Tag Archives: Ziploc

Results from the Ziploc Fresh Eating Survey-Denver vs. Boston

FreshOver Infographic

As you know, I’ve teamed up with Ziploc to encourage Americans to eat more fresh. If you are a regular reader – you’ll notice, I’m already looking for ways to put a healthy spin on my family’s favorites. Earlier this year, Ziploc Brand partnered with best-selling author and TV personality Rachael Ray for the FreshOver Project, which includes the Ziploc Fresh Eating Survey – a city-by-city snapshot of food-related choices across America with insight into a metro area’s “freshness” ranking.

The Ziploc Fresh Eating Survey gives an interesting look into the most and least fresh cities across America. The top 10 “freshest cities” have residents who seek out and eat the freshest food options available, through farmer’s markets and gardening habits. The least fresh cities are where residents face obstacles to eating fresh, such as a high prevalence of fast food options and a lack of fresh food resources.

Do some of the cities surprise you, like Boston, D.C. and Minneapolis? Me, too! Plus, I was surprised not to see Denver in the top 20 let alone the top 10, so I did a little digging.

(GIVEAWAY INFO AT THE END OF THE POST!)

A closer look at the data

I wanted to compare one of the high ranking cities, Boston, with my closest metro area, Denver, which came in at No. 31. Considering that Colorado is one of the healthiest and “skinniest” states in the U.S.in my opinion, I was surprised it was so low in the freshness rankings.

Survey – What time of day are you most likely to make poor or unhealthy food choices?

Denver-Aurora, Colo.
Breakfast: 10.3 percent
Lunch: 20.7 percent
Afternoon: 25.9 percent
Dinner: 10.3 percent
Late night: 32.8 percent

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. – N.H.
Breakfast: 10.7 percent
Lunch: 12.5 percent
Afternoon: 33.9 percent
Dinner: 14.3 percent
Late night: 28.6 percent

Amount of Farmers markets, CSAs and fast food establishments per city

Denver-Aurora, Colo. – rate per 100,000
Farmers Markets: 1.20
CSAs: 0.73
Fast Food estab: 52.4

Denver-Aurora, Colo. – total number
Farmers Markets: 31
CSAs: 19
Fast Food estab: 1355

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. – N.H. – rate per 100,000
Farmers Markets: 2.35
CSAs: 2.15
Fast Food estab: 62.0

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. – N.H. – total number
Farmers Markets: 107
CSAs: 98
Fast Food estab: 2822

Survey – How often do you eat foods containing fresh fruits and vegetables?

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. – N.H.
Rarely: 5.3 percent
1-2 days weekly: 8.8 percent
3-4 days weekly: 10.5 percent
5-6 days weekly: 8.8 percent
Every day: 66.7 percent

Denver-Aurora, Colo.
Rarely: 3.4 percent
1-2 days weekly: 15.3 percent
3-4 days weekly: 11.9 percent
5-6 days weekly: 11.9 percent
Every day: 57.6 percent

Percent of residents with a garden

Denver-Aurora, Colo. – 21.1 percent

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. – N.H. – 26.8 percent

I’m looking for more ways to incorporate fresh ingredients into my family’s meals.

Denver-Aurora, Colo.
Strongly agree: 59.6 percent
Somewhat agree: 26.9 percent
Neither agree nor disagree: 9.6 percent
Somewhat disagree: 1.9 percent
Strongly disagree: 1.9 percent

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. – N.H.
Strongly agree: 56.6 percent
Somewhat agree: 34.0 percent
Neither agree nor disagree: 7.5 percent
Somewhat disagree: 0.0 percent
Strongly disagree: 1.9 percent

I feel like a good parent when my family eats fresh food

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. – N.H.
81.1 percent: Strongly agree
10.8 percent: Somewhat agree
8.1 percent: Neither agree nor disagree
0.0 percent: Somewhat disagree
0.0 percent: Strongly disagree

Denver-Aurora, Colo.
80.0 percent: Strongly agree
11.1 percent: Somewhat agree
6.7 percent: Neither agree nor disagree
0.0 percent: Somewhat disagree
2.2 percent: Strongly disagree

Some quick conclusions

In Ziploc’s analysis, the categories were assigned the following weights, indicating the relative importance of each category:

  • Greater weight – Fruit and vegetable servings and percent with a vegetable garden
  • Medium weight – Farmers markets
  • Lesser weight – Eats fresh fruits and vegetables, wants to use more fresh ingredients, presence of CSAs, and presence of fast food establishments

Boston’s and Denver’s numbers were fairly close except for How often do you eat foods containing fresh fruits and vegetables? According to the survey, Boston eats more vegetables. I guess all the tomatoes served in Boston’s North End and the potatoes in the clam chowder count for something, right? (I’m being sarcastic. Well, a little.)

Still, results would be very different if they used the Boulder/Denver metro area instead of Aurora/Denver. The results would have been “fresher” as we all know how vegetarian and vegan friendly Boulder, Colo. is. Boulderites love their community gardens, locally sourced food, farmer’s markets, organic produce, and healthy grocery stores, for sure!

Win a Ziploc FreshOver Goodie Bag (value $130)!

Ziploc Goodie Bag giveaway

Recently several of the FreshOver Insider 5 bloggers attended a FreshOver event in New York with Rachael Ray. (You can watch a video recap here.) I’m giving away another Ziploc prize pack complete with a cooking wok, garlic press and other cooking utensils, a bottle of Terra Medi Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a box of Ziploc Perfect Portions bags, a Ziploc VersaGlass container, and assorted other products in a Baggu bag.

How to enter to win a Ziploc FreshOver Event Good Bag (value $130):

Giveaway closed. Congrats to Kristen M.! 

  1. In the comments below, tell me your favorite way to make a meal fresh (adding vegetables or fruits, etc.).
  2. Sign up for This Mama Cooks! Review’s RSS feed for ONE additional entry.
  3. Sign up for my enewsletter for ONE additional entry.
  4. Spread the word about this giveaway by submitting a link to this post on Twitter for ONE additional entry. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment so I can check.
  5. Follow @amnichols on Twitter for ONE additional entry.

If you have done any of these additional activities you MUST come back here and leave a comment telling me what you did. I will be checking!

Giveaway starts on May 10, 2012 at noon PST and ends on May 17, 2012 at 5 p.m. PST

Click here for the Ziploc Giveaway Official Rules

___________________
Disclosure: I have partnered with Ziploc® and am being compensated for my posts. However, my opinions on the product are my own.

FreshedOver Healthier Cobb Salad {Win a #FreshOver Prize Pack!} #Ziploc #FreshOver

Healthy Cobb Salad

Recipe: Anne-Marie Nichols’ Classic Cobb Salad
Recipe prepared by: Anne-Marie Nichols, Photo taken by: Anne-Marie Nichols

There’s nothing healthier than a chopped salad that uses lots of vegetables and lean proteins. Unfortunately, the Classic Cobb Salad means well but really is a dietary nightmare. The dish is over the top as it contains three kinds of protein – ham, turkey and egg whites. Six kinds of fat – blue cheese, egg yolks, bacon, avocado, olives and salad dressing (three of them contain saturated fat!) And the only greens are some ice burg or Romaine lettuce and maybe a few cucumber slices.

But I have an alternative that is yummy, healthy and fresh! Inspired by Rachael Ray’s FreshOver Recipe Guide on the Ziploc Facebook page, I “healthed up” the Classic Cobb Salad by using lean proteins like roast turkey or chicken breast or in this case, diced leftover pork sirloin as my kids aren’t big turkey fans and my son, Nathan, hates chicken.

I further “FreshedOver” the recipe by using just egg whites instead of the whole hardboiled egg. I kept the olives, which are healthy, but made sure to use olives packed in brine, not oil. I used reduced fat feta and added more vegetables – cucumbers, a celery/fennel mix, and tomatoes. I eliminated the avocado altogether because even though they’re good for you, they’re high in calories and fat.

Cobb Salads are a great way to use up leftover meats and veggies, so experiment and see what you can add!

Ziploc containers make salad prep easy

A Cobb Salad requires a lot of cutting and chopping of meat and vegetables. Plus you have to hard boil, peel and chop the eggs! However, once you have this recipe prepped, it takes no time at all to serve. So what I did was prep my ingredients the day before and store them in Ziploc VersaGlass Containers in the refrigerator to put together right before dinner time.

What’s so nice about the Ziploc VersaGlass Containers is that they’re attractive enough to use as serving dishes. So instead of preparing a Cobb Salad like I did, you could use them to make a salad bar so everyone could custom-make their own Cobb Salads.

You could also do the same thing in the morning when preparing lunches to take to school or work. Give everyone a Ziploc Brand Twist ’n Loc Container or Ziploc Brand Containers with the Smart Snap Seal and have everyone prepare their own lunchtime salad to go. (Put dressing in extra small Ziploc Brand Containers with the Smart Snap Seal so your lettuce doesn’t get soggy.)

The morning after I made my healthier Cobb Salad, I found my kids making salads for their school lunches with the chopped vegetables and lettuce that were leftover in the Ziploc Brand Containers! “Look Mom, we’re making healthy lunches,” they told me. I’m so proud!

Cobb Salad prep

Recipe: Anne-Marie Nichols’ Classic Cobb Salad
Recipe prepared by: Anne-Marie Nichols, Photo taken by: Anne-Marie Nichols

A Healthier Cobb Salad

Based on Quick Cobb Salad with Yogurt Dressing from MyRecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5 ounce) container of baby spring mix lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked skinless chicken, roast turkey or leftover pork roast
  • 4 ounces of reduced fat feta cheese, crumbles
  • 4 eggs, hardboiled and peeled
  • 1 6 ounce can of pitted black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, fined chopped
  • 4 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • your favorite low fat, low calorie salad dressing (bottled or homemade)

Directions:

  1. Cut hardboiled eggs in half. Remove and toss yolks. Chop eggs whites and set aside.
  2. Combine chopped fennel and celery in a bowl or Ziploc container and set aside.
  3. Place lettuce on a serving platter. On top of lettuce, arrange meat, feta cheese, egg whites, olives, meat, tomatoes, and cucumber in rows.
  4. Serve salad dressing on the side.

This Mama’s Tips

  • Double or triple the recipe so you have plenty of leftovers for the week’s lunches and as side salads at dinner.
  • I like to make additional amounts of the fennel/celery mix. Combine it with hummus, Greek yogurt and seasonings, or a low fat cheese spread and use it in sandwiches, wraps or in pita pockets as a crunchy sandwich spread.
  • A quick and easy salad dressing is an olive oil vinaigrette. Add two parts of your favorite vinegar (I like balsamic or malt) to one part extra virgin olive oil. Add Italian or garden seasoning and some dried onion or garlic. Shake to combine.
  • If you like creamy dressings but don’t like the fat or can’t eat dairy products, check out my salad dressing recipes using tofu and more salad dressings that use tofu posts.

Fresh Over with Rachael RayRachael Ray and Ziploc Brand have been so inspiring on my FreshOver journey.
Want a chance to meet Rachael and swap recipes? Find out how on the Ziploc Facebook page!

Win a year’s supply of Ziploc Brand Products!

How to enter to win a Ziploc FreshOver Prize Pack (value $75):

Giveaway closed. Congrats to Carol J.!

  1. In the comments below, tell me your favorite way to make a meal fresh (adding vegetables or fruits etc.).
  2. Sign up for This Mama Cooks! Review’s RSS feed for ONE additional entry.
  3. Sign up for my enewsletter for ONE additional entry.
  4. Spread the word about this giveaway by submitting a link to this post on Twitter for ONE additional entry. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment so I can check.
  5. Follow @amnichols on Twitter for ONE additional entry.

If you have done any of these additional activities you MUST come back here and leave a comment telling me what you did. I will be checking!

Giveaway starts on March 8, 2012 at noon PST and ends on March 13, 2012 at 5 p.m. PST

Click here for the Ziploc Giveaway Official Rules

___________________
Disclosure: I have partnered with Ziploc® and am being compensated for my posts. However, my opinions on the product are my own.

Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread

Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread

Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread
Recipe prepared by: Anne-Marie Nichols, Photo taken by: Anne-Marie Nichols


Have you had a chance to check out Rachael Ray’s FreshOver Recipe Guide on the Ziploc Facebook page? You can “like” the Ziploc Brand’s page and download Rachael’s exclusive FreshOver Recipe Guide. With every download, up to a maximum of 50,000 downloads, between 1/1/12 and 12/31/13, Ziploc® Brand will make a $1 donation to the organization on the fans behalf, for up to a maximum $50,000 donation. To further support Yum-O!, Rachael Ray and Ziploc will donate an additional $200,000 during the same time period, no matter how many guides are downloaded.

I’ve been enjoying Ziploc and Rachael’s “freshed over” recipes for several reasons – they’re healthy and nutritious, easy to prepare, and delicious. I was especially excited to try the Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad on my family. We all love Greek flavors like olives and feta. Plus, I knew the kids would love it because the chicken and salad is served in pita bread. It’s a really fun way to get your kids to eat healthy salad and vegetables. Plus, if you can find whole wheat pitas and reduced fat feta, even better!

Ziploc Brand Containers make recipe prep easy

With school and afterschool activities, sometimes we don’t get home until dinner time. While this recipe doesn’t take much time to put together once your prep is done, the prep itself is a bit extensive – lots of chopping and measuring. So I got everything ready the day before by making the dressing and chopping the vegetables and herbs, and storing them in Ziploc Brand Twist ’n Loc Containers. These containers also came in handy to bring leftovers to school and work.

You can save additional time by buying already chopped lettuce and crumbled feta cheese, instead of block feta cheese.

Greek Grill Chicken & Vegetable Salad

Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Pita Bread Recipe prepared by: Anne-Marie Nichols, Photo taken by: Anne-Marie Nichols

Rachael Ray’s Greek Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Salad with Warm Pita Bread for Wrapping

Yield 4 servings - Level Easy

Prep 15 minutes - Cook 10 minutes

Total 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 pita breads
  • 1 ripe lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar, eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano, 4 stems, stripped of leaves and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 hearts Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 seedless or English cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill pan over high heat. Place chicken in shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Wrap pita breads in foil. Place in warm oven and heat until dinner is served.
  3. Combine lemon zest, juice and vinegar in a bowl and whisk in oil. Add oregano, garlic and whisk again to combine into dressing. Pour half the dressing over chicken tenders. Turn tenders in dressing to coat.
  4. Combine remaining salad ingredients in a bowl. Pour remaining dressing over salad and toss well. The salad should be very lightly dressed. Season salad with salt and pepper and transfer to a large serving platter.
  5. Grill tenders 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer hot tenders to the salad lined serving platter. Remove pitas from oven and unwrap. Cut pitas in half and arrange around the edge of platter.
  6. To serve, each person can pile grilled chicken and veggies into pita halves, wrap up on either side and enjoy!

imageWin a Ziploc Brand Prize Pack!

This prize pack includes kitchen gadgets, accessories for trips to a farmer’s market or an eating fresh gift pack with Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook cookbook, worth about $120.

Giveaway closed. Congrats to Julie H.!

How to enter to win:

  1. In the comments below, tell me which recipe you want to try out from Rachael and Ziploc’s Recipe Guide.
  2. Sign up for This Mama Cooks! Review’s RSS feed for ONE additional entry.
  3. Sign up for my e-newsletter for ONE additional entry.
  4. Spread the word about this giveaway by submitting a link to this post on Twitter for ONE additional entry. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment so I can check.
  5. Follow @amnichols on Twitter for ONE additional entry.

If you have done any of these additional activities you MUST come back here and leave a comment telling me what you did. I will be checking!

The giveaway begins on February 3, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. PST and ends on February 8, 2012 at 5 p.m. PST.

Click here for the Ziploc Giveaway Official Rules

___________________
Disclosure: I have partnered with Ziploc® and am being compensated for my posts. However, my opinions on the product are my own.

Featured at Jennifer Cooks Fusion Friday