All Posts In Uncategorized

Candy Shop Face-Off: Which is Healthier?

by in Uncategorized, July 24, 2013

red licorice

Pay attention when you hit those touristy candy shops this summer: Some treats are better than others.

Red Licorice vs. Black Licorice
WINNER: Red licorice. Many people assume that black licorice root can alleviate health issues. This hasn’t been proven, but eating large quantities of black licorice may be dangerous to people 40 and older because a compound in it has been linked to heart problems, according to the FDA.

boardwalk taffyBoardwalk Fudge vs. Boardwalk Taffy
WINNER: Boardwalk taffy. A 1-inch square of chocolate fudge has more than double the fat of the equivalent amount of taffy (about seven pieces). Plus, fudge is higher in saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol in the bloodstream and lead to heart problems.

 

sour gummiesClassic Gummies vs. Sour Gummies
WINNER: Classic gummies. The calorie and sugar counts are almost identical, but studies suggest that sour candy erodes tooth enamel more than other types because it’s more acidic. And because gummies stick to your teeth longer than other sweets, sour ones pose a greater risk of dental damage.

Read more

Make Tonight Taco Night: Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

by in Uncategorized, July 23, 2013

fish tacoMahi mahi is a sensational white-fleshed fish with great flavor and hearty texture, making it ideal for this healthy take on fish tacos. The seasoning in this dish is a Tex-Mex-inspired blend of chili powder, cumin, marjoram, thyme, onion and garlic–spiced up with cayenne and then tang-ified with fresh lime. The list might look long, but no doubt you have every single spice in your rack. The herb-crusted fish is partnered perfectly with tender beans, fresh avocado, sweet tomatoes and cilantro, making it the perfect ending to an awesome day.

*Note: You may substitute grouper, cod, monkfish, shrimp, or any firm fish that can hold up to this handheld feast. Heck, chicken even works!

Read more

15 Surprising Ways to Enjoy Edamame

by in Uncategorized, July 21, 2013

edamame
We all know that steamed edamame with a delectable sprinkling of salt make a phenomenal appetizer. Pop those babies in your mouth, strip off the pod with your teeth, discard the carnage and reach for another!

But given that soybeans are nutrient powerhouses, why not get creative and add the precious gems to your regular menu? For just 120 calories per heaping cup of edamame (or 1/2 cup shelled soybeans), you get 11 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 10% of your Daily Value for vitamin C and iron and 8% for vitamin A.

Here are 15 unexpected ways to enjoy cooked and shelled edamame.

1. Green Dip: Puree soybeans with an equal amount of thawed frozen green peas, a little fresh shallot and garlic, and salt and black pepper to taste; fold in chopped fresh parsley. Serve with whole-grain crackers or pita.

2. Rice and (Soy)Beans: Sauté soybeans in a little olive oil with chili powder and cumin; add to brown rice with green onions, cilantro and fresh lime juice; add hot sauce if desired.

3. Strong Salads: Fold into potato, pasta, seafood and egg salads for a blast of protein.

Read more

Pork Tenderloin on a Stick!

by in Uncategorized, July 20, 2013

pork loin on a stick
Sometimes getting the family to try something new requires creativity. Maybe it’s not the ingredients; perhaps it’s the presentation. Take these lollipops for example. My son Luke “doesn’t eat pork.” This from a kid who devours all the bacon at every breakfast buffet we encounter. I’d rather he eat pork tenderloin – it’s crammed with protein and devoid of all that visible bacon fat. Enter pork tenderloin on a stick!

Read more

Guacamole: 7 Great Ways

by in Uncategorized, July 19, 2013

guacamole
Guacamole is a fresh and delicious way to enjoy the bounty of nutrients and healthy fats avocados have to offer. And the simple blend of avocado, other vegetables, and herbs leaves lots of room for interpretation and exploration. After preparing the classic version below, get creative and add a variety of unique ingredients.

Traditional Guacamole: This recipe is approximate, meaning adjust all ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Combine in a bowl 2 cups mashed or diced fresh avocados, 1/2 cup diced tomato, 1/4 cup diced white onion, 1 minced fresh jalapeño, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Start the following recipes with the recipe above and add or remove ingredients as suggested below.

Mango with Pepitas: Fold in 1/2 cup diced fresh mango; top the guacamole with roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) just before serving.

Pickled Jalapeno & Green Chile: Fold in diced pickled jalapeños, diced green chiles and a little ground cumin.

Sundried Tomato & Cotija Cheese: Instead of fresh tomato, add diced, oil-packed (and drained) sundried tomatoes; top the guacamole with shredded cotija or Monterey jack cheese just before serving.

Read more

15 Fun Uses for Frozen Fruit

by in Uncategorized, July 18, 2013

frozen berries
Few freezers are without some type of frozen fruit. That’s a good thing because frozen fruit is incredibly nutritious (as long as it’s not packed with sugar or syrup) and endlessly versatile in both sweet and savory dishes. (And with the farmers’ market season in high gear, freezing at home can also be a good way to handle any ripe fruit you won’t quite get to in time.) Check out these fun and unique uses.

1. Barbecue Sauce: Simmer frozen fruit with a little ketchup, Dijon mustard, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, reduced-sodium soy sauce, ground cumin and chili powder. Add chicken broth if desired and reduce the mixture until it reaches a barbecue sauce consistency

2. Sorbet and Sherbet: Puree frozen fruit in a blender or food processor with enough orange juice (for sorbet) or fat-free milk (for sherbet) to make a smooth puree. Freeze until firm. Puree (again) in a food processor just before serving.

3. Punch (Regular or Spiked): Add frozen fruit to your favorite lemonade or limeade. For a cocktail version, add vodka. To make sangria, add frozen fruit to red wine; add a little seltzer if desired.

4. Smoothies: Combine frozen fruit in a blender with yogurt, milk or orange juice, and blend until smooth. (No need for ice, this makes a nice, concentrated smoothie.)

Read more

Cooking with Key Limes (Try These Chicken Kebabs)

by in Uncategorized, July 16, 2013

chicken kebabs
Growing up, I spent several summers visiting my grandparents in the Florida Keys. These days, when I see key limes at the market, I’m catapulted back to age 10–to my grandmother’s sublime key lime pie, her tart limeade and that tangy-sweet steak marinade she made with fresh key limes from her tree. When it was time to head home, we’d squeeze a bunch of limes so I could bring juice home (clearly this was before carry-on liquids were capped at 3 ounces).

These days, you can find key limes in grocery stores nationwide. Thin-skinned key limes are much smaller than regular limes (usually the size of a ping-pong ball or golf ball) and they contain very few seeds. Green key limes are actually immature fruit and are fairly tangy, but as they ripen and turn yellow, the acidity drops and they get sweeter. There’s no shortage of uses for key limes–use them anywhere a recipe needs a tangy splash of citrus flavor, such as in marinades for meat, poultry and fish; dressings and vinaigrette; salsas, pies, quick breads, muffins, and more.

Here, I use them to give delicious flavor to chicken kebabs.

Read more

Why You Should Love Those Weird Lettuces

by in Uncategorized, July 15, 2013

mizuna
These days, there are more than 100 varieties of lettuce available, giving us an endless assortment of colors, textures and shapes to adorn our plates — and countless ways to work more healthy greens into our diets. (Read more here about creative uses for leafy greens.)

In addition to traditional lettuces, unique, heirloom varieties are often offered at farmers’ markets, and they’re definitely worth a try. Don’t be shy: When perusing lettuce, ask questions such as, “Is this lettuce more like a buttery Bibb or sharp arugula?” The grower will love bragging about the taste and textural qualities of the leaves!

And for those times when you don’t have the opportunity to ask, use this cheat sheet!

Butter Oak: Varieties include Flashy and Blushed; the oak-shaped, super soft leaves are achieved by crossing butterhead-type lettuce with oak leaf lettuce.

Buttercrunch: Bibb-type lettuce with thick, juicy leaves and subtle buttery flavor.

Cimarron: Large, tender, red romaine with orange-yellow center; flavor resembles blend of red lettuce and romaine.

Read more

Farmers’ Market Foods to Watch Out For

by in Uncategorized, July 14, 2013

muffins
The farmers’ market has become an entertaining, weekly jaunt for shoppers looking for fresh air and even fresher food. That’s a great thing, but these days, leafy greens and brown eggs are just the beginning of the offerings. Behold the tables featuring homemade cakes, cookies, pies, pizzas, donuts, and assorted fried things. It’s a farmers’ market, so they’re healthy, right? Not always. As you eye those muffins or cookies, consider the nutrition stats below, especially since the foods rarely have nutrition labels.

Numbers vary widely, so use this guide as a reference:

Apple Cider Donut: 200-330 calories, 10-20g fat

Other Donuts (6-8 ounces): 800-900 calories, 40-45g fat

Gingerbread (1 slice or 1 gingerbread person): 260-300 calories, 12-15g fat

Muffins (blueberry, banana, corn, apple, pumpkin, poppy seed): 300-700 calories, 10-40g fat

Cupcakes: 250-400 calories, 10-20g fat

Quick Bread, 1 slice (zucchini, banana, pumpkin): 200-330 calories, 10-15g fat

Read more

16 More Reasons to Heart Greek Yogurt

by in Uncategorized, July 11, 2013

Greek yogurt
Yes, Greek yogurt makes an awesome breakfast, a fabulous snack and a protein-packed dessert. But don’t relegate it to just those uses: This yogurt is capable of so much more!

First, the nutritional stats: When compared to most regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has 2 times the amount of protein. In fact, 1 cup has as much protein as 3 ounces of chicken. It’s also rich in calcium (important for strong bones and teeth and a healthy heart and nervous system). Lastly, Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which improve digestive health by maintaining levels of “good” bacteria in the gut (make sure the label says “active cultures”).

Because 1 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt has just 120 calories and 0 grams of fat, it offers an excellent way to slim down recipes while adding tang. Even whole-milk Greek yogurt has just 190 calories and 9 grams of fat per cup (compare that to 1 cup of regular sour cream with 492 calories and 48 grams of fat).

Here are 16 healthy ways to make the most of it.

Read more