Posts Tagged With: food

How to buy food cheap (orginally published on The Shoestring.com)


Image result for Cheap food

How to Buy Food Cheap

Food, as you all know, is something that we need to survive. Whether you eat too much, too little or the right amount for your body type, here are some tips on how to cut down on your grocery expenses without starving.

If you are on a really tight budget, food banks are a great way to get free food. Some people volunteer there to stock on groceries. This could definitely be a great way to meet some interesting people with fascinating life stories as well. One new friend of mine named Greg who I met on my way to meet an old friend Simone, told me about his experience volunteering at a food bank not too far away from where we both live. He said that the people he met there were great and he also got a lot of free food.

Speaking of free food, Greg is a cook and gets a lot of free stuff from the restaurant he works at. If you are looking for a job and need to make ends meet, looking for something in the food industry may be a good way to earn an honest living and stock those empty shelves in your kitchen.

Also, a lot of restaurants and grocery stores throw away food at the end of the night. The Loblaws, close to where I live, have their sandwiches with healthy stuff in it like tuna, egg, cold meats and different kind of cheeses that are half price at the closing time. You can get a $4 CDN sandwich for half the price and have all your meals set for the day.

If you are like me and you are a breakfast person who enjoys eggs, bacon and some home fries – check out governmental cafeterias. They often have food at discount prices that do not compare to the food you will find in other restaurants for the same price. Remember, it is public property.

For dining out, there is always the failsafe “all you can eat buffet.” If you allow yourself to starve enough in the morning and go at a time when you know you will not need to eat again for the day, you can visit one of these places (the ones in Chinatown and Indian villages are especially good). Actually, you cannot go wrong checking out the food of the world wherever you may be located.

Now for the traditional grocery shopping – flyers and coupons are your friends. Plus, if you can stand the attitude at times (with the exception of local grocers) try going to places where you can bring your own bags or they may provide boxes for you to take your stuff. I was with a girlfriend Joan of mine and we saw a man riding his bike carrying another bicycle. If that could be done, imagine the strength you could build up carrying your groceries with your bike.

If you are blessed to have a car, you need to work out if it is worth it to drive to a supermarket with great deals, or just walk to the nearest one and save on gas. Let us hope the exercise will not kill you.

You can also take advantage of the fact the weather is still good and enjoy an old-fashioned farmer’s market. If you avoid the ones in the ritzy neighbourhoods, you can get great deals on everything from jams to corn. Sometimes these farmer’s markets have such amazing deals that it’s worth it to take your car, or rent one, to get out of town and do some shopping in a place a bit out of the way.

One of my fondest memories growing up was my Dad taking me and my siblings out to do apple-picking outside of Toronto. They say apples keep the doctors away, so stock up. It would be hard to live on apples alone, but at many of the orchards, you can get a number of fruits dirt cheap and in large quantities.

If you are ever really starving and there is just nothing in the fridge and in the cupboards, there is a Chinese proverb that says “one can go without eating for many days, but needs green tea.” Mind you I received this proverb from my friend Steve and I do not know about its scientific basis. I would advise you not to try this at home, but green tea (which you can find inexpensively in China Town) is a great way to suppress your appetite, thus keeping your food costs down.

If you have a large family, buying in bulk is always an option. Places like Costco can be a good way to support an army. If you just basically need to support yourself, good advice I got from my friend Joan was to not stock on food. You can end up finding your shelves filled with things you will never eat. Buy what you need and then maybe the rest of the world will have more too.

I hope that helps since $100 can go pretty fast on food. I have seen it happen in the blink of an eye and not really understood what the woman in front of me in the grocery line was buying. Always check the prices of the food, remember flyers and coupons can be your friends if you are into that sort of thing and think cheap and be cheap.

Donna Kakonge is a freelance writer/communicator/professor in Toronto. Her books can be bought at http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged. She is working on another book she is hoping will be published in 2008.

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Fall in Love with These Valentine’s Day Meal Ideas (Recipes, cooking tips, photos included)


Fall in Love with These Valentine’s Day Meal Ideas

Culinary pros offer tips and tricks for preparing dishes that woo

Toronto, Ont., January 30, 2018 – Wondering what to serve that special someone on Valentine’s Day? Certain foods lend themselves to a romantic meal better than others, says one of Canada’s top chefs.

According to John Morris, Executive Chef of the CN Tower, date night meals should be kept simple, light and mess-free. “Think short noodle cuts and lighter seasonal ingredients, such as seafood or vegetarian fare,” he said, adding that seasoning with pungent spices should be minimized.

Chef Morris shared his ideas for simple, creative date night dishes at a recent culinary speed dating event for journalists and bloggers at the top of the CN Tower, where 10 up-and-coming Toronto chefs wooed guests with their culinary skills. The chefs, graduating student chefs from Toronto’s leading George Brown Chef School, prepared a variety of noodle dishes and had seven minutes to impress each guest before their dishes were scored according to simplicity, creativity, personality, and taste.

The creators of the top three dishes each received a $2,000 scholarship prize for courses at George Brown Chef School, courtesy of event sponsor No Yolks® noodles.

Taking first place was Chef Lucas Hum, who created an “Eggless Bacon Carbonara” dish. Chef Kshitiz Sethi took second place with his “Royal Rose Pudding” dish and Chef Janikka Murray placed third with a recipe called “Mushroom and Bacon Stroganoff.”

Chef Morris explained that shortcut noodles, such as No Yolks, make an ideal date-night meal as they are quick and easy to prepare, light and great tasting.  “Shortcut noodles go with just about any ingredient so it’s easy to be creative and have fun with a noodle dish, whether it’s with sauce or as the base for a noodle soup,” he said, adding that cooking together can enhance the overall mood on date night.

He also emphasized the importance of balance when preparing a dish. “Aim for a combination of noodles, protein, and vegetables to ensure an easy to digest yet satisfying meal, and of course save room for dessert,” he suggested.

Envisioning an ideal date night dish, Chef Morris created a Valentine’s Day recipe, called Saucy Shrimp Noodles with Lemon Fetish Goat Cheese, that features noodles combined with lemony-flavoured shrimp, wine, and cheese (see recipe below). “The combination of aromatic wine sauce-infused noodles and flavourful, light-tasting shrimp deliver an elegance to this dish that’s perfect for a romantic date night,” he said.

No Yolks® noodles sponsored the event to support up-and-coming Canadian chefs as part of its #BringHomeNoYolks campaign. As Canada’s only yolk-free, cholesterol-free and low-fat noodle brand, “No Yolks®noodles are a popular choice for daters of all ages, particularly among college students and young professionals who don’t have the time to cook, but still want a great-tasting meal that makes a good impression,” said Alistair Senn, No Yolks® Senior Brand Manager. “Our message is that No Yolks® noodles are light, simple and fail-proof to make, go with just about any ingredient and happen to be healthy to boot.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/NoYolksCanada/ for recipe ideas.

Recipes, along with a summary of date night meal tips from Chef John Morris, Executive Chef of the CN Tower, follow below.

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Interested in giving one of your lucky readers an opportunity to win two cases of No Yolks noodles ($60 value)? All you need to do is organize a contest of your choice for Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec) and, once a winner is chosen, simply send us the winner’s address and telephone number and No Yolks will deliver the prize. What’s more, No Yolks will help promote your contest on the No Yolks Facebook page. Email us at info@gailbergmanpr.com to participate.

Date Night Meal Tips from Chef John Morris:

  • Use shorter cut noodles for neat and easy consumption.
  • Cook noodles in a large pot to allow plenty of room for the noodles to move around and prevent sticking.
  • Limit ingredients that linger after consumed, such as garlic, onions and pungent spices.
  • Use light-tasting ingredients such as seafood, and limit heavier ingredients.
  • Cut leafy and or larger ingredients (such as broccoli, kale, and spinach) into smaller pieces so they are easier to chew and do not get stuck in teeth.
  • For impressive plating, top noodle dishes with a small ingredient such as shrimp, using an odd number of ingredients per dish (seven instead of six, for example) for more visual appeal.
  • Pipe sauce artistically to create designs, such as a heart, on the plate.
  • Warm serving plates in a 200oF oven before plating to keep food warmer longer and allow for extra time to plate for presentation.

Saucy Shrimp Noodles with Lemon Fetish Goat Cheese

By Chef John Morris, Executive Chef, CN Tower

Product: No Yolks® Broad Noodles

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients: 

Tomato Basil Sauce

1 tsp (5 mL)              olive oil

4                                  garlic cloves, halved                       

4                                  basil leaves, torn

4                                  vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

                                    sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Main Dish

4 cups (1 L)              No Yolks® Broad Noodles

1/4 cup (50 mL)       sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup (125 mL)     white wine

1 tsp (5 mL)              lemon juice (or to taste)

1 tsp (5 mL)              finely grated lemon zest

6                                  fresh oregano leaves

1/2 lb (225 g)            peeled and deveined frozen raw shrimp, thawed (about 24 large shrimp)

                                    freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (50 mL)       crumbled Lemon Fetish goat cheese (can be substituted with Feta cheese, if desired)

                                    microgreens

Instructions:

Tomato Basil Sauce

Step 1: Heat olive oil in saucepot at medium heat.

Step 2: Add garlic and cook until tender. Stir to avoid browning.

Step 3: Add basil and stir quickly for a few sections. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Main Dish:

Step 1: Prepare noodles according to package directions.

Step 2: Meanwhile, bring the tomato basil sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest and oregano to a simmer in a large skillet set over medium heat. Stir in the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until no pink remains. Season to taste with pepper.

Step 3: Serve the tomato sauce-shrimp mixture over the hot cooked noodles. Garnish each serving with Lemon Fetish goat cheese and microgreens.

Tip:

Prepare tomato basil sauce in advance to save time on the day of cooking.

Eggless Bacon Carbonara

By Chef Lucas Hum, George Brown Chef School

Product: No Yolks® Dumpling Noodles

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Makes: 5 servings

Ingredients: 

1 lb (450 g)                bacon, diced

4 cups (1 L)              No Yolks® Dumpling Noodles

3 tbsp (45 mL)         butter, unsalted

1 head                       garlic, roasted

1 cup (150 g)            cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup (120 ml)       heavy cream, 35%

1/2 cup (65 g)           parmesan cheese, grated

                                    salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: 1/4 cup leeks, finely sliced and 1/2 bunch basil, chiffonade

Instructions:

Step 1: Place diced bacon in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cookout the fat, stirring occasionally until crispy, about 8 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

Step 3: Remove crispy bacon bits and set aside. Drain remaining bacon grease on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan.

Step 4: Return the pan to medium heat and add the butter to melt. Add garlic and tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute.

Step 5: Stir in heavy cream, then add the cooked and drained noodles to the skillet and toss to coat. Stir in parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 6: Serve hot, topped with crispy bacon bits, leeks, and basil to garnish.

Tip:

Consider frying the leeks in the bacon fat to create a crispy leek garnish to add texture.

Royal Rose Pudding

By Chef Kshitiz Sethi, George Brown Chef School

Product: NO YOLKS® Fine Noodles

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Makes: 4-5 servings

Ingredients: 

6 tbsp (90 mL)         mixed nuts (almonds, pistachio, cashews), chopped

4 cups (340g)           NO YOLKS® Fine Noodles

1 cup (250 mL)        khoya cheese or unsalted ricotta cheese

6 cups (1500 mL)    whole milk

4 tbsp (60 mL)         desi ghee butter or unsalted butter

4-5 pcs                      green cardamom and saffron, ground into a powder

10 tbsp (150 mL)     sugar (or to taste)

Garnish chopped nuts of your choice and a sprinkle of rose water.

Instructions:

Step 1: In a pan on high heat, sauté nuts in butter for 2 minutes. Add noodles and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 2: Add the crumbled khoya or ricotta cheese and mix until it breaks down. Slowly add milk and bring to a boil. Continue to boil on medium high for about 15 minutes until it becomes thick or pale in colour.

Step 3: Add the cardamom/saffron powder and sugar and boil for 2 minutes.

Step 4: Finish with rose water and garnish with chopped nuts of your choice.

Tip:

Add milk slowly to avoid lump formation and stir continuously to avoid sticking at the bottom.

You can skip the ricotta cheese or khoya and increase the amount of milk by 50% and boil to get the right consistency (ricotta cheese makes the cooking faster).

This dish can also be served cold, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with rose jelly and chocolate.

Mushroom and Bacon Stroganoff

By Chef Janikka Blair Murray, George Brown Chef School

Product: No Yolks® Extra Broad Noodles

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients: 

1 tsp (5 mL)              olive oil

3 slices                      bacon, diced

1                                  shallot, diced

2 cloves                    garlic, minced

1 tbsp (15 mL)         flour

4                                  cremini mushrooms, sliced

4                                  black oyster mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp (15 mL)         champagne (any kind) or sparkling wine

1/2 cup (125 mL)     mushroom stock or broth

1/4 tsp (1 mL)           salt

Pinch                         pepper

1/4 tsp (1 mL)           thyme, dried

1 tbsp (15 mL)         Greek yogurt

1 cup (250 mL)        No Yolks® Extra Broad Noodles

1 tsp (5 mL)              truffle oil (optional)

Garnish: Goat cheese crumble

Instructions:

Step 1: In a large pot, bring water to a boil.

Step 2: In a separate pot, heat olive oil on medium heat and cook bacon partially. Add the shallot and garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, approximately 3 minutes.

Step 3: Add flour and mix well for 1 minute or until well coated. Add two types of mushrooms and cook until softened. Add champagne and mix well for 2 minutes.

Step 4: Add mushroom stock, salt, pepper and thyme and bring to a boil.

Step 5: Turn heat down to medium low and stir in Greek yogurt. Once fully incorporated, remove from heat.

Step 6: Once water has boiled in the separate pot, add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain and mix noodles with mushroom sauce.

Step 7: Serve with truffle oil drizzle, if desired, and crumble goat cheese on top.

Tip:

Use homemade or store bought stock. The taste of the stock will determine how much seasoning to add to the sauce.

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Vitality-Boosting Pasta Salad


Nutrition Expert Rose Reisman.

Nutrition Expert Rose Reisman.

Vitality-Boosting Pasta Salad

This pasta salad – developed by leading nutrition expert Rose Reisman – is a powerhouse when it comes to vitality-boosting ingredients, including whole grains, edamame beans, berries, orange veggies and Greek yogurt. Continue reading

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Canadian Survey Shows People Eating Healthier Than Five Years Ago


Vitality Boosting Pasta by Catelli!

Vitality Boosting Pasta by Catelli!

Canadian Survey Shows People Eating Healthier Than Five Years Ago
Most prefer eating simple foods, associate healthy eating with vitality and happiness

TORONTO, August 12, 2014 – Ninety-five per cent of Canadians who responded to a recent survey eat healthier, more natural foods today than they did five years ago.

The national survey of eating habits – performed by Montreal-based BAM Strategy on behalf of Catelli Foods Corporation – also reveals that of the 15,593 respondents*, 54 per cent said they feel more vibrant and happier when eating healthy, natural foods. Continue reading

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Media Advisory – Students release report on campus food services


TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2013 /CNW/ – The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario will release the final report of its Taskforce on Campus Food Services tomorrow at Ryerson University. The report compiles data collected from more than 7,000 students across the province on the quality, affordability and diversity of food options on campus. Continue reading

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Starbucks Canada Celebrates a Nation of Coffee Experts with New Coffee Choices and More Than 3,000 Coffee Tasting Events


STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY - New Coffee Choices

In celebration of National Coffee Day, Canada’s largest specialty coffee company to host three-day tastings, featuring two brand new coffees available for the first time in Canada

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2013 /CNW/ – Starbucks is celebrating Canada’s love affair with coffee this month by introducing more coffee options and a way for more Canadians to try different kinds of coffee. This week, more than 1,000 Starbucks® stores in Canada will host the largest series of coffee tasting events held in the company’s Canadian history, featuring Canadian-named, Starbucks True North BlendTM/Mélange NordiqueMC, as well as two brand new coffees in Canada: Starbucks Thanksgiving BlendTM/MC and ® Ethiopia, which makes its Canadian debut today. Continue reading

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Martha Stewart to Headline the 2013 Delicious Food Show


Reigning Lifestyle Guru visits Toronto for the First Time in Two Years

TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2013 /CNW/ – The 2013 Delicious Food Show (DFS) is thrilled to announce that household name, best-selling author, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Emmy Award-winning TV show host and queen of all “good things,” Martha Stewart, will be headlining the three-day event this October. Continue reading

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Art, Architecture and Food in Bologna Italy


Please check out this great article on Italy by John Gower:

http://artbyborsheim.blogspot.it/2013/06/art-architecture-and-food-in-bologna.html

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CORRECTION: Photo Op Wednesday — thousands of Servings of Pasta to be Delivered to North York Harvest Food Bank


Unique Photo Opportunity:

 

Thousands of Servings of Pasta to be Delivered to North York Harvest Food Bank

 

Toronto, Ontario– Catelli® pasta is helping to battle hunger in Toronto one serving of pasta at a time.

 

Approximately 14,570 portions of Catelli® pasta will be delivered to the North York Harvest Food Bank as part of a campaign called Help Us Feed the Hope. This significant donation is just one of many deliveries that will take place across the country, as Catelli® aims to reach a donation goal of one million servings of pasta to feed the hungry across Canada.

 

Media are invited to participate in the unloading of the pasta. Excellent visual opportunities will be available.

 

WHAT:                  Unloading delivery of 14,570 portions of Catelli® pasta 

 

WHEN:                  June 12, 2013

                               11:00 a.m. – Noon

 

WHERE:               North York Harvest Food Bank

640 Lawrence Avenue West, Toronto

 

As part of the Help Us Feed the Hope campaign, Catelli® pasta is donating a serving of pasta to Toronto food banks for every box purchased by Torontonians at Sobeys and Foodland stores until the end of June.

 

“In Ontario alone, there are more than 160,000 families in need, yet hunger is a solvable problem, so we’re encouraging everyone in the community to get involved and help lighten the load of fellow community members,” said Sandra Kim, Director of Marketing for the Catelli® pasta brand.

 

– 30 –

 

 

For more information or to RSVP:

 

Gail Bergman or Ashley Pergolas

Gail Bergman PR

Tel: (905) 886-1340 or (905) 886-3345

Email: info@gailbergmanpr.com

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Top Toronto chef featured in unique cookbook that aims to help feed city’s hungry


Cookbook Cover

Catelli® Pasta Unveils Unique Cookbook as Part

of Program to Feed Toronto’s Hungry

 

“Gourmet Family Meals for Under $10” features recipes from top Canadian chefs,

including Chef John Higgins of Toronto’s George Brown College Chef School

 

Toronto, Ontario – April 8, 2013 – Catelli® pasta is helping to battle hunger inToronto one serving of pasta at a time. Continue reading

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Fiesta Fit Soup


Fiesta Fit Soup Photo

By Liz Pearson

Fiesta Fit Soup

This delicious soup is a one-pot meal containing ingredients that are linked to reducing belly fat, including whole grains, fibre, healthy fats, peppers and flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables. What’s more, it’s easy to make, taking only 25 minutes from stove-top to table. Continue reading

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Grocery Shopping in January


‘Tis the season to do grocery shopping people! There are many, many sales at supermarkets to take advantage of in a season post-holidays when paying bills becomes a higher priority than eating.

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Penne Rigate Bruschetta Pasta


Penne Rigate Bruschetta Pasta

With a sauce that doesn’t require cooking, this meal is fast, easy and a perfect pre-exercise dish.

 Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4 

Ingredients:

 1 pkg ( 375 g )            whole wheat penne rigate, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® brand

1/2 cup ( 125 ml )        chopped sweet or white onion

1 cup ( 250 ml )           loosely packed, chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup ( 125 ml )        loosely packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 tbsp ( 15 ml )            sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp ( 2 ml )             each salt and pepper

4                                  cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups ( 625 ml ) chopped, ripe, on-the-vine tomatoes

1 tbsp ( 15 ml )            extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Toss the tomatoes with the onion, basil, parsley, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain well and toss with the reserved bruschetta mixture.

Toss mixture with olive oil and adjust seasonings before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional information:

Per serving (about 2 cups/500 ml):
408 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 304 mg sodium, 76 g carbohydrates, 11 g fibre, 15 g protein. Excellent source of folate, niacin, thiamin, and iron. Good source of vitamin C.

For more energy-boosting meal and snack ideas, visit www.wholegrainpasta.ca or www.lizpearson.com.

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Carbs are Gold When it Comes to Boosting Energy


Penne Rigate Bruschetta Pasta

Summer Olympics perfect time for Canadians to adopt good eating habits of athletes 

June 18, 2012 – With the Summer Olympics set to take place in London next month, many of us are inspired to get into shape. Keep in mind, though, that the most successful exercise regimes start with what you eat, emphasizes leading Canadian dietitian and best-selling author Liz Pearson.

 “Carbohydrates are the primary and most important source of energy for the body,” says Pearson, co-author of Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health and author of Broccoli, Love and Dark Chocolate, to be released in Spring 2013. “Many people today have developed a phobia of carbs, but the truth is that carbs are actually good for us and we need to consume them every day, particularly when we’re active.”

 In fact, the U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends that most of our daily calories – 45 to 65 percent – come from carbohydrates, with 20 to 35 percent coming from fat and 10 to 35 percent from protein. Pearson explains that our bodies break down carbs into sugar (glucose), which provides energy for our cells, tissues, and organs, and gets stored in our muscles for when it’s needed. Once storage is depleted, however, muscles quickly fatigue.

 “anytime we exercise, we should adopt the mindset of an athlete and think of carbs as fuel for our muscles, but it’s critical to be aware that not all carbs are created equal,” Pearson says, explaining that 100 percent whole grain bread and pasta – such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® pasta – fruits, vegetables, and beans are the best fuel for our bodies. Most of the carbohydrates we eat on a daily basis should be these ‘good carbs,’ she says. “Because they’re slowly digested, they provide a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream, and contain valuable nutrients and plant compounds that protect health, guard against diseases and can save lives.”

 On the other hand, “getting carbs from refined grains such as white breads and pasta, or cereals, cakes and cookies made with white flour, as well as highly-processed sugary drinks, candy and desserts, can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, macular degeneration and some cancers,” Pearson cautions.

Given that the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week – with children and youth requiring 60 minutes per day – how can one best incorporate carbs into a diet to get a workout of Olympic proportions?

Citing research by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Pearson suggests eating a meal consisting of good carbs three to four hours before exercising, followed by a carb-mixed-with-protein snack 30 to 60 minutes before getting started to optimize performance. Consuming another carb-and-protein snack immediately following exercise is ideal to enhance carbohydrate storage.

According to Pearson, examples of good carb options that help fuel muscles and provide energy are:

Three to four hours before exercise:

  • 100 percent whole grain spaghetti or pasta salad (see recipe below).
  • Stir fry on a bed of brown rice.
  •  Whole grain pancakes.

30 to 60 minutes before exercise:

  • A small bowl of whole grain cereal.
  • Whole grain crackers with bean dip.
  • Half a sandwich with lean protein on whole grain bread.
  • Fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt.

Post-workout:

  • Chocolate milk.
  • Yogurt.
  • Whole grain energy bar.

 If increasing energy levels isn’t incentive enough, Pearson emphasizes that good carbs are also excellent for brain health – including memory building, learning, and thinking – and may even promote weight-loss because of their ability to satisfy hunger. A recent Canadian Community Health Survey, for example, showed that of the almost 4,500 people studied, those who were at the lowest risk of being overweight got 47 to 64 percent of their calories from eating carbohydrates.

 “Numerous studies reinforce the benefits of eating carbohydrates, including research that shows athletes who don’t consume a daily diet high in carbs experience fatigue and poor performance,” Pearson says. “So go for the gold standard in health and make sure you get enough carbs each day – your body will thank you for performing better.”

 For more energy-boosting meal and snack ideas, visit www.wholegrainpasta.ca or www.lizpearson.com.

 

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Holistic nutritionist reveals top five spring trends and tips in healthy living


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VANCOUVER, April 23, 2012, /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Fresh from the largest gathering of natural health and organic leaders in Western Canada

Holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy, in partnership with the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), today released her top five healthy living trends and tips for spring 2012. Her findings are based on observations in her own practice and interviews with natural health and organic leaders at the recent CHFA West event, the largest natural health industry gathering of its kind in Western Canada.

“This year’s CHFA event was enlightening, with a stimulating exchange of ideas and a wide variety of new products that are responding to the wants and needs of Canadian consumers,” said Joy McCarthy, registered holistic nutritionist. “Many people are now including natural health and organic products as part of their overall solution to a range of health issues. Based on what I saw at the show, Canadians’ appetite for them is skyrocketing.”

With a recent IPSOS Reid survey showing that 73 percent of Canadians are regular consumers of natural health products, these products are fast becoming part of their regular health and wellness toolkit.

This spring’s top trends and Joy’s tips include:

1) Working from the inside out to attain natural beauty Canadians are embracing the concept of beauty from the inside out. They are turning to the health food and the grocery stores to create gorgeous skin, healthy hair and strong nails. Joy’s tips: Try natural products such as Omega-3’s to improve skin elasticity and improve hair health; probiotics to improve your digestion which promotes healthy skin and vitamin C to help produce collagen.

2) Dialing up the nutrient density of foods Canadians are completely time-starved these days. Not cooking at home and eating fast food on-the-go has created the need to maximize the nutritional content of every morsel we consume. This spring there is a new and wide variety of natural health products that can be added directly to food such as flavoured protein powders, flavoured Omega-3 oils, and liquid vitamin D. Joy’s tips: Try adding some of these food-ready supplements to your favourite recipes as a simple way to improve overall nutrition. As always, make sure to read dosage recommendations on packaging and consult with your healthcare practitioner.

3) Ridding our bodies of toxins Every day, we are exposed to a vast array of chemicals from many different sources including personal care, food, household cleaners, air pollution and gases from paint/furniture/carpet and other synthetic products. Canadians are discovering that detoxing the body is safe and effective when done correctly with the right supplements, simple lifestyle habits and diet. Joy’s tips: Talk to your healthcare practitioner about what’s right for you. The most common natural products include: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, probiotics, green supplements, fibre supplements and drinks made with various barks, roots and herbs such as licorice, dandelion, burdock and milk thistle.

4) Keeping stress in check by going beyond medication It seems there’s a pill for everything these days, but instead of relying only on prescription medications to ease our anxiety, Canadians are also finding success incorporating natural health products into their health care regime. Joy’s tips: Consider using vitamin C, B complex vitamins, chamomile, American ginseng, green powders, Rhodiola Rosea, supplements with adrenal tissue, magnesium and valerian all of which have been shown to play a role in relieving stress.

5) Tapping into nature for a good night’s sleep One in seven Canadians have problems going to sleep or staying asleep, and by the time we reach 75 or older one in five of us will suffer from insomnia. A good night’s sleep enhances energy, mood, motivation, keeps appetite hormones in check and reduces the risk for many chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and more. With recent reports of a link between certain sleeping pills and early death, Canadians are turning to natural health products as part of the solution to getting a good night sleep. Joy’s tips: Combine lifestyle changes with natural health products such as Rhodiola Rosea, melatonin, magnesium citrate, hops, passionflower and chamomile to improve sleep.

People interested in including natural health and organic products as part of the solution to a wide range of health issues facing all Canadians can learn more about this event at chfa.ca. There you will find Joy’s trends, tips, and recipes.

The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is Canada’s largest national trade association dedicated to the natural health and organic products industries. Representing manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers of natural health products, the Canadian Health Food Association has 1,000 members who contribute three billion dollars to the Canadian economy annually. For more information on CHFA and about natural health and organic products visit chfa.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Health Food Association

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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Nunu is the Restaurant to Go


Image result for Nuno restaurant in toronto

Last week, I went to a wonderful Ethiopian Restaurant at 1178 Queen St. W., between Dovercourt and Dufferin in Toronto.

After battling to find parking with the traffic on Queen being treacherous, I was fortunate to find a spot at Woolfitt’s and my friend paid for parking. As we entered Nunu, there are dark brown curtains that you must search to find the opening, however, the other side is charming and elegant. Extremely high ceilings with rounded, yet rectangular long creme textured chandeliers, the tables are all square, with some beige smooth sofas against the wall, however, my friend and I chose the round table close to the cash.

We started off with a coffee, that came in an antique silver pot about six inches high. We received one cup and my friend and I took turns sipping the almost black liquid. Beautiful coffee.

Our first meal was a large plate of a mixed vegetarian platter, coupled with the misto misto, an assortment of meats. Digging into the plate with the injera, we needed to order more injera, and since we were both famished, we cleaned the plate and ordered dessert. We got the ice cream with bananas since my friend is a Monkey in the Chinese Horoscope, and shared that as well.

The entire experience was wonderful as we discussed my friend’s new book, our doctoral studies and about online projects. Busy Queen St. was our view from a large square window, plus a lovely waitress with a waist as small as a cat.

If eating more of the food would make me look more like the waitress – I will be back again for sure.

For more information about Nunu, please contact 647-351-6868.

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How to buy food cheap (orginally published on The Shoestring.com)


Image result for Cheap food

How to Buy Food Cheap

Food, as you all know, is something that we need to survive. Whether you eat too much, too little or the right amount for your body type, here are some tips on how to cut down on your grocery expenses without starving.

If you are on a really tight budget, food banks are a great way to get free food. Some people volunteer there to stock on groceries. This could definitely be a great way to meet some interesting people with fascinating life stories as well. One new friend of mine named Greg who I met on my way to meet an old friend Simone, told me about his experience volunteering at a food bank not too far away from where we both live. He said that the people he met there were great and he also got a lot of free food.

Speaking of free food, Greg is a cook and gets a lot of free stuff from the restaurant he works at. If you are looking for a job and need to make ends meet, looking for something in the food industry may be a good way to earn an honest living and stock those empty shelves in your kitchen.

Also, a lot of restaurants and grocery stores throw away food at the end of the night. The Loblaws, close to where I live, have their sandwiches with healthy stuff in it like tuna, egg, cold meats and different kind of cheeses that are half price at the closing time. You can get a $4 CDN sandwich for half the price and have all your meals set for the day.

If you are like me and you are a breakfast person who enjoys eggs, bacon and some home fries – check out governmental cafeterias. They often have food at discount prices that do not compare to the food you will find in other restaurants for the same price. Remember, it is public property.

For dining out, there is always the failsafe “all you can eat buffet.” If you allow yourself to starve enough in the morning and go at a time when you know you will not need to eat again for the day, you can visit one of these places (the ones in Chinatown and Indian villages are especially good). Actually, you cannot go wrong checking out the food of the world wherever you may be located.

Now for the traditional grocery shopping – flyers and coupons are your friends. Plus, if you can stand the attitude at times (with the exception of local grocers) try going to places where you can bring your own bags or they may provide boxes for you to take your stuff. I was with a girlfriend Joan of mine and we saw a man riding his bike carrying another bicycle. If that could be done, imagine the strength you could build up carrying your groceries with your bike.

If you are blessed to have a car, you need to work out if it is worth it to drive to a supermarket with great deals, or just walk to the nearest one and save on gas. Let us hope the exercise will not kill you.

You can also take advantage of the fact the weather is still good and enjoy an old-fashioned farmer’s market. If you avoid the ones in the ritzy neighbourhoods, you can get great deals on everything from jams to corn. Sometimes these farmer’s markets have such amazing deals that it’s worth it to take your car, or rent one, to get out of town and do some shopping in a place a bit out of the way.

One of my fondest memories growing up was my Dad taking me and my siblings out to do apple-picking outside of Toronto. They say apples keep the doctors away, so stock up. It would be hard to live on apples alone, but at many of the orchards, you can get a number of fruits dirt cheap and in large quantities.

If you are ever really starving and there is just nothing in the fridge and in the cupboards, there is a Chinese proverb that says “one can go without eating for many days, but needs green tea.” Mind you I received this proverb from my friend Steve and I do not know about its scientific basis. I would advise you not to try this at home, but green tea (which you can find inexpensively in China Town) is a great way to suppress your appetite, thus keeping your food costs down.

If you have a large family, buying in bulk is always an option. Places like Costco can be a good way to support an army. If you just basically need to support yourself, good advice I got from my friend Joan was to not stock on food. You can end up finding your shelves filled with things you will never eat. Buy what you need and then maybe the rest of the world will have more too.

I hope that helps since $100 can go pretty fast on food. I have seen it happen in the blink of an eye and not really understood what the woman in front of me in the grocery line was buying. Always check the prices of the food, remember flyers and coupons can be your friends if you are into that sort of thing and think cheap and be cheap.

Donna Kakonge is a freelance writer/communicator/professor in Toronto. Her books can be bought at http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged. She is working on another book she is hoping will be published in 2008.

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Spaghetti with Fresh Mango Salsa & Grilled Shrimp


Spaghetti with Grilled Shrimp and Mango Salsa – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Spaghetti with grilled shrimp, mango salsa

Infused with Latin American flavours, this summery, fresh pasta toss is a delightful option to serve your family and friends. This recipe is also packed with healthy antioxidant and nutrient-rich ingredients such as mango and red pepper.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 box (375 g) Whole grain spaghetti, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest®

1/4 cup (50 mL) lime juice

3 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil

2 tsp (10 mL) each finely grated lime zest and honey

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb (500 g) peeled, uncooked large shrimp (21/30 count)

2 very ripe mangos, peeled, chopped and divided

2 red peppers, chopped

3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped red onion

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves

Instructions

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Whisk the lime juice with the oil, lime zest, honey, and garlic. Toss the shrimp with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the dressing. Let stand for 10 minutes. Thread the shrimp onto 6 large, soaked, wooden skewers.

2. Meanwhile, place the remaining dressing mixture and one mango in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the remaining mango, red pepper, onion, jalapeno, salt, and pepper; pulse until coarsely chopped.

3. Prepare the spaghetti according to package directions; drain well. Meanwhile, grill the shrimp skewers for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until shrimp are pink all over. Toss the hot spaghetti with the mango salsa mixture and coriander. Garnish each portion with a shrimp skewer.

Tips:

Removing the seeds takes much of the heat out of the jalapenos. Adjust the amount of jalapeno added to your family’s preference.
Replace the shrimp with grilled skewers of boneless, skinless chicken breast.

Per Serving (about 2 cups/500 mL pasta with shrimp skewer): 401 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 147 mg cholesterol, 369 mg sodium, 57 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 24 g protein. Excellent source of thiamin, folate and vitamin C. Good source of vitamin A, niacin, magnesium, iron and zinc.

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Are you a Twirler or a Cutter?


Spaghetti With Grilled Shrimp and Mango Salsa – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Spaghetti with grilled shrimp, mango salsa

National Survey Unveils Pasta-Eating Habits,

Shows 82 percent of Respondents Prefer Pasta over a Sandwich, Salad

May 31, 2011 – No matter how you twirl it, pasta is a favourite among Canadians who recently responded to a cross-country survey. Eighty-two percent of respondents prefer pasta over a sandwich or salad, the study showed.

Conducted last month by leading pasta brand Catelli® Healthy Harvest®, the Canadian survey also reveals a range of pasta-eating habits, from how participants eat spaghetti to their preferred pasta toppings.

Number one on the list of pasta favourites is spaghettini, taking 29 percent of the vote, followed by spaghetti at 23 percent. Penne and linguini tie for third, each claiming nine percent of respondents’ preferences.

Other survey findings include:

Eighty-three percent of respondents like to eat pasta at dinner time, as opposed to 14 percent who enjoy pasta for lunch, two percent who snack on noodles and one percent who eat pasta for breakfast.

More females than males tend to choose whole grain over refined pasta, with 73 per cent of females and 51 per cent of males in the households surveyed opting to eat whole grain varieties.

As far as pasta sauces go, tomato sauce is preferred by 37 percent of those who participated, followed by meat sauce at 35 percent and cream sauce at nine percent.

Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and red peppers are the preferred choices of vegetables to include in a pasta dish. Spinach, zucchini, and olives are the least desired.

Most respondents favour Parmesan (48 percent) or Mozzarella (30 percent) cheese with their pasta, as opposed to other varieties like Feta, Ricotta or Asiago.

The most popular way to eat spaghetti is to scoop it up or twirl it with a fork. Forty-five percent of respondents are fork scoopers or twirlers, with 31 percent using a spoon to help, and 24 percent cutting up their noodles before eating.

“What we found most interesting about the survey results is that people may not be aware that there are so much more ways to enjoy pasta beyond traditional recipes like spaghetti, tomato sauce, and cheese,” said Sandra Kim, Director of Marketing for the Catelli® pasta brand. “For example, our nutritional team has come up with a range of unique pasta dishes, featuring such ingredients as fruit, dried berries, nuts, beans, and even items like smoked turkey, guacamole, and mint, that are getting unbelievable feedback.”

Hungry for more information on pasta or recipe ideas? Visit www.wholegrainpasta.ca.

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Think Outside the Lunchbox when Dining at Work


Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Resolve to be healthier this year by bringing lunch to work;

choose energy-boosting foods to increase productivity

Toronto, Ontario – January 11, 2011 – Want to increase your brain power at work? Try starting with your stomach.

That’s the message of leading Canadian dietitian and best-selling author Liz Pearson, who emphasizes that the foods you eat have a direct impact on your energy and productivity levels. In particular, mid-day food choices can make or break a person’s afternoon productivity levels, she says.

“We often hear that a good breakfast contributes to how well we feel and perform in the morning, but what is less known is that we also need to refuel our bodies at lunchtime to make it through the afternoon in top form,” says Pearson, co-author of Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health.

Pearson points to research that shows that one in five Canadians say they don’t have time for lunch or skip it entirely. Nearly one-third indicate they forget to eat lunch and one-quarter say they are too busy working to eat a mid-day meal. ”If you’re going to commit to making one change toward a healthier lifestyle this year, bringing a balanced lunch to work can really make a difference,” she suggests, adding that this will also help avoid the all-too-familiar trap of eating fast foods on the go.

Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

For ultimate energy and nutrition, Pearson emphasizes that every lunch should include a source of protein combined with whole grains, and topped off with fruits and vegetables. “Protein gives your lunch more staying power by helping you feel fuller and more satisfied for a longer period of time, and whole grains are important for the carbohydrates they provide, which is the main source of fuel for the body and brain,” she says.

“Choosing whole grains, rather than refined grains, is particularly important since whole grains digest more slowly and help sustain a person’s energy over a longer period of time,” she explains, adding that whole grains are also linked to a lower risk of many diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

To make a balanced bagged lunch interesting, think outside of the box, Pearson suggests. Instead of a tuna-on-whole wheat sandwich, for example, try a tuna-and-whole grain pasta salad (see Bows with Tuna, Mint & Peas recipe below). Other suggestions include:

Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

· Chili, marinated bean salads, hummus or dips completely with whole grain bread or crackers. Loaded with nutrition and fibre, beans and legumes – an excellent alternative to meat – should be added to pasta dishes, salads, sandwich wraps or soups for maximum energy, Pearson recommends.

· Whole grain pasta salads of all types, infused with protein and vegetables. Search cookbooks or the Internet for creative pasta ideas. A good place to start is http://www.wholegrainpasta.ca for a wide range of recipes. Remember that pasta left over from the night before, such as spaghetti or lasagna, makes a nourishing lunch as well.

· Sandwiches made with something other than regular bread and loaded with veggies. Spice up your lunchtime routine by rotating between a variety of whole grain choices, including bagels, flatbreads, pita breads or wraps. Avoid processed meats like cold cuts, Pearson says, as they’re linked to a higher risk of colon cancer. Mashed or sliced avocado is a healthier alternative to mayonnaise.

· Alternating protein choices throughout the week. Excellent lunch options are leftover steak or chicken, seeds or nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and canned fish like tuna or salmon. If opting for canned fish, choose lower sodium varieties. Salmon is rich in the omega-3 fats and light tuna contains less mercury than white or albacore tuna.

Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

· A meal-size salad, complete with protein and at least one dark green and one orange vegetable (such as dark leafy greens or broccoli and carrots) to help meet daily needs for vitamin A and folate. Pack light or lower fat – but not fat-free – dressing on the side. Our bodies need some fat to absorb valuable nutrients found in vegetables and fruits, says Pearson. Combine salad with whole grain pasta and nuts or seeds for a unique-tasting, balanced meal (see Rotini Honey Ginger Mixed Greens Pasta Salad recipe below).

“The secret to ensuring that you stick to a healthy lunchtime routine all year round is to make your lunch the night before or prepare batches of pasta salad, soup or chili on weekends to enjoy all week long,” Pearson emphasizes. “Mornings tend to be hectic in most households, so set yourself up for success and avoid leaving this important task until the last minute by planning ahead.” And you can bet that by regularly consuming balanced, energy-infused lunches, you’ll have more stamina to do so, she says.

RECIPES

Bows with Tuna, Mint & Peas

This delicious and nutritious cold pasta salad is the perfect take-to-work lunchbox alternative to the traditional tuna sandwich. With a fresh taste and creamy texture, it’s packed with fibre, folate, vitamin C, and iron. Pack some in your kids’ lunchboxes too. They’ll love it as much as you do!

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 box (300 g) Whole wheat bowtie pasta, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Whole Wheat Bows

1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas

3/4 cup (175 mL) low-fat plain yogurt

3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) each finely grated lemon zest and Dijon mustard

2 tsp (10 mL) honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

2 cans (120 g each) sodium-reduced light tuna

1 large orange or yellow pepper, cut into matchstick strips

2/3 cup (150 mL) packed fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red onion

Instructions

1. Prepare the bows according to package directions; add the peas during the last minute. Drain well. Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt with the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper.

2. Toss the drained bows and peas with the dressing mixture, tuna, orange pepper, mint, and onion until well combined. Season with additional cracked black pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Tip: Substitute 1 cup (250 mL) lima beans or edamame for the peas.

Per Serving (about 1 2/3 cup/400 mL): 347 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 339 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 21 g protein. Excellent source of folate, vitamin C, and iron.

* * *

Rotini with Honey Ginger Mixed Greens

This cold pasta salad is colourful and full of flavour – easy enough to enjoy any day of the week, yet sophisticated enough to serve to guests. Dark leafy greens and vitamin E-rich almonds and sunflower seeds are ultra nutritious. Try this salad – you’ll be glad you did

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

3 cups (750 mL) Whole wheat rotini, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Whole Wheat Rotini

1/2 cup (125 mL) assorted dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries, raisins, and currants

3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh orange juice

2 tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar

2 tbsp (30 mL) very finely chopped a shallot

1 tbsp (15 mL) each minced fresh ginger and honey

1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest and Dijon mustard

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (50 mL) canola oil

4 cups (1 L) mixed baby leafy greens, lightly packed

1/4 cup (50 mL) each toasted slivered almonds and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds

Instructions

1. Cook rotini according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cool; drain well and reserve. Meanwhile, place the dried fruit in a heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water over top and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain well and reserve fruit.

2. Whisk the orange juice with the vinegar, shallot, ginger, honey, orange zest, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil.

3. Toss the rotini with the leafy greens, reserved dried fruit, almonds and sunflower seeds. Add dressing and toss to coat.

Tips: For extra flavour, use a salad blend that includes fresh herbs as well as leafy greens. If making ahead, hold back a little dressing to moisten salad just before serving.

Notes: Dried blueberries can often be found in the produce department or at bulk food stores.

Per Serving (about 1 3/4 cup/425 mL): 444 calories, 20 g fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, 61 g carbohydrates, 8 g fibre, 10 g protein. Excellent source of vitamin A, folate, thiamin and iron. Good source of vitamin C.

* * *

Penne with Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Bursting with colour and flavour, this heart-healthy pasta dish is loaded with fibre, antioxidants and good nutrition, including iron and vitamins A, B and C. Perfect for lunch, it also makes a terrific dinner – served hot or cold.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 box (375 g) Whole wheat penne, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Whole Wheat Penne

2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

3 cups (750 mL) diced ripe, on-the-vine tomatoes

1 cup (250 mL) diced the red pepper

1 cup (250 mL) canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp (15 mL) each ground cumin and dried oregano leaves

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh coriander leaves

3 tbsp (45 mL) cider vinegar

Instructions

3. Prepare the penne according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cooking water before draining.

4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the tomato and red pepper; sauté for 5 minutes or softened.

5. Add the black beans, corn, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until bubbly. Add the hot drained pasta, reserved pasta water, green onions, coriander and cider vinegar.

Tip: Garnish with a little-shredded Cheddar cheese.

Per Serving (about 2 cups/500 mL): 386 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 399 mg sodium, 67 g carbohydrates, 14 g fibre, 16 g protein. Excellent source of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin C, and iron. Good source of niacin. Source of calcium.

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Deli Meat Dilemma


Chris Temelkos Writes About Deli Meats – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Chris Temelkos - June 25, 2010

By Chris Temelkos

Next time your thinking of piling on the deli meat, think twice and reach for some slow cooked roast beef. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that red meat may not be that bad for us, as long as it hasn’t been smoked, cured or preserved in any way.

The Harvard study took a look at 20 relevant studies involving over 1 million adults from 10 countries and found, on average, that each 50 gram daily serving of processed meat is linked with a 42 percent higher risk of developing heart disease and a 19 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Lead researcher, Renata Micha says that processed meats are hazardous to our health because they contain 4 times more sodium and 50 percent more nitrate preservatives than unprocessed red meat. However, this is not a pass to eat all the red meat you can. Canada’s Food Guide recommends 2 servings of meat or meat alternatives a day for women and 3 for men. Unfortunately, serving sizes aren’t very large, at only 75 grams.

Your best bet to living a heart-healthy lifestyle is to eat a well-balanced diet including a variety of fruits and veggies, fish, nuts and whole grains.

Source:

http://www.healthzone.ca/health/yourhealth/article/810562–deli-meats-increase-risk-of-heart-disease-study-finds

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Caribbean Wave Restaurant


Josef Jacobson Writes about Caribbean Wave Restaurant – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Josef Jacobson - May 5, 2010

Online Story
Josef Jacobson

Caribbean Wave Restaurant, tucked into the corner of a plaza right off Highway 401, at 875 Milner Ave., is a pleasant little secret.

The Wave is a neat establishment with booths along the walls, chairs in the centre and a bar at the back. The bland decor suits the family restaurant. The prices are moderate but justified by the large portions.

I ordered the jerk chicken with fried rice for $8.00, and I was not able to finish it despite building a strong appetite during the evening. The jerk chicken was well seasoned and extremely succulent. The skin felt slimy at times but the smoky flavour overruled the texture. Unfortunately, the way jerk chicken is sliced requires a careful excavation of bones and cartilage, but that is expected. The chicken rested upon a tasty bed of fried rice.

I have no complaints with the meal itself, however, the service was another matter. The waitress, friendly as she was, took her time to deliver my dish, and once I was eating she rarely came by to ask if anything was needed. I would have also liked it if she left a jug of water on the table, as the meal was quite salty. The night I ate at Caribbean Wave it was not very busy, so there was no excuse for the shoddy service.

Overall, I enjoyed my Caribbean Wave experience. The food was so alluring that I probably wouldn’t have noticed if the waitress came by anyway.

.5/

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Alfalfa Sprouts


Alice Hoang Writes about Alfalfa Sprouts – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Alice Hoang - May 1, 2010

Alice Hoang
Online piece #10

They may look thin and frail, but alfalfa sprouts are packed with nutrients.

The whole plant is used, as each part has different health benefits.

The herb contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants and minerals including magnesium, calcium, and iron.

The plant is used in the treatment of menopause symptoms to combat estrogen deficiency, as it cleanses the body of toxins.

The sprouts are widely used in salads and sandwiches, and the leaves and flowers can be used to make herbal tea.

Traditionally, the seeds were made into a paste and used to treat insect bites. It was also used to cure indigestion and increase appetite.

As an herbal supplement, alfalfa is available in the form of capsule, powder and liquid extract.

Although alfalfa is typically safe in its natural form, the supplements shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy.

Experts say excessive alfalfa consumption can negatively affect estrogen levels.

A major health benefit of alfalfa is it helps fight against bad cholesterol, heart disease, and strokes, as the fibers and chemicals stick to cholesterol, preventing it from remaining in the blood or depositing itself on arterial walls.

Sources:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/the-benefits-of-alfalfa

http://www.all4naturalhealth.com/benefits-of-alfalfa.html

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Confessions of a Foodie


Chris Temelkos Confides about Food – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Chris Temelkos - April 25, 2010

By Chris Temelkos

Growing up in a European household, I was always surrounded by the smells of my Grandmothers cooking. To this day, those wonderful smells still float through the kitchen and throughout the house making my mouth water and stomach grumble, In anticipation of the wonderful food that awaits me.

I am a Foodie, and my passion for food grows with every magnificent bite I take. However, some bites are better than others and like all Foodies, I have my favorite dishes. A dish that will forever remain my favorite, is my Grandmother’s Cabbage Rolls. With just there mere mention, I can taste the rich homemade tomato sauce running smoothly down my throat, the delicate cabbage leaves and juicy pork and beef bursting with flavors from a bouquet of spices exploding in my mouth.

It doesn’t stop there, another favorite of mine is an amazing Casserole my Grandma whips up, topped with mountains of cheese. Macaroni and fresh bell peppers are the main ingredients, but the burst of spices like, cumin and fresh ground pepper are what make this dish pop. This is comfort food at its finest.

My list of favorites will continue to grow as I experience new cuisines, but before I make you any hungrier, I’ll leave you with this thought. Next time you take a bite of your favorite food, savour the moment and take in all the flavors. It will taste that much better.

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To eat organic or non-organic?


Alice Hoang Writes about Organic Food – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Alice Hoang - March 21, 2010

Alice Hoang
Online story #6

To eat organic or non-organic?

The Food Standards Agency has shown that organic foods have no more health benefits than non-organic foods.

Dr Alan Dangour from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Health says that the minor differences between the two types of foods don’t account for any nutritional superiority.

“A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance,” Dangour said.

The FSA says these findings haven’t stopped the growth of the market, however, as 8 percent of consumers are regular users of organic food.

The agency also says it’s neither pro nor anti-organic food, while it recognizes the reasons why people choose to eat organic, such as concern for the environment and wildlife, higher animal welfare standards and stricter rules on the use of antibiotic medicines in animals and pesticides on crops.

Doctor Sandra Steingraber says producing organic foods is a way of “growing food that does not use any artificial pesticides or fertilizers, but instead, relies on healthy soil and biological controls to keep weeds, bugs, and diseases away.”

While organic food tends to be more expensive, she says its prices ultimately reflect the full costs of making it, including growing, harvesting, transportation, and storage.

Sources:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/real_food/article6731910.ece

http://www.naturalnews.com/025570_food_organic_food_health.html

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Dark Chocolate


Alice Hoang Writes About the Benefits of Dark Chocolate – Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Alice Hoang
Online story #5

Do you have a sweet tooth, but are keeping a strict eye on your waistline?

Dark chocolate may be your excuse to indulge in a sweet treat, without feeling guilty.

Recent research has shown chocolates have various health benefits. Dark chocolate helps in relaxing the arteries, thereby lowering blood pressure. They have a substance called polyphenol flavonoids that is also found in some fruits and vegetables like berries, tomatoes, soybeans, green tea and red wine.

Dark chocolate promotes the production of endorphins and other chemicals in the brain which induces feelings of happiness. Serotonin is also contained in dark chocolate, allowing it to act as an antidepressant.

It has been found that eating about 10 grams of dark chocolate a day for three weeks reduces stress hormone levels.

Although dark chocolate can be just as satisfying as any other sweet, it has a low glycemic index compared to other candies. This means eating dark chocolate causes a slow release of blood sugar into your bloodstream, preventing a sudden hike in blood sugar followed by a crash.

Having a piece of dark chocolate is a quick way of satisfying your sweet tooth while being healthy, but you can mix up your dessert choices, by making your own treats, including dark chocolate sorbet and chocolate mousse.

Although dark chocolate is good for you, it should be consumed in moderation, just like anything else, as chocolates are high in saturated fat and calorie.

Sources:

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/dark-chocolate-health-benefits.html

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Japanese Noodles


Megan Harris Writes about Ramen Noodles – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Megan Harris - March 3, 2010

Megan Harris
February 23, 2010

Ramen noodles are no longer that quick, cheap staple food for students on a budget- at least not at the Fujimaki Gekijyo restaurant in Tokyo.

At this restaurant, ramen noodle soup costs $110 a bowl and requires three days to prepare, using more than 20 ingredients.

“It’s not really ramen,” owner Shoichi Fujimaki told Reuters. “This is my cuisine, it’s my 25 years of experience distilled into one bowl.”

Fujimaki says the soup can’t be found at any other place in the world and is therefore worthy of its five-star classification, and high price tag. The soup uses two kinds of stock, along with other spices, meats, and vegetables.

Ramen noodle soup can normally be found in Japan for no more than $10 a bowl. Originally, the Fujimaki Gekijyo restaurant served a special ramen noodle dish for $33, before upgrading it to the current, more complex dish.

The restaurant itself is as exclusive as its food. People can only dine there with a reservation, and only after they visit another restaurant owned by Gekijyo.

Given this, compared with the price of the ramen noodle dish, people on a budget are probably better of sticking with the old classic comfort food.

Sources:

http://af.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idAFTRE61H1OM20100218?sp=true

http://www.thestar.com/living/food/article/769719–ramen-soup-ramped-up-to-a-gourmet-110-a-bowl

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Use Your Noodle When Making Healthy Food Choices This Year


Liz Pearson - February 1, 2010

Whole grains – shown in studies to help prevent disease, reduce waistline – can
be easily incorporated into daily diet with pasta

Toronto, Ontario – February 1, 2010 – There are a whole lot of reasons to choose whole grains. From helping to prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes, and helping to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, whole grains are disease-fighting superstars, says a leading Canadian dietician.

“If you were to design the ideal diet for the prevention of disease, whole grains would definitely be one of the central parts of that eating plan,” says Liz Pearson, co-author of Canadian bestseller, Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health. “What’s more, scientific studies link eating more whole grains to a reduced waistline,” she adds, explaining that most people mistakenly think the opposite is true.

Pearson points to a recent Penn State study of 50 obese adults on a calorie-reduced diet, half of whom ate only whole grains and half only refined grains over a 12-week period. The whole-grain eaters saw a significantly greater decrease in abdominal fat, as well as a 38 percent decrease in C-reactive protein, a marker for heart disease. A separate review of 15 studies by two United Kingdom researchers found that people who eat at least three servings of whole grains each day are more likely to have a lower body weight and less belly fat, “considered the most dangerous fat to carry on the body and linked to a higher risk of many diseases,” Pearson says.

According to Cornell University researchers, more than 80 percent of disease-fighting antioxidants are found in the bran or germ part of the whole grain, which is removed in refined grains. With an antioxidant content that rivals or exceeds that of fruits and vegetables, whole grains can contain as much as double the calcium and selenium, four times more fibre, potassium and zinc, six times more magnesium and vitamin K, and 14 times more vitamin E than refined grains. Pearson emphasizes that the regular consumption of whole grains has been shown in studies to translate into many benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, and helping to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

With Canada’s Food Guide recommending consuming six to eight servings of grains each day, how can you eat enough whole grains to make a difference to both your health and weight? In addition to whole grain bread and cereals, Pearson suggests pasta as an easy, tasty and nutritious way to introduce whole grains into your daily diet, particularly with so many whole grain pasta options – such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® – lining store shelves today.

“Many people shy away from whole grains because they prefer the taste of white bread or other refined grains, or are hesitant about trying alternative whole grain varieties like barley, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, bulgur or wheat berries,” she explains. “The beauty of whole grain pasta is that it can be dressed up with delicious sauces and toppings and prepared according to personal preferences to deliver both a relatively familiar taste and great health benefits.”

With many Canadians not achieving the recommended minimum intake of whole grains, Pearson offers these tips to help you start incorporating more whole grains into your diet:

Read food labels. Look for the words “made with 100 percent whole grain” on the packaging of products you buy. Items with labels that say “made with whole wheat” may, in fact, contain more refined grains, like white flour, than whole grains. Make sure whole grains appear first on the ingredient list and choose products with a minimum of two grams of fibre per serving, and ideally, four to six grams of fibre or more.

Be patient. Give whole grains a chance. The first time people try whole grain pasta, for example, they may find the taste to be slightly different than refined pasta. After a few tries, however, many people enjoy the richer, nuttier taste and – as an added bonus – may even find themselves feeling fuller sooner.

Mix it up: Make whole grains a part of most meals and snacks. Start your day with a bowl of whole grain cereal, eat a sandwich with whole grain bread for lunch and enjoy whole grain pasta or brown rice for dinner. If you find pasta one of the easiest ways to consume whole grains, remember that leftover pasta from dinner makes a great ready-made lunch for the next day.

Think outside the box: Add interest to your meals and snacks by using whole grains in creative ways. Add whole grains such as brown rice, barley and whole grain pasta to soups and stews, or use them as a complement to salads. Snack on whole grain crackers or popcorn. Try substituting white flour in your favourite recipes with whole grain flour, and keep trying new dishes for variety. A good place to start is by visiting http://www.wholegrainpasta.ca for a wide range of whole grain recipe ideas.

“The bottom line is that you get a whole lot more with whole grains,” says Pearson. “No matter how you consume whole grains, it is wise to start committing to a healthier diet now to reap the abundant health benefits of whole grains both in the short and long-term.”

Tomorrow there will be some recipes.

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