Archive for June, 2014

SPICY SHRIMP WITH CHILIES

I love this shrimp dish because you can serve it with whole grain bread, with brown rice or even with pasta. It has a few simple ingredients and is light and flavorful.

ingredients Spicy-Shrimp-with-Garlic-and-Chilies

1½ pounds peeled and deveined medium shrimp

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ t crushed red pepper flakes, divided

5 garlic cloves, crushed

juice of 1 lemon

3 T chopped fresh parsley

directions

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ½ T of the oil to the pan and half of the chilies and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, when hot add half of the shrimp. Cook undisturbed for about 1½ minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook until opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining ½ T of oil and remaining chilies; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining shrimp to the pan and cook, undisturbed, for about 1½ minutes. Turn the shrimp over, add the garlic, and cook until the shrimp is opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Return the first batch of shrimp to the skillet, mix well so that the garlic is evenly incorporated and remove the pan from the heat.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp. Add the parsley and toss well.

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.skinnytaste.com)

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THE BEST (or worst??) SALAD PLACE EVER

My brother recently turned me on to a great salad place in hale-and-hearty-salad-768x1024NYC: Hale and Hearty. Hale and Hearty has an interesting custom-made salad option. Here’s how it works: You start with a container of salad (you can choose from romaine,  mixed greens, or spinach), and have the Hale and Hardy employee add as many toppings as you’d like to your greens. You can have as many toppings as you’d like (there are over 50 to choose from) since you pay per topping. Look at these choices:

Almonds, Apple, Artichoke Heart, Asparagus, Avocado, Bacon, Beets,Bell Peppers, Black Beans, Blue Cheese, Broccoli, Cajun Chicken, Carrots, Celery, Cheddar, Corn, Couscous, Craisins, Croutons, Cucumbers, Edamame, Egg, Egg White Only, Feta Cheese, Garbanzo Beans, Goat Cheese, Grape Tomatoes, Grilled Chicken, Kalamata Olives Mozzarella, Mushrooms, Oriental Noodles, Parmesan, Peanuts, Peas, Pita Chips, Raisins, Red Grapes, Red Kidney Beans, Red Onions,Red Quinoa, Roasted Peppers, Smoked Turkey, Strawberries, Sundried Tomatoes, Sunflower Seeds, Tofu, Tomatoes, Tortilla Strips, Tuna, Walnuts

To me, this is a WONDERFUL thing: it’s a great opportunity to add a ton of vegetables. But then I got to thinking…….a Hale and Hearty Salad can be a  highly caloric, delusional lunch for some people. Here’s what I’m talking about…..
2 people add 6 toppings:

Person 1: asparagus, black beans, tomatoes, carrots, beets, roasted peppers. +140 calories

Person 2: chicken, bacon, blue cheese, almonds, craisins, croutons. +710 calories

These additional calories are BEFORE the salad dressing, which also can be highly caloric if you choose a creamy dressing and add too much.

And yet person 2 can think “So glad I had a healthy salad for lunch.” HHHMMMM.

So be careful at these salad places and choose those toppings wisely. If you stick to a lot of veggies and go easy on the dressing, you’ll be just fine.

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CRISP SNOW PEA SALAD

This salad is crisp, light, and has wonderful Asian flavors. Easy and delicious!

ingredients pictivewv

1 lb snow peas
½ cup very thinly sliced carrots (matchstick size)
2 T soy sauce
2 T lemon juice
1 T dark sesame oil
2 t granulated sugar
½ t wasabi powder
salt
1 T sesame seeds, preferably toasted

directions

Snip the ends of the snow peas. Fill a large bowl full of ice water.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, and add snow peas and carrots. Cook just until the snow peas turn bright green, about 15 seconds. Drain and plunge them into the ice water. Drain well and pat dry.

Cut the snow peas diagonally into ½-inch wide pieces. Place in a bowl along with carrots.

To prepare the dressing, whisk the soy sauce with the lemon juice, sesame oil, sugar and wasabi powder, making sure the sugar and wasabi powder are dissolved.

Stir the dressing with the snow peas and carrots. Sprinkle with salt if needed. Then sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.food.com)

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GREAT CONCEPT, POOR EXECUTION

As most of you know, Dr. Oz recently got into a bit of trouble Screen-Shot-2014-06-18-at-9.01.18-AMwith the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance. This got me thinking about two TV shows that frustrate me: “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Biggest Loser”. Both of these shows sound great in theory, but in reality, they are poorly executed and can be dangerous.

The concept of the “Dr. Oz Show” is wonderful. Let’s make a show all about health and well-being and educate the audience. The problem is, the producers need to JAZZ IT UP and MAKE IT INTERESTING to hold people’s attention EVERY DAY for an hour. The result? “The Dr. Oz Show” puts out a lot of misinformation and confusion about nutrition, and introduces natural  products that DO NOT work the “miracles” that is promised. As a nutritionist, this is awfully frustrating. Especially when clients come to me saying, “But Rhonda, Dr. Oz said……..”

I feel the same way about “The Biggest Loser”. The concept of this show is fabulous: No matter what size you are, you CAN lose weight through diet and exercise. Again, the problem here is that the show needs to be JAZZED UP and made more EXCITING. Viewers are mesmerized watching morbidly obese people climb mountains–huffing, puffing, gasping and yes, throwing up. As a personal trainer, I want to THROW UP………this kind of rigorous exercise is NOT recommended for obese, unconditioned people. However, would an audience stay tuned watching morbidly obese people simply walking?

No matter what you’re watching, use your common sense. If something seems too good to be true, it is. Likewise, if something seems fundamentally wrong to you, it is!

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TILAPIA VERACRUZ

This a delicious fish dish with wonderful Spanish and Mexican flavors!  1404p28-tilapia-veracruz-l

ingredients

4 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets

1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

1/4 t salt

1 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups onion, chopped

1 T chopped fresh oregano

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 cups chopped tomato

1 T capers, rinsed and drained

2 ounces pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved (about 20)

1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

directions

Sprinkle the fish evenly with pepper and salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil; swirl to coat. Add the fish to pan; cook for 3 minutes or until browned on one side. Remove the fish from pan.

Add the onion, oregano, garlic, and bell pepper to the pan; sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato and remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer.

Arrange the fish on top of the tomato mixture, browned sides up. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with brown rice and sautéed spinach. (Or any veg!)

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.myrecipes.com)

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FARRO (what’s farro?) WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Farro is a whole grain with a distinct nutty flavor and chewy  IMG_1772texture. It’s high in fiber and protein and very popular in Italy. This recipe originally called for orzo. I substituted farro and loved it! Try it–it’s a great side dish.

ingredients

1 small eggplant, peeled and ¾-inch diced

1 red pepper, 1-inch dice

1 yellow pepper, 1-inch diced

1 red onion, 1-inch diced

2 garlic cloves minced

2 T olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup farro

for dressing

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T olive oil

½ t salt

½ t freshly ground pepper

 to assemble

4 scallians, thinly sliced

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

4 ounces ½-inch diced feta cheese

small handful basil leaves

directions

Preheat the oven to 4250F. Toss the eggplant, peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the farro according to package instructions. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the roasted vegetables to the farro, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the farro and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature. Then, add the scallions, pine nuts, feta and basil. Check the seasonings and serve at room temperature.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Barefoot Contessa Parties”)

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WHATEVER YOU DO………KEEP MOVING!

I recently took a course called “EXERCISE AND AGING”. old-lady-weight-lifting-put-me-in-a-home-put-you-in-the-ground-gym-1354541964iInitially, this class seemed awfully depressing. Getting older means muscle loss, bone loss, and decreases in our aerobic capacity. It also means that when we gain weight, we’ll usually gain fat, but when we lose weight, we’ll lose both muscle and fat. How deflating!

Just when I wanted to throw myself off the roof, I came across some great news: At ANY age (yes, this even applies to 90-year-olds), there will be positive responses to exercise. There will be strength gains, increases in muscle mass, and bone density increasing even in osteoporotic women.

Strength training is pretty miraculous!

The clear message that I received from this course is that we have to KEEP MOVING. NO MATTER WHAT.  I’m now convinced that we don’t get old and  then stop moving……..we stop moving and then get old.

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