You’ve heard the term “Canadian bacon” and may have even ordered it on a pizza or enjoyed it in eggs Benedict. But why do we call it that and how is it different from the usual bacon?
• The name “Canadian bacon” is used solely in the US. You won’t hear Canadians use the term - instead they may refer to it as “back bacon” since that’s where it comes from or simply “bacon”.
• The term originated during a meat shortage in WWII when meat was imported from Canada and given a name to differentiate it.
• American bacon as we know it comes from the belly of pigs and is fairly fatty, Canadian bacon is cut from the eye of the loin (or center of the pig’s back) and is far less fatty and somewhat lower in calories.
• American bacon is smoked and usually sold raw, Canadian bacon is cured and usually sold ready to eat.
• American bacon is fried to crispy perfection in its own fat, while Canadian bacon is best served soft and juicy as it’s already cured and loses its sweet flavor if cooked too long. It’s closer to ham in taste and texture than the bacon we typically think of.
Grilling a perfect steak may just be the pinnacle of Summertime pursuits for the grillmaster. Everyone has their methods, but there are a few concepts most people can agree on - here are five tips to help you grill the perfect steak:
1) Room Temperature
Pull your steak out of the refrigerator about an hour before you want to grill and let it get to room temperature.
2) Kosher Salt
Go ahead and salt both sides of the steak with kosher salt. Salt helps the meat retain water and will give you a nice, juicy finished steak. Place the steak on a wire rack to dry. Right before you take the steak to the grill - pat the steak with a paper towel, then salt again.
3) Real Charcoal
We’re all about the natural - hardwood charcoal burns hotter and faster than manufactured briquettes. Bonus - less chemicals!
4) Use a Thermometer
If you want to make sure you’re precise in your cooking temperature, using an inexpensive meat thermometer is the way to go! 125 degrees will land you a medium-rare steak.
Let the steak rest for about ten minutes after pulling it off the grill. This gives the juices a chance to spread out and maximizes flavor.
One of our menu items, Bang Bang Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles, has swapped out pasta for vegetables. This simple switch can save you a boatload of calories while increasing the amount of nutrients you’ll get. Here are some more reasons zucchini noodles are a smart swap:
• They taste mild and soak up flavors of sauces and ingredients they’re mixed with and add a subtle freshness to dishes.
• Can be eaten cooked or raw.
• 2 cups pasta=480 calories, 90g carbs, 2g fiber.
• 2 cups zucchini noodles=66 calories, 12g carbs, 4g fiber.
• Much lower glycemic index for those with blood sugar concerns.
• Low carb and a good way to get antioxidants, electrolytes, and fiber when low-carb dieting.
• Increase your veggie intake and get vitamins C, A, and B6.
If you happened to pick up one of our Greek salads for this week, you already know they’re delicious. What you may not have known are the health benefits the black olives in the salad can provide.
• Did you know all olives start out green? As they ripen, some varieties turn to black olives, others stay green even when fully ripe.
• They’re low in cholesterol.
• Good source of fiber and healthy fats.
• Contain calcium, iron, and copper.
• Very high in vitamin E, along with several other powerful antioxidants.
• Good for cardiovascular health and reducing osteoporosis risk.
One thing you won’t see listed on a nutrition panel that you can find in many whole foods are beneficial compounds called “flavonoids”. We’ve mentioned them in some of our previous posts, so let’s get some more detail on what they are and what they can do for you:
- “Flavonoids” are a large group of phytonutrients (plant compounds) that are found in almost all fruits and vegetables. There are around 6,000 different types.
- Some of the more-known flavonoids include quercetin and kaempferol.
- Each type of flavonoid is used by your body in a different way.
- They can have powerful effects such as acting as antioxidants, reducing inflammation, protecting against disease, and balancing hormones and cholesterol.
- They help your body function better while also protecting it.
- Brightly colored plants get their color from flavonoids.
- Flavonoids can be found in a huge variety of foods including: onions, kale, grapes, tea, peaches, berries of all kinds, tomatoes, broccoli, celery, and citrus fruits.
You may have heard of cloud bread and maybe you’ve even tried it. Today we’re going to look at what it is, what goes into it, and why you’d eat it:
• Cloud bread is a keto-friendly, very low-carb, bread alternative.
• It’s mostly egg-based and only requires a few staple ingredients to make.
• It got its name because of its fluffy and airy texture.
• Recipes vary, but it’s typically made with eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, and salt.
• Some variations call for Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese.
• Batter is mixed, poured onto parchment paper, then baked to golden perfection.
• Cloud bread is gluten-free, low carb, grain-free, and high in protein.
When it comes to snacking, it’s easy to reach for the not-so-good-stuff. But with just a little effort, you can have a healthy snack that’s delicious and satisfying instead. Here are five ideas to get you started:
• Loaded Apple Slices
Core an apple, then cut it crosswise so that you end up with rings that are about ¼” thick. Spread with peanut butter, dust with cacao powder, and top with some cereal of your choice or dried coconut.
• Froyo Fruit Cups
Spoon vanilla (or plain sweetened with a little honey) Greek Yogurt into a lined mini-muffin pan. Add a few pieces of fruit (blueberries, raspberries, dried cranberries) and nuts. Freeze for a couple hours and remove from the pan.
• Turkey Avocado Wraps
Peel and slice an avocado. Wrap pieces of avocado with a slice of turkey and pin with a toothpick.
• PB Rice Cakes
Spread nut butter of your choice onto plain rice cakes and top with banana slices and chia seeds.
• Bell Peppers & Guacamole
One avocado, some fresh or bottled lime juice, salt, and pepper are all it takes to make guacamole. Peel, dice, and mash the avocado with the other ingredients and slice up a bell pepper to dip into the guac you just made.
Our Sweet & Salty Salad is rolling out for Summer and features bacon, strawberries, and feta cheese, among other delicious ingredients. Feta is a very unique cheese - from how it’s made to its nutrition, and even where it comes from.
• “Feta” in Greek means “slice”.
• Only feta cheese made in certain regions of Greece can be called “feta”.
• It’s made from sheep or goat milk, not cow milk.
• Feta contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a fatty acid that helps promote healthy body composition, prevents diabetes, and has anti-cancer properties.
• Feta has a wonderful combination of being low in calories, but high in calcium.
• It also contains a wide range of nutrients including folate, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, K, B6, and B12.
Whether you have a garden every summer or are considering one this year, herbs can be a great place to start. Most varieties are relatively low-fuss and offer a plentiful harvest that can be dried and used throughout the year.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Bright green and available in many interesting varieties, growing your own basil can save you quite a bit of money as fresh basil tends to be expensive in-store.
Available in garden or garlic varieties, chives add a delicious pop of color to your garden when their edible purple flowers bloom.
Oregano is extremely versatile, easy to grow, and full of flavor once its leaves dry.
Food and drinks get an invigorating kick from fresh mint, but plant it in containers to avoid it spreading to unwanted areas.
Easy to grow and always good to have on hand, sage comes in many varieties but make sure the one you’re planting is edible, since a couple aren’t.
Another colorful garden addition, lavender adds something different to desserts and drinks and can even be used to make your own lavender oil.
Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods out there. It’s able to help fight diseases, packed with vitamins, and can improve your health while also being delicious and versatile. Here are some more reasons we love salmon:
• Lean Protein - A 3oz serving gets you 22g of protein for only 155 calories and only 1g of saturated fat.
• B-Vitamins - Salmon is a great source of almost every B-vitamin that exists. These help many crucial processes such as turning food into energy and building DNA.
• Anti-Inflammatory - Salmon has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which is believed to be the root cause of several diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
• Brain Health - The combo of Omega-3s, B12, choline, and selenium all work to improve brain function and neurological health.
• Heart Health - Polyunsaturated fats in salmon help improve cholesterol levels and potassium helps to regulate blood pressure.
• Skin Health - The pink color of salmon comes from a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin that has been shown to repair skin from UV damage and help keep it hydrated and flexible.