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Emily Mckenna's Blog

March 8, 2012 - 11:53am

Quinoa is one of nature’s superfoods. Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is a tiny, nutty-tasting, gluten-free grain, that delivers healthy doses of protein and fiber. It is also one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, meaning that it provides the body with all 9 essential amino acids. A 1/2-cup serving of quinoa has 111 calories, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein and 3 g fiber. Even better, this nutritional heavyweight is practically foolproof to cook and has become my go-to grain when I don’t have much time to cook, since quinoa cooks in about 15 minutes.

Must-Try: Warm Quinoa Salad...

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February 22, 2012 - 11:48am

I am one of many grandkids in a large family of first-generation Italian-Americans. This means that I grew up eating lots of pasta—Sunday rigatoni and meatballs at my aunt’s house, Friday-night linguine and clam sauce from my mother and, on almost any day of the week, a big bowl of spaghetti or ravioli from my grandmother.

I rely on pasta when I need a cheap and easy-to-fix dinner in a pinch. (Try one of these 30-minute easy pasta recipes.) The challenge now is making sure that I make a complete, balanced meal that fills me up. Here are a few of my pasta-night strategies:

1. Choose Whole-Wheat Pasta: Almost every major brand of pasta at the supermarket offers a whole-wheat or whole-grain option. This...

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February 15, 2012 - 11:40am

There is a small café called 3 Squares a few miles from the EatingWell offices that makes what I consider to be the world’s best French toast. It’s nothing fancy—made with challah bread and served with cinnamon whipped cream, sliced berries and bananas. It is the kind of breakfast that I crave, and I have made it my mission to figure out how to make it (and make it healthier) at home. Here are my secrets to perfect, healthier French toast:

Get the Right Bread: You want bread that does not have too chewy or tough a crust or too many holes. This means steer clear of your beloved French baguette and fancy artisan breads. And while bread made from white all-purpose flour may taste good, it won’t do much for you nutritionally. But you don’t have to sacrifice taste to get the benefits of fiber...

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January 30, 2012 - 11:53am

I learned to make really good guacamole on a ranch in the middle of Montana where I cooked for a family of die-hard Mexican-food fans. This family frequently requested Mexican dinner buffets, complete with a mix of salsas, guacamole and homemade tortilla chips. Having to make guacamole over and over again meant that during the course of my few months with them, I became a guacamole expert.

Delicious Recipes to Try:
Quick Guacamole & More 5-Ingredient Dip Recipes
7-Layer Southwestern Bean Dip & More Healthy Super Bowl Appetizers
Healthier Buffalo Wings...

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January 20, 2012 - 11:59am

My mother makes the world’s best meatloaf, but it’s as high in fat and calories as it is delicious, so as much as I like it, it doesn’t fit into my diet. Instead of giving it up, I’ve decided to tweak her recipe to fit my needs. With a few easy tricks and switches I can have my meatloaf, with less fat and calories, and eat it too.
Healthy Recipes to Try: 5 Delicious Meatloaf Recipes

1. Go Lean:
Buy meat, including beef or pork, that is 90% lean or leaner. You can cut even more saturated fat by mixing in some super-lean ground chicken or turkey.

2. Add Grains:
Replace a portion of the meat with whole grains, such as cooked quinoa, bulgur or barley, all healthy whole...

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