All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at FoodNetwork.com

High-Fiber Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, July 12, 2012

garden burger
Ever wonder if your dishes are high in certain nutrients? In this new series, we’ll tell you just that. Since most folks don’t get their daily fill of fiber, we thought that’d be a great place to start.

The Guidelines
The recommendations for fiber ranges from 20 to 38 grams per day—depending on age and gender. However, a good goal for anyone to aim for is 25 grams per day. Each of the recipes below contains at least 20 percent of your daily dose of fiber, which is 5 grams.

Fiber is an important part of your healthy eating plan for many reasons. It can help lower cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of colon cancer, plus it makes you feel full for longer and can help maintain a healthy digestive system.

Read more about the health benefits of fiber.

The Recipes

#1: Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese
The majority of the fiber in this dish comes from the whole-wheat pasta (about 6 grams per serving), but the onions, Swiss chard and tomatoes also contribute a small amount (about 4 grams per serving).

Total fiber per serving: 11 grams = 44% of your recommended daily dose

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Healthiest Fast-Food Menu Items

by in Dining Out, July 10, 2012

wendy's chicken wrap
Car trips are a fun way to spend time with your family, but with most rest stops fronting fast food joints, healthy eating can seem impossible. If you’re tired of continually saying NO to fast food—ease up, there are healthier choices you can make. Check out our list so you’re prepared on your next trip.

Wendy’s
It was refreshing to see several healthy options provided on the Wendy’s website including the Grilled Chicken Go Wrap (pictured above) with a side of small chili (totaling 470 calories for the meal). The problem is, I’m not sure I’d want to be in a car with someone who just had chili! Luckily, you can opt for the baked potato instead or even the wrap with a small side salad (also for 470 calories). Looking to cut calories down? Wendy’s allows you to hold ingredients (like cheese or sour cream) so you tailor the meal to your liking.

Check out more healthy Wendy’s options.

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Herb of the Month: Thyme

by in In Season, July 5, 2012

thyme
‘Tis the season to pick up fresh thyme. Packed with flavor and nutritious goodness, make this delicious herb part of your next meal.

Thyme Basics
This perennial herb is a member of the mint family and is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It comes in dozens of varieties but the most common is Garden Thyme which has grayish leaves that emit a minty and lemony aroma. Subvarieties include French, English and Lemon thyme. French thyme has a more narrow leaf while English has a broader-sized leaf. Lemon thyme has a more pungent citrus aroma than other thyme varieties.

Nutrition Info
One tablespoon of fresh thyme has 3 calories and 8% of your daily dose of vitamin C. It also contains vitamin A, iron, and manganese. Thyme has also been used medicinally to help relieve a sore throat.

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Eating By Color: Red, White and Blue

by in Uncategorized, July 4, 2012

potato salad
Celebrate July 4th by getting the most out of your red, white, and blue foods. We’re not talking artificially-colored goodies, but rather fresh and delicious fruits and veggies in naturally-patriotic tones.

Red
Red hued foods have tons of antioxidants like vitamins A and C. They get their red color from phytochemicals like lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene is an antioxidant found in foods like watermelon and tomatoes and helps protect our healthy tissues from free-radical damage. Anthocyanins are found in foods like cherries and strawberries. This powerful antioxidant helps fight inflammation and protects your blood vessels and nervous system.

30 Days of Stone Fruit

by in Uncategorized, July 2, 2012

grilled peaches
Apricots, nectarines, peaches, cherries and plums . . . oh my! Pick up any or all of these in-season stone fruit at a market near you. Here are 30 ways you can enjoy.

  1. Did you know fruits whose flesh and skin grow around a hard pit are known as “stone fruits?”
  2. You can grill up your favorite stone fruit.
  3. Enjoy Ellie’s Savory Peach Chicken.
  4. Top your morning oatmeal or yogurt with sliced apricots, plums, peaches or nectarines.
  5. Combine plums with McIntosh apples for a Plum Applesauce. Read more

Why We Love Shrimp

by in Uncategorized, June 30, 2012

grilled shrimp

For years my culinary students have told me how much they love shrimp. They’re pretty surprised when I tell them that these crustaceans are not only delicious, but good for you too! Here’s why we love shrimp and how you can too.

Shrimp Facts

90% of the shrimp Americans consume is imported from countries in the Central and South America and Asia-Pacific regions. The hundreds of species of shrimp are typically divided into 2 basic categories: warm-water and cold-water shrimp. The rule of thumb is the colder the water, the smaller and juicier the shrimp.

Shrimp ranges in hue from deep red to pink to grayish-white to yellow and even dark green. When cooked, most shrimp shells change color due to a heat-induced chemical change.

You can buy shrimp according to their size—usually you’ll find that larger shrimp cost a prettier penny. Colossal shrimp usually come 10 or less per pound, jumbo 11-15 per pound, extra-large 16-20 per pound, large 21-30 per pound, medium 31-35 per pound, small 36-45 per pound and miniature about 100 per pound. Of course, these numbers can vary from region to region. As a general rule, one pound of whole, raw shrimp yields ½ to ¾ pound of cooked meat.

Shrimp is available all year round. They can be found in various forms at your local market such as shelled or unshelled, cooked or raw and fresh or frozen.

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10 Summer Food-Safety Tips

by in Food Safety, June 22, 2012
summer picnic food
Play it safe this summer when it comes to picnic foods.

The hot weather is the perfect time to picnic and cook outdoors, but  the warm weather also creates the perfect environment to support the growth of harmful food bugs. Keep your food and family safe by following these simple tips.

#1: Use a thermometer
A thermometer is the number one tool to make sure your grilled goodies are cooked to the perfect temperature to destroy pesky pathogens. Studies show that checking the color of the food isn’t an accurate way to tell if your food is cooked through.

Tips for choosing the right thermometer

#2: Monitor leftovers
Perishable food like cooked or raw meats and salads should never be left out at room temperature for over 2 hours. When the weather gets hot — above 90 degrees Fahrenheit — your window for leaving food lying out is only 1 hour. Toss any unrefrigerated food if it surpasses the time limit.

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Does Healthy Food Cost More Than Junk Food?

by in Food News, June 21, 2012
apple on money
Does eating well cost more money?

Does following a healthy diet mean dishing out more dough? Not necessarily. A new study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that healthy food isn’t any more expensive than junk food.

The Studies
With more than one-third of U.S. adults being overweight and a push from the Obama administration to fight rising obesity levels, this new study sheds light on budgetary concerns when it comes to healthy eating.

Previous studies were highly criticized for comparing the cost of food per calorie. These studies found that pastries and chips and cheaper than fruit and veggies. The newest study conducted by the Agricultural Department compared cost of foods by weight or portion size which reveals that grains, veggies, fruit and dairy foods are less costly than most meats or foods high in added sugar, salt, or artery-clogging saturated fat. The study found that carrots, banana, lettuce and pinto beans were all cheaper per portion than soda, ice cream, ground beef or French fries.

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Have You Tried: Anchovies?

by in Have You Tried, June 18, 2012
anchovies
Have you tried these little guys?

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no denying that anchovies are chock full of nutritional goodness. Now is the perfect time to give these small fish a first or second chance.

What Are Anchovies?
These small, silvery fish are members of the herring family. They are about 1 to 4 inches in length and have been eaten around the world for thousands of years. These fish taste pretty fishy and salty—which can make them overwhelming if you don’t know how to balance their flavor. Anchovies also have a fifth taste, called umami, a savory taste found in foods high in the amino acid glutamate.

Anchovies are typically filleted, salt-cured and canned in oil. They can be found in the canned tuna and salmon section at your grocery store. Canned anchovies can be stored for up to 1 year in a cool, dry place. Once opened, store in the refrigerator in a sealed container covered with oil for up to 2 months. To decrease its saltiness, soak in cool water for about 20-30 minutes, drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

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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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