Tag Archives: food

Five Foods to Include in Your Diet

If you’re like me, and most other people in the U.S., you’ve resolved to eat better in 2010. Who doesn’t want to be healthier? And there is no time like the present, right? Especially after eating so many goodies over the holidays.

CNN Health suggests five foods for us to work into our diets so we can be healthier in 2010.

Whole Grains
If, like me, the thought of wheat bread makes you think of cardboard, remember that you have options. You can get whole grain goodness in rye, barley and oats. Try a snack of rye crackers with low-fat cheese. Or put some barley in your soup. Oatmeal makes a warm and comforting breakfast. You’ll reduce your risk of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and your waist line will look slimmer.

Soy
Every vegetarian’s favorite word. But have no fear. Soy is not boring. Soy is so versatile. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and low in fat. Try soy burgers, soy cheese, or soy milk. Toss some edamame pods in some sea salt and eat the beans. Use silken tofu as a thickener in soups (instead of milk or cream). The possibilities are endless.

Salmon and Other Oily Fish
High in vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and the most delicious food on this list, salmon and other oily fishes can help prevent heart disease. If salmon is not to your liking, try fresh tuna or trout, two of my favorites. Mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies also fit this category.

Red Wine
Thank the maker. Red wine is good for us. And it is 10 times better for us than white wine. Taken in moderation red wine can reduce the risk of blood clots, inflammation, and therefore, heart disease. But too much alcohol can negatively outweigh the benefits. So, drink wisely.

Green Tea
Antioxidants fight cancer, increase metabolism, and help reduce belly fat. And green tea is full of them. But it needs to be brewed, not taken in the form of iced tea. And the catch is that you have to drink a lot of it for the full effect. Whatever. It tastes delicious and is a soothing treat.

Read the full article at CNN.com

Mmm, Pizza…On the Grill

PizzaStoneRectLarge

Pizza is easy to make at home. But it’s best when you can bake it in a really hot oven.

Of course, not everyone has a pizza oven that can get to a high enough temperature. If you have an outdoor grill, you can make pizza as good as the kind they serve in Italian restaurants.

It’s super easy if you have a pizza stone. Pizza stones heat evenly so your pizza cooks all over at the same rate.

I’ve slowly been accumulating every kitchen appliance and gadget known to man. And it’s finally paying off.

In my Cuisinart bread machine I made pizza dough following the recipe booklet. It makes a light fluffy dough that uses wheat flour as well as high-protein bread flour, so you’re not eating so much white food. The machine kneads the dough, lets it rise, kneads it again, all the exhausting steps that go into making good pizza dough.

In had some tomato sauce left over from a pasta meal that I used for the pizza. I topped with shredded cheese and oregano.

Warm the pizza stone on the grill on high. Then place the pizza onto the stone. Lower the heat and cook on low until the cheese is golden and bubbly. It only takes a few minutes.

I used a pizza stone set from Bialetti, the company famous for its espresso makers. The set includes pizza stone, serving rack and pizza cutter. It’s inexpensive and very easy to use. You can even use it to bake frozen pizzas or cookies.

Yummy.

3 Piece Rectangular Pizza Stone Set

Stuffed Peppers

Green Peppers

In my search for vegetarian meals, I’ve adjusted a recipe that my mother used to make: stuffed peppers. She would fill green peppers with a mix of rice and ground beef. I substituted the beef for cannelloni beans and I used brown rice instead of white. The meal came out really well, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
4 large green peppers
1 can of cannellini beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs

Clean out center of green peppers and rinse. Par-boil until softened but still firm. Alternate adding layers of cooked brown rice and cannellini beans. Top with bread crumbs to seal. Spray a pyrex dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the four peppers standing up. Cook uncovered in 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tops start to turn brown. Serve with marinara sauce. Serves 2.

Notes:
-Select peppers that have an even bottom so they will stand up in the pan.
-I heat leftover spaghetti sauce to pour over the peppers after I remove them from the oven.

The French Know

France flag

The French know how to do food.

I went to a Bastille Day party tonight at my favorite French restaurant, Aimee’s Bistro in Redondo Beach, California.

This was the menu:

Aimee’s Bastille Day Celebration Menu
July 14, 2008

Amuse Busch
Shot of chilled fennel-leak soup with roasted almond pesto

First Course
Rilette of duck with pickled baby artichokes, mission figs and grilled country bread

Second Course
Grilled organic peach and prosciutto salad with Gorgonzola, arugula and balsamic glaze

Third Course (choice of one)
Fresh Atlantic Cod Basquiase sautéed with garbanzo beans, saucisson Toulouse and pipérade
or
New York Steak au Poivre with pomme puree, baby vegetables and cognac-peppercorn sauce
or
Poulet Roti à l’Ail with potato gratin, cippolini onions, oyster mushrooms, haricot vert and sherry-garlic jus

Dessert
Chocolate roulade – chocolate pistachio mousse croquantine

Vive la Republique, Vive la France!

Of course, there was unlimited champagne.

Eat Your Way to a Flat Stomach

tomatoes

As the weather gets warmer and we need to shed some of our protective layers of clothing, our bellies become the focal point of our wardrobes.

The following superfoods will help flatten your tummy and curb your appetite:

Spinach – a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, this dark green leafy vegetable helps build muscle and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.

Yogurt – yogurt cultures fight bacteria in your body, boost your immune system, help protect againt cancer and even fight cavities. But be sure to chose yogurt with live and active cultures, not the sugar-filled ones found in most supermarkets. Read the label and avoid any containing high-fructose corn syrup.

Tomatoes – the godsend of Italians, red tomatoes are are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which can help decrease the risk of bladder, lung, prostate, breast, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Chunk up some tomatoes, sprinkle with a little oregano and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Yum.

Carrots – most red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, which reduce the risk of cancer, and help with inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Carrots are low in calories and taste sweet and yummy. Add them to salads or crunch on a handful of baby carrots as a snack.

Blueberries – possibly one of the best berries on Earth. Full of anioxidants, rich in fiber and packed with Vitamins A and C, blueberries help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and age-related memory disorders. They’ll also give you a good cleaning out.

Black Beans – Beans, bean, good for your heart, the more you eat the more you…you know the rest. All beans are good for you but black beans have special brain-boosting powers. They’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function.

Walnuts – loaded with heart-healthy omega-3s, and anti-inflammatory polyphenols and muscle-building protein, walnuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat. They also help curb your appetite if you eat a handful about a half hour before a meal.

Oats – packed with soluble fiber and protein, oats help lower the risk of heart disease and feed your muscles with energy. There’s a reason for the sayings “sow your oats” and “feel your oats.” Oats rock.

Try to work these eight wonderfoods into your diet every day.

While you’re at it, try to take these American staples in moderation: potatoes, white bread, white flour, refined white sugar, white rice, semolina pasta, basically most white foods. They don’t call them stick-to-your-ribs foods for nothing.

Green, red, orange, blue and black. Paint your diet with these colors and you’ll feel better and look better, too.

Source: Yahoo Health: 8 Ultimate Flat-Belly Summer Foods

Heirloom Tomato Salad

heirloom tomatoes

Earlier today, I was shopping at Sprouts, an organic supermarket, and they had a large display of heirloom tomatoes.

I’ve always been curious about this strange-looking fruit. They’re so beautiful in a non-traditional way, with their variety of shapes and colors.

So, I brought some home and made a simple salad. I cut the tomatoes into rough chunks, sprinkled them with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. I added a generous helping of oregano, then tossed the mixture with a little balsamic vinegar and plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

It’s not really prime tomato season here in California right now. Late summer is best. But the weather was mild today and the heirlooms made a tasty treat.

CHILDRED OF THE High Fructose CORN Syrup

Corn

High fructose corn syrup is evil.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about the dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup for a while now.

After trying to find a loaf of wheat bread that does not contain the stuff, I’ve been on a HFCS rampage.

Even loaves of bread that claim they are healthy, like multigrain and kosher brands, are made with the cheap, dangerous crap.

Bread doesn’t need HFCS or even sugar. There was a time when honey wheat was made with, I know this radical: HONEY.

Well, anyway, everything I wanted to say about high fructose corn syrup can be found at this post at Fallenmonk. He also provides links to research the topic.

Next time you are at the supermarket, look at the labels. You’ll be shocked at how high fructose corn syrup is in everything we eat.

7 Healthy Foods For Women

Berries

Harvard researchers have released a list of seven healthy foods they say every woman should eat.

Berries – fiber-rich and full of protective plant antioxidants, you should eat a cup of berries three times a week. Toss them in salads, add them to yogurt, or eat them by themselves.

Salmon – a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat, and also full of Vitamins B12 and D. Bake, broil or poach and add to salads and pastas. Tuna is also a good source.

Dark Leafy Greens – Spinach, Chard, Romaine, Collard Greens are all a great source for fiber, Vitamins C and K, Folic Acid, Lutein, Magnesium, Iron and Potassium. Besides salads, add some to a sandwich, or add to pasta dishes and soups.

Whole Grains – Yeah, I like the white bread I grew up with better too, but whole grains offer up to 96 percent more fiber, magnesium, zinc, chromium and vitamins E and B6 than refined grains. Look for whole grain, multi-grain cereals, breads and pastas without high-fructose corn syrup.

Nuts – Full of protein, magnesium, Vitamins B and E and heart-healthy fat. Not all fat is bad. Eat as a snack or add to salads, cereals, yogurts and stir-fry dishes.

Golden Veggies – yellow and orange veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots provide large amounts of beta carotene and potassium. Try a baked sweet potato as a side dish or enjoy a few carrot sticks instead of potato chips with your lunchtime sandwich.

Yogurt – full of calcium, protein and B vitamins. Look for low-fat or no-fat plain yogurt and add your own berries and nuts instead of buying the sugar-filled blended versions. You can also use plain yogurt to make salad dressings and thicken sauces.

What Is Quinoa?

QuinoaQuinoa is popping up everywhere. But what is it and how do you pronounce it?

It’s a high-protein, gluten-free ancient grain cultivated in Peru, Chile and Bolivia and it’s pronounced KEEN-Wah.

Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain and is also rich in calcium, iron, Vitamin E and has an almost perfect balance of the eight essential amino acids.

Technically, quinoa is not really a grain, but the seeds of the Goosefoot plant. But it is used as a grain to make breads and soups or can be cooked like rice and used as a side dish to a meal.

Substitute quinoa is a dish that you would normally use rice or barley. It has a pleasant light nutty taste and feels good on the tooth.

Quinoa can be found in most natural food stores in the U.S. and Canada.