Cooking & Food

Free coiled tape measure healthy living stock ...

Christmas cookies and cherry pie. Mashed potatoes, candied yams and homemade turkey stuffing! Surrounded by so much delicious holiday food, it’s terrifying to even think about getting on the  scale come January 2nd.

Or maybe not…

Contrary to popular belief, most Americans gain only one pound over the holidays. Sadly, though, research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that most of us never lose that pound. And so it goes, the slow but steady s-p-r-e-a-d of our waistline.

This holiday, take hope from some new and impressive scientific research. The respected journal Sciencerecently reported on an unusual study in which researchers asked volunteers to spend 90 seconds methodically imagining what it would be like to taste, chew and swallow 30 M&Ms, one after another. Then, when presented with a bowl of real M&Ms, the volunteers ate only about half as many candies as participants who’d been asked to imagine eating only three M&Ms (or none at all).

All this defies conventional scientific thought, which has long assumed that only real sensory input can produce the feeling of fullness (satiation). This study suggests that thought alone may trigger satiation—at least where eating is concerned. The results are likely to generate new investigations into overeating and ways to curb it.

PS… Subsequent testing found that methodical thinking about M&M eating did not suppress cheddar cheese consumption; but in-depth thoughts about eating cheese did. No kidding! So put on your thinking cap.

 

This simple recipe will turn even the simplest green salad into the star of your holiday table.  Move over, bread stuffing!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

PREPARATION

Make the dressing by simply whisking together (I like to use a food blender) the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and vegetable oil. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

 

Really, this stuff is so delicious that you can make it in large amounts, pour it into elegant bottles and, voila, you’re Christmas shopping is done!

 

Roasted Beet Hummus | Perfect Summer Snack

Perfect Summer Snack

Spring is bleeding into summer shortly. With more hours of daylight and warmer temperatures, summer always seems to lend itself to relaxed outdoor parties, dinner soirees and the like. And that means I get to whip out all my favorite party foods. To start the season off, this is my all-time *favorite* appetizer for a party of one or twenty…

Quick, simple AND guilt-free: beet hummus is a fun twist on the traditional (if, dare I say, over-featured) hummus dip party option. Standalone hummus is healthy enough, with the tahini full of calcium and chickpeas a great source of protein. Not to mention, you can always pair the dip with carrots or cucumber instead of the more carb-heavy pita bread option. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-4 medium sized beets (depending on how strong you want the beet flavor), scrubbed clean, cooked, peeled, and cubed*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra if desired
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for thinning the hummus

*To cook the beets: put them in a covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375°F oven, and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled.

METHOD

Place all ingredients, chickpeas and olive oil last to be added, in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired.

Makes 2 cups.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Person Drinking Coffee with Morning Paper

Coffee is Healthy to Drink

I don’t have many health vices. Coffee has always been at the top of the list and, so, I always tell myself it is healthy to treat yourself to some things. I mean, my morning coffee experience–complete with checking email in bed and skimming a trashy gossip magazine before getting ready–makes my day. And I relish the ritual, despite some guilt over the disputed healthiness of regular coffee drinking…

Well…no longer do I feel guilty! Now, research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that women (exclusively) who sip more than one cup of coffee a day had a 22% to 25% lowered risk of stroke. Even more profound, the researchers found that women who drank no coffee actually had a slightly increased risk for stroke.

While this study lacked control for medication use in its subjects, it’s important to take the findings with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, I admit that my morning ritual looks even better now, guilt-free and all. Cheers to that!

NYC Restaurant Score Card

NYC Restaurant Score Card

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Perhaps not so much when it comes to where you eat out…

I just heard about a useful new website — DontEat.at — that synchs your Foursquare check-in location (if you’re not tech-y, see below where I explain what this means) with the NYC Department of Health’s sanitation score for the restaurant you’re about to eat at. If the restaurant you’ve checked into received a “C” grade or worse, DontEat.at will text you with a warning.

As a complete germaphobe, I’m thrilled at the prospect of losing my ignorance here. As someone who avoids certain social media tech-y sites, I think I’m just going to bite the bullet and sign up for Foursquare, a cell phone program that allows you to “check in” to restaurants, bars and other venues so that friends will know what you’re up to.

DontEat.at is still fresh up and running, thus only available for New York City. But reports claim that there are plans to expand the service to other cities…so stay tuned!