August 2011 archive
We got a few green tomatoes in our CSA this week and I immediately thought of my childhood favorite, fried green tomatoes. Growing up in Virginia, I’ve been lucky enough to eat FGT a handful of times, my favorite being after picking up fresh tomatoes and corn at the Chesterfield Berry Farm.
While I remember fried tomatoes being one of my favorite summer treats, I also remember the pile of oil they left behind. These are lighter on grease but still crunchy and flavorful. These make a perfect light meal paired with corn on the cob or a green salad.
2 large green tomatoes (unripe tomatoes)
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk (or other unflavored milk you have on hand)
1 lemon (optional)
Combine cornmeal, pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and flour in a bowl. Add almond milk to another bowl.
Slice the tomatoes relatively thin, a little bigger than 1/4″ thick.
Heat 1/4 cup canola oil in a cast-iron or non-stick skillet pan. Check to see that the oil is hot- if you shake a little bit of cornmeal into the hot oil it should sizzle and crisp up.
Dip the tomato slice into the milk, then the cornmeal, and then into the pan. Cook about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the tomato slices while they are still hot. Then eat, eat, eat and enjoy these last weeks of true summer! Hopefully you love them as much as I do.
Per serving (6): 278 calories, 20g fat, 25g CHO, 3.3g fiber, 3.7g protein
Flipping through a few popular magazines at Barnes and Nobles this weekend I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at articles promoting ‘best foods for flat abs,’ ‘the five foods you must be eating,’ and on and on.
Oh please. As a dietitian and a realist, articles like this and such focus on “Superfoods” make me crazy! No wonder I see so many clients with disordered eating patterns and confusion on what ‘healthy’ actually means; depending on the new trend of the month they’re either in or out with the latest antioxidant-rich product.
Superfoods, a food manufactures dream, are such items like gogi berries, pomegranates, and acai berries, promoted to superhero status and thought to have extraordinary health powers. I’m not dismissing the idea that some foods are healthier than others, of course that’s true. I’m dismissing the idea that eating one fruit over another is going to provide much said benefit.
Love pomegranates? Great, enjoy them in season along with a variety of other fruits like kiwis, strawberries, apples, oranges, and on. Hate kale? Why choke it down when there are plenty of other nutritious green foods like broccoli and spinach to enjoy. I see plenty of people in my office who are so focused on eating these touted super foods that they lose sight of the benefit of eating a well-rounded diet full of variety.
The perfect example of this concept is ‘Blue Zones’, places in the world where people commonly live past 100, mostly due to having healthier lifestyles than other areas. While each place had minor differences, similar dietary patterns kept emerging: high consumption of plant foods such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains as well as fish and poultry and decreased consumption of red and processed meat, refined grains, and sweets. This shows that dietary patterns, not individualized foods, are more beneficial.
Why all the fuss? For one, superfoods are typically more expensive than regular produce and harder to find. The nutrition industry should focus on promoting healthier eating for everyone not idolizing certain foods that you can only get at your local health food store or Whole Foods. I believe that this superfood mentality sets people up for failure when they start eating healthy. How many times have you heard that a banana is bad for you? I admit, I live in a different world where nutrition and food is a huge daily focus but I get these kind of statements all the time. I’ve had kids tell me they would rather have baked chips over a banana because bananas were too high in “bad carbs.”
I’m sure you can guess my response…
My main point is that when we look at places where people live long, healthy lives it is NOT because of one or two foods. It’s a lifestyle! Daily exercise and focusing on eating foods from foods groups like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans/legumes are key.
What do you think about the ‘Superfood’ idea?
This month’s Recipe Redux theme was Frozen Desserts and I immediately thought of fruity creamsicles. Popsicles are one of those foods that I rarely eat but always enjoy. They are just so fun! I looked everywhere for popsicle molds and finally found these at Bed Bath and Beyond. They have a little straw at the bottom so when the juice melts, you don’t miss a drop!
Mangoes are one of my favorite summer fruits and these tropical pops are really refreshing and simple to make. Plus, I got them for $0.25 each a few weeks ago at Raleys. Such a steal! Enjoy this while they are still in ‘season.’
Mango Coconut Popsicles
2 mangoes, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
2 tbsp. liquid sweetner, like light agave syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a blender. If it’s too thick, add a bit more coconut milk. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
Now check out what my other creative colleagues came up with!
Emma Stirling – The Scoop on Nutrition
Greek Yogurt Pavlova Popsicles
Cherie Schetselaar – Grain Crazy
Blackberry Lemon Almond Torte
Emma Cutfield-The Hearty Heart
Coconut Ice, Blueberry and Cocoa, Joint Healing Dessert
Carlene Helble- Carlene’s Figments
Peanut Butter Banana ‘Ice Cream’ Sandwich
Janel Funk – Eat Well with Janel
Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream
Kat Lynch – Eating The Week
Coconut Chia-Seed Fruit Pops
Dr Barb, Nutrition Budgeteer
Simply Fruit Mango-Pineapple Sorbet
Rebecca Scritchfield – MeFirst
5-minute Frozen Peach Pie
gretchen – kumquat
chocolate “ice cream” bars
Emily Greenfield – The Nutriscientist
Honey and strawberry semifreddo
Liz Marr – Liz On Food
Peach Lavender Ice Cream
Elizabeth Jarrard- Don’t (White) Sugar-Coat It
Adult Popsicles: Frozen Boozy Treats
Regan – The Professional Palate
Frozen Samoa Pie
Liz Weiss & Janice Newell Bissex – Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen
Healthy Blueberry and Mango Snow Cones
Jessica Fishman Levinson – Nutritioulicious
Karman Meyer- Nutrition Adventures
Coconut Ice Cream with Strawberry Puree
Yuri – Chef Pandita
Acerola Chia Lime Popsicles
Kristen Bourque- Swanky Dietitian
Peanut Butter Coffee Popsicles
EA Stewart-The Spicy RD
Luscious Lemonade Pie
Danielle Omar – Food Confidence RD
Banana Soft Serve
Katie Caputo- East Meats West
Auntie Rosie’s Ice Cream Pie
Alysa Bajenaru – Inspired RD
Kara Lydon – Peace, Love, and Food
Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream” With Dark Chocolate
Serena Ball- Teaspoon of Spice
Splendid Key Lime Frozen Yogurt
Nicole Ferring Holovach – Whole Health RD
Peaches and Rum Ice Cream Pie
Lisa @ Healthful Sense
Peanut Butter Vanilla Soft Serve
Jackie Mills – Delicious Diabetes Cooking
Summer Fruit Popsicles
Audra Losey – Nutrition Know How
Kristina LaRue – Love and Zest
Frozen Berry Yogurt
Have you eaten Millet before? In trying to incorporate whole grains into your life, Millet is a very versatile grain perfect in salad, hot cereal, ground in baked goods, or used anywhere you would rice. I only tried millet a few years ago and LOVE it. This gluten-free seed is high in both fiber and magnesium, a nutrient shown to lower high blood pressure. I recently made this Millet pilaf, very similar to other fresh herb and grain salads that I often make. To me, it’s lighter than couscous or brown rice and I love the combination of basil and tomatoes.
1 cup uncooked millet, rinsed
1 large handful basil, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, finely diced
3 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
Toast millet in a large saucepan, stirring often until lightly toasted. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the vegetable broth. Place the pan back on the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low heat until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Fluff millet with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except the lemon juice and olive oil.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, salt/pepper. Add to the millet salad and toss together.
Per serving 417g (4); 358 calories, 16g fat, 42g Carbohydrates, 5.5g fiber, 1og protein
These Millet Patties are from The Kind Life website. They were pretty good but I think next time I would add more seasonings. However, this is a great way to use up leftover millet!
What Millet recipes do you like?