Cheat Day? More Like a Cheat Year.

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The Orange Cucumber

I chuckle to myself when I past by the produce section in my grocery store. I normally wouldn’t even be in the general vicinity of fruits and vegetables, but it is my only route to the candy isle.

I cannot lie about my pass, however. I used to eat my veggies. A proud mother I made her: There were no peas or carrots left on my plate.


What happened? Well, I am not sure. I remember being on diet. 30 days in and I was rolling. I then decided that I’ll allow myself to have a cheat day, since, you know, using food as an reward system is beneficial to your wellbeing.

I remember that day well. I start it off with a snickers bar. I then realized how much better it tasted than all the other crap I eating. It was eye opening. I mean, it was mouth opening…

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Creamy Pesto Pasta Primavera With Shrimp (BLW Contributor)

winekindasseur

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On a recent Rachael Ray Show with guest Emeril Lagasse, they made a pasta primavera with saffron cream featuring one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus. Asparagus is in its seasonal prime right now and looking its glorious best; skinny smooth stalks and tight heads with no signs of flowering or wilting. And if the sight of gorgeous asparagus isn’t enough, Rachael gives it even more sex appeal by cutting it on a bias! The audience swoons…

When I attended public school back in the Jurassic Period, we had enough time in the day to take elective classes in art and music. During the ceramics chapter, my art teacher tasked us with making our favorite food out of clay. Amid an abundance of kiln-fired pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, and hamburgers on display at the end of the week was my realistically sculpted, painted green stalk of asparagus. It turns out I…

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What is Detox and Do We Need It?

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Wellnessista

Detox diets appear to be pretty popular these days, people spend tons of money on detox teas and supplements, while others make money selling them. It is also an extremely controversial topic, with one side of people implementing detox diets in their lifestyles and other side rejecting all things detox. Which side is right and which is wrong? What is a detox? And ultimately, do we need a detox?

The truth is there is no right or wrong. There is such thing as a detox and it works to some extent, but given the right circumstances, detox is not necessary. So let’s discuss it all below.

What is a Detox?

Detox is a term used to describe the removal of toxins from the body, either natural or induced. It can mean a diet rich in foods that support natural detoxification, or a supplement that works that way. Detoxification can also…

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Corn, Bacon and Parmesan Pasta Recipe – Oh, my!

1

Oh, hi, I am ready for summer now. What did I miss? Because the first half of this summer was so busy — a manuscript due, a redesign set off into the world, a birthday, and a zillion other bits of happy work/life chaos — I’m in this funny position of looking up for the first time mid-July and realizing that no mysterious person has arrived while I was buried in winter recipe testing and font fine-tunings and filled my freezer with popsicles, put a bowl of heirloom tomatoes on the counter, ready for their caprese closeup [realistically, this doesn’t happen even if I had been paying attention, but let me enjoy this rose-colored Pinterest fantasy just the same] and beach? Hadn’t seen it since May. I have about seven weeks left to catch up, except I know at least five of those will be buried under recipe testing and book edits, which basically means it’s now or never to do all the summer things I haven’t yet. Beach? Check. Swimming? Check. Grilling? Check, check, check. Scheduled 7-hour flight with 4 adults and 5 children to a faraway beach town in the name of vacation? I’m scared but: check! Do everything I can with sweet summer corn while it lasts? Let’s get to work!

Check out the whole recipe via corn, bacon and parmesan pasta — smitten kitchen

Health Benefits of Eating Nuts – Cashews can help Depression

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images

  • Nuts and seeds are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts nutrition loaded with excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty acids (MUF) such as oleic and palmitoleic acids, which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in MUF to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • They are rich source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like Linoleic acid, a-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid, Docosahexonic acid Research studies have suggested that n-3 or ?-3 fats by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action help to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers. Omega-3 fatty acids also offer some benefits in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and in cases of Schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Nuts and seeds are the storehouse of health benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as carotenes, resveratrol, lutein, cryptoxanthin, etc. These compounds have been found to offer protection against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections. Studies suggests that resveratrol in peanuts reduces stroke risk by alterating molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels, reducing their susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and increased production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
  • Nuts nutrition is complete in the sense that in addition to calories, and vitamins, they are rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, fluoride and selenium. Manganeseis a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and plays important role in prevention of dental caries.
  • They contain very good levels of vitamin-E, a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin; thus, protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • Nuts nutrition provides many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. These vitamins are essential for optimum health and well-being.

h6528E4D0

Two handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac. Inside you, the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters.

Serotonin gives a feeling of well-being and mellowness, or as the Australians would say, “no worries.” This is such a profound effect that Prozac, Paxil and similar antidepressants usually either mimic serotonin or artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high. You can do the same thing with your food. And no one can tell us that beans, peas, cheese, nuts and wheat germ are toxic if you eat a lot of them!

Plenty of carbohydrates (starches) in your meals help tryptophan get to where it does the most good: in your brain. In order to cross the blood-brain barrier to get in, carbos are required. So cheese and crackers provides a better effect than the cheese standing alone. An egg or two on toast is better than just the egg. Beans, peas, and nuts already contain carbohydrate, so you are all set there.

Credit: Nutrition and You

Bacon, Onion and Rye Breard Stuffing Recipe

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HD-200911-r-onion-rye-stuffing

INGREDIENTS

  1. One 9-inch-long loaf seeded rye bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, halved and thinly sliced
  4. 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  5. 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  6. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  7. 1/2 pound piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/2 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  8. 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  9. 1 egg
  10. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toast the rye bread cubes for about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until lightly golden and dry. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
  • In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery; cook over moderate heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into the bowl with the bread.
  • Wipe out the skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl with the bread. In a medium bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the egg. Pour over the bread mixture and add the kosher salt and pepper. Toss until the bread soaks up the liquid. Scrape into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes, until hot throughout. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly golden. Serve hot or warm.

Credit: Food & Wine

Bacon-Wrapped Breadsticks Recipe

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Bacon-Wrapped-Breadsticks-6

Ingredients

  • 24 bacon strips
  • 2 tubes (11 ounces each) refrigerated breadsticks
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Nutritional Facts

1 breadstick equals 189 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 425 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 6 g protein.

Directions

  1. Wrap a bacon strip around each breadstick; place on baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

In a shallow bowl, combine cheese and garlic powder. Roll warm breadsticks in cheese mixture. Yield: 2 dozen.

Photo Credit: Bread, Booze & Bacon

Health Benefits of Eating Nuts – Cashews can help Depression

5

images

  • Nuts and seeds are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts nutrition loaded with excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty acids (MUF) such as oleic and palmitoleic acids, which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in MUF to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • They are rich source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like Linoleic acid, a-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid, Docosahexonic acid Research studies have suggested that n-3 or ?-3 fats by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action help to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers. Omega-3 fatty acids also offer some benefits in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and in cases of Schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Nuts and seeds are the storehouse of health benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as carotenes, resveratrol, lutein, cryptoxanthin, etc. These compounds have been found to offer protection against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections. Studies suggests that resveratrol in peanuts reduces stroke risk by alterating molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels, reducing their susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and increased production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
  • Nuts nutrition is complete in the sense that in addition to calories, and vitamins, they are rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, fluoride and selenium. Manganeseis a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and plays important role in prevention of dental caries.
  • They contain very good levels of vitamin-E, a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin; thus, protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • Nuts nutrition provides many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. These vitamins are essential for optimum health and well-being.

h6528E4D0

Two handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac. Inside you, the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters.

Serotonin gives a feeling of well-being and mellowness, or as the Australians would say, “no worries.” This is such a profound effect that Prozac, Paxil and similar antidepressants usually either mimic serotonin or artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high. You can do the same thing with your food. And no one can tell us that beans, peas, cheese, nuts and wheat germ are toxic if you eat a lot of them!

Plenty of carbohydrates (starches) in your meals help tryptophan get to where it does the most good: in your brain. In order to cross the blood-brain barrier to get in, carbos are required. So cheese and crackers provides a better effect than the cheese standing alone. An egg or two on toast is better than just the egg. Beans, peas, and nuts already contain carbohydrate, so you are all set there.

Credit: Nutrition and You

Happy Pasta Day!!! – Loaded Chicken Carbonara

4

carbonara2

LOADED CHICKEN CARBONARA

Ingredients

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 
salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 
3 cloves garlic
  • 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 
1/2 cup white wine
  • 
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 
3 large eggs
  • 
1 gallon water
  • 
1 pound spaghetti
  • 
2 cups frozen peas

carbonara1

  • PREP
   20 mins
  • COOK
   45 mins
  • READY IN  
1 hr 10 mins

Directions

  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from skillet, reserving 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breast halves in the bacon drippings until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil. Rest chicken for 5 minutes before slicing; set aside.
  • Heat remaining tablespoon bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook and stir garlic and ground black pepper in skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour wine into skillet; cook at a simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk Parmesan cheese and eggs together in a bowl. Slowly stream wine mixture into the Parmesan mixture while whisking continually.
  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the water from the pot for later use.

Put the peas in a large colander. Drain the pasta in the colander with the peas. Return drained pasta and peas to the pot. Stir bacon, chicken, and wine mixture into the spaghetti. Thin sauce with reserved pasta water as desired.

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Happy Linguine Day!!! – Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

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Ingredients

Vegetable oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons

3/4 pound linguine

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/2 lemon, zest grated

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds

1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

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Directions

Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

Credit: Food Network