The Veggie Table: Vegetarian and Vegan Resolutions

by in The Veggie Table, January 14, 2013

vegetables
This time of year always brings on lots of buzz about healthy resolutions and diet changes. More and more Americans have been making the shift towards a vegetarian or vegan diet, and what better time to start than the beginning of a new year? Perhaps your resolution is to move towards a more plant-based diet, or make the full shift from vegetarian to vegan eating. Or maybe you’re just looking for ways to improve your health by including more fruits and veggies into your diet while cutting back on meat and dairy. Whatever your reason, here are four ideas to help you stick with your 2013 resolution to improve your health with more plant-based eating.

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Flatbread “Sushi” With Guacamole, Cheddar and Refried Beans

by in Robin's Healthy Take, January 14, 2013

flatbread sushi
Have you noticed the influx of flatbreads at the grocery store? In my town, the wafer-thin, soft breads have taken over the deli section and they’re available in a wide variety of flavors, textures and shapes: from white to whole grain, soft, flavored and light. All variations are amazing and they make the ideal base for pizzas, wraps and folded sandwiches. Most flatbreads have no saturated fat and most provide a good source of whole grains and fiber (8 grams per serving). Never one to stick to the ordinary (or the suggestions on a label), I decided to use soft flatbreads to create mock sushi. Mock “Mexican” sushi with all the ingredients you would find in your favorite layered dip – refried beans, guacamole, salsa and sharp cheddar cheese. Thanks to the flatbread AND the beans, there’s a whopping 17 grams of fiber per serving. This fun dish is colorful, nutritious and makes a great presentation. I promise, you will FLAT OUT love it.

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Bobby Flay Fit, Episode 1: Moderation

by in Bobby Flay Fit, January 14, 2013

bobby flay

Bobby Flay Fit Bobby Flay manages to stay fit and healthy even with a busy lifestyle as a chef, and he’s eager to share his healthy eating and fitness plan with fans in a seven-part Web series, Bobby Flay Fit.

 

The focus of Bobby Flay Fit, Episode 1 is moderation: You don’t have to give up everything you like to eat, but the key is to eat less of it. Moderation means eating smaller portions and skipping seconds (most of the time).

In Episode 1, Bobby walks to work, and then prepares lunch for his team. With the help of his employee Christine, he makes a healthy crab pasta dish and an arugula and chickpea salad. Bobby proves that it’s possible to eat a meal that’s both flavorful and good for you. The key is to eat in moderation — don’t overeat, but also don’t skip meals because it will just make you want to eat more.

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One Small Change: The Three Week Challenge

by in Healthy Tips, January 13, 2013

apples with peanut butter
If your New Year’s resolutions have you making more than one major change to your physical activity or eating habits, I recommend you stop most of them right now. Sounds preposterous for me to ask you to stop making healthy changes, right? Well, what if I asked you how many of those healthy changes do you expect to be doing one month from now? Three months? Six months?

Research shows that it takes, on average, about three weeks to form a new habit . . . and that may be if you’re not trying to break old ones. Many of our habits are the result of “the path of least resistance.” We choose to do what we do, and eat what we eat, based on what’s easiest for us considering our current schedule, priorities, skills and preferences. In other words, you may be really good at whipping up dinner when you get home from work, but during the workday, the vending machine is the closest thing you have to a lunch break. And cooking from scratch every night means you may not be able to make it to the gym or go for a run as often as you like. All actions have consequences, so it’s important to consider whether the new actions you’re taking are leading to the results you want. If you’re making ten changes at once, it’s hard to know which one(s) are sustainable, if any.

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12 Healthy Lemon Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, January 12, 2013

lemon cookies
This citrus fruit is extremely versatile and can be used to flavor recipes both sweet and savory. Pucker up for these 12 lemony dishes.

Nutrition Lowdown
For the burst of flavor lemons provide, the calories are pretty minimal at a mere 12 for the juice of one. Lemons are also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, providing over one third of your daily dose. It’ll also give you a splash of folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, magnesium and potassium.

Waffles
Lemon juice isn’t the only way to add flavor to dishes. These waffles use grated lemon zest for an extra special burst of flavor.

Recipe: Lemon and Walnut Waffles

Bruschetta
Dazzle guests with this easy appetizer made with a few simple ingredients: toasted bread, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and olive oil.

Recipe: Lemon-Parsley Bruschetta

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Spice of the Month: Paprika

by in Healthy Recipes, January 11, 2013

paprika
It’s got an amazing flavor and vibrant color – give this spice some love.

Paprika Basics
Paprika is made from grinding the dried pods of sweet red peppers. The various types demonstrate different flavor profiles – some are sweet and mild, others are deeper with more heat. The majority of these spices originate from Spain and Hungary, but paprika is also produced domestically in California.

Nutrition Info
One teaspoon of paprika contains 6 calories and a pretty staggering dose of vitamin A – 21-perecent of the daily recommendation! You’ll also find small amounts of minerals like iron, copper and zinc.

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New Products to Stock Up On

by in Grocery Shopping, January 10, 2013

quinoa
It’s a new year and a good time to stock up on fresh, healthy foods. The next time you hit the supermarket, take a good look around—you’ll see many new products on the shelves. Here are some of our favorite finds.

Whole Grains

Colored Quinoa
Besides the basic pale yellow color, quinoa can be found in a vibrant shade of red. Several companies including Eden Foods, Trader Joe’s and Quinola sell them. You might see black quinoa on the market as well.

Freekah
This ancient grain is derived from young green wheat. It cooks up similar to wheat berries and is a great way to mix up your daily grains. It does take a bit more time to cook than rice– so cook up a double batch to use throughout the week in dishes like soups, salads and pilafs.

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FDA Updates Food Safety Laws

by in Food News, Food Safety, January 9, 2013

washing a pepper
The government is finally moving forward with the biggest overhaul of food safety rules since the Great Depression—it’s about time! With major recalls in the past few years of melon and peanut butter, the safety of the U.S. food supply has been under major scrutiny. Food safety advocates are thrilled, but will these government plans really keep our food supply safe?

The Plan
The Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law by President Obama and hailed to be the first major overhaul in the safety of our food system in 70 years. The entire system shifts the focus to prevention rather than reaction when a problem occurs. There are 2 new rules proposed by the FDA that would govern about 80% of the U.S. food supply, excluding meat and poultry.

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Win a NatureBox!

by in Giveaway, January 9, 2013

naturebox

Make over your not-so-great snacking habits in the new year with NatureBox. Instead of reaching for a bag of greasy chips when hunger strikes, grab a dietitian-approved snack that’s minimally processed and wholesome. Each month, NatureBox sends you a crate of loot that’s healthy and hand-picked. Boxes include items like wild blueberry flax granola, lemon pucker pistachios, dried apricots and garden tomato crunchies. For every box delivered, NatureBox donates one meal to Feeding America.

You can buy your own NatureBox or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, how you plan to make over your snacking habits in the new year. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, January 11 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away one box each to five lucky, 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 January 9 and 5 p.m. EST on January 11, 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: $19.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, how do you plan to make over your snacking in the new year?

Smashed Fingerling Potatoes With Garlic and Parmesan

by in Robin's Healthy Take, January 8, 2013

fingerling potatoes
Don’t you love the look of this colorful side dish? I adore roasted fingerling potatoes and I make them all the time. Recently, I bought a huge bag of the fingerling medley so I decided to try something new – boiled instead of roasted and smashed instead of whole (I love the combination of colors – purple, red and gold – that’s why I smash them slightly, not completely, so their colors shine through). The crowd (AKA, my family) went wild!

Nutritionally, fingerling potatoes are a good source of potassium, an important mineral used to regulate the fluid and mineral balance in cells, which helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potatoes are also rich in the vitamins C (a powerful antioxidant that prevents cell damage from free radicals, aids collagen production and assists with iron absorption) and vitamin B-6, which helps metabolize protein and carbohydrates.
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