Friday, July 8, 2011

"Summertime, and the living is easy!"

There truly are few things sweeter than the abudance of produce summer offers.  There are plump cherries, sweet little blueberries and refreshing watermelon slices as far as the eye can see.  I'd like to share with you a quick, healthy, and oven-minimal dessert which will mindfully wind down any summer meal.

Broiled Peaches with Greek Yogurt

  • 1-2 peaches or any other stone fruit
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 individual container (or several spoonfuls) plain Greek yogurt
  • honey to taste
  • scant handful chopped walnuts
Get your broiler nice and hot.  Wash your peaches, or other stone fruit, and dry thoroughly.  Slice in half and remove the pit.  Sprinkle a touch of sugar on the cut surfaces.  Place sliced fruit under your broiler.  After fruit is nice and bubbly, remove from oven and pop on a plate.  Scoop the cool Greek yogurt into the divot.  Drizzle honey over top and sprinkle with walnuts to finish.

This is a wonderful way to utilize any stone fruit you've purchased that might be a few days off from being ripe.  Also, it is easily adaptable for nectarines or plums.  You could even broil pineapple slices, though you may want to back off the sugar as it is so naturally sweet.

This is a dessert that will satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth.  Perfect for a summer evening!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nutritionally Negative

This past long holiday weekend the husband and I traveled out of state for a wedding.  Weddings are a perfect time to really let your hair down and live it up.  Unfortunately, it's also a time to overindulge.  Doubly so because during the weeks leading up to the wedding, if you're like me, you watch what you eat like a hawk so as not to be an embarrassment in the photos that will never ever die.  Triply so when said wedding takes place where you grew up and in close proximity to familiar (but no longer easily accessible) foods.  Quadruply so when you add family and the traditional area wedding cookie tables into the mix.  And so on and so on and so on.

All of this over-indulging leads me to my newest personal eating discovery: nutritionally negative foods.  Have you ever gone to breakfast, indulging in the gloriously decadent or notoriously greasy offerings, only to feel hungry and unfulfilled a mere thirty minutes later?  Have you ever stopped in for a sandwich brimming with luscious meats and cheeses on fluffy white bread and then felt as if you didn't eat anything shortly thereafter?  Me too.  After plowing through more cookies than I have fingers on which to count them, eating a breakfast that was delicious but devoid of nourishment, and wolfing down sandwiches lacking sustenance, I was hungry.  Really, truly hungry.  One of the good things to come out of my "I will not look like a stuffed sausage" mantra pre-wedding, was that I was able to identify honestly substantial grub.  I made quinoa salads and ate whole fruits.  Lean chicken breast and grilled fish were the entrees du jour.  Anything less than 64 ounces of water in a day just wouldn't do.  I banished excess salt and limited sugars to just a bit of Splenda if the need arose.*

Given my strict adherance to a healthier way of living, why did I fall back into bad habits?  Probably because I felt I deserved a treat...or 15.  We all do deserve a pat on the back for putting ourselves and healthy living as a priority.  But eating junk mindlessly is no reward.  Who, after much dedication and progress, rewards themselves with a kick in the teeth? 

It feels very good to get back into the swing of things, but I can already see the storm on the horizon brewing.  It's a birthday weekend this weekend full of all the cake, drinks, and dinners out that come with it.  I'll be posting some healthy, filling and nutrtionally sound recipes this week partly as a reminder to myself to eat conscientously and partly if I need a penance for my misdeeds.

* Sugar, artificial sweeteners, agave, HFCS, honey, stevia, etc. are a whole other bag of cats.  The pros and cons of which warrant a post unto themselves.  We'll get there, promise!