Smart Choices: Foods to Fuel Kids at School
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Now that the days are getting noticeably longer and the weather considerably warmer, summer is on everyone’s mind, including your kids’. They’re likely eagerly awaiting a sunny, stress-free summer vacation, but before they can close the books on another school year, most will be forced to endure a few weeks of final exams, projects and reports. As moms and dads, you may not be able to help out your kids with their advanced algebra problem sets or their comprehensive timeline of World War I, but you can surely send them to school with a hearty breakfast in their bellies. Just in time for test-taking season, Food Network checked in with Julie Negrin, M.S., a nutritionist, who shared Nutrition 101 for Parents and Kids. Among other benefits, following her suggestions for serving must-have wholesome foods “can lead to kids who feel calmer, sleep better … and study more.” Read on below for some of her top tips, plus find family-friendly breakfast recipes to give your kids the fuel they need to succeed.
In place of cold cereals that are likely packed with unnecessary sugar, swap in a bowl of warm oatmeal. “Stick to whole food carbohydrates that are packed with nutrients,” Julie recommends, explaining that they “take longer to digest.” Food Network Magazine‘s Whole-Grain Breakfast Porridge (pictured above) is packed with healthful ingredients like red rice, steel-cut oats and barley, plus it’s sweetened with just a single cinnamon stick, fruit and a bit of brown sugar. Since the porridge is made entirely in the rice cooker, it’s a no-fuss breakfast that requires little attention. Your child is not an oatmeal eater? Try serving Food Network Kitchens’ Whole-Grain Waffles, which can be partially prepared the night before you plan to cook them.
Next to carbohydrates, Julie says that “it’s important to eat protein in the morning because it balances blood sugar, which affects our physical health, moods and behavior.” Kid-friendly ingredients like eggs, chicken and pork are packed with protein, so working them into a morning meal doesn’t have to be challenging. A hearty hand-held breakfast that both kids and grownups will enjoy, Food Network Kitchens’ Breakfast Burrito (pictured right) is stuffed with fluffy scrambled eggs, Mexican-style chorizo (pork sausage) and cheddar cheese. Serve with extra pico de gallo and hot sauce in case older kids (or adults) want to dress up their burrito.
The third nutrient needed to provide your child with energy is a surprising one: fat. The key to including fat in your child’s breakfast is opting for better-for-you fats. “Fats have gotten a bad rap,” Julie admits, “however, high-quality fats from reputable sources can actually prevent disease. Small amounts of fats from plants such as avocados, nuts and coconuts can be protective.” The avocado in the burritos above is a good source of monounsaturated fat, as are almonds, which Ina features in her Peach and Raspberry Almond Swirls.
Check out Food Network’s Family and Kids Central to read more of Julie’s Nutrition 101 for Parents and Kids.
Enter for a Chance to Win an Autographed Copy of Melissa’s Ten Dollar Dinners
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
This past Tuesday, FN Dish announced that Melissa d’Arabian will be the newest Food Network star to join the FN Dish roster of writers, tackling everything from budget-friendly meals and ideas to sharing her own experiences as a working mom raising four young girls. Food, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, parenting ideas — come back every other Thursday to read Melissa’s posts.
To celebrate her new column, we’re giving away five autographed copies of Melissa’s first cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners. It’s packed with fresh meals — more specifically, 140 mouthwatering recipes, like Caprese Tartlets, Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup, Grilled Two-Cheese Burgers and a Classic Apple Tart — for any night of the week.
You can order a copy right now, but we’d like to give you a chance to win one that Melissa has autographed. All you have to do is comment on this post by telling us which one of her recipes is your favorite and why (you must include the URL — find a list of Melissa’s recipes here). We’re giving away five signed copies of her cookbook to randomly selected and very lucky commenters.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 12:00 p.m. EST on May 18 and 5 p.m. EST on May 22, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: approx. $24.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us: Which one of Melissa’s recipes is your favorite and why?
How to Save Money at the Grocery Store
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Cost-conscious cooking is on everyone’s to-do list these days. Selecting healthy and affordable food might seem like a challenge, but nutritious and inexpensive are not mutually exclusive concepts. Follow these tips so you can enjoy delicious fare at a great price.
• Use weekly grocery store ads to plan your weekly menu (do it on the weekend and make it a family affair)
• While reading the circulars, check for foods you buy regularly
• Get a coupon app for your smart phone and use that too (like coupons.com)
• Generate a shopping list for the week that you can stick to
• If your favorite store isn’t offering competitive prices, ask them to price match
• Convenience costs more so consider these options:
-Buy whole heads of lettuce and chop them yourself
-Shred your own cabbage and carrots
-Buy bone-in, skin-on chicken and bone and skin the poultry yourself
-Shred your own cheese
-Marinate your own pork and turkey tenderloin
• Buy produce in-season and on sale. Farmers’ markets and natural food stores often offer huge savings on seasonal produce.
• Purchase “family packs” of chicken, steak, pork and ground meat — the price per pound is typically lower. Portion out extras and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
• Stock up on sale items that can be stored, such as canned and jarred foods, pasta, grains, frozen vegetables, and poultry, meat, fish and shellfish that can be frozen for future meals.
• Plan for leftovers by making double batches of soups, stews, sauces, and casseroles. Freeze the extras in individual or family-style portions.
• Stretch meals by adding satisfying and filling side dishes. Brown rice, whole grain pasta and beans are great choices.
Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.
How to Make a Steak — Simple Scratch Cooking
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Today we’re talking steak as part of The Good Cook series. Generally, cooking steak involves a direct-heat cooking method, such as a very hot skillet, an oven broiler or taking it outdoors to the grill. Deciding which cooking method is best all depends on what kind of steak you bought, also known as the cut of steak.
New York strip, sirloin and rib eye, familiar steak house favorites, cook up quickly in a very hot skillet on the stovetop (I love using my cast iron), or on the grill. A rare to medium-rare steak needs only three to four minutes on each side. If you prefer your meat cooked medium or medium-well, finish it off in an oven preheated 350 degrees F to keep it tender and juicy.
Flank, skirt and London broil are best prepared using your stove’s broiler or on the grill. These cuts are also best served medium-rare; cook them about five minutes per side, otherwise they become too tough. The way you slice these cuts of steak is another important detail. Hold your knife at a slight angle, about 45 degrees, and slice it across the grain.
I’d also like to talk about dollars and sense when it comes to selecting your cut of meat. Steak, especially if you buy it from the farmers’ market as I do, can eat up a big part of your budget. London broil is the least expensive of all the types I mentioned and has incredible flavor. My other bit of advice is to treat meat as a condiment when planning your menu — 3-ounces per person is good. A little goes a long way toward leaving you feeling satisfied when you round out the meal with sides such as roasted potatoes, veggies and a mixed green salad.
More Steak Inspiration
Meat and Poultry Temperature Guide
Make It 5 Ways: Steak
Food Network’s Collection of Steak Recipes
Easy Steak Dinner Recipes
Grilled Steak Recipes
What’s the Best Cooking Tip You’ve Been Given?
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Food Network recently asked fans on Facebook for their best cooking advice. Many responded with advice from some of our all-star chefs, while others shared top tips learned in the home kitchen. Here are some of the highlights:
Marina Muñoz: There are three and they are all from Ina. First, add coffee to enhance chocolate. Second, roll blueberries around in flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of muffins. And lastly, keep mashed potatoes hot by putting them in a double boiler before serving.
Tina Banaszewski: Save rinds from hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano to use in soups or sauces. Drop in and take out like you would a bay leaf. So crazy how flavorful this is.
Deborah Campbell: You can always add (seasonings), but you can’t take away, so add a little at a time.
Amber White: Place a chilled disc of pie pastry into a floured two-gallon Ziplock bag and roll out while it’s in the bag. Cut the side seams of the bag when done, place upside-down pie plate over dough and flip the whole thing over. Mess is contained, dough doesn’t tear.
Joan LaFauci Rothman: Line measuring cups with plastic wrap to measure solid shortening or peanut butter and spray a little Pam in a measuring cup to measure honey, molasses, etc. Easy cleanup.
Vens AJ: Rub your hands over the sides of your stainless steel sink after chopping, peeling or working with garlic — smell gone.
Karine Jingozian: Mise en place!
Suzanne Davis Hartwigsen: Whether you make or buy cookies or a cake, put a piece of bread in with it to keep it soft and fresh.
Julie Hintz: When the family is hungry and everyone is milling around, start sauteing or boiling onions, even if you haven’t decided what to make yet. The aroma calms everyone down and assures them something good is coming.
Gayle Rhineberger Dunn: For homemade hash browns, rinse grated potatoes until water runs clear, then soak in cold water if you have time. Dry well (I use a salad spinner). They’ll be crispy and delicious.
Amy Petersen Crismon: Freeze semisoft cheeses for a little while before cutting or grating.
Jason Joyal: Listen to Alton Brown. Seriously.
Food Network wants to hear from you: What’s the best cooking tip you’ve been given?