10 Health Foods We’re All Saying the Wrong Way (Kefir, Anyone?)

by in Healthy Tips, August 18, 2014

kefir

It’s a cruel fact: Many of the foods that are potentially good for us also have names seemingly designed to trip us up. Who among us did not have the red-in-the-face moment of learning that quinoa wasn’t pronounced “kee-noah”? To spare us all future embarrassment in the aisles of the Health Food Hut, here’s a guide to several food words known to cause verbal stumbles.

Acai
What it is: This dark purple berry is now ubiquitous in health-food store products everywhere, thanks to its reputed superfood powers. It’s a storehouse of antioxidants and may help support the immune system.
How to say it: You’ll sound like a pro at the smoothie shack when you ask to have “ah-sah-EE” added to the mix.

Agar (also, Agar-Agar)
What it is: This gelatinous substance is derived from red algae and used as a thickener and gelling agent in foods like puddings, jelly candies, soups and sauces. Because it comes from a plant (unlike gelatin, which is derived from animals), it’s popular with vegetarians and vegans who can’t resist a good pudding.
How to say it: It’s pronounced “AH-ger,” which, beer lovers will note, rhymes with lager.

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5 Next-Level Gazpachos

by in Healthy Recipes, August 17, 2014

charred tomato gazpacho
No need to pigeonhole a perfectly good chilled tomato soup to its classic definition. Instead, let go of your preconceived concepts and you’ll see gazpacho was just waiting to break loose.

Charred Tomato Gazpacho (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Smoky grilled tomatoes take the chill off this otherwise cold gazpacho. But the sultry cumin-coriander oil really makes it sizzle.

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When It Comes to Healthier Grilling, How to Tame the Flames and More

by in Healthy Tips, August 16, 2014

grilled chicken
With the middle of August somehow already here, fans of open-flame cooking are right to embrace the last stretch of grilling season with as much fervor as possible. But is it possible to fire up the grill without flaring up the health risks?

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Put Up Your Cukes: Umpteen Things to Make with Cucumbers

by in Healthy Recipes, August 15, 2014

glazed cucumbers

With all that summer has to offer in the way of showy vegetables (squash blossoms, anyone?) and fleeting stars (get your heirloom tomatoes while they’re here!), cucumbers can easily be overlooked. But not anymore.

Glazed Cucumbers
Never cooked a cucumber before? Now’s your big chance. Simmer slices in a little butter and water until tender, season them with dill and salt — and then pile atop pumpernickel bread.

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When Cravings Call, What Are They Saying?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, August 14, 2014

http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2014/08/14/when-cravings-call-what-are-they-saying/

We all get cravings, but when they come in the form of high-sugar and calorie-dense foods, it’s our waistlines that suffer the consequences. But understanding the messages behind cravings can make it easier to resist the siren call of certain foods.

Why We Crave
One theory as to why we crave specific foods so intensely is that the body is deficient in a nutrient that food contains. For example, we desperately crave potato chips because our body is in need of salt. This theory, unfortunately, lacks scientific evidence to back it up.

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The Chef’s Take: Chickpea Crepes from Ryan Angulo

by in Chefs and Restaurants, August 13, 2014

socca
When Doug Crowell opened Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn in 2008, the crowds were lured by chef Ryan Angulo’s hearty Americana fare: buttermilk fried chicken and cheddar waffles with savoy cabbage slaw, duck meatloaf with corn pudding and blackberry gastrique and St. Louis ribs with new potato salad and mustard glaze.

But Crowell and his chef knew their audience included almost as many vegivores as carnivores. Instead of cobbling together an array of vegetable sides to satisfy these guests, they created a separate vegetarian menu that included a house-made mushroom-barley burger, a warm mozzarella and romaine salad with a soft poached egg and roasted cauliflower, grilled flatbread with snap peas and ricotta, and locally made Caputo’s linguine with summer squash, tomatoes and basil. “There is such demand here for vegetarian dishes and recipes that are just a little lighter,” Angulo says. “So many people are eating that way. They don’t want steak frites every night. We wanted to give them a menu that included as much variety and thoughtfulness as the regular menu.”

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Salad of the Month: Tomato with Sesame Dressing

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, August 12, 2014

tomato salad
This time of year, a bowl of sliced fresh tomatoes and a simple dressing can become a delicious meal in itself. Once you’ve had your fill of tomatoes dressed with the classic olive oil and balsamic or red-wine vinegar, try this recipe for a change of pace.

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All the Healthy Ways to Be Sweet on Summer Produce

by in Healthy Recipes, August 10, 2014

berry cheesecake tart
Don’t forget about dessert. These recipes — putting summer fruits front and center — give you just the excuse you’ve been waiting for.

Black and Blue Cheesecake Tart
Blackberries and blueberries co-star in this luscious cheesecake. With all of the antioxidants going on here, you’ll be fighting free radicals while simultaneously poking your fork into a graham-cracker crust.

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A Bright Pickled Relish with a Low-Sodium Spin

by in Scaling Back on Sodium, August 9, 2014

pickled celery relish

Let’s talk a little about low-sodium pickles. It turns out that a lot of what our taste buds (and our hot dogs) expect is not just the salty lick of the brine, but the tangy kick of the acid. Which means, with the right ingredients and strong spices, you can make a low-sodium pickle (or relish!) that meets palate approval.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, August 8, 2014

frosting
In this week’s news: School bake-sale restrictions spark a tempest in a muffin tin; homemade yogurt is whey better than the store-bought kind; and veganism gets a high-profile new cheerleader.

Bake-Sale Ban: Half-Baked?
Ah, the beauty of the school bake sale: Hoovering homemade cookies somehow seems virtuous when the money is going to a good cause. (“It’s all for the kids!”) What to make, then, of reports that federal restrictions aiming to curb childhood obesity have led to a “ban” on treat-peddling school fundraisers? “In dozens of states, bake sales must adhere to nutrition requirements that could replace cupcakes and brownies with fruit cups and granola bars,” the Wall Street Journal warned. The Washington Post, however, was quick to point out that the states, not the federal government, will dictate the number of nutritionally questionable bake sales schools can have. Georgia, for instance, will allow 30 bake sales per year per school — which comes to 75,000 cupcake sprees state-wide annually.

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