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Food & Cystic Fibrosis: The Best Meals You Can Cook Tonight

Posted by Erin Lowry on Aug 13, 2018 10:57:00 AM

 

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For those with cystic fibrosis (CF), it can be hard to maintain a healthy weight, as many of the nutrients are not getting to the stomach to be absorbed.

CF can cause malnutrition as the pancreas is affected by CF, which slows down the enzymes that the pancreas makes and causes it to get stuck.

These enzymes help the body digest and absorb nutrition, but the buildup of sticky mucus can prevent those enzymes from getting where they need to go.

Even when supplemental enzymes are taken, they body still cannot fully digest all of the nutrients from the food consumed.

When the body does not get many of the nutrients you eat, it requires you to eat foods that are high in calories and protein more often during the day.

We pulled together very nutrient rich foods in order to help you and your family make the best of every meal.

Breakfast for Dinner:

One of the best childhood memories was breakfast for dinner, it was such a special treat and it was always so tasty.

Eggs are some of the best and healthiest foods because they are filled with protein, vitamins and healthy fats.

Banana Pancakes:

What you will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana

Not only can you make eggs to go with dinner, you can use them in these two ingredient banana pancakes.

Like regular pancakes, you need to heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine 2 large eggs and 1 medium banana (mashed) in a bowl until well combined and smooth.

Pour into the skillet for roughly one minute per side and serve right away.

Omelet:

What you will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • veggies & meat to your preference

You can also make an omelet filled with a lot of healthy veggies and meats.

We like to mix 2 eggs (per person) with some salt, and pepper into a bowl until all is well combined.

From there, heat the butter in a skillet and add in the egg mixture.

As the outside of the eggs cook, push them towards the center, so that the uncooked egg can get to the hot pan.

When the top of the eggs are think and no longer runny, you can add your mix-ins to the top of the omelet.

Fold half of the omelet over on itself (so it becomes half of the skillet) and serve.

Shredded cheese, chopped peppers and onions, precooked chicken, ham or bacon, as well as spinach or fresh garlic are great for mix-ins.

The best part about omelets is the variety of end results, as it can be customized per person.

Chicken:

raw chicken on cutting board with garlic

We pulled together a few great chicken dinner meals, both relatively easy and can be done in the over or crock pot.

Ranch Chicken Potato Casserole/Crockpot:

What you will need:

  • 1 lb of chicken (diced)
  • 1/2 lb of potatoes (diced)
  • 1/4 c. ranch dressing (split in half)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 c. cheese (we used shredded cheddar)
  • Bacon & green onions to taste (1/4 c. of each)

One of our favorite meals is ranch chicken potato casserole (or crock pot if you prefer).

Potatoes are some of the best, and most overlooked part of a meal we can think of, with their high potassium (higher than bananas), fiber, and iron, they are a great addition to any meal.

For the casserole, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and coat a 9x13 with non-stick cooking spray.

Dice potatoes (any type of potato, it is really your preference) into about 1 inch cubes.

Add the potatoes to a bowl with about 1/8 cup of ranch, and a dash of salt and pepper, from there toss and make sure they are evenly coated.

Scoop out the potatoes (we want the remaining dressing mix saved for the chicken) and add them to the baking dish.

Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes and try to mix them around every 10-15 minutes.

Add the chicken to the bowl and add in another 1/8 cup ranch and a dash of salt and pepper and stir.

After the potatoes have been cooked for about 30 minutes, add in the chicken to the dish and turn the over down to 400 degrees and cover with foil.

Bake for roughly 20 more minutes, take out of the oven, add cheese (bacon and green onions) and put back in the over for 5-10 more minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.

If you choose to cook this in the crock pot (we promise it is equivalently as good) you simply add the diced chicken and potatoes, with 1/2 cup ranch, some salt and pepper and 1/4 cup chicken stock (mixed with cornstarch if you want a creamy/thick consistency).

Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken:

What you will need:

  • 5 chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brown sugar garlic chicken is also very good, and its great over some rice (white, brown, truly your preference).

Add all of the ingredients, except the chicken, into a slow cooker and stir, then add chicken.

This is a great meal packed with flavor, leaving it on high for 4 hour or low for 8 is an easy meal that requires minimal effort.

The best part of these chicken meals are the fact that they can be saved and frozen in smaller quantities and reheated as needed.

Cottage Cheese:

cottage cheese in bowl

Now it can be hard to make a meal out of cottage cheese, but there are a handful of ways to incorporate it in meals.

Lasagna Boats:

What you will need:

  • 10-20 jumbo pasta shells (cooked)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups of cottage cheese
  • 16 oz of shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. parmesan
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt & pepper

Lasagna boats are easy to make, and easy to freeze and reheat for other meals.

To start, heat the oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

We take 10-20 cooked jumbo pasta shells (more or less depending on the crowd you may be serving and if you want leftovers) and fill them with a mix of cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper.

The white sauce mix is as follows, 2 eggs, 3 cups cottage cheese, 10 oz of shredded mozzarella, ½ cup parmesan, 1 tablespoon parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.

After you filled the cooked shells with the white sauce, top with a mix of (cooked) ground beef and marinara sauce.

Top the meat mixture with the remaining shredded mozzarella (6 oz) and bake in the over for roughly 20-30 minutes.

Cottage Cheese Stuffed Chicken:

What you will need:

  • 1 lb of chicken
  • 1 bag of frozen spinach
  • 1 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combining cottage cheese and chicken make a power team for your nutrition intake.

Cottage cheese stuffed chicken is an easy baked dish that tastes amazing.

Start by heating the oven to 350 degrees, squeeze all excess moisture out of spinach (1 package).

Mix the spinach with cottage cheese (1 cup) and a bit of onion powder.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, cut in half (like a book), and add the cottage cheese mixture to the cut chicken.

Use toothpicks to keep the mixture in the stuffed chicken and add the chicken to the baking dish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until all juices run clear and serve with rice or potatoes.

Turkey:

Low in fat and high in protein, if you are tired of chicken, turkey is the way to go!

Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms (or peppers):

What you will need:

  • 4 mushrooms or peppers
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 1 c. marinara 
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • shredded cheese (we used mozzarella)

Full of flavor, and very healthy, these stuffed mushrooms are easy to freeze and reheat in the oven.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet (big enough for all the mushroom caps you plan to make) with non-stick cooking spray.

Take out the stems of the mushrooms (or purchase prepared caps) and put them face up (the top of the mushroom to the baking sheet).

If you prefer peppers to mushrooms, get peppers, cut in half and remove the seeds.

Put in the over for roughly 15-20 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, add a pound of ground turkey into a skillet (medium-high heat) and cook until browned.

Lower the heat to medium and add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add in marinara, salt, and pepper (to taste) and cook until fully heated and thick.

Take out the mushrooms after 15-20 minutes and blot with a paper towel to dry.

Turn the oven to broil, add the turkey mixture to the caps and add shredded mozzarella (or any cheese of your choice).

Broil until the cheese is melted and serve right away.

Turkey Cheeseburger Casserole:

What you will need:

  • 8 oz. pasta (we used macaroni)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 garlic powder
  • 1/4 onion powder
  • 1/4 parsley
  • 1/4 oregano
  • dash of chili powder
  • dash of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 c. shredded cheese (we used cheddar)

Slightly healthier than boxed meals, (you know the ones that you just add liquid and meat to).

Start boiling a pot of water, when you reach a boil, add pasta (8oz) and cook until it is to your liking.

Drain the water from the pot and set aside.

In a skillet, add ground turkey (1 pound) and cook until brown, drain.

ground turkey in skillet

Add in the spices and mix until well combined.

Pour turkey over into the pot of pasta and add 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of cheese (we chose cheddar).

From there, stir until thick and serve with parmesan on top and a side of bread.

Conclusion:

It can be hard to cook super nutrient rich foods often, but meal prepping, and freezing leftovers can make it easier when cooking the next time.

Making meals packed with protein and flavor can make it easier on your body when attempting to digest food.

If you still feel that you are not getting all the nutrients your body needs, speak with a medical professional and see what tests can be done to check.

Always eat by quantity and quality of the food so you are getting the best meals you can!

 

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