“To your health!”

If you love to eat, if you’re looking for healthier ways to make the foods you love, if you want to feel and look your best,  you’ve come to the right place.

My goal is to inform, inspire, motivate, and bring a smile to your face. I’ll give you the latest  nutrition news, food and lifestyle tips, easy to make recipes, video demonstrations, and much more, including a note of inspiration now and then.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter at Janet Zappala and check out my Wealth of Health webisodes at www.janetzappala.tv

Kids are back in school and it's really important to make sure they're eating well. A healthful lunch made up of protein, fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and fat-free flavored milk help to ensure your kids are getting the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy. For more info. and a dollar off coupon on their delicious deli meats, please visit https://www.facebook.com/saraleedeli. Fat-free flavored milk is another great treat that does your kids bodies good. With 9 essential nutrients, including vitamin D, calcium, protein and potassium, and fewer calories and sugar, it's a healthy choice. For more information visit www.milkatschools.com. Green Giant offers up Seasoned Steamers for busy families on the go. Chef inspired seasonings bring vegetables to a whole new level! Visit www.greengiant.com. To your health! Janet

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Join me for What's Cooking? on Blog Talk Radio, Friday, June 15th at 3pm when featured guest, vegan Brian Murphy shares his knowledge of veganism. Find out what vegans eat and believe. For them it's not just about the food, it's a lifestyle. You can also visit his website at isitvegan.com for lots of great information on and about being a vegan.

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Veggie Sandwich

June 14, 2012

Enjoy this especially tasty sandwich anytime you’re in the mood for a nibble or a nosh. This easy-to-make snack is low in fat and calories, yet still tastes delicious. Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 7 minutes for a hot sandwich Serves 1 Light mayonnaise and/or mustard/or a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil 2 slices whole-grain bread 2 slices roasted turkey 2 slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese (such as Jarlsberg Lite) 4 slices ripe Roma tomato 4 slices avocado Handful of broccoli or alfalfa sprouts Salt and pepper to taste For Cold Sandwich: Spread some mayonnaise and/or mustard on one slice of bread. Layer the bread with roasted turkey slices, cheese, tomato, avocado, sprouts, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with the remaining bread slice. Cut the sandwich in half. Serve with fresh fruit and wholegrain chips. For Hot Sandwich: Set toaster oven temperature on toast/broil. Spread mayonnaise and/or mustard on one slice of bread. Layer the bread with roasted turkey slices, cheese, and tomato. Place the sandwich in the toaster oven; set on broil for 7 minutes. After 4 minutes, place remaining bread slice in oven beside the first slice. When done, remove both slices from the oven. Add the avocado and sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and top with the remaining bread slice. Cut the sandwich in half and serve.  Light and healthy, enjoy!

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We welcomed Jimmy Carbone—a NYC-based restaurateur and dedicated social entrepreneu, to "What's Cookin?" on Blog Talk Radio today.
Jimmy spearheads the Food Karma Projects in NYC, and is dedicated to community building by creating unique events that showcase the best local food, chefs, beer and wine, and create a social impact that benefits worthy non-profit groups.  Visit http://foodkarmaprojects.com/ for more information.
Also, if you're in the NYC area, don't forget the The Ultimate Picnic on Governors Island over Memorial Day weekend, May 26th & 27th at the 5 Boro PicNYC: A 2-day-only celebration of craft beer, gourmet eats, and live tunes on Governors Island, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Check out  http://5boropicnyc.com/ for all you need to know. Hope to see you there!

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Oysters Rockefeller

April 27, 2012

I love this recipe because it features great flavors, a good amount of nutrition, and it's quick and easy to make. Oysters are an excellent source of protein, zinc, and lipids, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D. So enjoy them, and make sure you go to a reputable fish monger to get the very freshest oysters available. Oysters Rockefeller 24 fresh oysters on the half shell/make sure the oysters are still alive and tightly closed 4 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance 4 tablespoons fresh spinach leaves, finely minced 1 1/2 tablespoons onion, finely minced 2 tablespoons curly parsley, finely minced 3 tablespoons bread crumbs, Italian Style Tabasco sauce to taste Herbsaint/a spirit you can purchase at a liquor store (tastes like aniseed) Salt to taste Rock salt for presentation on the plate Lemon wedges for garnish To Prepare: Pry open shells with oyster knife, remove oyster to a bowl and discard top shell, saving the juice in a separate bowl. Scrub and dry the bottom half of shell. In a large saucepan melt butter, add spinach, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, tabasco sauce, Herbsaint, and salt. Cook under medium heat, stirring constantly for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and press the cooked mixture through a strainer and let cool. Then arrange mixture in individual shells. Pre-heat oven to broil Using an ovenproof plate, line and layer with rock salt, moistening the salt just a little. Arrange filled oyster shells on top of rock salt. They should be level. Add a little of the reserved oyster juice to the tops of the spinach mixture. Broil about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. Topping should bubble when ready. Garnish platter with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges, and enjoy a delicious treat! Serves 4

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If you want to see some of NY city's most historic and "tasty" sites, you'll want to check out urbanoyster.com. See and learn the history of beer brewery's in Brooklyn by taking the Brewed in Brooklyn tour, and enjoy more than hot dogs and pretzels on the Food Cart Tours, everything from Pakistani to Persian food.

New York City Tours by Urban Oyster

Revealing the hidden pearls of New York City's neighborhoods!

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Tune in now to What's Cookin?" on BlogTalk Radio. We're talking to the man who started up Urban Oyster nyc walking tours. You'll find out more about these special and unique tours at http://www.urbanoyster.com/

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Nutrition is key when it comes to our health. What we put into our bodies everyday plays a crucial role in determining our health over the years, and there's no better time than the present to choose your food wisely. Honestly, I live to eat. One of my greatest pleasures is eating deliciously healthful foods, and providing my body what it needs to run at optimum levels. Which allows me to use all that great energy for the things I love, be it my work, play, exercise, cooking, whatever it is, I have an endless amount of energy to get the job done! One of my favorite newsletters is Environmental Nutrition, every issue offers up really useful information about food, nutrition and health. In the May, 2012 issue, EN features an article on the whole food movement, a topic that's near and dear to me. Whole foods vs. processed, it's really a no brainer. When it comes to good health, eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood and legumes fit the bill. If you do one thing to better your diet, go for whole foods. As EN reports, "Highly processed foods such as refined carbohydrates have a lower nutrient profile, and are lower in fiber." I'll add to that the fact that highly processed foods are laden with sweeteners, salt, dyes, and artificial ingredients. When selecting good-for-you foods, try to make sure you fill your basket with whole grains like quinoa, wheatberry, barley and brown rice. All important legumes like lentils, garbanzo beans and peas are also wise choices, and don't forget seeds like sunflower, pumpkin and sesame, and nuts. Walnuts for example, contain heart-healthy omega 3's, and almonds have calcium and vitamin D, and are excellent sources of fiber. Finally, drink wisely. Pure water, green, black and white teas are all good choices. So raise your glass knowing you're doing your body a big favor.      

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I received this from a friend who found it on Planet Matters and More @http://www.planetmattersandmore.com/food-and-the-environment/national-garlic-day-april-19/

If you love garlic, here are many reasons to eat plenty of it!

bulb of garlicIt’s tough to think about life without garlic, especially if you’re an avid cook, or just a plain old fashioned fan of eating. Are we wrong on this? If you’re of some cultural persuasions, then you might even be inclined to throw a few bulbs in the oven from time to time, cover it in a bit of butter or salt, roast it to a golden yellow, and eat it whole, or spread over a bit of toasted baguette like it’s a savory, special jam. Garlic, beloved for both its heartiness in the ground as well as its ability to flavor just about any dish from just about any cultural cuisine, has so much to offer beyond mere flavor, including a ton of health benefits. The garlic bulb is a considered to be a native plant of central Asia whose history has been noted by some to be as long as six thousand years. Gracing the kitchens, cooking, and dishes of disparate cultures from the Mediterranean to Africa, all over Europe and especially Asia, garlic is a staple that has more than proven its dietary worth. History of Garlic: A Brief Guide to the Bulb Garlic FlowerAmong the world’s greatest producers of garlic, China tops the list, followed by India, among others. It’s been talked about as being used as a dietary staple by the Egyptians, who fed it to workers as they built the pyramids. It’s been noted to have been used as a weapon against the plague during the Middle Ages. The exact etymology of the word garlic comes from Old English: garleac,which means spear leek. And of course, the lore of garlic extends into mythology? Should we call it that? With strands of garlic bulbs considered to be one of the few things a mortal person could use to defend themselves against the threat of a vampire. Health Benefits of Garlic: Believe the Hype? Or Not? If you’re alive, then most likely you’ve heard once or twice that eating garlic on a consistent basis has a net positive effect on your overall health. So what’s the deal here? Several cultures and medicinal styles regard garlic as a kind of miracle drug served up directly from the universe’s doctor, Mother Nature. Prevents cancer? Maybe. We’ve heard that. Turning your high blood pressure back down to normal levels? We’ve heard about that too. Fighting off the flu or seasonal cold? Sure, throw that in there. But is it all true? What we do know about garlic, is that it contains seventeen different amino acids. And it contains a wealth of necessary vitamins, including C. Including B-1. Including Vitamin A, as well. Did you know that garlic contains calcium? What about iron? Minerals such as these, and magnesium too, are all on the list of healthy benefits of eating garlic. As a medicinal herb, garlic has been shown to positively impact the body in the following ways (according to our friends at Holiday Insights):
  • Phytochemicals in garlic are believed to provide protection against heart disease and cancer. Specifically, stomach and colo-rectal cancers.
  • Helps to fight off colds and flu.
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels.
  • Reduces the buildup of plaque in arteries.
  • Used as a treatment for acne and warts.
  • Used for toothaches
When you cut or crush garlic during the cooking process, the bulb contains an enzyme that combines with an amino acid. This new combination creates a compound known as allicin, which has been shown to kill more than twenty types of bacteria (and that includes staphylococcus AND salmonella). When you heat up garlic during the cooking process, the bulb works a different kind of magic, and another new compound is formed.  This one has been shown to prevent human arteries from clogging. Further benefits of heated garlic include the herb’s ability to reduce blood pressure, and to lower a person’s cholesterol levels. According to some sources, garlic also has the ability to thin human’s blood, which has been shown to aid in the prevention of both strokes, and heart attacks.

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Wine and cheese go together like cereal and milk, but did you know that there is an art to pairing certain wines with certain cheeses? To get the biggest burst of flavor, you must know which wines go best with which cheeses. It's all about one complimenting the other. So much so that the taste experience is taken to a totally different level. Two experts on this delicate art are the wine and cheese sisters, Ronnie and Kathy, who are featured guests on my blog talk radio show, What's Cookin'? this week. They'll also be seen in two upcoming video segments of Janet's Kitchen where they'll share some simple tips on why, for example, a light white goes best with a young cheese such as goat...and they're full of great ideas on how to throw an inexpensive wine & cheese party. One that's easy to prep and bursting with flavor! Up until now, I would grab my favorite cheese and wine and that would be it. Not wrong, but there's is so much more enjoyment to be had with just a little knowledge about the pairing of this special duo we know as wine & cheese. Like strawberries dipped in chocolate, they're a marriage made in culinary heaven.    

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