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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg handed out apples at the Steinway subway station in Queens Monday morning to celebrate the city’s first annual Food Day.
The goal of the nationwide celebration is to focus on eating healthy food and apples are touted as an easy and inexpensive way to eat better.
The New York Apple Association had donated 3,000 apples to be distributed across the five boroughs.
Restaurants will also be serving up apple-themed recipes.
“New Yorkers are an opinionated bunch and everyone has a favorite way to celebrate food in our city: by enjoying a delicious, healthy meal in one of our many restaurants, shopping for tasty and nutritious fruits and vegetables at a farmers market, or preparing a home-cooked meal with friends or family,” said Bloomberg. “But I think we should all agree that one easy, affordable, and healthy step we can all take today – and every day – is to grab a crisp New York apple. We are the Big Apple after all!”
The new NYC Food website, which launched today, provides information about city programs and healthy recipes.
“Food Day presents an opportunity for all New Yorkers to consider how food affects health,” said Commissioner Farley. “Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits – like apples – and vegetables instead of junk food like chips and soda can help keep the doctor away.”
Bloomberg has been vigilant in helping New Yorkers improve their eating habits by implementing calorie labeling and banning trans fat.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond In Times Square
Meanwhile, a giant lunchtime dine-in in Times Square was attended by celebrity chef Mario Batali and New York City health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.
“About two thirds of New Yorkers are overweight. One in eight New Yorkers has type two diabetes and those numbers continue rise. So, we’re focusing particularly on sugary drinks which are the single largest contributor to obesity,” said Farley.
The communal table featured a healthy lunch of the fruits and vegetables food educator Deborah Lewison-Grant of Food Fight tries to get New York City school kids to eat.
“You can put good food in cafeterias. You can have urban gardens. You can have food bucks at the farmers market. But you gotta get people to buy in. People have to believe that those choices make a difference, believe those choices are important, and feel empowered to want to make those changes and we think the only way to do that is through education,” she said.
Food Day is a creation of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Michael Jacobson.
“It’s going to help people through food banks, through nutrition education, and through legislation,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.
Jacobson says, if everyone followed the government’s good health guidelines, there wouldn’t be enough us grown produce to go around.
Food Day events will be held across the country today to try to get people to focus on healthy eating.
New Yorkers can get into the spirit by sharing their best healthy recipes on http://nycfoodrecipes.tumblr.com/. Chefs Mario Batali and Bill Telepan have also contributed recipes to the site.
If you’re looking to cook up a healthy dinner check out this recipe:
Mayor Bloomberg and Mario Batali’s Saltimbocca alla New Yorkese
New York State Apple Sauce:
4 Cortland or Empire Apples, peeled and cored
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 shot Grappa
1 pinch Cinnamon
1 Tspn Salt
Juice and zest of 1 Lemon
1/4 Cup Chives, freshly chopped
Saltimbocca alla New Yorkese:
8 Pork Cutlets, about 2 ounces each
8 Fresh Sage Leaves
8 slices Prosciutto di Parma
Flour, for dusting
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
4 Tblspn Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Dry White Win
Quarter apples and place them in a saucepan over medium heat with the sugar, grappa, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice. Cook until soft and broken down, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with foil and set aside.
Using a meat mallet, pound each veal slice to about 1/8-inch thick. Place 1 sage leaf and 1 slice of prosciutto on each pork cutlet and fold over to form a sandwich, with the meat inside the prosciutto. Pound lightly with the meat mallet, then secure with toothpicks.
In a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat until it foams and subsides. Season the flour with salt and pepper, and dredge the cutlets lightly in the flour. Add to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
Pour the wine into the pan and bring to a boil, stirring with wooden spoon to dislodge the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Return the cutlets to the pan just to reheat, place apple sauce on a platter sprinkle with chives and then transfer the cutlets to platter over the apple sauce, pour the sauce over, and serve immediately, with lemon wedges.