Valentine’s Day: Sweetheart Salad Recipe

Surprise your loved one with a lovely heart-shaped salad from Martha Stewart’s website:

Ingredients:

  • Beets
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cottage cheese
  • 1 bag of croutons

Directions:

  1. Prepare the beets by roasting or steaming them: To roast, heat oven to 400 degrees, wrap beets tightly in foil, and cook until a fork slides in easily, about 1 hour. To steam, place whole beets in a steamer basket in a medium saucepan, and cook until fork tender, 25 to 60 minutes, depending on their size.
  2. Peel the beets once they’re cooled; for easy peeling, use paper towels to rub skins off.
  3. Slice peeled beets thinly with a mandoline, and make heart shapes with a cookie cutter.
  4. Add the rest of ingredients (romaine lettuce, cottage cheese, and the bag of croutons) and enjoy.

Cooking For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not surprise your sweetheart with a delicious dish prepared by you? Cooking at home for Valentine’s Day gives you and the people you love many benefits, such as:

Increasing Quality Time

If you cook at home, you are not only dedicating to your loved one more dinner time but also he/she will appreciate that you have taken the time to cook his/her favorite dish.  You can also spend more time with him/her if you decide to cook together.

Saving Money

Eating on the go is expensive. If you buy the ingredients you need from a local grocery store and use coupons to get discounts, you will be able to stay on budget and cook your sweetheart’s favorite meal without spending a lot of money.

Having healthier food choices

Since you will be the one planning the meal and buying the groceries, you can make sure to prepare a meal with low-fat ingredients to cut some calories. Usually, if you go to a restaurant, you eat more than you need. Also, it is very hard to resist to the temptation of saying “no” to a lasagna or pizza that is high in carbs.

Saving time

Since many people celebrate Valentine’s Day, the majority of restaurants usually exceed their seating capacity on this day. You can avoid being at the line for several hours if you choose to cook at home for this special day.

If you still don’t know your loved one’s favorite meal or which dish can surprise him/her, we will provide you with future blogs with Valentine’s ideas and recipes so you can make something delicious in a short time.

 

Lactose-Free Banana and Yogurt Crepes

Did you know that lactose intolerant people can eat yogurt that contains lactose? The National Dairy Council states that, since yogurt has live and active cultures, this helps with digestion, making your body absorb lactose without any side effect. Now that you know this, you can certainly enjoy a delicious banana and yogurt crepe from AllRecipes.com in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups fat-free or low-fat lactose-free milk
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, divided
  • 1 (8 ounce) container low-fat banana or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana, diced
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh mint sprigs (optional)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together fat-free or low-fat lactose-free milk, flour, egg, egg whites and 1 tablespoon of honey in a medium bowl. Allow batter to rest 5 minutes at room temperature. Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet; quickly tilt and swirl batter to coat bottom of skillet. When crepe is lightly browned at edges, use a thin spatula to loosen and turn over. Cook turned crepe about 20 seconds or until lightly browned; slide onto plate to cool. Continue making crepes with remaining batter. To prevent sticking, place a piece of wax paper between each crepe.
  2. Puree yogurt, vanilla and remaining honey in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add diced banana. Spread each crepe with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture. Roll crepes into cylinders. Place 2 crepes on each serving plate and garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

 

Lactose Intolerant: Baked Mozarella Sticks

If you are lactose intolerant, that doesn’t mean you cannot taste delicious dished made up with dairy products. In just 26 minutes, you can prepare some delicious baked mozzarella sticks made with reduced-fat Mozzarella string cheese from AllRepices.com. You’ll love them with no regrets!

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) package reduced-fat mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup prepared marinara sauce, warmed (optional)

Directions

  1. Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Remove cheese from packaging and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk egg until foamy. In small non-stick skillet, mix Italian seasoning with bread crumbs and place over medium heat. Cook and stir bread crumbs until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Dip one piece of string cheese in egg until coated and then into toasted bread crumbs, coating completely. Redip the string cheese in egg and again into the bread crumbs, if desired. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining string cheese and place on baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart. Spray string cheese lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Bake 5-6 minutes or until heated through. (Cheese may melt slightly and loose shape. Simply press it back into place.)

Yes, LI People Can Drink Milk Too

Celebrate the Lactose Intolerance Awareness Month by learning new ways in which you can incorporate diary products into your diet.

Some people believe that being lactose intolerant is synonym of having a milk allergy. Others consider that, if you suffer from this, you can no longer eat dairy products for the rest of your life. However, none if these is true. The Dairy Makes Sense website (http://www.dairymakessense.com/nutrition/lactose-intolerance/) clearly differentiates lactose intolerance (LI) from a milk allergy. To be lactose intolerant means that your body cannot properly process an amount of lactose greater than the body’s ability to digest and absorb it, cause gastrointestinal disturbances following the intake of lactose. A milk allergy, on the other hand, is an adverse immune reaction to one or more dairy products.

If you suffer from allergy, you cannot longer eat or drink the product that is causing you the allergy; whereas if you are lactose intolerant, you can learn the adequate amounts of dairy products you can eat or drink without exceeding what your body can process and absorb. Current research has revealed that many lactose intolerant people can consume small amounts of milk, yogurt with live and active cultures, natural cheeses, and lactose-free dairy foods.

If you have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant, it becomes important that you know that you can consume dairy products in small quantities. Lactose intolerant people that avoid dairy foods consume insufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D that the body needs to function properly. As a result, people who don’t consume dairy are more prone to suffer from osteoporosis and other adverse outcomes, according to a research published by the Dairy Council Digest (http://www.midwestdairy.com/0p235a53/lactose-intolerance-information/).

In 2012, the National Digestive Diseases Information revealed that almost one-third of the American population (33%) is lactose intolerant. The majority of them don’t know that being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean avoiding all types of dairy products. The Lactose Intolerance Awareness Month was established to inform the community what lactose intolerance is and what is not, as well as provide up-to-date research of the dairy products and amounts people can consume to live a normal life. Let’s start promoting this Month by becoming aware of this issue and learn new tips on how to deal with it so you can help yourself, a family member, a friend, or someone you care about.

Have a Healthier Super Bowl

When you think about Super Bowl meals, what snacks come to your mind? Perhaps your answer is chicken wings or nachos. Although both of them are delicious, you don’t even want to imagine the amount of calories each of these snacks has. One serving of nachos can add up to more than 550 calories, while a serving of chicken wings packs can add up to 440 calories. It is not about eating just veggies and drinking water while watching the Super Bowl game; it is about making better choices of what goes into your mouth.

Rachel Berman, blogger from the Huffington Post, suggests some tips so you and your friends can enjoy tasty snacks without gaining unwanted pounds:

Avoid Saturated Fat

Consuming large amounts of saturated fats can raise your cholesterol levels, as well as cause heart disease. To avoid this, look for reduced-fat food in the grocery store that will allow you make healthier nachos and chicken wings. For instance, you can reduce the amount of meat and add more beans to a chili recipe, look for reduced-fat cheese, and replace the sour cream for Geek yogurt when preparing nachos. Similarly, you can make a healthier version of chicken wings by baking chicken tenders seasoned with your favorite spices.

 Avoid Refined Carbohydrates

Instead of buying the common tortilla chips you use to make nachos, try using whole-wheat pitas cut in slices and lightly toasted in the oven. According to the Whole Grains Council website, if you eat whole grains instead of refined grains you may lower the risk of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, strokes, and heart disease.

Avoid Excess

If you are like many of us, you don’t conceive watching the Super Bowl without drinking beer. Of course, beer is synonym of celebration and having a good time with friends. However, if you drink to excess, you may gain some unwanted pounds because of the amount of calories each beer has and the mindless munching. Berman suggests to keep track of how much you drink and to stay away from the soda as much as you can. Also, be careful with the portions you serve to you and your guests.