A New Year and a New Focus in the Kitchen by Paul Lindemuth

The holiday decorations are taken down and packed away. The last of the Christmas cookies are eaten. And now I’m finally able to move forward to the first weekend that does not involve the responsibility of entertaining or being entertained! It was a very busy season of holiday cooking and baking with so many lists that needed checking and re-checking with a work-related event on the calendar nearly every day.

If you’re like me, a New Year brings a new focus to so many aspects of everyday life and it’s a good time to bring that focus to our homes and kitchens. Here are some thoughts (OK….resolutions) that I’m bringing into our kitchen and home in 2017:

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR KITCHEN

You’ve spent so much time in the kitchen and looked at the same four walls and all the surfaces for hours on end. January is a great time to give your kitchen a good cleaning from top to bottom. And when you’ve finished that chore, create a new focal point with a planter of bright green herbs on the counter or a new food photo hung on the wall or a new cookbook displayed in a book holder.

GET ORGANIZED

This is a great time to open all the cabinets and drawers and take control of the clutter. Kitchen tools are often thrown into a drawer in haste when you’re busy, so pull everything out to clean up and organize. The same holds true for cabinets and drawers with ingredients and spices that may be past their prime. Toss that stuff out and get a fresh start.

EAT MORE HEALTHILY

 Begin with small goals that are easily achievable on an everyday basis. Start packing a healthy lunch to take to work. Grab an apple for your snack to ease into eating more nutritiously. Once you’ve conquered the small steps add more healthy habits like cutting back on bad carbs and sugar until you’re eating more healthily regularly.


MAKE TIME FOR FAMILY

I think we’ve all had our fill of office parties, holiday feasting and revelry. Before the New Year gets too busy, make sure to set aside time for family. Block off some time that’s reserved just for activities at home. Eating together around the dining table is a great way to bring focus back to home and family.  Please enjoy this beautiful and vibrant recipe around the table together!

Baked Whitefish with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  • canola oil spray
  • four 6-ounce whitefish fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peeled chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with canola oil spray. Sprinkle the fish with the salt and place it in the pan.
  • In the jar of a blender combine the coconut milk, cilantro, ginger, garam masala, garlic and jalapeño. Pulse until fairly smooth.
  • Pour the mixture over the fish. Bake until the fish is just opaque in the center, about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the fish to heated plates. Garnish with more cilantro and serve right away.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Christmas Cookies, Advent Calendars, St. Nick and Chipped Ornaments by Kelly Sears

The pumpkins, platters, and roasters are put away, the final turkey sandwich has been eaten and we turn the corner to the decorated trees, spinning dreidels, shopping, gift wrapping, and a packed December schedule. But sprinkled among the have-to-dos are the traditional want-to-dos. Those “started-when-I-was-a-kid” holiday traditions that happen only once a year but are traditions we carry on with our own families.

kellyblog2I spent the majority of my early life living in a condominium. We met our neighbors at the mailboxes or in the garage with a passing hello, and many became friends. Every year, we would gift boxes of homemade Christmas cookies to these friends and others. Not just one kind, that wasn’t how it worked in our home. It was dozens of varieties and dozens and dozens of cookies. Cookie cutters, icing the colors of the rainbow, cookie tins, wax paper and huge Tupperware containers littered the kitchen. Mom would make hot chocolate and put on a pot of chili and around that small kitchen table we would fill cookie tins until the lid would barely fit. My dad would burst into the chaos, snatch a cookie (usually the angel whose wing would always break off as you tried to ease her out of the cutter), slather it with frosting and make a quick exit. The best part was delivery. The cookies never tasted as good as the look on the gifted recipient’s face when they opened the tin; pure joy. Baking is for sharing. A recipe makes enough for you and for others. Pack lots of tins.

kellyblog3One year, when my sister’s kids were toddlers, I went to a charity auction and bid on a quilted advent calendar. It had twenty-four sewn little pockets to fill and so it began. Each year, I would fill the pockets with candy or notes, little hot chocolate packets, shoe laces, Christmas pencils, and snowflake socks. Today my niece is 15, my nephew 14. Around the middle of November they start hinting as to the status of this year’s calendar; “you’re doing it again, right?” These days, the gifts are Starbucks cards, hockey tape, and giant marshmallows. But there are still notes, candies and little hot chocolate packets. Just about every day they text me and let me know what was in today’s pocket. They are excited by a candy cane; my heart is bursting that they chose to reach out. There are 24 days before Christmas each December; reach out and just see what you get back.

In the German tradition, children leave their wooden shoes outside on December 5th. If they were good, in the morning they would find them filled with fruits, nuts, a smattering of candy and a bread-man made of sweet dough. Every year my sister and I would leave our shoes outside the door in the hallway and forget about them. Late in the night there would be a loud pounding on the door and a jingle of bells and we would run trying to catch a glimpse of St. Nick as he darted off. As I got older, I got faster. As mentioned, we lived in a condominium. I got to our front door just as the stairwell door was closing. I ran to the door as fast as I could, looked up and looked down the staircase. I saw him, I saw St. Nick! And then it hit me, I didn’t want to know St. Nick. I didn’t want to know that it was really the neighbor from upstairs who had been pounding on our door for the last ten years. He was older now too and couldn’t make it up the stairs as fast anymore to escape his identity being unveiled. My sister was right behind me but missed the viewing. “Did you see him, did you see him?” Nope, I missed him, I said. Sometimes it’s better to believe than to know.

kellyblog1When I got married, one of my wedding gifts was a box of ornaments from our family tree. Some I had made throughout the years, some representing vacations or events, some just favorites. In amongst the old was a new bride and a groom ornament. The bride and groom hung proudly on our first tree front and center that year. Over the next couple of years, our marriage hit some speed bumps. We decorated the tree, it fell over and some of the ornaments broke. The bride and groom got chipped. She lost an arm, he had a cracked neck. We could have scooped up those ornaments in the dust pan and tossed them in the trash but we chose to wrap them in tissue and try to bring them out again the next year. Twenty-eight years later, the bride and groom are still on the tree, one armed and cracked neck. Life is fragile, handle with care.

Whatever your holiday traditions, keep them going. Presents are less important than being present. Pack lots of tins, reach out and just see what you get back, sometimes believing is better than knowing. Life is fragile, handle with care.

Happy Holidays!

My Mom’s Sugar Cookies
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Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together butter and sugar; beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder.
  • Chill dough for at least one hour or overnight. Roll onto a floured surface and cut out with cookie cutters.
  • Place on parchment lined sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Just Jump In by Cherise Slattery

There’s more than one way to skin a ______. You can fill in the blank. I was thinking cat. Recently we were on a family vacation and spent an entire evening having an idiom contest. There are thousands once you start paying attention. But I digress.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. And there’s more than one way to mix a vinaigrette, or cook a steak, or bake a loaf of bread. When I teach a cooking class, I learn too. So many of the people who come to cooking classes love food and are already great cooks. Some people are learning how to make something for the very first time, and some are taking a cooking class because that is what they love, that is their hobby, and they immerse themselves in the experience.

panzanellaOne comment I often get is, “but I heard you were supposed to do it this way.” I believe there isn’t one right way, only your favorite way, or the way that has always worked best for you. If what you’re cooking looks delicious, and tastes delicious, the road that got you there doesn’t matter. The trick is finding your best way. I do that by continually reading, taking classes, and experimenting. You just have to jump in and start cooking!

And after some experimenting, here’s my favorite way to use up the very last of those summer tomatoes.

Panzanella
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Ingredients
  • 3 cups crusty bread, broken into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, ½ inch dice
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • ½ cup pitted black olives
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Instructions
  • Combine all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for one half hour before serving.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Take it Slow by Lynn Dugan

Savor – Relax – Reflect – Connect – Cherish – Celebrate – Delight – Share

lynnblog1These words are often compromised in our fast-paced culture.  But last month, when I had the opportunity to visit my Great Aunt Angie in Italy, I was reminded of how important they are to remember to prioritize in our busy lives. Angie and my Uncle Gino used to own a neighborhood restaurant in Chicago.  After Uncle Gino passed, she returned to Lammari, her small Italian hometown in Tuscany.  In August, I was able to see her for the first time since she left Chicago twenty years ago!

Angie lives on a property that she shares with her sister Renatta, Renatta’s grown children, and their families. They invited my oldest daughter and I to their homes for dinner and we had the chance to meet and share a meal with Angie’s extended family for the first time.

We spent several hours at the alfresco dining table, surrounded by all of the family, greeting each other, eating, talking, laughing, and reminiscing. In fact, if it had not lasted several hours, we would not have been able to enjoy all of the delicious food they prepared for us. The first course was a hearty lasagna followed by a pair of salads – tomato with red onions and leafy greens. Next we were served plates of thinly-sliced roast pork and roast beef with gravy, and sides of oven-roasted potatoes and a zucchini frittata. Of course we enjoyed local wine and to top off the feast, we indulged in almond tart and coffee for dessert.

lynnblog3It was magical to be part this multi-generational meal; everyone brought a plate to the table that they had prepared in their own kitchen.  There was a little competition between everyone’s dishes, a little teasing of the presentation, but lots of love. It was remarkable to see the way they lingered at the table, even the young children, all enjoying each other’s company. There was not a single distraction during dinner from any electronics. I treasured the culture surrounding the meal and hope I can bring this Tuscan experience into my own family by slowing down at mealtime, allowing more time for conversation, and taking time to connect, relax, reflect, and celebrate.  Although an experience like this cannot be fully recreated, even a little change towards taking it slow would make a big difference. And now that my own kids are getting older, this is more doable than a few years ago!

As you try to do the same, enjoy this recipe for Renatta’s Zucchini Frittata.  Even more recipes from Tuscany will be shared at Marcel’s Midday “Tuscan Country Kitchen” that I am teaching on October 26th.   I hope to see you there!

Renatta’s Zucchini Frittata
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and into 1/4–inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
Instructions
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Crack and beat eggs in a bowl. Add grated cheese and season with salt and pepper, set aside. In a 10-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté onion until it begins to caramelize - about 5 minutes. Add zucchini to the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until zucchini is tender but not soft, and excess liquid is cooked off (drain off any extra liquid if present when zucchini is finished cooking). Add parsley and basil. Drizzle remaining olive oil around pan and heat while evenly distributing pan contents.
  • Give eggs a quick stir and pour into pan. Immediately reduce to low heat and cook until eggs are just set, about 12-15 minutes.
  • To finish the cooking, slide pan 6 inches under broiler until the top is golden (1-2 minutes). Please be careful not to overcook.
  • The frittata can be slid onto a serving plate after edges are loosened with a knife. Serve warm or cold, cut into wedges. Enjoy slowly, just as Renatta, Angie, and all of my family in Italy would do!
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Herb Garden Harvest by Robin Nathan

I live in Roscoe Village, a great neighborhood in the city, a little west of Wrigley Field, in a house that was built in 1904. While many houses in my neighborhood are either new construction or gut rehabs, our house has only been updated over the past 116 years.  By city standards, we have a very large backyard – one of the biggest on the block, and the only one with the original trees. The oak tree is as old as the house, with an enormous trunk and towering branches. Our maple tree is a baby – a mere 60 years old. These trees provide lovely shade – but there is one downfall. Not enough sun for a true garden.

HerbPotsInstead, every spring, I line the stone fence surrounding the trees with pots of herbs.  They get enough sun to keep going through the summer months. There’s always basil, cilantro, and mint, sometimes rosemary, and this year there is also lavender and oregano. These herbs form the basis of many a weeknight dinner. Sometimes I’ll grab three and puree them with a little white wine vinegar and olive oil to drizzle over quickly grilled chicken, fish, or steak. Or I’ll throw in pine nuts or pistachios and make a quick pesto. Often I don’t even bother with the pureeing and just mince two or three herbs with a little arugula to toss into a quick summer sauté of grape tomatoes, sweet onions and bi-color corn. The fresh taste and color are welcome and delicious, and give new life to old weeknight standbys. You really can’t miss when you combine fresh herbs – just go a little easy on the mint so you don’t end up feeling like you’re eating toothpaste. Have fun and go a little herb crazy! In a few months, this freshness will be a only a memory.

5 Herb Purée
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh arugula leaves
  • 2 T. packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 T. packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  • Chop all the herbs. Place in a blender or coffee grinder (my favorite, because it really pulverizes the herbs) with the vinegar and oil. Process until completely smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt.
Notes
  • To turn it into a pesto, add a couple tablespoons of a nut and some Parmesan cheese.
  • Serving Ideas: Drizzle on freshly grilled chicken, steak, fish, or pork. Stir into ratatouille or any other fresh veggie sauté. Drizzle over veggie crepes or breakfast eggs. Drizzle over goat cheese and serve with crackers.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

For the Love of Tomatoes by Heidi Kise

My love for tomatoes developed at a young age. Undoubtedly our family garden had a little something do with it. We had an enormous garden every year that was home to everything from radishes to potatoes and always a plethora of tomatoes. My Dad was the main caretaker for this masterpiece. He was meticulous about the layout, spacing and weeding. He carefully and masterfully nurtured our garden all summer long. All of us kids begrudgingly helped out here and there. Enjoying the harvest as a family was the part we all loved. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of enjoying my Dad’s harvest of tomatoes will concur that his tomatoes are a little slice of heaven. I still savor each and every tomato that he gives me, often eating it with just a little sea salt. When I think back to those harvest days, I think of dinner on the patio that includes of my mom’s cucumber salad, BLTs, and cantaloupe. Still a favorite summertime meal of mine.

HeidiTomatoes1Having my own real garden for the very first time this summer has been a fun and interesting experience for my family. Everyone had a chance to choose a few items to plant…cucumbers for Katie, beans for Leo, zucchini for Ken and tomatoes for everyone! The kids, my Dad, my neighbors and the internet have helped plant our garden and we have watched plants grow, blossom, and bear fruit. Tonight the kids ate freshly plucked organic beans from the garden, raw. They were over the moon excited and my daughter asked if she could take them to school in her lunch. In addition to the beans, ironically, my Dad was here today to see the very first ripe tomato plucked from our garden! Thanks to my Dad, I know what ripe tastes like. And thanks to my Dad, my kids will also know where their food comes from and know what a real tomato tastes like.

Produce like this, eaten at its prime, needs little to dress it up. One of my favorite things to make is a batch of basil oil to enhance mayo for a BLT or to drizzle over either prosciutto and melon or tomato caprese. Take 10 minutes to make a batch and let me know how you like to use it!

Basil Oil
Print
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/8 t. kosher salt
Instructions
  • In a medium bowl, add a cup of ice and fill with cold water.
  • Drop basil leaves in small pot of boiling water and turn off heat.
  • Immediately remove basil from hot water, strain and plunge into the prepared ice bath.
  • After a few minutes, strain basil and squeeze dry between two dinner plates.
  • Add basil, oil and salt to your blender. Blend until smooth.
Notes
  • I like to use this flavorful oil as is unless I’m catering a fancy party, then I strain the beautiful, bright green oil through a cheese cloth.
  • Store in refrigerator in a mason jar for up to 3 days.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Cooking Not By The Book by Paul Lindemuth

I grew up in the kitchen watching my parents and grandparents make dinner every night by simply taking the ingredients on hand and cooking them with the techniques they knew. The ingredients were as familiar as the steps necessary to create a finished dinner.

Today, things are different, given the overwhelming array of ingredients available and a fraction of the time we have for meal preparation. I own several hundred cookbooks and I enjoy researching, reading and cooking from them when I have the luxury of time. But after a long workday, we lack the energy to look up a recipe and search for the often long list of ingredients before you ever pick up a knife or turn on the stove.

We can streamline our time in the kitchen by eliminating the search for a recipe and the necessary ingredients. Once you understand that most recipes are only variations on techniques, you can eliminate the need for a cookbook and focus on those techniques.

Master the basics. For example, after learning to sear a steak, you’ll know that the same method works for scallops, salmon and pork tenderloin. You never need to look at a recipe again. You can vary the look and final flavor of these dishes with a pan sauce, salsa and herb butter.

PastaTomUnderstanding quick and easy techniques allows you to prepare fresh, creative weeknight fare.  Think about pappardelle pasta with a fresh tomato sauce quickly prepared while the pasta water comes to a boil.  Jazz up that simple tomato sauce with capers and olives or roasted shrimp.

A quickly prepared appetizer can be put together with three ingredients, like puff pastry spirals with pesto and cheese, rolled up, sliced and baked. Make a few extra rolls and keep them in the freezer. Add a salad of baby arugula, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. You can easily expand the flavors by swapping out acids and other oils or with the additions of toasted nuts and shaved Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.

Sure, I love to peruse my growing collection of cookbooks and love cooking from them when I have the time. But every night dinner is so much simpler when those books stay on the shelf.

For Betty, Wilma, Helen, Eileen, and of course, Mom by Kelly Sears

Most of us have a recipe box, binder, or electronic folder filled with recipes that have been shared, scribbled, torn from a magazine, passed along for generations, or clipped from a newspaper.  Recipe cards in ink or pencil, with cross outs and additions, notes to remember, and spills from tasting.  The dishes we make and the tables we set give us our culinary identities; they shape us into the cooks we are and the cooks we have yet to become.  But there’s cooking, and then there’s everything else. The “everything else” doesn’t make it into the box. These are what I like to think of as “culinary tattoos” – experiences with loved ones who have influenced our way in the kitchen.  These are glimpses into the hearts and minds of those I hold and have held dear, those that have settled into permanent residence inside my personal recipe box.Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 2.18.19 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 2.19.53 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 2.20.04 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 2.20.13 PM KellyMomRecipeScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 2.21.49 PM

70 Years of Tradition by Jamie Bordoshuk

This June marks the 70th Annual Bordoshuk picnic. Our family tradition started back in 1946 when my parents decided to round up their family and friends for a day in the country. They were eager to escape the hustle and bustle of Chicago and enjoy fresh air, each other and of course, food. Little did they know that this one day would be the first of many years to come.

BordoFamily50thI come from a big Polish family. Though we are scattered around the country, no one would dream of missing picnic day. And our picnic is only getting larger as we introduce new spouses, babies and friends.

After 69 years, we’ve become a well-oiled machine when it comes to the food. The picnic tables are lined with a wide array of delicious dishes, some of which have become staples year after year. It wouldn’t be a picnic without Auntie Rose’s potato salad, Cousin Audrey’s chicken enchiladas or Auntie Elaine’s pastries. The star of the show has always been my mom’s polish sausage and sauerkraut. I love honoring her memory every year by recreating her recipe down to the last caraway seed.

On June 12th, you can bet that the Bordoshuks will be toasting each other on achieving this milestone and already looking forward to next year. Sto Lat!

Polish Sausage, Caraway and Sauerkraut
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Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. smoked polish sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 16 oz. can sauerkraut
  • ½ lb. bacon
  • 1 T. caraway seeds
Instructions
  • In a Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp, approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove.
  • In drippings, cook onion until tender, approx. 6-8 minutes. Add sauerkraut and toss until thoroughly mixed. Return bacon and add caraway seeds.
  • Cut sausage links into 2-3 inch pieces and add to pot. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

What YOU Need to Know about the New Dietary Guidelines for Americans by Lynn Dugan

DietaryGuidelinesJust recently, the Obama administration released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines are revised every 5 years with the purpose to help us make healthy food and beverage choices and to serve as the foundation for vital nutrition policies and programs throughout the US. If you are interested in learning more, here is the Executive Summary.

After sifting through the report, I have prepared some noteworthy points to highlight. Let’s start with how healthy eating is defined by the Guidelines:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the color groups–dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and others.
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Dairy foods (milk, yogurt, cheese and or fortified soy beverages), fat free or low fat
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds and soy products
  • Oils

This healthy eating plan is nothing new but keep in mind, many people with a goal of ‘healthy eating’ may have cut dairy foods from their diets. But dairy foods are recommended to help meet the calcium, vitamin D and potassium needs for everyone— these are the nutrients we are not getting enough of. The Guidelines recommend 3 servings of dairy daily for everyone 9 years and older. One serving equals 1 cup milk or yogurt and 1-1/2 ounce of cheese.

Next, let’s look at what to limit in our eating. You may have already heard the big news: cut down on sugar and sodium and keep saturated fat intake ‘in check.’  Saturated fat is found mostly in animal protein foods. By purchasing and preparing lean cuts of meat and varying your protein choices to include legumes and fish, this recommendation is manageable.

The sugar recommendation includes any sugar added to foods but does not include the natural sugar found in foods like fruit and dairy. The recommendation is to cap added sugar to about 12-1/2 teaspoons (50 grams) daily (that is, 10% of calories for a 2,000 calorie diet). This can add up quickly if you enjoy sweet desserts and sugared beverages. But know that hidden sugar counts, too.  Common sources include jarred pasta sauces, energy drinks, canned fruit, and breakfast cereals. Food labels are a valuable resource to determine the sugar content of packaged foods.

For sodium, the cap is 2,400 mg daily. This amount of sodium is found in a teaspoon of salt. To meet these guidelines, it does help to avoid the salt shaker at the table, but unfortunately a major part of the sodium in American diets (80%) comes from processed and packaged foods. These foods include: frozen meals, canned or pickled foods, snack foods, condiments, and soda. Cutting sodium from your diet may make foods suddenly taste bland. But over time, your taste for sodium will adapt and you will be able to use less for the same flavor. It will also be important to rely on herbs and other seasonings to bring more flavor to your palette. Your Marcel’s chefs can help you with that!

bananaReading labels for both sodium and sugar content is the only way to know what you’re eating. However, eating foods without labels is the best kind of eating!  The less processed, the better. Making small changes that stick over time is the best strategy for tackling these latest recommendations. As stated in the Guidelines, “A lifetime of healthy eating helps to prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes… it is one of the most powerful tools we have.” In the spirit of healthy eating, I am sharing a simple fruit dessert recipe, Banana “Ice Cream.” Enjoy!

Banana "Ice Cream"
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  • 2 small (or one large) ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • chopped nuts, if desired
Instructions
  • Freeze sliced bananas for at least 2 hours in an airtight container.
  • Blend frozen bananas in a small food processor. Scrape down food processor as banana goes from crumbled to gooey and again to smooth consistency.
  • Transfer to airtight container and freeze until solid, about 1 hour. Or eat immediately if a soft consistency is desired. When serving, garnish with chopped nuts.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/