Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Fit-ting reading material

February 23, 2011

As you may have guessed from reading some of my posts, I’m not the biggest fan of women’s health magazines.  The conflicting information dispensed in their pages frustrates me to no end.  But I think I finally found a publication I can read without wanting to rip up the pages — it’s Fitness magazine.

I recently signed up for the More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon on April 3.  As part of my registration fee, they threw in a subscription to Fitness magazine.  The first issue arrived in the mail yesterday.  Considering how much of a skeptic I am, I wasn’t expecting much.  But it’s surprisingly good! 

In its pages you won’t find a limited diet intended to help you lose 20 pounds before spring along side a recipe for a decadent chocolate cake.  Instead,  you get down-to-earth fitness advice (like which machines you can skip at the gym) and healthy recipes like chipotle vegetable chili.

Another thing I was very happy to see…only one photo of a woman in a bathing suit!  And even then, it was a bikini bottom paired with a sweater.  Weird, I know, but this was the winter issue.  (Hmmm…I guess that could explain the lack of scantily clad women, but that doesn’t seem to stop other women’s magazines of always featuring women prancing around in bikinis and lingerie.)

The only disconnect was the giant full page ad for Hydroxycut.  That product seems to go against everything the magazine stands for, but I can understand having to take ad dollars where you can get it.

Overall, I think the magazine definitely upholds its mission to “empower women to embrace fitness as a lifestyle — not an age or dress size–and to change the conversation from skinny to healthy”.   Glad to know I’m not the only one!

So if

Another great fall soup

October 27, 2010

I’m sorry if by know you’re getting tired of my soup recipes, but too bad!  I’ve got another great bowl of comfort that’s perfect for those chilly fall days.  And like the ones that preceded it, this one is also super easy to make.

What you’ll need:

6 medium sweet potatoes

6 cups or more chicken/vegetable stock

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Olive oil or cooking spray

What You Need to Do:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and spritz with some olive oil or cooking spray.  Bake until soft (about 45-50 minutes).

In meantime, heat up the chicken stock. 

Once sweet potatoes cool, peel them and then give them a rough mash. 

Add the potatoes and some of the stock into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.  Keep adding sweet potatoes and stock until you get a soup of the right consistency.  (This will take a while and you’ll probably have to do it in a couple of batches.)

Once the soup is all pureed, stir in the cayenne.  Add more if you want an extra kick. (although from experience, I wouldn’t recommend it)

Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!

The latest food craze that might surprise you

October 15, 2010

So I’m a little late to the spaghetti taco bandwagon.  Wait.  What?  You mean you’ve never heard of the delicacy known as spaghetti tacos?  Where have you been?!

It's spaghetti! It's a taco! It's a spaghetti taco!

According to the New York Times, the odd mix is apparently the latest food craze among tweens.  (and you know they only report the news that’s fit to print, so it must be true).  Anyways, here’s the meal’s epicurean history:

“It started as a gag: spaghetti tacos.

On an episode of the hit Nickelodeon series “iCarly,” the lead character’s eccentric older brother, Spencer, makes dinner one night.  Glimpsed on screen, the dish consists of red-sauce-coated pasta stuffed into hard taco shells.”

But apparently the kiddie viewers didn’t get the joke.  Instead, the paper reports kids began pestering their moms for spaghetti taco dinners.  A quick Google search for “spaghetti taco recipe” yields 383 thousand hits.  And there’s even a Facebook page with more than a thousand fans devoted to the dish.

Now, I haven’t tried the dish, but I think that in addition to the under 5 feet tall fan set, spaghetti tacos will probably catch on with a certain group of adults who partake in certain recreational activities (if you catch my drift).

Spaghetti Tacos: Silly Enough for Young Eaters

Snack Wars: Carrot Cake

September 8, 2010

Carrot cake is by far one of my favorite desserts.  The name, however healthy it sounds, is deceiving considering a slice of carrot cake packs 300 calories, 16 grams of fat and 27 grams of sugar.  You’d be able to eat 5 1/2 cups of chopped carrots for those calories! 

Not just for Easter!

So why is carrot cake so calorie dense?  There are two things to blame.  The cream cheese frosting and the 1 1/2 cups of oil used in the batter.  But there is a better way.  Instead of using full fat cream cheese in the frosting, switch to 1/3 less fat neufchatel.  Cut down the butter called for too by half.

When it comes to the batter, substitute all but a 1/4 cup of the oil with a mix of sugar-free applesauce and plain, low-fat yogurt. 

Another trick…instead of making a layer cake (which requires a lot of frosting), bake the cake in a square cake pan and just frost the top. 

I had a cake that followed this recipe this weekend and let me tell you I didn’t think it was a low-fat cake at all!  And when I found out it was, you know I helped myself to another piece!

Snack Wars: DIY Microwave Popcorn

August 18, 2010

Mmmm...pop

I love microwave popcorn.  Not only is it tasty, it’s good for you too.   Three cups (roughly half a bag) of a popular light butter brand packs only 150 calories, 3 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of fiber.

What I don’t love about microwave popcorn is the price.  That same popular brand costs about $4.29 at my local grocery store.

Enter the website instructables and their step-by-step process for making your own microwave popcorn.

Not only can you season it to taste, it’ll set you back only about 10 cents a bag.  Follow these instructions and enjoy!

Summer break

July 20, 2010

The way I feel daily this summer

I feel like my garden during these hot, hot, hot summer days…parched and wilted.  What’s needed is a cool and refreshing pick-me-up and I’ve come across the perfect recipe.  The drink is called a June Bug.  This recipe is courtesy of “Porch Parties: Cocktail Recipes and Easy Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining”.  The drink is super simple to make and, I find, the perfect thing on a hot sultry day.

3 cups ginger ale (I substitutted the diet kind to cut down on the sugar)

2 1/2 ounces of orange juice

2 1/2 ounces of grenadine

3 scoops orange sherbet

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until the sherbet is incorporated.  Makes about 8 servings.

Smile if you like smoothies

May 28, 2010

As the weather heats up (and boy has it been getting hot here in NYC), I like to fix myself smoothies for breakfast or as a post-work out snack.  They’re easy to whip up, are very versatile and taste great.  Here’s a simple blueberry smoothie recipe that packs 5 grams of fiber, and only 3.5 grams of fat and 139 calories per serving.  Not to mention you get all those antioxidants blueberries are chock full of.

Easy Blueberry Smoothie

1 c almond milk (you can use soy or regular milk, but almond milk is more flavorful)

1c frozen blueberries (the kind that doesn’t have any added sugar)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Throw all the ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth.  Serves 1. 

Yum!

Snack Wars: Summer Salads

May 26, 2010

The unofficial start of summer is just around the corner and if you’re like most Americans, you’re probably hosting or heading to a backyard barbecue this Memorial Day weekend.  No doubt, you’ll be faced with lots of tempting foods including the holy trinity of summer sides: cole slaw, potato, and macaroni.  Think you know how these backyard faves stack up?  Let’s find out. 

Round One: Calories

If you guessed Cole Slaw is the least calorie dense, you’re right.  At 147 calories per 3/4 cup serving, it’s the best of the three if you’re saving your calories for dessert.  A half cup of potato salad packs 217 calories, the same sized serving of macaroni salad contains 280 calories.

Round Two: Fat grams

Despite being made out of relatively healthy base ingredients (cabbage, potatoes and pasta), none of these salads are low fat…with an average of 12 fat grams each per serving.  Blame the mayo.  If you’re looking for a healthier alternative try swapping the mayo in your recipes for an oil and vinegar dressing.

Round Three: Least likely to make you sick

If you’re serving any of these salads at your outdoor barbecue, make sure you keep all three cold.  Summer is high season for salmonella poisoning.  (e. Coli too)  Blame the mayo…again.  On a 90 degree day, room temperature food is only safe for about an hour.

Winner: Us! 

No two (or three) ways about it, doesn’t matter what food you eat this coming weekend, we’re all winners because summer is here.  😀 

But seriously, I say pick a favorite salad and help yourself to a serving of just that one.  If you can’t choose, take a little of each, just not a full serving of all three.  It’s the buffbroad golden rule: everything in moderation!

Vinegar Redux

April 8, 2010

So back in February I wrote about the supposed wonders of vinegar, especially the apple cider variety.  A couple of the home remedies I mentioned included drinking a tablespoon of it before meals and mixing it with water to make a toner to clear up acne.  I tried both.  Here’s what I found.

The pounds didn’t drop after a few weeks of drinking a tablespoon of vinegar mixed with water or vegetable juice.  Like I said earlier, I think the method is just another way to make you feel fuller before sitting down to a meal.  If this trick works for you, then great!  If not, you’re stuck sucking down vinegar everyday with no results.

I experienced much better results with the vinegar facial toner.  I use a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts green tea once a day (usually before bed).  My skin has cleared up dramatically.  Combined with a non-soap cleanser and an over-the-counter acne med to tame flare-ups, I’ve finally gotten the acne under control.  (It’s about time, I’m waay past being a teenager!)

I’ve also got a recipe for a great exfoliating mask that I use once a week that combines the powers of green tea, apple cider vinegar and honey…another miracle product hiding in your pantry.  But more about that later.

E is for Eggplant

March 24, 2010

I’ve got another great (and easy) recipe to share with you today.  You’ll only need 5 ingredients and less than an hour to whip it together.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large eggplant or a few small ones (any variety will do)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 c plain greek yogurt
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Wash and then prick the eggplant with a fork.  Roast at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until soft.  Let cool, then scoop out insides.  Place eggplant in food processor (blender will work too) and add all other ingredients.  Blend till smooth.  Serve with pita chips or cut up veggies.  Also good as a sandwich with lettuce (although it’s a little runny). I also plan on trying to mix it with sausage as a sauce for pasta.

You can find the original recipe here.