Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken, A Juicy (Healthier) Barbecue

My bucket list has always centered on food.

Item: Stroll home from my local boulangerie with a fresh baguette tucked under my arm, like a true Parisienne. Check – I did it many times when I lived in Paris apprenticing as a cook.

Item: Eat freshly made ricotta cheese in the mountains of Sicily. Check – It was as rustic and delicious as it sounds, arriving at sunrise with mist rising from the valley and a light breeze carrying sheep smell as we warmed our hands around wooden bowls filled with creamy, slightly grainy curds of ricotta just made by shepherds over a wood fire.

Item: Eat genuine barbecue. Double Check. The first time was while driving through Texas Hill Country. I cannot recall the name of the place but their brisket, slow-cooked over wood, was to die for. The second time was pickin’ pig with Julia Child in Atlanta. Standing with other guests, including Julia, at a specially arranged barbecue, around a whole pit-roasted pig arrayed on a picnic table, pulling off meltingly tender strands, we agreed it was divinely messy and memorable. Continue reading

Sweet, crunchy and spicy, coleslaw made healthy

Coleslaw is a staple side with barbecue and Tex-Mex style dishes because of the cool, refreshing crunch it adds to a heavier meal. I’ve always been a fan of citrus or vinegar-based slaws rather than traditional mayonnaise-based ones. The acidity from this type of slaw pairs well with the sauces and flavors that are common in BBQ and Tex-Mex dishes. The lighter dressing also helps brings out the natural flavors of the veggies in the coleslaw.

For today’s Healthy Recipe, I made a modified version of AICR’s fiesta slaw featuring a variety of colorful bell peppers instead of traditional cabbage and carrots. Bell peppers are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C. Additionally, they contain numerous phytochemicals, which may help reduce your risk of cancer.

I love that this recipe includes a variety of naturally sweet, crunchy and spicy ingredients – the sweetness from the orange juice, mango and apple cut some of the heat from the jalapeño pepper.

It’s also one of the most vibrant veggie sides I’ve ever made. I always emphasize the importance of eating a rainbow to my patients and clients. The colors in foods represent different nutrients and phytochemicals, so the more (naturally) colorful your foods are the better! Veggiespic1_SG

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Can a messy kitchen lead to more sweet snacking?

How messy is your kitchen? A new study suggests that chaotic environments, such as a messy kitchen, and our mind-set in that environment may affect our ability to make healthy choices when it comes to snacking.

Choosing healthy meals and snacks can help to maintain a healthy weight and decrease cancer risk. This means that by decreasing chaos and feeling more in control, you may make it easier to eat healthy for cancer prevention.

The study is published in the Environment and Behavior journal.

messy and clean kitchen

Can a messy kitchen lead to eating more sweets?

Female college undergraduate students were put into either a standard kitchen or a messy chaotic kitchen. The standard kitchen was organized and quiet with no disruptions. In contrast the chaotic kitchen was messy with tables out of place and pots and pans scattered around. During the experiment, the chaotic kitchen participants were interrupted by researchers moving tables and banging put and pans as they cleaned up the mess.

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