Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seasonal Salad (tomato zuchini salad/dressing)

Seasonal eating is great, especially if you live in Florida or the Mediterranean. In Rhode Island or the Northeast, seasonal eating is great in the summer through fall, then it starts to get a little shabby. Although, if you pay attention to buying seasonal fruits and vegetables when you go grocery shopping, meaning what is growing now (the closer to you it grows the better) than you will find the produce you eat to be so much more satisfying. Tomatoes in the winter, yuck. Apples in the summer, cardboard. Eating seasonally will keep you in touch with what these fruits and veggies are supposed to taste like.

But in the summer, it is easy and we like that. We can buy seasonal and we can buy local and eat like kings. Like this simple summer salad, all from our local CSA.

2 med sized zuchini
1/2 container of cherry tomatoes halved
1 white, yellow, or red onion sliced
1 small eggplant skinned
1 ball fresh mozzarella cubed

Roast the eggplant and onion for 10 minutes tossed in olive oil and sea salt.
Add zuchini and roast for another 10 minutes (this will help to leave a little crunch in the zuchinin)
Take out of oven and let cool as you make dressing

1/4 cup balsamic
1/4 olive oil
1 Tbl dried basil (use fresh if you have it, just add more)
1 1/2 Tbl honey

Put dressing ingredients in jar with lid and shake shake shake.
Toss all ingredients together (roasted veggies don't need to be cooled all the way, just best if they aren't hot hot)
You can get away with using about 1/2-3/4 of the dressing (save the rest for our next recipe!)

Not So Naughty Nachos

I was talking with my mother and we were discussing our favorite "naughty" foods. I have to admit that there aren't too many foods I feel guilty eating, if I want something I eat and enjoy (of course how you feel after may not rate high on the enjoyment scale), but there are foods that I know aren't great for you which I do on occasion indulge. My mother's food of naught choice was nachos. Silly me, I hardly ever thought too badly of nachos, but that may have just been denile. Of course nachos and their dirtyness have all to do with where you get them and how they are made.

When working with clients around comfort foods, I usually suggest making the same food you love when you go out to eat, at home, and with healthier ingredients. I have a client that loves chicken wings and beer. She found that if she made chicken wings at home and worked them into a 2 week meal rotation she good enjoy chicken wings and beer, and didn't have the nagging craving. Without going to the bar where they are served, she also didn't end up drinking more than she'd planned and eating fried wings. At home they were eaten more slowly with 1 beer and made with olive oil in the oven...big difference!

So once my mother mentioned nachos, they were on my mind in a big way. I can't say I experience loads of cravings, but usually when a food that I like is mentioned, I can't shake the urge till satisfied. So instead of going to the Mohegan Cafe and dropping 15 bucks on greasy, cheaply made nachos I decided to do them at home.

Baked Blue Corn Chip (salt free)
Grass Fed Organic aged cheddar
Org. Kidney Beans
Org. Tomatoes
Org. Red Onion
Org. Plain Yogurt (instead of sour cream)
Org. avocado and lime juice (mashed into guacamole)
Jar of Org. Corn Salsa

These ingredients versus cheap fried corn chips, non-organic factory farmed cheese, canned chili, shredded ice berg, sour cream, and salsa. They were easy to make and really delicious. The night I made them, we watched a movie and enjoyed our snacky finger food meal, guilt free of course. We all need nights like this every so often, what is your naughty food, and how can you make it not so naughty?