Friday, January 31, 2014

Homemade Dog Biscuits You'll Want To Eat

Homemade Dog Biscuits You'll Want To Eat
By []Todd Mohr

I've had to create my own homemade dog biscuits because my local dog bakery went out of business. A dog bakery? Yes, I was fortunate enough to have a specialty shop near my home that prepared wholesome dog treats, but they weren't cheap.

Considering the amount of money that I'd spent with the business, I'm surprised my patronage alone didn't support them. They closed, and I'm left with the guilt of giving my dogs less than nutritious treats. However, this is a great opportunity to apply my cooking knowledge and save money at the same time.

I, like many people, love my dogs. They enjoy the same things I do. They are members of my family, and part of my lifestyle is eating only the most wholesome, nutritious foods. So why wouldn't my dogs deserve the same treatment? They certainly do.

My homemade dog biscuits are the product of a little bit of research. It took me about 10 minutes looking at dog treat recipes to realize that none of them really matter. This is baking for dogs, after all. They won't complain, they won't send the meal back.

I can use my knowledge of basic mixing and baking methods to gather 4 simple and wholesome ingredients and go about making a version of biscotti for canines. Equal amounts of whole wheat flour and rolled oats are mixed with a jar of peanut butter and just enough water to create dough that will stick together.

Homemade Dog Treat Recipe:
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups rolled oats
28 ounce jar of creamy natural peanut butter
1 cup water

These are the same wholesome ingredients I'd use to make peanut butter cookies for myself. However, for human consumption, there would also be eggs, butter, and a leavening agent like baking powder. All this is unnecessary for dogs, especially because I want a dense hard finished product. Eggs and baking powder would make a lighter, chewier product.

You'll definitely need an electric mixer for this task, as the peanut butter is very sticky. Once the flour, oats, and peanut butter are mixed together, it will resemble coarse cornmeal. This dough won't stick together yet.

Since I want the finished product to be very dry and rock hard, I don't want to add too much water to the mixture. I'll only be drying them in the oven later. I want to add just enough water to the mixture so that it sticks together like dough. I know it's correct when I can squeeze a handful of the dough and it stays together in a ball.

Once pressed into a baking pan, they need to be portioned or scored. A pizza cutter works well for this, and depending on the size of your dog you can make small or large treats. Then, they can be baked until they're rock-hard in a 300F oven for about 90 minutes. It doesn't matter if you over bake them, the harder the better for powerful dog jaws.

Homemade dog biscuits are something I swore I would never bake. I'm a chef, and I cook for HUMANS, for goodness sake. But, from necessity comes invention and now I can create a variety of dog treats from ingredients already in my kitchen.

Fresh wholesome ingredients aren't just for dogs. Chef Todd Mohr has inspired thousands of people to improve their health and nutrition through healthy eating. His FREE online webinar " []How To Cook Fresh in 5 Easy Steps" reveals the secrets to selecting, cooking, and storing farm fresh ingredients for easy everyday home cooking.

Article Source: [] Homemade Dog Biscuits You'll Want To Eat

10 Tips for Healthy Chinese Cooking

10 Tips for Healthy Chinese Cooking
By []Ted Hunting 

10 Techniques for Healthy Chinese

When I first started cooking Chinese 25 years ago, I loved the food and thought it was healthy - but was it really fit? I was surprised what I learned...

I got tips from restaurants on preparation and learned to cook food according to some traditional techniques but much of what I was cooking with healthy meats and vegetables was also loaded with fat and sodium. It was many years later when I had a Mongolian Beef recipe cameo in a San Francisco paper where they published the nutrition information that I was shocked at the fat and sodium in the recipe. The cause? I was using the techniques I had learned to cook great (but often unhealthy) Chinese food. 

I also recall an article I read a few years back where the Chinese "take away" (as they call "take out" in the UK) was analyzed from a health standpoint and they found a particular meal contained a wine glass full of lard in a meal for just one person (appetizer and main course)! That original recipe I cooked in a local paper that was a family favorite, was actually beef deep-fried in two cups of oil at 375 degrees and then drained. It was then followed by a sauce that had way too much salt. Since then that recipe - and all of of my less healthy Chinese recipes - have been transformed and overhauled with an eye toward healther techniques and healthier ingredients to maintain the same great flavors but with far healthier results. 

Although many Chinese cooking techniques such as steaming and boiling are very healthy, the reality is that many popular dishes use traditional techniques and ingredients that destroy the health of the dish: Lean chicken breast
coated and deep fried is a great example. And the great sheen you see on my restaurant dishes? - it's the result of lard that is often used in Chinese restaurants. Throw in some sodium and what starts out as "great fit ingredients" can be transformed into a good tasting but unhealthy mess.

So let's get to it! Some tips for cooking healthy Chinese that I use every week...

Tips on Ingredients

1) Keep Sodium Low. Check out low sodium soy sauce; when buying hoisin sauce check the labels as some contain far less sodium. Same rule applies to other flavorings you will find in the Asian section of your grocery such as black bean sauces, garlic chili sauce, etc. 

2) Look to low fat, high quality proteins. Chicken breast or pork tenderloin are two super-high quality proteins with low fat. If using beef, look for round steak and trim off any fat pieces - eye of the round works particularly well here.

3) Turn up the Vegetables! Use a few extra vegetables in your recipes and the more colors the better as peppers, celery, scallions, etc are all great sources of vitamins, antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Garlic is loaded with Allicin (see my blog post on "Health Benefits of Indian Food" for more on Allicin). And when you increase the vegetables, cut back on the meat a bit for a change. 

4) Replace fat with flavorings. Increase the use of some ingredients in your marinades depending on your mood - a little extra ginger, garlic or other flavorings like a hot Serrano pepper chopped; this helps counter the little fat you will be using. But when using flavorings like sesame oil that are high in fat, don't add back more fat than you are removing! Let's face it fat does add flavor but you can also add flavor back in with other items. 

5) Watch Portions. Eat too much of anything and if the calories are excess, even the purest protein (e.g.eggwhite) the body will convert to fat. I still regularly pile my plate too high with some of my favorite Chinese meals when I am really hungry (e.g. day after a hardcore workout or run) and I need to remind myself not to be swayed by the vegetables and lean chicken breast as an excuse to pile it on. Pile it on your plate and you will pile it on your waist (or elsewhere)! 

6) Get Spicy! Throw in some spice in to boost metabolism and burn fat - try hot serranos with the seeds, hot dried red peppers, or a nice hot oriental mustard at the table. Although not traditional I often grate some black pepper over some vegetables before stir frying - a different type of heat than the peppers used traditionally and I just like it. Studies have shown that hot spicy food can boost your metabolism by 10% so spice it up to burn some extra body fat! 

Tips on Techniques

7) Lower fat in stir-frying. For stir frying or what is often called "wok hei" or "chao" in Chinese cooking: although my wok over very high heat yields the best tasting food, I often now typically cook with my large non-stick saute pan over med-high for stir frying. This allows me to cut oil in half. The flavor is nearly as good but not quite as good as high heat just works best to "explode" the flavor out of chopped garlic. But the non sticks don't like high heat (hard on finish) and you can modify by using a garlic press to still bring out the garlic flavor. Cut oil in half and get flavor almost as good via non stick for many dishes. 

8) Watch the deep fry! Avoid wherever possible deep fat frying with lard or oil that is the basis of many Chinese recipes. 

9) Go beyond stir frying to Steaming and Boiling. It's a great way to cook with very little fat. One of my kids favorite dishes is a rice powder ginger steamed beef - great way to have a lower fat form of beef with no added fat. And also serve super healthy vegetables. You can get really creative with a steamer! You can also cook with no added fat by poaching marinated meat. I do a lean pork tenderloin with vegetables that has the meat marinaded, poached and then mixed with stir-fryed vegetables with very little fat. I also do a simple Chinese Hot Pot with lean chicken, all kinds of vegetables and herbs like mint and cilantro and some other items like serranos and scallions and rice noodles. Boiling can be very healthy. 

10)"Velvet" your Chicken. Velvet chicken breast with pure protein in egg white for great soft texture. The velveting technique is something I will include in my recipes section or a separate blog as it takes more explanation.

So enjoy all the great flavors of China; although I cook Chinese every week the culture and food is so diverse every day could be a new dish. And while enjoying it, use the ingredients and techniques that will taste great but still keep your body super-fit and healthy. I'm hungry..

for more:

Article Source: [] 10 Tips for Healthy Chinese Cooking

10 Situations That Call for Good Bar Food

10 Situations That Call For Good Bar Food
By []Gina Michelle Francis 

Good bar food can be perfect for a number of situations, providing hearty meals in an informal setting. Bar food can be the perfect compromise if you're looking for good places to eat, but require something not quite as casual as a pub meal but less formal and less expensive than a restaurant. Here are 10 situations that often call for good bar food.

1. If you're out shopping and want to break up the day (and take a rest) from your retail exertions, good quality bar food could make for the perfect lunch. You'll feel suitably relaxed and full of energy, ready for the second phase of retail activity.

2. If you're meeting up with friends or a partner for the cinema and fancy a nice meal before you watch a film, bar food could be just the job. Plus, with cinema prices very expensive, the value offered by bar food could help you to keep your costs down.

3. Not all dinner dates have to take place at a fancy restaurant. Sometimes, it's perfectly acceptable - and often preferred - for a couple to enjoy good quality grub in a more informal setting, such as a bar. Many establishments provide bar menus that contain a wide range of tasty meals, so it won't feel like a compromise.

4. Bar meals could be exactly what you're looking for if you have a birthday coming up and want to invite friends and/or relatives to join you in celebrating. If you go for a posh restaurant, you may price some friends out of coming, while bar food is cheaper and served in a fun, but perfectly nice setting.

5. If you're meeting a client, but prefer to talk in a more informal environment, bar meals could be just what you need. There's plenty of atmospheric noise without it drowning out conversation, so can be ideal for some meetings.

6. This type of grub can also be ideal if you want to take your staff out of the office for a team meeting. Being away from boardrooms and desks can often lead to a move creative level of thinking.

7. If your business has achieved a major target, you're welcoming new staff or a long-serving member of staff is leaving, a bar meal could be a great way to acknowledge the occasion.

8. If you're in charge of the office Christmas party plans, a bar could be the perfect setting. Many will provide you with a cordoned off area or have a private hire room, so you can sit down for a bar meal before enjoying some music and dancing.

9. If you're heading out on a big night, but want to make sure you have some good food before you start on the drinks, bar food may be the answer. The atmosphere is such that it will help you get in the right mood for the night of partying.

10. If you've overdone it on the night out and wake up feeling worse for wear, many bars also offer a breakfast or brunch menu for you to enjoy some hearty recovery food.

If you're looking for []good places to eat, you may want to look no further than []bar food. It's good value, the atmosphere is great and you often have lots of tasty meals to choose from.

Article Source: [] 10 Situations That Call For Good Bar Food

From Bar Food to Picnics - Your 10 Options for Eating on a Budget

From Bar Food to Picnics - Your 10 Options for Eating on a Budget
By []Simon S Smith

If you're passionate about food and looking for something fun to do this weekend, but don't have the budget to head to an expensive restaurant, you may be in need of inspiration. Here are 10 ideas for enjoying some great food without having to break the bank.

1. Bar food - Great food is no longer exclusive to high-end, expensive restaurants. There are some great bars serving great bar food - including a mix of old favourites and new, exciting dishes. Why not check out a few bar menus before you head out the door and choose somewhere that suits your taste and budget.

2. Pub grub - Likewise, pubs also represent some really good places to eat. From your local establishment to gastro pubs in the city centre, there is a wide selection to choose from and a broad choice of dishes to try.

3. Cafes - If you're heading out earlier in the day, there are a great many cafes offering tasty meals and snacks throughout the country. No matter whether you live in a small town or big city, you're bound to find one that you like. Many offer foods from different countries, such as Greece or even Armenia.

4. Barbecue - This summer favourite is great when the weather is behaving itself and if you and your friends are all willing to chip in, the cost is relatively inexpensive. Alternatively, you may find that a number of bars and pubs are hosting their own barbecue, allowing you to tuck into burgers, sausages and other treats in a beer garden.

5. Cook for yourself - If you're a dab-hand in the kitchen and don't mind staying in this weekend, why not cook for yourself? Perhaps hosting a dinner party or arranging a romantic meal in for two will be a more enjoyable experience than a formal restaurant experience.

6. Snack bars - If you're off out doing other things at the weekend and would like to fit a tasty snack in and around your plans, a snack bar could be a good option. In recent years, a number of healthy snack bars have opened up to rival the fast-food establishments and meet the needs of the health-conscious public.

7. Bakery - If you can't budget for a meal, but would still like a food treat, a bakery could be the answer. From pastries and bread to a rich array of cakes, you could enjoy a tasty snack for relatively little cost.

8. Two-for-ones - If you are up for a meal out, but are worried you can't afford it, why not check out the wide number of deals being offered by bars, pubs and restaurants in your area. There are some fantastic two-for-ones and special offers available, so be prepared to look before you book.

9. Takeaway - Although they can get quite expensive, takeaways are possible to achieve on a fairly restricted budget; they're certainly a lot cheaper than restaurants. From Chinese and Indian to Thai and English, there's a broad range of options to decide between.

10. Picnics - Finally, you could just pack a basket of food delights and head off to a park or the country with a blanket. Whether it's as a group of friends or as a couple, it may be a nice alternative if the sun is out to play.

If you're looking for []good places to eat and bar []bar food sounds like a good option, why not check out some bar menus to see what deals, dishes and surroundings are on offer.

Article Source: [] From Bar Food to Picnics - Your 10 Options for Eating on a Budget

Greek Yogurt Vs Regular Yogurt - Which One To Choose?

Greek Yogurt Vs Regular Yogurt - Which One To Choose?
By []Jennifer Fidder 

When I talked with my customers about eating habits and the ideal eating plan designed for fat reduction, I noticed that most of them have no idea that there are different kind of yogurts on the market (and no, I'm not talking about banana or strawberry flavor!). So I decided I would write an article named Greek yogurt vs. regular yogurt to kind of give you an idea just what distinguishes Greek yogurt from regular yogurt.

Before we are able to focus on the dissimilarities though we've got to explain what precisely Greek yogurt is. It's a sort of yogurt which was strained in a filter or a textile to take out the whey. Consequently its texture and consistency is usually somewhere between regular yogurt and cheese.

And there you've already got the first significant difference: the actual consistency. However it's not only the feel that produces a big difference. In contrast to regular yogurt the Greek variation consists of a smaller amount of fat and is also much higher in necessary protein (remember, we need protein in order to improve muscle gain). Additionally, it contains less sugar and so allows you to keep your carbohydrate consumption under control. When it is made out of cow milk it almost tastes just like the regular alternative. You can also buy it made from sheep milk, then its flavor will be sourer and you may take it to make sauces or dips.

When it comes to weight-loss (and not only then!) our Greek friend is a wonderful choice. It gives you a lot of protein, will keep you full and satisfied and may be prepared in a wide variety of methods. For example, you could have a terrific protein loaded breakfast when you eat it together with berries, you can easily use it as one of the ingredients for your protein pancake, give a little bit in your healthy morning shake, or come up with a nice dip for carrots or cucumbers.

Here is actually one of my personal favorite and simple to make recipes: Take a single serving of Greek yogurt, half a dozen walnut halves and just one tablespoon of all-natural honey. Yummy!! However, do not forget that this would not be a post workout meal due to the fats in the walnuts. Have it in the morning or in the evening.

You can purchase this kind of yogurt in any supermarket in the regular yogurt section. Try to stay away from the flavored variants since the majority of the time they include extra carbs or preservatives.

If this was a competition, Greek yogurt vs. regular yogurt, I might have to say the winner should be the Greek yogurt!

For more healthy recipe ideas and fitness tips [] go to []

Article Source: [] Greek Yogurt Vs Regular Yogurt - Which One To Choose?

Monday, January 27, 2014

10 Interesting Facts About the Kiwi Fruit

10 Interesting Facts About the Kiwi Fruit
By []Lynne Evans 

Kiwi fruit have their origins in China where they are called the "sunny peach" (Yang Tao) or the "macaque peach" (Mikou Tao). They were first taken to New Zealand at the beginning of the 20th century or the end of the 19th, by a missionary, Isabel Frazier. This is how they got their English name, kiwi, which is a Maori word and also the name of a flightless bird indigenous to New Zealand. The British also call the New Zealanders Kiwis, and as it was first imported into Britain from New Zealand, the name is apt in the British context.

The kiwi fruit grows on a vine, although you would be forgiven for thinking that it grows on a small tree, as that is what the mature plant looks like. Now they are grown in Europe, particularly in Portugal, France, Greece and Italy.

In 1991 the first golden kiwis were harvested, having a golden coloured flesh rather than the usual green one which is used to such good effect in fruit salads.

The kiwi fruit is rich in nutrients, and has more potassium that a banana and more vitamins E and C than citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges and lemons. It also contains calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, some of the B-complex vitamins and the seeds contain an oil rich in Omega-3 which is sadly lacking in most of our diets. It has been hailed as a "super fruit" and rightly so.

In Italian studies on children it has been shown that children with kiwi fruit in their diets and who have respiratory problems such as asthma, shortness of breath and wheezing, have fewer problems than children whose diets do not include this fruit.

In other studies in the lab, in vitro, (not in humans or animals), extracts of kiwi fruit have had inhibiting effects on melanoma cells (skin cancer). The fruit may also help to prevent arteries clogging.

Kiwi fruits exhibit powerful antioxidant activity which means that they combat the free radicals in the body which can damage healthy cells and cause them to become cancerous. Having potent antioxidant properties also means that they can help to thin the blood and so prevent blood clots. Antioxidants also help to reduce signs of aging.

A face mask can be made from the skin and pulp of kiwis which tightens the pores and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Just blend a couple of fruit and skins and apply the pulp to your face, leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse off with tepid water.

The lutein contained in kiwis has been linked to the prevention of prostate and lung cancer, although as studies are still underway, it is too early to say if this is actually the case. However adding kiwis to your diet would not harm you, as long as you remove the skin from commercially grown ones as it may contain pesticide residue.

A kiwi fruit also contains a fair amount of dietary fibre, so it can help to prevent constipation and reduce the risk of piles and colon cancer.

Finally on a lighter note, the US humorist, Erma Bombeck once quipped "Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwi fruit and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead." If you enjoyed this article why not visit this web site for more interesting facts and information about the foods we eat? There are new recipes to try and health information.

Article Source: [] 10 Interesting Facts About the Kiwi Fruit

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Foods to Eat for Energy - 6 Remarkable Benefits of Eating In The Raw

By []Maria Renouf 

If you want to live disease-free, with abundant energy and zest for living; if you want to remain strong and resist aging, then you need to concentrate on food to eat for energy. A diet rich in raw foods might just be the one for you.

The trouble is that we live in a world where processed, and convenience foods predominate. We have come to accept them as a way of living, and making that transition to high-raw is challenging.

People often begin the process of eating more raw foods, only to revert to the standard, processed diet at a later stage. It's got everything to do with convenience!

You know, even in deciding to embrace more fruits and vegetables into one's diet, the fact is that buying most of this in the supermarket would probably not promote great changes in health.

Most fruits and vegetables in supermarkets have travelled vast distances, many from overseas, some of it is unseasonal, and with much of the goodness compromised. Some fruits come from countries where chemicals, now banned in most westernized countries, are allowed to be used.

Farmers' Markets

And so, the farmers' markets are springing up around the world, bringing with them, fresh, local produce that we can mostly trust, lots of it being organic.

This is where we can begin our raw journey.

You see, only raw and unrefined foods have the ability to regenerate our bodies, and nourish us at a cellular level. Living foods promote life, and prevent the depletion of our bodies' own life-supporting supply of enzymes.

It's as simple as that!

Cooked, processed foods, on the other hand, are almost always deficient in nutrients, and are certainly not energy promoting. Think about a traditional Christmas Day feast. How much energy do people have after gorging on that?

The reality is that when we cook food over a certain temperature, that is, 117 degrees, we destroy much of the life-giving force - and the body, by the way, treats this cooked food as a toxin!

On the other hand, a diet rich in leafy (and versatile) plant food, combined with nuts, and seeds, sea vegetables, sprouted grains and legumes, will give us energy we could never have dreamed of. Such a diet will serve to regenerate the body.

Raw food is easy to digest, and will support your bank of energy, as well as hydrating you at the same time.

Whereas processed, cooked food, with all its additives, will steal from your enzyme bank, and deplete your energy store.

Consider these 6 remarkable benefits of eating raw food:

Raise your energy levels;
Clean out toxins in your blood;
Provide amazing nutrients, vitamins and minerals;
Work at a cellular level to oxygenate your blood;
Help maintain a sleek, healthy body; and
Alkalize the body.

Go organically raw!

Lots of people reading this would immediately suggest that they can't afford organics. But if you really want to turn your health around, you really should consider the health origins of whatever you are eating.

When we buy certified organics, we can be assured of the time rule regarding the use of pesticides. Some farmers may sell 'organically grown' produce, but may not be able to be certified because of previous use of pesticides in the soil.

These farmers have to wait around seven to ten years before they can obtain their organic certification. It's rightly strict!

Conventional growing, using pesticides, depletes the soil, whilst organic farming supports and gives back to the soil. That is, soil that disease-resistant plants thrive upon, and so too, will you, if you choose to feast on them!

This is the kind of eating that nature intended for all of us - food to eat for energy and to promote healing.

From your natural health promoter and friend, Maria Renouf.

Adopting a raw food diet involves change. Get some tips and advice on how to approach the change by visiting []

Eating raw foods is just a part of shifting your body into an alkaline state. Learn more about alkaline benefits by getting your complimentary Mini Acid:Alkaline Awareness course at [] Delivered to your mailbox in bite-sized chunks over one week. There are some real eye-openers. Go ahead - it's free, and you might be spurred on to start your own investigations.

Article Source: [] Food to Eat for Energy - 6 Remarkable Benefits Of Eating In The Raw

Top 11 Tips on How to Save Money and Still Dine Out

Top 11 Tips on How to Save Money and Still Dine Out
By []Amy L Fields 

Going out to eat can be a fun experience for you and your family, but it certainly can be expensive. So what can you do to save big bucks while dining out? 

#1 First thing would be to find a coupon. Scour your local newspaper inserts for coupons to local restaurant chains. Check your mailbox for ValPak coupon inserts. Often times they will have restaurant coupons. Look online for discount coupons. Check out money saving blogs and coupon sites (, is a good one).

#2 Visit your favorite restaurants online and sign up for emails and often times you will receive free food items and notifications of specials or deals. Visit to purchase gift certificates to local restaurants at a fraction of the cost. You can often find a promo code for this site that you can use at checkout to save even more.

*When you use a coupon or gift certificate be sure to read the fine print. Some are for dinner only, others may be valid for a specific food item. Check the expiration date. Nothing is more frustrating that going to use a coupon and discovering it is expired!

#3 If you have kids, visit restaurants that offer free kids meals. Some offer them every day of the week, others specific days and times. Again, check each restaurant's website or visit to find a listing of free kids meal offers in your area.

#4 Timing is everything. Did you know at most restaurants they offer a lunch menu with many of the same items on the dinner menu for a lot less? Think early bird special. Eat your dinner early, usually before 4 or 5 pm and you can save a good 20% off your bill.

#5 Think drinks. I am not referring to alcoholic drinks (we all know those are always pricey) but I am referring to fountain drinks and the like. The cost of the typical beverage at most chain restaurants run about $2.50 or so with free refills. Not too bad if you drink a lot during your meal. But an even better way to save is to skip the fountain drinks and opt for ice water. 

Think about it. Let's say you and your family (totaling 4 people) each get a drink, that will cost you upwards of $10 on your bill. Not a big water fan? Order water and bring a stick of beverage flavoring, like Crystal Light to mix into your drink. Or order a cup of hot water and bring your own tea bag or pack of instant coffee. 

#6 Split a large entree with another member of your party. I don't know about you, but often times an entree is entirely too much for me to eat by myself. I usually end up taking left overs home for the next day. But if you want to save some cash, consider sharing. You can ask the waiter for the entree split on two plates or do it your self and just ask for an extra plate brought to the table.

#7 Eat an appetizer as your main dish. The appetizers can be quite large, usually less expensive than an entree and could be a good alternative.

#8 Ask if they offer free bread, biscuits or chips for the table. Think Red Lobster. They have the best biscuits and will bring you a free basket for your table with refills! I often times get full just on the biscuits and a salad and end up taking most of my meal home. 

#9 Order off the kid's menu. Some restaurants, like Cracker Barrel will let anyone order off their kids menu regardless of age. If you have a smaller appetite that just might be the thing for you. You will get a smaller portion at a less expensive price.

#10 If you are a senior citizen, take full advantage of this. Check the menu or ask your server if they offer senior discounts or if they have a special senior priced menu selection. IHOP offers this. 

# 11 Free desserts. Many restaurants offer FREE desserts for your birthday. You will likely get a cheesy song performed by the servers to go along with the dessert, but, hey! Free food is free food. Isn't a free warm brownie with ice cream and hot fudge worth a few seconds of humiliation? 

Think about all the ideas I just mentioned. Combine two or more of these money saving options and you can get a great meal out for a lot less. Mangia! (That's Italian for EAT!)

For more money saving ideas, visit   rel=nofollow


Article Source: [] Top 11 Tips on How to Save Money and Still Dine Out

Top 10 Healthy Comfort Food Tips

Top 10 Healthy Comfort Food Tips
By []J Schweppe 

Having a bad day? Would you love to curl up on the couch with a big plate of lasagna? Your head says yes, your arteries say no. Among the things that make comfort foods comfort foods are fat and calories, but you can still enjoy the classics without blowing your diet. The idea is to focus on flavor instead of fat and there are lots of ways to add flavor while reducing fat. Here are 10 tips for cutting the fat and amping up the flavor without sacrificing comfort.

1. Change Your Mindset from Fat to Flavor

Chances are the comfort foods you love the most are dishes that were prepared for you as a child. If that's the case, those dishes are probably loaded with fat. Until 20 years ago, it was a given that if you wanted a satisfying meal, it would have to include lots of fat. Essentially fat is just an easy way to add flavor and it's the flavor that's so satisfying.

2. Revisit Childhood Favorites 

Make a list of the 10 foods you loved the most as a child. If you don't already have the recipes, ask around to see who does.

3. Examine the Recipes

It's pretty easy to spot the high calorie, high fat culprits; butter, margarine, shortening, vegetable oil, etc. Chances are these recipes are loaded with fat and short on other seasonings.

4. Find Similar Recipes

Go online to   rel=nofollow or a similar site to find a newer version of the same dish.

5. Compare

For example, if one of your recipes is beef stroganoff, compare the ingredients of your recipe with the ingredients of the new version. Your version will probably require mass quantities of butter and sour cream; while the newer version will call for a tablespoon or so of butter and reduced fat sour cream. Your version will call for powdered spices (or maybe even a spice mix), and canned mushrooms; while the newer version will call for red wine, fresh spices, and fresh mushrooms.

6. Decide What You Can Live Without

If you eliminate all of the fat, it will probably cease to be comfort food for you. A good goal is to eliminate half the fat, try it, and if it's not satisfying, add some fat back in.

7. Reduce the Amount, Not the Fat Content

You'll find that, taste-wise, you're better off reducing the amount of fat-containing products rather than going with reduced fat products and using the original amount.

8. Use the Same Spices as the Newer Version

If the list of herbs and spices in the newer version seems reasonable to you, duplicate those amounts. Some recipes are a spin on traditional classics that would take the comfort right out of your comfort food. For example; chili powder in stroganoff is interesting, but probably not what your Aunt Rose's recipe calls for.

9. Make a Small Test Batch

If this is your comfort food, make just enough for yourself the first time. If you like it, then make it for your family the next time.

10. Ignore the Previous 9 Tips

If the reworked recipe isn't working for you, it's time to throw caution to the wind, put on your jammies, and curl up with a big plate of your Aunt Rose's best beef stroganoff. After all, life is short and you don't do this every you?

Jeff Schweppe is president of Schweppe, Inc. a walk-in, online, and phone order foodservice and restaurant supply business, with the best selection of professional-grade kitchen supplies and commercial equipment in the Chicago area. Schweppe's store, located at 376 W. North Ave. 1/2 mile east of I-355, in Lombard, Illinois, is always open to the public. Website: []

Article Source: [] Top 10 Healthy Comfort Food Tips

Saturday, January 25, 2014

7 Tips On How To Get Kids To Eat Their Vegetables

7 Tips On How To Get Kids To Eat Their Vegetables
By []Mike Hebsgaard 

Just yesterday I prepared a nice wok dish with Jasmin rice, Sweet & Sour sauce and a wide array of vegetables suitable for a wok dish. Now, I know my son likes rice and Sweet & Sour sauce just fine, but as soon as he saw the vegetables he refused to touch it.

Sound familiar?

Well, we have a rule. That rule says you can't leave the table without tasting what's on your plate. So, he did and left quickly.

It's frustrating when your kids won't eat the food your serving. And even more frustrating when you can't get them to eat the vegetables you know they need. Yesterday the outcome was that he didn't really get anything for dinner. Harsh? Maybe, but if you won't eat what's on the table you not hungry enough!

Today I had a chat with some colleagues. I wanted to know if they had the same issues with their kids and how they handled it. We came up with these 7 tips.

Start Early

Make sure you offer vegetables from day one. It's easier to get your kids to eat vegetables if they've always done it. Make sure vegetables become a natural part of their diet. A habit if you will.

What I can tell you is that this is a mistake we have definitely made. We haven't been good enough at getting vegetables on the plate from an early point my son's life. The eldest son is now 5 years old and we're facing an uphill struggle. That tells you something about how early you should start.

Don't Give Up

Kids are stubborn. Be more stubborn! No matter how difficult it gets you need to be more persistent than your kid. We're out in the trenches. We're fighting for their future health. It's a battle that's far too important to lose.

I told you earlier that we have a very simple rule. You don't get to leave the table until you've tasted what's on the plate. This goes for everything including vegetables. Even if you have little success feeding your kid vegetables it's critical that you keep trying. Many of the other tips mentioned here work really well in that regard.

Use Fruit

One way to sneak vegetables into kids diet is to mix it with fruit. There are a ton of salads you can make with fruits like apples, pineapples, strawberries, etc. You can also mix in things like raisins to sweeten the deal. However, it's important that the salad doesn't contain just fruit. The key is to mix vegetables like carrots, red onions and peppers into the salads. Sure the kids can try to avoid the vegetables, but it's not going to be easy. Especially if you chop or slice the fruit as well as the vegetables in small pieces and mix them together.

In my experience kids are very good at separating the fruit from the vegetables. Be firm, but fair.If they willingly taste bits of the vegetables and eat all the fruit that's OK. The important thing is to get the process going.

Mix It In

Does your kid like lasagna and other pasta dishes? Those are prime candidates for vegetables. Use fresh vegetables or even frozen vegetables. Throw a bagful of vegetables into the dish and watch him eat. Ok. It might not be quite that easy, but it's going to be nearly impossible for your kid to avoid the vegetables.

I've experienced complaints when I've added sliced carrots to the pasta, but usually it ends up going down pretty well. Many kids love pasta and I certainly know mine do, and pasta is a prime candidate for vegetables. Use fresh or frozen vegetables in tiny pieces. Make the vegetables impossible to avoid.

Offer Alternatives

Some kids don't like carrots. Others don't like tomatoes. Most kids, however, have one or two vegetables they do like. My son likes tomatoes. By giving your kid the choice between several different vegetables there's a greater chance you will find something he likes. The important thing is to get him to eat vegetables and even more importantly find vegetables he likes. That knowledge will be a great weapon in the future. How? You will use that knowledge to create salads containing vegetables you know he likes combined with other vegetables.

My son loves tomatoes so we like to make a simple tomato salad with (obviously) tomatoes, red onions and olives. He likes olives and tomatoes, but isn't too keen on the red onions, but by chopping them up and mixing them with the tomatoes and the olives it's hard for him to avoid them.

Don't Offer Alternatives

As a parent you have to draw the line. If your kid won't eat the dinner you have prepared because it contains vegetables then that's just tough luck! Don't make any other kind of food available. No sandwiches, no candy, no nothing! At some point the kid will cave and start eating what you put on the table.

What happens in these situations when I experience them at home is that my son will usually make a huge fuss about it and then eventually he'll sit down and eat. When I say a huge fuss it can easily mean he'll be kicking and screaming for the better part of an hour. In the rare instances where he simply refuses to eat it there will be no dinner for him at all! I have experienced that 2 or 3 times the past year.

Be A Good Example

This is without a doubt the most important of all 7 tips!

If you won't eat your vegetables how can you expect your kid to? You can't! Parenting is very much about setting a good example for your kid. Eating habits are no different.

The truth is I have never really been a huge fan of vegetables myself. It's a habitual thing from my childhood. This has clearly influenced the habits of my oldest son. That's why I've been working hard to rectify that situation for the last couple of years.

So, what's our next move? Well, at our dinner table we'll be applying all of the above. Starting next week I'll be mixing vegetables into all dishes. I'm also contemplating a "veggie week" without any meat.

These are just a few ways to []make kids eat vegetables. Subscribe to the How To Cook newsletter here; and receive weekly tips and tricks on cooking and food.

Article Source: [] 7 Tips On How To Get Kids To Eat Their Vegetables

Smoked Salmon - Health Benefits of This Wonderful Fish

Smoked Salmon - Health Benefits of This Wonderful Fish
By []Lynne Evans 

Salmon, both fresh and smoked is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in other oily fish such as mackerel. Omega-3 is sadly lacking in a lot of Western diets, but we should try to include foods that contain it as it can help to lower blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in the blood as well as lessening the risk of hemorrhages. It helps to keep the heart healthy and protects against some cancers and it also helps stabilize our moods. It is not an anti-depressant but has some benefits for our state of mental health as it is also high n protein. Omega-3 may also help to reduce the triglycerides, which are types of fat, in our blood which is good news for people with Type II diabetes as they usually have higher levels than normal in their blood.

Smoked salmon is also rich in vitamin E which has anti-inflammatory properties and also has potent antioxidant ones. This means that smoked salmon consumption can help combat the free radicals which cause healthy cells to become cancerous.

Salmon contains bioactive peptides which may help with the maintenance of healthy cartilage around the joints (knees, ankles etc.) and they may also provide support for insulin's effective use by the body and also help control and so lessen inflammation in the digestive tract. One of these bioactive peptides is calcitonin which is produced by the thyroid gland and helps to regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in our bones and the tissues which surround and cushion them. Researchers hope to be able to provide conclusive evidence that these bioactive peptides reduce inflammation which would be good news for sufferers from arthritis and rheumatism as well as other inflammatory diseases.

Smoked and fresh salmon contains some of the B-complex vitamins which are necessary for healthy blood and tissue production as well as for nerve function. It also contains the trace element, selenium which works with the vitamin E to protect healthy body cells from toxins and their destructive effects. It may also inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, although more research is needed to prove whether or not this is the case. Selenium is vital for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland too and it is found in good amounts in fresh and smoked salmon.

One benefit of eating smoked salmon is that all the parasites and worms are killed in the smoking process, so it is safe to be eaten raw, as it were. Another is that it is low in calories and as it is rich you can't actually consume too much of it in one sitting. It also contains significant amounts of the minerals copper, selenium and phosphorous and smaller amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Unfortunately smoked salmon contains high levels of sodium which contributes to increased risks of heart disease and strokes as well as high blood pressure. This means that if you suffer from any of these diseases, it is not a good thing to include in your diet, at least in significant amounts. It is best avoided if you suffer from hypertension, chronic kidney disease, or diabetes. One or two studies have suggested that the smoking process causes unhealthy substances to form, but as long as you eat smoked salmon in moderation, you are unlikely to become ill because of it.

However, if like me you love the richness of smoked salmon and don't have any of the health problems mentioned above, it could be a good idea to add smoked salmon to your diet occasionally. If you have enjoyed this article, you might like this website which is full of information about the food we eat and the plants that have medicinal uses. There are easy recipes for you to try which are deliciously different. Why not click on the link to find out what it's all about?

Article Source: [] Smoked Salmon - Health Benefits of This Wonderful Fish

5 Reasons to Try a Paleolithic Diet

5 Reasons to Try a Paleolithic Diet
By []Holly Matthews 

In this article, I'll describe to you exactly what the Paleolithic (or "Caveman") Diet is, and 5 reasons why you should give it a try!

So, What is a "Paleo" Diet? The modern paleo diet is based on the assumed diet of our ancestors several thousand years ago. Back then, before agriculture, diets consisted of meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. There was no access to dairy products, processed fats, oils, or sugars, or mass farmed grains like wheat. 

Some nutritionists believe that the human body evolved over thousands of years to process and digest these kinds of foods, and that the rapid expansion of agriculture in comparatively recent years has left the human body trying to digest unfamiliar foods. Reverting to a Paleo diet is supposed to model more accurately what the body had evolved to digest, and provide a number of health benefits.

Why Try a Paleolithic Diet?

Here are my top 5 reasons:

1 - Studies have shown that the diet is more filling per calorie than other diets. Even healthy "Mediterranean diets" tend to make you consume more calories before feeling full. So, as part of a calorie controlled diet, the Paleo diet could help you to lose weight more efficiently.

2 - Early studies suggest that eating a Paleo Diet can lower blood pressure safely, and reduce the amount of CRP in the blood. This helps to control the bodies inflammation response, which may lower the risk of certain types of cancer.

3 - The Paleo Diet is very high in fibre, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system, reduce cholesterol, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

4 - It reduces diabetes risk. More than 70% of the total daily energy consumed people in the United States comes from dairy products, cereals, refined sugars, refined vegetable oils and alcohol, all of which have high Glycemic Index values. In contrast, the Paleo diet has very low GI values, helping to maintain a stable blood sugar level, and reduce the risk of diabetes.

5 - Fewer adverse reactions. Huge numbers of people in the world are intolerant to dairy, gluten, or nuts. Some people are mildly intolerant, and may not even realise it. This continued consumption of foods your body rejects causes you to feel tired, bloated, or generally a bit "down". The paleo diet has none of these food groups. The very fact that these most common allergies are not part of the paleo diet lends weight to the theory that our bodies are ill-adapted to the modern diet. Trying the paleo diet for a few days might just make you feel more energetic, brighter, and more healthy.

Some people might be scared of trying a new "faddy" diet, but you really shouldn't be. I've reviewed a number of   rel=nofollow []cookbooks which have plenty of delicious (and normal) recipes that help you find your feet when starting out. Try it out for 14 days, and see if you can't tell the difference!

So, now you have no excuse. You know what the Modern Paleo Diet is, and 5 excellent health benefits to persuade you to try it out. And you can find plenty of cookbooks to guide you, so there's nothing stopping you from finding out whether it makes you feel healthier and full of get-up-and-go!

Holly Matthews has recently joined new startup OnlineCookbookReviews and wants to spread the word about healthier eating options.

Article Source: [] 5 Reasons to Try a Paleolithic Diet

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Drinking Smoothies Can Help Improve Your Health!

How Drinking Smoothies Can Help Improve Your Health!
By []Wendy Polisi 

Fruits are an important part of our diet and provide our bodies with essential nutrients. They are among the best sources of vitamins and minerals and many health experts believe that regular consumption of fruits is important in order to avoid disease. Even better? Aim for three servings of fruit a day. While it seems impossible to eat three or four kinds of fruits each day, it's actually pretty easy. You can even eat more than that if you want to. The solution? Making smoothies every day! This way, you are able to consume the daily requirement of fruits quickly and easily.

Making smoothies out of fruits is a lot better than turning them into fruit juices, desserts with pastries, adding them in ice creams, creams or chocolate, or mixing them into anything that contains a lot of fat or cholesterol. Aside from the fact that you get to eat the whole fruit, except the seeds, you are also able eliminate fatty ingredients that can turn the very healthy fruits into a totally unhealthy dish. Smoothies are made with fresh fruits, which means it doesn't have any preservatives and the nutrients of the fruits aren't at all lessened due to cooking, baking or juicing.

Another reason why smoothies are better than any kind of fruit recipe is because it offers more than enough health benefits. The health benefits that we get from drinking smoothies regularly are very useful in both short term and in the long run. Drinking smoothies give our body a lot of nutrients that will help our body function better. Allow me to introduce to you some of the health benefits that we get from drinking smoothies everyday.

Drinking smoothies in the morning is a must because it hydrates our body, keeping us feeling refreshed during the morning. It also gives us energy, something we need to kick-start our day right. Both these benefits help keep our brain focused and active, so we are ready to face the day.

Drinking smoothies help relieve stress. It gets rid of mood swings as well, helping us keep a positive outlook during the course of the day. If we drink smoothies regularly, we can lower the risk of experiencing depression.

Smoothies are known to help in weight loss. That's because smoothies are very rich in fiber, which helps keep our metabolism normal. It maintains our digestive system, working like a broom that sweeps away unwanted fat and toxins by flushing it out our system regularly. Since we have a much better digestion, thanks to smoothies, we also get healthier skin. If we don't flush toxins away the proper way, which is through digestion, it leeks out from our skin, causing acne and other skin problems. But with a healthier digestive system, we are able to prevent these skin problems and we also have a more radiant skin.

Aside from dietary fiber, we also get antioxidants from drinking smoothies. These antioxidants help reduce the risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases. It also lowers blood sugar levels. Antioxidants are known to get rid of disease-causing substances.

Since smoothies are made from fruits, you'd think that it's not a very good source of protein, but that really depends on the ingredients you add to your smoothie. To make your smoothie protein-rich, you can add dairy products, like yogurt or milk. You can also add whole grains which are rich in protein, like quinoa!

Making your own smoothies has a lot of advantages. For one, you get to choose the ingredients you add in your smoothie. You are also sure that every ingredient you use is fresh and not pre-made. The best thing about making your own smoothie is that you have full control over it, so you get to choose what benefits you'll get from it.

To find amazing smoothie recipes [] or to find out why I love my Ninja blender [] please visit me on the web.

Article Source: [!&id=6907261] How Drinking Smoothies Can Help Improve Your Health!

10 Fail Proof Ways to Eat Healthy When Dining Out

10 Fail Proof Ways to Eat Healthy When Dining Out
By []Nick Shepherd 

It is hard not to overindulge when eating out. What with the multiple courses, large portions, influence of alcohol and the long time spent in the restaurant. When we are having a good time socialising and laughing over the table it is easy to let our guard drop.

Here are 10 fail proof ways to eat healthy when dining out.

1. Eat before you go

This tip is just common sense. The more you eat at home the less hungry you will be when you go out so the less you will order.

2. Take half your meal home

Ask your waiter to put half of the dish in a take home box before it is brought to the table. This means that you won't be able pick at your meal when you are full and waiting for others to finish.

Follow this tip particularly if you know the restaurant offers large portions. Not only will you eat less but you can have two meals for the price of one.

3. Easy on the alcohol

A glass or two of wine is enjoyable with any meal and whilst chatting with friends. But try to avoid having any more than one or two glasses. Not only does alcohol contain empty calories but it will lower your inhibitions so you will be more tempted to order high calorie foods.

For those who love beer, try switching to wine. Not only will it complement the taste of your meal better but wine contains less calories than beer.

The best option of course is to avoid alcohol altogether and stick to water.

4. Ask, Ask, Ask

If you are unsure as to whether a dish is healthy or not or unsure as to what it contains or how it is prepared then don't be afraid to ask the waiter. The waiter may also be unsure but he will ask the chef for you. Either way you will have a much better idea of what is healthy and what is not.

5. Avoid the buffet

It is all too easy to overeat when you see nothing but rows of food placed in front of you. If you are like me then the temptation is usually too great to ignore. I therefore make sure that I stick to the a la carte menu.

Sometimes you have no say as to where to eat so you might find yourself in an all you can eat restaurant. If this is the case then try to sit as far away as possible from the buffet.

6. Plan ahead

If you already know where you will be dining and it is not a spur of the moment decision then make sure you look at the menu before you go out. These days every restaurant seems to have a website with their menu on it. Find out what is healthy and make sure you stick to it when the time comes to order.

7. Avoid fried dishes

Opt for dishes that are baked, broiled, grilled, poached or steamed. Nothing says unhealthy like fried, saut�ed, stuffed or escalloped food. If you are unsure as to how a dish is prepared then don't forget to ask, ask, ask.

8. Order dressings and sauces on the side

Dressings and sauces tend to contain a lot of calories. Have you ever ordered a salad thinking it would be the healthy option but are presented with a pile of lettuce soaked in ranch dressing? Ordering dressings and sauces on the side means you can control how much to add to your meal.

9. Stick to whole grains

Choosing dishes made with whole grains is an easy way to eat healthy when dining out. Choose whole wheat bread rather than white bread and order whole grain pasta or brown rice.

10. Eat healthy for most of the week

Sometimes we want nothing else but to enjoy the fattiest, tastiest food that a restaurant has to offer. Especially when we are dining out as a celebration or if we haven't seen friends in a long time. My favourite tip is to eat healthy for most of the week. This will allow you to eat anything you want at the restaurant and not feel guilty about it.

If you enjoyed this article then visit []The Zen Approach for more interesting articles.

Article Source: [] 10 Fail Proof Ways to Eat Healthy When Dining Out