How to Cut Back on Soft Drink Consumption

Today, the media has flooded the public with different soft drink ads, but the increased focus on rising obesity statistics, should help some individuals cut back on their soft drink consumption.

Even though soft drinks remain a popular choice for beverage consumption today, there are steps to help a person cut back on soft drinks.

Here are some suggestions to help a person curb their soft drink consumption.

* First of all, if you are used to drinking one or more soft drinks a day, try alternating sparkling mineral water, in lieu of your usual soft drink. It might be that you are accustomed to the carbonation and fizz of a soft drink, and therefore have acquired a taste for that particular beverage. While you are still getting the carbonation in sparkling mineral water, you’re not consuming the added sugar and caffeine associated with many soft drinks. This of course, with daily use, over prolonged periods of time, can contribute to added calories, possibly obesity, and other health problems. The best scenario is that gradually, you may actually prefer or become accustomed to the mineral water, as your beverage choice.

* Try to incorporate more fruit juices into your diet. There are so many fruit juices available for the consumer on the market today, such as new tropical fruit blends, as well as the familiar orange, grape, apple, pear, and others. It’s recommended that you choose 100 % fruit juice, to avoid any added sugars that aren’t necessary or good for a healthy diet. Adding fruit juices to a person’s diet is an excellent way to obtain vitamins and minerals, to help maintain a healthy body.

* Adding more milk to your diet is also an excellent choice for another beverage choice. Milk supplies a person with protein, vitamins, and of course, calcium for strong bones and teeth. It is true, what the classic milk commercial states, is that, “milk likes you”. If, however, you have a milk allergy, there is an alternative, such as soy milk, which also is fortified with vitamins and calcium, along with providing essential protein.

* Drink more water. Drinking water may help to curb the desire for a soft drink. An increase in a person’s fluid intake may make them less likely to reach for the daily soft drinks that were part of their routine. A person’s body is about 72% water weight, which is an important fact to note, since about 2/3 of people don’t drink enough water daily to prevent some forms of dehydration.

* Cut back on purchasing and keeping many, or any soft drinks on hand, at home, work, or on the go. You won’t be tempted as much to consume soft drinks if you don’t have them around. Instead keep more fruit juice, mineral water, and milk available as a beverage choice. If you’re packing a beverage to take along to the gym or any outdoor sports activity, grab a bottle of water instead of the usual sports drink.

Finally,  although cutting back on soft drink consumption may be a challenge, it can be more attainable when healthier drink choices are added to your daily routine.

Source:
1. How to Cut Down on Soft Drinks | Healthy Eating | SF Gate
2. Fine Fermented Foods
3. How to Cut Back on Soda – The Leaf

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cdn0.wn.com

How to Make Baked Fish Stuffed with Crab

This is a recipe that a very good friend of mine tried on me. He knew that I am not a big lover of fish but that I do like crab. He thought that if he could create a dish that would combine the two I would come to like it. I will admit that it was very tasty.

This is quite a simple dish to create and goes well with salad or rice. Serve with fresh vegetables and a nice glass of chilled white wine.

What You Will Need:

4 pieces of streaky bacon rashers

30g of butter

55g of sliced spring onions

1 large celery stalk, diced

The grated rind of 1 large lemon

1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped

30g of crumbs made from day old French or Italian bread

Salt and pepper

170 – 225g of white crabmeat

1 egg, beaten

4 whole pieces of fish – trout or red snapper – 450g each, gutted and boned for stuffing

Directions:

One. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190 degrees.

Two. Place the butter in a frying pan and fry the bacon until they are crispy. Drain the back on paper towels and then chop into pieces.

Three. Drain all the fat into a bowl except for one teaspoon and place to one side. Brush a little of the fat on a baking dish or roasting tin that will fit the pieces of fish. Then put to one side.

Four. Heat the remaining fat in the frying pan and add the spring onions and celery. Stir occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes until soft.

Five. Take the vegetables, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper and mix them together. Then fold in the bacon and crabmeat and bind with the egg.

Six. Take the fish and open each one like a book with the skin side down. Take the bowl of stuffing and spread it over one side of the fish, packing it firmly. Then take the other side of fish and close gently. You can use cocktail sticks to keep it closed if necessary.

Seven. Place the fish in the prepared baking tray or dish. Brush the tops with a little bit of the fat you placed to one side earlier and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.

Eight. Transfers the fish carefully to warmed serving plates and immediately serve.

Source:
1. Crab-Stuffed Tilapia Recipe | Taste of Home
2. Cinnamon for Diabetes
3. Crabmeat-Stuffed Flounder Roulades Recipe : Emeril Lagasse …

Image Credit
www.thehollowayhouse.com

Have you a Recipe for Bubble and Squeak

In my childhood Boxing Day meant cold turkey and bubble and squeak! Today bubble and squeak has moved on from a way of using leftovers to a recipe in itself and can be found in top restaurants at huge prices.

Bubble and squeak is an old traditional English dish that was made with the leftover vegetables from a Sunday dinner and served with pickles; it got its name from the bubbling and squeaking noises as the vegetables were cooking in the frying pan.

The main ingredients in this dish are potato and cabbage, but any other vegetables can be added and the traditional Boxing Day version almost always contained Brussels sprouts (because don’t we ALWAYS cook too many sprouts every year!). Today you can even buy Bubble and Squeak frozen or chilled in supermarkets; my old granny would be amazed at this!

Bubble and Squeak can be made into a more substantial meal by adding cooked bacon or ham. It is certainly a really good way of getting the children to eat their ‘greens’. It is a really easy dish to make and the fact that you are using leftovers makes this dish economical and quick to make.

I have two recipes for Bubble and Squeak which I’d like to share, first the traditional one that I have grown up with, the second is my Christmas Bubble and Squeak which is a great lunch recipe for a lunch using up the vegetables from Christmas and made into a light lunch recipe.

BUBBLE & SQUEAK

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or if you want to be really traditional use beef dripping)

1 medium onion, skinned and finely chopped

450 g potatoes, cooked and mashed

225 g cooked cabbage, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

1. Mix together the potato, cabbage and onion and season to taste.

2. Take tablespoons of the mixture and shape into round cakes.

3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) until smoking.

4. Fry the patties to a crisp golden brown on both sides.

CHRISTMAS BUBBLE & SQUEAK

Serves 4

 INGREDIENTS

400g potatoes cooked and crushed

200g Brussels sprouts, cooked and roughly chopped

4 eggs

2 small onions sliced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or if you want to be really traditional use beef dripping)

METHOD

1. Mix together the potato, sprouts and onion and season to taste.

2. Take tablespoons of the mixture and shape into round cakes.

3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) until smoking.

4. Fry the patties to a crisp golden brown on both sides.

5. Keep warm in a low oven while you poach the eggs.

6. Poach and drain the egg, then top each patty with a poached egg and serve.

Bubble and Squeak is so tasty that its worth cooking too many potatoes and vegetables just so that you can make it the next day!

Source:
1. Bubble and squeak
2. Cantaloupe vs. Honeydew
3. Bubble & squeak | BBC Good Food

Image Credit
www.mycookinghut.com

Grilled Salmon Mediterranean Cooking Snow Peas

Mediterranean Grilled Salmon

2 Alaskan Wild Salmon Filets – Frozen from Trader Joe’s is great – Thaw in the refrigerator

2 Medium Tomatoes

10 Red Grapes

Seasoning for Salmon

Honey

Olive Oil

Balsamic vinegar – white or red

Tamari

Liquid smoke or other hickory flavoring

Sea salt

Pepper

Dill weed – fresh or dried

Snow Pea Delight

3 cups fresh snow peas

1 cup dried gourmet mushroom mix (Costco) or your favorite fresh mushrooms

small onion

1/2 cup raw almonds coarsely chopped and toasted

feta cheese

The many textures, flavors and colors of these ingredients go together scrumptiously and satisfyingly without the aftertaste of guilt!

Lay a large piece of tin foil on a baking sheet. Rinse the salmon filets quickly in cold water and lay out on the foil – skin side down. Drizzle honey on each filet followed by about a tablespoon of olive oil on each. Sprinkle balsamic vinegar and tamari over the top of each filet. Add a few drops of liquid smoke or other hickory flavoring directly to the filets and follow with a liberal sprinkling of sea salt, pepper and dill weed. Place the filets in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes or so while you are preparing your other dish.

While the salmon is marinating, chop the almonds and toast them in an open skillet, turning frequently until they are browned. Remove from heat and leave them to cool in the pan.

Soak the dried mushrooms in a bowl until softened – usually about 5 minutes, or if you are using fresh mushrooms, cut them in chunks.

While the mushrooms are soaking, slice the onion in thin slivers and set aside. Thickly slice the tomatoes and set aside. Cut the grapes in half and set aside. Tear the little stringy tips off of the snow peas and set aside. Drain the softened mushrooms.

Preheat the grill. I use a propane Weber barbecue that has a thermometer and I heat it to around 450 degrees

In a large skillet, saute the onions in a small amount of oil. When the onions are beginning to brown, stir in the snow peas and mushrooms and get them good and hot. Turn down the heat and prepare to get the salmon on the grill.

Take the salmon out of the fridge and arrange the tomato slices around the outside of the filets and drop the grapes on top. Grill for 10 minutes. Do not over-cook. Meat should be pink and flake apart easily.

Arrange the salmon with tomatoes and grapes on a plate. Add a generous helping of snow peas and onions garnished with toasted almonds and feta cheese.

Serve with a chilled White Chardonnay.

Source:
1. Mediterranean Snow Peas Recipe – Allrecipes.com
2. Foods High In Vitamin K2
3. 10 Best Snow Peas On The Grill Recipes | Yummly

Image Credit
julieturns.com

Great Recipes for Weight Watchers

Modeled after the popular Dukan diet, these are some of the dishes  that I enjoyed tremendously whilst losing 6 kilograms in slightly less than 2 months. Instead of feeling deprived as most diets do, the recipes below make a satisfying meal. The use of easily available spices and natural flavors also gives a  sense of culinary adventure and a can-do attitude to the weight watcher.

So, it was more than a triple triumph as in the process of weight loss, my blood sugar and blood pressure went back into the healthy range. The appreciation of fresh food made from scratch and knowing what I am feeding myself empowered me as I  took control and responsibility over my diet.

All portions mentioned are good for one person.

Dish : Grilled teriyaki tofu

Firm tofu blocks are ideal for grilling as they make for easy handling. The tofu picks up the character of the marinade without overpowering the taste buds. Packed with plant protein, this dish makes a very satisfying meal.

Ingredients :

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 blocks of firm tofu

Method :

Cut tofu to bite sized cubes.

Mix sauce,  water, honey,  grated ginger and sesame oil in a bowl.

Pour marinade and tofu in a plastic bag and marinate tofu cubes  for one hour.

Drain the marinade and skewer the tofu blocks onto 2 barbeque sticks.

Place the tofu sticks under the grill until the  tofu is slightly charred.

Serve with any of your favorite pickles.

Dish : Grilled salmon fillet

Oily fish such as the salmon is an easy fish to grill even for a novice cook. Due to its more robust taste, strong tasting condiments are ideal in bringing out the flavor of the fish.

Ingredients :

1 salmon fillet, the size and thickness of your palm

A pinch of pink salt

Pepper flakes

A wedge of lemon

Method :

Season the salmon with salt and pepper flakes.

Put the fillet on a lightly oiled plate and grill until the fish is brown and flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Dish : cabbage and chicken wraps

The crunch of diced carrot coupled with the smoothness of minced chicken makes this dish a sensory experience  in itself.

Ingredients :

100 g of chicken breast, minced

1/2 of a  carrot

1 egg white

5 whole cabbage leaves

Pepper sauce, for garnish

Method :

Blanch the  cabbage leaves in hot water until they are semi transparent. Drain and leave the cabbage leaves to cool.

Finely dice the carrots. 

In a mixing bowl, mix carrots, meat and egg white  until the mixture is well combined. Season with pepper and a little salt.

Spoon the meat mixture onto the center of the cabbage leaf. Fold the cabbage like a parcel, bringing up the left and right side of the leaf to cover the meat. Finally, roll up the meat parcel to encase the meat in the center.

On a steaming basket, place the cabbage roll with its seam side down. Steam for at least 15 minutes to ensure chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Serve hot with a dash of sweet and spicy chilli sauce.

Dish : beef and asparagus rolls

Ingredients :

3 pieces of  sliced lean beef, the size of your hand and about half the thickness of your finger

3 large asparagus

1 teaspoon of  garlic paste

Scant amount of pink salt

Method :

Trim off the woody tip of the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus  in hot water and drain well.

Lay the sliced beef on the work top and spread a very thin film of garlic paste on the surface of the meat. Sprinkle with a  pinch of pink salt.

Wrap up  the asparagus with the sliced beef. Secure meat and asparagus with a toothpick.

On a lightly oiled pan, sear all sides of the beef roll  on medium heat, seam side first.

Remove the toothpick. Serve with any sauce of your choice.

As with any dieting program, exercise moderation in your food intake and maintain an active lifestyle to enjoy the long lasting benefits of a successful  weight management program. Eat well and live well !

Source:
1. 15 Best Weight Watchers Dinner Recipes – Community Table – Parade
2. Bilberry Benefits For Heart Health
3. 75 Best Weight Watchers Recipes – SkinnyMs.

Image Credit
www.itallstartedwithpaint.com

Do you have a Simple Family Favorite Pudding Recipe

Most people have food memories that date back to their childhood. I was lucky enough to have the typical stereotype Granny who was a fantastic old fashioned cook and who has left hundreds of great food memories stored in my head.

The one family pudding though that springs to mind is the one that Granny used to make when my relatives from down South used to visit; that recipe is an old traditional British pudding – Queen of Puddings. The pudding is said to date from a pudding that was devised by chefs at Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria – I don’t know if that is true, but it certainly is a pudding that is fit for a queen!
 I can still remember as the delicious, sweet pudding was ceremoniously served and Granny would cut through the light meringue down to a layer of her home mad jam and then to the egg custard base.

As Granny was an old school housewife, thrift was important (and also necessary) and so what went in the custard base of the pudding depended on what needed using up in the pantry – it could have even have seen a little sherry added to the sponge!

These days I don’t make this pudding too often, I am diabetic and there is just far too much sugar for me in it; I do however still make it on special family occasions and it is still as popular now as it was when I was a kid; I now buy cheap Swiss rolls from the supermarket to use in the base – however, as Granny did, you can use stale bread or cake that needs using up – but as I can buy a Swiss roll for under 20p I’m not being too extravagant – as Granny would not have approved!

QUEEN OF PUDDINGS
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Base

1 pint milk
50g sugar
1 jam Swiss roll
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Meringue Topping

2 egg whites
50g caster sugar

METHOD

1.    Preheat the oven to 310 °F/160 °C/Gas 2.
2.    Lightly grease a 2 pint ovenproof dish.
3.    Slice Swiss roll thinly and place on base of dish, sprinkle with lemon zest.
4.    Place the milk into a saucepan and slowly bring to a gentle boil.
5.    In a large bowl whisk the sugar with the egg yolks and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Still whisking, slowly add the warmed milk to the egg mixture.
6.    Pour the custard over the cake carefully.
7.    Bake the pudding in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the mixture is well risen and almost set.
8.    Remove the pudding from the oven and leave to cool.
9.    Increase the oven temperature to 375 °F/190 °C/Gas 5.
10.  In a large, clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.
11.  Whisk in half of the castor sugar, then with a metal spoon gently fold in the remaining sugar.
12   Warm the jam and spread it carefully over the cooled base, trying to avoid breaking skin.
13   Cover with the prepared meringue topping.
14.  Sprinkle the top with a little extra sugar and bake for 10 minutes or until the surface is crisp and the peaks have began to brown.
15.  Serve immediately and enjoy

I am sure that you will enjoy this delicious pudding; just writing about it is making my mouth water.
When you try it I’m sure that you will agree this truly is a Queen amongst puddings!

Source:
1. Easy pudding | BBC Good Food
2. South Beach Diet Phase 2: When it isn’t Working
3. Custards and Pudding Recipes – Allrecipes.com

Image Credit
www.bakeorbreak.com

Easy Blueberry Pie

At a loss for a simple dessert? Here’s a recipe for blueberry pie that is assembled in minutes and is absolutely fabulous. Serve it warm or cold, with vanilla ice cream or with whipped cream (I prefer the real thing versus the stuff in a can)

You will need: 

2 pre-made pie crusts

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

½ cup flour

½ cup sugar

1 tbs vanilla

½ tsp of cinnamon

1 tbs milk or 1 egg white

1 additional tbs sugar

(I use a glass pie dish and purchase the crusts that come rolled up. Feel free to use the crusts that come in their own disposable aluminum tin. Simply separate one crust, place it over the filled pie and allow to thaw slightly before pressing into shape.)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place one pie crust in the bottom of a pie dish, gently shaping it to fit, making sure it extends over the side just a bit.

Toss the blueberries with the flour, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a mixing bowl. If using frozen berries you may want to add a tablespoon or two of water to help it all stick together. Place the entire mixture in the crust.

You will have a powdery mixture of sugar, berry juice and flour in the bottom of the bowl, don’t panic, distribute it evenly around the pie.

Top with the remaining crust.

Press the edges together and pinch with two fingers or with a fork to make a border.

Brush the top of the pie with a little milk, or egg white, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Cut two vents into the top of the pie.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 for a further 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes and slice.

Serve warm and gooey with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

My favorite variation on this recipe uses a mixture of frozen berries. Feel free to experiment with different berry blends. I prefer lots of blackberries.

For fresh whipped cream:

Place one cup of heavy cream in a blender or food processor and blend until firm peaks form.

You can also whip the cream in a mixing bowl using an immersion blender, a hand mixer, or a whisk (though your arm will get a work out)

If you prefer sweetened whipped cream add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract before whipping.

Source:
1. Easy Blueberry Pie Recipe | She Wears Many Hats
2. Is Aloe Vera Good For the Stomach?
3. Easiest Ever Blueberry Pie recipe from Pillsbury.com

Image Credit
www.vancouversun.com

Dangers of Energy Drinks four Loko

Colleges across America battle influences of alcohol upon their campuses on a regular basis.  Though other drugs make their way into the fraternity and sorority house parties, the main drug culprit on college campuses continues to be alcohol. According to the website “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, “Alcohol and other drug use is a factor in many accidents, injuries, vandalism, and crime on campuses and is frequently a key factor when students encounter problems with their coursework.” Beer and other liquors promote potential hazards on our university campuses, and now a new drink threatens to be even a greater menace for college administrators.

College officials across America are expressing concern over an energy drink called “Four Loko.” Dubbed “liquid cocaine” by some users, this high energy drink is comprised of 12 percent alcohol. Packaged in a can similar to other energy beverages, this drink costs little and packs quite a punch, making the product popular with those wanting a quick buzz. Fruity flavors such as watermelon and grape add to the drink’s popularity and drink-ability.

Several colleges have already banned the product from their campuses because of dangerous consequences. The President of Ramapo College in New Jersey chose to ban the drink because several students ended up in the local emergency room. “Four Loko’s” packs 12 percent alcohol in a 23.5 ounce can. Depending upon the source, “Four Loko” is the equivalent of drinking three to five 12 ounce beers.

College students intent on “having a good time” fail to recognize the risks of downing a can of “Four Loko”.  Dr. Manny Alvarez, a Fox News contributor, states that a mixture of caffeine and alcohol is a recipe for disaster. He says, “You have to understand that caffeine reduces the drowsy feeling of being intoxicated, so people tend to drink more.” Drinking more “Four Loko’s” leads to devastating consequences. Downing multiple “Four Loko” beverages may lead to people experiencing another of its nicknames, “blackout in a can.”

Disguised in a container eerily similar to other high energy drinks, “Four Loko” tempts underage drinkers to indulge. College students and teenagers alike consider “Four Loko” to be a big “bang for the buck.” Stores carrying the product sell the drink for under $3.

Though other energy drinks can lead to medical problems, mixing alcohol and caffeine sets one up for a potential lethal combination.

 Sources:  Reading Eagle, My Fox New York

Source:
1. Four Loko
2. No-Butter Chicken
3. Campus Overload Live: Why Four Loko is so dangerous – The …

Image Credit
mymona.net

Cookie Comparisons Cookie best Buys best Tasting Cookies Consumer Reports Cookies

Consumer Reports compared 13 packaged, store-bought cookies for taste and texture.

The “trained sensory panel” was asked to rate the cookies for their sensory quality. None was judged as good as home-made, but two were rated “Very good.” Nutrition information is given as listed on labels.

Cookies were rated for taste, cost per one-ounce serving, the number of calories contained in that serving, and the total amount of fat (in grams) per serving.

Rating “Very Good” meant the cookies were “Well blended, flavorful, good chip-to-cookie ratio, crunchy but tender.” Only two were in this category.

1. Health Valley Mini cost 54 cents for 4 cookies (1 oz.), which contained 140 calories with 6 g. of fat.

2. Keebler Chips Deluxe Original [formula will not contain palm oil after February] cost 22 cents for 2 cookies, which contained 170 calories with 9 g. of fat.

These two were rated “more tender” with more chocolate flavor than most. Keebler is more like shortbread; HV had a more buttery taste and cost more than twice as much.

In the top category, Keebler was rated CR’s “Best Buy” for price and taste.

[The rated Keebler cookies contained palm kernel oil. Although the manufacturer said these would no longer have palm kernel oil after February, the new formula was not in stores by March for re-testing.]

Rating “Good” although commercial-tasting:

1. Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Real Chocolate [formula was due to change this summer] cost 25 cents for 3, which contained 160 calories with 8 g. of fat.

2. Trader Joe’s Dress Circle Crispy Crunchy cost 23 cents for 12 cookies, which contained 150 calories with 9 g. of fat.

3. Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk cost 36 cents for 2 cookies, which contained 130 calories with 6 g. of fat.

4. Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Soft Baked Chocolate Chunk Dark cost 43 cents for 1 cookie, which contained 150 calories, with 8 g. of fat.

5. Great Value (Walmart) cost 7 cents for 2 cookies, which contained 130 calories with 6 g. of fat.

6. Mrs. Fields Semi-Sweet cost 43 cents for 1 cookie, which contained 160 calories with 8 g. of fat.

7. Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Real Chocolate Reduced Fat [formula was due to change this summer] cost 25 cents for 3 cookies, which contained 140 calories with 5 g. of fat.

8. Newman’s Own Organics Champion Chip Cookies cost 47 cents for 4 cookies, which contained 160 calories with 7 g. from fat.

9. Famous Amos Bite Size [will no longer contain palm oil after February] cost 24 cents for 4, which contained 150 calories with 7 g. of fat.

The following rated “Fair” and were judged to be “bland, very dry, slightly stale.”

1. Archer Farms Organic Petite (Target) cost 45 cents for 3 cookies, which contained 120 calories with 5 g. of fat.

2. Pamela’s Products Chunky Gourmet all Natural (wheat and gluten free) cost 44 cents for 1 cookie, which contained 120 calories with 6 g. of fat.

CR noted that the Walmart (# 5) cookies had more cookie than chocolate and had a toasted taste. They were the least expensive of all at 7 cents per ounce.

Package sizes ranged from 7 to 18 ounces, and costs were based on those sized packages.

Three brands were labeled organic and “varied widely in quality.” Those included Health Valley (# 1 in the “very good” category), Newman’s Own (# 8), and the wheat and gluten-free Archer Farms (# 1 in the “fair” category).

Source:
1. Taste Test: The Best Ready-Made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough …
2. Cayenne Pepper For Weight Loss
3. The Best Store-Bought Chocolate Chip Cookie Brands: Our Taste …

Image Credit
www.adclassix.com

Carving Decorative Vegetables

Carving decorative vegetables is an art form that uses a tasty pallete! Vegetables can be cut and arranged into a mosaic, ready to eat or can be used as a decorative center piece to compliment their accompanying dishes. Artful veggies are a great way to attract kids and kids at heart to try vegetables.

READY TO EAT CUT VEGGIES

Easy Vegetable Blooms

Use a slice of celery stalk as a “stem.” Sliced and halved cucumber slices make perfect “leaves.” A halved cherry tomato makes a cheery “flower center” and carrots in circles or strips can be arranged as “petals.” Of course many variations. Green pepper strips can be used for stems or leaves. Red and yellow pepper rings can top for a flower outline with slices of radish layered for centers. Create “grass” at the bottom of the plate by drizzled a favorite dressing up and down.

Don’t leave off veggies you think your kids don’t like. One half of a cherry tomato is not so intimidating as a bowl. Kids often need to be exposed to a food at least ten times before they try it. Kids are also more likely to try something they were involved in making. Let kids make their own “blooming” salads.

Cucumber Boats

Slice one end off of a cucumber. Slice just enough off of the bottom so that it will sit. Starting at the cut end, slice off peel almost to the other end. Now make a thin slice from the same end and stop before you get to the peel on the other end. Gently lift this still attached slice and stand with a tooth pick to create a sail. Fill the cucumber boat with slices of carrots, flowerettes of broccoli, cherry tomato or any small pieces of favorites.

Make an individual boat for each guests and create “waves” around the boat with a tasty dressing.

VEGGIE CENTERPIECE

Peppers with Personality

Pick up a pepper; red, green or yellow. Hold it with the stem side facing you. Almost every pepper has a personality. The stem makes an interesting nose and the creases are a perfect place to pop in black eyed pea eyes. You can create small slits and insert slices of other veggies for ear, depending on what creature you “see.” Using these “creatures” on a tray of greens makes a great conversation piece for your table or buffet.

Pepper Pots

Especially fun if you’re serving stuffed peppers, choose a pepper of any color or a combination ensuring that each one stands well. Cut off the top and put aside. You can create a trio by putting dressing in one pot and putting carrot sticks, pepper slices or celery sticks and standing in the others. Another nice touch is to put fresh cut flowers into one!

Carving decorative vegetables to serve or to decorate is fun to do and sure to bring smiles to the table!

Source:
1. How to make a decoration with vegetables – Art carving fruits and …
2. Smoothie Diet
3. Fruits & vegetable carving pictures | Decorative & simple fruit carving …

Image Credit
importfood.com