Food Snark

Fast Food Salads? Really?

March 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With the obesity problem in the US growing steadily, fast food outlets have been subject to a lot of criticism for ‘over-sized’ portions, menus full of ‘fatty’ foods and the lack of nutrition guidance to customers.

McDonald’s, in a bid to turn things around and champion the fight against obesity launched a set of new entree salads, served up with signature salad dressings by Paul Newman. So if you decide to get McDonald’s you have a choice of a Caesar salad or California Cobb or Bacon Ranch.

Most people tend to choose fast food due to being price conscious and new, healthy menus could be good news for them. However it is yet to be decided if McDonald’s has really chosen to seriously combat obesity, or if this new move is simply a PR stunt.

Let’s crunch on a few numbers now:

If you opt for a plain McDonald’s Caesar salad which has tomatoes, mixed greens, carrots and Parmesan cheese – it totals upto 90 calories and 4 grams of fat. If you add in the grilled chicken, then you get an additional 20 grams of protein, 120 calories and 3 grams of fat. Ensure that you do not choose the Caesar dressing which is a whopping 190 calories and 18 grams of fat; instead choose the light balsamic vinaigrette which is only 90 calories. Taking this into consideration, this salad does not seem so bad for a fast food salad.
The bacon ranch salad of course is a completely different story, weighing in at 660 calories and 51 grams of fat. Instead, you might as well opt for a Big Mac which will give you 590 calories and 24 grams of fat. Forget the salad.

While McDonald’s must be lauded for its effort in trying to offer customers healthier options, it still remains a ‘buyer beware’ situation.

How to create delicious Canapés

March 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Canapés are generally an instant hit at any party. They might look difficult to create, but they are not. Here are a few tips on how to create delicious canapés:

• Choose seasonal produce; use the most basic food items. For instance, you could team up asparagus with melted butter and pepper and salt, served with hollandaise as a dip.
• Look around for creative ways of using your crockery and other things. Look for shot glasses or spoons to serve up your delectable canapés.
• You do not have to ‘look’ for canapé recipes. Keep in mind that every dish you make can be turned into tiny food. A little slice of roast beef teamed with horseradish cream sounds as perfect as a class roast beef.
• If you just cannot be bothered turning main courses into canapés, then use food that is bite sized. You can fill up cherry tomatoes with mozzarella, batter fried prawns with a sweet chilli sauce, and mayonnaise as a dip.
• Dessert canapés are even easier to make. Whatever cake you make can be cut up into tiny pieces. Make chocolate brownies and dust them with edible glitter.
• Cocktail canapé sorbets on fancy spoons are also great choices to serve up at a party. Get creative with this.
• When planning out your canapé line-up, ensure that everything looks great. Keep colours in mind and make sure your table looks colourful and appetizing.
• Keep ‘big eaters’ at your party also satisfied. Include bowl food as well, as some guests might not particularly feel that canapés could satisfy their hunger.

How to keep food safe and bacteria-free

March 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Recent research into public health indicates that the amount of harmful bacteria in our food is up by as much as five fold, compared to 1942. Food safety specialists however say that this does not indicate that the food we consume is unsafe – but that it points towards the advancement of technology which is now able to detect far more micro organisms than was possible in 1942. Anyways, here are a few tips on how to keep your food safe:

• Keep your kitchen clean – wash your hands well you handle and cooked or raw food, and also before and after consuming any kind of food.
• When purchasing food always check for the expiry dates.
• Buy fruit and vegetables that are not bruised
• Always put foods that need to be refrigerated into the fridge as soon as possible.
• Clean your refrigerator on a regular basis. Throw out old and outdated food items.
• Staple food items must be stored away in a cool, dry place. Always use the older food items first.
• Steer clear of cross contamination.
• Always wash all fruit and vegetables well.
• While eating certain uncooked foods and raw cookie dough might be tempting, avoid it at all costs.
• Always ensure you have cooked food thoroughly. You should purchase a food thermometer. With this you can check the end point temperature, which is a good indicator of whether the food is cooked completely.
• Hot foods should be kept hot and the same applies to cold food as well.
• Leftovers must be stored in the refrigerator right away. Ensure that you wrap them up well.
• Once you finish in the kitchen, clean it thoroughly. Leaving dirty dishes lying around will only attract bacteria which are harmful to your health.