THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for 2012

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: SooFoo Whole Grains & Legumes

Sandwiched between holiday feasting and Valentine’s Day sweets, January is “Healthy Food Month” at THE NIBBLE. Our first few Top Picks of the year are foods that are delicious and healthy, to start the year on America’s second most popular New Year’s resolution: lose weight/eat healthier (first on the list is better money management).

SooFoo, a blend of nine* whole grains and legumes, was invented by the person who created SKYY vodka. He blended it at home for his own healthy eating plan, and found many ways to use the versatile food:

  • As a nutritious substitute for white rice—in jambalaya, for example
  • As a substitute for other grains—for example, SooFoo tabbouleh, or mixed with ground turkey for healthy sloppy joes
  • Baked in a casserole
  • In green salads and vegetable salads
  • In pilaf and other rice dishes
  • In soups
  • With cooked greens (chard, collards, kale, mustard greens)

    SooFoo can be used in a multitude of recipes.
    Here, it’s mixed with some fresh veggies to create a salad. Photo courtesy SooFoo.

  • With international flavors (Asian, Mediterranean, Southwestern, etc.)
  • With mushrooms
  • With pesto or tomato sauce
    Soon, friends and family who tasted the all-natural, low-fat, sodium- and cholesterol-free blend encouraged him to market it. The name, SooFoo, is a contraction of “super good food.”

    SooFoo proves that “better for you” can taste better, too. Add it to your meal plan for variety, texture and flavor.

    Do You Know Your Legumes?
    Check out the different types of grains and legumes in our Beans & Grains Glossary.

    *Barley, black lentils, brown lentils, brown rice, buckwheat, green lentils, oats, rye berries and wheat berries.


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    COOKING VIDEO: Healthy Tuna Salad Recipe


    Most people make a new year’s resolution to eat healthier.

    So we’re starting the new year with a way to turn that family favorite—mayonnaise-laden tuna salad (or chicken salad)—into a healthy dish, rather than one filled with calories and cholesterol.

    Yes, it means giving up the mayo. If you need to take baby steps, just prepare this healthy recipe every other time you make tuna salad. In your regular recipe, gradually lower the percentage of mayo and ease in some heart-healthy olive oil or canola oil. A flavored oil—chile oil or garlic oil, for example—is a big help.

    If you need more healthy eating assistance, check out these three cookbooks, which take much of the fat and calories out of favorite recipes.

    Do You Know The Different Types Of Tuna Fish?

    Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats
    Here’s the scoop.



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    TIP OF THE DAY: Host A Monthly Tea Party

    You don’t need a fancy tea set to host a tea
    party; everyday cups will do. Photo by Sara
    Sang | IST.


    Afternoon tea—not high tea*—is a traditional British meal taken in mid-afternoon. It’s an elegant snack and social hour between lunch and dinner.

    A pot of tea plus nibbles—a choice of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, cakes and pastries—allow friends to enjoy a leisurely chat.

    It’s our favorite way to keep in touch with friends, and develop relationships with new acquaintances.

    Tea parties are so enjoyable that guests invariably wonder why Americans don’t have more of them.

    We’ve made it easy for you to host tea parties, with a whole year of afternoon tea party ideas. You don’t need to host one every month: Rotate the location with friends. Those who like to bake can try out new recipes.

    Tea parties don’t have to be fancy: No porcelain tea set is required. Use what you have.

    Tea parties don’t have to be fattening. We have a selection of healthy choices among our tea party food recommendations.


    Since most of us work during the week, consider holding tea parties on Sunday afternoons. While it’s not traditional, you can serve sherry, Port or wine for those who need some spirited enticement.

  • Check out the year of tea party ideas and pick a date for your January event.
  • Learn all about tea in our Tea Section.
    *High tea is a hearty working class supper traditionally served in the late afternoon or early evening (in modern times, generally around 6 p.m.).


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Check Your Spices, Dried Herbs & Canned Goods

    Happy New Year!

    Some people we know spend New Year’s Day in bed with a book. Others go out to brunch or a movie, watch football or go ice skating. One couple hosts an annual Bloody Mary party (January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day).

    We check our dried herbs and spices for freshness (and then head to the party).

    Rather than waiting for “spring cleaning,” start the new year by cleaning house in the spice cabinet.

    After they are harvested, spices and dried herbs do not spoil, but they do lose their strength. Older seasonings will not flavor foods the way you want them to. That’s one reason why those jumbo club store spices are often no bargain.

    Herbs and seasoning blends have a shorter shelf life than spices. Although they may look fine, dried oregano, parsley and other herbs will age to the point where they still provide a visual evidence of herbs, but no flavor.


    Even if it looks good to you, use the sniff-and-taste test to check your herbs and spices for freshness. Photo courtesy McCormick.


    While the packages have expiration dates, the longevity of the seasonings varies depending on exposure to air (keep those bottles tightly capped!), heat (never keep spices next to the stove or oven) and light (countertop spice racks and carousels are the enemies of freshness).

    Use this freshness checklist to ensure that your spices and herbs still have the punch you expect.

    Also check out the shelf life of foods.

    When we’re done with the spices, we start with our top cabinets and toss out foods that have expired, those we bought but will probably never eat, and so forth. If you’re not going to eat it or don’t want the temptation (we found six jars of fudge sauce), stick it in a shopping bag and drop it off at a food bank or with friends or neighbors.

    The Difference Between Herbs & Spices

  • Spices are the dried seeds, buds, fruit or flower parts, bark, or roots of plants, usually of tropical origin.
  • Herbs are the leaves and sometimes the flowers of plants, usually grown in a climate similar to the Mediterranean.
  • For culinary use, both herbs and spices fall into the category of aromatics.
    See more of our favorite seasonings.


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