"The term superfood made its way into the popular lexicon about 15 years ago but there is no formal definition for it, says Dr. Hagen. "The term is often used to grab your attention or sell you something, so I would say, buyer beware," he says. "Even for foods that have been studied, the data is modest, slim or none at all."
"COOKS BREATHE a collective sigh of relief at the height of summer. All the luscious fruits and vegetables you’ve been craving for months are at their peak, and nobody wants or expects you to spend all day in the kitchen wrestling with them."
"REMEMBER WHEN ordering butter pecan seemed so grown up? Times have changed, and judging by all the ice cream-themed cookbooks hitting shelves this summer, so has the scope of our ice-cream dreams." Read more at:
"In the opening pages of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca,the narrator lays out a feast for the imagination: "Those dripping crumpets, I can see them now. Tiny crisp wedges of toast, and piping-hot, flaky scones. Sandwiches of unknown nature, mysteriously flavoured and quite delectable, and that very special gingerbread." Of course, the reader can't actually see these treats — and that's where graphic designer Dinah Fried comes in."
"The award for outstanding chef of the year was given to Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, who joins Alice Waters, Lidia Bastianich and Judy Rodgers as the only women to win this top award since the program started in 1990. Barbara Lynch of Boston was named outstanding restaurateur. She is the second woman in a row to win this award, after Maguy Le Coze, who was the first ever last year."
More favorable news on chocolate -- but with a caveat:
"Dr. Neilson also points out that cocoa is not a chocolate bar, something whose added ingredients and processing reduce the number and type of flavonols, increase calories (cocoa itself has very few) and possibly change the response of gut bacteria to the cocoa. “The evidence does not show that you can eat a chocolate bar every day and expect to improve your health,” he says. A few tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder sprinkled onto oatmeal or a handful of cocoa nibs — bits of the cacao bean, available at natural-food stores — would be better, he says less than sweetly."
I have featured quinoa on this blog before and have been eating quinoa for years and I'm happy to see that its health and nutritional appeal has spread:
"Quinoa’s popularity stems from its reputation as a “complete” food. It has a protein content of about 15 percent, and a balance of important amino acids, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals and vitamins..."
A new publication that should be of interest to the majority of our readers:
"Pure caffeine is a bitter white powder. In the body it blocks the effects of the molecule adenosine, a crucial brake on many physiologic processes. With just enough caffeine in the system, the body’s organs become a little more themselves: the brain a little brainier, the muscles a little springier, the blood vessels a little tighter, the digestion a little more efficient. With too much caffeine, all can accelerate into cardiac arrest."
There seems to be an ever increasing interest in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. If you're a recent convert or long-timer follower of this healthy lifestyle, take a look at this new cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out, by Angela Liddon.
"... Angela Liddon focuses her culinary efforts on plant-based, healthy whole foods, free of chemicals and additives. Continuing this tradition, THE OH SHE GLOWS COOKBOOK includes 75 new recipes, as well as more than 25 fan favorites from her blog. Recipes run the gamut, from “power snacks” to smoothies, juices, and teas, as well as breakfast foods, appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, sides, and desserts. There’s a fairly wide variety of dishes to be found, from vegan versions of American favorites (Lentil Walnut Loaf, Grilled Portobello Burger, Lightened-Up Crispy Baked Fries) to more international meals (Creamy Vegetable Curry, Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole, Quick & Easy Chana Masala). Many of the recipes are gluten-free, or include gluten-free substitutions; and Liddon sometimes offers soy-free alternatives, too..."
The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out
Although available for years, Easy Family Recipes from a Chinese-American Childhood, is a favorite source of recipes for the Chinese New Year -- this year, the year of the Horse.
"From Ken Hom, the internationally bestselling cookbook writer, comes this warm, personal evocation of the foods he savored as a child growing up in Chicago's Chinatown. His 150 simple, comforting, scrumptious recipes represent the kinds of dishes his mother prepared every day or served on family occasions. Throughout, Hom shares memories of his family. 23 photos and 45 drawings."
Easy Family Recipes from a Chinese-American Childhood
by Ken Hom
Knopf Cooks American Series Hardcover: 319 pages Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (September 30, 1997) Language: English ISBN-10: 0394587588 ISBN-13: 978-0394587585
There's no sweetener better than maple syrup. "Canadian chef Martin Picard has helped elevate maple flavors from breakfast food to haute cuisine. His restaurant and maple tree farm called Sugar Shack is dedicated to harvesting and cooking with Canada's well-known contribution to the culinary world. Canada produces more than 80 percent of the world's maple syrup."