Friday, September 18, 2015


There is not a single chef in the world that does not have some sort of special cooking tips to offer up to the budding cook. Anyone who has stepped in front of a stove has, at one time or another, needed a little bit of advice. 

It may not be an entire lecture on how to cook but just some helpful ideas to make it a little bit easier and help ensure a culinary success. Here are some great tips that anyone can use.

30 minute meals are not impossible and are a great answer to the hectic pace set in our lives by work, family and other obligations. Great food does not have to take a long time to prepare. 

Cooking tips to help achieve great meals quickly are to use pre-sliced vegetables from the salad bar or already washed and bagged. You would be surprised at how much time this saves. 

Another tip is to use thinner slices of meat. The thinner cuts will cook in far less time. The key is to find high-quality cuts that are tender.

One tip when making food that is invaluable is to know thy audience. For example: you make a wonderful shell fish dinner for a friend. You have spent hours slaving away over a hot stove preparing this culinary masterpiece. 

The guest arrives and you suddenly remember that he or she is allergic to shell fish. This might seem humorous if it were happening to someone else but unfortunately you are left with a steaming seafood dinner only to wind up serving hamburgers at the last minute. Know who is going to be eating the meal if at all possible.

Food and cooking can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. A sure recipe for disaster is to attempt a new recipe while under time constraints or feeling pressured. 

Knowing useful tips when making food mean nothing if there is not a desire to create. Making food is an art and one that takes time and practice in order to master. The greatest tips anyone can give are ones that let you know that mistakes are inevitable but nothing is impossible.

All recipes come from one of two things: a need or a desire for that dish. Tips when making food can come from a variety of places. They can be found within the recipe, on the internet or come from family or friends. 

If you find yourself in a difficult situation, ask for some advice. Chances are that you were not the only person to fumble over that particular attempt. Have fun with it and enjoy yourself because in the end what matters most is the experience.

Monday, October 4, 2010


An Introduction To Our Diet

Eating foods first-hand from nature, grown in fertile soil (preferably organic, free from chemicals and pesticides) will help ensure a better supply of these nutritional needs. Processing, refining and overcooking destroy much food value.

Eating out can be a challenge. If a person with celiac disease is in doubt about a menu item, ask the waiter or chef about ingredients and preparation, or if a gluten-free menu is available. Eating in restaurants causes difficulty as the majority of restaurant food is salted. To maintain a low sodium diet, you need to scrutinize the "Nutritional Information" boxes on food cartons.

Eat your breakfast at night rather than in the morning and you may notice how surprisingly your body gets leaner rather than fatter. As a species we are nocturnal eaters, inherently programmed for night eating. Eating smaller portions also helps you set good eating habits that will help you keep the weight off.

Studies show that foods with fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grain breads and cereals may help lower blood glucose. However, it seems that a person must eat much more fiber than the average American now consumes to get this benefit. Studies done over many years suggest that 20-25% of children on the ketogenic diet will have their seizures well controlled. An additional 30-40% of children will have their seizure frequency decreased by 50%.

Meat, eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy products all contain cholesterol. Foods from plants, on the other hand, are free of cholesterol. Meats, butter, nuts, cheese, and eggs contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals.

Meat-based diets such this one are not a realistic alternative as they are not environmentally sustainable. Huge quantities of fruits and vegetables would be necessary, and with the number of people in the world relying on grain as a means of sustainance, the energy benefits of that food group could not be easily replaced.

Meat and animal derivatives every day in your diet! What's unhealthier than this uncontrolled cholesterol diet which could be oily, heavy and fatty. Meat and dairy products from ruminant animals are supported by lower quality, but more widely available, land that can support pasture and hay. A large pool of such land is available in New York state because for sustainable use, most farmland requires a crop rotation with such perennial crops as pasture and hay.

Fat cells produce leptin--the more fat, the more leptin. The blood gathers the leptin from all the fat cells and carries it to the brain. Fat delays the rate at which the stomach empties? You might think that this is a good thing, but remember that a high-fat diet is not necessarily a healthy diet. Fats provide the most concentrated form of energy; in other words, when they are burned in the body, they supply more than twice the number of calories per gram available from carbohydrates. They are also high in cholesterol.

Sodium is an essential nutrient for normal body function. It plays a major role in the regulation of body fluids, in partnership with potassium and chloride. Sodium and caloric intake were the same for each of the 3 diets. Both experimental diets lowered BP compared to the control diet, but the effect was greatest in patients with high BP who ate the combination diet.


20 Great Ideas for Low Fat and Healthy Desserts

Most people have a sweet tooth and it's this sweet tooth that can be the downfall of many a diet. As soon as we're on a diet or a healthy eating regime we feel restricted and all of a sudden we have cravings for chocolate, ice cream and chocolate fudge cake!

The secret of healthy eating is not to restrict yourself but, instead, to have a balance - everything in moderation.

You need to cut down on fats and sweets but you certainly don't need to ban them. Look through your recipe collection and online for low fat dessert recipes to use instead of your usual high fat favourites.

Even if you are unfortunate enough to be diabetic, you can still indulge your self a little. There are alternatives to sugar, such as sucralose, that can be incorporated into your favourite dessert recipes with wonderfully tasty results. You still need to watch the total carbohydrate content, but as long as you are careful, you can still have the desserts that you long for.

Here are some top tips for enjoying low fat and low sugar dessert recipes:-

1. Look for dessert recipes which contain mainly fruit.

2. Layer fresh fruit with fat-free or low fat ice cream or whipped cream substitute to make a tasty ice cream sundae.

3. Use sugar free jelly.

4. Make trifles with sugar free jelly, fresh fruit, fat free sponge cake, low fat custard and a low fat cream substitute - a tasty treat.

5. Enjoy fruit sorbets and look for dessert recipes for sorbets

6. Mix berries or sliced fruit with fat-free yogurt and sprinkle with cinnamon.

7. Grill half a grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar - great for breakfast or as a dessert.

8. Enjoy a pineapple - buy a special pineapple corer and slicer to make preparation easier and pour Malibu over pineapple slices for a yummy dessert.

9. Sauté banana or pineapple with a little brown sugar until caramelized.

10. Slice into the skin of a banana and pop a couple of squares of dark chocolate into it, wrap in foil and bake until banana is soft and chocolate is melted.

11. Treat yourself to an ice cream maker and find dessert recipes for low fat ice creams.

12. When baking muffins or cakes, replace half the fat content with mashed banana or pureed prunes.

13. Use egg whites instead of whole eggs in baking.

14. When buying canned fruit, buy fruit in juice rather than in syrup to cut down on sugar.

15. Look for dessert recipes for fruit that is in season. Fruit always tastes better when it is in season.

16. Share desserts with your partner instead of having one each.

17. Check food labels on commercial desserts to check fat and calorie content.

18. Instead of pouring cream over desserts use cream substitutes or puree fruits to make a sauce.

19. Meringues - Meringues are low in fat. Make a meringue sandwich with berries or strawberries and a fruit coulis.

20. Melons - A slice of melon is a great starter and a great dessert. Experiment with different types of melons.

You will be able to find plenty of healthy dessert recipes online and in books and you might even be able to adapt your favourite recipes to make them more healthy.

Remember, desserts do not need to be unhealthy - in fact, if you plan it our carefully, the dessert could be more healthy than the main course!


6 Ways to Save Money When You Eat Out

I admit it, I love to eat out! Unfortunately, eating out is an easy way to spend a lot of money and gain a ton of weight, which adversely affects your health. The FDA says Americans spend half their money on food in restaurants, but get only one-third of their calories from eating out. That shows you how much we're spending when we eat out.

Obviously, the best way to save money on food is to eat at home. But if you must eat out, you can save a lot of money -- and even eat less -- if you follow a few helpful tips.

(1) One of the biggest profit centers for any restaurant is drinks. If it's a big profit center for them, then it's a big savings opportunity for you. Instead of ordering tea (one of the most profitable drinks), soft drinks, or alcohol, simply order water. It's not as much fun, but it's better for you (though unsweetened tea is great for you) and it will save a lot of money.

(2) Have you ever noticed how big the portions are these days? In an effort to make it look like you're getting more for your money, restaurants have bulked up their offerings. It doesn't add much to their expenses, but it sure brings in the profits. So to save money, simply ask for a to-go box right when the food arrives. Then cut your meal down the middle and stick half of it in the box and take it home. Not only will you eat less, but you'll get two meals for the price of one.

(3) Another way to reduce your cost and portion size is to split a meal with your spouse. Many restaurants have caught onto this and now add a plate charge to your bill, but it's a lot less than a meal.

(4) Appetizers and deserts are huge profit makers for restaurants. The only time you should order an appetizer is if it's going to be your main course. And desert? It's never good for the waistline, and it's always bad for the budget. Though it can be a fun treat when you're on a special date with your spouse, you should otherwise avoid it.

(5) If you have kids under 10 or 12 (depending on the restaurant), try to go out to eat on a "kids eat free" night. Or use coupons.

(6) Try to make it a business meal so you can write it off. You can write off only 50% of meals and entertainment, but it adds up over the year.

Many times you can combine two or more of these tips and save even more. For instance, eat out on a "kids eat free" night, take half your meal home, and order water. Now that's a meal your wallet and your waistline will enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010


All-purpose flour

I eat most of my fish fillets dusted in flour, then seared off until crispy: The flour browns nicely and creates just the barest hint of a crust on the fish.

I typically use regular all-purpose flour, and this is a great way to start -- but all you really need to do is switch up your flours to create vastly different texture and flavor profiles in an otherwise simple dish.
For example, use chickpea flour for Mediterranean or Indian fish or seafood dishes. It is a common flour used there, and will give you a deep brown, earthy and warm flavor. You can buy chickpea flour in most large supermarkets, in ethnic markets or online.

Frying Asian seafood? Use rice flour. It is lighter and will fry up crispier than most other flours. It is a must in my tempura batter.

Want a richer, more mouth-filling flavor? Use rye or barley flour. These are heavier-tasting flours good with oily fish such as herring, bluefish, jacks or mackerel. I will also use these flours sometimes when I am cooking in a cuisine that uses those flours, such as Scottish, German or Scandinavian.
Texture matters, too. Want something crunchy, but not so grainy as cornmeal? Use semolina flour or stone ground wheat flour. Both are wheat flours, just not as finely ground; semolina comes from a different type of wheat, too.

So next time you think about sauteing a piece of fish, give a moment to think about whether you want to jazz things up by using a specialty flour -- combine a different flour with a different cooking oil and you can be transported to a new cuisine just like that. Think about the difference between a piece of halibut dusted in regular flour and fried in corn oil versus that same halibut dredged in rice flour and fried in sesame oil? It'll be a whole different animal.


Poison Apple: Organic Fruit and Soy Allergies

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were enjoying an idyllic fall afternoon picking apples and peaches. I had chosen an orchard that promoted itself as "using organic methods" although it did not yet have organic certification. Feeling good about supporting my local farmer and eating natural food, we sang and chatted with friends while we picked.

Life was good until my daughter started complaining that she was itchy. By the time we got to the parking lot, she was covered in hives and her face was beginning to swell. I could not figure out what had caused this reaction, because she hadn't eaten anything.  She had been carrying around a peach that she had picked, rubbing its soft fuzz on her cheek, but nothing had gone in her mouth. Besides, she wasn't allergic to peaches, or apples.

The reaction remained a mystery until a year later, when I purchased a bottle of eco-friendly horticultural oil to control an infestation of scale on my lilacs. Horticultural oil, promoted as a natural alternative to insecticides, is most often a petroleum product, but new, "green" products are being made from plant oils, such as canola, sunflower, or soybean oil. The one I bought turned out to be soybean oil. Whoops.

Horticultural oils are often used on fruit trees, which can get infested with small insects or mildew that can damage fruit. The oil is sprayed all over the tree, soaking into the bark and coating any leaves, flowers, or fruit, to suffocate the small insects.  Soybean oil is also being used as a pruning agent for peaches.

That peach didn't come with a warning label that said "may contain soy."  In fact, I've never seen a fruit or vegetable with a warning label on it of any kind.
I have, however, started washing my fruit with soap.

As more and more uses are discovered for soy, it becomes more and more present in our environment and our lives.  Soy is the raw ingredient of many non-food products, from biodiesel, to soap, to teddy bear fluff.  If you or a loved one has a soy allergy, it is important to read product labels -- not just of food, but of lotions, shampoos, and, of course, any garden sprays you might be using in your yard.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


New york city The 7 best  restaurant for kids

It's vacation time, and the whole family is headed to New York City. Theater tickets? Check. Museum passes? Check. Restaurants? Hmmm. Sure, those theme-park-style "kid-friendly" restaurants entertain the kids -- but really, how many chicken fingers can you stomach when you're in one of the greatest restaurant towns in the world? (And how many families actually eat all their meals on butcher-block paper covered in crayons?)
New York City is filled with terrific restaurants that give the grown-ups a real night out but also welcome kids with creative options. You'll find that even New York's top restaurants are quite accommodating, especially if you eat on the early side and have well-behaved kids. And who knows? Exposing your children to more sophisticated food choices may even raise your kid's culinary I.Q. I know at least one seasoned 4-year-old whose favorite restaurant is
If you have an outlier in your group, find a place with outdoor seating to blunt any unforeseen accidents or meltdowns. Of course, if you're traveling with a group of toddlers, forget everything I just said and hit the early-bird special at the closest theme joint you can find.
Here are a few of my favorite places where grown-ups can eat out with their children in the Big Apple:

  • Landmarc (179 W. Broadway, at Leonard St.; tel. 212/343-3883; With an easy-going atmosphere, a well-priced wine list, and a creative kids' menu, this smart American bistro is one of the best family restaurants in the city. Kids' choices include standards like grilled cheese sandwich, fish sticks, burgers, and pigs in a blanket as well as petite filet mignon, buttery orrechiette, and green eggs and ham pesto.
  • Odeon (145 W. Broadway, at Thomas St.; tel. 212/233-0507; The 1980s happened here, but this joint has morphed into a neighborhood fixture that welcomes families with its unfailingly delicious, well-priced bistro food. No kids' menu, but there are state-of-the-art pommes frîtes.
  • Sweetiepie (19 Greenwich Ave., between Christopher and 10th St.; tel. 212/337-3333; Don't let this spot's high-fructose décor turn you away. With padded pink banquettes, walls of mirrors, and a gilded birdcage in the window, Sweetiepie looks like an old-timey soda shop plumped up on estrogen. But wait: That's a real bar there, no? And it's actually quite comfy and nicely lit. The thoughtful menu offers something for everyone, from mac 'n' cheese and spaghetti and meatballs to terrific salads and a smart cocktail list.
  • Morandi (211 Waverly Place, at Charles St.; tel. 212/627-7575; Lunch is the time to hit this sunny Italian trattoria, which sees a sprinkling of locals, actors, models, and European moguls relaxing with their families and having a good time. Kids of all ages are welcome here -- dogs, too (outside only, of course).
  • Blue Smoke (116 E. 27th St., between Park and Lexington Ave.; tel 212/447-7733; This one's a no-brainer. Restaurateur Danny Meyer has some of the most kid-friendly restaurants in the city, including Shake Shack and Tabla, the latter with its family-style platters. This airy space has big, wide booths that are perfect for families. Yes, it has a kids' menu, and yes, barbecue is messy, gloppy finger food. But Blue Smoke also has elegant grown-up fare, such as an English pea and asparagus salad or seared sea scallops in a charred leek vinaigrette.
  • Sarabeth's Central Park South (40 Central Park South; tel. 212/826-5959; A welcome break from the glut of Midtown themed restaurants, this serene spot is part of the Sarabeth's Kitchen empire, which started in 1981 as a bakery and jam shop on the Upper West Side. While you dine daintily on the Central Park Cobb salad (here with lobster, crabmeat, and shrimp), your kids can chow down on free-range-chicken potpie and the mini bacon-cheeseburgers. The outstanding breads and desserts (a generational common ground) will have everyone singing.
  • Arthur Avenue, the Bronx. If you're visiting the Bronx Zoo or the New York Botanical Garden, don't miss a meal at the Little Italy of the Bronx, a stroll or a short cab ride away. You'll find a number of restaurants along Arthur Avenue serving family-style platters of delicious Southern Italian food and welcoming kids of all ages. At Dominick's (2335 Arthur Ave.; tel. 718-733-2807), order the kids some red-sauce spaghetti while you dine on impeccable baked clams and stuffed artichokes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Featured Drink Recipe

Brazilian Thyme photo

Brazilian Thyme


2 wedge(s) Lemon
2 oz. VeeV Acai Spirit
1/2 oz. Orange Juice


Muddle 2 lemon wedges, 1/2 orange and thyme in a mixing glass, add 2 oz. VeeV Acai Spirit and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into a glass.


Get kids to eat healthy

  • Introduce new foods into your child’s repertoire by taking him or her shopping at the local farmer’s market. When kids meet the people who grow, raise, or make the food, they are generally more willing to taste samples, and are often pleasantly surprised at how good fresh fruits and vegetables—or even goat cheese—can be. Knowing how hard farmers work to produce food will also make kids think twice about tossing their half-finished or untouched lunches in the trash.

  • Try suggesting, instead of insisting, that kids taste a new food. The biggest mistake adults make is telling a child interested in tasting a new food, “Oh, you won’t like that.” With juvenile obesity rates at a staggering high, children need all the encouragement they can get to expand their food choices to include the healthy options found at most markets.
  • If you don’t have a farmer’s market in your area, or your market isn’t open year-round, it can be equally enlightening to take your child to a supermarket’s produce department, especially if it offers sustainably grown items as well as conventional ones.
  • Provide shopping guidelines that involve compromise, such as, “You can have pudding, but let’s make it from scratch” so you can control what goes in it or “You can have baked potato chips, but not fried ones.” In this way, you can still encourage children to select their own lunches and snacks, but exert some control over the purchases.


Drink tips

  • Know your limits.
  • Space Your Drinks—e.g. one per hour (two at the most). Know that all drinks are not created equal. For example, a Long Island Iced Tea may have as many as 3 to 7 shots of alcohol, which can take as long as 2 to 6 hours to metabolize.
  • Don't drink on an empty stomach. You are more likely to get sick and less likely to be able to control yourself when you do drink on an empty stomach.
  • Keep count of the amount of drinks you've drank.
  • Don't drink and drive--Plan ahead for transportation; Use public transport or call a taxi!
  • Stay with people you know and trust, but BEWARE, people's personalities are affected by alcohol use!
  • Alcohol and sex don't mix! The mixture often leads to humiliation, regret, embarrassment, STD's, pregnancy and sexual assault!
  • Never accept a drink from someone you don't know--You don't know what they could have put in it!
  • Pregnant or think you might be? Alcohol goes straight from a mother's bloodstream to the unborn baby causing birth defects and other abnormalities.
  • Please don't use alcohol to make yourself feel better when you are depressed--talk it out, go for a walk, listen to music--make some connections. Alcohol will not solve your problems--even if it helps you escape for a few hours. Look at all the people and resources around you--there must be someone you can tell your story to!
  • Never go drink on an empty stomach.
  • You decide how much you drink, not your friends.
  • Make it last longer.
  • Don’t mix the drinks and always eat between them.
  • Oily food – less alcohol absorption.
  • When dizzy, take a break.
  • When feeling sick, go throw up.
  • Careful what you combine! Pay attention to the warning labels on prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Combining alcohol and marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, speed or other drugs can be very dangerous, due to interaction effects.
  • Make sure you eat!
  • Purchase your alcohol in adavance:
  • This way at least you will realize when you go over the top how the heck you got so plastered. You will also realize you are unable to drive, and that you probably shouldn’t take on any sort of responsibility.
  • Watch out for your friends.

  • You may already know that a healthy lifestyle involves balancing many different elements - staying physically active, consuming a balanced diet, getting enough rest - and even keeping a positive attitude.
  • All beverages contribute to hydration. But some also provide important nutrients that help keep your bones and teeth strong and play a role in keeping your heart healthy. Some beverages can help you perform your best. Others can help you feel energized or help you relax, while others provide pure enjoyment, satisfying your natural taste for sweetness -- with or without calories.

  • There are a variety of reasons to drink plenty of water each day. Adequate water intake prevents dehydration, cleans out the body, and promotes healing processes. Substituting water for beverages high in calories can also help control weight.
  • Determine how much water you need.
  • Measure your daily intake of water.
  • Learn to acquire a taste for water.
  • Carry water with you everywhere put it in a bottle or other container.
  • Keep a glass or cup of water next to you whenever you'll be sitting down for a long time, such as when you're at your desk at work.
  • Try wearing a digital watch that beeps at the beginning of each hour.
  • Get a water purification system.
  • Add lemons or limes to your water.
  • Eat water rich foods, such as fruits like watermelon, which is 92% water by weight.
  • Keep water cold if it tastes better for you.
  • Climate can drastically change how much water you need.
Food supplement is a complement, nutrition and not a substitute for food. Food supplements in general, including vitamins (eg vitamin C) and minerals, Botanical (eg herbs and plant products), and the substance or substances derived from natural sources (eg, milk whey and glucosamine). Supplements that can complement a healthy diet for improved health and increased life expectancy.We have been brought up to believe that eating healthy foods will provide us with all the vitamins and minerals that we need, and that this is sufficient to prevent illness. However, the therapeutic effects of supplementation for prevention of disease and slowing down of aging is supported by current research. - Supplements are not drugs.Drugs are chemicals that are used to cure a disease and ease the pain inflicted. Drugs are substances that work hard enough for the body and often have side effects.Therefore, the uses of drugs usually have a doctor's prescription. While most of the supplements work as nutritional supplements in addition to the food consumed daily. - Supplements are also a substance that helps optimize the body function and hormones.