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Lisa Valente- Superfoods are multi-taskers—foods brimming with various disease-fighting nutrients, usually without providing too many calories and delivered in a delicious form.

But some foods deemed "super" are a little too exotic to fit into our everyday diets —like, say, sardines—that you'd only have once in a while. Healthy? Yes. Would you eat them every day? Probably not. And while we're all for trying new foods, especially the super healthy kind, it's nice to know that you can stock up on superfood staples every week and they'll be easy to fit into your diet.

1. Tea:

Studies show if you drink tea regularly, you may reduce your risk of Alzheimer's, diabetes and some cancers, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. How? Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. Regardless of the variety of tea you choose, maximize the power of its flavonoids by drinking it freshly brewed. If you want to keep a batch of cold tea in your refrigerator, add a little lemon juice—the citric acid and vitamin C in that squeeze of lemon, lime or orange help preserve the flavonoids.

2.  Oranges:

Oranges are an underrated fruit. But the humble orange is an excellent source of vitamin C, just one large orange (or a cup of OJ) contains a full day's dose. Vitamin C is critical for producing white blood cells and antibodies that fight off infections; it's also a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free-radical damage and plays a key role in producing skin-firming collagen. Oranges are also high in fiber and folate.

3. Eggs:

A source of high-quality protein, eggs might give your meal more staying power too. One egg has about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein. Plus, egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin—two antioxidants that help keep eyes healthy. In fact, mounting research links lutein and zeaxanthin with reduced risk for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. And lutein also may help to shield your skin from UV damage. Who knew the humble egg was so nutritious?

4. Berries:

A source of high-quality protein, eggs might give your meal more staying power too. One egg has about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein. Plus, egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin—two antioxidants that help keep eyes healthy. In fact, mounting research links lutein and zeaxanthin with reduced risk for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. And lutein also may help to shield your skin from UV damage. Who knew the humble egg was so nutritious?

5. Broccoli:

This green powerhouse packs vitamins A, C, and K (which helps with bone health), as well as folate. There is another reason broccoli frequently earns a top spot on "superfoods" lists: it delivers a healthy dose of sulforaphane, a type of isothiocyanate that is thought to thwart cancer by helping to stimulate the body's detoxifying enzymes.

6. Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet potatoes are so brilliantly orange thanks to their alpha and beta carotene. The body converts these compounds into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. These phytochemicals also operate as antioxidants, sweeping up disease-promoting free radicals. One medium sweet potato—or about 1/2 cup—provides nearly four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A, plus some vitamin C and B6, potassium, manganese and lutein, and zeaxanthin.

7. Nuts:

What can't nuts do? They're packed with healthy polyunsaturated fats and magnesium, two important nutrients for heart health. These nutrients may also ­offer protection against insulin resistance, which can lead to ­diabetes. Antioxidant compounds found in nuts, including ellagic acid and resveratrol, can reduce the wear and tear on your body from free radicals. In turn, this lowers inflammation, which may reduce cancer risk. Plus, nuts provide insoluble fiber, which studies suggest may help you stay healthy by feeding beneficial gut bacteria. Spread nut butter on toast, grab a handful of nuts for a snack or make your own simple trail mix.

8. Oats:

Oats are a breakfast staple and quite the superfood. Eating more oats is an easy way to up your fiber intake, a nutrient most of us don't get enough of. Fiber is good for our guts and our waistlines and for keeping us full—all very important qualities in breakfast food. Plus, oats are whole grain and plain oats don't have any added sugar. For a superfood meal or snack start with plain oats and turn them into healthy meals and snacks like blueberry oatcakes, homemade granola to enjoy with fruit and yogurt or DIY energy bites with peanut butter.

9. Spinach:

Dark leafy greens do a body good. Spinach is teeming with important nutrients: vitamins A, C, and K—as well as some fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E. Studies have found that eating more greens, like spinach, can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of diabetes, keep your brain young and help fight off cancer.

10. Yogurt:


Yogurt contains probiotics or "good bacteria" that help keep our guts healthy. It's also rich in calcium. Just 1 cup of yogurt provides nearly half the recommended daily value of calcium and delivers phosphorus, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and protein. Choose Greek yogurt for an even bigger protein boost and whenever possible reach for plain. Flavored yogurts tend to have lots of added sugar which add calories without nutrition.

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"Super tasty and versatile dish!"

Egg Casserole for two!

READY IN: 25mins SERVES: 2

UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

2 slices white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 green onion, with top thinly sliced

1⁄3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1⁄3 cup chopped ham


DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray small 2-cup capacity oval baker with vegetable spray.

3. In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, bread, green onion, cheese, and ham; mix well.

4. Pour egg mixture into baker.

5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until egg mixture is set.

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If you love to mix your drinks (beer or juice) then you wouldn't find it difficult to master or want to try out these easy cocktail recipes you can make from the comfort of your home. You don't need to visit the bar every Friday or Sunday night you thirst for a fine blend; sit at home and be your own bartender.

We who love to mix drinks at home do it for many reasons: First off, it's cheaper than drinking out (that I already stated). Second, it's fun to mix your own drinks at home. Third, it's even more fun to mix drinks for friends and family.

Any self-respecting home bartender should have a mental Excel spreadsheet of favorite classic cocktail recipes. Even if they aren't fully memorized, you should be able to find the recipe in your home library or google at quick notice to serve them to your friends and yourself of course.

Here are a list of seven easy cocktails to try out as soon as possible!


Sex on the Beach


Ingredients:

9 ml  Schnapps

35 ml Smirnoff Vodka

35 ml Orange Juice

35 ml Cranberry Juice

Process:

Fill a tall 12-ounce glass with ice cubes.

Add in all ingredients together and use a jigger to measure them correctly.

 


Johnnie Walker Red Label & Soda


Ingredients:

50 ml Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whiskey

125 ml Soda Water

2 Orange or Lime Wedges

Process:

Fill ice cubes on a tall glass.

Add Johnnie Walker Red Label and soda water using a jigger.

Garnish with either orange or lime wedges.

 


Super Simple Summer Punch


Ingredients:

50 ml Smirnoff Vodka

4 Slices of Orange

4 Pieces of Raspberries

100 ml Cranberry Juice

100 ml Mango Juice

50 ml Soda Water

Process:

In a glass full of ice, pour in vodka, add in the orange slices and raspberries and stir the mixture using a wooden spoon to blend the flavors.

Pour the mango and cranberry juice followed by soda water and continue stirring to infuse the mixture.

 

Classic Mojito


Ingredients:

Captain Morgan White Rum (50 ml)

(1 dash) Soda Water

(2 tsps.) Caster Sugar

2 Lime Wedges

1 Mint Sprig

Crushed ice

Process:

In a mixing glass, mix caster sugar and lime wedges together using a pestle or a large spoon to extract lime flavour and aroma.

Mash about 12 leaves from the mint sprigs together with the lime and sugar.

Add crushed ice to about three-fourths of the glass.

Pour the rum and dash of soda.

Use a spoon to stir the drink thoroughly.

Garnish with a few crushed mint leaves and add crushed ice. Serve cold.

 


Gin and Tonic


Ingredients:

25 ml Gordon’s London Dry Gin

125 ml Tonic Water

10 ml Lime Juice

2 Lime or Lemon Wedges

Process:

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, measure gin, tonic water and lime juice using a jigger and then pour into the glass.

Place the lime or lemon wedge in your cocktail drink for some garnishing.

 


Rum and Cola


Ingredients:

50 ml Captain Morgan White Rum

125 ml Cola

1 Lime Wedge

Process:

Fill your glass or jar with cubes of ice.

Use a jigger to measure and pour the rum and cola into your glass of ice.

Add lime wedge to garnish.

 


Vodka Tonic


Ingredients:

50 ml Smirnoff Vodka

125 ml Tonic Water

1 Lime Wedge

Process:

Pour vodka and tonic water using a jigger for correct measurement into a glass filled with ice.

Place the lime wedge on the drink, squeeze a bit and serve.

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Pizza consists, at its core, of three things: dough, sauce, and toppings. It's hard to believe that this simple dish could spawn hundreds of variations and result in a $30 billion worldwide industry, not to mention the huge number of chefs and pizza-makers who specialize in perfecting this single dish. 

We may debate which country invented pizza, but there's no denying that it's one of the most popular foods found throughout the world. The word pizza, which comes from the word pita, means 'pie.' So be careful: calling it a pizza pie is sort of like saying "I'll have the soup de jour of the day." The below list is by no means exhaustive. It's just meant to drop a little knowledge on you about some of the more popular permutations found in different regions of the world.


1. Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan is the original pizza. This delicious pie dates all the way back to 18th century in Naples, Italy. During this time, the poorer citizens of this seaside city frequently purchased food that was cheap and could be eaten quickly. Luckily for them, Neapolitan pizza – a flatbread with tomatoes, cheese, oil, and garlic – was affordable and readily available through numerous street vendors.

Today there are three official variants of Neapolitan pizza:

Pizza Marinara: Features tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil.

Pizza Margherita: Features tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.

Pizza Margherita extra: Features tomatoes, mozzarella from Campania, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.

Traditional toppings: Since Neapolitan pizza is thinner, it isn't designed to handle the weight of too many toppings. In fact, Neapolitan pizza is so thin that it's typically eaten with a fork and knife. Not to mention, straying away from the original could be considered a pizza sin. The typical Neapolitan pizza toppings are fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves, oregano, and olive oil.

Baking suggestions: Many people will tell you that in order to make "real" Neapolitan pizza, it must be baked in a wood burning oven that's heated anywhere from 800 - 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to how they made it many years ago. Baking the pie at this high of a temperature only takes around 70-90 seconds to fully cook.


2. Chicago Pizza

Chicago pizza, also commonly referred to as deep-dish pizza, gets its name from the city it was invented in. During the early 1900’s, Italian immigrants in the windy city were searching for something similar to the Neapolitan pizza that they knew and loved. Instead of imitating the notoriously thin pie, Ike Sewell had something else in mind. He created a pizza with a thick crust that had raised edges, similar to a pie, and ingredients in reverse, with slices of mozzarella lining the dough followed by meat, vegetables, and then topped with a can of crushed tomatoes. This original creation led Sewell to create the now famous chain restaurant, Pizzeria Uno.

Traditional toppings: Unlike other styles of pizza, the toppings on a Chicago-style pie aren't found directly on top, but instead underneath a layer of tomato sauce. Generally, the toppings for Chicago pizza are ground beef, sausage, pepperoni, onion, mushrooms, and green peppers. Some locations will even finish off their pizzas with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese across the tomato sauce.

Baking suggestions: In order to easily get a Chicago pizza out of the pan, it's important to wipe the pan down with oil. Adding oil to the pan also helps to make the base of the dough a bit crispier. Since there are more toppings and dough, baking a deep dish pizza can be a lengthier process, with a baking time of 30 - 35 minutes.


3. New York Style Pizza

While New York-style pizza isn’t exactly the original, it’s become the most popular and widespread choice in the United States. Even though Neapolitan and New York pizzas share similarities, there are distinct differences. Some people will tell you that it’s the minerals in the Big Apple’s water used to make the dough that makes this pizza stand out. However, in order to make a proper New York-style pie, the crust still needs to be thin, like a Neapolitan, but thick enough to fold a slice in half lengthwise. This simplifies eating the pizza without utensils, which is a necessity in New York City's fast-paced setting.

Traditional toppings: Unlike its thin crust counterpart, the Neapolitan, New York-style pizzas can handle a wide range of toppings, from pepperoni and sausage to mushroom and anchovies. While this style of pizza can have virtually any topping added to it, it's more common to find condiments added to a slice, like oregano, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder.

Baking suggestions: Just like the Neapolitan pizza, many will tell you that in order for a New York-style pizza to be authentic, it has to be cooked in a wood or coal burning oven. Today, many people use gas deck ovens to bake them, which create the same delicious, gooey, and crispy result.