Yes, Turmeric Is the Spice of the Moment (Here’s Why)

by in Healthy Tips, April 17, 2014

turmeric

Long a mainstay of South Asian cooking, turmeric adds zing to curries and other dishes. But it has also been used in Eastern cultures for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. More recently, turmeric has caught the attention of Western researchers who have been studying the herb and its potential health benefits.

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The Chef’s Take: Seafood and Tomato Stew from John Finger and Ron Stainer

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 16, 2014

stew
“With fish especially, I really like people being able to taste all the ingredients without covering them up with sauces and lots of fats and calories,” says John Finger, the founding partner of Hog Island Oyster Co. who first earned his reputation in the food world as an oyster farmer. An unpretentious seafood restaurant, Hog Island Oyster Co. is built around a buzzing raw bar in the iconic Ferry Plaza Building in downtown San Francisco.

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Dessert of the Month: Gluten-Free Jam Dot Cookies

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, April 15, 2014

cookies

When made with different colors of jam, these little cookies are reminiscent of a pretty collection of jewels. They satisfy both the need for something nutty and crisp and any desire for big fruity flavors — all in one bite. The combination of whole-grain flours, ground coconut and maple complement the assertive flavor of toasted hazelnuts perfectly. Choose your favorite jams and try experimenting with unconventional flavors like fig and black currant or with citrus marmalades.

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What are the Health Benefits of Passover Foods?

by in Healthy Holidays, April 14, 2014

matzo ball soup
This spring holiday is filled with more than just matzo. From traditional dishes to symbolic foods, the Passover feast is filled with a wide variety of good-for-you nutrients.

#1: Egg
Hard-boiled eggs mixed with salt water are served as an appetizer during the Passover feast.

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8 Ways to Get Your Salmon On

by in Healthy Recipes, April 13, 2014

mustard salmon
It doesn’t take much to bring out salmon’s rich flavor, but let’s face it: The old lemon-with-a-dash-of-salt routine gets old. The good news: Salmon need not be boring. Try these tasty ways to amp up an old standby.

Mustard Maple Roasted Salmon (above)
Mustard and maple syrup? The two condiments may seem worlds away, but they make the perfect marriage of sweet and savory in a sauce for salmon fillets. Cilantro keeps the flavor light and fresh.

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A Healthier Take on the Easter Menu

by in Easter, April 12, 2014

asparagus
Among the big holidays, Easter isn’t traditionally associated with excessive eating. But any family gathering has the potential to lead to overindulging. The best strategy: Plan your menu around fresh, healthy and seasonal recipes.

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5 Ways to Eat More Alterna-Grains

by in Healthy Recipes, April 11, 2014

freekeh

Rice is over. Couscous is passe. It’s all about alterna-grains these days. But don’t just stock your pantry with these exotic-sounding carbs and hope for the best. Those wheat berries won’t cook themselves! Here’s what to do with your kitchen’s latest grainy guest stars.

Triple Herb Freekeh (above)
Get your freekeh on! In a simple dish like this one, which is simply grains, onions, herbs and a light lemon dressing, the type of grain you use makes all the difference. Chewy, nutty freekeh (roasted green wheat) will make this one a standout.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, April 10, 2014

mixed beans
In this week’s news: Bean buffs have reason to rejoice; “plant-based protein” shapes up to be the other white meat; and vitamin D is back in the spotlight (make that the sunlight).

Bring On the Three-Bean Salad
Just one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils appears to reduce “bad” cholesterol, a review of 26 controlled studies has found. According to the lead researcher, a single ¾ cup of these foods may lower LDL cholesterol by five percent, which can translate roughly to a five or six percent reduction in heart disease risk. Two factors may influence this. First, the foods have a low glycemic index, meaning that they keep blood sugar levels even (and eaters sated) by breaking down and getting absorbed into the body at a slow and steady rate. Second, they also appear to help rid our systems of the bad fats we ingest. The catch? We currently eat less than half a serving a day.

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Celebrating Spring (and Holding the Salt): Lamb with Fennel and Mint

by in Seasoning with the Seasons, April 10, 2014

lamb and fennel
With spring in swing, it’s the time to welcome warm weather but also a bounty of new ingredients — like spicy radishes, buttery lettuces and beans and sweet peas. Which means you can give your spice rack a break and make natural flavors the star of the meal. And this month I’m excited to highlight a recipe that puts some of April’s arrivals to good use.

In this Easter and Passover-worthy salad, fennel, endive, mint and lamb provide all of the seasoning you need — no salt necessary. Fennel offers an herbaceous, licorice-like taste. The endive brings a welcome bitterness. The juicy lamb provides a natural salty kick. And a little fresh mint, lemon juice and olive oil add the right touch of sweet and sour to balance it all out.

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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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