Monthly Archives: July 2015

Food Quote Fun

We like to include interesting and amusing food quotes on our banner at MagicKitchen.com. Those, by necessity, need to be  short. Here are some of our favorite longer food quotes. We hope you enjoy them as mush as we do!

John Barrymore
John Barrymore

High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us? ~Annita Manning

There is a lot more juice in grapefruit than meets the eye. ~Author Unknown

I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o’clock in the morning. ~John Barrymore

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people. ~Elizabeth Berry

No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut. ~Channing Pollock

It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat. ~Robert Fuoss

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Amiss-piggyfter all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. ~Miss Piggy

Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first. ~Josh Billings

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat. ~Fran Lebowitz

A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed. ~George Rosenbaum

Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great. ~Henry IV of France

Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography. ~Robert Byrne

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The Rice is Right or, Variety is the Rice of Life

rice-terracesRice is as old as dirt…well, almost. Archeological evidence suggests that rice was domesticated over 10,000 years ago in the Pearl River region of China. Rice is also as abundant as bad reality television shows…well, almost. It ranks third in terms of global crop production behind sugarcane and corn. Rice is also consumed almost as much as Nicholas Sparks’ novels…well, almost. It comprises 20% of global caloric intake.

Rice also comes in many varieties in three main categories; long-grain, short-grain and specialty. That being the case it can be difficult to determine which type of rice to include in which dish. Which type is best for stir-fries, pilaf, risotto or rice pudding? Well, read on dedicated epicurean, read on.

So you say you’ve got a hankering for a curry dish, Middle Eastern cuisine or some delicious New Orleans style gumbo? Then the recently popular, Indian/Pakistani long-grain basmati rice is the choice for you due to its spicy aroma and flavor. Or are you preparing to roll your own blun…er, I mean sushi? If that’s the case, select a premium Japanese short-grain rice for this difficult task as this type is sufficiently glutinous (sticky) and some brands have a lovely nutty flavor.

MagicKitchen.com's Lemon Risotto
MagicKitchen.com’s Lemon Risotto

How about a delectable stir-fry dish, a bed for grilled or fried foods or a rice-based soup? Then choose what the Thais choose; jasmine rice. This is due to its moist, soft texture and sweet flavor and fragrance. As for the ever popular rice side dish, risotto, then there is only one real choice, and that’s the Italian short-grain Arborio rice. This is because Arborio becomes creamy and smooth when cooked properly.

Finally, if you’re cooking up some rice pudding or pilaf, then go with the Bangladeshi, specialty rice known as kalijira due to its non-glutinous and consistent nature. OK, one more; for some paella to-die-for, select bomba as this Spanish rice absorbs three times its volume in broth while still remaining firm.

So if a rice-based dish is in your future, please don’t simply grab a box of Uncle Ben’s and hope for the best. One must ensure the rice is right in order to ensure consumer satisfaction.And if it’s too hot or too much work to make your own, try one of MagicKitchen.com’s rice dishes.  Lemon Risotto, Rice Pilaf and Rice with Vegetables are all on our side dish menu!

~Steve, MagicKitchen.com Blogger

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Organizing the Kitchen Chaos that is Pots and Pans

By Ty Schmidt

It’s a sound with which most home cooks are all too familiar. The clanging and clattering of pots and pans in what is most likely an unruly stacking situation is one of those battles many home cooks face on a daily basis. After all, finding ways to creatively stack and arrange the precious cooking vessels in an organized fashion can prove challenging given the space and layout of the average kitchen. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are creative methods of storing pots and pans that can help even the disorganized cook be more efficient in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorites:

The Pot and Pan Pantry. This idea may work best if you have pantry space to spare. Maybe you have a lazy Susan that’s packed with all the pantry basics and you also have a pantry closet. Or you keep canned goods and other pantry essentials at a minimum and have extra room. All it

kitchen1
Via Modernize

takes is a few hooks hung from a pantry shelf to convert that space into prime real estate for frying pans. Use the space below for larger pots and dutch ovens, and store the lids nearby as well.

Think Julia Child. You don’t necessarily need to include the outlines of pots and pans to keep them in place like Julia Child did, but especially if your pans are something special, they can play double duty. Integrate them into the decorative motif of the kitchen by hanging them from the walls or from a rack above your counters or island if you have one.

Find New Purpose. A lot of other organizational or home items can serve a dual role in the kitchen if you’re willing to think outside the box a bit. An example would be to incorporate some inexpensive towel rods within the inside of the cabinet you use for pots and pans. Those lids can be the toughest to figure out, and using towel rods on the cabinet doors allows you a place to effectively and efficiently store what may be one of the most challenging yet necessary components of kitchen cookery.

kitchen2
via Modernize

Command an audience. Another option for those pesky lids is to install Command hooks (or something like them) on the inside of those storage spaces. Strategically placed hooks can serve as a very helpful organizational tool that provides easy access and helps improve efficiency, allowing you to focus on more important things, like perfecting that homemade barbecue sauce.

Make a small investment. For the less do-it-yourself minded folks, there are plenty of options as well. Most home improvement stores have kits that allow you to convert cabinet space into pull-out storage for pots and pans that will help simplify and organize your valuable cabinet space.

For more organization ideas and other tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.

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Make your Plans Now for July 29th: National Lasagna Day

Some people go overboard with bacon. Photo by baconaddicts.com
Some people go overboard with bacon. Photo by baconaddicts.com

What better way to add some spice to an otherwise boring Wednesday in July than with some lasagna? This most famous of Italian dishes and Garfield’s (the cat, not the president) favorite meal is also the perfect family meal…I mean, who doesn’t love lasagna?

And best of all, it can be personalized by simply adding, subtracting or replacing some of the traditional ingredients. For example, one could use ground beef, Italian sausage, chicken, pork (mmmmm, bacon) or kielbasa (there’s even a recipe out there that includes ground moose!). You could also decide to skip meat altogether for the vegetarians in your life.

As for cheeses, you’re only limited by your imagination. Here are a few choices: ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, Monterey jack, Romano, asiago or provolone. And for you cheese lovers out there, you could combine all seven of the above cheeses into one lasagna dish if you so desire.

As with cheeses, there are a myriad of vegetables you could choose from as well, even if there are no vegetarians sitting at your table. Some of the

Mama’s Lasagna from MagicKitchen.com. Comes in Family Size!

more popular choices are spinach, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms (although they’re neither a vegetable, nor a fruit. Hell, they’re not even considered a plant), onions, garlic, peppers and radishes.

There is one downside to National Lasagna Day, however. And that is the fact that it’s in July! I mean who wants to heat up an already hot kitchen by cranking the stove up to 425 for two hours? So how to share some lasagna with your cat(s) and family on a hot July day? Simply pre-order your lasagna from MagicKitchen.com! We offer three delicious varieties: mama’s beef lasagna, spinach mushroom lasagna with light pesto, and lasagna with meat sauce. Don’t sweat your noodles off! Place your lasagna order today and you’ll be stress and sweat free come July 29th.

Steve, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Natural Appetite-Suppressing Foods

When you step on the scale and you’re not satisfied with the number you see, it gets most people thinking about their diet and exercise habits. And it’s something marketers know intimately. It’s why there are literally thousands of hucksters selling diet pills, workout programs, and gimmicky exercise equipment all promising amazing weight-loss results.

But the truth is, you don’t need any of that stuff. Practicing portion control and getting regular exercise (like a bike ride or walk in the park), can tip the scale in the right direction. Food choices in particular play a big part in weight loss and weight management. Skip the diet pills, research shows that a number of foods contain nutrients that act as natural appetite suppressants. Add these food to your diet to help with portion control and weight management.

Apples
There’s a reason the American folklore legend known as Johnny Appleseed didn’t have a weight problem. He ate apples. And he walked from east to west across America, planting apple orchards. All the exercise certainly burned a lot of calories. But recent research published in the journal Appetite, found that the fiber and pectin in apples also acts as an appetite suppressant. Grab an apple the next time you’re at the store or farmers market. And if you’re short on time, try the MagicKitchen.com meal Chicken & Apple Curry with Jasmine Rice & Broccoli.

Peppers

Chipotle Meatloaf
Chipotle Meatloaf

Some like it hot. Some don’t. Whatever pleases your palate when it comes to peppers is going to help curb your hunger and control your weight. In a study published in the journal Chemical Senses, researchers found that capsaicin in hot peppers and capsiate in sweet peppers, gives your stomach and your brain a signal to control your appetite. You’ll find sweet peppers in MagicKitchen.com meals like Chipotle Meatloaf, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, and Stuffed Peppers.

Ginger

Ginger and spice and everything nice. You know the rest. This root frequently used to add seasoning and flavor to food does more than just that. Research published in the journal Metabolism found that ginger helps improve digestion and curb feelings of hunger. But don’t stock up on ginger ale just yet, it’s ginger root or seasoning that acts as an appetite suppressant. And you’ll find ginger in MagicKitchen.com meals like Cod with Miso Ginger, Black Beans & Rice with Peas & Carrots, and Ginger Pork with Peaches & Green Pea Blend.

Skip the diet pills and fitness fads. Make regular exercise a habit and add these healthy foods to your diet to control hunger and manage your weight.

Here are some other articles you might enjoy:

5 Health and Fitness Apps to Help You Stay Healthy

Start Healthy Habits Now and Reap the Benefits for 20 Years

The Word “Natural” on Food Labels Can Be Misleading

Diabetes is Preventable

WHO’s new guidelines on sugar

Healthy Lifestyle Choices May Cut Women’s Stroke Risk

Top 10 Healthy Foods

 

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Unique Retirement Gifts

There is nothing like a personalized retirement gift to show appreciation for retiring loved ones. Showering them with a good gift is not only gratitude for all their hard work over the years but a sign of love. Naturally, they would like to be recognized for their years at work. There are many things that would make interesting retirement gifts. The best of the bunch include:

MagicKitchen.com Gourmet Retirement Gifts
MagicKitchen.com Gourmet Retirement Gifts

MagicKitchen.com Retirement Meal Packages (Gourmet gifts)

Most people say that the trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off. With MagicKitchen.com, you get every day off. You diet is a bank account and the retirement gifts are good investment. While good food and a warm kitchen are what make a house a home, MagicKitchen.com meal packages make everything heartier. They are a variety of healthy prepared meals that are created using top-quality fresh produce and ingredients to ensure your loved one smiles their way into a delicious and nutritious retirement.

Travel Accessories

There’s nothing that says retirement better than a trip around the world. Now that the work slog is over, giving your loved one luggage and travel accessories is a sure way to ensure that they retire in style and comfort. Retirement is a great time to explore the world. Give something like a deluxe kit to improve that experience.

Hobby Gifts

The best retirement gifts help the retiree to do things that they never had the time to do when they were on a tight schedule. It’s important to know what your retired loved one enjoys doing in their spare time. If they enjoy reading, a best seller is an elegant gift. Remember you want to give a high quality gift that will last and show that you care about their retiree and their hobbies.

Personalized Gifts

Personal and sentimental gift are a lovely way to present and record valuable events in a retiree’s life. The most unique personalized gifts include:

  • A Back Massager:

This will ensure that they make the most of their down-time. Whiling away time in a comfortable back massaging chair is the way to go.

  • Chocolates:

Congratulations_Retirement_Wine_GiftsA box of chocolates is always received in the happiest way.

This could serve as a representation of all the joyful moments that you and your loved one shared.

Engraving a retiree’s name on their favorite bottle is a great way to build memories and kick off retirement in style.

When the battles are fought and won and lost, someone needs to respect those memories. There’s no better way to do it than with a gift. It’s really something…There’s some kind of magic in that.

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Kidney Patients, Protect Your Heart

care-736257_640When dialysis is part of your treatment plan to manage failing kidneys, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle habits all play a part in maintaining your health and quality of life.

One important risk factor to recognize is high blood pressure. It’s one of the common causes of chronic kidney disease. A blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 is considered normal. If it’s higher than that, you have an increased risk for developing heart disease and kidney disease.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have found that controlling blood pressure using a combination of medication and exercise can prevent heart disease and protect the kidneys. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure? These are just two reasons an estimated 31 million people in the United States have chronic kidney disease and about 400,000 require regular dialysis treatments to do the work their kidney’s can’t.

Turkey Noodles
Turkey Noodles

Taking medications to protect your heart recommended by your doctor is an important part of protecting your kidneys when you’re on dialysis. Regular exercise, at least 30 minutes a day is ideal, to strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. Eating a healthy diet also plays a big part in protecting your health and managing kidney disease.

Medical professionals recommend dialysis patients eat a healthy diet high in protein. At MagicKitchen.com, we’ve created a complete collection of Dialysis-Friendly meals that can help protect your heart and eat healthy. You’ll enjoy meals like Ground Turkey with Creamy Noodes & Zucchini Onion Saute, Zesty Orange Chicken Tenders with corn, peppers, and mixed greens, and Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice & Minted Carrots.

Take your medications. Stick to your dialysis schedule. Exercise regularly, and eat healthy. It’s the best way to protect your heart. And it’s the best recipe for managing kidney disease when you’re on dialysis.

If you want the technical, doctor’s explanation, see this video!

Here are some other articles you might enjoy:

Certain Popular Southern Foods Bad for Kidneys

Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes and Enjoy It!

National Kidney Foundation Launches ‘My Food Coach’ Portal

Three Foods That Can Boost Renal Function

3 Ways to Protect Your Bones When You Have Kidney Disease

Oral Medicine Normalizes Blood Potassium

Stem Cell Research Promising for Kidney Disease

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Kidney Disease- Picking the Right Foods

Managing your health when you have renal disease means you’ll need to pay close attention to your diet. The National Institutes of Health recommends limiting fluids, eating a low-protein diet, limiting salt, potassium, phosphorus and electrolytes, and consuming enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Research shows that when you have renal disease, controlling your diet can help maintain existing kidney function and limit the progression of the disease that could lead to the need for dialysis.

But armed with this information, what foods should you pick to include in your diet? Foods high in antioxidants that prevent inflammation and further kidney damage. Here’s a few you should sink your teeth into:

Sweet Peppers
Red and green bell peppers are low in potassium, and contain high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A. They’re also a good source of folic acid and fiber. And you’ll find bell peppers in MagicKitchen.com meals like Chipotle Meatloaf, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, and Stuffed Peppers.

sweet-sour-chicken-87003Cruciferous Vegetables

These are vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, which are good sources of antioxidants and other nutrients found to help prevent cell damage linked to renal disease. Mashed cauliflower works well as a healthy substitute for mashed potatoes for people with renal disease. MagicKitchen.com meals with cruciferous vegetables to add to your meal plan include options like the Breaded Fish Wedge with green beans and cauliflower, Beef Meatballs with Rice & Gravy, peas, carrots and cauliflower, and Meatloaf & Tomato Sauce with Brown Rice & Broccoli, Peas & Corn.

Onions
Onions are another good vegetable to include in your diet when you have renal disease. They contain high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants and are low in potassium. Onions also contain a mineral called chromium, which helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and is important for those with renal disease. Some of our MagicKitchen.com meals made with onions include Sweet and Sour Chicken with Zucchini & Onion Saute, Beef Lasagna with Zucchini & Onion Saute, and Chipotle Meatloaf with green beans, onions, peppers, and southwest potatoes.

These are just a few of the foods you should include in your diet to manage renal disease. For more information about diet and renal disease, talk to your doctor and take a look at the nutrition recommendations from the National Kidney Foundation.

Please see the video below for more information!

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Best Foods for Type 2 Diabetes

When you have diabetes, you’ve got to be smart about your food choices. Wait too long between meals and your blood sugar levels drop. Sugary sodas, sweets, and too many carbs can have the opposite effect and cause a rapid and dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.

Enchilada with Beans
Enchilada with Beans

Medication and lifestyle habits help control blood sugar levels. Your food choices can have a big impact on regulating blood sugar levels and controlling diabetes too. Eat the right foods, and they’ll help keep blood sugar levels in check without any rapid changes. Make these foods part of your diet to control diabetes:

Beans
Beans, sometimes called legumes, are an ideal food to control blood sugar levels. They’re a complex carbohydrate that also delivers a dose of protein and fiber perfect for keeping blood sugar levels even and controlling hunger. A few MagicKitchen.com meals for diabetes with beans include Chicken Cheese Enchilanda with Tomatillo Sauce, Rice & Pinto Beans and BBQ Chicken Drummies, Brussels Sprouts, Black Beans & Corn.

Fish

Adequate protein in your diet combined with the right balance of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats and protein is a good eating plan for people with diabetes. In addition to beans, fish is a healthy source of protein. Need some ideas for dinner? Try the Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach or Cod with Miso Ginger, Black Beans & Rice with Peas & Carrots.

Creamy Tarragon Mahi
Creamy Tarragon Mahi

Leafy Greens
Leafy-green vegetables may be one of the best foods for people with diabetes because they’re nutrient dense, low in calories, high in fiber, and help control blood sugar levels. Health experts recommend that half your plate be filled with vegetables and some fruit at every meal. Leafy-greens that are loaded with nutrients include broccoli, spinach, and peppers. You’ll find these MagicKitchen.com meals like the Three Cheese Ravioli & Spinach Alfredo, Chicken & Apple Curry with Jasmine Rice & Broccoli, and Stuffed Peppers.

Mushrooms

Life leafy-green vegetables, mushrooms are a good source of nutrients, fiber, and complex carbohydrates that taste great and won’t have a big impact on blood sugar. You’ll enjoy the Creamy Tarragon Mahi-Mahi with Mushroom and Artichoke and Breaded Pollock made with peas, mushrooms, onions, red peppers and carrots.

Egg Whites
If you like eggs, you’re in luck (just skip the yolk that includes a lot of calories). Egg whites are a great source of protein for diabetes. A single egg white only has about 16 calories but comes with 4 grams of protein. Add egg whites to your breakfast menu to control blood sugar keep your weight under control. Hungry for eggs? Try the Egg White Omelet and Turkey Sausage Links meal.

Make these foods a regular part of your diet, and you’ll see consistency in your blood sugar numbers, and enjoy lots of great-tasting meals.

Also, see the video below!

Here are some more articles you might enjoy:

Save Your Vision – Get These Tests Done!

Obesity Isn’t the Sole Cause of Type 2 Diabetes

Blue Light Drug Could Help Manage Downside of Diabetes Medications

Possible Cure on the Horizon for Type 1 Diabetes

Could a Probiotic Pill Manage Diabetes?

Top Ten Diabetic Superfoods

Diabetic Earthquake Victims in Nepal get Insulin

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Active Seniors Enjoy Life More

seniors-exerciseNot far from MagicKitchen.com headquarters in California, a group of about 40 seniors (age 55 and older) took a trip through the Granite Chief Wilderness in late June. But they weren’t on a guided tour, and the trip took more than just a few hours.

They laced up their running shoes, stocked up on water and healthy snacks, and headed into the mountains for the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. If you haven’t heard of this event, it’s considered the Boston Marathon of races longer than the 26.2-mile marathon distance. After months of training, healthy eating, and an active lifestyle, these senior runners cross the finished line in under 30 hours to claim their prize, a sparkling and coveted hand-crafted belt buckle.

You may not be planning to run a marathon or take off on a 100-mile journey through the mountains. But research shows that seniors who are active get more out of life, according to the American Council on Exercise. Being active helps control blood pressure, aids in weight management, lowers cholesterol, and prevents arthrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Exercise also helps strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles, improves mobility, and helps manage pain associated with conditions like diabetes and arthritis. Some studies even suggest exercise helps prevent certain types of cancer.

So how much should you exercise? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, along with two days of strength training. Here are some ways you can be more active:

  • Take a walk
  • Work in the garden
  • Play a sport (tennis, basketball, volleyball)
  • Go for a hike
  • Swim laps in a pool
  • date-meals2Participate in a group exercise class
  • Ride a bike
  • Try yoga, tai chi, or pilates
  • Take dance class

Being active helps reduce your risk for a long list of preventable diseases. Exercise also helps improve your mood and your quality of life. Combine an active lifestyle with healthy eating with MagicKitchen.com meals for seniors, and you’ll be happier and live longer.

Here are some other articles you may enjoy:

A Glass of Wine a Day is Healthy, But Only If You Exercise, Too

Laughing May Aid Memory Loss

Seniors – Live Longer by Following the Mediterranean Diet

Take Care of Your Bones

Nuts can Lengthen your Life

Seniors Happier and More Trusting

The Secrets to Longevity

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