Sunday, April 29, 2012

Your Ideal Hangover Cure

Let's not be shy, folks -- overindulging in "adult beverages" happens to us all. Last night, it happened to my friend, Dave. 

Dave happened to be in the group of people with whom I went to breakfast this morning. I ordered my usual (eggs over medium -- because I love eggs, and I lack the finesse that cooking them that way requires), and my cohorts proceeded to order several of what I'd call "strange concoctions".

For instance, Dave, ordered chicken and dumplings with french fries, stacked on top of a waffle with butter and syrup. And he really ate it -- with a side of coffee, too. 

Another of our friends ordered all liquids: Minestrone Soup, coffee, coke, orange juice, and then a plate of french fries covered in hot sauce.

This got me thinking about hangover cures. I'll be honest, when I overindulge, I immediately go to Gatorade. Fried food is a common cure, as well. Let's hear some of yours -- does anyone want to share?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nutella Pays $3 Million in Class Action Lawsuit

Have you seen this commercial?


I tend to think that the commercial says that Nutella makes nutritious food more palatable for kids to eat, but others argue that Nutella is stating that it is part of a nutritious breakfast.

A consumer upset by Nutella's "Healthy Claims" has sued, and won, and now anyone who purchased Nutella between January 1, 2008, and February 3, 2012 can file a claim and join the class action suit.

I'm gonna stick with eggs for breakfast, thanks.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Recipe: Mushroom and Fresh Basil Frittata


I love eggs for breakfast because they're delicious and they keep me full until lunch. The great thing about this recipe, because it makes four servings, is it makes a great brunch or "Breakfast-for-Dinner" Entree.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Liquid Egg Whites
  • Cups Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1/3 Cup Skim Milk
  • ½ Cup Whole Fresh Basil Leaves
  • ½ Cup 2% Four Cheese Blend (Shredded Cheese)
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • Salt Substitute and Pepper to taste
To Make:
  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  •  Sauté mushrooms (in olive oil) in a 10 inch non-stick, oven-safe skillet over a medium flame. (This should take 5 minutes)
  • While mushrooms sauté, combine egg whites, milk, salt substitute and pepper.
  • Chop fresh basil and add to egg white mixture
  • Add ¼ cup of shredded cheese to your egg mixture
  • Pour egg mixture over mushrooms in skillet, and cook in oven for 20 minutes
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the eggs and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the eggs have set
Servings: 4

Each Serving: 149 calories, 4 g carbs, 6 g fat, 19 g protein, 323 mg sodium

Obviously, you don’t have to use basil and mushrooms when making frittatas – there’s hundreds of variations you could try. You could go crazy with ingredients, or pair it down to a few and let those flavors really shine through.

Here are a few combos to get you started – just keep in mind, the nutrition facts for this recipe will change if you use different “add-ins”:
  • Onions and Swiss
  • Tomatoes, Spinach, and Feta
  • Bacon and Cheddar
  • Ham, Green peppers, (and a dash of hot sauce on the side)
Happy Cooking!



Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm Walking 20 Miles on May 6th to End Massachusetts Hunger

May 20th marks my graduation from Boston University. I started off my college experience by participating in FYSOP, BU's First-Year Student Outreach Project. While volunteering on various Homelessness & Housing projects throughout Boston, I made friends with two AMAZING women, Kathryn and Emma. Now that the three of us are graduating, we decided participating in the Project Bread 20 mile hunger walk would be a great way to bookend our college experience, and to help the community we've called home for the last four years.




Last year alone, programs funded with money from the Walk were able to provide 65.2 million meals to hungry people.

Project Bread is an incredible charity, and I would be honored if some of the people who read this blog would sponsor me. Please sponsor my walk to help me make a difference and reach my fundraising goal. Thank you for your support!



Thank you!



Friday, April 20, 2012

The US has the Saltiest Fast Food in the World

I think we can all come together and admit that fast food is horrendously unhealthy for you. It's processed, has very little nutritional benefit, and has a ridiculous amount of salt. But is this universally true? Is fast food "better" for you in some countries than in others?
The Canadian Medical Association published a study in its journal on Monday which stated that not only does the salt content in fast food vary substantially depending on the type of food, the chain, and the country in which it is produced, but most alarmingly, that the US has the saltiest food in the world.

In the study, "The variability of reported salt levels in fast foods across six countries: opportunities for salt reduction", nutritional data on the sodium content of six international fast food chains in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, the UK, and the US was studied. Average salt contents were compared between chains, and between countries. 
The study found that salt contents across the surveyed countries varied drastically. For instance, while chicken products in the UK contained 1.1 g of salt per 100 g serving, the same portion of chicken in the US contained 1.8 g of salt. 
Even as a non-fast-food-eater, I found the results of this study alarming. A long term high-sodium diet is lethal, and can lead to high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease, and kidney failure.
I do not like products with high sodium contents, so I opt to use Morton's Salt Substitute in place of salt in all my recipes. Instead of table salt, or sodium chloride, Morton's salt substitute is potassium chloride which is much better for your body, and tastes the same. 
I will be discussing more about sodium, (and potassium, my favorite macro-nutrient after protein) in later posts, but I'm curious what my readers think of this study. 



Monday, April 16, 2012

Recipe: "Fake" Ice Cream

I found this recipe while surfing MFP tonight, and since the general consensus is that ice cream is one of the hardest things to give up when dieting, I'm posting it.

That being said, I LOATHE bananas. I have a sick loathing  for them, which probably borders on a pathological fear. When I make this recipe, I will be using frozen mangoes instead.

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 3-4 frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup milk (2% is better than skim - because you want it a bit creamier)
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
To make:
  • Combine ingredients in blender until smooth.
Serves: 4

Each serving: 77 calories, 16g carbs, 1g fat, 1g protein, 7mg sodium


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Video: BU Cookbook and Subscribers

I want to thank Peter for the inspiration for this video, and for Boston University, for publishing my new favorite cookbook.

I've noticed that several other colleges and universities have published cookbooks in the past -- take a peek on Amazon.com, perhaps your Alma mater is one of them!


video



Friday, April 13, 2012

Scenes from our Passover Seder

In the continuing spirit of Passover, (which lasts until Saturday evening), I'm just posting some pictures from my family's second Seder.

Appetizers:

  • Homemade Gefilte Fish with Horseradish 
  • Beet Salad
  • Carrot Slaw
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Haroset (Traditional "slaw" of raw apples, walnuts, grape juice, and cinnamon)
  • Chopped Liver
  • Matzo
  • Crudites Platter
First Course:
  • Matzo Ball Soup
Main Course:
  • Roasted Chicken
  • London Broil
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Carrot Kugel
  • Roasted Cauliflower, Red and Green Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts
Dessert:
  • Various Chocolates
  • Parve Layer Cake
  • Parve Crumb Cake














Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pizza Hut Unveils Hot Dog Stuffed Crust

Yes, this is actually happening.


I'm a tad speechless by the whole thing, so I'm just posting the link to CBS's article about the new product.

In other news, Burger King is rolling a bacon ice cream sundae.


Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pink Slime and Perceptions of Food

With all the talk about Pink Slime going around in the media today, have your perceptions of the food industry, or specific restaurants or brands changed? Do you find yourself being more critical of the products you buy?

I'm curious to hear thoughts.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Burger with a side of Bach: Food and Music


I found a blog post through Twitter today that asked, "Does Adele go better with a burger and fries?" -- or, in layman's terms, does sound affect the flavor of the food we eat? 

Now I'm not saying that eating my dinner as the radio is playing will chemically change the taste of my entree, but perhaps it will change how I perceive the dish.

The blog post discussed Peter Smith's column in The Smithsonian Magazine. Recently, Peter Smith wrote about the concept of  synesthesia: a neurological condition where one often sees colors as sounds, and tastes in musical notes. Smith uses Anne-Sylvie Crisinel's recent research to argue that everyone has a little bit of synestesia in them. 
"Crisinel had volunteers match wines, milk and other foods with particular musical notes. A sweet-tasting dessert or something like lemon juice tended to be matched with a higher-pitched notes, whereas something savory or something with umami tended to be matched with brassy, low-pitched sound."
If science is proving that music affects our perception of taste, what does this mean for our culinary experiences -- and how could restaurants manipulate this scientific link to their advantage in a cutthroat industry? 

Just picture it -- A grand ballroom with dozen of tables and formally dressed guests. Hundreds of waiters exit the kitchen with trays of covered dishes as a tympani begins to play. The tympani gets gradually louder until the waiters whisk away the silver domes that cover the dishes in unison. The tympani plays one last note, and dinner is served. Gives the whole scene a little extra something, no? 

Oh, and for those who want to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @StephExpress

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Great Matzo Ball Debate

In the lore of great matzo balls, there are three truths:
  1. One is either born into a family that believes in light, fluffy matzo balls -- that float and soak up the goodness of the chicken soup they're cooked in; or dense, heavy 'dumpling' of a matzo balls that sink to the bottom of the pot they're cooked in.
  2. The light and fluffy floating matzo balls are superior.
  3. Those who try to contest point 2, are just wrong.

Alright, I'll admit. I'm slightly biased, but only because I believe my mother's matzo ball soup is the most supremely delicious soup I've ever tasted. Those who believed in "sinkers" have tried her soup and have changed their tune. 

I dare you to ask a group of Jewish women what the proper way to cook a matzo ball is. It's going to be a riot. Why? Fist, because most Jews are insanely passionate about their side of the floater/sinker debate. However, you may also receive strict instructions to "duct tape the lip of the pot on while the matzo balls are cooking", or to "not let anyone in the kitchen, because the mere presence of anyone but the chef de cuisine will cause the floating  balls to fall out of sync with the cosmos." You'll hear about whipped egg whites, cutting chicken fat with lemon juice, and even the trick of using club soda's carbonation to make the matzo balls light and airy. 

Whatever your preference is, (and I'd love to have a mini debate right on this forum), I'd like to wish all of my friends, family, and readers a very Happy Passover.




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Products I Love: Head Chefs Cooking Tools

My dear friend, Jack, sent these to me for my birthday. Aren't they adorable?? There's a silicone 1/2 cup measure, a silicone marinade brush, and a silicone "turner". What a great concept for getting kids into cooking! Not only are the tools colorful, but their suction cup "feet" allow them to stand on the counter-top, and they're dishwasher safe.

I couldn't find the Head Chefs website, but here's the link for their Facebook.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Recipe: Easy Baked Chicken

I've mentioned it before, but I eat a lot of chicken. While salmonella once caused me to shy away from this protein powerhouse, I am proud to say I have mastered the art of juicy, oven baked chicken breasts.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Chicken Breast 
  • Salt Substitute
  • Pepper
  • 1tsp. Olive Oil
To Make:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Place chicken on aluminum foil-covered baking sheet
  • Lightly coat the chicken breast in olive oil (which will allow it to brown nicely) and season with the salt substitute and pepper. 
  • Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken's juices run clear when you slice into it with a knife.

Now, if you want to mix things up a bit, I posted a link to an article from Men's Health magazine a few weeks ago, which listed 50 different ways (and seasoning combos) for chicken. 

Enjoy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Video: From Carnivore to Vegan

Hi Foodies! Today's post is an interview with my good friend, Charles, about his diet-changing decision, and the effects on his body. Enjoy!

video