- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
- Safe juicing and blending
May 14, 2013
- Is NEAT part of your weight-control plan?
May 1, 2013
- Exercise, hunger and weight loss
April 25, 2013
- Another look at meat consumption and mortality
April 17, 2013
- Sugar challenge: Cut the sweetness for 2 weeks
April 10, 2013
Nov. 22, 2011
Cooking a turkey? Avoid these mishaps
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
If you're like most people, you're planning on cooking a turkey for the holidays. To keep your holiday meal pleasant and safe, avoid these common kitchen mishaps.
Not enough turkey to go around. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends allowing 1 pound of turkey per person. Sound like a lot? Sure, but remember that part of the weight is bone, fat that you'll trim away, and skin that you should avoid. Plus you'll want to have some of those delicious leftovers.
Turkey not defrosted properly. If you purchase a frozen turkey, keep it frozen until ready to thaw. The USDA recommends these ways of thawing turkey:
- Thaw in the refrigerator, in the original wrapper and on a tray to catch any drips. Allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. So, for example, a 10-pound bird will take about 2 days to thaw.
- Or thaw totally submerged in cold water, in a clean sink, in the original wrapper. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound. Change the water every 30 minutes. A 10-pound bird will take about 5 hours to defrost this way.
Once your turkey is thawed, remember to remove the giblets and rinse the bird inside and out with cold running water.
Risky food handling. Poultry products are primary sources of the bacteria Salmonella and Campylobacter — the two most commonly reported causes of food poisoning. Play it safe by using soap and water to wash everything that comes in contact with raw turkey — utensils, cutting board, the sink, counter tops and your hands. And don't cross-contaminate — anything that the raw turkey touches should not touch other items and vice versa.
Under- or overcooked turkey. Everyone wants a juicy savory turkey. There are recipes galore — some use low temperatures (no lower than 325 F) or high heat (450 F). Whatever recipe you choose, the bottom line is to use a meat thermometer. The turkey is done when its internal temperature is 165 F. Begin checking for doneness about a half an hour before the recipe says the turkey will be done. Use a thermometer and check the temperature in the thickest part of the inner thigh, under the wing, and in the thickest part of the breast. Don't rely on a "pop-up" temperature button — this indicates only when the breast is done. To keep breast meat from drying out during cooking, put a tent of aluminum foil over the bird and baste often with pan juices.
Dried-out bird. The trick is to give it a rest. After the turkey comes out of the oven, let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Allowing the turkey to rest lets the meat fibers relax, which means the juices will evenly distribute throughout the meat and the meat increases its water-holding capacity. Resting will make the turkey easier to carve and reduce the amount of fluid lost during carving. Remember to cover the bird with foil and to use a preheated platter for the turkey.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you'll have a safer, tastier and enjoyably memorable holiday meal.blog index
- Poultry preparation. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Lets_Talk_Turkey. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011.
- Foodborne illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/foodborneinfections_g.htm#mostcommon. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011.
- McGee H. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York, N.Y.: Scribner; 2004:165.