Want to Lose Weight? Eat Potatoes

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What’s the most popular vegetable in America?  If you guessed potato, you are right!  Plant foods, the exclusive source of dietary fiber, also provide us with precious vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  And since potatoes are grown throughout the year, they’re also a fresh, seasonal and sustainable option for your winter meals.  Unfortunately, potatoes have often been denounced as fattening and the anti-carb craze of recent years has only added to that undeserved perception.

Weight control is rapidly becoming the major health issue of the 21st Century. More than a third of adults in the US are overweight and obesity is reaching epidemic proportions.  We know that potatoes are great tasting, inexpensive and nutritious, but how does this versatile vegetable become part of the solution?

Medical and nutrition experts have long advocated the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Potatoes are root vegetables and complex carbohydrates high in water-absorbing fiber. Therefore eating potatoes makes you feel more satisfied and less hungry and can actually help you to lose weight. Continue reading “Want to Lose Weight? Eat Potatoes”

Purple Jasmine Rice Pudding: Fair Trade and Gluten-Free. Sweet!

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The Fair Trade initiative is a market-based approach that empowers small growers and craftspeople by organizing them into co-operatives.  Fair Trade’s strategic intent is to work with marginalized producers and workers to achieve economic self-sufficiency and environmental standards.

According to Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO), as of 2007 almost 8 million producers and their families have benefited from Fair Trade projects.¹ The global market for Fair Trade goods experienced significant growth in 2008 and in the face of a global recession, realized sales of about $4.08 billion worldwide, a 22% annual increase.²  An impressive feat that can be attributed to the outstanding partnerships that have evolved between Fair Trade companies such as Alter Eco and the producer communities nurtured by international Fair Trade organizations. Continue reading “Purple Jasmine Rice Pudding: Fair Trade and Gluten-Free. Sweet!”

Grilled Fruit Sundaes

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Grilling fruit imparts a smoky intensity to the sweet juiciness of ripe summer fruit. Grilled Fruit Sundaes feature ripe chunks of pineapple, strawberries, bananas and apples over dairy-free strawberry ice cream and topped with Tosteds soynuts.

The fruit kebabs are rolled in Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade raw cane sugar from Malawi, a Demerara type sugar prized for its large sparkling crystals and rich aroma. You can grill fruit kebabs on a barbeque or pop them under the broiler.

Fruit makes a great dessert and contains lots of fiber and disease fighting antioxidants however; traditional dessert making can add unhealthy cholesterol, excessive fat and calories that overshadow the healthful benefits. Continue reading “Grilled Fruit Sundaes”

Turmeric: Spice of Life

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In the Old World, where spices were valued for depth of flavor and prized for therapeutic properties, turmeric was called ‘The Spice of Life.’

Turmeric has flavored food and prevented spoilage for centuries, adding a characteristic golden hue and warm ginger flavor to dishes from Asia to the Middle East. Spices are cited repeatedly as a significant part of the ancients’ daily lives in Egyptian hieroglyphics recorded on the walls of the pyramids and in passages of the Old Testament.

There is evidence of cultivated spices, herbs and seeds long before recorded history and archeologists estimate that primitive man had discovered aromatic plants as early as 50,000 B.C. Continue reading “Turmeric: Spice of Life”

Chilled Asparagus with Creamy Dill Dressing

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Asparagus is a wonderful spring vegetable with tender fleshy spears that make a lovely distinctive presentation. Long known for its strong diuretic properties, the early Greeks used this delicately flavored vegetable for medicinal purposes, believing that it could prevent bee stings and ease toothaches.

In California, asparagus is picked as early as February, however the season is considered to run from April through May. In the East and Midwest, the growing season extends through the end of July.

Asparagus is very low in calories and sodium, a good source of fiber and an excellent source of natural antioxidants.¹ A cup of asparagus supplies 288 mg of potassium, which is important for brain function, muscle growth and a healthy nervous system. Continue reading “Chilled Asparagus with Creamy Dill Dressing”

Enlightened Tofu and Snow Peas

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Stir-frying involves quick cooking over high heat in a small amount of oil. Quick cooking in this manner preserves the flavor, color and texture of the food, and vegetables come out slightly crisp with all of their vitamins intact.

You can use a traditional Chinese wok or a heavy gauge 14” stir fry pan that has sloping sides of the typical wok.  A pan like this is similar in that the heat concentrates at the bottom of the pan, and the curved sides allow you to push the ingredients to the side. Stir-fry pans also have a long handle for easy maneuvering.

Stir-fry calls for oil with a high smoking point, such as corn or safflower and heating oil to the smoking point. Choosing a heavy gauge wok pan and there isn’t any need for such oils.

Olive oil is largely monounsaturated fat, which lowers the LDL (bad) cholesterol, Continue reading “Enlightened Tofu and Snow Peas”

Go for the Greens!

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Cultivated for more than two thousand years, kale is a nutritional powerhouse! This leafy green vegetable has more dietary value and fewer calories than just about any other vegetable.

One cup of cooked kale contains over 94mg of calcium and more than 1300 percent of the Daily Value of Vitamin K,¹ which has been linked to bone health and a reduced risk of bone fractures.

Kale is rich in vital magnesium, the mineral necessary to fully metabolize calcium, and contains a healthy mix of nutrients that promote strong bones. Kale contains considerable amounts of chlorophyll and is a very good source of Vitamins A and C, folic acid and iron.

Research has shown chlorophyll to be a powerful anti-carcinogen and Continue reading “Go for the Greens!”

Edamame Succotash

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What is a nutritious, high protein snack that’s quick to the table, delicious and satisfying?  How about one that contains almost no saturated fat and ZERO cholesterol? Dairy free? Now that we have eliminated beef jerky, cheez doodles, and guacamole……
Give up?

How about edamame?  If you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant or Sushi Bar, you may have already enjoyed this tasty snack. Also known as Green Vegetable Soybeans, these immature soybeans are harvested early and left in the pod.

Delicious lightly salted, and possibly the worlds oldest and healthiest snack food, edamame are as popular in Japan as salted peanuts are in the west.  Edamame is fun to eat. Just thread the steaming pod between your teeth and the tasty sweet beans pop right out, toss the pod and grab another. Continue reading “Edamame Succotash”

Its a Wrap!

Looking for a delicious dish that comes together quickly is loaded with healthful fiber and antioxidants and also helps reduce global warming?

Perhaps reducing the size of your waistline is a priority and you crave a satisfying dish with toothsome crunch that won’t spike cholesterol or pack on the pounds. Wraps are ridiculously easy to make from staples that you probably have on hand.

Spinach Asparagus Wraps are really delicious. All you need are whole grain tortillas, hummus, fresh asparagus, some carrots, baby spinach, and bell pepper. Be sure to read the label, many tortillas are high in fat and some contain lard.

My tortillas of choice are Trader Joe’s Organic Whole Wheat & Corn Flour Tortillas. They are very good, contain 1 gram of fat and they are priced right! Continue reading “Its a Wrap!”

Cold Sesame Noodles — Positively Soysational!

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Cold Sesame Noodles is a spicy appetizer that is sometimes called Szechuan Noodles after the traditionally fiery cuisine of Szechuan Province in Mainland China. While its international reputation for delicious spicy-hot cuisine is well deserved, at least a third of the dishes from this region are not at all spicy.

A popular menu item at Chinese restaurants, Cold Sesame Noodles is a dish that is quick to the table at home. This easy recipe calls for spaghetti or linguini, however you can also use Asian-style Udon noodles or even whole-wheat pasta.

What sets this delicious recipe apart is our use of soynut butter to replace traditional peanut butter, which adds healthful antioxidants and isoflavones. Soynut butter is made from soybeans, a terrific alternative for anyone who is  allergic to peanuts or tree nuts of any kind. And it tastes great! Continue reading “Cold Sesame Noodles — Positively Soysational!”