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I hate most kitchen gadgets. Often they don’t work or if they do, they get used for a while and then end up in the cupboard or on the countertop taking up space. But during a weak moment at a grocery store recently, I bought a microwave omelette maker. There it was, right at face level, as I pushed my cart past the eggs. I like eggs but I don’t eat a lot of them. In fact, I had a dozen getting old in my fridge and I thought maybe this device might help me use them up. Well, it worked. I’ve even bought more eggs because this thing makes an excellent omelette without the hassle of dirtying a pan. It makes a perfect non-stick omelette every time. You just beat two eggs and put half in each side. After microwaving it for a minute, you add some cheese or whatever you want in the middle of your omelette and then close it up and microwave it a bit more. Voila! It works great and it’s so fast and easy. It’s been my best kitchen purchase in a long time. Infomercial pitchman Vince Offer needs to dump the Slap Chop and start selling this. But wait, there’s more! More of my Hal’s Kitchen food column is below so please keep reading…

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PIZZA WEEK CONTINUES

Winnipeg’s La Pizza Week is ongoing. It runs until May 14 at 75 local restaurants. I’ll let you go to LaPizzaWeek.com to check out all the different pies but here are a few names that caught my eye. The Fresh Prince at Smitty’s, Just Figgin’ Peachy at Saddlery on Market and Bedazzled Basil at Hildegard’s Bakery. And don’t be afraid to try several because the event is also a fundraiser for United Way.

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SALTY CHOPSTICKS

Japanese researchers have developed computerized chopsticks that enhance salty tastes. The idea is to help those who need to cut sodium in their diets. The chopsticks use electrical stimulation and a mini-computer worn on a wristband. A weak electrical current transmits sodium ions from food, through the chopsticks, to the mouth, where they create a sense of saltiness. Inventor Homei Miyashita at Meiji University has also come up with a lickable TV screen that can imitate various food flavours.

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ANTI-DEMENTIA DIET

A diet rich in antioxidants could protect your brain. Leafy, green vegetables and colourful fruit are also good for the rest of your body. According to new research, people with blood high in three key antioxidants are less likely to develop dementia. “But the only way to prove the connection between antioxidants and brain health is with a long-term, randomized clinical trial to see whether fewer people who take a carefully controlled amount of antioxidant supplements develop dementia over time,” said Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, scientific director for the US National Institute on Aging.

VEGETARIAN KIDS

A new study says children who are vegetarians might face certain challenges. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital of United Health in Toronto have discovered that while vegetarian kids have similar levels of nutrition as their meat-eating peers, their risk of being underweight is double. Being underweight could indicate a bigger chance of malnutrition or lack of sufficient calories and nutrients needed for proper growth but more research is needed. The lead author of the study, Dr. Jonathon Maguire, says, “Vegetarian diets appear to be appropriate for most children.”

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MUSHROOMS NOT MEAT

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research says switching from meat to mushrooms just once a week may prevent deforestation. Substituting 20% of beef with a fungi-based meat alternative could cut deforestation in half by 2050. The experts say this mushroom meat can replicate the taste and texture of real beef but it doesn’t require as much land to produce and there are also fewer emissions. And this is interesting: It might also prevent an appetite…

OBI-WAN CEREAL

Kellogg’s has a new cereal for Star Wars fans. You may have to make a trip to Grand Forks to buy it or order it online but Frosted Flakes Obi-Wan Kenobi is said to pair the rich, chocolatey flavours of Frosted Flakes Chocolate with the sweet taste of original Frosted Flakes for a “masterful combination” of the “dark and light” sides. Its official release is set for late this spring.

-Hal has written columns for years. He’s also the host of Connecting Winnipeg weekday mornings from 10 to noon on 680 CJOB. You can email him at [email protected]

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