New York, June 25 (AP/UNB) - To apply some modern tricks to old-school chicken salad, we turned to our spice rack. Most spices boast an impressive portfolio of phytonutrients_often the very same compounds that give them such potent flavor.
Mild, creamy chicken salad was an ideal canvas. First, we found we could replace two-thirds of the mayonnaise with low-fat yogurt (and use less dressing overall) and still deliver enough creamy tang to keep everyone happy. To spice up our dressing, we added turmeric and black pepper.
Long used as a medicinal spice in India, turmeric is associated with many health benefits. Black pepper_commonly paired with turmeric_may boost the potency of turmeric, especially in the presence of a little heart-healthy fat.
With our dressing ready, we poached chicken breasts to perfection by heating them just until the water reached 170 F, then removing the pot from the heat and letting the chicken cook through slowly and gently.
For add-ins, we opted for dried cherries and toasted walnuts to provide crunch. Instead of a whisper of herbs, we stirred in 1/3 cup of parsley leaves (herbs, like spices, contain concentrated nutrients), which added a pop of green color and an herbal back note. Two cups of tender baby spinach provided a fresh finish to our updated chicken salad sandwiches.
Tumeric chicken salad sandwiches
Start to finish: 1 hour
Salt and pepper
2 (4- to 6-ounce) organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, no more than 1 inch thick, trimmed of all visible fat
1 teaspoon cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 cup organic plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse
1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup unsweetened dried tart cherries
1 shallot, minced
12 slices hearty 100% whole-grain sandwich bread
2 ounces (2 cups) baby spinach
Dissolve 1 tablespoon salt in 6 cups cold water in Dutch oven. Submerge chicken in water. Heat pot over medium heat until water registers 170 F. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let stand until chicken registers 165 F, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer chicken to paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
Combine oil, turmeric, and cinnamon together in bowl and microwave until fragrant, about 30 seconds; let cool slightly. In large bowl, whisk oil mixture, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together until smooth.
Pat cooled chicken dry with paper towels and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add chicken, walnuts, parsley, cherries, and shallot to bowl with yogurt mixture, toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide chicken salad evenly over 6 bread slices, then top with spinach. Top with remaining 6 bread slices. Serve.
New York, June 25 (AP/UNB) - All-green gardens are becoming popular again as the centerpieces of monochromatic landscaping. The designs are appealing and restive, driven as they are by massed ferns, moss, leaves, bark, berries, rock and foliage combinations. They serve some practical purposes, too.
“Cool, mossy and damp, small space woodland gardens bring a welcome sense of organic Zen and a respite from digital overload, especially in dense urban areas where they can help to mitigate the effects of pollution,” said Elka Karl, a spokeswoman for Monrovia Nursery Co., based in Azuza, California.
“It’s like bringing ‘forest bathing’ to the city with mixes of ferns, mosses, coral bells, hostas and anemones in high-contrast, almost unnatural places for a garden style that’s gaining ground,” Karl said.
She said the company has seen a marked increase in consumer demand for all types of woodland plants over the last three years.
One of the best attributes of plants with green foliage is that they’re the chameleons of the garden, said Kate Karam, Monrovia’s editorial director.
“A holly, for example, can be left to grow into its natural form for a more woodland look or can be sheared into a tight shape suitable for a formal garden,” Karam said.
Green gardens don’t have to be exclusively green, although foliage dominates.
“Even the greenest of green gardens will likely have something that flowers, such as plants that bloom but are chosen for the foliage,” Karam said. “Grasses, spurges and hostas are good examples. Yes, they flower, but most of us don’t really grow them for that benefit.”
There aren’t many “green flowers” in nature, but varieties like Nicotiana langsdorffii, euphorbia and Green Envy zinnia, among others, can be layered into the foliage, said Karen Chapman, a garden designer and co-author, with Christina Salwitz, of “Gardening With Foliage First” (Timber Press, 2017).
Chapman said the monochromatic palette “can be adapted to create a richly textured, shaded woodland border with a framework of Japanese maples, feathery ferns and bold hosta, or a more traditional design of clipped boxwood hedges and architectural conifers.”
People today are often pinched for time and less able to tend flower gardens, Monrovia’s Karam said.
“They turn to hardworking evergreen or seasonally green plants, especially hedges and shrubs, to give the biggest bang and the longest show,” she said. “Plants like conifers, boxwoods, grasses, laurels, hollies, ferns, rhododendrons, drimys, aralia, green-leafed Japanese maples are some of our best sellers.”
When designing all-green gardens, consider a blend of texture, form and coloration.
Foliage varies in texture from rough to smooth, glossy to lusterless. Shapes and sizes range from plants with huge round leaves to grasses with long feathery blades.
Seek complementary colors. Japanese painted ferns, for example, display attractive blue-green fronds with contrasting deep red ribs and silver edging.
“I would say the benefit for many homeowners would be the opportunity to create an urban oasis; a meditative space where the distractions of life are minimized and one can quietly re-focus,” Chapman said. “An all-green-garden would be an excellent environment in which to practice yoga or mindfulness.”
Paris, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Paris-based UN educational and scientific body UNESCO on Monday unveiled the list of projetcs on best practices for the protection of underwater cultural heritage, which includes schemes from France, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and Mexico.
"Designated on the recommendation of UNESCO's Scientific and Technical Advisory Board (STAB), best practice examples are projects presented by States Parties that promote responsible public access to underwater cultural heritage, promote scientific research and ensure the sustainable management of archaeological sites," UNESCO said in a statement.
The projects, which entered Best Practices Register for Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection, are France's excavation, reconstruction, restoration and presentation to the public of the Barge Arles-Rhône, underwater cultural heritage in the Chinchorro Bank from Mexico, subaquatic archaeological charter of the Azores from Portugal, Slovenia's the Ljubljanica river phenomenon and the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes Project (Spain).
"By designating these best practices, UNESCO promotes concrete and directly applicable solutions for the protection of underwater heritage. I call on all states and stakeholders concerned to draw inspiration from them to amplify the drive to protect these remains, which bear the memory of our human history," said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
Adopted in 2001, the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage aims to provide better protection for the millions of wrecks and historic remains preserved on the seabed, and halt looting and increasing destruction of underwater heritage.
The Convention also targets to promote public access to this heritage and to encourage archaeological research. To date, it has been ratified by 61 States, according to the statement.
Zhengzhou, June 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Senior Chinese archaeologists have evaluated astronomical relics discovered in central China's Henan Province as the country's earliest evidence for "observing the images and giving time," advancing history by nearly 1,000 years.
Archaeologists found the "Big Dipper Nine Stars" marker at the 5,000-year-old Qingtai Ruins in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. The size of the nine objects is basically the same as the actual brightness of the celestial body.
More than 30 astronomers, historians and archaeologists from the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institute of History of Natural Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the National Palace Museum were invited to the site to give their evaluations of the ruins last week.
They believe the astronomical relics and the surrounding sacrificial remains constitute a whole, which is consistent with the records of the "Winter Solstice Sacrifice" in ancient Chinese documents. It is of great significance to the study of early Chinese astronomy and the origin of Chinese civilization.
The experts said the relic indicates that the ancestors of Qingtai had some astronomical knowledge, and the worship of the celestial body may have formed a grand sacrificial ceremony for observing the solar terms and praying for a good harvest.
Gu Wanfa, president of the Zhengzhou Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, said that Qingtai is a large-scale trench settlement in the Yangshao Culture period, with a total area of about 310,000 square meters.
He said nine pottery pots were arranged in the "Big Dipper Nine Stars" pattern. They were surrounded by urn coffins of the same period, tombs, mortars and sacrificial pits of different periods and other related relics.
Previous to Qingtai, the Taosi Observatory in Xiangfen County, northern China's Shanxi Province, of 4,200 years ago, represented the earliest evidence in the study of the astronomical calendar in ancient China.
The experts suggested researching the relationship between the two astronomical relics and functions of the relics.
Pascagoula, Jun 25 (AP/UNB) — A historical marker has been placed near the river where two men in southern Mississippi said they were abducted by aliens in 1973.
News outlets report the city of Pascagoula dedicated the marker Saturday at Lighthouse Park.
Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker said they were on the shores of the Pascagoula River when what appeared to be aliens pulled them onboard a UFO, examined them for about 30 minutes and then returned them to Earth.
Both reported the event to the sheriff’s department and were checked out at a hospital after it happened Oct. 11, 1973. The story has become known worldwide.
Parker published a book about the experience in 2018. Hickson died in 2011. Both said many people doubted their story. A few witnesses have come forward to corroborate some details.