Category Archives: FOOD

Cooking. Kitchen. Food.

Portoburgers

There is something about the smell of BBQ–even in 100 degree heat–that makes me soooo happy. BUT if I keep eating mystery meat hotdogs and ground beef, no amount of yoga will save me. SO I decided on a healthy vegetarian alternative to burgers and fries… Grilled portobello and a side salad (hold the groans, please.)

I don’t have a grill so I use a griddle, which I must say, works wonders. I even have those beautiful little grill lines on everything.

The portobello mushroom caps usually come 2-3 per package at any grocery store. My rule is to eat one with the bun like a proper burger then eat one without (to keep the calories in check.)

For fixens I grilled onions,  grape tomato halfs and artichoke hearts and added sliced avocado. No dressing or mayo–just a bit of olive oil and freshly grated pepper. I probably pile on an extra 200 calories in condiments when I eat burgers and fries so I chose to leave those options off the menu and eat clean.

I put the portobellos on the griddle pan with the halved grape tomatoes and halved artichoke hearts. The onions I sliced and sauteed in a regular frying pan. I sliced the avocado the short way (is that even the correct terminology? I don’t know but you get it.) For the side salad I chopped up Romaine  lettuce with baby carrots, cucumbers and a few grape tomatoes. I made an asian-style dressing by mixing approximately a table spoon of Rice vinegar, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Lemon, a little water and a dollop of Dijon mustard. You can alter the measurements to taste–sometimes I skip the mustard because it’s a little overpowering.

The dish was delishhhhh and I didn’t feel guilty or stuffed. I think the portoburgers will make a repeat appearance this week, too.

  • 5 Portobello Mushroom caps (DEAL: $2.49 per package TraderJoe’s)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts (DEAL: $2.69 at Whole Foods 365 brand)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion(sliced not chopped)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Freshly Grated Black Pepper
  • Whole wheat Burger Buns (Ciabatta rolls are also PERFECT)

Super Summer Fruit Salad

Summer is the easiest season to stay healthy and eat light. Not only is it too hot for fatty rich foods but who wants to turn the stove or oven on in sweltering 91-degree heat? It is so easy to throw a no-cook option together for breakfast, lunch…or dinner. There are cheap fruit stands on every corner and a local farmer’s markets in nearly every neighborhood–pick something up on your way home–no excuses!

It is a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are essential since they function by acting as co-factors to help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fats

This recipe was inspired by a video by Iswari Super Foods starring yogis Lea and Tarik of www.loveashtangayoga.com.

ALL of the ingredients are available in the States in the exotic fruit section of any grocery store–perhaps in small towns it is easier to stick to the basic fruits and order the supplements online. You can also modify the recipe to suit your taste.

SUMMER SUPER SALAD INGREDIENTS (for the fruit salad in the video)

Papaya

Mango

Banana

Rambutan

Pineapple

Watermelon

Spirulina (raw/natural powder)

Chia Seeds

Hemp Seeds

Raw Cocoa Nibs

Cashew Nuts

Iswari Super Foods also features other fruits such as Mangosteen and Longan, which are not included in their salad but should definitely be a part of your exotic fruit basket. They’re super tasty and super good for you…

Longan is said to invigorate the heart and spleen, nourish the blood and have a calming effect on the nervous system.

Mangosteen "The Queen of Fruit"

In my breakfast-version of this fruit salad I used Yogurt as a base and added some fruit with spirulina and semp seeds on top. I’ll pick up Chia seeds on my next visit to Bell Bates.

The deep green color of the Spirulina with the vibrant orange and yellow of the fruit mixed with the creamy white yogurt makes me think of an art project but it was DELISHHHHHHH!!!

SUPER SUMMER BREAKFAST FRUIT SALAD

Greek Yogurt

Papaya

Mango

Spirulina

Hemp Seeds

I picked everything up in Chinatown from street vendors or at my favorite Hong Kong Market on Hester Street. The supplements are from Bell Bates (Reade Street b/n Chuch and W. Broadway). I found raw Spirulina at Whole Foods for double the price of Bell Bates…if I can’t afford to support the local farmers I can at least support small business in New York!

Rambutans are high in vitamin C, plus copper, manganese, and trace elements of many other nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and iron

What I found is that for new and exotic fruits it’s important to ask a lot of questions about how to select, prepare and store everything but if that’s not an option (my communication with the kind little old ladies running the fruit stands in Chinatown were limited to nodding and pointing…) try the next best thing: Google.

I also used the Papaya peel as directed in the video and my skin was GLOWING! Not only does papaya help with digestion but it also contains papain, a leading ingredient in skin whitening products. It is a natural enzyme that promotes skin renewal and cell turnover. Wash your face first to clean the skin, then just rub the fruit side of the papaya peel on your face (coat the fruit all over your skin) to exfoliate the skin and help reduce the signs of aging. You can also use the seeds for tenderizing meat or like peppercorns–just place them on a plate/paper towel to dry for a week or so.


Supercook

If you’re like me you might have a few creative shortcomings when it comes to planning a decent meal. I have spent more time that I’d like to see in writing standing in my kitchen oscillating between cupboard and refrigerator trying to build a meal with random ingredients. And I won’t tell you how many times I’ve settled on pasta aglio olio for sustenance. Inspiration is easy when I’m strolling down the fresh produce aisles at Whole Foods (whole pay check) but before long those overpriced fruits and vegetables start producing penicillin in the back of my fridge. I’m trying to work within my unemployment budget and avoid defaulting on my student loans so stretching a dollar is important. I also spend so much of my energy searching for easy recipes on Food Network or AllRecipe that by the time I actually eat the slop I managed to put together–I’m exhausted and OVER IT.

I found this great website called Supercook that shows members, “how to waste less food, how to use up perishable or seasonal ingredients, how to keep track of everything in the kitchen, how to save time and money.” It is basically a virtual pantry that links to all of the online recipe content.


Let’s say you just picked up some gorgeous scallops from the tall-dark-dreamy fish monger at your local farmer’s market–you can select a main ingredient from your to work around and Supercook will list available recipes found online using what you have in your “pantry” (less random searching.) The recipes listed are not shady, they’re from reputable sources like Food Network and Martha Stewart. You can also filter the recipe results by starters, entrees and desserts AND you can list exclusions for recipes to eliminate certain foods like dairy, meat, shellfish, gluten or nuts depending on your current dietary restrictions.  It will indicate that “you have everything you need for this recipe” or  list missing ingredients for certain recipes as a shopping guide. I literally take my laptop into the kitchen and list ALL of the ingredients I have. Yes, even the baking soda and sea salt.

My latest recipe took all of one minute to find via Supercook: Martha Stewart’s No-Knife Pasta Recipe (I will have to add some protein to my “pantry” later this week):

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium tomatoes (about 2 pounds) cored and torn into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup coarsely torn basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely torn oregano leaves
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, torn into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and
    cook until al dente, according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, olive oil, oregano, garlic, and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature up to 8 hours.
  3. Drain spaghetti in a colander and add to tomato mixture. Add mozzarella and toss to combine. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.