by Kate Heyhoe
With record heat and drought in Texas this year, my Tulsi solar oven is getting its work out.
Solar ovens are obviously not standard kitchen appliances, yet more people are turning to them for emission-free, guilt-free cooking. You can use them for everything from cooking rice to roasting chickens to baking desserts, and not just in Death Valley weather. Even when the mercury stays in the pleasant zone, solar ovens function fuel-free, simply by reflecting light into a dark box area and retaining the heat with a clear lid. (Think of how hot your car gets in a parking lot.)
The Tulsi oven is a unique breed of solar oven and a favorite of tech-minded cooks. It's a portable hybrid contraption which comes with an electric booster to kick-start the heat or keep things cooking on cloudy days. Even with the electrical boost, it's still more efficient than conventional ovens. And it comes as a clam-shell type of suitcase, ready to pack up and go wherever the dinner party may be. There's a small learning curve with solar ovens, but essentially anything that works in a crockpot works in a solar oven.
Buy a Tulsi Hybrid Solar Oven
This article also appears on our New Green Basics site. Visit New Green Basics to see reviews of other green cooking products.
Here's a kitchen dietitian you can count on. Kitchen scales are important to cooking, simply because so many recipes today measure ingredients by weight instead of volume. Like flour, cheese and meats, for instance. For special diets or monitoring nutritional intake, kitchen scales help ensure you're getting the proper calories, nutrients and portion size.
But measuring and looking up the nutritional content takes time, especially if you're doing it with every meal and cross-referencing with a book's standard serving size. The EatSmart scale simplifies and speeds up the process. It comes programmed with 999 of the most common foods (unpackaged basics, like apples, chicken breast and rice, for instance). Weigh the food, press a button, and not only is the food weight measured, but the scale calculates 12 nutritional values specific to the actual amount of food you're using.
It calculates calories, carbs, fiber, total fat and saturated fat, protein, sodium, vitamin K, and potassium, magnesium, calcium and cholesterol. The tare feature lets you measure and calculate values for each item separately, without changing the bowl (and it removes the weight of the bowl from the results). With its tempered glass top and sleek design, this snazzy device looks like a piece of hi-tech sculpture on your counter.
Buy an EatSmart Nutrition Scale
Want an instant seasoning blend for summer?
On some families' tables, a sesame shaker is as natural as salt and pepper. In fact, some cultures blend their salt, pepper, and sesame together as a single condiment in one jar. Others mix sesame seeds with herbs or seaweed. And why not put tasty little sesame seeds ready and in reach?
Research reveals sesame is exceptionally strong in powerful antioxidants and may counter disease and slow the aging process itself. Each tiny seed is actually a well-packaged bundle of 50% healthful, unsaturated oil, 25% protein, and such elements as tryptophan and methionine—amino acids rarely found in other vegetable proteins, making sesame a particularly valuable food for vegetarians. Sesame seeds and their oil also contain Vitamin E, calcium, estrogens, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Here's a few of the global seasoning blends made from sesame:
With July Fourth and Summer Grilling season upon us, I've selected some of my outdoor favorites from our archive of recipes:
All of these recipes and many, many more appear on our July Fourth page. Besides dozens of grilling recipes, the page has recipes and tips for marinades, picnic fare, delicious side dishes and delectable desserts.
Copyright © 2008, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created July 2008
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