Sunday, March 27, 2011

On Vacation

I am away from the snow :)  At least when I am in town I am!  Will be out this week and back to posting next Monday!  Enjoy your week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fabulous Dumplings


I made some awesome dumplings last night, I used my left over Roasted Hatch Chile and Potato Soup and some beef gravy to cook them in.  Forget about the steak...bring on the dumplings!  I kinda cheated and used Bisquick baking mix, which I love, I wanted something fast and easy and I was glad I used it.  I followed the directions on the box and also added about 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and a 1/4 cup shopped green onions.  I cooked them for about 10 minutes and served them with steak, steamed asparagus (dipped in mayo...my bad but good habit,) and plums.  Yumm yumm!







Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Roasted Hatch Chile and Potato Soup


Ok so this could be one of the best soups I have ever had!  Give me peppers and I am definitely in.  Of course not to mention, potatoes, cheese, garlic and onions...I mean, what more is there!  I found this wonderful recipe at Naturally Ella and a boat load of more wonderful recipes!  So if you like soup, which of course I do if you couldn't tell...they I am sure you will enjoy this find.  I adapted it from Pablano peppers to Green Hatch Chile peppers because that is what I had on hand and I don't think there is a better pepper out there...at not that I have found yet...but I will keep looking cause I am a pepper girl!

1 tablespoon oil
1/2 medium onion diced
1 clove garlic
2 mediums russet potatoes peeled and cubed
3-4 cups veggie broth
3 medium Hatch Green Chile peppers
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1 cup cheddar cheese

1. Using your broiler, char the outside of the pepper (watching and rotating as needed.)

2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add in potatoes and veggie broth (enough to cover the potatoes), increasing the heat and bring the broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until potatoes are tender. At this point if you like chunks of potatoes in your soup, reserve 1/4 of the cooked potatoes. With the remaining potatoes/broth, use an immersion blender and puree the potatoes-set aside. (If you don't have an immersion blender you can let cool slightly and use your regular blender or just mash with a potato masher a little.)

3. In another pot, heat butter over medium-low heat. Remove skin from the roasted pepper, dice, and add to the butter. Whisk in flour and continue to cook for two more minutes to cook out the flour taste. Finally, whisk in milk and continue to cook until the mixture thickens. Add in potatoes (chunked and pureed) and cheese. If soup seems too thick, add in a little more milk to thin it down. Top with cheese, extra pepper, green onion or cilantro and enjoy!







Saturday, March 19, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Soup


Now if you like chicken wings, you will love this soup!  It has a little kick to it and is so delicious!  It takes only a short amount of time to prepare and not very much prep work at all.  Great for a dinner when you are in a rush, or if you just want some good soup. 

2 stalks celery
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
16 oz cauliflower (fresh is best but I used frozen and it was great too)
32 oz chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or your favorite brand)
5 oz cheddar cheese
20 oz cubed chicken breast (I sauteed my own but you can use the canned kind as well)
Salt and pepper to taste (I also threw in a little chipotle for more heat)

1. Saute your celery and green onions in the butter over medium heat till soft.  Set aside.

2. Cook your cauliflower in the chicken broth on medium high for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is very soft.  Remove and let cool 1 minutes.  Transfer cauliflower to blender, adding a cup of broth and blend till smooth.  Place back in the pan and add your heavy cream, hot sauce, celery and onion mixture, and cheese.  Melt the cheese then add the chicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!





Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honey Marmalade Mustard Glazed Corned Beef


Ok so if you like corned beef at all I HIGHLY suggest you try this.  I mean like go out and buy a cut if you don't have one and make it tomorrow since you have probably already eaten your diner by the time you read this.  I think it is the best meal I have made all month...and I have had some good ones!  My husband and I couldn't stop all the "mmmmmm" noises...it was funny.  I served it with the roasted cabbage with lemon found at Kalyn's Kitchen, cream cheese and scallion mashed potatoes (I will post a recipe of that soon cause they were so good...) and the carrots that cooked with the corned beef.  My mouth was in heaven and yours will be too as soon as you cook this!

 For the beef:
1 corned beef
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, quartered
2 celery ribs, quartered
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons black peppercorn
3 whole cloves
3-4 cups water

For the glaze:
1/3 cup marmalade
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grainy mustard

1. Preheat oven to 300° F.

2. Combine the marmalade, honey, brown sugar, Dijon, and grainy mustard. Set aside.

3. Trim corned beef of excess fat. Rinse and pat dry the beef. In a large dutch oven, heat 2 teaspoons olive or canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the pan and cook until browned, 2-4 minutes. Flip to the other side. Add the onion and garlic around the beef. Cook for 2-4 minutes more until the other side has browned.

4. Add the carrot, celery, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorn and cloves. Pour the 3-4 cups water into the pot (water should reach mid way point of the beef). Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven for 3-4 hours, or until meat is very tender.

5. Remove meat from the dutch oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a broiler pan with foil, then place the corned beef on top. Spread it with the glaze (reserving excess for serving) and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve topped with extra glaze and enjoy to your hearts content!

Recipe and photo found at Good Life Eats.





Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thai Chickpea Soup


I am definitely one for soups!  I came across this recipe the other day and decided to make it for lunch.  I used dried garbanzo beans, of course cooked!  But I don't think I cooked them long enough.  The broth of the soup was amazing but next time I think I will stick with canned chickpeas and leave the dried ones for hummus!  By the way I had hummus and chips along with this soup, ohhhh.  I was happy.  So put out your soup pot and make some tummy's yummy!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced jalapeño pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 medium stalk)
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium to large onion)
8 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 (13.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes 
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 (13.5 oz) cans chickpeas, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the butter in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add the jalapeños, celery, and onions, and sauté until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes (take care not to burn them).

2. Combine the vegetables with the stock, coconut milk, tomatoes, chickpeas, and lime juice in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Cover, and cook for 5 minutes, or until they are heated through. Add salt and peppers to taste, serve and enjoy!


Recipe found at Big Flavors From A Tiny Kitchen.







Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Super Fast Hummus


Before I got married I would not go near anything Greek, olives (other than the traditional black ones in the can during Thanksgiving), feta, lamb, gyros, moussaka, hummus, and the list can go on.  I didn't want anything to do with it!  But I am slowly changing my outlook on Greek food.  It is pretty healthy for you, especially compared to some of the food we tend to eat here in America...point being I have come to LOVE hummus.  There is only one brand at the stores that I liked, Sabra, tried the others, but wasn't impressed at all.  So when I came across this post at Framed Cooks, I didn't hesitate on trying it out!  I don't have a food processor yet, hopefully for my birthday (fingers crossed) so I used my blender to make it.  Took a little more water and I had to stop and stir it a few more times than I wanted, but it was well worth the minimal effort!  I had to limit myself with how much I ate...but leaving the kitchen helped :)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 clove garlic
1⁄4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste; optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper (optional for heat)

1. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (if using), cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

2. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika before serving.  Serve with pita chips, crackers, bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, your fingers...and enjoy!

 
Recipe found at Framed Cooks.







Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies


These gourmet cookies are very rich and buttery tasting with a crisp exterior and a chewy center.

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (11-12 oz) package chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350 F.

2. Beat sugars, butter, shortening, vanilla and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium sped until light and fluffy, or mix with a spoon.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).  Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown.  Cool for 2 minutes, remove from cookie sheet to wire wrack to cool.  Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk for dunkin!

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook Bridal Edition.







The BEST Broiled Tomato Sandwich on Earth


So I had pretty much forgotten about this sandwich for the last year or so and was reminded of tomato sandwiches the other day...so my long lost treat is back!  My husband is not a big tomato fan, but when I made this for my lunch he wanted a bite.  I was reluctant to share, (I wanted it all for myself!)  Once he had that first bite though...he was hooked!  You will not regret making this sandwich, but you may regret not making more!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 slices bread, lightly toasted

1. Preheat oven to broil.


2. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Marinate the tomatoes in the mixture, stirring occasionally.


3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, parsley, oregano, black pepper and 4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese. Spread mixture on each slice of toasted bread. Place marinated tomatoes on 2 slices and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.


4. Place on a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes, or until cheese turns golden brown. Serve immediately, open faced or closed and enjoy!

 
Recipe found at Allrecipes.







Friday, March 11, 2011

French Toast


Who wouldn't go for a luscious french toast with blueberries and syrup?  I know my family sure gobbles them up!  A quick and easy breakfast that is inexpensive and a crowd pleaser.

6-8 slices of bread
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
powdered sugar, for garnish
blueberries for garnish

1. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.

2. Dip bread in mixture and let soak for 30-60 seconds.

3. Lightly butter a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan. Place pan over medium-high heat. Lift bread from mixture, shaking off excess liquid.  Add bread to hot pan and cook (adjust heat if necessary), turning as needed making sure to brown all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Keep warm. 

4. Repeat to soak and cook remaining pieces. Discard any remaining egg mixture.

5. Sprinkle the French Toast with powdered sugar, blueberries and serve, with or without syrup and enjoy!








Wednesday, March 9, 2011

40 Foods with Superpowers

Popping a daily multivitamin might be worthwhile as "health insurance," but let's face it: Eating real food is a lot more fun than gobbling supplements. Besides, you can get most, if not all, of the nutrients essential to good health by selecting the right combination of foods. You just have to know where to look.  Start with the 40 body-boosting superfoods listed here.

Alaskan King Crab
Bone Builder

High in protein and low in fat, the sweet flesh of the king crab is spiked with zinc—a whopping 7 milligrams per 3.5-ounce serving. "Zinc is an antioxidant, but more important, it helps support healthy bone mass and immune function," says Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California at Los Angeles. "Several studies have linked adequate zinc intake to increased immunity and decreased incidences of respiratory infection." And you can reap all these benefits by swapping one of your weekly fish meals for a six-ounce serving of crab.

Dried Plums
Bone Builder

Also known as prunes, these dark shrivelers are rich in copper and boron, both of which can help prevent osteoporosis. "They also contain a fiber called inulin, which, when broken down by intestinal bacteria, makes for a more acidic environment in the digestive tract," says Bowerman. "That, in turn, facilitates calcium absorption." Enjoy four or five a day to strengthen your bones and boost your energy.

Bok Choy
Bone Builder

This crunchy cruciferous vegetable is more than the filler that goes with shrimp in brown sauce. "Bok choy is rich in bone-building calcium, as well as vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron, beta-carotene, and potassium," says celebrity trainer Teddy Bass. Potassium keeps your muscles and nerves in check while lowering your blood pressure, and research suggests that beta-carotene can reduce the risk of both lung and bladder cancers, as well as macular degeneration. Shoot for a cup a day.

Oysters
Bone Builder

Shellfish, in general, is an excellent source of zinc, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, and selenium. "But the creamy flesh of oysters stands apart for its ability to elevate testosterone levels and protect against prostate cancer," says Bass. "They aren't a food most people will eat regularly, but getting five into your diet twice a week will make your weekends more fun."

Bananas
Bone Builder

Athletes and performers are familiar with the calming effect of bananas—a result of the fruit's high concentration of tryptophan, a building block of serotonin. But their real benefit comes from potassium, an electrolyte that helps prevent the loss of calcium from the body. "Bananas also bolster the nervous system, boost immune function, and help the body metabolize protein," says Bass. "One banana packs a day's worth of potassium, and its carbohydrate content speeds recovery after strenuous exercise."

Kiwis
Bone Builder

Like bananas, this fuzzy fruit is high in bone-protecting potassium. "They're also rich in vitamin C and lutein, a carotenoid that can help reduce the risk of heart disease," says Bowerman. "I try to eat at least one or two a week after exercising." Freeze them for a refreshing energy kick, but don't peel the skin: It's edible and packed with nutrients.

Broccoli
Bone Builder

Our president's dad may hate this cruciferous all-star, but one cup of broccoli contains a hearty dose of calcium, as well as manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. And that's in addition to its high concentration of vitamins—including A, C, and K—and the phytonutrient sulforaphane, which studies at Johns Hopkins University suggest has powerful anticancer properties. "One cup a day will do the trick," says Bowerman. Try cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, or cabbage for variation, as all possess many of the same nutritional qualities. "Broccoli may also help reduce excess estrogen levels in the body, thanks to its indole 3-carbinol content," says celebrity trainer Gunnar Petersen.

Spinach
Bone Builder

A renowned muscle builder, spinach is also rich in vitamin K, which has been shown to bolster bone-mineral density (thus protecting against osteoporosis) and reduce fracture rates. Spinach is also high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and even selenium, which may help protect the liver and ward off Alzheimer's. One more reason to add it to your diet: A study in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that the carotenoid neoxanthin in spinach can kill prostate cancer cells, while the beta-carotene fights colon cancer. "Popeye was on to something," says Bowerman. "Eat one cup of cooked spinach, or two cups raw, four times a week."

Leeks
Bone Builder

These scallionlike cousins of garlic and onions are packed with bone-bolstering thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium. Leeks are also rich in folic acid, a B vitamin that studies have shown to lower levels of the artery-damaging amino acid homocystein in the blood. What's more, "Leeks can support sexual functioning and reduce the risk of prostate cancer," says Michael Dansinger, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and an obesity researcher at Tufts–New England Medical Center, in Boston. "Chop the green part of a medium leek into thin ribbons and add it to soups, sautés, and salads as often as possible."

Artichokes
Bone Builder

Lauded for centuries as an aphrodisiac, this fiber-rich plant contains more bone-building magnesium and potassium than any other vegetable. Its leaves are also rich in flavonoids and polyphenols—antioxidants that can cut the risk of stroke—and vitamin C, which helps maintain the immune system. "Eat them as often as you can," says Bowerman. Ripe ones feel heavy for their size and squeak when squeezed.

Tea/Green Tea
Immunity Booster

Studies show that green tea—infused with the antioxidant EGCG—reduces the risk of most types of cancer. "The phytonutrients in tea also support the growth of intestinal bacteria," says Bowerman. "Specifically, they inhibit the growth of bad bacteria—E. coli, Clostridium, Salmonella—and leave the beneficial bacteria untouched." Why is this important? "Because up to 70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract," says Bowerman. "Four cups a day will keep it functioning at its peak."

Chili Peppers
Immunity Booster

"Chilis stimulate the metabolism, act as a natural blood thinner, and help release endorphins," says Petersen. Plus, they're a great way to add flavor to food without increasing fat or calorie content. Chilis are also rich in beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the blood and fights infections, as well as capsaicin, which inhibits neuropeptides (chemicals that cause inflammation). A recent study in the journal Cancer Research found that hot peppers even have anti-prostate-cancer properties. All this from half a chili pepper (or one tablespoon of chili flakes) every day.

Ginger
Immunity Booster

Contrary to popular belief, ginger—a piquant addition to so many Asian dishes—isn't a root, it's a stem, which means it contains living compounds that improve your health. Chief among them is gingerol, a cancer suppressor that studies have shown to be particularly effective against that of the colon. Chop ginger or grind it fresh and add it to soy-marinated fish or chicken as often as you can. The more you can handle, the better.

Blueberries
Immunity Booster

"This potent little fruit can help prevent a range of diseases from cancer to heart disease," says Ryan Andrews, the director of research at Precision Nutrition, in Toronto, Canada. One serving (3.5 ounces) contains more antioxidants than any other fruit. Drizzle with lemon juice and mix with strawberries for a disease-fighting supersnack.

Cinnamon
Immunity Booster

Known for making desserts sweet and Indian food complex, cinnamon is rich in antioxidants that inhibit blood clotting and bacterial growth (including the bad-breath variety). "Studies also suggest that it may help stabilize blood sugar, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes," says dietitian Nancy Clark, author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. "What's more, it may help reduce bad cholesterol. Try half a teaspoon a day in yogurt or oatmeal."

Sweet Potatoes
Immunity Booster

Often confused with yams, this tuber is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. In addition to countering the effects of secondhand smoke and preventing diabetes, sweet potatoes contain glutathione, an antioxidant that can enhance nutrient metabolism and immune-system health, as well as protect against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, HIV, cancer, heart attack, and stroke. "One sweet potato a day is a great alternative to the traditional variety," says Clark.

Tomatoes
Immunity Booster

"I think of tomatoes as the 'fighting herpes helper' for the divorcé crowd," says Petersen. Their lycopene content can also help protect against degenerative diseases. "Cooked tomatoes and tomato paste work best," he says. Shoot for half a tomato, or 12 to 20 ounces of tomato juice, a day.

Figs
Immunity Booster

Packed with potassium, manganese, and antioxidants, this fruit also helps support proper pH levels in the body, making it more difficult for pathogens to invade, says Petersen. Plus, the fiber in figs can lower insulin and blood-sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Select figs with dark skins (they contain more nutrients) and eat them alone or add them to trail mix. Newman's Own fig newtons are also a quick and easy way to boost the immune system. Aim for four figs per week.

Mushrooms
Immunity Booster

Delicious when added to brown rice or quinoa, these mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant ergothioneine, which protects cells from abnormal growth and replication. "In short, they reduce the risk of cancer," says Bowerman, who recommends half a cup once or twice a week. "Cooking them in red wine, which contains the antioxidant resveratrol, magnifies their immunity-boosting power."

Pomegranates
Immunity Booster

The juice from the biblical fruit of many seeds can reduce your risk of most cancers, thanks to polyphenols called ellagitannins, which give the fruit its color. In fact, a recent study at UCLA found that pomegranate juice slows the growth of prostate cancer cells by a factor of six. "Drink a cup a day," says Bowerman.

Quinoa
Muscle Enhancer

"Move over white rice and make room for this South American grain," says Lynn Grieger, an online health, food, and fitness coach (lynngrieger.com). Although technically a seed, this protein source contains a complete set of branch chain and essential amino acids, making it a tissue- and muscle-building powerhouse. "Its nutritional composition is better than most grains, so try to have one cup a week, alternating it with other healthy starches such as sweet potatoes and brown rice," says Bowerman. "It's a great breakfast cereal, especially when flavored with cinnamon."

Grass-Fed Beef
Muscle Enhancer

Nothing beats pure protein when it comes to building muscle. The problem with most store-bought beef, however, is that the majority of cattle are grain fed, which gives their meat a relatively high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. That, in turn, contributes to inflammation. The fatty acids in grass-fed beef, on the other hand, are skewed toward the omega-3 variety. Such beef also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which studies have shown help reduce belly fat and build lean muscle. "Shoot for two six- to eight-ounce lean cuts [e.g., flank or tenderloin] a week," says Bowerman. "But don't grill it. Charring is carcinogenic. Roast or pan sear."

Nonfat Ricotta
Muscle Enhancer

"Men don't eat the 16 ounces of protein they need every day, and this is a great substitute if they don't like cottage cheese," says Dr. Dansinger. Made from whey, this soft cheese is rich in amino acids, which speed muscle recovery after a workout. Flavor it with jam and spread it on a cracker, or put half a cup in a blender with skim milk and fruit for a postworkout cheesecake-flavored smoothie. It also tastes great on its own with olive oil and fleur de sel.

Tofu
Muscle Enhancer

Made from soybeans, tofu was once the bastion of vegetarians. But the plant protein in these pressed bean curds—available firm or soft, and delicious when marinated and tossed into salads—provides a full complement of amino acids, as well as isoflavone, which helps muscles recover from exercise. "A serving is four ounces," says Andrews. "Eat one to three servings a week."

Lentils
Muscle Enhancer

These flat beans don't just make delicious soups. "They're packed with protein, not to mention B vitamins and zinc, which are important for good sexual health," says Andrews. Eat half a cup twice a week, cooking them for about 30 minutes (until they start to break apart) to create a satisfying mashed-potato-like texture. "A single serving will help you cover all of your nutritional bases," adds Andrews.

Eggs
Muscle Enhancer

The old school of thought was that you should eat egg whites rather than whole eggs in order to get the protein without the added cholesterol. But recent studies have proved that the fat in the yolk is important to keep you satiated, and the benefits of the minerals and nutrients in the yolk outweigh its cholesterol effect. Eggs deliver the most nutrients for the fewest calories and provide the most satiety per calorie consumed. Plus, eggs contain choline, a B vitamin that studies have linked to improved brain function. "Eat three or four servings a week for breakfast or as a protein alternative at other meals," says Bowerman.

Greek-Style Yogurt
Muscle Enhancer

All yogurt provides muscle-friendly protein as well as probiotics that keep your digestive tract healthy and your immune system in top form. "But the Greek variety is thicker than regular yogurt, so it has more protein, and it's sweeter and heartier," says Clark. "It's man-style yogurt, with a velvety texture." Mix eight ounces with fruit for breakfast, or spread it on flatbread and top with chicken and onions.

Quorn
Muscle Enhancer

A little-known protein source, Quorn is a great substitute if you're looking to add variety to your diet with nonanimal protein. "It's composed of a compound similar to mushroom protein: mycoprotein," says Dr. Dansinger. "As such, it is top-quality protein without unhealthy animal fat. If you're a vegetarian, this should be at the top of your list." Quorn is also lower in calories than chicken and turkey, and you can buy it cubed or ground, making it an ideal substitute for ground beef. Find it at your local specialty market, and shoot for six ounces a day if you're tired of soy.

Chocolate Milk
Muscle Enhancer

Believe it or not, the sweet brown milk you loved as a kid is actually good for you. "Chocolate milk is one of my favorite postexercise recovery drinks because it contains whey protein, which helps muscles recover and repair," says Grieger. "Plus, it tastes great while boosting calcium and vitamin D, which research shows is important for preserving cartilage and joint health." Indeed, a 2006 study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that it is as good as or better than Gatorade for replacing glucose in fatigued muscles. "Drinking one large glass after you work out will boost muscle growth and speed recovery," says Grieger.

Wild Salmon
Muscle Enhancer

High in inflammation-fighting omega-3s, wild red or sockeye salmon (canned or fillet) is an excellent low-mercury alternative to canned solid tuna, which can be high in the toxic metal. "Defrosting a frozen fillet for dinner makes a great substitute for steak," says Dr. Dansinger, "or pan sear a fresh fillet with olive oil and kosher salt." Recent NFL probes suggest that many teams—including the Bengals and the Giants—serve it to players to lock in strength gains and fuel performance. But while pro athletes might eat 16 ounces at once, you're better off with three or four six-ounce servings a week.

Pineapples
Inflammation Fighter

With its potent mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes (in particular, bromelain), pineapple is an all-body anti-inflammation cocktail. It also protects against colon cancer, arthritis, and macular degeneration, says Grieger. If only the "colada" part of the equation were as healthy. Have half a cup, two or three times a week.

Olive Oil
Inflammation Fighter

The extra-virgin variety is rich in beneficial monounsaturated fats. "Its fatty acids and polyphenols reduce inflammation in cells and joints," says Grieger. A study in the journal Nature found that it's as effective as Advil at reducing inflammation. "Have two tablespoons a day," says Bowerman.

Bing Cherries
Inflammation Fighter

Research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that eating up to 45 bing cherries a day can lower the risk of tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis, and gout, says Bowerman. Studies also suggest that they reduce the risk of chronic diseases and metabolic syndrome. "They taste great on yogurt or cereal," says Bowerman.

Dark Chocolate
Inflammation Fighter

"The flavonoids in dark chocolate inhibit platelet clumping, which reduces the risk for stroke, heart attack, and embolisms," says Bowerman. "It's high in calories, so limit yourself each day to a half bar with at least 70 percent cacao."

Turmeric
Inflammation Fighter

Curcumin, the polyphenol that gives the spice its tang and yellow hue, has antitumor, antiarthritis, and anti-inflammatory properties. "Studies show that it also inhibits the growth of plaques associated with Alzheimer's," says Bowerman. Sprinkle half a tablespoon on fish or chicken to add color and flavor.

Wild Fatty Fish
Inflammation Fighter

Mackerel and other wild fatty fish contain a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart, cells, joints, and brain. "Stay away from farmed varieties," says Bowerman. "They contain undesirable levels of omega-6 fatty acids." The DHA and EPA in the oil of these fish also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Shoot for four six-ounce servings a week. "I like mine grilled with olive oil, lemon, and sea salt," notes Bowerman.

Flaxseed
Inflammation Fighter

Rich in protein and fiber, these seeds taste great on cereal and yogurt. Their oil also comes in pill or liquid form, and is high in alpha linolenic omega-3s, which puts them next to wild fish on the list of heart-healthy fare. "They're a great brain food too," says Andrews. Shoot for a tablespoon of ground flaxseed a day.

Almonds
Inflammation Fighter

These energy-rich snacks lower bad cholesterol, thanks to plant sterols, and benefit diabetics by lowering blood sugar. They're also rich in amino acids, which bolster testosterone levels and muscle growth. "Eat a third of a cup a day with the skins on. The skin is full of antioxidants," says Bowerman.

Apples
Inflammation Fighter

An apple a day reduces swelling of all kinds, thanks to quercetin, a flavonoid also found in the skin of red onions. Quercetin reduces the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and prostate and lung cancers. If given the choice, opt for Red Delicious. They contain the most inflammation-fighting antioxidants.

Whole Grains
Inflammation Fighter

Whole grains—oatmeal, wheat flour, barley, brown rice—are high in fiber, which calms inflamed tissues while keeping the heart strong and the colon healthy. Not all breads and crackers advertised as "whole grain" are the real deal. "Read the label," says Grieger. "Those that aren't whole grain can be high in fat, which increases inflammation." Try for two slices of whole-grain bread a day.

So eat well and get healthy!








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