Archives for August 2014

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta


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1 box pasta, penne, 100% whole-wheat, or multigrain penne,uncooked
4 T  oil, olive, or canola oil
1 onion(s), chopped
3 t minced garlic
5 or 6 cups chicken, breast (cooked), 3/4-inch pieces
2 cans tomatoes, diced, 14.5 oz can undrained
2 cans tomato sauce, (8 oz)
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
2 1/2 teaspoon basil, dried


1.  In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
2.  Meanwhile, in nonstick electric skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and chicken; cook 15  minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Add  garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano and basil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini mixture is hot.
3.  Pour chicken mixture over pasta. Toss to coat.  

8 Herbs and Spices That Fight Disease by Deborah Long


The Delicious Health Benefits
You already know how important your diet is for health; you know to eat your greens and sample a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. But do you know that your spice cabinet and herb garden may provide you with powerful protection against disease, as well? Read on to discover eight common pantry items that deliver uncommon health benefits.
Some words of caution: Do not attempt to self-administer these herbs and spices as a cure. While a sprinkle or two in your meal may be good for you (and delicious!), eating them in large quantities could be dangerous. The therapeutic doses used to produce results in the following controlled studies are a promising step toward proving their worth as remedies in clinical trials. Talk to your doctor about how you can reap the benefits of herbs and spices, and be sure to ask your pharmacist about foods that may trigger reactions or otherwise work against your prescription drugs.

Cinnamon and Parkinson’s Disease

Cinnamon, which comes from the bark of a type of evergreen tree, is said to contain more antioxidants than any other spice. Among other feats, it’s been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and to reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. Now a new study suggests it also may help combat Parkinson’s disease, though researchers have yet to test this theory in clinical trials.
According to Kalipada Pahan, the lead researcher of a recent study done at Rush University Medical Center, cinnamon may help to alleviate or prevent the tremors and poor mobility suffered by those with Parkinson’s disease. The key to cinnamon’s power against Parkinson’s is a compound that is turned to sodium benzoate in the liver. The sodium benzoate is then sent to the brain, where it protects neurons and normalizes neurotransmitters.

Oregano and Staph Infections

There are so many good reasons to season your favorite savory dishes with oregano! Among the herb’s attributes are fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, according to a study done by the Department of Agriculture, on a gram-per-gram, fresh-weight basis, oregano has four times more antioxidants than blueberries.
With so much goodness packed in each leaf, maybe the study done by a team of medical researchers in Italy shouldn’t come as a great surprise. The team used essential oil of oregano to kill drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Their study was published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, and the results have inspired follow-up studies to see if oregano may help stem the rising tide of drug-resistant staph infections in the United States and elsewhere.
Read about the other 6 at

One-Pot Parmesan Chicken Ziti







This is a Parmesan Chicken Ziti dish I adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe. For our family, I doubled it. It was so good. Please try it.


4 cups of water

2 cans (12 oz. each) evaporated milk

1 t salt

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 1 t. minced garlic

1 lb uncooked ziti pasta

2 t cornstarch

2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken

6 oz shredded Parmesan cheese

Juice of 2 medium lemons

2 T butter


In Dutch oven, heat water, 1 can of the evaporated milk, the salt, garlic and pasta to simmering over medium heat. Simmer 12 to 14  minutes, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender.

2 In medium bowl, beat remaining can of evaporated milk and the cornstarch; stir in chicken. Add to mixture in Dutch oven; return to simmering, and continue to simmer 1 to 3 minutes or until thickened and mixture coats back of spoon.

3 Remove from heat; stir in half of the cheese and the lemon juice. Stir until cheese melts, then add remaining cheese (reserving 1/4 cup for serving, if desired) and butter; stir again.

4 Serve with reserved cheese and pepper.