caramelizes. That is the point at which the pork will release from the pan. Turn it over and repeat. It requires patience and one technique is to shake the pan slightly. When the meat is ready to turn, it will shake away from being stuck to the pan.

Side Dish Suggestions

Roasted Yams with Rosemary
This recipe is so quick and simple. The roasted yams are great hot but the dish was designed to be taken on picnics or for that late summer meal when you want something that’s cool but with substance.

Mashed Yams
This is the perfect recipe to substitute for mashed potatoes. The same creamy mashed potato dish that’s so comforting with the twist of added flavor. And the added benefit of more fiber!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts
This recipe is a variation of the Lemon Butter Brussels Sprouts. The idea for shredding them is not mine but a friend Chef Michael Omo, from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. He served these to me at a lovely dinner in his home. At first I thought they were leeks, the flavor was so luscious and sweet. If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try them a la Chef Omo.

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
While this recipe is cooking your house will fill up with the lovely aroma of thyme. Great hot or cold, take this dish to your next potluck: easy, colorful and delicious.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Two More from Savoie's Foods : Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Creole Shrimp Fricassee and Louisiana Pork Stew

Back in October we reviewed two meals from a local company, Savoie’s Foods. We chose to review them because we’ve seen them in frozen food sections all over New Orleans, and unlike many other local frozen food brands, they contained fairly reasonable amounts of sodium.

It turned out to be one of those days that our tasting panel really lives up to our motto: “We eat it, so you don’t have to.”™ While the Shrimp Etouffee we reviewed had fairly good etouffee flavor, in effect it was a bowl of rice with a couple of tiny shrimp. No visible Holy Trinity (in New Orleans that means onions, green bell peppers, and celery). Just rice. That’s all. The Seafood Penne Pasta was even worse, with a gooey, Monterey-jack-reminiscent cheese sauce with visible floating globules of fat, mushy pasta, and once again, nearly non-existent seafood (one tiny shrimp. One.). Two More from Savoie’s Foods »

Did You Know?

We’ve reviewed over 700 convenience meals, ingredients, and even desserts! Check out our listings by main ingredient or brand name to find out if that meal that looks so good in the freezer case is really worth the money. Read more Dr. Gourmet’s Food Reviews »

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Live longer on a cellular level : Dr. Gourmet's Health and Nutrition Bites

Live longer (on a cellular level) with a Mediterranean Diet

Back in 2011 I wrote an article about telomeres and omega-3 fatty acids. I described telomeres in this way:

Your cells are constantly dying and being replaced by new cells, which are created by cell division. Telomeres are DNA sequences, and multiples of these telomeres form a protective cap on the ends of certain chromosomes. As these chromosomes are divided to create new cells, one or more of these telomeres are stripped from the ends of the chromosomes, which eventually leads to the breakdown of the chromosome and cellular death.

While it is natural and normal for cells to die, which is known as “programmed cell death,” emerging research posits that the number of telomeres present on certain cells is linked to biological aging, which is different from chronological age in that these telomeres are also affected by genetic and environmental factors. These negative factors can accelerate cellular death, and premature cellular death is linked to inflammatory states such as high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.

The article linked blood levels of fish- or shellfish-sourced omega-3 fatty acids with the length of the participants’ telomeres, showing that more omega-3s meant longer telomeres. Today’s research article essentially extends that research: making use of data gathered through the Nurses’ Health Study (a large-scale, long-term research study), scientists at Harvard assigned Mediterranean Diet scores to the dietary questionnaires of over 4,600 participating women who were considered “healthy controls:”…. Cellular aging and a Mediterranean-style diet »

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Blood Acidity; Iron; Kitchen Scales: Ask Dr. Gourmet

Dear Dr. Gourmet,

Q: It seems that several foods that have high omega 3 content are also quite acidic, like walnuts and sardines. Is there a connection between high acid blood levels and high blood glucose levels?

A: There is not really any such thing as “high blood acid levels.” Our bodies have an amazing ability to keep the acidity within a very tight range. While there are a lot of silly theories about acid and alkali blood levels, they are generally just that. There is no connection between GERD, blood acidity and blood glucose levels.Blood acidity »

Q: I just started on your diet plan. I thought it would be helpful to have a food scale. Can you recommend one for me? The one I have is a very cheap one and it won’t weigh ounces very well. For instance ounces of lean turkey will not move the needle.

A: I have used a variety of scales over the years and have settled on a digital scale. They are now relatively inexpensive (a good one used to cost hundreds of dollars) and are accurate to the gram. The scale I use presently is under $40.00 at Amazon and is made by Salter. Food scales »

Q: I came across your recipes on the internet and am wondering if when taking Coumadin and not being able to eat anything with vitamin K or iron, why do most of your recipes have foods with iron as well. Iron also has blood clotting properties. Could you direct me to recipes without K or iron?

A: Iron does not have blood clotting properties but is a key part of red blood cells. There is sometimes confusion because iron is an important part of hemoglobin, the molecule inside red blood cells that carries oxygen. Iron and Coumadin (warfarin) »

Have a question? Send it to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and your question may be answered in this newsletter. Dr. Harlan regrets that due to time constraints, he can not answer all questions submitted. Your question may already have been answered in our Ask Dr. Gourmet archive.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Balsamic Glazed Eggplant : Dr. Gourmet Newsletter

Dr. Tim Says….

 Getting more veggies in your diet is one of the basics of the Mediterranean Diet. The best part is that it’s the one thing you can’t get too much of. (You’ll never hear your doctor say, “Hmm, my lab tests show that you’ve been getting too many carrots.”)

Much of the research on vegetables in the diet is focused on the antioxidants abundant in everything from asparagus to zucchini. It is now clear that that you cannot get the same benefit from taking those vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in pill form. Recent studies show no benefit from taking supplements but getting the same vitamins from vegetables is pretty powerful. Each additional serving of fruit and vegetables per day reduces your risk of heart disease by 4%. That’s huge! But it’s not just about heart disease. Putting more veggies on your plate has been shown to reduce the risk of multiple types of cancers. Add to this that research also shows a clear weight loss benefit.

Maybe you’re like my patients who say, “But I just don’t like vegetables.” They are quite sincere when they say this. When I ask if there are any veggies they will eat I always get a response. They will say, “Oh, I do like squash,” or “Tomatoes and lettuce are fine.” I keep asking and they keep coming up with ones that they will eat.Vegetables »

Balsamic Glazed Eggplant with Creamy Polenta

This is a rich balsamic sauce that is sweet, slightly salty and vinegary all at the same time. It blends well with the umami flavor of the roasted eggplant and both complement the creamy polenta.

It is a simple, easy weeknight meatless meal that is great for you and tastes great. I like to add a lot of pepper to the sauce. As the eggplant roasts the pepper mellows and blends well with the other flavors.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites

Shrimp and Mirliton Casserole : New Recipes @ DrGourmet.com

Shrimp and Mirliton Casserole

Chayote squash is known as mirliton here in New Orleans. You can use it for almost anything – savory dishes, tacos, even desserts. I like this casserole because the spiciness is tempered by the mild mirliton and sweet shrimp. The bread crumb topping has a nice creamy texture and a bit of spice.

Substitute crab for the shrimp and you have a completely different dish with more robust seafood flavors.

Shrimp PuttanescaCoumadin Safe Version

People don’t like anchovies. I’m not sure why, but for the most part they don’t. They are fishy – too fishy really – and salty. Too salty. I don’t like them by themselves, but I do love them as ingredients.

They bring a salty, umami flavor to dishes that very little else does.

There are a lot of anchovies on the market today in the U.S.. The traditional anchovy is often labeled “filet of anchovy” and is just that: flat filets without the bones. I prefer the ones that are whole, like sardines. They vary greatly in the amount of salt, so keep an eye on how much you are adding.

If you really can’t stand them, use a bit of Worcestershire sauce instead. The sauce is made with a foundation of anchovies and other spices. Start with just a little bit – at most a tablespoon or so.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • MSN Reporter
  • NewsVine
  • FriendFeed
  • PDF
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites