October 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Americans consume 300 million sandwiches daily—roughly one per U.S. resident each day.
While we tend to think of the noble ’wich as lunch fare, Organic Sandwich Night is a great way for families to enjoy a nutritious dinner that requires minimal preparation.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend six 1-ounce servings of grain foods each day, half of which should come from whole grains—a goal many of us fail to meet. A dinnertime sandwich helps ensure you’re eating at least two of those servings.
Read More:Make Tonight an Organic Sandwich Night
March 27th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
“It’s great to gather around the dinner table and spend quality time with your family, but there’s no need to break the bank on calories or raise cholesterol levels,” says registered dietitian and chef Michele Powers, who recently shared 8 Ways to Enjoy Heart-Healthy Whole Grains.
With today’s recipe, you can “celebrate and not feel guilty the next day,” she says, because the dish is heart-healthy and “packed with tasty vegetables.”
Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 40 minutes, and all of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Mediterranean Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Makes 6 to 8 servings, depending on size of the mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup green peppers, diced
1 cup whole-grain brown rice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 to 8 portobello mushrooms
1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut into small pieces
1 cup reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- In a saucepan, add oil over medium heat. Add onions and green peppers; brown slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Add brown rice, oregano and chicken broth to pan; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay 6 to 8 mushrooms on a baking sheet, tops down. Remove the stems (if they have them) with a spoon.
- Continue to prepare the filling by stirring black olives, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and parsley into the cooked rice.
- Spoon equal portions of the rice mixture onto the middle of each mushroom, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Remove mushrooms with a spatula and serve.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Uncle Ben’s
Read More:Mediterranean Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
March 23rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Switching from refined to whole grains is one of the best health moves you can make in your organic diet, as the latter offers great taste, variety and a host of health benefits.
“Whole grains may help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, so they are beneficial for everyone,” says registered dietitian and chef Michele Powers. “For people managing conditions such as diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol, research shows that choosing whole grains is a simple lifestyle change that makes a big impact.”
Here are eight ways to bring whole-grain rice to the dinner table, courtesy of Uncle Ben’s:
- Substitute. Instead of pasta, add whole-grain rice to soup or casseroles.
- Salad Spin. Use whole-grain rice in marinated grain salads.
- Stuff Your Vegetables. Use whole-grain rice as a base for stuffed vegetables: bell peppers, zucchini, portobello mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes and artichokes. (Tune in Friday for a great recipe.)
- Combine Food Groups. Add whole-grain rice to homemade meatballs for extra flavor and fiber.
- Lower the Fat. To make a lower-fat quiche, substitute cooked brown rice for the pie crust.
- Create a Pilaf. Cook brown rice in low-sodium broth, and add toasted nuts and dried fruit.
- Mix-and-Match. Mix brown and white rice to introduce your children to whole grains.
- Make a Whole-Grain Dessert. Add whole-grain rice to puddings for a tasty dessert.
Read More:8 Ways to Enjoy Heart-Healthy Whole Grains
February 6th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Popcorn is a whole grain that’s naturally low in fat and calories, while high in complex carbohydrates and fiber. It has no artificial additives or preservatives, and it’s sugar-free.
Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup, while oil-popped popcorn weighs in at only 55 calories per cup. When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 133 calories per cup.
Today’s Super Bowl-ready recipe transforms the everyday into the exotic. Organic curry powder offers a spicy change of pace, with toasted coconut, golden raisins and sliced almonds as optional additions.
Organic Bombay Popcorn
Makes 8 servings (1 cup each)
8 cups popped organic popcorn, warm
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons curry powder or hot curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup toasted coconut, golden raisins and/or sliced almonds, optional
- Place popcorn in a large bowl.
- Microwave butter 20 seconds, or until melted.
- Stir curry powder into butter until well blended.
- Drizzle seasoned butter over popcorn; stir to distribute.
- Sprinkle with salt, sugar and optional ingredients; stir gently until blended.
- Indian Chickpea Dip
- Simple Additions to Mashed Sweet Potato
- Curried Cauliflower
- Ginger Thai Sweet Potato Bisque
- Creamy Curried Soup with Wilted Spinach
- Pumpkin Curry Soup
- Thai Roasted Squash Soup
- Madras Curry Dip for Fish/Seafood
- Kootu Curry
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Popcorn Board
Read More:Organic Bombay Popcorn
September 6th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
As noted a week ago, Americans need to close the whole-grain gap. Most of us fail to meet our daily dietary requirements.
With August vacations behind us and the school year upon us, New York City dietitian Jackie Newgent offers some great ways to turn your bland morning cereal into a breakfast superstar. Newgent is the author of Big Green Cookbook: Hundreds of Planet-Pleasing Recipes and Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle.
Dress Up Your Cereal. Don’t serve cereal with plain ol’ milk. Opt for fat-free milk and fruit or low-fat yogurt (or fat-free soy milk and fruit). Try exotic fruits that are new to you, or pick up some peak-season selections from your local farmers’ market. There are endless varieties.
Make a Cereal Sundae. Layer your favorite organic whole-grain cereal in a wine, martini or parfait glass, along with low-fat yogurt and seasonal fruit. Check out last month’s recipe for Mandarin Orange Cereal Bowl.
Mix-and-Match Cereals to Create Your Favorite Combo. You know you should choose an organic high-fiber cereal. But if its flavors fail to satisfy you, mix it with a lower-fiber cereal. (Sugary kids’ cereals don’t count!) You’ll get the best of both worlds: nutrition and taste.
Snacks and Other Meals
Bag It to Go. Toss cereal, dried fruit and nuts in travel-size containers. Try dried cranberries and almonds for a nutritious kick and super flavor.
Sprinkle It…Just a Bit. Want to add a little crunch to a salad or casserole? Top it with a crunchy, high-fiber organic cereal instead of croutons, French-fried onions or potato chips.
Read More:High-Stylin’ Cereal
August 31st, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Ninety percent of Americans fail to meet the recommended daily guidelines for whole-grain consumption, which vary by gender and age.
Whole grains include oatmeal, brown or wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur, whole-wheat cereal, whole-wheat pasta and quinoa. (Click here for a full list. Be sure to differentiate them from refined grains, and make organic choices.)
“Start the day right with a bowl of whole-grain cereal, fat-free milk and fruit,” says Jackie Newgent, a registered dietitian and culinary consultant in New York City.
“Americans need to close the whole-grains gap,” says Newgent, author of Big Green Cookbook: Hundreds of Planet-Pleasing Recipes and Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle. “Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals and are also loaded with fiber—a great tool for weight management because it fills you up and keeps you satisfied.”
Whole-grain cereals are “familiar, satisfying, taste great and offer the utmost in convenience for busy consumers,” she adds.
“What you add to your cereal can elevate it to a real taste sensation and nutritional powerhouse.” (Saturday’s recipe for Mandarin Orange Cereal Bowl is a perfect example.)
Whole grains help prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer, Newgent says, and studies show consumption is associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Also by Jackie Newgent: The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook
Read More:Closing the Whole-Grains Gap