Food & Recipes

  • Basic Kefir

    1 tablespoon new kefir grains (rinsed with milk)
    1 cup whole milk or plain soy milk

    1. If you’re starting with new kefir grains, rinse them with milk in a plastic strainer. Place kefir in a small glass jar, and add milk. Cover with a cloth or piece of paper, and let ferment at room temperature for 24 hours.

    2. Stir mixture with a wooden or plastic spoon. Using a plastic strainer, strain kefir into a container. Store in refrigerator.

    3. Kefir grains will continue to grow and multiply. To slow down production, ferment them in the fridge for five days, instead of 24 hours at room temperature.

    Nutrition info per serving, per one cup (using whole milk): 162 calories; 8 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 125 mg sodium

  • In Season: Basil

    More than just the sum of its pestos, basil also boasts an array of nutritional benefits. A mere 2 teaspoons of the dried herb provide 60 percent of your RDA for vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting and helps the body absorb calcium—crucial in building bone density.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

    Beware the power of suggestion, and turn off the Saturday morning cartoons. According to researchers at the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the University of Minnesota, nine out of 10 food commercials shown during Saturday morning children’s TV shows feature foods that have poor nutritional quality.

  • Orange-Basil Sorbet

    2 cups marmalade
    2 cups fresh orange juice
    3 cups water
    1/4 sweet basil, finely chopped

    1. In a large saucepan, combine marmalade,  orange juice, and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until smooth and syrupy.

    2. When cool, stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet basil. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker, according to manufacturer directions. Freeze.

  • Lemon Sunflower Pesto

    2 cups basil leaves, packed
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

    In a food processor, combine ingredients. Process until texture is even. Add to pasta, or spread on chicken or fish before baking.

  • It's Easy Eating Green

    Craving salads this time of year—but tired of the same old bowl of greens? Move over, iceberg: These leafy greens will transform your next salad and help you get your recommended daily veggie intake. San Francisco-based chef and nutrition consultant Grace Avila shares her favorite preparations and pairings for the following eight super-greens.

    Spruce up your next meal with these 8 unusual salad greens.
    By Lindsey Galloway
  • Grilled Slmon with Yogurt Garlic Dill Sauce

    For The Salmon
    1 pound salmon, about 1 inch thick, cut into four filets
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    For The Yogurt Garlic Dill Sauce
    1 cup plain yogurt (see recipe above)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    1. Spray grill with cooking spray, and heat to medium-high. Sprinkle salmon filets with salt and pepper, and grill four minutes a side (skin side up first) or until done.

    2. Separate fish from skin by sliding a spatula between them; transfer filets to a plate. Serve with yogurt garlic dill sauce.

    3. To make yogurt garlic dill sauce, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Nutrition info per serving (4): 249.3 calories; 9.5 g fat; 2.4 g saturated fat; 68.3 mg cholesterol; 34.3 g protein; 4.8 g carbohydrates; 0.1 g fiber; 394.1 mg sodium

  • Chicken Souvlaki Pitas

    1 pound chicken tenderloins
    Bamboo skewers
    4 whole-grain pitas

    For The  Souvlaki Marinade
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) oregano
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    For The Tzatziki Sauce
    1 cup plain yogurt (see recipe above)
    1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, shredded
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1. In a bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Add chicken, and mix well to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

    2. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes, and heat grill to medium. Thread chicken onto skewers, and grill four minutes on each side.

    3. Combine ingredients for tzatziki in a small bowl. Serve with the chicken in pitas

    Nutrition info per serving (4): 233.8 calories; 9.4 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 69.4 mg cholesterol; 29.8 g protein; 7 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fiber; 408.6 mg sodium

  • Berry-Banana Kefir Smoothie

    1 cup kefir
    1/2 cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries)
    1 ripe banana
    1 tablespoon honey (optional)
    5 to 6 ice cubes

    1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

    Quick tip: Too rushed in the morning to take out the blender and whip up a smoothie? Simply mix one part kefir with one part fruit juice in a glass. The banana and berries are prebiotic foods, which help stimulate the probiotics in the kefir to reproduce in your digestive system and create a healthy environment there.

    Nutrition info per serving (2): 185 calories; 4 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 1 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 65 mg sodium

  • Pool Precautions

    Parents wishing to swim with their new baby may need to take a deep breath before plunging into the kiddie pool. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reveal that babies who participate in infant swimming lessons are more likely to suffer from asthma and other lung-related ailments later in life.

    By Lindsey Galloway