5 Smoothies to Kick-Start Your Day
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Fight the urge to add every healthful ingredient into your smoothie. First, it may not come out as tasty as you’d like. Second, it may cause calorie overload. Instead, divide and conquer. Choose one or two superfoods to toss in your morning smoothie each morning.
Large glasses lead to larger portions than you might realize. Instead, use no larger than 12-ounce glasses for your morning drink.
Fruit adds many antioxidants along with vitamins and minerals. But there are several other food groups you should be tackling in the morning. Balance the fruit in your smoothie by adding a source of protein like peanut butter, low-fat or nonfat milk or a healthy fat like avocado.
Too much fruit juice, maple syrup, agave, or even honey can quickly spike the added sugar and calories. Add sweetness with fruit like banana, mango, or dates. If you choose to go the added sugar route, then aim for about two teaspoons per serving.
Although tossing healthy ingredients into a blender can make a fabulous go-to breakfast, there are common mistakes folks make that can sabotage their morning shake.
Super Smoothies To Try
With all the super ingredients you can add to your morning smoothie, it can get overwhelming. Here are five smoothies that are the perfect balance of delicious and healthy.
Coconut Water Smoothie with Mango, Banana and Strawberries
The combination of fruit, including banana and mango, add a naturally sweet flavor and a ton of antioxidants. The mildly flavored coconut water contributes a boatload of electrolytes. With a total of five grams of fiber per serving, this smoothie will help keep you satisfied throughout your busy morning.
Green Morning Smoothie
Everyone’s on the green smoothie bandwagon. But making a green smoothie taste delish is a whole other story. The spinach in this smoothie is complimented with the sweetness of peaches and vanilla almond milk.
Peanut Butter Split Smoothie
Add protein to your morning by blending peanut butter into your smoothie. Combined with nonfat yogurt and milk, it gives this smoothie a whopping 13.5 grams of protein to get your morning off on the right foot.
Alton adds a splash of acai juice to this morning smoothie. Acai are nutrient-packed with vitamin A, iron, calcium, and several good-for-you phytochemicals like anthocyanins. Acai has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Ultra Creamy Avocado Smoothie
Blend the goodness of avocados into your breakfast. Avocados add a rich, creamy texture plus healthy, satisfying fat to your morning smoothie.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.
Beware of Oncoming Eviliciousness
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Chefs know that when they compete on Cutthroat Kitchen, they’re subjecting themselves to all manners of ruthless sabotages, but now it seems that even host Alton Brown will come face-to-face with eviliciousness. Check out the GIF above to see him try to outrun a rolling boulder, and tune in Sunday at 10|9c to see what challenges are in store on an all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.
How to Cook Everything Fast — Off the Shelf
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Mark Bittman is back, and he’s about to revolutionize the way you eat dinner (again). In his newest cookbook, How to Cook Everything Fast, Bittman promises a better way to cook great food, and he certainly delivers.
The book starts with an introductory section and an overview (The Fast Kitchen) that is a culinary treasure trove of kitchen tips. It features everything from how to use to book to insights on families cooking together. It contains the last shopping list you’ll ever need, complete with details and notes on the ingredients and instructions for their proper storage. He also dispels the need (and the reasoning) for extensive mise en place right up front. The idea is to cook smarter and save yourself time by consolidating steps within the recipe.
Sound confusing? It really couldn’t be simpler to follow, thanks to Bittman’s new recipe layout. In easy-to-follow (color-coded) instructions, Bittman separates cooking actions and prep actions to keep you moving quickly and smoothly through each recipe, without clunky overuse of the word “meanwhile.” The book is broken down into sections featuring Main Dishes and Simpler, Smaller Dishes. Each Main Dish recipe gives suggestions for variations as well as immensely helpful suggestions for side dish pairings. And don’t be fooled; just because the recipes are simple doesn’t mean they aren’t absolutely mouthwatering. Bittman is known for his inventive, practical approach to layering flavors together, and one bite of the Broken Won Ton Soup, Skillet Meat Loaf or Broiled Ziti and you’ll see for yourself. Better yet, try the Fastest Chicken Parmesan at home (recipe below). The book is your one-stop shop for quick, easy, delicious meals, perfect for busy weeknights and activity-filled weekend days and busy families. How to Cook Everything Fast is on sale now, and you can order your copy here.
Fastest Chicken Parm
Time: Faster (30 minutes or less)
Makes: 4 servings
This take on the classic couldn’t be easier: Instead of dredging and panfrying, just stack the
ingredients in two stages on a baking sheet and broil. Done this way, the tomatoes get lightly
roasted and the bread crumbs stay nice and crunchy. (For eggplant like this, see the Variations.)
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium ripe tomatoes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
2 ounces Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated)
1 bunch fresh basil
1 cup bread crumbs
Turn the broiler to high; put the rack 6 inches from the heat. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and spread it around; put the baking sheet in the broiler.
Core and slice the tomatoes.
Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 2 thin cutlets for each breast. Press down on each with the heel of your hand to flatten.
Carefully remove the baking sheet from the broiler. Put the chicken cutlets on the sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the tomatoes, and broil one side only until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, rotating the pan if necessary for even cooking, 5 to 10 minutes.
Grate the mozzarella and Parmesan.
Strip 16 to 20 basil leaves from the stems.
Combine the bread crumbs, mozzarella, and Parmesan in a small bowl.
When the chicken is cooked through, remove the baking sheet from the broiler. Lay the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes, sprinkle with the bread crumb and cheese mixture, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Use sliced dill pickles instead of the tomatoes and Swiss cheese instead of the mozzarella. Omit the basil. Before putting the pickles on top of the chicken in Step 2, spread a little Dijon mustard on the cutlets. Instead of the Parmesan, mix 1/2 cup chopped ham into the bread crumb and Swiss topping.
Use Gruyère cheese instead of the mozzarella and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves instead of the basil. Omit the Parmesan. Before putting the tomatoes on top of the chicken in Step 2, spread a little Dijon mustard over the cutlets.
Fastest Eggplant Parm
Instead of the chicken, slice about 2 pounds large eggplant crosswise 1 inch thick. After the pan heats in Step 2, spread out the eggplant slices — but not the tomatoes — and turn to coat them in some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until softened and browned in places, about 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the eggplant, then top with the tomatoes and proceed with the recipe from the end of Step 2.
HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING FAST © 2014 by Double B Publishing, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
What to Watch: Save Your Appetite for The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen and Guy’s Big Bite
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
We hope you’re hungry, because it’s a food lover’s paradise this weekend on Food Network. The celebrity chefs have truly outdone themselves with new, enticing recipes that’ll excite even the most-seasoned food connoisseur’s palate. On The Pioneer Woman, Ree’s dishing out Lemon-Rosemary Scones; on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, it’s all about channeling Julia Child for a perfect Beef Bourguignon; and on Guy’s Big Bite, Guy and DJ Irie make a succulent Soba Noodle Salad with Grilled Plums. If you still haven’t had enough, then catch the latest Food Network Special, Outrageous Giant Foods, where you’ll bear witness to food behemoths that should more than satisfy your hunger.
In the midst of the food craze, don’t forget to catch all-new episodes of The Kitchen, Rewrapped, Farmhouse Rules, Southern at Heart, Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen. There’s enjoyment to be had by all, whether it’s from learning how to make a perfect soup with the chefs of The Kitchen or from watching Guy’s contestants scramble to execute his capricious challenges.
The Pioneer Woman: Herbalicious
In this episode, Ree’s using the herbs she’s grown to make Lemon-Rosemary Scones, French Onion Soup with fresh thyme, Panzanella salad with basil and a minty Raita with Salted Naan Wedges.
Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: Homage to Julia Child
Trisha and her sister Beth dress up as the late, great Julia Child and cook some of her favorite French meals with a Trisha twist, such as Potato Pancakes and Apple Charlotte.
The Kitchen: Souped-Up Soups
It’s soup mania with the Kitchen chefs as Marcela makes Beef Stew and they discuss various soup-inspired questions and tricks. Also, Geoffrey stirs up a Fall Fashioned cocktail.
Rewrapped: Thin Mint Condition
Tune in to see how the contestants try to make their own Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie and then incorporate it into meals.
Guy’s Big Bite: Duck and a DJ
Guy and DJ Irie mix food and fun as they concoct recipes like Five-Spice Duck Breast, Soba Noodle Salad with Grilled Plums and a Pineapple Chile Margarita.
Southern at Heart: Tailgate at the Big Game
Damaris is having a delicious tailgate with Pulled Pork Nachos with avocado sour cream and BBQ Brownies.
Farmhouse Rules: The Fed Baron
Nancy cooks up a savory picnic of Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Apple and Pear Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette and Airplane Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing to enjoy with her family at the Rhinebeck Air Show.
Guy’s Grocery Games: A Culinary Spelling Bee
Guy has the contestants do battle in three thrilling games: ABC, Clearance Carts and Frozen Food Feud. Tune in to find out who will win the $20,000 Shopping Spree.
Outrageous Giant Foods: Giant Foods
This Food Network special showcases enormous vegetables, fruits and cheese that make your everyday produce seem positively puny.
Cutthroat Kitchen: With a Chariot on Top
The contestants go to war, or something like it, as one of them is challenged in a chariot and another is forced to make an ice cream sandwich with sandwich ingredients.
This Week’s Nutrition News Feed
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
In this week’s nutrition news: another reason to eat chocolate; acid reflux doctor cautions against late-night eating; and nutrition labels are poised for a major makeover.
Eat Your Chocolate
A recent study – small-scale and partly funded by chocolate maker Mars, Inc., but led by respected researchers – suggests antioxidants in chocolate called cocoa flavanols may boost the memory skills of healthy people that sometimes deteriorate with age. Study participants, ages 50 to 69, who drank a high-flavanol mixture for three months performed about 25 percent better on memory tests than those given a mixture low in flavanols. The high-flavanol group performed like people 20 to 30 years younger. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean your doctor is likely to prescribe a daily candy bar. Most flavanols are removed in milk chocolate processing. (Sorry, Halloween candy lovers.) Still, a neurobiologist not involved in the study has called the results are “exciting.”
No More Midnight Snacks
We know whopping midnight snacks can wreak havoc on our waistlines, but a New York physician who specializes in acid reflux warns in the New York Times, late-night eating can have other consequences as well. By letting busy schedules push back our dinner hours and nibbling (especially high-fat foods) right up until bedtime, we are risking acid reflux, an affliction that is now epidemic, “affecting as many as 40 percent of Americans,” and can contribute to esophageal cancer. “To stop the remarkable increase in reflux disease, we have to stop eating by 8 p.m., or whatever time falls at least three hours before bed,” Jamie A. Koufman writes. “For many people, eating dinner early represents a significant lifestyle shift. It will require eating well-planned breakfasts, lunches and snacks, with healthy food and beverage choices.”
Deconstructing the Nutrition Label
About half of U.S. consumers read the nutrition labels on packaged foods, according to New York Times personal health writer Jane E. Brody, but sadly, even those of us who do so may not come away fully informed – because those labels, as they now are, paint an extremely blurry, if not outright misleading, picture of the products’ true nutritional value. Mystifying measurements for sugar and sodium (how much is a gram, anyway?) and serving sizes that are woefully underestimated are just two of many confusing features. That’s about to change, Brody reports. The FDA is set to revise labels to make them more helpful and illuminating, with improvements including clarifying the amount of “added sugars” in a product and giving serving sizes a reality check. It will take a while for the changes to go into effect and, Brody notes, they may not go far enough. But still, progress is progress, right?
Amy Reiter also contributes to FN Dish.