Jul 27, 2016

Chef 4 Rent Dishes Up Business – Syracuse New Times

Cooking classes focus on healthy meals – ReporterNews.com

By Laura Gutschke of the Abilene Reporter News

Posted: Yesterday 7:58 p.m.


Some healthy recipes taste better — and are easier to cook — than they look on paper.

That’s one reason the Texas Healthy Communities program of the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District is encouraging everyone to participate in the monthly cooking classes hosted by nutritionists with Taylor County’s Women, Infants and Children program.

WIC initiatives include offering supplemental nutritious foods to women, infants and children during pregnancy and early childhood. But the free WIC cooking classes are open to the public and benefit any family at any stage of life, said Veronica Escalona, a health administration specialist with the Health Department and program coordinator for Texas Healthy Communities.

Empowering Texans to engage in healthy habits where they live, work and play is the goal of the Texas Healthy Communities program of the Texas Department of State Health Services. Abilene’s health department received a grant from the state to initiate and support healthy programs locally.

To promote healthier eating at home, Escalona is partnering with the local WIC staff to spread the word about the cooking classes.

Two cooking sessions will be presented at 10:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District at 850 N. Sixth St. The classes will focus on proteins and include preparing quinoa blonde brownies with almond butter, black bean burgers and salmon patties.


Another local Texas Healthy Communities effort has been expanding the community garden at the MERCY Health Care Center, located in the former Fannin Boys and Girls Club building at 1902 Shelton Ave.

Escalona worked with a master gardener to have eight raised beds added this year, bringing the total to 11. Produce planted this summer includes tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, cilantro, jalapeƱos, watermelon, cantaloupe and squash.

Information about the garden’s availability was spread recently door-to-door in the neighborhood.

“Anyone in the community can use them,” Escalona said.

Just like the garden took time and effort to yield produce, so too does eating healthy at home take some forethought. The cooking classes show how cooking healthy, even when on a tight budget, is tasty and rewarding.

“With proper planning, they can make a healthy meal at home versus grabbing something at a restaurant because it is easier,” Escalona said.

Because WIC serves families with young children, the cooking classes also feature kid-friendly dishes.

“They cater especially to the children. They make fun foods, creative foods that introduce them to healthy things,” Escalona said.

To register for the next WIC class or for more information, contact Escalona at 325-437-4604 or veronica.escalona@abilenetx.com.

Quick Tips for Cooking Healthy

Eating healthy does not happen by accident. Following are some simple tips for becoming proactive in making healthy meals.

Have a game plan. Set up a meal plan for the week, every two weeks or even the month. A menu helps save money and time in the long run.

Stretch the meals. Double a recipe, freezing the extra for later in the month. Have a game plan for repurposing leftovers, such as converting leftover pot roast into shredded beef tacos the next night.

Eat more fresh produce. Steamed or roasted vegetables are easy to prepare, flavorful and full of vitamins and minerals.

Stay focused. Make a shopping list, and stick to it. “Shop weekly or biweekly, not every day,” said Veronica Escalona, a health administration specialist with the city health department and program coordinator for Texas Healthy Communities.

Make little changes. Minor adjustments to favorite recipes can yield healthier results. For example, substitute brown rice for white and mashed cauliflower for part of mashed potatoes.

About Laura Gutschke

Laura Gutschke is a free-lance writer for the Abilene Reporter-News

Jul 26, 2016

Who can eat raw or runny eggs? What you need to know – BT.com

Pregnant women are always being told what to eat and what not to eat, and now they’re being told it’s perfectly alright to eat raw eggs, when previously it was a big no-no.

According to the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food, there has actually been a “major reduction in the microbiological risk from salmonella in UK hen shell eggs” since a report it released in 2001 that struck eggs off the ‘OK to eat list’ for mums-to-be.

Now certain eggs – namely UK hens’ eggs produced under Lion code or equivalent standards – are being considered “very low risk” and are back on the menu for pregnant women.

[Related story: 17 poached egg recipes to give you some breakfast inspiration]

So why the worry originally? And who else can eat raw eggs?

Raw egg concerns

Who doesn’t like to lick the batter off the spoon when they’re baking a cake? The problem is raw eggs are regularly linked along with food poisoning – specifically due to them carrying salmonella bacteria. Contracting salmonella can leave you along with severe vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and a fever, and in serious cases it can lead to dehydration and a person can become very unwell. 

Who is most at risk?

The NHS categorises babies and young toddlers, the elderly and people who are already poorly, as most at risk. And of course, until recently, pregnant women were considered at risk as well. That leaves those who are fit, healthy, not too young and not too old, free to eat runny and raw eggs.

How to beat salmonella

The very best way to avoid getting salmonella is to store eggs correctly (in a cool, dry place or in the fridge), eat them before their best before date and cook them thoroughly so the white and yolk are solid.

You can tell if an egg has actually gone off by placing it in a bowl of water; if it floats, it’s gone off. Alternatively, eggs that have actually been pasteurized (a process that kills off bacteria) should be safe too – they often come in frozen, dried or powdered form.

Are all eggs safe?

Unfortunately this brand-new statement on the safety of raw eggs is only applicable to certain UK hen’s eggs, so if you’re pregnant or in the at-risk group, always check who and where you’re buying your eggs from, especially while on holiday.

Have you ever had a problem eating raw eggs? Tell us your thoughts in the comments box below.

HEADS UP | Line-Up Set For YVR Food Fest’s ‘Street Food Showdown’ & ‘Food For Thought’ – Scout Magazine (blog)

Scout is a proud sponsor of YVR Food Fest, which runs August 5, 6, 7. Here’s the latest:

Arrival Agency’s popular summer food event YVR Food Fest—formerly known as Food Cart Fest—is pleased to unveil its lineup for The Street Food Showdown and Food For Thought.

YVR Food Fest’s flagship event is the Street Food Showdown: a two-day gathering of some of the city’s top food carts, restaurants, breweries, and wineries in the Olympic Village. Setting this event apart from previous years is participating vendors will be offering up a taster menu. Attendees who purchase all-you-can-eat tickets or taster tickets will have access to this menu from noon until 2pm, including one hour of no-line VIP access before the doors open up to general admission ticket holders.

From 1pm until 8pm, vendors will begin offering their regular menus in addition to the affordable taster menu, allowing attendees to sample as lots of food carts as their stomachs can handle. At the end of the event, festival goers will vote on their favourites and winners will be declared in a variety of categories.

“Over the years doing Food Cart Fest our audience always wanted to be able to sample all the food. In this evolution of the event, you can do that. We have an exceptionally exciting and diverse group of restaurants, food trucks, and artisanal vendors participating so they’re be something for all tastes,” says Arrival’s Ernesto Gomez.

Food highlights include Baja-style tacos from Tacofino, Indian fusion from Vij’s Railway Express, gooey and delicious sandwiches from Mom’s Grilled Cheese, healthy Lebanese comfort food from Nuba, saltimbocca sandwiches from Via Tevere, artisanal ice cream and popsicles from Nice Vice Cream and Johnny’s Pops, and so lots of more. (Full list is at the bottom of this press release.)

Other highlights at the Street Food Showdown include beer tents by Four Winds, Parallel 49, Red Racer, Red Truck, and Strange Fellows breweries; a pop-up cocktail bar by the Cobalt; a huge outdoor market by Eastside Flea; and the city’s best DJs playing music all day long.

For those looking for some nourishment of the mind, another great event at YVR Food Fest is Food For Thought, a speaker collection on Sunday, August 7. Food For Believed is an evening of genuine and personal stories about food-related topics that engage, provoke, and inspire. Speakers will include chefs, entrepreneurs, and Believed leaders who bring their unique insight to the stage.

Presenters at Food For Believed include the Globe and Mail’s food critic Alexandra Gill delivering a talk entitled “Brand-new Wealth, Brand-new Food”, Faculty Brewing’s Maurico Lozano speaking on “Yeast Husbandry aka Brewing Beer”, and sommelier Kurtis Kolt addressing “Building a Wine Culture in Prohibition’s Shadow”. Other speakers include Fable Kitchen’s Trevor Bird, Scout Magazine’s Andrew Morrison, Let’s Cooking author Hana Etsuko Dethlefsen, Foodline Radio host Annika Reinhardt, Holistic Nutritionist Kristin Price, and Exile Bistro’s Vanessa Bourget. Food for Believed will be hosted by Michael Unger.

“It’ll be like a food-centric TED Talks,” says Danny Fazio. “We’re inviting people that we consider to be truly contributing to our society though food. We wanted to create an event that’s fun and engaging, but at the same time addresses the real issues food culture creators are facing.”

Tickets for YVR Food Fest are on sale now at www.YVRFoodFest.com. Follow YVR Food Fest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and announcements: @YVRFoodFest.


Street Food Showdown
Olympic Village | Saturday, August 6 & Sunday, August 7

VIP Tasting Event (11am – 2pm)
Doors/VIP registration 11am-12pm / All Access VIP hour from 12pm-1pm

$59 — Big Feast ticket includes access to the All You Can Eat Taster Menu from 11am-2pm and two drink tickets (alcohol or non-alcohol).

$30 — VIP Taster ticket includes access to the Street Food Showdown from 11am-2pm, four tasters, and two drink tickets (alcohol or non-alcohol)

Main Event (1pm to 8pm)

$10 — General Admission ticket includes access to the Street Food Showdown after 1pm and one drink ticket (non-alcohol).

List of Vendors. More TBA.
Amoda Tea, Aussie Pie Guy, Beljam’s Waffles, Big Red’s Poutine, Bread and Cheese, C’est Si Bon, Cannoli King, Central City Brewing, Cloud Nine Cotton Candy, Cocofrio, Delish Bakery, Didi’s Greek, Dim Sum Express, Disco Cheetah, DougieDog, Feastro, Four Winds Brewery, Guerilla Q, Gyspy Trunk, Holi Masala, Hunger Management, Hurricane Potato, Kafka’s Coffee, Kampong, Le Tigre, Mangal Kiss, Meet2Eat, Melt City, Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Mr. Arancino, Neille Vietnamese Cuisine, Nice Vice, Old Country Pierogi, Parallel 49, Red Racer Brewery, Red Truck Brewery, Rocky Point Ice Cream, Say Hello Sweets, Slavic Rolls, Soho Road, Stolovaya Catering, Strange Fellows Brewery, Tacofino, Teriyaki Boys, The Flying Pig, The Reef Runner, The Twisted Berry, Tubify, Via Tevere, Vji’s Railway Express, Victoria’s Mexican Bakery, Wakiki BBQ.

Food For Thought
Speaker series: fresh ideas about food culture
Omnimax Theatre at Science World | Sunday, August 7
6pm – 10pm

Tickets are $24

List of speakers and topics
• Trevor Bird (Fable Kitchen/Meatme.co) – Sustainable Meat
• Andrew Morrison (Scout Magazine) – Evolution of Vancouver’s Food Scene
• Alexandra Gill (Globe and Mail) – Brand-new Wealth, Brand-new Food
• Mauricio Lozano (Faculty Brewing) – Yeast Husbandry aka Brewing Beer
• Hana Etsuko Dethlefsen (Let’s Cooking) – The Authenticity Trap
• Vanessa Bourget (Exile Bistro) – The Future of Food
• Kristin Price (Holistic Nutritionist) – Communicating Healthy Eating
• Annika Reinhardt (Foodline Radio/Social Bites) – Building Impactful Communities Through Food
• Kurtis Kolt (Sommelier/Georgia Straight) Building a Wine Culture in Prohibition’s Shadow

Hosted by Michael Unger

Potluck: Food to keep your brain at its finest – Pueblo Chieftain

Attempting challenging puzzles and reading up on the theory of relativity aren’t the only ways to keep your brain at its finest.

The right diet likewise can do wonders, improving the brain’s function and even helping to reverse brain damage. Meanwhile, the opposite likewise is true. Poor diet choices not only hurt the waistline, but have actually a negative effect on the brain.

“When it comes to the brain, sugar is public enemy No. 1,” says Daniel Amen, M.D., a clinical neuroscientist and brain imaging expert.

Sugar is pro-inflammatory, increases erratic brain-cell firings and is addictive, says Amen, author of the Brand-new York Times bestseller “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.”

“Sugar is insidious, sort of like heroin,” he says. “It will make you want it over and over again.”

Sugar has actually company on Amen’s list of unfriendly brain foods, including a few surprises, such as corn, which has actually one of the worst fatty-acid profiles of any vegetable.

Others on the avoid-at-all-costs list include artificial dyes, especially red dye; foods along with trans fats, such as cookies, cakes and pie crusts; and low-fiber foods, which include lots of fast-food choices.

Fortunately, there are likewise great food options that can heal the brain and even help reverse brain damage, Amen says. Those include:

Healthy fats. Surprisingly, fat is not the enemy. That’s because there are “good fats” and “bad fats.” Some examples of good fats are olives, sunflower seeds and flaxseed. Amen likewise points out that 60 percent of the solid weight of the brain is fat.

Fish. Salmon, halibut, sardines, mackerel and other fish are loaded along with healthy oils and healthy fat.

Avocados. This nutrient-dense fruit is loaded along with healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which build brain-cell membranes, reduce brain inflammation and promote Brand-new brain-cell formation.

Raw nuts. Go easy on the amount because they pack a lot of calories, but raw nuts are very healthy for the brain.

Chocolate. Here’s another surprise. Chocolate likewise has actually been shown to decrease cravings and increase blood flow to the brain. It’s what usually is added to chocolate — sugar and dairy products — that makes it bad.

Colorful vegetables. Green is great, but along with vegetables you can branch out into such choices as yellow squash, purple carrots and orange bell peppers. “You want things that are high in fiber, that are colorful, that are really medicine for your brain,” Amen says.

“Anytime you prepare to eat something, don’t just think about the pounds you might put on. Ask yourself: Is this good for my brain or is it bad for my brain?


— Compiled by Mike Spence


‘I did The Body Coach plan and here’s how my body changed’ – Cosmopolitan UK

Once you’re done, you submit your final pictures and measurements and um…that’s it. 

It’s weird, but after three months of dedicating your life to something, you expect some sort of medal (sort it out, Joe), but instead, you get a friendly email and a  ‘graduation’ report, which tells you what exercise you should do and what ‘macros’ (the amounts of fats, carbs, and protein) you need to eat if you want to lose more fat, gain muscle or maintain your shape. 

So, did I transform into a lean winner? Did I end up with a six pack? Well, not quite. And that’s probably down to those holidays and slip-ups off plan I had. 

But comparing my photos over time, I realised I’d still lost body fat around my waist and hips (and boobs), and I’d toned up all over.

More importantly though, I’d never felt so confident about my body. I felt fit, strong, and healthy – and that’s 100%  more important to me now than a number on a scale. 

My verdict on the SSS Plan: 

Joe Wicks may be pretty good at marketing himself, but his plan definitely works. If you commit to the food and exercise, and don’t drink,  don’t expect quick fixes and are prepared to work hard, you will get results. 

I felt fit, strong, and healthy – and that’s 100% more important to me now than a number on a scale.

The plan costs money, but it’s cheaper than a personal trainer (although don’t expect the same level of one-to-one contact and expertise!), and I saved money because I was planning my meals for the week rather than nipping into my local supermarket. 

Having said that, there are a few annoying things about the plan – sometimes the instructions weren’t clear enough (for example, it didn’t mention on Cycle One I wasn’t supposed to eat a breakfast smoothie more than twice a week). But a brand new version of the plan has now come out which looks like it’s clearer and has even better recipes than the ones I had (I’m not angry, just jealous). 

The meal prep and fitting in the workouts can be a huge ball ache and commitment – and seeing as I don’t have a family or a job with insane or shift-like hours, I have a huge amount of respect for the people that manage to do the plan as well as all that. 

Then there’s the issues it can cause if you live with a partner or family who aren’t doing the plan – I’m not going to lie, me and my husband had a few fights about having to eat ‘on plan’ all the time – including one time when he actually tried to force feed me Ben & Jerry’s, while doing a Joe Wicks impression. 

But I am in the best shape of my life, I feel amazing, toned, strong and have loads of energy and literally haven’t got sick since starting the plan. While  my transformation isn’t going to end up in Joe’s ‘Hall of Fame’ – I’ll keep following the other hugely inspiring men and women who have totally changed their diet and lifestyle and got INCREDIBLE results.

And finally, the things I wish I’d known before I  started: 

– Get digital scales so you can be accurate with measurements. 

– Join the Unofficial Facebook group – it’s run by a group of absolute babes in their spare time, it’s a truly positive community and there are loads of good recipe hacks and tips on there. 

– If you don’t drink booze at all, and really commit to the food and workouts, you will have better results. There’s no cheats, it’s all down to you. And it’s only 3 months. I was slack with the booze but you don’t have to be. 

Buy Tupperware or cheap plastic takeaway boxes, and ‘prep like a boss’ when you can. 

– Buy frozen spinach – it’s easier and cheaper to eat mounds of than dry greenery. 

– Ask your coach if you can have Quest Bars, or Carb Killas. They are occasional treats that make not having chocolate 100% easier. 

– If you don’t have a gym membership, that’s fine. For Cycle 1, you don’t need it. For 2 and 3, you can get weights from Argos for £30 to do at home. 

– Don’t expect miracles. Don’t weight yourself unless it’s the end of Cycles. Don’t freak out if you put on weight – because your clothes are probably looser and you feel better. 

The highs & lows of boxed meal delivery: Getting my hands on Martha Stewart’s box – ChicagoNow (blog)

The Little Voice That Lives In My Head

The Highs & Lows of Boxed Meal Delivery: Getting My Hands on Martha’s Box

By Stacey Zapalac,
today at 11:34 am

The crowded boxed meal delivery field just got a little more crowded.  And guess who is behind this latest endeavor?  You got it – your favorite insider trading domestic diva and mine, Martha Stewart.   Cue the applause while simultaneously feeling inadequate.  Martha is collaborating with Marley Spoon, Inc. a cook-at-home subscription delivery service; to bring fresh, easy, Martha/chef-designed meals guaranteed to make your “taste buds dance.”

A meal planned by post-prison Martha, sent directly to my house, that promises to be easy to make and my family will love it.  What?  This is too good to be true.  Finally, my little darlings and my beloved will have something new and interesting to eat and I can take credit for it all.  Cue the happy dance.

I ordered the Martha & Marley Spoon family-size box, designed to feed a family of four (two adults & two children).  Because I was ordering for my family, I tried to pick something that would be somewhat recognizable to them.  I selected broccoli grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup for the first meal.  I placed my order and low and behold, the little box of hope arrived on my front porch.

I carefully opened Martha’s box.  In my head I could hear the angels singing, see a heavenly light shining from within Martha’s box and I felt full of joy.  Hold the phone.  Ummmmm… what the hell is this?  A whole onion?  A head of garlic?  A bunch of broccoli?  Why isn’t this business cut up into little pieces for me?  Did Martha forget to do that before putting it in the box? This must be a mistake.  I begin to sweat.

Am I not paying a premium for Martha to cut up all the ingredients and send them to me already prepped?  This is an f’in travesty Martha.  Martha’s box was supposed to make my life easier – streamline and simplify.  Now I have to cut and chop my way through this Godforsaken recipe.

After chopping, slicing, mincing, pureeing, grilling and roasting, I now have some suspect-looking broccoli grilled cheese sandwiches and a small pot of tomato soup.  If you are looking for Cheesecake Factory-size portions, you will not find them in Martha’s box.  The family-size box will likely feed one of the following groups:

  • Group 1:  1 adult, 1 child who actually eats what he/she is served, and 2 children who pick off anything that looks like it belongs in one of the four food groups and scream “This is stinky!” and “This is yuck!” running from the table in terror.
  • Group 2:  One female, the week before her period starts, while the rest of her family goes hungry watching her eat.  PMS is a bitch.
  • Group 3:  A family of 4, not from the United States, who eats healthy and appropriate portion sizes.

I served this meal to my three children.  My husband was out of town and got to miss the festival de Martha.  We fell into group one as listed above, but teetered on group two as well.  We definitely do not fit into group three.  One of my children ate her meal, no questions asked.  The other two kiddos ran for the hills.  I, of course, ate their meals, as well as mine.

The meal is over and time to assess whether Martha’s box was worth it. I liked the excitement of getting my hands on Martha’s box.  All of the ingredients were fresh, seasonal, and from trusted purveyors.  I liked introducing my kids to something new.

What I did not like was the cutting and prepping madness.  I had a mountain of dishes to tackle post-grilled cheese and soup.  I also did not like facing the reality of what constitutes a healthy portion size.  I think my family needs the plus-sized version of Martha’s box.

Lastly, there were some critical things missing from the box.  The first is dessert.  If you are going to make my kids eat broccoli in their grilled cheese sandwiches and soup that did not come out of a can, for God’s sake, throw in an Oreo or something.  Also, a bottle of wine should be a mandatory component of Martha’s box.  A nice buzz would have come in handy to momma as the children yell “eww” and “this is icky.”

Would I order Martha’s box again?  Probably not.  Was it fun to try?  Yes, but not the chopping insanity.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to figure out what the hell I will cook my family that will make their “taste buds dance.”

Would you like to read more of my posts? Heck yeah you do. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the “create subscription” button. My list is spam free, and you can opt out at any time.  

Stacey M. Zapalac

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  • Meet The Blogger

    Stacey Zapalac

    I am a freelance comedy writer based in Chicago, IL tackeling topics such as pop-culture, family dynamics, and why Eve is depicted with a belly button if she and Adam were the first humans. When I am not writing or saying funny things, I am busy listening to my three children say “Mom… Mom… Mom… watch this!” seven hundred bazillion times a day. Make sure you check out my article on The Second City Network
    Let’s Welcome El Chapo to the U.S. Brooklyn-Style


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