All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Must-Try Recipe: Shakshuka

by in Healthy Recipes, April 22, 2017

It’s pronounced “shak-shoo-ka” but no matter how you say it, it’s downright scrumptious. Hailing from North African and the Middle East, this spicy tomato-based sauce with poached eggs may also be known as eggs in purgatory. You’ll be shocked how easy it is to prepare this vitamin-rich dish, so get your shakshuka on with these tips and tasty recipes

 

Health perks

Most shakshuka recipes include tomatoes, onions, peppers and. This veggie-heavy one-pot meal is relatively low in calories, but is packed with fiber and inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Canned tomatoes are commonly the star ingredient, which are higher in the antioxidant lycopene than fresh varieties. Eggs add healthy protein to make for a satisfying meal. Experiment with other protein-rich add-ins like beans and small portions of meat to add interest texture and flavor. Some recipes call for hefty doses of salt, so consider swapping in salt-free flavor boosters like spices and fresh herbs.

 

Ways to enjoy

A nutritious and impressive looking batch of shakshuka can be prepared in about 30 minutes using the stove top or a combo of stovetop and oven. For an extra speedy kitchen hack use jarred marinara sauce like number 18 in our “50 Things to Make with Pasta Sauce” guide. Read more

Trend Alert: Riced Vegetables

by in Food News, Healthy Recipes, Trends, April 8, 2017

Remember when “rice” was a just a noun? Nowadays it’s become a verb and an adjective to describe one of the hottest veggie trends around. These tiny chopped pieces of vegetables have found their ways into all kinds of recipes, and can offer a hefty dose of nutrients.

 

Riced revolution

What started out as a new-fangled way to use cauliflower has evolved into so much more. Cauliflower “rice” came on the scene as a popular grain free alternative to rice. Riced cauliflower can be used as a standalone side dish or as the star ingredient in traditional recipes like fried rice and baked casseroles. Using a vegetable-based option in place of grains lowers the calories and carbohydrate counts but this swap isn’t completely a nutrition win. If you compare one cup of cooked rice to the same portion of cooked cauliflower, rice contains more fiber, protein and magnesium but less vitamins K and C.

As with many food trends, the “riced” craze has continued to advance. Instead of just cauliflower, ricing other veggies like sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots has begun to gain momentum. There is also more variety of flavored rice vegetables. Check ingredient lists as some are seasoned with flavorings that can up the sodium content. Read more

Ask An Expert: Is Couscous Healthy?

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, April 2, 2017

Ever wondered about couscous…what is it? How it’s prepared? And most of all, is it healthy? A registered dietitian weighs in on this commonly misunderstood food.

 

What Is Couscous?

Often mistaken for an ancient grain, couscous is actually tiny pieces of wheat pasta – basically a mixture of semolina flour and water. Popular in cuisines around the globe, couscous is quick cooking and can be used like rice to accompany a wide variety of foods.

Traditional or Moroccan couscous are very small grains that can be prepared by simply adding hot water or broth and allowing to steep for 5 minutes to allow the liquid to be absorbed. Larger round pieces of couscous known as Israeli or pearled can be cooked in boiling liquid. This version takes slightly larger to cook and has a more robust and pleasantly chewy texture. Read more

Healthy Cooking Mistakes You’re Likely Making

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, March 24, 2017

Cooking more healthfully doesn’t need to be a painful task, but if you’re falling into these common traps you may be fighting an uphill battle. How many of these habits do you need to break?

 

You don’t measure high calorie ingredients

There is such thing as “too much of a good thing.” While there’s no disputing that ingredients like olive oil, nuts, avocado and nut butters offer healthy fats, inflated portions can lead to inflated waistlines. When each tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat, and each cup of cooked whole grain pasta adds up to 200 calories, it’s important to measure out these ingredients to avoid a calorie overload.

 

You defrost meat on the countertop

Is it common practice for you to toss that package of frozen chicken on the countertop before you leave for work? This is a food safety nightmare waiting to happen. The drastic temperature shift from freezer to counter rolls out the red carpet for potentially harmful bacteria and foodborne illness. Instead defrost meat safely overnight in the fridge. Or if you’re in a time crunch, defrost in the microwave then cook immediately. Read more

Myth or Fact? Cooking with Aluminum Foil Is Bad for Your Health

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, February 26, 2017

Lining sheet pans, packets for the grill, and storage in the fridge are just a few of the uses that aluminum foil can have in your kitchen. But can cooking with foil can have dangerous consequences?

Myth or Fact?
Over the years, rumors have swirled about high levels of aluminum leading to health risks including Alzheimer’s and kidney disease. The truth is aluminum is all around us (even in the water supply), and regular contact does not appear to cause problems. Thankfully, the body has numerous mechanisms in place to help rid the body of excess amounts of this metal. That said, consumption of toxic levels over time could eventually be dangerous to bone, brain, muscle and other tissues.

In the Kitchen
Is there a concern for the home cook? It may depend on how you use foil in your kitchen. There’s not enough research to date to say use of foil will pose immediate harm. Studies that do exist reveal that wrapping cold or cooled foods in foil for storage did not lead to leeching of any aluminum. However, a study published in 2012 did find that cooking with aluminum at high temps and the use of acidic foods, salt, and spices did perpetuate a greater amount of leeching. Read more

5 Reasons Why Beer (Yes, Beer!) is Good For You

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, February 10, 2017

1. Beer is portioned controlled

Unlike mixed drinks and heavy-handed pours of wine, beer comes in a ready to drink container. Knowing that each can or bottle has an average minimum calorie count of 100 per serving can help keep you honest about how much you’re sipping. Savvy beer drinks drinkers also know to keep an eye on the percent alcohol by volume (% APV) the higher it is, the more calories in your brew.

 

2. Beer is filled with antioxidants.

Thanks to staple ingredients like barley and hops, beer boasts a plethora of cell-protecting antioxidants. Since each beer recipe is different, your brew of choice may also be made with various fruits, herbs and spices, all of which can bring more antioxidants to the party.

 

3. Beer can be heart healthy

There’s ample research to support that moderate alcohol consumption (that’s one 12-fluid ounce drink per day for women and two for men) can have a positive impact on heart health. This certainly doesn’t warrant an initiative to drink EVERY day of the week, but it can make you feel a little better about hitting up happy hour or kicking back after a long day with a cold one. Read more

Cook Up Some Love in The Kitchen This Valentine’s Day

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, Valentine's Day, February 8, 2017

It’s no secret that food is love. Serve up a little of both this Valentine’s Day with one of these dozen healthy recipes. We’ve got options for whatever time of day you and your loved ones can get in the kitchen.

 

Breakfasts

Valentine’s falls on a Tuesday this year, so plan ahead and get one of these healthy breakfasts prepped the night before.

Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes

Potato and Zucchini Frittata

Banana and Walnut Smoothie

 

Snacks

Congregate around the kitchen table with these finger food favorites. Get the kids in the kitchen to help chop, measure, and make it a team effort.

Tomatillo Guacamole Read more

Strategies for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

by in Diets, Fitness and Wellness, January 25, 2017

We swear off pizza, ditch the cookies and vow to exercise every day. But research shows that this is the time of year when we start backsliding on our resolutions. In fact according to polling, more than 20% of us aim to lose weight and eat better in 2017, but less than 10 percent actually succeed. Here are 5 practical strategies to help you keep your resolutions and reach your goals.

 

Set (small) goals

Stay motivated by setting and accomplishing weekly or even daily goals. Have one less cup of coffee, go an extra half mile on the treadmill or add an extra serving of fruit to your daily diet. Establish some foundational habits you can build on as time goes by.

 

Splurge…occasionally

Dramatic changes almost never last, and giving up on foods you absolutely love typically just breeds resentment. Allow yourself to indulge in a not-so healthy food or beverage from time to time – not depriving yourself completely will set the stage for long-term success. Read more

The New World of Sodas

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, January 24, 2017

Love a fizzy beverage but know better than to reach for the usual can of high-sugar soda? If you’re mindful about nutrition but enjoy something sweet and bubbly, these four better-for-you choices might be for you.

 

Soda Specifics

A can of a traditional soda contains carbonated water spiked with high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavorings and possibly caffeine. Many also include phosphoric acid. You don’t need to be a nutrition expert to know that soda can be bad for you. Aside from all the empty calories, all those processed ingredients can have a negative impact on digestion and bone health. There are some sodas on the scene that use better quality ingredients and cut back on some of the sugar by using fruit juice. Despite the higher end quality of these sparkling drinks, it’s still best to sip in moderation.

 

San Pellegrino Fruit Beverages

Juices of citrus, pomegranate and prickly pear are combined with sugar and carbonated water. These taste fairly sweet, so it’s a nice idea to dilute with some San Pellegrino sparkling water. Try the Aranciata Rossa (blood orange) for a sweet and sour treat. Read more

Myth or Fact? Artificially-Colored Foods Are Bad for You

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, Is It Healthy?, January 17, 2017

Ever wonder how some of your favorite foods are made? And if they’re supposed to be that color? We’re cracking the code on some infamous colored foods to find out if they naturally occur that way or if they had some help.

Color Me Unhealthy?
Many beloved foods we eat everyday are doctored with colorings to improve visual appeal. In some cases these colorful enhancements are food based and therefore safe, but others have potentially harmful chemical infusions. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, eating these synthetic dyes may pose harm and cause behavioral problems, especially in children.

Highly processed foods like soda, commercial baked goods, candy, frozen treats, salty snacks (think cheese doodles) and kids’ breakfast cereals are some of the worst and most obvious offenders. Potentially dangerous yellow 5, red 40 and red 3 dyes are found in numerous foods, and have been linked to behavioral problems and allergic reactions. Europe has imposed strict regulations on the use of these coloring agents, but in the United States progress has been much slower. Some U.S. chains and manufacturers including Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Panera, General Mills and Nestle don’t sell products with dyes and/or are beginning to remove them from some of their products. Here are 4 foods that might raise a colorful flag. Read more

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