Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cooking for children

Delicious Chicken nuggets.Image via WikipediaI think this would be an interesting article, more so if we are keen to feeding our kids with what we cook.

Read on...

  • Joanne Shuttleworth, Mercury staff 
  • Sun May 01 2011

GUELPH — Why will kids eat tandoori chicken and brown rice at daycare but will only eat chicken nuggets and fries at home?
What do those daycare cooks know that mere mortal parents don’t?
The answers are in a cookbook called Child Care Cooks, which was launched at the Child Care Conference at Cutten Fields Saturday.
It’s a collection of kid-friendly, budget-friendly, healthy recipes created by local chefs, cookbook authors and the cooks at local child care centres. Food writers Elizabeth Baird and Emily Richards edited the book and converted the recipes to family-sized proportions.
Richards, who lives in Guelph, said she was asked to do a cooking demonstration at the conference a few years ago to showcase diversity in food.
Daycare cooks were realizing there was a need for ethnic diversity on their menus. The demonstration really sparked interest in sharing recipes and tips,” Richards said.
“The cooks started sharing their recipes and the cookbook was the next step.”
More than 100 recipes are in the book, including vegetarian dishes, soups, salads, cookies and other desserts, snacks and main dishes.
The recipes comply with the Day Nurseries Act.
Paola Hohenadel, professional development co-ordinator with the Quality Child Care Initiative, said the cookbook is a great tool for cooks at daycare centres as well as for families.
“They don’t use obscure ingredients,” Hohenadel said. “They are simple recipes and kids love them.”
“They fit with food budgets,” added Richards. “Child care centres have to stick to budgets too.”
Richards said childhood is the perfect time to begin a healthy relationship with food. Parents should not be afraid to introduce a variety of spices and flavours to children. Kids may need to be exposed to different foods many times before trying them. Don’t give up, and don’t give in to pressure, she says.
“Meal time should be relaxed but it can still be adventurous,” Richards said.
The cook books are $20 and are available at child care centres and at the Early Years Centre in Stone Road Mall. Call or email Hohenadel for more information: 519-821-6638 ext. 201;

Taken from; source article is below:
Now we’re cooking — for children

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Wild About Salmon

Some salmon recipes. I love salmons, steamed or fried... this article comes with a recipe, so what are you waiting for?

Today is the first day of the commercial salmon fishing season for Half Moon Bay and Pillar Point Harbor fishermen. Recreational ocean salmon fishing began on April 2.
Wild salmon is not so easy to come by these days. However, in Half Moon Bay, according to a recent article by Stuart Nafey, the recreational salmon fishing got off to a slow start, but is doing well. Whether you catch your own or buy it locally, you might wonder what to do with it once you are home.
Salmon fillet is probably the most popular; it’s more “flat” than the steak and tends to cook quickly. The steak is thicker and tends to have more bones. Some people like the texture. Others favor the fillet; it’s just personal preference. When you are trying to figure out how much to buy, a good portion is around 6 oz. Some of that might be skin and there’s always some loss of liquid during cooking. If you are serving lots of other side dishes, you may need less. Luckily, even if you have leftovers, salmon is also good cold and can easily be added to salads, pasta or quinoa dishes.
Cooking methods
Because salmon has a lot of fat, it tends to stay moist. You still want to make sure you don’t overcook it. If anything, err on the less cooked side. Lewis Rossman, Executive Chef/Partner of Sam's Chowder House, gives some advice: “It’s also important to remember that when you take the fish out of the oven or off the grill it continues to cook.  Most people have a tendency to overcook fish.  A fresh salmon fillet is really best served medium.”
Salmon can be cooked on a grill, in the oven or a pan. Regardless of how you cook it, using high heat is the most important part of the process. “It's great on the grill because the smokiness really helps cut some of the richness of the fish," Rossman says. "I also enjoy roasting salmon in the oven.  I usually start with a very hot pan and olive oil.  This keeps the fish from sticking.  I get a good sear on both sides and finish the fish in the oven.  The whole process takes about 10 minutes. “
If the thought of searing it intimidates you, simply put it on a rimmed baking sheet (lined with foil is best for easy clean up) in a hot oven (at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 to 15 minutes. When you remove it, press it in the thickest part to test it for doneness. It should be firm. If it’s very firm, it might be dry. Estimate the time on how thick the piece is.
Salmon can be served plain (at least with salt and pepper), with a sauce or marinated. Even if it’s “plain,” a little lemon, lime or butter always makes for good seasoning. There are many rubs that can be used as well; try Cajun or a sweet and smoky one. You can marinate salmon in almost anything; it works really well with a soy-sauce based one. For the simple cooking, try different sauces like lemon caper or dill mustard.

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon
1/4 cup maple syrup  
2 Tbl soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1-2 tsp minced ginger (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Dash of salt and ground pepper

1 lb of salmon filets

  1. Mix glaze ingredients in a small bowl. If you want some sauce for the salmon or for another food (e.g. vegetables), double the glaze ingredients.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425F. Place salmon, skin-side down, on a baking sheet.
  3. Pour mixture over salmon. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is firm. The cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the fish.
Sweet and Smoky Rub
2 Tbl brown sugar
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme
Cooking salmon at home is easy and much more affordable than enjoying it in a restaurant.  Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Let us know how you like to prepare salmon at home. Tell us in the comments.


Taken from; source article is below:
Getting Wild About Salmon on Commercial Season's Opening Day

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Recipes

Ipomoea batatas, Convolvulaceae, Sweet Potato,...Image via WikipediaNow this is another very simple fruit (is it a fruit or a vegetable?) that has diverse uses, and the dishes that can be made from it is quite unlimited. I should say, it can be broiled, fried, boiled, cut into round pieces or into chips, mashed, etc., etc.

It is also very economical. Have you seen a sweet potato that is very expensive?

And these are very nutritious, too. The many varieties also add to the variation in color, texture and taste. Makes for the perfect dessert (or dip), as shown in the list of recipes for this versatile root crop.

Go on now... Enjoy!

Posted by KathyPatalsky
April 22, 2011

Here are some of my most favorite sweet potato recipes. These dishes will add some vitamin-A rich deliciousness to your spring holiday table. Serve these dishes for Easter – or serve them all year long. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods – these are my most beloved recipes. And feel good diving into healthy sweet potatoes! Kids love them too. Eat up! Check these sweet potato recipes out..

Sweet Potato Glow Spirals - a perfect appetizer or small bite. Or serve these bites up for a light lunch. They are kinda like sweet potato sushi! Without the fish. Or rice. But you get the idea!
Sweet Potato Apple Souffle Cups – another perfect small bite or elegant appetizer. Serve these cups warm from the oven for some cozy golden yumminess.
My Famous Sweet Potato Mash – this is my most favorite mash. I serve it at Thanksgiving – or just as a side dish for supper. This is the mash I use to stuff my Sassy Sweet Potato Pitas below..
Sweet and Sassy Sweet Potato Pockets – I first started making these when I went vegetarian – I’d bring them to dinner parties and holiday feasts so that I’d have something to eat! But when everyone started asking for the recipe I knew I had a winner. I make these often – and kids love them!
Sweet Potato Stuffed Roasted Pepper – Lovely hearty side dish for sweet potato lovers like you and me!
Sweet Potato Mash and Lemon Pepper Tempeh – this is one of my favorite meal combos. Protein-rich and super healthy. Give this vegan combo a try!
Sweet Potato Biscuits – the classic sweet potato biscuit gets a healthy makeover. These are vegan, and tender-licious. I crave these cozy biscuits.
Sweet Potato Dream Dip – this luscious creamy yam/white bean dip is the perfect party-starter. Whip it up in a flash and serve it with some crackers and veggie sticks. Par-ty!
Silly Sweet Potato Pizza - the ultimate kid-pleaser that even adults will swoon over. Creamy mashed sweet potatoes, maple, pecan and citrus flavors. Serve as a side dish or main event!
White Yam Sweet Garlic Bean Dip – this was a soup recipe gone wrong, and a bean dip recipe gone right! Creamy and packed with garlic-white yam flavor.

Taken from; source article is below:
Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Soy Products & Tofu Health Issues

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...Image via WikipediaI have come across an article about tofu as being the cause of a lady's health woes, and digging in deeper, it was found that she over-consumed the food, which is thought as a health food in the first place.

Is this article on the same storyline?


Soybeans, a mainstay of the Asian diet for centuries, have become increasingly popular in the West as a low-fat source of protein and oil. Soybeans can be used to make many healthy, inexpensive and versatile food products, including tofu, miso and soymilk. Soy products provide "complete protein," meaning they contain all the amino acids essential to human nutrition. Despite the high nutritional value of soy, scientists cannot rule out the possibility of side effects of consuming soy products. Therefore, you should not take soy products without first talking to your doctor.

Breast Cancer Risk

Scientists are not sure if breast cancer risk is influenced by consuming phytoestrogens from soy products. Some animal studies with human breast cancer cells have found that soy phytoestrogens may act as estrogens in the human body and possibly raise the risk of breast cancer, according to Barbour S. Warren and Carol Devine, Ph.D., R.D., of the Sprecher Institute at Cornell University. Long, uninterrupted exposure to estrogen is an established risk factor for breast cancer. Estrogen facilitates the growth of milk ducts in the breast, where most breast cancers arise. Soy phytoestrogens, specifically isoflavones, are similar to human estrogen in structure. This allows them to bind to the same chemical receptors as endogenous estrogen and mimic its action. Women should consume soy products with care because they may increase estrogenic activity in the body.

Thyroid Disease

Soy isoflavones are potent inhibitors of the enzymes thyroid peroxidase and 5'-deiodinase, which are responsible for the oxidation and organification of iodide to iodine. Iodine is a trace element essential for the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones. Inhibition of these enzymes by soy isoflavones lowers circulating thyroid hormones, which results in an increased serum TSH. TSH is the thyroid-stimulating hormone that potentiates the pathogenesis of goiter, the enlargement of the thyroid gland. The effects of soy isoflavones on the thyroid function are more pronounced when you consume an iodine-insufficient diet for a long time. Adding iodine to the diet, however, offsets this effect.

Soy Allergy

Food allergies are immunologically based abnormal responses to a particular food or food component. Symptoms of soy allergy can range in severity from harmless skin reactions to gastrointestinal disturbances to respiratory distress to cardiovascular problems. Researchers have identified at least 15 soy proteins that are responsible for allergic reactions; however, the mechanism of action has remained unclear. The protein 2S globulin has been recognized as the most powerful one. Soy allergy is more common in children than adults. If you have allergies to soy, you should avoid all soy products such as tofu, miso, soymilk, soy flour, soy yogurt and tempeh.


Soybeans are also rich in purines, natural substances found in all body tissues and in some foods. Consuming large amounts of soy products, including tofu, can raise your uric acid level and make the gout worse. Uric acid, a purine degradation product, deposits in joint spaces as small crystals and causes intense pain, swelling and inflammation.

Taken from; source article is below:
Health Issues Related to Soy Products & Tofu

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Flight of the bumble bees

A jar of honey with honey dipperImage via WikipediaThis is a sure sweet thing!

By Paul Jobin
Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

If there's one thing most of us have in common it's a story about being stung by a pesky bee.

Mine involved chasing a rampant bull terrier, which had my favourite gumboot well lodged in his jaw, past a stack of beehives. Then there was the time I fetched a flying frisbee that had thumped a hive in the long grass.

New Zealand has some 300,000 beehives, home to honey bees that live for only six weeks but manage, in that time, to fly about 800km. And did you know that bees don't sleep, but take short breaks in which they barely move to conserve energy? And that in its lifetime, the average bee will make only about half a teaspoon of honey?

Honey has been a part of the human diet for at least as long as recorded human history. In New Zealand, the first hive of honey bees was imported from England to Hokianga, Northland, in 1839 and this country now has some of the healthiest, most disease-free honey bees in the world. We even export bee semen.

New Zealand beekeepers produce a saleable crop of about 8000 tonnes of honey each year; primarily clover. To understand how incredible these little critters are, visit BeesOnline Honey Centre & Cafe in Waimauku, west of Auckland.

This artisan honey producer specialises in monofloral honeys, but it has also diversified into other honey products, too - the BeesOnline red wine and manuka honeygar brilliantly engineered in owner Maureen Maxwell's kitchen is a superb alternative to white balsamic vinegar in cooking. It's particularly fabulous as a marinade for pork belly with star anise and cinnamon bark.

It's also low in fat and high in anti-oxidants.

Maxwell compares BeesOnline honeys to fine wine - manuka and strong bush honeys can be thought of as similar to full-bodied dry red wines, mineral and herbaceous. The sweet floral characteristics of honey made from pohutukawa or tawari, on the other hand, can be likened to a sticky dessert wine.

Honey will keep in your cupboard for up to a year. Clear honey can crystallise over time, but put the jar in a jug of hot water and it will return to its clear, liquid state. Crystallisation does not affect the honey's quality.

When substituting sugar with honey in cooking, use half the amount as it's twice as sweet. When beating, beat honey for longer and more vigorously and add half a teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey used. This will neutralise honey's acidity and help the food rise.

Now, when I am pouring clear liquid amber honey over my gorgonzola stuffed figs in parma ham, I find I can forgive the odd sting from the buzzy bee.

By Paul Jobin

Taken from; source article is below:
Flight of the bumble bees

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