Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Herb Crusted Grilled Pork Loin

2 pounds pork loin
2 tablespoons fresh Sage,chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Remove pork loin from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature (about 20 minutes). Combine 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with all the fresh herbs and garlic. Season with sea salt and black pepper and rub pork loin generously.

Preheat heat outdoor grill to low. When hot add pork loin and close the lid to cook for 20 minutes, basting occasionally with the rub. Turn over and cook a further 20 minutes, basting occasionally until all the rub is used up.

Turn off grill, close the lid and let pork loin rest for 15 minutes.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve warm.

Whole Foods Looking For Local Growers

According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than half of the farms in the United States have sales of less than $10,000 a year. On Tuesday, there was an event at City Roots in Columbia aimed at changing that statistic.
Whole Foods used the venue to recruit local produce and goods, something that would benefit not only the company but the Midlands as well. 
"There's no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives," said John David Harmon, Special Coordinator for Whole Foods' South region. "That doesn't exist in our store."
In a country where it seems food grows on conveyor belts, Whole Foods, which is building at Cross Hill Market in Columbia, is going back to basics.
"We're sitting down with local producers talking about what we're looking for in local products here in South Carolina."
From chocolatiers to bee keepers, on Tuesday, people from all over the region showed off their produce in hopes of getting it on Whole Food's shelves
"For the farmers it's especially important," explained Eric McClam, co-founder of City Roots, "it's another outlet for us to sell our stuff and produce."
Read More

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shrimp Pasta Shells (gluten-free)

16 ounces cooked rice pasta shells
1 pound cooked medium shrimp
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons pesto
3 tablespoons capers
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Handful fresh italian parsley, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

In a deep sided skillet on high heat, add four tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add garlic, onion, tomatoes, and pesto. Sauté until soft (about 4 minutes). Add shrimp, sautéing a further 2 minutes. Add pasta and stir well to combine. Add parsley and capers. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle extra olive oil on top and serve hot with a crispy salad of your choice.

Conn. Bill Looks to Add Labels to Engineered Food - February 22nd, 2012
HARTFORD, Conn. — Consumers at Connecticut grocery stores would be able to know if genetically engineered foods are in the merchandise mix under a bill state lawmakers are considering to require the labeling of such foods.

Neither the federal government nor any state currently has a labeling requirement that applies to all genetically modified foods. Connecticut is among nearly 20 states considering a labeling mandate amid health concerns that supporters of the legislation have raised about such foods.

Connecticut's legislation would require clear labeling on any food sold in the state that is completely or partially produced with genetic engineering.

Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, said he introduced the legislation due to public concern over the issue. Roy co-chairs the state Environment Committee, which heard from supporters and opponents of the bill at a hearing Wednesday.

Roy said his bill has gained bipartisan support, and he expects the committee to pass it, although its fate after is unclear."We're not taking a stance on whether GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are good or bad," said Roy. "What we're saying is that we have a right to know what we're putting in our bodies."Proponents of the legislation say that genetically engineered foods pose allergy and other health risks and that the labels will increase safety for consumers.

Analiese Paik, who runs the Fairfield Green Food Guide website and testified in favor of the labels, said that the Food and Drug Administration has yet to produce a scientific study on whether or not genetically modified foods are safe.

Paik pointed to a recent Canadian study that found toxins from genetically engineered corn circulating in the bloodstream of women.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Warm Bok Choy Tomato Salad

8 Baby Bok Choy
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
juice of half a lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Clean and cut Bok Choy in half. Dry with a paper towel. In a large wok or deep side skillet, add enough oil to cover the bottom (about 2 tablespoons). When hot, add all the ingredients. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then saute on high heat until all vegetables are cooked (about 5 minutes).

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice on top. Serve immediately, while still warm and crisp.

How Toxins Make You Fat: 4 Steps to Get Rid of Toxic Weight

Scientists recently uncovered a surprising and disturbing fact: Environmental toxins make you fat and can cause diabetes. (1) Inside the body, these chemicals monkey with our ability to balance blood sugar and metabolize cholesterol. Over time, the changes can lead to insulin resistance. This discovery should be headline news, but no one is talking about it. Why? Because there are no drugs to treat it. In the quest to conquer the two biggest epidemics of our time -- diabetes and obesity -- we've got to turn our attention to the heavy burden environmental toxins put on our bodies.
Until conventional medicine catches up, you've got to optimize your body's ability to rid itself of toxins. If your body's detoxification tools aren't up to snuff, waste will build up. Over time, the damage is similar to what happens when trash collectors go on strike and don't pick up the garbage off the streets. The waste piles high, making the neighborhood smell bad and creating a breeding ground for illness.
Don't let the word detoxification turn you off. You may think it sounds like a New Age idea or something from celebs in Hollywood on the heels of an alcohol or drug binge, but detoxification is a normal, everyday function. It's the body's way of breaking down and eliminating anything that doesn't belong. And, these days, there are a lot of things our bodies come into contact with that don't belong.
Read More

Friday, February 24, 2012

Crispy Quinoa Meatloaf

2 pounds lean sirloin steak, ground/mince
2 cups cooked quinoa
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese
Handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well to fully combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Mold the meatloaf on a greased 8" by 8" pyrex dish. Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 or until it's cooked, golden brown, and crispy on top. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. 

Is Going Gluten-Free Always Necessary?

LOS ANGELES — Given the growing amount of gluten-free foods available at the grocery store, it seems a number of people have trouble digesting that kind of food. But are they truly gluten-intolerant, and is there a clear diagnosis for that?

Gluten sensitivity is the topic of a paper published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine in which researchers acknowledged the seriousness of celiac disease, but also said part of the population could have nonceliac gluten sensitivity. That’s characterized by having distinct symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating or headaches after eating foods containing gluten.

Celiac disease, also triggered by eating foods with gluten, can cause damage to the lining of the small intestine. Among gastrointestinal symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and sufferers can also be lactose intolerant. Vitamin and nutrient absorption can also be an issue. A blood test can determine if someone has the disease.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cheese Blintzes (Gluten and Sugar Free)

1 cup all purpose GF flour 
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil or oil of your choice

In a blender, combine all the ingredients and pulse for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat a lightly buttered frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour batter (1/4 cup) into pan, swirl to coat evenly. Cook 40 seconds, flip and cook for another 10 seconds. Continue until all batter is gone.

1 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
2 packages (3 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
Juice of half a large lemon and zest
4 tablespoons honey

Blend all the ingredients together until thick and smooth.

Place about 1 heaping tablespoons filling on the cooked side of the crepe. Fold in sides and roll up like a burrito.

Serve with sour cream and fresh fruit topping of your choice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grilled Balsamic Pineapple Goat Cheese Salad

1/2 large pineapple
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 small white onion, chopped
6 cups mixed salad greens
6 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat outdoor grilled to high.

Remove skin and rib of pineapple and slice into small half discs. Combine balsamic and ginger, add pineapple and marinade for up to 1 hour or more. Arrange on a single layer and grill until caramelized (15 minutes) turning over occasionally to prevent burning.

Remove from the grill and drizzle with balsamic and olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper.  Let pineapple cool.

Arrange salad ingredients and place pineapples on top. Just before serving, drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette.  

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 small garlic clove, chopped
3/4 extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

On medium heat, add all the ingredients. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the sauce simmer until it reduces in volume and thickens.

Chipotle's on the Farm

The renowned Virginia pig farmer had really big news. The executive team from Chipotle was headed to his farm to source pigs for their growing burrito empire.
The farm-to-table movement is certainly in vogue. Restaurants across the country are heralding the slogan to market their food. Even McDonalds put out an advertising campaign profiling one of their hardworking potato farmers.
Chipotle has also leveraged farm-to-table -- with a campaign called "food with integrity" -- to sell burritos. And from a cursory look, it too could be just a marketing campaign.
Which is what I thought until Chipotle showed up that morning on the farm.
The Chipotle team arrived in Virginia eager to learn about Bev's operation.
Bev Eggleston -- recently named the 'patron saint' of the local food movement -- began raising pigs ten years ago on a 100-acre farm in southwestern Virginia. His vision soon outgrew the farm. He then leveraged the farm (his only asset besides his delivery truck) to secure a loan and open a USDA processing facility where he could slaughter his animals. But he couldn't raise enough animals to supply the growing demand. So he began recruiting farmers across the tobacco belt to grow pigs outdoors. A decade later, Bev works with thirty farmers who grow pigs the "right" way, marked by a deep reverence (Bev's energy rubs off) for the animals and the land.
Read More

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Salmon Garbanzo Patties

6 ounces cooked skinless salmon
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
2 cups cooked sweet potato
2 cups cooked baby spinach
1 small red onion, chopped
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons ground almond
3 tablespoons GF or plain flour
Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F

Combine all the ingredients and shape into patties.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and add patties in a single layer leaving room in between.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning over halfway during cooking.

Serve immediately.

FDA to Review Inhalable Caffeine

BOSTON — U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials plan to investigate whether inhalable caffeine sold in lipstick-sized canisters is safe for consumers and whether its manufacturer was right to brand it as a dietary supplement.
AeroShot went on the market late last month in Massachusetts and New York, and it’s also available in France.
Consumers put one end of the gray-and-yellow plastic canister in their mouths and breathe in, releasing a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly.
AeroShot’s inventor, Harvard biomedical engineering professor David Edwards, said the product is safe and doesn’t contain taurine and other common additives used to enhance the caffeine effect in energy drinks.
AeroShot didn’t require FDA review before hitting the U.S. market because it’s sold as a dietary supplement. But New York’s U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said he met with FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, and she agreed to review the safety and legality of AeroShot.
“I am worried about how a product like this impacts kids and teens, who are particularly vulnerable to overusing a product that allows one to take hit after hit after hit, in rapid succession,” Schumer said.
Tom Hadfield, CEO of Breathable Foods, which makes AeroShot in France, said in a statement that the company will cooperate with the FDA’s review to address the issues raised by Schumer and are confident it will conclude that AeroShot is a safe, effective product that complies with FDA regulations.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Espresso Chocolate Almond Cookies

2 1/4 cup almond meal/flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons stevia
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 cups melted dark chocolate
1/4 cup pure vegetable oil of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 F

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet in another. Add wet to the dry and stir well to combine.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop small scoops into the cookie sheet, leaving 1 inch in between.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a stick inserted comes out clean.

Leave cookies to cool in a cooling rack.

BPA's Obesity And Diabetes Link Strengthened By New Study

The modern lifestyle of super-sized french fries and couch potatoes often takes the blame for the rising rates of obesity and diabetes in the U.S. -- perhaps rightly so. But growing evidence suggests another factor in the dual epidemics: modern chemicals.

Exposure to even minuscule amounts of synthesized substances -- used in everything from pesticides to water bottles -- can scramble hormone signals, scientists say. This interference can trick fat cells into taking in more fat or mislead the pancreas into secreting excess insulin, a hormone that regulates the breakdown of fat and carbohydrates.

Among the most ubiquitous and scrutinized of these so-called endocrine disruptors is bisphenol A, better known as BPA. The chemical is a common ingredient in plastics and food-can linings.

"When you eat something with BPA, it's like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating," says Angel Nadal, a BPA expert at the Miguel Hernandez University in Spain.

Nadal's latest research, published last week in PLoS ONE, finds that the chemical triggers the release of almost double the insulin actually needed to break down food. High insulin levels can desensitize the body to the hormone over time, which in some people may then lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.

To achieve this feat, BPA fools a receptor into thinking it is the natural hormone estrogen, an insulin regulator. Nadal's team found that even the tiniest amounts of BPA -- a quarter of a billionth of a gram -- did the trick. The effect disappeared when the researchers stripped the specific receptors from the study mice, evidence that they had in fact pinpointed BPA's chemical mechanism, which had previously eluded scientists.

In laboratory tests of human cells, the response was even more pronounced.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Phosphate Additives in Food Cause Artery Damage and Premature Aging

There is increasing evidence that an elevated level of phosphate in the blood not only promotes calcification of blood vessels and bodily organs but also upsets a complex hormonal system involved in regulation of phosphate in the body.

Prof Dr Eberhard Ritz, of the Heidelberg Kidney Centre, and co-authors review the research on phosphate additives and elevated phosphate levels in blood (hyperphosphatemia) in an article inDeutsches Ärzteblatt International.

It has long been known that patients with renal disease are at risk of higher cardiovascular related mortality and overall mortality due to elevated phosphate levels. Large-scale epidemiological studies have now shown that phosphate additives may also harm people with normal kidney function. One study has even shown an association with hardening of blood vessels in young healthy men.

Phosphate added to animal fodder is known to accelerate age-related organ complications in animals, such as muscle and skin atrophy, the progression of chronic renal failure, and cardiovascular calcifications. It is now thought that phosphate added to human food has similar effects.

It has only recently been discovered that the body uses a complex system to control phosphate levels in the blood and excretion by the kidneys — in fact there are two hormone systems to prevent phosphate accumulation. Studies with mice where this system has been damaged resulted in premature aging, with vascular calcification, osteoporosis, skin atrophy, pulmonary emphysema, infertility, and early death.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grilled Sirloin Steak

2 lb sirloin steak (1 inch thickness)
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
Combine extra virgin olive oil and garlic and season with sea salt and black pepper. Generously rub steak with half the marinade. Put in a large ziplock bag and refrigerate for up to two days.

Pre heat outdoor grill to high heat.

Remove steak from refrigerator and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Grill steak for 8 minutes per side for medium rare (alter time for more or less rare). Transfer to a warm plate and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garlic marinade. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before you cut the steak into desired portions.

Whole Foods Aims to Alter 'Price Perception' as It Expands

Whole Foods Market Inc. doesn't want to be known as the pricey grocery store for well-  heeled, organic-food sophisticates.

The grocery chain, which mostly entices young, trendy city dwellers, is now moving into smaller, suburban areas where its new, smaller stores are seeing stronger returns. But to make it work, Whole Foods has to rid itself of its top-dollar reputation. A nickname like "Whole Paycheck" will make it tough to draw in the new demographic, since lower-priced competitors are homing in on the fresh-food fad.

In its recent quarter, Whole Foods opened six stores, focusing on these new markets where its says rent is lower, square footage is smaller and competition for natural, organic food isn't as heated. The new stores saw sales per square foot rise 29% from a year earlier. In general, total sales at Whole Foods stores that have been open at least 53 weeks rose 8.7% in the quarter compared to the year before.

"We've done surprisingly well in some of these secondary markets; a lot better than we thought we were going to do," said Co-Chief Executive Walter Robb on a conference call with analysts last week. "It's a very powerful economic model, so I think we're going to open a lot more of those types of stores."

To counter its reputation for being expensive, Whole Foods is offering more price promotions and discounts in all of its stores, and lately it has held many of its grocery prices flat despite its own costs rising. The idea is for customers to feel that while there may be certain product prices that are going up, they are finding plenty of good deals to make up for that, said executives, who call the strategy "price perception."

But broadening the chain's appeal to customers with a wider range of incomes, education and ages has its drawbacks. Core customers at Whole Foods spend, on average, nearly three times more than new customers, the company said.

Whole Foods also is facing new competition. Lower-priced organic grocer Trader Joe's is expanding its geographic reach from the two coasts, adding stores in Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. And chains such as Winn Dixie Stores Inc. and Supervalu Inc. are remodeling their grocery aisles with a particular focus on fresh produce.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Raspberry Walnut Bark

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
12 ounces milk chocolate
1 cup chopped raw walnut
2 cups fresh or dried raspberries
3 tablespoons orange zest

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a small pot of hot water on a low heat. 

Line a 10 by 10 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour melted chocolate over and spread a even layer over the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with walnut, raspberries and orange zest and refrigerate until set (about 2 hours). Cut bark into 3 inch square pieces to serve.

Is Adding Fiber To Food Really Good For Your Health?

I'm standing in the cereal aisle with three items in my basket: a box of sugary kids' cereal, some yogurt and a bottle of apple juice. According to their labels, all three of these foods are good sources of fiber, which, if you think about it, may say as much about us (the shoppers) as it does about the food we buy.
"We're looking for elements within things," says John Swartzberg, a professor of public health at University of California, Berkeley. "Almost a mystical kind of thinking."
He says that our love affair with food additives — fiber, for example — can be traced back to a single moment in history: British navy, 1747. "They realized that when the sailors were eating citrus fruits, they didn't get this terrible disease called scurvy," he says.
That launched the idea that specific, isolated ingredients in foods could prevent — sometimes even cure — diseases. And often, they could. Vitamin D prevented rickets. Iodine prevented goiters.
"So all of these things led us to think that we just have to find these magic bullets within foods that we replace and we'll be much better," he says. This is the legacy that is on full display at any modern grocery store.
I'm shopping in one with Jan Matsuno. She's a food scientist for the Center for Culinary Development, a research firm in San Francisco. Many trends have come and gone under her watch: the low carbs, the Omega-3s and so on.
She says what's enabled the fiber craze is, in part, chemistry. "You can get these powdered, soluble fibers, put them into a glass of water and it just dissolves," she says. "It looks and tastes like water. It's amazing."
In the bread aisle, we pick up some white bread. The package we find is labeled "good source of fiber" — a label that many people may already be skeptical of, as NPR's Nancy Shute reported. Matsuno reads the list of ingredients: "Sugarcane fiber. Oat fiber. A resistant corn starch also can be fiber."
Just to be clear, all of those are additives that you would not normally find in white bread. When added up, they bring the fiber content up to the magic number of 3 grams. That's the minimum amount you can pack into a product and still have the words "good source of fiber" on the label.
Matsuno says that designation is a bit generous. "An apple with the peel is 5 grams of fiber," she says.
So are these fiber-fortified foods actually making you healthier? This question turns out to be one of those places where scientists know a lot less than you may think they do. For example, a lot of people think that fiber will help protect you against colon cancer. But so far, that link is not conclusive.
There is a stronger connection between fiber and cardiovascular disease, Swartzberg says. Basically, people who eat lots of fruits, vegetables and legumes have lower rates of heart disease.
But no one knows exactly why fiber-rich foods appear to prevent heart disease. Is it the fiber? Or is it something else in those foods? Maybe it's a combination of things. Maybe there is no single, magic bullet.
Now, some food scientists are less critical of these fiber additives. They say many Americans are always going to choose junk food over fruits and vegetables. So you might as well put some fiber in there, even if we don't really know how much of a benefit it's having.
Read More

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gluten and Sugar-Free Almond Strawberry Pancakes

1 cup all purpose GF flour
1 tablespoon stevia
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup almond milk
2 large eggs (room temperature)
2 tablespoons orange zest
6 fresh strawberries, chopped
Blend all the ingredients together (except strawberries and sliced almonds) until smooth.

Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium heat. When griddle or pan is hot, pour a 1/4 cup of the batter into the griddle and scatter strawberries and almonds on top. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface (about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes). Flip over and cook a further 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter and strawberries.

Serve with maple syrup (warm).

Walmart's New Health Food Push: Is It Too Hard to Swallow?

Walmart (WMT) has its work cut out for it. The world's largest retailer is trying to prove that it can be a source for healthy eating on a shoestring budget with its recently introduced "Great for You" initiative.

Remember, this is the same company that earned an unpleasant reputation thanks to allegations that it runs mom-and-pop shops out of business. It's the same company that regularly comes under fire for long-standing claims that it treats workers unfairly. And another thing: Walmart's latest do-good initiative may not even be popular with its core customers.

The Cheap Chow Stigma

Whether Walmart likes it or not, for years, its discount, price-cutting branding has been associated with cheap bags of Cheetos, low-priced Little Debbies, and elastic-waist pants more than healthy nutritional choices.  

It's a reputation issue that all discount companies face.

One of the biggest debates about America's food supply and diet is the fact that the cheapest food options are often the unhealthiest and most fattening. Rising obesity rates, including childhood obesity, are often linked to low-priced, high-calorie fare.

Just ask McDonald's (MCD) about the public relations problems involved in being linked to cheap food. Health advocates have repeatedly targeted Mickey D's, even going so far as to attack the Happy Meal for enticing children with toys while plying them with fattening food. San Francisco banned fast-food companies from including free promotional toys in kids' meals that didn't meet certain health criteria.

Given the anti-obesity environment, it's no surprise Walmart has embarked on this healthy-eating labeling initiative. Getting marked as part of a major national problem isn't a brand stigma that's easy to shake off, especially with a vocal American public that's growing increasingly health-conscious.

Healthy CompetitionThrough its new initiative, Walmart's healthier house-brand items will be marked with a green "Great for You" alert, meant to educate customers about healthier options to put in their shopping carts. (Later, Walmart will open up the labeling to other brands on its shelves.)

Trending Now