For many of us, a new year is a great opportunity to get started on those long-awaited plans to eat healthier, exercise more, or even get more sleep. If you’ve already made changes that have had a positive impact, keep going, taking the first step is sometimes the hardest part….
It’s the best time of year for tomato fans! If you’re lucky enough to have tomatoes in your garden, chances are they are ready to slice into salad, toss into pasta or use in your favorite sauce recipe. Tomatoes are such a delicious and versatile vegetable, but using the right variety can be the difference between a successful sauce or a ho hum meal. Choosing a ripe, juicy tomato is just the beginning! Find out which varieties to choose for your recipe….
As the temperature rises some of us can’t resist the urge to get out and soak up the sun, but for some of us the heat means stay in and stay cool. Whichever category you fall into, there’s a few things you can do to keep moving and stay active all summer long!…
Pastapalooza is back!
Nothing says summer like a great lineup of movies at the box office. . .or a great lineup of seasonal pasta dishes on your table! Celebrating summer with our star-studded lineup of pasta recipes, coupons, contests, and prizes. …
Do you eat the same breakfast every day? Do you have the same go-to vegetable or salad that finds its way to your table night after night? Do you “brown bag it” to ensure you eat a healthy lunch and be more penny-wise? Healthy eating can be delicious and rewarding with these unexpected ways to mix in vegetables, and even fruit, with your pasta….
It’s truly the season for fresh fish dishes. Seafood is generally low in fat and a great source of protein, but for some of us eating seafood on a regular basis can be a bit expensive. Here are some great tips to add seafood to your diet and still stay on budget!
The holiday are a busy time for most of us, and getting everyone around the table can be a bit difficult! …
It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or student, heading back to school can disrupt your sleep schedule and make you feel tired and cranky. The best defense is an earlier bed time, but for most of us shifting our schedule is easier said than done. One of the easiest ways to hasten your slumber is to eat something that will keep you from being hungry and help you relax.
There are a few different myths regarding sleep that generally don’t work, like watching television, taking a hot bath or watching TV. Drinking a glass of wine can dehydrate you and wake you up, and watching TV can stimulate your brain and make sleep even more elusive. For children, video games and TV can present real problems for them as they try to sleep, and a hot bath too close to bedtime can raise their temperature just enough to make it harder to sleep. Giving kids a healthy snack while they wind down with a book or quiet activity can help create a routine that will make sleep easier as the school year progresses.
The good news is that a carbohydrate-rich snack can really help. It can raise your serotonin levels and make you feel drowsy – making sleep easier. Choosing something healthy, like whole wheat toast with peanut butter or air-popped popcorn can be a delicious and easy way to head off to sleep satisfied. Snacking before bed, if done correctly and with moderation, doesn’t necessarily pack on extra pounds. It can actually help your metabolism, regulate your blood sugar, and help your energy levels when you’re awake. Here are some delicious options for sleep-inducing snacks.
If you’re not a snacker, having a balanced meal with complex carbohydrates 2-3 hours before bed can also help. Here are some great recipes for satisfying pastas that are also high in protein and a healthy option.
- Angel Hair and Honey Butternut Squash
- Chipotle, Pumpkin and Chicken Lasagna
- Quick Chicken & Veggie Skillet
Getting back on schedule and getting enough sleep can be surprisingly simple. Once you get back on track you’ll have more energy, and you’ll find it easier to stay on schedule as the year progresses! So get started tonight, and you’ll find that soon everyone in your home is better rested and ready to learn.
August 29th is More Herbs, Less Salt Day! Eating less salt is a good idea for everyone regardless of age or overall health. Most Americans eat more processed foods than they should, which is the #1 culprit of adding unnecessary salt to our diet but reducing salt is easier when you add more flavor with fresh herbs!
If you DON’T have an herb garden, the good news is most grocery stores stock fresh herbs in the produce section. This time of year is perfect for fresh basil, parsley, and cilantro, but you can also find fresh rosemary, sage, dill, and others to add flavor to every meal! Here are some of the best ways to use some common herbs:
Parsley – This mellow herb gives a bright, grassy flavor that lets other flavors shine through. It mixes well with garlic and basil and is great to add as a finish to soups, pasta, and fish.
Sage – This strong, woody herb is delicious with mellow or sweet veggies like carrots and squash and is fantastic with poultry. It adds a classic flavor to soups and stews as well as stuffing and potato dishes.
Rosemary – This fragrant, spiny-leafed herb is most commonly used in Mediterranean cooking and is delicious with lamb and chicken. Infuse in your favorite olive oil and use as a dip for fresh, crusty bread, or roast cubed potatoes in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper for a tasty, classic potato dish.
Cilantro – Love Mexican food? Chances are you’ve eaten a lot of this herb. It’s great in fresh salsa, chopped and sprinkled in tacos and in quesadillas.
Basil – A classic Italian herb, basil comes in a few varieties such as Thai basil, lemon basil and regular. It’s delicious chopped and added to salads, marinara sauces or on pizza, and it is the main component in pesto.
Dill – This mellow herb isn’t just for pickles! Fresh dill is delicious with fish and in potato and mixed green salad. Stir into vegetable soups or homemade dip. While it’s not strong, it has a distinct, almost sweet flavor that complements proteins and vegetables alike. Here’s a great recipe for a Mediterranean Pasta Salad for something different that is also a bit healthier for a summer night or a Labor Day gathering.
Herbs add flavor to dishes that will satisfy without salt, and they have health benefits, too. Find out what the healthiest spices are here. Our recipe for Veggie Lover’s Lasagna is just packed with fresh basil, oregano, and parsley, and loaded with tasty fresh vegetables to give you a lot of flavor without too much salt. This tasty Spicy and Cool Pasta Salad will have you enjoying fresh cilantro and chives with the added punch of mango salsa!
Today, put down the salt shaker and try adding some fresh, healthy herbs to your meals! You’ll find you won’t miss the salt and enjoy the flavor more!
The chickpea, or garbanzo, or ceci (if your Italian), is a delicious little legume that can be prepared hundreds of ways. It doesn’t matter what your favorite ethnic cuisine is, chances are you can work chickpeas into your favorite recipes for a little extra flavor, protein and fiber. Over the last decade, we’ve see it increase in popularity with restaurant and home chefs alike, mainly in the form of a delectable dip, hummus, that has gained popularity due to its flavor and flexibility. But the humble little chickpea is capable of so much more! They’re great in salads, curries, simmered in soups or made into falafel, a savory fritter with spices. …