More Than 1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know How to Cook: Americans Spend More on Eating Out Than Buying Groceries

The art of cooking has fallen by the wayside in the age of convenience. As parents, we’re supposed to be teaching our kids how to take care of themselves once they fly the nest. Unfortunately many of us have lifestyles that are too busy for cooking on a daily basis; so we hit the drive thru on the way home or we order takeout or we go sit in a restaurant- because who wants to do all those dishes anyway?

On the surface this isn’t a completely terrible thing – our kids still have food to eat, and it is totally possible to make healthy choices at a restaurant. It’s a budget-buster – go ahead and tally up how much money you spend on restaurants each month. You’ll be shocked.

The biggest problem here is that we aren’t always taking the time to teach our kids how to cook, and as a result, more than a quarter of American adults don’t know how to cook at all. Everyone needs to know the basics of cooking, even if you aren’t planning to become a television chef – it’s a matter of survival.

Learn more about the apps and tech out there to help you learn to cook – and cook safely – from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

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The Jewish Deli Has Become a Staple of American Restaurants: Biali, Blintz, Borscht, Challah, Knish, Kreplach, Latke, Lox, Rugelach, Matzo Ball Soup

There are lots of interesting foods in the world, and some of them—you might not realize—have shared cultural legacies. Let’s look at something that’s become a staple of American restaurants, the Jewish deli. Do you know what the foods and drinks that you’ll find on a menu here is, and do you know what you’re eating (or missing out on)?

For starters, it’s helpful to know just how long the Jewish deli has been around in America—over 100 years and nearing 150; the first one opened officially in 1888. While most people could just find meat there to start with, over the years (and century) that evolved to include sandwiches and other cultural staples.

Now you’ll find breads and soups and desserts, among other delicacies. Many of them might be familiar to you, such as challah. Others? It’s worth learning about and eating, too. This graphic helps to explain them.

This graphic has been provided courtesy of ZeroCater.com.

 

Jewish Deli Delicacies Decoded Infographic

6 Months After Quitting My 7 Years as a Vegetarian and 5.5 Years as a Vegan: How Do I Eat Now? High Protein Kosher, Similar to Paleo

Even though I only publicly admitted it recently, it was actually 6 months ago that I decided to retire from my dedicated plant-based stage of life, which coincided with most of my 8 year-old son’s life.

After I made the announcement, one of my nieces was shocked, reaching out to me, saying, “I’m pretty sure you have been a vegan for most of the time I’ve known you, ha ha. So you eat cheese pizza now?”

My answer: Well, I could… but I don’t… not really.

(To find a funny t-shirt like this one for the lowest price on Amazon, click here.)

Here’s what I do eat now:

Certain kosher meats, but only if they are baked or broiled, never fried or processed (like in a “nugget” form).

Wild caught fish: mainly salmon, cod, mahi mahi, and even anchovies; but not tuna, which instantly causes my dyshodrotic eczema to return. And definitely never shellfish: shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc. (They are not kosher.)

Chicken, without the skin.

Turkey, but I don’t really like it.

Beef, but never with dairy, like cheese; which is part of keeping kosher.

Eggs, whey powder, and cheese, but not milk.

(To check out the whey isolate protein powder I consume on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

I see no reason to drink milk from an animal; not only because it contains more sugar than most people realize, but I attribute milk as the reason my sinuses and allergies used to be so horrible.

Vegetables, but not cooked in heavy oils.

Fruit, with no limitations.

Grains and potatoes, but only on occasion:

I am intentionally strictly avoiding flour (like wheat pasta or wheat pizza dough), hydrogenated oils, and processed sugar.

So would I eat a cheese pizza? I have; several times.

But I realized that it goes against what I am trying to accomplish; which is to have a permanent, healthy and balanced diet which will allow me to comfortably fit back into my size 32 pants again.

I have learned to appreciate grilled chicken pesto pizza on gluten-free, cauliflower crust.

Could I eat a cheeseburger? No, because it’s combining beef with dairy; which isn’t kosher.

Could I eat a hamburger? I could, but I’m not in a hurry to, since that would involve a lot of bread.

I think that ultimately, new identity as an ex-vegan consists of a dietary regiment that is still as disciplined as being a vegan, though it’s a lot less restricting.

(To check out the high protein, whey-based bars I eat on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

In the past 6 months, I have loss and kept off 5 pounds since I stopped being a vegan. And because I have been faithfully working out using Darebee.com, it is my belief that the reason I am not continuing to lose more weight right now is that the muscle I am building weights more than the fat.

I’m thinking that within another 6 months, I’ll have more confirmation and clarity for Operation: Comfortably Fit in My Size 32 Pants Again.

If not, I’ll keep being open-minded until I figure it out.

Dear Holly: You Like to Make and Eat “Panic Cakes”

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

Ever since you got your Peppa the Pig kitchen play set for Christmas, you have been somewhat obsessed with the concept of making pancakes, or as you pronounce it… panic cakes.

Picking up on this, Mommy decided to make some buckwheat pancakes a few Saturday mornings ago, and it turns out, you love to eat pancakes- not just pretend to make them.

It’s now to the point where Mommy has to make enough on the weekend so that you have enough to eat leftovers throughout the rest of the week; each morning before school.

In fact, you love them so much, that you sort of have a little panic attack if you don’t get your panic cakes!

So maybe “panic cakes” isn’t that far off of a pronunciation…

Love,

Daddy

3 Awesome Kid-Friendly Vegan Restaurants in New York 

By guest blogger Eathen Smith, as part of the sponsored Hotel Planner campaign.

The environmental, health, and social benefits of vegan food have never been more obvious to a new generation of health-conscious parents and restaurateurs. Both are on different sides of the restaurant counter but are equally determined in their efforts to promote healthy food choices for children.

Vegan menus for kids are still difficult to find, but there are numerous kid-friendly vegan restaurants in New York City. The number of hotels and transportation near some of the restaurants makes the city perfect for time restricted parents. Here are a few vegan-friendly restaurants found throughout the city;

Experience Convenience and Vegan Delights in Queens

Vegan-friendly, homemade, fresh, delicious, convenient, and attentive staff are all words that have been used to describe Bruno’s Restaurant. It is located near Howard’s Beach in Queens and is close to JFK Airport.

Large portions of food are the norm at Bruno’s Restaurant. The vegan-friendly menu includes fresh salads, pizza, pasta, and Italian desserts. Friendly staff also go above and beyond to provide a wonderfully warm and inviting atmosphere. There are plenty of transport options nearby, and taxis are recommended for late evenings.

Looking to stay nearby? Hotels are conveniently located all over Queens and can be reached within minutes.

Convenient Mexican Vegan on the Lower East Side  

JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana is a walk-in restaurant located on the Lower East Side of New York. The vegan menu rates highly among locals and visitors. There is a park across the road for distracting the kids while the family waits to be seated. The wait is worth it when the menu arrives. It is made up of unique Mexican food such as vegan chorizo, black bean burgers, and cauliflower rice. JaJaJa is located above a train station and car parking is plentiful making it perfect for a quick exit. The modern decor of JaJaJa is complemented by fun music, convenience, and an excellent location.

Upper East Side Vegan Experience  

Le Botaniste is for families with slightly higher budgets but provides delicious vegan food on the Upper East Side of New York. The restaurant offers a fast and convenient restaurant experience. There are lots of vegan food options at this restaurant, and a family with children can be in and out of Le Botaniste in minutes. The Tibetan Rice Bowl is a favorite choice for vegans. It contains coconut curry, brown rice, and veggies. Bowls of green vegetables, quinoa cookies, and assorted bowls of food are just a few of the other menu items.

Exceptional and tasty vegan food in New York City will continue to convert carnivores. The choices for kid-friendly vegan food is phenomenal, and there is something for every budget. The convenient restaurant locations near hotels and public transport make for an easy meal and decreased waiting times. Creative vegan delights from some of New York’s best have the potential to change a new generation of eaters and bring joy to conscious parents.

Image via Flickr by WoodleyWonderworks

Dear Holly: You Now Love Mac and Cheese!

1 year, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

It was just a few weeks ago when Nonna came up for a week to take care of you while I was on my Toyota trip in Atlanta, that you began eating Ramen noodles.

Well, it’s no surprise to me that you now eat mac and cheese too.

Last week you overheard your brother tell Mommy that’s what he wanted for dinner.

You repeated, “Chee?”

(Each week, we’ve kept a little snack-size block of cheese for you in the fridge; as you occasionally ask for it. You’ve treated it more like a teething toy more than food, though.)

I then asked you, “Holly, cheese noodles?”

“Yeah, chee!”

So Mommy brought you your own dish of mac and cheese, along with your brother’s. You went to work right away.

Though you had never eaten it before, you instantly loved it.

My favorite part about this story is that you took it upon yourself to request mac and cheese and try it for the first time.

As you are now less than a month away from your 2nd birthday, I am starting to see you naturally transition into your upcoming age.

You’ve mainly been eating snack-type foods until recently. Now that you’re actually asking for and eating pasta, it shows me that you are growing up.

And while I am very particular about letting my kids have “screen time” before their 2nd birthday, I have been letting you watch Elmo a little bit most days.

So yes, you love mac and cheese. You ask for it. Granted, they are currently being referred to as “cheese noodles” for now, but that’s okay.

I just love being able to see you eating something besides fruit-&-veggie pouches and Cheerios.

My little girl is starting to eat real food now!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Brother Feeds You Yogurt Better Than I Can

1 year, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

While I am extremely grateful we are past the days of preparing and cleaning bottles of milk for you, I will admit: It’s not one of my favorite things, to feed you yogurt.

At least twice a day, you’ll walk over to the fridge, pull on the door, and speak in your language what would translate as, “I want yogurt, Daddy.”

That’s when I respond with a face palm and, “Ah man, really?”

By the time I am finished feeding you, you have a fu manchu of Trader Joe’s yogurt, which seamlessly blends in to your runny nose.

You also love for me to prepare you organic instant oatmeal twice a day as well, to accompany your yogurt.

After I clean you up, the stains on both of our clothes consists of a mysterious mix of “Is it yogurt, mucus, or oatmeal?”

It makes me think of the DNA test I did this summer, but instead of ethnicity, we would be testing the stains on your clothes:

43% yogurt

27% oatmeal

10% mucus

Fortunately though, we stumbled into a wonderful discovery:

Not only does your brother love to feed you the yogurt, but he’s much better at it than I am. You respond better to him. You think it’s more fun to eat the yogurt when he feeds you.

And somehow, none of the yogurt seems to make its way to either of your clothes.

If it were up to me, I’d always have your brother feed you yogurt. He enjoys doing it, too.

It makes me wonder what else your brother could do more efficiently than me. I recognize the special relationship the two of you have- and I respect it.

So even though I didn’t immediately think it was a smart idea to let your brother feed you yogurt while wearing one of his brand-new shirts, the two of you quickly proved me wrong.

Love,

Daddy