Monday, September 26, 2016

Have You Had Your Fish This Week?

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week. Each serving is 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish.  But many of us avoid fish, because we do not know how prepare it or we are afraid of the flavor.  There are many ways to prepare fish other than deep-fat frying and there are types of fish that have mild flavor.

Tilapia is a healthy and affordable choice for your dinner table. Not only is it low in fat and calories, this fish is also a good source of protein, vitamin B12 and selenium.  Tilapia is thin so it thaws and cooks quickly.  Here is an easy recipe to get you started.

Peppered Tilapia with Caramelized Onions and Wilted Spinach

Makes 4 servings.
Per Serving: 239 calories, 13 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrate, 25 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 408 mg sodium.

1 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
1 lb. tilapia, 4 fillets
1/2 tsp. salt
10 oz. baby spinach
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large Spanish onion, very thinly sliced
Olive oil cooking spray

Sprinkle both sides of fillets lightly with salt. Sprinkle and press ground peppercorns on both sides of fillets. Set aside.

In large bowl, toss spinach with 1 tablespoon oil until leaves glisten.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until leaves collapse, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Transfer spinach to large plate, cover to keep warm and set aside. Wipe out pan and set aside.

Using same bowl, toss onions with 1 tablespoon oil.

Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add onions to plate with spinach

Wipe out skillet and coat with cooking spray. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add fillets and cook until browned and crusty on bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Using wide spatula, turn fish and cook until white in center at thickest part and flakes easily with fork, 3 to 4 minutes.

To serve, arrange spinach in bed on each of four dinner plates. Place fish on top and arrange onions over fish.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Second Chance for Some Misjudged Foods

Some fruits and vegetables have been given a bad rap.  Often it is because of what we put on them.  This article discusses how we can enjoy our favorite fruits and vegetables without guilt.

A Second Chance for Some Misjudged Foods

Friday, September 23, 2016

Four Food-Safety Basics That Could Be Lifesavers

September is Food Safety Education Month.  Here is a reminder of how to protect your family

Four Food-Safety Basics That Could Be Lifesavers

Summer Squash Ribbons with Lemon Herb Dressing

Before Farmer’s Market is over take advantage of the wonderful summer squash available and try this new recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Summer Squash Ribbons with Lemon Herb Dressing

These pretty squash ribbons are easy to make and simply flavored with aromatic herbs and zesty lemon. Summer squash are low in calories and rich in cancer-protective fiber and nutrients including lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are especially beneficial for your eyes. Herbs and lemon zest also provide a plethora of antioxidants in this too-hot-to-cook, refreshingly light, summer side.

Makes 4 servings. Yield 4 1/2 cups.
Per Serving: 82 calories, 7 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 7 mg sodium. (nutritional information does not include cheese)


2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
1 tsp. lemon zest (about 1/2 medium lemon)
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves*
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium-large yellow straightneck summer squash
1 medium-large zucchini
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional


In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in onion.

Cut stem end from squash. Holding stem end of squash and leaning other end on cutting board at an angle, use vegetable peeler to shave squash lengthwise to create ribbons. Stop peeling at seed core. Stack ribbons and cut in half crosswise. Add ribbons to bowl and stir, separating ribbons to cover with dressing. Rotate squash to opposite side and repeat peeling, cutting and mixing with dressing. Peel ribbons from remaining two sides of squash and repeat cutting and mixing with dressing. Repeat with zucchini. Save seed cores in refrigerator for salad, stir-fries, soup or stock.

Transfer squash salad to serving dish and top with feta, if using. Salad may be chilled and served later same day.

* Use combination of favorite fresh herbs.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time To Clean your Slow Cooker

The days are getting shorter. The temperatures are dropping. Leaves are beginning to change color and fall from the trees. ‘Tis the season for slow cooked comfort meals!  But before you pull out your slow cooker and scour the Internet searching for delicious recipes, you might want to bone up on the best ways to clean up those slow-cooked messes. Don’t worry! Cleaning up your slow cooker is about as easy as cooking in it.

  • Always read the use and manufactures suggestions for the best way to clean depending on the surfaces of the cookers.
  • According to the experts, you should always turn off the slow cooker, unplug it and allow it to cool before cleaning it.
  • Stoneware (Crockery) and lid cannot handle sudden changes in temperature. Don’t wash either in cold water if they are hot, and vice versa
  • Glass or plastic lids and removable stoneware pot can go in the dishwasher, or you can wash with hot water and soap.
  • Do not use abrasives.
  • For really tough cooked-on messes, fill the cooker with water and a few drops of dish soap. Cover, and turn the heat on low for an hour. When the time is up, it should clean up very easily.
  • If this does not work, try a little baking soda in a paste and scrub the spot.  Baking soda is a gentle abrasive.
  • Wipe down the outside of the crockpot with warm soapy water after every use to prevent food film build up, if this does not work try a multipurpose cleaner or glass cleaner. 
  •  If food has become baked on the heating element itself, you can use oven cleaner. But do this outside. Simply spray an even coat of foam around the inside of the cooker. Let sit for at least an hour, and then wipe foam off with a sponge.

 Adapted from: