Blog Posts by The Editors of EatingWell Magazine

  • 5 delicious dinners that won’t break the bank

    EatingWell's Middle Eastern Chickpea platterEatingWell's Middle Eastern Chickpea platterWhen I was a vegan college student trying to get enough protein and calories on a tight budget, almost every meal I whipped up started with beans-vegan chili, vegan burritos, vegan pasta and beans (you get the idea). Now that I'm a busy working mom and a more creative cook, I still embrace the convenience and healthfulness of canned beans.

    I mash black beans with salsa for quick tostadas or toss chickpeas with pesto, artichoke hearts and whole-wheat spaghetti for a family-friendly pasta. I feel good knowing that beans are a high-quality source of protein and a good source of heart-healthy dietary fiber. A typical 1⁄2-cup serving provides about 7 grams of protein and up to 7 grams of fiber.

    5 budget-friendly bean recipes:

    Middle Eastern Chickpea Platter

    1. Middle Eastern Chickpea Platter- This recipe combines the flavors of two Middle Eastern favorites-hummus and baba ganouj-in one easy dish. Serve it family-style, letting diners take their own favorite combination of ingredients. Serve with

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  • What your mother didn’t tell you about plastics

    You're mom didn't tell you, because she doesn't know, but your convenient plastic food containers and reusable water bottles might have a dark side. For years, I and many of my active-minded friends proudly drank out of the beaten-up Nalgene bottles, plastered with stickers, that I'd had since college. But after recent news reports about the safety of plastic, I started to wonder: can plastic containers transfer harmful compounds to foods and drinks? Read on and decide for yourself-and don't forget to tell your mom.

    In particular, I was questioning the potential dangers of polycarbonate plastics-often found in reusable water bottles, clear plastic food-storage containers and some baby bottles. In the August issue of EatingWell, Karen Ansel, R.D., investigated the issue and came up with these four facts to help you decide for yourself (share them with your mom, too-she doesn't know about this either):

    1. Polycarbonates contain bisphenol-A (BPA), an estrogenlike chemical also

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  • 4 High-octane foods

    What foods can you count on to go the extra mile, and which foods fall short? See what recent studies reveal before your next workout.

    1. A Spoonful of Honey
    Recent research suggests that carb blends (foods containing fructose and glucose) may be superior to straight glucose for boosting energy during endurance activities. But before you reach for a sports drink, consider honey: like sugar, it naturally has equal parts fructose and glucose, but it also contains a handful of antioxidants and vitamins. Upshot: While not exactly a "super food," honey has plenty going for it besides being sweet. The darker the honey, the more disease-fighting compounds it contains. Use it in a recipe for on-the-go Peanut Energy Bars.

    2. A Cup of Joe
    Studies that demonstrate performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine often imply that drinking coffee will give you a boost. Not so, according to the latest research. Scientists put nine endurance runners through five trials after ingesting

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  • Better than Taco Bell

    The EatingWell TacoThe EatingWell TacoThe secret to crispy, healthy tacos.

    Carolyn Casner, one of our recipe testers here in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, grew up on the border in El Paso, Texas, so she knows Mexican food. According to her, "the world's best tacos come from Julio's Café Corona, where my family and I always went after church. They're greasy, messy and delicious."

    I visited Julio's when I was a kid (the Texas side of my family are also Julio's devotees) and I can attest that they make some pretty darned delicious tacos.

    When Carolyn visits Texas, she always heads straight from the airport to Julio's. But when she's at home in Vermont, Carolyn, husband Jeb Wallace-Brodeur, a photojournalist, and son Aidan, 9, have their own easy homemade taco night on a regular basis.

    For convenience Carolyn usually uses store-bought taco shells with an assortment of fillings like ground beef, refried beans, shredded cheese and lettuce, salsa and chopped onions. But if you're not careful a taco meal like

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  • Are you getting enough purple?

    Purple traditionally symbolizes royalty; blue, trust. But in such foods as blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, black currants, eggplant and purple grapes, these hues represent a vision of good health. An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES), a survey of eating and health habits, found that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (the "good" kind); they are also less likely to be overweight. Scientists believe that anthocyanins, compounds that give purple foods their color, are responsible for these boons. These antioxidant compounds mop up free radicals and soothe inflammation. Currently, purple and blue foods make up only 3 percent of the average American's fruit and vegetable intake, so aim to eat more. And since different foods contain different anthocyanins, try to eat a range of purple and blue foods to benefit the most.

    Start with dinner tonight

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  • Makin' whoopie pies: Classic sweet treats with a third of the fat and calories

    Whoopie PiesWhoopie PiesUntil I moved to Vermont, I had never heard of whoopie pies-a cream-filled cakey chocolate sandwich cookie originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They have a cultlike following in New England. At every roadside stop between here and Maine they are piled up in neat little stacks. And they're quite delicious…but often made with a filling of sugar-laced shortening. So they're not so stellar nutritionally.

    We decided to makeover the classic whoopie pie and we had great success. Here's how a traditional whoopie pie stacks up against our madeover version:

    Traditional Whoopie Pie
    Calories: 679
    Fat: 36 grams
    Saturated Fat: 9 grams
    Trans Fat: 4 grams

    EatingWell Whoopie Pie
    Calories: 202
    Fat: 11 grams
    Saturated Fat: 4 grams
    Trans Fat: 0 grams

    Here are the secrets of how we made whoopie pies healthier:

    • Replaced vegetable shortening with healthy canola oil and substituted nonfat
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  • Eat to win: 4 top athletes share their secrets to healthy eating

    Whether you're training for the Olympics or just fueling up for a run, what you eat has a big impact on your fitness performance. Here, 4 Olympic athletes share their top nutrition tips and we offer recipes to help you eat to win.

    Citrus Berry SmoothieCitrus Berry Smoothie

    Dara Torres

    Dara Torres is more than your average Olympic athlete: she has set three World records, holds 13 National titles and owns nine Olympic medals, four of which are gold. Torres is the first U.S. swimmer to compete in four Olympic games and now, at 41 and a mother of a 2-year-old, she's once again a medal contender-in Beijing. Dara often starts her day with a high-protein, high-fiber berry shake. Recipe to try: Citrus Berry Smoothie.

    Q: Describe your typical day of training.
    A: I spend two hours in the pool, five days a week, and I weight train four days a week-two days of lower-body and core and the other two days upper-body and core. I also do resistive stretching three days a week.

    Q: How many calories would you say you

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  • Say yes to those summer picnic invitations!

    Summer brings lots of invitations to potluck cookouts, so you'll need an arsenal of sides and desserts to share. Whether your al fresco meal is around a grill, on a sandy beach or under a shady tree, these favorite summer picnic sides and desserts will round out your meal. Made with some of the best vegetables and fruits of summer, these dishes are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and swap unhealthy saturated fats with healthy monounsaturated ones. So say "yes" to all those invitations, whip up some of these healthy recipes and enjoy the best of the outdoors!

    Recipes for summer picnic faves:

    Basil-Cinnamon PeachesBasil-Cinnamon Peaches

    Basil-Cinnamon Peaches are a delight for the eyes as well as the palate. Poaching the peach halves in their skins gives the syrup a rosy blush. For visual enjoyment, pack these colorful fruit in a clear glass jar. Make them ahead of time and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey VinaigretteBean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

    Colorful Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette really shines

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  • Move over tomatoes! 4 watermelon recipes with even more cancer-fighting lycopene

    Experience a quintessential summer pleasure: take a big bite from a slice of watermelon, let the sweet juices drip down your chin and then spit the seeds as far as you can. Redolent with tangy sweetness, watermelon is refreshing without being filling and is surprisingly good for you.

    Watermelon-92 percent water, hence the name-is a good source of vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene, when it's red (some are orange or yellow). Watermelon averages 40% more of the cancer-fighter lycopene per serving than tomatoes. Lycopene in watermelon is easily absorbed without cooking, unlike that in tomatoes, and is relatively stable when the fruit is stored and refrigerated. A 1-cup serving of watermelon also provides 10% of the daily value for vitamin A, 12% of the daily value for vitamin C, along with vitamin B6, beta carotene, thiamin and potassium-all for just 46 calories.

    In season from June through October, this melon's iconic status in American culture often overshadows its

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  • Is your favorite food disappearing? 4 recipes and tips to save heirloom foods

    The tomatoes my neighbor brought over from her garden were not pretty. They rolled around like marbles in a small cardboard box, various sizes and colors, with little pockmarks around their stems. Yet they were intriguing: I'd never seen ones these shades of purple, red and green, so different from the store-bought symmetrical varieties that seem to pop out of molds.

    "What are these called?" I asked. "I'm not exactly sure," she replied. "They're from seeds my grandfather had in the barn." When I bit into one it was sweet, slightly lemony and stunning; better than any tomato I had ever eaten. I could taste summer, sunshine and earth and could imagine her grandfather toiling over the vines. They tasted like an era and a place.

    "A Taste of Place" is a running theme in our August issue, and in it we ask you to seek out and celebrate heirloom foods like those tomatoes. No one has taken this message to heart more than ecologist and ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan, whom many

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