Listen in as I discuss the health benefits of salmon with Happy News Host Rachel Stovall, along with delicious ways to enjoy it.
Isn't it nice to grab a cup of coffee or tea and be able to have a nice gluten free treat along with it? Now you can do that at Seeds Community Café! Chef Stevie's treats are now available! Great for breakfast, snack time or dessert! Items will change weekly. All items will also be available for purchase by the dozen or whole. Many items are also vegan or accommodating to other food allergies / intolerances. Check it out!
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month, so I wanted to share some tips for busy parents on how they can establish healthy habits for their children.
17% of all children ages 2-19 are obese. That's 12 1/2 million kids! 1 in 3 of these kids are overweight or obese before their 5th birthday! This puts these kids at an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and other conditions usually seen only in adults.
Some ways to prevent this are:
-Get kids moving. Limit screen time (tv, computer, video games) and make time for fun exercise and family activities.
-Make sure kids get enough sleep so they have the energy for activity.
-Be aware of beverages such as soda and sugary drinks. Limit these and encourage lots of water.
- Make sure kids have a healthy breakfast every day, provide lots of healthy snacks, and have dinner together as a family.
-Get the kids involved. They are more likely to try new things and eat healthy foods when they help to plan and prepare.
-Be realistic. There will be times when you can't cook, so know ahead of time what some healthy alternatives are.
-Set a good example
Tips for family dinnertime:
-Set an established meal time and routine
-Plan ahead. Having a plan means you will know exactly what you are going to cook and the ingredients will be on hand. Prep the night before if possible.
-Don't short order cook. Make one meal for the family with a variety of food for the kids to choose from, and do not accommodate requests for special items.
Quinoa (keen-wah), while most often touted as a grain, is actually a seed. It is more closely related to sesame seeds and chia than it is to wheat or rice. However, it is very "grain-like" and makes a great substitute for any grains in almost any dish. Quinoa is gluten free, so it's a wonderful option for those of you who, like me, cannot or choose not to eat gluten. Quinoa is so much more than a gluten free option. Quinoa is one of the few foods that is considered to be a complete protein. This makes it also a great vegetarian protein source. In addition, it is high in fiber, iron and calcium.
Quinoa comes from high in the Andes mountains in Peru. It comes in three varieties; white, red and black. It can also be purchased as a combination of all three. I find it tends to be cheaper when purchasing it from the bulk bins at your local health food store rather than in packages at the supermarket. Quinoa has a natural coating of saponins, a soap-like substance that acts as a defense mechanism, so you must rinse your quinoa prior to cooking to avoid that bitter taste it can impart. You should cook it with a 2 to 1 ratio of water or broth to quinoa. Try mixing it with different grains such as brown rice or millet for a mixed grain pilaf. In addition to being delicious when served as a grain, quinoa can also be used as an ingredient in many different recipes such as to add crunch to a veggie burger or turned into porridge. Quinoa flakes can be found in stores, and these can be used as cereal, or used as a breading when coating foods or as an ingredient in homemade protein bars. Quinoa can be ground into flour and used as a substitute in baked goods. See my recipe for Quinoa Confetti Salad in the recipes section if you would like to try quinoa and add this nutrient packed and delicious seed to your diet!
Think about it. You may initially think you are. Then you may realize you aren’t. The USDA states you need between 2-3 cups of fruits AND vegetables per day, depending on your age and activity level. I personally think we need more than that. Where do you stand? Are you getting the recommended 2-3 cups of produce per day? If not, let’s get you there. If you are getting that amount, can you fit in more?
At least half of your plate at every meal should be produce. I also try to get in more than what the USDA recommends because sadly in today’s world, conventional produce may not be as healthful as it once
was. Our food is genetically modified, sprayed with chemicals, and picked before ready so it can be shipped hundreds of miles away and then “gassed” to ripen just before you purchase it. There is no way
possible that a tomato of this caliber can be as nutritious, or even flavorful, as a homegrown, organic tomato that was the norm so many years ago.
So how can you squeeze more in without feeling like you just had Thanksgiving dinner? It’s easy!
Smoothies are a wonderful breakfast, even if you eat something else with it (they also make great snacks). Add fresh or frozen fruit to any other smoothie ingredients you would like. You can even add vegetables! Carrots and pumpkin taste wonderful, and spinach and kale, while they may color your smoothie a bright green color, are completely covered up by the fruit you pair it with (pineapple is a great one).
Juice! Juicing is an easy way to get in extra vegetables. Be careful with too much fruit juice, though; although it’s natural sugar, it’s still a concentrated source of sugar. The best juice would be mostly vegetables with a little fruit for flavor. Apples are wonderful. Make sure when juicing that you use organic produce for at least “The Dirty Dozen”, since you will be concentrating your fruits and veggies - http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
Add fruit to cereals, salads and desserts. I love to have mixed berries on top of my frozen yogurt. Chopped fruit makes a great addition to many savory dishes as well, such as a mango salsa on salmon or
dried fruit in a couscous dish.
Add chopped veggies to almost any dish! Soups, stews, pastas and many other main dishes can all
benefit from added vegetables. Try having salad with your dinner; not only will you get in more veggies, the fiber will help to fill you up so you eat less of the other foods. Throw extra toppings on your burger or sandwiches – instead of a thin slice of tomato, some pickles and one iceberg lettuce leaf, try a thick slice of tomato, onion, cucumber, bell pepper and a few leaves of a dark leafy green like romaine or
spinach. Dining out? Ask for extra vegetables to be added to any dish.
Snacks are a wonderful way to get in these extra foods – a piece of fresh, ripe juicy fruit is a wonderful break from your day. Cut up raw vegetables are fun to munch – try dipping in plain Greek yogurt seasoned with herbs or in hummus.
As you can see, it’s very easy to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Your body and brain will thank you!
as originally printed in Marmapoints Magazine.
My husband and I are gluten-free. We both have non-celiac gluten intolerance and celiac disease runs in his family. When we first became “g-free,” it wasn’t as common a lifestyle choice as it is now, and we experienced trials and tribulations. Gluten-free products were expensive and didn’t taste that good, and a lot of them, like pasta, were just plain mushy.
Even though we were both trained in the culinary arts, we didn’t have time to figure out just the right amounts of various gluten free flours to create our own products, so we improvised. Now that there has been great improvement in the variety of tasty gluten-free items on the market, and the prices have fallen a bit, I’d like to share some of our gluten-free solutions. I’ll also recommend our favorite store-bought brands in case you want to go that route, to spare you the “in the trash” dinners we endured.
PASTA – The brands Tinkyada and Schar have proven to be the best. However, have you ever tried substituting spaghetti squash for pasta? I loved pasta, and it was disheartening to discover I had to do without. I soon realized it was the taste of the sauce and the “mouth feel” of the noodles that I loved. With spaghetti squash, you still get that mouth feel and you can still twirl it on your fork. It’s easy to prepare. Cut one into quarters, scoop out the seeds and rub it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake it in
a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let it cool, then scrape out the strands with a fork. Instant pasta! Not to mention, it’s low carb and low calorie as well. Top with your favorite sauce. Rice noodles are another option, although I tend to only use them for Asian dishes. This is what my brain associates them with, and eating marinara on pad thai noodles seems a bit weird to me. If you are concerned about the glycemic load, there are plenty of brown rice noodles on the market now. I prefer the Annie Chun’s brand. They come in both wide and skinny varieties.
BREADING – Kinnikinnick makes wonderful gluten-free panko bread crumbs that I love. However, everyone else does, too, and it sells out fast. If you find yourself in this situation, you can easily make breading out of a number of other items, depending on what you are coating. Coconut makes a great breading for seafood or chicken. Ground almonds, or almond meal, also works for just about anything. Instant mashed potato flakes lend a unique flavor. Of course, there is also cornmeal. Season up your own or try Zatarain’s fish fry. It’s cheap, gluten-free and doesn’t just have to go on fish. Tip - You can also use the ground almonds to make those buttered bread crumbs for the top of your gluten-free macaroni and cheese.
PIE CRUST – My absolute favorite, go-to pie crust is from the Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse. However, it can be a bit expensive and heavy on the butter (and calories and fat as well!). I save it for special occasions, like Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. You can always make a “crustless” pie. It’s the filling that’s delicious anyway, but sometimes, yes, you just have to have that crust. For sweet pies, coconut and ground almonds come to the rescue again. For quiche, shredded hash brown potatoes make it two dishes in one. For a pot pie, you could try the hash browns or mashed potatoes ala shepherd’s pie.
PIZZA – No, this won’t be quite the same, but it can still be yummy! I have two versions. Portobello
mushrooms make a nice, low carb and low calorie pizza crust. Depending on the size of your mushrooms, you may need to eat more than one. You can also use polenta. Make it, pour it into your crust pan, chill it and when you are ready, top it and bake. If you just have to have a hand-held pizza,
go with Schar. Don’t forget the New Planet or Bard’s gluten-free beer to wash it down.
BREAD – Canyon Bakehouse is my choice for sliced bread. There are several varieties: seven grain, cinnamon raisin and caraway, to name a few. They also make great hamburger buns. If I want a baguette or ciabatta, I go with Schar. You can also make great sandwiches by using collard greens as a wrapper. Wash a leaf, fill it with your sandwich topping and roll it up. Iceberg lettuce makes a great bun for a hamburger, or use it for any sandwich in the style of Asian lettuce wraps – tuna salad would be a good choice.
CRACKERS – Schar and Crunchmaster are the best. Depending on what you’re using the crackers for, you have some options. Potato chips can be used for canapés, as well as sliced cucumber rounds, endive leaves and halved mini bell peppers.
COUSCOUS/CRACKED WHEAT/BULGUR – Looking for something to put in your tabbouleh or under your tagine? Lundberg Family Farms makes a nice brown rice couscous. Quinoa is also a good alternative. It’s the same size and mouth feel of couscous, but with a little crunch. Plus it’s a complete protein.
TORTILLAS – You can use a corn tortilla for anything you would use a flour tortilla for. I love quesadillas made with them. They have a “heartier” quality.
PHYLLO/EGG ROLL WRAPPERS – While it will be a bit different, rice paper is a great substitute. These are commonly used for summer rolls, but you can get creative with fillings, then bake or fry them to get an egg roll or other asian appetizer. I have made spanakopita with them by layering just as I would phyllo, using butter and baking. Not as crispy but still good. Unfortunately, I have never found gluten-free egg roll wrappers or gluten-free phyllo. If you have, let me know.
Author's note: Since writing this article, some other good products have come out. Dellalio makes great pasta, and I like Udi's, Rudi's, and Glutino products. Pamela's makes great cookies and baking mix. Against the Grain is the best "French bread" I have found.
Attending a social event or party doesn’t mean you have to abandon your healthy intentions. Try these tips:
- Eat a light snack before going – don’t arrive completely famished!
- Make a plan – if you know what will be available, decide which ones you really want vs. what you can live without
- Avoid recreational eating – make one plate of foods you really want, eat slowly, and savor every tasty bite – then pop a mint or gum or sip on water
- Choose beverages wisely – alcohol is high in calories
-Vitamin C & E help reduce damage from the sun, protect against DNA
damage, reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture! Try oranges, broccoli,
bell peppers, seeds, nuts and leafy greens.
- Vitamin A is necessary for maintenance of healing tissue and prevents sun damage. Try fish, eggs, and dark leafy greens.
-Essential Fatty Acids can prevent dryness, inflammation and acne. Try walnuts, olive oil, salmon and tuna.
- Lean protein is necessary for skin repair
- Avoid refined carbs and sugar – they speed up the aging process
- Drink lots of water!