In Food & Cooking, Health on October 29, 2010 at 8:18 PM
What sort of goodies will you be handing out this Halloween? For most people, pre-Halloween preparations involve purchasing large amounts of candy. Costumed kids aren’t the sole consumers of the sweet confections. Before the first trick-or-treater hits your doorstep, you’ve likely taste-tested your candy offerings. And if there’s a surplus of candy after the October 31st festivities it’s likely to be eaten by someone in your home.
There are 3 main reasons why we should think about non-food candy options for Halloween treats.
- Because most of us lack the willpower to withstand candy’s temptation, buying it to give to kids means we are going to eat more of it ourselves.
- We have a major childhood obesity problem. Candy doesn’t help.
- Trick-or-treaters will get plenty of candy from other people. So see #1 again.
Here are some ideas for non-candy (but still fun) Halloween treats:
- Small toys, such as super bouncy balls or small plastic spiders or ghosts
- Bracelets or hair accessories
- Colorful pencils, erasers, or pencil toppers
- Temporary tattoos or stickers
You can also choose to offer some healthy food items:
- Snack size bags of pretzels or crackers
- Individual packages of raisins
- 100% juice boxes
You may be thinking that giving kids a pack of raisins in lieu of candy will motivate them to toilet-paper your house. Several years ago I ran out of candy on Halloween with a still-steady stream of costumed kids on my doorstep. Quick thinking led me to my pantry: I had raisin boxes and individual cups of applesauce. No one turned up a masked nose to my offerings. Offer kids healthy treats for Halloween. It’s not just about keeping kids healthy. Making your home a candy-free zone reduces temptation and makes you healthier, too.
In Food & Cooking, Health, Recipes on October 13, 2010 at 7:45 PM
Here is the second in a series of slow-cooker recipes. It smells wonderful (sort of like autumn in your kitchen) and tastes even better.
Chicken, Sweet Potato and Apple Stew (Serves 6)
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
2 medium green apples, cored and diced
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup chicken broth or bouillon
1/2 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 Tbsp maple-flavored syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt (optional)Directions:
Combine all ingredients, except sour cream or yogurt, in a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 7 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender. Serve in bowls with a dollop of light sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt.Per serving: 274 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 58g carbohydrate, 7g protein, 172 mg sodiumTip: If you don’t have a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker, you may use another size cooker as long as it is filled no less than half and no more than 2/3 full.
A word about white pepper: white and black pepper taste very similar and can be used interchangeably in this recipe. White pepper is used mainly for aesthetic reasons, so if you don’t want to spring for white pepper (it’s pricey) and don’t mind the sight of black pepper, the color doesn’t matter.
In Food & Cooking, Health, Mealtime, Recipes, Slow cooker on October 12, 2010 at 9:48 PM
Wondering what’s for dinner? Without a plan its easy to divert to the drive-thru for dinner when headed home from work. Your slow cooker is a great tool to answer the “what’s for dinner” question. This recipes was used recently at a foods program for diabetics. It’s healthy AND delicious. And I promise, it is easy to prepare.
|Tortellini Tuscan Stew
1 (2-lb) butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large yellow squash, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
4 ounces thin green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp chopped garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 package (9 ounces) fresh cheese tortellini
1 bag (5-ounce) baby spinach
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese Directions: Combine all ingredients, except tortellini, spinach and Parmesan cheese, in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 3 hours or on low 6 hours.Uncover. Turn slow cooker to high and stir in tortellini. Cover and continue to cook 15 minutes, or until pasta is almost tender.Uncover. Gently stir in spinach and Parmesan. Cover and cook 5 minutes until spinach is cooked down and tortellini is tender.