KRON 4 | “Meatless” Foods Made with Meat

You’ve gone meatless, but do you really know what’s in your breath mints and “heart healthy” peanuts? KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, chats with me and I reveal twelve processed foods that may seem meatless but are derived from animals (cows, pigs, and/or fish) or may contain some animal by-products.

KRON 4_Not So Meatless Foods6

KRON 4_Not So Meatless Foods4

1. Jell-O® and Candy: Examples include gummy candies, Starburst chews, Altoids: Many foods contain gelatin which is a protein derived from the collagen of cow or pig bones, cartilage, tendons, and skin. Gelatins are used as thickening or stabilizing agents in a variety of candies and gelatin-containing desserts.

Planters peanuts2. Peanuts: Some brands of peanuts, such as Planters® Dry Roasted Peanuts, contain gelatin. The gelatin helps the salt, spices and flavorings adhere to the nuts.

At first glance, they all look the same! And by the end of the day, the different varieties are intermixed on the shelves.

Planters Peanuts
Planters® Dry Roasted Peanuts + Unsalted and Lightly Salted versions. The brands all have similar packaging including the “Heart Healthy” heart.

If you grab the wrong one, you can end up with just plain peanuts or peanuts with salt OR…


Continue reading “KRON 4 | “Meatless” Foods Made with Meat”

What to Do When Your Teen Turns Vegetarian

Your teenager declares that s/he is now a vegetarian. What do you do? Here are some tips and food ideas to meld your child’s new practice into your family’s lifestyle.

Let Go of the Apron Strings  Let your teen cook. Deviating from your family’s eating style is a sign of autonomy, and cooking is an act of independence. Your teen can run the show and be as creative as desired with ingredients. Give your teen some praise and respect for learning how to make new things and discover new tastes. By sharing their food with family and friends, your child can connect with others and find satisfaction in expanding their culinary point of view.

California Spinach DipVeggie Basics  Often teens transition to vegetarianism by eating a diet of pizza, junk food and sweets…and by gaining weight. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are the basics for building a healthy vegetarian foundation that will help your teen thrive and grow into a healthy adult.

Salads  Abandon your current vision of a salad, i.e., lots of leaves and dressing. Salads can be power-packed with nutrition, color, freshness and best of all, they can be spontaneous and easy to create. Teens love to be inventive (no rules!), so encourage them to be free spirits in the kitchen and create some ‘off-the-cuff’ salads with fruit and grains too.

Fresh StrawberriesHealthy Tip:  Use darker greens like romaine, red leaf, arugula, baby beet greens, and gourmet salad blends over iceberg. Think color and toss in splashes of bright orange, red, yellow, and purple produce. Add anything you have on hand — from pasta, bell peppers, beets, corn kernels, cubed tofu, beans, nuts/seeds, raisins, wheat germ, quinoa, crusty bread. Winning ideas:   Continue reading “What to Do When Your Teen Turns Vegetarian”

Options for the Frozen Foodie

The frozen food industry has evolved as a greater number of consumers want and need more nutritionally sound foods. Frozen meals are handy and can rescue many busy parents with ravenous kids or seniors who are alone and can’t get to the grocery store often. You can stock up on healthy meals and get a nutritious entree from the freezer to the table in the time it takes to prepare a side dish. By supplementing with a fresh salad or soup, you can serve a well-rounded meal in minutes — a big change from the original classic TV dinner.

Caesar's PastaGluten-Free: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malts, and triticale. A gluten-free diet excludes foods containing gluten and may exclude oats as well. People on gluten-free diets want the same convenience of frozen food. There are now a variety of gluten-free frozen pizzas and meals available, such as Italian pastas, bowls, and Thai, Mexican and Indian dishes. Be sure to check the label to ensure that the food is prepared in a gluten-free facility.   Continue reading “Options for the Frozen Foodie”

Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa seedsQuinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) has gained recognition and popularity as a gluten-free grain alternative and valuable vegetarian source of protein. As a breakfast, side dish, salad, or dessert, quinoa is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various cuisines.

Quinoa is rich in B vitamins like other grains, but it’s actually an edible seed and a relative to spinach, beets and Swiss chard. Quinoa is unique in that it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete (whole) protein. This protein-dense food originated in the Andes Mountains of South America and was a sacred staple in the diet of the ancient Incan culture.

If you’ve never tried quinoa before, here’s a great recipe to try for your first experience!   This dish travels well and can be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy it as a side or wrap it in a warm tortilla with avocado and shredded raw cabbage or lettuce for a satisfying meal. Continue reading “Quinoa and Black Beans”