How Is The Microwave Oven A Boon To The Kitchen?

A microwave oven is the most essential item of a modern kitchen. No one can think about living without a microwave as it has become the next big thing in every household. In this fast-paced world, when there is so much shortage of time, a microwave holds your hand to help you make your supper in just a few seconds. Microwave ovens are efficient because they channelize the heat energy directly into the tiny particles of the food inside and heats them up by radiation. High-frequency electromagnetic waves are emitted with the oven cooks the food and that helps the food to be evenly cooked from all sides. Today we are going to project the advantages of a microwave oven.

What are the benefits of using a microwave?

  • Heat up the food – Reheating the leftover food for your next meal becomes convenient with a microwave. You just have to put the container of food inside the oven and fix the timer. There is no need to stand by its side or ignite a stove. You are also able to decide upon the level of hotness of the food by setting the timer as per requirement. Microwaves do not war themselves while heating the food and you are saved from over-heating your meal.
  • Cleaning is simple – The microwave ovens are easy to be maintained and cleaned. You just need a damp sponge or cloth to wipe out the dirt from inside the oven and the external body. If your oven stinks a lot, boil a bowl of water with sufficient drops of lemon juice in it. When the water is boiled for a few minutes, the smell eradicates and your oven is ready for use again. The metal body of the microwave oven helps in easy cleaning.
  • Spill and burn-proof – When you use the old fashioned oven or stoves, there are chances of spilling and burning of food if you are not around. Contrarily with microwaves, you do not have to keep a constant watch. You can be relaxed after you have set the timer depending upon the food type. You do not have to supervise or stir regularly or wait for the whistle. Once your food is ready, it beeps and asks you to take out your food.
  • The food value is retained in the food – When you boil the vegetables in the microwave it has proved to be healthier than cooked on a gas stove. Microwave is such designed that it helps to retain the nutrients like minerals and vitamins inside the food even after the completion of cooking. In a world where everyone is striving to stay fit, the microwave lends its super hand to boost up your fitness level.

If you strictly follow the rules mentioned in the user manual and use the right cookware, then you are good to go. You would be able to prepare thousands of recipes in a jiffy that would be a real delight to your taste bud.

How to Choose Fresh Fish and Seafood

Top Tips for Good Seafood

If you want to purchase good seafood then you should be aware of how to get fresh fish. You deserve to get the best for your money and fish especially fish should be eaten fresh.

If the seafood that you have just brought is not fresh and the shopkeeper cites transportation problems then it is certainly not your fault. You deserve the best quality and rate that you deserve. If the fishmonger cannot guarantee that, then its time to find another dealer.

You can choose from a large variety of fish’s right from salmon to the shellfish and each of these has their own special distinctive features when they are fresh. If you can gauge these differences then you can guess the right type of fresh fish and you can become a good picker of fresh seafood.

Remember that the fresher the fish the better the buy. While buying from the grocery store; you thought that you had been sold shrimps they were quite fresh, but did you realize how long had it been since the fish was harvested. Was it frozen as soon as it was harvested and then sent to your local grocery store? How was it packed, in dry ice? These factors have to be taken into account when you buy fresh seafood.

The best technique to maintain the seafood fresh is to use the “Flash Frozen” method. Flash frozen is a method used to freeze sea food hardly a few hours after the harvest to guarantee the, flavor, quality and sparkle of the newly caught fish. This ensures that you are getting good fish for the right rate. Ensuring that the fish is preserved immediately with freezing also ensures that you are getting hygienic fish prepared at a quality store.

When you purchase cold seafood of any variety, check the expiry date and manufacture date. Please remember that fish appears white to opaque and any discoloration that you see on the fish could indicate that the food is not up to quality. Ensure that the seafood is frozen solid. The only smell should be a mild and fresh fishy odor. Next take a good at the wrapping of the frozen fish. The packing should be intact and vapor proof as well as moist and it should fit stiff around the seafood. Ensure that the flash frozen packing is not torn or open at any corner or even puffed in appearance. Un-wrapped edges, ice crystals and water stains should not be present. If there are water stains or ice crystals then it is an indication that the seafood thawed in between losing it freshness and causing the icicles.

When you are going to buy fish steaks or fish filets the flesh has to be firm, moist, slightly elastic and look fresh. The edges should not be dark or dry and this is a sign that you should not buy the fish. Look out for the odor too; it should be mild and fresh. The packaging should not be too tight around the fish steaks or fish filets and certainly do not buy if there is liquid in the container or wrapping.

Note that fresh fish should appear shiny and bright. The scales will be bright and hold on to the skin. Take a note of the color and marking of the fish. As the fish becomes stale it starts to fade and looks pale. The eyes should also be a way to gauge the freshness of the fish. The eyes should be clear, fresh and even protruding in some varieties of fish. See that the gills are bright red in color. As the fish turns pale the gills turn pink and later green or even brown as days pass. The fish odor should be faint. The fishy strong smell does not imply fresh. Start a conversation with the fishmonger. He is the best guide you can tell you from where the fish was harvested and even the date or time of harvest.

I am sure these suggestions will stay put in your mind when you buy seafood and fish for your next party.

More About Wheat-free Foods

Being wheat-free is a lifestyle challenge. There are things such as wheat flour, then there is wheat bran, wheat gluten, wheat germ, and more. There are some manufacturers who provide a coding system, easy for even consumers shopping after a 12 hour work shift to decipher, then there are the labels with six or more lines of ingredient on the back, plus the fine print such as Warning: this product made on machinery that also processes gluten, dairy, corn, wheat, nuts, meat. If a product is gluten-free, it should also be wheat free.

Flour-less bread, here’s the scoop: it just might contain whole wheat berries, or sprouted wheat. Wheat germ is another ingredient to be wary of on bread products, and will not be on the top line of the ingredients list of the bread product, more than likely, if there is wheat germ in your baked item, this will be listed on the second, third, or fourth line of ingredients; somewhere around sesame seed, poppy seed, fennel seed or spices.

Here is another quick tip from Betty Hagman, author of many books about wheat-free diets and more, avoid sirimi, something that composes the majority of much of our imitation sea food, as it is manufactured using wheat. Look on the label to see if the imitation sea food contains sirimi, if so, avoid it. If there is no label, find out who manufactures the product prior to purchasing it or using it, if you are allergic to wheat, your best bet is to avoid anything that is known to possibly contain wheat from an unknown source.

It is the summer, try finding someplace where there are no pesticides: contact an organization like EarthWorks, or the Christian Gardening Association, or your local gardening club to find out where the fresh organic produce is. Make your sandwiches with grape leaves, lettuce leaves, arugula leaves, spinach leaves, tender artichoke wraps for bite-sized sandwiches, the innermost leaves on a corn ear to make a tamale – go easy on yourself, enjoy your summer, these choices obviously contain no wheat in them.

Just because a product is flour-free does not mean that it is wheat free. Being wheat free does not mean being boring, it just means changing your diet a bit. Yes, there is a lot of rice to eat, not just long-grained white rice, or short-grained rice, or sweet dessert rice. There is also wild rice, jasmine rice, basmati bice, and other varieties of rice as well. Other varieties of grain products product include corn and corn meal, which make excellent corn bread, chess pie, johnny cakes, corn pancakes, stuffing, and more.

Exotic Grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, flax, and soy flour can also be used as a part of your diet.

Rice, rice and more rice – rice cakes, rice pudding, rice cookies, rice puffs, cream of rice, rice milk; these are obvious choices, all of these contain no wheat, and many of these are flavorful, the bite-sized rice cakes look like crackers. Then, there are those glossy rice crackers, imported from places like Japan, available at many supermarkets, that cost about $4.00 per pound, that are always in stock at Trader Joe’s or Wild Oats Marketplace.

Tapioca is another grain that is useful for people who are trying to avoid meat, and may already be in your refrigerator. Baked goods such as tapioca bread, tapioca pie crust, tapioca crunch balls, tapioca cookies, tapioca fruit fillings, tapioca thickening agents are easily produced. I have not figured out how to produce a tapioca souffle, yet.

Oatmeal is another excellent choice for a gluten-free grain. oatmeal, granola, oatmeal bars, oatmeal bread

Granola Turkey Stuffing

This is a special, savory granola 
1 cup granola 
1 cups oats 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or dried sage 
1/4 cup butter 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or dried oregano 
1 tablespoon crumbled sun-dried tomatoes, or 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

Mix ingredients together, and use to stuff turkey. If you have more fresh sage and fresh oregano, place at the opening of the turkey.

popcorn, popcorn balls, popcorn “monkey bread”

Captain Steve’s Seafood Restaurant Review

Located in Fort Mill, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina

Captain Steve’s Family Seafood Restaurant located in Fort Mill, North Carolina is a great place for affordable seafood dishes. Located at 1975 Highway 21 Bypass the same road that Carowinds Theme Park is located on but in the opposite direction about 5-8 miles up the road. Captain Steve’s is open Tuesday through Saturday usually from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. They accept cash and credit cards. Captain Steve’s has another restaurant located at 8517 Monroe Road with the same hours as well.

Food

Captain Steve’s is an affordable seafood restaurant located within the Charlotte Metro area that provides generous portions at affordable prices. Captain Steve’s is not a buffet seafood restaurant, but once you order you’ll have more food than you can eat. Taking home a white box is a must. They have everything from shrimp to hamburgers. Most of the food is fried and the food is greasy, So be prepared to use your napkins. Captain Steve’s serves soda, water and sweet tea. No alcohol beverages are sold. Kids can get a baby shrimp meal for free.

Captain Steve’s menu options can be viewed here

I recommend the Steve’s Fishermen platter at $13.95 comes with a filet of flounder, oysters, scallops, jumbo shrimp, baby shrimp and a deviled crab.

Space

Captain Steve’s seafood at Fort Mill, North Carolina is very large and spacious. The restaurant can accommodate small to very large groups. Another thing is that the restaurant parking lot is very large that can accommodate cars to buses. The parking lot will be packed, but you’ll have no problem getting seated within a few minutes. Captain Steve’s is handicap accessible.

Service

Captain Steve’s service is great from the time you enter the building by the host to sitting at your table ordering your seafood and having your drinks refilled. The staff is friendly and the bus boy’s clean the tables fairly quick.

Restaurant Cleanliness

Captain Steve’s if pretty clean considering the amount of traffic that moves through the restaurant on a daily basis. Silverware, glasses and plates have always been clean during my visits. Bathrooms are clean as well as the floors of the restaurant.

Overall, if your looking for a great seafood restaurant in Charlotte or the surrounding area you need to visit Captain Steve’s located in Fort Mill. You’ll receive a lot of seafood for your money and great service as well. The restaurant can accommodate any size party you may have and kids usually get a free baby shrimp dinner. Be prepared to take your food home because you’ll get stuffed with seafood and hushpuppies.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. It aires on the ABC Network, Friday evenings at 8e/7c. So far they have shown the premier, which aired two weeks ago, and last week was a two hour special. It was a repeat of the premier during the first hour and the first episode followed.

Jamie is on a mission to bring wholesome, healthy lunches to our school systems. After some research, it was reported that Huntington, West Virginia has the highest mortality rate that is caused by obesity. Jamie sets off to start his “Food Revolution.”

Jamie reaches out to the community of Huntington, West Virginia, via radio, where the host twists everything that Jamie says, sending the town into an uproar. This response brings Jamie to tears and filled with frustration. Never the less, he continues to strive forward.

He goes into a Huntington Elementary School to enlighten their way of thinking, cooking and feeding the children. Although the lunch ladies are less than enthusiastic about the changes being suggested, they go along with it and try it his way.

After a week of trying to get through to the staff, children and even the parents, Jamie inquires about utensils for a meal he is preparing for the kids. Reluctantly, the school comes up with plastic forks and knives. Soon the staff notices that many of the kids don’t know how to use their utensils. As the staff attempts to help the children learn to use the utensils, they also begin to encourage trying the new foods before them. This effort plus some really cool stickers motivates the kids to eat and the revolution is on its way!

Jamie is given permission to stay on at the elementary school two more weeks to continue his efforts. Elated Jamie accepts.

He then moves on to the High School to make some head way with the student over there. Much more receptive than the younger children he picks out a team of students to help change the thinking and choices the other kids are making.

This reality show is truly an eye opener. For this young man to come into our country and take this on himself to try to help us is an incredible act of kindness and love for people. This show is a must see. There is a petition on his website. Sign up and join the revolution!

Sources:

www.jamieoliver.com

The Best Food Options at Minute Maid Park

Foods at the Ballpark Are Far from Healthy but Some Choices Are Better Than Others

Let me tell you something: just about the worst eating you can do is at your local sports stadium. That is just a general rule. Sports fans go to sports events to be entertained. They watch athletes get exercise while they enjoy meaty, fatty foods and down loads of booze. I’m from Houston Texas, home of the Astros Baseball team. Here is the lo-down on all the food options available at Minute Maid Park and what your healthiest food options will be if you go there:

Food Items:

Hot Dogs- the chili meat on top of chili dogs is juicy and flavorful. You pay for it with the calories. I think that hot dogs are oily and fatty, but if you eat it plain or with mustard then it is probably one of the better choices at the ballpark. This is because a plain hotdog doesn’t have any of the liquid, viscous sauces that are jam packed with fats, sugars, and calories. Mustard is a low calorie condiment that adds a flavorful kick to your food.

Nachos- these are a common choice for baseball fans. You can get Buffalo Chicken nachos, BBQ Pulled Pork nachos, Beef Fajita nachos, or the traditional cheese nachos. This is the worst option for you. Nachos with meat run between one thousand and two thousand calories. This is how a meal consisting of nachos will break down: Salty corn chips with almost zero nutritional value; Melted cheese, which is jam packed with calories and salt; “Sloppy Joe” pulled pork meat that is almost the worst you can have because it is fatty, saucy, and oily; Sour cream has super high fat content. If you are trying to lose weight or be healthy then don’t do this to yourself!

Loaded Baked Potato- Don’t be fooled; a potato is a vegetable but that doesn’t make it the best choice for a healthy meal. In order for a vegetable to be able to compete flavor-wise with hotdogs, burgers, and nachos, it has to undergo a few modifications. It is loaded with butter, sour cream, and saucy piles of meat. The baked potato is a dangerous trap!

Burgers- These burgers are new and I haven’t had the chance to see them. Burgers aren’t by any means a safe diet food but I’m guessing that if you follow the same general idea as I mentioned in the hot dog suggestion I think that this may also be a better choice.

Peanuts- a classic ballpark food. Peanuts are high in fat but they have a healthier fat that is better for your body (in moderation). Don’t eat too many peanuts, though, because they are covered in salt.

Drink Choices:

If you want to be healthy then cut out the alcohol. It is jam packed with carbohydrates (and sugars if you get a fruity alcoholic beverage). You know that soda is a sugary drink that competes with the sugar content of candy. The answer for you is water or diet sodas. You will be getting enough rubbish from your food. You don’t need anything more from your drink.

Dessert/Candy:

You can choose between various candies, Ice creams, and cotton candies. The stadium sells blue bell ice cream, which is a no-no for you! It’s very creamy and high in fat. Especially avoid the sundaes drizzled with chocolate fudge and whipped cream. Candy is candy. It has the nutritional information printed on the box. You know what you are in for.

Food items available can be found at Astros.com http://mlb.mlb.com/hou/ballpark/index.jsp

Ten Worst Fast Food in the World

What are the 10 worst fast foods in the world?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 06: Junk food sits on a table as British Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver announces a partnership to attack state-wide obesity on March 6, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. The Victorian Government and the Good Foundation will pledge together over AUD5 million to bring Oliver’s ‘Ministry of Food’ to the state to help teach cooking techniques and nutrition to participants and help combat obesity as part of the Victorian Healthy Eating Enterprise. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Eating a hamburger, pizza or donuts can go from being a guilty pleasure to a dangerous situation if you don’t consider the number of calories you eat with each bite.

The cheese fries at Outback Steakhouse Aussie style with more than half the recommended calories per day.

It’s lunchtime and you want to vary the menu, go home cooking a hamburger. Everything is very delicious, but with each passing day realizes that his appetizer plate became ever.

Here is a list

How to Overcome Food Temptations

Food, it’s everywhere! Whenever families or friends gather for visits or celebrations, food is involved. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays, even funeral receptions involve food and the fancier, more tempting it is, the better! As food becomes more and more enmeshed in our lifestyles, the number of North Americans who are overweight or obese continues to climb.

There are strategies to eliminate, delay or lessen the intensity of the temptation to overeat. Take a minute to scan the following suggestions. If you are not in immediate need of them, you probably know someone who is.

* Eat a nourishing breakfast. It will kick-start your metabolism and keep you from being ravenously hungry by lunch time. Oatmeal is advised, not instant, but steel cut or rolled oats.

* Drink plenty of water. It’s a natural appetite suppressant and it flushes toxins and sodium from the body. If you don’t like plain water, try seltzer water. Either may be flavored with a slice of lemon.

* Remove temptation. Give away all the junk food and keep only healthy fare. Plan meals for the week. Make a list for the grocery store and stick to it. Never shop when hungry.

* Avoid the “white devils”, white sugar, white flour and salt.

* Pack a daily munchy bag for your fridge or purse. Vary the contents: peeled carrots, broccoli, cauliflower florets, green, red or yellow sweet pepper strips, green or yellow beans, etc. You need never be hungry and raw fruit and vegetables are low in calories and rich in vitamins and fiber.

* Avoid boredom. Take up a new hobby, keep yourself in reading material, socialize more. Become involved in a sport, a club or volunteer work. Being with other people will decrease loneliness and alleviate negative emotions which can lead to binge eating.

* Arrange to meet friends at places where there will be no food handy: the library, the park, a gym, the Y.W.C.A. or an art gallery.

* Sometimes you’ll want to eat out. Scout the neighborhood beforehand for restaurants that offer salads or other healthy fare at reasonable prices. Find the web site and plan a meal composed of low-cal menu items so you can order quickly and sensibly when the time comes.

* Break the bad habits you’ve acquired over time. A meal is a still a meal without dessert. Coffee need not be accompanied by a doughnut. Watching TV is a good time to catch up on sewing chores instead of snacking.

*If you’re really want a snack, try one of these super, fat-blasting, weight-loss aids. They will fill you up, not out:

SOUP. The combination of warm liquid and solids is satisfying and relaxing.

GREEN TEA. It boosts metabolism and is reported to have anti-cancer properties and to prevent heart disease. It is quite fashionable among diet-conscious celebrities.

LOW-FAT YOGURT. It is smoothly satisfying and a good source of both calcium and protein. In summer, it can be frozen and eaten like ice cream.

LEAN TURKEY. It is pure protein which boosts metabolism so the body burns fat and builds muscle.

FROZEN GRAPES. They are crunchy, cooling, a good source of vitamins and fiber.

GRAPEFRUIT. Its unique properties reduces insulin levels, which promotes weight loss. (If you’re on medication, check with your doctor. Grapefruit interacts badly with some drugs.)

APPLES and PEARS. These fruits are low-calorie and high-fiber choices. They will fill you up and keep you satisfied longer.

Any action, repeated consistently, will eventually become a habit. When you use these strategies over a period of time, they become automatic. When that happens you will have the weight-loss battle conquered for good.

When the family next gathers for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or another celebration, you’ll be able to binge a little because you’ll know you can revert to your healthy regimen the next day. However, you may find that you don’t have time to over-indulge. You’ll be too busy explaining to everyone how you got the smashing new figure.