Category Archives: Health/Nutrition

Sponsored Post: Cheese Focaccia with Pazazz

Pecorino focaccia gets even more delicious depth with fresh rosemary and Pazazz apples.
Pecorino focaccia gets even more delicious depth with fresh rosemary and Pazazz apples.

Think of this as a subtle riff on a cheddar apple pie.

Because this focaccia that’s loaded with salty-nutty tasting Pecorino also gets a pretty crowning touch of thinly sliced, sweet apple rings over the top.

This tender, airy Italian bread started out life simply as “Cheese Focaccia.”

But when life gives you a bounty of fresh, crunchy, and juicy Pazazz apples, you want to put them on simply everything.

After all, these delicious apples, a relative of the popular Honeycrisp, are a great source of fiber, too. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research has joined with Pazazz apples in the fight against cancer. February is National Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to double-down on a diet rich in healthful foods such as apples.

Red-skinned with sunshine-yellow striations, the Pazazz is a relative of the Honeycrisp.
Red-skinned with sunshine-yellow striations, the Pazazz is a relative of the Honeycrisp.

You can do your part even further by uploading your photo to the Pazazz superhero filter here, and Pazazz will donate $1 to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Or simply text PAZ to 797979 to generate the $1 donation, too.

Find Pazazz apples now through summer at local Safeway stores. Then, get ready to bake a big pan of this focaccia.

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Smoked Paprika-Herb Sauce

Crescent-slices of delicata squash get beautifully roasted in the oven until tender and sweet.
Crescent-slices of delicata squash get beautifully roasted in the oven until tender and sweet.

Unless it’s baking pizza, the very bottom rack of my oven seldom gets used.

But thanks to America’s Test Kitchen, I now realize that it’s the perfect position to get deeply browned and caramelized undersides of potatoes, squash, and other veggies.

That’s exactly what I ended up with when making “Roasted Delicata Squash with Smoked Paprika-Herb Sauce” from the new cookbook, “The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook: 500 Inspired, Flexible Recipes for Eating Well Without Meat” of which I received a review copy.

The book, by America’s Test Kitchen, is ideal for anyone, especially those looking to incorporate more plant-based dishes into their diet in this new year. Even if you’re an avowed carnivore, you’ll still find plenty to like, especially if you enjoy these dishes as an accompaniment to whatever meat protein you prefer.

Recipes run the gamut from “Carrot Spice Steel-Cut Oatmeal,” “Pinto Bean-Beet Burgers,” and “Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese” to “Overstuffed Sweet Potatoes with Tofu and Thai Curry,” “Turkish Eggplant Casserole,” and “Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding.”

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California-Made Holiday Treats

The treasure trove of Bay Area-made products in the large holiday box designed by Farm Box. (Basket not included.)
The treasure trove of Bay Area-made products in the large holiday box designed by Farm Box. (Basket not included.)

Farm Box Holiday Gift Box

Imagine a goodie box stuffed with 15 delightfuly pampering products all made by Bay Area artisans. Who wouldn’t want to get spoiled with that?

Farm Box, a local company started during this ever-challenging year to help promote products from small family farms, has created the perfect holiday gift box — for your family, friends or even yourself — that can be delivered anywhere in the United States. Best yet, it helps support small local producers at a time when they could use a hand.

Farm Box co-founder Andreas Winsberg, whose father founded East Palo Alto’s Happy Quail Farms, sent me a sample box gratis to check out. Each box includes an extra special touch: a pretty painted card designed by his grandmother. Mine depicted the Golden Gate Bridge.

The filled-to-the-brim box in the large size ($129.99) includes: Nana Joes granola, Maison Verbena rose soap bar, Yerba Buena Tea Co.’s lemon-ginger-mint herbal tea, a Cache Creek Lavender sachet, Winters Fruit Tree’s applewood smoked almonds, Marshall Farms’ cute little baby honey bear, Eatwell Farm’s massage balm, Maison Verbena grapefruit soy candle with a cute little glass jar of matches, G.L. Alfieri dark chocolate and sea salt almond brittle, Charlotte Truffles’ fun Gourmet Hot Cocoa Stick, O’Live Healthy’s extra virgin olive oil, Kuhlmann’s Kitchen’s gourmet pepper jam, Llano Seco’s Chinese five spice salami, Dirty Girl Produce strawberry jam, and Cache Creek Lavender’s shea body butter.

The holiday box includes a sweet card painted by co-founder Andreas Winsberg's grandmother.
The holiday box includes a sweet card painted by co-founder Andreas Winsberg’s grandmother.

For less expensive options, a medium-sized holiday gift box is available for $79.99, and a small-sized one for $49.99.

Mad Crisp

How mad am I for Mad Crisp? These cocktail crisps are so addictive, you practically have to pry them from my fingers to make me share them.

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Quac ‘N Cheese with Tillamook Maker’s Reserve Aged White Cheddar

Move over mac and cheese; make way for "Quac 'N Cheese.''
Move over mac and cheese; make way for “Quac ‘N Cheese.”

Picture a tantalizingly golden crusted, ooey-gooey mac and cheese.

Now, swap out that elbow pasta for rainbow quinoa instead.

Stay with me, stay with me.

Right about now, you’re thinking what an awful idea that is. Why in the world would you switch the classic tried-and-true pasta for something so healthful, and which frankly, always looks to me like a wool sweater that’s been put through a meat grinder?

Because my friends, it’s actually really, really good. And with the amount of cheese that goes into this dish, believe you me, it’s as far from health food as it gets. So there.

Tillamook's just-released Maker's Reserve Sharp Cheddar in 2015, 2016, and 2017 vintages.
Tillamook’s just-released Maker’s Reserve Sharp Cheddar in 2015, 2016, and 2017 vintages.

“Quac ‘N Cheese” is worth your while. If made with Tillamook Maker’s Reserve White Cheddar, it’s guaranteed to boast an impeccable cheesiness, too. I had a chance to try samples of the reserve cheeses, which are now available in stores, and are worth seeking out.

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Seemore Sausages Boast A Little Something Something Extra

Seemore's La Dolce Beet-A and Broccoli Melt sausages.
Seemore’s La Dolce Beet-A and Broccoli Melt sausages.

Cara Nicoletti of Massachusetts is a fourth-generation butcher — who wants people to eat less meat.

Yes, you read that right.

For healthful and sustainability reasons, she hit on the idea to make sausages from certified humanely raised chicken and pork, that slyly and effectively includes vegetables.

In short, vegetable-forward yet meat-based Seemore sausages.

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