Get It Before It’s Gone

Apple Cider Beer Shrimp Boil

Sorry to break the news, but Summer is almost over. I agree… it went by fast. Winter seems as if it last forever. One day I was celebrating Spring at a tasting organized by Angry Orchard to introduce their seasonal Summer Honey Apple Cider Beer that is available from March into August. And, now I’m publishing a recipe using their Summer Honey into the late Summer.

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#SmoothieNumbers 27: Raspberry, Hibiscus Tea and Fresh Coconut

SmoothieNumbers 27: Raspberry, Hibiscus Tea and Fresh Coconut

In New York, most African-American festivals have a vendor chopping the tops of fresh coconuts, in which straws are inserted for a quick sip of refreshing coconut water. The heavy fruit is returned, in which the vendor splits it in half to scoop out the white flesh. Once home, thoroughly clean the pulp and chill or freeze until ready to use. For this Smoothie Number, the pulp is added to frozen raspberries and chilled hibiscus tea for a refreshing drink on a hot and humid day. The drink is tart and sweet with a subtle hint of coconut, but it has tons of vitamin C.

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What Makes a Happy Meal

West African-Inspired Salad

We initially didn’t eat want the healthy options on fast food menus, because it wasn’t going to be a happy meal. Today, chefs are creating healthy meals into exciting options. Such as Panera Bread announcing plans to eliminate chemical preservatives and artificial ingredients from their meals by 2016. It was an 11 year process of working with chefs and nutritionists to change how fast food corporations offer healthier options with tantalizing ingredients.

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Reeling in Summer Memories

Ginger Almond Plum Galette

This summer was beautiful. We went to plays in parks, on broadway, off-broadway and in our community. It wasn’t too hot, and the air conditioner took care of uncomfortable temperatures that didn’t soar high for too long. We hung out with friends, fine-dined and wined our way around New York City.

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Parade.com: Hold the White Rice and Get Your Freekeh On

The Freekeh Cookbook by Bonnie Matthews

Here’s a typical weekday situation: A recipe calls for rice. There’s only 30 minutes for dinner. Healthy brown rice takes 45 minutes, and unhealthy white rice is 15 minutes to cook. When it comes to time, I’m guilty of choosing the latter. I have tricks for using grains in weekday meals, such as doubling the requested amount and storing the difference in the freezer, or cooking slow-cooking grains—such as barley and farro—on weekends.

One of my favorite healthy and quick-cooking grains is whole-wheat couscous. Quinoa is another favorite, but the rinsing process is time-consuming. My recent discovery is freekeh, a familiar grain in Arabic cuisines with a 15 to 20 minute cooking time.

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