The first time I ever tried a caprese salad was when I was visiting my much-more-sophisticated-than-I older cousin Billy Jo. She and her husband own an exquisite home in Houston and my sister and I were down for a visit nearly a decade ago now.
Before dinner one night, Billy pullled out the ingredients for a caprese salad – fresh mozzarella, gorgeous roma tomatoes, huge stems of basil, and a little balsamic vinegar.
Never having seen such an adventurous flavor combination before, I watched closely as she meticulously layered the cheese with the tomato, and then the basil, over and over again until the plate resembled the Italian flag. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar finished it off before we all claimed our portion. Admittedly, my then 16-year-old self didn’t appreciate the robust, fresh flavors. But now, it’s one of my absolute favorite Italian bites. This “grilled cheese” sandwich is an homage to that salad with a bit more heartiness and the ease of portability. (more…)
As a kid I was known as a pancake devourer. As an adult I’ve been deemed the “pancake queen.” Devourer, queen – either way you put it you can tell I love a stack of warm, fluffy pancakes in the morning just as much (or more) than the next girl. So, when I recently caught wind that there was a type of lemon I’d never tried – Meyer lemons – I couldn’t wait to create a new pancake recipe utilizing them as the star ingredient.
Meyer lemons get their name from Frank M. Meyer who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the early 1900s and brought the fruit back to the U.S. from China where they were cultivated. They are still tart but lack any harsh acidity, and taste slightly sweeter than a regular lemon. (more…)
You likely have at least one person in your life who is endlessly inspiring, always pushes the limits of their fitness, and dreams up healthy meals that taste better than takeout.
That person in my “blogging life” is Janetha Gallegos – author and creator of the healthy living blog, Meals and Moves.
Janetha is one of the fittest women I know and is always churning up healthy, mouth-watering recipes much to the delight of her ever-growing readership. We had the pleasure of talking with Janetha recently about her blog and where she draws her inspiration for healthy living. Here’s what she had to say.
Why did you start your food blog?
I started Meals & Moves to share my healthy meal ideas with friends and family and also to keep myself accountable for what I was eating. Since I had recently lost a lot of weight, I wanted to be sure to keep it off and my blog helped me do just that.
How would you describe your approach to eating/health? (more…)
They say there’s a story behind every recipe and these peppers are no exception to that rule. After somehow deleting all of the photos I’d taken of these little beauties the first time I’d made them, I was consequently forced to make them again for this story. This would’ve been far more unfortunate had they not been so simple to prepare and so extremely delicious. I can attest to their robust flavor as I sit here eating one for lunch while writing this post.
Pizza inside a pepper – who would’ve thought? Not I. But they are certainly the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever tried.
On top of requiring minimal ingredients and coming together in about 40 minutes tops, they’re much healthier than eating an actual pizza. This is because a fiber-loaded bell peppers replaces the crust, and little whole grain bread cubes step in to mimic that “crunch” a thin crust pizza would have. (more…)
The Biggest Loser season 14 is off to a roaring start with Jillian Michael’s team already down to two contestants. But what everyone seems to be buzzing most about are the show’s three teens, and specifically, what they’re doing to improve their diets safely. That’s where Joanna Dolgoff, M.D. Pediatrician steps in.
Dolgoff is the show’s official pediatrician and child obesity specialist and the brains behind the diet program the Biggest Loser teens are following. Dolgoff’s prescription for a healthy diet is defined in her book “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right,” which aims to teach kids how to make healthy choices based on the principles of the traffic light.
Green light foods – such as lean proteins, fruits and vegetables – are the most nutritious; yellow light foods – such as popcorn – are moderately nutritious; and red light foods are the least nutritious and limited to twice weekly indulgences. In addition to offering basic diet advice, the book also includes sample menus, recipes, and an index of more than 1,000 color-coded foods.
While Dolgoff’s message is primarily aimed at the teens on this season of The Biggest Loser, it’s applicable to people of all ages who are trying to eat well. We recently spoke with Dolgoff about what exactly junk food is and how we can eliminate if from our diets for good. Here’s what she had to say. (more…)
The Golden Globes are happening this weekend. Do you have any big plans? We certainly do. With a line up of sitcoms and films we absolutely gushed over in 2012, not watching simply isn’t an option. After all, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey – two of our favorite female comedians – are hosting, which is just one more reason to tune in this Sunday to see who takes home gold.
If you’re planning on having a gathering, chances are you’ll need to feed your guests. But just because you’re in party planning mode doesn’t mean you should stress over the menu.
In honor of this year’s Golden Globes we’re dishing up eight healthier recipes inspired by some of our favorite nominees. With a mix of sweet and savory, light and filling, you and your guests will be well fed while tuning in to see who gets crowned Hollywood’s finest talent. (more…)
At the beginning of fall I got bit by the chili bug and was eating the stuff non-stop for weeks. I was offering it up to friends, feeding it to my husband and packing it as a quick lunch for work almost daily. I didn’t realized I’d hit my max until a friend and I were discussing ideas for an upcoming dinner party and she said “anything but chili.” I agreed with her at the time but secretly I thought, “What are you talking about? I could chili year round!” And I do.
My all-time favorite chili companion is cornbread, which I made plenty of this fall drizzled in a little maple syrup for good measure. Absolutely smitten with the traditional kind, I had never tried the blue which is apparently healthier for you than the yellow stuff. Why? Let me explain.
Did you know pistachios are considered the skinny nut? And to think, I always just liked them because they tasted good. Looks like I was missing half the good news about this little green nut.
Although I snack on pistachios often I seldom use them in cooking. However, because of their unique flavor and crunchy texture they make a brilliant addition to dishes like crusted chicken, ice cream and sautees (find recipes below). Who would’ve thought something so naturally healthy could also be so delicious?
Health benefits: As mentioned above, scientists have discovered that pistachios are the ideal snack for weight loss. This is because the nuts’ fat is absorbed into the body making them lower in calories than previously thought.
In addition to being a considerably low-calorie snack, pistachios are also high in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and E, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Other studies have also shown pistachios to help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, increase HDL or “good” cholesterol, and fight inflammation. (more…)
A quick search of what’s in season in November will yield an abundant list of produce that’s ripe for the picking. Think broccoli and Brussels sprouts, carrots and cranberries, kiwi and kumquat, rutabaga and winter squash. And let’s not forget the veggie that often gets overlooked while roaming through the produce aisle: Artichokes.
Artichokes are full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals including vitamins C and K, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Like many other vegetables, artichokes are also loaded with fiber – nearly 10 grams in one medium choke! And they also contain between 3 and 4 grams of protein each and less than 1 gram of fat. All of these components help make artichokes a satisfying yet healthful indulgence. (more…)
Avocados are a food that I only just came around to in the last five years or so. When I was younger, I would grow weary if guacamole came near my plate, and certainly didn’t go out of my way to get put any on my favorite Mexican dishes. Doing so would’ve been a travesty, or at the very least, a meal fail. But if I would’ve known then what I know now about this nutritionally-dense and versatile fruit, I’d have been eating it by the chip-fulls long before my college days.
Health Benefits: Avocados are incredibly high in vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, and also provide ample amounts of riboflavin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. In addition, avocados provide 54 percent of your recommended daily fiber intake. And perhaps the most exciting news about this fruit is that when eaten with other foods, such as blueberries, it doubles the amount of antioxidants your body is able to absorb!
Nutritional statistics: One cup of avocado diced contains approximately 240 calories, 22 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Cooking methods: Much to some people’s surprise, avocados can be prepared in many ways, both savory and sweet. Add them fresh to your morning smoothie or blend them up with a banana for a rich and simple vegan dessert. You can also mash them up with peas and put them over toast, or whirl them into a dressing with olive oil, salt and pepper. See our recipes below for just a few ways to use this heart-healthy fruit. (more…)