At the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in San Diego

I am at the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in San Diego, looking for healthy new products to share with you. I was invited to attend the conference in my role as president of Les Dames d'Escoffier International, an association of women leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, where membership is by invitation.

FNCE is the world's largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals. The conference, which runs through tomorrow, draws thousands of registered dietitians, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, healthcare providers and industry leaders. At the conference, ADA announced it will change its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics beginning January 2012.

While I am sitting in on seminars to learn more about nutrition issues, I'm also walking the aisles of the manufacturers' exhibit booths at the San Diego Convention Center. Each manufacturer is putting its best healthy foot forward, distributing product samples, doing cooking demos and offering food tastings.

In a quick exploration of the exhibition hall, here is a sampling of some new products you might want to try:

This line of Asian dark, leafy green vegetables is produced by third-generation farmers in California who grow and pre-package their produce so they are ready to stir-fry, steam or sauté in minutes. The nutritious greens are harvested and shipped within 24 hours and have a shelf life of 17 days. The vegetables are pre-washed and some are pre-chopped, so there's no excuse for avoiding leafy greens.

Jovial Inkorn Pasta
Einkorn is the most ancient variety of wheat, going back 12,000 years to the origins of agriculture. The grain has been propagated and coaxed back into production by researchers in Italy to bring this ancient grain back to life. It is being grown organically in Tuscany and turned into 100 percent whole wheat pasta that is inherently more nutritious than conventional pasta products.

Hooray Puree
Pureed vegetables in shelf stable pouches can be added to just about anything to get more vegetables into your diet. (Think shakes and smoothies, baked goods, pasta sauces.)  Four ounces of the puree is equal to one serving of vegetables.  Depending on how you use them, you can play up the flavor of the purees, or mask them to sneak more vegetables into finicky kids.  The veggies: spinach, butternut squash, carrot, broccoli and sweet potato.  Hooray Purees, in conventionally grown and organic versions, will be in supermarkets around Thanksgiving.

FlatOut FoldIt
Flatbreads tend to be, well, flat. They are great topped or rolled, but the shape doesn't lend itself to sandwiches. FoldIt is a figure-eight-shaped flatbread. Fill one half, then fold the other half over to make regular sandwiches or grill in a press to make panini. There are four varieties: 100 percent whole wheat with flax, traditional white, rosemary and olive oil, and slider classic white. Each has 90 to 100 calories per serving.

Sunsweet Plum Amazins Tidbits of dried plums about the size of raisins or dried cranberries are not sticky, as dried plums cut up at home tend to be. So you get all the nutritional benefits of dried plums, but in smaller bits suitable for snacking out of hand. Plum Amazins can be used anywhere raisins or dried cranberries are used, in cookies, granola, mixed in yogurt or cereal, or baked in cookies.

And Now a Recipe
Here's a delicious, healthful and easy recipe I tasted from the United Soybean Board for Edamame Hummus.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Edamame Hummus

2 cups frozen edamame (shelled), cooked according to package directions (10-ounce package)
1/4 cup soybean oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients in a food processor for 30 seconds, scraping sides twice, until almost smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with pita triangles, crackers, baguettes or raw vegetables.

Makes 14 servings (1 3/4 cups hummus)

Recipe from United Soybean Board

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 tablespoons): 60 calories, 2g protein, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 5g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium.

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Posted: Sep 25th by Sandy_Hu