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Summer Reading List: Yummy Beach Reads with Recipe Pairings

To say I’m an avid reader is an understatement. If I’m caught up in a story, I tend to shirk important things like laundry and a reasonable adult bedtime. My husband may have to wear an Old Navy T-shirt to work because his company Polos are waiting in the hamper, but at least I’ll find out how the latest Gillian Flynn novel ended. Or maybe I won’t. That Gillian Flynn, she’s an enigma.

Some people prefer to read in the winter, but I think summer is the perfect time to inhale books because there are so many places you can go. Take your novel, Kindle, NOok or other word-devouring device and hit the beach, prop yourself up at the pool, plant your behind under a shady tree at the park, swing in a hammock, or take over the kids’ treehouse. In fact, the only thing more enjoyable than reading in the summer is eating! So, let’s do both, shall we?

Listed below are five must-read summer novels and their five must-eat food companions! Still hungry for more? Our list continues with more fresh titles and bites at Yahoo! Shine.

AGirlsGuideToLove

Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs

With the last name Sugarman and a passion for cooking, you’d think the career path for Hannah would be destined. Unfortunately, she’s too busy trying to please her affluent boyfriend and academic parents so she works at a Washington think-tank. Oh yeah, and she’s miserable. After her relationship fizzles she makes a bold move and starts a popular underground supper club. Unfortunately, the club is run out of her landlord’s house and he doesn’t know about it. This could be a problem.

Pair With This Recipe: Caprese Grilled Cheese

This is not white bread and American cheese, this is grown up fare with flair! All the ingredients that make a robust Italian favorite including Roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil are reworked to create a sophisticated sandwich. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar after grilling to capture the full Caprese experience.
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Food Blogger Spotlight: Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie

cck ResizeAhhhh, dessert, the sweet end to a delicious meal. Unfortunately, it can also be the button-popping end to a healthy waistline. That’s why we’re excited to feature Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie as this week’s foodie! Her blog’s motto is “This isn’t just any dessert blog, it’s a healthy dessert blog.” By using low-fat, fresh ingredients, Katie shows how to make delicious, healthier versions of high calorie favorites and some goodies you’ve probably never even thought of.

Chocolate Covered Katie is so vibrant you might wonder if it’s in 3D. I dare you not to try and lick the chocolate dripping from the cone in the Secretly Healthy Red Velvet Ice Cream picture. The site is full of easy to follow recipes but you’ll also enjoy following Katie, as well, since her posts are often accompanied by a personal story or anecdote. Here’s what Katie has to say about her popular blog.


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Chia Bar Battle and a “No Bake Cookie” Chia Bar Recipe

Not all chia seed bars are made equal. We realized this in a recent taste test where we faced Health Warrior Chia Bars with Chi Innovations Chi Bars to see which one came out on top.

So what’s the big deal about chia seeds? For starters, one 16 ounce bag contains the same amount of Omega-3 fatty acids as 10 pounds of salmon. Yes, 10! As Health Warrior points out, Omega-3s are essential for brain function and cell and tissue growth. One pound of chia seeds also contains the same amount of protein as three pounds of tofu, and the same amount of fiber as four pounds of oatmeal. That’s a lot of nutrients in a tiny package.

Our competitors both tout the superfood chia seed as their star ingredient, but beyond that the two brands are worlds apart. Let’s dig into what makes them unique.
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4 New Ways to Shake up Your Snack Routine

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., TheBestLife.com lead nutritionist

I snack on the same stuff that I recommend to clients and readers: fruit, yogurt, lattes, nuts, carrots and other raw vegetables. But I also concoct more offbeat snacks that I don’t tend to recommend because they might seem too weird or too health-foody to someone just coming off a potato-chips-and-snack-cake habit. I figure you DietsInReview.com readers have seen it all…and might even enjoy some of these yourselves.

Numi Organic Savory tea (5 calories; available at Whole Foods)

Nutrition highlight: the Broccoli Cilantro has 90 percent of the Daily Value for calcium and the Beet Cabbage has 20 percent (I haven’t tried the four other flavors yet)

How to: Steep teabags in boiling water for 10 minutes.
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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes Will Wake up the Weekend

My daughter and I make pancakes on Saturday or Sunday every weekend. We usually do this in our pajamas and we always make a disaster zone out of the kitchen. It’s delicious bonding time that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Except maybe chocolate. But with these pancakes, absolutely no sacrifices are made.

The two of us love chocolate, strawberries, and pancakes so it seemed that marrying these ingredients would be an exciting way to get out of our standard blueberry pancake rut. We were pleasantly surprised. She enjoyed dropping her favorite fruit in to the batter and I enjoyed indulging in something at breakfast that beat just about any dessert I’d had recently.

In this recipe, you get to have a rich, satisfying serving of chocolate without overdoing it, all the while filling up on a whole grain pancake loaded with fresh, juicy strawberries.
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