Tag Archives: food

Make Pure Ingredients Part of Daily Life

pureingredientsTrends and fad diets come and go. But a progressive approach to nutrition – one grounded in positive eating – remains constant. It’s the desire to get more out of food with real, pure ingredients. Most people find the commitment to natural, healthy living isn’t as challenging as they imagined.

From the garden to the market, and the kitchen to the table, countless opportunities allow you to incorporate plant-based, nutrient-rich foods into your diet:

* Make the most of the grocery store. Eating real, pure foods, including whole grains, is at the core of a healthy lifestyle. Take a closer look at packaging to find items made with wholesome ingredients. You’ll be excited to see that many grocery stores carry a variety of nutritious options.

“People don’t always look as closely as they should,” says dietitian Toby Amidor. “Dig in and read the labels to get the full picture and educate yourself on the foods in your grocery basket.”

* Get into gardening. There’s no need to till your yard and plant rows of crops – gardening can start small, in a pot or container. Herbs, lettuce, spinach and tomatoes are all great porch and patio plants. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, try a raised-bed garden with a variety of plants, from cabbage to cucumbers and beyond.

“Growing your own garden can do more than provide tasty produce. It can also be a therapeutic way to increase your overall intake of vegetables,” says Amidor. “When I was growing up, my dad had an amazing garden. He taught me how to plant, weed and pick produce like radishes, carrots, sunflower seeds, cucumbers and tomatoes. Gardening is a great way to bond with family members and educate the next generation about the importance of farm-to-table.”

* Keep it up in the kitchen. It’s important to make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients to fuel your day. Are your foods providing essential vitamins, minerals and protein?

“Meeting the Daily Value of around 50 grams of protein for the average adult can be challenging – especially for vegans and vegetarians. Protein is an essential component of a nutritious diet,” says Amidor. “To incorporate more plant-based proteins into your meals, exercise your imagination and pair together different types of proteins, like whole grains, legumes and nuts to create wholesome meals.”

The more you learn about real, pure ingredients, the more delicious ways you’ll find to enjoy them.

Unique & nutty twists on holiday recipes

With the holidays fast approaching it’s time to enjoy some of the season’s tastiest foods. Small twists can turn a traditional dish into a holiday classic.

The good news is it’s simple to add a fresh twist to holiday favorites with easy additions like Fisher Nuts.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, an Iron Chef and expert on Food Network , says that nuts are one of the most versatile ingredients to use when reinventing dishes. Here are her top five tips for cooking with nuts:

1. Cranberry sauce with a tiny grate of orange zest and a handful of toasted almonds stirred in at the last minute puts a simple but tasty twist on a staple Thanksgiving side dish.

2. Want rich, thick gravy with no lumps? Thicken gravy with ground nuts instead of flour. Simply separate a little of the gravy in a bowl and blend with ground walnuts until smooth. Then just whisk it back in the pot with the remaining gravy.

3. Spruce up holiday side dishes by stirring in some toasted pecans or almonds. Top gratins with a thin layer or stir a handful into sauteed or braised vegetables. The nuts bring out the earthy flavors of vegetables, adding richness without making dishes too heavy.

4. Stir together melted semi-sweet chocolate and a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts. Add a pinch of cinnamon and roll into bite-size candies. It’s an easy way to have something different than a pie or cookies for the holidays. Plus it’s gluten free.

5. Make nuts part of any season by toasting them in a little warm olive oil over medium heat. When the nuts are toasted and coated in the oil, stir in any fresh herb (for example, rosemary for winter or basil for summer) and allow the herbs to gently crisp up and meld with the nuts. Serve as is with a pinch of salt.

These five tips can help you transform traditional holiday fare into instant classics. To “wow” guests, try this tasty recipe from Chef Guarnaschelli at your next gathering:

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Sweet potatoes are at their best when combined with something sweet. This recipe blends flavors reminiscent of a cinnamon-infused pecan coffee cake topping and pairs them with sweet potatoes for a change from the more traditional marshmallow topped casserole. Plus, it’s perfect for busy cooks because the potatoes can be microwaved in just 15 minutes. (Prep Time: 25 minutes. Cook Time: 15 minutes Yield: 8 servings)

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Ingredients:

4 large sweet potatoes, about 3 pounds
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon orange zest, packed
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 cup Fisher Pecan Halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Pierce sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave on high for 15 minutes or until completely cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

3. Topping: Meanwhile, combine the pecans, flour, sugars, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to blend. Mix in 1/4 cup butter. The topping should form sandy clumps. Refrigerate.

4. Split the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh inside. Arrange the sweet potato “halves” on a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine the sweet potato flesh with the remaining 1/4 cup butter, orange zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon the filling back into each potato half and top with the topping on a baking tray. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake until the topping browns, 15 to 20 minutes.

Summer Cookout: Sultry Sides

Whether it’s hot dogs, chicken, or hamburgers, nothing is better that an entrée done right over a flame. Everyone has the entrees down, but what is there to do about the sides? Of course there are always the classics of potato salad and baked beans, but every now and then don’t you want to switch it up?

The first side to try is a twist on a classic: grilled corn. You’re going to want to remove the silk, but keep the husk and soak in cold water for ten minutes before grilling. Once you’ve done this, lay the corn on a piece of aluminum foil and spread a thin layer of butter over the ear(s). Then sprinkle the ear(s) with a little pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Wrap the corn tightly and lay on the grill and cook for ten minutes or until soft.

This next item is sure to have your mouth watering for more. Get a few sweet potatoes and slice them like French fries as thick or as thin as you like. Place the wedges on aluminum foil and sprinkle with paprika, lemon juice, salt, and a dash of pepper then coat with a tiny amount of olive oil. Wrap the foil around the wedges and make sure it is securely sealed at the top and place on the grill. Let these cook for about ten or fifteen minutes, let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.

You know of grilled vegetables, but a well-kept secret is grilled fruit. Take a wooden spear and soak it in water for about thirty minutes. Chop up fruit like apples, mangos, pineapple, oranges (with peel still attached to side that will touch the grill), and cranberries that will make this treat even more delicious. Place the fruit pieces on the spear according to personal preference and grill for seven to ten minutes each spear.

These quick and easy sides make even the most cliché grilled dinner full of life. Adding semi-sweet touches to your favorite grilling classics can send your taste buds soaring and wanting more.