Friday, November 16, 2012

The Restaurant Review Heard 'Round the World

The douchiness that is Guy Fieri
I am not a food critic nor have I ever eaten at one of Fieri's establishments. After watching him on the teevee, I don't plan to, either. Granted, the dude has some serious knife skills, but IMO it takes quite a bit more to attract and keep customers. From seeing his alliterative Big Bite program, I know that he throws 15 different [hot] spices into nearly every dish. No doubt flavorful fare should one be a 3-pack-a-day Camel smoker – which I am not.

Honestly, I don't see why he's so bent out of shape over Pete Wells' review inthe New York Times. Some platitude regarding “kitchens” and “heat” comes to mind.

Maybe his food is great, I don't know. Nor am I likely to, as I am so repulsed by his idiotic catch phrases and ludicrous posturing that I can neither stomach the idea of watching anything he is on or venturing into one of his establishments. On his even more alliterative program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I admit that I like the concept. Yes, travel around the country to showcase small Mom-and-Pop establishments that are local legends. Excellent idea, gawd-awful host. The last thing to make me yearn for a certain burger or bowl of chili is a mouthful of it wandering down the no-doubt purposefully styled goatee and bowling shirt fetish that adorn Fieri's somewhat rotund being.

Fieri adds that he doesn't “normally” respond to critics. No, no, of course not. To appear upset because someone didn't care for your product (into which apparently you and some sponsor have sunk more than a few bucks) would be unseemly and not in keeping with The Brand. Enter, then, Food Network interns charged with the thankless task of defending him and silencing his critics.

I can well give credence to Mr. Wells' review because based on what I've seen of Fieri's persona, television programs and various endorsements, it all just fits. Food Network long ago stopped having anything to do with good food or learning to cook. It has become a Mecca for “personalities” shilling branded merchandise (of which Food network stands to get a cut). Sorry Food network, but you have become a victim of your own misbegotten programming choices. I will not go one of Fieri's establishments, whether the mega-trough facility in Times Square, college campuses or Santa Rosa.

Kewlinary Krewlinites everywhere – that Wells review was MONEY!!

Nein, danke.

Hmm. Just found this on the New York Daily News site:
“It's a great way to make a name for yourself -- go after a celebrity chef who is not a New Yorker.”
Somehow I rather doubt that Mr. Wells needs to "make a name for himself by "skewering the low-hanging fruit that is Mr. Fieri. In fact, this makes me wonder whether this review was paid for to stir up a controversy, and hence, business.

Ya think?
“I thought it was ridiculous; that to me was so overboard,” Fieri said on NBC’s “Today” show of Pete Wells’ critique.
“It's a great way to make a name for yourself -- go after a celebrity chef who is not a New Yorker.”

Read more:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Top Secret Recipes!

Okay, is it just me, or is there something a tad questionable about a guy who has made his name by publishing "Top Secret" versions of chain food putting those recipes behind a paywall?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


My local MegaLoMart usually offers a meat item they call Carne Asada. What they mean is of course the thin-sliced meat people would season with chile molido and lime to make the product that would then go into tacos, burritos and so forth.

It occurred to me that this meat could be used to make Stroganoff. I had mushrooms but no sour cream. Casting about for a solution, I decided to make a bechamel in place of the sour cream and it worked like a charm. Here's how I did it:

I cut about 1 pound of the thin carne asada steaks lengthwise and then crosswise into small pieces. Seasoned with some salt and pepper and then browned it over fairly high heat. Removed from heat and set aside.

Cut an onion into fairly small dice and sweat them over pretty low heat until soft and translucent. Add a minced clove of garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so. Place 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms in the pan, adding a tablespoon or so of butter if necessary to prevent sticking. Cook over medium heat until liquid has been released and cooked away and set aside.

In the same pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until flour is somewhat browned. Whisk in 2 cups of milk and continue to stir until thickened. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard and a teaspoon or so of Worcestershire sauce, or to taste. Return mushrooms, onion and meat to the pan until all is warmed through.

Serve over hot noodles and top with chopped Italian parsley, if desired. Serves 4.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Banana Split Mega Milkshake

½ gal ice cream, quart choc milk, ½ quart cream. Way to fight childhood obesity Rach.


BTW, JUST the ice cream should be 14 adult servings.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rachael's Hell-broth Stoup

The inspiration for this was a post by somone in an online community who has expressed an interest in starting a non-profit aimed at introducing kids to Shakespeare.


1.5 pounds eye of newt
1 pound package frozen frog toes, defrosted
4 lizard legs, skinned and de-boned
1 boneless skinless howlet's wing, cut into chunks
3 tongue of dog (ears make an acceptable substitue and are available at
1/2 cup dried adder's fork, reconstituted in hot water
powdered blind worm sting, for garnish
1 quart box organic chicken stock
couple of palmfuls of steak seasoning
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated on small hand grater
3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 parsnip (carrots with attitude)
EVOO extra virgin olive oil, 4 turns of the pan, plus extra for liberal drizzling
1 baguette crusty French bread, for mopping
handful of rough chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
4 ounces grated Parm-Reg, plus more for passing at the table

Heat EVOO extra virgin olive oil in a cauldron on the stove until screaming hot. Stir in onion, garlic, carrots, celery and parsnips; cook until softened. Add eye of newt, frog toes,dog tongues (or ears, if using),  lizard legs, howlet's wing chunks and steak seasoning. Add organic chicken stock and heat to boiling. Allow to bubble 30-40 minutes, stirring all the while, or until eye of newt is opaque and frog toes, lizard legs and howlet's wing are fork-tender. Stir in reconstituted adder's fork.

Serve in Boil 'n' Bubbles and top with powdered blind worm sting, parsley and grated Parm-Reg.

Serves 2.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Carnitas a la Hakuna Fritatta

Well it's that time of year, kiddies! Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and the local Mega Lo Mart has big packages of pork butt on sale. We're talking cheap! $1.48 at Winco. So I got one. America's Test Kitchen started sending me newsletters and, lo and behold, video of them making carnitas. I've made carnitas before from the recipe in Ronald Johnson's Aficionado's Southwestern Cooking, but I didn't realize that oranges were part of the braising flavorings. I actually do have lard in the frig that was purchased specifically for making carnitas, but compromising on the advice in the video, I used a tablespoon or two of the lard to brown the meat instead of a pound or two as directed in other recipes (I'd brown stew meat for stew, so why not the pork for carnitas?) and then chicken stock as the braising liquid so I can reduce it later and pour it over the meat.

Still have to figure out what to do with that package of chorizo purchased at Gateway Produce yesterday...

3-4 pounds of pork butt, cut into roughly 2" chunks
1-2 Tbs lard
1 onion, quartered vertically
3 cloves of garlic, mashed with the flat side of the knife
1 orange, juiced
1 tsp ground cumin (or to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1\2 tsp cayenne
2 c water

Preheat oven to 300. Melt lard in Dutch oven, then brown pork chunks (probably need to do it in 2-3 batches. Return pork to Dutch oven and add onion, garlic, stock and spices. Simmer over medium heat about 30 minutes. Cover and transfer to oven. Braise for an hour, then turn meat over and continue braising for another hour, or until meat easily comes apart with a fork.

Shred meat, spread out on a baking sheet and return to oven until crispy on the edges, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring reserved braising liquid to a boil and reduce to a sauce-like consistency. Pour sauce over meat and use as filling for tacos, enchiladas and burritos.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sesame Tuna Salad has got to become one of my regular stops on the internet. I ran across this recipe a couple of days ago and mentally filed it away. I was certain I had everything to make it, but soon after whisking together the dressing I realized that tuna, of which we usually have several cans at any given time, there was none. However, I did have some chicken thighs left over from a couple of nights ago, so I cut one into chunks and used that. The dressing was delicious and tasted just like the Chinese Chicken Salad I had at a restaurant once.

Tip on the fresh ginger:

I like to buy a knob and store it in a plastic bag in the freezer. Then when I want to use it, instead of messing around with peeling I just run the knob over the microplane.

Sesame Tuna Salad


  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 5- to 6-ounce cans water-packed chunk light tuna, drained
  • 1 cup sliced sugar snap peas or snow peas
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 6 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 4 radishes, julienne-cut or sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Whisk vinegar (or lemon juice), canola oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and ginger in a small bowl.
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons of the dressing with tuna, peas and scallions in a medium bowl.
  3. Divide cabbage among 4 plates. Mound one-fourth of the tuna mixture (about 1/2 cup) in the center of each plate and garnish with radishes, cilantro and sesame seeds. Drizzle with the remaining dressing (about 2 tablespoons per salad) and season with pepper.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cat Fight!

HP recently posted the flap between NYT writer Mark Bittman and Alton Brown are having at it after Bittman's comment that food television has become "all competition, cleavage, nastiness."

 Love ya Alton, but there's no need to get all pissy about it. Bittman is right -- Food Network jumped the proverbial shark some time ago and in the wasteland that remains, your show and Anne Burrell's are about the only thing worth watching. FN's priorities are clearly big, loud personalities and cleavage hawking co-branded merchandise, which, sadly for FN, I have no interest in watching.

What originally drew me to Food Network was information and an interest in healthy eating. As a new gastric bypass patient, the food I was raised on would no longer work and I had to do something. George Stella and Juan Carlos Cruz had a lot of useful information. Sadly, they are long gone.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Kitchen Projects

Oh, what's a girl to do? Mom got rolls from the store, so she doesn't need me to take anything to her place for dinner today. No need to take a veg, since Mom got spare guts on sale yesterday. I think I may whip up some Hollandaise, however.

I've been thinking the last few days about crumb cake. I had planned to slap one together this morning, and I did. But there were a couple of problems: I completely spaced on putting vanilla extract in the batter, along with the dried cranberries, and the crumbs came out way too moist. It tasted okay (if a bit oily), but need a re-do because I know it can be so much better.

The big success so far today was my Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Couldn't be easier! I just took a bag of frozen sprouts and let them thaw out overnight. Then I cut them in half and doused them with a hit of olive oil, salt and pepper and grated about a half cup of grated Parmesan over the top. Baked at 350 for about a half hour. The came out with just the right hit of crispy brownness and the roasting mellowed them out nicely. I could see maybe the juice of a lemon over the top...if you really wanted to get fancy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On the Food Scandal That Will Not Go Away

Talk about the proverbial tempest in  a teapot. Does it really matter whether Rachael writes her own books? All her recipes come down to 3 categories: standard fare for which numerous recipes already abound; things so obvious that no recipe is needed (microwaving bacon, scooping sherbet into dishes); and the crazy Frankenfood which is just 2 dishes mooshed together (tacosagna, anyone?) I don't feel too badly for her. With all the millions she's made from people who don't know any better, she can buy lots of Kleenex.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On the Ghost Writing Controversy

Considering all the backpedaling going on lately with indignant authors refuting a NYT article describing what it's like to be a ghost writer, I thought I owed it to the purported author of one of the volumes in question to at least look at it. So I placed a hold on Gwyneth Paltrow's homage to her her father Bruce, My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness.

Overall, I have to say that this book is attractively produced. The paper is treated with clay, which produces a shiny finish that complements photographs of the artfully presented dishes. There are serviceable collections of soups and stocks, salads and dressings, burgers, sandwiches, pasta and desserts. Of particular interest (read: filed away to make later) are the butternut squash soup, duck burger with plum sauce catsup and tuna melt with Gruyere.

Since I don't personally know Ms. Paltrow, it's impossible for me to say how authentically hers the voice in the book is. I will mention, however, that she singles Julia Turshen out for recognition more than once and in fact the two appear together in a photograph. It seems to me that this lends credence to Turshen's allegations and takes it away from Paltrow. I don't think she helps her case much by belaboring the point.

In many ways, Paltrow's book is similar to the one I'm currently editing (although Sharmagne's book has enough of a slant that the reader can easily see that it is something unique). I have to wonder whether this book would have been published had the author been someone else, or had a lot of money not been thrown at its production. I get that Paltrow enjoyed cooking with her father and for her children, but what authority does she have? What credibility? In her articulated defense, Paltrow laments "we're talking about my professional life here." Well, no. Not really. You see, dear. you are an actress. Acting is your profession. Cooking is something you do for fun, which you state outright in the book.

Perhaps it all comes down to a matter of definition, or a lack of specificity in outlining the roles of author and editor. Every author can benefit from a skilled editor – even Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe relied rather heavily on Maxwell Perkins to polish their prose.

Note: I am not weighing in here on Rachael Ray and her alleged farming out of the writing portion of her books. The last RR tome I looked at was the Get Real Meals thing, in which she railed against low-carb diets. I have to wonder what exactly she would feed a diabetic boy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Enchiladas Juanita con Pollo, Salsa Verde y Queso

I made these last night to use some thawed chicken breasts.

Enchiladas Juanita con Pollo, Salsa Verde y Queso

1 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 average size)
2 c chicken stock, separated
1 medium onion, cut into ¼ “ dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch of crushed red chile flakes
juice and zest of 2 small lemons (or 3 limes)
handful Italian parsley, chopped
3 c grated jack or cheddar cheese
8 taco-size flour tortillas
1 28-ounce can green enchilada sauce

In a large cast iron pan, heat 1 tbs olive oil and brown chicken on both sides. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, or until stock has mostly evaporated. Cool, then shred the meat with two forks and set aside.

Melt 1 tbs butter with 1 tbs olive oil in the pan the chicken was cooked in. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Add cumin, oregano and chile flakes, remaining stock and lemon juice and cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lemon zest.

Preheat oven to 350; grease or butter a 13” x 9” baking dish. In each tortilla place 1/8 of the chicken mixture and cheese. Roll up tightly and place in prepared baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over all and sprinkle any leftover\additional grated cheese. Bake at 350 until salsa is bubbly and cheese is melted.

4 hearty servings.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Basic Bread Method with the Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

1 cup warm water (between 110-110 degrees, 1 minute in the microwave is usually about right)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil (veg for sweet breads, olive oil for savory or Italian)
3 cups flour
1 ½ tablespoons yeast

Combine warm water, sugar, salt and oil in the mixing bowl. Add flour and yeast. Beat on the lowest speed until dough forms a ball. Continue adding flour a bit at a time, until dough no longer feels sticky to the touch. Remove from mixing bowl and knead the dough a bit until it feels like a baby's bottom (nothing kinky here, folks, but that is the same texture I was taught to look ages ago when making bread by hand. If anyone must be blamed, it's probably Laurel Robertson).

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel or piece of plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and punch down to remove air bubbles. Work in a little more flour, again until dough no longer feels sticky. Form into desired shape and allow to rise again, about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homemade Jam Pastries

I ran across the recipe for these today at Space & Thyme and was immediately intrigued. Of course anything homemade and still warm from the oven is going to be better than something that's been sitting in a warehouse 6 months and these wonderful pastries are no exception. Calling for 1 cup of butter may seem decadent, but it's the same amount you'd get in any 2-crust pie (not counting the filling). Plus, this yields 9 servings, whereas a pie would give you 6 or 8.

Flaky Homemade Jam Tarts

The buttery crust is rich and flaky, the mixed berry jam I used as filling provided a nice complement. Homemade cherry or apricot pie filling or preserves would also work nicely! While the golden pastries cooled, I made a glaze from powdered sugar and the juice from some leftover maraschino cherries.

My son, his friend and Daniele proclaimed them far superior to those nameless toaster things in the box.

And I just realized that although very similar to my grandmother Minnie's legendary fried pies, these actually have less fat because they are baked instead of deep fried.

Thank you for posting this, Monica!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Paula Deen's Reckoning

For a psychotherapist, Dr. Cheryl Pappas seems to be rather willfully missing the point and indeed, the very reason for the backlash against Ms Deen in the wake of revealing her diabetes diagnosis. While I cannot speak for others, I'm happy to give her my opinion.

 I don't see anyone “celebrating” Deen's diagnosis. I do see people criticizing her for promoting a severely unhealthy way of eating while proudly proclaiming “I'm your cook, not your doctor,” and now she is cashing in on it. There is no rejoicing that I've seen, only the realization that the inevitable has come to pass. Call it karma. Since Deen's ascension at Food Network, she has made millions turning herself into a caricature. She has endorsed everything from cookware (logical enough, I suppose) to ham, frozen pies, bed linens and patio furniture. Oh, and don't forget the new line of plus-size clothing.

I've long been a critic of Food Network specifically because they present much of the work of their talent as “healthy” and “figure friendly” when it is anything but. When asked to provide nutritional information on their recipes, Food Network demurs, retreating behind a claim of providing only entertainment. Through this criticism, however, I've cut Deen some slack because unlike others in the Food Network stable, she never pretended that her food was good for anyone. I couldn't bear her over-the-top dirty old lady persona (Foghorn Leghorn is a more realistic Southern representative), but I suppose that is a matter of personal preference.

Of course, Deen's medical situation is her personal business and she has no obligation whatsoever to share it with others. The fact that she chose to do so now, I believe, has much more to do with explaining away her endorsement deal and protecting her brand – and her millions – than any altruistic motivation. Viewers are left with a sense that Deen would sell her own grandbaby if she could make enough doing it.

Paula Deen
I've not seen a single post where people blamed Deen for making them diabetic, or claimed that she force-fed them anything. The simple fact of the matter is that Deen and Food Network have overplayed their hand and their audience and now, Kardashian-like, must deal with the fallout. Paula needs to take her lumps like a big girl and stop whining that a few million people less are now her fans. Television and the public marketplace is no place for the thin-skinned.

To Ms. Deen, I would suggest that rather than attempting to re-define her brand by her son Bobby re-working her oeuvre into something people could actually eat, Deen should take her empire and millions and retire. The chasm between what you have been and what you need to become to survive is simply too great. The damage is done and in my opinion, it is not reparable.

While I am no sort of medical or social authority, I do have some experience with these issues. My younger son, now 18, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 7. It has been a Sisyphean struggle to get him to manage his diabetes in even a marginally satisfactory way, and I have multiple ER visits under my belt to prove it. Additionally, I spent most of my life being morbidly obese and even though I managed to lose large amounts of weight several times, it always came back. Until my gastric bypass surgery in 2005. At my top weight I was larger and looked even more like Baby Huey than does Deen in the photo that accompanies her confession.

Oh, and Dr. Pappas, speaking of “practicing the art of mean,” you'll notice that my headline does not call anyone “stupid.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

Caramel Apple Cake

As a teenager, I had 2 horses. The first, Sparky, was one ornery bitch and I shared her with my older sister (also an ornery bitch, but I digress). We lived at  an old farmhouse that had many apple, pear, cherry, plum, hazelnut and walnut trees on the property.

When Sparky decided the riding session was through, it was through. Her favorite trick to end said session was to run under a low hanging branch on one of the apple trees. She would knock me off and I would suspend in the air for a moment, just like Wile E. Coyote, before landing on my butt in a big, mooshy pile of rotten apples.

Fast forward 40 years.

Both the fridge and pantry are getting a bit bare, as Daniele has been taking the car to school lately. Yah, I could take the bus, but what with the arthritis and all, don't feel much like going anyplace. Or getting up off the couch, for that matter.

Gravenstein Apples
So, casting about for ways to attack that sudden sugar craving, I decided to throw a cake together.
For those poor schlubs who do not live in an area where Gravensteins are available, sorry, my heart bleeds for you. Granny Smith will suffice in a pinch.

Note: we are NOT “apple pickin' people,” we are “picking apples up off the ground people.”

Caramel Apple Cake

2 ½ c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ c butter, softened (10 seconds in the microwave does the trick)
1 ½ c sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ c milk
2 Gravenstein apples, grated

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. In the mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in grated apples.

Grease and flour the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking pan and pour in batter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so...until golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Caramel Frosting

½ c butter
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
¼ c milk
3 c powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium high and add milk. Continue to cook until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. If necessary, add a few drops of milk so that the mixture is spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled cake.

12 servings.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rachael Ray's "healthy" School Tacos

First Lady Michelle Obama Launches Nutrition Guidelines
I think it is a wonderful thing that the USDA recently announced changes in the components of school lunches. I still can't get over being shocked back in the Reagan administration when, for the purposes of school lunches, catsup was deemed to be a vegetable.

First ladies traditionally have a special cause to advocate, and Michelle Obama has chosen better childhood nutrition and exercise habits. Her advocacy has done much to raise awareness of this pressing issue, and I applaud her efforts. To announce the new nutrition guidelines, Mrs. Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Food Network cook Rachael Ray launched the guidelines by lunching at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, VA. The menu was a purportedly healthy dish of turkey tacos with corn, black beans and ranch dressing -- one of a handful of recipes Ray developed for the program.

I well understand that this was a high profile event and in order to increase awareness of the issue, partnerships are formed which, which, when placed under the microscope, do not fare particularly well. My issue with Ray has always been that she calls her recipes in general "figure friendly," but never bothers to explain what that means. A typical Ray recipe will provide double portions of meat and pasta, so despite her claims to be leading the cause against childhood obesity and diabetes, at least one of the recipes she developed does nothing that I can see to further it. I suppose I could crunch the numbers of the rest of Ray's recipe's for this program, but with names such as "Mexi Mac and Cheese," I will leave it to the reader's imagination.

So I looked more closely at Ray's Turkey Tacos recipe and sure enough, not only is this recipe not particularly healthy for children, it isn't particularly healthy for adults, either. My methodology is to compare a recipe's main ingredients against the food database at I add up the numbers for calories, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, protein and sodium (cholesterol and fiber are subsets of fat and carbohydrate, respectively), then divide by the recipe's stated number of servings.

My calculations are, if anything, quite conservative. I would encourage anyone, particularly stakeholders, to double-check my figures. This dish is part of a purportedly "healthy" meal being recommended at the highest levels as a positive addition to school lunches. Really? In the linked recipe below, the calories are about half the daily Recommended Daily Intake for an adult, with 55 grams of fat and 70 of carbohydrate. The school meal also includes a serving of brown rice, which is not taken into account here.

School nutrition is certainly a worthy cause but I wish First Lady Obama and Secretary Vilsack had teamed up with someone who has more credibility than name recognition. Weren't Jamie Oliver or Ellie Krieger -- an actual Registered Dietician, by the way --  available? Especially now, in the wake of the scandal of Paula Deen revealing a 3-year old diabetes diagnosis at the same time she endorses a diabetes drug, Food Network and its on-air staff need to pay more attention to the substance of their content.

And one more thing: at the risk of appearing to be mean, Rachael Ray does not have children. I have 30+ years experience as a parent and cannot fathom kids eating most of this stuff.

Turkey Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salad and Yum-o Southwest Ranch

I've re-done the numbers for the tacos and they don't seem to be as bad as I thought at first. Calories are slightly lower but sodium still seems pretty high. Carbs are high but fiber and protein are decent. Apologies to all for previous calculations.

I still can't imagine kids eating this, though. The rest of the meal was a side of brown rice, milk and, I believe, a fruit. Was there any sort of measure for waste afterward?

Calories: 931
Fat: 49g
Sodium: 1631mg
Carbohydrate: 72g
Fiber: 15g
Protein: 52g

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Healthier Workplace Snacks

I'm glad to see someone responsible in the food arena posting info like this. It can be a challenge to  find healthy snacks in the workplace, but this article shows that with a little planning, it's possible to have something low-cal with fiber, no-cholesterol, that will keep you satisfied. These snacks will cost you less than a daily dose of Snickers or chip, which is an added bonus in my book..

Thank you, Cooking Light!