Hi everyone! As you can see, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here and I have been playing around with the look a bit too. With my internship and all of the wedding planning the blog has definitely suffered, along with my cooking. I just haven’t been inspired to cook right now while I feel like I’m in this stage of transition. I do cook, just not anything new or interesting. In other words, if I was posting, you’d be seeing a lot of eggs. However, I will be back in full force very soon! My plan is to get things back on a roll once the internship and wedding are over and also to expand the blog quite a bit. I LOVE food and nutrition, but that’s not the only thing I love. And just like my life isn’t one dimensional, I don’t think your lives are either. With that said, I will be including more of my daily life and other interests to make this a lifestyle site with information on not only what I’m eating, but my favorite DIY projects, makeup, activities, and, of course, nail polish. I also hope to do some videos too so I can reach out to you guys through different mediums. Thanks for all of your support with this baby of mine and I can’t wait to be talking with you on a regular basis once again. It’s my fav! : )
This morning I saw a tease on the Today Show for a segment about misleading food labels (for some basics on label reading click here). You know me. I live for this stuff. I had to head out the door before the segment aired, but I watched it online when I got home tonight. You can watch the clip yourself here. The gist of the segment is that many processed foods including cereals, frozen waffles, yogurt, and bars come in packages that are covered with images of beautiful berries with claims like “made with real fruit.” Some consumers may buy these products because they think it’s a more nutritious option. Well, in fact, the amount of fruit in most of these products often ranges from none to might as well be none. The truth is, these bits of “fruit” are actually sugar, oil, flavoring, coloring, and maybe a little bit of the actual fruit. Many contain no fruit at all. To me, this was no surprise, but, from watching the segment, I began to realize just how surprising it was for many people. In fact, some of the people interviewed seemed to feel victimized. With all of this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the matter.
Goodness knows I love the slow cooker. Every time I come home to a house full of delicious smells and dinner ready to eat, I’m in heaven. However, I never use it as much as I should. In my effort to better utilize this incredible tool, I came up with this soup that is perfect for warming up on a fall or winter night. Ingredients can be prepped the night before so, in the morning, you can just toss everything in the pot before you head out the door. Use it as a side dish/first course or as your main meal.
Today, we’re going back to basics. I write a lot about the intricacies of the food system and the current issues I feel passionately about. However, sometimes I think we get so caught up in the details that we can miss out on the foundations of healthy eating. Generally, I don’t subscribe to specific meal plans. Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for someone else. With all that said, my experience so far as an intern has shown me one approach that seems to resonate with a lot of people: the plate method. Now, this is similar to USDA’s MyPlate, but it has a few difference that I like better and it came around long before the government’s new graphic.
The basic principle behind this is using the visual of a plate to teach appropriate portions of different food groups. When building your plate, follow these principles: Continue reading
This weekend, my maid of honor came to visit. We did of course do lots of wedding talk, but we also got some good food in while she was here. I don’t often do “this is what I ate today” kind of blogs, but this weekend we ate a couple of things that are definitely worthy of such a post.
We were lucky enough that the Greek Festival was going on, so, on Saturday, we headed that way for lunch. This event is put on by the local Greek Orthodox Church and let me tell you, it was impressive. It’s a 3 day sha-bang and while we were there they told us that they had fed 9,000 people the day before. That’s insane! Especially for a 3-day event organized by a relatively small group of people. Leave it to me to be interested in the logistics of a food service operation. Anyways, after 20-30 minutes of waiting in line, we finally got our food and it was delicious!
Last week, news broke on a study out of Stanford University comparing organic foods to their conventionally grown counterparts. The main message I heard in the media was something along the lines of “study finds organic food not any healthier than conventional food.” Reporters would then go into a few specifics of the study and move on to the next story. I was on the fence on posting about this since I haven’t read the full study, but since I’ve gotten quite a few questions about it in the last week, I thought I could at least discuss some of the details we do know from what has been released in the media. While this may not be the most complete analysis, I do think there are some important points that got brushed over in the media for the sake of a good headline. Here are my top takeaways. Continue reading
Today’s recipe celebrates some of the best veggies of summer that won’t be around much longer. I figured it’s time to give them a nice farewell as we start to move closer to fall. But, first things first, I wanted to give a little update about what I’ve been up to. Over the past few weeks I’ve been in the process of preparing, moving, and getting settled for my dietetic internship. Yippee! I’m super excited for what the year has in store and know that I’m going to learn so much during that time. I just can’t wait to get started! Also, I somehow misplaced my camera in the move, so, until I find it, we’re going to be working with cell phone pictures. Not the best, but do-able. Now, back to the recipe.
First, I have a confession: I messed up when I made this. You see, I am a severe onion-crier. I’ve read that cold onions don’t make your eyes tear up as much, so I usually put however many onions I need in the freezer when I start cooking and save them to chop last. Well, this time around, I totally forgot the onions in the freezer, so I had two frozen onions and no onions in the oven. Oops. However, the end product still tasted incredible and I’m sure it tastes even better if the onions are included! This veggie packed, vegan dish uses flavor packed basil and cilantro to season some summer super stars, including eggplant and tomatoes. They all bake together to create a delicious dish that has definitely made itself a place on my list of favorite recipes.
While I love creating my own recipes, I’m equally enthusiastic about finding great recipes from others. Today I want to share a favorite at my house, tabouleh. This is a dish from the Middle East which highlights an herb often relegated to a garnish, parsley. I love this dish because it is quite versatile. It can be served warm or cold (as suggested in the recipe) and can be upgraded to a main dish with the addition of chicken or chickpeas. Even better, it is my 15-year-old brother’s favorite meal. This would also be a great option to take to a cook-out or picnic.
I love a good salad. Nothing feels better than filling up on a bowl full of different vegetables. However, we all know that not all salads are created equal. Loading up with heavy dressings, croutons, fried items, and other caloric fare can take your salad from virtuous to villainous. For the non-veggie lovers out there, this can be a real problem, making a healthy salad practically unbearable. If you find yourself falling into the salad-hating category, or you just want to take your regular salad to the next level, adding fruit can really make a difference. Some of you may feel a little leery about mixing the sweet with the savory, but I’m here to tell you that it is a killer combination. The sweetness compliments and contrasts with the other flavors and the acid found in many fruits can help balance the fat from the olive oil in your dressing or the avocado you slice on top. Whatever fruit you have on hand is fair game. Strawberries, peaches, apples, nectarines, cherries, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all great options (but not all at once). Basically if you like it, toss it in there. Whole fruit is going to be your best option over dried because you’ll be getting the water that comes with whole fruit and you also won’t have to worry about the extra sugar that is often added to dried fruits, particularly cranberries. So next time you make a salad, get a little crazy and throw in some chopped apple or fresh berries. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.
What is your favorite fruit to put in your salad? Let me know in the comments below. : )
Yesterday, like many Americans, I celebrated the Fourth of July with my family by cooking and sitting down to a summer feast. I figured that with so much good food around, it was a perfect opportunity to post about what we were up
to and how I build a healthy meal at a summer cookout. Telling you is helpful, but showing you is so much more fun!
Tabouleh, a cold grain and vegetable salad.
The first thing I made was a cold grain and vegetable salad called tabouleh. I got this particular recipe from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. It consists of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, and red onion, with parsley in the starring role (the recipe calls for 2 cups). These are all mixed together and then dressed with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. This is a popular recipe at my house, especially with my 15-year-old brother. In fact, it’s his favorite thing that I make! Sometimes, we add chicken to make it a little more filling as a main dish, but, this time, we kept it as a side. There was one minor “learning opportunity.” Continue reading