“Nutrition was always something I was interested in,” says Josh Feathers, corporate chef at Blackberry Farm, the acclaimed Tennessee hotel and restaurant in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. A veteran of the Navy, where he was an admiral’s cook for seven years, Feathers was in fantastic shape when he joined Blackberry Farm in 2000. But as time went by, things changed. “I spent more and more time than ever in the kitchen and middle age started creeping up on me,” he recalls. “I looked at myself and said, ‘’Wow, I need to lose about 30 pounds.'” By focusing on portion control and adding a regimen of running and weigh- training at the gym, Feathers shed the weight in six months.
One year ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled a plan to set guidelines for packaged foods claiming to be free of gluten. The FDA regulations, which are voluntary, take effect today and stipulate that any packaged food labeled “gluten-free” must contain no more than 20 parts per million of gluten.
While companies cannot be forced outright to disclose whether a product contains gluten or not, the standard could help establish a uniform definition of “gluten-free” for consumers and also help hold accountable those food manufacturers that promote their products as gluten-free.
When apricots are ripe and at their peak, they have an irresistible tart, tangy and almost floral flavor. And because the flesh of an apricot is quite thick, the fruit makes a great addition to smoothies, requiring little more to achieve a velvety consistency.
To make this particular smoothie substantial enough for breakfast, I also like to add in oats and yogurt. Rolled oats may seem like an odd ingredient to use in smoothies, but when soaked and blended, they deliver creamy texture and earthy flavor — plus added fiber. The result is a smoothie that will keep you going until lunch.
Ever wondered what that “high-fiber” cereal is actually providing in the way of fiber? (And is it less impressive than the box labeled “fiber-rich”?) Or ever considered how many calories are in a “low-calorie” sports drink?
In order for a food company to splash words like “high in fiber” across its packaging, the product must adhere to specific guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also regulates claims at the other end of the spectrum: Foods that boast being “low in” or “free” of something (such as sodium), must also meet requirements. Here’s a cheat sheet of what’s behind the buzzwords.
As much as we’d all love to dive into a bucket of glistening fried chicken on the regular, we know that eating the bird in other forms is generally a healthier bet. But not all hope is lost: With the right recipe, baking can elicit the same desirable crunch as the deep fryer. Here are four.
Oven Fried Chicken (above)
Marinate a mess of chicken legs and thighs in an uplifting blend of lemon zest, milk, sugar, cayenne, rosemary and garlic cloves. When the pieces are nice and chilled from a two-hour refrigerator session, shroud them in a mix of baked whole-wheat breadcrumbs and yellow cornmeal. Then, for a savory finish, get some Parmesan and chopped rosemary up in there.
Want That Salad Super-Sized?
Watch out Chipotle, a bevy of smaller fast food chains with a healthy bent may soon be nipping at your heels. Tender Greens, LYFE Kitchen, SweetGreen and Native Foods are all among this new crop of health-conscious regional restaurant franchises luring customers with words like “grass-fed,” “seasonal,’ “sustainable” and “organic.” All are reportedly flourishing, so much so that they’ve already garnered a nickname: “farm-to-counter” eateries. The vegan chain Veggie Grill, for example, hit No. 7 on Restaurant Business magazine’s yearly list of the fastest-growing small chains, while Tender Greens (which took in over $40 million in revenue from only 12 stores) came close behind, at No. 10. Also among those to watch may be LYFE (acronym for Love Your Food Every Day) Kitchen, founded by two former McDonald’s bigwigs. Each restaurant grows herbs, uses china instead of plastic and holds its entrees to a 600 calorie maximum.
Grab a spoon. With these guilt-free desserts, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is staving off brain freeze.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Greek yogurt plus a boatload of fresh strawberries are the basis of this homemade fro-yo, which is perked up by lemon (both the zest and juice) and a splash of rum.
The industrial chemical Bisephenol A (BPA) has gotten increasingly negative attention in recent years. So much so, that congressional legislation was recently introduced to ban food packaging containing BPA. But it’s not necessary to wait for the government to take steps in order to scale back at home on products that contain BPA.
Ready to get your zucchini on? Here are seven inventive ways to cook it up now.
Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese
Attention, goat cheese fans! Here, the creamy spread, plus parsley and lemon juice, is topped with spinach and basil leaves before being rolled up in slices of grilled zucchini.
When summer produce is at its peak, it needs little more than the addition of a few seasonings for the flavors to really shine. Here, cucumbers, summer squash and tomatoes are blended into three simple soups accented with herbs and enriched with avocados and nuts.
Chilled soups are not only the ideal starter for a summer dinner party, but they’re also perfect for sipping as a healthy snack on hot days, offering a savory change of pace to the usual fruit smoothies. These chilled soups are best made ahead so they can thoroughly chill in the fridge. They will keep well for up to up to 4 days.