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What I Ate Wednesday #236

Suddenly it’s What I Ate Wednesday. Wow, this week is flying by! Let’s get right into the food-diary fest, shall we? Ugh, I said “fest.” Who am I? Talk t to me after I’m adequately caffeinated. I’ve been working on cutting back a little, and so far so good, but I still don’t think I’d ever go a morning without at least some. What I’m finding works is having that first mug really early, and then waiting until 10 or so to have the next, and then it’s either tea or decaf from there. So far so good.

Anyway, here’s a look at a recent day spent working at the hospital:

Breakfast: Savory oatmeal with avocado on topWIAW 236

Lunch: Salad with chicken and roasted veggies and miso tahini dressing; seltzer and an apple partway through the afternoon

Snack: Greek yogurt with a tablespoon each coconut flour, PB2, and pumpkin puree.I also added some cinnamon, as usual. Sorry the picture is so ugly. After this, I did some cleaning and then went and worked in a coffee shop for a bit. I drank a cup of decaf while I was there.

Greek yogurt with coconut flour and PB2

Dinner: Turkey burger on a sandwich thin with a side of veggies tossed with my new favorite pumpkin miso-tahini sauce (recipe coming soon). Another ugly picture. Sorry—I was in writing-cave mode.

turkey burger and veggies

Snack: A sliced apple (yes, another one) with a piece of Cabot cheddar and a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s fig butter. It’s so simple but feels really fancy. apple and cheddar
Do you have a coffee habit? Any snacks or meals you like that seem fancy but are actually super-simple to make?  

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


Thinking Out Loud: Milan and the World Expo

Wow, Thursday. I can’t believe it’s been a week since I got back from Italy. I feel like I’m still playing catch-up but wanted to share some of the highlights from my visit to the World Expo last week.

This was the main thing that brought me to Milan. This year’s theme was “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life.” There were over 140 countries participating, and it was so cool to see the different interpretations.

The first stop for most visitors was Pavilion Zero, a more general presentation looking at the evolution of agriculture and human’s relationship to the planet and to food.

EXPO Entry

I wish I could have gotten to all the countries, but that would have taken days. Just walking around, you were exposed to so many different cultures and ideas. There were several clusters of countries doing a lot with coffee, chocolate, grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc. Cacao Expo

In Belgium, there were sculptures made of chocolate:Belgium Expo

Bugs as a viable protein source came up in several places. This was Holland:

Bugs in Holland

Speaking of bugs, the Netherlands food trucks drew the hipsters like a moth to a light: Holland food trucks

Another theme that came up a lot was making good use of space. There was a really neat vertical garden where I forgot to take pictures, but it was super-cool.

Some countries, like Spain, went all out and created an almost party-like atmosphere: Expo Spain

I’m going to be honest: I was damn embarrassed of the USA Pavilion. It came off as a bunch of talking heads in suits telling the camera how much they give a s*** about the world. At least Pepsi and Walgreens were well represented. USA expo

Italy made good use of its home-team advantage by showcasing restaurnts from each region of the country in an Eataly installation. I rolled with this gorgeous cold, cured pork with salad, rich balsamic vinegar, and organic bread. Eataly salad

I also loved the Italian Wine Tasting experience. 3 tastings per 10 euro ticket.

Stairway to Vino

Stairway to Vino

My goodness…I wish I had gotten, like, 10 tickets instead of one. Choosing my three wines was tough. I went with one primitivo rose, a delightful amarone, and a gorgeous, dry prosecco.  The wine tasting room was divided into wines from each region of Italy. You would scan your ticket and press the button under the bottle you wanted a taste from. So organized! So impossible to scam!

One of the coolest things at the Expo was the “Supermarket of the Future.” I spent a long, long time wandering around, taking in all the electronic displays and making notes about the layout. I love that you could look up the information about any particular product right then and there instead of having to whip out your phone to try to look up whether something might be a good fit for you. Supermarket of the Future display

I also appreciated, for example, that the bakery was near the end instead of right when you first walk in. Also, there was no “safe” perimeter vs the middle aisle wasteland. Additionally, the open floor plan made it easy to figure out where you needed to go and how to get there. Supermarket of the Future

Token supermarket selfie:

supermarket selfie

I was a sweaty, wavy-haired mess by the end of the day, but it was a great experience that gave me lots of interesting things to think about—and lots of recipe ideas!

What is the food culture like where you live? What would your ideal supermarket be like? What’s your favorite wine? 
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.

WIAW Guest Post: A Day on an RD’s Plate

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Today I have a guest post from Tanya Freirich, MS, RD, CDN, another NYC dietitian who I know from grad school and our internship. Since every week you get a glimpse at what I eat, I thought it would be a fun change of pace to show you what another dietitian puts on her plate! Take it away, Tanya.


Having a nutritious diet isn’t only something I plan for my clients, I also make it a priority for myself – the ultimate practice-what-you-preach. I love to trial new recipes in the kitchen so I’m usually eating my own creations rather than take-out. I learn more about food and cooking, control the ingredients, and save SO much money!

As you can see from below, I fit in as many vegetables and fruits as possible. The CDC and USDA advise between 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Below I’ve eaten about 8 servings for the day. When I counsel others on how to follow a healthier diet, I focus on replacing the “empty” foods like refined carbohydrates with hearty whole grains and fresh produce.TF produce

Not only will you feel so much better eating “real,” unprocessed foods, they are great sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. The more fiber the better! Fiber can help your digestive tract keep things moving, improve your colon health, and increase your satiety after a meal!

TF Cucumber  

  • Breakfast — apple with peanut butter + coffee with soy milk
  • Snack – peach — I picked it myself!
  • Lunch — vegetarian chili packed with kidney and white beans with a side of roasted sweet potatoes
  • Snack — strips of bell pepper
  • Dinner — riced cauliflower, corn cut off the cob and pan-fried teriyaki salmon
  • Dessert —yellow watermelon

salmon and corn The yellow watermelon was quite the treat recently, but one of my favorite after-dinner snacks year-round is home-made popcorn popped in oil and topped with a bit of honey.

Many people ask in a worried tone, do I have to be vegan or vegetarian to be healthy and lose weight? No, not necessarily. I eat meat as a part of a healthy, balanced diet. High-quality meats play an important part, but consider them as a supporting role, not the lead. Moving more towards a plant-based diet is a recipe for health, but doesn’t mean you must completely omit animal products.

Happy eating!

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for healthy recipes, nutrition tips and great nutrition articles.

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


Peach Berry Crumble with Crunchy Cereal Topping

Though every season offers beautiful fruits and veggies, summer fruit holds a special place in my heart, especially when it comes to dessert. Growing up, blueberry cobbler was one of my favorite summer treats.

peach berry crumbleNow, I’ve sworn up and down on this blog that I am not a baker, but fruit cobblers and crumbles are forgiving enough that even the pastry-challenged can pull off a winner. This lightened-up version serves one person perfectly, but you can easily multiply if you’re feeding a crowd. The topping gets it crunch from crushed cereal. I used Shredded Wheat here, but you can use whatever you like. Enjoy!


  • 1 small peach, sliced and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Wheat cereal, crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toss fruit with lemon juice and honey. Let sit 10 minutes and then arrange in a single-serving baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix coconut flour, cinnamon, cereal, and coconut oil until it becomes a crunchy, crumble texture.
  4. Press crumble on top of fruit in dish.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until fruit is soft and bubbling and topping is golden brown.
  6. Serve with plain Greek yogurt, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream if desired.

What’s your favorite summer dessert? 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Happy Sunday. How’s your weekend been? Welcome to weekly list of small, good things.

*I really love the light this time of year. Early yesterday morning I took a walk in Central Park—I need to do that more often.

On my way back, I picked up some much-needed groceries, chatted with the fruit-stand guy for a bit, and then came home and made a yogurt mess for breakfast. This morning it was a green smoothie with cereal and a drizzle of coconut oil on top, as I’ve been having almost all week. I usually prefer hot breakfasts, but this time of year, having something cold in the morning is so refreshing. green smoothie with cereal

*A cousin sent me this “guided meditation”  the other day, and it was so funny, I just had to share. If you’re sensitive to language, though, might want to sit this one out.

*Yesterday afternoon, I took advantage of a last-minute ticket deal and went to see Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton at Lincoln Center. So up my alley. I am not allowed to buy shoes this month, but I am allowed to spend my “fun money” on experiences like concerts and dinners out here and there. Totally worth the $49. At one point, Elfman himself actually came out and sang, like, all of The Nightmare Before Christmas with the orchestra. It was awesome.

*I have a new cocktail recipe coming your way watermelon mimosa

*I briefly mentioned on Wednesday that an old friend of mine passed away recently. It’s been a strange week, but one positive thing has been the music. Thinking about him got me thinking about all the different music we used to listen to riding around in the car or hanging out with friends on summer nights. A few bands I’ve been coming back to a lot this week that I had almost forgotten about are The Olivia Tremor Control, Sufjan Stevens, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

The first song I thought of when I heard he’d died was this one—it was like instant time travel ten years back to the very first time I heard it. I fully admit to crying like a dope in my kitchen as I unstacked the dishwasher. I actually had to sit down and just listen. Music can be very healing, even when we don’t totally understand how.

Sorry about all the feels posts this week. Thanks for reading anyway : )

What are some things that have brought you joy this week? 

What’s in Season?

salmon avocado toast and saladI always look forward to summer produce. Granted, I have favorites for every season, but there’s something I love about the simplicity of summer food. I can get all Alice Waters-romantic over a freaking arugula salad, and I am not in the least bit ashamed. Recently, I wrote an article for YouBeauty on some of my favorite seasonal superfoods that are at their peak right now.

I am all about the leafy greens and berries, and as a Jersey girl, I love my Jersey fresh tomatoes. Summer is also prime time for zucchinis, which I love raw (zoodles, anyone?), roasted, or grated and cooked into bread or even oatmeal (sweet or savory). Check out the article for more ideas of how to make the most of this season’s abundance of fruit & veggie goodness!

What are your favorite summer fruits and vegetables? Or any season, for that matter! 

Tropical Chex Mix (Gluten-Free)

I had a dream a few weeks ago that I went to a July Fourth potluck brunch at a childhood friend’s home. Almost everybody had brought something with blueberries in it: Fresh berries, blueberry sauce, blueberry juice, blueberry filling…the only thing without blueberries were plain hard-boiled eggs!

On that note, I thought that for this Fourth of July, I’d give you a recipe without a lick of red or blue in it. This Chex mix features tropical flavors that will be a hit on any holiday snack table. You can pack up any leftovers come Monday in your bag for work or as a snack for the kids. Enjoy!Tropical Chex Mix


  • 6 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 cup Dried Mango, cut intro strips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup Banana Chips
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flakes

Tropical Chex Ingredients


  1. Pour coconut oil over Chex. Mix well and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Add mango, banana chips, coconut flakes, and nuts (if using) to Chex.
  3. Pour Chex with mix-ins into a large Ziploc bag and shake well to mix.
  4. Allow to cool on wax paper.

(Makes 16 ½ -cup servings)

Variations: For extra protein, add 1 cup macadamia nuts.

What are your favorite summer desserts? 

Chocolate Black Bean Dip

apple and chocolate black bean dipI mentioned this recipe a few Fridays ago in the context of a post about chips & dip. If you’ve been reading a while, then you’re familiar with my mad scientist tendencies in the kitchen. One way you can think of this is as a sweet take on hummus. If it’s too sweet or not sweet enough, you can definitely play around with the amount of sweetener you use. The trick is to process this until very smooth s you forget all about the black beans. I swear you can’t even taste them! Aside from being delicious, this dip offers up plenty of fiber, plus some protein and healthy fats.

I like to dip tart green apple slices (I am all about sweet with sour), but you can use carrots, celery, or your favorite crackers. How about those Martha Stewart Triscuits? I tried them in South Carolina and can’t seem to find them anywhere now that I’m home. Sad-face. I am not a cracker person but these are so delicious, it’s probably a good thing I can’t get my hands on any!


  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (stevia, honey, maple syrup etc)
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips


  1. Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  2. Serve with crackers, sliced fruit, or on toast.


Do you have any weird-is-good favorites? 

What 3 pm slump?

One of the most common questions I get from clients is what types of afternoon snacks to eat to beat that 3 pm fog.

First off, you want to make sure you’re well hydrated. Even mild dehydration can cause us to feel sluggish, so keep a bottle of water within easy reach as a visual reminder to drink up. Some people might complain that having to get up to use the restroom every hour is a pain, but breaking up long period of sitting with a walk around the office is great for your overall health and will make your FitBt/Apple Watch/Garmin happy.

mini brie and appleIf you’ve got more than a few hours between lunch and dinner, it’s completely logical to need to eat something, so make a balanced snack a part of your day instead of beating yourself up about not “making it” to dinner. The siren call of the donuts in the break room or the chocolate and pretzels in the vending machine can be hard to resist, but what your body really needs to power through the rest of your day is some real food. Shocker, I know.

Aim for a mix of protein and fiber. Also, don’t be afraid of fat. Just remember that a little goes a long way. If you’re keeping an eye on calories, aim for 100 – 250 for a snack, depending on your personal needs and what else you’ve had to eat that day. And think outside the wrapper. Just because something doesn’t fit the traditional “snack”

Here are a few (or a lot of) ideas to get you started:


  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn tossed with 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • Celery and carrot sticks with peanut butter (or whatever nut/seed butter you like)
  • 1/4 cup of trail mix
  • Sliced veggies and 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of hummus
  • Bowl of whole grain cereal (~3/4-1 cup) with 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup dry roasted edamame with 1 tablespoon dried fruit
  • Fruit and nut bar or protein bar


  • 1/2 an avocado with a squirt of lemon juice, chia seeds, and sea salt
  • 1/2 a PB & J sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Simple smoothie of 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 handful spinach, 1 cup milk or kefir, and ice
  • Oatmeal made with cinnamon and 1/2 cup milk of choice. Don’t like milk or don’t have access to a mircowave? Make with hot water and add a tablespoon of chopped nuts on top.
  • 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, 1 tablespoon coconut flour, and a drizzle of honey


  • A piece of fruit and a tablespoon of nut butter or up to ¼ cup of nuts
  • 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and ½ cup berries. You can also add 1 tablespoon ground flax, coconut flour, or chia seeds
  • 1 square of dark chocolate with 2 tablespoons of nuts or 1 tablespoon each nuts and dried fruit
  • Half a baked sweet potato with a teaspoon of nut butter or coconut oil
  • 1 slice whole grain toast topped with a tablespoon of nut butter and berries
  • 1 slice whole grain toast topped with 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta and a drizzle of honey


  • 2 Hard-boiled eggs, side of sliced veggies
  • 1 Hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit
  • Low-sodium turkey roll ups with sliced cucumber
  • 1 ounce cheese (such as a single-serve cheddar stick, string cheese, or mini brie) and fruit
  • ½ cup steamed/microwaved edamame (about 1 cup pods)
  • 1 ounce turkey jerky, side of sliced veggies or fruit
  • 1 slice toast topped with hummus and a sliced hard-boiled egg
  • 1/2 a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • 1 small or 1/2 a large baked sweet potato topped with 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1 slice whole grain toast topped with 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta and roasted veggies

What are some of your go-to afternoon snacks? 

What to Make this Weekend: The sweet stuff

Happy Friday! What are you getting into this weekend? Can you believe we’re winding down the month of May? Where did all that time go? More importantly, summer is coming! For a lot of us, that means summer cook-outs* with friends and family.

I usually contribute some kind of vegetable-based dish and let the grill-masters tend to the meaty stuff, but that still leaves dessert up in the air. Warmer weather is prime time for frozen treats, making the post-dinner fro-yo run a popular outting. I already see a lot of people walking around NYC with a spoon in a cup.

Yogurt with chocolate granolaThough frozen yogurt still returns of that health halo from the fat-phobic 1990s, it’s still fairly high in sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation as opposed to an everyday thing, but there are certainly ways to make it  a healthier options. Toppings can make or break your fro-yo experience, so if you want some ideas for what to add, an article I wrote about healthier frozen yogurt toppings  appeared on YouBeauty earlier this week.

If frozen yogurt and ice cream aren’t your thing, summer is a great time to enjoy fruit-based desserts or even—shocker—fruit for dessert. I know, I know. I have to say these things. As a dietitian, I’m basically bound by law to remind you eat your fruits and veggies. Here are a few of my favorite summer dessert recipes:

And this dark chocolate coconut granola makes a great garnish.

All that said, nothing beats the real deal once in a while (think once or twice a month, as opposed to every other day), so whether it’s a piece of cake, an ice cream bar at the beach—whatever—enjoy a little bit guilt-free and get on with your life.

Also, because you’re going to want something to drink at said sumer cook-out, check out my suggestions for healthier summer cocktails.

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 


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