The Chef’s Take: Chicken and Tofu with Spring Vegetables from Anthony Martin

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 9, 2014

chicken and tofu
“I started working out seven years ago,” says Anthony Martin, the executive chef and partner at Tru in Chicago. “I wanted to make the health aspect of my life as important as my career. I’ve seen a lot of chefs not being healthy and I didn’t want that.”

For Martin, getting into shape meant eating three square meals a day — often high-protein and vegetable-heavy dishes without processed ingredients or sugar — and working out regularly, both with weights and in the boxing ring.

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Salad of the Month: Radish, Watercess and Pecorino Cheese

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, April 8, 2014

salad

Sharp, juicy radishes, a nutty cheese and an easy dressing are all you need to create a refreshing salad to usher in the spring season. Once tossed in a vinaigrette, radishes begin to pickle and soften. At this point, they can be left for up to an hour before you add the watercress and serve, which also creates pretty hues of pink. The salty, buttery texture of Pecorino cheese is just right accompanied by the bitter watercress and peppery radish sprouts.

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The Healthy Eats Q & A: Marcus Samuelsson

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 7, 2014

marcus samuelsson
Born in Ethiopia, adopted by a Swedish family and raised in Sweden, Marcus Samuelsson comes to cooking with a unique background. He credits his Swedish grandmother, Helga, with first introducing him to the joys of the kitchen. He spent childhood summers at her side learning to pickle fresh vegetables, make meatballs and other Swedish delicacies. But as an adult, he returned to his native Ethiopia and learned about the culture’s cuisine and intricate spices.

In 2010, when he opened his restaurant Red Rooster Harlem in New York City, he described the menu as “American comfort food with hints of my Swedish and African roots.” Here, the chef — who has also made appearances on Iron Chef and Chopped – opens up about what goes on in his own kitchen.

What are your favorite healthy foods?
My favorites are definitely anything fresh and raw. Fruits and vegetables I pick up from the farmers market in the morning after a run are ideal, and there’s this guy that sells the best peaches in the summer.

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5 Casseroles with a Healthy Side

by in Healthy Recipes, April 6, 2014

squash and kale

When it comes to eating well, casseroles need not be the enemy. Meaty, cheesy dishes full of refined carbs may be the retro take on casseroles — but these new one-pan winners prove that healthy eaters and comfort-food cravers can be on the same side after all.

Squash and Kale Casserole (above)
When it comes to eating healthfully, kale is king. But yellow squash and zucchini have their merits too. This casserole combines them all with brown rice and tops things off with a crisp, golden-brown breadcrumb topping — the casserole version of a cherry on top.

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6 Healthy Eating Apps That Are Worth a Download

by in Healthy Tips, April 5, 2014

rhubarb

Whether by homing in on the nearest farmers market, creating a visual food diary or offering another easy way to eat better, these apps merit a spot on your smartphone.

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Taste Test: Frozen Burritos

by in Taste Test, April 4, 2014

burrito
As more burritos hit the frozen food aisle, Healthy Eats was curious to see which fit the “healthy” bill. Sure, making your own bundle of deliciousness is ideal — but sometimes you’re just in the mood for a grab-and-go meal. So which burrito to heat and eat?

The Criteria
Supermarket freezer cases are overflowing with burrito options, including vegetarian, beef and egg. But for the sake of simplicity, this taste test was narrowed down to chicken. Five brands of burrito were in the running, and each was heated in the microwave according to the manufacturer’s directions. The burritos were rated on calories, saturated fat and sodium, along with ingredients, flavor, texture and cost. Although some brands contain seemingly healthy ingredients, they can also have a laundry list of preservatives and additives. Each brand was rated on a 5-point scale, with 5 being highest.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, April 3, 2014

vegetables and herbs
In this week’s news: Vegetables save lives (seven-a-day is the new five-a-day); baseball stadiums cater to the Whole Foods set; and scientists keep putting monkeys on wacky diets.

For a Longer Life, Pass the Salad Tongs
Given all the nutrition studies out there, you might think researchers have tested every hypothetical in the book. Turns out there was a ginormous one missing. Earlier this week, researchers at University College London released the very first report to not just associate eating fruits and vegetables with reduced risk of death of any cause but also to put numbers to the benefit per serving: Eat seven or more portions of produce, and you’ll apparently be 42 percent less likely to die at any given point in time. (Note that the magic of statistics make this sound a little more exciting that in is: No matter how many carrots you eat, you will keel over, eventually.) Drawing on a Health Survey for England data set involving 65,226 people between 2001 and 2013, the study was also able to narrow things down by portion (five to seven servings might buy you a 36 percent reduction, and three to five could get you 25 percent). Fresh produce had the strongest effect, reducing risk by 16 percent per portion. Canned or frozen fruit appeared to increase death odds by 17 percent, most likely because of the foods’ sugar content say the researchers. Always a good bet? Salad, which was associated with a 13 percent gain in the longevity department.

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Crepe Night: Gluten-Free Edition

by in Gluten-Free, April 3, 2014

Crepe Night: Gluten-Free EditionOne of our favorite special-treat meals is crepe night. We whip up a few batches of crepes and make an entire meal of them, starting with savory ham-and-Gruyere crepes (perhaps topped with a fried egg, called a “complete” crepe in French) and finishing with sweet versions — either lemon, butter and sugar, or the classic chocolate-hazelnut with sliced banana. In a throwback to our pre-kids life in Paris, our crepes are all served “street-style,” folded into large triangles and slipped into some parchment or laid on a paper plate. The family gathers around the kitchen island on barstools, and I play the short-order cook, serving crepes as they are ordered.

One of my daughters has become gluten-intolerant, however, so over the past year I’ve had to navigate the waters of a gluten-free world — learning swaps, and testing and retesting my old recipes in new gluten-free versions. And I’ve learned when to let go and accept that I simply cannot re-create a credible version without gluten (yes, I’m talking to you, croissants). Crepes fell into a category somewhere in between. We could make a passable version, but since the kids were on spring break and I was taking most of the week off to spend time with them, I figured I had the time to (finally) nail the gluten-free crepe. And I did.

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The Chef’s Take: Watercress, Cucumber and Feta Sandwiches, Frank Stitt

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 2, 2014

sandwich

“I want to feel really good after I eat,” Frank Stitt says. “I have always tried to work in a way to concentrate flavor without adding lots of extra fat. I’ve always used vegetables — our Southern vegetables of the season — as a dominant player.”

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Smoothie of the Month: Mango with Turmeric

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, April 1, 2014

mango smoothie

Have you noticed the recent proliferation of neon-colored drinks and teas popping up at local juice bars and health food stores? These tonics get their hue from turmeric and are often combined with citrus juice and something sweet to tame the spice. Turmeric’s properties have been widely used in ancient healing systems and now everyone’s catching on.

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