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What to make this weekend: Burst tomatoes

Happy Friday! Any fun plans this weekend? I just seriously can’t believe it’s the last weekend in August. How? Why? It seems like summer just started and now we’re looking at the last few weeks of the season.

That being said, I’m looking forward to some of the different fruits and vegetables we’ll be welcoming come fall. In the meantime, though, I’m enjoying making the best of my summer favorites.

The New York Times cooking newsletter has been all about tomatoes recently, and I love it. Inspired by all the gorgeous seasonal recipe, I made these burst tomatoes the other night

burst tomatoes

and have been enjoying them on salads

Salad with burst tomatoes, langostino tails, avocado, and Greek yogurt Sriracha dressing

Salad with burst tomatoes, langostino tails, avocado, and Greek yogurt Sriracha dressing

but they’re also great warm in pasta, with meat or fish, or with beans & greens.

Here’s a quick & easy recipe for you to enjoy over the weekend, if you feel like playing around in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb grape or cherry tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Ross tomatoes in olive oil and place in roasting pan.
  3. Roast about 20 minutes (checking every 4 or 5) until tomatoes are soft and beginning to burst.

Serve hot or cold.

 

What summer produce are you going to miss come fall? What fall produce are you most looking forward to? 

Thinking Out Loud

Thursday already. Ready for a little thinking out loud? Here’s a weekly dose of randomness.

This week’s post has an accidental “food cravings” theme. As a dietitian, I always encourage clients to tune in to what they’re craving and why. Often the body is trying to tell us something, whether it’s physical or psychological.

1.) Food cravings are a funny thing. When I was younger I had a crazy sweet tooth, and in the past five years since quitting diet soda I’ve developed quite a savory tooth. Like a lot of ladies, there’s a cyclical nature to these cravings. For example, the salt thing seems to kick in during placebo pill week, when I want all the miso and all the smoked salmon. I also crave specific meats that time of the month. Sometimes it’s red meat, but this time around its chicken. Whatever works.

2.) The crisp note in the air yesterday morning had me craving pumpkin oatmeal, so I made that got breakfast after yoga. I added some sliced roasted figs, tahini, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

pumpkin oats with fig

3.) Another weird craving: crappy deli coffee with skim milk and Splenda. Total nostalgia trip back to days when I had time to, like, be interested in sex and write poetry about it. I’m sort of kidding.

4.) Speaking of a general lack of interest in sex/dating (with a select few exceptions) most of this past year, being 100% not pregnant allows me to enjoy all the sashimi I want. Within reason, of course. I enjoyed a lunch box special on a recent visit to NJ (similar to this one below) that came with a salad with ginger dressing and miso soup that tasted like it was made with white miso-my favorite. It was divine. sashimi

5.) This has nothing to do with food cravings I don’t think, but hey, today’s all about random…I bought a new computer recently after sitting on an Apple gift card since Christmas. My current laptop was a dinosaur in Mac years, but I’m holding onto it so I have something to use for writing and internet that I can travel with or throw in my bag to hit up a coffee shop. The idea of having two laptops seems ridiculously extravagant, but given that such a huge portion of my income is dependent upon being able to write, blog, and email, it’s actually logical. In the past, I just did a complete transfer via wi-fi or time machine, but this time around, I’m experimenting with transferring just the files and programs I want, little by little, via Air Drop and flash drives. It’s a little bit tedious, but weirdly exciting. Not having 12 years of electronic baggage is a thrilling concept. Or okay, still plenty of baggage, but just the baggage I want.

What are some foods you tend to crave?

This post has been part of another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.

What I Ate Wednesday #229

Another week, another What I Ate Wednesday. Last week I shared some of the delicious things I enjoyed during my trip to the beach. This week, I thought I’d show a back-to-the-grind day.

WIAW 229

Breakfast: The morning started with a desk breakfast of oats with egg whites, fall, and lots of blueberries. Instead of peanut butter, I added some tahini.

Lunch: To break up the lunchtime routine a little, I packed some pumpkin chili I’d made that morning and supplemented with a salad from the cafeteria.

Snacks: During the afternoon, I had a banana and later, a plain Greek yogurt with a chia shot and some honey.

Dinner: I enjoyed a simple dinner of salad (again, I know—I’ve been too lazy to cook this summer) and avocado toast with smoked salmon and heirloom tomato.

Bedtime Snack: Before bed I had a perfect summer peach (I’ll miss these when fall comes) and a vanilla Siggi’s. It was so satisfying. I was so wrapped up in the awesomeness I forgot to take a picture.

What are some of your favorite lazy dinners? 

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, check out founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

 

Desk-Friendly Snacks

Can you believe we’re in the last full week of August? I seriously have no idea where this summer has gone. The season seemed endless when I was a kid, but now it’s, like, blink and you miss it.

As a nutritionist, it’s really interesting to note patterns in what my clients and patients want to talk about. You would think the summer brings bikini-body thoughts to the forefront, but what I’ve found this year is that lots of people want to talk about work-appropriate snacks to get them from lunch to drinks to dinner.

I recently wrote a post for YouBeauty about some healthy snacks you can enjoy at your desk that will give you an energy boost to get you through the afternoon. What 4 pm slump?

My personal favorite lately: plain Greek yogurt with a chia shot and honey swiped from the hospital cafeteria on the days that I’m punching the clock. I’m also partial to crumbled-up fiber d’lish bars (the orange cranberry flavor, especially) in yogurt these days as well, though I’m sure I’ll get tired of that eventually.  yogurt chia honey desk snack

I’ve got some big schedule changes coming up this fall, so as with any major life change, it will be interesting for me to see how that impacts the choices I make throughout the day. I mean that in the best way possible, though.

Until then, however, let’s enjoy these last few days of summer, desk snacks and all.

What are your favorite snacks as of late? 

Beans and Greens with Miso Tahini Sauce

Happy Monday! What’s on the agenda this week? Sometimes I head into a Monday feeling all optimistic and ready to tackle whatever madness the calendar has in store, and sometimes I want to hit PAUSE. Resisting the urge to front-load the to-do list for the week is tough, but an ongoing learning process.

Monday night dinners tend to be thrown-together affairs since my schedule usually has me out of the house almost 12 hours straight. That doesn’t mean dinner has to suck, though. A little Sunday meal prep can help a lot, but sometimes just mining the fridge and cabinets for last-minute ingredients can yield some pretty great dishes. This is a favorite recent example that’s a perfect one-dish dinner for Meatless Monday.
beans and greens with egg

I like butter beans for this, but it’s also great with chickpeas, white beans, red lentils—whatever you like! This equally delicious hot as it is cold. My personal favorite way to do this is to add hot beans and veggies to the greens and mix it all together with the dressing so the greens get a little wilted and tender without getting mushy.

I also added a garnish of this Trader Joe’s Super Seed & Ancient Grains Blend (~1 teaspoon) for texture and a little “What the heck is that awesome” flavor.

Trader Joes Seed Blend

This recipe serves 4, but you can scale up or down to suit your needs.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups arugula or other greens
  • 1 15-oz can beans, rinsed well (~2 cups cooked beans)
  • 1 cup roasted zucchini
  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon mild yellow or white miso paste
  • Water to thin dressing, if needed
  • 4 eggs, fried or poached
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds or mix of nuts/seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine greens, beans, and veggies in a large salad bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together lemon juice, miso paste, tahini, and water (if needed).
  3. Toss the salad in dressing and allow to sit a few minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, poach the eggs.
  5. Divide salad between 4 bowls and top each with an egg and a sprinkle of seed mix.

What’s your favorite easy weeknight dinner? 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things: Yolk Porn and Playlists

Sunday again. Welcome to my little list of small, good things that have made me smile this week.

So I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve been posting my breakfast every day this month. What I’m seeing is that I eat my desk, well, every morning. Rather than beat up on myself about that, I’ve decided to just focus on all the ways breakfast ups the enjoyment factor. Seeing all the different combinations my mad scientist taste buds have come up with has been kind of neat too. Here’s a recent yolk porn-y favorite: yolk porn breakfast

I’m heading to spend some time with family later today and can’t wait. I’ve been super-busy this summer but have actually managed to get away a bit. Cheers to that.

People who know me say I’m good at landing on my feet. I think it must come from this story about a cat we had when I was a kid. She jumped out the second floor window onto the lawn…and then went back inside and did it again. Dumb cat, dumb luck. Unless she’d just figured out that what doesn’t kill you validates your curiosity.

In the spirit of landing on one’s feet, I indulged in a little retail therapy over the past week. Half the fun for me is finding stuff I love at a discount. I usually will buy inexpensive pieces and then take them to the tailor so they fit like a glove.

I’ve been loving getting back to working with more Rise clients. I’m still taking on some new people, so click on the link if you’d like to work with me. This is a great option for anyone interested in working with a nutritionist but on a tight budget.

I got a manicure on my lunch break yesterday. My coworker encouraged me to get a bright color since it’s kind of last-hurrah time for summer polish colors. I’m glad I listened to her.

I left my computer on while I was cleaning the other night and came back into the room to this Elvis Costello’s Spectacle episode featuring The Police. That was a nice surprise.

Speaking of music, I’ve been enjoying this adult angsty self-indulgent Spotify one. It’s probably not that different from the ones I made in college, of course, since it’s still a lot of early, angry Elvis Costello and early, angry Bob Dylan, but hey.

To my credit, it also features Courtney Barnett, Rilo Kiley,and a few other artists I didn’t really listen to in college, so yeah. Sunday.

What’s made you smile this week? 

What to Make this Weekend: Too soon?

mini pumpkinSo, a few things happened. First, it was my mom’s awesome pumpkin chicken chili at the beach last weekend. Then it was being asked to weigh in on a Yahoo Health article about the new & improved Pumpkin Spice Latte hitting Starbucks stores this fall. The next generation of PSLs will now include real pumpkin puree and will ditch the caramel coloring. Of course, you’ve still got all this business in there:

  • Espresso
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt)
  • Whipped Cream (Light Whipping Cream [Cream, Mono and Diglycerides, Carrageenan])
  • Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid)
  • Pumpkin Spice Topping (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove)

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have this ever, but consider it a once-in-a-while treat instead of an everyday thing. Trying to pound a Venti on your morning commute is not the way to savor a seasonal treat. To save yourself some sugar and other madness, you could skip the whip and ask for one pump of syrup/sauce instead of the standard gazillion.

Anyway, so now I have pumpkin on the brain. The chili thing is totally happening. I used this recipe as a jumping off point to which I added ground chicken.

I’m also thinking about pumpkin meat loaf again. Apparently my ground meat tooth has resurfaced. Must be hormones or something.

Of course, pumpkin oatmeal a sweet must-do whenever I open a can of pumpkin. Too bad cranberries aren’t in season yet because this sounds really good right now.

OMG what the f*** is wrong with me and my tastebuds?

Are you a Pumpkin Spice Latte fan? Any other seasonal favorites you’re looking forward to this fall? Anyone else dealing with premature pumpkin cravings? 

Thinking Out Loud: What’s This?!

Happy Thursday. I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for a little unstructured brain-dump time. Conveniently, this happens to be just the day for such a thing. I updated my computer to Yosemite the other day (about time, I know), and have been going crazy trying to acclimate to some of the changes to the keyboard/mousepad and photo storage. It’s funny how technology and how smoothly it’s running can influence your mood and general sense of security about the state of things. To bring myself back to earth, I thought I’d stay on the lighter side of the street this week.

First things first. Can we talk about how cute these little eggplants are? Fresh Direct has hit a lot of home runs this summer in the seasonal/local game. tiny eggplant

Eggplant is one of my favorite ways to make a meal more substantial without adding a lot of calories. A cup of eggplant provides 2.5 grams fiber and only 20 calories. It may not have a ton of flavor on its own, but it’s incredibly versatile. The other night, I roasted a few of these little ones whole (~15 minutes at 375 degrees F) and then cut in half and added to a warm tomato salad that also had spinach, garlic, and caramelized onion. Yum!

Spending a few days at the beach with family and my dog was awesome. I was in dire need of some TLC/puppy snuggles, and I certainly got my fix. It’s amazing how a fluffy little animal can change your whole outlook.

I feel like every day is a great day for Eli. I laugh because everything is such a wonder to him. It’s like this part of The Nightmare Before Christmas:

The beach part didn’t suck, either. LBI

The heatwave this week may be bad for hair, but it’s great for my tastebuds. I’ve been enjoying some awesome green smoothies this week.

green smoothie

I’m still loving coocnut water as the liquid base. So damn good.

Do you love or hate the heat? What’s on your mind and/or on your plate this week? 

This post has been part of another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.

What I Ate Wednesday #228: A Shore Thing

Happy What I Ate Wednesday. How’s your week going? It’s hot here in NYC, but I think I’m okay with it. It feels like a “real” summer, which makes me feel a bit like I’m on vacation, even if I’m actually working.

Here’s what I ate Saturday when I was down the shore:

Breakfast: Egg over beans & veggies Egg bean and tomato salad

Lunch: salad, a mix of broiled seafood, and cava rose x 2 because I could cava rose

Black Whale broiled seafood Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds (not pictured)

Dinner: Team effort of homemade pumpkin chili and a tomato & grilled eggplant salad; goat cheese on toast, half a glass of winebeach dinner

Dessert: More yogurt with a teaspoon of peanut  butter (not pictured)

What were some of the food highlights of your weekend? Any favorite vacation eats? 

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, check out founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

 

Learning from Our Mistakes

Have you ever set out to do something and failed? Tried to stick to a plan and found it impossible? Me too. Nobody is perfect. Sounds obvious enough. For many of us, its easy to remember this when others apologize for their shortcomings, and yet when it comes to ourselves, we can be so harsh.

One thing I hear/see a lot from clients is, “I know this is bad…” or “I was trying to be good, but…” And then the food-guilt spiral begins.pink flowers

As a dietitian, I feel like it’s my personal duty, somehow, to get folks to drop those kinds of judgmental statements when it comes to their eating. We make so many food choices over the course of a day, and while it would be wonderful for all of them to align with our personal goals, reality sometimes has other plans. Sometimes we make a call we later wish we hadn’t, and that’s okay. The key is to recognize a mistake and learn from it. I love when a client, for example, posts a meal and says, “So this is what I did this time, but next time I am going to do this other thing that will be a better fit for me.”

And in case there were any illusions to the contrary (though if you’ve been reading a while, you know I’m just a dietitian, not a nun), I’ve had my own struggles along the way, believe me. I recently had the opportunity to share a story I’ve been wanting to tell for years on The Lady Project blog. In the spirit of moving forward on a stronger foot, check out my post on What I Learned By Failing At Vegetarianism.

Have you ever struggled with food guilt? What is one mistake you’re proud to have learned from? 

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