It seems the last several weeks have had their share of indulgent meals, so I was craving something easy and light to help even things out. That’s when I remembered a health tip a fitness instructor told me years ago. She said an easy way to add a nutritional punch to any smoothie is to replace the ice cubes with frozen broccoli. Broccoli? In a smoothie? I imagine we had the same reaction to that suggestion: “ew, gross!” She swore you cannot taste the broccoli, and you get the same texture as if ice were used. Chrystal and I are always on the hunt for new cooking tricks and easy food tips, especially when it comes to healthy eating. I gave it some more thought, and my curiosity started to outweigh my dubious feelings. Can’t taste the broccoli, huh? Guess there’s only one way to find out!
It just might be perfect timing that one of the last recipes featured on the site showed you how to make an alfredo-esque sauce using acorn squash. An easy way to trick the brain into enjoying a healthier version of a creamy sauce for pasta. Well, what you see above is another slick use of veggies if you will. Sometimes when you trick people with a clever food surprise, they either love you for it or feel a little wary of what other things you may have been slipping onto their plate. Maybe you have to ride the line of when to tell them all the details. But you’re only doing them a favor, right? Just keep saying that to yourself until you feel comfortable with your cunning ways.
Tofu does not have a good reputation amongst our circle of friends. They just do not enjoy its texture, flavor or appearance. It’s hard to even trick them into trying it! Once they see something that may even resemble a block of soybean curd, they recoil with fear and most of the time disgust. They also wonder why do non-vegetarians bother eating tofu anyways? Well, that’s a good question. A good answer is “Why not?” Tofu is easy to incorporate into millions of recipes, and it’s the blank slate that can take on any flavor. Tofu is inexpensive, and its variety of textures make it easy to appeal to whatever your tastes may be. If you treat it right, it will do you right. Then, maybe, you will become a convert like so many other folks out there.
Not too long ago, we celebrated two years of this website’s existence, and we opened the doors to your constructive criticism. We enjoy finding ways to make our blog stand out and also be better. To that end, we wanted to know what you enjoy, what you could do without and what dishes you’d like to see. You guys were so encouraging, which is always nice. A couple of our readers got straight to the point and asked for healthier recipes. This was valid. It’s not always cupcakes and cookies over here, but we do make a number of more decadent dishes. That being said, we’re going to try to shake in a few more well-rounded meals, so you don’t think we survive on ice cream and pop tarts alone.
Thanksgiving is now over, but there are still several weeks of holiday parties left in this winter season. With numerous celebrations underway or looming in the near future, it’s almost overwhelming. We both love food, and we enjoy cooking for ourselves and friends, but sometimes–just sometimes–you have to take a break and try to bring your body down from the sugar highs (and lows). Plus, if we must admit, we’ve both stored a few extra pounds from all of the sugar, flour and butter that goes into the winter time baked goods. There’s no time like today to keep your jeans from going up one size before the New Year, so let’s see what we can do.
How many times have you been so focused on doing something that you miss a very important step? Like adding butter to your cupcakes. There must be lots of heads shaking right now–either because you agree that that was very silly or, hopefully, because you’ve done it too. Maybe Pandora was playing a favorite song that just begged to be belted out. Or maybe Oprah was emphatically yelling the name of her daily guest, and one had to see what was going on. It’s also possible to put the blame on the butter not being on the counter. But no, the butter was on the counter. Oprah was not on. Pandora was playing, but it wasn’t that loud. The butter was just forgotten–forgotten in all its room temperature glory. When they went into the oven, there was a small prayer said with the hopes that these cupcakes would survive 20 minutes of baking. Would they shrivel up into a dry brick of beet? Only time would tell.
It seems everyday we learn that one of our good friends loves to cook and does it often. And not frozen dinner, food-out-a-box-heat-it-in-the-microwave type of cooking. They’re actually doing it up in the kitchen–fancy dishes from scratch, using fresh ingredients, and plating the food in ornate styles with decorative garnishes. Maybe we’re just getting older, but it’s clear that times have changed since beans and weenies, ramen and instant macaroni and cheese out of that blue and yellow box dominated dorm room food. Has it been that long since graduation? Yikes!
When we found out an old college friend of ours, Billy, is now a passionate cook and throws down in the kitchen, we were floored! We should aware of such things, being the avid cooks that we are. Sadly, though, this is not always the case, especially when separated by all of those states between California and the East coast. Billy was excited to share his favorite, all-time greatest, best ever dish in life, which happened to be a healthy salad. It’s exciting for us because we felt his enthusiasm for this dish. So much so, we will be making it for …
If you’re the kind of person who equates salad with lettuce and only lettuce, then today’s recipe will be a lovely change of pace for you. If you are the kind of person who adores couscous, then today’s recipe will be one that you must make now. Don’t waste another second. Two friends hosted a Moroccan-themed dinner party, and the side dish requirement needed to be filled. Couscous is a versatile, quick grain that you can make in less than 5 minutes and dress up however you like. Plus, it’s good for you! You can’t go wrong with this one. That’s why you can’t go wrong with this salad.
One of the best parts of summer is finding ways to eat in a lighter fashion. Don’t get the wrong idea. You will still see lots of desserts popping up this summer and maybe a few more cocktails, but don’t think that’s all we eat. We like our protein and veggies as much as the next person, and we both find ways to create balanced meals for the majority of our eating. If you have a hard time squeezing in healthy servings of the food pyramid, try wrapping them in flakey, crispy dough. Maybe phyllo dough if you’re feeling frisky. It’s light and airy and provides just the crunch you need when paired with fresh salmon, spinach and feta cheese.
There’s something about eggplants that make them super tasty. Not sure what it is, but they’re good. The fact that they are so versatile, it’s easy to work them into a variety of dishes. Carb cravings came on strong, and it was time to have a little pasta. Pasta and eggplants! Now, sometimes you have to cut corners to make things happen. Perhaps you shouldn’t do it if you’re running a marathon or taking the SAT, but we’re talking about cooking here. There are no ingredient police hanging out in our ‘hood, so it’s OK to cheat when necessary. It seems like whenever we want to do something good and fast, our friend Joe (yes, the one who is a Trader) always hooks it up! We had this really great jar of eggplant spread that hadn’t been opened, and it seemed like the next best thing to a fresh eggplant.