Displaying articles for: June 2011
I read a great article in my CSPI Nutrition Action Health Letter, it was an interview with Brian Wansink, a professor at Cornell University who directs the Food and Brand Lab. He’s also the author of Mindless Eating – Why We Eat More Than We Think. In the article he shared his learning from a number of studies that he’s conducted over the years focused on the external cues that contribute to how much, which foods, how fast, and whether we enjoy what we eat. It’s a really interesting read and at the end he summarized some simple changes we can make to better manage how much we eat - his premise is that “it’s easier to change your environment than it is to change your mind”. Here are some of the ideas: eat from smaller plates & bowls (he found we eat 22% more from a larger plate), make sure you see your healthy foods first on your counter/pantry/cupboard, only put the vegetables on the table at dinner and serve all the other dinner items from the kitchen, and if you do buy in “bulk” repackage in single serving sizes so you’ll only eat what you put in. These are great tips! We’ve been eating from our salad plates for years as a means of managing portions; it has the added benefit of making more room in the dishwasher!
Did you know that both summer and winter squash have edible flowers? Summer or soft-shelled squash is harvested before it becomes fully mature, and its seeds and skin become hard. The whole squash except the stem end can be eaten either raw or cooked. Summer squash is more that 95 percent water, so while it only has a moderate amount of nutrients, it is very low in calories. Pick summer squash that is the smallest you can find, unless you are going to stuff it, because large sized squash will have coarse, stringy flesh, and large seeds. It should be firm with a bright, smooth skin, and stem ends that are fresh and green. Stir-frying or sautéing is the best method for cooking summer squash because steaming and microwaving will emphasize its high water content. Remove a lot of the undesired moisture before cooking by cutting into thin slices, or dice, and sprinkling the cut surfaces with salt. Let stand in a colander about half an hour, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. There are a lot of different ways to enjoy summer squash, and you can learn more about them at safeway.com.
I love a lot of summertime foods (including ice cream!) but one of my all-time favorites is grilled vegetables. Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. They’re also an important source of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate and vitamins A, C and E, which you’ll see highlighted on our green SimpleNutrition tags in the produce aisle. Once or twice a week in the summer, I grill a mix of different veggies and then use them throughout the week in many ways: as a side dish, chopped and tossed into pasta or grain salads, layered on top of homemade pizza, or piled on toasted whole-grain bread slices for the ultimate sandwich. Here are a few of my best tips for grilling perfect vegetables:
What are your best tips for grilling vegetables?
June 20th is National Vanilla Milkshake Day – who knew? I’m not one to miss an opportunity to have some ice cream so I decided to acknowledge this “holiday” with a batch of homemade ice cream.
Since my business trip to Miami I’ve been preoccupied with Dulce De Leche so I went in search of a simple recipe and I found one on Epicurious. I made some minor tweaks including adding a little sea salt.
Here it is:
If you want a stronger salted flavor, sprinkle with just a touch of the sea salt when you serve. Enjoy!
Okra has always been a popular vegetable in southern cuisine, particularly in Louisiana where gumbo still reigns as king. "Gumbo" is derived from the word gombo, which in the West African dialect means okra. Okra grows best in warm climates, so it isn't any surprise that Florida, California, and Georgia, are the leading okra-producing states. A fair amount of okra is also imported from Mexico. I recommend that you select small, young okra pods, because the smaller pods are typically the most tender. The smaller the pods the better. For a terrific, quick dish, briefly sauté a few onions, garlic and a little extra-virgin olive oil, add some sliced okra and finish sautéing. The dish is ready in less than 5 minutes, and it is wonderful.
Nobody likes events that run long, but when it came to a table running long on National Picnic Day on June 18th, it was a whole different story. In celebration of Open Nature, our new line of 100% natural foods, we set out to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Longest Picnic Table, and according to Guinness, we are now in the books! The 305 foot long table stretched across the Marina Green in San Francisco on a gorgeous sunny day in the Bay. Unless you want to have a picnic without friends, you can’t have a picnic without food, so we had Food Network TV chef and successful restaurateur chef Tyler Florence on hand to cook up some delicious meals with our Open Nature products. I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to enjoy history – and some all natural eats – in the making. If you loved the food or weren’t able to attend, you can findTyler’s new all natural recipes online at:
After his traditional breakfast in bed, my husband Rob has requested that we go on a family hike for his Father’s Day outing. Hikes and trail mix just go together, and trail mix is a snack that’s hard to beat for its portability, fun factor and great taste. I always make my own trail mix instead of buying it; that way, I can control what’s in it –and what’s not. There’s no magic to my recipe. And in fact, it’s not so much a recipe as a what’s-available-in-the-pantry combination of favorite nuts, seeds, pretzels, cereals and dried fruit, with a little handful of chocolate often thrown in for good measure. I generally do equal mixes of the nuts, fruit and seeds, and then double the amount of cereal and pretzels. Here’s my mix for this weekend’s hike:
Per ½ cup serving: Calories: 200; Fat: 8 g (Saturated Fat: 2.5 g); Protein: 4 g; Carbohydrates: 53 g; Fiber: 3 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 370 mg.
Try to add a mix of textures and colors to keep your trail mix interesting. Although trail mix can be high in calories, adding in lower-in-calories pretzels and cereal helps keep it reasonable. Once mixed, store your trail mix in an airtight container. It will keep fresh for about a week.
What’s your favorite trail mix combo?
A few years ago we started a tradition of going on a hike on Father’s Day. Actually, I think we started it and then took a break for a couple of years between the time the twins could walk and were too big for the backpack carriers and when they had some endurance in them. Happily, last year’s Father’s Day excursion was accompanied by hardly any whining, the toughest part being the winding roads in the car on our way up to our staging area. The hike is on Mt. Tam, and we take the shortest, easiest, and most level trail up so it’s most enjoyable for everyone. The pay off comes at the top at West Point Inn, amazing views of San Francisco and a pancake breakfast! What are your plans for Father’s Day?
Father’s Day is here! This year, I wanted to learn more about how others around the globe celebrate Father’s Day. In some countries, Father’s day honors the influence of fathers in society who were Kings, Saints, Patriarchs, and Godfathers. The question is, how do you celebrate to honor your Father? Gift giving, barbequing, golfing, fishing, family picnics, and taking portraits - well the list could go on. For gift giving, our Floral Department has everything you need for Dad. We offer potting soils, gardening tools and outdoor containers for those dads who love to garden. We offer gift baskets loaded with goodies perfect for him. Don’t forget that dads love orchids, and even blooming plants. Bromeliads are the perfect blooming plant to give to dad and are really easy to take care of. Bromeliads are hardy, easy to water and drought tolerant. If you are out of ideas, we also offer gift cards. Let me know the ways you celebrate your Dad!
Did you know nectarines have been around for over 2,000 years? Its true! They originally came from China, and used to be pale green with a white flesh. During the 1940s they became the nectarines you recognize today. There are 150 different varieties! When selecting nectarines look for a well-rounded fruit with a deep yellow or orange-yellow color under a red blushed skin. Ripe nectarines should yield to a gentle touch and have a sweet fragrant smell. Once picked, nectarines will become softer and juicer as they ripen; however, they will not become sweeter in taste. Unless they are already soft, store them at room temperature. If not, placing them in a paper bag will help speed up the ripening process. Nectarines can be used in almost any recipe that calls for peaches. For a real change of pace, try nectarine halves grilled with a splash of amaretto, or sliced on cereal instead of bananas.
School lets out for the summer today and that means my son Tim and his neighborhood buddies will be spending as much time as they can at the park playing baseball, riding bikes and having water balloon fights. To help re-energize them on hot summer afternoons, nothing hits the spot like something frosty and cold, and this watermelon slushy recipe is a neighborhood favorite. Kids can help make this refreshing drink by scooping out the watermelon, or by helping you whirl together these simple ingredients.
3 cups seedless watermelon
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 to 1 ½ cups ice
Scoop out watermelon flesh or watermelon into bite-size chunks. Add watermelon to blender, along with honey and orange juice. Whirl together on high until smooth. Add ice, a small amount at a time, and blend until slushy. Add water if needed to thin to desired consistency. Pour into cups and serve. Makes four 1 cup servings.
Per 1 cup serving: Calories: 50; Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Protein: less than 1 g; Carbohydrates: 14 g; Fiber: less than 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 0 mg.
What are your kids’ favorite summertime snacks?
Here’s some exciting news, over 100 Lucerne dairy products are now rBST free! Milk has been for some time, and now you’ll find butter, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt too. All made with milk from farmers who pledge not to treat their cows with the artificial growth hormone rBST. And more products to come! While the FDA states that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated cows and milk derived from non-rBST treated cows, I’m just more comfortable with food that hasn’t been meddled with, particularly foods & beverages that my kids eat & drink so often. And, these products still have the same great taste and value that you’ve come to expect from Lucerne – now that gives me greater peace of mind!
What, summer? You have got to be kidding. Where did the year go? Are you ready? Are your barbequing skills up to par? If not, here are some good tips to follow to help you get off to a good start.
For more advanced grilling tips, please log on to: http://www.safeway.com/IFL/Grocery/Tips-and-Techni
Its true! They’ve come a long way and have undergone a great transformation, but originally eggplants were in fact shaped like an egg and had a white color. Now you will find them pear shaped and a shade of purple. Eggplants have become very popular; they have a meaty flavor and texture, making them a very versatile choice for vegetarians.
When choosing eggplant, make sure they are on the smaller side and light. The skin should always be shiny, and should bounce back when touched. Store eggplant in the front of your refrigerator where it’s not too cold, and away from apples since they are ethylene sensitive.
Eggplant lends itself to a multitude of ethnic preparations from Indian to Moroccan, with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes in between. Garlic, onion, tomatoes, peppers, olive oil, and sesame oils are merely a few of the many seasonings and vegetables that go well with eggplant.
Try some eggplant today on pasta, pizza, with chicken, steak or fish, or even mixed with other vegetables for a salad. No matter what, the eggplant will be delicious!
My son Tim tells me that I say the same thing to him every night at dinner: drink your milk! He’s right–and my mom said the same thing to me. I’m glad she did, because I’m a milk drinker to this day.
You probably know that milk and other dairy foods provide calcium, but did you also know that most provide protein, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamins A and D, too? All of these nutrients are important for good health and dairy foods are among the best sources out there. Whether or not you’re a milk drinker, most adults need at least three servings of milk and/or dairy foods each day. Opt for lower-fat versions when possible–you’ll trim fat, saturated fat and calories, but still keep all of the beneficial nutrients. Our green SimpleNutrition tags can help point you towards these more nutritious options–look for them in the dairy aisle. And to get your daily dairy aside from drinking milk, try these ideas:
Even if Tim doesn’t realize it now, he’ll thank me someday–especially when he reminds his kids to drink their milk!
How do you get your daily dairy?
Did you know that 1 in 6 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer? Each June Safeway partners with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to help encourage screenings & raise funds that support a broad range of research projects - through screenings and early detection the cure rate is over 90%!
Safeway raised $11.6 million in 2010 thanks to the generosity of our customers and I’d like to express my heart-felt gratitude to those who supported the campaign last year and those who will in 2011 – Thank you!
Who doesn’t love a sweet, juicy cherry? If you do, you should try my favorite, the Bing cherry- known for their sweet, juicy flavor and vibrant red coloring, these cherries have been fan favorites for generations. These cherries are large and firm, and have a beautiful crimson color. When you buy them, check for color and watch for any blemishes. Bing cherries should be stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them. All fresh cherries should still have their stems attached and be clean and dry. Avoid cherries that are hard, small, and/or lighter in color because they were probably picked before they were ripe. Many cherry lovers enjoy eating Bings right out of hand. They make for delicious snacks. Bings are also perfect for salads, preserves, pies and other fruit pastries. Cherries also have great nutritional value so pick up a bunch today and enjoy!