‘Eat Well, Be Well’
Approx. 8, 1oz soup shots
4 c seedless watermelon, chopped
1 c cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 c ea red onion, roughly chopped
1/4 c roughly chopped fresh mint
3 T fresh lime juice
2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 t salt
1 c seedless watermelon, diced 1/4″
1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT final 1 c of finely diced watermelon
2. Purée using immersion blender or standard blender
3. Chill for several hours
4. Garnish with finely diced watermelon just before serving
Makes 3 cups
2 c peaches, fresh or frozen, diced to 1/4″
1/3 c yellow onion, diced to 1/4″
4 t fresh peeled ginger, minced
1/4 c red bell pepper, diced to 1/4″
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c cider vinegar
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 15 mins or until sauce is syrup consistency
3. Serve hot or cold
Will hold in the refrigerator 1 week
6 c vegetable broth
2 c quick cook farro*
2 T salt
1 lb small radishes, 1/2 lb cut into quarters, other 1/2 lb sliced
3 T olive oil
2 T fresh garlic, minced
pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 t dijon mustard
2 c lightly packed baby arugula
1 c soft goat cheese, crumbled
1. Bring broth to boil, add farro & salt, return to boil, cover, reduce to simmer; cook until tender 30 min
2. Drain, transfer to large bowl, set aside
3. Heat sauté pan over medium heat, add oil, quartered radishes, garlic, s&p; sauté until crisp
4. Remove from the heat, add lemon juice & mustard, mix, pour over farro
5. Add sliced radishes, arugula, toss to combine, let cool & then top with goat cheese
Serves 50 Sandwiches
2 pt fresh strawberries, sliced, sugared*
1 ea 10″x15″ sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 T flour (approx)
1 egg, beaten
1 T water
2-3t sugar (raw, turbinado or granulated) whipped cream, real
1. *Sprinkle sliced berries with 3 T sugar, refrigerated 2-4 hrs
2. Unfold puff pastry on floured surface, cut in small (2″x1.5″) rectangles
3. Place on parchment lined baking sheet
4. Combine egg & water, brush on pastry, sprinkle with sugar
5. Bake 15 mins, until puffed & brown, cool
6. Split pastry rectangles in half
7. Top bottom half with 1-2 T berries, dollop whipped cream, pastry top
Miriam’s Tortilla Soup
1 T olive oil
2 ea corn tortillas
½ c ea celery & onion, diced small
1 ½ t fresh garlic, minced
2 ½ c marinara sauce
1 ¼ c canned diced tomatoes, with juice
1 qt vegetable broth
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat oil in saucepan, medium heat. Fry tortillas until crispy, remove. drain well, set aside.
Add celery & onions to pan, sweat 6-8 mins
Add garlic, sweat 1 minute
Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes & broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, simmer 30-45 minutes
Crush up fried tortilla, add to soup. Simmer 10 minutes
Use immersion or traditional blender, puree until very smooth
Garnish with cilantro
Does weight loss equal improved health? This is one of the questions that a recent article sought to answer by talking to various health experts about weight and health. It’s no secret our sedentary society is predominately overweight & seemingly always on a diet. Yet, only 20 % of people are successful at long -term weight loss. We know that obesity is a series risk to our physical health, yet our tactics to lose weight often backfire, introducing anxiety about foods, body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. What is the ultimate solution? One expert’s common sense recommendation is to take the focus off weight loss and on how to improve our fitness & nutrition, which is a far more achievable long-term goal. Rather than defining our health based on a single scale number, we can make positive lifestyle choices such as being physically active, eating healthy & not smoking.
Check out the full article here:
Why you should stop trying to lose weight
As I was prepping dinner one night, my 5-year-old sauntered by and declared in his most dramatic voice “wow, she lost a lot of weight.” My initial thought was utter cluelessness and then I realized he had caught sight of the Nutrisystem TV commercial showcasing drastic weight loss. Mind you, this is a happy go lucky 5 year old who is generally unaware of the pressures of everyday life, so his comment gave me great pause. This was followed by my 4 year old daughter quoting “bye-bye belly fat” followed by a flurry of giggles. Why did this weight loss commercial catch their attention? I pondered; what are we teaching our youth about their bodies? Already, two young ones, who in reality probably never gave their own body weight much thought, are picking up the messages that fat = bad and skinny = good. Already receiving messages of shame regarding our food choices & body weight. Yet, despite the shame & constant messaging that our life will magically improve with weight loss, we as a nation are still overweight, still depressed & still sedentary. We have turned food into the enemy, putting it in the same category as other addictive substances. The catch is, food is essential for life; we cannot sustain ourselves without it. Yet, we still are unable to make peace with food & stop thinking of food as the one barrier to our life of everlasting skinniness.
The intuitive eating & mindful eating movements have made great strides in changing our toxic relationship with food. However, they don’t offer the quick fix of diets & many people are simply unwilling to put in the long-term effort (i.e. slow results) required for healthy lifestyle weight loss success. Next month’s blog will highlight some of the main principles of these eating movements (notice the absence of diet) and how we can incorporate them into our life.
Lastly, it is useful to remind ourselves, that health isn’t always about weight. An extreme crash diet, may achieve your weight loss goal, but does it accomplish your long-term health goals?
There is obviously a reason diets are advertised over and over, they do not achieve sustainable weight loss. Sustainable being the key word.
After reading Loving Your Food, I thought long and hard about my current eating habits. While I enjoy the process of cooking, I admit the pleasure I derive from eating pleasure is less than desirable. My eating life has turned into a multi-tasking marathon; it is far easier for me to stand up and complete unfinished tasks as I mindlessly shovel food in my mouth (OK, maybe not shovel, but certainly not eating in the most dignified manner). Obviously, as an RD, this is certainly not good practice as half the time I don’t even realize what I am eating. This article was a good reminder that the act of eating is one of pleasure that should truly be enjoyed. When we rush and multitask while consuming food, that pleasure is gone. Furthermore, we miss the benefit of making mindful choices that not only taste good, but also are also good for us.
The last few days I have tweaked some of the habits that crept into my daily life. I actually sit down and look at my food., I take the time to drink water throughout the day & am taking time to make foods that I alone enjoy. I’m rediscovering that eating is for sustenance and pleasure.
Yesterday, as I browsed through various mailers, I came across a store ad featuring a woman clad in a skimpy fitness outfit. Inside the flyer were various specials for fitness equipment. I found myself shaking my head at the irony of this ad; given less than a week ago mailers were featuring glutinous amounts of food (and toys). New Year’s resolution season has officially hit. As discussed in a precious blog. I am not big on the all or nothing mentality of New Year’s resolutions, as they often set us up for failure. As I was contemplating the year of resolutions, I came across this article The Only Way to Keep Your Resolutions which has a completely different way of looking at how we make resolutions. After decades of being told to practice self control (eat less, spend less, exercise more) we have failed miserably. The article goes on to say the way we have viewed self-control is wrong. The real key? Social emotions. “Unlike reason and willpower, they naturally incline us to be patient and persevere. When you are experiencing these emotions, self-control is no longer a battle, for they work not by squashing our desires for pleasure in the moment but by increasing how much we value the future.”
My recommendation for a resolution this year? Read this article and as the author states “reflect on what you’re grateful to have been given. Allow your mind to step into the shoes of those in need and feel for them. Take pride in the small achievements on the path to your goals. Doing so will help ensure that every future New Year’s Eve will have more to celebrate than to regret.”
In an effort to simplify my life this holiday season, a theme that resonates with me every year, I have been thinking about ways to pare down my life. This thought started with a simple trip to the grocery store where I noticed the shelves were filled with an overabundance of holiday food items, that sadly, go to waste. It goes without saying that we live in a world of abundance, particularly when it comes to food. Of course, this is not a blog about world hunger, but it certainly gives you something to think about in this season of plenty.
Obviously, being a nutrition professional, I have a love of food so I am not going to totally forgo the joy of baking, just stick to my favorites that I know will be savored by family & friends alike. My personal favorite holiday treat is Hazelnut Maple Biscotti; nothing beats this divine combination of chocolate and hazelnuts.
So, I will savor my biscotti and all the simple pleasures the season has to offer.
Hazelnut Maple Biscotti
Hazelnuts (a tree nut) are a good source of folate & dietary fiber.
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup hazelnut butter (I ground my hazelnuts which is actually pretty simple)
¼ cup butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1-tablespoon hazelnut liquor (optional)
3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup lightly toasted hazelnuts
Semi-sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate for drizzle
Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheet with parchment or silpat. In a medium bowl, cream together maple syrup, hazelnut butter and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and liquor, blending well. In a larger bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend. Make a well into dry ingredients, add egg mixture and mix until incorporated. Add nuts. (Knead by hand if necessary). On a lightly floured board, divide dough into half and roll into 2 14-inch logs. Place logs on prepared sheet, then flatten about 1 inch high. Bake for 25 minutes or until loaves spring back when touched lightly. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reset oven to 300. Slice cookies on the diagonal. Place slices flat on baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes (a lot of this process is trial and error; I like my cookies crisp so I bake longer). Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with chocolate (or dip in chocolate) if desired.