All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Herb of The Month: Marjoram

by in In Season, July 6, 2013

This lesser-known herb is a must-have in my garden. Learn more about the flavor of marjoram, plus find out why the ancient Greeks would stock up on it for funerals.

Marjoram Basics
According to the Food Lovers’ Companion, marjoram was used in funeral wreaths to symbolize happiness in life and the afterlife. Sprigs of this herb tout small and delicate oval-shaped leaves that are bright green.

The most common variety is called sweet marjoram. It’s a member of the mint family but it has a flavor similar to oregano, only sweeter. It can be found both fresh and dried in large markets and specialty grocery stores – look for it fresh at the farmers’ market during the spring and summer months.

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20 Healthy Fish Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, July 5, 2013

grilled salmon
It’s a fabulous time of year for seafood. Dig into these healthy options for salmon, cod, tilapia and shellfish.

Healthiest Catch
There are numerous considerations when choosing healthy seafood. Fish lovers need to weigh in on things like how the fish was caught, where in the world it can be found, and whether or not it contains high amounts of mercury.

To help make sense of things, there’s the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Regional Guides. This year’s guide highlights Atlantic cod, mussels, salmon, tilapia and oysters as some of its best choices because they are “abundant, well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.” You can also check your local fish counter for the Marine Stewardship Council seal of approval.

Fish Recipes to Try:

Mustard Roasted Salmon
Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa
Salmon Kebabs with Yogurt Sauce (above)
Poached Salmon with Lemon Mint Tzatziki
Saucy Salmon

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Book Review: Savory Bites — Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan

by in Cookbooks, July 3, 2013

savory bites book
Good (and healthy) things do come in small packages. Get a taste for the yummy creations from Cupcake Wars champ Hollis Wilder, author of the new cookbook, Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan.

Not Your Typical Cupcake
Meals you can make in a cupcake pan? You might be able to envision a quiche neatly tucked into cupcake tin but how about French toast, risotto and lasagna?

While this book doesn’t outwardly aim to be “healthy” the author is mindful of using fresh ingredients, trimming excess fat and calories when possible, and creating fun kid-friendly recipes. Cupcake-sized servings also help with portion control.

Cupcake Pan and the Family Meal
Can a baking pan help bring your family together in the kitchen? Hollis thinks so. She encourages bringing the little ones into the kitchen and letting them pick and chose the ingredients for their savory cupcake creations.  I must say, my kids love anything that comes out of a cupcake pan.

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7 Breakfast Foods That Sound Healthier Than They Are

by in Healthy Tips, July 1, 2013

The most important meal of the day can often be the most hurried, which is why so many of us look to reach for something healthy and fast. But breakfast foods can be deceiving — when choosing a quick grad-and-go breakfast, watch out for these 7 foods.

Bran Muffins
Some folks assume that you can’t go wrong with anything “bran” but many packaged and fast-food bran muffins tip the scales at over 440 calories and 15 grams of fat each! A down-sized homemade version is the way to go.

Flavored Oatmeal
There’s no disputing that oats are good for digestion, curbing appetite, and heart health but that can be over-shadowed by the sugar and preservatives found in most packets of flavored instant oatmeal. Get plain (even instant is fine) and flavor it up yourself.

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Apple Cider Vinegar: Worth The Hype?

by in Healthy Tips, June 27, 2013

apple cider vinegar
There’s nothing better than apple cider vinegar for coleslaw, salad dressing and BBQ sauce, but in recent years this staple ingredient has gained popularity as a cure-all tonic.

The Hype
Nutrition-related tales claim that if you consume a daily dose of apple cider vinegar it can help with various medical conditions including heart disease and diabetes as well as aid with weight loss, digestive issues and bacterial infections. Many alternative-medicine practitioners recommend downing a few tablespoons a day straight-up or mixed with water.

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Market Watch: Green Peas

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, June 22, 2013

green peas
Green peas are sitting in natural, pretty little packages just waiting to be plucked. Visit your local farmers’ market and dive into a basket of this spring treasure.

Also known as English Peas, inside the inedible pods are tender and succulent peas. Shelling them does take bit of elbow grease and patience, but the sweet, fresh flavor is totally worth it. Use them in any recipe that calls for fresh or frozen peas. You can also munch on them raw or blanch and freeze them for later.

One cup of shelled green peas has 117 calories and one gram of fat. It also has 7 grams of hunger-fighting fiber and 8 grams of muscle-building protein. Don’t forget about vitamins and minerals – calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, thiamin and vitamins A, C and K can all be found in peas.

Recipes To Try:
Fresh Pea Ravioli With Crispy Prosciutto
Pasta With Tomato and Peas
Tuna Pasta Salad
Spicy Cheesy Rice
Asparagus and Fresh Pea Frittata With Tomato-Basil Concasse

Ways To Move Without Spending Money

by in Fitness, June 21, 2013

sack races
The benefits of exercise are numerous for the mind, body and spirit. One of the biggest barriers to getting more physical activity is figuring out what to do. Expensive gym memberships or pricey fitness classes are big turnoffs for some folks but the truth is, they aren’t necessary. There are plenty of ways to get moving that won’t cost you a cent, just ask the First Lady. In a recent interview, Mrs. Obama revealed one of the ways she encourages kids — her own and those she meets — to move.

Mrs. Obama: We talk about fun. I mean, something as simple as turning on the radio and dancing with your kids to Beyonce. Kids are watching these videos — let me tell you, if you make it a task in your household to learn the Single Ladies dance with Beyonce — they’re trying to do that anyway. They want to learn every move.

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7 Habits of Healthy Eaters

by in Healthy Tips, June 20, 2013

food label
Ever wonder what healthy folks do to be and stay that way? Being healthy is a lifestyle, not just something you sometimes do and then fall off the wagon. Healthy eaters have many of these 7 habits in common — see how many of them you can adopt; you’ll feel better for it.

1. Gardening
Any food you can grow on your own is better for your health and the health of the environment. Whether it’s a few pots of herbs or a full-blown veggie garden, get your hands a little dirty and start growing your own food.

Make This Habit Your Own: Gardening For Beginners

2. Food safety
Is your fridge the proper temperature? Do you know how to defrost meat or prevent cross contamination? Paying attention to basic food safety principles will keep you and everyone in your household that much more healthy.

Make This Habit Your Own: Counter-Top Safety

3. Meal planning
A little forethought can make a real difference. Make a weekly meal plan, eat most meals at home, and think about your entire day when making food choices. You will save time, money and a whole bunch of calories.

Make This Habit Your Own: Brown-Bag Lunch Menus

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Ask the Dietitian: What’s the Difference Between Added and Natural Sugar?

by in Ask the Experts, June 18, 2013

Q:  What’s the deal with all the types of sugar out there? Are they all created equal?

A: Simply . . . no, all sugars are not created equal. But learning how to identify the different types is where it gets complicated.

Added Sugars
Whether it’s run-of-the-mill granulated white sugar, high fructose corn syrup or something that sounds fancier, such as turbinado or raw sugar – these are all sweeteners. These ingredients are added to foods as they are processed or prepared. The distinct flavor and degree of sweetness will vary, but no matter which type you’re dealing with, these sweeteners are a pure source of carbohydrate and have about 15 calories per teaspoon. When hefty doses of these types of added sugars are eaten, it can lead to weight gain and poorly controlled blood sugar levels.

The most significant sources of added sugar in the American diet are baked goods, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.

For a complete list of what qualifies as an added sugar on ingredient label, visit the MyPlate website.

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Feeding Kids: Sports and Activities

by in Fitness, Kid-Friendly, June 14, 2013

kids sports team
Stumped on what to make for the team dinner or confused about the best snacks to bring after the game? Here are tips on the best way to fuel (and refuel) your active little ones.

Team Dinners
Team gatherings are a great way to build team morale and make sure everyone gets a good meal the night before a competition. There’s no need for parents to over-think the menu. Provide plenty of fluids (water, 100% fruit juice and milk), some fresh veggies and pasta.

Some parents feel the need to shy away from carbs but this is exactly what athletes need prior to exercise. Pasta dinners are also easy and cost-effective. Add some protein from meatballs, turkey meatballs, chicken breast or chicken sausage, plus a big salad with vinaigrette dressing and voila — all your nutritional bases are covered.

When the weather permits, cook up a team barbecue complete with turkey burgers, veggie burgers, plus pasta and potato salads. Remember to make accommodations for anyone on the team who’s vegetarian or has food allergies.

Don’t forget dessert! A large fruit salad or watermelon wedges and some small baked treats will please the whole crowd. Cookies, brownies or cupcakes decked out with team colors are always popular.

A team brunch might also be a good idea before the team hits the road for a trip. In this case opt for bagels with cream cheese and peanut butter, smoothies, yogurt, fresh fruit, frozen waffles and scrambled egg wraps. All will provide healthy fuel that is easy to grab and go. Don’t forget the fluid here either. Water, 100% fruit juice and if it’s a hot day, sports drinks to take on the bus ride.

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