Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Flex on Flax

If you like to stay in the loop about trendy “superfoods”, you have most likely heard the term flaxseed. Ah ha, you say as you come across it in the aisle, I will definitely be adding this to my cart. But wait, why exactly am I getting this? And what do I do with these seeds? Read on healthy eaters…here is the scoop!

Flaxseed comes from the flaxseed plant and was originally found in Central Asia, but is now grown across North America, Europe, and Asia. You will see it in three forms: whole, ground, and flaxseed oil. Decision, decisions…Which to chose? In order for our bodies to digest flaxseed, it must be consumed ground, as whole flaxseeds will pass straight through the intestine undigested. (No digestion, no absorption, no benefits!) So, if you want to purchase flaxseed whole- no problem- simply grind it up in a coffee grinder or spice grinder when you’re ready to use it to create ground flaxseed. And then there were two choices… Both ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil contain Lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids- both great for our bodies! What makes ground flaxseed the winning choice is its fiber content (both soluble and insoluble)! So while flaxseed oil does give you some great nutrients, we believe that ground flaxseed is the most Bang for your Bite!

Why have you done a good thing?

Flaxseed Nutritional Info: 1 Tablespoon or 7 grams

37 calories, 3 g fat (almost all unsaturated or “good” fat), 1.3 g protein, 2 g fiber, 1.6 g omega-3 fatty acids (all you need for the day!) *Nutrient content varies with brands

Flaxseed is the richest source of Lignan, which is a phytochemical, or a chemical compound found naturally in plants that has many health benefits, such as anti-oxidant action. Lignans from flaxseeds are broken down in your body and its end-products (metabolites) are thought to help reduce lipid (fat) and glucose (sugar) concentrations, which in turn, can help lower blood pressure, help fight inflammation, and act as an anti-oxidant. Flaxseed also has omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which is why it may help to reduce total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD). One more reason that we love flaxseed is for regularity. Yes, that’s right, adding flaxseed to your diet can help fight off constipation, which can definitely put a damper on a girls’ night out! With all of these fabulous components, it is no wonder that flaxseed has recently been studied for its association with reducing the risk of certain cancers!

Incorporate Flaxseed into your daily routine with these tips and 3 delicious, healthy recipes, ranging from breakfast to dinner!

*Flaxseed should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and preferably in a dark, dry place to extend freshness. Flaxseed may also be frozen for longer-term storage.

Not in a cooking mood? No Problem! You can very easily incorporate flaxseed into your meals. Try sprinkling it on cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. Add it into your sandwich condiment (light mayo or mustard) or sprinkle it in your dessert pudding. Like to bake? Add ground flaxseed into any of your baked goods: muffins, cookies, breads, etc. It will simply provide a light, nutty taste to any food you add it to- so the options are limitless! Be creative and go flax-crazy!

Breakfast: “Flaxseed-Filled Mini Muffins” Adapted from “Boosted Muffins”


1 Box Trader Joe’s Triple Berry Bran Muffin Mix (made with whole wheat flour, high in fiber, and low in fat!)

3 Cups ground flaxseed (Try Whole Food’s 365 brand Organic Finely

Ground Flaxseed)

3 cups water

1 egg, 1 egg white

2 Tbs canola oil

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place paper muffin holders in mini muffin pan: batter will make about 48 mini muffins. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix until just combined; dough will be chunky and sticky, do not over mix. Bake for 17-21 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean; let cool. Store in the fridge in airtight containers for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

**Baker’s Tip preheat over to 425 degrees F, place muffins in over, close door, and then reduce to recommended cooking temperature of 400 degrees F for extra fluffy and well-risen muffins.

**Buyer’s Tip watch out for trans-fat when buying muffin mix. Many seemingly healthy brands sneak some into their products and we definitely want to stay clear! Trans-fat, aka, partially hydrogenated oils, shortenings, or palm oils raise our LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower our HDL (good) cholesterol, increasing risk for heart disease. So remember to read labels- or stick with our trusted brands such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Food’s 365!

Lunch: Salad with “Flaxseed Dressing” as seen on Food Network:


2 Tbs water

1 Tbs ground flaxseed (Try Arrowhead Mills Flax Seeds—don’t forget to grind!)

3 Tbs red wine vinegar

2 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine 1 Tbs flaxseed and 2 Tbs water in small bowl; let soak for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 Tbs red wine vinegar and 1 tsp cumin. While still whisking, add in 2 Tbs of olive oil and continue to whisk until well combined. Mix in flaxseed mixture and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over your favorite lunch salad and enjoy!

Dinner: “Turkey-Flax Meatloaf”


1 ¼ pounds turkey meat (mixture of dark and breast meat)

1 medium onion

1 egg

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup whole-wheat breadcrumb

¼ cup ground flaxseed

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp pepper

½ cup tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the onion in half; thinly slice one half and chop the other half; put slices aside for later use. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped onion, turkey meat, egg, ketchup, breadcrumbs, flaxseed, Worcestershire sauce, and spices; mix together with your hands (yes, get a little dirty!) Form mixture into loaf and place into loaf pan. Place slices onions across the top of the loaf and pour the tomato sauce on top, covering the entire loaf. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until desired texture. * In terms of food safety, an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is recommended for poultry.

Don’t feel like baking, cooking, or even sprinkling? No problem!

Try a sandwich with freshly baked Organic Flaxseed bread at Organique ( or sip on a Pro-Omega shake made with flaxseed oil at The Pump Energy Food (!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's the Skinny on Sandwich Breads?

Salads, salads, salads. Sometimes you just want a sandwich for lunch but don’t want to waste calories on a huge deli-sized roll. Does the perfect portion size bread for sandwiches exist?

The newest trend in sandwich breads is “skinny bread.” These breads are the perfect solution to eat a healthy sized portion of complex whole grains without overdoing it! Several brands are developing their own versions of such breads but from our search we found that the healthiest, and best tasting, include: Arnold 100% Whole Wheat and Multigrain Sandwich Thins, Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Fill ‘Ems, and Thomas’s Everything and 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thins.

Why have you done a good thing?

“Skinny breads” are considerably lower in calories and carbohydrates per serving than traditional sandwich breads, allowing you to enjoy eating a healthy, balanced sandwich! These breads are higher in fiber, which is great for regularity, blood sugar control, and lowering cholesterol. Whole grains are essential for your health as they are a great source of B-vitamins. B vitamins help our bodies get energy from foods by assisting in the breakdown of glucose (carbohydrates from food). B vitamins also maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, enhance immune and nervous system function, promote cell growth and division, prevent anemia, and reduce the risk of some cancers.

Prepare meals with thin breads:

1) Thomas’s Everything Bagel Thin with Tomato and Swiss Cheese


1 Thomas’s Everything Bagel Thin

2 slices of tomato

2 slices low-fat and low sodium Swiss cheese


Layer ingredients in sandwich and heat in panini press or toaster oven just until cheese melts.

2) Personal Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin Tomato Basil Pizzas


2 pints of cherry tomatoes, quartered

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp salt

½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

3 Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin, with halves separated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside cheese and Sandwich thins. Combine all other ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Layer 2 slices of mozzarella cheese on eat half of a Sandwich thin. Top each half of sandwich thin with a few tablespoons of topping mixture. Bake for around 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

3) Roasted Turkey, Hummus, and Avocado Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Fill ‘Em

1 Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Fill ‘Em

3 oz or 3 slices of low-sodium turkey breast (recommend Applegate Farms

1 tsp of hummus (recommend Sabra Hummus with Roasted Pine Nuts

3 slices of cucumber

1 slice of romaine lettuce

1 slice of red onion

2 thin slices of avocado


Combine items into sandwich and enjoy!

*Other ideas:

  • Top an Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin with tomato sauce or pesto, part-skim mozzarella, and fresh veggies to make a personal pizza!
  • Substitute your hamburger roll for an Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin or hotdog roll for an Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Fill ‘Em to reduce calories at your BBQ’s!
  • Make an energy-filled breakfast with a Thomas 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thin, scrambled eggs, low-fat cheddar cheese, and a slice of tomato!

Where can I purchase thin breads?

Most mainstream grocery stores carry all of these brands of thin breads, including Fairway Market, Food Emporium, Gristedes, and D’Agostinos.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Go Ahead, Sink Your Teeth into this BBQ Savior

About this time of the year, you are deep into the summer routine of salads, light soups, fish, and grilled chicken when all of a sudden, you get an urge. MEAT- you start to picture yourself biting into a big, juicy burger, maybe even a cheeseburger with lettuce tomato, onion- the works. BUT….you have been so healthy lately and also have been rocking out in that itsy-bitsy bikini. Is there a way to satisfy this craving without sacrificing your waistline? BISON! “What on earth is that?” you may ask.

Bison is one of the leanest meats and has a beef-like taste with a hint of sweetness, appearing slightly darker than traditional red meat. The term bison is now used interchangeably with Buffalo and is in the same family as the Cattle. Compared to other meats, bison is similar in protein but lower in cholesterol and fat- much lower, in fact! (Bison is 15% calories from fat vs. beef, which is 53% calories from fat, per 3 oz cooked serving) If it is not appealing enough that this tasty “red meat” is lower in calories than chicken, beef, pork, and some fishes- get this: it’s also loaded with iron (A plus for us menstruating females!)

So let's say we convince you to buy it…NOW WHAT?

Why have you done a good thing?



































Less than 1

*These data are based on 3 oz portions, cooked using dry heat.

Comparatively, Bison is significantly lower in calories and fat while still being a great source of protein AND iron….basically, you get a great BANG for your BITE!

Prepare Bison at home:

Bison meat can now be purchased at most meat butchers or specialty supermarkets, such as Whole Foods market, Gourmet Garage, Balducci’s, and even the Union Square Green Market.

Follow these recipes for two delicious & super-nutritious meals.

*Bison cooking tip: as bison is much lower is fat, cook at a lower cooking temperature for a longer period of time to preserve tenderness. You can cook to desired texture, however, it is recommended to cook bison to an internal temperature of at least 155-165 degrees F.

1. Bison Kabob – serves 4 people


1 red onion, loosely chopped

2 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced

1 box cherry tomatoes, whole

2 yellow bell pepper, loosely chopped

1 pound bison meat, trimmed and cubed into 1 inch squares

Skewer Sticks


¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

¼ cup 100% orange juice

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock

¼ cup maple syrup

1 Tbsp olive oil


Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add cubed bison meat to marinade in a zip-top bag or container and place in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or overnight. While the meat is marinating, chop onion, zucchini, and pepper into bite-size pieces. To assemble skewers, place one of each ingredient on skewer and continue in same order until there are two of each ingredient on skewer. Skewers may be baked, grilled, or broiled

2. Bison Burger – serves 4 people

1 lb ground bison meat

1 egg

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs (Just put 2 slices of whole-wheat bread in food processor!)

1 Tbsp olive oil


Heat olive oil in a pan on medium high heat and sauté onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and add the onion and garlic mixture; mix together with hands until combined. Form 5-oz patties (about the size of the palm of your hand when raw) and grill on barbeque for best taste. You can also bake burgers in the oven or pan-fry using olive or canola oil.

*Cooking for 1? Prep the 5 oz patties and freeze each patty in a individual plastic bag. They will stay fresh in the freezer and you can cook them up quickly during the week!

Order-in Bison in NYC:

Energy Kitchen (

Tex Mex Bison Wrap chopped bison, black beans, steamed brown rice, salsa


Bison Cheese Steak chopped bison, mushrooms, onions, low-fat american cheese.

Order Bison at a restaurant in NYC:

Order your first bison burger at Barking Dog

Find a restaurant near you that serves bison using this MenuPages find-a-food search for bison!