All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Taste Test: Salsa

by in Taste Test, May 30, 2013

salsa
Grab your tortilla chips! I tasted some of the most popular brands of salsa just in time for your summer parties — find out how your favorite brand scored on our list.

The Criteria
Mild versions of jarred salsa were sampled and rated using a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Specific attention was paid to flavor, texture and nutrition info, focusing on calories and sodium.

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Gardening For Beginners

by in Uncategorized, May 26, 2013

gardening
Looking to save money, eat clean, and do something good for the environment? You can do it all by just getting your hands dirty – and it all starts in your own backyard.

Getting Started
It’s easy to get intimidated if you’re a gardening neophyte, but there’s really nothing to fear. Scout out a sunny spot in the yard and make sure there’s a water source in the vicinity.

Visit your local garden center for pots, potting mix, seeds or starter plants, and a few pots, plus a shovel and watering can.

It’s time to plant once you know there’s no longer a risk of overnight frost. In the northeast where I live, that’s around mid-May.

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27 Healthy Picnic Recipes

by in Grilling, Healthy Recipes, May 25, 2013

macaroni salad
Hosting a picnic or hitting up the neighborhood party circuit? Keep things light and healthy by making one (or a few) of these healthy and delicious recipes.

Drinks
Blueberry Lemonade
Raspberry Iced Tea Punch
Lemon Sorbet Punch
Iced Tea With Grenadine

Munchies
Pear and Pistachio Guacamole
Grilled Corn Salsa
Tomatillo Salsa
Spiced Pita Chips
Avocado-Feta Dip
Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers

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Meet This Grain: Farro

by in Healthy Recipes, May 22, 2013

farro
This ancient whole grain has been making a comeback! It’s versatile, easy-to-make and downright delicious.

What Is Farro?
Imagine the taste of brown rice, only with a nuttier flavor and pleasantly chewier texture. This Italian-born grain dates back to ancient Rome. While it’s sometimes confused with barley or spelt, farro has its own unique flavor and texture. Cook it in water or broth and it’s ready in about 25 minutes.

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New Products Made With Greek Yogurt

by in Grocery Shopping, May 21, 2013

greek yogurt frozen pop
Everyone seems to be going ga-ga for Greek yogurt these days! While the tangy, creamy goodness makes for flavorful chicken salad, smoothies and dips, food manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon offering all kinds of Greek yogurt-filled goods.

Greek Goodness
Folks dig Greek yogurt for it’s thicker texture and pungent flavor. It’s also higher in protein than regular yogurt, plus it offers those tummy-pleasing probiotics. Our recent taste tests (for plain and flavored varieties) unveiled that there’s quite a difference in flavor across the numerous brands out there.

Frozen Treats
The freezer section has gone Greek! Not only can you find pints of Greek fro -o (Vanilla Honey Carmel from Ben & Jerry’s anyone?), you can also find portion-controlled frozen bars made with Greek yogurt and real fruit. As far as we can tell, the majority of these frozen goodies are made with real Greek yogurt, but buyers should beware of the health “halo” – many brands have just as much sugar and calories as ice cream!

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Market Watch: Broccoli Rabe

by in Farmers' Market Finds, May 15, 2013

broccoli rabe
Also known as Italian broccoli, I grew up calling this veggie rapini. It has a pungent and bitter flavor similar to turnips and cabbage that gets mellowed out by cooking. It’s also a nutrient powerhouse, packed with calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamins A, C and K.

When at the market, look for a nestled bunch of bright leafy greens, with tiny broccoli-like buds peaking out. To prepare, steam or blanche in boiling water, then sauté in olive oil and garlic. Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve as a side dish or incorporate into soup, quiche or pasta.

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Supplement Savvy: Moringa Oleifera

by in Diets, May 14, 2013

green tea
It’s the newest supplement making headlines. Does moringa live up to the hype? More importantly, is it safe?

What Is Moringa?
Also known as the “Drumstick Tree” moringa oleifera is grown in the Himalayas, as well as throughout India and Malaysia. The bark, leaves, fruit, seeds and root are edible and are used to make teas, oils, extracts and other supplements.

Peddlers of morgina products claim it can boost energy, suppress appetite, lower blood pressure and improve mood.

Morgina products range from teas and oils, to capsules and liquid extracts. And these supplements aren’t cheap! A bottle of 120 capsules costs about $30 to $40.

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In Season: Ramps

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, May 7, 2013

ramps

A true sign of spring, this specialty produce can only be found for a limited time.

What, Where & When
A member of the Allium family along with onion and garlic, this wild variety of onion is sometimes referred to as a “wild leek.” Looking much like a scallion, a tiny bulb elongates to a skinny stalk with green feathery leaves (all parts are edible).

 

Lovers of this spring goodie are fans of its fresh onion and garlic flavor. Cooking will mellow out the pungent flavor of a raw ramp.

A serious farmers’ market treasure, ramps are harvested through the spring and early summer– look for them at markets from April through May or early June.

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Exercise 101: Running

by in Fitness, May 4, 2013

running
It might not be the newest exercise phenomenon, but this no-frills type of workout will certainly pay off if you’re willing to work at it. Here are tips to help you along.

Defining Running
The concept is pretty simple: one foot in front of the other. For the best workout, take the time to plan out the “how” and the “where.”

Running at a moderate pace will burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 calories per hour. Incorporating hills and intervals (short periods of increased speed) will also help maximize the muscles groups you engage and the amount of calories burned during each session.

When running, be mindful of your form and posture. Keep eyes focused out in front of you, not straight down at your feet. Keep your arms slightly bent and hands relaxed to allow for optimal blood flow. Most importantly, don’t forget to breathe!

Map out a route in your neighborhood, hit up a local track or running trail, or hop on the nearest treadmill. Be certain about where you’re going so you don’t have to deal with the unexpected (getting lost doesn’t make for a good workout).

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Is It Healthy: Cooking Spray

by in Is It Healthy?, May 1, 2013

cooking spray
Can the key to healthy cooking be found in an aerosol can? There are pluses and minuses to using cooking spray.

Yes?
Using cooking spray as a replacement for oil and butter can help cut back the calories. Since butter and oil have 100 to 120 calories per tablespoon (respectively), switching to a spray can mean fewer calories (and grams of fat) in your cooking.

Many brands use actual oils (such as olive and canola) as the primary ingredient, others rely on other types of oil and artificial flavorings– check ingredient lists on your brand of choice.

When used in a nonstick pan, a light coating of spray can allow for grilled cheese, French toast and eggs that aren’t glued to the pan. Spray is also good option to help give oven-baked breadings a crispier crust. A neutral flavored spray (like canola oil) can also be used to grease baking dishes and cupcake pans.

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