Tag Archives: cooking

Gluten-Free Dorm Room Survival Tips

by Shelby Kaho from Celiacs in the House

When I come home for the weekend, I try to cram in as much time with my friends as I can, but Saturday night and Sunday before I head back to school, I get down to business and cook for a solid few hours preparing gluten-free food to put in my dorm room mini-fridge freezer. The menu usually consists of fried rice with lots of veggies, grilled or baked chicken cut into small slices, sautéed asparagus, black beans, sweet and sour sauce to put on the chicken and/or steak, ravioli with sauce, steak cut into strips and sautéed, pizza, French toast, and chocolate chip cookies. I pack everything in quart sized freezer bags that I fill halfway, release the air and flatten the contents. This makes everything flat and stackable. It also makes it easier to break off single servings if the food is in a thin layer and cut up into small pieces.

I also stock up my fridge with corn tortillas for microwave quesadillas, shredded cheese (I put this on rice bowls, quesadillas, etc…), fruit cups, microwaveable sausages, lunch meat, fruit smoothies, and kefir. I also have several drawers full of the items that don’t need to be refrigerated. Some of my staples are microwaveable rice, gluten-free pretzels, chips, bread, fruit snacks, and beef jerky.

My strategy is to cover the basics like protein and carbohydrate so that I know I won’t go hungry and will always have what I need available to me. I also keep a collection of spices and sauces to make things less monotonous. My favorites to keep on hand are tamari, mayonnaise, hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, garlic powder and chipotle powder.

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Dinner for One: Healthy Cooking and Eating While Single

Cereal for supper? Fast food out of the bag? That’s not how singles have to eat. Eating right can be challenging when living alone, but singles have options to match their preferences and skills. To cook or not to cook? What’s your singles eating style?

To Cook

Singles can cook either fast and slow. Fast cooking involves making one simple meal from scratch. Think about a spinach and cheese omelet, a big salad with rotisserie chicken, a quick pasta dish, or beans and rice. Without being elaborate, fast meals cover all of the food groups (don’t forget your glass of milk and piece of fruit.) The trick to cooking fast is to assemble a repertoire of tried-and-true recipes and to keep the ingredients on hand at all times. The shopping list must be always up-to-date. Reheating frozen entrees or burritos is a type of fast cooking. Buy them on sale and keep the freezer full.

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Yoga Poses to Help Restore Your Back on Thanksgiving Day

Planning on standing at the kitchen counter for hours preparing the Thanksgiving meal? Or perhaps you will be sitting in front of the television for hours while someone else prepares the Thanksgiving meal. Either way, your back is going to take a beating. The following gentle yoga inspired poses and stretches will help smooth out the kinks and restore your spine for a second helping of holiday fun.

Kitchen Counter Stretch

Place both hands on the edge of your kitchen counter. Take one big step back and fold forward from your hips, keeping both arms straight. Reach your hips back as you lower your chest in between your arms. Take five deep breaths and then stand up. Repeat as often as needed between mashing up the potatoes and stirring the turkey gravy.

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How to Properly Blanch Vegetables

By Shubhra Krishan for Care2.com

Blanching is a classic cooking technique that takes the raw edge off veggies but preserves the vitamins and the taste. Blanching gives vegetables a lovely fresh and vibrant color. And it’s easy! You basically cook vegetables in boiling water very briefly; but there is an art to it, and it takes time to perfect. Here is how to do it right:

Prepare: Slice the vegetables julienne style, like matchsticks. Dice or shell as needed.

Boil: In fast-boiling salted water, tip the veggies one by one, starting from the light colored ones to the darkest. Leave them in for just 45 to 60 seconds, just until they brighten. Scoop them out, quickly, with a large slotted spoon.

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How to Cook Your Whole Grains to Perfection

By Delia Quigley for Care2.com

The benefits of eating whole grains have been extolled numerous times here. Now, let’s get down to cooking them properly. Because a hard outer shell protects the seed of the grain, there are certain preliminary steps to take in order to ensure maximum access to a grains powerhouse concentration of micronutrients.

Soaking grains: All ancient cultures soaked and/or fermented grains in order to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and the effects of phytic acid, which binds to calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestines. Soak grains 6-12 hours, or overnight, which pre-digests gluten and indigestible proteins rendering the grain more digestible. Even one hour of soaking will help to soften grains. Change water before cooking.

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Dieting Together: A Roadmap For Couples

By Jennifer Gregory

Oftentimes couples gain weight together because of sharing unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. And many people find it challenging to lose weight when their other half continues to live the couch potato life.

The good news? Couples who diet together, benefit together. Here are some ways couples can start out and support each other on their mutual weight loss journeys.

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How to Cook Healthy Thai Food at Home

While the Pad Thai from your favorite Thai take-out joint has an average of 500 calories per cup, the food you would eat if you traveled to Thailand is quite different – and better for you.

According to food blogger and author Joy Buasi from Joy’s Thai Food, Thai cuisine is well known for its fresh ingredients, robust spiciness and complex flavors and aromas. While chili powder, fresh citrus juices and fish stock are common Thai food flavorings, the cuisine is also peppered with peanuts, coconut milk and oil.

If you want to reap the healthy benefits of Thai cuisine, make your own at home so that you can limit the high-calorie ingredients and take advantage of the ingredients full of nutrients.

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How to Cook Healthy Indian Food at Home

If you love Indian food but hate feeling weighed down by the grease left behind in most takeout containers, cook Indian food at home with fresh, healthy ingredients that won’t derail your diet.

While Indian cuisine in America is characterized by dense, fried food and oil-rich curries, traditional Indian cuisine incorporates a lot of fresh vegetables, legumes and some of the world’s healthiest spices. Indian cuisine is highly influenced by Hindu beliefs and culture, including the popular practice of vegetarianism in Indian society.

“Vegetables are the life and soul of Indian cuisine,” said Indian chef Suvir Saran in an article on CookingLight.com. “Indian food is best known for heady spices, bold seasonings, and hot dishes, yet ingredients work together to offer contrasts.”

As with any cuisine, you can prepare lighter dishes at home than you would receive in a restaurant because you have complete control over how much salt, butter, cream or oil you add to your dish.

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How to Cook Healthy Japanese Food at Home

When someone says “Japanese food” does your mind automatically revert to a heaping platter of sushi? While there are plenty of healthy (and unhealthy) sushi options for anyone watching their diet, there is far more to the Japanese cuisine than sushi, which you can easily make from scratch at home.

Unlike the American diet, notorious for its “super-size” portions,  the Japanese diet is modest, with smaller portions. “Many Japanese people are taught to eat until they are just 80% full,” said Namiko Chen, author of the Japanese home cooking blog Just One Cookbook.

As with any cuisine, you can prepare lighter dishes at home than you would receive in a restaurant because you have complete control over how much salt, butter, cream or oil you add to your dish.

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7 Whole Grains You Should be Eating

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

While many people steer clear of whole grains, they’d do well to give them a second look. The average person eats refined grain products like white flour and white rice and avoids whole grains like the plague. Meanwhile low-carb dieters swear off whole grains in favor of high protein options like meat and poultry under the false belief that all grains are evil to the dieter (whole grains actually help stabilize blood sugar — critical to the success of any weight loss regimen). And many other people simply avoid whole grains because they don’t know what to do with them or how to prepare them. There are many delicious and highly nutritious whole grains to choose from, so adding whole grains to your diet needn’t be daunting.

There are many options, here are seven whole grains to get you started:

BARLEY

Used as far back as the Stone Age for currency, food, and medicine, barley is a great addition to a healthy diet. Because barley contains plentiful amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps aid bowel regularity. It contains 96 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber per half-cup of cooked barley. Unrefined barley contains abundant amounts of potassium. It also has lots of magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, protein, sulfur, and phosphorus. This versatile ingredient can be added to soups, stews, cereal, salads, pilaf, or ground into flour for baked goods or desserts.

Try this: Barley Lentil Soup (more…)