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vegetables



Get it While it’s Hot: Cauliflower is THE Vegetable of 2014

A delicious new trend has been popping up everywhere lately, and I am all for it: Cauliflower is having a moment, sprouting up in all sorts of recipes and proving that it is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. (It’s a side! It’s a main dish! It’s probably even a dessert somewhere!)

cauliflower

Have you noticed this trend? We’ve been spotting cauliflower recipes all over the web and cauliflower dishes on restaurant menus, sort of like Brussels sprouts circa 2007.

So what are the best things to do with this hearty veggie, which is low in fat, but high in fiber, water, and vitamin C? I’m so glad you asked! With no further ado, the best cauliflower recipes to try out ASAP:

Mock Potato Salad
Like the mashed potato idea you may have heard of but with a summery twist! This recipe for “mock potato salad” is brilliant. There are no potatoes in this salad, but cauliflower instead. Everything else you will recognize from your favorite potato salad recipes: eggs, mayonnaise, celery, mustard, dill. Warm weather friendly!

Cauliflower Tater Tots
There is not a potato in sight in this phenomenally addictive recipe. Only (spoiler alert!) cauliflower! Served as a side dish or even the main course, the recipe calls for not much more than cauliflower, coconut oil, and seasoning. Yum.
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Chef Secrets: 11 Kitchen Essentials for Easy Cooking and Healthy Eating

kitchen

By Team Best Life

Some kitchen setups support weight loss efforts while others sabotage them. (The one pictured above looks like a good start to us!) Luckily it’s easy to make over a less-than-healthy cooking and baking space. If you have the right gadgets on your counters and fill your fridge and cabinets with the right foods your kitchen can be a weight loss haven, says Best Life chef Sidra Forman. Here are her 11 healthy kitchen essentials:

Must-Have Gadgets
1. A peeler
A good peeler opens up a whole world of fresh vegetables that might otherwise seem like a huge amount of labor to get through.

2. A salad spinner
Greens are low in calories and loaded with fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients, plant chemicals that protect against disease. A salad spinner makes it easier to incorporate them into your diet. Whether you’re cooking with them or creating a salad (like this tasty Peach Salad with Balsamic Dressing), you’ll want to start with clean and dry greens.

3. A roasting pan or heavy bottom skillet
Roasting is a cooking method that doesn’t require a ton of fat and brings out the flavors in all sorts of foods. If you do a lot of roasting, you’ll need a heavy bottom skillet. These allow you to cook over high heat—they distribute the heat nicely throughout the bottom of the pan—so food cooks properly without burning. A larger size pan is a good buy because you can use it for a lot of different foods.
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The Secret Health Benefit of Cruciferous Veggies

cruciferous

By Team Best Life

All vegetables are good for you, but certain groups may pack a greater nutritional punch than others. Take cruciferous vegetables, the family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and more. They’re loaded with antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals, which offer protection against a number of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, according to research.

Now, experts say they may have figured out why these veggies are so beneficial: They seem to reduce inflammation, which plays a role in many of these diseases. In the study, people who ate the most cruciferous veggies had the lowest levels of three different inflammatory compounds—as much as 25 percent less—in their blood compared to those who ate the least cruciferous veggies.
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The $3 Beef, Veggie, and Noodle Dinner: Backpacking Around the World and Still Eating Well on the Cheap

In the middle of March, I packed what I could carry on my back, headed to the airport, and took flight for New Zealand. I’ve never been out of the U.S. before; I could only hope I knew what I was in for. I’m not a wealthy trust fund baby, I’m not a young guy from Europe whose parents are funding a “gap year,” and I still have bills to pay back home. All that being said, traveling on the cheap was my primary objective. I stay in hostels, I use public transportation, and for the most part, I make my own food instead of eating out. The average meal here costs $12-14 NZD (that’s about $10 to $12 USD).

backpacking-earth-quick-easy-cheap-meals

I’ve been in New Zealand for a few weeks now (flew out to Vietnam last night), and wanted to share with you one such quick, easy, and cheap meal many backpackers are familiar with. While the context here is eating cheap while traveling, you could do the same thing at home.

What You’ll Need:

  • Fantastic Noodles / Ramen Noodles / 2 Minute Noodles
  • Cubed beef / chicken / tofu chunks
  • Vegetables of your choice

I went with beef, broccoli, potato, carrots, and fresh green beans. Everything you see in the picture below cost about $12 NZD (about $9 USD), and is easily enough for three meals for one person. At $3 bucks each, you’ll be hard pressed to beat it, especially for a meal as filling as this.

backpacking-earth-quick-easy-cheap-meals


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6 Health Habits to Take Home from Japan

japan

Recently I was  lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:

 

sashimi

Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!


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