A Whole Lata of This Gremolata

•November 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As you can see, I’m on a cooking spree lately.  Chalk it up to a surplus of time and a deficit of money, this new found skill/hobby is an easy way to feed myself wholesome meals while on a budget.  However, my overwhelming cravings for red meat not only get expensive, but also leave me wondering if I’m part cave-girl.  Thankfully, I’m discovering some great chicken recipes that entice me to eat healthier white cuts.  This Grilled Chicken with Mint and Pine Nut Gremolata (a chopped herb condiment…yes, I too had no idea what this meant) takes less than fifteen minutes to make and tastes like pesto-sauce’s little sister. SO good.

Gremolata:

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (might need more)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Chicken:

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. To prepare gremolata, place mint, pine nuts, rind, and garlic in a mini chopper; process just until combined. Add 4 teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt; process to combine. Set aside.

2. To prepare chicken, heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush 2 teaspoons olive oil evenly over chicken; sprinkle chicken evenly with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Serve gremolata with chicken.

 

Great Great Granola

•October 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Eating store-bought granola is more like sampling from a mystery grab-bag – ingredients are difficult to pronounce, processed additives are skillfully hidden and sugar dominates the nutrition label.  I like making my own, which sounds far more complicated…not to mention domestic…than it really is.  This is a great recipe that takes ten minutes to pull together, and if you’re an avid reader of The Fit Post (which you are, of course) then you’ll notice this is the same one I posted in October 2009… apparently October is my granola season.

  • 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut (can be either sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (dried apricots, cranberries, blueberries or dried apple)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil (not olive)
  • 1/2 cup honey

Mix the oat, nuts and grains in a large bowl.  Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into bowl.  Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. The oil will help the honey exit the cup.  Toss everything together until evenly coated and then pour out into a baking pan. I use a large roasting pan, as it keeps everything contained. A cookie sheet with a lip also works.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning it with a spatula every ten minutes or so. You want everything to be an even golden brown.  When it is finished cooking, return the baked granola to the mixing bowl, add the dried fruit and stir to combine. Stir gently several times as it cooks, so that it doesn’t clump together too much.

•October 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m on a huge brussel sprout kick these days: high in protein, low in fat (less than 1g/cup) and calories (50 cals/cup), loaded with Vitamin A and C, folacin, potassium, calcium and fiber (3-5g/cup).  These disease-fighting cabbages fill you up without filling you out.

Typically, I cut the sprouts in half and cook them in the oven with a light drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and fresh garlic.  Another favorite route is using Avocare, a 100% Extra Virgin Avocado Oil from Mexico ($12.50).  This natural organic oil, from the Mexican Hass avocado, is infused with Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and includes 0% cholesterol.  I’m cooking with the ‘Con Chile’ flavor, but can’t wait to try some of the others, including Basil and Garlic.  Avocados provide tremendous health benefits and are often considered an Alpha Superfood, making my already nutrient packed brussel sprouts that much healthier.

Brussels has got it all: great beer, chocolate, waffles and sprouts.

Welcome to the World of Christa

•October 18, 2011 • 1 Comment


One of the best parts of living in New York is the opportunity to run into so many interesting people with different talents. This past summer, I met Christa de Wal, a young Dutch artist with the sunniest (yes, this can be an adjective) of personalities, plus (bonus round) a killer figure.  Experiencing immediate girl-crush, I wanted to know everything about her workout and diet routines.  Like all good Dutch girls, she’s a pro at taking down massive beer bier steins and enjoys hearty stacks of bread and cheese (girl-crush deepening…)  Christa doesn’t sweat the small stuff, instead, she keeps things balanced and carefree – both in her art and her everyday workout regimens, or lack thereof.  Read on to fall in-Dutchie-love, but more importantly, check out her website to see more of her expressionist-style pieces, all available for purchase.

M: How old were you when you started painting and were you always naturally talented?

C: I’ve been painting and drawing for fun since I was little, but really started painting more seriously about six years ago. I had a fulltime job in Marketing, so it started as just a hobby, but I really loved it! I never took classes, but tried out all different techniques – struggling with colors is part of the fun I think. A lot of people said I should do more with it, so when I moved to New York I decided to give it a shot.

M: How old were you when you started running? How many big races have you run?

C: I started running when I was sixteen-years old, it’s my kind of like my meditation. I ran several half marathons, and one full marathon, two years ago in London.  I ran the full marathon because I was working on a project in Kenya to build latrines (toilets) in schools, so it was a fundraising challenge. It was a huge goal, because before the training I had never run more than a 15K! But I did it!!

M: Do you see your life as an artist and as a runner separate or do you think you could not have one without the other?

C: When I’m stuck with a painting, or have a lack of inspiration, I often go for a run. It helps to clear my head and think about what I’m working on, so running definitely is a big part of my creative life!

M: Do you follow any particular kind of training schedule and also any particular painting schedule?

C: No, not really, the problem with painting is, that I cannot plan my creativity, and that’s sometimes difficult. But I’ll try to do it as often as possible.  For running, I believe you (at least with myself) enjoy running the best when you do not set any goals or have schedules, but just go out, enjoy the fresh air and focus on how you run…instead of how fast or how far you’re running.

M: Do you have any pieces that are about running/were inspired by your running?

C: I like movement in my paintings, but they’re not focused on running…but maybe I just got a new idea!😉

Let’s Get Skintimate

•October 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I dislike the saying, ‘beauty is only skin deep’…I realize that the whole point of this fortune cookie-esq line is to make people feel better about themselves by emphasizing that physical beauty is superficial (c’mon, give yourself a hug)… but let’s face it, you could be drop dead gorgeous and if you’re face looks like a Papa John’s pizza…well, best of luck my friend.  It’s not superficial for us all to want perfect skin – it’s natural.

I’m no dermatologist but here are my current fav inexpensive picks:

Touching the Void

•September 28, 2011 • 1 Comment

Touching the Void is an incredible film about Joe Simpson and Simon Yates’ 1985 ill-fated experience while scaling the snowbound face of Siula Grande, a 21,000-foot slope in Peru.

During their descent, Joe breaks his leg.  After devising a way for the two to continue to move forward with the injury, Joe falls over an overhang with no way to climb back up.  Simon, cuts the rope connecting he and his partner, throwing the once dangling Joe into a crevice.  Surviving the fall, Joe narrates his harrowing journey back to base camp.  The second half of the film exposes his raw emotions and feelings of loneliness and abandonment.  With a severe leg injury, no food or proper hydration, Joe pushes forward for several days because, as he says, he “wanted to be with someone when I died.”

This isn’t exactly Planet Earth meets North Face – this is a haunting account of the two climbers’ sides of the story, and trust me, you’ll want to hear both.

Other than Joe and Simon, no person has successfully scaled the snowbound face of Siula Grande.

 

Criss Cross Applesauce

•September 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ahhh, the Fall! Love. It.

Surprise surprise, but my two favorite things about this season are the clothes and the food – welcome home chunky cableknit scarves!  Living close to great farmers’ markets, I can also get my hands on juicy local produce for locovore (yes, that’s apparently a real word) cooking.  My recent kick includes homemade applesauce using a very simple recipe – depending on the type of apples I use, I often cut out a third of the sugar since I don’t like things too sweet.  The Puerto Rican within, encourages me to ‘bake-in-bulk’, so I triple (ok, who’s lying…?) quadruple this recipe.

  • 4 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft, stirring frequently. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher, leaving some apple pieces for texture.

Sincerely,

Ms. Johnny Appleseed

 
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