Health Kickin’

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So, my birthday just happened, and since I’m a youngest child, it’s more of a birth week…fine…birth fortnight. Anyway, needless to say, much self-indulgence occurred in the form of champagne, whiskey, and spaghetti.IMG_8583So, my newly twenty-seven year old self is trying to take it easy for a couple of days before heading to my parents’ in Boston for what I’m sure will be another weekend of Kobayashi-style power-eating and drinking.

When I’m trying to cut back a bit, I know I have to cook for myself. I can delude myself into thinking that the restaurant salads and sashimi are going to make me feel better, but the truth is, you never know what’s in it. Or, it’s straight butter, and that’s why it’s delicious…I digress.

So, after a trip to the grocery store yesterday I decided to make my version of a health bowl–something packed with veggies and protein, but not so light that I’m hungry every two hours.

When I do this, I usually combine things from the following categories, which you can definitely mix and match:
a grain (in this case, I used basmati brown rice, which I cooked according to the directions, and subbed beef broth for water so it was more flavorful)DSC_0474

cooked greens (I just sautéed baby spinach in a hot nonstick pan until it wilted, and then minced one clove of garlic on top and took it out of the pan as soon as the garlic was fragrant)IMG_8574

raw veggies (I’m obsessed with cucumber, so I peeled and de-seeded it–which is totally your choice, it’s fine with seeds and peel–and chopped it up with a sprinkling of this fancy salt. I also used half an avocado)

IMG_8575protein (I bought some pricey but delicious Tonnino tuna filets in olive oil and threw some in so I wasn’t ravenous in an hour)

IMG_8581IMG_8580dressing (The tahini-lemon dressing from this Smitten Kitchen recipe reproduced below, is absolutely delicious–a go-to of mine– and the perfect compliment to everything else in the bowl)

IMG_8582For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste
Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

Behold, a filling, healthy, veggie-filled tasty meal that can be assembled with a number of other ingredients.

Healthy Hunkering Down

So, it’s still January, and eating healthy is all the rage. Nevermind that it’s freezing out, which to me obviously equals melted cheese and meaty stews. Regardless, when I’m eating healthy, I still need to eat hearty or I’m hangry. Lots of “h”s but it’s true! This light meal is one of my faves and excuse the sub-par photographs…as I said, I was hangry!

Roasted salmon with Asian Flavors.DSC_0098 Continue reading

Tofu (no but really)

DSC_0071So, January is all about feeling bloated from the Holidays, having one healthy meal and then realizing it’s just too damn cold to eat salads. Right?
Well, one of my favorite healthy things to eat that will actually satiate my appetite is…tofu. I know. It’s not always the cool kid on the block, but it’s getting there! And if properly prepared, marinated in a delicious concoction and thrown atop a grain-filled salad, it’s the coolest kid I know.

I’ve had more than a couple of tofu mishaps, and I’ve learned that there is one absolutely, positively necessary step: pressing the tofu.

First, set the tofu on a piece of paper towel on a plate:DSC_0061

Then, using any means necessary (or a collection of heavy kitchen-y items)

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press the tofu between plates and paper towels until it looks more like this (and everything is thoroughly drenched):DSC_0063

Then, cut up

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 marinade in something pre or homemade (I love some of the Korean marinades or Teriyaki sauce), and roast (or sear) and you’ll have this:DSC_0066

Pickle Pantry Essential #15

Pickle Pantry Essential #15: Farro
In between my bouts of hugely calorific eating, I usually try and cook myself fairly healthy meals. These often consist of fresh and cooked vegetables with some sort of cheese and hummus. Perhaps a cracker if I’m feeling frisky. However, so often I find that just an hour or so later, I’m hungry again. Whole grains have helped me hugely, providing the best kind of carbs out there, and putting energy into your body. Farro, an Italian wheat product, is slightly chewy, wholesome and totally easy to prepare. Sprinkled on top, or as the base of a salad, it’ll keep you full for hours!images

*Image courtesy of Latavolamarche.blogspot.com