All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at FoodNetwork.com

In Season: Kale

by in In Season, June 15, 2012
kale
Are you crazy for kale?

Many of my gal pals email me photos of their homemade kale chips. Everyone is talking about and making them. Luckily, this green, leafy bunch of goodness is now in season so you can make your own kale chips or any of our healthy kale recipes.

What, Where, & When?

Kale is a member of the cabbage family which also includes cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It’s suspected that kale was brought to Europe over 2,500 years ago. In the 17th century, it was introduced to the United States by English settlers. Today kale is primarily grown in the southeastern United States. Kale has a mild flavor, similar to cabbage and comes in many colors ranging from dark green to different shades of blue or purple. There are many varieties including Curly (or Scots), Plain Leaved, Rape, Leaf and Spear, Dinosaur (or Cavolo Nero), Tuscan and Lacinato (or black cabbage), and Ornamental, which is popular for landscaping but can be eaten too.

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Talking to the Experts: Weight Loss Guru Joy Bauer

by in Diets & Weight Loss, June 15, 2012

joy fit club
Want to know how to lose weight and keep it off? Registered dietitian Joy Bauer has helped folks lose hundreds of pounds on her Today show series Joy Fit Club. I had the privilege to speak with Joy on how people can achieve long-term weight loss success.

Q: Congrats on your new book The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan & Inspiration. What prompted you to write this book which showcases 30 the personal stories of folks who successfully lost weight?

Thanks! I started the Joy Fit Club series on the TODAY show about 4 years ago – we were looking for a powerful way to inspire viewers and show them that lasting weight loss is possible. Every other week, we induct a new member into the club — someone who has lost at least 100 pounds with diet and exercise alone (no pills, potions, fasting, or surgeries). The series was so popular and we got so many questions from viewers after the stories aired that we decided to put together a companion book, which would allow us to go into greater depth on the strategies our members used to achieve success.

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Grilled Meat, 5 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, June 14, 2012
steak
Make dad a meaty meal for Father's Day this weekend.

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day then by cooking dad a meaty meal? Show dad some love with any of these 5 mouthwatering meat recipes.

Tex-Mex Steak
Chili-spiced steak steak topped with avocado sauce and fresh tomato salad, all for 325 calories and 17 grams of fat per serving.

Recipe: Steak With Avocado Sauce and Tomato Salad (above)

Sliders
A little goes a long way when it comes to these delish sliders. Create a toppings bar with mango salsa, grilled pineapple slices, black bean salsa, avocado, pico de gallo or hummus. Let everyone pick their favorites.

Recipe: Swiss Cheeseburger Sliders

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Is It Healthy: Hot Sauce

by in Is It Healthy?, June 7, 2012
hot sauce
Is hot sauce healthy?

A little goes a long way but is this fiery sauce worth the heat? Here are the cool facts.

Yes?
One teaspoon of hot sauce has zero calories, 6 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C and 119 milligrams of sodium. This condiment helps spice up dishes for very few calories.

Hot sauce gets its burn from a compound found in hot peppers known as capsaicin. The spiciness of hot sauce depends on the type of chili pepper and spices used. That’s why the heat (and capsaicin) will vary from brand to brand.

Although some folks believe spicy foods including hot sauce is a stomach irritant, researchers believe that capsaicin can help decrease the risk of peptic ulcers. Though too much can also irritate your stomach — the ideal amount still needs to be further studied. Studies have shown that it can slightly increase your metabolism several hours after eating.

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Herb of the Month: Lavender

by in In Season, June 6, 2012
lavender
Have you tried cooking with lavender?

Nicknamed the “herb of love,” lavender is in season now. For those new to the idea of cooking with lavender, we’ve got simple recipes to get you started.

Lavender basics
The name lavender comes from the Latin verb “to wash.”  Throughout history, it was commonly used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. Today, it is added to many hand soaps and body washes due to its aromatic fragrance.

A relative of mint, the lavender plant is adorned with violet flowers and green or pale grey leaves. Both the flowers and leaves can be eaten and have a pleasant yet slightly bitter flavor. Lavender grows throughout southern Europe, Australia and the United States.

Nutrition Info
Dried lavender has only a few calories per tablespoon and is free of fat and cholesterol. Throughout history it has been used to remedy various ailments including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Research has shown that lavender oil may help alleviate insomnia, anxiety, and stress.

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Raw Sprouts: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, May 31, 2012
sprouts
Are sprouts safe?

The FDA categorizes sprouts as a potentially hazardous food, which means they can carry illness-causing food bugs. Does this mean you should steer clear of them? Not necessarily.

Good?
Raw sprouts like alfalfa, clover, radish, onion and mung bean add color, texture and flavor to dishes. They can be enjoyed cold in sandwiches and salads or warm in stir-fries.

Sprouts are also a nutrient-dense food. One cup of alfalfa sprouts has a mere 8 calories and is a good source of vitamin K. It also provides a slew of other nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, folate, copper and manganese.

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22 Healthiest Summer Desserts

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, May 24, 2012
strawberry dessert
End your meal with Ellie Krieger's Balsamic Strawberries With Ricotta Cream.

Looking to keep your svelte summer figure? Here are 22 healthy and delectable desserts that have less than 250 calories per serving.

Fruity Treats
Juice and delicious seasonal fruit can help satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with a burst of antioxidants.

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How to Cut the Sugar from Summer Drinks

by in Healthy Tips, May 20, 2012

summer drinks
This country is on a never-ending sugar high! We consume over three times the daily recommended amount of added sugar each day. One easy way to drop your sugar intake is to skip the sugary mixes and bottled beverages and take control of how much sugar’s in your drinks.

Sugar Overload
The American Heart Association recommends that women should eat no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) of sugar each day, while men shouldn’t eat more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories). Studies reveal that we’re overindulging on added sugar, consuming 475 calories of added sugar every day.

Close to 40% of added sugar comes from sugary drinks like soda, sports and energy drinks, according to published data in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  A 16-fluid ounce container of a sports drink has 7 teaspoons of added sugar (105 calories) while the same amount of soda has over 12 teaspoons of added sugar (180 calories). Energy drinks are full of added sugar too, with an 8.3 fluid ounce can of a popular brand containing 6.5 teaspoons (98 calories).

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Can You Get Healthy Food from a Food Truck?

by in Dining Out, May 18, 2012
food truck
Food trucks aren't just for ice cream anymore.

From dim sum to crepes to gourmet burgers, food trucks are selling way more than hot dogs these days, and they’re popping up all over.

But gourmet food still comes with both health and safety concerns: Can you find healthy food on a truck? Where do the vendors go to the restroom while they’re on duty? I got the privilege to speak with the folks who run the Rouge Tomate food cart in New York City and let me tell you—food trucks are definitely not what they used to be!

Q: What makes the Rouge Tomate cart different from other food carts in NYC?

The Rouge Tomate Cart maintains the same philosophy as the Rouge Tomate restaurant and uses local, seasonable and sustainable high-quality food products. We visit local markets and farmers markets to find our ingredients and prepare our food using specific cooking techniques that preserve the integrity and the nutritional qualities of the ingredients.

We are also dedicated to proactively address environmental issues. The Rouge Tomate Cart is certified from the Green Restaurant Association. It uses solar panels for electricity and runs on a gas stove. The cart was made from recycled materials and uses biodegradable paper products.

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26 Healthiest Summer Sides

by in Grilling, Healthy Recipes, May 17, 2012
vegetable salad
Ellie Krieger's Grilled Vegetable Salad With Feta and Mint

Fat-drenched side salads are the norm when it comes to cook-outs. But lighten up the dressing and you’ll be able to savor those delicious spring flavors—fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs—in every bite. Here are 26 side dishes that’ll make your mouth water– all for less than 250 calories per serving.

Grilled Veggie Sides
Toss those farmers’ market finds or extra veggies in your CSA box right on the grill. It’s a perfectly simple way to enjoy fresh veggies.

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