Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Calling a food “healthy” is loaded. Everyone has a different opinion about what is healthy. Low carb. Low fat. Vegetarian. Standard American. Mediterranean. But one thing is true, no matter the source: whole, real food.

An example is breakfast this morning.

1. Three farm fresh eggs from humanely raised chickens from my friend’s local farm. (The chickens live in what she calls “the chicken mansion” and they eat the best fruit!)

2. Cooked in extra virgin olive oil.

3. Sprinkled with turmeric, which is savory and reduces inflammation (which is the root cause of many diseases and problems).

4. Sungold tomatoes, organically grown in my back yard.

5. Plus 2 leaves of basil and some pinches of sorel, both grown on my deck in pots.

Delicious. Nutritious. Simple. Enjoy!

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Chocolate roccaOk, so this recipe for Rocca Candy is not good nutrition or a healthy lifestyle choice, but it is so delicious and simple and it’s okay (in my opinion) to splurge now and then (like during a holiday). Everything in moderation, right? I say, if you are going to eat candy, at least make it yourself so you know what’s in it!

The recipe is made with matzo, which makes it Passover candy. But you can make it with saltines (that’s what I do) and it can be Easter candy. I found it at my local Macaroni Kid (if you have kids and are looking for things to do in your area, this is a great resource!). I have included the recipe below, or you can find it at Macaroni Kid.

You Will Need

  • Jelly Roll Pan (15 ½ x 10 ½)
  • Matzo
  • Margarine
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Chopped toasted pecans or walnuts or almonds (optional)

What to do

Lay enough Matzo (about 3 pieces) in a single layer on a margarine greased jelly roll pan. Break 3rd piece of matzo to fit remaining space. Leave room for the caramel to go under the matzo.

Melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter in a heavy duty saucepan. Add 1 cup of brown sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling on medium heat until good and bubbly (about 4 minutes). Pour this hot caramel mixture over the matzo.

Put into a 325 to 350 degree oven and bake anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes. Watch carefully as you don’t want it to burn, just bubble. Check at 8 minutes.

Take out and add 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips by tossing over all the caramel mixture.

Turn off heat and place the pan back into the oven again for 3 minutes.

Take out of the oven and then add a handful of chopped toasted pecans or walnuts. Also you can use chopped almonds. (To toast nuts, lay out an even layer on a jelly roast pan and toast in a 300 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Keep in airtight jars.)

Chill Rocca in the refrigerator, then take out and break up into uneven pieces. Keep in refrigerator in a tight sealed container. Serves a crowd.

Happy Easter or Passover to you!

Recipe By: Eileen Mintz from Mercer Island, WA

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Food Tip: Storing Herbs

When I served on a panel a few months ago for a program about healthy eating for lawyers, one of my fellow panelists was Alexis Coppedge, who has a great blog at Cooking After Work. One of her Basil herbsrecent posts explains how you can keep fresh herbs in your refrigerator crisper for TWO WEEKS. This is great! Before spring arrives so I can plant my herbs, I can still have flavorful food made with fresh herbs without throwing away more than half of what I buy.

Here’s what Alexis writes:

Here’s what you do:  (1) lightly pat herbs dry with a paper towel; (2) place the herbs in a Ziploc (or other sealable plastic bag) and press excess air out of the bag; and (3) seal the bag and store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.  It’s as simple as that!

Read her full post to learn what to do to ensure the herbs last for as long as possible.

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I keep granola bars around at all times. I keep them in the house. I keep them in the car. I keep one in my purse. I do this so that I always have something relatively healthy to eat if I find myself out and about with little time and lots of hunger. So I was happy when my friend Darci showed up at our recipe club with a recipe for chewy granola bars. I’ve never made my own granola bars, and, honestly, I didn’t see any reason why I’d want to take the time to make my own. But I have had a couple bags of rolled oats in our pantry for a while and I haven’t eaten them. Since this is the main ingredient in the recipe, I thought: what the heck?! I’m all for saving money by eating what we have in the house and I really don’t like to throw food out (so wasteful).

ingredientsWell, am I glad I made these! Darci was right; they really are easy and it’s virtually impossible to screw them up. Unlike many things that you bake, you can mess with the ingredients willy-nilly and it still comes out great! And this is the way I like to cook: a little of this, a little of that! I think these would also be a great breakfast on the go. They way I made them, they taste like cinnamon raisin oatmeal, but in a bar. How awesome is that?! And I can control the amount of sugar and sodium so I know exactly what I am eating. Also awesome!

Here’s the recipe for Darci’s Chewy Granola Bars:


  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup butter softened (I substituted 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup honey (I just drizzled a bunch in without measuring it)
  • 1/3 brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup white sugar because my brown sugar was rock solid and I didn’t have time to deal with it)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I used a small package of raisins instead)
  • chopped nuts (I used a bunch of pecans; sorry, again, no measuring)
  • optional: 2 eggs (I didn’t use eggs)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 9×13 pan (I used cooking oil spray).

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool (at least 10 minutes) before cutting into bars.

And VOILA! Yummy homemade granola bars. I think next time I’ll make them with peanut butter instead of apple sauce and chocolate chips instead of raisins. Then after that, I’ll use craisins and almond slivers. And after that….

What do you think would be good?

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How to Get Your Fruits & Veggies

We all know we need at least five servings of fruits and veggies every day, but we sometimes find it hard to fit those into our diets. Five servings equals about 2 1/2 cups. Here are few ideas to make sure you get yours:

1. Start with breakfast. Add fruit to your breakfast — berries on your cereal, banana with your yogurt, half a grapefruit with your toast.

2. Eat them for your snacks. Fruit and veggies provide great energy, and if you pair them with a protein, they can also provide a filling and sustaining snack. For example, apples with cheese, or celery with peanut butter, or dried cranberries with almonds. The possibilities are endless, and delicious.

3. Double up the serving size. The usual serving size of fruits and veggies is only a half cup, so double up and eat a full cup as a serving. Finally, something you cannot eat too much of, provided you don’t load them with butter or salt.

4. Use them as ingredients. Zucchini bread may not be as healthy as zucchini, but at least it has the vegetable in it! Other ideas include putting veggies in other recipes like stews, soups, and chili. You can also put fruit and veggies in a smoothie.

5. Vary them. There’s no reason to get bored with fruits and veggies since there are so many different kinds of both. Vary what you eat; try something new every week!

Source: http://kidshealth.org

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I am a panelist for this upcoming event: Healthy Eating Tips for Busy Lawyers on Thursday, January 12, 2012 from 9:00 am-10:30 am at the New York City Bar Association. Because the seminar is being sponsored by the bar association, it is geared toward lawyers. However, you don’t have to be a lawyer to attend and the information will be useful for anyone who is busy and trying to eat healthy despite a hectic schedule. The cost is $15 for bar association members and $25 for non-members.

I will be discussing the Ten Principles of a Healthy Diet. My co-panelists will also have great information to share.

Find all the details and register here.

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Root Vegetables

My local grocery store, Hannaford’s, has a healthy eating newsletter and information on their website. This week they are spotlighting Root Vegetables. I love root vegetables, in particular, sweet potatoes. I think they are the perfect food and I like them any way you cook them. Other root vegetables are carrots, potatoes, onions, parsnips, and turnips.

Below is the beginning of the Hannaford article on root vegetables:

Just as it seems the harvest is ending, root vegetables enter the scene. Many of these underground treats are now available year-round, but they’re at their best “in season” when the weather starts to turn colder. Low temperatures convert root vegetables’ starches to sugar, making them that much sweeter. Root vegetables are a great way to get your family to eat more veggies, stay healthy, and enjoy the long winter!

Read the full article here.

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