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8 Tips For Healthy Eating, For National Wellness Month

We feel a bit hesitant to publish this “public service announcement” on the heels of National S’mores Day, but August is National Wellness Month.

National Wellness Month focuses on self-care, stress management, and creating healthy routines, including eating.

So here’s our PSA.

These eight tips for healthy eating come from the National Health Service—of the U.K.! The advice is universal.

1. Base your meals on higher fiber starchy carbohydrates (i.e., unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans).

2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.

3. Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish (the latter include eel, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, sprats, trout, and tuna).

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar.

5. Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults.

6. Get active and be a healthy weight.

7. Do not get thirsty (i.e., drink enough water).

8. Do not skip breakfast.
 
 
You can read the full article here.
 
 
Dear reader, you may say, “I know all this.”

Great! Happy National Wellness Month!

 

Crudites Platter With Spinach Hummus
[1] Spinach hummus with crudites, for a starter or snack (photo © Australian Asparagus Growers).

Miso-Glazed Salmon With Edamame
[2] Miso-glazed salmon atop mixed vegetables—edamame, mushrooms, onions. Here’s the recipe (photo © Chef Rita French | Urban Kitchen & Bar | Phoenix [permanently closed]).

 

 
 

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S’mores Recipes For National S’mores Day

S'mores Party Platter
This party platter is a s’mores lover’s dream (photo © XO Marshmallow).

 

August 10th is National S’mores Day. We never run out of creative s’mores recipes: Check them out here.

Whether it’s a s’mores cake, s’mores pie, s’mores ice cream, s’mores popcorn, or the classic s’mores cookie sandwich, every bite is a delight.

One year, we went overboard and had a s’mores party with six of these recipes. After tasting some of everything, some guests were begging for plain Greek yogurt to “detox.”

Lesson learned: The next year we served just one (the S’mores Baked Alaska).

Maybe next year we’ll treat family and friends to the s’mores party platter in the photo, the creation of XO Marshmallow.

If it’s too overwhelming for you, default to these classic s’mores. You don’t need a campfire; you can melt them in the oven.
 
 
> The history of s’mores.

 

 
 

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How About Some Zucchini Recipes For National Zucchini Day?

Like zucchini? Today is for you: August 8th is National Zucchini Day. (There’s also National Zucchini Bread Day on April 25th, and for fans of zucchini noodles, National Eat Your Noodles Day is March 11th.)

Zucchini is one of the best foods to spiralize. You can make delicious, very low-calorie ribbon noodles for a cold salad or cooked for “pasta.”

Americans use “zucchini” as both singular and plural. In Italian, one zucchini is a zucchini.

> The history of zucchini.

> |The different types of squash.

> The history of squash.
 
 
30 MORE ZUCCHINI RECIPES
 
 
BREAKFAST, BRUNCH, OR LUNCH

  • Ratatouille & Eggs
  •  
     
    FIRST COURSE

  • Spicy Sea Bass Chowder With Zucchini & Coconut Milk
  • Summer Squash Crostini With Goat Cheese
  • Zucchini & Yogurt Blender Soup
  • Zucchini Soup
  •  
     
    MAIN COURSE

  • Cacio e Pepe With Zucchini Noodles
  • Chicken And Zucchini With Chermoula Sauce With (On Plates Or In Wraps)
  • Grilled Lamb Loin Chops With Zucchini, Walnut & Caper Couscous
  • One-Pan Lamb & Zucchini With A Greek Flair
  • Pork & Goat Cheese Strata
  • Regular Pasta & Zucchini Pasta With Crab
  • Shrimp, Corn & Zucchini Flatbread
  • Stuffed Peppers Stuffed With Rice & Cheese
  • Zucchini Linguine Marinara
  • Zucchini Pan Pizza
  •  
     
    SIDES

  • Bread Salad (Panzanella) With Zucchini
  • Bread Salad (Panzanella) #2: Mix & Match
  • Chickpea Succotash With Zucchini
  • Classic Zucchini Bread & Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  • Grilled Zucchini Salad With Cumin & Mint
  • Guajillo Chile Zucchini Bread
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Sautéed Zucchini & Yellow Squash
  • Marinated Grilled Eggplant, Mushrooms & Zucchini
  • Hash Brown Zucchini (Instead Of Potatoes)
  • Pasta Primavera
  • Summer Squash Cobbler With Cheddar Chive Biscuits
  • Summer Squash Sauté
  • Tian: A Beautiful Vegetable Dish
  • Zucchini Canoes: Like Pizza But With Zucchini
  • Zucchini, Mushrooms & Onions With Toasted Breadcrumbs
  •  

    Zucchini White Pan Pizza Recipe
    [1] Zucchini pan pizza. Here’s the recipe (photo © The Baker Chick).

    Grilled Zucchini Recipe With Cumin, Mint Balsamic Glaze
    [2] Grilled zucchini with cumin, mint, and balsamic glaze. Here’s the recipe (photos #3 and #4 © Good Eggs).

    Lamb Chops & Zucchini & One Pan Cooking Recipe
    [3] Lamb chops and zucchini in a one-pan recipe.

     

     
     

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    A Traditional Mochi Recipe For National Mochi Day

    Daifuku Mochi Filled With Red Bean Paste
    [1] Traditional daifuku mochi, filled with redd bean paste (the recipe is below (photo © Morgaer | Deviantart).

    Daifuku Mochi On Platter

    [2] Plain mochi dough can be flavored and/or rolled in a topping (photo © The Globetrotter Diaries).

    Green Tea Daifuku Mochi Rice Cakes
    [3] Mochi with red bean paste that’s rolled in matcha, powdered green tea (photos #3, #4, #5, and #6 © Minoan Kitchen).

    Kashiwa Daifuku Mochi Rice Cakes
    [4] Kashiuwa mochi, a style that’s wrapped in an oak leaf to impart a nuance of flavor and a lot of eye appeal.

    Sakura Daifuku Mochi Rice Cakes
    [5] Sakura mochi, wrapped in a salted cherry blossom leaf.

    Two Mochi Rice Cakes Shaped Like Rabbits
    [6] Bunny mochi, one of the delightful special shapes.

    Mochi In Many Flavors At A Bakery
    [7] How to choose? One of everything (photo by Wootang01 | CC-BY-ND-2.0-License).

     

    How about a mochi recipe for August 8th, National Mochi Day (pronounced MOE-chee)?

    We love the ancient Japanese treat, small cakes of two bites. consisting of a round pouch of rice dough, traditionally filled with red beans or other paste.

    The recipe below is just such a treat, a variety called daifuku mochi that has a center of red bean paste (photo #1—daifuku means “filled”).

    Written references to mochi go as far back as 794 C.E.

    > Here’s the history of mochi and the 1993 newcomer, mochi ice cream.

    According to Google Trends, March 2021 saw searches for “mochi” increase by 285%, the highest on record.

    We just checked on Google, and there were 86,300,000 results! Mochi also appears as a gender-neutral name on BabyNames.com.

    Minamoto Kitchoan, a purveyor of beautiful wagashi (Japanese confections) and our first introduction to the wondrous world of mochi.

    They have locations in Beverly Hills, Honolulu, London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo. And of course, there’s online shopping.

    If you don’t want to make your own mochi, head there to look at the selection.
     
     
    TRADITIONAL MOCHI

    Traditional mochi is made from a short-grain japonica glutinous (sticky) rice called mochigome. (It’s gluten-free*.)

    It’s cooked, pounded, and mixed with water, sugar, and cornstarch to form a dough that’s kneaded and wrapped around a center.

    The result: a soft, pillowy, soft, chewy style of rice cake, each about three bites’ worth. They’re delicious with your beverage of choice or by themselves, like cookies.

    Food 101: Although mochi is called a rice cake, it’s technically a cookie. The difference: Cookies are finger food, cake requires a fork.

    The rice dough is mixed with flavorings and/or food color and molded into the desired shape.

    Round is traditional, although some pastry artists turn the balls of mochi into little pieces of art for extra delight: bunnies, chicks, peaches, and pumpkins, for example (photo #6).

    Mochi can be sweet or savory, and there are numerous varieties of both (see the bakery case in photo #7). A few examples:

  • Daifuku mochi, filled with red bean paste (azuki), with a plain coat or a coating of matcha, tea), black sesame, and other flavors.
  • Sakura mochi, wrapped in a salted cherry blossom leaf (photo #5).
  • Kusamochi, mochi, a savory favorite flavored with Japanese mugwort, an herb in the sunflower family.
  •  
    Mochi is eaten year-round but is particularly enjoyed for special occasions and around the New Year, as a symbol of good fortune—including at weddings, for happy marriages.

    It’s used in religious rituals in the Shinto religion, as well.
     
    In Japanese culture, mochi is considered a “food of the Gods” and a symbol of good fortune and happy marriages.

    (Gee, didn’t we say that two days ago about lassi?)
     
     
    WHAT ABOUT ICE CREAM MOCHI?

    Ice cream-filled mochi are a recent arrival, invented as a “mother of invention” in Los Angeles in 1993 (see the history).

    Once the word got out beyond the Asian community there, sales grew exponentially. Today, you can find ice cream mochi in many supermarkets and at Trader Joe’s, in many flavors.

    Are you ready to make mochi?

    The first step is to make traditional mochi. After you’ve gotten used to the dough, you can fill it with ice cream, PB&J, whatever!
     
     
    RECIPE: DAIFUKU MOCHI

    To celebrate National Mochi Day, the team at Meal Delivery Experts sent us this simple recipe to make at home.

    Surprise your family, friends, and/or work colleagues. Have a tea party (or an iced tea party, in this summer weather).

    This recipe is daifuku mochi, filled with red bean paste (perhaps the Japanese version of a thumbprint cookie with raspberry jam?).

    Instead of red bean paste, some people use the milder white bean paste.

    You can get the specialty ingredients at an Asian market or online. Or…

    Here’s how to make red bean paste at home.

    If you wish you can color your dough, and/or roll the finished mochi in sesame seeds (photo #2) or matcha powder (photo #3).

    In Japan, you’ll find them in a broader variety of toppings, such as kinako (toasted soy bean powder), or mixed with yomogi (mugwort herb) [source].

    Here’s a video.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 cup of glutinous rice flour
  • 1 cup of sweetened red bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea powder (matcha)
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch, for rolling out the dough
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WRAP the red bean paste in aluminum foil and place it in the freezer until solid, at least 1 hour.

    2. MIX the glutinous rice flour and green tea powder thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the water, then the sugar, and mix until smooth.

    3. COVER the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Meanwhile…

    4. REMOVE the red bean paste from the freezer and divide it into 8 equal balls. Set aside.

    5. REMOVE the rice flour mixture from the microwave. Stir, then heat, covered, for another 15 to 30 seconds.

    6. DUST a work surface with cornstarch. Roll about 2 tablespoons of the hot rice flour mixture into a ball. Flatten the ball and place one ball of frozen red bean paste in the center. Pinch and press the dough around the bean paste until it is completely covered. Sprinkle with additional cornstarch and place the mochi, seam-side down, in a paper muffin liner to prevent sticking.

    7. REPEAT Step 6 to make the remaining mochi. Enjoy them with a delicious cup of tea (or coffee, or milk, or “straight”).
     
     
    Oishī! (That’s delicious!)

     
    ________________

    *Although it sounds like glutinous rice has gluten, it doesn’t. The term “glutinous” refers to the glue-like, sticky texture of the rice after it’s cooked.
     
     

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    America’s Favorite Sandwich: It’s National Sandwich Month!

    What’s your favorite sandwich? Maybe you have several. So enjoy them all: August is National Sandwich Month.

    And try something new, too. Check out our Sandwich Glossary for inspiration.

    There are quite a few different “Top 10” favorite sandwich lists online. We looked them over, and think that the one from YouGov may best reflect America’s preferences.

    > See the survey results below. Is your own favorite on the list?

    > The history of the sandwich.
    > Try a different sandwich from your usual. Check out our Sandwich Glossary.
     
     
    WHAT ABOUT PANINI?

    August is also National Panini Month—why, you may ask, because a panini is just a different type of sandwich.

    Panino is Italian for a sandwich made on a small roll, ciabatta, or a small loaf cut horizontally (like a hero roll).

    Sometimes, it is pressed on a stovetop grill or frying pan—in more recent times, an electric panini press—and served hot. But in Italy, a panino doesn’t have to be either grilled or hot.

    In the U.S., the category of Italian sandwiches, made in a press, is called panini (the plural of panino).

    The tern has been Americanized so that a single sandwich is called a “panini” instead of, correctly, “panino.”

    But, as with many things, it’s too late to correct an entire country. We might as well just sit back and enjoy an extra few sandwiches—grilled Americanized panini—style.
     
     
    AMERICA’S FAVORITE SANDWICHES

    According to this 2019 YouGov survey, of 1,223 people*, Americans most prefer that gooey staple comfort food, the grilled cheese sandwich.

    The survey scored the sandwiches on their “likeability rating”. Respondents were asked whether they “really like” or “somewhat like” a particular sandwich.

    The 15 most-liked sandwiches:

  • Grilled Cheeese: 79%
  • Grilled Chicken: 75%
  • Turkey: 75%
  • Roast Beef: 71%
  • Ham: 69%
  • BLT: 69%
  • Club: 68%
  • Bacon: 67%
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly: 66%
  • Pulled Pork: 65%
  • Tuna: 64%
  • Egg Salad: 58%
  • Meatball: 56%
  • Reuben: 48%
  • French Dip: 46%
  •  
    Our own personal list would look very different from this. How about your Top 5?

    Regional differences exist, of course. For example, the survey found that:

  • Southerners liked grilled cheese more than the national average (82% South vs. 79% nationwide).
  • Northeasterners were most likely to choose the lobster roll (46% Northeast vs. 35% nationally) and the meatball sub (65% northeast vs. 56% nationally).
  • Westerners preferred the French dip (57% West vs. 45% nationally)—not a surprise because it’s a West Coast sandwich.
  •  
    Midwesterners mostly fall in line with the national average, except for one stat: They don’t seem to try too many different types of sandwiches.

    Asked about lobster rolls (41% nationally), crab cakes (39%), cheese and tomato (27%), and Cuban sandwiches (43%), Midwesterners were more likely to say they had never tried these sandwiches.

    See photos of the top 15 below.

     

    Grilled Cheese Sandwich On Sourdough Bread
    [1] America’s favorite sandwich is grilled cheese. Here, it’s made with cheddar on sourdough bread (photo © Tillamook County Creamery Association | Facebook).

    Grilled Chicken BLT Sandwich On A Biscuit
    [2] Grilled chicken is the second-favorite sandwich, but we personally need something more interesting than your basic fast-casual or deli variety. How about this grilled chicken BLT on a biscuit with ranch dressing (photo © Mason Dixie Foods | Facebook)?

    California Club Sandwich On Brioche
    [3] In 7th place is the club sandwich, which is our personal #1. The recipe in this photo changes it up by adding avocado—which makes it a California club—on brioche instead of toast—which makes it magnifique! (photo © St. Pierre Bakery.

    Deluxe Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Topped With Fresh Fruit
    [4] We love a PB&J, #9 on the list (photo © Grain Foods Foundation).

     
    U.S. Favorite Sandwiches Chart
    [5] The top American sandwiches in chart form (image © YouGov).
     
     
    ________________

    *This is not a particularly large sample size, given the different demographics—age, region, culture, etc.—that should be reflected. But, it’s better than the other surveys we examined. The methodology, per YouGov:

    This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov PLC panel of 1.2 million individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panellists selected at random from the base sample. The e-mail invites them to take part in a survey and provides a generic survey link. Once a panel member clicks on the link they are sent to the survey that they are most required for, according to the sample definition and quotas. (The sample definition could be “US adult population” or a subset such as “US adult females”).

    Invitations to surveys don’t expire and respondents can be sent to any available survey. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. The profile is normally derived from census data or, if not available from the census, from industry accepted data.

    YouGov PLC makes every effort to provide representative information. All results are based on a sample and are therefore subject to statistical errors normally associated with sample-based information.

     
     

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