Star-Spangled Spirit

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday and it’s just around the corner! I love the food, the fanfare, the fireworks and fun times with friends. Instead of the rich, heavy foods served on winter holidays, Independence Day is an opportunity to explore summer’s fresh foods without ruining your waistline. Alongside sweet corn grilled in the husk and fresh hand-picked tomatoes topped with basil and olive oil, I am particularly fond of grilling fresh pineapple, peaches and pears or fresh fruit salads that marry the flavors and patriotic colors of summer fruits. Fruit salads are incredibly easy to make, and since you only need fresh fruits, they are a healthful addition to any outing. For a red, white and blue salad, start with raspberries or sliced strawberries, add blueberries or blackberries, and finish with fresh cut, slightly crisp pears; mix Continue reading

Happy Birthday, MyPlate!

It’s already been a year since Michelle Obama and the USDA revealed the MyPlate logo, which has helped thousands of Americans make healthier choices when grocery shopping, preparing meals, and eating. Thankfully, we went from the confusing, complicated MyPyramid (where’s the nutrition?) to the streamlined, easy-to-understand MyPlate. And just in time, too – statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that more than 1/3 of American adults are obese, as well as 17% of all U.S. children and teens. It’s time we make healthier choices, for ourselves and future generations! So as MyPlate celebrates its first birthday, I thought I’d share some timely tips for keeping your party plates fresh, colorful, and healthy! See things in a new light! Even simple ingredients can be re-imagined in exciting new ways. Take my recent example: I had delicious roasted radishes in Continue reading

Love your lunch.

I’m quite proud of my capability to pack a lunch for work every day. Aside from a stint when I first moved back to Oregon and spent my time bouncing between Chipotle and Nordstrom Café for lunch, I make my best effort to brown-bag it to work. It’s cheaper. It’s healthier. It feels better! Needless to say, pears star regularly in my homemade lunches. Here are my top five ways to make your lunch better – with USA Pears: Pack ‘em up. When I have a ripe Anjou pear at home, I bring it to work in a pear packer (to protect it from bruises, of course). At lunch time, I slice it up and slather it liberally with almond butter. Yum. Perk up your tuna salad. One of my go-to lunch recipes is a fresh, homemade Tuna Waldorf Salad, Continue reading

Serving Up MyPlate Suggestions

I’m a rule-follower. I love (and avidly follow) diagrams, instructions, recipes. So when I saw the new MyPlate logo, which has replaced the Food Pyramid, I was pleasantly surprised. I can easily envision my plate (or salad, or smoothie) divided into four portions, with a dash of dairy. Once I started thinking about it, I realized that pears fit, ahem, pearfectly into the suggestions. The USDA recommends that we fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables. Here’s a quick snapshot of how I’ve included pears on my plate recently: Wednesday, September 14: Topped a grilled pork chop with homemade pear chutney. Served with a side of sauteed green beans. Saturday, September 17: Put a sliced Starkrimson into my breakfast smoothie along with a spoonful of almond butter, chopped kale, orange juice and coconut milk. Added a dash of cinnamon Continue reading