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

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RESTAURANTS: The Heart Attack Grill

Those whose New Year’s resolutions don’t include healthy eating should high-tail to Chandler, Arizona for a feast at the Heart Attack Grill. Yes, that’s the name, and the sign on the door of this burger bar says, < Caution! This establishment is BAD for your health! > How bad?

– The hamburger buns are coated in lard
– There’s no lettuce on the burgers
– There’s no salad bar, but a fries bar, with as many fries as you want, fried in lard and laden with all the cheese sauce you want
– There’s no diet soda or light beer
You get the picture…and you’ll get much more when you watch the video.

Watch CBS Videos Online.

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CONTEST: Healthy Bread Contest

The 2009 National Festival of Breads, sponsored by King Arthur Flour and Kansas Wheat, want to emphasize the role that bread plays in a healthy and active lifestyle. If you have an original yeast bread recipe, you could become a finalist to receive a $500 cash award and a trip to Wichita, Kansas, to compete for additional prizes. The Grand Prize Winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to a baking class of his/her choice at the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vermont (see the class schedule at–you may want to plan a “baking vacation” this year). Five special awards of $500 cash may be given, depending on entries received, to: Best Recipe Using White Whole Wheat Flour (at least 75% white whole wheat flour in recipe), Best Recipe Using Cranberries, Best Recipe Using Cheese, Best Recipe Using Nuts and Best Recipe Using Raisins. Inspired? See the full contest rules at
– THE NIBBLE’s entire January issue is devoted to healthy foods. Check out the Table of Contents.

– Our Diet Nibbles Section includes fat-free, gluten-free, low-calorie and sugar free foods (that also taste great—NIBBLE Criterion #1).

– If your goal is to eat more organic food this year, check out our NutriNibbles Section—all organic and wellness foods.

Happy New Year from all of us at THE NIBBLE.

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TRENDS: Restaurants Go Greener

According to Chinese Restaurant News, there are almost one million restaurants in the U.S., each generating an average of 50,000 pounds of waste annually, and using an average of 300,000 gallons of water. A quarter of restaurants say they are planning to go green(er) in 2009, showing the environmentally conscious diner that they are more eco-friendly.

Perhaps the most challenged are the nation’s 45,000+ Chinese restaurants, where the demand for, and the nature of, take-out food utilizes disposable containers, many of which include non-recyclable plastic and styrofoam. On January 5th, at the Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Awards Show & Conference, a “Cooking Towards a Greener Future” educational seminar will discuss why it’s important for Chinese restaurants to create a sustainable business that is good for all stakeholders—the environment, employees, diners and the neighborhood—while saving energy and improving profits.

Next time you order Chinese take-out, forgo the
non-recyclable styrofoam and plastic containers
and silverware.
We have a suggestion: Ask if the customer wants soy sauce, duck sauce and mustard, and how much. Ask if they need utensils: Why does food going to a home require plastic forks and spoons? How many millions of these items get thrown out unused each year? We ask for these items, and the complimentary fried noodles, to be left out. (Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.) We’ve asked our restaurant not to pack the salad in a styrofoam bowl, but to choose something recyclable. While waiting for your restaurateur to get greener, you can let your voice be heard! It may not have great impact, but at least you’ll have done your part. Now we can hope that Chinese Restaurant News will publish some actionable checklist for restaurateurs.

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FREEBIE: Cascadian Farm Organic Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

chocolate-chip-chewy-granola-bar Cascadian Farm is giving away free sample-sized organic Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars through January 30, 2009, while supplies last. It’s the company’s top selling snack bar, and a nice little treat made from healthy ingredients such as organic rice syrup, organic rolled oats, organic chocolate chips and organic whole milk (see the complete ingredients list on the website).

Just visit and click on the FREE SAMPLE box. In order to share the wealth, there’s a limit of one free sample per person. You must be 18 years or older and reside in the U.S. You can buy the bars online, and there’s a retail store locator (both are in the Products section of the website).

Cascadian Farm is one of the country’s leading brands of organic foods. Therer’s a real 28-acre working farm where it all started, 35 years ago, in the foothills of the Washington’s North Cascades mountain range. You can visit if you’re in the area.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Best Gourmet Foods 2008

We wish you a happy and healthy New Year. In fact, you can start 2009 with a pantry full of some healthy Top Picks Of The Week from 2008. These delicious foods will not only meet with your approval; they’ll get the nod from your doctor, nutritionist and trainer, too.

Cool Beans Dip. Leave the mayonnaise and sour cream dips behind in 2009. Keep the good taste as you trade up to the heart-healthy olive oil base and good nutrition of white beans. Cool Beans is a winner of THE NIBBLE Outstanding Artisan Award.

French Meadow Bakery. This fine organic baker makes it easy to get your whole grain quota of the day. Just switch to their bread and bagels.

Holly’s Oatmeal. Even if you think you don’t like oatmeal, give Holly’s a try. It’s a mix of several different whole grains; just one serving has 38g of your 48g daily whole grain requirement. Holly’s Oatmeal is a winner of THE NIBBLE Outstanding Artisan Award.

Rick’s Picks Pickles & Pickled Vegetables. No sugar, no salt, just delicious farm-fresh vegetables and artisan brine seasoned with fine spices and herbs. Great as snacks, garnishes and low-calorie treats for dieters. Rick’s Picks is a winner of THE NIBBLE Outstanding Artisan Award.

Is a bagel “healthy” food? Yes, when it’s a whole
grain bagel like this one from French Meadow
. Top it with 0% fat, thick Greek yogurt
instead of cream cheese (we like Chobani, FAGE
and Oikos brands).

Sauces ‘n Love Tomato Sauces. There’s no need to add sugar to a tomato sauce when you use tomatoes that are so naturally sweet. These low-calorie sauces are not just for pasta, but for vegetables, tofu, meats, dips and more.

SAVU Smoker Bags. How can you make food taste new and wonderful without adding a single calorie? Here’s the answer! Smoke meat, fish and vegetables in your oven or on the grill.

True Natural Taste Artisan Organic Mustard. Save calories and enjoy the health benefits of mustard. Make your New Year’s resolution: more delicious mustard, less mayonnaise.

Vermont Butter & Cheese Company. Goat cheese has less fat and fewer calories than cow’s milk cheese, and is more easily digested, too. Eat more goat cheese in 2009!

Read the reviews of all of these products by clicking on the links above. And watch for THE NIBBLE’s January “health month” issue, online January first.

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