Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thousands of Pizza Lovers across the Country Vying for a Slice of the Papa John’s Pie in Recipe Challenge

(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 7,000 pizza lovers spanning all 50 states think they have what it takes to create Papa John’s next menu item – and win a portion of the sales dollars in return. But there’s only room for one new pizza on Papa John’s menu. Which recipe will come out on top?

“The passion for our quality pizza and fresh ingredients is evident in every entry.”

Last month, Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) asked its loyal customers to share their ideas for the next great specialty pizza on Facebook as part of the company’s first ever “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge.” Thousands of recipes later – and with three weeks still remaining in the contest – Papa John’s finds itself sifting through a number of top contenders.

Recipes have been inspired by far-away places. There’s “The Big Texan” from a customer in Cambellsburg, Ind., “The Kentuckian” from a Papa John’s fan in Las Vegas, Nev., “Mediterranean Medley” in Dayton, Ohio, plus hundreds of interpretations of what constitutes a “Hawaiian” pizza.

Pizzas have also been named in honor of loved ones, like “Dad’s Ham & Cheese” in Lexington, Ky., “Mom’s Not Cooking Tonight!” in Overland Park, Ks., and “Grammy’s Favorite” in Valparaiso, Ind.

And then there’s pure creativity, such as “The New PB&J” from Augusta, Ga., “Kabobbin’ Kick” in Cuddy, Pa., and “The TNT! (Thin ‘n’ Tangy!) from Escalon, Calif.

“Every day there’s a new recipe, story, or name that catches our eye as customers have come out in droves to share their favorite combinations of Papa John’s ‘Better Ingredients,’” said Papa John’s Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Varga. “The passion for our quality pizza and fresh ingredients is evident in every entry.”

Through June 14, participants can enter “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge” at, where they will be asked to create and name their very own specialty pie on Papa John’s fresh, never frozen original dough with sauce, cheese and a combination of up to seven Papa John’s better ingredients, including:

* Fresh-Packed Tomato Sauce: Made from vine-ripened tomatoes, which go from the vine to the can in an average of six hours
* Cheese made from 100 percent mozzarella
* 100 percent Real Meats: Bacon, Beef, Ham, Grilled Chicken, Pepperoni, Sausage, Spicy Italian Sausage
* Fresh-Cut Vegetables: Onions, Green Peppers and Roma Tomatoes
* Other high-quality ingredients: Including baby portabella mushrooms from Greece and black olives grown in the rich soils of southern Spain

But Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge isn’t just about recipes. Participants must also share in 250 words or less what makes their pizza so special for a chance to win. Judges will take the pizza creation, the pizza name and the story into consideration when completing their score sheets.

All entries are being featured in a gallery on Papa John’s Facebook page, from which “Papa” John Schnatter himself and his team of experts will choose ten semi-finalists. Those ten recipes will then be tested and tasted by Schnatter, a secret celebrity judge and other judges at company headquarters in Louisville, Ky. Schnatter, who personally developed many of the specialty pizza combinations currently offered by Papa John’s, and the other judges will trim the choices to the three best recipes, which will be showcased temporarily on Papa John’s menu (August 2 – August 29), with the ultimate winner being the highest-selling pizza!

And because the stakes – a portion of sales dollars from the winner’s recipe – are so high Papa John’s is offering the top three finalists a marketing budget of $1,000 to help drive sales of their respective pizzas.

The grand prize winner will also receive free Papa John’s pizza for life as well as a chance to appear in a “Papa’s in the House” TV commercial. For more details on “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge,” including official contest rules, visit

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Oscar Mayer WIENERMOBILE Vehicle Goes up for Bid on eBay

/PRNewswire/ -- Hot dog fans nationwide now have the opportunity to bid on eBay for the once in a lifetime experience of riding SHOTBUN in the Oscar Mayer WIENERMOBILE vehicle. The proceeds from the auction will support the Oscar Mayer Good Mood Mission to benefit Feeding America®, the nation's leading hunger-relief organization.

The "Ride SHOTBUN in the Wienermobile for the Day" package is open for online bidding from May 25 through June 4, 2010 by visiting The auction package includes: the use of the Oscar Mayer WIENERMOBILE for one day, a catered Oscar Mayer brand cook-out with all the fixings for up to 50 people and everything needed to make the day perfect, including a grill and grilling utensils, a cooler and to help hot dog season last throughout the year a one-year supply of Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs!

Ty Burrell, from the hit TV show "Modern Family" has joined the Oscar Mayer Good Mood Mission to rally America to help Feeding America provide food to people struggling with hunger.

"Not only do I get to ride SHOTBUN in a 27 foot-long hot dog that's spreading miles of smiles, I get to rally America to help to share good moods to help hungry families," said Ty Burrell, official Oscar Mayer Good Mood Ambassador. "My job is to make people laugh and now it means even more because the Oscar Mayer Good Mood Mission is truly helping others."

More Chances to Win

In addition to the eBay auction, people across the country can also get a chance to ride SHOTBUN by joining the Good Mood Mission. Visit and click on the Ride SHOTBUN button before July 31, 2010 and tell us what you would do with the Wienermobile for the day. Four lucky winners will receive the chance to ride SHOTBUN in the Wienermobile, along with $5,000 to help spread good moods. For every good mood America shares, the Oscar Mayer brand will donate one pound of food to Feeding America, for a total donation of up to three million pounds of food.

"Thanks to America's support of the Oscar Mayer Good Mood Mission, we have reached our initial goal of donating two million pounds of food to Feeding America," said Sean Marks, Senior Director, Marketing for Oscar Mayer. "Now, we are raising the bar and our donation and want America to join us to help reach our new goal of three million pounds of food for Feeding America."

It doesn't get better than riding SHOTBUN in the Wienermobile this hot dog season to benefit Feeding America!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Make summer super with potluck-perfect recipes

(ARA) - From block parties to backyard barbecues, summer is when people get together and enjoy the delectable tastes of the season. The classic American potluck is always a favorite gathering, especially when friends, family and neighbors bring out their best dishes for everyone to enjoy.

The perfect recipes for summer parties are ones that are quick and easy - providing maximum flavor for minimum time spent in the kitchen. When it comes to cooking for a crowd, go with something that will reliably get rave reviews, while keeping in mind whom you're cooking for. If it's a crowd with a more sophisticated palate, you can try something a little more adventurous. If it is a group with notoriously picky kids, go a little more mild with kid-pleasing classics. If it's a big enough crowd, you might even want to try both.

It's always a great idea to take a healthful approach to whatever you bring to the table. Whether you're bringing a main course, a side, or a dessert, there are plenty of healthy recipes to choose from. Wherever you can, opt for ingredients like fresh vegetables and fresh or dried fruit. Raisins, in particular, are a wise choice to add flavor and good nutrition to all kinds of dishes. They are fat- and cholesterol-free, and contain antioxidants and fiber - good-for-you qualities that can healthfully enhance any dish.

Try incorporating plump California raisins into a more exotic dish like couscous salad along with fennel, garbanzo beans and chopped fresh cilantro for a subtly sweet-and-savory combination. Or, add them as an extra pop of sweetness to miniature apple tartlets - a party-perfect version of classic American apple pie. To get more ideas and inspirations for delicious raisin recipes, visit

All-American Raisin Apple Tartlets

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes total

2 tablespoons heart-healthy buttery spread
4 medium green apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup California raisins
18 sheets phyllo dough
Butter flavor cooking spray
9 tablespoons shredded low-fat sharp Cheddar

Preheat oven to 375 F and spray 12 cupcake tins with nonstick cooking spray. Melt buttery spread in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in apples and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for a minute more; add raisins and set aside.

Meanwhile, lay one sheet of phyllo on a cutting board; keep remaining covered with a damp towel to prevent drying. Spray sheet with cooking spray. Repeat with five more sheets, sprinkling 3 tablespoons cheese in under the last layer; press firmly to keep cheese in dough. Assemble 2 more stacks. Cut each stack in half crosswise to make 6 pieces; then, cut each piece lengthwise into 6 strips for a total of 36 strips. Center and press 3 strips into each tin, letting the dough extend over the top by about 1/2-inch. Divide and spoon fruit mixture in centers. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned; then, tent loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes more, until done.

Makes 12 small desserts

California Raisin Couscous with Vegetables

1 box couscous, plain
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pint red pear or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 heads fennel, bulb only, small dice
1 English or hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded and small dice
1/2 red onion, peeled, small dice
1 cup California golden raisins
2 bunches Italian flat leaf parsley, picked and chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, picked and chopped
Juice of 4 lemons
Salt and pepper

Place one box of couscous in a large bowl or shallow rectangle pan. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over couscous along with salt and pepper. Then pour boiling water over couscous to cover. Mix with fork; cover with plastic wrap and set aside for five minutes. Remove plastic and fluff couscous with a fork to avoid lumps and let cool. Once cool, add remainder of ingredients and toss well. Reheat to serve.

Note: Make sure all ingredients are ready before making couscous. For variety, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top just before serving.

Makes eight side dish servings

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Friday, May 21, 2010

New Survey Shows Consumers Feel Deceived and Outraged by Honey-Flavored Syrups Hitting Shelves

/PRNewswire/ -- Everyone knows what's in the honey bear bottle -- or so we thought. One of America's most timeless kitchen staples, honey, is fading from the marketplace, and an entire industry is in danger.

Honey-flavored syrups are moving onto grocery shelves and consumers may not be able to distinguish between 100% pure honey and similarly-packaged honey-syrup blends.

According to a new online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the National Honey Board from May 13-17th, 2010, of those who purchase honey:

-- 65% said they would feel deceived if they found out the honey they
purchased was actually honey-flavored syrup and 25% said they would be

-- 79% said they would not use it if they found out the honey they
purchased had added syrups

-- 77% said they wouldn't purchase honey-flavored syrup even if it cost
half as much as pure honey

"Many people don't realize honey is just one simple ingredient: honey," said Bruce Wolk of the National Honey Board. "Consumers need to be aware they may not be giving something 100% pure to their family if they don't take a moment to double-check the label. Many of the honey-syrup blends are packaged very similarly to pure honey."

That is why the National Honey Board has just launched its consumer awareness campaign, Save the Endangered Honey Bear.

"Your local grocer is still a great place to buy 100% pure honey," said Wolk. "Consumers just need to pay attention to the label to make sure they're getting 100% pure honey, the way nature intended."

Consumers can get involved by checking the label to make sure the only ingredient listed is honey. They can also buy and use only 100% pure honey in more recipes or ask their grocer or favorite restaurant to carry only 100% pure honey. To learn more about the endangered honey bear, consumers are encouraged to visit

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just A Bite Of Dessert? Make It With Blueberries!

(NAPSI)-No matter what they say, when it comes to dessert, size matters. Keeping portion size under control is easy when you make "Blueberry-Lemon Teasers." Use convenient products--fresh blueberries, frozen pound cake, and instant pudding--and your little desserts are easy and quick to make.

Get started by rinsing the blueberries then pat dry. Whip up the instant pudding and set it aside. Now make cake crumbs. One way to do it fast is to cut off about one-third of a 10.75-ounce frozen pound cake and, with the coarse side of a grater, grate crumbs into a bowl. Or chop the cake into pieces and pulse in a food processor until you have coarse crumbs. If you want to make crumbs from homemade cake, freeze it first for easier handling.

To assemble the desserts, line up six small glasses and stack about two tablespoons each of the cake, the pudding and the fresh blueberries in the glasses; repeat until all the ingredients are used. A spoonful of whipped cream tops them off.

Serve the "Blueberry-Lemon Teasers" immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Dessert is ready when you are and at just 172 calories per serving, you can kick back and enjoy a guilt-free dessert that delivers plenty of flavor with creamy texture and juicy blueberries in every bite.

Summer is blueberry season and a good time to enjoy fresh blueberries every day. Blueberries can be found in supermarkets, superstores, farmers markets and roadside stands. At or you can find a list of U-Pick blueberry farms. For loads of blueberry recipes, nutrition information and more, go to


1¾ cups low-fat milk

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix

2 cups fresh blueberries

1½ cups crumbs (about 4 ounces) from frozen

reduced-fat pound cake

½ cup sweetened whipped cream

In medium bowl with electric mixer or wire whisk, blend milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; set aside for 5 minutes to set. Into six 6-ounce glasses, evenly divide half of the cake crumbs, pudding and blueberries; repeat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with a swirl of whipped cream.

Variations: Use other instant pudding flavors, such as vanilla, cheesecake, coconut or banana.

Yield: 6 portions

Per portion: 172 calories; 3.7 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 2.6 g total fat; 1.3 g saturated fat; 7 mg cholesterol; 303 mg sodium; 1.4 g dietary fiber.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Fresh ways to savor sweet corn, all day long

It's a wonderful time of year. The birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the spring and early-summer crops of sweet corn are heading your way.

Crunch, natural sweetness, sunny color, vitamins: fresh sweet corn from Florida has all these assets, making it a favorite with everyone. And there are so many good ways to enjoy the ears piled high in supermarket bins. Steamed, boiled, microwaved, roasted -- and grilled, of course. Eat your fill, and then think about enjoying this fresh bounty in exciting new ways, both on and off the cob. Fresh corn is terrific any time of day -- lunch and dinner, sure, but also in the morning and don't forget snacks.

Start with breakfast or weekend brunch: Sweet Corn Pancakes. Tender corn kernels are cut off the cob and scooped into pancake batter, which gets a second hit of good corn flavor from cornmeal. This is definitely a worth-getting-up-for breakfast, especially when you top the cakes with sweet-spicy syrup made with maple syrup, apricot preserves and a touch of hot red pepper. These corn-flecked pancakes also make an easy and comforting supper - and if the kids object to the hot pepper, just leave it out.

Still thinking outside the corn crib, toss uncooked kernels of fresh corn with black beans, quinoa and a tasty mustard vinaigrette. If you feel like it, add some baby shrimp. This nutrient-packed salad is a full-on main course, perfect for lunch or dinner. Corn is a good source of vitamin C, thiamin and folic acid and also supplies the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Not familiar with quinoa? Might be a good time to get acquainted, because it's considered a super-grain, supplying all eight essential amino acids.

When it's time for dessert or a snack, fresh corn turns out to be a surprising but very appealing option. Corn on the Cob "Lollipops," from the kitchen of Florida chef Michelle Bernstein, are one irresistible treat to try. The ears are cooked until crisp-tender, then rolled in butter and spiced brown sugar. A way to eat your veggies and your dessert at the same time -- what could be better?

You're probably thinking about where your food comes from, so here are the facts: The delicious corn in season now is grown by farmers in Florida, the leading producers of fresh sweet corn. To preserve freshness, the ears are chilled immediately after harvest, packed within 24 hours and rushed to markets. Once you take the corn home, be sure to refrigerate it. You can count on this traditionally bred corn to stay fresh and sweet for up to a week.

For more ideas on serving sweet fresh corn in unexpected ways, visit the newly relaunched And try this great recipe:

Corn on the cob lollipops

4 ears sweet fresh corn each cut in thirds
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 lollypop sticks

With the tip of a knife, poke a hole in one end of each piece of corn. In boiling salted water, cook corn for two minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, red pepper, cinnamon and ginger. Pour melted butter into a pie plate. Drain corn well. Roll each piece in butter; insert a stick into one end; sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.

Courtesy of ARAcontent
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Family Dinner Table: The Original Social Network

/PRNewswire/ -- Home may be where the heart is, but for cooking enthusiasts - many preparing for Memorial Day gatherings and other ways to kickoff the unofficial start of the summer cooking season - home also is where they fill the stomach.

In the current economy, more consumers are skipping eating out at restaurants in favor of cooking at home, according to a new national consumer survey by family-owned Masterbuilt, the maker of quality fryers, smokers and grills.

"People are returning to the family dining table. It's the original social network," said John McLemore, Masterbuilt CEO. "There's nothing quite as satisfying as sharing your news of the day with family or friends over a home-cooked meal. That builds real community. I love Twitter, but you can't digitally pass someone a fried turkey leg or a bowl of low-country boil."

Cooking is an important, fulfilling part of people's lives, especially in an era of celebrity chefs, cooking television channels and instant access to recipes on the Internet. More than four of every five people surveyed (84 percent) report cooking or preparing a meal at least once a week. Other findings:

-- 86 percent say that cooking at home is more important to them now than
it was last year at this time

-- 81 percent say that family dinners are more important to them now than
it was last year at this time

-- 31 percent say that eating out at a restaurant is more important to
them now than it was last year at this time

Consumers also are looking for new, creative ways to enjoy food. More than nine in 10 surveyed (92 percent) are experimenting with new recipes or are trying new ways of preparing food.

"As we get closer to the Memorial Day weekend, that's the signal for summer cooking, and a perfect time for people to try new things they can serve friends and family. Versatility is an important ingredient for any meal," said John McLemore, author of "Dadgum, That's Good!" a cookbook with Masterbuilt family favorites and Southern recipes that will be available in the fall from Concept, Inc.

More than four of every five people surveyed (81 percent) agreed that versatility is important when trying a new type of cooking equipment.

"Home cooks may want to fry one night or steam or boil or grill on another night," McLemore said. "When you entertain, you want variety. You want to increase the number of ways food can be enjoyed, whether it's meat, seafood or vegetables. The best kind of table is one that has a little bit of everything."

Food also is a way for people to please or impress families or guests - and more than half of those surveyed (54 percent) identified themselves as "cooking enthusiasts" who actively seek out new information about cooking or food-related products. Another two in five (39 percent) said that they ask their mother for cooking advice.

"I'm not surprised that people look for cooking information from all kinds of sources," McLemore said. "I grew up in a family that loved cooking. We'd share food and recipes with family and friends. And when we share a recipe that makes your mouth water, we share a bit of our family history."

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nestlé USA Announces Voluntary Recall on Nestlé Carnation Famous Fudge Kits due to Incomplete Allergen Labeling

Nestlé USA's Baking Division is initiating a voluntary recall of select Nestlé® CARNATION® Famous Fudge Kits because the outer containers of some of the kits were distributed without a complete allergen precautionary statement. Consumers who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life threatening allergic reactions if they consume products containing peanuts.

The Famous Fudge Kits are seasonal items distributed nationwide in supermarkets and club stores. The only products involved in the voluntary recall include Nestlé CARNATION Famous Fudge Kits distributed during the 2009 holiday season with day codes beginning with 9225 through 9259, and a "Best By" date of June/July 2010. The UPC codes for the affected products are 50000-62251 for the retail version, and 50000-62248 for the club store version. No other Nestlé products are impacted by this recall.

The components contained in the kit were completely labeled, including a precautionary statement on one component stating "made in a facility that also processes peanuts". However, the outer containers of some of the kits were distributed without a complete precautionary statement. As the health and safety of our consumers is paramount, we are initiating this voluntary recall. We have advised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and will cooperate with them fully in this voluntary recall. Providing safe, high quality products to our consumers is our number one priority.

Consumers who are allergic to peanuts and who have purchased the recalled products are advised by Nestlé not to consume them. Instead, Nestlé asks these consumers to contact Nestlé Consumer Services directly at 1-800-727-6300 for instructions. Consumers should not return the Fudge Kits to retailers.

Consumers with questions should contact Nestlé Consumer Services at 1-800-727-6300 and/or visit our web site at www.verybestbaking.com1.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Need a healthy meal idea? Just open the cupboard

(ARA) - Putting healthy, nutritious meals on the table for your family every day often feels daunting, but it can be as easy as opening your pantry. Even on busy nights, when you may be tempted to hit the drive-through, cooking at home with simple ingredients from your pantry is a more nutritious, cost-effective and quicker solution when dinnertime rolls around.

"Keeping your pantry stocked with basic, non-perishable items is an economic and easy way for families to put nutritious meals on the table every night," says Dave Lieberman, chef and cookbook author of "The 10 Things You Need To Eat: And More Than 100 Easy and Delicious Ways to Prepare Them." "My advice is to keep a running grocery list with you at all times, and when these pantry staple items are on sale, you can purchase them in bulk - ultimately helping you stretch your grocery dollar."

All pantries should include the basics: pastas, corn starch, oil and flour, allowing you to put together family meals in a matter of minutes, but Lieberman says there are more essential, must-have items that no cupboard should be without. Here are some of his tips and tricks on stocking the perfect pantry.

Tip 1: Stock up on canned tomatoes.
Unlike fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes contain more nutrients and lycopene because they are pre-cooked, which enhances their nutritional content. Tomatoes have a unique flavor combination of sweet, savory and acidic all at the same time, making them a staple ingredient to cuisines around the world. Studies have shown that tomatoes may help reduce heart disease risk and protect against certain types of cancers. Lieberman recommends keeping cans of Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes on hand because they have a lot of the same vegetables he normally adds to his dishes, such as onions, celery and green peppers - the perfect base for any one-pot feast.

Tip 2: Lentils keep your family feeling full, longer.
Lentils are one of the highest-fiber foods in the world. They are also rich in protein, contain no cholesterol, and virtually no fat. The best, yet often overlooked solution for adding fiber to your diet comes in the form these disk-shaped earthy legumes. The fiber in lentils will keep your family feeling satisfied, helping to prevent late-night snacking on less nutritious foods. Not sure exactly how to use lentils? A delicious family-friendly recipe Lieberman suggests is his chicken and lentil quesadillas; simply substitute lentils for traditional refried beans and serve.

Tip 3: Nuts are the perfect pantry staple snack food.
Walnuts, almonds and peanuts are great items to have on hand at a moment's notice, especially when guests drop by unexpectedly. Nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats and omega-3s. Studies have shown that four servings a week may lower your risk for heart disease. Lieberman relies on nuts for textural contrast, especially in salads, like his green mango salad. When you finely grind nuts, you get a rich creaminess you can actually use as a substitution for dry flour in many baking recipes.

Tip 4: Don't throw out leftovers.
Shelf-stable stocks and broths are inexpensive and add a lot of flavor to all kinds of dishes, from soups to sauces. They are also a great way to add robust flavor to bland or dried-out leftovers. In addition to using stocks and broths to add excitement to food, some other great items that you probably already have in your cupboard are:

* Black pepper. Most recipes call for a dash of salt and pepper. For bigger flavor, grind your own pepper from peppercorns rather than using pre-ground pepper.
* Salt. Keep different types of salt on hand to add unique flavors to your meals, like fine sea salt and kosher salt. Avoid using iodized table salt to flavor meals, because it's very easy to over-salt your dishes with it.
* Olive oil. In addition to its health benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease, olive oil is considered one of the "healthy fats" you should eat. It is the perfect last-minute flavor for salads and soups. Extra virgin olive oil has the most flavor and is the least processed olive oil, meaning it's more pure; therefore, more heart healthy.
* Parmesan cheese. You'll find this ingredient in most recipes because it's delicious and lower in fat than other types of cheese. The best part? You don't need to add that much to your dish to experience the rich flavor it adds.

For more tips and recipe ideas from Lieberman about how to cook healthy and nutritious meals from your pantry, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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