20 Healthy Picnic Salads

by in Healthy Recipes, June 6, 2013

farro salad
Need a few new ideas for picnic side dishes? Here are 20 mouthwatering salads you can easily tote along for your next outdoor shindig.

Packing Your Salad
Be sure to pack your salad safely to avoid potential illness. If you’re heading on a long drive, keep it in a cooler surrounded with ice. If you also have raw meat, chicken, or hot dogs, those should be packed in a separate cooler to avoid cross-contamination. The cooler should be stored in the air-conditioned car, not in the hot trunk or roof rack.

To avoid a soggy leafy green salad, pack the salad and dressing separately in the cooler and mix them together right before serving.

Grain & Legume-Based Salads

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Farro With Pesto and Kale

by in Healthy Recipes, June 5, 2013

farro with pesto and kale
This is a go-to recipe in my house as it pleases the masses. I serve it cold in the winter and cool in the spring and summer. Swapping ingredients for the greens or herbs makes it perfect for any season. I like getting creative when I make pesto to add flavor and save money. Baby arugula is in season right now; it adds a bold peppery flavor to a pesto. It also cuts cost until basil is really in season. I like the texture of chopped lacinato kale with the farro but any spring green would be great. Grape tomatoes are a great way to enjoy the flavor of a tomato year round. As tomatoes become more seasonal you can opt for a diced tomato straight from your garden instead.

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Win This Father’s Day Chicken Sampler!

by in Giveaway, June 5, 2013

Omaha Steaks Chicken Sampler

Treat dad on his big day by making dinner for the night—or even the rest of the week!—with this chicken sampler from Omaha Steaks. Four boneless chicken breasts are marinated in a five different seasoning blends: Caribbean, oven-roasted, sesame, BBQ-rubbed and Mediterranean ensure even the pickiest eaters will find something to enjoy.

You can buy your own Omaha Steaks Light & Tasty Chicken Sampler or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, your favorite dish to make for dad. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, June 7 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away 4 (3 oz.) Caribbean Chicken Breasts, 4 (3 oz.) Sesame Chicken Breasts, 4 (3 oz.) Oven-Roasted Chicken Breasts, 4 (3 oz.) Mediterranean Chicken Breasts and 4 (3 oz.) BBQ Rubbed Chicken Breasts to one randomly-selected commenter. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.

You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on June 5 and 5 p.m. EST on June 7, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $45. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what’s your favorite dish to make for dad?

Build A Better Frozen Yogurt Sundae

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, June 4, 2013

frozen yogurt
Is a loaded frozen yogurt sundae your idea of a healthy treat? Watch out! Here’s what to know before you hit up one of those super-popular frozen yogurt bars.

Portion Distortion
Think about the weight of your frozen treat or your waistline may pay the price. The flavor options can be overwhelming, but simple is best. A 3.5-ounce portion of original tart frozen yogurt has 100 calories. The same amount of a chocolate or peanut butter-based flavor 150 to 170 calories. How big is the cup you typically order? Do the math and use small cups to avoid a calorie overload.

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Parmesan Truffle Fries

by in Robin's Healthy Take, June 3, 2013

It seems “truffle fries” are super trendy these days. No surprise, they’re downright amazing – crisp, golden-brown French fries with hints of earthy truffle oil. Problem is, they ARE French fries after all, which means they dish up about 300 calories and 20 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving. And let’s not forget, the fries aren’t the entrée; they’re often served as bar snacks or alongside chicken, steak and fish. The good news is, you can make your own truffle fries at home in a snap. You can even add Parmesan cheese and still have better nutritional numbers than the one you’ll see on restaurant menus. Check it out – these gems are incredible.

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Mexican Food Face-Off: Which is Healthier?

by in Which is Healthier?, June 2, 2013

Red Sangria

Food Network Magazine compared some fiesta favorites — did your Mexican-food favorites come out on top?

Red Sangria vs. White Sangria
WINNER: Red sangria. Red wine is loaded with resveratrol, a compound in the skin of grapes that is thought to be good for the heart. White wine has none of this, plus many white sangria recipes call for fruit juice and sweet liquors, so they typically end up with higher sugar counts.

Yellow Corn Chips
Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips vs. Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
WINNER: It’s a draw. Blue corn chips are often labeled as all natural, so people assume they’re the better choice. But the FDA doesn’t regulate the use of that term. In fact, the two varieties have the same number of calories and grams of fat. And because most of the sodium is added, the health factor depends more on the brand than on the color.

 

Mexican Cheese Blend
Cotija Cheese vs. Mexican Cheese Blend
WINNER: Mexican cheese blend. Ounce for ounce, these taco toppings have the same number of calories (about 100) and similar levels of fat and protein. But cotija cheese has three times as much sodium, giving Mexican cheese blend the edge.

 

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Frozen Vegetables, Beyond the Boring Side Dish

by in Robin's Healthy Take, June 1, 2013

frozen beans
The ever-expanding frozen-foods section of the grocery store has no shortage of affordable vegetables and vegetable combinations. Sliced green beans, peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, corn, soybeans/edamame, and vegetable medleys abound. Since most frozen vegetables are harvested at their nutritional peak, don’t relegate them to boring, steamed, side dishes. Some ideas to inspire you:

• Nestle into potato and cheese casseroles (like scalloped potatoes) before baking; add ham, chicken, turkey, or cooked shrimp to make a complete meal
• Add to egg and cheese frittatas, quiches and omelets
• Puree into hot and cold dips and serve with whole grain crackers and pita triangles
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In Season: Red Globe Radishes

by in In Season, May 31, 2013

radish

What They Are and When to Enjoy:
Radishes belong to the cruciferous vegetable family which takes its name from the Latin root crux, meaning cross. But rest assured, eating them is no cross to bear! They are deliciously crisp and fresh tasting with a subtle spiciness.

Enjoy radishes at their finest in April, May and June. Red Globe are the most common variety in the U.S and are frequently sold with their greens attached. To choose the best ones give them a squeeze. The bulbs should feel firm, not soft. Crisp, green leaves and medium-sized roots are also good indicators of a winning bunch.

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Taste Test: Salsa

by in Taste Test, May 30, 2013

salsa
Grab your tortilla chips! I tasted some of the most popular brands of salsa just in time for your summer parties — find out how your favorite brand scored on our list.

The Criteria
Mild versions of jarred salsa were sampled and rated using a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Specific attention was paid to flavor, texture and nutrition info, focusing on calories and sodium.

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Husband-Tested: Broiled Tilapia With Mustard-Chive Sauce

by in Healthy Recipes, May 29, 2013

Broiled Tilapia with Mustard Sauce

Trying new food is a hot-button topic at my dinner table. My husband claims to be an open-minded man when it comes to cuisine, but the reality is that new recipes are met with resistance. Especially if the word “healthy” is involved.

Eating healthy can be overwhelming if you dive in head-first. Instead of abruptly changing our eating patterns, I decided to phase healthy recipes into our traditional mix. I chose this Broiled Tilapia With Mustard -Chive Sauce as a first-attempt and stacked the deck in my favor by selecting a dish that had a lot of familiar, husband-approved ingredients in it. Plus, the mustard-chive sauce only called for things I keep in the pantry, which is great because buying a full container of something when a recipe calls for half a teaspoon drives me nuts.

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