Gadget: Butter Stick Holder

Spreading butter on toast

Spreading butter on baking dish

The price of the holder is 108 yen (tax included) in Japan.

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Rice Paper-wrapped Salmon in Herbs with Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chili oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp minced basil
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1 green onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
4 (8-inch) round rice paper wrappers
1 lb salmon fillet, skin removed, cut into 4 equal pieces

Dressing

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. In a small bowl, combine vegetable oil, chili oil, garlic, chives, basil, cilantro and green onion. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Half-fill a large heatproof bowl or pot with boiling water. Using tongs or chopsticks, immerse one sheet of rice paper at a time in water until soft and pliable, about 5 seconds. Remove and pat dry with a paper towel. Place sheet on a flat, dry surface.
  3. Lay a piece of salmon in the middle of the rice paper sheet and cover with one-quarter of the herb mixture. Fold the bottom half and sides of the rice paper over the salmon, then roll into a tight bundle. Set aside. Repeat until all wrappers are filled.
  4. To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl, combine vinegar and olive oil. Set aside.
  5. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add bundles, season with salt and pepper and saute until the wrapper is crisp and golden, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat if the wrapper browns too quickly.
  6. Transfer fish bundles to a warm platter and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: New World Chinese Cooking

In Pictures: More Food Plating of Females Restaurant Chefs

Best Healthy Nuts

Len Canter wrote . . . . . . . . .

From positive effects on cholesterol levels to reducing the risk of heart disease and even some cancers, nuts are good for you.

Ounce for ounce, they are nutrient powerhouses with beneficial fats and plant protein. Many studies recommend eating 1-1/2 ounces of nuts a day, but which are best? High levels of nutrients put these at the top of the list.

Pistachios have antioxidants including lutein, important for eye health, beta-carotene and vitamin E. Eating pistachios may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and maintain heart health, according to Penn State researchers. Shelling them yourself prolongs your enjoyment. One ounce is equal to 45 to 50 pistachios.

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, plus a good jolt of calcium. A Korean study found that eating about two ounces of almonds a day can improve levels of all blood fats, including triglycerides. A University of Florida study found that their fiber content could boost good bacteria in the gut and good health in general. One ounce is equal to about 24 almonds.

Hazelnuts, or filberts, are also rich in vitamin E as well as the minerals copper and manganese. They’re being studied, along with almonds and walnuts, as a food to protect brain health. One ounce is equal to 15 to 20 hazelnuts.

Pecans are high in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. A recent Tufts University study found that pecans are part of a smart anti-diabetes diet. One ounce is equal to 15 to 20 pecans.

Walnuts top many lists with twice the antioxidants of other nuts and an abundance of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to the heart health benefits, eating walnuts may reduce the risk of depression. One ounce is equal to about 15 walnut halves.

Common wisdom has been to reach for raw and/or unsalted nuts to get the most nutrients without added sodium. But a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that dry roasting (which enhances nut flavor) and light salting doesn’t affect their nutritional content.

While great for nibbling, nuts make crunchy additions to salads, yogurt and breakfast grains. They can be chopped fine and used instead of breadcrumbs, ground fine to use in place of flour, and processed into a nut butter.

Source: HealthDay

Replacing Beef with Poultry Might Help Save the Planet

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

One simple change in your diet — replacing beef with poultry — could go a long way toward curbing climate change, research shows.

Beef is the largest dietary contributor to greenhouse gases for average people, and replacing it can halve a diner’s food-based carbon footprint and improve health, according to findings presented Monday at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting, in Baltimore.

“Basically, the top 10 highest carbon foods are all either a cut of beef or ground beef, said lead researcher Diego Rose, director of nutrition at Tulane University in New Orleans. “We can substitute that for things people would still find satisfying, in a culinary sense, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

For this study, Rose and his colleagues analyzed diet information from more than 16,000 participants in the nationwide health and nutrition survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers compared what people ate to the greenhouse gases emitted during production of those foods, to calculate a carbon footprint for individual diets.

The 10 foods with the greatest impact on the environment were all cuts of beef. About 20% of respondents reported eating one of these high-carbon foods on the day they were surveyed, researchers said.

The foods with the heaviest carbon footprint leave quite an impression on the planet. The top 20% of foods had almost five times more impact on the environment than the bottom 20%, Rose said.

Researchers then calculated a new carbon footprint for each diet by replacing beef with poultry — broiled chicken for broiled steak, ground turkey for ground beef.

“When we subbed them out, we found the drop from emissions from the new diets were about half what they were before — 48% less,” Rose said.

Simulations showed people’s dietary carbon footprint became smaller even though they would be eating just as much.

“We wanted to make sure the substitutions were the same calories, so we’re not putting anybody on a diet here,” Rose said.

There are a couple of reasons why beef has such a heavy environmental impact, he said.

First, raising cattle involves two rounds of agriculture — first, growing feed corn for the cows, and then raising cows with that corn, Rose said.

Cows’ digestive systems also are geared to draw maximum nutrition from grass, which involves digestion through a series of four stomachs, Rose said. This produces a lot of methane, which the cows expel by burping or passing gas.

One positive side effect from subbing out beef came in people’s overall diet quality, as measured by a healthy eating index, Rose said.

“People’s diets improved not just from the carbon footprint but the healthiness of their diet as well,” he said. “It’s not a lot, but it’s there and it’s significant. It’s a win-win.”

Wayne Campbell is a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He said that the study’s conclusions were “consistent with what would be expected” from replacing red meat with white.

“I like the way they did their calculations within the context of what people generally eat, as opposed to manipulating someone’s diet in a contrived manner,” said Campbell, who wasn’t involved with the study.

But he said more research is needed.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate based on the limited information that is provided here to all of a sudden say for everybody to go buy a piece of chicken instead of a piece of steak for the grill,” Campbell said.

For instance, he questioned whether substituting beef for chicken would always be the healthiest dietary choice.

“For example, if the person is eating highly processed fatty sausages as their red meat and they switch to a baked chicken breast, that’s going to have a much more positive impact on their health than if they were eating a lean pork tenderloin and switched to fried chicken,” Campbell said.

Further studies also should examine whether people would be willing to make the suggested dietary changes, he added.

Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: HealthDay


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