Chef Tips to Lighten Up Mexican Food for Cinco de Mayo

by in Dining Out, May 3, 2015

Even a seasoned Mexican chef like Jose Medina knows that his native country’s cuisine can sometimes be heavy and overwhelming. Born in Mexico City, and inspired by his father’s and grandfather’s authentic home cooking, he went on to train professionally at Hacienda de Los Morales and Les Celebrites, in Mexico City’s Hotel Nikko. Now, as chef and owner of Toloache restaurants in New York City and Tacuba in Astoria, Queens, he makes sure to use fresh ingredients and offer a variety of healthy options (while also leading a healthy lifestyle even when he’s not in the kitchen). If you’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year, you can use some of Medina’s tips to keep your fiesta in check. Read more

The Skinny on 6 Popular Diets

by in Diets & Weight Loss, May 3, 2015

Warm weather is setting in, and many folks are hoping to slim down before slipping into their teeny teeny-weeny bikinis. But before giving a popular diet a whirl, find out if it’s right for you.

Mediterranean Diet
This plan is inspired by life in Mediterranean countries surrounded by the ocean. The diet calls for eating fish at least twice a week, consuming minimal red meat, and using lots of fresh herbs and spices. It also emphasizes exercise and the importance of enjoying your meal with the company of family and friends. Here are 15 Mediterranean Diet-inspired recipes you can try.

U.S. News & World Report ranked this diet as No. 3 out of 35 as best overall diet. The recommended foods are healthy and well-balanced. But given that there are numerous versions of the Mediterranean diet, be sure to find one that includes all the food groups and isn’t too restrictive.

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Taste Test: Beyond Tortilla Chips

by in Taste Test, May 2, 2015

With any delicious dip, you must have a tasty chip. In the past several years, an influx of tortilla chip alternatives has hit market shelves. These chips are made with a variety of healthy ingredients and are pretty darn tasty. Here are seven you must try. Read more

Taste Test: Hummus

by in Taste Test, May 1, 2015

Hummus — the Middle Eastern spread that blends chickpeas, lemon, oil (for some), garlic, tahini and salt — is as versatile as it is healthy. It can be the perfect party food, a quick afterschool snack or a preamble to dinner with friends. It’s great as a dip, or used as a complement to veggie kebabs or grilled fish, as part of a mezze plate or as a topper on a club sandwich. Making Ina Garten’s hummus from scratch will definitely impress, but when in a pinch there are many great ready-to-eat options on the market. Not sure which one to pick? Here are the results from our blind taste test. Read more

Nutrition News: Chipotle Goes GMO-Free, Diet Pepsi Ditches Aspartame, and The Reason Your Diet Is Doomed

by in Food News, May 1, 2015

 GMO-Free Burrito Bowls, People

Calling all burrito lovers! Chipotle has announced that it has eliminated all genetically engineered ingredients from the food it prepares. The New York Times calls the move “a first for a major restaurant chain,” but notes that it is yet another milestone in the move by many companies to remove GMOs from the foods they offer consumers. “Over the years, as we have learned more about GMOs, we’ve decided that using them in our food doesn’t align with [our] vision,” the company said in a detailed explanation on its website. “Chipotle was the first national restaurant company to disclose the GMO ingredients in our food, and now we are the first to cook only with non-GMO ingredients.” Prices may go up slightly as a result, the Times notes, adding that the company will continue to serve soft drinks that may use genetically engineered corn sweeteners. Read more

10 Healthy Ways to Use Salsa

by in Healthy Holidays, April 30, 2015

Chock-full of fresh ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, onion, fruit and herbs, salsa (Spanish for “sauce”) can take on many healthy identities. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these 10 flavorful recipes.

1. Fire Up Fish Tacos (pictured above)

A hint of habanero pepper gives this salsa a sizzling kick. 

Recipe: Fish Tacos with Habanero Salsa Read more

Superfoods: Antioxidant-Rich Berries Beyond Blueberries

by in Healthy Tips, April 30, 2015

Blueberries are hopefully already on the list of superfoods incorporated into your weekly diet. Juicy and sweet, blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants and lower blood pressure, and 2/3 cup of these gems delivers 14 percent of your daily fiber. Recent studies also show they may reduce the risk of breast cancer, improve cardiovascular health and slow down cognitive decline in the elderly.
But don’t limit yourself to the magical blueberry. Berries from strawberries to chokeberries are excellent sources for antioxidants and polyphenols — micronutrients that research shows prevent degenerative diseases. Here are five berries you can try right now that pack a nutritious punch like the almighty blueberry. Read more

Dairy-Free Coffee Drinks for Your Morning Buzz

by in Healthy Recipes, April 29, 2015

 

Consumers have been turning to store-bought coffee drinks for their caffeine fix, but with an 11-ounce store-bought Starbucks Iced Coffee + Milk clocking in at 21 grams of sugar, those store-bought blends can be unhealthy. With milk alternatives on the rise, juice brands have entered the coffee market and taken cold brew to the next level by incorporating almond or cashew milk, nuts and even chia seeds into their recipes. Even alternative milk brands like OMilk and Califia have started to play the coffee game by adding espresso or cold brew to their milk bases. But are all of these dairy-free options a healthier way to feel the buzz? Not necessarily. We took a look at a few popular brands and then made our own concoction that’s easy to whip up with a blender at home (no fancy equipment needed). Read more

5 Snack Bars to Energize Your Day

by in Healthy Recipes, April 29, 2015

ellie-energy-bars Skip store-bought snack bars that are often loaded with sugar and look no further than your own pantry for some from-scratch recipes. Whether you prefer a crunchy, fiber-packed granola bar or a chewier rendition loaded with protein-rich nut butter, there’s a healthy option you can make at home. Read more

Southwestern Chicken Fajita Mason Jar Salad

by in Healthy Recipes, April 28, 2015

Brown-bagging your lunch is friendlier on your wallet and can be better for your waistline. It also allows you to fully enjoy your lunch instead of inhaling it because the majority of your lunch hour was spent waiting in line. But there are some challenges to packing your own lunch, aren’t there?

First, you need to choose a dish that can be eaten as is or easily reheated. Then you need to do a little advanced planning and perhaps some prep. Yes, you can always turn to salads and sandwiches, but sometimes you want something a bit heartier and more satisfying. Read more

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