Thursday, December 24, 2009
* Bread, a bagel, or an English muffin with cheese or peanut butter
* Dried fruit and nuts
* Cottage cheese with fruit
* Fruit juice with cheese
* Yogurt with fruit
* Veggie omelet with toast or roll
* Chocolate milk
* Cereal with milk
* Eggs and toast
* Turkey, ham, chicken, or roast beef sandwich
* Vegetable stir-fry with chicken, shrimp, edamame or tofu
* Crackers with low fat cheese
* Rice or popcorn cakes with nut butter
* Smoothie (with milk, yogurt, or added protein powder)
* A protein or energy bar
* A protein or energy shake
* Pancakes and eggs
* Any regular meal that contains lean protein, starch, and vegetables
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Good article to keep, from SP. - -
Selecting, Cooking, and Storing this Thanksgiving Favorite
-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
SparkPeople Sponsors help keep the site free!
Is it your turn to host the annual Thanksgiving feast for the entire family? Tackling a turkey¡ªwithout being traumatized¡ªisn¡¯t that tough. So let¡¯s talk turkey.
With the bird flu scare, is it safe to eat turkey for Thanksgiving?
Eating properly cooked and handled poultry is safe. The United States government has banned imported poultry from countries affected by bird flu. European health officials report that cooking kills the virus and are assuring people that it is safe to eat poultry.
What size turkey should I buy?
You¡¯ll need about one pound per person, or a pound and a half per person if you have hearty eaters or want ample leftovers.
When should I buy the turkey?
While the quality and taste of frozen and fresh turkey are quite similar, the keeping time is not. A frozen turkey can be purchased months in advance, but a fresh bird should be bought only 1 to 2 days ahead.
What kind of turkey should I buy?
Personal preference usually dictates this choice. There are basically two types of raw birds to choose from:
1. A pre-basted bird contains ingredients such as vegetable oil, broth, and spices.
2. An un-basted bird has had nothing added.
USDA Grade A poultry has good shape, structure, and fat covering, and is free of pinfeathers and defects, such as cuts and bruises. Grade A is the highest quality grade for poultry and is the most common grade found in stores.
Is a ¡°Tom¡± better than a hen?
Age, not gender, is the determining factor of tenderness. All turkeys on the market are young, usually 4-6 months old. A hen generally weighs less than 16 pounds and a tom usually over 16 pounds.
How long will it take to defrost a turkey?
It is best to defrost your turkey in the refrigerator. The rule of thumb is to allow a minimum of 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey:
* 8-12 pounds defrosts in 1 to 2 days
* 12-16 pounds defrosts in 2 to 3 days
* 16-20 pounds defrosts in 3 to 4 days
* 20-24 pounds defrosts in 4 to 5 days
If you need to speed up the defrost time, it is safe to defrost the turkey in a large utility sink of cold water. Submerge the wrapped bird in cold water. If the wrapping is torn, place the bird in another plastic bag, close securely, and then place in water. Change the water every 30 minutes to make sure the water remains cold. With this method, allow 30 minutes of defrost time per pound.
Turkeys can be thawed in the microwave oven. Since microwaves vary in what they can accommodate, check with the manufacturer¡¯s instructions for the size that will fit in your oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use when thawing.
To save time, is it safe to stuff the turkey in advance of cooking?
NO! It may seem like a good idea to save time, but harmful bacteria can multiply in the stuffing and cause food poisoning. Turkeys should be stuffed only at the last minute. Dry stuffing ingredients can be prepared the day before, tightly covered and left at room temperature. The perishable items (butter, margarine, mushrooms, oysters, broth, cooked celery and onions) can be mixed and refrigerated. The ingredients can then be combined just before stuffing and cooking.
How long should I roast the turkey?
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Roasting times vary, from roughly 15-18 minutes per pound for an un-stuffed bird, to 18-24 minutes per pound for a stuffed bird.
Can the turkey be cooked overnight at a lower temperature?
NO! Because of the low temperature (250 degrees), the turkey and stuffing can take more than 4 hours to reach a high enough temperature to destroy bacteria.
Can the turkey be partially roasted one day, and complete the roasting the next day?
NO! Interrupted cooking enhances the possibility of bacterial growth.
Can you roast the turkey the day before?
YES! In fact, more and more people are taking this route. However, for safety reasons, the cooked bird MUST be de-boned before being refrigerated. The carved meat should be stored in shallow containers. The meat can then be reheated in the regular oven the next day for approximately 10 minutes per pound. To prevent the meat from drying out, add the leftover meat drippings, gravy, or turkey broth and cover with foil.
How can you tell when the turkey is done?
* Using a meat thermometer is the most reliable method. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh muscle without touching the bone. This area heats most slowly. A whole turkey is done when the temperature reaches 180 to 185 degrees; stuffing temperature should reach 165 degrees.
* Another test is to press the fleshy part of the thigh with protected fingers. If the meat feels soft, or if the leg moves up and down easily and the hip joint gives readily or breaks, the turkey is done.
* Doneness can also be determined by inserting a long-tined fork into the thickest area of the inner thigh. If the juices run clear¡ªnot pink¡ªthe turkey is done.
What should I do with the leftovers?
Once the turkey is removed from the oven, you have approximately 2 hours to serve it, eat it, and get the leftovers refrigerated or frozen. Leftovers can keep in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, but use stuffing and gravy within 1-2 days.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Good to know (from SP)
Inflatable fitball. How do I know what size is right for me?
Balls come in different sizes, depending on your height. Balls are typically 55-75 cm inflated. Someone 5'2"-5'7" would use a 55 cm ball, 5'7"-6'2" a 65 cm ball and 6'2" and over, a 75 cm ball. If you have an opportunity to try one that is fully inflated, you should be able to sit on it with your knees at a right angle, feet flat on the floor.
Friday, October 23, 2009
(I love this article! From SP Health Reflaction.)
We're all pressed for time. Kitchens often go unused because it can simply take too long to cook, and seems more like a hassle than a help. In this hurry-up world, a clean, organized kitchen will get more use than a cluttered mess that's difficult to use. Creating an efficient workspace makes for healthier, faster and more enjoyable meal preparation for everyone involved.
* Clean and organize your pantry and cupboards. Throw out the old stuff and move the commonly used items to the front. Group together canned fruits, canned vegetables, tomato products, pasta items, canned meats, cereals, etc.
* Clean and organize the refrigerator and freezer. Then designate a specific shelf, drawer and area for your commonly used items. Make a special place just for leftovers! Do the same in your freezer, with a section for meats, vegetables, entree dinners, etc. Don't pack the fridge tight; air needs to circulate to keep things fresh. Store meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
* Label shelves so you know exactly where all your ingredients are and grocery storage is a snap--even the kids can help!
* Make all of your small appliances easily accessible. The Crock-Pot, toaster oven, mixer, blender, dicer, can opener, pasta maker, wok--should all be clean, and in working order.
* Create a leftover storage system. Have freezer bags, plastic storage containers, labels and markers handy. Label and date everything that gets stored in your freezer or fridge.
* Untangle that jammed utensil drawer! You should be able to put your hand on just the right tool in 2 seconds flat. This includes the spatula, measuring spoons, measuring cups, ladle, can opener, knifes, pastry blender, etc. Hang frequently-used items on the wall, or store them in an open container on the counter for easy access.
* Place a recipe box and cookbooks in full-view, not stuffed in a drawer somewhere.
Following these simple strategies, you can bring life and luster back to what should be the healthiest room in the house.
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