Category Archives for Recipes

Hemochromatosis Recipe: Blueberry Salad with Grilled Turmeric Chicken

Hemochromatosis Salad Recipe: Blueberry Salad with Grilled Turmeric Chicken
Hemochromatosis Salad Recipe: Blueberry Salad with Grilled Turmeric Chicken

This fun mixture of flavors makes for a colorful salad: beautiful blueberries with fresh green lettuce, pure white cheese and bright orange grilled chicken.

The ingredients in this salad bring many tools for combating iron overload to the table: namely calcium and polyphenols. Also significant is what this recipe does not include: it is naturally low in iron enhancers such as vitamin C or carotenoids, and uses lower-iron ingredients such as chicken and butterhead lettuce (as compared to higher iron options for protein and salad greens).

This recipe comes from my book, Cooking for Hemochromatosis, and is an example of the many creative ways to still enjoy cooking and eating delicious food when you have iron overload.

Why This Recipe Works for Hemochromatosis

CHICKEN:

When trying to eat a low-iron diet, animal meat is sometimes one of the first food groups to go. However, chicken tends to not be as high in iron as you might suspect, and meals made with chicken often make excellent options for lower-iron eating.

FETA OR BLUE CHEESE:

Calcium-rich dairy products like feta or blue cheese provide excellent blocking of both heme and non-heme iron from this entrée salad.

TURMERIC, CURRY POWDER, BLUEBERRIES AND PECANS:

Turmeric, curry powder, blueberries and pecans are all very rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are health-promoting antioxidant nutrients that prevent iron from being absorbed from a meal. This recipe includes polyphenolic-rich foods in multiple places to boost their overall effects!

SALAD DRESSING:

Many salad dressings include acidic-ingredients such as vinegar, citrus juice, or soy-sauce, all of which can enhance iron absorption and are contraindicated in low-iron recipes. This recipe utilizes the natural flavors in the ingredients with a simple olive oil coating to maintain the flavor without accentuating iron absorption from the salad ingredients.

Blueberry Salad with Grilled Turmeric Chicken

This fun mixture of flavors makes for a colorful salad: beautiful blueberries with fresh green lettuce, pure white cheese and bright orange grilled chicken. From Cooking for Hemochromatosis by Kristina Lewis, ND.
Course Main Course Salad
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword colorful, healthy, hemochromatosis-friendly, low-iron
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 440kcal
Author Dr. Kristina Lewis, ND

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 g) chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) thick strips
  • Salt and black pepper as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups (120 g) coarsely chopped butterhead lettuce
  • 1 cup (144 g) fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup (60 g) pecan halves
  • 2 ounces (58 g) feta or blue cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  • Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, make a paste with the turmeric, curry powder, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil. Coat the chicken strips in the paste and set them aside.
  • Preheat the grill, electric grill, or stovetop grill pan to medium-high heat (400°F [200°C]). Spray it with cooking spray then add the chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side (or 5 to 7 minutes total with a two-sided electric grill) until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • Fill 4 salad bowls with the lettuce and coat it with the remaining 4 tablespoons (60 ml) oil, then top with the chicken strips, blueberries, pecans, and cheese.

Notes

Why This Recipe Works for Hemochromatosis
  • Maximum 1.6 mg iron per serving.
  • Iron is blocked by the:
    • phytates in pecans;
    • polyphenols in turmeric, curry, blueberries and pecans;
    • calcium in cheese and pecans.
  • Iron is not enhanced because:
    • the vegetables recommended are low in vitamin C and carotenoids;
    • this recipe does not use a vinegar-based salad dressing.
Nutritional Information provided for educational purposes only.

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Hemochromatosis Recipe: Buttermilk Green Tea Roasted Chicken

Hemochromatosis Chicken Recipe: Buttermilk Green Tea Roasted Chicken
Hemochromatosis Chicken Recipe: Buttermilk Green Tea Roasted Chicken

When trying to eat a low-iron diet, animal meat is sometimes one of the first food groups to go. However, chicken tends to not be as high in iron as you might suspect, and meals made with chicken often make excellent options for lower-iron eating.

This easy week-night recipe starts with a classic technique (roasted chicken) and incorporates it with a delicious calcium and polyphenol-rich marinade to further limit iron absorption. Buttermilk is rich in calcium and makes a delicious marinade for chicken. The addition of green tea doesn’t affect the taste—you’d never know it was in this meal!

This recipe comes from my book, Cooking for Hemochromatosis, and is an example of the many creative ways to still enjoy cooking and eating delicious food when you have iron overload.

Why This Recipe Works for Hemochromatosis

CHICKEN:

As a lower-iron meat, this chicken dish only has 1.5 mg iron per 3-ounce (84-g) serving. Due to the addition of the calcium and polyphenol-rich ingredients used in this recipe, the total iron absorbed by your body will end up being even less!

BUTTERMILK:

Calcium-rich dairy products like buttermilk provide excellent blocking of both heme and non-heme iron from this chicken entrée.

GREEN TEA:

Green tea and the herbs thyme, sage, and rosemary, are all very rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are health-promoting antioxidant nutrients that prevent iron from being absorbed from a meal.

MARINADE:

Most marinades are going to include acidic-ingredients such as vinegar, citrus juice, or soy-sauce, all of which can enhance iron absorption and are contraindicated in low-iron recipes. This marinade preserves the tenderness and flavor of a traditional marinade without accentuating iron absorption from the meal. Win-win!

Buttermilk Green Tea Roasted Chicken

Buttermilk is rich in calcium and makes a delicious marinade for chicken. The addition of green tea doesn’t affect the taste—you’d never know it was in this meal. From Cooking for Hemochromatosis by Kristina Lewis, ND.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, green tea, healthy, hemochromatosis-friendly, low-iron
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinade 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 280kcal
Author Dr. Kristina Lewis, ND

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (2 g) dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) brewed green tea chilled
  • 2 pounds (900 g) skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, legs, and so on)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the thyme, sage, mustard seeds, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Stir in the honey, buttermilk, and green tea. Place the chicken and the marinade in a large resealable bag or lidded bowl then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. 
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a medium roasting tray with foil. Let the excess marinade drip off the chicken pieces and place the pieces on the prepared roasting tray. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the chicken skin is crispy and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Nutritional Information provided for educational purposes only.

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Hemochromatosis Recipe: Split Pea and Mint Soup

Hemochromatosis Vegetarian Recipe: Split Pea and Mint Soup
Hemochromatosis Vegetarian Recipe: Split Pea and Mint Soup

This beautiful green soup, a vegetarian hemochromatosis recipe, is low iron while being rich in protein and phytates, making it a great lunch or dinner for those looking for low-iron recipes. The mint brings a freshness to the overall flavor that is really pleasant!

You can make this into a vegan recipe by using non-dairy milk or by eliminating the milk altogether. Alternatively, if you’re not a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the vegetable stock with chicken stock.

This recipe comes from my book, Cooking for Hemochromatosis, and is an example of the many creative ways to still enjoy cooking and eating delicious meals when you have iron overload.

Why This Recipe Works for Hemochromatosis

SPLIT PEAS:

Legumes, such as split peas, are excellent sources of plant-based protein that are also rich in iron-blocking phytates. Some legumes may also be high in iron, but split peas are some of the lowest-iron legumes. When cooked correctly and combined intelligently, legumes become very good options for an iron-reducing diet.

VEGETABLES:

A challenge when adding vegetables into a hemochromatosis recipe is to watch out that the vegetables themselves are not high in iron. It’s also important to make sure they are not too high in iron-enhancers like vitamin C or carotenoids, which can cause the iron in the rest of the meal to be absorbed in greater amounts. Although green peas and onions both contain some of these nutrients, I have carefully adjusted the portions to keep their impact on iron absorption minimized so you can safely enjoy these healthy foods!

MILK:

Calcium-rich dairy products provide excellent blocking of both heme and non-heme iron. Non-dairy milk often contains calcium, too, so you are not limited to only cow’s milk products.

GREEN TEA:

Green tea is very rich in polyphenols; polyphenols are health-promoting antioxidant nutrients that prevent iron from being absorbed from a meal.

Split Pea and Mint Soup

This beautiful green soup is low iron but rich in protein, making it a great lunch. The mint brings a freshness to the overall flavor that is really pleasant. From Cooking for Hemochromatosis by Kristina Lewis, ND.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy, hemochromatosis-friendly, low-iron, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 1-cup (240-ml) servings
Calories 90kcal
Author Dr. Kristina Lewis, ND

Ingredients

  • cup (66 g) dried green split peas
  • cups (840 ml) water plus 1-2 Tbsp extra water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper plus more as needed
  • 2 green tea bags
  • 10 ounces (280 g) fresh or frozen green peas
  • 10 to 20 fresh mint leaves plus more as needed
  • Milk or cream optional, to taste

Instructions

  • Put the split peas and 3½ cups (840 ml) of the water in a large pot over high heat. Bring the split peas to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the split peas are tender and most of the water is absorbed. Scoop the cooked split peas from the pot into a small bowl.
  • In the same large pot over medium heat, combine oil, onions, and additional 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) water. Cook the onions for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 2 additional minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the split peas, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the green tea bags, stir, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the green peas and mint, and adjust the temperature as needed to keep the soup at a gentle simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, remove and discard the green tea bags, and let the soup cool for 10 minutes.
  • Puree the soup using a blender or immersion blender. Season the soup with additional salt, pepper, and/or mint to taste. Add the milk (if using) to make a creamy soup.
  • Serve the soup garnished with an additional mint leaf.

Notes

  • Use nondairy milk to make this soup vegan.
  • If you aren’t vegetarian, chicken stock will also work well in this recipe.
  • For a thicker soup, simmer longer to reduce the liquid to your desired consistency.
Nutritional Information provided for educational purposes only.

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Hemochromatosis Breakfast Recipe: Baked Eggs in Avocado

Hemochromatosis Breakfast Recipe: Baked Egg in Avocado
Hemochromatosis Breakfast Recipe: Baked Egg in Avocado

Breakfast can be a challenging meal when you learn you have hemochromatosis. A reader once wrote, “I need breakfast ideas as most of the cereals I used to eat I found out were iron-fortified!” Breakfast foods are also often heavy in iron-rich meats and may be served with vitamin C–rich fruit or fruit juices, adding to the frustration.

Thankfully, many traditional breakfast foods can still be incorporated into a hemochromatosis diet. This recipe comes from my book, Cooking for Hemochromatosis, and is an example of the many breakfast ideas available when you have iron overload.

Why This Recipe Works for Hemochromatosis

EGGS:

In the world of hemochromatosis, if you like or can eat eggs, they can quickly become one of your best friends. They can be an excellent source of dietary protein that doesn’t increase iron levels.

At first glance, eggs seem to be high in iron. One large chicken egg contains just shy of 1 mg of iron. But egg also contain something called phosvitin, the “egg factor” that blocks iron not only from the egg itself but also from the rest of the meal. The more eggs you eat at one sitting, the more iron that’s blocked from that meal! Studies have shown that adding three eggs to a meal may reduce iron absorption by nearly 80 percent.*

AVOCADO:

A nutrient-dense fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable!), avocado is full of good fats, naturally low in sugar and salt, and delicious. The good news for you is that it’s also naturally low in iron!

CURRY POWDER:

Curry powder is just one of many herbs and spices high in polyphenols, health-promoting antioxidant nutrients also prevent iron from being absorbed from a meal.

Cooking for Hemochromatosis Cookbook
 

Baked Eggs in Avocado

This recipe makes a satisfying and filling breakfast to start your day. Don’t worry if your avocado is overripe—this recipe will still turn out just fine! From Cooking for Hemochromatosis by Kristina Lewis, ND.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword eggs, hemochromatosis-friendly, low-carb, low-iron
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 Servings
Calories 260kcal
Author Dr. Kristina Lewis, ND

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Curry powder to taste (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (3 g) fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • Olive oil to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Slice a small section from the back of each half to make a flat surface in the skin, then place both halves, flesh-side up, on a small rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out some of the flesh to make a little more space for the eggs but don’t go all the way to the skin. Place the scooped-out avocado flesh in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper and curry powder (if using) on both avocado halves. Carefully break an egg into each half, being sure not to break the yolks. Sprinkle some additional salt and pepper and curry powder (if using) on the eggs if desired.
  • Bake the avocado halves for 15 minutes for a poached egg (with a runny yolk), or 18 to 20 minutes if you prefer your eggs more solid.
  • While the eggs are baking, add salt, the cilantro, and olive oil to the reserved avocado. Mash lightly to make a topping for the eggs.
  • Once the eggs are done, remove them from the oven and let them sit 1 minute. Place each avocado half in a bowl. Scrape up any crispy eggs that remain on the baking sheet and add them to each bowl for an extra crunch. Top the eggs with the avocado-herb mixture and eat with a spoon.

Notes

  • If you’ve ever cut open an avocado only to realize it was too hard and not ripe yet, this is a great way to salvage it. After being baked, the avocado will end up perfectly soft, no matter how it starts out.
  • Don’t be tempted to skip lining the baking sheet with foil; this recipe can create a very stubborn baked-on mess that takes a lot of elbow grease to clean. Trust me on this one.
Nutritional Information provided for educational purposes only.

*Leif Hallberg and Lena Hulthén, “Prediction of Dietary Iron Absorption: An Algorithm for Calculating Absorption and Bioavailability of Dietary iron,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71, no. 5 (May 2000): 1147–1160, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/71.5.1147.

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