Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: 10 Easy Food Hacks
Food hacks are all the rage this year so we thought we jump on the bandwagon…although we’ve been doing Food Tricks here for going two years now, so we’d like to think that we were ahead of the curve and the rest of the food world is just catching up! Enjoy
1. Do you have a craving for hard tacos but no shells? Here’s a speedy solution: Put soft tortillas in mugs and nuke em for a few minutes. They’ll crisp up without any frying!
2. Who doesn’t love fish on the grill? One of the problems is that is sometimes sticks to the grill. Place the fillet on a bed of lemons and you won’t be scraping salmon off of the grates.
3. After all your hard work making a cake, the last thing you want is for it to go stale. After cutting into a cake, use toothpicks to cover the exposed portion with piece of bread to keep cake nice and soft.
4. Love having barbecues but hate when the bugs want to share your cool refreshing drink? Exterminate that problem by putting cupcake liners over your drinks and sticking a straw through.
5. Have a waffle iron gathering dust. No more! Julienne those potatoes and make them perfect in your waffle iron every time.
6. Wrap banana crowns in plastic wrap and they’ll last 3-4 days longer.
7. There’s not much worse to a baker than to pull out the brown sugar to find you now have a brown sugar brick. Put a marshmallow in your brown sugar, though, and it won’t clump or dry out.
8. Rubbing egg shells with vegetable oil before refrigerating them helps keep them fresh for an additional three to four weeks.
9. Get the most out of your fresh herbs chop and mix fresh herbs with melted butter or oil, or just plain water, pour into ice cube trays to preserve portions for future meals.
10. Cut corn off the cob with no problem by using a bundt pan to both hold the cob as you cut and catch the corn that comes off.
Chef’s Spotlight: Michel Nischan
Michel Nischan, Chef, Author and Food Equity Advocate
Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Foundation award winning celebrity chef with over 30 years of leadership experience advocating for a more sustainable food system. He is Founder, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant. He and his Wholesome Wave team were successful at influencing legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill. He’s also the author of three cookbooks and a variety of articles focused on sustainable food systems and social equity through food. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Amazon Conservation Team, and The National Young Farmers Coalition.
He recently joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama, WGBH, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a judge in the fourth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge early this year. The aim of the lunchtime challenge is to promote culinary education and healthy eating among youth across the country. On July 9 and 10th, Chef Nischan participated in a day-long welcome event for the 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners, demoing some of his favorite, affordable and healthy recipes, and attending the Kids “State Dinner” at the White House.
Nischan and his team at Wholesome Wave have been at the forefront of advocating for a healthful, just, and sustainable food system. Working through a network of partners, the team has been successful in increasing access to affordable, local produce in underserved communities, improving the health of individuals, and increasing revenue for small and mid-sized farm businesses. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Rodale Institute and the Amazon Conservation Team, and is a former trustee of the James Beard Foundation and Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.
About Wholesome Wave
Increase Affordability and Access to Healthy, Locally Grown Food
Nearly 30 million Americans lack access to healthy, affordable foods. Our initiatives provide tens of thousands of families annually with the opportunity to purchase affordable, healthy, locally grown food, and open doors for schools, hospitals, and food banks to purchase farm fresh food from regional food hubs.
Improve Health Outcomes
One in three people are overweight or obese. Annual medical costs of obesity in the United States are more than $145 billion. Prevention is key. Our initiatives lead to decreased BMI for participating children and increased fruit and vegetable consumption among participants of all ages.
Bolster Local and Regional Economies
American farmers receive just 11.6 cents of every dollar spent on food in the US. Farmers markets and food hubs provide forums for farmers to receive 100 percent of the revenue from their food sales. More than 3,500 local and regional farmers received $2.5 million in farmers market sales from federal nutrition benefits, nutrition incentives, and fruit and vegetable prescriptions. Hundreds of farmers, producers and fisherman received upwards of $7 million in revenue generated by our food hub partners.
Generate Revenue for Small & Mid-Sized Farms
Local food sales in the US totaled $4.8 billion in 2008, just 0.4 percent of total agricultural sales. SNAP, farmers markets and food hubs are powerful economic multipliers – every $1 in SNAP generates as much as a $1.79 in local economic activity. Our program participants spend their food dollars locally by shopping at farmers markets, and continue to spend at nearby businesses on market days. Increased revenue to farmers and food hubs results in the creation of new jobs and the retention of existing jobs.
To support Wholesome Wave’s initiatives, Donate Today
Recipe: Chicken Wrap
Recipe courtesy of The Victory Garden’s Edible Feast by Chef Michel Nischan Grilled chicken salad wrapped in collard greens.
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
15 large collard green leaves
1/2 cup chopped green and black olives
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup diced assorted sweet peppers
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons assorted herbs hand torn
2 cups cooked black barley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Heat an oiled grill pan over medium high heat or preheat outdoor grill, grate oiled, to medium heat. Pat chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Set chicken aside and allow to cool for ten minutes. When chicken has cooled to touch dice each breast into 1/4-inch pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanche the collard greens for 5 minutes. Using tongs carefully remove the leaves from the boiling water and shock in an ice bath. Once cooled, remove the leaves and set aside onto a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients except collard greens and mix well.
Lay a collard green leaf onto a cutting board. Place about 1/3 cup of filling in the center of a collard green leaf. Fold the bottom third of the leaf up over the filing. Take the left side of the leaf and fold it over the filling. Repeat with the right side of the leaf, and then roll it up to enclose the filling.
Repeat using remain leaves and filling. Slice each wrap in half and place onto serving platter.
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