The Art of the Salad with Chef Joshua McFadden, Author of Six Seasons

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Cookbooks, July 21, 2017

When you think of Italian food, chances are hearty classics like meatballs, osso buco and pastas with a slow-cooked ragus first jump to mind. So you might be surprised that those aren’t necessarily the most crave-worthy dishes on Chef Joshua McFadden’s Roman-inspired menu at Ava Gene’s, his much-touted restaurant in Portland, Oregon: the veggies are.

 

We call them salads by default, but there really should be a different word for McFadden’s layered and complex vegetable dishes, often made with grains, nuts, cheese, and sweet-and-savory combinations of vegetables and fruits. Read more

Can Packaging Give Your Food a Health Halo?

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Food News & Trends, July 18, 2017

We all try our best to eat healthy and buy nutritious food for our families. But the amount of information, misinformation and just plain marketing speak we’re hit with every trip to the grocery store can make goal hard to achieve. “Many foods contain front of package nutrient claims that make you think you are eating a healthy food,” says Alissa Rumsey M.S., R.D., author of Three Steps to a Healthier You. “This so-called ‘health halo’ often causes people to overeat foods they think are healthy.” Read more

Q&A with Chef Aaron Adams of Farm Spirit

by in Chefs and Restaurants, July 16, 2017

Aaron Adams knows a thing or two about making vegan food taste delicious. That was certainly my conclusion after eating at Farm Spirit, his dinner club style restaurant located in Portland, Oregon. At a cozy, 14-seat counter, he and his chefs prepare and serve a series of small dishes, featuring produce, grains, and nuts from local farms — none of which are more than 105 miles from the restaurant. By the end of the meal — up to 13 courses in all — you might imagine you’d have to roll home. Not so. Aaron’s light touch leaves you feeling satisfied, not over-stuffed. What’s more, there’s a lovely smug feeling that comes with consuming what might just have been one of the healthiest meals of your life. Recently, I had the chance to ask him about what inspires his ultra-healthy cooking style, and how home cooks might up their vegan game. Read more

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Watermelon

by in Healthy Recipes, July 14, 2017

It’s no surprise that watermelon is a healthy, hydrating and gorgeous looking summer fruit, but there are more uses for this melon than you might realize.

 

Tap It

With the help of a few power tools, turn a watermelon into a tasty adult beverage and a serving vessel. It’s one-stop shopping with a batch of this punch for 275 calories per serving.

Recipe: Watermelon Punch Keg (pictured above) Read more

6 Little Tricks to Prevent Vacation Weight Gain

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Healthy Tips, July 11, 2017

With summer in full swing, I’m daydreaming about the travels I have planned for the season — including a couple of weeks in Europe — and about ways to make my travels healthier too. The tactic I’m using for part of my Europe trip: renting an apartment. This allows me to prep breakfast and even dinners — plus, I get the bonus of getting to cook with local produce! When my boyfriend and I were visiting the Pacific Northwest last summer, we whipped up the most delicious meal in our apartment rental, using mushrooms and huckleberries from a local farmers’ market.

 

To help you have the healthiest vacation possible, I rounded up top tips from my dietitian colleagues. I hope you put them to good use!

 

Load up on local produce. Hello, papaya and passion fruit! “Resort and cruise buffets are jam packed with fruits, vegetables, as well as lean protein options, which can help you feel full on fewer calories,” says Marisa Moore, RDN, owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition. “Fill up on those foods during your first trip to the buffet. If you’re heading to a tropical location, indulge in the abundant local fruits and vegetables, which are naturally nutritious and lower in calories.” Read more

How to Use Your Slow Cooker All Summer Long

by in Healthy Recipes, July 9, 2017

Grills get all the credit in the summer, but what if you don’t have a grill? Or what if you’re a bit timid around open flames? (I am!) Slow cookers are a perfect way to keep the kitchen cool and still get dinner on the table. Plus, they hold enough for a crowd, so whether the party theme is Tiki Time or Margarita Night, the slow cooker can make entertaining a snap.

 

Time for Tiki

Dust off your Tiki glasses and Tiki torches. A Polynesian-themed party is easy to plan with these set-it-and-forget-it recipes. Make the dessert first, then refrigerate. Either pork recipe could be served straight from the slow cooker.

A mix of coconut water and coconut milk highlights island flavors in this Coconut Brown Rice Pudding while keeping it from being too rich. Serve with fresh pineapple and mango.

Set out lots of toppings like purple cabbage, pineapple salsa and avocado to go with our Slow Cooker Pork Tacos (pictured above).

Who needs a grill when you can make Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops so tasty in the slow cooker? Read more

Why Everyone’s Sweet on Tart Cherries

by in Food News & Trends, July 7, 2017

Tart cherries are enjoying a moment in the media sweet spot, hailed for their health benefits, including their usefulness in curtailing post-workout muscle pain and inflammation. They provide a healthy alternative to over-the-counter pain relief and may work on headaches, too, the Seattle Times observed. U.S. News dubbed the fruit “the newest post-workout superfood.”

 

Tart cherries aren’t new to the list of kitchen staples Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It, recommends exploring for their health benefits. Read more

Camp Essentials: Ideas for Meals and Snacks

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Kid-Friendly, July 5, 2017

Summer has arrived, which means school is out and camp is in. If you’re sending little ones off to day camp this summer, it’s time to think about what the heck they’re going to eat. Since camp meals can be more stressful than packing school lunches, we’ve got some tasty, healthy and easy ideas to make meal prep feel like you’re on vacation.

 

Be Cool

Summer heat is great for camp, but not for food safety. Keep lunches cool with plenty cold packs to prevent the growth of unhealthy bacteria. Even if lunches are to be stored in refrigeration, it’s a good idea to bring an ice pack along to make sure everything stays cool during transport. Reusable ice packs are an affordable option, or use a pre-frozen 4-ounce water bottle. Read more

Market Watch: Apricots

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, July 2, 2017

With their luscious, velvety texture and sweet-tart flavor, fresh apricots are one of the highlights of summer. But unless you’re lucky enough to live near a local grower, you may never have tasted one that’s truly worth biting into. That’s because, like peaches and plums, these tender little fruits are best when allowed to ripen on the tree. One of the first of the stone fruits to arrive at markets, apricots are only available for two short months, beginning in late May and extending through mid-July. There are about a dozen common varieties, produced primarily in California, but they are also grown on a small scale in many other regions of the country. Any fruit you see during the winter months have been imported from either South America or New Zealand.

 

Apricot Facts

Apricots are rich in carotenoids and xanthophylls, nutrients that researchers believe may help protect eyesight from aging-related damage. They are also a good source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium. When dried, they lose some of their vitamin C, but become a concentrated source of iron–a particular boon to those who follow a vegetarian diet. Read more

5 Tasty Recipes to Cure What Ails You

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Wellness, June 28, 2017

Between the demands of work and family, life can get you stressed, upset and zap your energy. Luckily, there are foods you can eat to help feed your mind, body and soul. So the next time you’re feeling fatigued, stressed or your skin looks a mess, consider these recipes to cure what ails you.

Stay Energized

Instead of turning to candy which will give you a quick-fix sugar high, turn to fiber-filled whole grains like sorghum, quinoa and farro. Whole grains take longer to digest, giving you long-lasting energy. They also provide a boat load of energy-boosting B-vitamins.

Recipe: Grilled Scallops with Orange-Scented Quinoa (pictured above) Read more

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