Tiny New York Kitchen

Citrus

February 9, 2017

Oranges and lemons were first brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers. Today the United States is among the world’s top citrus growers and consumers. To choose the best citrus select fruit that is heavy and not too soft. When selecting oranges don’t worry about the color, as it is not a good indicator of how tasty the orange will be. For lemons and limes the juiciest fruit gives a little when you gently squeeze them. I like to roll lemons and limes around on the counter with the palm of my hand to loosen up the juice before cutting into them.

Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are the most commonly found citrus fruits. Lemons, limes, and oranges come into season just when we need them the most, when days are short and the weather is cold. Rich in vitamin C and fiber, they add a zesty boost to almost any meal. During the winter months, look for other varieties, such as blood oranges, Key limes, and Meyer lemons, as well as grapefruit-like pomelos and tiny kumquats.

We need vitamin C to stay healthy and citrus fruit is a delicious way to add lots of this vital nutrient to your diet. Start the day with orange juice, add a squeeze of lemon to warm water later in the day, or pack grapefruit sections to enjoy as a snack at work or school.

Citrus stars in everything from sweet and savory dishes to non-food uses. Simmer slices of lemons, limes, and oranges in water to use as a natural air freshener, use lemon juice as a gentle alternative to laundry bleach, or combine lemon juice with olive oil to use as furniture polish.

Much of the citrus flavor is in the zest. Finely grate the peel and add to anything that needs a punch of citrus flavor. To get perfectly grated zest without bitter white pith, use a fine zester.

Make your own flavored salt by processing coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and citrus zest in a food processor. Add this mix to soups, stews, meats and pasta dishes.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove large strips of peel and add to hot tea, mulled wine, soups, and stews to add bold flavor.

To segment citrus like a pro cut a thin slice from either end of the fruit to make a base. Pare away the peel and white part of the rind. Cut into the fruit center between one section and the membrane. Cut along the other side, between section and membrane. Repeat.

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“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Making Muffins

February 7, 2017

Love The Lumps!

Don’t use an electric mixer when combining wet and dry muffin ingredients. Beating will cause gluten to overdevelop, which will produce tough muffins. Mix just enough to wet the dry ingredients; a lumpy batter is the goal.

Add More Greens To Your Life

February 3, 2017

Dark Leafy Greens Give You More Nutritional Bang For Your Buck. Add More Greens To Your Diet And Most Likely You’ll Feel Much Better.

Add Cooked Greens To Frittatas, Breakfast Tacos And Poached Eggs.

Stir Greens Into Soups And Stews During The Last Few Minutes Of Cooking.

Start Your Day With A Smoothie Packed With Kale.

Add Greens To Grain dishes Or Serve Grains Over A Bed Of Steamed Chard.

Add Sautéed Greens To Cooked Whole Wheat Pasta Or Stir Into Pasta Sauces.

Make Sure To Wash Dark Leafy Greens In A Sink Full Of Water To Remove Dirt And Sand. Dry Well.

Store Your Greens In A Bag Along With A Paper Towel In The Crisping Drawer Of Your Refrigerator, Or Quickly Blanch And Freeze Greens To Use For Quick Sides And Easy Meal Prep Later.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Food That Boost Energy Levels

January 28, 2017

It’s January and many of us are working towards our health goals. Choosing foods that give us energy are important in keeping on track. Some foods that boost energy levels include cashews, chicken, salmon, and beans.

Cashews
Cashews are high in magnesium and help to convert sugar into energy. Magnesium deficiency can lead to low energy levels and nuts that are high in magnesium, including cashews; can provide that mid-afternoon jolt some people are seeking. Cashews are high in calories, so it’s best for those looking to shed pounds or maintain a healthy weight to adhere to serving suggestion guidelines.

Skinless Chicken
Alertness tends to increase when the brain produces the neurotransmitter dopamine and the hormone norepinephrine. Skinless chicken contains an amino acid known as tyrosine that helps in the production of both dopamine and norepinephrine. If skinless chicken is not available, other foods that may provide this same effect include fish, lean beef, and eggs. In addition, lean meats like skinless chicken contain enough vitamin B to help ease insomnia.

Salmon
Omega-3 fatty acids can help the body fight inflammation, which has been linked to a host of ailments, including chronic fatigue. Salmon is also high in protein, which can eliminate the mid-to-late afternoon hunger pangs that can derail healthy diets and contribute to weight gain.

Beans
Beans are loaded with fiber, and that’s a great thing for energy levels. Like magnesium, which can also be found in beans, fiber takes a while to digest, extending the energy-boosting properties of foods loaded with fiber. In spite of the growing movement to eat and live healthier, many still do not include enough fiber in their diets. Eating beans is a great place to start getting that much needed fiber.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

High Altitude Cooking

January 25, 2017

Most recipes have been perfected for use at seal level. At higher altitudes, adjustments in the cooking time, temperature, and ingredients could be necessary.

At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees. With each additional 500 feet of altitude, the boiling point drops 1 degree. Even though the boiling point is lower, it takes longer to generate the heat required to cook food. Therefore, at high altitudes, foods boiled in water (such as pasta and beans) will take longer to come to a boil and will require longer cooking times than recipes suggest. The processing times for canning foods and the blanching times for freezing vegetables will vary, too.

At high altitudes, cake recipes may need slight adjustments in the proportions of flour, leavening, liquid, eggs, etc. These adjustments will vary from recipe to recipe, and not set guidelines can be given. Many cake mixes now carry special directions on the label for high-altitude preparation.

High altitudes can also affect the rising of doughs and batters, deep-frying, candy making, and other aspects of food preparation. For complete information and special recipes for your area, call or write to the home agent at your county cooperative extension office or to the home economics department of your local utility company or state university.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

How To Interpret Package Information

January 17, 2017

While the Nutrition Fact label can tell you a lot about a food, you need to check the ingredients list to see what you’re really eating. Is your breakfast cereal made with whole grains or does your favorite salad dressing contain oil that is high in saturated fat, for example.

By law, ingredients lists must be ordered by weight. The heaviest ingredient goes first, followed by the next heaviest, and so on. It is not a good sign if sugar is the first ingredient in a cereal or when bad fats like partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils are the third ingredient listed on a can of biscuit dough.

Below is a list of common phrases found on many food packages:

Cholesterol Free or No Cholesterol: Don’t be fooled by the words No Cholesterol written across the label of a jar of peanut butter or bottle of canola oil. If you turn to the Nutrition Facts label, you’ll see that no brand of either food has cholesterol – and never did! Only foods of animal origin contain cholesterol. But manufacturers hope you don’t know that.

Light: This word is used to describe fat content, taste, or color. If the manufacturer is describing the fat content as “light,” the product has at least 50 percent less fat than the original. The label must also say “50% less fat than our regular product.” “Light” olive oil, on the other hand, describes the oil’s color. The oil is as caloric as regular olive oil, but has been processed to remove some of its flavor. A muffin mix can say “light and fluffy” as a way to describe its texture or consistency.

Low-Fat or Fat-Free: Low-fat products must contain 3 grams or less fat per serving and fat-free products must have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving. But check the number of calories – that number could be very high. It is easy to gain lots of weight eating fat-free cookies because they are loaded with sugar.

Low Sodium or Light In Sodium: This means that the sodium was cut by at least 50 percent over the original product. Be careful when using a “low” version of a super-high-sodium food such as soy sauce or soup. You can still end up consuming a lot of sodium. Check the numbers on the Nutrition Fact Label.

Sugar-Free, No Added Sugars, Without Added Sugars: A sugar-free chocolate candy may not contain a speck of sugar, but it’s still got plenty of fat and calories. Be sure to check out the Nutrition Facts label to know how many calories and grams of saturated fat you’re consuming.

Sweetened With Fruit Juice, Fruit Juice Sweetener, or Fruit Juice Concentrate: These sweeteners are made by reducing fruit juice (usually grape juice) into a sticky sweetener. These sweeteners are not nutritious. They are just like sugar.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

How To Spot A Whole Grain

January 14, 2017

To help you when shopping for whole grains, here are the words you should look for in the ingredients list:

It’s A Whole Grain If It’s Called:

Brown (Also Black, Red, Purple) Rice
Buckwheat
Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
Millet
Quinoa
Sorghum
Triticale
Whole-Grain Corn
Whole Oats And Oatmeal
Whole Rye
Whole Spelt
Whole Wheat
Wild Rice

It’s Not A Whole Grain It It’s Called:

Corn Flour Or Cornmeal
Enriched Flour
Multigrain (This Means Various Grains, Not Necessarily Whole)
Pumpernickel
Rice Or Rice Flour
Rye Flour Or Rye
Stone-Ground Wheat (It Needs To Say “Stone-Ground Whole Wheat”)
Unbleached Wheat Flour
What Or Wheat Flour
Wheat Germ (Not A Whole Grain, but Very Good For You)
Whole Barley (Pearl Barley; Not A Whole Grain, But Very Good For You)

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Eating Well

January 12, 2017

The message is simple: Eat well to stay well. The good news is that you don’t need a graduate degree in nutrition to eat healthfully on a daily basis. What follows are some guidelines and information to help you make informed decisions about what you and your family should eat to maintain a balanced diet.

*Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within the basic food groups. Choose foods that limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.

*Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.

*Consume three or more 1 ounce equivalent servings of whole grains each day.

*Consume 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent dairy products per day.

*Derive less than 10 percent of your calories from saturated fat and less than 300mg of cholesterol per day. Avoid trans fats.

*Keep your total fat intake between 20 and 35 percent of your calories, with most fats coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

*Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains each day.

*Consume less than 2,300mg (about 1 teaspoon) of sodium each day.

*Women who choose to drink alcohol should limit themselves to one drink per day; men should limit themselves to no more than two drinks per day.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Keep It Light

January 7, 2017

Generally animal products are higher in fat than plant foods, but it’s not necessary to cut out all meat and dairy products to keep your fat intake reasonable. Low-fat dairy foods, lean and well trimmed meat, and skinless poultry provide the same amounts of vitamins and minerals as their fattier counterparts. Skinless poultry, fish, dry beans, and split peas are the “slimmest” foods in this category. By removing the skin from poultry, you reduce the fat by almost one half. Most seafood is low in fat and also contains beneficial omega-3 oils, which have been linked to lowering blood cholesterol. Dry beans also provide the body with fiber, which is necessary for digestion.

You can enjoy red meat if you choose lean cuts and trim away all the visible fat (marbled fat cannot be trimmed away). Here are some good choices:

*Beef eye round, top round, tenderloin, top sirloin, flank steak, top loin, and ground beef. Choose ground sirloin; it’s 90 to 93 percent lean.

*Veal cutlets (from the leg) and loin chops.

*Pork tenderloin, boneless top loin roast, loin chops, and boneless sirloin chops.

*Lamb, boneless leg (shank portions), loin roast, loin chops, and leg cubes for kabobs.

Here are some suggestions to make trimming excess fat from your diet easier:

*Choose lean cuts of meat and trim off all the visible fat before cooking. Remove skin from poultry before or after cooking.

*Broil meat on a rack so the fat can drop away.

*Substitute ground chicken or ground turkey for ground beef. Look for ground turkey breast or chicken breast; otherwise, it may contain skin and therefore have as much fat as ground beef.

*Substitute protein-packed dried legumes, like beans and lentils, for meat in casseroles.

*Chill soups and stews overnight so you can remove all the hardened fat from the surface.

*Be skimpy with fat. Use nonstick pans and nonstick cooking spray, or sauté in a small amount of broth or water. Don’t just pour oil into a skillet; it’s easy to add too much. Measure or use a pastry brush to coat pans with a thin layer of oil. When baking, coat pans with a spritz of nonstick cooking spray instead of oils or fats. Kitchenware shops carry oil sprayers you can fill with your favorite oil.

*Experiment with low fat or skim milk, low fat sour cream and cheese, and nonfat yogurt. They provide the same amounts of calcium and protein as the whole milk varieties, but with less fat or none at all.

*When making dips, substitute nonfat plain yogurt for sour cream.

*Use fresh herbs and zesty seasonings literally.

*Choose angel food cake instead of pound cake, especially when making cake-based desserts like trifle.

*To reduce fat and cholesterol, you can substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg in recipes, but don’t substitute egg whites for all the whole eggs when baking. The dessert will have better texture and flavor if you retain a cold or two.

*Replace sour cream with buttermilk or yogurt in recipes for baked goods.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Things You Can Do With An Egg Slicer

January 6, 2017

Making precise slices of softer, smaller foods in a snap, literally, with this tool designed to hold slippery, hard-cooked eggs in its cradle as the wires cut through. Cleanup is just as speedy – use a kitchen brush and warm, soapy water.

It can quick slice soft fruits and vegetables such as peeled kiwis, hulled strawberries, white or cremini mushrooms, and pitted olives.

Create perfect rounds from soft cheeses, like fresh mozzarella balls and goat cheese.

Make even pats from a stick of butter.

Be creative and try using an egg slicer on soft foods that you’re preparing. The possibilities are endless.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

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