The brown-bag lunch of yore, complete with turkey on whole wheat and an obligatory apple, has thankfully gotten a more sophisticated facelift. Today’s kids are no longer rewarded for eating soggy sandwiches (those are fast becoming obsolete in a world of lunchboxes stuffed with free-range chicken salads and tabbouleh) with a sugar-high-inducing chocolate chip cookie. Instead, they can be fueled by wholesome, good-for-you snacks. Here are five tasty alternatives.
Call it a takeout-container takedown, a boon for the environment or, if you prefer, a headache for New York City restaurants. The Big Apple is banning those plastic foam containers often currently used for everything from cold drinks to hot meals, with tepid “doggie bag” contents somewhere in between. The citywide prohibition, which was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio last week, will go into effect in July.
Take a glance around the airy dining room at Natural Epicurean — the health-minded restaurant at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. — and you may be surprised to find diners perusing tablets, not menus. The tablets are stocked with in-depth nutritional information, allergy alerts and gluten-free ratings for the menu developed by Sous Chef David Patterson with guidance from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. “A growing segment of diners are in tune with nutrition and diet, and they are reaching for our tablets, because they are looking to eat well, but they may have dietary restrictions,” said Patterson.
It’s the best time of year for warm and cozy slow-cooker recipes. Keep things healthy for snacks, mains, sides and even dessert with these make-ahead creations.
Tea is well-established as a healthy drink for many reasons – it’s low in calories and filled with antioxidants, just to name a couple. But are you in tune with the vast array of options and flavors? Get better acquainted with this ancient brewed beverage.
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Chia pudding in all variations is one of my most-popular recipes with friends and clients. It’s sweet and light, is irresistibly creamy and lends itself well to a variety of flavors. Making a batch is a virtually mess-free endeavor, with only a blender and a bowl to clean, and this is also the perfect dessert to serve when you have no desire to stand over a stove. The only caveat is to allow enough time for the mixture to chill completely; overnight is best.
When plagued by the question, “What to cook?” the answer lies in a savory tart. Whether you’re preparing breakfast or dinner, appetizers or the main meal, a tart makes a quick solution — one that can easily be adapted to any dietary needs (hello, gluten-free chickpea crust), time constraints (hello, ready-to-bake pizza dough) or number of guests (hello, unexpected holiday visitors). And with the right ingredients, it can even be low in sodium too.
Can chili, waffles and muffins be as healthy for you as a smoothie? You bet they can, but only if they’re made with seeds — tiny nutritional powerhouses that pack a serious protein punch. Whether you add them whole to muffin batter for a nice crunch or stir them ground up into chili as a natural thickener, seeds will give any dish a wonderfully nutty flavor.
Grains do OK on a plate, but mound them into a bowl and they are a terrific foundation supporting heaps of veggies, legumes, leafy greens, nuts, proteins and, depending on the dish, fruit. These concoctions have been dubbed “grain bowls” and taken over menus across the country. Spanish chef José Andrés, who debuts his new veggie-centric cafe Beefsteak in 2015, says, “There is nothing more comforting than a bowl full of beautiful vegetables and warm, filling grains. This is the bounty of the earth in a bowl!”