Monthly Archives: June 2010

Vegetarian Finals Feast!

So between finals (aaahh) and packing up to leave for France for a week on a bike trip/wine trip with my family, I have been dissapointingly MIA on the blogfront.  However, between all that craziness I did have time for a little vegetarian feast with my little sister, R, the family vegetarian/sustainable farming guru/all around awesome chica.  I come bearing the most unbelievably delicious, perfect summer recipe!  CORN PANCAKES!  Yes…you heard right.  Fresh summer corn in a delicious pancake.  What could be better??  Oh yea…and three pancakes are 110 calories and 4 g of fat.  We ate them with a little greek yogurt and scallion on top, and then I had them the next morning with some honey, although maple syrup would be great too.  And I honestly would eat them every day for the rest of my life if I could (they are THAT good).

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Vegetarian Times Magazine:


  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Bring pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and cook corn kernels 1 minute. Drain well.  (You can also use two cups of frozen corn)
  2. Combine milk, eggs and butter in bowl, and beat well. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; fold into egg mixture. Fold in corn kernels. Let batter rest 20 minutes.
  3. Spray griddle or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Pour batter onto cooking surface in 1/4-cup amounts. Cook until bottoms of pancakes are set and golden; flip over, and cook other side of pancakes until golden. Repeat until all batter is used up. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts:

Per SERVING (3 pancakes):

Calories 110
Protein 4g
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 2g
Carbs 16g
Cholesterol 40mg
Sodium 370mg
Fiber 1g
Sugar 2g

Biggest loser…biggest winner?

So the other day I was doing a little channel surfing in between bouts of studying for FINALS (aka please kill me now!) and I happened upon a new show that I had been wanting to check out…”Losing it with Jillian Michaels”.  Some of you may have heard of Jillian Michaels from her other famous show, “The Biggest Loser”.

The premise of this show, is slightly different from Biggest Loser.  Jillian basically is making housecalls.  One “lucky” family gets her to stay in her house for a week.  Usually one (or all) of the family members are extremely overweight and often facing serious problems that come with being overweight (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension..etc).  The family members of course evaluated by a doctor, and then Jillian arrives, guns blazing, ready to turn the family around in a week.  After a week of grueling workouts (with typical Jillian Michaels behavior — yelling in your face, berating you, and being a drill sergeant), “lifestyle” changes — such as cleaning out an entire house of one of the contestants who was a hoarder, and lessons on nutrition and healthy eating, Jillian departs to return 6 weeks later and check on the family’s progess…AND award them with money from

Certainly, the idea of making life changes and moving towards being healthy is great.  But I have to say, I think the message that this show ultimately sends is this “Lose weight fast!  And make money too!”  What happens to these families a year later…when they no longer are getting daily guidance from Jillian and no longer have the monetary incentive to stay healthy?  In my own personal life, when I finally lost weight, it wasn’t because I hadn’t tried before…it was because being healthy became a way of life.  Waking up in the morning, going for a run, and eating healthy the rest of the day (for the most part!) became a part of my ROUTINE.  The incentive was getting my life back and having control of MY DESTINY.  Certainly the families that opted to participate in the show wanted to lose weight.  But I think the overall message that this sends is that losing weight is quick and easy, whereas the healthy way to lose weight and keep it off is much more gradual — making small, healthy changes that really count.  Losing weight isn’t quick or easy, there isn’t some magic pill or procedure that will make it come off.  Losing weight is a frustrating.  It’s a struggle.  It’s hard work.  I’m not gonna sugar-coat that one.  But once you establish healthy habits and make them routine, maintaining that lifestyle is easy in comparison.  It’s just a matter of getting off your butt and making a change — and you don’t need Jillian Michaels to do that, you just need to believe in yourself.

Pass the Peas Please

After an interesting weekend, I’m finally at home and working on a paper for class all day.  In my need to procrastinate from said paper and with a refrigerator full of leftover peas from a risotto I made last week (yea I’m fancy like that) I decided to make some pea soup.  Peas are super awesome, especially this time of year when you can get some really yummy fresh ones.  I’ve always thought that peas got a bad rap.  They are really great sources of plenty of nutrients, including Vitamin K, Folic acid, and B6 (all vitamins that are good for your bones), Iron (good for energy, immunity), and Vitamin C (fights cancer!).  Talk about nutritional rockstars!

So here is my recipe for Pea soup, and really, an idiot couldn’t mess this one up:

3 cups fresh peas

2 cups vegetable stock/broth

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Combine peas and vegetable stock in a food processor/blender/magic bullet until smooth — I like a little pea chunks in the mix, but the consistency is up to you.

Put pea/stock mix in a saucepan and heat.  While heating, add garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Put in a bowl.  If you want to be fancy top with a dollop of greek yogurt, pesto, or parmesan cheese.

Voila…summer in a bowl.

Just don’t eat too much or you might look like this:

Amtrak is a culinary wasteland

I am blogging to you all from the comfort of the freezing cold, air-conditioned Acela car en route to our nation’s lovely capital (and my hometown) of Washington, D.C.  Though I am shivering now, I know that the minute I step outside it will be 90 degrees and wiltingly hot.  This morning, I think my brain was somewhere else.  I awoke in a total haze, made some coffee, started to pack up my stuff and make a salad to bring on the train.  I was so excited because the salad I made was absolutely delicious and totally healthy – spinach with red peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado, some apple slices and lentils and a low-fat wasabi-miso dressing to top it off.  Mmmmm I am still dreaming about it now.

I guess it was just one of those days where it wasn’t really in the cards for anything to go my way.  The elevator took FOREVER and when it finally arrived it was totally full and I got pushed up next to some people with bikes.  Then, the cabdriver was literally the slowest, most unagrressive cabbie in New York and I wanted to tear my hair out (or offer to take over the driving…).   I finally make it to my seat on the train with a woman sitting next to me who thought it was a super idea to use my space as well as hers…  I can feel my stomach grumbling, and I reach down into my bag to find…NOTHING.  NOTHING!!!  I left my salad on the counter at home!  And I didn’t even realize this soon enough to grab something at Penn Station.  I am close to crying or having a conniption fit.  I try to calm down and think about a game plan.  I could try to wait until I get home at 2:30…but I only had coffee this morning in my rush (I know…not a good idea) and I don’t think I can make it that long without my hunger morphing me into the Hulk (you won’t like me when I’m angry!).

I decide that the best plan of action is to check out the Acela car to see what the options are.  Of course, they have the normal things – hot dogs, hamburgers, some sort of cheese breakfast sandwich, and a turkey sandwich on honey wheat with swiss.  I thank my lucky stars that there is something remotely appealing on the menu and grab the sandwich and a bunch of mustard packets – my favorite/and surprisingly low-cal condiment.  The sandwich was the size of my face…so I took off the top slices of bread, spread a tiny bit of mayo and a huge amount of mustard on it all and had an OK lunch – nothing great, the turkey was super dry but at least the bread was kind of yummy.  And of course they had bananas and apples and other decent fare if I needed something extra (I decided I would wait until I got home).  The moral of the story?  You always have healthy options even when you think you don’t – don’t freak out if you’re somewhere and STARVING and you don’t know what to pick.  Regroup, and think of a game plan and you’ll be just fine!

Saving America’s kids…one salad at a time

While I’m usually not a big fan of The Economist…D suggested yesterday that I peruse if for an article on “nutrition stuff…in schools”.  So, I warily opened it up and found a particularly interesting article on the National School Lunch Program and the recent passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  This bill provides $4.5 billion for children’s nutrition — allowing more poor children to enroll in the School Lunch program as well as making lunches healthier (see ya later trans fat french fries..).  But perhaps the most alarming aspect of the entire article was this little segment:

“One in three American children is overweight or obese.  Obesity is even affecting national security: a recent report estimates that 27% of Americans of recruitment age are “too fat to fight”.”

Excuse me??  TOO FAT TO FIGHT?!  I mean that has got to be some sort of joke right?  That is just downright embarassing as an American to hear.

But the article also got me to thinking a little bit about childhood obesity and school lunches.  Is it really enough to provide healthier school lunches if kids are going home to be served up places of fried chicken for dinner?  What about breakfast?  Some of these children will not even get a breakfast in the morning, or if they do it will be some sort of sugar-coated cereal with barely any nutrients to speak of.  Not only does this harm children’s mental and physical development, it sets these kids up for a lifetime of health problems — and not just obesity.

It’s easy for those of us who can afford to buy fresh produce and healthy products to say that those living in inner cities need to start doing that too.  But the honest truth is that fresh produce is expensive.  Fast food is cheap and quick.  So if you had five bucks for dinner…would you spend it on a couple of different veggies or a full meal at McDonalds?  I think it is a great thing that the Obama administration has asked corporations such as Kellogg’s, Mars and PepsiCo to cut calories from their products, and that this bill has been passed to give more money to the National School Lunch program.  But I think there is a much larger issue at play here: How do we as a nation change a culture of fat into a culture of fit?

What do you think?

We all scream for ice cream!

Happy Friday and Happy Beginning of Summer!  Summer is definitely the best time of year in the city.  With tons of fun events, outdoor dining, fairs, and rooftop bars to enjoy, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate this season!

Last weekend, I went with D, my sister, R, and some other friends to Central Park to soak up some sun, read some good old gossip mags, and get some last minute relaxing in before the coming week.  And of course D, who is really a little boy at heart…had to consume three different ice cream bars from the park vendors.  When he brought back a neon green colored ice pop, I was more than a little alarmed at the color — I don’t recall anything that is neon green in nature.  This “key lime” flavor is probably filled with tons of chemical, sugars, and preservatives…not exactly a cool treat that is sweet for your health!

So what are some really healthy, and delicious choices for icy treats when the weather gets hot?  Here are my picks to satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking the calorie bank!


D swears by Haagen Daaz Fat Free sorbets.  You can’t go wrong with their mango or strawberry flavors.  Both are incredibly fruity and rich – not too icy tasty, which can be a problem with sorbets.  Both only have 120 calories per 1/2 cup!


Stonyfield Farm “Gotta Have Vanilla” Frozen Yogurt is DA BOMB.  Creamy and delicious, this frozen yogurt is super satisfying and a great addition to smoothies as well!  And the most unbelievable part?  It’s only 100 calories per 1/2 cup.


Breyer’s Fat Free Chocolate Fudge Brownie.  Much lower sugar than most ice creams that I looked at, but still a great, chocolatey flavor.  I’m drooling just thinking about it!


Hands down, Skinny Cow Vanilla ice cream sandwiches are the best thing since sliced bread.  Each individual sandwich is 140 calories and 2 g of Fat, and is a great way to practice portion control.  And the taste?  I actually think it’s better than those bricks of ice cream sandwiches they used to hand out at summer camp!

“Fun” Flavor:

Last but not least is Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche Frozen Yogurt.  It’s a little bit more caloric than the rest of the ice creams at 180 per 1/2 cup.  But it is so creamy, rich, and delicious that it really is a treat.  The mixture of caramel swirls and vanilla frozen yogurt are to die for, and a little goes a long way towards satisfying any sweet tooth.

Those are my picks!  What are your fave low-cal icy treats??

A return to normalcy with a side of tempeh

Hey folks!

After a nice, long vacation in Italy I’m back and ready to get back into my routine.  I must say, while I do love traveling, it’s always nice to get back home and back into the swing of things again.  And I’ll be the first to admit — I definitely overindulged a bit in Italy.  I’d be really happy if I don’t have to look at a piece of cheese or pasta for quite some time!  While it can be frustrating to come back home and realize that I am going to have to be extra-careful about what I’m eating for a couple of weeks — I realize that everyone falls off the wagon a bit every now and then.  Rather than beating myself up about it, I give myself a little time to get back on track and recommit to eating healthy and getting some good old exercise!

When I got back, of course I was craving lots of veggies and fresh, delicious, low fat foods.  Lucky for me, my little sister, R, just moved into the East Village for the summer and my rents were in town to help her out.  Being in hipster heaven, we all decided to take a trip to Angelica’s Kitchen, a favorite restaurant of mine and a famous New York vegan instutition on 12th st and 2nd ave.  We even dragged my dad, who never saw a piece of steak he didn’t like.  Upon entering the restaurant he asked, “So how’s the burger?” But even my dad was surprised by how yummy-delicious vegan food can be.  We enjoyed a ton of great dishes including their dragon bowl (macrobiotic veggies, tofu, and brown rice) with delish carrot-ginger dressing (R and I wanted to drink it, it was so good), quinoa lemon croquettes, and delicious black bean enchiladas.  And to top it off, the restaurant is BYOB.  Just make sure you bring some extra cash (in true hippy-style they don’t take credit cards).

Now if that’s not what you would call a plateful of health….I don’t know what is!