healthy cooking

Dishing It: Low-Fat Carnitas Tacos

January 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm , by

Slow-cookers are like magical dinner-making fairies. Or really awesome sous chefs. Seriously, I throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, set it on low, go to work and come home to a fantastically yummy meal? Best thing ever. Someone needs to give its inventor a medal. Or at least a hug, on my behalf.

All that said, I don’t use my cooker as often as I intend to, mostly because I want the prep to be as simple as possible and I balk at anything requiring more than 5 ingredients and 10 minutes. (It’s tough enough for me to get up extra early to get the ingredients together. Added thinking or excessive time cannot be required, or I will go right back to bed.) So when I saw this taco recipe from our fabulous food editors, Tara and Khalil, in our February issue, I couldn’t wait to make it!

A small disclosure: The recipe called for pork loin, which is lower in fat than the cut I used, pork shoulder. I happened to have pork shoulder in the freezer and wanted to use it, so my tacos were a bit less good-for-you than Tara’s version! (Hers is above on the left, and mine is on the right. I could have benefited from some better lighting.)

Prep could not have been easier. I cut the meat in half, chopped up onions and carrots in my little food processor, minced some garlic and a chipotle chili and plopped it all in the pot with the rest of the ingredients: cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Besides the spices and cilantro, there are only eight ingredients, and I already had most of them!

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Simple Calorie-Saving Swaps Can Prevent Diabetes

May 5, 2010 at 9:45 am , by

At a recent lunch event, I didn’t notice there wasn’t any bread on the table until Chef Franklin Becker mentioned it. I was too busy noshing on homemade giardiniera (pickled vegetables) and marinated mushrooms, trying very hard not to make a fool of myself in front of him and Howard M. Shapiro, M.D., the authors of Eat & Beat Diabetes with Picture Perfect Weight Loss. As Chef Becker explained that bread has too many carbs that can raise blood sugar, a mushroom rolled off my spoon and onto the white tablecloth. “Don’t worry, it happens,” an editor from another magazine said to me. (Here would be a good point to note that I’m an intern.)

My mushroom mishap didn’t stop me from chowing down on the diabetes-friendly food that was being served at Abe & Arthur’s (a restaurant in the Meatpacking District in New York City). It was lunchtime, and I was at a weight-loss book launch where the main course was salmon with misoyaki marinade and stir-fried vegetables. It sure sounded good, but I wasn’t sure it would fill me up. (I’m used to turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch, not fish sans carbs.) According to Dr. Shapiro, however, a simple switch like this can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent the development of Type II diabetes, the sixth most potent killer of Americans.

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