Add Flavor to Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right

So,

In case you missed the memo, March is National Nutrition Month.

The theme this year is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”

National Nutrition Month 2014

So I thought it might be appropriate to just share a few things I use to make healthy food taste amazing:

  • Add kick with hot peppers like jalapeno, cayenne, serrano, or kung pao.
  • Add zip with lemon or lime juice, apple cider, balsamic, or red wine vinegar.
  • Make use of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, or rosemary to add color to your favorite dishes.
  • Roast your veggies in the oven using super high heat (450F). Try peppers, squash, carrots, or cauliflower.
  • Use high-heat cooking techniques for your meat, like pan-searing, grilling, or broiling.
  • Use full-flavored whole grains like brown or wild rice, or quinoa.
  • Add fruit to your meat or grain dishes. Try mango, pomegranate, apples, or pineapple.
  • Use condiments like wasabi, mustard, chutney, tapenade, salsa, or miso paste.
Let’s chat: What other flavorful tips do you have?

 

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Cooking Eggs

Hey there!

I have some more info about eggs for you:

How do I prepare eggs?

Hard-boil:

  • Place eggs in a single layer in a pot. Fill the pot with cold water, up to one inch above the tops of the eggs.
  • Heat on high, just to boiling. Remove the pot from the burner and cover. Let stand for about 12 minutes.
  • Drain and cool under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water. Refrigerate.
  • Tada!

Scramble:

  • Beat 2 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk until blended.
  • Heat a teaspoon of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture.
  • As eggs begin to set, gently pull them across the pan, lifting and folding, forming large soft chunks. No need to stir constantly.
  • Remove from heat when there is no visible liquid egg left.

Fry:

  • Heat 2 tsp butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Break 2 eggs and slip them into the pan and immediately reduce the heat to low.
  • Cook until white completely set and yolks begin to thicken.
  • Use a flipula to carefully flip the eggs and cook on second side until desired doneness.

Poach:

  • Boil 2-3 inches of water in a large pot. Lower heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Break an egg into a saucer and slowly slip it into the water. Do this again with a second egg.
  • Cook until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken (3-5 minutes).
  • Lift eggs from water with a slotted spoon. Drain and serve.

What can I make with my eggs?

In addition to these cooking techniques, there are many other ways to prepare eggs such as:

  • Quiche
  • French toast
  • Meringue
  • Omelets
  • Souffle
  • Frittata
  • Baked custard
  • As part of any number of eggcellent dishes!

Check out this Pinterest board for all things egg.

Eggs on Pinterest

I’d love to hear any great egg ideas you have too!

Room for Dessert?

Hey guys!

I’m going to be working at a health fair next week and was putting some recipes together to share with people that come by. I put together a kid-friendly spaghetti and marinara recipe and an easy ratatouille recipe. Then I asked my boss what other kinds of recipes she thought I should do. She said everyone always has smoothie recipes at these types of events but she likes to prowl around and scoop up all of the yummy looking dessert recipes she can find.

And hot damn, she’s not the only one!

I, for one, always have room for dessert.

And dessert isn’t a problem. But what and how much you eat can be. It’s okay to eat high calorie desserts as a special treat, but remember that you need to exert portion control.

Many of us are more likely to eat this kind of dessert when we are with friends or family, which makes sharing an obvious strategy. Most restaurants are usually happy to bring extra plates and forks to the table.

If you make your own dessert, experiment with recipes that use reduced fat ingredients or replace some of the fat with applesauce or prunes.

Another option is to opt for low-calorie desserts like sorbet or fruit.

Here are some desserts that I hope to try soon:

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Bourbon-Glazed Peaches With Yogurt Recipe

Bourbon-Glazed Peaches With Yogurt

Autumn Fruit Compote Recipe

Autumn Fruit Compote

Let’s chat: Do you have any desserts on your must try list?

Buying, Storing, and Preparing Blueberries

Hi!

I hope that you’ve been enjoying blueberries as much as I have this month!

I thought I’d share a few ideas about what to do with blueberries so you don’t get stuck in a rut. (Not that that’s really a problem with blueberries.)

Buying, Storing, and Preparing Blueberries from https://projecteatme.wordpress.com

What are the best blueberries to buy?

Choose fresh berries that are firm, dry, plump, and free of mold. They should be deep purple-blue to blue-black and have a whitish coating. If they are reddish, they aren’t ripe but can be used for sauces. Avoid soft or shriveled berries. Make sure the container is not packed too tightly so the berries don’t become squished and check for juice stains or moisture on the container which could indicate spoilage.

Frozen blueberries are another great option when they will be cooked, blended, dried, or added to cereal. Avoid bags of frozen berries that have obvious stains or frost on the outside of the bag or that are frozen into one big lump as this may indicate the berries have been thawed and then refrozen.

How should I store my blueberries?

Blueberries should be stored in the refrigerator and can usually be stored for up to 10 days.

If you are unable to use your blueberries within a few days, try freezing them. Just wash, drain, and remove any damaged berries first. Arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to a plastic freezer bag or container. Store them in the freezer for up to a year. Surprisingly, research has shown the frozen blueberries have nearly as much antioxidant capacity as fresh ones.

How do I prepare blueberries?

Briefly wash and dry fresh berries and they are ready to use!

Blueberries are great to eat raw and can be eaten on their own or added to salads, hot or cold cereal, or eaten on top of yogurt, pancakes, mouse, or any other number of things. They can also be blended and added to smoothies, baked into muffins or crisps, or cooked into jams.

What can I make with my blueberries?

Check out this Pinterest board for all things blueberry.

Blueberry Pinterest Board

I’d love to hear any great blueberry ideas you have too!

Buying, Storing, and Cooking Rice

Brown rice, white rice, wild rice, short grain rice, instant rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, long grain rice… There are so many options so how do you pick one?

Rice

What is the best rice to buy?

There are actually over 8000 varieties of rice. Although there are no hard and fast rules about which type of rice to use in a particular recipe, each type has unique characteristics that make it ideal for different uses.

One thing to consider is grain length:

  • Short grain rice has a high amylopectin (starch) content so it is stickier when cooked, making it great for sushi. It can also work well in creamy dishes such as desserts or risotto.
  • Long grain rice is lighter and cooks to a drier, fluffier texture. The grains tend to remain separate when cooked, making long grain rice great for pilafs.
  • Medium grain rice has characteristics between short grain and long grain.

Another consideration is degree of processing:

  • Brown rice is also called whole grain rice because it contains the bran and germ in addition to the inner layer which is called the endosperm. Because the outer layers are left intact, it has more fiber, takes longer to cook, and has a tougher texture and more nutty flavor than white rice.
  • White rice has the bran and germ removed leaving only the soft endosperm. All of the fiber and most of the B vitamins and iron are also eliminated in the processing of white rice but some of this is replaced through enrichment.
  • Instant rice is rice that has been cooked and then dehydrated so it takes only a few minutes to prepare.

Fancy pants tip: Instead of buying instant rice, cook a big pot of rice on the weekend, refrigerate it immediately, and reheat it when you’re ready to eat/cook with it. 

Here are a few kinds of rice commonly found in North America that you might want to try:

  • Arborio:  A short to medium grain rice often used to make creamy risotto or rice pudding.
  • Basmati: A long grain rice that has a nutty aroma but delicate flavor and light texture. It is great for stir fries, curries, and many rice based side dishes.
  • Brown: A whole grain that can be substituted for white rice in most recipes. I use short grain brown rice to make sushi.
  • Forbidden: Also referred to as forbidden or purple rice because it turns purple when cooked. It has a sweet taste and sticky texture so it would be good for desserts.
  • Jasmine: A long grain rice with a distinctive floral aroma that is available in both brown and white varieties. It is often used with Mediterranean dishes.
  • Red: A whole grain rice with a nutty, chewy texture that works well in rice bowls, pilafs, and rice based sides.
  • Wild: Not an actual rice, but it does go well with rice and has twice the protein and more B vitamins than white rice.

How should I store my rice?

Store white rice tightly covered in your pantry and it will last almost forever.

Because whole grain rice contains natural oils that can go rancid, it can stay fresh in the pantry for only about six months. You can also choose to refrigerate of freeze it for a longer life.

Fancy pants tip: store whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity and increase their shelf life.

How do I cook rice?

Not much to say here. Different types of rice require different cooking directions so just check the package directions for best results.

However, do NOT rinse your rice before or after cooking. Why? Because all of those awesome B-vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they can be washed away.

What can I make with my rice?

When I asked friends to share their favorite black bean recipes on twitter, here’s what I heard:

Nom nom indeed!

I’ve also just stared a board on Pinterest for rice recipes so I’d love to see any you’ve got to share!

Pinterest Rice Board

Please share you favorite rice recipe in the comments.
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