Category Archives: Health/Nutrition

A Leaner, Meaner Meatloaf

You can see the grated carrot that gives this quinoa-fortified turkey meatloaf exceptional moistness.
You can see the grated carrot that gives this quinoa-fortified turkey meatloaf exceptional moistness.

When I say “meatloaf,” you go “Yeah, baby!”

When I say “turkey meatloaf,” you go “Uh, okay.”

And when I say “turkey quinoa meatloaf,” do you groan, “Ehhh?!”

If so, you reacted just like my husband when I first proposed making this for dinner.

And like him, you’ll surely be won over from the first moist, flavorful bite.

“Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf” is a recipe from the new “The Art of Pantry Cooking” (Rizzoli), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Ronda Carman, a lifestyle writer and former recipe contributor to Southern Living.

As the name implies, the book’s 100-plus recipes make use of pantry basics that we all do — or should — keep on hand.

What’s more, the chapters are even arranged by ingredient. For instance, got a half-bag of bulgur lying around? Then, make “Lemon-Bulgur Ricotta Pancakes” or “Hearty Tomato Soup with Bulgar.” Hiding a can of chickpeas in the back of a cabinet? Dig it out to use in “Lemon-Parmesan Chickpea Pasta.” Have some leftover panko? Whip up “Sheet-Pan Panko Lamb Meatballs with Walnut Chimichurri Sauce.”

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Frijoles Rojos for Cinco de Mayo — And Beyond

Garnished with creamy, crumbly queso fresco and cilantro, these hearty Mexican black beans can be a meal on their own with rice.
Garnished with creamy, crumbly queso fresco and cilantro, these hearty Mexican black beans can be a meal on their own with rice.

No Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without a soul-satisfying pot of hearty and tender beans.

“Frijoles Rojos” is all that — plus vegan.

This classic bean dish is from “Provecho” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook is by Edgar Castrejon, a Bay Area chef, recipe developer and photographer, who grew up in Oakland to parents who emigrated from Mexico.

The title of the book comes from the Spanish expression to “wish someone a good meal.” The 100 vegan recipes embody that sentiment in rustic, homey dishes such as “Columbian Empanadas,” “Adobo Mushroom Tacos,” “Tortas de Tofu,” and a clever “Coconut Aquachile” in which the flesh of young coconut stands in for the usual fish.

“Frijoles Rojos” can be made with canned beans or dried. I used Rancho Gordo Midnight Black Beans, soaking them overnight, before cooking them the next day.

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Apple-Chickpea Kale Salad with Orange-Mustard-Dill Dressing

A kale salad with a range of tastes, textures, and temperatures.
A kale salad with a range of tastes, textures, and temperatures.

This salad is sure to bowl you over.

Not only does it give you another way to enjoy kale, but it’s loaded with varied textures and even temperatures. And, yes, it’s served in a bowl.

This versatile recipe comes from the clever cookbook, “Smorgasbowl” (Radicle Publishing), of which I received a review copy, that celebrates healthful recipes that can be served in bowls.

It’s by Austin-based Caryn Carruthers, the founder of the blog, Tastynfree.com, who not only created all the recipes in this book, but also the photos and design.

A few years ago, she went grain-free. As such, the recipes in this book contain little grain, dairy or sugar. But as she notes, those who don’t have to adhere to such restrictions, can easily add some yogurt, rice, pita or other bread to round out the dishes. Moreover, because these are bowl meals, they can easily be individualized to suit every person at the table.

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Asparagus Fry — With Mustard Seeds and Coconut

A simple saute of asparagus that gets dressed up with Indian flavors.
A simple saute of asparagus that gets dressed up with Indian flavors.

Spring may signal bountiful flowers. But for me, first and foremost, it brings asparagus.

I can barely contain myself when the first spears start showing up at the farmers markets. Because from then on out, I eat my fill of those sweet, thick spears every week until they disappear all too rapidly at the end of their short season.

Asparagus aren’t often highlighted in Indian cooking. So, when I spied a recipe for “Asparagus Fry” flavored with chilies, mustard seeds, and shredded coconut, I was all in.

This quick and easy recipe is from the new “Mindful Indian Meals,” of which I received a review copy.

It’s by San Franciscan Shivangi Rao, a designer and product manager in the healthcare industry, who founded the blog, Raody Recipes.

Growing up, Rao was plagued by digestive and cognitive autoimmune illnesses, which even impacted her ability to walk at one point. She eventually learned that certain foods triggered her symptoms, which led her to eliminate them. The only problem was many of them were the beloved foods she had grown up with: Indian sweets made with refined sugar; lentils high in starch; and rice and roti, both high in simple carbohydrates.

So, she set out on a path to reclaim those flavors that are so integral to her family and culture.

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Sponsored Post: Crunchy, Delicious Pazazz Apple Pickles

You'll wonder how you ever lived without these pickled apples topping a sandwich.
You’ll wonder how you ever lived without these pickled apples topping a sandwich.

Sure, back in the day, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

But today’s more learned Peter Piper would surely pick a peck of pickled apples instead.

Especially in the form of these additive “Quick Bread-And-Butter Apple Pickles” that are made with Pazazz apples, that brilliantly ruby red variety with flashes of yellow-green, an arresting crunch, and a burst of sweet, tangy juiciness.

This snappy, late-season apple that’s descended from the popular Honeycrisp, is at its flavor peak now through June. Lucky for you, Pazazz apples are easy to find at Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons.

February is an especially appropriate time to indulge in them, too, because it’s National Cancer Prevention Month. Pazazz has partnered with the American Institute of Cancer Research to promote the benefits of a diet rich in foods high in fiber and antioxidants such as fresh apples that are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

When enjoying apples, don’t toss the peel, a valuable prebiotic that induces the growth of good-for-you microorganisms to ensure a healthy gut.

Late-season Pazazz apples to enjoy now.
Late-season Pazazz apples to enjoy now.

Indeed, the flesh and peel star in this easy-as-it-gets pickled apple recipe. When I received a sample of Pazazz, I wouldn’t wait to highlight them in this genius recipe by Amy Traverso, food editor of Yankee Magazine.

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