As a child, I never understood the importance of herbs. They all seemed like weeds to me and I found their flavors to be somewhat, well, gaggy. However, I also hated salad and coffee growing up – two of my now loves – so that doesn’t say much about how mature my palette was at the time.
But now, as a full-fledged 26-year-old adult, I adore herbs; and especially, basil.
While basil and I first tip-toed into our relationship via the world of margherita pizza and classic pasta sauces, we’ve now taken it to the next level. As in, I eat it plain, straight from the earth by the handfuls. Needless to say, things have gotten serious.
And with this matured relationship has come exploring and lots of it. Below are just a few ways you too can branch out and experience more of what this vibrant herb has to offer. (more…)
Most spring allergy sufferers rely on medication to take care of their annoying symptoms, but there are a few natural ways to prevent allergies from ruining your day. Incorporate these foods into your diet on a regular basis to build a foundation that will protect your immune system and prepare it for battle against spring pollen.
Nuts are high in magnesium and vitamin E, which will protect you against the wheezing and coughing that comes from allergies. Magnesium and vitamin E also boosts immunity while fighting free radicals. Try Multigrain Soy Trail Mix.
Salmon and other seafoods have natural anti-inflammatory properties to boost immunity. Aim for 6 ounces of fish, two times a week to get the full effect. Try these Salmon Patties.
Ever felt afraid of cooking with unfamiliar ingredients, like quinoa? Well fear no more because we’re diving into the health and nutrition benefits of this versatile grain, and showing you several cooking techniques and recipes so it can become a healthy staple in your kitchen in no time.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a small, whole grain substitute that’s completely gluten-free. It takes on a rice-like texture when cooked and comes in a variety of colors – including red, gray, green and white – depending on where it’s grown. It’s been speculated that quinoa has been around for nearly 5,000 years and was first cultivated in the Andes throughout Peru, Bolivia and Chile. And although it’s commonly thought of as a grain, the individual beads are actually the plant’s tiny seeds.
Quinoa is extremely healthy. It’s low in sodium and high in calcium, and a high-quality protein containing all nine essential amino acids. It’s also rich in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc. And it’s widely praised as a great option for those trying to consume less meat without missing out on protein.
One cup of cooked quinoa contains roughly 220 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein. (more…)
by Dani Stone
On Tuesday, March 13th, do NOT go to the newsstand hungry because the April issue of Oprah Winfrey’s O, The Oprah Magazine is being advertised as the first ever Food Issue! Inside you’ll find a Q&A with Oprah and longtime partner Stedman Graham where he talks about her cooking skills. Spoiler alert, her skills are awesome. Why wouldn’t they be? She’s Oprah, after all. It’s also jam-packed with recipes. We can almost hear her saying it now in that unmistakable Oprah voice, “YOU get a recipe, YOU get a recipe, you’re all getting RECIPES.”
Oprah is pictured on the front cover with Stedman, who gushes about her saying, “You’re a fantastic cook. You put a lot of love in the work you do, and it crosses over in to the food you make. Anything she cooks, I really enjoy eating and I appreciate it very much.” They are adorable!
This issue is packed with a few of Oprah’s personal recipes including Scrambled Eggs With Herbs And Cheese, Lemon Zest Pasta, O’ Mai Mai Juice and even one inspired by Stedman called the Love Sandwich (recipe below).
February is National Grapefruit Month. A fruit this powerful deserves its own month!
The fruit we know as grapefruit today was developed in the West Indies in the early 1700’s and was first introduced to Florida in the 1820s. Today, grapefruit hits its peak in February as it still grows in Florida and now even Texas. This fruit is truly worthy of the title super fruit.
Grapefruit contains many properties that are incredible for the body and prevents kidney stones, helps with liver detoxification, protects against lung cancer, reduces fever, lowers cholesterol, and acts as an indigestion aid. Grapefruit is high in vitamin C, even higher than oranges. Vitamin C rich foods can help ward off colds and free radicals which can reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. That’s some fruit!
Coming in at about 70 calories, grapefruit packs a big flavor in a small package. In addition to its health properties, grapefruit can help you stay trim! As the fruit is very low in sodium and high in fat burning enzymes, it burns fat while it helps flush out excess water from high sodium diets. And if that wasn’t good enough, grapefruit also helps boost metabolism. The high water content along with the enzymes and acid get the internal organs working. When eaten within 2 hours of waking, grapefruit gets the digestive system kicked on and stops the body from going into starvation mode. This super fruit is a perfect and powerful breakfast item.
Jenna Edmiston loves spending time in the kitchen with her six year old daughter creating healthy, wholesome meals. In between balancing family, work and her personal life, she tries to keep a healthy lifestyle with an open mind and heart. Head over to petitfoodie.com where she shares her thoughts on food, body image and children.
The New Year is finally here. With it came the extra pounds added during the holidays and freezing temperatures. I don’t know about you but I’m craving healthy, warm foods. Comforting foods don’t mean sacrificing your favorite pair of skinny jeans.
Here are a few of my very favorite tips I live by during the dreary days of winter:
- Starbucks can be addictive. Think of the high-calorie drinks as a special treat and only get them once a week. Always ask for skim milk. Your waist line and wallet with both thank you.
- When you are craving a fabulous warm drink, try drinking a huge mug of warm lemon water. Most of the time your craving will pass and you will feel energized.
- I crave mashed potatoes on the regular. Instead of making them with heavy cream and butter try adding chicken or veggie broth. This will enhance the flavor making them creamy and rich without the extra calories.
- Soups don’t have to be cream laden. The best soups can be made with fresh veggies and broth.
- Making a big batch of soup on the weekends is perfect for all you busy folks out there. The left overs only get better with time and make for great lunches.
- Serve a small salad at dinner every night. EVERY NIGHT. Don’t make excuses ….just do it.
- Embrace winters citrus fruits. Oranges and clementines are to die for right now. They are as sweet as apple pie. Is there anything more refreshing, really?
Paula Shoyer is the author of The Kosher Baker: 160 dairy-free desserts from traditional to trendy. She is a freelance writer, teaches cooking and baking classes around the country and recently appeared on Food Network’s Sweet Genius. She specializes in baking for people on special diets such as gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free. She can be found at www.paulaspastry.com and blogs at www.kosherbaker.blogspot.com and tweets @paulashoyer.
Carrot cake for me used to be like that sweater in your closet that you never wear. Every once in a while, you try it on and then take it off again. Eventually, you give it away. For decades, I sampled every carrot cake that came my way, but after one bite, I put my fork down and ultimately abandoned carrot cake altogether. When I wrote The Kosher Baker, I decided to include a carrot cake, though I had never baked one before. When I researched carrot cake recipes, I quickly learned why I never liked them: people put too much bling into them such as raisins, nuts, pineapple, and coconut to name just a few unnecessary and, in my view, pernicious ingredients.
I decided to create my own simple carrot cake that was dairy and nut free. I even added whole-wheat flour to make it healthier. For The Kosher Baker, I turned my simple carrot cake recipe into a huge layer cake with a dairy-free Cinnamon Honey Cream Cheese Icing. The icing is sinful and the iced cake is lovely for special occasions.
One winter, I taught a healthy-dinner-in-an-hour class and was searching for the right dessert. I chose the carrot cake, but omitted the icing and baked the cake in a bundt pan. During the class we ate it straight out of the oven. When my students left, my four kids ran downstairs and pounced on the carrot cake. My four chocolate lovers asked why I had never made it before. When I told them the origin, they said that this way was tastier because they could taste the carrots better. They also loved eating it warm, which makes it a comforting winter dessert. As Jessica Rabbit said in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, to make Roger feel better “Roger, let’s go home, I’ll bake you a carrot cake.”
Whether you are rooting for the New York Rangers or the Philadelphia Flyers in this season’s Winter Classic it is sure to bring the unhealthy snacks out of hiding. Sports gatherings are usually filled with easy snacks you can grab with one hand so your other is free for cheering, but try a healthy, hearty filling meal that won’t weigh down your goal scoring celebration.
The game time has been moved to 3pm EST, just in time for that mid-afternoon treat. Instead of filling up on chips, take the time to prepare one of these winter favorites:
Crock Pot Chili Mac
Baked Chicken and Prosciutto
The holidays are a time when people get to indulge in their favorite traditional dishes. Kwanzaa, a holiday celebrated largely by African Americans, is a week-long celebration that begins December 26 based on the year-end harvest festivals that take place throughout Africa. As with many other holidays, there are a number of classic dishes associated with celebrating Kwanzaa.
“If you are trying to stick to a healthy nutrition plan, holiday meals can cause some anxiety,” said Kate Brown, recipe developer, trainer, and healthy living writer for DailyBurn. “Do you throw out your diet and go to town or do you turn your nose up as your favorite dish gets passed around the table?”
As it turns out, there is a happy medium between abstaining from your favorite foods and ditching your diet plan altogether. If you’re cooking the holiday meal, all you have to do is give your favorite recipes a healthy makeover. If you’re attending a party, bring a healthy dish for everyone to share.
Whether you’re hosting or attending a Kwanzaa celebration, Brown has provided menu-planning tips and two favorite recipes that embody authentic African cuisine.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday that celebrates an ancient battle victory and the re-dedication of a holy temple in Jerusalem. Though it isn’t the holiest Jewish holiday, it is one of the most anticipated; it typically falls within several weeks of Christmas and is associated with the festive holiday season.
Like other winter holidays, there are a number of traditional dishes that are essential to the Hanukkah celebration. It can be difficult if you are on a diet or trying to maintain a healthy weight, especially since the Hanukkah celebration lasts eight nights as opposed to many other holidays, which last one or two.
“As with any holiday, plan to allow yourself a little bit of indulgence,” said Aviva Goldfarb, author of The Scramble. “Different people have different traditions. I don’t bake a lot of cookies during the holidays but my family loves sweet potato pie as a side dish. I also make latkes baked or pan fried in less oil.”