All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at FoodNetwork.com

13 Healthy Steak Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, June 15, 2013


In my house, we always grill steaks for dad on Father’s Day. The secrets to making a steak dinner a healthy one are simple: it’s all a matter of buying the right cuts of beef and making sure portions aren’t outrageous.

Healthier Cuts
Lighter cuts of beef include flank steak, top loin, sirloin, T-bone, filet mignon, and tenderloin. Trim off any visible fat before adding your marinade or rub. Grilling your steak will also allow even more fat to drip off.

Aim for 6-ounces of raw steak and get rid of that bottled sauce. Flavor the steak using fresh herbs, spices, fruits, veggies and other wholesome ingredients. Make a batch of Dana’s Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning and send the other dads home with their own jar.

Use our lightened-up steak ideas on your favorite dad-worthy recipe, or surprise dad with one of our favorite healthy steak recipes this weekend.

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28 Healthy Father’s Day Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, June 12, 2013

cheeseburgers
Dad deserves delicious grub on his special day but he doesn’t have to know it’s good for him. Cook him any of these mouthwatering dishes and feel good that you’re feeding him healthy eats.

Starters

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The Healthiest Restaurant Mexican Food Options

by in Dining Out, June 11, 2013

steak taco
If you think a night out at a Mexican restaurant will sabotage your healthy eating plan, think again! With a little knowledge and planning, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Chipotle Mexican Grill
After playing around with their nutrition calculator, I found the most balanced option was a salad with lettuce, 1 serving of steak, black beans, green tomatilla salsa and fajita veggies.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 355; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 40 grams; Carbohydrates: 34 grams; Sodium: 975 milligrams

If you’re in the mood for a taco, choose the soft corn tortilla and one protein (chicken, steak, barbacoa, or carnitas) and top with veggies (lettuce and fajita veggies) and your favorite salsa. This will give you a nutritious meal for around 400 calories.

Check out more healthy Chipotle options.

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Food Fight: Turkey Burger vs. Beef Burger

by in Uncategorized, June 7, 2013

burgers
It’s an all-out war! With grilling season here, which type of burger should you be tossing on the barbecue?

Turkey Burger
Ground turkey has a reputation for being a very lean meat, but that’s only the case if you choose ground turkey breast. Unless otherwise specified, the dark turkey meat and skin gets mixed in with the light making it fattier than you may think.

A 4-ounce cooked turkey burger (made from a combo of dark and light meat) has 193 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat and 22 grams of protein. It’s an excellent source of niacin and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6, phosphorus and zinc. Choosing ground turkey made from only breast will have 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 0 grams saturated fat. Since it’s so lean, it can end up being too dry and not-so-tasty.

Undercooked ground turkey has been associated with salmonella, so make sure your turkey burger is safe to eat by cooking it to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check that the proper temperature is reached by using a thermometer.

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20 Healthy Picnic Salads

by in Healthy Recipes, June 6, 2013

farro salad
Need a few new ideas for picnic side dishes? Here are 20 mouthwatering salads you can easily tote along for your next outdoor shindig.

Packing Your Salad
Be sure to pack your salad safely to avoid potential illness. If you’re heading on a long drive, keep it in a cooler surrounded with ice. If you also have raw meat, chicken, or hot dogs, those should be packed in a separate cooler to avoid cross-contamination. The cooler should be stored in the air-conditioned car, not in the hot trunk or roof rack.

To avoid a soggy leafy green salad, pack the salad and dressing separately in the cooler and mix them together right before serving.

Grain & Legume-Based Salads

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5 Reasons to Eat Breakfast

by in Healthy Tips, May 28, 2013

chocolate oatmeal
A recent survey found that 31 million people—about 1 in 10 Americans – skip breakfast every day. But there’s no need to go all out with an over-the-top breakfast spread. All you need is a few quick and easy healthy choices to take full advantage of the benefits. If you’re STILL not a breakfast believer, these 5 reasons will have you re-thinking your philosophy.

#1: Quick Fix of Essential Nutrients
Wake up and give your body and quick boost of many much needed nutrients. Easy-to-prepare foods can give you a terrific nutritional bang for your buck. Milk and dairy products have you taking in 9 essential nutrients in one shot plus they can help you meet your recommended 3 servings of dairy for the day. Fruits are brimming with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant compounds that help prevent and fight disease). And starting the day off with whole grains can help meet the Dietary Guidelines recommendation to make half your daily grains whole.

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Should You Follow an Acid-Alkaline Diet?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, May 24, 2013

acid-alkaline diet
Should you follow an acid-alkaline diet? This question was the hot topic at the last cocktail party I attended. The answer, however, isn’t as straightforward as it’s made out to be.

What’s the pH Diet?
The theory behind this plan is that if you consume loads of acid-producing foods it will lead to a metabolic imbalance. The body will try very hard to regain its equilibrium, making you sick in the process.

The diet claims that if you eat more alkaline and less acid-forming foods, it will help reduce inflammation and increase your resistance to disease.

According to the diet, you should be eating 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association determined how different foods affect the urine’s acidity. The results found that the most acid-forming foods included poultry, fish, dairy products, meat, caffeine, sugar and salt. Grains were found to be slightly acid forming. The most alkaline-forming foods were fruits and vegetables.

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Herb of the Month: Sorrel

by in In Season, May 17, 2013

sorrel
This spinach-like, tart herb is now in season. Pick up a bunch and get cooking!

Sorrel Basics
Although commonly defined as an herb, sorrel is part of the buckwheat family. It was used by the Greeks and Romans to help digestion. It was also wrapped around meat to help tenderize it. During the Middle Ages, before citrus fruit was brought to Europe, folks used this green herb to add a sour punch to dishes. Once citrus fruit reached Europe, poor sorrel was cast aside. Only recently has this citrus-flavored herb been gaining popularity.

Its tart flavor and tenderizing capabilities come from a compound called oxalic acid, which can also be found in spinach and black tea.

Your best bet is checking your local farmer’s market for sorrel starting in mid-May. Its leaves can either be shaped like a shield or rounded. The color can range from pale to dark green and range from 2 to 12-inches in length. Keep your eyes peeled though, sometimes the young leaves are tossed together with the salad greens. As the herb ages, the acidic flavor becomes stronger.

Varieties also vary in sourness with Garden and Belleville being the strongest flavored, while Dock sorrel is one of the mildest varieties.

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Hot Trend: Artisan Cocktails

by in Dining Out, May 16, 2013

cocktail
Rum and coke is a thing of the past. Instead, you’ll find bars offering up a menu of exotic cocktails created from high-quality booze and fresh ingredients. I had the opportunity to speak with the bar manager Sarah Boisjoli from Beauty and Essex — one of the trendiest bars in New York City, known for their high superb cocktail menu — about hot cocktail trends you’ll see this year.

Q. The term “mixologist” is now being used instead of “bartender.” Is there a difference between the two?

There is a difference. A mixologist develops the recipes while the bartender mixes and serves them. In order to develop a cocktail, we work as a team and put much thought and time into perfecting it using the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

Q. What are some of the infusions that you offer on your cocktail menu?

Many of our drinks are creating by infusing flavors. For example in the Sapphire Seventy-Five Bombay Sapphire is infused with blueberry-brown sugar and in the La Miel we infuse a local Brooklyn gin with vanilla.

Q. How can folks at home infuse their own cocktails?
A great combo is Woodford bourbon infused with cinnamon. Put cinnamon sticks into the bourbon and let it hang out for a few days or weeks (the longer it hangs out, the stronger the flavor). Strain it out and you have delicious cinnamon-infused bourbon.

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How All-Star Moms Talk to Their Kids About Food and Nutrition

by in Kid-Friendly, May 12, 2013

family dinner at table
Ever wonder how moms like The First Lady, celebrity chefs and renowned nutrition experts speak to their children about healthy eating? Find out how four amazing women talk to their kids about food, weight and body image.

Q. How you talk to your daughters about a healthy weight and how do you recommend parents talk their kids about healthy weight?

Michelle Obama: I don’t talk about weight at all. I talk about healthy choices. When I talk about exercise I don’t talk about exercise in terms of you have to look good. Exercise is about competition; it’s about learning a new sport; it’s about being introduced to something interesting; it’s about learning about how to compete and why competition is important. We talk in those terms.

When we talk at the dinner table we talk about eating a balanced meal, not because of how you look but because of what your body needs.

Now that [the girls] are getting older they’re starting to conversations [about weight] in their community, so it’s not coming from us, it’s coming from the outside. But I always shift them back to health and tell them the best way to never have to worry about what you look like is just to get good food in your body.

It’s all about balance. It’s not about never having birthday cake, or going out to lunch and not having a burger. I don’t even want them to think about that. I don’t want them to obsess about food. I just want them to live their lives.

So if they’re doing a sport, if they stay active, if they’re eating vegetables most meals and not overeating, if we treat foods as treats — so the weekend I’ll tell them you can have one breakfast that’s a splurge breakfast, just once a week — because you just don’t need to have pancakes and sweet rolls — at the White House, you walk in and it’s like pancakes and a sweet roll and a biscuit — (laughter.) it’s like, who’s idea was this?

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