Sunday, September 14, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Welcome to the first Fresh Friday post! Every Friday, I'll highlight one of the freshest fruits or vegetables in the market, and show you two fast and healthy ways to prepare it.
This week: Gala Apples
Recipes: A single-serve no-bake baked apple & a nut butter snack plate
Gala apples are at their best right now. Their sweetest, juiciest, crunchiest best. To celebrate Gala season, I've got two crazy easy ways to enjoy them. Without an oven. Or added sugar. And you only need 4 minutes to get them ready. That's less than five minutes! Go get yourself some Galas!
1) No-Bake Baked Apple (Forget the oven, all you need is 2 minutes in the microwave. A satisfying snack but naturally sweet enough for dessert)
Serves: 1 Time: Less than 5 minutes
- 1 Gala apple, cut into 8 wedges
- Dash of cinnamon
- Handful of halved walnuts (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 date, chopped
- ~3 ounces of plain Greek yogurt* (half of a single-serve container)
- Microwave the apple wedges for 2 minutes on high
- Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on the apples
- Spoon the yogurt over the apple-cinnamon combo
- Sprinkle walnuts and dates on top
*I love the flavor and richness of 2% Greek yogurt, and the amount of fat helps the dish feel decadent and filling. Feel free to use whatever fits best into your daily diet. For help choosing the healthiest yogurt, see my recommendations on ABC News for Health Magazine.
2) Gala Apple Snack Plate
Serves 1 Time: Less than 5 minutes
- 1 Gala apple, cut into 8 wedges
- 2 tablespoons of nut butter (I used Justin's Maple Almond Butter)
- Handful of raisins (about 1/8 cup)
- Assemble the apple slices, nut butter and raisins on a plate
Stay tuned for Bartlett pears next Friday!
Thursday, September 11, 2014
25 of the most decadent-looking (but surprisingly healthy) pumpkin recipes are all in one place.
I can’t wait any longer – I’ve seen gourds and mini pumpkins at the farmers market so I think it’s okay for this to be Thursday’s Roundup. Right? Yes.
They all lean toward the healthy side - you won't find any recipes with 2 sticks of butter or 2 cups of sugar here. Instead, you'll see whole grains, spices, and thoughtful portions of fat and sweetener.
They're sorted into 3 popular categories: Breads & Muffins, Breakfast, and Dessert (but no pies - they'll come in November).
(Click on the link or photo to open the recipe in a new window)
Breads & Muffins
1. Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread - Cookie + Kate
2. Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins - Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker
3. Pumpkin Pie Muffins - Snixy Kitchen
4. Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins - Foodlets
5. Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping - 30 Seconds with A&J
6. Chai Pumpkin Bread - PaleOMG
7. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins - The Lean Green Bean
8. Flourless Pumpkin Pie Muffins - Running With Spoons
9. Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Vanilla Bean Caramelized Bananas - Ambitious Kitchen
10. Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Granola - Sally's Baking Addiction
11. Pumpkin Granola - Two Peas & Their Pod
12. Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats - My Whole Food Life
13.Pumpkin Pancakes - Snack Girl
14. Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa - Once Upon a Cutting Board
15. Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin Crockpot Steel Cut Oats - The Lean Green Bean
16. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, 3 Ways - Will Cook for Friends
17. Pumpkin Oat Pancakes - Cookie + Kate
18. Healthy Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Oatmeal Bars - Running with Spoons
19. Iced Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies (Gluten-Free) - SnixyKitchen
20. Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze - Cookie + Kate
21. Lightened-Up Pumpkin Spice Bars - Sally's Baking Addiction
22. Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Snack Cake - Sweet Treats & More
23. Pumpkin Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie
- The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
24. Salted Pumpkin Crème Brûlée - 30 Seconds with A&J
25. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars - Chocolate Covered Katie
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Another week has passed, and we're already sitting down for our Wednesday lunch date again! Can you believe it? I'm so glad to have this time to share the latest news with you and I encourage you to share your favorite articles, recipes, and healthy stories from the week in the comments below.
Here's what I've been up to this past week:
My Recent Press:
- 10 Heart Healthy Foods That Aren't - Patricia Bannan for Livestrong.com
What I've Cooked Lately That Was AWESOME:
- Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Basil and Olives - Giada De Laurentiis (Pin It)
- Mediterranean Smothered Chicken - Iowa Girl Eats (Pin It) - One of my husband's favorite meals. Made for friends who came to dinner and it was a hit. For dessert Adam made...
- Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust - Smitten Kitchen (Pin It)
What I’m Reading:
Food News & Trends:
- Carrots Find Roots on Restaurant Menus - Nancy Kruse for Nation's Restaurant News (requires registration)
- America is slowly - but surely - becoming a nation of tea drinkers - The Washington Post
- General Mills to acquire Annie's in $820m deal to expand natural & organics portfolio - Food Navigator USA
- USDA pilot boosts local control of school food purchases - The Packer (in other words, a USDA pilot program will let schools use federal $$ to purchase local produce for school lunch)
- Mouth on Fire? The Best (and Worst) Ways to Soothe the Burn Fast - Greatist
- 50 Light and Healthy Soup Recipes - Skinnytaste
- Kitchen Hack: Freezing Yogurt in an Ice Cube Tray - The Cutting Board
- How Long Is It Really Safe to Keep Foods? (Infographic) - Cleveland Clinic
- 4 Healthy Breakfasts That'll Leave You Hungry An Hour Later - Women's Health (a.k.a. how to give your breakfasts staying power!)
- How to Make a Healthy, Tasty Sandwich - Keri Gans for U.S. News and World Report
- Short On Time? Try This 4-Minute Workout - Tracy Hicks for MindBodyGreen
- Wine and Exercise: A Promising Combination - The Atlantic (not before, during, or immediately after exercise though)
- What Style of Yoga Is Best for You? - Greatist
- Put the Physical in Education - The New York Times
Lifestyle (Home, Relationships, Organization, Psychology, Happiness, Art, DIY Crafts):
- 6 Feng Shui Tips To Bring Good Energy Into Your Home This Fall - Amanda Gibby Peters for MindBodyGreen
- A Moving Day Kitchen Survival Box - The Kitchn
- 5 Tiny Investments That Will Elevate Your Baking - The Kitchn
- 7 Inspiring Ideas for Organizing All the Stuff Under Your Sink - The Kitchn
What I'm Salivating Over:
- Morning Maple Cranberry Pecan Oat Bars - Skinnytaste (Pin It)
- Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins - Running with Spoons (Pin It)
Salads & Veggie Sides:
- Farmer's Market Salad - The Cutting Board (Pin It)
- Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette - Bobbby Flay (Pin It)
- Spinach, Apple and Mushroom Salad with Maple Vinaigrette - Let's Have Mixture (Pin It)
- Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges - Eating Bird Food (Pin It)
- Pizza di Spaghetti (a recipe for leftover spaghetti) - Giada DeLaurenti (Pin It)
- Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken with Apricots, Olives and Almonds - Food and Wine (Pin It)
- Chicken Marbella - Silver Palate Cookbook (Pin It)
- Naan Pizzas with Garlicky Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta - 30 Seconds with A&J (Pin It)
- 21 Vegan Freezer-Friendly Recipes - Oh She Glows (Pin It)
- Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Snack Cake - Sweet Treats & More (Pin It)
- Pumpkin Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (grain & gluten free) - Fountain Avenue Kitchen (Pin It)
- Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Chocolate Covered Katie (Pin It)
- Chai Spiced Pumpkin Bars - The Kitchn (Pin It)
- Ginger Pumpkin Pudding Cakes - Martha Stewart (Pin It)
- Oatmeal Struesel Baked Apples - Sweet Treats & More (Pin It)
New Cookbook Alerts!
- One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals From Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More - Editors of Martha Stewart Living (releases Sept 23rd)
- The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking - The Kitchn (releases October October 7th)
- "Putting a vanilla chai tea bag in my oats before microwaving is the best idea I have had in a while. New staple in my diet!" - @NutritionNerd
- "What #diet do I favor? Wholesome foods in sensible combinations, and let the nutrients sort themselves out" - @DrDavidKatz
- "[My Son] ordered okra tonight, which surprised me, but then confessed that he confused it with orzo." - This one just made me laugh :) - @TheScramble
Fun Food Quiz!
- Can We Guess Your Favorite Food? - Buzzfeed (I got steak. Not my favorite food by any means, but they did say that means I'm a "really awesome person" so I'll take it.
The Week in Photos:
While I love cooking some nights, other times I like/need/must have wholesome dinners that are really quick to assemble. Here's one of my favorite easy chicken dinners. Step 1) Buy a Rotisserie chicken. Step 2) Make rice in a rice cooker (easiest!), or on the stove (In the photo, it's garlic & herb rice pilaf). Step 3) Steam green beans in them microwave (takes just a few minutes). Step 4) Slice up a raw vegetable of your choice - tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, etc. If you used a rice cooker, the dinner took about 5 minutes to put on the plate. A 5 minute chicken dinner awaits!
On Tuesday night, I went to a truly lovely dinner hosted by the California Table Grape Commission at Republique in Los Angeles. Did you know 99% of the commercially grown table grapes harvested in the US are from California? The chef incorporated cooked grapes into each course in creative ways alongside sea trout crudo, wild atlantic striped bass, and Sonoma duck breast. My favorite part of the meal was the dessert: Warm California Grape Clafoutis. It's a French dessert where fruit (traditionally cherries) are baked in a custard batter. Ours was piping hot served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a scoop of freshly made almond ice cream. During dinner, Ellie Krieger talked about how she uses grapes in her kitchen at home (like roasting, yum!) and we all shared some of our favorite grape recipes. They gave us each a personalized box of red, green and black grapes that had been harvested TWO days ago and two fabulous cookbooks. I can't wait to cook something from the grape book! (I already have a well-loved copy of Ellie's cookbook, which I reference often on the blog).
Be well! See you for another mid-week lunch date next Wednesday!
Any favorite recipes, new products, articles, or quizzes you'd like to share?