By now, almost everyone knows that whole-grain foods are a nutritional step up from dishes that revolve around refined carbs. But if you’re starting to get the feeling that good-for-you grains are spending just a little too much time on their healthy high horse, remind them of their tasty roots by baking them into one of these whole-grain treats.
With her out-of-the-box approach to salads and sandwiches, all of which put seasonal vegetables to delicious use, Caroline Fidanza has earned a cult following among the food world’s cognoscenti in New York City, where she is based. At Saltie, her Brooklyn sandwich shop, wholesome creations like the Clean Slate, a sandwich where hummus, bulgur, pickled vegetables and yogurt get held between Indian naan bread, are as tempting as the sinful sandwiches, like the Balmy, which pairs chicken liver pâté with sliced ham and mayo.
“Mainly, I think about what I want to eat,” she says of her culinary process. “Sometimes that falls within the healthy category, sometimes not so much. Over the past five years, though, I’ve definitely thought more about vegetables. As I’ve moved along as a chef,” Fidanza says, “I have thought more about healthy foods.”
Sweet and creamy with an exotic twist, this smoothie can double as a light dessert. Banana and cashews create the smooth base, while dates add a sweet caramel-like flavor and vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom give the drink an irresistible fragrance. The dairy-free smoothie is especially easy to put together, as you’re essentially making the nut milk right in the blender with all of the other ingredients. Unlike almonds or any other nut, cashews create no pulp when blended, instead producing a velvety, rich base that gives the smoothie the feel of a dessert, minus the guilt.
Chef Marc Murphy has devoted his career to creating innovative cuisine. He currently presides over five New York restaurants — two locations of Landmarc, a bistro with Italian influences, two locations of his New York-style fish shack, Ditch Plains, and his latest venture, Kingside, which features a New American menu. He’s also a regular judge on Chopped. Here, he opens up about some of his own eating habits — which include loving kale and french fries both.
What health-food trend would you like to see go away?
Week-long juice cleanses. I love a great juice, but I don’t think you should use it as a meal replacement every day. Everything in moderation.
What healthy items do you always have on hand in the kitchen, and how do you use them?
I always like to have some healthy grains like quinoa and farro around. At my newest restaurant Kingside, we just added a brick-roasted poussin with winter squash, farro and mustard greens, and it’s delicious!
By making simple ingredient swaps, you can enjoy your favorite comfort foods any night of the week without an ounce of guilt. All of these dishes have fewer than 500 calories per serving.
Food Network Kitchens created a Cheesy Meatloaf with Green Quinoa for about half the calories of traditional meatloaf by using a combo of extra-lean ground turkey and beef along with spinach and cilantro. A sprinkle of full-fat cheese, melted on top, provides just the right amount of gooey goodness.
Calories per serving: 430
Bonus points for: quinoa on the side!
Ski lodge offerings have come a long way over the years and it’s actually possible to find some healthy options … for a pretty penny. Better yet, stash a few portable picks in your multipocket ski jacket, and then snack away on the chairlift.
#1: Granola bar
Choose a soft granola bar so it won’t crumble if you take a spill.
- Kashi Chewy Granola Bars Honey Almond Flax
- Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Cherry
- KIND Fruit & Nut Almond and Apricot (above)
A staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, hummus is creamy, endlessly customizable and packed with nutrients, including healthy fats, fiber and protein. If you love hummus already, there are countless tasty new iterations you can try. And if you’re still a hummus holdout, please have a read — I hope to sway your opinion.
The nutrition label currently on packaged food (above left) has been in place since the early 1990s. But earlier this year, the FDA announced that the Nutrition Facts label would be undergoing a makeover. This morning, the agency released details of the proposed label (above right).
One of the major changes is the emphasis on calories and serving sizes. The calories will appear in a larger, bold font, while the serving sizes will be a more accurate reflection of how most people eat today. For example, the serving size for ice cream has always been ½ cup. Now, the serving size will be a more realistic 1 cup. The 20-fluid ounce soda bottle that typically has 2.5 servings per container will now be labeled as one serving — so consumers will no longer need to calculate the total amounts on their own. Among other proposed changes:
In this week’s news: Michelle Obama stumps for kale and more, while the dairy industry shelves its Got Milk campaign; obesity rates for young kids nosedive; and researchers show why Tetris might be good for your waistline.
Kale in the Green Room
Kale — the nation’s perpetually trendy produce item — took its vegetal celebrity to a whole new level last week, getting the late-night spotlight on the new Tonight Show. If First Lady Michelle Obama doing her best ‘tween impression and offering kale chips to a wigs-wearing Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell sounds like fun (and it kinda is), then this is for you.
Each brand of cookie was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). The cookies were evaluated on taste, nutrition and ingredient quality, with special attention paid to the types of sweeteners and fats used in the all-important filling.