The Chef’s Take: Duo of Tabbouleh from Travis Swikard at Boulud Sud

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Dining Out, March 4, 2015


Tabbouleh — the classic Middle Eastern cracked wheat bulgur salad with lemon and parsley — has gotten a brilliant makeover at Boulud Sud, Daniel Boulud’s elegant Upper West Side restaurant, featuring the lush flavors of the Mediterranean. Chef Travis Swikard’s duo of tabbouleh features a riot of flavors that includes mint, cilantro, jalapeno and za’atar, as well as dried barberries, figs, apricots, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. To accommodate gluten-free diners, Chef Swikard doesn’t use the classic bulgur in his recipe; instead he pulses blanched cauliflower until it’s the texture of couscous and uses that as the tabbouleh’s base. “We have a lot of gluten-free diners here, and I wanted to do something fresh with lots of textures,” he said.

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Dietary Guidelines Update: What Does It Mean for Our Diet?

by in Food News, March 3, 2015

The entire nutrition community has been anxiously awaiting the release of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report (yes, it’s what we do!). The report was finally released last week. Although much of the chatter may seem vague, these recommendations tend to influence what we eat, how food is processed and how governmental policy takes shape. Read more

Acai, Blackberry and Cacao Smoothie

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, March 3, 2015

Acai is perhaps the original superfood: This South American fruit gained popularity well before we had even heard of goji berries or chia seeds. The reddish-purple berry looks similar to a small grape and grows on palm trees in the Amazon rainforest. It is reported to contain more antioxidants than cranberries or any other berry and more grams of protein than eggs. Although the blended fruit shares the same appearance as blueberries, it has a very different flavor. What is most striking about the way it tastes is the earthy, rich and almost cocoa-like tones. It was this hint of chocolate that inspired me to blend it with some raw cacao — another antioxidant-rich ingredient — making this smoothie perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. If you want more of a chocolate boost, be sure to top it with cacao nibs. Read more

5 Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes

by in Healthy Recipes, March 2, 2015


You may want to sit down for this one: In spite of its moniker, shape and thin outer skin, the sweet potato is not actually related to the common potato. These tubers, first cultivated in South America at about 2500 B.C., are instead part of the morning glory family. While the most recognizable are orange-fleshed, these beauties can be white or yellow inside with their skin ranging from white to yellow, orange, red or purple.

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Low-Sodium Risotto-Style Coconut Couscous

by in Scaling Back on Sodium, March 1, 2015


In the world of starches, rice always proves to be a reliable side; but for something more seductive, let risotto be the star of the meal. Hearty from plump Arborio rice and creamy from a combination of butter and cheese, a good risotto will melt on the plate and complement a range of ingredients, from crab to asparagus.

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Cooking for Different Shapes and Sizes

by in Cooking for Kids, February 28, 2015


It’s fun to find a dad’s eyes and a mom’s smile on a toddler’s face, and when I can figure out the sisters in a group just by their mannerisms, I feel proud, like I just solved a puzzle. The sensitive me always notices a dad carrying a baby and wishes I could reverse time and hold my kids at that young age one more day. The professional me is quick to note when one kid appears thin and athletic and the other looks round and soft. Same gene pool. Same food in the fridge. Same access to exercise and likely similar lifestyles.

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Nutrition News: Addictive Foods, the Taste of Fat and a Peanut Allergy Switcheroo

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, February 27, 2015


In this week’s news: Pizza and fries may really be addictive (it’s not just you); fat may be a basic taste; and the medical community does a 180 on its approach to peanut allergies.

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Time for Turmeric: Heat Things Up With This Antioxidant-Rich Spice

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, February 26, 2015


It offers amazing flavor, naturally bright color and a slew of health benefits! We could all use a little more turmeric.

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The Chef’s Take: Mushrooms a la Plancha from Joel Hough at il Buco

by in Chefs and Restaurants, February 25, 2015


At il Buco, the beloved Italian restaurant in New York City’s East Village, Chef Joel Hough spans the Mediterranean for inspiration. “I like to play around with Spanish and Moorish influences and the flavors of Southern Italy,” he says. This means dishes like quail with pickled dried fruit and pomegranate; spaghetti with olive oil-poached swordfish, Calabrian chiles, capers and parsley; and Bella Bella Farms baby chicken with roasted baby beets, blood orange and mustard greens.

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Breakfast of the Month: Quinoa Berry Bowl

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, February 24, 2015


I should be honest and tell you that before making this breakfast I was not that fond of black or red quinoa. I know it’s surprising coming from a true whole-grain enthusiast, but the fact is that pearl quinoa (sometimes labeled as white) has a much more pleasant and versatile texture — which is why I cook it weekly. Although extremely pretty, black and red quinoa are best used in meals that benefit from a seedlike crunch and a texture that is not what I look for in a hot breakfast. But, after a few months of smooth and creamy breakfast porridges, I was ready to shake things up a little.

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