Yellow and Red Bell Pepper Strips.
Garden Vegetable Hummus.
Who says veggies are boring?
Yellow and Red Bell Pepper Strips.
Garden Vegetable Hummus.
Who says veggies are boring?
I had a hankering to bake today.
To blend and mix and whip.
With butter and sugar and that kind of thing.
I think people are often surprised to learn how much many dietitians enjoy baking (and eating said baked goods!) Many of us are foodies by nature, and so we jump at the chance to bake whenever we can.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that we add a gazillion calories to every single baked good that we make (although there is a time and place for that too!) I often like to put recipes to the test with some of these subtle little tweaks.
My Top 4 Ways To Make a “Healthier” Cookie:
1. Cut the sugar in half.
Unless your recipe is already “healthier” to begin with (say, from Cooking Light or Eating Well), you can easily cut the sugar in half without noticing any changes.
2. Substitute half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat flour has a nice nutty texture that pairs perfectly with many cookies (especially chocolate chip!) You can try different proportions of all purpose to whole wheat, but I’ve found that simply cutting it 50/50 gives the best texture without taking away any fluffiness! By doing this, you’re instantly adding a little fiber and good-for-you nutrients.
3. Cut the butter in 1/4 to 1/2.
Different recipes will lend different results. Try different proportions and see what works for you. If you find that it results in a dry cookie, try adding in an equal measurement of unsweetened applesauce (e.g., if the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup applesauce.)
4. Shrink the portions.
This needs no explanation. Shrink the size of your cookies and suddenly having two with a glass of milk isn’t such a big deal. I have a special tablespoon cookie scoop that automatically keeps my portions in check!
Ingredients you shouldn’t be be worrying about…
After all is said and done, enjoy a couple of your favorite cookies! There is always room in a healthy diet for a cookie or two.
Just keep an eye out.
You never know who may want to steal them.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - with subtle “healthy” changes
The important thing to remember in “healthifying” a cookie recipe is that we’re talking dessert. You want the final result to remain rich, satisfying, sweet, delicious. The moment you cross the border of it being dry and tasteless is the moment you’ve gone too far. Have fun and tweak your recipes slowly to see what works!
After working an 8 day work week with one off-day in between, I feel a little like pac-man. It’s all go, go, go and no time to stop. So when I do have the chance to stop (hello, weekend!) I like to indulge in some of my favorite activities.
First on the agenda?
Cooking! My mom graciously does most of the cooking during the week, as she typically comes home before my dad and I do. But on Saturday? I like to take over. Muffins, granola, soups, you name it. Cooking makes me feel deliciously happy and normal and calm.
Here are some of my ”must-have” cookbooks!
1. Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
For all my go-to needs. This is the cookbook that I pull out when I want a classic sugar cookie recipe. Or granola. These are some tried and true recipes that never disappoint.
2. Moosewood Cookbook
Cauliflower pie. Split pea soup. Rustic corn bread. All my favorites, all in one cookbook. This is a rustic, charming book filled with fun drawings and fantastic recipes. Out of all the cookbooks I own, this one has the most stains on each page; the true telling of a well loved cookbook.
3. Clean Food
I’m always looking to incorporate more veggies/fruits/whole grains into my diet in a natural, whole foods way. This cookbook does all of that while keeping the tastebuds in mind. It also breaks up the recipes into 4 seasons, which I love. Because who eats grilled tempeh pineapple kebabs in the middle of winter?
4. Cooks Illustrated Light Cookbook
I love any of Cooks Illustrated’s cookbooks. My brother and his girlfriend bought me a year subscription to their magazine and I pour over each recipe ever month (honestly, it’s borderline obsessive!) I especially love this particular cookbook which takes all of the best recipes and lightens them up.
My favorite? Turkey meatloaf with a brown sugar glaze.
Now it’s time to get to work.
Making some pumpkin muffins. Going for a run. Shopping at the craft store with my sister.
That kind of work. ;) Happy Saturday!
QUESTION: What are YOUR favorite cookbooks?
After a week long running hiatus, I decided to lace up my sneaks and hit the road for a little 4-mile run yesterday. It was going against “plan”, but it just felt right.
(In other words, when New England hits 50 degrees in mid-January, you just gotta ‘run’ with it!)
I guess my metabolism got used to not doing anything over this past week, because this morning I woke up hungry!!! Thank goodness for breakfast.
I went through a spurt when I had breakfast cookies every.single.morning. Now I have them less often but I still like to make them a regular entry into my breakfast routine.
A cold morning meal served with a side of ice cold, unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
(Subconsciously I’m pretending it’s summer. A girl can dream. )
With a full belly and happy taste buds, I’m now I’m ready for my day to begin.
Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Cookie
QUESTION: What are you enjoying for breakfast this morning?
Okay, okay. I’ve always had a love affair with these simple little bars. But even more so lately. I have one (literally) every afternoon on my ride home from work. They fill me up and satisfy my sweet tooth. And I love that there are only a few simple ingredients (dates + nuts) with no added sugars!
(this is my current favorite flavor…it tastes just like a desserty lemon bar!)
2. Clean Eating Magazine
Full of recipes,tips, suggestions. I love the concept of clean eating and I love the magazine too!
3. Teavana Tumbler
I have a new found obsession with loose leaf tea, and this tumbler by Teavana allows me to have loose leaf tea anywhere and on the go. It makes every morning a cheery one.
(right now I’m also enjoying Teavana’s White Chocolate Mint loose leaf tea which is incredible!)
4. Itzy Ritzy Snack Happens Reusable Snack and Everything Bag
In a never ending effort to be more “green,” I decided that one area in which I waste a lot is in ziploc and mini sandwich bags. Handful of almonds? Into a bag. Cluster of grapes? Into a bag. Triscuit crackers? Into a bag.
And then. Into the trash basket that night. Ugh.
This bag (available at Target) doesn’t solve all of my problems. I still waste more than I care to admit. But it’s one step closer to minimizing waste! And I love the fun designs.
5. Day Planner
Nothing makes me day go smoother than when I’m completely organized. I honestly can’t imagine life without my organizer! I mark down everything from “library books are due” to “birthday party” to “start preparing for in-service”. It makes my life way easier!
I always get mine at Target. They’re cheap and convenient!
What are you currently loving?
Every once in a while, it has to happen.
I highly recommend it.
Whether you’re a gym warrior, a daily walker, a zoomba queen, etc., there’s something very refreshing about taking one, two, three or even four weeks off from your regular routine. It can literally help ward off an injury, as your body is able to recover and repair all of the nicks and muscle tears that have taken repeated abuse.
The first time I took a week long break after hitting some high weekly running mileage, I felt really, really strange. I felt as if all of my hard earned efforts were suddenly going to deflate like a giant air balloon. One week of…nothing. It just felt plain wrong.
But then, something wonderful happened.
By the end of the week, I wanted desperately to be running again. I missed the chill of the winter air and I missed the crunch beneath my feet. I missed making goals. I felt, in one word, refreshed. Both physically and mentally.
I try to take at least one or two running hiatuses per year. Or whenever I feel that I’m getting tired of the routine of getting up early in the morning to hit the roads (yes, it happens!) I don’t set a hard and fast rule of when to do it, but I will say that it seems to happen in January or February when the negative temperatures start to climb.
This is my current running hiatus plan:
Week 1: No running. Walk as desired (probably not very often considering the dark mornings/nights and -0 wind chill factors!). Two sessions of yoga to keep me loose and happy.
Week 2: Cut normal weekly running mileage in half. Run 3 times only and keep long run to 2/3 normal mileage. Two sessions of yoga. 30 minutes of indoor biking, twice per week (which my sister is so graciously letting me use for the week!)
Week 3: Bump running back up to 5x per week but keep total weekly mileage to 3/4 normal mileage. Two sessions of yoga.
Week 4: Resume normal running routine. Two sessions of yoga.
QUESTION: Have you ever taken a running or workout hiatus? What do you feel are the pros and cons?
Today’s goal: run 6 miles in 6 degree weather.
It happened, but it honestly took a little extra convincing this morning. Especially since Humphrey decided to sleep in, which honestly sounded like a pretty good idea.
Although I think he got up on the wrong side of the bed, because he was a little grumpy for the rest of the day.
Oh, Humphrey (this is his grumpy face!)
Post run, I ate a quick snack of almonds and fruit, and then I prepped myself for the day. Nicole and I hit the stores for some birthday preparation stuff (and starbucks…always starbucks!) to celebrate my Mom’s birthday!
We all wrapped our gifts up but I think Dad took the prize this year for the best wrapped gifts. He left little notes on each of his wrapped gifts.
Mom’s choice for dinner was to select a variety of in-house roasted meats from Whole Foods (ham, turkey, roast beef) and to make grinders. Complete with pickles, olives, some local baby swiss cheese and potato chips. Yum!
We toasted the rolls under the broiler in order to get the cheese all meltey and amazing.
My own personal contribution to the meal was the hot apple crisp.
This is my favorite, no-fail recipe, courtesy of my mom. I love that it only takes 30 minutes. I popped it in the oven just as we started eating so that it would be piping out by the time we were ready for dessert.
Followed by decaf coffee, oldies music and silly games.
Happy Birthday, Mom!! We all love you so much!