Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobellos and Giveaway

I love creating recipes with fresh mushrooms, and this Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobello was a vegetarian main dish was a hit this weekend. Be sure to notice that between September 15th to November 15th, select retailers nationwide will sell mushrooms in pink containers in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2002, the Mushroom Council has invested more than $750,000 in grants to City of Hope for research on mushrooms and cancer. This fall, the Council will provide an additional $50,000 to continue funding this important research. How cool is this packaging in support of City of Hope and Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Great Health Benefits of Mushrooms

 

1. Mushrooms are low in sodium and calories, and they are fat and cholesterol free.

2. Mushrooms can be an effective substitute for meats thanks to their hearty and fulfilling nature.

3. Mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle to provide vitamin D, and one of the few non-fortified food sources. Growers also have the ability to increase D levels by exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light.

4. These friendly fungi provide critical nutrients like energizing B vitamins, potassium and powerful antioxidants, including ergothionene and selenium.

For chance to win the great giveaway above, follow the steps below. For each one, and let me know in the comments for a better chance to win:

1) Follow @MushroomChannel on Twitter

2) Check out and “like” the Mushroom Channel on Facebook

3) Answer the question: “How do you support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

4) RSVP to the Mom It Forward #gno twitter party and check out the giveaway at Mom at Forward

5) Join me for the Mushroom Council #gno twitter party October 4th, from 9-11 p.m EST.

6) Follow @alisonlewis on twitter and come see me on Facebook

Note: I was compensated for my participation in the Mushroom Channel Campaign

Awesome Honey Cake for Fall and Rosh Hashanah

IMG_2330

My father’s mother, Mary Rich, made the best Honey Cake that I can remember. She died when I was young, but I have never forgotten it. For years, my sisters and I have been searching for a Honey Cake recipe that would rival hers. Last year, my mom’s incredible friend, Rosalie, brought a Honey Cake to our families Rosh Hashanah holiday dinner, and it was a winner! We loved the recipe so much, and it reminded us of Mary. I hope you will like it as much as we do. It’s perfect for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah or any fall celebration. Note: the batter will be slightly liquid, but the recipe turns out moist as can be.

Homemade Caramel Corn

Homemade Caramel Corn anyone? This child (and adult) favorite is a great snack, dessert or even fun tailgating recipe. It also makes a great fall or Christmas food gift. I love this homemade Caramel Corn because it’s simple to prepare and uses a variety of almonds, pecans and walnuts, adding more protein. Make this even healthier by using my Saucepan Popcorn recipe to pop your popcorn. It’s so easy and uses no microwave. Be careful, this can get very addicting 🙂

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks with Edamame Salsa

On a busy school night or jam-packed weekend, these Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks are a snap to prepare and one of my kids’ favorites! They taste and look so fantastic – no one will ever know they are oven-fried.

With only 390 calories and 10 grams of fat, I feel good about serving this recipe to the kids and their friends. Whether you pair them with this Edamame Salsa or chop them up for a salad, they are perfect for football parties, picnics and casual dinners! On top of it all, what I really love is that the exact measurements can be used to make fish “cakes” as well.

I developed these crunchy fish sticks as part of the CanolaInfo “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection for World Heart Day 2011 (Sept. 29). This observance encourages families to take their health into their own hands starting at home with diet and exercise. To learn more about World Heart Day or to view the complete recipe collection, visit CanolaInfo.org.

Fun and Creative Halloween Ideas

My kids started school earlier this year (in mid August), and I was amazed while driving carpool the first week that one of the children in my car asked my son, “What are you going to be for Halloween this year.” Halloween seemed so far away, but as the weeks have been going by, I have started seeing pumpkins on doorsteps and even decorations going up. The other day, I had a friend ask me to suggest some Halloween recipe ideas for her Halloween party she’s planning. I offered a few ideas that I saw online, and I thought I would share them. Fall is honestly my favorite time of year, so I hope these creations will get you fired up about Halloween this year. These Spider Petit Fours (above) are from the talented, Amanda, from “I am Baker”. I can’t wait to make them!

Halloween Candy from One Charming Party

Cinnamon Caramel Apple Pumpkins by Bakingdom

Halloween Snack Mix by Munchkin Munchies

Wicked Witch Cupcakes by Martha Stewart Chocolate

Candy Corn Truffles from My Recipes and Sunset Magazine

Spider Cupcakes from Bakerella

Pumpkin Beverage Cooler idea from Southern Living

Healthy Tailgating Recipe: Panko Roasted Drumsticks

As I mentioned last week, football is just kind of big around here during football season. Each week, we rotate going to friends’ houses to watch the game or head to the games (if we are lucky enough). I have such a great time coming up with creative ways to make tailgating (and game watching) a little healthier, so everyone  doesn’t feel so stuffed (and guilty) when the games are over. These Panko Roasted Drumsticks are definitely one of my new popular crowd pleasers. They appeal to adults as well as kids, and they are so simple to make. Your guests won’t believe that this recipe is a “lightened up” version of one of their favorite party foods.

Game-Day Favorite: Basil Bloody Mary

Happy football season to everyone! We are excited about the Alabama/Penn State game and Auburn/Mississippi State tomorrow. I thought I would share this fun game-day recipe for Basil Bloody Marys. I made these on television a couple of times last year for some tailgating shows, and I thought they would make the perfect tailgating drink for this weekend’s games. This recipe rocks-just try it and you will see. Enjoy the weekend!

Lightened-Up Pimiento Cheese Recipe

Since it’s Labor Day weekend (and the start of college football), I thought I would share a lightened-up version of pimiento cheese perfect for a game day appetizer, Labor Day picnic, or weekend snack with crackers. Most of our friends will be at the Alabama game, Auburn game, the lake or the beach (that is how it goes around here in the south). I will be at the Auburn game because my daughter’s cheerleading team gets to cheer during the Auburn halftime show. How cool is that? Anyway, this Lightened-Up Pimiento Cheese uses Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. It tastes great, and no one will know the difference. I also like to add smoked paprika or chipotle seasoning for an added kick. Have a great, safe weekend!

Top 10 Health Benefits of Cherries: A True Superfruit

Cherries are a nutritional powerhouse fruit with so many incredible health benefits. One cup of raw cherries has 87 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Enjoy them now while they are at their peak because their season is way too short. Read on for 10 great health benefits of eating cherries.

Ten Great Health Benefits of Eating Cherries

1. Cherries, known as a “super-fruit”, are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer.

2. Cherries are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycles.

3. Cherries are an excellent source of beta carotene (vitamin A). In fact they contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries.

4. Cherries are rich in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber.

5. Cherries are referred to as “brain food”, aiding in brain health and in the prevention of memory loss.

6. Because cherries contain anthocyanins, they can reduce inflammation and symptoms of arthritis and gout.

7. Eating cherries reduces the risk of diabetes.

8. Cherries are a good source of fiber which is important for digestive health.

9. Cherries are a great snack or dessert choice important for weight-maintenance.

10. Because of their powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, cherries are said to reduce pain and joint soreness for runners and athletes after workouts.

Favorite Back to School Snack: Healthy Trail Mix

School starts in one week so I (and we) are trying to brace ourselves or get fired up (depends which way I look at it). I have been thinking about healthy snacks since my daughter, Leigh, takes her lunch every day and goes to cheerleading straight from school. Also, my two boys, Alec and Zachary, are ravenous when they get home from school, and this recipe really fills them up. This trail mix is a cinch. I call it a “dump and stir”. It has a got a great variety of ingredients with protein, fiber and carbohydrates. They love eating it plain, adding milk to it or even stirring it into Greek yogurt. The only problem is: I have to control myself. Once I start eating it, I cannot stop.