February 23, 2007
Not everyone gets to go to the Oscars, so for an evening filled with stars, we have a menu that says "yes" to the egotistical, the elegant, the refined. In the leading role, we have brilliant coral salmon fillets with a fennel and pepper relish. The supporting cast features emerald asparagus accompanied by a goat cheese-bacon sauce and a pistachio-studded couscous salad.
Cold Poached Salmon with Fennel-Pepper Relish
You can do all of the chopping and cooking for this dish the day before the party. Keep refrigerated until you're ready to serve, top the salmon with the relish juice before you put in on the buffet.
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons capers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark ale (such as Liberty)
1 bay leaf
8 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick), skinned
To prepare the relish, combine the first 8 ingredients, stirring well. Cover and chill.
To prepare salmon, combine 1 cup onion and next 5 ingredients (onion through bay leaf) in a Dutch oven; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Strain liquid through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
Return liquid to pan; bring to a simmer. Add salmon; cover and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Remove salmon from pan; chill. Discard cooking liquid. Serve relish over salmon.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 3 tablespoons relish)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 338(35% from fat); FAT 13.2g (sat 3.1g,mono 5.7g,poly 3.2g); PROTEIN 37.3g; CHOLESTEROL 88mg; CALCIUM 45mg; SODIUM 315mg; FIBER 1.3g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 12.7g
Asparagus with Black Pepper, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Sauce
Cook asparagus in salted water to maintain bright green color. You can vary the dressing by adding your favorite crumbled cheese, such as feta or blue cheese.
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds asparagus spears, trimmed
3/4 cup (3 ounces) goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)
1/4 cup fat-free milk
Bring 1 gallon water and salt to a boil in a Dutch oven; add asparagus. Cook 2 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels; chill.
Combine goat cheese, mayonnaise, juice, pepper, and bacon in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until smooth.
Arrange asparagus on a platter; drizzle with sauce.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1/4 pound asparagus and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 69(39% from fat); FAT 3g (sat 1.9g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 5.4g; CHOLESTEROL 7mg; CALCIUM 48mg; SODIUM 161mg; FIBER 2.4g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.3g
Citrus Couscous Salad
You can serve this salad chilled or at room temperature. It pairs nicely with fish, chicken, or shrimp.
2 cups fresh orange juice, divided
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package couscous (about 1 2/3 cups)
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/2 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup chopped seeded cucumber
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Bring 1 1/2 cups orange juice, water, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Place couscous in a large bowl.
Combine 1/2 cup orange juice, apricots, currants, and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Drain and discard cooking liquid.
Add apricot mixture, cucumber, and remaining ingredients to couscous, tossing to combine.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 295(23% from fat); FAT 7.4g (sat 1g,mono 4.4g,poly 1.5g); PROTEIN 7.7g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 43mg; SODIUM 302mg; FIBER 5g; IRON 2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 51.4g
Courtesy of Cooking Light
February 20, 2007
Take advantage of healthy convenience foods
Paying extra for convenience foods is well worth it if it means they’ll help you eat nutritiously. These packages of vegetables are washed, sliced and ready to go. When you get home from the office at 6 p.m., having these packages in the fridge gets you one step closer to your daily fruit and vegetable quota (5-9!). What’s more, by staying home and cooking rather than eating out, you still saved money.
February 15, 2007
Kiwi: Looks Can Be Deceiving
Kiwi have a reputation as one of the more "unattractive" inhabitants of the produce aisle. The fruit's brown, furry outside turns some people away -- but they are missing out on the delicious green inside.
Kiwi are available almost year-round and can be stored in your refrigerator for up to three weeks. You can cut them in half and eat with a spoon or slice them and add to salads and desserts.
Kiwis are high in vitamin C and a good source of potassium and fiber.
February 14, 2007
Dinner For Two
Valentine's Day usually means big business for restaurants. But sometimes for diners it can be a lot of waiting or late night reservations. Why not stay in and prepare a fancy meal for two in the comfort of your own home.
Roasted Lobster Tails with Ginger Dipping Sauce
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon water
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3/4 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 (8-ounce) frozen lobster tails, thawed
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Sliced green onions (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°.
To prepare sauce, combine mustard and water in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in soy sauce, plum sauce, sherry, and ginger; set aside.
To prepare lobster, make a lengthwise cut through the top of each lobster shell using kitchen shears, cutting to, but not through, lobster meat; press shell open. Place the lobster tails, cut sides up, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Combine the oils and pepper, and spoon over the lobster meat.
Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until the lobster meat turns opaque. Serve lobster with sauce, and garnish with onions, if desired.
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 lobster tail and 2 tablespoons dipping sauce)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 194(23% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 0.8g,mono 1.4g,poly 2.1g); PROTEIN 27.6g; CHOLESTEROL 92mg; CALCIUM 86mg; SODIUM 1263mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 8.3g
Snow Peas and Cherry Tomatoes
1 1/2 cups snow peas, trimmed
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon butter or stick margarine
1/4 teaspoon sugar
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add the tomatoes, and cook for 2 minutes or until tomatoes are thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients.
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 88(28% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 0.9g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 3.8g; CHOLESTEROL 3mg; CALCIUM 53mg; SODIUM 170mg; FIBER 4g; IRON 2.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.6g
Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding with Raspberries
This recipe makes four servings, so there will be some left over for you to enjoy on February 15th. Use a vegetable peeler to shave pretty curls of chocolate from a white chocolate baking bar.
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup evaporated fat-free milk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup raspberries
4 teaspoons shaved white chocolate
Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Combine milks in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; add bittersweet chocolate to pan, stirring until chocolate melts. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot chocolate mixture into egg mixture; add egg mixture to remaining chocolate mixture in pan, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy, stirring constantly. Pour into a bowl; cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Chill. Top with raspberries and white chocolate.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup pudding, 2 tablespoons raspberries, and 1 teaspoon white chocolate)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 276(30% from fat); FAT 9.2g (sat 4.5g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 7.9g; CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CALCIUM 174mg; SODIUM 143mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 0.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44.5g
February 13, 2007
Setting a Good Example
State law required every Illinois school district to create a wellness policy for the 2006-07 school year to battle obesity and improve health habits. The mandate arrived without state funding, during a time when teachers complain that they have enough on their plates--so to speak--in trying to improve test scores and complete paperwork.
The district's wellness policy lists nutritional guidelines to be followed during school-sponsored events, encouraging the use of fruits and vegetables and noting, for instance, that ketchup, potato chips and pickled relish do not count in those categories.
The policy requires that topics such as nutrition, disease prevention and health promotion be incorporated into class curriculum. One of the more difficult directives states that food should not be used to reward pupils. That brings into question the popularity of pizza parties or candy incentives in the classroom. In the cafeteria, Doritos have been replaced with baked chips and popcorn shrimp is no longer on the lunch menu.
Across Evanston-Skokie Elementary School District 65, pupils have joined yoga clubs, planted gardens and begun drinking more water. At Lincolnwood the wellness effort started with the staff during an eight-week fitness challenge that ends March 16. A bulletin board in the teachers lounge lists eight teams of six people each who accumulate points throughout the week if they meet goals such as eating a healthful breakfast, reading for 15 minutes, exercising for 30 minutes or meeting a 25-gram daily fiber requirement.
February 12, 2007
ABCs of Nutrition
C is for Carrot
Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A (retinol). Vitamin A helps maintain vision and promotes the growth of healthy cells and tissues. Carrots also contain lutein, which is thought to protect the retina. One serving of this recipe provides twice the estimated daily requirement for vitamin A.
Baby minted carrots
6 cups water
1 pound baby carrots, rinsed
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Put 6 cups of water into a large saucepan. Add the carrots and boil until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain the carrots and set aside in a serving bowl.
In a separate saucepan over moderate heat, combine the apple juice and cornstarch. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mint and cinnamon.
Pour the apple juice mixture over the carrots. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrate 10 g
Fiber 2 g
Total fat 0 g
Sodium 45 mg
Potassium 191 mg
Calcium 28 mg
February 9, 2007
ABCs of Nutrition
B is for Broccoli
Besides being a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, broccoli contains phytonutrients — a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A and C — antioxidants that protect your body's cells from damage.
February 6, 2007
ABCs of Nutrition
A is for Apple
Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Fresh apples are also good sources of the vitamin C — an antioxidant that protects your body's cells from damage. Vitamin C also helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron and folate.
February 5, 2007
Super Bowl Sweets
These were a big hit at the Super Bowl party. They take a little extra time to make since the peanut butter is actually a filling - but worth every minute! I highly recommend!
Peanut Butter Munchies
Makes 32 cookies
Prep: 40 minutes
Bake: 8 minutes per batch
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the 1/4 cup peanut butter with an electric mixer until combined. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Beat in as much of the dry ingredients as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining dry ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon. Form chocolate dough into 32 balls about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Set aside.
3. For peanut butter filling, in a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter until smooth. Shape mixture into 32 (3/4-inch) balls.
4. On a work surface, slightly flatten a chocolate dough ball and top with a peanut butter ball. Shape the chocolate dough over the peanut butter filling, completely covering the filling. Roll dough into a ball. Repeat with the remaining chocolate dough and peanut butter filling balls.
5. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
6. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until they're just set and surface is slightly cracked. Let cookies stand for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. Makes 32 cookies.
To Store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
February 2, 2007
It's Women's Heart Health Day
Today is National Wear Red Day to celebrate the start of Women's Heart Month. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. As estrogen levels drop with menopause, women no longer have the same protection estrogen gives them from heart disease and high blood pressure. As a result, women's heart-disease risks parallel those of men.
However, men and women do not display the same signs of heart disease. Women often first experience angina - chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle does not get enough blood. Additional symptoms can include unexplained heartburn, extreme fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and reoccurring pain.
If you haven't done so already, start protecting yourself today by making heart-healthy choices:
* Eat a variety of colorful fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fatty fish, legumes and other lean protein sources.
* Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.
* Be moderately physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, if not every day.
* Maintain a healthy weight. Your heart disease risk is higher if most of your body fat is around your abdomen, rather than your hips and thighs.
* If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
* Choose and prepare foods with little salt and consume potassium-rich foods to hinder sodium's effect on your blood pressure.