In the spirit of healthy eating and living, watch this recent interview of White House Chef Cristeta Comerford speaking on the Today Show with Matt Lauer. If you're trying to figure out some creative menus for this weekend or for the rest of the summer, you'll get some great ideas here.
As a speaker, trainer and consultant on the go, I appreciate the value of fresh foods and nutritious meals for fortifying my energy while I work. First Lady Michelle Obama is on a White House crusade to reverse the obesity levels in this country.
She is featured in the August 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens (see photo to the left).
Share your thoughts and ideas of your own recipes in the comments section. And think about trying out these two healthy recipes with your family and friends. (The recipes were created by the Better Homes and Garden food editors.)
Enjoy your weekend.
Fruit Pocket Pies
3/4 cup fresh raspberries and/or blueberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. smashed apple jam or apple butter
12 slices soft whole grain white or soft whole wheat bread
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 lbs. of apples for Smashed Apple Jam
Method for Smashed Apple Jam
1. Peel, core and slice 4 pounds apples.
2. Place apples and 1/2 cup water in a 4 or 5-quart heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until very tender. Remove from heat.
3. Mash apples with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender. Return to heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes until the jam thickens and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
4. Transfer to a covered container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Method for Fruit Pocket Pies
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash berries and spread to dry on paper towels. Meanwhile, stir together sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
2. For each pie, spoon 1 tablespoon of smashed apple jam in the center of a bread slice. Top with 3 to 4 berries and another slice of bread. Gently press the top slice around the fruit. Trim crusts from bread using a serrated knife.
3. Bake pies for 18 to 20 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and bottoms are browned. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
*Makes 6 servings
Chopped Green Salad with Herb Dressing
4 cups torn spinach and/or romaine
1 small cucumber, seeded, if desired
3 oz. broccoli florets, blanched and shocked* (1 cup)
3 oz. tender fresh green beans, blanched and shocked* ( 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed
1 1/2 cups halved green grapes
1 recipe Fresh Herb Dressing
On a large cutting board, cut lettuce and cucumber into bite-size pieces. Add to a large salad bowl. Add broccoli, beans, edamame, and grapes. Toss gently to mix. Drizzle about 1/3 recipe fresh herb dressing over vegetables. Toss gently to coat mixture with dressing.
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh Italian parsley, basil, or thyme
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
In a screw-top jar combine orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, herb, mustard and pepper. Cover and shake well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Stir or shake well before using.
Raspberry vinaigrette: Prepare as above, except substitute raspberry vinegar, and add 1/4 cup mashed fresh raspberries.
Serve salads in small tumblers or cups with lemon wedges, if desired. Pass remaining dressing, if desired.
*Notes: Before chopping lettuce, wash lettuce and remove excess water from leaves by patting dry with paper towels. Salad dressing clings better to dry lettuce. For Shocking vegetables: Bring a saucepan half filled with water to a boil. Carefully add vegetables and cook 3 minutes (do not wait for water to return to boil to start timing). Drain in colander and immediately add to a bowl of ice water to halt cooking. Drain well before using.
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.