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Sunday, June 1, 2014

19 Foods You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

19 Foods You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen


19 Foods You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 11:31 AM PDT

A well-stocked kitchen allows you to throw together a fast, flavorful meal after a long day. And, when you wake up and have to dash out the door for work, it pays to have grab-and-go breakfast and snack options on hand. We tapped registered dietitians, personal chefs, and bloggers for their must-have foods to always keep in their kitchens. (And yes, they’re all good for you, too.) Some you probably already have, while others you’ll want to add to your list.

1. Extra-virgin olive oil

Why? No surprise here—olive oil is one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. How to use it: Los Angeles-based personal chef Hallie Norvet recommends buying cold-pressed olive oil for the best flavor. Cook with it, but also drizzle over finished dishes, like grilled fish, pasta, and vegetables sides. (Just be sure not to go overboard. Even though it is good fat, one tablespoon still packs 120 calories.)

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2. Nonfat Greek yogurt

Why? Greek yogurt is packed with 18 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving. Though it’s creamy and seems indulgent, it contains just 100 calories per serving.
How to use it: Greek yogurt makes a great low-cal and low-fat substitute in recipes for mayo and sour cream, says Melissa Wieczorek, co-owner and chef of A la Maison Personal Chef Service in Newtown, Penn.

3. Canned olives

Why? They have a long shelf life, they can be thrown into a variety of dishes, and they have heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Go for all-natural without added sodium.
How to use them: Throw them on top of salads, stir them into pastas, or try snacking on them. You can eat 10 for about 50 calories. “They’re perfect when you’re craving something salty, but it’s more satisfying than a fluffy cracker in your belly,” says dietitian Jenna Braddock, RD.

4. Honey

Why? It’ll last in your cupboard for years. And in addition to being a versatile sweetener, honey can serve as a hangover helper, cough soother, and more.
How to use it: Sweeten homemade marinades and salad dressings. Braddock also likes to incorporate it into whole-grain baking. “Whole wheat flour can be denser, but adding honey in place of regular sugar keeps things tender and moist.” In recipes that call for sugar, swap in an equal amount of honey and reduce baking temperature by 25 degrees.

5. Beans

Why? Not only inexpensive, they’re also a great source of protein and fiber. (One cup of chickpeas, for example, contains a whopping 15 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber.)
How to use them: Keep beans of all kinds in your kitchen. Gina Homolka of Skinnytaste favors chickpeas, black beans, and white northern, but what you stock in your pantry is up to you. Keep canned around for salsas and salads; dried to make larger servings that will last the week.

6. Quinoa

Why? For one cup of cooked quinoa, you get 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for just 222 calories. Plus, the hearty whole grain is a good source of energizing iron and B vitamins. Chef and registered dietitian Allison Stevens also likes it because it’s one of the speediest grains to cook; it’s ready in 15 minutes.
How to use it: Combine cooked quinoa with shredded chicken, chopped veggies, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Or, eat quinoa hot as a substitute for oatmeal. Stir in almond milk, dried fruit, nuts, and drizzle with honey.

7. Eggs

Why? One egg contains six grams of belly-filling protein for only 70 calories. One study found that overweight women who ate egg breakfasts lost twice as much weight as women who started their days with bagels.
How to use them: Hard boil a bunch at the beginning of the week for an on-the-go breakfast or snack with a piece of cheese and fruit, says Wieczorek. Or, throw a fried egg on top of a rice-and-veggie bowl or a salad for an extra dose of protein. You could also try one of these high-protein breakfast recipes that feature eggs.

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8. Sea salt

Why? Although the CDC recommends limiting your salt intake, excess sodium is often a problem in prepared and processed foods, not the foods you cook yourself. Adding a sprinkle of salt to the foods you cook in your kitchen helps flavors pop.
How to use it: Use just like you would regular salt. Norvet loves sea salt, which contains a higher mineral content than regular table salt.

9. Tomato paste

Why? “Tomato paste adds a great umami flavor, or a richness to food that you’re trying to keep low in calories and fat,” says Braddock. Even better: tomatoes, particularly tomato paste, are bursting with cancer-fighting lycopene.
How to use it: Buy it in a can or in a squeeze tube and use it to add an extra layer of flavor to curries and stir-fries.

10. Bananas

Why? They’re economical, available all year, and supply a nice sweetness to foods like smoothies and plain yogurt without adding sugar, says Braddock.
How to use them: For a quick snack, smear a banana nut butter or top on whole grain toast. Banana turning brown? Freeze it and whirl in your food processor until smooth for banana “ice cream.”

11. Fresh herbs

Why? Packed with a surprising number of antioxidants in their little leaves, they add a wonderful flavor to any dish. Herbs also give new life when used on leftovers or make already-prepared foods taste homemade.
How to use them: Keep a variety around, says Wieczorek. Cilantro for Thai or Southwestern dishes; basil for Italian, rosemary for marinades or on roast chicken. (Try these recipes for fresh herbs To make sure they stay fresh, store in in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator (not wrapped in plastic) or stuff the sprigs in a glass of water like a vase. (It’s pretty, too!)

12. Chocolate

Why? Dark chocolate provides powerful disease-fighting polyphenols and has even been associated with weight loss.
How to use it: “I always keep dark chocolate on hand, and not just for chocolate cravings,” says Wieczorek. You can also use it as a surprise ingredient in sauces. For example, throw one square into a braising sauce for meat to elevate the flavor. Try these 27 healthy chocolate recipes.

13. Garlic

Why? “Garlic allows you to add flavor to your dishes quickly and easily without unhealthy fats or processed ingredients,” Norvet says.
How to use it: Norvet buys the already peeled variety for fast chopping to add to soups, stews, sautés, stir-frys, and marinades.

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14. Mustard

Why? The condiment is packed with the immune-boosting mineral selenium and turmeric, a spice (that gives it its yellow pigment) with cancer-fighting properties.
How to use it: Keep a couple different varieties in your refrigerator, says Norvet. That includes Dijon for salad dressings, sauces, marinades, and in a coating for breading chicken and pork. Grain mustard is another favorite as a spread on sandwiches.

15. Flavored vinegar

Why? This specialty ingredient is actually really versatile, says Braddock, and it’s heart healthy: “Vinegar helps open up your blood vessels to improve blood flow,” she says.
How to use it: Flavors like blackberry or strawberry balsamic can be drizzled to brighten the flavor of salads for few calories (one teaspoon contains about five).

16. Oatmeal

Why? Known for helping to lower cholesterol numbers, research suggests oats may also help you control your appetite.
How to use it: A bowl of oatmeal is a stick-to-your-ribs, wont-be-full-until-lunch way to start your mornings. Homolka also makes oatmeal smoothies: cook the oatmeal in water with cinnamon sticks, let cool and then blend with milk, ice, and a little raw sugar.

17. Herbs de Provence

Why? This easy-to-find dried herb blend features thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, marjoram, and lavender that adds a nice herbaceous seasoning for any dish, which is why this is one ingredient Stevens always keeps on hand.
How to use it: Sprinkle on chicken, potatoes, grilled veggies. Also makes a great seasoning for eggs, combined with panko as a crust for fish, or on pizza.

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18. Broth

Why? You can keep a carton in your pantry for a long time until you’re ready to use it. It’s low in calories (one cup contains 38) with 5 grams of protein.
How to use it: Whether chicken, beef or veggie, Stevens relies on these to make soups, stews, and chilies. It also makes a great substitute for oil when sautéing vegetables. Store leftover broth in ice cube trays in the freezer for quick access. When buying broth, Stevens recommends reading the ingredients list and avoiding those that contain added sugar and caramel coloring. Buy low-sodium whenever possible.

19. Ground chicken and turkey

Why? Buying lean ground turkey or chicken breast saves on saturated fat compared to ground beef.
How to use it: Stash in your freezer and thaw when ready to eat, recommends Wieczorek. It’s one meat that cooks in a zip and can be used in stir-fries, meat sauces, tacos, enchiladas, stuffed peppers, or rice bowls.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Republicans Criticize White House Over Bergdahl Exchange

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

A day after the country celebrated U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s return to American custody after nearly five years in captivity, the White House found itself playing defense Sunday for failing to notify lawmakers in advance before transferring five Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) and Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) accused President Barack Obama in a statement Saturday of breaking the law by failing to give Congress proper notice of the transfers. The law requires the White House to tell lawmakers about Guantanamo transfers 30 days in advance. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, however, told Congress about the five Bergdahl transfers Saturday morning, just hours before the prisoners were on a plane and headed to Qatar.

"In executing this transfer,” McKeon and Inhofe said, “the President … clearly violated laws which require him to notify Congress thirty days before any transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated. Our joy at Sgt. Berghdal's release is tempered by the fact that President Obama chose to ignore the law, not to mention sound policy, to achieve it.”

Obama himself signed the 30 days rule into law last year. He also wrote a controversial signing statement along with that law in which he said he believes the President is allowed to “act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers.” The Bergdahl deal is the first in which he’s put this belief into practice. (It’s also worth noting Obama campaigned in 2008 against the use of signing statements to enhance the executive branch’s power).

Hagel, along with White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice, were out playing defense for the White House on Sunday. Hagel said while en route to Afghanistan Sunday that Bergdahl’s worsening health meant the White House needed to move quickly to make the exchange. And Rice, making the Sunday show rounds, told CNN’s Candy Crowley that the administration had previously told Congress a Bergdahl-style scenario was a possibility.

” … this opportunity is one that has been briefed to Congress when we had past potential to have this kind of arrangement,” said Rice on CNN’s State of the Union.

“So it wasn’t unknown to Congress,” Rice continued. “The Department of Defense consulted with the Department of Justice. And given the acute urgency of the — the health condition of Sgt. — Sgt. Bergdahl and given the president’s constitutional responsibilities, it was determined that it was necessary and appropriate not to adhere to the 30 day notification requirement, because it would have potentially meant that the opportunity to get Sgt. Bergdahl would have been lost.”

Other Republicans, meanwhile, knocked the White House over what they said was a move that will put U.S. troops at risk in the future. Republican Texas Senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz pounded home that point Sunday on This Week, saying the administration paid a “dangerous price” to retrieve Bergdahl.

“How many soldiers lost their lives to capture those five Taliban terrorists that we just released?” Cruz asked ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “Ambassador [Susan] Rice basically said to you, yes, U.S. policy has changed. Now we make deals with terrorists. And the question going forward is, have we just put a price on other U.S. soldiers? What does this tell terrorists, that if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists we’ve gone after?”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), meanwhile, said during Sunday State of the Union that "if you negotiate here, you've sent a message to every al-Qaeda group in the world — by the way, some who are holding U.S. hostages today — that there is some value now in that hostage in a way that they didn't have before.”

And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former P.O.W. himself, was also skeptical of the exchange. “I am eager to learn what precise steps are being taken to ensure that these vicious and violent Taliban extremists never return to the fight against the United States and our partners or engage in any activities that can threaten the prospects for peace and security in Afghanistan,” said McCain in a statement.

Official: 6 Climbers Likely Died in Mountain Fall

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 10:40 AM PDT

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) — Citing dangerous conditions, Mount Rainier National Park officials said there are no immediate plans to recover the bodies of six climbers who likely fell thousands of feet to their deaths in the worst alpine accident on the mountain in decades.

Continuous ice fall and rock fall make the area too dangerous for rescuers, park spokeswoman Patti Wold said Sunday morning. The area will be checked periodically by air in the coming weeks and months, she said.

Wold added that “there’s no certainty that recovery is possible given the location.”

Park officials believe the group fell 3,300 feet from their last known whereabouts of 12,800 feet on Liberty Ridge.

“It’s inconceivable that anyone survived that” fall, Wold said. Officials have not released the names of those who died.

A helicopter crew on Saturday spotted camping and climbing gear in the avalanche-prone area. Air and ground searches were suspended late Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a sad day at Mount Rainier,” park superintendent Randy King said Sunday.

The missing group includes four clients of Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International and two guides. They were due to return from the mountain on Friday. When they did not return, the climbing company notified park officials.

Gordon Janow, the guiding service’s programs director, did not release information about the climbers on Sunday, and said that would come from park officials.

The group was on a five-day climb of the Liberty Ridge route, one of the more technical and advanced routes up the mountain.

The climbers had to meet certain pre-requisites, and their ice and technical climbing skills as well as their biography were evaluated by a three-person team, Janow said.

The guiding service also lost five Nepalese guides in a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest in April. The avalanche that swept down a climbing route on the world’s highest peak killed 16 Sherpa guides. Several more were injured.

“It’s devastating, it’s emotionally draining, it’s trying to make sense of it all,” Janow said of the tragedies.

The loss of life would be among the deadliest climbing accidents ever on the peak in the Cascade mountain range. In 1981, 11 people were killed during a guided climb when they were struck by a massive ice fall on the Ingraham Glacier. On Oregon’s Mount Hood seven students from a college preparatory school in Portland and two adults died after they dug a snow cave during a sudden storm in 1986.

Mount Rainier, southeast of Seattle, stands at 14,410 feet and attracts thousands of climbers trying to reach its summit every year. It is popular with climbers of all abilities, from novices who take guided climbs to experienced alpinists who use the glacier-laden peak to train for attempted ascents on taller mountains in the Himalayas and other mountain ranges. Before this most recent accident, 89 people had died trying to climb Mount Rainier since 1897, the park service said.

The search for the missing climbers focused on the northwest shoulder of the mountain at the Liberty Ridge area, Bauer said. Saturday’s search included a team of three climbing rangers on the ground and flyovers with a Hughes helicopter. An Army Chinook helicopter then joined the search from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The group was scheduled to reach the summit of Mount Rainier on Thursday, with a day to climb down.

Snow flurries and hail hit the mountain Wednesday, park Ranger Fawn Bauer said, but the weather has been clear since then.

Bauer said ground crews on Saturday checked “every possible area” where someone could have sought refuge in the storm.

In a statement from the park, the guides were described as skilled. In a blog post on the Alpine Ascents website Thursday, the post said the team had turned around at 13,000 feet during their attempt to reach the summit because of weather conditions.

Wold said the Liberty Ridge route the group was attempting is one of the more technical and advanced on Mount Rainier.

Pirate Bay Co-Founder Arrested in Sweden

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 08:57 AM PDT

After living on the run for almost two years, a co-founder of file-sharing website The Pirate Bay was arrested in Sweden to serve a sentence for violating copyright laws, Swedish police announced Saturday.

Peter Sunde was sentenced in Sweden in 2012 and has been wanted by Interpol ever since, Reuters reports.

“He was given eight months in jail so he has to serve his sentence,” said Caroline Ekeus, spokeswoman for the Swedish National Police Board. Ekeus said police arrested Sunde in the southern Swedish county Skane on Saturday. Swedish media reported that Sunde may have been living in and appealing from Germany prior to his arrest.

Sunde and three other people connected to The Pirate Bay were sentenced to a year in prison with a $4.8 million fine, though an appeals court later increased the fine to $6.9 million and cut down the prison sentences. The charges against the site were first filed by Swedish film and music companies.

Despite the legal troubles facing The Pirate Bay, the website is back up and running after a short period of going offline. It claims it is under new ownership.

[Reuters]

15-Year-Old Justin Bieber Tells Racist Joke in Resurfaced Video

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Justin Bieber probably should have listened to the whoever told him, “Don’t even say it.”

In a recently surfaced clip reportedly recorded during the making of his 2011 concert documentary, Never Say Never, a young Bieber, said to be 15 at the time, tells a racist joke and repeats the N-word several times, despite protests from his team.

According to British site The Sun, which published the clip, Bieber’s camp knew about the existence of the footage and was willing to pay to keep it from surfacing.

Though “Spoiled Teenager Says Regrettable, Dumb Thing” could be an Onion headline at this point, TMZ — which claims it had the clip years ago but declined to post it because of Bieber’s age and his subsequent admission of stupidity (not included in the clip) — reports that Bieber is currently “frustrated and sad” and plans to address the clip publicly within the next day or so.

[TMZ]

Federer Loses to Gulbis in French Open’s 4th Round

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 08:22 AM PDT

PARIS (AP) — Roger Federer’s streak of nine consecutive quarterfinals at the French Open ended Sunday with a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 fourth-round loss to 18th-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.

It’s Federer’s earliest exit at Roland Garros since 2004, when he was beaten in the third round by Gustavo Kuerten.

After that, though, Federer made at least the quarterfinals at a record 36 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, a streak that ended with a second-round loss at Wimbledon last year.

Now he has bowed out before the quarterfinals at three of the last four majors.

The fourth-seeded Federer owns a record 17 Grand Slam titles, including at the 2009 French Open. But he was hardly at his best Sunday, getting broken seven times, including twice while serving for a set.

NSA Collects Millions of Facial Photos Daily, Snowden Documents Say

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 07:16 AM PDT

The National Security Agency is collecting millions of images a day for facial recognition purposes, according to classified documents obtained from Edward Snowden by the New York Times.

Of those millions of images, approximately 55,000 a day are “facial recognition quality images,” according to the documents.

The documents reveal that the NSA is using new software to mine social media, emails, text messages and other digital communications for images. They also show the agency is capable of and interested in intercepting forms of communication beyond text and audio.

"It's not just the traditional communications we're after: It's taking a full-arsenal approach that digitally exploits the clues a target leaves behind in their regular activities on the net to compile biographic and biometric information," read one document from 2010.

An NSA spokeswoman declined to tell the Times if the agency is collecting facial images from social media through means other than digital intercepts.

[The New York Times]

You Can Now Get High-Speed Internet Access on the Moon

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 07:00 AM PDT

Once again, NASA has proven that lasers are one of the coolest technologies we've got. After three years of development, researchers from the space agency and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are set to unveil the results of their first tests using lasers to transmit information to and from the moon.

The test apparently achieved upload speeds of 19.44 megabits per second and download speeds of 622 megabits per second over the 384,633km between Earth and the moon; faster, the Optical Society said, than any conventional (read: radio) method of transmitting data between here and the blue-black infinity of space. 19.44 megabits per second is more than fast enough to stream high-definition TV, movies and video chat.

On the more scientific side of things, those speeds will allow for larger and better satellite imaging in real time. Netflix, of course, is highly scientific.

C-Ant Man: Another Director Backs Off Marvel Film

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Marvel’s production of Ant-Man could use its own superhero right about now. A week after director Edgar Wright exited the project, a frontrunner for his replacement, Adam McKay, has also backed away.

The Anchorman director pulled out of high-level talks to take over for Wright on Saturday, Variety reports. Other contenders reportedly include Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re the Millers) and Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad).

Wright, who had been attached to the project since 2006, and Marvel went their separate ways due to “differences in their vision of the film,” the studio announced last weekend. Plans for a July 17, 2015, release date for the film starring Paul Rudd, however, are yet unchanged.

[Variety]

El Nino Could Mean a Disaster-Free Hurricane Season

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 06:30 AM PDT

The Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off Sunday, which means for the next six months the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. will be on the lookout for the next big Andrew, Hugo or Katrina. As it happens, the U.S. is in the middle of a record-breaking hurricane drought. It’s been 3,142 days since the last major hurricane—defined as Category 3 or above—made landfall in the U.S. (That was Hurricane Wilma, which hit southwest Florida in October, 2005 and was the most intense cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, with sustained winds of 185 mph.) That’s an unprecedented streak, going back to 1900—the longest drought before the current one was nearly 1,000 days shorter.

Don’t expect that drought to end any time soon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast that the Atlantic’s hurricane season will be in the normal to below normal range, with nine named storms (the long-term average is 12) and three hurricanes (the average is six or seven). Only one of those hurricanes is expected to reach Category 3 or higher, with sustained winds of at least 111 mph (179 kph). NOAA says there’s a one-in-five chance that a major hurricane could actually make landfall along the East Coast — and not a Katrina in the bunch.

One of the reasons why the Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be so mild is because of something happening in the Pacific, thousands of miles away. Scientists are predicting that we have a better than even chance of developing an El Nino event within the next six months. El Ninos occur when the waters of the equatorial Pacific undergo unusual warming, which in turn affects atmospheric circulation and weather around the world. That includes hurricanes in the Atlantic: El Nino increases the strength of westerly winds across the Atlantic, which creates a lot of wind shear. (Wind shear is the difference between speed and direction of wind over a short distance.) That high wind shear can disrupt tropical storm systems before they’re able to gather a lot of power, which makes it difficult for major hurricanes to form.

El Nino isn’t always good news for storms—hurricanes actually get stronger in the eastern Pacific during El Nino years. And the eastern Pacific hurricane season, which began on May 15, has already seen its first storm—Amanda, which attained maximum wind speeds of 155 mph (249 kph), making it just below a Category 5 hurricane. It also makes Amanda the strongest eastern Pacific storm ever recorded in May, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season—and especially for the west coast of Mexico, which bears the brunt of those hurricanes.

And there’s no guarantee that the skies will stay quiet over the Atlantic either. Hurricanes don’t have to be Category 3 or above to cause major damage. Sandy was barely a Category 1 hurricane by the time it made landfall in the Northeast in October 2012, yet its sheer size and rainfall—as well as the fact it squarely hit the most populated section of the country—caused nearly $70 billion in damage. And previous El Nino years saw strong storms, including 2004, when four strong hurricanes hit Florida, and 1992, when Hurricane Andrew caused $26.5 billion in damage. After all, as NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan said last month: “It only takes one destructive storm to make for a very bad season.”

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