Breakfast of the Month: Chai-Spiced Oats with Apricots and Pistachios

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, March 25, 2014

spiced oats

Make this tasty breakfast porridge when you need a change from the usual oatmeal routine. Creamy and warming with fragrant spices, this is the perfect dish to liven up any morning. Coconut milk adds a welcome richness to the steel-cut oats and the saffron and vanilla bean contribute an exotic twist. Sweetened by apricots and a touch of honey, this is a breakfast fit for the gods.

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The Healthy Eats Q & A: Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

by in Chefs and Restaurants, March 24, 2014

Geoffrey Zakarian

For more than 30 years — starting with his first professional job at Le Cirque in 1982 — chef Geoffrey Zakarian has been cooking some of New York City’s finest food. He presides over the Modern American cuisine at The Lambs Club and The National, both in New York City, in addition to being a regular judge on Chopped and a co-host of The Kitchen. In 2011, he won the title of Iron Chef on the The Next Iron Chef. Here, he tackles some questions about his healthy eating habits.

What health food trend do you wish would go away?
Low-fat and fat-free. It robs the food of its flavor and richness. Just the eat the real thing, but eat less of it. I also hate the word “trend” when it comes to eating because health should be a daily lifestyle.

What must-have items are always in your kitchen?
Coconut water, Emmi yogurt, lots of mangoes and berries and canned Spanish tuna in olive oil. I use the tuna in salads and warm pasta dishes.

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More Deliciously Healthy Ways to Cook with Ground Meat

by in Healthy Tips, March 23, 2014

stuffed peppers
Here’s your guide to healthiest ground meat picks.

Beef
High in protein and iron, beef is arguably the most popular choice. Ninety-seven percent lean may appear to be the best choice, but cutting all of the fat will also slash too much of the flavor. Ninety percent lean offers a nice balance, providing good flavor without going overboard on calories. A 3-ounce cooked portion (about the size of a smartphone) contains 180 calories, 3 grams saturated fat, 21 grams of protein and 12 percent of the daily requirement for iron.

Best uses: tacos, burgers, Sloppy Joes, Mini Meatballs

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Chinese Takeout: What Are The Healthiest Picks?

by in Dining Out, March 22, 2014

takeout
This popular takeout fare tends to be on everyone’s speed dial. But it’s always good to know what the healthiest options are, especially when that deep-fried egg roll is calling your name.

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3 Ways Quinoa is About to Blow Your Mind (at Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, March 21, 2014

quinoa

Quinoa is fast-cooking, versatile and protein-packed. Keep a pot of the cooked grains on hand (using the basic recipe below), and these meals will come together in 10 minutes for a nutrient-rich breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, March 20, 2014

white pot
In this week’s news: Doctors embrace the food-as-medicine concept; chocolate is awesome for a whole new reason; and saturated fat (slowly) comes back into the fold.

Get Me a Spatula, Stat!
Last weekend,the Napa Valley branch of the Culinary Institute of America hosted hundreds of physicians for a medical meeting involving kitchen aprons, not lab coats. The draw was the Healthy Kitchens/Healthy Lives conference, co-sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health and part of a quickly growing trend of culinary-medical cross-pollination. Come May, for example, Tulane University will debut the country’s first teaching kitchen affiliated with a medical school. In New York, meanwhile, celebrity chefs David Bouley and Seamus Mullen have been working with doctors Mark Hyman and Frank Lipman, respectively, to develop menu items and eating philosophies representing a drool-worthy intersection of pantry and pharmacy. (Wild mushrooms with white truffle, sweet garlic, grilled toro and coconut foam, anyone?) Fueling the trend is some pretty delicious research: In one recent study of a nonprofit program, patients whose doctors wrote them “prescriptions” to redeem at local farmers markets saw their BMI drop by an average of 37.8% in a single year.

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Taste Test: Turkey Bacon

by in Taste Test, March 20, 2014

turkey bacon
Do you reach for turkey bacon as a healthier alternative to conventional bacon? As it turns out, there’s not always a huge difference between the two when it comes to nutrition stats. An average slice of traditional pork bacon (about ½ ounce in weight) contains 35 calories, 1 gram saturated fat and 130 milligrams of sodium. Now find out how the turkey version stacks up.

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The Chef’s Take: Lentil Soup with Tomato and Kale, Marco Canora

by in Chefs and Restaurants, March 19, 2014

lentil soup
“To have health and wellness,” says Marco Canora, “the best thing you can do is cook for yourself, because you control the fats and salts and you are cooking with whole foods.” These days, health and wellness are of central importance to Canora, the New York City chef who owns Hearth restaurant and five wine bars, all under the Terroir umbrella. But until a few years ago, that wasn’t the case.

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Link Between Saturated Fat Intake and Heart Disease Being Questioned

by in Food News, March 18, 2014

butter
It has been long accepted by the medical community that there is a connection between fat intake and heart disease risk. But recent studies, including one published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are calling into question the current recommendations.

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Dessert of the Month: Gluten-Free Pear and Almond Cake

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, March 18, 2014

pear cake
Here is a cake worth adding to your repertoire — it’s super-fast to put together, pleases many dietary requirements (it’s free of gluten and dairy) and can either be dressed up or down depending on how you serve it.

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