Smoothie of the Month: Blueberry and Chia Seed

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, September 2, 2014

blueberry smoothie

Here is a simple nutritious smoothie for getting back into a post-vacation routine. Although it tastes like summer and is delicious when made with fresh blueberries, the smoothie can be prepared well into the fall with frozen berries of any kind.

Famous for their endurance-supporting qualities, chia seeds also give the smoothie an Omega-3 boost and provide fiber and protein that can help keep sippers satisfied. Since the seeds thicken when soaked, they also add body and a creamy texture to the smoothie once blended. The coconut butter supplies a touch of richness and also a hint of sweet flavor that tastes great with blueberries and vanilla.

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Summer Squash Pizza (What Can’t This Pie Do?)

by in Scaling Back on Sodium, September 1, 2014

summer squash pizza

What’s the best way to use up an abundance of summer vegetables? Pizza, obviously. And in as much time as it takes to order delivery, you can make a summer pie that’s bursting with flavor and able to satisfy hungry guests. Bonus points: This pie is gluten-free, meat-free and dairy-free too. So what’s the trick?

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5 Alternative Burgers Worth Flipping For

by in Healthy Recipes, August 31, 2014

vegan burger
Even if you hold the beef and spring for an alternative protein, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. Just in time for Labor Day grilling, these five unconventional patties are ready to step up to the bun.

Vegan Lentil Burgers (above)
Don’t let the lentil-spinach mixture fool you. There’s nothing hippie-crunchy-tasting about these delicious meat-free patties. Give them a whirl on the grill — or a quick pan-fry session — then tuck them into whole-grain buns with a wallop of spicy mustard. Read more

Healthy Dinners, No Cooking Required

by in Healthy Recipes, August 30, 2014

veggie sandwich
You can’t close out summer without going on a no-cook dinner spree. Here are five ways to not turn on the oven.

Veggie Lover’s Club Sandwich (above)
Nothing boring about this veggie sandwich. Choose from smoked tofu or smoked mozzarella for a boost of protein, and give the whole-wheat club an Italian accent with sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and chopped fresh oregano. Read more

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, August 29, 2014

blueberries
In this week’s news: The produce aisle takes a page from the junk food playbook; breakfast proponents get a wake-up call; and new thinking on salt shakes things up.

Hey, Kids: Do Try This At Home
Parents encouraging kids to reach for fruits and vegetables may frequently find their efforts undermined by a barrage of marketing that lures young eaters toward chips, candy, sugared cereals and other less-than-healthy snacks. But some marketers and grocers, including Wal-Mart and Giant Eagle, are now ramping up the appeal of healthier snacks by deploying colorful, kid-centric junk-food-style packaging and signage in the produce aisles. The CEO of Giant Eagle told NPR that when she first heard about the kid-oriented produce-section snack stations, she thought, “This is a win-win.” Apple slice, anyone? Read more

The 10 Best Comeback Foods (and the Chefs Who Love Them)

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Trends, August 28, 2014

brussels sprout
They used to be the stuff that fueled childhood nightmares: forkfuls of overcooked broccoli or endless orbs of bitter Brussels sprouts that had to be endured in order to tackle, finally, the chocolate ice cream. But today’s renditions of green vegetables don’t require nose-holding or the camouflage of cheese in order to win over legions of fans. From the once-maligned spinach that only Popeye fancied to the leafy kale that went on to wildly successful oversaturation, here’s a passel of formerly shunned vegetables (and a few equally undesirable fruits) that chefs have helped give miraculous makeovers. Read more

The Chef’s Take: Grilled Sirloin Tips with Avocado from Tony Maws

by in Chefs and Restaurants, August 27, 2014

grilled sirloin with avocado
It’s 5:30 a.m., and chef Tony Maws is running. Actually, he’s not just running. He’s sprinting up and down the stairs at Harvard Stadium. And he’s not alone. He’s one of 300 this morning, all part of The November Project, a free fitness movement that was originally born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement motivates and encourages people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. And Maws is moving.

At 44, he has a six-year-old son and two of the Boston area’s most popular restaurants, one fine dining, Craigie on Main, and one casual, The Kirkland Tap & Trotter. Known for his rustic farm-to-table style, Maws continually earns recognition as one of the country’s best chefs.

At Kirkland Tap & Trotter, local ingredients are the foundation of a menu that’s mostly cooked on a wood-fired grill, the centerpiece of the restaurant. While Maws knows that most of his guests come to toss back pints of craft beer and get their hands on his slow-roasted pork belly and beer-battered ocean perch, he also understands that Kirkland is a place regulars come to several times a week. “I want this to be a place you can eat at regularly, so there have to be dishes that are not all heavy,” Maws says. To that end, he offers a grilled dayboat swordfish, a Persian-spiced vegetable stew and his killer grilled brochette, a steak skewer perfect for summertime grilling. “It’s simple, but we’re not looking for innovation, we’re looking food delicious. And it’s delicious.” Read more

Breakfast of the Month: Coconut Pancakes with Cherry Compote

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, August 26, 2014

pancakes with cherry compote

Although these whole-grain pancakes are free of gluten and dairy, they are still decadent in the best way and definitely worthy of a special weekend breakfast. The batter is made up of four different forms of coconut: coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut oil and dried coconut. Since coconut has a naturally sweet flavor, you don’t need much in the way of additional sweeteners for a delicious pancake. Plus, the dried coconut flakes, added to the batter as they cook, result in a delightfully crunchy top. A cherry compote offers a quick and easy way to dress the pancakes up, but they are just a good with lots of fresh berries, summer fruit or even just a smear of jam. Read more

In Search of the Healthiest Dish on the Menu? Help Is on the Way.

by in Food News, August 25, 2014

chalkboard menu

You’re feeling hungry and hankering for some comfort food, so you slip into your local diner and scan the menu, looking for healthy options. You know they’re in there, hidden among the burgers and fries, shakes and floats, waffles and three-egg omelets loaded with cheese. A spinach salad? A fresh fruit plate? A low-cal veggie soup, not too heavy on the sodium? The trick is to find them.

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6 Ways to Celebrate Tomato Time

by in In Season, Tomatoes, August 24, 2014

tomato salad
Plump and juicy tomatoes aren’t just a summertime seduction, they’ve got nutrition credentials as well. They’re low and calories and high in vital nutrients, including choline, fiber and folic acid. They also feature cell-protecting antioxidants lycopene, vitamins A and C, and lutein. (Interestingly, a 2013 study found that organic tomatoes contain more antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts.)  But whichever type you buy – and however you prepare tomatoes – just remember not to refrigerate them.

Spicy Green Tomato-Avocado Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Green tomatoes are firmer and less sweet than their red equivalents and downright delish. Pair wedges with heart-healthy avocado and a handful of greens, then add a kick from fresh jalapeno. Read more