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Food Ventures

Healthy Food at Home or On the Go

By Ann Hattes
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Mr. Food Test Kitchen teamed with the American Diabetes Association to offer more than 150 new, healthy and diabetes friendly recipes in the Guilt-Free Weeknight Favorites cookbook.  There’s a section on how to read nutrition labels, and a section on portion control with handy illustrations, such as 2 tablespoons of salad dressing equaling an ice cube, and a medium potato equaling a computer mouse.

Mr. Food, television chef and best-selling cookbook author Art Ginsburg, was a pioneer of quick, easy cooking, “anybody can do it” philosophy. His 30-plus years in the broadcast industry paved the way for other TV personalities to follow, and as he aged, his company produced “Mr. Food Test Kitchen.” Beyond both print and TV today there’s MrFood.com and its sister site, EverydayDiabeticRecipes.com bringing Mr. Food’s signature catch phrase “Ooh it’s so good!” to the inbox.

Mr. Food Test Kitchen teamed with the American Diabetes Association to offer more than 150 new, healthy and diabetes friendly recipes in the Guilt-Free Weeknight Favorites cookbook. Following the strict nutrition guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, the Mr. Food team developed tasty recipes like Parmesan-crusted chicken, veggie white lasagna, corn muffin sloppy Joes, and fudgy turtle cookies. There’s a section on how to read nutrition labels, and a section on portion control with handy illustrations, such as 2 tablespoons of salad dressing equaling an ice cube, and a medium potato equaling a computer mouse.

In the book’s foreword, famed NASCAR driver and American Diabetes Association Celebrity Ambassador Ryan Reed says that with his constant traveling to races, he likes knowing he can make a quick, healthy, nutrition-tested meal like beefy enchiladas. “That gives me the same sense of security as wearing a safety belt.”

For warm weather al fresco dining be it a picnic, backyard BBQ, tailgate, or front-porch meal, refer to The Outdoor Table (Nelson Books). Author April McKinney, who has cooked with Paula Deen and Claire Robinson and demonstrated her recipes on national TV, has fond childhood memories of dining outside with family. Thus her book is a guide to creating portable dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and served cold or at room temperature. Featured recipes include basil strawberry lemonade, crab salad avocado boats, candied corn and roasted okra salad, and Fourth of July Mason Jar trifles.

WOATS (www.woats.com) was founded by a teen entrepreneur who, upon discovering that regular granola was tough on his braces, created a soft granola cluster. WOATS, whole grain oats paired with premium ingredients for indulgent energy boosting snacking anytime, anywhere, comes in a variety of flavors: Jammin’ Strawberry Shortbread, Nuts about Berries, Cookies ‘n’ Dreams, and Peanut Butter Graham Slam. Justin Anderson, hailed as “Granola Boy” or “Hey, WOATS!” by his friends, helps raise funds for non-profit organizations encouraging kids to dare to dream and make a difference in their communities. 


 

Rancher’s Steak with Cowboy Caviar

Courtesy of Guilt-Free Weeknight Favorites. Serves 6, 1/6 recipe per serving.

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 & ½ pounds well-trimmed boneless beef top sirloin steak, about 1 inch thick

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

½ red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

Preheat the broiler. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper; mix well and set aside 2 teaspoons. Rub the remaining mixture evenly over the entire steak and place on prepared baking sheet.

Broil the steak 25 to 30 minutes for medium-rare to medium, or until desired doneness, turning once during the broiling.

Meanwhile, make the Cowboy Caviar. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, including the reserved seasoning mixture; mix well.

Let steak rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing beef across the grain. Serve topped with the Cowboy Caviar. It is suggested to make the Cowboy Caviar ahead of time and refrigerate, allowing the flavors to blend well. Serve the chilled mixture over the warm, sliced steak.

Choices/Exchanges, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 6 lean protein


 

Fudgy Turtle Cookies

Courtesy of Guilt-Free Weeknight Favorites. Serves 36, 1 cookie per serving.

1 (16-ounce) package sugar-free devil’s food cake mix

1/3 cup canola oil

2 eggs

2 (3-ounce) packages (about 12 pieces) sugar-free pecan caramel, and chocolate candies, coarsely chopped (tested with Russell Stover)

½ cup sugar-free caramel syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and eggs, and beat with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes, or until well blended. With a spoon, stir in chopped candy, then drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until centers of cookies are set. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with caramel syrup and serve.

Choice/Exchanges, ½ carbohydrate, ½ fat


 

Bacon-Wrapped Hash Brown Bites

Courtesy of The Outdoor Table, Nelson Books. Makes 24 servings.

24 bacon strips

1 (30-ounce) bag frozen, shredded hash browns, thawed

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup sliced green onions

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the bacon until it is chewy and easily pliable, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place each strip of bacon in a muffin tin, making a circle around the inside of the cup and leaving an opening for the hash browns.

In a large bowl toss together the hash browns, cheese, onions, oil, salt, and pepper. Spoon the hash brown mixture into each “bacon cup,” and gently press down on the hash browns with the back of the spoon. Bake the hash brown bites for 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


 

Fourth of July Mason Jar Trifles

Courtesy of The Outdoor Table. Makes 6 servings.

2 (2-ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding

4 cups milk

1 pound strawberries, sliced

2 pints blueberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

Prepared angel food cake, cut into small cubes

6 Mason jars

Extra strawberries and/or blueberries to garnish

In a large bowl whisk together the instant pudding and the milk until the pudding has thickened. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the trifles. Place the strawberries and blueberries in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Allow the berries to sit for at least 10 minutes to macerate.

Once you are ready to assemble the trifles, spoon some of the pudding into each jar, then add a layer of the cake pieces, and top the cake layer with the berries and their juices. Continue these layers once more and top with a final layer of pudding. Add a sliced strawberry or fresh blueberries on top to garnish, if desired. Cover the trifles with the jar lids and chill until you are ready to serve.

 

Ann Hattes has over 25 years experience writing about both travel and food for publications both in the US and internationally. A senior living in Wisconsin, she’s a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and the Midwest Travel Writers Association.

Meet Ann