Food & Nutrition

Food & Nutrition

Backyard Bounty – Community Gardens Nurture Neighborhoods — and Neighbors

“Every time I step into this garden, I’m transported to a place of green that inspires me to be strong and beautiful, like the plants growing here.” — Argerie Vasilakes ...
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Research May Put the Brakes on Skipping Breakfast

You’ve likely heard that breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day’ – but is it true? A Cleveland Clinic expert weighs in on some recent research. ...
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Greater Cleveland Food Bank Offers Meals for Thanksgiving Week

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank feeds people year round, but the volunteers and staff are extra busy throughout the holidays. This week it's sponsoring Thanksgiving dinners at dozens of locations throughout Northeast Ohio. ...
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Cleveland Farmers Markets Bring Good Nutrition to Inner City Residents

Our July/August Boomer has a story about the fun, quirky and festive farmers market experience. But did you know that farmers markets are vital sources for nutritional food in inner city neighborhoods that have few grocery stores?

The Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market, in Cleveland Ohio, is a part of a county-wide farmers’ market nutrition incentive program, “Produce Perks.” In this video, vendors and customers discuss the health and economic benefits of a farmers’ market-based nutrition incentive program.

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Fabulous Pittsburgh Eats


Fabulous Pittsburgh Food Finds

Drink (in a Church), Nosh (on a Walk) & Shop (Where the Chefs Do)

By Paris Wolfe

My parents are from Western Pennsylvania so I should know Pittsburgh. I know all about yinz, gutchies and gumband. I eat no-bake cookies and gobs. And before I was introduced to “Barney” on TV, I thought everyone said “red up” when they meant “clean up.”

Still, it took until this year before I devoted 24 hours playing in the Steel City. I went armed with my GPS to untangle the web of freeways and one-way city streets. The elegant Renaissance Pittsburgh — in the historic Fulton Building — was my headquarters for the Friday-Saturday stay and offered its own Pittsburgh-centric room touches.

We indulged in sampling of the city’s myriad food experiences. It’s culinary wealth has me eager to return.

Here’s where we went and what we did.

  1. Church Brew Works, 3525 Liberty Ave. (412-688-8200, We left downtown Cleveland at 3 p.m. Friday and, with stops, arrived at the church on time — 5:30 p.m. — to meet my cousin and her husband. After all, doesn’t everyone from Northeast Ohio have family in Pittsburgh?


The Church Brew Works opened in 1996 in a repurposed 1902 Catholic church. The owners maintained as much of the original structure as possible, including the hand-painted ceiling and the pews shortened for seating. The confessionals store alcohol, and the vibrant blue altar is used as brewing space. The building is one of a few repurposed Catholic churches that retains original stained glass windows.


The food and beer — note, two IPA offerings — are as worthy of admiration as the building.


  1. ’Burgh Bits and Bites Food Tours (412-901-7150, Sylvia McCoy is genius with food tours that sample the cultural anthropology of Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
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Eat For Your Health

Smart, heart-healthy choices will help you enjoy your seasonal favorites without the unwelcome calories. The American Heart Association recommended a few ways to indulge at the holidays — guilt-free.

Reduce the calorie content of eggnog by mixing three parts skim milk to one part egg nog. Check the label on apple cider for added sugar content. Alternate your holiday beverages with a glass of water to leave less room to overindulge.

Did you know rolls and bread are high in sodium? Limit both at holiday gatherings. Reach for the lighter part of the turkey, it has fewer calories than dark meat. And make it a sweet ending by sharing your dessert selection.

American Heart Association, visit

If you are looking to manage your sugar and weight this season, but still want the traditional feast to include popular foods, try a sweet potato. They are an excellent source of beta carotene (vitamin A). They play several roles in good health, including functioning as an antioxidant.

Lori Izeman of the Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland provides this sweet potato recipe. Visit, for recipes and information.


• 3 pounds sweet potatoes

• 11⁄2 cups pecan pieces

• 2 teaspoons cinnamon

• 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

• 5 tablespoons butter

• 1 egg

• Sugar substitute

1. Poke the sweet potatoes several times with a sharp knife and roast at 400 degrees. until soft – about 45-60 minutes depending upon the size.

2. Make the topping – chop 1 cup of the pecans until it is ground into a meal. Add about 1/4 cup sugar substitute, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Chop until blended. Mix the rest of the pecan pieces in by hand.

Let the sweet potatoes cool for 10-15 minutes.

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CRUNCH BUNCH – Satisfy Cold Weather Cravings with Good-for-You Chicken and Broccoli Recipes

Hearty and healthy meals can warm the body and soul during these last weeks of winter. Nothing heats up a kitchen like an oven-baked meal. Fortunately, good food can be good for you. The American Heart Association offers this easy and satisfying recipe from its Simple Cookingwith Heart Program. The recipe satisfies your craving for something crunchy. Go ahead and serve the chicken with oven-roasted broccoli sprinkled with chopped nuts.

For more simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit

Crunchy Chicken


2 1/2-3 lbs chicken breast


2 Tbs Dijon mustard

2 cups multigrain cereal

flakes, crushed

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Heat oven to 400° F. Rinse chicken and pat dry. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken and mustard to coat.

In a large bowl, mix the crushed cereal, and add 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the cereal mixture and bake on a baking sheet until golden and cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.

Oven-Roasted Broccoli


1 lb fresh broccoli crowns, rinsed,


1 1/2 tsp minced garlic or 2 tsps

jarred, minced garlic

2 tsps low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp black pepper

3 Tbs chopped, unsalted nuts

(almonds, pecans or walnuts suggested — whatever is on

sale will work).

Heat oven to 400° F (or can use same oven as chicken). Rinse broccoli, trim stalks into 1/8 inch-thick chunks and cut florets into bite-sized pieces. Place in a mixing bowl and toss with soy sauce, oil, pepper and garlic.

Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly into a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Place in the oven 3-4 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and toss with broccoli mixture.

Transfer broccoli mixture to casserole dish and roast 10-12 minutes until broccoli is tender.

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