Tag Archives: food

Summer cookin’!

Even though here in the Seattle area we’ve only had about 2 1/2 weeks of summer, I am aware that the end is drawing near.  School shopping is in full force.  Fresh canned goods are being stock piled in pantries.  Even days are beginning to feel a bit shorter.  But in the midst of autumn on the horizon,  I feel the need to keep summer close to me for a bit longer.  The following recipe is by far one of my favorites for summer and something that I make a few times each season.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Caprese Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound of pasta (any small shape works fine)
  • 5 cups diced beefsteak tomatoes, (2 pounds)
  • 2 cups diced fresh mozzarella, (3/4 pound)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, toss warm pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella, onion, olive oil, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled with some nice ciabatta bread.
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Healthy tips from a consumer just like you.

I’m so excited to have a guest blogger this week.  One of my dearest friends, Cindy Sorenson. Cindy’s passion of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen lead her to earn her Bachelors Degree from Bastyr University in Nutrition/Dietetics. She has been teaching and volunteering with the PCC Cooks program for the past four years. Since becoming registered as a dietitian she has been working at Bayview Retirement Community as the staff dietitian. She also is beginning her second year serving on the Greater Seattle Dietetic Association (GSDA) board as the Public Relations Co-chair. For more information, please visit Cindy’s website.

Healthy tips from a consumer just like you.
By: Cindy Sorensen, R.D.

1. Don’t Trust Labels
Labels have a lot of “claims”. Remember to be smart and read ingredient
lists and nutrition facts!

2. Learn what adds flavor without adding calories, fat or sodium
My trick is adding lemon juice or vinegar to almost anything I cook.
Scientifically it enhances the salty/savory flavor of the food! Also, don’t be
shy adding spices and herbs to anything.

3. Sweeten Food items yourself
Go ahead, buy the yogurt that you love, just buy the plain version and
add your own fruit and a little honey. Or buy plain popcorn and drizzle
it with honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.

4. Roast Vegetables
When you roast vegetables you cook them at high temp in oven (at least
400), it allow the natural sugars to caramelize and the veggie tastes
delicious without having to add much to it!

5. Buy Frozen, not Canned
Canned vegetables and fruit have high levels of sodium and sweeteners to
preserve them.  Frozen produce usually do not have added preservatives
and have a higher nutritional value.

6. Avoid frozen or pre-made dinners
Even though those healthy choice dinners are low in fat, be careful of higher
sodium and/or sugar levels.

7. Limit Juices and blended beverages
The smoothies and blended coffees often have a lot of sugar and calories.
Most have ice cream or frozen yogurt added to them!  Whenever you
can, eat fruit instead of drinking the juice.

8. Increase fiber in diet
Whenever possible eat food in its most whole form. You will get the most
nutrition and feel more satisfied! Also, switching to whole grains will
add some fiber, among other things!

9. Drink more water
Optimally, you should drink 8 glasses per day. But, to be most effective
bring a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE and refill and refill!! We
need water to function! We don’t have reserves.

10.  Eat Slowly
Honestly, it’s easier said than done! But if you simply chew thoroughly
more nutrition is absorbed! Also, try to wait 20 minutes after eating
before getting dessert or another snack. If you still are hungry have a
glass of water… and if your still hungry try sharing a dessert!