All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at FoodNetwork.com

Meet This Grain: Freekeh

by in Healthy Recipes, April 17, 2013

freekeh
Freekeh (pronounced free-kah), is an ancient grain that’s had new-found popularity lately. If you haven’t seen it on supermarket shelves or on the menu at your favorite restaurant, be on the lookout; you will soon.

What is Freekeh?
In Arabic, the word freekeh means “to rub.” About 2,000 years ago, the grain was created by accident when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their young green wheat crop was set on fire. The villagers rubbed off the burnt outer layers and cooked up the grain, and thus freekeh was born. It has a crunchy, nutty taste, which has been described as a cross between brown rice and barley.

What Makes Freekeh So Healthy?
One half cup of cooked freekeh has about 130 calories, 1 gram of total fat and 8 grams of protein. It’s free of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. This ancient gem is an excellent source of manganese, providing 70% of your recommended daily amount. It’s also a good source of fiber (with 4 grams per ¼ cup dry), plus phosphorus and magnesium. Freekeh is a whole grain so adding it to your diet can help you meet the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines to make half your grains whole.

Freekeh is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two plant chemicals that have been shown to aid in eye health. This ancient grain also seems to work as a prebiotic, helping good bacteria flourish in the digestive tract.

Read more

How To Build A Healthy Salad

by in Healthy Recipes, Healthy Tips, April 14, 2013

crab and avocado salad
From choosing the greens to pouring the dressing, building a healthy salad requires some thought. Selecting the ingredients carefully or you can end up with a 1,000+ calorie meal.

Work Your Way Up
Start from the bottom and work your way up to the dressing. First course of action: Select your greens. Good choices include romaine, spinach, or a combo of field greens. Keep in mind that iceberg lettuce contains fewer nutrients than darker greens, and build your salad on a plate or in a bowl — stay away from the calorie-laden crunchy taco shell.

The Veggies
Choose several colorful veggies to top your salad like tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers and bell peppers. More colors mean a wider variety of nutrients. This is a great opportunity to use leftover veggies that are lingering in the fridge—and a perfect way to minimize food waste.

Read more

10 Healthy Canned-Tuna Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, April 10, 2013

tuna pasta
It’s one of the easiest proteins to keep on hand for a quick meal. Get the scoop on buying the best varieties, then get ready to cook these deliciously healthy canned-tuna recipes.

Choosing the Right Can
Both water and oil-packed tuna can be used create a healthy recipe. At the market, the most common water-packed varieties are albacore and chunk light. Albacore comes from a larger species and has a milder flavor, while chunk light comes from a smaller fish and tends to have a stronger flavor. Three ounces of tuna canned in water has around 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 22 grams of protein.

Oil-packed varieties have more calories and fat than water-packed tuna, and the price is usually higher than water-packed. Three ounces has about 170 calories, 7 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. Splurge on oil-packed on a special occasion and drain to help remove some of the fat.

Tuna is even more convenient than ever — you don’t even need  can opener to enjoy it; you can now find tuna in pouches. The pouches are available in the same oil and water-packed varieties with similar nutritional content to canned. Some companies like Starkist also pack their tuna in extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil and have low-sodium options available.

Read more

Talking To The Experts: Clean Eating Cookbook Author Michelle Dudash

by in Cookbooks, April 7, 2013

clean eating for busy families
Clean eating has been around since the 1960s but has been gaining popularity recently. Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash author of Clean Eating for Busy Families explains how simple it is to follow.

Q. Could you explain what clean eating is?
Clean eating is the lifestyle of enjoying foods in their most natural and least processed state, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, lowfat dairy and expeller-pressed oils. For example, instead of eating white bread, seek out sprouted wheat bread, which is a true whole grain. Also, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the label, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Instead of components that sound like things from lab experiments, opt for foods with ingredients found in home kitchens. Clean eating to me also means opting for in-season foods—not just produce, but seafood, too—whenever possible.

Q. So many foods marketed to kids are processed — how can you eliminate or minimize processed foods, and how can you tell which packaged foods are clean?
Unfortunately, many foods marketed to kids can be deceiving. You must look past the healthy images on the front of the package and go straight to the ingredient label on the back. If you see sugar in any form (yes, even evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup) as the first ingredient, put it down. If it’s a grain product like a bar or cereal, whole grains like oats or brown rice should be listed first. If you see more than a few ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s probably been manipulated and is highly processed. Despite the widespread availability of processed kids’ snacks, remember, kids still love fruits and vegetables or whole-grain crackers paired with dip.

Read more

Diet 101: The 5-Factor Diet

by in Diets & Weight Loss, April 2, 2013

5 factor diet
During the Grammys, Katy Perry was looking pretty va va voom. While I was in Grammy Twitterland, I found ooglers reporting that she’d been hitting the gym and following The 5-Factor Diet.

Overview
From John Mayer to Kim Kardashian, creator Harley Pasternak has built himself a sweet Hollywood client list. His plan promises to lower insulin levels, provide you with more energy, ignite metabolism, improve mood and reduce stress by using the magic number 5 (i.e. 5 meals a day, exercise 5 days a week).

Paternak is educated in and has experience in the field of nutrition and exercise. He earned his Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto, and an Honors Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario. He has also worked as a nutritional scientist for the Canadian Department of National Defense.

Read more

20 Healthy Easter Side Dishes

by in Easter, Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, March 28, 2013

asparagus recipe
With a bounty of bright spring vegetables popping up in markets and gardens, there’s plenty of fresh produce available to make delicious and eye-appealing veggies to serve at your Easter feast.

Potatoes-A-Plenty
Sweet or white potatoes are both bursting with nutritional goodness including vitamin C. Mash them, top with cheese or roast. The possibilities are endless.

Read more

Easter Egg Safety

by in Easter, Food Safety, Healthy Holidays, March 27, 2013

Easter eggs
Easter wouldn’t be complete without brightly-colored eggs and a full out egg hunt. But who wants to ruin the festivities with spoiled eggs?

Food Safety Basics
Eggs are considered a potentially hazardous food that may cause illness if they’re not handled correctly. Raw and undercooked eggs have been associated with salmonella poisoning. Most folks infected with the salmonella bacteria develop symptoms about 12 to 72 hours after infected. Most people can recover but if symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be required especially in those with a compromised immune system (like the very young and old). Proper handling, cooking, and hand washing can prevent most of the issues.

Keeping Eggs Safe
Egg safety begins at your market and continues until the time when you reserve leftovers.

  • Purchasing: Inspect egg cartons at the market. Don’t purchase cracked or dirty eggs and be sure to check the sell-by date. Eggs should always be refrigerated, even when on display.
  • Storing: Be sure to get those eggs home quickly. They shouldn’t sit at room temperature longer than 2 hours—1 hour if it’s above 90 degrees. Once home, place the eggs in your refrigerator immediately.
  • Preparing: When preparing eggs, wash your hands, any utensils, and surfaces that will come into contact with the eggs. If you’re not sure if the eggs are safe to eat, toss them. Once the equipment is used for the eggs, be sure to wash them with soap and warm water immediately. Don’t use them for another prep task (that’s cross-contamination!).
  • Cooking: Always make sure that your eggs are safe to eat. For hard-boiled (or any cooked) eggs, you want to cook the eggs until both the white and yolk are firm. Learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs.
  • Leftovers: Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They shouldn’t be frozen.

Read more

Reasons to Love Horseradish

by in Healthy Tips, March 25, 2013


Once the gefilte fish hits the table during our Passover feast, about 20 of us start fighting for the horseradish to top it. But this spicy condiment goes far beyond the Passover table.

Horseradish 101
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a member of the cabbage family and is thought to have originated around 500 B.C. in the Mediterranean. It is one of five bitter herbs traditionally eaten during the Passover feast. In the 1600 and 1700s, Horseradish ale was a very popular drink throughout England and Germany. In the 1700s, German settlers introduced it to the U.S.

Fresh horseradish root is about 6 to 12-inches long with a 3-inch or so width. It is white in color, has a pungent smell and distinct spicy flavor. Many folks prefer prepared horseradish which can be found as white or red varieties at the market. White horseradish is preserved in vinegar, while red is preserved in beet juice.

Although you can find horseradish grown throughout the world, about 60 percent of the worldwide supply is grown in Illinois.

Read more

Make Your Own Chocolate-Covered Matzo

by in Healthy Holidays, March 24, 2013

chocolate-covered matzo
When I was a little girl, chocolate-covered matzo was a prized dessert. With 5 siblings and a dad who all love chocolate, it was tough to get a piece! As a mom, instead of purchasing store-bought for my family I make my own and jazz it up with some fun kosher-for-Passover flavors.

Read more

Do Diet Cocktails Get You Drunk Faster?

by in Food News, March 21, 2013

cocktails
Are you a rum and diet Coke drinker or do you prefer a calorie-free cocktail blend made with artificial sweeteners? Whichever is your poison, recent studies have found that consuming artificial sweeteners with your booze can make you tipsy faster.

The Research
A 2006 study found that mixing vodka with a diet beverage containing artificial sweetener verses a sugar-sweetened beverage got folks drunk 15 minutes faster. Those downing the cocktail with artificial sweeteners also had a higher blood alcohol concentration by 0.02.

Although the recent study conducted by Northern Kentucky University had a pretty small sample size (about 16 subjects), the results pointed to the same conclusion. Researchers determined that sugar-sweetened alcohol is absorbed slower into the blood while the artificial stuff doesn’t hinder alcohol absorption.

While you may think that sticking to calorie free mix-ins like seltzer may be a better option, a 2007 study found that carbonated drinks cause alcohol to be absorbed quicker compared with flat mixers like orange and cranberry juice.

Read more

...10...192021...304050...