Archive for May, 2019

PEAS, PROSCIUTTO, AND SCALLIONS

This recipe, from one of my favorite cookbooks, was a pasta recipe including both spaghetti and peas. In an effort to lower the carbs, I ditched the spaghetti and made it as a side dish.  Peas are not only delicious but they are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. I also used frozen sweet peas so I was able to whip it up in no time!

ingredientsIMG_0937

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

pinch of kosher salt

small bunch of scallions

12-ounce pack of frozen sweet peas, thawed

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 ounces prosciutto slices, torn

directions

Roughly chop the white part of the scallions. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the olive oil and scallions and cook gently, until softened. Add the thawed peas and a pinch of salt. Simmer gently until the water evaporates.

Add the garlic and parsley. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the torn prosciutto and stir for a minute or so to cook.

Serve warm with your choice of lean protein.

 (Adapted from a recipe found in the cookbook “River Café Cook Book Easy”.)

 

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BE YOUR OWN SMART OVEN

The other day I was at my friend Lydia’s house. Lydia is renovating her kitchen and she now has a makeshift kitchen and portable smart oven. I never saw a smart oven so she was telling me all about it as I stood there in awe. When Lydia puts a piece of bread into the download.pngsmart oven,  the oven asks, “Bread?” Lydia says “YES.” The smart oven then asks “light toast or medium?” When she answers, the oven does exactly what she wants.

For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about this oven. The oven asks questions to get specific information so it can produce the optimal results. To me, this oven is smart because it’s being mindful.  I thought, “if only we could have our own self-smart-oven!” Here’s a scenario:

Oven: Hungry?

You: YES

Oven: How hungry on a scale from 1-10?

You, having to think: 2

Oven: Stressed??

You: YES

With a few quick questions, you’ve realized that you’re NOT hungry, you’re just stressed.  Instead of eating, you would be better off going for a walk. Taking this a step further, the self-smart-oven could also assess when you should be eating,  when to rest, what foods will work better for you at certain points during the day, when you should meditate, or when you need to stretch.  It might even let you know when you’re pushing yourself too hard, so you could avoid becoming rundown.

I’m  reluctant to use the word “mindful”, because it’s overused. Instead, think of mindfulness as simply being aware–it’s being connected to your body and listening, which is the best way to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

Bottom line: Your body gives you so much information all of the time. You need to pay attention to those messages and take a moment to ask yourself some probing questions so you, too, can function optimally.

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THE BEST GREEN SALAD IN THE WORLD

This New York Times recipe actually comes from a restaurant in the West Village called Via Carota. Samin Nosrat, who wrote the book “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” says that this insalata verde is the best green salad in the world! Just looking at this gorgeous pile of greens makes me smile! INCREDIBLE!!!

download.jpgingredients

2 heads butter lettuce, such as Boston or bibb

romaine heart

1 large Belgian endive

1 bunch watercress

½ small head frisée

ingredients for the dressing

1 large shallot, minced

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon aged sherry vinegar, plus additional, as needed

1 tablespoon warm water

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 ½ teaspoons whole-grain mustard

1 ½ teaspoons honey (optional)

2 sprigs thyme, washed and stripped

1 large clove garlic, finely grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

directions

Wash the greens: Fill a sink or large basin with tepid water. Remove any wilted or damaged leaves from the butter lettuce, romaine and endive. Trim each head at the root to release whole leaves. Leave butter-lettuce leaves whole, but halve large leaves of romaine and endive on the bias, then drop into water. Trim and discard any roots and long stems off watercress, and drop remaining leaves and tender stems into water. Trim and discard dark green outer leaves and tops from frisée until only light green and white parts remain. Trim at the root to release leaves, and drop into water. Swirl greens in water, then drain. Wash twice more in cool, then cold, water, then transfer to a salad spinner to dry. Gently wrap in clean dish towels, and set aside.

Place the shallot in a fine-mesh strainer, and quickly rinse with cold water. Allow to drain, then place in a medium bowl, and add vinegar and warm water. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, then whisk in oil, mustards, honey (if using), thyme, garlic and a large pinch of salt. Taste, and adjust salt and vinegar as needed.

To serve, gently pile a generous handful of greens into a serving bowl, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and a generous drizzle of dressing. Continue with another handful of salad and more seasoning and dressing, repeating until you have a glorious, gravity-defying mound of salad. Top with a final drizzle of dressing, and serve immediately.

Wrap remaining greens in an airtight container or plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Cover and refrigerate remaining dressing for up to 3 days.

(recipe found on cooking.nytimes.com)

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THE PARADOX OF WOMEN

In 2003, I became a personal trainer and since then I’ve had the privilege of working with many clients, mostly women. Amazing women. Here are some of my observations:

Most women need close girlfriends in order to stay sane while navigating through life. We download.jpgsupport each other in astounding ways. We enthusiastically cheer each other on; We rally around each other in times of need;  We can express ourselves without judgement; We accept each other’s flaws; We see the true beauty in each other; We are loving and kind; We have tolerance and patience.

All of this changes, when a woman looks at herself. When it comes to body image, diet or exercise, women are overly critical, harsh, self-deprecating, and self-loathing. Women say that they are “BAD” when they don’t eat perfectly. They feel GUILT and SHAME when they can’t seem to get into an eating or exercise routine. A woman’s internal dialogue is brutal. She is mean, judgmental, and intolerant. Ironically, she would never treat her girlfriends this way. Ever.

We women are bombarded with ubiquitous messages every day about our image. There are overt and subliminal messages about how we should age, what we should wear, and what our bodies should look like. It is impossible to live up to these standards—especially when there is photoshop erasing our wrinkles and eradicating our cellulite. No wonder we are so harsh on ourselves!

I say: Let’s stop the insanity! When it comes to looking internally,  we need start treating ourselves just the way we would treat our closest girlfriends.  If we do this, we will talk to ourselves with kindness and compassion. We will be more tolerant and less judgmental. We might even start cheerleading. Best of all, we can work hard at achieving (wait for it), ACCEPTANCE.

Who’s with me????

 

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