Archive for January, 2018

THE BAD SMELL THAT MADE ME HAPPY

Recently, the town I live in started a food scrap recycling program. I decided to participate so I picked up my kit and got to it. I noticed two things: 1. Because I cook all of the time, I had A LOT of food scraps and 2. Because of #1, I now have very little garbage.

I know this sounds crazy, but this is making me insanely happy—almost giddy. My town is going to use all of the food scraps to make compost for the local parks, and I’m delighted to be contributing.  I had NO excuse not to do this as the recycling center is literally around the corner from me.

I thought I would have to go weekly to dump my food scrap bucket, but instead, I’m finding that I need to go every 4-5 days. Yesterday morning, I put my bucket in the car, and drove off to teach one of my fitness classes. I planned on dumping the bucket before my class, but noticed I was running late so I decided to do it afterwards.

After class, when I opened the door and got into my car, I was assaulted with a pungent, odor. It wasdownload the food, in the bucket, rotting. Again, in a sick and crazy way, this made me happy. While the odor was far from pleasant, I remembered what I learned in school about food and its chemical properties. Protein, fat and carbohydrates are all chemical structures made of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. (Protein also contains nitrogen.) Because they contain carbon, they are organic, or living. This means that they will rot. Food, all of the wonderful stuff that comes from the ground, will break down. Processed foods, that are full of chemicals and preservatives, will take much, much, MUCH longer.

If you want to see this for yourself, buy a Hostess Twinkie, and leave it on your counter along with a ½ of an apple and see what happens. The apple will change very quickly; the Twinkie will take MUCH longer. In fact, that Twinkie is going to look just perfect for WAY too long!images.jpg

So, try your very best to eat as much food as you can. We all eat processed foods in our diet–I do, too. But we all can strive to make those processed foods a smaller amount of our daily intake. Substitute bread and crackers with whole grains like quinoa or sweet potatoes. Now that it’s cold, why not try some oatmeal in the morning  v. overly sweet packaged cereal. Make yourself some popcorn in the microwave (all you need is a brown paper bag and popcorn kernels) rather than eating nutrient-void pretzels.

Slowly tweak things so that your garbage is mostly full of food scraps.

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HONEY GARLIC GLAZED SALMON

I find that I keep making salmon the same way so here is a lovely change of pace!! It melts in your mouth!

ingredients landscape-1506456157-delish-honey-garlic-glazed-salmon-1

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4,  6-oz. salmon fillets, patted dry with a paper towel

1/3 c. honeygallery-1506456214-delish-honey-garlic-glazed-salmon

1/4 c. soy sauce

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, sliced into rounds

directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is hot but not smoking, add salmon skin-side up and season with salt and pepper. Cook salmon until deeply golden, about 6 minutes, then flip over and add the remaining tablespoon of oil.

Add garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the honey mixture and sliced lemons and cook until sauce is reduced by about 1/3. Baste salmon with the sauce.

Garnish with sliced lemon and serve.

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

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WINTER SLAW

Ina Garten never disappoints! I love this winter slaw–great textures, colors and flavors!!! Who says salads are only a summer thing? 

ingredients1421092495499

6 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, and cored

6 large kale leaves, center rib completely removed (8 to 10 ounces)

½ small head radicchio, cored

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup good olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup dried cranberries

1 (3-4 ounce) chunk good Parmesan cheese

With a very sharp knife, cut the Brussels sprouts, kale, and radicchio across in thin shreds and put them all in a large bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the slaw to moisten it well. Add the cranberries.

Shave the Parmesan in big shards with a vegetable peeler, add it to the salad and toss well. Check for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

(Adapted Ina Garten’s recipe found on foodnetwork.com)

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HANGRY?

My family makes fun of me all the time because whenever I’m out and about, I have food with me. I bring fruit, nuts, and/or high fiber cereal.  I am always prepared and I never give a rat’s ass about what people think. I bring food with me for two reasons. First, I hate being hungry (I have a low tolerance to “hangry”) and second, I am fastidious aboutdownload-2.jpg what I put in my body. If I get hungry, I don’t want to grab an energy bar or overly salty snacks. You can call me a control freak because I am one!

The other day I took Metro North into New York City. Now just as a tangent, I am a huge fan of people watching. And my favorite place to do this is New York City. Here’s what I noticed: When it comes to carrying your own food around, I am NOT alone. In my excursion, I saw several people doing exactly what I do.  We were all different ages, and genders but the one that we had in common is that we were all relatively thin.

I tell all of my clients to do this. Even if you’re not a control freak like me, getting too hungry will inevitably lead to overeating at your next meal. Throwing an apple or a baggie full of nuts in your purse is just as easy as carrying around an energy bar, which is a synonym for candy bar.

So, please don’t give a hoot about what anyone thinks. Carry your own stuff and you will be less hangry and less likely to overeat!

 

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CLASSIC ROAST CHICKEN

I love roasting a chicken and I love this recipe because it’s so simple. I usually make a dish like this on Sunday because  I can then use the leftovers during the week. Sprinkle some on chicken on a salad or even throw some in soup! Yum!

ingredientsHow-to-Roast-a-Chicken

1, 4½– to 5-lb. organic chicken

2 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt

1 tbs. unsalted butter

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, quartered

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or ½ tsp. dried)

2 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ tsp. dried)

2 fresh sage leaves

directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then rub the inside of the cavity with ½ teaspoon salt. Coat the outside of the bird with unsalted butter.

Combine pepper and remaining salt; lift as much of the skin as possible and rub half the mixture underneath and the remaining half on the outside of the skin. Put two quarters of the lemon, as well as the garlic and herbs, into the cavity.

Set chicken on a roasting rack in a baking dish, breast side up. (Trussing is optional.) Roast until meat thermometer reads 163 degrees F when inserted in the thigh and the juices run clear, about one hour. (The temperature will climb to 165 degrees F as it rests. This is called carryover cooking.)

Let rest 10 minutes. Carve. Squeeze remaining lemons over chicken and serve. Refrigerate up to four days, or freeze for up to four months.

(Recipe found in Experience Life, Jan/Feb, 2018)

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