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For many cooks, turkey dinner can be fraught with peril and the added pressure of family expectations.
Whether you’re a seasoned Thanksgiving chef, or a newbie in the kitchen, these tips can help eliminate the stress associated with prepping your meal’s centerpiece.
Get it Right
Allot 1 to 1.5 lbs of turkey per person. Make sure your turkey is big enough for leftovers! There’s nothing more satisfying than a turkey sandwich for lunch the next day.
Ready your bird for the oven by following the National Turkey Federation guideline on thawing: for every 4 1/2 pounds of frozen turkey, thaw for 24-hours in the refrigerator.
Get busy and brine your bird! Brining adds so much flavor and texture to the meat. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Some side dishes can be made a couple of days ahead and reheated for dinner. Don’t be afraid to ask a guest to bring a dish to your dinner, it will save you time and make your guest feel great for bringing a family favorite. Remember, there’s only so much space in an oven, so schedule cooking accordingly to ensure everything is ready at mealtime.
Keep a clean work area and make sure your knives are sharp. There are two chef’s adages that come to mind: “you are more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp knife”; and, “If your work area is a mess, you’ll create a mess”.
You don’t need to be Julia Child to master the art of turkey. By maintaining your kitchen tools and preparing ahead, you can make Turkey Day successful and stress-free.
Finding new vegetarian meal ideas that provide nutritional value and great taste is easy with MealEasy.
MealEasy provides affordable healthy vegetarian meal plans and ensures you have the best vegetarian food complete with all the necessary nutrients and protein. You don’t have to eat meat in order to consume adequate levels of protein; however, careful attention must be paid to ensure you consume the proper amounts of alternate protein sources. MealEasy takes the guess work out of protein amounts.
Understanding meal planning
So, what exactly is a meal plan?
A meal plan is a prepared schedule of your meals for a few days in advance, or even weeks in advance. One of the best ways to make sure that you eat healthy meals throughout the week is to have a plan in place. That way, you can purchase all the necessary ingredients ahead of time, and avoid purchasing unneeded groceries that end up going to waste. In addition, putting meal plans together in advance makes it easier to make certain that you’re eating well-balanced meals with optimum nutrition, rather than trying to figure it out on the fly. Finally, a meal plan can help you spend your time more wisely, since you will be able to get through the grocery store more quickly and won’t have to spend time each evening trying to figure out what to make for dinner.
Make every day a banquet
With MealEasy, it is simple to create a balanced meal plan that is healthy, delicious, and will please all of the people in your family. Select from a wide range of meals available to create personalized vegetarian meal plans. MealEasy will automatically generate shopping lists so you can be sure to be well stocked with all of the ingredients required to prepare your meals.
MealEasy features delicious recipes that span many cuisines; including Japanese, American, Italian, and more. Having access to such variety in creating your meal plans will keep your family from falling into the rut of preparing the same tired recipes again and again.
Visit www.mealeasy.com to learn more about their healthy meal plans. Take advantage of the option to sign up for a 3-month membership to explore the full range of recipes and meal plans available, as well as experience how simple MealEasy can make meal planning.
For parents with young children, it can be very stressful rushing to after-school activities, often stopping to quickly grab a fast meal somewhere on the road. Home cooking has become an uncommon occurrence in millions of American kitchens now that grocery store shelves are packed with convenience meals, and kids crave the junk food that fast food companies directly market to them.
Families spend less time eating together than they did a generation ago. According to a national poll conducted by RGA Communications in 1995, only one-third of U.S. families said they “usually have their evening meal together on a daily basis”. Continue reading →
Here in Canada, we are currently facing the largest beef recall ever. A recall of over 1500 items, that’s 1500 different, cuts of meat and prepackaged meat products. The list seems endless. The recall was initiated because of E. coli illness which has infected 13 people. It is assumed that the meat in question was tainted by cow feces.
This is yet another reason that in our house we buy our meat from a local butcher. Sure, we pay $5 a pound for lean ground beef, but we’re not about to die from it! We’ve been to the farm, we’ve seen the slaughter house, and we know the butcher. The ground beef we buy comes from one animal and not potentially 1000 as with factory farmed cattle.
I realize it is not feasible economically for many folks out there to do the same, we are somewhat privileged that we can afford to and are able to buy from a local source. But this only stresses the fact that it is important to know where your food comes from. Cooking at home is a start; visiting your local farmers market is the next step.
Hello, my name is Paul and I’m a chipaholic. For years I have indulged in ½ a bag a day habit. I would sit in front of the TV and crunch my way through a bag of BBQ chips like it was nothing. We’re talking about the big bags here…200g. I often didn’t even realize I was doing it. I’d awake from my TV induced haze to find my chest covered in chip crumbs, an empty bag on the floor next to the couch.
Breaking this habit was hard, I kid you not. The first step was simple yet so tough…don’t buy any chips. As long as they aren’t in the house, I will not eat them. If I know that there’s a bag in here somewhere, I will find it and I will eat it…all of it! So step one: never buy chips. It’s been hard. I have broken this rule a few times and recently, after about 2 years of only buying and eating chip occasionally, I’ve found that I no longer can consume a 1/2 bag or more in one sitting. I feel kind of ill after eating just a few…same goes for pop.
Trust me, I still have those night time cravings but I’ve tried to replace them with other healthier snack foods. We now try to have a container of carrot sticks in our fridge at all times; simple and convenient. We try to make dips such as hummus and red pepper dip. We make kale chips and eat unsalted popcorn instead of potato chips.
It hasn’t been easy but I feel better because of my avoidance of potato chips, and if I can do it, so can you.
Back to School means Back to School Savings!!!
Looking for easy lunch time ideas and super fast weekday suppers? Has MealEasy got a deal for you!
Worried about what your college aged kids will be eating while at school? Fret not, MealEasy’s got you covered. This is a one time only offer of a 1 year MealEasy membership for a price of $29.95 …a whopping 67% savings!
Offer ends September 28th.
Back to school means summer vacation is over and lunch and dinner time stresses begin. But it doesn’t have to be that way. MealEasy’s simple and delicious meals are perfect for everyone; perfect for the college student; perfect for the busy family on the go; and perfect for anyone who wants to make healthy eating a priority.
With 2000+ chef-designed healthy meals to choose from and a multitude of customizable features and easy to follow instructions, cooking’s a breeze even for the novice. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to prepare your own food using the MealEasy meal planner. Benefits using MealEasy:
• Save time and money by making your own
• Eat fully-balanced, healthy meals
• Have automatically generated shopping lists
• Have detailed preparation instructions
Taking advantage of this one time offer – shows that you’re ready to make a change; you’re ready to eat healthy!
This is a one time only offer of $29.95 available only until September 28th, 2012. This is a NON recurring charge. See MealEasy.com for “terms and conditions”.
Summer is coming to an end and that means that the school year is about to begin.
If you’ve got school aged children, then you’re already fretting about school lunches. What do you make that’s healthy, nutritious and that they will actually eat. The last bit is sometimes the hardest.
This article brings up an excellent point: “If you want them to eat it, don’t pack the stuff they don’t like,” says Joanne Saab, a registered dietitian who works in pediatric nutrition at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton. “They will not eat it if you’re not there.”
I’m a big fan of leftovers for lunches; there’s nothing easier than packing up what’s left from last night’s dinner. But I do understand that for a lot of kids leftovers just don’t cut it. The MealEasy meal planner has many simple, nutritious and kid friendly lunch suggestions; everything from sandwiches to pasta salads to soups.
Try out some new ideas for lunches before the kids head back to school, either as a meal at home or as small samples to see if your kids might enjoy these items in their lunches. And remember to include some fruit and some vegetables in the lunch…and most importantly, if they’re not going to eat it then don’t give it to them.
Three recent food related articles caught my attention this week. The first article was about the harmful effect of eating egg yolks; in fact, the researcher “claims the cholesterol found in the yolk is almost as dangerous as smoking.” WOW! That’s bad news for those of us who enjoy eggs on a regular basis.
But then, a second article disputes these claims:
“But Dr. Antonis Zampelos, a professor of human nutrition and the journal’s expert on dietary matters, said Spence should have also tracked the intake of saturated fat, which is a proven cause of coronary disease.
“The results are not as strong as the statement that came out,” said Zampelos.
“The results lack the greatest validity I would say. I’m not saying that this is not an interesting study,” he said. “I’m saying that you can’t really make such a strong statement about smoking.””
So who do we believe? Food science and nutrition is constantly evolving; what is good for us today can be found to be bad for us tomorrow. Food items such as margarine, artificial sweeteners and wheat are either a healthier way to eat or harmful to us depending on whom you believe.
Also this week, researchers found that dark chocolate can help lower you blood pressure. Now this is news I choose to believe.
Dark Chocolate: A study published in the March 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that of more than 34,000 post-menopausal women who consumed the most flavonoid-rich food, 22 per cent had a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease. Chocolate was ranked as one of the top flavonoid-rich foods associated with a protective effect, along with bran, red wine, grapefruit and strawberries.
These findings support previous research published in 2006 in the Archive of Internal Medicine, which found men who consumed high amounts of cocoa products (2.3 grams or more per day) had a 50% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, compared with men with the lowest consumption.
A study two years earlier, published in the journal Hypertension, uncovered similar findings using more chocolate. Researchers randomly assigned 20 subjects with high blood pressure to receive either 100 grams a day of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate or 90 grams per day of flavonoid-free white chocolate. The group receiving dark chocolate experienced a drop in blood pressure. Researchers also found that levels of LDL cholesterol dropped by 10 % in the dark chocolate group.
Your heart health isn’t the only thing with a link to chocolate. A 2007 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who preferred chocolate to other types of candy had a lower body mass index and waist circumference than men who did not eat chocolate. Chocolate lovers also experienced more feelings of happiness and better psychological well-being.
Whomever you choose to believe, eating foods, be it eggs or chocolate, moderation is the key. There is such a thing as too much chocolate.