Coconut Chicken With Pineapple-Chili Salsa

by in Robin's Healthy Take, May 13, 2013

coconut chicken
Most people love coconut-crusted chicken, fish and shellfish. Problem is, most coconut-crusted dishes contain lots of fat from heavy egg-based batters and pan-frying or deep-frying in lots of oil. That’s a shame because coconut “meat” is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar. It’s also rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), which, unlike long-chain fatty acids (LCFA’s), have no negative effect on cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. The good news is, you can create a crunchy coconut exterior without tons of fat and calories. In this recipe, I coated chicken with three simple layers: flour, egg whites and coconut. The crust is light and delicious and also works well with fish and shrimp. The tangy and slightly spicy pineapple salsa takes the dish over the top. Let me know what you think! Read more

How All-Star Moms Talk to Their Kids About Food and Nutrition

by in Kid-Friendly, May 12, 2013

family dinner at table
Ever wonder how moms like The First Lady, celebrity chefs and renowned nutrition experts speak to their children about healthy eating? Find out how four amazing women talk to their kids about food, weight and body image.

Q. How you talk to your daughters about a healthy weight and how do you recommend parents talk their kids about healthy weight?

Michelle Obama: I don’t talk about weight at all. I talk about healthy choices. When I talk about exercise I don’t talk about exercise in terms of you have to look good. Exercise is about competition; it’s about learning a new sport; it’s about being introduced to something interesting; it’s about learning about how to compete and why competition is important. We talk in those terms.

When we talk at the dinner table we talk about eating a balanced meal, not because of how you look but because of what your body needs.

Now that [the girls] are getting older they’re starting to conversations [about weight] in their community, so it’s not coming from us, it’s coming from the outside. But I always shift them back to health and tell them the best way to never have to worry about what you look like is just to get good food in your body.

It’s all about balance. It’s not about never having birthday cake, or going out to lunch and not having a burger. I don’t even want them to think about that. I don’t want them to obsess about food. I just want them to live their lives.

So if they’re doing a sport, if they stay active, if they’re eating vegetables most meals and not overeating, if we treat foods as treats — so the weekend I’ll tell them you can have one breakfast that’s a splurge breakfast, just once a week — because you just don’t need to have pancakes and sweet rolls — at the White House, you walk in and it’s like pancakes and a sweet roll and a biscuit — (laughter.) it’s like, who’s idea was this?

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Watermelon Fresca

by in Healthy Recipes, May 11, 2013

watermelon fresca

As summer approaches, try this cooling fresca as a replacement to sugary lemonade. The fresh watermelon and lime juice give this mock-tail a unique flavor and you can top it off with springs of cilantro for a touch of fresh garden flavor. It makes the perfect family-friendly beverage for a Mother’s Day brunch.

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Almond-Pea Soup

by in Healthy Recipes, May 10, 2013

pea soup

Spring to me means fresh green soups and that’s just what I created for this year’s Mother’s day menu at our home. This soup combines sweet veggie flavor from the peas with creaminess from almonds. I added a few sprigs of fresh mint and my favorite Vidalia onions to dazzle taste buds and add a sweet touch without any added sugar. Pair this soup with a salad and lean protein such as grilled fish and a spinach salad for a Mother’s Day dinner that Mom will love.

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Blogger Spotlight: Gail Watson of A Stack of Dishes

by in Blogger Spotlight, May 10, 2013
You might know Gail Watson for her beautiful confectionary creations, but the former wedding cake designer is now using her food expertise to promote healthy eating. Her blog A Stack of Dishes features wholesome meals that are attainable to the everyday home cook. With a Master’s degree in Nutrition/Exercise Physiology from Columbia University, she is currently developing the site A Healthy Hunger, a menu plan subscription service for people with diabetes or elevated blood sugar.

When did your love for cooking and baking begin?

My mother jokes that she used to put cooking magazines in my playpen when I was a baby, and I would tear them apart all day long. Perhaps that was the spark of a humble beginning? Or maybe the fact that she had Julia Child on the TV every afternoon (more likely).

I come from a long line of food-centric folks. Some families get together and discuss sports teams, or politics — we talked about restaurants and recipes. I always liked to bake and cook from when I was a young girl. I made my first apple pie when I was 8 after nabbing some apples from my neighbor’s tree. I think it comes from an internal desire to make and create things in general- and then to be able to share it with others — well that’s just magical.

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Creative Uses for Tortillas

by in Robin's Healthy Take, May 9, 2013

tortillas
Corn and flour tortillas have made a big splash on supermarket shelves recently. From whole grain to flavored to low-carb, you can find a tortilla variety to please everyone in the family. Check out some great uses for tortillas beyond the traditional wrap or fajita.

• Create quick, thin pizzas: top flour tortillas with pizza sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and fresh veggies; bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes.

• Start your day with egg tacos: fill flour tortillas with scrambled eggs, pepper jack or cheddar cheese and your favorite salsa. Read more

Cooking With Kids: Mother’s Day Breakfast

by in Healthy Holidays, Kid-Friendly, May 9, 2013

lemon pancakes
My kids always want to prepare a very special breakfast for me on Mother’s Day. But guess who ends up doing most of the cooking AND cleaning? (hint: me!) Instead of getting upset at the thought of extra chores, I take this opportunity to bond with my kiddos while we whip up delicious memories together in the kitchen.

The Menu
A few days before Mother’s Day, my kids and I plan out the menu and hit the market so we’re fully stocked and ready to cook. Here are some mouthwatering Mother’s Day breakfast picks, complete with tasks your kids can do.

Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Pancakes (pictured above)

Kid-Friendly Tasks:

  • Gathering ingredients
  • Measuring ingredients
  • Washing the blueberries
  • Cracking the egg
  • Stirring ingredients

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Spinach-Strawberry-Almond Salad With Balsamic-Lime Dressing

by in Healthy Recipes, May 8, 2013

spinach salad
Mmm springtime! Forget a basic garden salad, this salad is filled to the brim with flavorful strawberries and a touch of sweet balsamic vinegar and lime juice. You can make this salad to accompany lunch or dinner; I’m planning to serve it to my mother for Mother’s Day brunch on our back deck alongside roasted vegetables. This salad is packed with nutrients — everything from fresh basil to crunchy almonds that will leave you (and Mom) smiling!

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How Many Vegetables Should You Eat?

by in Healthy Tips, May 8, 2013

carrots
Most folks don’t get enough of the recommended dietary servings of veggies and miss out on the health benefits—like a lower risk of heart disease, possible reduction in blood pressure, and protection against certain types of cancer. Understanding how much counts as one serving can help you plan your meals to meet the recommendations.

The Recommendations
According to USDA’s My Plate 100% vegetable juice, dark green vegetables (broccoli and mustard greens), red and orange veggies (carrots and peppers), starchy vegetables (corn and potatoes), and beans and peas (kidney and soy beans) all count towards your recommended daily servings. Fresh, canned, frozen, dried, whole, cut up and pureed veggies all count.

Adults 18 years and older should aim to take in between 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables per day. Here are the specific guidelines:

Women:

  • 19 to 50 years: 2 cups
  • 51 years and older: 1 ½ cups

Men:

  • 19 years to 50 years: 3 cups
  • 51 years and older: 2 ½ cups

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Win This Mother’s Day Cook-Together Gift Pack!

by in Giveaway, May 8, 2013

aprons

This Mother’s Day, instead of giving mom another knick-knack, gift her with something far more priceless: time with you. Tie on these stylish mother-daughter, food-themed aprons from Accessories by HSK and let the fun begin. Tackle a fun, family project like fruit pizza or pepperoni pizza pockets. Or, whip up breakfast together, then satisfy your sweet tooth with cupcakes from Handstand Kids‘ new Baking Around the World cookbook kit.

You can buy your own Accessories by HSK Mother-Daughter Aprons and Baking Around the World Cookbook Kit from Handstand Kids (get 20% off with coupon code HSK20 through Mother’s Day) or enter in the comments for a chance to win them. Just let us know, in the comments, your favorite dish to make with mom. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away one set of Accessories by HSK Mother-Daughter Aprons, plus a Baking Around the World Cookbook Kit from Handstand Kids to three randomly-selected commenters. 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 May 8 and 5 p.m. EST on May 10, 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: $70. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what are your favorite dish to make with mom?