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       Volume I - January 16, 2009

Curb Hunger Pangs with This Oil
by Alice Osborne

The New Year ó a new beginning partnered with a fresh outlook. What is it a wise man once said? ďIf we donít do things differently this year than we did last year, this year will be just like last year.Ē Oooo, we donít want that! So since this newsletter is all about food, how about starting there? How about giving our snacking habits an overhaul for 2009? We found a snack that can quiet down hunger pangs and stop us from unhealthy snacking: whole-grain bread dipped in olive oil.

That's because olive oil is rich in a special appetite-controlling kind of fat. Wow, a fat that can help with weight control! That's something to write home about.

Olive oil contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat. Upon reaching the small intestine, oleic acid triggers the production of oleoylethanolamide (OEA), another fatty substance. (Olive oil isnít the only food with OEA, by the way. Nuts, avocado and fish contain it as well.) OEA then finds its way to nerve endings that carry a hunger-curbing message to the brain. And that message is loud and clear: "Hey. Stop eating! You're full!!"

It also helps keep your blood sugar levels from spiking after your meal and makes it easier for your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as lycopene and lutein. It doesn't take much: Just 70 calories worth will do the trick. Thatís about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, 6 walnuts, 10 almonds, 1/4 of a medium avocado, or 2 ounces of smoked salmon.

So donít deprive yourself of that fresh whole-grain bread and olive oil the next time a waiter brings it to your table. It may be your dietís best friend. And when entertaining at home, ditch the chips and instead try some of these delicious healthy-fat appetizers:

Spicy Almonds
Yield: 2 C

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dry-roasted, unsalted almonds
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot but not smoking, then add the almonds and stir to combine. Add the Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder, and salt and stir until the almonds are evenly coated. Remove from heat and spread the almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle them evenly with cayenne pepper and allow to cool.

  Download this recipe.

Savory Olive Tapenade
Yield: 10 servings

1 teaspoon capers
3/4 cup green olives, pitted
3/4 cup black olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the olives are finely chopped.
Serve with baked whole-wheat pita chips or thinly sliced and toasted whole-wheat bread.

  Download this recipe.

Zesty Pesto Spread
Yield: 14 servings

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor until the mixture is finely chopped. Then, with the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until itís all incorporated. Spread onto whole-wheat crackers.

  Download this recipe.

Shrimp and Avocado Canapes
Courtesy EatWell

Precooked shrimp make this pretty appetizer a snap to prepare.

16 whole-wheat crackers
1 avocado, cut into 16 slices
16 cooked shrimp
Lime wedges

Top each cracker with 1 slice avocado, 1 shrimp and a squeeze of lime juice. (Serves 10)

  Download this recipe.

Information courtesy the RealAge website.

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