Archive for August, 2017

CRUNCHY AVOCADO SALAD

Here is a super easy salad with nutritious ingredients–avocado, tomato, and chickpeas. I love the added crunch on top. Make it now–there are still delicious, seasonal beefsteak tomatoes out there!

ingredients1382539177712

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced

½ cup pitted nicoise olives, roughly chopped

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and drained again

2 tablespoons roughly torn flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup champagne vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-ounces blue corn tortilla chips

directions

Gently toss the avocados, tomatoes, olives, chickpeas, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Crumble the chips over the top and serve.

(This is Bobby Flay’s recipe found on http://www.foodnetwork.com)

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BLACK BEAN AND ROASTED CORN SALAD

Grilling the corn makes such a huge difference with this salad. I love how you can eat this either warm or cold. It’s a wonderful and fresh–perfect for a Labor Day BBQ!

ingredients1478932402494

4 ears of corn, husked

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced red bell pepper

¾ cup diced red onion

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ cup snow peas, julienned

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

 

directions

Preheat the grill to medium.

Grill the corn until lightly charred, about 2 minutes, turning frequently. Transfer the corn to a cutting board and using a serrated knife remove the kernels. Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then the red bell pepper and the red onion. Sauté for 3 minutes, then add the vinegar, beans and corn and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the snow peas and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat to a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold.

(Adapted from a recipe found on foodnetwork.com, curtesy of Guy Fieri)

 

 

 

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YOU’RE NOT A SQUIRREL

I love this photo. Look at this squirrel, who I will call Bertha. She’s eating some of the corn but storing a LOT of it in her cheeks for later.

62eabb5a531d45655da70ac3311dfe90.jpgA friend of mine, who happens to be a registered dietician, told me that she tells all of her patients, “YOU’RE NOT A SQUIRREL”. Like her, I  see a lot of people who want to “save” food/calories for later.  Sometimes it’s for a dinner; other times it’s   for a special occasion. For many, this is a daily habit where most of the calories are consumed later in the day. Some of my clients are extremely busy at work and can’t/don’t make time to eat. Others stay hungry–almost afraid to eat–and wait until they get home to enjoy dinner. This strategy backfires because they wind up too hungry.  And while they have “saved” calories, they certainly didn’t save enough for the fierce hunger. Being too hungry makes us eat more.

I was beyond thrilled when the NY Times had an article, this past week entitled, “The Case for a Breakfast Feast”. It makes a case for doing the opposite of how we tend to eat: start out with MORE food in the morning and gradually decrease consumption as the day goes on.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/well/eat/the-case-for-a-breakfast-feast.html?_r=1

While there could be health benefits to doing this, I want my clients to eat during the day not only because they’re more active, but to avoid the evening hunger. If you’re one of those people who seem to eat a lot after dinner this might be because you’re not eating enough during the day! It might feel daunting to start eating more, but you will be amazed at the non-ravenous feeling you will get later in the day/evening. It works!

So, try to think ahead, plan, bring healthy snacks and eat with gusto during the day. Let your evening be a time for a light meal so you can stop being Bertha!

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BE POSITIVE ABOUT THE “E” WORD

“Damn, I have to lose weight so I guess I have to start exercising”. Have you heard this happy-healthy-couple.jpgbefore? I have! Since losing weight is challenging, tedious and downright HARD, exercise takes on the same negativity. Ironically, studies show that exercise alone is NOT an effective weight loss remedy. We are wrongfully linking exercise to weight loss and we have to stop. Instead, we have to focus on the positives.

Exercise is miraculous because it has wide-ranging benefits and these benefits can happen at ANY age. Ninety-year-olds can get stronger if they start a strength training program. Even small doses of exercise count and work! If you want to feel better, both mentally and physically, simply move your body. Walk, garden, dance, take the stairs, skip, jump, bounce on a trampoline, pick things up and put the down. All of these activities are exercise! And, they wind up acting like a super power drug. While exercise may not help with weight loss, look what is DOES do:

It improves mood and can keep depression at bay

It makes you sleep better

It lowers elevated blood sugar

It lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases

It reduces stress

It increases energy

It keeps your joints less stiff

It builds muscle

It strengthens bones

It increases circulation

It makes your heart healthier

It makes your brain function better

It makes you stronger

It makes you feel happier

A happier, more energetic, less-stressed you is worth it. Be positive about exercise and try some. Do what you like and not what you think you should do.  Start out small so you don’t get overwhelmed and have fun!

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LEMON-DIJON GREEN BEANS WITH CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS

Just lovely!!!

ingredients (serves 6)Lemon-Dijon-Green-Beans-Caramelized-Shallots

2 tablespoons butter

4 ounces (about 2 to 3 large) shallots, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and broken into 1- to 2-inch pieces

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

directions

Preheat oven to 4000 degrees.

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Sauté shallots in butter, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes or until very soft. Stir in sugar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place beans on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, tossing to coat. Season with salt. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes or crisp-tender.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add cooked beans and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature with caramelized shallots sprinkled over the top.

Variation: Green beans can be steamed instead of roasted.

(Recipe from “Fresh Tastes from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen” by Lee Clayton Roper)

 

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SPICY JERK CHICKEN

This chicken recipe is my FAVORITE this summer.  While the recipe says to let the chicken marinate for 4 hours, I let it sit overnight and it was DELICIOUS. Next time you BBQ, you must give this one a try!

ingredientsdownload

8 skinless chicken pieces (legs, thighs or quarterer breasts, bones in)

¼ cup olive oil

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons minced, fresh ginger root

3 green onions, coarsely chopped

3 jalapeño peppers, seeded, in chunks

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch each ground allspice cinnamon and nutmeg

Oil for grill

chili sauce (optional)

directions

Using a sharp knife, score the chicken (slash in a crisscross design with shallow cuts) at one-inch  intervals.

In a food processor, combine the oil, lime juice, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, green onions, peppers, thyme, sugar and spices. Pulse until well blended and transfer mixture to a plastic bag. Add chicken, turning to coat pieces with mixture. Press out air, seal, and refrigerate for four hours.

Preheat grill to medium. Grill chicken for about 10-15 minutes. Turn chicken and continue grilling until internal temperature on a thermometer reaches 165 degrees F.

Serve grilled chicken with chili sauce if desired.

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

 

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