LENTIL SALAD WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

While I usually pick recipes with short ingredient lists, this one is longer, but worth it! A wonderful fall recipe packed with flavor and beautiful nutrition. Melissa Clark is my favorite New York Times columnist/food writer!

ingredients for the lentil salad

1 small whole acorn squash, peeled if desired, halved, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces

1 medium celeriac, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces

3 small beets, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

2 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary, cut in half

4 slices (4 ounces) bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)

2 cups brown or green lentils

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 bay leaf

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste

½ teaspoon black pepper

ingredients for the sherry vinaigrette 

¼ cup sherry vinegar, more to taste

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

ingredients for serving

2 heads radicchio, sliced

2 scallions, thinly sliced (whites and greens)

 Parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish

 Flaky sea salt, to taste

 Cracked black pepper, to taste

1 tangerine, halved and seeded

directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place vegetables in one layer on one or two large rimmed baking pans, toss with olive oil and salt. Place thyme and rosemary on top of vegetables, cover pans with foil and roast for 25 minutes. Remove foil, stir in bacon and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer, until vegetables are tender and golden all over.

In a large pot, combine lentils, 6 cups water, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and salt. Then whisk in olive oil.

Drain lentils and discard bay leaf; keep or discard garlic as you like. Toss lentils with half of the sherry vinaigrette while still warm. Add more salt, olive oil and vinegar as needed.

Toss radicchio with enough of remaining vinaigrette to lightly coat it and arrange it on a platter. Combine lentils and roasted vegetables, adding more of the vinaigrette to taste; spoon mixture on top of radicchio. Garnish with scallions, parsley, sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze tangerine juice over the lentils and drizzle with more olive oil if needed.

(recipe found on https://cooking.nytimes.com)

Leave a comment »

DITCH THE QUICK FIX

The other day, while riding my road bike, I was delighted to discover that a potholed- road had been paved. It was heaven gliding along the strong, smooth, velvety road. Eventually, it ended, and I was then put on a recently patched road. The asphalt patches weren’t flush with the street, there was excess gravel about, and some small potholes still remained. This patched road was clearly a temporary fix.

Of course, this got me thinking about temporary or quick fixes as it applies to health and well-being. Just like the patched road, they are not a good solution. An exercise quick fix, might be an intensive month-long program working towards an unrealistic goal. Often, it ends with an injury, feelings of failure and being turned off to exercise. A diet quick fix, might be going on a calorie restrictive diet. The weight will fall off quickly, and you will initially feel a great sense of euphoria. But these types of diets are not sustainable. So, before you know it, the weight will creep back on, and you will be left feeling frustrated, disappointed, and having those same feelings of failure.

Quick fixes are enticing. Too bad they don’t work. Please don’t fall into the trap of a believing in them. I want you, instead, to think longer term. And when I mean longer term, I mean that I want you to think about changes that you can slowly introduce and be able to stick with them for forever. To do this, you must pause and really think about what will work for you. Come up with a realistic plan. Seek professional help if necessary. Making lifestyle changes means that you will be consistent. And remember–it’s the consistency that brings about long lasting results and good health.

Leave a comment »

EASY GRILLED TILAPIA

This is my new favorite fish recipe! TOO easy for words and just DELISH!!

ingredients

4, 4-ounce tilapia fillets, (wild caught if possible)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons smoked paprika  

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

⅛ teaspoon celery seed

For serving: chopped cherry tomatoes

directions
Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).

Bring the tilapia to room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Pat the tilapia dry with a clean towel. Rub it with the olive oil and sprinkle it with the kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed in a small bowl, then pat it on to the fish.

Grill the tilapia over indirect heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until it releases from the grates. Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until the fish is tender and just cooked through (internal temperature is 130-140F). Allow to rest for a few minutes, then serve, topping with chopped cherry tomatoes.

(Recipe found on https://www.acouplecooks.com/)

Leave a comment »

WHEN A SIMPLE MESSAGE RESONATES

The other day, I was listening to podcast advising parents on how to get their young children to wear masks when they go back to school. They first talked about the various types of masks for kids. Next, they focused on the efficacy of these masks. At the end, the doctor, leading the discussion, said that that the most important factor was compliance. If the “super safe” mask was uncomfortable and the child wouldn’t wear it, then it’s much better to pick a more comfortable, “less safe” one that he/she/they will wear. This will actually be more protective.

This same principle can be applied to diet and exercise. When it comes to exercise, pick activities that you enjoy—so you’ll do them! I’ve come across so many clients, who have a prescribed idea of what they SHOULD be doing. Since this might not match what they actually LIKE to do, they wind up do nothing. Doing something is always better!

Likewise, when it comes to making dietary choices, I want to encourage you to eat foods that are as healthy as possible. The caveat is……..you have to LIKE the foods. Don’t choke down kale because you think it’s better than romaine lettuce. Kale might have more nutrients, but if eating kale leaves you unsatisfied, you might wind eating more unhealthy foods to get the sense of fulfillment.

While this is all common sense, all of us are guilty of losing the plot when it comes to diet and exercise. (I’m guilty, too!) We just have to remember those simple messages and let them resonate!

Leave a comment »

WATERMELON FETA SALAD

This is the EASIEST, most scrumptious summer salad. So nice and refreshing on a hot day!

ingredients

8 cups cubed ripe seedless watermelon (5 pounds or 1/2 medium watermelon

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

4 basil or 6 mint leaves, minced

Lemon zest (optional)

1 pinch kosher salt, for garnish

Fresh ground black pepper (optional)

directions
Chop the watermelon and arrange it on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with feta crumbles, basil or mint, and kosher salt. Add lemon zest or black pepper if desired.

Serve immediately. If making ahead, refrigerate the cubed watermelon separately: it releases a large amount of water after it is cut. Then assemble the salad right before serving. Leftovers store for up to 2 days.

(recipe found on https://www.acouplecooks.com/)

Leave a comment »