Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts


Have a Happy, Healthy and Safe 4th of July

Get ready to celebrate your 4th of July with these healthy and delicious twists on your favorite summer foods.

It’s no secret that the 4th of July can make or break a diet because it includes everything necessary for a great celebration: family and friends, delicious barbecue and refreshing cocktails. When the good times start rolling, chances are you’ll end up reaching for whatever food that’s around — and at a 4th of July cookout, hot dogs, burgers and ice cream are never in short supply. So when you get hungry today, remember not to let all of your healthy eating habits fall by the wayside— because you can eat healthy and still enjoy the holiday to its fullest.
Photos: Honestly Yum

Reinvent the Burger
Like apple-pies, burgers are a 4th of July party staple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try something a little different that’s just as flavorful as what you’re used to. Swap high fat meats with lower fat ingredients like turkey, fresh salmon and even lentils. Instead of white bread, try a whole-wheat bun — or ditch the bun altogether for a lettuce wrap topped with avocadoes, caramelized onions and tomatoes.

Choose Better Sides
When it’s time to hit the buffet line, you’re better off skimping on high-calorie side dishes like potato salad and loading up on brown rice, squash and beans. They’ll make you feel fuller longer and they pack serious amounts of fiber — and they can even help lower the “bad” cholesterol LDL.

Stay Off the Sauce
Barbecue sauces, salad dressings and gravies are notorious for being high in fat— and fat-free options aren’t any better because they substitute fat with lots of carbohydrates. If you’re looking to add a punch of flavor to your meal this weekend, your best bet is to use spices like garlic, cumin, oregano —and if you want a kick, chili pepper.

Stir-Up Your Own Drinks
You don’t want the majority of your calories to come from your drinks. So skip sugary sodas and lemonades, and try making your own drink by infusing seltzer water with lemon wedges, blueberries and raspberries— you can even add herbs for a different flavor profile — and your batch will be just as refreshing and delicious as high-calorie cocktails. If homemade drinks aren’t an option, and if you’re planning on having a cocktail or two, try alternating them with water.

Stick to Guilt-Free Desserts
You can still satisfy your sweet tooth without torpedoing your diet. Treat yourself to a parfait with low-fat yogurt and a drizzle of honey, a fruit-infused popsicle or simply munch on some dark chocolate squares (don’t go overboard). Remember, there’s no harm in having a piece of chocolate cake. But if you’re having a big piece, be sure to use the buddy system and share some with a friend. Then sit back and enjoy the fireworks!


Potato Pizza!

Have you ever tried potato pizza? I only found out about it recently but apparently it has been a thing in Rome for quite some time. 

Potato is not the first topping I think of when I think of the ideal pie. Pepperoni and ham, yes, pineapple, maybe, but potatoes.... It sounds odd but I assure you, it's ridiculously delicious. Check out this potato pizza recipe from Alexandra's Kitchen. Bon Appetit! 


Using Filippo Berio's Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Create Healthy Twists to Traditional Comfort Foods

For the past six months, I ate anything and everything, mostly out of convenience. As a result,  I felt sluggish,  moody and less alert.  So two weeks ago, I made the choice to eat healthier and have been swapping full-fat ingredients with lower fat alternatives. I've been using extra virgin olive oil as a substitute for butter, and recently tried the Fillipo Berio brand. I tried both their "Robusto" and "Delicato" selections and prefer "Delicato" because of it's milder flavor.  I'll definitely continue using it in my dishes from now on. Check out these good-for-you twists of my favorite comfort foods.

Veggie-Loaded Pizza
The key to making a healthier pizza is to not go overboard with the toppings. However, if you feel like indulging, use full-fat ingredients sparingly but load-up on the veggies. Mushrooms would make a great addition because of their meaty texture. Try substituting cheeses that are high in saturated fat and sodium with low-fat and low-sodium alternatives. You can also opt for a whole-wheat crust to boost your fiber intake.

Creamy-But-Light Macaroni and Cheese
Cutting out fat does not mean you have to sacrifice on flavor. Reduce the amount of cheese you add into you mac-n-cheese by cracking two eggs into it. The eggs will make for a creamier texture, so creamy; you won't even miss the cheese. Here the trick: You have to slowly add the egg mixture into the dish and stir it constantly so it won't scramble. Eggs are an inexpensive high-quality protein, and are rich in other nutrients like vitamin D, B12, selenium and iron.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
This classic comfort food is usually submerged under piles of cheese and tomato sauce, but you can significantly reduce its fat content by baking it. Lighten up even more by using whole-wheat breadcrumbs and "Filippo Berio's Extra Virgin Olive Oil." Sprinkle herbs like basil and thyme, and spices like garlic and chili peppers for an additional punch of flavor. Spicy peppers contain capsaicin, an active chemical, believed to help induce weight loss.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Rolls
Baking can be rewarding, especially if the dish is waistline-friendly. Swap refined flour with a combination of almond flower and oats, and butter with "Filippo Berio's Extra Virgin Olive Oil" for a vastly lighter version of this nostalgic fare. You can still keep the gooey factor by drizzling instead of dousing the rolls with icing. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which will help you eat less and stay fuller longer. It also has complex carbohydrates to help you stay energized throughout the day.

A big thank you to the @Influenster team for sending me a few Filipo Berio coupons! #OliveyouFB. The coupons were free and for testing purposes.

(Picture via here)


The Polo Bar

I know, I know, I've seriously been neglecting my blogging duties. The truth is I've been having a rather difficult time these past few months. The fact that I remained unemployed months after earning my master's degree was just one more thing that made me sink deeper into a depressive state. I lost interest in all of the things that brought me great pleasure, like writing to you, my darlings. But the fog has lifted, and I'm feeling much better now. Oh, I also joined the ranks of the employed. Whoop, Whoop!

Above are the pictures I took from the Polo Bar on Yves' birthday in May. Yves was actually impressed by their service, and he's a tough nut to crack. I'll talk to you soon. Enjoy!


Brunch at Sweet Chick

Yves and I ventured to Sweet Chick this afternoon to try their famous chicken & waffles and the dish did not disappoint. The waffles were crisp and airy, and the chicken was juicy, perfectly seasoned and oh-so crunchy. I think it may very well had been the best chicken & waffles dish I've ever had. The capstone of the meal were the trio of flavored butters that accompanied the dish, which I believe were raspberry, herb and candied lemon. Unfortunately, they don't offer their bacon & cheddar waffles for brunch, I definitely will have to try it next time.


Bison Burgers at Bareburger

The Roadhouse burger
Yesterday, Yves and I went to Bareburger in Astoria because our mutual friend, Fritz, was raving about their unique offerings. They offer proteins like bison, elk, wild boar and ostrich, along with a variety of yummy toppings.
I ordered a bison burger, I expected it to be gamey because all the reviews I've ever read repeated the same thing, ad nauseam: bison meat is gamey (a slight off-putting flavor). But it wasn't at all, it tasted like beef but leaner. Guess what Yves had? he didn't even try a burger, he ordered a chicken sandwich. Oy vey, he just won't try anything new.


A few weeks ago, I went to an all-food bonanza called the "Smorgasburg" in East River State Park, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The food was great and the view of the Manhattan skyline was stunning!
 Haitians Rock: Duh!!!
I tried the dumpling sampler, the duck was quite tasty. I also slurped a few oysters, but no one really appreciated them except for me. As usual, Yves cast a sneering look at most of the food I wanted to try, basically anything that wasn't a hot dog or chicken wing. Shocker!


Midnight Craving: Wichcraft Cookies

Yes, you guessed it, I'm having yet another one of my craving attacks. I don't really have a sweet tooth, but whenever I go to Bryant Park, I always order about 6 of their miniature sandwich cookies from the 'wichcraft kiosk, and inhale them like the cookie monster. They offer a trio of flavors: oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate. Since I'm chocolate-obsessed, guess what my cookie of choice is? The oatmeal is also divine, I've never tried the peanut butter because of my peanut allergies, but I'm sure it's equally delicious.
Here's the recipe for the chocolate cream' wich, OMG, it's so good.
(Pictures via here and here)


Afternoon Craving: Blueberry Pancakes

I could really go for an airy pile of pancakes topped with sweet but tart blueberry compote, drizzled with maple syrup. Drenched is a more fitting word,  I love my syrup! with all the cravings I get, you'd think I'm with child. I assure you, I'm not :)

Check out this delightful blueberry pancake recipe from Smitten Kitchen, Yum!
(Picture via here)


Dinner At Quality Meats

Yves and I had dinner at Quality Meats last night for his 32nd birthday. Doesn't he look sharp in his suit?
 One of our waiters. Yes, we had two!
For the appetizer course, I had the Blue Island oysters, which came highly recommended by our handsome waiter. They arrived at our table with a trio of sauces. The green sauce in the center was absolutely delicious. However, I didn't care for the other two, the yellow one was entirely too pungent. I detected a hint of horseradish, I'm not a fan.
Now on to the oysters! They were delightfully briny and bright. I dabbed some of the green sauce on them and I was in mollusk heaven.
I also opted for the Roasted Bone Marrow. They were unctuous and delicious. They also came with a side of bacon and mixed vegetables swimming in a tasty sauce.
Yves had the jumbo crab cake for his appetizer. He said it was delicious and he hardly ever likes anything. However, he wasn't crazy about the shaved leeks that came along with it. I believe his exact words were, "whatever that is on the bottom is disgusting."
The bread was also great. They were warm, doughy in the best possible way and speckled with sea salt and rosemary. Yves gobbled them up and asked for seconds.
My entrée: The Bone-in Sirloin. Charred, tender, perfectly seasoned, delicious! the waiter brought us a steak sauce and immediately began reciting its list of impressive ingredients, I believe one of them was raisin molasses. Although tasty, we didn't touch it. We're purists.
The sides: I was extremely excited to try the Corn Crème Brulee. Sadly, it was entirely too sweet. I was extremely disappointed about that since I was practically drooling the entire week just thinking about it. Yves raved about the spinach but I thought it was just fine. The pan roasted crispy potatoes were uneventful.
 Yves' entrée: The Filet Mignon. I tried a morsel. Delicious!
The bill with tax and tip came out to $250, pricey but well worth the experience. The service was impeccable and the steaks are delectable!
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