Jan 16 2017

Not Knowing How To Cook Can Be Bad For Your Health

Published by under children,Family Meals

Teenagers, young adults, and adults, who  do not know how to prepare tasty wholesome, inexpensive food will be forced to rely on readily available, inexpensive, easy options such as fast food, microwave macaroni and cheese, cheap packaged noodles, pizza, and chicken nuggets. Two experts in the field of nutrition Alice Lichtenstein, DSc and David Ludwig, MD, PhD wrote an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggesting that children who are uncomfortable in the kitchen;because they never learned basic cooking skills, will be at a disadvantage their entire life. That makes perfect sense, after all we know certain foods like brown rice, leafy green vegetables and fish can protect our health, but these aren’t often found in pre-made meals or at fast food restaurants. When we never learn how to prepare these foods we are not likely to eat them and our health can suffer. A diet abundant in pizza, chips, and fast food will lead to poor nutrition, weight gain and increase the risk of serious diet-related disease such as diabetes, heart, disease and cancer. What is the solution? Learn to cook, it could make you healthier.

No responses yet

Aug 31 2016

Bean Burgers

A simple vegetarian burger can be made by combining cooked lentils with rice and flavorful seasonings, add breadcrumbs and eggs  to make it hold together. Learning to cook with lentils is highly recommended because they are rich in protein and nutrition and they cook faster than other dried beans- no pre-soaking required. These burgers take about 30 minutes to assemble and an additional 60 minutes resting time in the refrigerator so the ingredients blend together and become firm. This recipe makes 8 patties, extra portions can be frozen and used in sandwiches after a quick reheating in the microwave.

Each patty carries about 174 calories, and 7 grams protein Printable recipe



½  cup brown rice or other whole grain such as barley or faro

½ cup dried lentils

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 onion, finely chopped about 1 cup

1 small carrot grated about ½ cup

1 clove garlic minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste or catsup

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano or “Italian” seasonings

1 teaspoon chile powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 whole eggs, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons canola oil for frying patties


1          Cook the brown rice: Bring 1 cup of  w ater to a boil in a small saucepan add the uncooked grain, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until tender 30-40 minutes

2          While rice cooks prepare the lentils: In a medium saucepan combine the lentils with 1 ½ cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes until tender. drain and set aside.

3          In a larges sauce pan, heat the oil add the onion, carrot and garlic, cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, cooked brown rice and the drained lentils. Remove from heat add the eggs stir until eggs are completely combined with the bean and rice mixture mix in bread crumbs.  The mixture should be wet but hold together.

4          Allow to cool enough to handle. Make patties divide into 8 even portions shape into patties about t 1 inch thick. place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for one hour so they become firm

5          To cook: Pan fry: heat oil in a skillet on medium high  heat. Cook 2-3 minutes per side browning on each side. Serve as you would a burger.

Bake in oven, line a baking pan with foil that has been lightly oiled. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, turn after 7 minutes of cooking. serve as you would  a  burger.






No responses yet

Jun 01 2016

Moe’s Turkey Sub Sandwich

Published by under lunch

Ingredients are measured

Deconstructed Sandwich

A few years back ( April 2011) I wrote a post about the nutrition content in the Original Moe’s Italian Sandwich. It is a favorite sandwich in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire where I live. I have been asked about the nutrition content in the turkey version and finally got around to doing the calculations.  Once again I deconstructed the sandwich, measured each ingredient which includes black olives, sliced red tomato, sliced pickles, green pepper, yellow onion slices, and provolone cheese and of source sliced turkey in a fresh Italian bread roll. To keep measurements as accurate as possible I ordered my sandwich without oil, the oil would have soaked into the roll making it weigh more. In my sandwich the bread weighed just a bit over 5 ½ ounces.


I calculated the nutrition information by weight for each ingredient and added them up – keep in mind this is estimation and a home calculation.



On line calculators estimated the carbohydrate in a 5 ounce roll to range between 72 grams to 94 grams for a  5 ounce roll, if the higher number is used calories would increase to 762 and total carbohydrate to 94 grams.


Total calories ( without oil) 682, total fat  19 grams, saturated fat 8.7 grams, total carbohydrate 72 grams, fiber 7.4 grams, protein 45.2 grams, sodium 2657 grams.

Adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil would add an additional 119 calories to the sandwich.


Selecting the turkey sandwich over the Original cold cut version appears to reduce saturated fat by about half; I estimated the original to contain 15.7 grams of saturated fat. When selecting a Moe’s sandwich eat it with a piece of fruit on the side, an apple is a much better choice than chips, chose  a non-caloric beverage such as water, unsweetened ice tea or coffee. If you are trying to lose weight cut the sandwich in half and calories are only about 350, the same as in a frozen diet meal.


The reassembled sandwich is weighed, and of course eaten.

Ingredients are measured

No responses yet

May 18 2016

Salsa Verde Made with Tomatillos

Tomatillos with husk removed

Tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, and onion ready to blend

Salsa Verde with chips
Salsa Verde with Chips

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde adds flavor to Mexican foods but don’t stop there. Use it as a salad dressing, add it to cooked rice and beans, as a sauce on any cooked meat such as grilled fish, chicken or steak and on top of vegetables for an extra burst of flavor. Salsa Verde is made with tomatillos they look like green tomatoes packed in a paper husk; they feel a little sticky when the husk is removed. Serrano chili is a hot chili similar to a jalapeno chili it is optional in this recipe, if you like hot food add one or two depending on how much spice you like and be careful not to touch eyes after chopping or handling any chili pepper. Wash hands to remove the oils right after handling.


Prep time 5 minutes      total cook time 10 minutes

Makes about 3 cups



1-2 Serrano chilies, cut in half seeds remove ( optional)

10 whole tomatillos

1 garlic clove

½ cup cilantro

¼ cup chopped onion

½ teaspoon salt


1          Remove the paper husk from the tomatillos and rinse, cut into quarters add to the blender along with all other ingredients.

Pulse on and off, scraping down side blend until smooth.


Salsa Verde with Avocado

For a thicker Salsa Verde add a peeled ripe avocado to the blender and pulse until smooth.



No responses yet

May 09 2016

Make Your Own Burrito


Start by making Refried Beans , then fill a tortilla  as pictured above, folding it so the ingredients are tightly wrapped inside. A 10-inch tortilla works best.


Refried beans

Cooking beans with onion and garlic makes them very flavorful, the name  sounds as if they are very high in fat but they are not. Once prepared  use as the filling for bean burritos or the base of a bean taco.

Prep Time        10 minutes        Total Cook Time 20 to 25 minutes

Makes 8- ½ cup portions


2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil

1 large onion, about 1 cup chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/ 2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 tablespoons tomato paste

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 - 15 ounce cans beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup water


  1. In a large saucepan heat oil add onions, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Cook 5-8 minutes until onion is soft. Stir in tomato paste, salt and pepper, drained beans and 1 cup of water. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasional until the water cooks away and the beans are thick  about 10 to 15 minutes Taste and add more salt, pepper or chili powder. Serve warm.

Bean Burrito

Total cook time 5 minutes, not including making re-fried beans.

Makes 10 burritos




1 can ( 16 ounce) re-fried beans or re-fried beans from recipe above

8 -10 inch flour tortillas, preferably whole wheat

2 cups shredded cheese

1 cup salsa


  1. Make the re-fried bean recipe above  or heat canned or cold re-fried beans  in a microwave safe dish  1-2 minutes until hot.


  1. Heat tortillas according to package or place in a stack on an oven-safe dish with a cover and microwave on high one minute; keep covered until ready to use.
  2. Place an equal amount of re-fried beans about 1/3 cup on one side of each warm tortilla, top with ¼ cup cheese and 1-2 tablespoons salsa, fold in half or roll tightly  and eat right away .




To freeze: wrap each prepared tortilla in plastic and freeze until ready to reheat.


To reheat: remove from plastic, place on microwave safe dish and heat 60 to 90 seconds on high. In conventional oven: preheat to 350 degrees remove from plastic wrap, wrap in aluminum foil, bake 30 minutes, open foil wrap and bake 10 minutes more until crisp.




Variation, add 1-2 tablespoons cooked corn or cooked brown rice or some of each  to bean mixture before wrapping burrito.






No responses yet

Next »