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Stock your pantry with low fat snacks - popcorn and baked potato and corn tortillas chips.
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Week of August 26, 2012

What Are You Eating?

Do you know what you are eating? Check the PLU code.

So what is a PLU code?
A PLU stands for price look-up code. PLUs are used on items that are sold loose or bunched, by weight or by each (i.e. an individual apple or bunch of greens). A PLU code contains 4-5 digits total. The PLU is key-entered at point of sale in order to obtain the price.

So are shippers and retailers trying to label all produce items sold loose or bunched?
Some items will not be marked with PLU codes. One can't imagine green beans or mushrooms with stickers, however PLU codes may be used on signage or by another means for these types of commodities. Other items like apples or leaf lettuce are being either stickered or banded with a PLU code. The principal objective of PLU codes is to create a common code which becomes the building block for system wide communication of electronic data.

Conventionally grown produce uses a four digit code usually beginning with 3 or 4

For organically grown produce, the number 9 is added to the front of the regular four digit PLU code. (e.g. an organically grown banana would be 94011.)

Genetically modified or genetically engineered produce will have the number 8 added in front of the regular four digit PLU code. (e.g. a genetically engineered vine ripe tomato would be 84805.)

A complete list of Global PLUs is available at www.plucodes.com.

 

Week of August 18, 2012

How to Cook Quinoa

Prepare quinoa - Love these instructions that I found on www.eatingrules.com:

First, don’t forget to rinse your quinoa; you really have no idea what could be on those little grains.

Put 1 cups of quinoa in a bowl that will hold at least 3 cups. Cover the quinoa with cold water, rinsing it thoroughly. Then drain through a fine mesh strainer. Allow to drain and dry for 20 minutes to remove all the water. Skipping this step will lead to mushy grains.

Once your quinoa has dried, toast in a dry pan until you can smell the nutty flavor that has now been brought out in your quinoa, about 5 minutes. This also removes any additional water that may have been left behind by the rinse.

Remove the quinoa from the pan, set aside.

Cooking quinoa with the same liquid to grain ratio as rice (1 cup grain, 2 cups water) is the biggest culprit in the battle for fluffy quinoa. It’s just too much water, and will leave you with mush. Cook instead with a 1 part grain to 1.5 parts liquid ratio.

As for the liquid, you can use broth, vegetable juice, water, or any combination of those to achieve to taste you want.

Bring the water and quinoa to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has all been absorbed, about 15 minutes and let cool.

Quinoa Tabbouleh
Serves 4

• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 cup quinoa, rinsed drained and cooked
• 1 cup tomato, diced
• 1 cup cucumber, diced
• 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
• 1/4 cup mint, chopped
• 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
• salt and pepper to taste

Mix the cooked quinoa, tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint and green onion.

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper and toss with salad.

Per Serving: 243 Calories; 10g Fat (34.0% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 7g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 21mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat.

 

Week of August 11, 2012

How to Fire Roast Pepper and Tomatoes

Week of August 4, 2012

How to Roast Peppers

 


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