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Penelope Wall's Blog (Page 5)

October 29, 2010 - 10:31am

Long time ago, when my parents were young and goofy and in love, my father used to sing that old classic song to my mother, “You’re the cream in my coffee / You’re the salt in my stew / You will always be my necessity / I’d be lost without you.” Then the whole family would sing along together (yes, we were that cheesy). As kids do, my sisters and I would make up new lyrics with our favorite flavor combos (jam on my toast, sauce on my pasta). Some foods are just meant to be together.

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October 19, 2010 - 11:01am

Every time I see a cereal commercial on TV touting the benefits of whole grains, I feel like someone’s wagging a finger at me. I know whole grains are good for me: they provide a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients and are also rich in carbohydrates, the body’s main fuel supply. In fact, the current USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume around six ounces of grains daily, and that we make half those grains whole.

Related: Experts’ 8 food “rules” you should follow

But as much as I consider myself a healthy eater, I have a hard time meeting those guidelines on a regular basis. Do you? (If not, congratulations! You’re one of...

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October 11, 2010 - 11:18am

Lately I’m trying to appreciate and cultivate simple pleasures in my daily routine—little things that bring me joy (and reduce my stress levels). Things like: sitting at the table at mealtime, taking a walk with my husband after work, having baked potatoes for dinner. Baked potatoes!

The ultimate comfort food—starchy and warm and filling—baked potatoes are the perfect antidote to a chilly autumn night. It’s amazing how something so wholesome, so available and inexpensive could be so delicious too. But it’s true.

Related: Twice-Baked Potatoes and More Diet-Friendly Comfort Foods
Oven Fries...

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September 29, 2010 - 11:33am

Vegetarian cooking is all the rage these days and I’m all for it. In addition to the environmental benefits, research shows cutting back on meat may have a host of health benefits, which is appealing to me too, including improved blood pressure, decreased risk of heart disease, lowered cholesterol and better weight control. But to the uninitiated, vegetarian cooking can be a little intimidating. Just replacing meat with starchy refined carbs and cheese may be “eating vegetarian”—but it’s not eating healthfully, and it’s certainly not satisfying.

In general, women need roughly 46 grams of protein per day and men need 56 grams per day.  Women who are pregnant or lactating need an additional 25 grams of protein per day. So how do you get enough protein in your diet when you're not eating meat? I love trying out recipes...

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September 10, 2010 - 11:30am

I’m not gonna lie to you—I have boxed mac & cheese at home. There are two boxes of shells and cheese sitting in my cupboard just pining to be my next dinner. But here’s the real truth: they’ve been sitting there for months gathering dust, and they will continue to do so. Do you want to know why? Nine times out of ten I just want the real deal. I want real extra-sharp Cheddar (just enough to make it taste great) and I want to be able to pronounce what goes onto my dinner plate. (Sodium Tripolyphosphate, anyone? Mmmmmm, yummy!)

Related: Baked Mac & Cheese and More Healthy Creamy Pasta Recipes

Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac & cheese nearly as fast as...

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