It’s National Lobster Day!

Need an excuse to indulge in lobster?

Um, not me. But maybe you do and that’s okay – it really isn’t something you typically eat every day. Maybe you need a special occasion. So how about National Lobster Day? Yep – today’s the day. Okay, twist my arm. 

You know another good reason?  When a brand new Whole Foods opens close to you and has lobster tails on sale! Yeah Whole Foods – who would’ve thought?!

Anyway,  back to the story at hand. Since it’s National Lobster Day, I thought it would be interesting to dig up some facts on this crustacean. I mean it’s true, it’s typically thought of nowadays as a special
 occasion food, right? But guess what? It wasn’t always.  Back in the day – and I’m talking days of the first settlers – lobster was so plentiful and cheap they were used as fertilizer (!) and considered a poor man’s source of protein. A poor man’s source of protein?! In fact, it was so cheap it was commonly served to prisoners!

Can you imagine?! Well times have sure changed haven’t they?

Okay, so maybe you think of lobster as being decadent and rich. And maybe you’re thinking – isn’t it “fattening”? Well, no. No, it’s not. But when you drench it in melted butter then it becomes calorie laden. I know, I know – what’s lobster without butter, right? Just don’t go overboard, remember a little can go a long way. Got it?

Lobster’s actually a great low calorie protein choice. And in addition to being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s very good source of the essential vitamin B12. Wha
t do I mean by essential? It’s essential because our bodies can’t make it. It’s found in animal proteins naturally. Occasionally you’ll find it in plant foods but that’s only because they’ve been fortified. But you’re best bet is to get it from animal proteins because the body absorbs it much better.

Now maybe you’re saying- I don’t eat shellfish because I have high cholesterol. Well, guess what? Research has shown that consuming dietary cholesterol has no significant relationship with the cholesterol found in your body. What does that mean? Eating foods with cholesterol does not mean you’ll increase the cholesterol in your body. What? Yup, it’s true – would I lie to you?

lobster-tail

Or maybe you’re a little intimidated with the thought of cooking  lobster?  No problem, it’s easy – especially if you get the tails. Really, it is. The most challenging part may just be getting the meat out of the darn shell but after a couple times you’ll get the hang of it. And while this meal is certainly worthy of a special occasion, Broiled Lobster Tails with  Sauteed Spinach and Garlic Risotto, it’s comes together rather quickly. So maybe, just maybe, it’ll make it to the table any day of the week. 

Do you cook lobster at home?

 

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Eating Emergency: Are You Prepared?

Do you know what September is? 

Sure it’s back to school. And, sure it’s National Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month. But did you know that it’s also National Preparedness Month? Huh? What?

emergencypreparedness

Yeah, ok – I’ll admit – when I read this I thought what the heck does that mean?! So I did a little research. Apparently September is set aside to take the time to prepare yourself for emergencies and disasters.  Unfortunately, I think we’re all too familiar with the fact that emergencies can happen to anyone at any time. From flash floods and tornado outbreaks to transportation delays and communication breakdowns, emergencies can range from large to small scale. The idea is that preparation prior to a disaster is important. Thinking about what disasters may impact your community and who would be part of your support network lays the groundwork for creating an emergency plan.

So this got me to thinking. But what happens when you find yourself in an eating emergency? You know – when you’re so hungry you need to eat something as quickly as possible. Maybe you even become a little hangry. Sound familiar? Has this happened to you? What do you do? Are you prepared? Do you have a plan in place so you can still eat a healthy meal or snack? Or do you just reach for the closest thing and regret it later?

Why not take the time to avoid an eating emergency? Yes, it’s true – preparation is key. Keeping some items on hand to whip up a quick snack or meal helps you through those eating emergencies. Not sure where to start? Never fear – here are some ideas to get you started.

Nut Butters
Whether it’s peanut butter or almond butter, nut butters contain healthy fats with some protein. Spread on whole wheat crackers or a banana for a snack. On the go? Make a sandwich with whole wheat bread.

Canned Beans
High in protein and fiber, but also inexpensive. Add to salads or pastas to make a quick meal.

Eggs
One egg contains 6g of protein and only 70 calories. Keep hard boiled eggs on hand for a quick snack or on-the-go breakfast with some fruit and a cheese stick.

Frozen Shrimp
Low in calorie, high in protein and easily defrosted. Shrimp cook very quickly. Buy already peeled and deveined to make a quick meal. Or better yet, buy pre-cooked for shrimp cocktail.

Frozen or Canned Vegetables
Frozen at their peak, frozen vegetables are the next best thing to fresh. Canned are a good option too but can contain a lot of sodium.  Look for the low sodium or no sodium on the can.

Canned Tuna
Good source of protein with a relatively long shelf life. Make a sandwich for on-the-go or add to pasta for a quick meal.

What items do you keep on hand to get through those eating emergencies?

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Stuck in Summer with Lemon Dill Flounder

Here we are – it’s September.

Everyone’s back to school. Football season’s started and Halloween’s already all over the place.

So why the heck does it feel like the middle of summer?! Ugh – I’m having a hard time thinking about updating my fall wardrobe or enjoying a big bowl of hot soup when I am sweating by just doing nothing at all!

I know, I know  – in a few months I’ll probably be complaining about the darn cold and I’ll be impatiently waiting for signs of spring. It’s a never ending cycle isn’t it?!

With that being said, I have yet to transition into “fall cooking”. I’m still stuck in summer mode and it sort of sucks. You know me (didn’t I just talk about this?!)  I look forward to the change of seasons because it means new produce, but right now – I just can’t. So here I am still working my way through the end of the summer squash, using up all the summer herbs  and hoping for a break in the weather. 

flounder

So if you’re still stuck in summer like me, this recipe is for you – Lemon Dill Flounder with Arugula. By all means, you can make it anytime of the year, but it’s a great light meal on a scorching day. And in case you didn’t know, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times (two servings) per week. Why? Well,  fish a good source of high quality protein, but it’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.  And omega-3 fatty acids are sort of a big deal. They benefit the heart health of healthy individuals and those who have cardiovascular disease. Plus they may also reduce inflammation throughout your body. Huh, not too shabby for a little piece of fish right?

Psst – make it a complete meal and serve with Wild Mushroom Orzo

 

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