February 27, 2014
It happens every year about this time. Well stuffed from great holiday feasts, full of the kind of hopeful ambition that a new calendar brings, millions of people resolve that this year, finally, is going to be the one when they learn to cook better.
And so they run out and buy the hottest cookbook from some celebrity chef, try two recipes and quit in disgust.
That's a shame because cooking for yourself -- really cooking, not just throwing the occasional fancy dinner party -- is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. It's pleasurable and it's healthful, and how many things can you say that about?
And folks, it's just not that hard. Or, at least, it doesn't have to be. Here are seven steps that will make you a better cook, whether you're someone just starting out or you're a little farther down the road.
February 24, 2014
Make any meal "saladicious" by creating a salad with flavorful and nutritious mix-ins. Start with salad greens, add fruit and vegetables, drizzle lightly with dressing, add a lean protein, and top it off to create a unique meal.
Salad greens: The darker and greener, the more nutritious. Darker salad greens are higher in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, calcium and manganese which help support eye health, healthy bones and the immune system.
February 20, 2014
Involve kids in meal preparation. This doesn't just mean cooking - kids can also make grocery lists, clip coupons, and set and clear the table.
Don't just tell your kids to eat their veggies - show them that you do too. Make it a family priority to try new vegetables or new recipes for familiar ones. Who knows, you may become a vegetable lover!
Log on to www.choosemyplate.gov. It features practical tips for meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing simple, tasty meals for a range of budgets and taste buds. For Americans who eat out or on-the-go, there are strategies for keeping MyPlate in mind while navigating restaurant menus. Find out what the USDA can do for you and your family!
February 15, 2014
Many Americans believe the myth that fish oil can prevent heart disease.
Though fish oil does offer health benefits, it does little to prevent heart disease. Even so, more than half of Americans (55 percent) believe the recommended daily dose of fish oil can prevent heart disease. Yet, the truth is that one would have to consume enough fish oil to literally smell like fish for it to have any beneficial effect. In addition, some seafood can be just as high in cholesterol as red meat, a fact that only 45 percent of Americans know.
Vitamins are viewed -- mistakenly -- as a key to heart disease prevention.
More than half (61 percent) of Americans incorrectly believe that vitamins or other supplements have a positive effect on hearth health, and 44 percent believe they can lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that vitamins have almost no effect on heart health, and some can be detrimental.
February 12, 2014
Who doesn't love hearing that chocolate is good for us, especially with Valentine's Day right around the corner? But don't run out for that giant heart-shaped box of chocolates just yet.
Chocolate has been linked to a multitude of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, better blood flow, and even enhanced brain function.
February 10, 2014
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw (about 4 cups)
6 ounces shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sliced green onions, divided
12 Bibb lettuce leaves
1/4 cup chopped cashews
February 6, 2014
This year, instead of opting for the latest fad diet or setting unrealistic goals, spend some time thinking about goals you really can achieve, like these:
-Practice mindful eating: Mindful eating is less about what you eat, and more about how you eat. So set some basic goals to start eating more consciously. There are many different facets to mindful eating, so be sure to pick goals that work for you. And don't overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. Try setting out a specific timetable for shifting your habits.
February 3, 2014
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
8 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
8 cups water
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 ounces vegetarian Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
January 30, 2014
Dig into a typical tailgate spread and you may need to hit the gym extra hard. Or you can just kick back and enjoy any of these light and tasty tailgate snacks.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites
Ditch the usual deep-fried Buffalo wings and go for tasty, bite-size morsels of lean, shredded chicken breast, combined with hot sauce, non-fat cream cheese and chopped green onions, all spooned into bite-size balls and coated in whole-grain breadcrumbs.
Eat what you love. Don't ruin your favorite foods with guilt; deprivation and shame are powerful emotional triggers for overeating. Remind yourself that all foods can fit into a healthy diet when you balance eating for enjoyment with eating for nourishment.
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