Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kale Edamame Grape Salad With Teriyaki Vinaigrette

6 cups chopped kale, remove stem
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup edamame
1 cup seedless black grapes
1 cup cooked skinless chicken (optional)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Sea salt and black pepper

Arrange salad ingredients on a large serving platter (refer to picture).

3 tablespoons raw honey
1 cup teriyaki sauce

Whisk all the ingredients to fully combine. Drizzle over the salad

When Did Our Daily Bread Take a Wrong Turn?

Bread went from being a major part of our ancestors’ food intake to being a very small part of the food we eat today.

Heavy, rich, and nutritious bread was once a daily staple; today commercial “industrialized” bread is produced in fully automated factories and is full of chemical additives and preservatives, too much salt, and has too little nutritive value.
What went wrong?
Humanity has been making and eating bread – at first unleavened and then later leavened with a variety of yeasts – for thousands of years. It was about 10,000 years ago that man began to domesticate the cereal grains that would become bread.
The earliest known ancestral wheat species – einkorn and emmer (also known as “farro”) – grew naturally all over the eastern Mediterranean area. They were “hulled” grains with a tight husk around each seed that had to be removed by parching or thrashing the grain. Modern bread wheat with “naked” grains or those that separated easily from the husk was an early cross that appeared around 9,000 years ago.
Today’s bread wheat has been one of the successes of selective breeding resulting in high grain yield, good quality, disease and insect resistance, and salt, heat, and drought tolerance.
Bread was truly the “staff of life” for both the peasant and the nobleman for centuries. In the Middle Ages (the 5th through the 15th centuries), for example, a majority of the population – mostly peasants – ate 2 to 3 pounds of bread a day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gluten-Free Burger Buns

1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups tapioca flour
4 eggs
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
2/3 cups water
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 F

Bring milk, water, salt, and olive oil to a boil and immediately add to the flour and garlic whisking constantly until smooth.  Set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients (mixture will be lumpy).

Divide dough into equal portions and place on a lined baking sheet or on a prepared burger bun pan.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and hollow when tapped.

Are Federal Funds Feeding Obesity Epidemic?

www.fdlreporter.com - July 26th, 2012
More than $18 billion in federal funding that subsidizes corn and soybean crops, which are changed into the main ingredients in junk food, ultimately are contributing to the country’s obesity epidemic, according to a public interest research group.

The data was laid out in a new report by WISPIRG, a Wisconsin public interest research group, called “Apples to Twinkies 2012,” which uses junk food and fruit to demonstrate the disparity in funding for different kinds of crops. For example, in Green Bay, those subsidies ultimately covered 2.8 million Twinkies but only 75,000 apples, the group said during a press conference on Wednesday.

“At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, the last thing we should be doing with our tax dollars is subsidizing junk food. Right now, we’re spending over $1 billion every year to subsidize it,” said Bruce Speight, director of WISPIRG.

WISPIRG’s report found that while billions of dollars are being spent on junk food ingredients, $637 million is spent to subsidize apple crops, which are the most subsidized product of any fresh fruit or vegetable. A bulk of subsidies go toward “commodity crops,” such as corn and soybeans, which later become four common junk food ingredients: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and hydrogenated oils

“Most commodity crops aren’t eaten just as-is. Among other uses, food manufacturers process them into junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils,” Speight said.“These additives then provide a cheap dose of sweets and fat to a wide variety of junk food.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Clean Eating Meets Food Where It Grows

www.usatoday.com - July 24th, 2012

The "clean food" movement is a recent one, spurred on by food magazines like the new Clean Eating and powerful media proponents like Dr. Oz. But its roots are in something as old as the American soil that nurtures and grows whole fruits and vegetables and the grasslands where livestock roamed.

The term generally refers to the eating of food as close to its natural state and point of origin as possible, and the movement is a reaction against the health problems caused by our growing fast food-oriented diet.

It's also a rebellion against some of Big Agriculture's controversial practices regarding beef, poultry and genetically modified crops. While eating fresh is preferred, canning and home-preserving are generally welcomed, too.

"I want people to eat whole, minimally processed food because it's nutritionally dense, affordable and good for the environment," said Lauren Niemes, executive director of Nutritional Council of Greater Cincinnati.

That includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, but also applies to other choices. "If you eat food in the form closest to nature, that means buying a turkey breast or a whole chicken and cooking it yourself, as opposed to buying (prepared) chicken nuggets. The challenge means you have to cook, which many people will have to learn. That's a good thing."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gluten-Free Coconut Pineapple Dessert

4 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 cups coconut milk (full cream)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar/icing sugar
2 cups fresh shredded pineapple
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rice flour

Whisk flour, 1 cup coconut milk, egg yolks, powdered/icing sugar, and vanilla to fully combine. Heat the rest of the coconut milk on medium heat until just warmed through and whisk in the egg mixture. Continue whisking until sauce is thick and shiny. Bring to a boil for two minutes whisking constantly. Remove from heat, divide into six 6 oz ramekins (or equivalent) and refrigerate for an hour before serving with fresh whipped cream.

Keep refrigerated.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The 18 Food Recalls This Month That You Never Heard About

www.huffingtonpost.com - July 20th, 2012
A few times per year a food recall will make newspaper headlines, usually after the populace is sickened in some spectacular way. But a look at the FDA's helpful catalog of lesser recalls speaks volumes about work-a-day troubles with the nation's food pipeline. Recalls happen far more frequently than you might think. Read on if you need an excuse to visit your local farmers' market.
By the Numbers
For the past 30 days, there have been 18 food recalls posted on the FDA's site, including:
Five products recalled for salmonella including a Romaine lettuce sold in California and Nevada, fresh sprouts from two different manufacturers, and a children's pro-biotic supplement (apparently more aggressively pro-biotic than intended).
Four recalled for Listeria monocytogenes 
Two cheeses and two bagged salad greens may contain this bacteria. When pregnant women are cautioned against soft ripened cheeses and deli meats, this is the potentially abortion-causing bug the obstetrician is trying to help them avoid.

Two products recalled because they may contain small metal fragments, a pasta salad and a "cheeseburger skillet dinner," whatever that is.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gluten-Free Banana Berry Corn Bread Loaf

2 cups corn flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mixed berries
3 large ripe bananas, mashed 
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 large lemon, juiced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, mixed berries, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk milk, eggs, bananas, lemon juice, and butter in a separate bowl. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Pour batter into a prepared loaf pan. 
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a stick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Greek Yogurt Purists Call Foul On Short Cut Thickening Agents

Greek yogurt traditionalists are fuming over new methods to produce its characteristic thick texture, which they believe violate the product's "standard of identity."

NPR spoke with Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the successful seven-year-old company Chobani. Today, it's the largest producer of Greek yogurt in the U.S.
Ulukaya is Turkish, but Greece and Turkey share a yogurt-making tradition. Hamdi is critical of those companies that employ short cuts in making products they call Greek yogurt:
"We want to make yogurt the way it was meant to be," he says. His yogurt, he says, is exactly the same as what his mother made by hand back home in Turkey. ...
But Chobani's Ulukaya calls such products cheap imitations. "That ruins the expectation in the consumer's mind of how pure and simple this product is."
Specifically, Ulukaya takes issue with thickening agents some companies use to achieve the same taste and texture as Greek yogurt. NPR spoke with food scientist Erhan Yildiz, who developed an ingredient that can be added to regular yogurt to imitate things like "residual mouth coating," "meltaway" and "jiggle."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quinoa Lamb Rissoles

1 pound ground fresh lamb
2 cups cooked quinoa
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
1 large white onion, grated
2/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon mild curry paste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Divide meat into 12 equal portions and shape into balls. Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 F 

Bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until it's cooked, golden brown, and crispy on top.

Food Intolerance: Fact and Fiction

www.health.usnews.com - July 17th, 2012
Once upon a time, when having a dinner party, the only accommodation a thoughtful host had to make was to consider the occasional vegetarian. But times certainly have changed.

Nowadays, it seems everyone has a restricted diet of some sort. Some people avoid milk for a variety of reasons—either due to lactose intolerance, an inability to digest the milk sugar in dairy products, or concerns that dairy makes them congested. Gluten—the main protein found in wheat—is increasingly being shunned by health-conscious consumers who believe it to be a "toxin" responsible for everything from bloating and weight gain to poor energy and "brain fogs." And the latest newcomer to the food intolerance scene is fructose—the primary sugar in fruit juice, honey, agave nectar, and high-fructose corn syrup—which research suggests may be poorly digested in up to 30 percent of the Caucasian population.

It seems we're a nation suffering from a case of collective indigestion. And it raises a few important questions. What is a food intolerance? Is food intolerance truly on the rise? Is there something real behind this trend, or is it all in our minds?

Unlike true food allergies, which involve a systemic and potentially life-threatening immune response to the protein in an offending food, a food intolerance tends to trigger symptoms which are unpleasant, but not dangerous per se. While food allergies only affect an estimated 1 to 4 percent of adults in the United States, experts believe that adverse reactions to food that do not involve the immune system—sometimes called food sensitivities or food intolerances—may affect significantly more people. These non-immune food intolerances may result from poor digestibility due to low enzyme levels, as is the case with lactose intolerance, or from an adverse chemical reaction to naturally-occurring components in foods or their preservatives, such as with histamine or sulfite sensitivity. To complicate matters, reliable tests to diagnose a non-immune food intolerance are only available for a small number of foods, which makes assessing the existence of these conditions a largely subjective exercise.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gluten-Free Chorizo Pork Vegetable Noodles

1 packet wide rice noodles
1/2 pound fresh extra lean ground pork
1 link ground chorizo
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1 small white onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Sea salt and black pepper

Cook rice noodles according to instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside.
Add three tablespoons of olive oil to a pan on high heat. When hot, add onions and garlic. Saute until soft (about 3 minutes). Add chorizo and ground pork, saute until cooked (about 5 minutes). Add vegetables, saute a further 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add noodles. Toss to combine. Season to your taste with salt and black pepper. 

Serve hot with extra olive oil drizzle over the top. Garnish with fresh herbs (optional).

The 14 Healthiest Junk Foods (For When You Simply Have No Choice)

www.huffingtonpost.com - July 16th, 2012
Hopefully we always have choices when it comes to eating, but you know how it goes -- extra innings, delayed flight, a friend's barbecue. Whether we consider ourselves healthy eaters or not, we've all likely found ourselves somewhat stranded with few appealing nibbles. And, if Fritos, Doritos and Cheetos give you anxiety, you may find yourself uncomfortably hungry and even worse -- appearing antisocial. But guzzling down junk food that's going to make you feel awful is no solution. So, what do you eat when the healthy options are slim pickings?


A party may often include a veggie or fruit tray -- that's a no brainer, of course. Skip the gloppy white dips, and see if somewhere else at the party there's a bowl of fresh guacamole, hummus or salsa to dress your veggies with.

Grab a handful of pretzels. Most contain a few ingredients: flour, barley malt and salt. If you don't have a wheat allergy, these are a healthier choice than the fried and most-likely genetically modified corn chips. Avoid the flavored and soft pretzels as they can contain artificial and bad-for-you ingredients.
Nuts are often hiding in a bowl at the edge of the bar or even at the stadium concession stand. They can keep you feeling full a lot longer than the junk foods, and the healthy benefits of nuts like almonds, peanuts (or if you're lucky, macadamias) far outweigh the salt they may be swimming in.
Use your spidey senses to sniff out the dark chocolate. Chocolate is a nutrient-dense powerhouse that can also keep you feeling full, and it will boost your mood, which is especially helpful if there's not much else you can eat.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blueberry Cake

3 1/2 cups white all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup greek yogurt
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups milk
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 F

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Blend all the wet ingredients including lemon zest. Fold into the dry ingredients to combine (don't over mix!). Add blueberries. 

Pour into a 9" by 9" round lined cake pan and bake for 1.5 hours or until a stick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Remove from the oven and immediately put into the freezer for 50 minutes.  This helps keep the cake moist. 

Remove from the freezer and  store in an airtight container.

Chia: Not Just for Pets

www.huffingtonpost.com - July 15th, 2012

Chi chi chi Chia!

Most people hear the word chia and have flashbacks of cheesy '90s infomercials and bad Christmas gifts. Yes, chia can be used in lieu of a pet, but there is so much more that you can do with this spectacular seed!

Let's start off with a little Chia 101. Typically seen in seed form, the plant originated from Mexico and Guatemala. The word chia is derived from the word chian, which translates to the word oily, and is one of the main reasons there are so many health benefits. This gluten-free wonder can be eaten in raw seed form, ground into a fine powder or pressed into oil.

Raw Chia Seeds

Change up your morning routine and turn breakfast into your most powerful meal of the day. Mix two tablespoons of raw chia seeds into a 0 percent Greek yogurt to add four grams of fiber to your meal. Read about the amazing benefits of fiber in my previous post. You'll also up your protein intake by five grams. That's approximately 15 grams in total!

Chia Seed Oil

Next time you're craving some greens, switch up the olive oil for chia seed oil. It's loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in the prevention of heart disease, hypertension, stroke and depression. For an innovative twist on your standard green salad, mix 1/2 cup cooked quinoa with some parsley, green onion, basil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drizzle with a 1/2 tablespoon chia seed oil for a salad that's sure to please inside and out! Another option is to use chia as a micro green and add the sprouts to a traditional salad. It's an effortless way to boost your protein, fiber and calcium intake!

CocoChia Living Fuel Snack Mix

A satisfying blend of coconut and chia seeds, this snack mix is an ideal option when searching for a snack on the go. Filled with antioxidants, one single-serve packet contributes to 20 percent of your daily fiber intake yet comes in under 150 calories. Opt for a pack instead of conventional, high calorie trail mix, or try swirling it into your morning oatmeal.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Artichoke Brown Rice Salad

3 cups cooked brown rice
1 large carrot, cut into strips
1 cup cooked baby artichoke, sliced
1 white onion, sliced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 sliced almonds
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh parsley
Sea salt and black pepper

In a deep sided skillet on high heat, add three tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add onions, carrots, and artichoke. Sauté until soft (about 4 minutes). Add rice, almonds, parsley, and raisins and toss well to combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle extra olive oil on top.

Serve warm or cold

Friday, July 13, 2012

Growers Fret Over a New Apple That Won’t Turn Brown

www.nytimes.com - July 12th, 2012
A small company is trying to bring to market a genetically engineered apple that does not turn brown when sliced or bruised. But it has much of the rest of the apple industry seeing red.

The company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, says the nonbrowning apple will prove popular with consumers and food service companies and help increase sales of apples, in part by making sliced apples more attractive to serve or sell.

While Americans have been eating genetically engineered foods since the 1990s, the Arctic Apple, as it is being called, would be the first genetically engineered version of a commonly grown fruit that people directly bite into.

But the U.S. Apple Association, which represents the American apple industry, opposes introduction of the product, as do some other industry organizations. They say the genetic engineering, while not dangerous, could undermine the fruit’s image as a healthy and natural food, the one that keeps the doctor away and is as American as, well, apple pie.

“We don’t think it’s in the best interest of the apple industry of the United States to have that product in the marketplace at this time,” said Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which represents the tree-fruit industry in and around Washington State, which produces more than 60 percent of the nation’s apples.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wheatgrass Pineapple Broccoli Smoothie

1/2 cup wheatgrass
1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1 cup unpasteurized apple juice
2 cups ice
3 tablespoons cottage cheese
1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Blend all the ingredients. Enjoy!

FDA Is Not Protecting Consumers From Unsafe Food Additives

www.huffingtonpost.com - July 11th, 2012
It was in 1970, the year after Richard Nixon became president, that I came to Washington to be a new Nader's Raider. On my first day at work, Ralph Nader asked me to research and write a book about food additives. I had no idea what food additives were, let alone how to write a book, but I dove in.

It didn't take me long to see why some people considered the three letters F-D-A to stand not only for Food and Drug Administration, but also for Foot Dragging Artists. For the next four decades I've seen countless examples of failure to act, which have resulted in countless illnesses and deaths.

One glaring example of FDA's plodding pace concerned sulfites, which had long been used as preservatives in wine, raisins, and other foods and were thought to be safe. In 1982 the FDA proposed that sulfites formally be declared "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS, a legal category of substances added to food, even though several years before California researchers found that sulfites could trigger asthma attacks. The problem arose because restaurants had begun soaking iceberg lettuce and peeled, raw potatoes in a sulfite solution. The sulfites prevented browning but resulted in high levels in the foods.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) publicized the sulfite problem and then, even in those pre-Internet days, heard from many people who suffered asthma attacks after eating a restaurant salad or drinking a glass of wine. Then we heard from more than a dozen people whose family members died after eating sulfite-laced foods. That made me realize that sulfites had probably caused hundreds or thousands of deaths.

With people dying, CSPI petitioned FDA to ban sulfites, but the agency did nothing. 60 Minutes ran, and then re-ran, a story, but still the FDA did nothing. It took a 1985 congressional hearing led by Rep. John Dingell to move the FDA. The parents of a young girl told the committee how she died minutes after eating a salad with sulfite-treated ingredients. FDA commissioner Frank Young then acknowledged that the agency published its GRAS proposal without updating its literature review. But it took five years, and who knows how many unnecessary deaths, before the FDA finally banned sulfites from fresh vegetables and limited the amounts permitted in other foods.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

20 'Superfoods' That Everyone Went Bonkers Over

www.businessinsider.com - July 9th, 2012
Americans love fads.

That's why there's a new designated "superfood" popping up each season which supposedly has some incredible properties.

What exactly is a superfood?

Naked Health defines it as, “any edible natural item (plant or animal) that contains exceptionally high levels of a certain nutrient that supposedly carries specific health benefits for preventing or fighting disease.”

These foods are certain to have some benefits, but it's how they're marketed that makes them rise to the top of the heap. A nice, healthy apple doesn't have the same ring to it as an anti-oxidant rich acai berry.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gluten-Free Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups sourghum flour
1 cup GF granola
1 cup stevia
1 cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons GF baking powder
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 F

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk olive oil and milk to combine. Set aside.  Combine all the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients to form a dough. Use a tablespoon to scoop cookie dough onto the palm of your hand.  Form into balls or flattened. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 14 to 20 minutes or until cooked.

Drizzle melted chocolate over the top (optional)  

People Don't Want to Eat Pesticides

www.huffingtonpost.com - July 5th, 2012
Chemical agribusiness has finally hit the ceiling over Environmental Working Group's (EWG's) Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), a front group for pesticide sprayers, is demanding that we cease publishing our list showing which fruits and vegetables carry the highest levels of pesticide residue.

Conventional growers would rather that consumers--that is, their customers--not have that information before they walked into the supermarket.

Millions of Americans have come to rely on EWG's Shopper's Guide so they can eat plenty of healthy organic and conventional fruits and veggies without a bunch of pesticides. The AFF will have none of it. Its members want EWG to take down the Dirty Dozen (listing the 12 most pesticide-laden sorts of produce) immediately!

We won't. And as long as the AFF's members continue to spray pesticides on food, EWG will continue to tell the public which crops carry the highest and lowest pesticide deposits.

The AFF has been trying to shut down consumers' access to our Shopper's Guide since 2010. That year, the group asked for and received nearly $200,000 in taxpayer dollars to launch its attack on the guide. First, members of the AFF lobbied top Obama administration officials to weaken the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual pesticide residue tests, which EWG uses to compile the Shopper's Guide.

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