Help Your Child Make Healthy Eating Choices Through the School Year

The school year marks a hectic time for parents. Children run out the door to catch the bus,  then spend their evenings at after-school programs or practice. As parents rush children between activities and struggle to balance work and family obligations, many might choose the easiest option available – fast food or convenience foods, like chips and cookies.

But there’s no reason that busy families can’t enjoy healthy meals and healthy snacks through the school year. The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers the following tips for providing healthy food no matter how tight your schedule:

U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Cooks up Healthy Weeknights

<b>U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish   Cooks up Healthy Weeknights</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Chances are, you’ve heard words and phrases like “omega-3s,” “lean protein” and “heart health” associated with fish. And yet, when you come home from work, cooking fish just sounds like too much effort. But U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish can change that thought.

Catfish is actually one of the quickest meals you can prepare. The following recipe, for example, only involves nine minutes of active cooking time. For the same amount of time it takes to mix up a box of mac ‘n’cheese, you can eat a nutritious dinner that looks and tastes like it took great skill to prepare.

U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, which are sustainably raised, are low in saturated fat, high in protein and a moderate source of omega-3 fatty acids. Combining the fish with almonds makes for an especially beneficial meal, as almonds contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. And the almonds in Catfish Almondine offer loads of additional protein.

Catfish Almondine

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Directions:

1) Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, place the catfish fillets serving side down, and cook them for four minutes, or until they appear nicely browned.

2) Flip the fillets. Cook them for an additional four minutes or until they’re browned and flaky. Remove the fillets from the skillet and set them aside.

3) Add the remaining butter to the skillet. Add the almonds, zest and lemon juice. Cook the almonds for one minute or until they begin to brown.

4) Place the catfish on a plate and serve them with the almondine sauce.

For more recipes, visit www.UScatfish.com.

Feta Brings Fast Flavor to the Table

<b>Feta Brings Fast Flavor to the Table</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Health nuts often hear that eating cheese is taboo — but cheese can fit into any healthy diet. Yes, cheese contains more fat and calories than, say, a celery stick. But unlike candy bars or sodas, cheese offers important nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium and protein — things you might want to keep in your diet.

The key to responsible cheese consumption is to choose cheeses that offer big flavor, so you can eat less and still feel satisfied. For example, feta cheese’s tangy

flavor lets a little go a long way. And the cheese is tasty to boot. In fact, Président Crumbled Feta (www.PresidentCheese.com) won the 2008 ChefsBest award, a prize given by an independent judging organization that tests America’s best food products.

If you’d like a more flavorful breakfast, consider adding feta cheese to your next omelet.

Greek Gourmet Omelet

2 Servings

Ingredients:

1 3.5 ounce Président Crumbled Plain Feta

3 tablespoons Président Normandy Butter

1 cup torn fresh spinach leaves

4 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cream

1/2 clove garlic

Make the omelet filling first. Wash and dry the spinach leaves. In a skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add the spinach and stir to coat it with butter. When the spinach has wilted, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.

Break the eggs in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Add the cream and beat the eggs with a fork just enough to mix the yolks and whites. Set aside.

Rub the omelet pan with the cut side of the garlic clove. Place the pan over medium heat until it is hot enough to make the butter sizzle on contact. Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter. When the butter is sizzling, pour in the beaten eggs. Quickly stir the eggs for a second or two, as if you were scrambling them.

When the edges start to set, lift the eggs with a fork so the liquid can run under them. Repeat this until the eggs are no longer runny, but are still moist and soft. Spoon the cooked spinach onto the omelet, then sprinkle the feta cheese over the spinach. Shake the skillet to loosen the eggs. Remove the skillet from the heat and fold the omelet in half. Serve.

To perfect the presentation, skim a piece of butter over the top of the omelet, then garnish the top of the omelet with an additional tablespoon of feta and a few rings of black olives. You can also add complementary ingredients on the side, like orange and apple slices or toasted bread.

Enjoy Low-Fat Cooking This Holiday Season

<b>Enjoy Low-Fat Cooking This Holiday Season</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a   href=NewsUSA) – As the holiday season stretches on, you might start feeling a stretch in your waistline. While a decadent meal or two won’t hurt, weeks of cakes, pies, cookie trays and homemade fudge definitely take their toll.

But you can make delicious holiday foods while still skimping on the fat and calories — you just need the help of one surprising ingredient, yogurt.

Yogurt’s far more than smoothies and granola — low-fat, organic yogurt can substitute for higher-fat dairy, oil and shortening in recipes ranging from sour cream and onion dip to chocolate cake. Yogurt also provides protein and calcium, helping ease the guilt over an extra bite or two.

Not sure how to start? Stonyfield Farm provides the following tips for subbing yogurt in recipes:

– Reduce the calories in dips and dressings by swapping one cup of yogurt for one cup of mayonnaise or sour cream. Substituting low-fat organic yogurt for sour cream saves 46 grams of fat per cup.

– Use yogurt to tenderize meat. Yogurt also makes an excellent oil-free marinade.

– Skip the heavy cream, and use yogurt to thicken sauces. Just add a tablespoon of flour for every cup of yogurt.

– Use less butter. Replace half the butter with half as much yogurt to save fat and calories. For example, if a cookie recipe calls for a cup of butter, use a half cup of butter with a quarter cup of yogurt, instead.

– Use fewer eggs. If cholesterol’s a concern, try substituting a quarter cup of yogurt per egg, for up to two eggs per recipe.

– Use yogurt instead of buttermilk. If you only use buttermilk in one recipe, try using one cup of yogurt for every cup of buttermilk. You can also use yogurt instead of milk or water, but know to expect richer, moister results. Start by replacing one-quarter of the liquid with yogurt.

You can learn more about nutritious, delicious organic yogurt and find some fine recipes online at the Stonyfield Farm Web site, www.stonyfield.com.

Spend Time With Your Guests, Not Your Kitchen

<b>Spend Time With Your Guests, Not Your Kitchen</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You barely saw your friends and family the last time you hosted a holiday soiree. As your guests mingled under the mistletoe, you baked trays of mini quiche and assembled shrimp cocktails, leaving little time to enjoy their company.

Sound familiar? If so, you might want to rethink your entertaining strategy — it is possible to throw an elegant gathering without spending all of your time in the kitchen.

Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati, authors of the cookbook “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s,” say that it’s a simple matter of buying the right ingredients.

For example, making homemade puff pastry requires hours of folding dough on itself — but frozen puff pastry, which is available in most grocery stores, makes for easy and impressive appetizers. “Use the grocery store as your prep kitchen,” says Miniati. “With the right purchases, you can make gourmet appetizers in minutes.”

Try serving these surprisingly simple Pastry Bites at your next gathering. Alternate fillings could include goat cheese with cranberries, pesto with roasted red peppers, or ricotta and pine nuts.

Pastry Bites

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

3-4 tablespoons bruschetta or olive spread

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the puff pastry sheet into nine equal squares. In the center of each square, drop a rounded teaspoon of bruschetta. Place squares evenly on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

For a quick alternative to pumpkin tarts, enfold pumpkin butter in puff pastry dough:

Pumpkin Spice Turnovers

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed

1/2 cup pumpkin butter, apple butter or any fruit jam

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut each puff pastry sheet into four equal squares. Place one tablespoon pumpkin butter in the center of each square. Fold the pastry into a triangle, then press and seal the edges. Repeat for each square. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

To see more recipes or find more information about the cookbook, “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s,” visit www.cookingwithtraderjoes.com.

Make Your Holiday Desserts Better Than Ever

<b>Make Your Holiday Desserts Better Than Ever</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – During this season of festive treats, why not take a holiday from the typical buttered-down desserts? Now you can whip up sweet favorites for your family and guests that are full of rich flavor with less saturated fat.

One way to reduce your saturated fat intake and make your holiday baking better is by using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Cooking & Baking Sticks in your recipes. They taste and bake like butter with 50 percent less saturated fat than butter and zero grams trans fat per serving. 1 Plus, they are made with a blend of soybean and canola oils, so they are an excellent source of omega-3 ALA. 2

You can use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Cooking & Baking Sticks in all of your favorite butter recipes. Just swap it for the same amount of butter that your recipe calls for and see how much better your baking can be. Or give this tasty brownie torte a try. You can go to www.bakeittobelieveit.com for this and other delicious recipes.

Fudgy Brownie Torte

16 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes, Chill Time: 1 hour

1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoon I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Cooking & Baking Sticks

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line bottom with waxed paper and spray again; set aside.

Melt 1/2 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Cooking & Baking Sticks, 1 cup chocolate chips and the cocoa in 3-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, then stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour just until blended. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Meanwhile, bring cream just to the boiling point in 1-quart saucepan. Remove from heat, then stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons Cooking & Baking Stick until melted. Let cool to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Place rack with cake on waxed paper, then spread chocolate mixture on cake. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Garnish, if desired, with raspberries.

1 79% vegetable oil spread. Contains 11g fat (3.5g sat. fat, 0g trans fat) per serving.

2 Contains 500mg of omega-3 ALA per serving, which provides 38% of the daily value of ALA (1300 mg).

Yes, You Can Bake It

<b>Yes, You Can Bake It</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Even if you’ve never baked before, the rewards of home baking are within your reach. Many recipes for baked goods aren’t at all difficult. Plum-Good Coffee Cake is a prime example. The coffee cake is a good way to add more fruit servings to your diet for breakfast, brunch or a late-night snack and, best of all, it’s easy to make.

For success, start by gathering all the ingredients and equipment. Let the butter sit at room temperature until it’s soft. This makes it easier to beat the butter with the sugar so they take in air and form a fluffy, creamy mixture. Adding cold eggs to the creamed butter and sugar could harden the butter again and make the batter curdle. To prevent this, take the eggs out of the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before you use them or put them in a bowl of warm water while you’re assembling the other ingredients.

Low speed on the mixer helps keep the flour mixture from flying in the air. Because overbeating the flour could toughen your cake, beat just until the batter is smooth. Use a rubber scraper or spoon to add half of the fruit by hand. Be gentle to avoid crushing the plums.

In about half an hour from the time you pop the pan into the oven, you’ll have a cake you can proudly serve to family and friends. Nobody has to know how simple it was to bake!

Plum-Good Coffee Cake

1 (9-inch) cake or 8 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter,

softened

2/3 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie

spice

1 1/2 cups diced fresh plums

(about 8 oz.)

Confectioners’ sugar,

optional

In small mixing bowl at medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Stir together flour, baking powder and spice. Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Beat at low speed until smooth. Fold in 3/4 cup of the plums. Pour into lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan or quiche pan. Top with remaining plums.

Bake in preheated 375 F oven until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched with finger, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Cut into wedges. Serve warm or cool.

Nutrition information per serving of 1/8 recipe without sugar dusting: 283 calories, 15 g total fat, 137 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 101 mg potassium, 33 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamin A, riboflavin

For more easy baking recipes, visit aeb.org or home baking.org.