Reasons to Love Horseradish

by in Healthy Tips, March 25, 2013


Once the gefilte fish hits the table during our Passover feast, about 20 of us start fighting for the horseradish to top it. But this spicy condiment goes far beyond the Passover table.

Horseradish 101
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a member of the cabbage family and is thought to have originated around 500 B.C. in the Mediterranean. It is one of five bitter herbs traditionally eaten during the Passover feast. In the 1600 and 1700s, Horseradish ale was a very popular drink throughout England and Germany. In the 1700s, German settlers introduced it to the U.S.

Fresh horseradish root is about 6 to 12-inches long with a 3-inch or so width. It is white in color, has a pungent smell and distinct spicy flavor. Many folks prefer prepared horseradish which can be found as white or red varieties at the market. White horseradish is preserved in vinegar, while red is preserved in beet juice.

Although you can find horseradish grown throughout the world, about 60 percent of the worldwide supply is grown in Illinois.

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Chili-Spiked Edamame

by in Robin's Healthy Take, March 25, 2013

edamame
Edamame, or soybeans in the pod, shouldn’t be relegated to date night at your local Japanese joint. With just 120 calories per serving (1/2 cup shelled or about 1 1/8 cups in the pod), edamame packs a powerful nutrient punch. In fact, it’s so crammed with fiber, you’d have to eat 10 cups of chopped Romaine to get the fiber found in 1/2 cup of edamame (9 grams). The little legumes are also loaded with protein (11 grams/serving), iron (unusual for a plant food) and vitamins A and C, two very potent antioxidants. Check out my fiery way to serve them in the recipe below. I typically use the microwave-ready, steamable, frozen bags of edamame and I used those to test this recipe. Let me know what you think! Read more

Make Your Own Chocolate-Covered Matzo

by in Healthy Holidays, March 24, 2013

chocolate-covered matzo
When I was a little girl, chocolate-covered matzo was a prized dessert. With 5 siblings and a dad who all love chocolate, it was tough to get a piece! As a mom, instead of purchasing store-bought for my family I make my own and jazz it up with some fun kosher-for-Passover flavors.

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Ask the Experts: Change a Habit, Change Your Health, Part 1

by in Ask the Experts, March 23, 2013

vegetables on scale
“If you could recommend just one habit that someone should start doing to eat, and live, healthier, what would that habit be?”

That’s the question I posed to a group of my colleagues – registered dietitians and nutritionists – in the trenches coaching and counseling people in the science, and art, of eating better. Rather than focusing on huge overhauls that may not be sustainable (i.e. no carbs, no gluten, no dairy, no alcohol, etc.), I wanted to look for keystone eating habit changes that could have a butterfly effect through the rest of your daily routine and get you the health and fitness results you want.

I was amazed — within 24 hours I had over 60 responses. As I began sorting through the feedback, I realized that many of the recommendations fell into a seven broader categories, which I’ll be summarizing and presenting in two posts.

Buckle up, here are the first four:

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Blogger Spotlight: Anne-Marie Nichols, of This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

by in Blogger Spotlight, March 22, 2013
 
Anne-Marie Nichols started out blogging in 2004 as a way to share her favorite family recipes. Three years later, Nichols—and her blog—went on a diet. This Mama Cooks! On a Diet is her way of sharing the wholesome recipes and healthy lifestyle tips that fuel her and her family. Over the years, she’s mastered finding easy alternatives, whether it’s gluten free, veggie heavy or dairy free. For a family diet revamp, Anne-Marie Nichols is your mama.

How did This Mama Cooks! On a Diet get started?

I started posting Thanksgiving recipes on my mom blog. Since I love cooking at Thanksgiving, it made sense to start a new blog just to document what I planned to cook that year. From there This Mama Cooks! morphed into a diet blog and then a healthy food and lifestyle blog.

What’s the best tip you can give to busy people looking to get healthy?

Small changes! If you do it all at once, you’ll be overwhelmed and won’t be successful in changing your life for the better.

Which This Mama Cooks! On a Diet recipe do you recommend for someone looking to please everyone in the family?

Chili made in a slow cooker. My favorite is Healthy Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Bean Chili (pictured above). You can quickly put it together before leaving for work. It’s delicious. And the kids won’t notice that you snuck in healthy vegetables and high fiber beans.

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Spring Pea Salad

by in Easter, Healthy Recipes, March 21, 2013

spring pea salad
I love peas; I enjoy them whole and juiced but my favorite way to munch on them is in this spring salad. There is so much green in this dish: mixed greens, avocados and peas. No dressing from a bottle here! Sherry vinegar and freshly squeezed orange juice make this salad flavorful without the added calories and fat of traditional store-bought dressings. I also like to throw in some flax oil for an added dose of healthy fats. Serve this salad for lunch or as a side at dinner.

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Do Diet Cocktails Get You Drunk Faster?

by in Food News, March 21, 2013

cocktails
Are you a rum and diet Coke drinker or do you prefer a calorie-free cocktail blend made with artificial sweeteners? Whichever is your poison, recent studies have found that consuming artificial sweeteners with your booze can make you tipsy faster.

The Research
A 2006 study found that mixing vodka with a diet beverage containing artificial sweetener verses a sugar-sweetened beverage got folks drunk 15 minutes faster. Those downing the cocktail with artificial sweeteners also had a higher blood alcohol concentration by 0.02.

Although the recent study conducted by Northern Kentucky University had a pretty small sample size (about 16 subjects), the results pointed to the same conclusion. Researchers determined that sugar-sweetened alcohol is absorbed slower into the blood while the artificial stuff doesn’t hinder alcohol absorption.

While you may think that sticking to calorie free mix-ins like seltzer may be a better option, a 2007 study found that carbonated drinks cause alcohol to be absorbed quicker compared with flat mixers like orange and cranberry juice.

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Win This Egg Lover’s Prize Pack!

by in Giveaway, March 20, 2013

Eggland's Best

Eggs are more than just a breakfast staple and Easter must-have: These protein-packed bites also contain vitamins A, D, E, potassium, calcium and iron. Whether you like them hard-boiled, soft-cooked or want to make dyeing them a family affair, Eggland’s Best wants to give you a free carton to try (plus a few extras).

You can buy your own Eggland’s Best Products or enter in the comments for a chance to win some. Just let us know, in the comments, your favorite egg dish. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, March 22 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away an Eggland’s Best Prize Pack  which includes one coupon for a dozen eggs, whisk, egg shaped cutting board, coffee mug, mixing bowl, bowl scraper and tote bag 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 March 20 and 5 p.m. EST on March 22, 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: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what is your favorite egg dish?

Prevent Cold-Weather Dehydration

by in Healthy Tips, March 19, 2013

water bottles
When it’s cold outside, the last thing most of us are craving is an ice-cold glass of water. However, it’s just as important to stay hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer. Often, we don’t feel as thirsty in the winter because we don’t sweat we much. Therefore it is important to continuously hydrate throughout the day because by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. While different people have different water needs based on height, weight and activity level, a good rule of thumb is to aim for eight to twelve glasses of water each day.

One way to meet your hydration goals is to get a reusable water bottle. These eco-friendly bottles can be found inexpensively almost anywhere. Check how many ounces of liquid your bottle holds. This information is usually available on the bottom of the bottle. Then challenge yourself to drink and refill your bottle a certain number of times. For example, the first week you may try to drink three bottles of water. The next week you may challenge yourself to four. Having a number of bottles to drink throughout the day is a more attainable goal when you turn it into a challenge. It’s also much easier when you always have your bottle with you. Did you know that people tend to drink more through a straw?

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A Little Bit of Cheese Goes a Long Way

by in Healthy Tips, March 19, 2013

Risotto with Yogurt and Peas

The March issue of Food Network Magazine is the cheese issue. While working on the issue, I found that you don’t need a ton of cheese to add big flavor; stretching out your cheese means fewer calories, and it’s cost effective, too. Use these tips in your everyday cooking:

A little goes a long way. When using strong cheeses like the blue cheese in this month’s Turkey Cobb Salad on page 96, remember that sometimes just a sprinkle is enough. We used only 1/4 cup (about 1 tablespoon per person)—that equals just 30 calories.

Reserve your rind. We added a piece of Parmesan rind to the broth for our light Risotto With Yogurt and Peas on page 150 (pictured above). This old-school cooking trick is something grandmothers have been doing for years—it’s a cost-saving way to add richness and depth.

Put your peeler to use. Try using it to create the shaved cheddar cheese on our Cheddar and Peanut Butter Bites on page 146. Peeling is a great way to ensure thin pieces of cheese; they’re just as satisfying as any hunk.