The boneless, skinless chicken breast is one of the most convenient, affordable and healthy kitchen staples out there. Simple yet versatile, chicken can be prepared in many ways and is chameleon-like when it comes to flavor, easily taking on the attributes of seasonings and sauces. I usually roast a batch of seasoned chicken breasts on Sunday to enjoy throughout the week. Then I can add chicken to my salads and sandwiches, or make a stir-fry for dinner in a pinch.
I love preparing batches of salads during the warmer months so I can enjoy them in light lunches throughout the week. Since quinoa is a complete source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids, you don’t have to worry about adding extra protein, unless you really want to. Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, providing both good carbs and protein.
When I was growing up in the South, almost every event and family gathering would include a large bowl of banana pudding: homemade custard, sliced bananas, Nilla wafers and a mountain of freshly whipped cream. The sweet, gooey dessert was one of my favorites, and I often asked for a side of extra wafers to dip into the layered pudding. With those delicious memories, I set out to create a lightened-up, tropical spin on my beloved banana pudding.
With its creamy goodness, canned coconut milk is more useful around the kitchen than you might think. In addition to being delicious, this vegan option is nonperishable and costs less per ounce than heavy cream. Each serving (1/3 cup) contains 120 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat, so, like many decadent foods, it’s to be enjoyed in moderation.
Spring is in the air, but you’d better make sure your kitchen is ready. With the warm weather comes not only delicious produce, but also the possibility of insects and bacteria that can make you sick. Here are five things you can do to make sure your kitchen is in tiptop shape this spring.
Fries with that hormone disrupter?
Yet another reason to skip fast food if you want to eat healthy: A new study indicates that fast food may expose those who consume it to chemicals called phthalates, which can disrupt hormones and even lower sperm count in men. Researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health found that people who had consumed more than 35 percent of their calories from fast food in the previous 24 hours had significantly higher levels of two phthalate byproducts, DEHP and DiNP. The authors suggest that the phthalates may have gotten into food — possibly from sources like plastic gloves or conveyor belts — during preparation or packaging, and that the heat from cooking may exacerbate the issue.
Matcha is a ground-up version of green tea leaves that’s a caffeinated alternative to coffee. It has 70 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. Coffee has 96 milligrams for the same portion, but matcha drinkers say that their energy is more consistent, with less of a dive after the caffeine effect wears off. By consuming the leaves directly (instead of steeping them in water as you would green tea), you get more nutrients and antioxidants in one punch. At about 10 calories per teaspoon, matcha is a calorie-friendly way to get green tea flavor, and it dissolves easily in milk or water. Instead of trying to find a specialty shop that blends matcha up for you, you can now purchase the green stuff in bottled form at your local grocery store.
Crisp, versatile and exceptionally rich in vitamin A, carrots are a strong ally on busy weeknights, well worth utilizing all year long — not just in the throes of winter, when root vegetables dominate the produce scene. A few additional items like cheese, toasted nuts and fresh herbs can help to break the crunchy orange veggie out of its overplayed role as a garnish or crudite-platter staple and elevate it as the star component of flavorsome spring dishes. Whether glazed, roasted, pureed or shaved into ribbons, these quick carrot sides are great in a pinch, no matter what entree you’re planning to serve.
Carrot, Date and Feta Salad
Carrots add natural sweetness and, most importantly, antioxidants to this fresh, low-calorie salad. Toss the delicate orange ribbons with feta and chopped dates for a salty-sweet element, then let it rest so that the flavors marry while you prepare the main course. Don’t forget to toss in some toasted almonds, for crunch.
If Earth Day is inspiring you to take some action to improve the health of the planet, some experts suggest you might want to start by examining your diet. Thinking about having a steak for dinner? Well, know that the pollution generated to produce your T-bone is roughly equivalent to that created by driving a small car for 29 miles. Replace it with a veggie burger this evening and it’s more like driving that car only about three miles.
Making nut milk at home can be a lengthy process, but it means you can control the additives like sweeteners or dates. But just how can you get your nut milk to be as creamy as something you’ll buy in the store? Just ask Executive Chef Kelly Boyer, who started juice and alternative milkshake company Paleta in her kitchen in 2005 after surviving breast cancer. Her pressed magic milkshake really does taste creamier than most nut milks, thanks to the inclusion of organic Thai coconut and cashews.