Traditional recipes

MyPlate Giving Online Recipes Gold Stars

MyPlate Giving Online Recipes Gold Stars

Or rather, just a MyPlate logo to help you eat healthy

MyPlate isn't going anywhere: The new logo for healthy eating, backed by Michelle Obama and the USDA, will be premiering as a "gold star" of sorts for recipes that fit the MyPlate standard.

According to USA Today, five publications and 18 cooking websites will work with Let's Move to showcase MyPlate-recommended dishes: Condé Nast Magazines, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, Food Network, and Time Inc. are the major publication houses involved.

Each recipe that lives up to the standard will be tagged with a MyPlate logo, and 3,000 recipes will be featured on a new Pinterest page. Full entrées and side dishes will be showcased, although side dishes must meet a part of the MyPlate criteria (lean protein, whole grain, or vegetable inclusion). "This partnership takes the guesswork out of finding healthy recipes and gives parents the information and the tools they need to make healthy choices for their families every day," Michelle Obama said in a statement.

The USDA is also working to make sure that recipes have limited added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium, Sam Kass, White House chef and senior policy adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives, said. We imagine Paula Deen's donut burger is most definitely not on the list.

MyPlate Giving Online Recipes Gold Stars - Recipes


  • 225g soft butter
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out (see dad’s tip)
  • A little whole milk, if needed
  • Stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted (not essential but will make things much easier!)
  • Biscuit cutters – for medals use a 7–8cm ring

Cooking instructions

  1. Put the soft butter into the stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted then add the sugar. Mix the sugar and butter together until light coloured and creamy. You can do this in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon but it is a lot more work!
  2. Add the egg and flour and mix again thoroughly. Add the icing sugar and vanilla seeds and mix until it forms a ball. You might need to add a little bit of milk if it is a bit dry. Wash your hands if you get raw egg on your fingers.
  3. Wrap the biscuit dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. When ready to cook, heat your oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  5. While the oven is heating up, dust the clean work top with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is 1cm thick. If you have time, chill again for 30 minutes.
  6. Use a 7–8cm cutter to cut out circles and put them on to the lined baking tray at least 2cm apart.
  7. If you are making medals, make a small hole in the top of the biscuits that is big enough to fit a ribbon through (I used a round piping nozzle).
  8. Put the tray into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the biscuits are lightly golden all over.
  9. Take the tray out of the oven and move the biscuits to a wire rack to cool before decorating.
  1. Spray the biscuits with edible gold food spray and allow them to dry on the wire rack.
  2. Once the gold spray has dried, decorate with the white icing. Leave the icing to set for 5 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, thread the ribbons through the holes that have been made and tie in a bow.

Make ahead alert: the biscuit dough needs to rest for 1 hour before cooking and then the biscuits need to be completely cold before decorating.

Try adding lemon, lime or orange zest or spices like ginger or cinnamon. Or replace 3 tbsp flour with 3 tbsp of cocoa powder.

To get the tiny seeds out of a vanilla pod, all you have to do is split the pod with a sharp knife and open it out as much as you can. Then, use a knife or a spoon to scrape the inside from top to bottom. The black stuff you have gathered is hundreds of tiny seeds ready to make your biscuits taste amazing.

Reward the kids this half-term in London with the Cookie Decorating Masterclass at Bread Street Kitchen, free when adults dine on two-courses. Find out more.

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All-American Eats: Must-Try Foods from the 50 States

We put on our foodie thinking caps and chose one ingredient or dish to represent each of the 50 states.

What food makes you think of California? How about New York? Nevada? We put on our foodie thinking caps and chose one ingredient or dish to represent each of the 50 states. Find out which restaurants will give you a taste of these "all-American" foods (some of which were brought to the U.S.A. by immigrants from around the globe), or check out our recipes that let you try versions of the dishes at home.

White barbecue sauce is a staple in Northern Alabama. While residents in other BBQ states are often unaware that this lighter sauce exists, Alabamians know that it's not a barbecue without the mayonnaise-based condiment. White barbecue sauce is thought to have been invented in 1925, when the now legendary Big Bob Gibson first started barbecuing for friends and family in a hand-dug pit in his backyard. The sauce became an instant hit and is so well known today that Big Bob Gibson's has begun to bottle the hit recipe so customers can enjoy it at home.

Order It: Big Bob Gibson's children have kept the business in the family, which now boasts three restaurants and years worth of BBQ awards. While the menu has expanded since Big Bob first opened shop, the classic chicken with white barbecue sauce still takes center stage on the menu. Can't make it to Alabama? Check out the coveted white sauce recipe from Big Bob Gibson's above.

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Multiple Locations, Decatur (256) 350-0404

Smoking meats and fish is a process that has been around for centuries and was originally utilized as a natural preservation system. Today, smoked salmon is made by soaking salmon in a brine solution, then taking the salmon to a smokehouse, where it undergoes either a cold or hot smoking. King salmon became one of Alaska's state symbols in 1962, and smoked salmon is one of the most popular ways to enjoy Alaska's state fish.

Order It: Alaskan smoked salmon can now be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the U.S. The Kodiak Island Smokehouse is a family run commercial smokehouse that uses only wild salmon and supplies smoked fish to many Kodiak Island restaurants.

Kodiak Island Smokehouse 1011 Mill Bay Rd., Kodiak (907) 486-6455

Arizona is known for its cacti, one of them being the prickly pear. This desert plant produces a sweet, crimson fruit that is popular in Arizona as a lovely addition to a margarita. The fruit grows abundantly in the state and is native to the West. It was once used by American Indians and in Mexico for medicinal purposes.

Order It: If a prickly pear-infused cocktail sounds like the right way to go, try the Tonto Bar and Grill's prickly pear margarita in a pretty pink hue. Or, for a completely different take on the prickly pear, Flancer's restaurant in Flagstaff serves it in sandwich form. Dubbed "The Perfect 'Prickly' Pear Chicken," the sandwich is a prickly pear marinated chicken breast with lettuce, tomato, melted provolone, and New Mexican green chile mayonnaise. For wary customers, Flancer's has a "no thorns" guarantee.

Flancer's Incredible Sandwiches & Pizzeria Multiple Locations (480) 396-0077

Tonto Bar and Grill 5736 E. Rancho Mañana Blvd., Cave Creek (480) 488-0698

Chocolate gravy (a thickened chocolate sauce) is a common accompaniment for biscuits in the South. It's a breakfast staple in Arkansas. It is thought that recipes for the decadent Southern treat were developed using chocolate pudding as a base in the 19th century. While there is no documentation about the addition of biscuits to the mix, it makes sense that a common baked good was grabbed at some point to dip in the chocolate gravy &mdash and thus a breakfast tradition was born.

Order It: The Ozark Cafe has been serving down home Arkansas eats since 1909. The restaurant is a blast from the past, with a design that recalls the 1930s. Chocolate gravy and biscuits is one of the restaurant's breakfast sides and can be ordered as an addition to the savory breakfast options.

Ozark Cafe 107 East Court St., Jasper (870) 446-2976

There's no shortage of fantastic produce in The Golden State. Roughly 25 varieties of avocados are now produced in California, making the state the leading producer. Rich in vitamins and loaded with "good" fats, avocado is often cut into chunks for salads and sandwiches or even used as a spread, like in the "B.L.A.T." (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato).

Order It: Owned and operated by a California couple, Huckleberry Bakery and Café in Santa Monica offers homemade and authentic breads, pastries, and savory delights in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The menu is creative and inspired, as it changes frequently. Their version of the "B.L.A.T." is actually referred to as the "BLTA," and comes with Niman Ranch bacon, Harry's Berries tomatoes, avocado, arugula, and aioli on country bread.

Huckleberry Bakery and Café 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica (310) 451-2311

The Denver omelet is a bit of a mystery. No one knows for certain why it was given the name "Denver," and even more strange, the breakfast dish was first popular in the South before it became known as a western or Denver omelet. One theory suggests that the name developed during the building of America's first cross-country railroad. Workers called the omelet "the Western" and often ate it on a sandwich, but when the railroad made it to Utah, the egg dish was dubbed "the Denver."

Order It: The Delectable Egg is the self proclaimed "Home of the Denver omelet," and uses only farm fresh, natural ingredients. They have three versions on the menu: the classic Denver omelet, the wild western (which subs chorizo for ham and adds in jalapeños), and the Western sandwich.

The Delectable Egg Multiple Locations, Denver

Fisherman who ultimately settled in New England are credited with inventing clam chowder. They made soups out of the ingredients they had on hand &mdash often parts of the daily catch, biscuits, and milk &mdash and would use flour as a thickener. As chowder became an on-land staple in the Northeast, potatoes, large amounts of cream, and clams were added to the mix. Now New England-style clam chowder is a Connecticut staple. Although carrots and celery are sometimes added to the stew, the lack of vegetables available to fishermen back when chowders were first created is still noticeable in recipes for the soup today.

Order It: The U.S.S. Chowder Pot started in the 1970s as a modest hot dog stand. Now there are two outposts of the famous seafood restaurant, and it has been voted the best seafood in Connecticut by several publications for 17 years running. Loyal to its name, the U.S.S. Chowder Pot offers a highly acclaimed bowl of traditional New Englad clam chowder. They also serve Chowder Pot chowder, a clear broth version of the customer favorite.

The U.S.S. Chowder Pot Multiple Locations, Branford and Hartford (203) 481-2356

Crabbing has long been a popular activity on the Delaware beaches. Since Delaware's entire Eastern side borders the Atlantic, there's plenty of room for people to use crab pots and traps to catch blue crabs to cook for dinner. American recipes for crab dip date back to the early 19th century. While some suggested cooking methods mirror a modern day clam bake, many recipes were created to extend the crab meat. Mayonnaise and cream cheese were often added to the meat during World War II so it could serve more people. Nowadays Delaware crab dip can be served hot or cold. The former is baked in the oven like a casserole the latter is simply thrown together and eaten immediately.

Order It: Fenwick Crab House has its own special recipe for hot crab dip. The restaurant boasts that many imitators have attempted to copy the dish without success. The cheesy dip is baked in a French Boule Roll and finished with fresh cheddar cheese that melts over top.

Fenwick Crab House 100 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, City (302) 539-2500

Key Lime Pie is perhaps the most coveted dessert in Florida. The use of tart and aromatic Key Limes straight from the Florida Keys has made the pie a staple in the state. Key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk make up the ingredients for the filling. Then, the bright yellow custard is often topped with a meringue. In 2006, the Florida House of Representatives and the Senate passed legislation to make key lime pie the official state pie of Florida.

Order It: Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe offers "all things key lime," from barbecue sauce to syrup and, of course, its famous key lime pie. Customers don't have to head to Florida for a taste Kermit's ships nationwide and to Canada.

Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe 200A Elizabeth Street, Key West (305) 296-0806

Chicken and waffles is a versatile soul food dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. While the origins of the unusual savory and sweet combination are widely disputed, one version holds that a Harlem restaurant came up with the recipe in the 1930s. Wells Supper Club served the dish to musicians and entertainers who had performed late into the night &mdash they had already missed dinner, but it was still too early for breakfast. While the dish may have been invented in a New York eatery, Georgia has been a fantastic adopter of the dish.

Order It: Gladys Knight's restaurant, Gladys and Ron's Chicken & Waffles, serves a mean plate of the comfort food dish. Knight's inspiration for the recipe came from her own time spent at the Wells Supper Club enjoying chicken and waffles after late-night performances.

Gladys and Ron's Chicken & Waffles Multiple Locations, Atlanta and Lithonia (404) 874-9393

In Hawaii, one can enjoy many types of "luaus," parties and feasts that usually incorporate entertainment. Whether it's for a birthday, wedding, or cook-out, there is always food, and main dishes can range from kalua pig to lomi salmon or "poke," a raw fish salad. But luaus are typically known for their pig roasts. The word kālua, which literally means "to cook in an underground oven," may also be used to describe the food cooked in this manner, such as kālua pig or kālua turkey, which are commonly served at luau feasts. Hawaiian chef Sam Choy coined the term "kālua pork" to describe pork shoulder butt rubbed with sea salt, wrapped in ti leaves, and slowly cooked in oven using liquid mesquite smoke.

Order It: If you're in Hawaii this summer, head to the Side Street Inn in Honolulu for an order of "Big Island Smoked Pork" and a serving of one of their famous fried rice dishes.

Side Street Inn, 1225 Hopaka St.,

As with Ireland, potatoes are embedded in the history of Idaho. Particularly hearty and enduring as a crop, potatoes have remained a part of Idaho's agricultural landscape for centuries. The cooking opportunities abound: you can boil potatoes, serve them au gratin, mash them, bake them, and turn them into french fries. Over time, this versatile and unassuming food has become a staple throughout the nation.

Order It: At Boise Fry Company, they know potatoes. Having studied the potato intensely, this personable establishment, "after months of labor," has created a fry "that, though cosmopolitan in origin, is uniquely Idahoan and, most importantly, tasty!"

Boise Fry Co., Multiple locations, Boise (208) 495-3858

The horseshoe sandwich is unique to Illinois. Created around the early 1920s, the horseshoe is an open-faced "sandwich," though we aren't sure you'd call it that given its make-up: thick-sliced toasted bread (or hamburger patties or ham) topped with French fries and covered with a cheese sauce. Other meats can be used for the base, such as pork, chicken breasts, or fried fish. Cheese sauce tends to vary from chef to chef.

Make It: Start with thick toasted bread, then top it with Crispy French Fries and a homemade Cheese Sauce.

Order It: If it seems like things could get a little messy making this bad boy at home, leave it to the experts at Westwoods Lodge in Springfield, Illinois. There, owner Sean Nelson has created his own twist on the horseshoe, called the "South Of The Border" Snowshoe. According to Nelson, this unique 'shoe consists of lettuce as the toast, taco meat as the meat, salsa cheese sauce, tomatoes, onions, and black olives. It's surrounded by tortilla chips and topped with Texas Toothpicks (a.k.a. "Timber Styx").

Westwoods Lodge Pub & Grill 2406 West Jefferson St., Springfield (217) 698-9256

Sugar cream pie was reportedly created around the early 1800s by the North Carolina Quakers who settled along the eastern side of Indiana. It was known as "desperation" pie because of the simple ingredients that made it possible to make even when fresh fruit wasn't available. Today, sugar cream pie is known more commonly as Hoosier pie, in honor of the "Hoosier" state: Indiana.

Order It: Mrs. Wick's Pies offers a sugar cream pie baked from a family recipe that dates back to the 19th century. Along with a full-service restaurant, Mrs. Wick's makes pies out of a factory outlet store. Wick's Inc. produces 12 million pies and pie shells per year, which are commonly available for mail order.

Mrs. Wick's Pies, 40 East Pine St., Zionsville (317) 733-8717

Pork has been a favored food source in Iowa for a long time. At one point it was more cost efficient for farmers to raise pigs than cattle. The general pork tenderloin sandwich blueprint consists of breaded pork tenderloin atop a soft bun. Part of its long-standing appeal is its uniqueness: each sandwich is "one-of-a-kind," ranging in size, shape, thickness, and texture. Arguments concerning who makes the best pork tenderloin sandwich in Iowa have gotten so heated that the Iowa Pork Producers decided, in 2004, to turn it into a competition.

Make It: Put a serving of Breaded Pork Tenderloin on a soft bun. Add preferred condiments.

Order It: Augusta Restaurant, in Oxford, Iowa, sources its food locally, relying on fresh ingredients for its success. Their menu features several specialties, like hand-cut chips, steaks, and freshly-baked bread and pies. Their breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, listed as "The Best Pork Tenderloin in Iowa," has been recognized as one of the best in Iowa by the aforementioned Iowa Pork Producers Association. For only $10 per sandwich, and served with homemade pickles on a house bun, this might be one of the most delicious secrets in the midwest. Fortunately, the secret is now out!

Augusta Restaurant 101 S Augusta Ave., Oxford (319) 828-2252

There's a reason Kansas is known as "The Sunflower State." Sunflowers grow in abundance. In fact, Kansas is one of the U.S.'s primary producers of the beautiful flower. And that means they have a whole lot of wonderful, crunchy sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, which are used in plenty of recipes.

Order It: Bainter Sunflower Oil, in Hoxie, Kansas, crushes, processes, filters and bottles high oleic sunflower seeds into an all-natural sunflower oil, which is available for shipping.

Bainter Sunflower Oil, 1017 Sheridan Ave., Hoxie (785) 675-1233

Known for a particularly heart-wrenching strain of American music, Kentucky is also famous for a particular type of southern-style foods &mdash fried foods. Country fried steak, a beloved dish, differs from chicken fried steak in that it is pan-fried in gravy, not deep-fried.

Order It: After attending culinary school in New York, the owners of Winchell's, two high school buddies, returned to Lexington, Kentucky, to achieve their goal of making the "people of Kentucky proud by serving fresh, homemade food in a casual and friendly environment." On the menu you'll find chicken, chicken, and more chicken. Try their Country-Fried Steak, which is served as two cutlets that are hand breaded, fried, topped with country gravy, and served with mashed potatoes and country green beans.

Winchell's Restaurant & Bar, 348 Southland Dr., Lexington (859) 278-9424

The South should be proud of its distinct cuisine. It's a melting pot of spices, cultures, and tastes. In Louisiana, gumbo stands out as one of the oldest dishes of the region, originating at a time before written records even existed. Although people are unsure of whether it is of Cajun or Creole origin, it is certain that gumbo is both a source of pride and a meaningful cultural symbol in the state. Did we mention it tastes amazing, too? Often thick and stewy, gumbo can be catered to one's tastes. Most often, though, seafood, veggies, and strong spices are incorporated in some fashion.

Order It: For over a century, Galatoire's in New Orleans has been serving the same classic, French-Creole family recipes. This restaurant prides itself on maintaining its time-honored traditions, staying true to the original establishment for four generations. It creates culturally-inspired dishes like poisson meunière amandine, ribeye bordelaise, and multiple varieties of gumbo. Recently, Galatoire's was honored with a James Beard Award.

Best e juice Clone Recipes

Mustard Milk

It’s one of the simplest two-part e-juice clone recipes even a beginner can nail. Begin with a PG/VG/Nic base, add 6% of TPA Strawberry, and 8% of TPA Vanilla bean ice cream. Next, leave the liquid to steep for several days (up to one week).

Vulture Punch Clone

Begin with a PG/VG/Nic base, add 0.5% TPA Brown Sugar, 0.5% Cotton candy, 1% Madagascar (Vanilla Classic) (FA), 1% Strawberry Sweet (TPA), 1% Strawberry (Ripe) (TPA), 8% Vanilla Custard v1 (CAP), 8% Kiwi Strawberry (Stevia) (CAP).

Mother’s Milk Clone

This is a more complex recipe for adventurous vapers. Begin with a PG/VG/Nic base, add 0.5% Graham Cracker (Clear) (TPA), 0.5% Marshmallow (TPA), 1% Caramel Candy (TPA), 2% Vanilla Custard (TPA), 3% Bavarian Cream (TPA), 3% Cinnamon Danish (TPA), 3% French Vanilla Deluxe (TPA), 3% Sweet Cream (TPA), 3% Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (TPA), 5% Strawberry (Ripe) (TPA), and 6%Cheesecake New York Style (LA).

20 Best Calorie Savers

Here is a new fat and calorie saver guide that has 20 easy ways to lower the calories you consume by making simple substitutions. It consists of 20 easy swaps that you can make whether you are cooking at home, eating out, or tempted by desserts and other sweet treats.

This guide replaces an older one that was very popular with readers when we first started blogging. The new one emphasizes more up-to-date choices for cooking, desserts, beverage, and meal choices based on market choices, consumer habits, and Dietary Guideline suggestions.

We feel these new substitution recommendations are more up-to-date, practical, and significant now because people spend about 25% less time cooking versus eating meals away from home now versus 20 years ago, (Smith, 1). Furthermore, meals eaten away from home have almost doubled according to the USDA. In 1970, 25.9 percent of all food spending was on food away from home by 2012, that share rose to its highest level of 43.1 percent.

Here is an overview of the handout by category:

One of the best ways to save calories and limit overconsumption of refined fats and oils is to use oil dispensed in a spray vessel. There are so many more options for oil sprays in the store now including: canola oil, olive oil, and avocado oil to name just a few.

Avocado oil is delicious and great for cooking because of its high smoking point, which is 482 degrees Fahrenheit (AOCS, 1). This means that you can heat it higher before it will smoke so items will brown quickly. Spray oils often make a better "bread" spread, too, in place of butter or margarine. At about .80 per ounce it is not cheap but that is precisely the point. You will use less! One study found that it enhances carotenoid absorption in salads and salsa (Unlu, 1). For safety recommendations on fat and cooking see this USDA fact sheet.

Using a spray oil and flavored vinegar combo is a great low-cal way to dress a salad lemon or lime juice and flavored vinegar by themselves work well, too. Bottled dressings are often high in fat and or sodium.

Other low-fat cooking substitutions include using egg white in place of whole eggs and extra lean turkey in place of ground beef will help lower calories by 50% or more. Lean protein choices can also include fish, poultry white meat without skin, beans and legumes, and lean meat.

After choosing the most lean cut or protein, keep it lean by using a low-fat cooking method like broiling, grilling, steaming, or sautéing with a small amount of fat. It is best to skip deep frying, pan frying, or any other cooking method where large amounts of fat are added to the cooking process.

Greek yogurt is popular and it's plain option makes a great substitute for sour cream, creme fraiche, and cream cheese. One container of plain, nonfat yogurt can perform many tricks in your kitchen including:

  • dressing baked potatoes
  • smearing on crackers or bread
  • topping fish, chicken, chili, burritos, tacos, Indian dishes, and other spicey dishes the same way you would with sour cream
  • adding to dips

Of course Greek yogurt makes a delicious dessert when topped with fresh fruit. Look for the 0% fat variety in your store.

For those with a sweet tooth for cookies, cupcakes, iced cakes, brownies, and ice cream, there is good news. You don't have to give up your sweet tooth to make better choices that will help you stay within your calorie budget. In our opinion it is better to keep a few items on hand for fruit-based dessert creations than packages of items that add a lot of calories in a week. Always consider the total number of calories per package when you are shopping.

Whipped cream is only 76 calories an ounce and 1/4 to 1/2 ounce is often enough to top yogurt, bananas, or fruit for an assembled decadent dessert that is surprisingly low in calories. This is more fresh and satisfying than ice cream, sticky sweets, or large cookies. Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts, and whipped cream can be combined in many ways to make a great treat. Just remember portion control on these items, too. Stick to the amount recommended on the package or go a little less.

When out at the coffee stand go for a single biscotti cookie rather than a 600 calorie sticky bun. Coffee stores such as Star Bucks now list the calories on their items so you can learn a lot about desserts and their calorie contents while standing in line.

Meals and Beverages

The meal and beverage chart is pretty straight forward. Choose beverages that are not sweetened with sugar. Flavored teas are always great any time of the year. You can go cold for summer and hot for winter. No sugar needed!

Instead of fast food consider soup and salad, or sushi. One of the best places to look for these items when you are in a hurry are grocery stores that have salad bars, sushi counters, and whole, ready-to-eat buffets. You can be in and out with a great meal in less time than you can wait in a fast food drive-through line.

"Food Eaten Away from Home", USDA Economic Research Service, Published Online December 2016. Accessed May 2017.

12 Salad Presentations + 3 Bonus Ideas

  • WHAT: Making attractive plate presentations for healthy food, which is a challenge because you are often working with brown whole grains and you are using less meat and less fat. The good news is that you can really increase the color of fruits and vegetables.
  • WHO: The intended audience is for professionals who teach cooking demos, food service managers, dietary managers, dietitians, home economists, teachers and even aspiring culinarians. But anyone who wants to make a better-looking dish in their kitchen would benefit, too. We use simple tips that make the food look and taste great - it is "edible food styling" - no weird chemicals or funny tricks.
  • WHY: So everyone can enjoy making a really beautiful salad.

My plating skills are honed from over 20 years in the foodservice industry including 2 Hyatt Hotels, many food shows, photography shoots, plus my CIA and Switzerland culinary education. An aesthetically-pleasing presentation is always necessary in all facets of foodservice. Presentation skills carried me through the rigorous tests of ProChef II, where I really learned the concept of the useful versus frivolous garnishes. These are plated salad presentations that people will love! My favorite chef, Hans Hickel, said, "People eat with their eyes!"

  • HOW: Study and practice our tips below and bookmark, take one of our courses or subscribe as a premium member for access to our recipe library and newsletters. If you want to make your presentations better, you can practiceevery day as you cook. There are countless cookbooks, blogs, magazines, and Instagram channels to give you ideas, too. If it looks good to you, try it!
  • Rely on ingredients that do NOT go with the food you are serving - examples include: a strawberry with a stem, a cutesy carved flower radish, a big sprig of parsley, too-thick tomato slice or big piece of lettuce. Usually, these add color but are not eaten. These are the easy way out. They are often an afterthought. BETTER IDEAS: chopped herbs, sprinkles of spices, drizzled sauces, dots of flavored oil, vegetable puree, thinly sliced fruits or vegetables that get eaten and add a crisp texture.
  • Serve a plate full of bland-colored food. BETTER IDEAS: shredded colorful veggies like carrots, red peppers, tomatoes, beets, etc. Try to mix up the colors so that you have an even spread of color on the plate.

As Master Chef Rudy Specklcamp said to me on my final ProChef II test day, "The craft of a chef is to make food that looks and tastes delicious." He was talking about slicing everything neatly, choosing the right garnishes and finding accompaniments that make sense. This part is hard - it makes you think!

  • Keep it simple and fresh.
  • Cut in a uniform manner whenever possible - diced items should be square.
  • Use lots of white plates - food always looks better on white. Solid plates are better than patterns. The food should be the pattern and focus.
  • When using colors, consider complementary colors and a variety of colors.

TEST: Does the food really say, "eat me!"?

Here are 12 ways to present a delicious, healthy salad. Try them all!

1) Tall - when making a salad, think tall. Tall could mean piling leafy greens in a high, airy pile. It can also mean a ramekin or bowl that is taller than it is wide. It can also include putting a wonderful Apple Waldorf Salad in a tall glass. Tall is tall!

2) WIDE - With salads, using a big plate helps them spread out wide so you get a lot of "goodies" on the top. This can be good for a platter that you are serving at a party - and also for a fun presentation, too. In this particular arrangement for our Spring Salad, we chose a large square platter and topped our salad with fruits and toasted nuts.

3) Patterns - in this Fruit Yogurt Salad, we have used a spiral pattern. But you can also line things up diagonally, horizontally or even in a scattered fashion.

4) Framed - it is good to frame your salad with chips, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. In this Taco Crunch Salad, just 5 chips (less than half of a serving) make the taco salad more appetizing and provide a contrasting crunch and toasted corn flavor.

5) Fans - if you fan veggies over the top you get an interesting look as we did with this Asian Slaw. We used snow peas but you could fan thinly sliced veggies like carrots or bell peppers, too.

6) Cups, bowls, plates, platters - you can use a variety of interesting bowls, dishes and ramekins to create visual interest and to complement the food. Think of your serving ware as a canvas for your creation! We LOVE white plates - you can never go wrong with a white plate. Plates that are too busy (think old fashioned flowered china) detract from the food. Here is our Asian Broccoli Sesame Salad in a cup:

This pile of dishes is on my microwave, ready to go!

A great source for china is the sale aisle in a department store or home store. Discontinued items are always on sale and they are often interesting for plate presentations. I always scan big stores like Macy's during the holidays.

7) Cascade - this Pasta Shrimp Salad, made with whole wheat penne, cascades off the greens - the greens are shredded finely.

8) Citrus - I believe that a small wedge of lemon, lime or an orange that is squeezed over a salad adds a lot of flavor without adding sodium and fat. See the salad above - the tiny squeezable bits of lemon is meant to go with the Shrimp Pasta Salad.

9) Drizzle - this technique is used over and over in cooking and desserts - you drizzle the sauce over the top in a fine stream as we have done with the balsamic vinegar glaze over this Spinach Walnut Salad. Balsamic vinegar glazes are growing in popularity and available in almost any grocery store. You can also drizzle any dressing.

10) Molds - this is always fun with couscous in our Lemon Couscous Salad - you mold it in a scoop or bowl and invert it onto the plate. Molding adds a precise shape and it looks more enticing to eat a carefully molded grain versus spilling it all over the plate. This method would also work with tabouleh, quinoa, or rice.

11) Color - fruits, and vegetables add the most wonderful colors so use lots of them to balance color and flavor. Consider using a Japanese mandolin to finely shave the vegetables so they are more palatable like we did with the carrots and candy cane beets in this fresh salad. Check out the image below to see the translucency of vegetables that are finely shaved on a Japanese mandolin and with a sharp French knife.

12) Spritz and shine - normally chefs add a brush of butter or a spray of oil to foods to make them shiny. We like to use an Italian dressing spritzer. We are able to add a very light mist of a wonderful dressing - I bet we can dress a whole salad with less than a half teaspoon and it is shiny and fresh, never drowned! In addition to dressing, there are delicious oils that come in spray cans. One of our favorites is avocado oil.

13) Tossed from a big clear bowl, with greens and herbs. What better way to make a salad than to put a whole array of mesclun greens and fresh herbs together and toss them and serve them from a big clear bowl? This Mediterranean-inspired salad features a variety of fresh baby greens and herbs like mint, oregano, parsley, and thyme.

14) Like A Star - why not make a fun star shape for your salads? Look what we did with the Lacinato kale that was lightly steamed and set on the outside of the plate in a star shape! The delicious baby spinach and shredded apple with poppy dressing were set into the center.

Many of these recipes are from the Salad Secrets Cookbook or our online database of recipes.
Every salad is special and unique. This is the culmination of over 24 years of recipe development and publishing

You will find delight in high-fiber, low-fat, low-sodium recipes that utilize a big variety of vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds, fruits, lean protein, fish and beans.

These are the most creative, healthful salads in the world.

Gold Nugget mandarin a gem of California sunshine

On the phone, Richard Pidduck hesitates before admitting it’s a beautiful 29 C at his Santa Paula Creek ranch in Ventura County, Calif., with no rain in sight.

The fourth-generation citrus grower later sends me a photo of his orange groves, each 2.7-metre tree dotted with Gold Nugget mandarins glinting in the sun.

I send him a photo of my snowy Toronto backyard.

This California gem, seedless and plump with juice, is considered by many to be the most flavourful mandarin of all. Its bumpy golden skin is easy to peel and high in oil, giving it a shiny appearance and perfumed aroma, while its balance of sweet and tart flavours is guaranteed to wake up your taste buds on a sleepy winter day.

The late-season variety is in season from now through mid-May.

Pidduck, who also grows lemons and avocados, has been growing Gold Nuggets for about 10 years.

“All you have to do is taste them,” he says, to understand why the lumpy mandarin is rapidly growing in popularity, with more trees being planted every year.

“I love to go in the orchard and pull them off the tree,” says Pidduck. “I eat five or six a day when they’re in season … it puts a smile on your face every time.”

But the Sunkist grower says he has to be patient, since it takes about four years to get a good crop.

Mandarins, like wine grapes, also are fussy about the type of soil they prefer, and need constant attention.

To reflect its premium status, he says, the Gold Nugget always will be sold under its own name, unlike generic mandarins marketed under brands such as Halos, Cuties and Delites.

When I checked in the next day, Pidduck replied:

“It’s another boring sunny day here, would rather see rain!”

Mandarins and other citrus play an important role in Lunar New Year celebrations, which begin Friday. The words orange and tangerine are similar to the words for luck and wealth in Chinese and the orange colour resembles gold or money. Giving citrus as a gift symbolizes luck, prosperity, family, love and long life.

In case you’re wondering, mandarins are the official name for this family of flat, easy-peel oranges, which includes tangerines and clementines, the smallest member.

Buy and Store

  • To juice, roll an orange on the countertop with the palm of your hand to break juice sacs. Cut fruit in half crosswise and squeeze out juice by hand or with a juicer.
  • For a quick V-Day treat, dip mandarin segments into just-melted dark chocolate. Place on parchment paper until set.


  • Combine segments of different mandarin varieties with sliced kiwi. Top with yogurt and chopped almonds.
  • In a roasting pan, cover cod filets with Gold Nugget segments, grated peel and thinly sliced carrots. Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400 F (200 C) until it flakes easily.

Gold Nugget Granita with Camomile Honey

Adapted from Sunkist, this unique dessert offers a colourful taste of summer in mid-winter. If you can’t find camomile buds, try a tea bag or two. Serve leftover granita on its own for a refreshing dessert.

2 cups (500 mL) fresh-squeezed orange or mandarin juice (8 Gold Nuggets)

3 Gold Nugget mandarins, zest and segments

½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar

½ cup (125 mL) honey

2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) loose camomile buds (I found a jar at Foodland Pape Market)

2 cups (500 mL) plain Greek yogurt (I’m lovin’ new Riviera 0%)

Combine orange juice, zest and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring, until sugar melts. Pour into a shallow dish liquid should not be more than 1-inch (2.5 cm) deep. Let cool, then freeze for 1 hour. Remove and scrape with a fork to break ice into fluffy crystals. Return to freezer until solid, about five hours, scraping with fork once or twice. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and freeze until serving time.

Meanwhile, place honey, lemon juice and camomile in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer on low heat until liquid. Remove from heat and let sit at least 15 minutes to infuse flavours. Reheat and strain into a small container, discarding camomile. Let honey sit until ready to use.

To serve, place a dollop of Greek yogurt in six chilled dessert bowls. Add reserved mandarin segments and drizzle with camomile honey. Spoon granita on top and serve immediately.

How to Cook Perfect 5 Star Charizard Gold Curry in Pokemon Sword & Shield?

To cook the perfect, five- star Charizard Gold Curry in Pokemon Sword & Shield, the first step is choosing the ingredients. The base ingredient doesn’t seem to matter, it can be anything, such as sausages or what have you. The real secret seems to be in berries. Toss in as many rare berries as you can and have, this seems to help things out. I don’t think the flavor profiles matter necessarily, but it’s probably best to pay at least a little attention to it.

The second step is to make sure that the little sparkles appear during the Fan the Flames and Stirring phases. In the Fan the Flames stage, first mash the button quickly until steam starts coming out. Then, slow down, but keep a steady pace. When it comes to stirring, start off slow and increase the speed as you go. Again, the little sparkles will let you know that you’re doing well. As for putting your heart into it, make sure that the heart lands into the light-green ring the closer to the center, the better. Think of it as catching Pokemon in Pokemon Go.

Lastly, cooking with other people in the camp seems to increase the odds of getting a Gold Curry. You can do it solo, but the help of other people is highly advised. Even an NPC camp should do the trick it doesn’t have to be with another player.

8 MyFitnessPal Mistakes That Are Sabotaging Your Weight-Loss Goals

MyFitnessPal can be a genius weight loss tool&mdashespecially if you have a tendency to munch mindlessly or have no idea how many calories you&rsquore eating in the first place, says Christy Brissette, R.D., president of 80 Twenty Nutrition. Tracking your meals&mdashwhether in a journal or an app&mdashhelps you eat less because it increases your awareness of what you put in your mouth.

That said, using the app to lose weight isn&rsquot foolproof. In fact, some mistakes could push you further from your goal.

Here are the MyFitnessPal fails that could be sabotaging your weight loss.

MyFitnessPal only works if your input is accurate. And if you&rsquore eyeballing it, you may underestimate portions. &ldquoI see this with my clients all the time,&rdquo says Brissette. Although the default entry for a serving of cereal, for example, is a half cup, most of us eat about two cups. And that makes a big difference.

When you guestimate, it's easy to get confused when your calories appear to be right on track but your weight stays the same. So for the first couple of days, measure out the foods you typically eat with measuring spoons and cups to get a better feel for your portion sizes. Keep in mind that the serving in the app isn&rsquot necessarily right for you&mdashyou might need to eat more or less depending on your activity levels, height, and overall calorie intake. (Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women's Health's Look Better Naked DVD.)

You may not think it&rsquos worth adding that smear of mayo to your MyFitnessPal, but it all adds up if you&rsquore trying to lose weight, says Brissette. Condiments and oils can add up to a lot of calories over the course of the day, she says. The solution: If you can&rsquot be bothered to enter it into the app, it&rsquos probably not worth eating. On the other hand, if you&rsquove gotta have that EVOO on your salad, make sure you measure it out.

Related: 8 Little Changes That Lead to Major Weight Loss

One person&rsquos "turkey sandwich" could be made with lettuce and mustard another&rsquos with avocado, mayonnaise, and cheddar, making their nutritional value distinctly different. Instead of picking the general entry for a meal or food, break down your foods into their individual ingredients. (By the way, the app can store the meals you eat on the regular so you don't have to log your go-to sandwich every time). "It can be tedious, but it&rsquos the best way to make sure it&rsquos accurate," says Brissette.

Liquid portions are especially hard to judge. When you take the time to measure and log your a.m. juice, you&rsquoll realize that you&rsquore consuming a lot of extra calories and sugar, says Brissette. A few glasses over the course of the week adds up&mdashbut it&rsquos also easy to cut back. Just like with your cereal, pour it into a measuring cup before it goes in your glass for a few days to get a sense of your portions. And don&rsquot forget to count that splash of cream in your coffee, too. If you drink four cups of coffee a day, that tablespoon of creamer per cup can add significant calories, she says.

Check out these moves that blast calories fast.

Newsflash: Many foods in the MyFitnessPal database are user-generated&mdashso some aren&rsquot accurate. For example, one medium apple can set you back 30 calories or 120, according to the options provided by the app. For foods you nosh frequently, check the nutrition facts online with the USDA food composition database.

It&rsquos also worth noting that the "verified" listings (the ones with a check mark next to them) might not actually be accurate either, says Brisette. "The check mark means the information is complete but not necessarily right," says Brissette. In fact, a statement on MyFitnessPal&rsquos website says, "We do our best to ensure the nutrition information for foods accurately reflects nutrition information from the product packaging. Many of the foods in our database are created by users, and occasionally food will be marked with a checkmark that has nutrition information inaccuracies." So if your weight loss has stalled, double check the nutrition info for the foods you eat on the regular online.

Related: 6 Reasons You Haven't Been Able to Get Rid of Your Belly Fat

"I&rsquove seen people put in less nutritious foods and meet their calorie goals, but they&rsquore still not eating healthy," says Brissette. And while you might meet your calorie quota, you&rsquore bound to feel crummy and have a hankering for a snack not long after eating a meal.

For now, ensuring that the food you eat is fueling your body with more than empty cals is on you. So instead of stressing about calorie counts, focus on eating whole foods with the nutrients you need to feel satisfied, like protein, fiber, healthy fats, and whole-grain carbohydrates.

Related: This Is Exactly How I Changed My Diet to Lose 80 Pounds

Research suggests that the accuracy of food tracking drops dramatically the longer you wait to jot down your meals. So if you put off adding everything up until the end of the day, you&rsquore bound to underestimate your portions or forget that your coworker brought in donuts, says Brissette. Instead, enter what you eat as soon as possible for a more accurate count.

While you might be tempted to track your weight as often as your meals, you're not going to get an accurate reading. Around your period or after a salty meal, you might retain a couple of pounds of water weight (here's how to de-bloat). "It can be frustrating after a gold-star day of eating to see that you&rsquore up five pounds," says Brissette. So weigh yourself once a week, naked, first thing in morning, after you go to the bathroom. And if your weight loss graph isn&rsquot a ski slope, don&rsquot despair, says Brissette. Losing more than one to two pounds a week is actually a sign that you&rsquore taking your diet too far.

Watch the video: MyPlate: 5 Food Groups u0026 MyPlate Quesadilla Recipe (January 2022).