In this issue:
- Featured Recipe: Shades of Red Sicilian Salad
- Healthy, Fabulous Flavors: Chives, Scallions, Leeks, Onions, Shallots
- What's New with MyFoodMyHealth: New, Enhanced Meal Planner
- A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Skin So Smooth
- Recommended Video: Washing Greens vs Grains
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Featured Recipe: Shades of Red Sicilian Salad
Oranges, onions, shallots, radicchio, and radishes bring zest and texture to this colorful and healthy salad. It adds a healthy twist to a traditional Italian favorite and makes a tantalizing side dish or light lunch that will delight your taste buds.
Healthy, Fabulous Flavors: Chives, Scallions, Leeks, Onions, Shallots
The onion, or lily family, is characterized by strong tastes and sulfurous odors, and includes onions, leeks, scallions, garlic, chives, and shallots. Known as alliums, these universally used vegetables have abundant health benefits. They are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral. They help remove parasites and heavy metals from the body. They contain Vitamin A, B-Complex, and C.
How the alliums are cooked influences how pungent they are. Garlic cooked whole is only slightly pungent, and sweet nutty notes come to the front. If onions and garlic are pickled, they are relatively mild. Long, slow cooked onions become sweet.
The sulfur product, which causes our eyes to water, is produced in significant quantities only in the onions, shallot, leek, and chive, most especially in onions. To avoid crying, you can pre-chill an onion for 30 to 60 minutes in ice water. It hydrates the papery onion skin, which makes it tougher and less brittle, and easier to peel off.
Chopped alliums to be eaten raw are best rinsed to remove irritating strong smelling sulfurous molecules. Soak a sliced, raw, red onion in cold water for fifteen minutes, for example, before adding to your salad.
Here are some things to know about some of the most common varieties in the lily family:
Onions fall into two major categories. Spring onions are planted as seedlings in the late fall and harvested before maturity following the spring and during early summer. You see them in green markets with the green shoots coming out of them. They do not have brown papery skin hiding the bulbs. They are moist, relatively mild, and perishable; and are best kept in the refrigerator. The second category is the global storage onion category. Global storage onions are the most common type of onion and are available all year. They are grown in the summer and harvested when mature in the fall, and are rich in sulfur compounds. Look for firm onions with papery dry skin that are not beginning to sprout. These are best stored in a dry, well ventilated place, not near potatoes, and not refrigerated.
White onions are milder and moister than yellow, and don’t keep as well. Small and medium onions are more pungent than large, which are sweeter.
Red onions are also sweeter and milder than the globe, are favored in pickles and condiments, and store for two to four weeks. When red onions are cooked, the color is diluted. A little acid, like lemon or vinegar, brings the color back.
Scallions can be either bulb forming onion varieties or green onions harvested quite young, or special varieties that never form bulbs.
Chives look like a slender scallion without the white bulb and are more delicately flavored. They are most often eaten as a garnish or in subtly flavored dishes.
Shallots are a distinct clustering variety of onion, often with a purple coloration, whose bulbs are smaller, finer-textured, and somewhat milder and sweeter.
Leeks are grown for a scallion-like mass of fresh leaves. They are a sweet cousin of the onion, and are milder than onions and garlic. The white part is most often used, and smaller leeks are more tender and flavorful than large. Larger ones often have a lot of grit in the leaves, so it is easiest to submerge the cut pieces in water after cutting to clean them.
Garlic stimulates the metabolism and it is known as an anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-fungal. It stabilizes blood sugar level, lowers fever by increasing perspiration, promotes healthy intestinal flora, and is good for blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. To peel garlic easily, place a clove of garlic on a hard surface - use the flat side of a knife, then give it a quick whack to crush it. Cut off the root end and the skin peels away easily.
What's New with MyFoodMyHealth
New, Enhanced Meal Planner Makes It Even More Fun and Easy to Plan and Prepare Healthy, Delicious Meals
Based on your great feedback, we’ve made some exciting enhancements to the MyFoodMyHealth meal planner to make it even more fun and easy to plan and prepare delicious, healthy meals to care for your health. Some of the new features and functionality you can enjoy include:
A More Streamlined and Efficient Meal Planner
Streamlined menu: Find everything you need to use your meal planner when you log in with the new left-hand menu system.
Reorganized calendar: View and plan your entire week’s menus in our streamlined meal plan calendar.
Thumbnail recipe pictures: See a picture of every mouth-watering recipe in your week's meal plan, right in the calendar.
Expanded help section: Do you have a question about how to use the meal planner? Use the detailed help section to find step-by-step instructions for how to use all the features of the meal planner.
Quick tips: See fun and practical ways you can use your meal planner right at the top of your calendar.
Resources section: Go to our resource section to view cooking videos and learn about online shopping resources, pantry basics, herbs and spices, metric conversion tools, food safety and storage tips, food and medication interaction tips, the glycemic index, antioxidant values, and more.
More Fun and Easy Features to Customize Your Meal Plans
Buttons to add, swap, and remove recipes: Simply go to your meal planner calendar and with a click of a button you can customize your meal planner to fit your schedule, mood, and lifestyle.
Swap recipes: Use the new Swap button to instantly swap breakfast recipes with breakfast recipes, lunch recipes with lunch recipes, and dinner recipes with dinner recipes.
Add notes: Do you have leftovers you’d like to use on a certain day? Would you like to add a substitution to a recipe? Or do you have a note from your nutritionist? The new Add Notes feature makes it simple and convenient to add notes.
Add your own recipes: Do you have a favorite, personal recipe? You can still enjoy it with MyFoodMyHealth. Simply add it to your meal plan using the new Add Your Own Recipe feature.
Search for recipes by ingredient: Find delicious recipes that include seasonal delights from the farmers market, or other favorite ingredients you have on hand. Simply use the Search feature to find recipes that meet your profile and contain a specific ingredient.
Sort recipes in the recipe list: One click is all you need to sort the recipes in your recipe option list for a particular meal. You can sort recipes alphabetically, by cook time, by prep time, or by the number of servings. Then you can select and add the recipe from the list that suits your fancy to your meal plan.
Customize your shopping list: Select the days of the week you wish to shop for and a shopping list is automatically generated for you. Then simply hide, delete or add ingredients, include notes, and print your list. Shopping couldn't be easier.
A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Skin So Smooth
by Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD LDN
Bothered by eczema, psoriasis or other red hot rashes? Here’s a few skin smoothing nutrition strategies to consider:
Try a 2-3 week sabbatical from potentially problematic foods that may be offensive to your skin cells. These can include common food allergens such as dairy, wheat, eggs, and shellfish. Gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley may also be aggravating your immune system which then cross talks to your skin cells, sending an alarm message.
Follow another food specific guideline: if you suspect a food or food ingredient is causing your skin to flare, try the food on 3 separate occasions at least 3 days apart and if your skin symptoms worsen with each introduction, then you have good evidence that at least for now, that food is not for you.
Cool down skin inflammation by including friendly fats such as omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, sardines, sablefish, herring and plant fats such as hemp, flax, chia seeds, purslane (a tasty edible green), and walnuts. You might also want to get your omega 3 fatty acid level checked though a simple bloodspot test available at www.omegaquant.com.
Boost your vitamin and mineral intake by consuming naturally nutrient rich vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices that deliver a portfolio of soothing skin ingredients.
Consider taking a multi species probiotic supplement to help inoculate your digestive tract with good bacteria to fight against bad bugs that may be antagonizing your skin cells.
Sardines, Watercress, Olive and Feta Salad
Try this delicious MyFoodMyHealth recipe for Sardines, Watercress, Olive and Feta Salad. It will nourish your skin and help get you glowing again!
Recommended Video: Washing Greens vs Grains
Included in the new Resources section of the enhanced meal planner are more than 20 informative videos designed to show subscribers how fun, easy, and rewarding it can be to cook and share delicious meals that support your health.
Let's Hear from You
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