Tag Archives: Food Information

August : What’s in Season?

Bruschetta Recipe | Lindsay Ann Loft

It’s the beginning of a new month, here’s a collection of what’s in season for August and recipes to go along with them!



What are your favorite foods in season?


Tomato Benefits

Tomatoes are an easy, healthful add to a diet. In New Jersey, you can’t beat a farm market fresh Jersey tomato. :) Tomorrow, I’m sharing a recipe for bruschetta, so in the spirit I’m sharing the benefits of tomatoes.

Tomatoes are rich in:

  • Lycopene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K

The Mayo Clinic describes the benefits of tomatoes: “Numerous studies correlate high intake of lycopene-containing foods or high lycopene serum levels with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration.”

Add fresh tomato to any sandwich, wrap, salad, or eat it on its own. Tomatoes can be used to make pasta sauce, bruschetta, salsa, and ketchup.  If you don’t care for the taste of raw tomatoes, try chopping them into smaller pieces. You might not even know they’re there.

How Do Vegetarians Get Protein?


“How do you get your protein?” As a vegetarian, it’s a question we hear all the time. I had a friend ask me this recently. From that experience, I realized that it’s an honest question coming from people who are curious about how others live their lives.

Sometimes people assume vegetarians eat nothing but kale and quinoa for every meal. :) Or maybe they think we eat nothing but pasta and breads all day (some do) but most, educated, vegetarians do not. In my experience of meeting other vegetarians, they have become so after careful introspection of their personal beliefs and information about food.

To give you a bit of  background, there are varying degrees of vegetarianism. Sometimes people consider pescitarians as vegetarians because they only eat fish. I consider this at the lighter end of meat eaters. The first group is lacto-ovo vegetarians (If I had to identify with a group this would be it) they eat plant based food but will also eat food that is derived from animals such as milk, cheese, honey, and eggs. I consider this group as simply, vegetarians. There are varying degrees of this group including people who will not consume dairy but will use honey, etc. It’s a matter of personal preference. Finally there are vegans, they will not eat products derived from animals, only plant foods. Belonging to this group can take work because there are a lot of hidden animal products in food. It is by no means impossible, just takes a good bit of research and dedication. Even something as simple as white sugar is not considered vegan because companies processes involve bone char (read more about it here).  If you are interested, I think a good place to start with veganism is Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life and book The Kind Diet. I’m not going to tell you that one group is better than the other or that you should join one group or any group. I like to keep this site open to people of all food beliefs and tastes. I tend to post veggie recipes because it’s what I like. I hope this gives you a basic knowledge of where vegetarians are coming from.

Now, on to protein. Food contains the following macro-nutrients: Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates, and Fiber. Source. Sometimes you’ll hear someone say “I’m not eating carbs”. Which is virtually impossible, so many foods have all of these in varying degrees. They will end up eating carbs in one way or another, there are carbs in broccoli. What these dieters avoid are mostly breads, pasta, etc… As a side note, whole wheat bread contains protein.

Protein is used for rebuilding cells in the body. The protein you eat is broken down and the amino acids from the foods are the building blocks used to help restore your cells. Source. Protein is important to your daily diet but so is eating, fiber, carbohydrates, and (YES!) fats. I’ll stop being sciency and move on to the daily values.

From the CDC: “In general, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein.” They suggest that Women ages 19 – 70+ should consume 46 grams of protein. Source. Take a look at the protein values of these foods:

Breakfast Foods:

5 Lunch Ideas Under 400 Calories

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

Looking for healthy lunch options under 400 calories? Here they are!  The calorie counts for these 5 lunches are for specific brands, be sure to look at the packaging for the food you are preparing. Personally, I do not count vegetables, if you want to, add them but the amounts wouldn’t be too much.
Some of these ideas work best when you cook ingredients the night before, assemble and are ready to heat for lunch.

Stir-fry – 366 Calories

  • Steamed vegetables – Free
  • Trader Joe’s Baked Tofu – 150 Calories
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice – 216 Calories

Veggie Burger & Baked Potato – 360 Calories

  • Garden Burger – 100 Calories
  • Arnold’s Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins – 100 Calories
  • Spinach – Free
  • Condiments – 50 Calories
  • Baked Potato – 110 Calories
  • Salsa – 50 Calories

Soup and Salad – 300 Calories

  • 2 Cups Lentil Soup – 200 Calories
  • 2 Cups Mixed Greens with Veggies – Free
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Salad Dressing – 50 Calories
  • Croutons – 50

PB&J and Apple – 372 Calories

  • 2 Slices Ezekiel Bread – 160 Calories
  • 1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter – 90 Calories
  • 1 Tablespoon raspberry jam – 50 Calories
  • Medium Red Apple – 72 Calories

Veggie Stuffed Pita – 320 Calories

  • Arnold’s Whole Wheat Pita – 200 Calories
  • Lettuce, Cucumber, Shredded Carrots, Sprouts – Free
  • 2 Tablespoons Hummus – 50 Calories
  • 1/4 Cup Chickpeas – 70 Calories

Do you think you’ll make any of these lunches? Next week I will share breakfast ideas! Share your feed back in the comments below.


5 Questions About Quinoa

photo credit: nerissa's ring via photopin cc

photo credit: nerissa’s ring via photopin cc

It seems that I can’t open a magazine or browse Pinterest without seeing recipes that include quinoa or brag about its nutritional value. If you have quinoa questions I have answers.

  1. I bought a Bag of Quinoa… now what?
    I have been asked this question a few times, you know that quinoa is a superfood and full of protein but what do you do with it? It’s a lot like rice. You can cook it in a pot or in a rice cooker with water, spices, or broth. Use the ratio of 1 parts quinoa to 2 parts liquid and cook until fluffy and tender. You can cook it in my favorite, quinoa and cheese or make quinoa pilaf.
  2. What is Quinoa?
    Quinoa is a grain and while it is cooked like wheat, barley, rye and oats, it is in the same food family that contains spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. It comes from South America and exploded in popularity a few years ago.
  3. Where Do I find Quinoa?
    Check out the bulk bins of your grocery and store in a clean, dry, glass jar. Before cooking, it is best to rinse the quinoa.
  4. What Nutritional Value Does Quinoa Have?
    Quinoa is high in protein and amino acids. “It is also a good source of heart-healthy magnesium, folate, and fiber, as well as bone-building phosphorus and copper.” Source.
  5. How do I say it?
    Quinoa is pronounced as KEEN-wah. I think it’s so much fun to say. When I introduced it to my husband, he brought it up in every conversation he had with family and friends. I think it was because it’s so much fun to say.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for a recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.

photo credit: fred_v via photopin cc

photo credit: fred_v via photopin cc