Monday, August 27, 2012

The Family Who Eats Together...

I feel like there has been a lack of photos lately, so here’s one of a family BBQ.  A little overboard, I think so! Leftovers for everyone… check!

Here’s a list of the menu (starting from top left):

-       Spanakopita (spinach pita)
-       Pastitso (Greek-style lasagna)
-       Potato salad
-       Apple and cabbage salad (my item of choice)
-       Bean salad
-       Beets
-       Tortellini
-       Veggies (steamed and cooked in tomato sauce)
-       Steak (grilled to perfection by yours truly)

The portions and selection were definitely outrageous.  And that doesn’t even include appetizers or dessert.  I’m full just thinking about it!

Ps.  I’ll add the bean salad recipe below.  Simple.  Fool-proof.  Protein-rich vegetarian option.  Always a crowd pleaser.  And definitely a great go-to when you’re in a rush or in denial that you’ve forgotten about that office potluck (again!). 

Bean Salad
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
1 cup diced red onions
1 cup diced red or orange bell pepper

½-3/4 cup cider vinegar
4 Tbsp of granulated sugar (or Splenda for a lower calorie option)
1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix beans with dressing, chill and enjoy! J

Thanks Sevren!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Food Safety

If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I am definitely a summer girl… I love it!  Summer is so fun… Picnics, BBQs, outdoor activities! :D A downfall though, is that risk of foodborne illness increases in the heat.  It becomes particularly important to practice safe food handling during this time of year when bacteria are multiplying even more quickly.  Here are 4 steps to avoid food borne illness (just in time for the long weekend!):

-       Wash your hands, kitchen surfaces, utensils and reusable shopping bags with warm, soapy water.
-       Wash fresh produce under cold running water.
-       Soak and thoroughly rinse green leafy vegetables.
-       Use a produce brush to scrub hard surfaces, such as the skin of a cantaloupe.

-       You can’t actually tell if meat is cooked by cutting it open and looking at it, so make sure to use a food thermometer. 
-       Internal temperatures should read as follows:
o    71°C (160°F) for ground meat
o    74°C (165°F) for leftovers, chicken and turkey breasts, legs, thighs and wings
o    85°C (185°F) for whole poultry
-       Check out the Internal Cooking Temperatures Chart
-       Make sure to wash the thermometer after every use. 

-       Separate raw foods from cooked foods, fruits and veggies to avoid cross-contamination.
-       Store raw meat on the bottom shelf of your fridge or cooler to prevent raw juices from dripping onto other foods.

-       Keep your fridge at 4°C (40°F) and freezer at -18°C (0°F).
-       Thaw your food in the fridge, under running water, or in the microwave and use right away.
-       Chill leftover food within 2 hours of cooking.
-   Tip: Freeze beverages and use them as ice packs when packing a cooler or picnic.  

The “Danger Zone”
Foods should not be kept in the “danger zone” (between 4°C and 60°C) for longer than 2 hours.  When grocery shopping, especially in extreme summer heat, try to pick up refrigerated items last to lessen the time spent in this temperature range. 

For more information on food safety, check out Health Canada, Eat Right Ontario, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the video in the sidebar. 

Happy eating! 

Adapted from: Health Canada.  2010.  Summer Food Safety.