Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scream for your Calorie Burn!

Happy Halloween, fellow foodies! I'm not going to tell you to stay away from candy and treats, but if you are trying to lose weight, indulge in a smart way. 

If you're looking for a different sort of burn this 'Fright Night', try a scary movie --a new study has shown that watching scary movies and horror films burns calories!

According to the study, you burn around 200 calories, just by watching a scary movie -- unless you're already desensitized to the gore and adrenaline rush.

A 90-minute horror movie can burn 113, which is about equivalent to the calorie burn that a 150 pound person would experience walking at a leisurely pace for 35 minutes. 

The study found that the scarier the movie, the more calories were burned.  Top three calorie-burning horror flicks were as follows:

  1. The Shining -- Average viewer burned 184 calories
  2. Jaws -- Average viewer burned 161 calories
  3. The Exorcist -- Average viewer burned 158 calories
According to researchers:

     "Each of the ten films tested set pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies. As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline. It is this release of fast acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear), which is known to lower the appetite, increase the Basal Metabolic Rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories"

Happy Halloween, Foodies!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recipe: Spinach Bake

We made this recipe parve on Rosh Hashanah by using soy sour cream and soy cheese. It was great parve, and I tend to think it was taste incredible with the regular varieties as well.


  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 2 TBS dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) carton light sour cream
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella or Monterrey jack work best)
To Make:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • combine spinach, onion soup mix, soup cream, and water chestnuts.
  • Pour mixture into baking dish (we used a 9 x 9 pan)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
  • Take out of the oven and sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Serves 12
Each serving: 62 calories, 5 g carbs, 2 g fat, 4 g protein

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fittest Man of All Time

Michael Phelps has officially been crowned Men's Health's "Fittest Man of All Time" -- beating out fitness legends like Jack LaLanne, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Lee.

Here's a completed list of the top 50 picks. Do we agree, folks? Disagree?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dirty Kitchen Secrets

The social news site has been ablaze with one user's response to the question: "What's your secret that could literally ruin your life if it came out?"

Take a look at the net's most popular response:

I had to laugh -- because I do a similar fake! 

My signature dish is one I learned from my father -- a cheesey rice and vegetable dish, made by adding ingredients from a box of Near East rice pilaf.

However, I REGULARLY pass it off as a risotto! 


What are your dirty kitchen secrets? I'd love to hear!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Recipe: Moroccan Tagine

Sorry for my absence. Here is the recipe one reader, Valerie, requested from my "Scenes from our Rosh Hashana Table" Post. Please note that my family does not cook with a lot of salt, so please adjust to your own taste preferences. We also made quite a quantity of meat and vegetables, so the meat was stewed in our tagines, and the vegetables were cooked in the same spices, but in the crock pot. Before serving, we combined them.

Key Ingredient:

  • Stew meat (we used 5 lbs but the recipe works better when you use 1-3 lbs), cut into 3/4" chunks or cubes

Spice Ingredients:   

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • 2 TBS olive oil 
  • pinch of salt (if meat is not kosher, i.e., was not salted before purchasing, use 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon date syrup (if no date syrup, use 1 tsp brown sugar)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup semi-sweet wine (rose or red, type and amount up to you)

Vegetables (cut into chunks 3/4" cubes or so):

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut
  • 2 or 3 parsnips
  • 2 or 3 potatoes
  • 2 or 3 carrots
  • 1/2 lb cauliflower (optional)
  • 1 large onion, thin sliced to allow for easier caramelization


  • handful of raisins
  • 10 dried apricots, quartered
  • handful of dried cranberries (optional)

To Make:

  1. Marinate the meat overnight in a mixture of cumin, coriander, chili powder, olive oil, minced garlic, pepper, salt, cinnamon sticks (break up into small pieces). Use similar marinade to marinate the vegetables -- which can be cooked on the low setting of a crockpot while tagine meat is stewing. 
  2. Heat tagine pan on medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  When it is hot and coats the tagine bottom, add onions.  Cook until caramelized, then remove from tagine. 
  3. Add beef and reserved marinade.  Cook until lightly browned all over.  Add the now caramelized onions.  Cover and cook on lowest heat setting for 1 1/2 hours.  
  4. Add wine and date syrup.  Recover tagine and cook another 1 hour on lowest heat setting.  Add raisins, apricots and cranberries.  Recover tagine and cook another 30 minutes at lowest heat setting.  
  5. Combine with crock pot vegetables in a large serving bowl.  Dish can be served as a full main course with couscous  
A picture of a tagine courtesy of Google Images.