Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 Healthiest Ingredients

I found this list from a Real Simple magazine which states "Stock your pantry and refrigerator with these nutritious, expert-recommended foods."  I don't know who these experts are, but this list sounds pretty good to me and I already buy most of this stuff on a weekly basis.

Try adding 1-2 of these ingredients to your shopping cart each week.  While you're at it, as you add one of these items in, try to take out something not as healthy; perhaps a heavily processed item or something high in sugar or fat?  Give it a try and see how it goes.  Soon you'll be eliminating the unhealthy and enjoying the healthy.

  1. almonds
  2. avocados
  3. barley
  4. black beans
  5. blueberries
  6. broccoli
  7. bulgur
  8. chard
  9. chicken breasts (skinless)
  10. edamame
  11. eggs
  12. extra-virgin olive oil (may I recommend finding one that contains olives grown and bottled in weary of ones that just say "bottled in Italy" as those could be olives from anywhere).
  13. kale
  14. kidney beans
  15. kiwi  
  16. lentils
  17. mushrooms
  18. oatmeal (steel-cut or old-fashioned)
  19. oranges
  20. peanut and almond butter (all-natural)
  21. pumpkin
  22. quinoa
  23. sardines
  24. skim milk
  25. spinach
  26. sweet potatoes
  27. walnuts
  28. wholegrain pasta
  29. wild salmon (aim to get sockeye or Alaskan salmon, try to avoid Atlantic salmon, which is basically synonymous with farm-raised.
  30. yogurt (nonfat Greek)
Quinoa + Salad

Friday, September 16, 2011

Basil: The Versatile Herb

I bought this basil plant about a month ago and have found myself pinching off it's leaves to add some flavor to most all of my dishes.  Just having it around has made all the difference.  I cut up the leaves and add them to salads, soups, scrambled eggs, sandwiches, entrees, and my personal favorite: cocktails [kettle, polar lime seltzer, muddled strawberry and a few basil leaves].  Plus, it's nice to have some more green in an apartment where no trees are visible.

I tried grilling some peaches to go along with a new pork tenderloin dish I was trying out and I found that adding some shreds of basil really enhanced the overall taste.  Get creative and experiment.  If you love the taste of basil, like I do, you can do no harm.

Basil plants are annuals, so they are only supposed to last one growing season.  Don't be sad when your basil plant doesn't last forever; they are inexpensive and you can go get a new one.  This plant was only $5 at the Union Square farmers market.  They like sunny windows, water every other day or so, and be sure to pinch off the big leaves so the little ones can grow.  Once the basil plant flowers it will probably stop producing new leaves, (this is the end of it's growing period) but if you trim off the flowers, you may be able to trick it into producing leaves a little bit longer.  Go get one and start cooking!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Brekkie: Cereal + Fruit

A week of cereal for brekkie:

Cheerios, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

Barbara's Shredded Oats, banana, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds

Barbara's Shredded Oats, peaches, pomegranate seeds

Cherrios, peaches, strawberries

Cherrios, banana, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

Try to find a cereal with at least 3-4g of fiber, whole grains, and limited sugar and sodium.
Cherrios is an easy to please cereal with many of the vitamins and minerals we need daily...I think Cherrios offers more vitamins and minerals than most other cereals and you can be sure it's whole grains too.  Add a bunch of fruit, especially berries, to your morning cereal and you'll get quite a nutritive boost!

 Nutrtion Facts:
1 cup Cheerios:
100 Calories
2g fat (.5 in in each of the healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats)
0g Cholesterol
160mg Sodium
20g Carbs
3g Fiber
1g Sugar
3g Protein

I only use skim milk with my cereal or nonfat yogurt, 0g of fat vs. 8g of fat.  However, little kiddos should be drinking whole milk to get the right amount of fats need for growth and development; usually from age 1 - 3 years old.  Then, they should gradually change to low-fat and then skim milk once they're older.