5th Nov 2015

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The Best Way To Use Ground Turkey

If you are looking for a cheaper and lower fat alternative to ground beef, you should try substituting it in any recipe you use ground beef in. The difference in taste is minor but the health benefits in eating ground turkey over beef might make you a convert.

Using ground turkey to make meatballs for a quick family dinner, it is unlikely that you will detect any difference from those made with beef, except of course that when you brown the meat, you will not see the same amount of grease in the pan. Grease leads to high blood pressure which is not healthy for anyone, be they young or old.

Another way to use ground turkey is to make a turkey meatloaf. This can be accomplished by taking the ground turkey adding one beaten egg per pound, spices, bread crumbs and ketchup or tomato sauce and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour at 350 degrees. This simple recipe will provide your family with a nutritious meal, without the fat that a meatloaf made with ground beef would.

A third way to use ground turkey is to either make ground turkey burgers or mix it with ground beef to lessen the fat contact of 100 percent beef burgers. You can even try adding the ground beef and ground turkey mixture to a home made pizza for that local restaurant taste similar to the ones found here. The substitution is painless, your family will probably not be aware of the difference, unless you tell them. We are all looking for ways to eat more healthy. Cooking with ground turkey,adding vegetables or rice to our recipes instead of being dependent on beef alone as an ingredient will get us to that place sooner than if we only eat a red meat like beef.

Ground turkey can be stuffed into green peppers or other vegetables instead of beef to make stuffed peppers. Anything you make with ground turkey has to be spiced up, as turkey is a meat that does not have any intrinsic flavor of its own. Ground beef recipes are easily convertible to ones with ground turkey, but you will have to add more spices and perhaps an egg and bread crumbs to bind the ground turkey into a burger or a meatball. You can look at ground turkey as a pale substitute for ground beef.

Personally, I prefer to mix ground turkey and beef together so that the unique beef taste comes through with the turkey. Of course, 100 percent turkey recipes do not contain any fat, and this fact is something to consider when cooking with ground turkey.

4th Nov 2015

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A Quick Family Dinner Idea

With hectic schedules it is hard to prepare a dinner that is nutritious, filling, and something that the entire family will eat. There is help to this problem. The following recipes are for quick family dinners everyone will enjoy from adults to children. Afterwards, during movie time, try cooking popcorn on the stove top for a quick treat for the family.

Chinese Corn and Egg Soup

This recipe is tasty and everyone in the family will enjoy it. The best part is that it only takes around 15 minutes to make. To make this soup the following ingredients are going to be needed:

  •  1 can cream corn
  •  1 cup chicken broth
  •  ¼ cup cooked and diced ham
  •  salt
  •  pepper
  •  1 egg, beaten

To make the soup mix the corn, chicken broth, and the ham in a pot. Bring to a boil Allow to cook 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn the heat off on the stove. Slowly pour in the egg. This soup should be served hot.

Coffee Rubbed Skirt Steak

A good piece of meat is filling and will keep everyone in the family full. This skirt streak is easy to make and has a nice seasoning on it. To make this steak the following ingredients are going to be needed:

  •  1 tbs. ground coffee
  •  1 tbs. light brown sugar
  •  1 ½ tsp. chili powder
  •  1 1/2tsp paprika
  •  1tsp salt
  •  ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  •  1 ½ pound skirt steak

To make this recipe mix the coffee, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, salt, and the pepper. Rub onto both sides of the meat. Put the steak on a hot grill and cook 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the steak from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before cutting. This steak will have a nice taste that the family will enjoy.

Tortellini Salad With Salmon

This salad has fish to make it more filling and to put a new twist on macaroni salad. To make this recipe the following ingredients are needed:

  •  8 oz salmon, skin removed
  •  salt
  •  pepper
  •  1 lb. tortellini
  •  ¾ cup mayonnaise
  •  2 tbs lemon juice
  •  1 cup peas

Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Put onto a hot grill. Cook 12 to 15 minutes. While the fish is cooking boil a pot of water. Add the tortellini and cook for 7 minutes. Drain the pasta. Mix the mayonnaise and the lemon juice. Add the tortellini and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Gently add the salmon.

These are some quick and easy recipes that the entire family will enjoy. They do not take a lot of time to make but are big on taste and satisfaction.

3rd Nov 2015

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Microwave VS Stove Top Popcorn

Popcorn is a favorite alternative treat to sugary snacks for both adults and children. Popcorn is light and airy and fun to eat. There are two different ways to make popcorn. Popcorn comes in microwavable bags. All a person has to do it heat it up and the popcorn is ready to go. Popcorn can also be made on the stovetop. Corn kernels are popped on the stove and are ready to serve. Many people have a preference and prefer one type of popcorn over the other.

Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn is very easy to make. It comes in small bags and is ready between two to three minutes. This popcorn comes in a number of flavors with everything from butter to cheese. The popcorn is salty yet addictive. This popcorn has an intense flavor and a person cannot stop from eating it.

Stove Top Popcorn

Stove top popcorn taste good in its own way. The popcorn kernels are cooked in hot oil which many people feel gives it a better flavor. People also say that the quality of stovetop popcorn is better. The oil may get to be overwhelming after the first couple of handfuls of popcorn. This popcorn is also easy to prepare. All a person has to do is heat up some oil in a pan on the stove and add the popcorn. A cover is recommended so that popcorn does not fly all over the place once it starts to pop. If a person wants they can melt butter and add it to the popcorn. It really does not need more butter since it is being cooked in oil.

There are other factors as to why people prefer one type of popcorn over the other. Depending on the brand that a person selects for microwave popcorn a person can pay over three dollars a box. Purchasing kernels are often less expensive.

Nutritional Popcorn Facts

There are some nutritional differences between these types of popcorns. As long as a person does not use too much oil stovetop popcorn has fewer calories then microwave popcorn. With microwave popcorn it is easy to eat the whole bag which means a person will be eating more calories as well as a number of additives and preservatives.

Both microwave and stovetop popcorn are satisfying. They do taste good but it is often personal preference that a person uses to decide if they want to make microwave popcorn or cook the kernels on the stove top.

2nd Nov 2015

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Replace Sugary Snacks With Fruit

Sugar tends to quite rightly get a bad press nowadays. Over consumption is not just terrible for teeth but also a major cause of unhealthy weight gain, alongside increasing the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes. So sugar = bad, right? Not quite – it’s far more complicated than that, and as we shall see there’s a big difference between unhealthy processed sugary snacks compared to the nutritious, wholesome benefits found within sugary fruits. Make sure you add these wonderful fruits to your next bagged lunch for your family.

Good Sugar vs Bad Sugar

In order to understand this we need to isolate what makes sugar bad. This is fructose, the active ingredient in sugar that causes chaos throughout the metabolic system when taken in excess. Most sugary snacks have this in very large quantities, so much so that ‘high fructose’ syrups are often listed as a key ingredient. On the flip side fruits also contain fructose but in far lower quantities, and it’s practically impossible to consume enough fruit to match that contained in a processed snack.

Why Is Fruit Different?

Simply because fruit is a whole-food containing fiber, proteins, mineral and vitamins – whereas a snack bar or standard soda contains much more sugar, and especially much more fructose. To compare, a medium sized banana – one of the sweetest tasting of all fruits – contains around 14g of sugar of which 6g is fructose. On the other hand a 16oz serving of soda will contain easily over 50g of sugar and comprise a minimum of 30g fructose.

But quantity isn’t the only thing – a fruit takes time to digest, and this process means that the sugar is released gradually into the body preventing a sudden chaotic ‘spike’. Sugars ingested in snacks and drink hits the liver almost immediately and completely throws the digestive system into haywire. Remember that humans have consumed naturally occurring quantities of sugar since prehistoric times, and only in the last few decades has been exposed to sugar in sudden, vast quantities. We are physiologically not suited to consuming refined and processed sugars – as shown by the huge increase in cases of sugar related disease in recent times.

Fruit Is Healthier

Snacks often market themselves as being ‘reinforced’ with minerals, vitamins and healthy ingredients such as nuts and dried fruits. Fruit doesn’t need this branding because it is inherently and naturally healthy! Fruit is packed full of antioxidants, mineral and vitamins far in excess of anything snacks come close to – and even more importantly is delivered in a way that is easy and natural for the body to ingest and absorb.

What Fruits Are Best To Replace Sugary Snacks?

Ask the question of how often you buy the same snack bar – most likely you’ll have a couple of favorites and stick with them most of the time. With fruit variety is the best bet as all fruits are inherently healthy, some may have more or less of particular components but there’s simply no such thing as a bad fruit. The low calorie content of fruit compared with sugary snacks allows for more to be eaten and hence a greater variety – try mixing fruits into a salad, berries with yogurt, or just enjoy single pieces on their own. Your body will be grateful!

1st Nov 2015

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How A Simple Packed Lunch Can Save Hundreds A Month

Life’s never easy when money is tight, but there’s a huge number of simple ways that unnecessary expenditure can be comfortably and healthily cut back on. Taking a couple of minutes in the morning before breakfast or evening before work to pack a simple lunch is one of the best ways of doing this, freeing up money that can be used to pay priority bills, reduce debt, or even just to put aside in savings for a rainy day. Here we’ll take a look at how easy, healthy and cheap a packed lunch can be.

Assess What You Are Currently Spending

We all go to work to earn money, so doesn’t it seem ridiculous to spend a significant amount of what we make for the simple of reason of providing us with energy to fulfill the requirements of our job? Think about what you might spend over the course of a day at work. Those brand-name coffees sure add up, so too do sandwiches, salads, and light lunches regardless of how inconsequentially cheap they might seem at the time. Even a conservative $10 a day mounts up to comfortably over $2k a year, and plenty of people spend much more than that.

So take the time to save your receipts for a week or two and see what you are actually spending on your lunch breaks.

Are Packed Lunches Cheaper?

This depends on what you choose to pack, but unless you dine on lobster and caviar then 99% of the times you won’t just save a little, you’ll save a lot. Compare the cost of the ingredients for the sandwich or salad that costs several dollars with what you can make at home using the same – if not even better – ingredients bought from the store. Eating out is typically around 70-80% more expensive than if you made the meal at home yourself – after all businesses have rent, wages, taxes to pay and profits to make.

What Makes A Good Packed Lunch?

The easiest is always using leftovers from your evening meal – just cooking a little extra and taking it into work the next day is a foolproof and practically free way of saving money. Alternatively five day worth of lunchtime sandwich ingredients with variety and good quality produce need cost at most $15-20, and that’s being generous. Salads, especially when eaten often at home are even cheaper – just add more vegetables, dressings and suchlike to your weekly grocery shop to enjoy greater variety and nutritional benefits.

Getting Into The Routine

People who enjoy cooking can save a fortune by spending a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday cooking two or three meals that store well and keeping them in the fridge boxed up and ready to go. This offers variety while also being astonishingly cost effective. Sandwiches and soups can be prepared easily the evening before and also bagged up ready to go first thing in the morning.

It’s a great habit to get into – healthy, time effective and oh so cheap!

31st Oct 2015

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Breakfast Without Pork Bacon

Breakfast is boasted as the most important meal of one’s day. In an almost viral, cultural way, pork bacon has become a favorite. With such a large fan base, it’s often hard to avoid the salty item during breakfast. However, there are many reasons as to why someone would want to find pork bacon alternatives for breakfast, whether the reasons are religious, health orientated or just the simple desire to mix things up a little bit. There are many nutritious, delicious and desirable alternatives, there’s something to match almost anyone’s early morning craving.

One such alternative would be pork bacon’s sister, turkey bacon. Turkey bacon is just as flavorful as traditional pork bacon, but comes with less of the health concerns. Turkey bacon is much more lean than pork bacon, and is often even less expensive. Because of this, and it’s versatility, turkey bacon is an excellent breakfast alternative for anyone looking to switch out or switch up the prevalence of pork bacon in their morning meal. Keeping in terms of turkey products, turkey sausage is also another great pork bacon breakfast alternative. Turkey sausage is also often more juicy and delicate than other sausages. Turkey products are usually cheaper, and much healthier, adding even more benefit to making the switch.

If turkey isn’t something you’d like to eat, never fret, there are still plenty of other options. One such option being traditional sausage, which can often be found for a very low cost. Some even come pre-cooked, making your breakfast even easier to prepare. Ham may also be another choice depending on your budget and how much you feel comfortable consuming in the mornings. Ham is a very filling, dense meat, and may not be for everyone. Ham is also more costly than other options, meaning that having it every morning would be quite a strain financially.

For those who wish to avoid pork products, or even meat products all together, there are still many ways to have a satisfying breakfast. Of course, eggs can always be used as a great way to get some morning protein, though they’re just one of many delicious foods to choose from. One less conventional idea would be potato pancakes, or any other potato product. Below are some other ideas one can use as pork bacon breakfast alternatives.

  • Fruit and yogurt bowl.
  • Bagel with choice of topping.
  • Traditional french toast, pancakes or waffles.
  • Hot or cold cereals, with or without fruit.
  • Grape fruit with sugar.
  • Coffee (or other beverage) with coffee cake or danish.
  • Veggies with dip.
  • Fruit slices with dipping sauce (chocolate, cream cheese, fruit preservatives, nut butter etc.)
  • Toast with jam and butter.

There are thousands upon thousands of breakfast options. Whether they include meat, pork, or no meat at all, there’s something that anyone can have as a great start to their day. Above are just a few of many different food combinations one can eat for breakfast. Don’t be afraid to be creative, eat what you enjoy. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so be sure to make it a good one.

30th Oct 2015

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A Few Seasoning Alternatives to Salt

Salt is one of the most common ingredients used to season food. However, there is an increasing amount of concern regarding the negative health effects of consuming too much salt in your diet, particularly in relation to the health of your heart. For this reason, many people are starting to think of ways they can reduce their salt intake when they feed their families. Here are a few seasoning alternatives to salt.

Pepper

Pepper is an ingredient you are already likely to have in your home. It can add a lot of flavor to an otherwise bland dish. White pepper and black pepper taste completely different, so experiment with the two different flavors in your cooking.

Lemon

People don’t always realize that lemon can be used to flavor both savory and sweet meals. It is particularly good to use with vegetables and poultry. Grating in the rind of a lemon will add an entirely different flavor to a dish than squeezing in the juice.

Garlic

Garlic is a great ingredient to add to your grocery list as it is such a versatile ingredient that can be used to completely change the flavor of any meal. It is a common ingredient in many different types of cuisine from around the world including Italian, Indian, Thai and Chinese. Using garlic can transform a meal from a basic meal of meat or fish and vegetables and create something that is much more exciting to taste.

Herbs

Herbs are a great addition to any meal and the range of flavors available is extremely diverse. Fresh herbs generally taste better than dried herbs. Growing herbs in pots in your kitchen is simple and means you will always have a burst of flavor close to hand.

Spices

There is a wide selection of spices that are readily available in most stores and each has something different to offer a dish. Some spices work well in particular types of cuisine and other spices don’t work so well with certain ingredients. Try to get experimental in the kitchen working out which flavor combinations you enjoy.

Chilies

Anyone who loves a beat of heat in their meals should consider using chili to add some flavor. Fresh chilies will add a real kick while adding a little chili powder will create a more subtle taste. However, using chilies isn’t all about adding spice as there are many different varieties of chili available that vary in their levels of heat and some will add a sweet flavor.

These are just a few seasoning alternatives to salt. If you are trying to reduce your salt intake and want to make your meals as flavorsome as possible, using some of these ideas can transform a simple dish into an exciting one.

29th Oct 2015

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Feeding 5 Kids On A Budget

Having a family involves many expenses and a large one of these is paying for groceries. If you have five children, then it is likely you will want to keep your costs to a minimum and keep mealtimes as simple as possible. Here are some tips for feeding five kids on a budget.

Make the Most of Offers

Try to buy foods when they are on offer or use any coupons you have as this will save you money on your groceries. However, it is important to double check out any offers you come across as they are not always what they seem. Sometimes you are paying less for multipack offers but you might find that the packs included are smaller than individual packs.

Cook From Scratch

While it may seem easier to buy ready prepared meals, these are usually much more expensive than cooking meals from scratch yourself. Other benefits include less wastage as you can make exactly the amount you need and making healthier meals that are full of nutrients and low in salt, fat, and sugar. Furthermore, you can get your kids involved in preparing the family dinners. This will take some of the burden off you and will also teach them important life skills.

Plan Ahead

Planning your meals in advance will prevent you from wasting money on food that you are likely to waste. It will help you to think about the ingredients you need and the quantities required. If possible, make some meals in advance and freeze them as this will also save you time on your busiest days of the week.

Shop Regularly

Shopping more often and buying less at a shop will save you money compared to doing only one or two big shops a month. You will buy only what you need for the meals you are making in the next few days. When you don’t shop often, you buy too many things that then go past their use by date and are then thrown away.

Using Cheap Food Items

Meat and fish are usually two of the most expensive ingredients in a meal. It is important that your children get these as they are part of a nutritious and healthy balanced diet. However, it is possible to bulk up meals with cheaper ingredients to make sure your kids always feel full. Examples of such ingredients include vegetables, rice, and pasta.

By using some of these tips, feeding 5 kids on a budget will be much simpler. Additional advantages include saving time, avoiding waste and providing children with a healthy and balanced diet.