Chocolate and Berries Breakfast, Bring Romance to Valentine’s Day

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This year, I am not sharing Valentines Day with someone special. But I will celebrate it with chocolate, starting with the indulgence of Chocolate Blini with Raspberry Drizzle for breakfast.

I created these petite pancakes to serve as dessert, perhaps at a romantic dinner for two. With Valentine’s Day this year falling on a Sunday, I realized they would also be a sensuous way to start the day.

Hazelnut Blini_07smallThese pancakes are called blini because they are about the same size as the little ones that Russians serve with caviar or smoked salmon.

Read more… “Chocolate and Berries Breakfast, Bring Romance to Valentine’s Day”


    Build a Cancer-Fighting Fridge in Five Steps

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    Cancer Prevention Month is a great time to make it easier than ever for you and your family to make a habit of choosing healthy, cancer-protective foods for those times you wander into the kitchen looking for a little bite to eat or need a quick meal.

    Starting with your refrigerator and freezer, re-stocking and rearranging can make all the difference in what you choose. Follow these five steps and you and your family will be on the road to healthier eating and lower cancer risk.

    1. Fill your freezer with easy-prep veggies and fruit: Frozen greens, peas, corn and other veggies are simple to steam for a quick side at dinner. Mix frozen fruit chunks and berries for a colorful and healthful dessert or smoothie. Ditch the frozen fries and make room for bags of convenient, affordable frozen fruits and veggies.
    2. Swap out refined “white” grains with cancer-fighting whole grains: Keep whole grain wraps, pitas and sliced bread in the freezer to make a quick sandwich or use the pita or a whole-wheat crust for a healthy homemade pizza. And, instead of Healthy Fridge Final[2] (1)white rice, stock up on already cooked frozen brown rice – super convenient as a base for veggie stir-fry or stew.
    3. Stock up on carrots, celery, bell pepper, apples and oranges: Produce items like these are cost effective and have minimal waste. Cut up those veggies and fruits, clear off your top fridge shelf and put them on a tray front and center. Place your favorite dip there too, so when you and your kids open the fridge door, you can easily grab a veggies and fruit snack.
    4. Feature creative healthy beverages and ditch the sugary drinks: Sugary beverages contribute to obesity, a cause of 10 types of cancer. You can replace sodas and other sweet drinks with a couple pitchers or bottles of water – plain and sparkling, along with plain black, green or herbal teas. As a family, experiment adding in fruits like lemon, lime or orange slices, frozen berries, a splash of 100% juice or fresh herbs like basil, mint or ginger slices. Make flavored ice cubes with juice, tea or chopped fruit.
    5.  Use see-through containers for healthy ingredients: Next to the plain yogurt, keep leftover canned fruit chunks, sunflower seeds, nuts and other fruit in see-through containers to inspire a colorful yogurt parfait. Put the peanut butter jar, hummus container and leftover chicken where it’s easy to see and grab.

    Now that your fridge and freezer are stocked and ready to go, try these ideas for quick and affordable meals and snacks:

    Winter Veggie Pita Pizzas (and other recipes)

    Get your free Cancer Prevention Action Planner for 30 steps to better health

    AICR Healthy Kids


      How you can cook up cancer-fighting broccoli rabe (rapini or raab)

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      After many years of writing about new ideas and unexpected ways to enjoy familiar foods to appear in print, I am now sharing them as a blog. If you already know my Something Different recipes, I hope you’ll enjoy seeing them in living color and with even more detail. If it these recipes are catching your eye for the first time, welcome.

      As a food writer, I get invited to some intriguing events. One of my favorites last year featured not Champagne, posh chocolates, or over-the-top desserts. It starred broccoli rabe, aka rapini, raab, and cima di rape.

      Broccoli rabe’s distinctive, bitter and pungent taste is not for everyone, but at this event the family that distributes most of the rabe grown commercially in the U.S. served up dishes with wide appeal. Some were authentically Italian, like arancini, fried rice and cheese balls, filled with broccoli rabe, or a colorful combo of roasted potatoes and roasted rabe drizzled with lemon. More surprising was a vivid smoothie blending broccoli rabe with apple, banana, pineapple juice and yogurt.

      But best of all was pasta tossed with broccoli rabe pesto.

      Broccoli Rabe Fusilli-05At home, I tweaked the irresistible pesto to suit my taste, using less oil and sharp pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese instead of Parmesan. This also made it better combined with the taste of whole-wheat pasta. Plus I topped my version with juicy cherry tomatoes rolled in a hot skillet until they sizzle and burst. Read more… “How you can cook up cancer-fighting broccoli rabe (rapini or raab)”