This and That: February 2013

How-To,Winter
January 31, 2013

Snacks, suggestions and statistics for the month of February.

February 2013 Cover
http://pgoarelish2.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/cover_v.jpg

Impossibly cute Valentines abound, but none easier than the Marbled Red Velvet Brownie Hearts that grace our cover. Red velvet and cheesecake batter are swirled to create these clever brownies that are impossibly good and will feed an entire second-grade class.

Speaking of clever, here’s a fabulous trick for your next pork loin: Stuff it with prunes. They make everything taste better—seriously. Try a beautiful Prune-Stuffed Cajun Pork Loin (pictured below) for dinner this month.

Plum-Stuffed Pork Loin

“WAIST” LAND

Can you pinch more than an inch around your middle? If so, you may have a higher risk of having a heart attack than your slim-waisted counterparts, even if you are of normal weight.

WaistWhen Mayo Clinic researchers evaluated body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios on more than 12,700 adults, they found peo- ple of normal weight who had more belly fat, had a higher risk of having a heart attack than even those who were obese. In fact, those with a “muffin top” were nearly 3 times more likely to die from a cardio- vascular event and 2 times more likely to die in general, than those who didn’t have high waist-to-hip ratios.

To get your waist-to-hip ratio, divide your waist size by your hip size in inches. A normal waist-to-hip ratio is less than .85 for women and less than .90 for men.
                                                                 —Diane Welland, MSRD

DID YOU KNOW 52% of Americans think figuring out their income taxes is easier than knowing how to eat healthy? Go figure.

SMART SNACK: DRIED PEARS
If you have an abundance of pears, try drying them. Thinly slice whole, uncored pears, lay on parchment paper and “dry” in a 200F oven for 6 to 7 hours. Store in an airtight container, and use in your favorite recipes.
We like them in granola.

Pears Drying

CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR on February 10 with a nutritious—and beautifully thematic—Enlightened Fried Rice (pictured below) or Five-Spice Soba Noodles.
Enlightened Fried Rice

 
Red Velvet Cheesecake Bites 1_WEB

Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Our hearts skipped a beat when we came across these adorable marbled heart brownies from blogger Jessica Segarra.

Prune-Stuffed Pork Loin

Prune-Stuffed Pork Loin

A perfectly juicy pork loin, stuffed with prunes and finished with your favorite Cajun seasoning.

Enlightened Fried Rice

Enlightened Fried Rice

Leftover brown basmati rice makes this Chinese dish a snap.

Soba-Noodles-Five-Spice-Asian-Healthy-Relish

Five-Spice Soba Noodles

Buckwheat, with a bold yet slightly nutty flavor are balanced by the mild vegetable broth and Asian greens and spices.