Friday, April 4, 2014

A New Season Brings New Menu Items at Dodger Stadium

Eating Well at Dodger Stadium with #HealthyOptions

The new season brings new food options for Dodgers fans who have several choices beyond the traditional ballpark Dodger Dog, including the Italian-inspired fare at Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria, Healthy Options at the Clubhouse Marketplace, and 5 star dining in the Dugout Club.

Yes, It’s true the more you pay, the better your options. As seen here in the Dodgers Dugout Club, where you can just have a hunk of meat hacked off and served up to you on a plate, fresh fruits and vegetables grilled to perfection (right in front of your face), and an array of salad and drink options.  WOW! 

Even if you find yourself in the cheap seats, you can head to the Club level where the Marketplace offers gluten-free snacks as well.  The Clubhouse Marketplace is located on the Club Level at the top of the escalators.  Here you will find fresh cut fruit, coconut water, whole fruit/packs of grapes and other healthy options.

While this isn't a totally gluten free menu, you can get a Dodger Dog without the bun if you’re really hankering for the experience, and possibly even a Frito Pie Dog without the bun, although I’m not sure about the chili situation. I thought there were also gluten-free buns available at Dodger Stadium, but the lady running the food show said they just brought those in for special events. ! But still, there is that lovely gluten-free beer.

Have you eaten well, and gluten-free, at Dodgers Stadium?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Why You Should Eat Seasonal Foods

I LOVE to eat with the seasons.

Eating with the seasons ensure that you are getting the freshest produce possible!

Nature knows when the best time is to grow different foods, and you can really taste the difference!
There’s no better way to start your cooking day than by getting a box of fresh produce from Melissa’s delivered right to your door. How great is that?

Properties of Healthy Food -- powered by LIVESTRONG.COM

Some Of My Spring Seasonal Fruit & Vegetable Favorites:
Barbados Cherries
Belgian Endive
Butter Lettuce
Chayote Squash
Collard Greens
Fava Beans
Fiddlehead Ferns
Green Beans
Manoa Lettuce
Morel Mushrooms
Mustard Greens
Pea Pods
Purple Asparagus
Red Leaf Lettuce
Snow Peas
Spring Baby Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Vidalia Onions
When you eat with the seasons and you change up your palate with spring, summer, winter and fall,  you not only know that you are getting fresher produce with a better nutrient and vitamin content than if it were grown out of season, but the taste is richer and fuller.

You won’t have to mask the flavors of bland veggies with heavy dressings and other fatty ingredients that you don’t really need.  Tasty vegetables get eaten, so eat seasonally and you know you’re eating the freshest that nature has to offer you.

Starting your meal with a lot of fresh produce will also help you feel fuller longer and keep up that Fit Foodie figure! All of that great fiber helps you feel full and detox, and all those fresh fruits and veggies will feed your body at the cellular level making you feel that much more satisfied.

Eat Healthy!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Orange You Glad... It's Spring!

Orange You Glad…

Frank Sinatra once said that “orange is the happiest color” and really, who could disagree? There’s something about orange that’s bright, buoyant, cheerful…it brings a smile to your face, and it makes your insides smile, too.

Orange fruits and vegetables contain a wealth of beneficial nutrients that can improve heart, lung, skin and eye health, in addition to possibly decreasing the risk of some cancers. One of the best-known antioxidants, beta-carotene, gives orange produce its sunny color. Because it is believed to have anti-aging and protective properties, many cosmetics companies are using beta-carotene in skin creams. Preliminary studies show that beta-carotene may slow cognitive decline, so it’s good for beauty and brains. 

Once in the body, beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A, an essential nutrient, also called retinol. Vitamin A regulates white blood cells, cell growth and division and helps the body maintain bone integrity. It’s perhaps best known for helping enhance night vision. And, don’t forget vitamin C, another essential nutrient that is great for boosting the immune system. Lots of orange fruits and vegetables are just bursting with Vitamin C!

There’s a whole rainbow just within the orange spectrum. Some delicious favorites include: 

-         Citrus: tangerines, oranges, kumquats and mandarinquats
-         Stone Fruit: apricots, peaches, nectarines
-         Melons: cantaloupe, crenshaw, charantais, sharyln
-         Papayas: strawberry, tai nung
-         Mangoes: ataulfo, green keitt, kent, haden
-         Persimmons: fuyu, hachiya, cinnamon, sharon
-         Squash: delicata, kabocha, buttercup, carnival, spaghetti, gold nugget, sweet dumpling, butternut, acorn, turban, hubbard, red kuri
-         Pumpkins: sugar pie, cinderella, autumn gold, cheese, pink
-         Sweet Potatoes/Yams: garnet, jewel, yamo imo
-         Peppers & Chiles: bell, veggie sweet, long hot, habanero, manzano
-         Carrots: rainbow, thumbelina, long orange, baby
-         Even more: cape gooseberries, orange cauliflower, turmeric

There’s so many choices, it’s easy to get more orange into your diet! Eat orange, and smile! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014



Elizabeth Weinstein

Once, I read a short story in which a mother ground up eggshells and mixed them into the scrambled eggs she made her children. Set on a farm in the 1930s, the story told of a family so poor that they could barely feed their chickens, or their children. The malnourished hens laid eggs so translucent you could practically see the baby chicks inside. To give her children additional protein, the mother fed her children the shells as well as the eggs.
I don’t remember the story’s name or author, but I remember what I thought when I read it: Were things that bad for my own grandmother, who was born in Iowa in 1921, who as a child wrote a poem that read “No chicken in the pot?/Blame it on Hoover!”? I never worked up the nerve to ask.
My grandmother went on to become a successful real estate agent in San Diego. She raised three daughters, all of whom went on to get Master’s degrees and to find their own success in life. Like many other mothers of the 1950s, my grandmother wasn’t much of a cook. I know that she fixed frozen fish sticks and macaroni and cheese for her family every Friday night, and that she occasionally cracked a raw egg into a bowl for their beagle, Tinker. She was no gourmet, but much to her credit and enterprising spirit, she never struggled to feed her family, either.
To this day, my grandmother’s Great Depression mentality remains unshakable. She always cleans her plate, and she won’t leave a restaurant without taking the bread and those small pats of butter in a to-go bag. My mother, her daughter, doesn’t take the butter, but she will spirit away small nibbles from here and there, always adding them to a miscellaneous pile in the unruly pantry. When I was younger, she would put packets of airline peanuts, red and white candy-striped restaurant mints, and fun-sized waiting room chocolates into my school lunches.
Their thrift used to bemuse me, and also embarrass me, just a little. Even though it clearly wasn’t the case, it seemed as though their refusal to waste indicated that we weren’t able to afford to let those little things go by.
I recently realized that I had inherited this trait, this desire to save things, when I visited my future mother-in-law’s house for the Christmas holiday. She greeted me warmly with a hug and kiss, and practically as soon as I was through the door, added: “There’s two turkey carcasses and a ham bone in the freezer for you.”
            Clearly, I was supposed to make stock. My fiancé assured me that this wasn’t a mandate, just an invitation. “She knows that you like to make stock. You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. She was just trying to be nice.” This was the first time anyone ever gave me carcasses as a gift, but it turned out to be a present I appreciated.
Away from home for Christmas for the first time, I found myself in the kitchen much of that trip, thinking about my own family and making soup. Among the four I cooked up was an improvised ham and white bean soup that was so good I wish I’d taken notes as I went along.
Some of my efforts at wasting not are best left not only undocumented, but forgotten altogether. The incident of the “fiber patties” stands out in particular. One day, I made juice with kale, ginger, apples, and who knows what else. It suddenly occurred to me to that I should put the bone-dry leftovers the juicer had spewed into its rear to good use. I pulled out the stringy, stemmy, peely bits, bound them together with a bit of whole wheat flour and olive oil, and tossed them in a hot frying pan. I remained optimistic even though my gut told me this would be a failed experiment. “I’ll be getting so much fiber!” I told myself. One bite was more than enough.
These days I’ve got a little more common sense when it comes to being thrifty in the kitchen, but there is one thing I always do my best to use up: the zest from lemons, limes, oranges, and the occasional grapefruit or pomelo. Even in California, where the sun shines year round, the coming of winter’s best citrus brings my biggest January smiles. There is nothing like the taste of that wonderful fresh juice, which I’ve used for cocktails, marinades, tarts, lemon and key lime curds, and marmalade just this calendar year. But before I squeeze the fruit, I first get out my handy Microplane and zest. Sure, I can afford to throw the fruit out without using it all, but why would I waste it?
When zesting, be sure you always wash and dry your fruit thoroughly, using a little soap, to make sure it’s completely free of dirt and any pesticides. A Microplane is the easiest tool, but you can also use a vegetable peeler or pairing knife, and then slice the zest into small pieces. Just be sure to avoid the bitter white pith as best as possible! Zest is always best used immediately, but will keep relatively well in the refrigerator for a day, loosely wrapped in cling wrap.
So what should you do with all those gorgeous threads? Here I’ve compiled three of my favorite, unexpected ways to use citrus zest. Every recipe is extremely simple and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. In fact, I think I’ll send some zesty treats to my grandmother.

1.      Sunshine Sugar

This is the absolute easiest thing you can do with your zest. Mix 2 tablespoons of Navel Orange or other unblemished, sweet-smelling orange zest into 1 cup of granulated sugar. Store in a clear glass jar. Add the sugar to black tea; mix into cakes, scones, or muffins; or just open the jar and smell when you need a little spring in your step. 

2.      Any Citrus Vodka

Lots of juicing means lots of zest. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of it is to infuse vodka with Buddha's Hand. Every 2-3 tablespoons of zest will flavor about 1 cup of vodka, so get out a clean glass jar and measure accordingly! It takes about a month for the citrus to perfume the vodka, at which point you’ll be ready to strain it and drink it.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can just leave the jar out (a cool, darkish place is best) and add any kind of citrus zest you please as you go along, as well as more vodka. For those of you who routinely toss bones into an ever-simmering stockpot or add leftover wine to a vinegar crock, you’re already familiar with the concept.
Photo source:  The Forest Feast

3.      Zesty Salt Scrub

This scrub isn’t edible, but it’s a marvelous pick-me-up that will keep your hands miraculously soft. Clean out a 16-oz wide mouthed jar (I like to use the bale and gasket jars with the orange rubber seals on the lids). Fill the jar almost to the top with a thick, rocky salt, such as pretzel salt. Mix about three tablespoons of zest from your favorite citrus into the salt. Add baby oil to the jar until the salt is fully saturated, but not much oil is puddling around it. Add a few drops of a favorite essential oil, such as lemon, orange, or lemongrass. Shake the jar hard to distribute. Adjust ingredients until the mixture’s smell and texture please you. To use, rub a half-teaspoon worth of the mixture all over your hands for 30 seconds, and then wash off. The scrub will leave your hands baby soft, and the smell will transport you to a sunny California day. 
Photo source: Petit Elefant

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is Eating Red, Really Good For Your Heart?

February is American Heart Month and that's got us thinking about everything red. Of all the colors, red may have the most symbolic meanings attached. Red signifies love, passion, romance, adventure, daring, energy and power. When it comes to fresh produce, it also signifies health. From bright bell pepper reds to rich scarlet plums, that bright hue means there's something good for you inside. 

Beneficial nutrients in red produce can include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, Potassium and Pectin. Many red fruits and vegetables are also loaded with carotenoid and flavanoid antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins, which help fight harmful free radicals in the body. In general, a bright orangey-red hue indicates the presence of lycopene—think guava, tomatoes, watermelon, papaya and bell peppers—while darker, purpley-red produce often contains anthocyanins—think cherries, plums, pomegranates and red grapes. 

Research is still being conducted, but some preliminary studies show that regularly eating foods rich in these red antioxidants may help reduce the risk of heart disease; prostate, breast, stomach and lung cancer; macular degeneration; and stroke. Eating fresh reds may help boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, lower levels of LDL (or "bad" cholesterol) and decrease inflammation in the body.

If you're looking to eat deliciously and interested in these potential health benefits, 
try these easy tips for mixing more reds into your diet:  
  • Sprinkle raspberries on granola, yogurt or crepes 
  • Add some dried tart cherries to trail mix
  • Slice pink grapefruit segments onto salads
  • Quench your thirst by eating juicy red summer watermelon
  • Make a quick salad with Melissa's Steamed Baby Beets
  • Snack on baby heirloom tomatoes
  • Eat a bell pepper like an apple—just go for it! 
  • Serve your Valentine some hot chiles—a known aphrodisiac!

Just looking at the color red may make you feel more passionate, romantic, powerful and energetic, but eating red is an even better path to a healthy, happy and loving heart! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Are You Hungry Yet? #DutchYellowPotato Edition (18 photos)

#DutchYellowPotato - America's #1 Potato

As featured by these Top Orange County Chefs

Amar Santana (Broadway by Amar)

Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales

Seakyeong Kim (Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales)

Little Sparrow Cafe

Debra Sims (Maro Wood Grill)

Lamb and Potaotes

Orange County’s top chefs are going the extra mile to make customers happy, and they have one popular ingredient to thank: Dutch Yellow Potatoes. This round, small potato compliments a variety of meals, and top chefs throughout Orange County are making them even more appealing.

Commonly used for roasting, grilling, and mashing, Dutch yellow potatoes have a subtle, sweet, buttery taste that can also be added to salads. It has been noted, that roasted potatoes are among the most frequently ordered dish in many restaurants. Top chefs really appreciate the creamy texture and fast preparation of these amazing potatoes. As featured by the National Restaurant Association’s 2014, “What’s Hot,” reviews of annual trends, Dutch Yellow Potatoes are listed in the Top 10 produce trends for the Culinary Professional.

Orange County’s top chefs are not backing away from declaring Dutch yellow potatoes a “must have” dish and a culinary favorite. If customers want to experience a top notch delight, these creamy textured potatoes are sure to amaze. As Chef Amar (Broadway by Amar) says, “[This is] the best tasting potato I’ve ever had.” That statement is backed up by yet another cooking master, Chef Kim (Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales), who says,” I can prepare this potato with any dish on my menu.”

For anyone looking to enjoy the various delicacies made off of the Dutch yellow potatoes, participating chefs (and by extension restaurants) include Amar Santana (Broadway by Amar), Debra Sims (Maro Wood Grill), Daniel Godinez (Anepalcos Café), Jason Quinn (The Playground), Eric Samaniego (Little Sparrow), Yvon Goetz (The Winery), and Seakyeong Kim (Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales).

The baby potatoes (in reference to their small sizes compared to other potato varieties) have stretched the imagination of the aforementioned chefs, and make really amazing dishes. To find out more about Dutch yellow potatoes, view this page.

DG Burger

DYP and Tri-Tip

Dutch Yellow Potaotes

Dutch Yellow Potato dish

Yvon Goetz (The Winery)

DYPs and Lamb

Saturday, January 11, 2014

7 Super Recipes for the Big Game!

7 Quick and Easy Super Bowl® Recipes

Are you in charge of putting this years Super Bowl® menu together?  Here are 7 must have recipes for the big game!

It's that time of year again!  Super Bowl Sunday is the day to pull out all the stops when it comes to indulging in your favorite snack foods.  Hopefully this year, you will take some healthy options into consideration (for you and your guests) and make them as delicious as ever!  If you're looking to make your own food this Sunday, we've got plenty of recipes for salsa, chili, finger foods, guacamole, fresh fruit and much more.  And even if you're short on time and are just looking for something you could whip up quickly, we've got you covered there, too. Check out our recipes and ideas for Super Bowl Sunday food, below... and enjoy in good health!

P.S. You could share these images on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook... I know your friends will thank you!

#1 - Black Eyed Peas Salsa Fresca

#2 - Ready to Eat Edamame

#3 - Jalapeno Poppers

#4 - Vegetarian Party Chili

#5 - Hibiscus Cooler (VIDEO)

#6 - Guacamole Won Tons

#7 - Hatch Chile Guacamole
Pro tip - How to tell if you Avocado is Ripe <~~ Click Here