Archive for May 2013

Recipe Review: Stuffed Green Peppers


Recipe Review: Stuffed Green Peppers
Recipe credit: (with slight modification) Stats: Prep time- 10 mins, Cook time- 55 mins, Yield- 4 servings
  • 4 green peppers
  • 6 medium fresh tomatoes (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 celery ribs (diced)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (8oz) of tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or you could do sausage, ground turkey, shredded chicken)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or cheddar)
  1. Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, onions, celery, tomato sauce, water, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer 10-15 mins. Meanwhile, cut tops off of green peppers & remove seeds. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine ground beef & basil. In a large skillet, saute beef until browned. Dran off excess fat & then Combine with above tomato mixture. Fill peppers with beef & tomato mixture.
  5. Place peppers open side up in a medium baking dish. Bake covered for 25-35 mins. Sprinkle cheese on top & then bake another 10-15 mins (until heated through & cheese is melted & bubbly.)
  6. ENJOY!!!

Review: This recipe was simple & delicious. I am into recipes that add variety to the weekly routine, but also utilize COMMON ingredients! This recipe has been a HIT every time I have made it. It is also reasonable & a recipe that you can modify to fit what you have in your pantry/ fridge. Meat can be of various sorts, as well as the vegetables/ seasonings you use! (For example, if you prefer garlic– use instead of basil.) I would highly recommend this recipe for its speed, simplicity & pure deliciousness. Happy cooking!

Bacon Apple Crock-Pot Chicken


Bacon Apple Crock-Pot Chicken
Serves: 4
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (can also be done with a whole chicken or thighs)
  • 2 apples- peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 cup homemade barbecue sauce
  • 8 pieces of bacon (nitrite free)
  1. Wrap each piece of chicken in 2 pieces of bacon and place in bottom of crock pot.
  2. Mix grated apple and barbecue sauce and pour over chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours until done.
This was so easy and so good! I used Annie's natural BBQ sauce that I got at Kroger. Look for one with no high fructose corn syrup. You can use spoon to shred the chicken when it's finished and put over a bed of lettuce or in a low carb wrap! How do you cook chicken in the crock-pot? Share below!

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Broken Heart Syndrome

“Oh, this is the big one! You hear that, Elizabeth?! I’m coming to join you, honey!” This was the classic, often-repeated line voiced by Fred Sanford in the sitcom “Sandford & Son, a long time ago. Nearly every episode, if he was stressed out or not getting his way, Fred (Redd Foxx) would clutch his chest dramatically, look up to heaven, and utter that line.

There is no doubt that emotional stress can trigger angina (heart pain, usually from blocked arteries) or even a heart attack. But what’s stranger is that it can occasionally cause a similar result in people with no artery blockage at all.

Recently, one of my patients, a woman in her 60’s was in the midst of heavy emotional stress as well as a physically painful nerve condition. As she was driving home she began to experience crushing chest pain and headed straight for an emergency room. Sure enough, her EKG showed the changes typical of a heart attack, and her blood samples showed the cardiac enzyme changes typical of heart damage as well. But oddly enough, when she went for a cardiac catheterization, her arteries were clean and open with no signs of the kind of artery-blocking plaque that normally leads to a heart attack. My patient’s diagnosis: Broken Heart Syndrome (BHS), or much less memorably, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM).

BHS is a temporary cardiac condition in which the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart) enlarges and stops pumping efficiently, causing symptoms that mimic a heart attack. It’s thought that BHS is brought on by the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones, possibly causing spasm of some of the coronary arteries. The symptoms are treatable, and the condition usually reverses itself in about a week. Nearly 95% have a full recovery in 4-8 weeks. Emotional or physical stressors that may trigger BHS include events such as learning of a death of a loved one, bad financial news, legal threats, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, a newly diagnosed, significant medical condition, surgery, the use of or withdrawal from illicit drugs (especially cocaine or methamphetamine), or any number of other major life events.

Roughly 2% of patients who had suspected heart attacks or acute angina episodes are subsequently diagnosed with BHS. Patients are typically Asian or Caucasian. Interestingly enough, nearly 90% of reported cases involve older women with an average age of 67. However, there have also been some rare cases in children and young adults.

BHS is another reminder that our emotional lives are intricately tied in with our physical lives. A biblical proverb says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” It turns out a stressed out life really can occasionally break the heart.

Andrew Smith, MD is board-certified in Family Medicine and practices at 1503 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville. Contact him at 982-0835