The Best of Winter Squash

I adore all the wonderful squash varieties available now—and all the amazing things you can make from them. If you’re a fan, too, pick up a copy of A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash by Lou Seibert Pappas. One of my favorite recipes:

Roasted Butternut Squash Polenta With Fried Sage

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together 1 pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes) with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. Spread on baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes. Stir, turning squash over, and bake 15–20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, soak 1 cup polenta in 1 1/2 cups cold water in a bowl for 10 minutes. Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in polenta and remaining water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes or until thickened. Stir squash into the polenta, and cook until heated through. Spoon into a hot bowl to serve.

To fry sage: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook until it sizzles and browns lightly. Add 12 fresh sage leaves, and sauté until crisp. Scatter over the polenta. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; serve.

 


Frances A. Largeman-Roth, RD, is Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor.

 

 

(PHOTO: YUNHEE KIM)

 

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Maple-Spiced Nuts

By Yunhee Kim

 

From Health magazine

Nuts + maple syrup + butter + cinnamon + chili powder = Maple-Spiced Nuts

Drowning in extra nuts from gift baskets? Use them in this tasty recipe that’s great as a low-sodium snack or for giving as gifts. Plus, the nuts are full of heart-healthy fats and magnesium, while the spice mixture contains antioxidant-rich cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and bake 1 1/2 cups nuts for 10 minutes; remove to cool slightly. Heat 1/2 cup maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; bring to a low boil, and stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Add nuts, and stir until coated; let cool. Combine 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon chili powder (less if you don’t want it spicy) in a bowl. Remove nuts from the maple mixture with a slotted spoon, and toss in the spice mixture. Lay nuts on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with a little sea salt; let dry. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

It makes 12 servings (serving size: 1 ounce).

Nutrition:
Calories 149; Fat 10g (sat 2g, mono 6g, poly 2g); Cholesterol 3mg; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 14g; Sugars 8g; Fiber 2g; Iron 1mg; Sodium 10mg; Calcium 30mg

 

 


Frances A. Largeman-Roth, RD, is Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor.

 

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Lovely Lemons

 

From Health magazine

Meyer lemons are only in season during winter—and they’re definitely worth a taste. They have thinner, smoother skin and sweeter flesh than regular lemons, which makes them great in desserts and sauces. Buy a box at www.katzandco.com for $28.

 

 


Frances A. Largeman-Roth, RD, is Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor.

 

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7 Keto Meal Delivery Services That Make Low-Carb Dieting So Much Easier

The keto diet boasts plenty of perks, from weight loss to improved cognitive function. But unfortunately, simplicity isn’t one of them. The high-fat, low-carb regimen is notoriously restrictive, which can make it hard to be creative in the kitchen and adapt regular recipes into keto-friendly versions.

To ease this constant struggle every keto dieter faces, meal delivery services have started offering an enormous range of ready-to-eat keto meals and foods delivered right to your door. Here are seven keto meal delivery services that will change the way you do low-carb.

RELATED: 9 Fruits You Can Actually Eat on the Keto Diet

Keto Fridge

Not only does Keto Fridge deliver low-carb, ready-to-heat-and-eat meals to your doorstep, but it also has its very own bakery, so you can order keto-approved scones, biscuits, and more. The best part is, there’s no requirement to sign up with a subscription. Simply order at least $69 worth of food at a time, and place your order by 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday for your food to be delivered the following Tuesday or Wednesday. The menu changes each week and prices vary, but each meal typically runs $9 to $18.

Kettlebell Kitchen

Do you consider the gym your second home? If you’re a keto dieter who has to throw extra carbs on her plate to meet her energy needs, Kettlebell Kitchen is the meal service for you. There’s an “athlete” version of each dish, which packs added carbs without overdoing it. The meals are ready to eat, and the menu changes each week. Order deadlines vary based on your location; just enter your zip code into the website to find out. For most areas, the service offers a beginning of the week delivery (Sunday or Monday) as well as a midweek delivery (Wednesday or Thursday).

RELATED: The Keto Diet Is Super Hard—These 3 Variations Are Much Easier to Follow

Green Chef

So you love to cook, but you avoid the grocery store at all costs. Green Chef gets that, which is why this service will deliver organic ingredients for you to cook low-carb meals at home—and each meal can be made in just 30 minutes, the company says. There are different plans you can choose from (such as two person or family), and each usually costs around $13 a pop. Once you order, you pick the day of the week you want your box delivered.

Ketoned Bodies

If saving the planet is your priority, Ketoned Bodies is the way to go. This service prides itself on delivering only grass-fed, organic, and sustainable meals. Have good allergies or sensitivities? No gluten, added sugar, or preservatives of any kind can be found in these meals. To make ordering easier, the company offers a range of packages you can sign up for. If you just want to try it out, you can also order by the meal (about $15 each). Your microwave-ready order should arrive about two days after you place it.

Factor 75

Factor 75’s main draw is that the meals contain grass-fed meats with no hormones, GMOs, or antibiotics. This service caters to a variety of diets, and keto-friendly options abound. (They’re marked on the menu with a “K” at the bottom.) To get started, select from several packages, starting at four meals per week for $60 and going up to 18 meals per week for $198. The menu changes each week, and you can choose every meal or let the company do it for you based on your preferences. Meals are delivered fresh instead of frozen, but they’re fully cooked and ready to be reheated.

RELATED: The 6 Biggest Keto Diet Mistakes

Terra’s Kitchen

Sick of having to deal with that massive cardboard box your meals are delivered in? Terra’s Kitchen has solved that problem. Food you order from this service arrives in a reusable, climate-controlled container with built-in insulation. The best part: Someone will pick the empty box up the next day if you just set it on your doorstep. All ingredients come pre-chopped, and the company claims every recipe can be made in 30 minutes or less. You can choose exactly what recipes you want in each delivery, with plans starting at $72 per week.

True Fare

True Fare has options for many different diets, but it also has a plan specifically for keto dieters. The company uses only grass-fed beef, free-range turkey and chicken, heritage-breed pork, and organic vegetables. Meals are delivered frozen, and all you have to do is heat and eat. There are several plans to choose from when signing up, and you can even select only breakfast if the first meal of the day is all you really want. True Fare also gives you the luxury of making a one-time meal purchase if you’re not looking for commitment, and the menu changes every week.

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Free Your Inner Architect

 

From Health magazine

Whether you have little ones in the house or are just a kid at heart, you’ll be inspired by The Gingerbread Architect (Clarkson Potter, October 2008; $22.50). Created by an architect (Susan Matheson) and professional baker (Lauren Chattman), these gingery dwellings are exquisite and delicious. Beginners should try the basic Cape Cod house or Adirondack camp.

 

 


Frances A. Largeman-Roth, RD, is Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor.

 

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Ginger-Citrus Fruit Salad

Yunhee Kim

 

From Health magazine

So friends and family have sent you crates of citrus (again)? Put them to great use with this yummy salad.

Peel and segment 1 pink grapefruit and 2 oranges with a sharp knife. Juice another orange. Grate 2 teaspoons ginger and whisk together in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon honey and the orange juice. Place citrus segments in a serving bowl and drizzle with the honey mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour, and serve as is or over low-fat vanilla ice cream for a light dessert. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

 

 


Frances A. Largeman-Roth, RD, is Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor.

 

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Food Q&A: How to Freeze Summer Berries

 

Istockphoto

 

By Francis A. Largeman-Roth, RD
From Health magazine

Q: What’s the best way to freeze extra summer berries?

A: The trick: Make sure they’re dry. After you’ve rinsed them and removed the stems and hulls, shake berries on a paper towel–lined, rimmed baking sheet until they’re completely dry.

Next, spread in a single layer on a dry, rimmed baking sheet and freeze for about an hour. Remove from the freezer, transfer into plastic bags, removing any excess air, and store in the freezer up to 6 months.

 

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9 Keto Christmas Dinner Recipes for the Perfect Low-Carb Holiday

Santa Claus is comin’ to town…and so are all of your relatives, meaning you have a lot of cooking to do. Coming up with Christmas dinner ideas that will satisfy both the keto dieters and those who haven’t gone low-carb can be tricky, but we’ve got you covered. We rounded up the most delicious keto Christmas dinner recipes, and believe us, your non-keto relatives will go wild for them too. Here’s to a very merry keto Christmas.

RELATED: 9 Keto Christmas Cookie Recipes Even Santa Will Love

Bacon-wrapped scallops

Time is precious when it comes to cooking Christmas dinner; you have way too many dishes to make and way too little time. Luckily, this scrumptious recipe by Pinch and Swirl can be whipped up and out of your way in just 25 minutes.

Sour cream and bacon-deviled eggs

Is it really a holiday gathering without deviled eggs? This dish by Simply Recipes calls for sour cream instead of mayonnaise, making it even tastier than the traditional version.

Dinner rolls

Many keto-approved bread recipes just aren’t the same as the carb-heavy stuff you grew up with, but this one by Beauty and the Foodie hits the nail on the head. You seriously won’t believe how soft and buttery they are.

Green beans with bacon and onion

This dish by Low Carb Maven features tender green beans tossed in a sweet and sour sauce made of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion, and of course, bacon. If that’s not giving green beans an upgrade, we don’t know what is.

Cheesy garlic-parmesan Brussels sprouts

Let’s be honest, the veggie is never the star of the show at Christmas dinner. But it will be if it’s covered in melt-in-your-mouth cheese, like in this dish by Best Recipe Box.

Garlic mashed cauliflower

Okay, we get that you’re skeptical about mashed cauliflower tasting as delicious as mashed potatoes. We were too, until we tried this recipe by The Cookie Rookie. It’s so creamy and flavorful that you can barely taste the difference.

Garlic butter herb prime rib

You know the drill: Choose the fattiest cut of meat you can find to complete your keto-friendly Christmas dinner. As The Recipe Critic says, “You can never go wrong with garlic, butter, and herbs slathered on meat. Am I right?”

Eggnog

This eggnog recipe by Savory Tooth is exactly what you need to satisfy your sweet cravings after your meal. It’s made with almond milk and a sugar-free sweetener to keep it low-carb without sacrificing flavor.

Chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookie sandwiches

Peanut butter and chocolate is the dessert combo dreams are made of. This recipe by Peace, Love and Low Carb puts the delicious duo in the spotlight.

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3 Recipes to Make You Fall in Love With the Mediterranean Diet All Over Again

You probably know all about the health benefits of eating like a Greek islander. Research has proven the Mediterranean diet can do wonders for your heart, brain, mood, and waistline. But maybe you’re a little tired of the same-old kebabs and tomato-cucumber-feta salad. Enter Live to Eat: Cooking the Mediterranean Way (amazon.com; $30), the latest cookbook from chef and restaurateur Michael Psilakis. It’s filled with dozens of fresh recipes, made with healthy fats and nutrient-rich produce, that will make you want to move to Greece (seriously). To give you a taste of how Psilakis combines simple ingredients to create mouthwatering dishes, we pulled three of our favorite recipes from his book. Scroll down to learn how to make a citrus salad with yogurt, tzatziki sauce with warm pita and crudités, and a juicy Greek-style turkey burger.

Citrus Salad With Greek Yogurt

Serves: 4

1 ruby red grapefruit, segmented with its juices

1 Cara Cara or other navel orange, segmented with its juices

1 key lime, segmented with its juices

16 oz. Greek yogurt

Sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. honey

8 mint leaves roughly chopped

  1. Combine the grapefruit, orange, and lime segments and their juices in a bowl.
  2. Spoon the yogurt into each of four dessert bowls.
  3. Divide the citrus mixture and juice among them and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle the honey over and garnish with the mint.

Cucumber Yogurt Dip With Crudités and Warm Pita

greek-yogurt-dip

Serves: 4 to 6

Cucumber dip (tzatziki)

Makes: 5 ½ cups

3 cloves garlic, peeled

½ cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar

4 cups Greek yogurt

1 large English cucumber, ends trimmed, peeled, and halved lengthwise, seeds discarded and flesh cut into ¼-inch dice

3 Tbsp. loosely packed chopped fresh dill

2 tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

  1. Combine garlic and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Combine the yogurt and garlicky vinegar in a bowl. Using a whisk, gently work the liquid into the yogurt until it is fully incorporated.
  3. Fold in the cucumbers, dill, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid. (The dip will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.)

NOTE: Be sure to remove all of the seeds from the cucumber; they release water, which will make the dip too loose.

Crudités and warm pita

2 rounds whole wheat pita

1½ cups Cucumber Yogurt Dip (see above)

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Pinch fresh ground black pepper

2 pounds mixed fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, broccoli, grape tomatoes, and peppers, cut into matchsticks or bite-sized pieces

  1. Warm the pitas in a microwave or toaster for a crunchier texture. Alternatively, to add a smoky flavor, place directly over a gas flame until very lightly charred in places. Flip over and repeat on the other side. Stack the pitas on top of each other and cut into eighths.
  2. Put the dip into a serving bowl, drizzle the olive oil on top, and season with the pepper. Serve with the vegetables and pita.

RELATED: 22 Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Greek Turkey Burgers

greek-turkey-burger

Makes: 4

Extra virgin olive oil, for rubbing

¼ cup milk

2 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed

1 lb ground turkey

1 tsp. (heaping) Garlic Puree

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

¼ cup Cucumber Yogurt Dip

4 whole wheat English muffins, split and toasted

½ lemon

8 (¼-inch-thick) slices beefsteak tomato

8 thin-sliced red onion rings

½ cup packed arugula

3 Tbsp. loosely packed chopped mixed herbs (dill, parsley, mint)

  1. Line a small tray with parchment paper and rub it all over with olive oil.
  2. Combine the milk with ¼ cup water in a large shallow bowl. Add the bread, using your hands to soak it. Squeeze out any excess liquid.
  3. Combine the bread, turkey, and garlic puree in a medium bowl. Mix with your hands until just combined. Handle it as little as possible. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ½-inch-thick patty, place on the tray, and rub olive oil over each.
  4. Preheat a gas grill or grill pan over medium heat. Season both sides of each patty with salt and pepper, then grill until soft to the touch for burgers that are just cooked through.
  5. Spread the dip on 4 of the English muffin halves. Top with a patty followed by a squeeze of lemon juice, 2 slices of tomato, red onion, arugula, herbs, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the muffin top.

Excerpted from the book LIVE TO EAT by Michael Psilakis. Copyright 2017 by Michael Psilakis. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.

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3 Energizing Breakfast Recipes Inspired by the Mediterranean Diet 

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Stuck in a breakfast rut? Nutritionist Stella Metsovas has the perfect way out: Go Greek!

Her new cookbook, Wild Mediterranean ($27, amazon.com), is brimming with recipes inspired by the food traditions in one of the world’s healthiest regions. And her Mediterranean breakfast recipes are sure to help start your day off right: Think sprouted cinnamon-maple French toast; a nut butter with the flavors of Baklava; and a twist on Greek salad, topped with a savory egg. Scroll down to check out these three nutrient-rich Mediterranean diet breakfast recipes that require just a few steps each.

Sprouted Cinnamon-Maple French Toast

Who doesn’t love French toast? You’ll particularly like this adaptation, which has the same classic flavors while getting in some fiber with the sprouted wheat and protein from the egg.

Serves: 2

2 eggs

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 slices sprouted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Maple syrup, for serving

  1. In a shallow bowl, use a whisk or fork to whip together the eggs, almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture for 2 minutes.
  2. In a skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the bread and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve the toast with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Bonus: You have a microbiome in your mouth—it’s part of the digestive system, after all!—and studies have shown that cinnamon helps support it, and prevent dental cavities.

RELATED: 22 Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Baklava Butter

baklava-butter

Yes, you read that right: The nutty, honey-sweetened decadence of Greece’s most famous dessert—without all the layers of buttered phyllo dough and heavy syrup. By folding all the ingredients into softened “butter,” you get a spreadable guilty pleasure to enjoy on sprouted-grain toast, stirred into yogurt, or stuffed into dates. After all, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. It’s all about balance! This makes quite a bit and should be used within 10 days, so consider sharing some as a gift!

Makes: 1½ cups (about 12 servings)

1¼ cups walnuts

½ cup roasted almonds

⅓ cups pistachios

½ cup almond meal

¼ cup organic honey

1 Tbsp. coconut sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. Pulse until coarsely ground or finely chopped—be careful not to overprocess. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the almond meal.
  2. In a small pot, combine the honey, sugar, cinnamon, and salt with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat, then remove from the heat and add directly to the bowl with the nut mixture. Add the olive oil and vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Transfer the butter to clean glass jar, refrigerate, and use within a week.

Bonus: Healthy fats plus nut-derived fiber are essential building blocks for balanced gut health.

RELATED: 10 Things to Know About the Mediterranean Diet

Not-Your-Typical Greek Salad

breakfast-greek-salad

I thought long and hard about how to put my own spin on this one. The classic version is absolutely perfect—especially when tomatoes are in season. But I wanted to do something with a little bit of a twist, creating a sort of salad parfait by layering rice with traditional Greek salad ingredients and topping them with a savory egg. This is hearty enough to be a main dish.

Serves: 2

2 cups cooked Arborio or long-grain rice

½ cup walnuts, crushed

Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

3 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

2 eggs, fried

Cracked black pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the rice and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the feta and lightly toss the mixture together.
  3. To serve, layer the bottom of each of two dinner plates with half of the rice mixture, using a spatula to pat it down. Scoop half of the salad ingredients onto each mound of rice and top each with one a fried egg. Season with the oregano and salt, cracked pepper, and a final drizzle of olive oil to taste.

Bonus: Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is the best way to load up on antioxidants, which help your body detoxify.

Reprinted from WILD MEDITERRANEAN by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books/Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Stella Metsovas

All images by Hugh Forte

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