New England Gingerbread Pudding, A Classic Holiday Dessert

As someone who considers herself handy in the kitchen, this has been one of the most interesting (unusual?) recipes I’ve ever followed. Mostly because until yesterday I had never heard of cornmeal pudding. In fact, when I was approached by the moderators of this blog to see if I would be interested in evaluating the recipe, my first response after glancing at the ingredient list was “Oh no, they wrote cornmeal, not corn starch!” As you can imagine, I was initially apprehensive about the success of this dish.

But I’m willing to be proven wrong, and I consider myself a bit of a savant when it comes to homemade puddings, thanks in large part to the wisdom of Maya Angelou’s cookbook, The Welcome Kitchen. There are few things more comforting than a nice, warm pudding on a rainy afternoon, so I set to work.

image001I  first preheated the oven to 300 degrees, and then began the pudding by scalding 5 cups of milk in a medium saucepan, a step designed to help to milk mix smoothly with the cornmeal. Because I don’t have a double boiler, I worked over a low heat to avoid burning the pudding. Continue reading


Mindfully Eating Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Has this ever happened? You’re watching TV, you’ve finished your meal and you don’t remember eating it?  Or you took those last few bites even though you were already too full?

These are examples of mindless eating.

Becoming mindful of our eating habits can help us reduce how much we eat and get more satisfaction from what we do eat.

Three tips for more mindful eating:

1.            Identify external triggers that influence your eating

Common triggers for overeating are large meal plates and readily available high calorie snacks. Both can lead to eating more calories than you need to be satisfied. Try this:

  • Eating from plates 10” or less in diameter
  • Replace junk food in your home and office with fruit, whole grain crackers or other low calorie snacks

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Sea salt: A healthier salt?

As a dietetic intern, I often find myself noticing people’s mealtime habits.  One of these is the use of sea salt. People are loading on the sea salt because they believe it’s the better-for-you version of table salt – lower in sodium and higher in healthful minerals.

What’s the truth? Is sea salt better for you? Let’s check it out.

Salt, Sodium – What’s the difference?

Table salt is sodium chloride. Salt is added to many processed and fast foods causing most Americans to consume too much salt and therefore too much sodium. And too much sodium can contribute to high blood pressure and increase risk of stomach cancer.

What’s the difference between Sea Salt and Table Salt?

One serving size of sea salt is larger in volume than one serving size of table salt because sea salt is coarser than table salt and its crystals are much larger. Here’s how they compare gram for gram:

sea salt = 320 mg of sodium

table salt = 388 mg sodium

The difference is not significant.  The problem here is that we are consuming too much sodium,* not what type of salt we’re eating.

Is there any reason to choose sea salt?

Continue reading