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Weight Loss, Fitness & Health Weight Loss, Fitness & Health

*~ Kitchen Basics & Nutritional Tips ~*

Posted by on Nov. 15, 2010 at 8:03 PM
  • 13 Replies

     Where we can post kitchen tips, how to's and how not's.  You know those little secretes that make mom's cooking so good.  Also the basics like cutting and chopping techniques.

               

by on Nov. 15, 2010 at 8:03 PM
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dntbgmeb4cofe
by on Jan. 19, 2011 at 10:37 PM

     How to measure portions w/o a scale ~

The Portion Distortion Guide

A List of Serving Sizes
  -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator
Selecting the right foods also means choosing portions that are proper serving sizes. The terms "portion" and "serving" are often used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing. A "portion" is the amount of food you choose to eat for meals or snacks (like a plateful of pasta or a handful of raisins). In comparison a "serving" is the amount of food that experts recommend you eat (like 1 cup of milk or 1 ounce of bread). Servings are listed on a food's nutrition facts label too. When choosing your portion, try to make it as close as possible to these recommended serving sizes. 

Grains: Aim for 6-11 servings each day. Choose whole grains whenever possible. 


Fruits and Vegetables: Aim 5-9 total servings each day. Choose fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible. 


Meat and Beans: Aim for 2-3 servings each day. Choose lean meats and plant proteins whenever possible. 


Dairy: Aim for 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Choose low- or non-fat products whenever possible. 


Fats & Oils: Eat fats and oils sparingly and in small portions. Choose heart-healthy fats whenever possible. 

Examples One serving equals That's about the size of
Bread 1 ounce (1 small slice, 1/2 bagel, 1/2 bun) Index card
Cooked Grains 1/2 cup cooked oats, rice, pasta Billiard ball
Dry cereal 1/2 cup flakes, puffed rice, shredded wheat Billiard ball
Examples One serving equals That's about the size of
Raw fruit 1/2 cup raw, canned, frozen fruit Billiard ball
Dried fruit 1/4 cup raisins, prunes, apricots An egg
Juice 6 oz 100% fruit or vegetable juice Hockey puck
Raw vegetables 1 cup leafy greens, baby carrots
Baseball
Cooked vegetables 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, potatoes Billiard ball
Examples One serving equals That's about the size of
Meat & Tofu 2-3 oz cooked beef, poultry, fish, tofu Deck of cards
Beans 1/2 cup cooked beans, split peas, legumes Billiard ball
Nuts & Seeds 2 Tbsp nuts, seeds, or nut butters Ping pong ball
Examples One serving equals That's about the size of
Cheese 1 ounce or 1 thin slice of cheese A pair of dice
Milk 1 cup milk, yogurt, soy milk Baseball
Examples One serving equals That's about the size of
Fat & Oil 1 tsp butter, margarine, oil One die

dntbgmeb4cofe
by on Jan. 19, 2011 at 11:12 PM

How to Make your Favorite Foods 
Fit your Healthy Lifestyle

 

Try these strategies for lightening up your favorite recipes.

 

For baked items:

  • Replace 1/4 or 1/2 of the butter or oil with unsweetened applesauce. Keep in mind that applesauce is a better replacement for oil than it is for butter.
  •  

  • If you're substituting a substantial amount (1/2 to 1 cup) of applesauce for fat, you can cut down on sugar a bit because of the natural sweetness of the applesauce.
  •  

  • Substitute egg whites for some of the whole eggs. But don't use all egg whites unless specified in the recipe since that can result in a spongy, tough end product.
  •  

  • Sugar can often be decreased slightly without any substitute, especially with recipes that are 40 or more years old since they tend to be disproportionately high in sugar.
  •  

  • Sugar packs on the calories quickly. One tablespoon of sugar equals 48 calories.
  •  

  • Confectioners' sugar can almost always be decreased in a frosting without missing the sweetness. One tablespoon of confectioners' sugar equals 29 calories.
  •  

  • If you have trouble with a tough, dense texture in a lightened-up baked good, try substituting cake flour for all-purpose flour the next time you make it.
  •  

  • Decrease the amount and chop mix-ins like nuts, chips (use mini chips), raisins, coconut, etc.
  •  

  • Toast nuts and coconut to make a smaller amount have additional flavor.
  •  

  • Reduce the amount of frosting. You can usually cut that amount by 1/4 or 1/3 without missing it.
  •  

  • Reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat butter work well in place of their full-fat varieties, but since the lighter products tend to be more soft-set, the recipe may need noticeably less liquid.
  •  

  • Keep in mind that it's very difficult to successfully lighten cookie recipes and still keep the original texture and shape. The better option is to prepare cookies as usual and savor a single serving.

 


For general recipes:

  • Invest in a food scale so that you can weigh foods until you get a feel for what typical serving sizes are.
  •  

  • Use the leanest cuts of meat: skinless poultry, white-meat poultry, beef with "loin" or "round" in the name and pork with "loin" in the name.
  •  

  • Consider 4 ounces of raw meat to be a serving.
  •  

  • Cut back on some of the added high-fat and calorie ingredients like cheese, olives, avocado and nuts.
  •  

  • Watch how many high-sodium foods you're including like anything canned, packaged mixes, tortillas, breads, olives, cheese, salsa and seasoning mixes. Can you find a low-sodium/no-sodium alternative? Perhaps one of the canned products in the recipe can be changed to fresh or frozen (corn, green beans, sliced mushrooms, etc.).
  •  

  • Watch portion sizes when serving rice and pasta. Pastas are usually 1-1/2 ounces uncooked per serving. Cooked rice is typically 1/2 or 2/3 cup per serving.
  •  

  • Use 8- or 6-inch flour tortillas instead of 10-inch. The 10-inch tortillas have 213 calories before any fillings are added.
dntbgmeb4cofe
by on Jan. 19, 2011 at 11:38 PM
 

Apple
Apple Juice 
Apricot
Avocado
Banana
Bilberries - frozen
Blackberries -stewed
Blackcurrants - stewed
Blueberries 
Cantaloupe
Cherries
Cranberries
Currants - dried
Damsons - stewed
Dates
Figs
Gingerstem - canned syrup
Gooseberries - stewed
Grapefruit
Grapes
Greengages - stewed
Guava
Honeydew Melon
Kiwi
Kumquat
Lemon
Loganberries
Lychee

medium
cup
3 medium
medium
medium
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz 
cup
half
cup
4 oz 
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
half
cup
4 oz
4 oz
half
medium
4 oz
medium
4 oz
medium

60
115
50
305
80
57
23
25
80
55
90
14
244
28
214
214
214
13
40
90
37
57
39
45
64
15
17
14

Fruit

Portion

Calories

Mandarin
Mango
Medlars
Mulberries
Nectarine
Olives
Orange
Orange Juice
Ortaniques
Papaya
Passionfruit
Peach
Pear
Pineapple
Plums
Prunes
Quinces
Raisins - dried
Raspberries 
Rhubarb - stewed
Sharonfruit
Strawberries
Sultanas - dried
Tangerine
Topaz
Uglifruit
Watermelon

medium
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
medium
4 oz
medium
cup
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
medium
medium
4 oz
medium
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
4 oz
medium
4 oz
4 oz
medium
medium
medium
4 oz

30
75
43
35
55
85
50
105
60
45
15
50
50
46
20
134
25
247
25
8
130
26
249
30
65
140
54

Calories in Vegetables 1
Note: Food Serving Size is As Stated

Vegetables

Portion

Calories

Alfalfa Sprouts
Artichoke
Artichoke Heart
Asparagus
Bamboo Shoots, canned
Beans, green
Bean Sprouts
Beet Greens
Beets
Bell Pepper
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage, raw
Cabbage, red
Carrots
Carrots, shredded

 

1 cup
medium
1/2 cup
6 spears
4 oz
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1 cup
1 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup

10
5
42
25
18
20
30
25
30
10
10
12
30
25
22
32
25

Calories in Vegetables 2
Note: Veggies Serving Size is As Stated

Food

Portion

Calories

Cassava
Cauliflower
Celeriac
Celery
Chard
Chick Peas, canned
Chicory
Chilies - dried
Chilies - fresh
Chinese Leaves
Chinese Water Chestnuts
Chives
Collard Greens
Corn Kernels
Corn on Cob

4oz
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1 stalk
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1oz
1oz
1/2 cup
4 oz
4 oz
1/2 cup
cup
ear

154
28
35
5
22
130
18
80
5
22
50
36
12
140
85

 

Types of Vegetable

Portion

Calories

Cucumber
Dandelion Greens
Eggplant/Aubergine
Endives
Fennel
Horseradish
Kale
Leeks
Lettuce
Mangetout
Mushrooms
Okra
Onions
Parsley - raw

8"
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
4 oz
1 oz
cup
cup
cup
1/2 cup
cup
cup
1/2 cup
1/4 cup

15
16
12
10
16
8
40
30
8
21
18
50
15
4

 

 

Calorie Content of Vegetables

Portion

Calories

Parsnips
Peas
Pepper - red
Pepper - green
Plantain boiled
Potato Salad
Potatoes, baked
Potatoes, baked inc skin
Potatoes, boiled
Potatoes, fries
Potatoes, new
Potatoes, roast
Pumpkin
Radishes
Rutabagas

1/2 cup
1/2 cup
medium
medium
3 oz
cup
4 oz
6 oz
5 oz
4 oz
4 oz
1 small
cup
2 oz
1/2 cup

55
62
25
20
95
350
104
145
125
350
105
150
50
12
35

Veggie

Portion

Calories

Salsify
Sauerkraut
Sea Kale
Shallots/Spring Onions
Spinach
Squash
Sweetcorn
Swede
Sweet Potato
Tomato
Turnip
Wakame Seaweed
Watercress
Yams, boiled
Zucchini/Courgette

1/2 cup
1/2 cup
4 oz
4 oz
cup
1/2 cup
cup
4 oz
1/2 cup
medium
1/2 cup
4 oz
4 oz
1/2 cup
1/2 cup

30
24
8
26
10
52
140
20
165
30
18
45
20
75
15

 

LeeLeeCandleGrl
by on Jan. 20, 2011 at 7:43 AM

Excellent thread. My major tip is to go shopping for veggies about once or twice a week. Chop up all of your veggies and put them in ziplock bags or containers and keep them in the fridge so they are easy to get to and quick to cook.

Many veggies freeze well so blanch them and pthen portion them and freeze them for later use. Example. Mushrooms, either buy presliced or slice them yourself. Boil a pot of water then place the mushrooms inside. Cook for about 2 min. Then place mushrooms in a bowl of icy water. This will stop the cooking process. Once the veggies are cooled you can put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. I did this with kale and mushrooms this week. Buy in bulk to save $$. Boil the kale for about 10 minutes or so then drain cool and freeze.


dntbgmeb4cofe
by on Jan. 24, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Top 20 Ingredients for Quick Cooking

Keep these essential ingredients on hand and in mind. You can combine them in creative ways to yield deliciously quick and healthy weeknight meals.

Ingredients for Quick Cooking

Photo: Plamen Petkov

Fast, Fresh, and Healthy Ingredients for the Quick Cook


We've identified 20 ingredients that get our creative juices flowing, from fresh, superconvenient products like bagged baby spinach, to go-to pantry standards like organic canned black beans, to high-flavor spice-rack heroes like smoked paprika, which gives a bacon-y savor to foods while adding zero calories and zero saturated fat.

With this list of gold-standard quick-cooking ingredients in hand, we also provide 20 easy recipes perfect for busy nights. We hope these inspire you to stock your own pantry and experiment further. Fast, fresh, and healthy can be something else, too—fun.


Boil-in-Bag Brown Rice

Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

Boil-in-Bag Brown Rice


Boil-in-bag brown rice is one of the quickest ways to get more whole grains in your diet.

Use for: rice pilaf, rice salad, soups, and stews


Quick Paella Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Boil-in-Bag Brown Rice Recipe: Quick Paella


Yes, it's possible to riff on the flavors of Spain's most famous dish and make a delicious Quick Paella! Boil-in-bag brown rice makes a fast, nutty, and nutritious foundation.

View Recipe: Quick Paella


Canned Diced Tomatoes

Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

Canned Diced Tomatoes


Canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes save you the time and effort of seeding, chopping, and peeling fresh tomatoes.

Use for: marinara sauce, bruschetta, salsa


Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pizza Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Canned Diced Tomatoes Recipe: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pizza


A robust topping of turkey sausage, onions, diced tomatoes, and peppers crown this satisfying Chicago-style pizza. French baguette halves mimic the traditional deep-dish crust—a real timesaver.

View Recipe: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pizza


Canned Organic Black Beans

Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

Canned Organic Black Beans


Canned organic black beans offer options for main dishes and sides, and going with organic ensures there's minimal added salt.

Use for: black bean cakes, filling for tacos or burritos, salsa


Quick Black Bean and Corn Soup Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Canned Black Beans Recipe: Quick Black Bean and Corn Soup


Using six of our top quick ingredients, Quick Black Bean and Corn Soup is ready in less than 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of Greek-style plain yogurt to counteract the spicy chile paste.

View Recipe: Quick Black Bean and Corn Soup


Frozen Shelled Edamame

Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

Frozen Shelled Edamame


Frozen shelled edamame (soybeans) are a superconvenient way to add color, texture, and protein to most any dish.

Use for: salads, (pureed) dip or spread, whole-grain salads


Edamame Succotash Recipes

Photo: John Autry

Frozen Shelled Edamame Recipe: Edamame Succotash


Frozen shelled edamame makes a hearty addition to this summer staple.

View Recipe: Edamame Succotash


Couscous

Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

Couscous


Couscous is one of the easiest and most versatile starches you can find.

Use for: salads, stuffing roasted veggies like zucchini, serving with Moroccan tagines and other stews


Quick Greek Couscous with Shrimp Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Couscous Recipe: Quick Greek Couscous with Shrimp


These wonderful Mediterranean ingredients combine with quick seafood to produce Greek Couscous with Shrimp. Yogurt adds a velvety texture.

View Recipe: Quick Greek Couscous with Shrimp


  •   

dntbgmeb4cofe
by on Jan. 24, 2011 at 9:58 PM

  • Canola Mayonnaise

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Canola Mayonnaise

     

    Canola mayonnaise has far less saturated fat than conventional store-bought mayo.

    Use for: marinades, flavored sandwich spreads, dips

     

    Mayonnaise Dips Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Canola Mayonnaise Recipe: Custom Dips

     

    The delicious, rich ingredients in mayonnaise—oil, eggs, and vinegar—work miracles on more than just sandwiches. Try this fridge-door staple in creative ways from custom dips to marinades.

    View Recipes: Mayonnaise Dips, Marinades, and More

     

    Smoked Paprika

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Smoked Paprika

     

    Smoked paprika packs a huge punch of flavor—and you don't need to fire up a grill.

    Use for: replacing the smoky flavor of bacon, dry rubs on oven-roasted meats, stews, and chili

     

    Smoked Paprika Pork Chops Recipes

    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Smoked Paprika Recipe:Smoked Paprika Pork Chops with Bell Pepper and Corn Relish

     

    Smoked paprika gives pork chops a smoky flavor without having to grill. Accompany with an easy side: refrigerated potato wedges tossed with garlic powder, ground red pepper, and salt, and roasted until crisp.

    View Recipe: Smoked Paprika Pork Chops with Bell Pepper and Corn Relish

     

    Frozen Corn Kernels

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Frozen Corn Kernels

     

    Frozen corn kernels allow you to skip corn shucking and cutting the kernels from the cob.

    Use for: cream-style corn, salsa, corn bread

     

    Quick Tex-Mex Confetti Pizza Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Frozen Corn Recipe:Quick Tex-Mex Confetti Pizza

     

    Is there anything more prosaic than frozen corn? But when it's given a zing from the paprika, combined with other toppings like cherry tomatoes and black beans, and all laid onto supermarket pizza dough: voilà, Tex-Mex Confetti Pizza, a crowd-pleaser.

    View Recipe: Tex-Mex Confetti Pizza

     

    Grape Tomatoes

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Grape Tomatoes

     

    Grape tomatoes add a quick splash of color and flavor.

    Use for: pasta tosses, salads, garnish

     

    Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic Dressing Recipes

    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Grape Tomatoes Recipe:Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic Dressing

     

    You're reading the recipe correctly: There are green grapes in this dish. Their juicy, crisp, and bright sweetness complements the tomatoes and provides a nice contrast to feta's creamy tang. Besides the pan-grilled asparagus shown, any green vegetable sautéed or grilled with a little garlic, salt, and pepper makes a good side―try spinach, broccoli, or even kale.

    View Recipe: Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic Dressing

     

    Fresh Pasta

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Fresh Pasta

     

    Fresh pasta cooks in half the time it takes to cook dried. Here we focused on fresh ravioli.

    Use for: soups, baked casseroles, appetizers

     

    Quick Crisp Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Fresh Pasta Recipe:Quick Crisp Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce

     

    We're suckers for a bit of pan-fried goodness, and panko plus ravioli delivers. Use your favorite ravioli—we like cheese or spinach filling. Serve with garlicky broccoli rabe or wilted greens, such as chard or kale.

    View Recipe: Quick Crisp Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce

     

    Large Eggs

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Large Eggs

     

    Large eggs: There's simply no quicker protein, and they're just so versatile.

    Use for: binder in patties and meatballs, salad topper, thickening and enriching sauces and salad dressings, or bulking up fried rice

     

    Quick Garden Omelet Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Eggs Recipe: Quick Garden Omelet

     

    The simplest supermarket ingredients make a Garden Omelet that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Even faster: Buy presliced mushrooms.

    View Recipe: Quick Garden Omelet

     

    Plain Greek-Style Yogurt

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Plain Greek-Style Yogurt

     

    Plain 2% reduced-fat Greek-style yogurt is luscious, smooth, and rich, not chalky like traditional plain yogurt.

    Use for: dips, sauces, marinades

     

    Greek-Style Pork Chops Recipes

    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Plain Greek-Style Yogurt Recipe: Greek-Style Pork Chops

     

    Make your own tzatziki sauce out of Greek-style yogurt, fresh dill, and red wine vinegar to accompany grilled pork chops. Serve with pita wedges: Cut two pita rounds in half, and cut each half into quarters and toast.

    View Recipe: Greek-Style Pork Chops

     

    Pitted Kalamata Olives

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Pitted Kalamata Olives

     

    Pitted kalamata olives add a rich, meaty, and unique flavor to any dish they grace.

    Use for: tapenade, pasta dishes, roast with chicken or vegetables

     

    Niçoise-Style Couscous Salad Recipes

    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Pitted Kalamata Olives Recipe: Niçoise-Style Couscous Salad

     

    This dish uses components of the classic salade niçoise—tuna, olives, and green beans. By using two of our top quick ingredients, pitted olives and couscous, the one-dish meal comes together in no time.

    View Recipe: Niçoise-Style Couscous Salad

     

    Refrigerated Potato Wedges

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Refrigerated Potato Wedges

     

    Refrigerated red potato wedges are ready to cook straight out of the bag.

    Use for: potato salad, roasted potato sides, soup

     

    Quick Corn and Edamame Chowder Recipes

    Photo: Lee Harrelson

    Refrigerated Potato Wedges Recipe: Quick Corn and Edamame Chowder

     

    Thanks to a bevy of frozen and refrigerated veggies, this chowder comes together quickly but has fresh flavor and is packed with nutrition. The go-to ingredients here are refrigerated red potato wedges (ready to cook straight out of the bag), frozen corn kernels (saves you from shucking and cutting corn from the cob), and frozen shelled edamame (which add color, texture, and protein to this dish). Blending half the corn with chicken broth creates a creamy base so you need less half-and-half.

    View Recipe: Quick Corn and Edamame Chowder

     

    Bagged Baby Spinach

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Bagged Baby Spinach

     

    Bagged baby spinach saves you the time and trouble of removing the stems.

    Use for: pizza topping, pasta dishes, wilted for a green side dish or salad

     

    Summer Farfalle Salad with Smoked Salmon Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Bagged Baby Spinach Recipe: Summer Farfalle Salad with Smoked Salmon

     

    Bagged baby spinach helps this main-dish salad come together in a flash. Substitute leftover cooked salmon for the sliced smoked salmon, if you prefer.

    View Recipe: Summer Farfalle Salad with Smoked Salmon

     

    Panko

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Panko

     

    Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) is every bit as convenient but tastes better than bland dry breadcrumbs. Panko also gives foods a supercrisp crust.

    Use for: filler for meatballs, crab cakes, and the like; breading for oven-fried shrimp or fish fillets; casserole toppings

     

    Quick Pan-Fried Chicken Breasts Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Panko Recipe: Quick Pan-Fried Chicken Breasts

     

    The tang of soy and spice of chile combine to yield a tasty, quick Pan-Fried Chicken Breasts. The creamy mayo helps panko crumbs cling to the chicken while you pan-fry it to a crispy finish.

    View Recipe: Quick Pan-Fried Chicken Breasts

     

    Presliced Cremini Mushrooms

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Presliced Cremini Mushrooms

     

    Presliced fresh cremini mushrooms allow you to simply dump and stir.

    Use for: sauces, casseroles, stuffings, or fillings

     

    Beef Stroganoff Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Presliced Cremini Mushrooms Recipe:Beef Stroganoff

     

    We made over this classic beef-and-noodles dish by cutting 30% of the calories and more than half the total fat. Presliced mushrooms saves you time at the cutting board.

    View Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

     

    Lower-Sodium Soy Sauce

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Lower-Sodium Soy Sauce

     

    Lower-sodium soy sauce adds depth and flavor to a wide range of dishes, not just Asian foods.

    Use for: fajita and other marinades, roasting veggies, dipping sauces

     

    Pork Fajitas with Mango Recipes

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Soy Sauce Recipe: Pork Fajitas with Mango

     

    Adding just a tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce to the pork at the end of cooking gives the dish just enough of that salty, savory "umami" flavor to balance the sweet mango. Enjoy these fajitas with lime wedges and Mexican beer.

    View Recipe: Pork Fajitas with Mango

     

    Chile Paste

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Chile Paste

     

    Chile paste (sambal oelek) is an all-purpose hot sauce.

    Use for: marinades, vinaigrettes for steamed vegetables, scrambled or poached eggs

     

    Roast Leg of Lamb with Chile-Garlic Sauce Recipes

    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Chile Paste Recipe:Roast Leg of Lamb with Chile-Garlic Sauce

     

    The base of the sauce, a simplified version of harissa, is sambal oelek chile paste combined with cumin, coriander, and minced garlic. Serve with green beans and potato wedges.

    View Recipe: Roast Leg of Lamb with Chile-Garlic Sauce

     

    Chicken Broth

    Photo: Manfred Koh/Time Inc. Digital Studio

    Chicken Broth

     

    Fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth is indispensable for fast cooking.

    Use for: poaching liquid, sauces, braising and stewing liquid

     

    Couscous Chicken Salad Recipes

    Photo: Karry Hosford

    Chicken Broth Recipe:Couscous Chicken Salad

     

    Poaching the chicken in broth makes the chicken juicy and tender. It also deepens the flavor of the broth, which is then used to cook the couscous for this healthful and easy one-pot meal.

    View Recipe: Couscous Chicken Salad

free1
by on Jan. 24, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Thanks for posting.

dntbgmeb4cofe
by on Apr. 12, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        It's all about the BEANS!

All About Beans

 

Soaking Methods for Dry Beans

  • Most dried beans, except split peas and lentils, need to be soaked before cooking. Select a soaking method below to fit your schedule.
  •  

  • Before cooking, sort through dried beans to remove any broken beans, pebbles or grit. Rinse beans with cold water in a colander.
  •  

  • Soaking softens and returns moisture to the beans, which helps reduce the cooking time. Soaking also helps eliminate some of the sugar molecules, oligosaccharides, which are responsible for the gas-causing effect that beans can have. The longer the beans soak, the more of the oligosaccharides are released into the water. The released sugars are discarded with the water after soaking.
  •  

  • Soak different kinds of beans separately. Some take longer to soak than others. Black beans can affect the color of other beans. To see if beans have soaked long enough, slice one in half. If the center is opaque, you need to soak them longer. If you have old beans, hard water or live at a high altitude, you may need to increase the soaking and cooking times.
  •  

  • Always use a large pot and plenty of water. Dried beans rehydrate to two to three times their size. After soaking, discard the soaking water and drain and rinse the beans.

 

Quick Hot Soak

Sort and rinse beans. Place in a soup kettle or Dutch oven; add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours. Drain and rinse beans; discard liquid unless your recipe directs otherwise. Proceed with the recipe as directed.

 

Overnight Soak

Sort and rinse beans. Place in a soup kettle or Dutch oven; for every cup of beans, add 3 cups of cold water. Cover and soak at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans; discard liquid unless recipe directs otherwise. Proceed with the recipe as directed.

 

Cooking Soaked Dried Beans

  • After soaking, beans are simmered in fresh water for about 2 hours or until tender. The time will vary based on the variety and size of the bean, hardness of the water, altitude and the freshness of the dry beans.
  •  

  • Follow the recipe or package directions for the amount of water to add to the beans. To reduce foaming during cooking, add 1 tablespoon of oil or butter to the pot.
  •  

  • Salt or any acidic ingredients (like tomatoes, lemon juice, mustard, molasses, wine or vinegar) inhibit the absorption of liquid and stop the softening process. These ingredients shouldn't be added to the beans until they are tender.
  •  

  • To test beans for doneness while cooking, remove a bean from the pot and place it on a cutting board. Mash the bean with the back of a spoon. If it mashes easily and is soft in the center, it is thoroughly cooked. Or, if you prefer, you can bite into the bean to see if it is tender but not mushy. Allow about 1/2 cup cooked beans per serving.

 

The following is a chart giving the suggested cooking time for soaked dried beans:

Type of Dried Bean/Legume Cooking Time
Black Beans 1 to 1-1/2 hours
Black-Eyed Peas 1/2 to 1 hour
Cranberry Beans 3/4 to 1 hour
Garbanzo Beans 1 to 1-1/2 hours
Great Northern Beans 3/4 to 1 hour
Kidney Beans 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Lentils, green or brown 20 to 30 minutes
Lentils, red 15 minutes
Lima Beans, baby 1 hour
Lima Beans, large 1 to 1-1/2 hours
Navy Beans 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Pink Beans 1 hour
Pinto Beans 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Red Beans, small 1 to 1-1/2 hours
Split Peas 20 to 30 minute

 

Storing Dried Beans

Store uncooked dried beans tightly covered in a cool, dry area. It is best to use dried beans within 12 months; the older the bean, the longer it takes to cook. Store cooked beans covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze up to 6 months.

 

Bean Substitutions

  • One pound packaged dried beans (uncooked) equals 2 cups dried or about 6 cups cooked and drained.
  •  

  • One cup packaged dried beans (uncooked) equals about two 15-1/2-ounce cans of drained beans.
  •  

  • One cup dried split peas equals about 2 cups cooked.
  •  

  • One 15-1/2-ounce can of beans equals about 1-2/3 cups drained beans.

 

Canned Beans

Rinse and drain canned beans before using. You will not only reduce the sodium content, but also eliminate some of the gas-producing sugars.

 

 

dntbgmeb4cofe
by on Apr. 24, 2011 at 11:32 PM


Food All Stars

Ranking the Most Nutritious Foods
  -- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

Specialized diets are everywhere today:  low fat, heart healthy, high protein--the list goes on and on!  But with every one of these diets, one key issue is constant: it is necessary to meet your body’s nutrient needs. But, by going on a "star search," meeting your nutrient needs while on any eating plan is easy. 
 
Make Sure Your Menu Gets Good Reviews
Foods on the chart below are listed according to nutrient density.  Nutrient density is like getting the most for your money.  It is based on the general amount of key nutrients per calorie that each food provides.  The 4-star foods are the most nutrient dense. Also within each group, the foods are listed in order of the greatest to least nutrients per calorie. There is nothing wrong with 1-star and 2-star foods, but they generally provide fewer key nutrients when compared to the 3-star and 4-star foods.
 
Notice that there is also an "Extras" group.  These foods provide calories, but little or no nutrients.  Therefore, consume them in addition to—not in place of—the starred foods.  In a generally nutritious diet, which includes a wide variety of foods, there is room for “extras” in moderation.  But extras should not replace starred foods or be consumed in excess.  This can cause weight and health problems.
 

By focusing your eating primarily on foods with 3 stars and 4 stars, you'll be getting more nutrients for your calories.  

For a more healthful eating plan, just reach for the stars!

Group

Milk Products

Protein Foods

Fruits & Veggies

Grains

Key Nutrients

calcium
riboflavin
protein


iron
protein
niacin
thiamin
B-12
zinc
 

folic acid
vitamin A 
vitamin C
fiber

thiamin
iron
niacin
fiber

Daily Servings

2-3

2-3

5-9

6-11

****
4-Stars

  • nonfat milk
  • low fat cheese
  • buttermilk
  • low fat plain yogurt
  • 1% milk

 (meats with fat removed)

  • beef
  • veal
  • fish
  • pork
  • lamb
  • poultry 
     
     
  • eggs
  • spinach
  • chard
  • broccoli
  • cantaloupe
  • tomatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • asparagus
  • kale
  • green peppers
  • winter squash
  • romaine lettuce
  • whole grain breads 
  • enriched breads
  • English muffins
  • bagels
  • breadsticks
  • fortified 
    cereals

***
3-Stars

  • 2% milk
  • cheese
  • whole milk
  • low fat yogurt with fruit
  • low fat chocolate milk

(meats withoutfat removed)

  • beef
  • fish
  • pork
  • lamb
  • poultry

     
  • tofu
  • dried
  • beans
  • peas
  • lentils
  • vegetable juice
  • zucchini
  • green beans
  • oranges
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • sweet potatoes
  • apricots
  • cucumbers
  • orange juice
  • carrots
  • grapefruit
  • celery
  • pasta
  • noodles
  • whole grain crackers
  • biscuits
  • brown rice
  • enriched rice

**
2-Stars

  • pudding
  • custard
  • frozen yogurt
  • ice milk
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • artichokes
  • strawberries
  • peas
  • corn
  • bananas
  • potatoes
  • beets
  • peaches
  • iceberg lettuce
  • sprouts
  • mushrooms
  • pears
  • avocadoes
  • pineapple juice
  • tortillas
  • pita bread
  • cornbread
  • granola
  • non-fortified cereals

*
1-Star

  • milkshake
  • cottage cheese
  • ice-cream
  • peanut butter
  • hot dogs
  • luncheon meats
  • sausage
  • apples
  • raisins
  • grapes
  • canned fruit
  • dried fruit
  • croissants
  • pancakes
  • waffles
  • graham crackers
  • stuffing

                   
Extras

alcoholic beverages, bacon, bouillon, butter, cakes, candy, coffee, cookies, condiments, cream, cream cheese, doughnuts, fruit flavored drinks, gelatin dessert, gravy, honey, jam, jelly, margarine, mayonnaise, non-dairy creamer, olives, onion rings, pickles, pies, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, salad dressings, sauces, seasonings, sherbet, soft drinks, sour cream, sugar, tea, tortilla chips, vegetable oils

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