Northeast Times

 Articles by Angela Shelf Medearis

Diabetic or not, enjoy healthy meals

Holiday dining and celebrations are a culinary challenge for most Americans, especially those with diet-related illnesses. While I’m not a diabetic, my family medical history provides a cautionary tale. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 23.6 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but only 17.9 million people actually have been diagnosed. This means approximately 5.7 million people have diabetes and don’t know it.


A tasty way to start your day

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and often the most neglected. It’s important that you eat a nutritious morning meal no later than an hour after waking up. A healthy breakfast allows the mind and body to work well throughout the day. Breakfast also is important for creating healthy eating habits, general health, weight control, greater concentration and productivity, and maintaining hormone levels and blood sugar. Breakfast will speed up metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day.


Lemons add zest to marinades

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of salt you use to season your savory dishes, try lemon juice. Nothing adds zest or intensity to a dish like a squeeze of lemon. Lemons also act as a flavor catalyst, preparing the taste buds for the next flavor.


Pumpkin Pasta Perfect for Fall

The bright-orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that it’s loaded with an important antioxidant: beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.


Lunchbox safety and a snack

School’s once again in session — and so is your daily lunch-making routine. Here are some tips for making lunches that will keep your child healthy and happy all year long!


Tasty dairy-free frozen treats

The Kitchen Dive focuses on Dairy-free ice cream!


How to make sauteed cherry tomatoes

A simple recipe that is a savory side dish for summer.


Go Nuts for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been called the 'low fat fat.' It has a slightly sweet taste and blends well with other foods.


Mixed greens madness!

The Kitchen Diva by Angela Shelf Medearis


Spicing up a favorite recipe

After years of creating recipes, shopping and cooking, even a Kitchen Diva needs to update her old favorites from time to time. It’s amazing how changing a few ingredients and adding new spices and herbs can revive an old recipe. I’ve decided to update my Chicken and Rice Salad by giving it a Mexican twist. I’m adding flavorful herbs and spices to change the flavor profile of the dish. The black beans and avocados give the salad a creamy, buttery texture and add additional protein and nutrients. Nutrients found in avocados include vitamin E, vitamin C, lutein and the B vitamins folate, B-6, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and niacin — all of which have been shown to be good for hair and skin. Be selective about the avocados you use in this salad. An avocado is ready to serve when the skin turns from dark green to nearly black and yields when pressed gently with a thumb. Firm avocados will ripen in a day or two at room temperature in a brown paper bag on your kitchen counter. Ripe avocados can be kept in the refrigerator for several days. Try this updated Avocado, Chicken and Rice Salad dish, and feel free to think outside of the recipe box the next time you prepare an old family favorite.  AVOCADO, CHICKEN AND RICE SALAD   2 cups cooked long-grain white rice 2 ripe avocados 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 (15 ounce) can black beans 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces 4 green onions, root ends removed and discarded, white and green parts, chopped 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 cup Italian dressing 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional   1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Dice avocados and toss with lemon juice; set aside. Rinse and drain black beans. When the rice is ready, stir in chicken, beans, green onions, chili powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add Italian dressing and toss well to combine.   2. Pour into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Add the avocados and cherry tomatoes, tossing gently to combine. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Makes 6 servings. ***