PCA 2020

Mealtimes

Cooking Al Fresco

If your grill is relegated only to burgers and steaks, read on. It’s a lifesaver when it’s too hot to cook.

I hate being hot. Especially when I have to come up with dinner, it's 32 degrees outside and my oven is cranked to 400°. The discovery that pizza on the grill is the best ever made me think: what else could I be cooking outside on the grill? Anything that requires direct, intense heat, really:

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Raising the Bar

It’s been a busy week – I’ve been off taping my new TV show – It’s Just Food – co-hosted by Ned Bell and set to air this fall on CLT & Access. The nearly 12 hour days of shooting with hardly any downtime requires me to be constantly “on,” so I come armed with various forms of power bars, knowing I have to keep my energy up and can’t afford to crash. Of course I’m not the only one in need of healthy energy to keep me going through the day – power bars are a $1.4 billion industry – and have you tasted some of them? Someone gave me one a few months ago that resembled a brown log dipped in chalky white "yogurt" coating (what about it even resembles yogurt?) and tasted not a lot better. It contained 21 g of protein, but also over 300 calories, palm oil, and 44 grams of sugar!

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Real TV Dinners

During hockey playoffs, the TV is on most evenings around our house (even when the Flames are no longer contenders), and as in most households, TV and food go hand in hand. Unfortunately it’s most often chips, popcorn and other snacks that are consumed on the couch – after dinner – so long ago I decided to come up with some munchable food that could count as dinner, but be eaten on the couch without need for utensils. After all, while watching hockey or a movie, soup just isn’t the same as pizza or a jalapeno popper.

One of my most requested couch meals (and also one of the easiest to make) is Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps – adored by my 1 year old, niece and nephews because of the hands-on factor, by my husband because they are so much cheaper than Chinese takeout, and by me because they are actually healthy, filling, packed with veggies, and take some effort to assemble and eat, which enforces portion control. Heat up some frozen pot stickers to serve alongside and you have a perfect eat-with-your-fingers meal. What else could you ask for from a TV dinner?

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For Fitness' Sake - Good to Go - Delicious and Nutritious Snacks

Our home is filled with snack-o-sauruses, or is that snack-o-sauri? Regardless, we have four hungry girls and two parents who need healthy snacks. We need portable, eat-in-the-van, snack-in-the-arena and sometimes even eat-at-the-table snacks. We can keep the children physically active but need to constantly review and revise the snack department.

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