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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bronx Foodie: Tasty (and Healthy) Supermarket Finds, Plus 5 Healthy Cooking Tips

The Food Education Project at Montefiore Medical Center held its second workshop-type session this past Wednesday about choosing healthy products at the supermarket. Guest speaker and seasoned chef, Allison Fishman (pictured), author of "Cook Yourself Thin" and former co-host of TLC’s "Home Made Simple," led the hour-long session on buying healthy and tasty foods.

Fishman shared a list of relatively healthy products found in most supermarkets that she and other Cooking Light staff members personally taste-tested for a recent issue.

Here are some of Fishman’s picks:
• Rudi’s Organic Bakery, 100% Whole Wheat Bread
• Uncle Ben’s Boil-in-Bag Brown Rice
• Progresso Reduced Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup
• Fage Plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt
• Tribe Classic Hummus
• Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean Light Ice Cream
• Del Monte No-Salt Diced Tomatoes
• Hellman’s Canola Mayonnaise

Audience members received samples of many of the products. Fishman also made a “1-Minute Salad” with arugula, parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, and truffle oil for the audience to taste as well. She ended the session by providing her top 5 cooking tips. Check them out below.

Fishman’s 5 Tips for Healthy Cooking
1. Use low calorie, high flavor ingredients, like herbs, lemon juice, yogurt, and balsamic vinegar.
2. Use high calorie ingredients sparingly. For example, nuts, seeds, and cheese.
3. Eat mostly plants and foods that your grandmother would recognize. (Borrowed from Michael Pollan)
4. Give hearty foods a healthy makeover. Try using chicken sausage instead of pork.
5. Fill half of your plate with vegetables.

The next workshop will be held Wednesday, Nov. 3, and will feature a presentation about the Norwood Food Co-op by Greg Lobo-Jost.

The Food Education Project is sponsored by Montefiore's Office of Community Health in conjunction with the medical center's departments of Food and Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition. Sessions are held every other Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. in the Food Pavilion at Montefiore's Moses Division. For more information, call (718) 920-4692.

Ed. Note: Ivonne Salazar is a contributing writer for the Bronx News Network and a healthy eating enthusiast. As the "Bronx Foody," she will be writing regularly about healthy eating and other food-related issues.


  1. I would find this initiative a whole lot more interesting and worthwhile if I were able to buy any of the healthy food items listed here in any of my neighborhood food marts. :-(

  2. @ PLM
    Don't you wish there was a quality supermarket in the Armory now? LOL.

  3. Oh no, I just love my local trash-marts LOL, who needs a quality food store? I can def. find "Rudi's organic bakery bread" (from the healthy list choice above) at my local Pioneer! Ha! My Pioneer smells like dirty feet.
    Good luck to "Bronx Foody" as she tries to write about healthy eating in the Bronx...do hostess products count at healthy foods, b/c that's the easiest shit to get around here? LOL :-)

  4. Thanks for the feedback -- though we picked these items because they were nationally available, perhaps for the next Montefiore presentation, I can shop specifically from stores in the Bronx. There's always something good to eat.

    Thanks Bronx Foody!
    -Allison Fishman

  5. An article on the joys of truffle oil http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/dining/16truf.html

  6. I am happy to see the construction on FoodTown progressing, as they were offering more and more healthy options in recent years, many of the items at the suggestions of shoppers.

    Has anyone had any luck requesting healthier items at a Pioneer or C-Town?

  7. @Jost,

    Come to think of it, I have suggested to some of the local markets like Met and Pioneer in getting specific brands or items, and they look at me as if I had three heads. But customer service in general is bad throughout the neighborhood.

    What I hate most is having to go to 3 or 4 different stores to get the stuff I need in a week because nobody has a decent sale, or go up to Yonkers and do my shopping for the next 2 or 3 weeks.

    Hope Foodtown is better once it gets built.

  8. I just learned that the Department of Health created a "Healthy Bodega Initiative", which is a program that helps stores promote a healthier lifestyle by offering a variety high quality fresh fruits and vegetables. They also have volunteer programs in neighboring schools that assist in shelving the healthier alternatives in a more marketable area of the store. @ PLM2010 Unfortunately the program doesn't include "Rudi’s Organic Bakery bread" but you have to start somewhere.


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