Slimmed-Down Summer Cocktails

by in Healthy Recipes, July 9, 2016

Too many summer celebrations can get your waistline into trouble, especially when most popular mixed drinks rack up more than 500 calories each. Imbibe smarter with these three lightened-up versions of popular cocktails, each coming in at less than 300 calories.

Frozen Daiquiri

Gooey, sugar-laden daiquiri mixes are full of added colors, flavors and high-fructose corn syrup. A half-cup of the mix alone contains almost 200 calories. This recipe uses the natural sweetness of fruit and gets a boost of flavor from coconut rum and coconut water.

Mango Daiquiri

Serves 1

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 banana (preferably frozen)

1 1/2 ounces coconut rum

1/2 cup coconut water

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Calories: 267

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Nutrition News: FDA Cookie Dough Warning, Coffee Benefits, The Skinny on Pasta

by in Food News, July 8, 2016

Oh, no! No more dough?

Eating a furtive spoonful (or three) of raw cookie dough before you pop the baking sheet in the oven or letting your kids lick the bowl is one of life’s great pleasures, but alas, the killjoys at the FDA are strongly warning against it. “Eating raw dough or batter — whether it’s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas — could make you, and your kids, sick,” the FDA warned in a recent blog post, noting that the uncooked flour in the dough — no matter what brand it is — “can contain bacteria that cause disease.” Apparently there’s been an outbreak of a strain of E. coli linked to the flour in raw dough or batter. In fact, the FDA says, even letting kids play with raw dough or clay made with flour “could be a problem.” Sheesh. On the bright side: Less raw-cookie-dough sneaking means more actual cookies! Read more

5 Potato Salads for a Lighter Picnic

by in Healthy Recipes, July 7, 2016

We’re all familiar with old-fashioned potato salad, a simple mixture of boiled white potatoes, cut into wedges and tossed in a creamy-tangy dressing of full-fat mayonnaise and white vinegar. Perhaps you’ve encountered some diced celery, chopped onion and hard-boiled eggs tossed in for varied flavor and texture. While nobody can deny the comforting appeal of the classic recipe, there are countless ways to prepare this cookout staple without tossing your nutritional goals out the window. These five recipes come with some pretty appealing nutritional benefits — without sacrificing any of the flavor.

Creamy
Using light mayonnaise cuts down on fat without sacrificing any flavor in Food Network Kitchen’s Lighter Smoky New Potato Salad. Since this recipe requires no table sugar (which, unfortunately, you’ll find in many store-bought potato salads), lime juice and paprika come in to lend bright and smoky flavor, minus the nutritional costs of sweeteners.

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What’s in This Week’s CSA Box?

by in Healthy Tips, In Season, July 6, 2016

We in the Food Network Kitchen got our first box of CSA (community supported agriculture) produce from Mountain View Farm in Easthampton, MA. And probably like many of you at home, unpacking the box had us wondering, “What are we going to do with all this stuff?”

CSAs aren’t exactly a new idea. After all, farmers selling directly to the consumer is the original business model. But the locavore trend is one way to buck the industrial agricultural system (or skip the hassle of the produce aisle), with members buying “shares” in a farm’s annual harvest.

This is the most-exciting box of produce you will ever receive — your own mystery basket to keep you on your culinary toes week after week. So sign up, get to know your local farmer and keep reading to find out how to use even the most alien-looking produce in the box. We’ll give a glimpse at our CSA box and share tips on how to use the produce every other week throughout the summer and fall.

Bok Choy
Bok choy is a mild-flavored member of the cabbage family you’ve probably enjoyed at your local Chinese restaurant. Whether steamed, stir-fried or tossed in a saute pan with minced garlic and oil, it is a delicious dinner table addition.

Fennel
You might not know it from looking at this vegetable, but it comes from the same family as carrots. Slice your fennel bulb for adding crunch to salads, roasting for a side dish, or steaming and serving with fresh dill. Read more

4 Things You Should Never Do When Detoxing

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, July 5, 2016

If you’re considering a detox plan to give your body a reboot, reading these four common misconceptions may make you rethink the hype.

Mistake #1: Following a Juice-Only Detox Plan
Your body requires more than just nutrients from juice during the detoxification process. According to Danielle Omar, M.S., RDN, integrative dietitian at Food Confidence, “juice alone can deprive the body of protein, healthy fats and adequate calories to function optimally. Protein is necessary to help carry toxins through the body for elimination, and fats are needed to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.” Another reason that it’s important to take in fats and proteins during the detox process is that they take longer to digest and will help stabilize your blood sugar, keeping you satisfied between meals.

Mistake #2: Believing the Hype
According to Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., author of The Only Cleanse and host of Samantha Heller’s Health & Nutrition Show on SiriusXM Doctor Radio, says, “Teas, enemas, magnetic foot pads, fasting or juicing protocols, potions or tonics that claim they can ‘detox’ or ‘cleanse’ your body are a bunch of hooey. What they do is cleanse your wallet!” Read more

Coleslaw: Is It Healthy?

by in Is It Healthy?, July 4, 2016

Yes
According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 90 percent of adults do not consume the daily recommended dose of vegetables. The veggies from coleslaw can count toward your recommended daily amount. Further, you don’t have to drown your coleslaw in mayo. In my cookbook, The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, I explain how you can use a 50:50 ratio of reduced-fat mayo to nonfat plain Greek yogurt to get the flavor you love for a fraction of the calories. Or instead of using a half-cup to one cup of mayo, you can use a quarter-cup.

Coleslaw can also go beyond cabbage, so don’t be afraid to think outside the coleslaw box and use shredded veggies like carrots, kohlrabi, radishes or cucumbers as the base for your slaw. You can also make a slimmed-down slaw like those in the recipes below:

Coleslaw with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette
Bobby Flay uses lime juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin as a lighter dressing.

Classic Coleslaw with Caraway
Ellie Krieger uses a combo of yogurt and low-fat mayo for 110 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving.

Asian Red Cabbage Slaw with Peanuts
The chefs in Food Network Kitchen give their coleslaw an Asian flair for less than 120 calories per serving by using toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, spicy mustard and grated ginger. Read more

Patriotic Cheesecake Parfaits

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, July 3, 2016

Take all the great, rich flavor of cheesecake, layer it with summer’s best berries, then add a little crunch and a touch of chocolate, and you have what may just be the perfect summer dessert. Best of all, a great big, celebratory serving of this parfait clocks in at less than 400 calories. (This recipe can also be made to serve six instead of four. Just use smaller glasses and divvy the recipe up into six parfaits with less than 250 calories each. We pinky-swear it won’t feel skimpy!)

In honor of Old Glory, this version is red, white and blue, but you can certainly toss in other fruit as well. Each fruit layer may be made with a combination of fruits, or you can alternate to create red and blue stripes. The crumb layer may be made several days ahead and stored in a closed container at room temperature; the cheesecake layer may be made a day or two ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Wait until just a couple of hours before serving to assemble the parfait, to ensure the crumb layer stays crunchy.

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Corn and Cantaloupe Salad

by in Healthy Recipes, July 2, 2016

It’s that time of year when refreshing summer produce is in full swing, the perfect accompaniment to hot and sunshine-filled days. For evenings when you don’t want to spend a lot of time at a hot stove, try this unique corn and cantaloupe salad instead. It’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet, and it’s a great go-to for potlucks or lunches; you can even serve it as a side dish with whatever you’re taking off the grill.

Cantaloupe is one of my favorite summer fruits, though it can be tricky to pick a ripe one from the market. Because the melon is the star of this dish, its quality and taste will change the overall outcome. The best way to pick a cantaloupe is to smell the round section where the vine was attached; it should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. A ripe cantaloupe will be orange or golden in color and feel heavy for its size. Avoid melons with too much green or white color.

This recipe calls for barely cooking the corn to eliminate some of the rawness, but if you can get your hands on really fresh, sweet corn, feel free to forgo the cooking process altogether and add the raw kernels right to the salad. The briny feta cheese perfectly balances the juicy cantaloupe and sweet corn kernels, though Gorgonzola or blue cheese can be used instead. Read more

Gluten-Free Fourth of July Feast

by in Healthy Recipes, July 1, 2016

Kick off this Fourth of July weekend with a feast of lightened-up, gluten-free versions of American classics. We’ve swapped in a creamy cashew ranch dressing for heavy mayo in our veggie-packed macaroni salad. Want super-crispy fried chicken? Go ahead and let your oven do all the work for you instead of frying it in oil. Bonus: you’ll be rewarded with less cleanup, too!

Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken
Serves 6

Ingredients:
Canola oil, for greasing
2 cups unsweetened corn flakes
6 tablespoons raw almonds
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
1 cup gluten-free flour, for dredging
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken tenders

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet with oil. Using a food processor, pulse together the corn flakes, almonds, sesame seeds, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, dried thyme, pepper, cumin and salt until coarsely chopped; transfer to a shallow bowl.

In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Place the flour in a third shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg mixture and the corn flake mixture; place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Bake until golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 346; Fat 12.2 g (Saturated 1.7 g); Cholesterol 158 mg; Sodium 532 mg; Carbohydrate 25.9 g; Fiber 2.2 g; Sugars 1.4 g; Protein 33.2 g Read more

Nutrition News: Workday Walking, Gut Speed, Meal Timing

by in Food News, July 1, 2016

Optimal meal timing? The jury is out.

We know what we eat is important, but does it matter when we eat it? A new research review has concluded that national dietary guidelines ought to provide us with stronger recommendations about optimal meal timing. “Whilst we have a much better understanding today of what we should be eating, we are still left with the question as to which meal should provide us with the most energy. Although the evidence suggests that eating more calories later in the evening is associated with obesity, we are still far from understanding whether our energy intake should be distributed equally across the day or whether breakfast should contribute the greatest proportion of energy, followed by lunch and dinner,” Dr. Gerda Pot, who was involved with the study at the King’s College London, said in a release. “There seems to be some truth in the saying ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper,’ however, this warrants further investigation.” Read more