Monday, July 30, 2012

10 Foods That are Making You Fat


Reposted from:

Salad Dressing



Ah salad dressing - the quickest way to make your healthy vegetable platter into a monstrosity with more calories than fried chicken with biscuits. If you have to have a dressing on your salad, go for the balsamic vinaigrette, and get the dressing on the side. Here's a good example, if you eat the Caesar salad with the normal amount of dressing they provide (about 3 servings) or heaven forbid, you should get extra, you have just added approximately 600-800 calories to your dinner salad! That is more than a Big Mac at McDonald's.

Mayo
It's just a little sandwich spread right? Yes, a little sandwich spread with 90 calories per tablespoon. A typical Subway sandwich typically has 3-4 tablespoons on it. If you are looking to keep your weight down, avoid this treacherous condiment.

White Bread
It shocks me that people tell me that they want to lose weight but then also say they won't trade in white bread for whole grains. White bread causes a rapid spike in blood sugar that, when repeated unnecessarily, can lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. It's a pretty simple step, and if you genuinely want to lose weight and improve your health, changing to whole grains is a must.

Soda
I think that people know that soda is bad, they just like the taste. However, drinking a few sodas a day is adding hundreds of calories to your diet. If you drink two sodas a day, you will be on track to gain a pound a week just from the soda!

Ketchup
Ketchup is comprised mostly of sugar. It provides 8-10 grams or sugar per serving, no fat and no protein. Not to mention it has 0% of your daily value of everything but salt. It is essentially a worthless food item. Drop the ketchup to help drop the pounds. 

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and Splenda, have no caloric value, but this doesn't mean that they don't help make you fat. Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners actually make the body crave sweets even more! When your body receives a sweet taste but isn't calorically satiated, it craves the real deal. If you are looking to kick a sweet habit, switching to diet sodas or artificial sweeteners might be a bad plan.

Restaurant Dining
Dining makes it difficult to keep your weight down. Most foods are cooked in butter or other fatty oils. Salads are often coated in dressing. Many things are fried and breaded. Even something as basic as a sweet potato is made into a dessert with butter and brown sugar. If you must dine out, make sure you are educated on how many calories are in these extras, and have your food cooked to order.

Chicken Tenders

I've talked to many people who think that if it is chicken, it is healthy. Chicken tenders are a staple on any restaurant menu. They are often one of the most -- if not the most -- calorie and fat-laden item. Add the strange orange dipping sauce that many places provide, and you have a disaster of a meal.

Lattes
You triple-whipped, double cream, two-shots-of-vanilla venti latte is driving you down fat street. The iced white chocolate mocha from Starbucks weighs in at a whopping 500 calories.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sunday Dinner July 29,2012

On the Menu



The Dynamite Fruit Salad
4 - 6 Servings

Ingredients
2 mangoes, diced
2 kiwis, diced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
2 apples, diced
1 cup blueberries
½ cup almond slithers

Method
Dice all ingredients a few hours prior to serving.  Place them in a bowl and refrigerate.
The fruits will make their own juice, but you can also add a small amount of the Strawberry orange Vinaigrette just prior to serving for added flavor.
Add almond slithers at time of serving.

 Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken Breast
4 Servings

Note: Traditionally this recipes calls for honey but we are going to use an orange as the sweetener instead.

Ingredients
4 – 6 ounce b/s1 chicken breast  
For the marinade:
1 lime, juiced
1 orange, juiced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper s

Method
Place chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan, or zip lock bag.
In a blender puree the marinade ingredients, or in a small bowl, whisk together the juice, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, salt, onion powder and chili peppers.
Pour over chicken and turn pieces to coat evenly, cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat a gas grill to a medium heat or start coals in a charcoal grill and let them burn until there is a white coating of ash on all the coals.
Remove chicken from marinade and reserve marinade for basting.
Place chicken on the grate in the grill. Cover with the grill lid and check in 10 minutes. Turn chicken over and grill another 10 minutes.
Move chicken to the sides of the grate, away from direct heat. Brush with  marinade if desired.
Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and remove from the grill.
If you’re not using a meat thermometer, cook chicken 35 – 45 minutes.  
Allow grilled chicken to rest on a platter for 10 minutes before serving.
This will help keep the chicken juicy and not let all the juices run out when the chicken is cut into.

1 boneless/skinless
Cilantro Lime Grilled Yams
 8 Servings

Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes/yams, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced
¼ - ½  teaspoon crushed chili pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until just fork-tender.
Cool them down by dipping them in an ice bath [equal parts ice and water].
Once cool drain and slice each potato lengthwise into eighths.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, lime, chili peppers, oil, garlic and cilantro.
Add sweet potatoes and toss gently until wedges are coated with the mixture.
Preheat a grill to medium; using a towel and tongs, wipe down the grill with grapeseed oil to prevent sticking.
Place the potatoes on the grill and grill until golden brown on all sides, about 1½ minutes per side.
Lemon Garlic Spinach
6 - 8 Servings


Ingredients
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds baby spinach
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method
In a sauce pan, heat oil and chili peppers, add garlic and saute on medium heat 1 minute do not let garlic brown.
Add spinach, sea salt and lemon juice, mix thoroughly and saute just until spinach is wilted and all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Serve immediately.
 
 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Master Pasta Salads

On the Menu
Angelique: There's nothing like a pasta salad in the summer.  Light.  Yummy.  Filling and Fattening.
Joyce: Guilty as charged.  When I was at Whole Foods they made some incredible pasta salads.  The problem is they are not as healthy as we think. 
Angelique:  The mayo and cheese, as good as they are, ruin any hope of the salads being healthy or low cal.
Joyce:  And another issue is that when you're buying food that is already prepared, you never know how fresh it really is.
Angelique:  But you do when you make it yourself. Plus you get to control all the ingredients.
Joyce:  Which means you can have your light, yummy, filling pasta salads and you're in control of its nutritional value.
Angelique:  This week, Mom's took the best of Whole Foods pasta salads and make them the  New Age Soul Food way.
Joyce:  And for you vegetarians and vegans, all you have to do is eliminate the cheese and chicken like I do.  

Soulful Eating!
Angelique and Joyce

 Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
6 Servings

Ingredients
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound smoked mozzarella cheese
2 roasted red peppers
¼ pound baby spinach
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ bunch parsley
For the dressing
1 cup vegan mayo
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chipotle or cayenne pepper, ground

Method
Cook pasta until it‘s al dente.
Drain, rinse in cold water until pasta is cool enough to handle.
Transfer to a large bowl, add salt, mix thoroughly then place pasta in the refrigerator to complete the cooling process.
Dice cheese into ½ inch cubes.
Grill red peppers, remove seeds then julienne and chill.
Add mozzarella cheese, peppers, spinach, parmesan cheese and parsley to the pasta and mix thoroughly.
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until well combined.
Add dressing to pasta and mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerated until ready to serve.




.

Portabella Penne Pasta with Chicken

  Portabella Penne Pasta w/ Chicken
6 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
For the Chicken
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
For the Pasta
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 medium portabella mushrooms
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil             
1 bunch scallions                                                   
1 cup whole garlic                                                                                                  
1 cup sun dried tomatoes                          
1 bunch parsley                                                      
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, chopped                                                                
1 sprig fresh sage, chopped                                                         
3 sprigs fresh thyme chopped                                          

Method:
For the Chicken
Season chicken with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion
Grill or roast in oven until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F
Let chicken cool enough to handle then cut on the bias and refrigerate.

For the Pasta
Cook pasta until it is al dente.
Drain, rinse in cold water until pasta is cool enough to handle.
Transfer to a large bowl, add salt and pepper, mix thoroughly then place pasta in the refrigerator to complete the cooling process.
Wash mushrooms, remove stem and gills
Brush mushrooms with oil and grill.  Let them cool than slice in to ½” strips.
Grill scallions then cut them on the bias and set aside.
Slice garlic and saute briefly in oil. Drain and set aside
Re-hydrate sun dried tomatoes.
Rough chop the herbs
In a large bowl combine the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, scallions, garlic, mushrooms and herbs and mix thoroughly.
Add ½ of the balsamic vinaigrette dressing and refrigerate until salad is cold.
Use the remaining dressing to toss on the salad just prior to serving.

For the Vegetarian/Vegan version, eliminate the chicken

Bow Tie Chicken Pasta

 6 Servings
Ingredients
For the Chicken
2 boneless , skinless chicken breast, diced
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
For the Pasta
1 pound bow tie pasta
1 cup garlic cloves
½ pound broccoli florettes
½ basket cherry tomatoes
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup parsley
1 cup olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dry oregano
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Method
For the Chicken
Sprinkle diced chicken with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion.  Place in a baking dish and bake or grill until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

For the Pasta
Cook past until it is al dente.
Drain, rinse in cold water until pasta is cool enough to handle.
Transfer to a large bowl, add salt and pepper, mix thoroughly then place pasta in the refrigerator to complete the cooling process.
Roast garlic with a little olive oil salt and pepper on a grill or in the oven for 45 minutes or until soft.
Blanch broccoli by boiling it in a pot of hot water for 2 minutes.  Drain and cool it down in a bath of ice water, and set aside.
Mix together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.
Take the cooled chicken, pasta, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, parsley and ½ the dressing toss together.
Use additional dressing for individual plating.


Monday, July 23, 2012

We're 90% Organic

Angelique and I have purchased organic foods for 10 years now. There is so much controversy over organics vs conventional.  You will just have to make your own decision; however, I began my quest for organic food after decades of working for a major agricultural manufacturer.  I know what's in the food.  I know the long term repercussions.  I know that it is our job as consumers to do our homework and protect ourselves from the big business of the agricultural and food industries.
We follow the guidelines of the Dirty Dozen - Clean 15 Chart. It is a list of foods with the highest and least amount of pesticide residual.  Everything on the dirty dozen list we buy organic, and when in doubt, we buy organic.  Anything that is animal or a derivative of, we purchase organic.  


Whatever path you choose to follow, your best bet  is to purchase locally grown produce whenever possible. It is fresher and more nutritious than produce that has traveled cross country or world.  Here is a finder for your local Farmers Market.
Let me add that eating Organic is not the easiest endeavor, but it does limit your exposure to deadly pesticides that over time can cause disease.    With that in mind, it really is well worth the effort. 

Soulful Eating and Stay Healthy!
Angelique and Joyce
The following is an article that will explain everything you need to know about organics.
 Organic 101  - Written by Max Goldberg. - Follow Max on Twitter
What is organic food?
Organic food is food that is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides and insecticides, growth hormones or antibiotics.  Organic food cannot be irradiated, contain genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and cannot be grown using sewage sludge fertilizer.
Is organic food more nutritious than conventionally grown food?
Yes. Organic farmers practice crop rotation.  This means that they will grow different crops each year to preserve and nourish the soil, and to promote biodiversity.   Traditional farmers may grow the same crops on the same soil year after year and use toxic chemicals, both of which result in nutrient depletion.
The nutritional value of food is strongly correlated to the nutritional value of the soil.  It is all about the soil.
Why does organic food cost more than conventionally-grown food?
This is due to a variety of reasons including: major agribusinesses receive large subsidies from the government, particularly for corn-based products; most organic farmers do not have the economies scale to compete with large corporate conglomerates, and; organic food producers must go through go through a rigorous and time-consuming process to receive organic certification.
Even though conventional food may cost less, it does not deliver the same amount of mineral nutrition.  The cost may be lower but so is the nutritional value.
Why does organic food not last as long as conventionally-grown food?
This is because organic food does not contain artificial preservatives to extend its shelf life.  Having these preservatives results in an inferior taste.
If I am new to organic, do I have to eat absolutely everything that is organic?
Switching to a 100% organic diet Day 1 is simply not realistic for most people.  If you are new to organic, below are a few different suggestions on how to get started.
  • Go into the market and look for products with the USDA Organic Seal — see below.
  • Look for fruits and vegetables that start with the number “9″
  • If you have kids, buy organic milk and organic cereal.
  • Substitute your regular soda with organic soda or organic juices.
  • If you are not a vegetarian, buy organic chicken instead of regular chicken.
Start off slowly, don’t buy too much at first and see what products work well for you.  Also, you will need to understand the short shelf-life of organic fruits and vegetables so you don’t waste any food or money.
Here is a video that I put together that explains how we know if something is organic or not.
What are the different categories of organic?
There are three different types of organic labeling: 
100% Certified Organic
This means that 100% of all ingredients in a product (except salt) and water, are organic.  100% certified organic products may use the USDA Organic Seal.
Organic
This means that 95% of all ingredients in a product, except salt and water, are organic.  Certified organic products may use the USDA Organic Seal.
Made with Organic Ingredients
This means that 70% of all ingredients in a product, except salt and water, are organic.  These products may not use the USDA Organic Seal.
What is the history of organic food regulation in the U.S.?
USDA Organic SealIt largely began with the passage of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA).  This bill mandated for the creation of an advisory board, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), to write recommendations for the standards of organic food.  It took 12 years for the government to approve the exact wording of these standards and establish criteria for which foods could call themselves “USDA Certified Organic”.
Here are a few studies that talk about the nutritional advantages of organic food.
How do I know the food I am eating is organic?
Organic food is certified by an independent, third-party certification agency.   The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) approves organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, that wish to be official certification agencies.
Certifiers work with farmers to make sure that:
  • The soil used has been chemical-free for at least 3 years
  • The farmer is practicing and adhering to organic standards
  • All operations of the farm are in compliance with organic standards
  • An extensive log is in place and is being used to record all activity
Food processors and manufacturers are held to the same standards as farmers.  Inspections take place at least once per year.
There are many small farmers who practice organic farming but do not participate in the certification process because the cost and time expenses are too onerous.  Therefore, they are not legally allowed to call their food organic.
An organic food product lists the certification agency on its label.  The largest agency is Quality Assurance International.
What is the difference between organic and natural?
Natural products are supposed to contain no artificial ingredients or added colors and be minimally processed.  Natural products do not have near the regulation, standards or enforcement as do organic products.
Overall, there is a lot of widespread abuse of the word “natural”, and there is tremendous confusion about what the word means and the value it provides.

 

 



 

 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sunday Dinner July 22, 2012

On the Menu

Berbere Spice Grilled Salmon
4 Servings
Ingredients
4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets
Berbere Spice to taste – Make your own or find it in Ethnic Markets.

Method
Preheat Grill
Sprinkle or coat the fillets with berbere spice on all sides. Amount depends on how spicy you want the fish.
Let them marinate 1 hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat grill to high, brush grates with canola oil.
Place salmon fillets on grill.  Once you place it on the grill do not move it for at least 4 minutes.  The fillet needs time to release itself from the grate.
Grill for 4 - 6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness).  
And remember, it's better to undercook than overcook.

 Grilled Bok Choy – With an Asian Flare – Vegan
 4 Servings
Ingredients:
2 pounds baby bok choy
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoons ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
¼ cup tamari
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds  

Methods:
Cut bok choy in half lengthwise, wash and set aside to drain.
Heat oil and briefly sauté ginger, garlic and crush red peppers.  Set aside to cool.
Add tamari to a large bowl and whisk in the cool oil and ginger combination.
Add bok choy to bowl and mix by hand to make sure each piece is covered with mixture.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in the charcoal or gas grill.
Wipe the grate down with canola oil and place the bok choy directly on the grill. 
Turn the bok choy often, brushing on more sauce as needed.
Remove from grill when they can be easily pierced with a fork.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.


Grilled Peaches with Maple Balsamic Glaze
4 Servings

Ingredients
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons Grade A Maple Syrup
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 large fresh Organic peaches, halved and pitted

Method
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together vinegar, maple syrup and pepper. Simmer until liquid has reduced by one half. It should become slightly thicker. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Place peaches on the grill, cut side down.
Cook for 5 minutes, or until the flesh is caramelized. Turn peaches over.
Brush the top sides with the balsamic glaze, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the peach halves to individual serving dishes, and drizzle with remaining glaze. 
 Forbidden Rice Salad
8 - 10 Servings 
Ingredients
3 ½ cups water
1 lime, juiced
2 cups Organic Forbidden Rice®
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
 2 tablespoons basil, fresh, coarsely chopped
 2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, coarsely chopped
 ¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
 1 medium red peppers, diced 
 1 medium yellow peppers, diced     
 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced
  ¼ cup pine nuts 
Dressing
 2 tablespoons grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
 2 teaspoons sesame oil
 2 tablespoons tamari
 ⅛ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
 ¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 ½ teaspoon black pepper
             
Method
Bring water to a boil.
Add juice of 1 lime, rice and 1 teaspoon of sea salt let water come back up to a boil again and cover.
Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or according to package directions.
Let rice sit while you whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. While rice is still warm toss in the sesame oil and tamari mixture. Let cool, then add mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, red peppers, yellow peppers, jalapeno peppers onions, pine nuts and pepper to taste.






Grilled Peaches with Maple Balsamic Glaze


Grilled Peaches with Maple Balsamic Glaze
4 Servings

Ingredients
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons Grade A Maple Syrup
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 large fresh Organic peaches, halved and pitted

Method
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together vinegar, maple syrup and pepper. Simmer until liquid has reduced by one half. It should become slightly thicker. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Place peaches on the grill, cut side down.
Cook for 5 minutes, or until the flesh is caramelized. Turn peaches over.
Brush the top sides with the balsamic glaze, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the peach halves to individual serving dishes, and drizzle with remaining glaze.


Grilled Bok Choy – With an Asian Flare – Vegan

 Grilled Bok Choy – With an Asian Flare – Vegan
 4 Servings
Ingredients:
2 pounds baby bok choy
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoons ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
¼ cup tamari
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds  

Methods:
Cut bok choy in half lengthwise, wash and set aside to drain.
Heat oil and briefly sauté ginger, garlic and crush red peppers.  Set aside to cool.
Add tamari to a large bowl and whisk in the cool oil and ginger combination.
Add bok choy to bowl and mix by hand to make sure each piece is covered with mixture.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in the charcoal or gas grill.
Wipe the grate down with canola oil and place the bok choy directly on the grill. 
Turn the bok choy often, brushing on more sauce as needed.
Remove from grill when they can be easily pierced with a fork.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Berbere Spice Grilled Salmon

Berbere Spice Grilled Salmon
4 Servings
Ingredients
4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets
Berbere Spice to taste – Make your own or find it in Ethnic Markets.

Method
Preheat Grill
Sprinkle or coat the fillets with berbere spice on all sides. Amount depends on how spicy you want the fish.
Let them marinate 1 hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat grill to high, brush grates with canola oil.
Place salmon fillets on grill.  Once you place it on the grill do not move it for at least 4 minutes.  The fillet needs time to release itself from the grate.
Grill for 4 - 6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness).  
And remember, it's better to undercook than overcook.