Saturday, December 31, 2011

NYC Staycation

A final blog for 2011...

My boyfriend and I didn't take a big vacation this year and instead of traveling over the holidays, we decided to take a staycation right here in New York.  We've been so busy with work and school since we moved here a year ago, that we haven't had a chance to go to all the places we've wanted to check out.  I've made endless lists of places to visit and places to dine and even when I get to cross one of them off my list, I end up adding two more new ones.

So here is my Holiday 2011 New York Restaurant List

1.     12/29  The Dutch:  12pm lunch with my old boss, Chris, who was in town to ring the bell at the NYSE from Washington, DC.  We went a little overboard with ordering, but there was no stopping us.  Chris and I have a history of frequently dining out at top restaurants, as we both love quality food and trying new places.  What better place to try than The Dutch?  It has been topping many NYC critics' lists as a top restaurant of 2011, even Sam Sifton's numero uno.
Steak tartare to start (I would say this was the most mediocre item we ordered; it was good, but I've definitely had better).  Followed by some St. Simon oysters for Chris.  Our entrees included the beef ravioli with porcinis and robiola sheep cheese and the seared scallops with saffron rice and a gumbo "sauce" which was more like a foam.  Both were fantastic.  After a few martinis and bubblys, and after sneaking a peak at our fellow at-the-bar diners' plates, we also decided to order the fried chicken.  YUM.  Now, I'm not an advocate for eating fried food, I am a nutrition student after all, I also know that an occasional indulgence is worthwhile.  We each enjoyed a few bites and called it a day; the dish came with four pieces of fried chicken and two honey biscuits.

All anyone needs to savor a dish are two bites.  I think I even read in one of my anatomy books that the first 2 bites of anything are when our senses, taste and smell, are focused the most.  Each bite after that, we aren't paying as much attention and eating becomes a routine rather than a savory sensory experience.

2.     12/29  Blue Hill:  Good thing I made 9pm reservations a month ago when I called to get a table, because I was pretty full from The Dutch all day.  Reservations here are not easy to come by and I've been now been spoiled here twice since moving to New York...once on my birthday in July and again this time for our 2nd anniversary.  We did the Farmer's Feast, which is $78 for 5 courses and various treats in between.
Started off with a mini beet-burger with ricotta cheese on an almond bun.  Then collard green chips, served as "leaves" in a gold wire tree.  Then we enjoyed poached hake with brussels and pancetta.  Next was a farm fresh egg over creamy kale.  The main course was milk-fed pig (jowl, shoulder and loin) with fresh tart cranberries and fennel.  The first dessert was ginger ice, poached pear, and yogurt sorbet.  Finally, ginger cake, poached lady apple and almond gelato.

3.     12/30  Arturo's:  Cousin dinner with Mike, James, Jason, Mike's friend Emily from UVA, and mio amore Mark.  Had a bottle of chianti and 2 large pizzas.  One meatball and one with eggplant and added ricotta.  Live jazz, lively atmosphere, great company and great food.  Well, the pizzas were a little overcooked, but still good!

4.     12/31  Bouley:  Nothing beats the $55 lunch tasting menu at Bouley in Tribeca.  Seriously.  It was divine.  Five amazing courses with truffles galore, impeccable service, tasty cocktails (Hendrick's Gin, fresh sage, and pineapple puree), and the most beautiful ceiling of any restaurant I've been to.
Squash soup with chestnut cream, toasted pine nuts in rice paper.
Housemade olive bread, fig bread, and french sourdough
Asparagus salad with comte cheese, basil dressing; Mark had various tuna carpaccios
Wild mushrooms, white truffles; Mark had crab with spanish flan
Duck, persimmon, turnip puree; Mark had braised beef cheeks with blue kale gnocchi
Mashed potatoes; best I've ever tasted.
Fig soup dessert with some sort of ice cream topping
Red wine (beaujolais) sorbet
Valrhona chocolate soufflé
Peppermint tea
Selected homemade cookies

Coming up...
5.     1/10  Locanda Verde
6.     1/13  ABC Kitchen

p.s. the best part about all of these restaurants is that they are all within reasonable walking distance of our apartment ... i love new york.

H A P P Y   2 0 1 2 !

Friday, December 9, 2011

What's for Breakfast?

I usually have a bowl of cereal with berries for breakfast, but along with that, I'll have a small nonfat yogurt.  

Combining protein with breakfast is the key to feeling fuller longer.  Yogurt or eggs are great options to get a little protein in to start your day.

Making scrambled eggs couldn't be any easier, and the best part is: you can throw in whatever left over veggies you have in the fridge.  I find myself doing this all the time...a few cherry tomatoes here, mushrooms there, spinach everywhere.  Oh, and I always add fresh basil of course.  When you add in veggies and herbs there is no reason to ever add salt.

Breakfast today: 2 scrambled eggs (1 yolk), red peppers, broccoli, avocado, and basil all over a slice of Trader Joe’s multi-grain toast.

p.s. Don’t skimp out on both yolks.  I always add at least one.  The yolk is where all the nutrients are, and yes, it’s where all the cholesterol is too, but a little is not only okay, it’s also needed.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sub in Avocado

Lunch today:
Whole grain bread toasted, herb turkey breast, tomatoes, and avocado.  No need for any other condiments when avocados are around.  Ditch the mayo, sub in avocado.

Get some of the healthy fat that everyone is talking about these days with avocados.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Other White Meat: Pork Chops

I admit it, I cook a lot of chicken.  It's easy, inexpensive, and nutritious.  However, it's good to switch things up and eat a variety of foods, even your proteins, so you can meet all of your vitamin and mineral needs.  And so you don't go crazy eating the same thing every day.  While both chicken and pork are excellent lean meat choices, they offer a different set of nutrients.

Pork is an excellent source of one of our essential B vitamins, thiamine.  It's recommended that we consume around 1.1 - 1.2 mg of thiamine a day.  It forms part of a coenzyme that is used in our body for metabolism.

Pork just might be the leading food source of thiamine.  A lean pork chop (3 ounces of meat) provides almost 1 mg all on its own.  Chicken, on the other hand, only offers a tenth of the thiamine that pork does, with .1 mg in 3 ounces.

I found a recipe in an old Real Simple magazine for a weeknight meal that includes roast pork chops and butternut squash with kale.  I subbed out the butternut squash for sweet potatoes, since I already had some in the house.

It was all pretty easy and didn't take too much time, maybe 30 minutes of prep and an hour total.

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  
  • Peel and chop up sweet potatoes and toss with fresh sage, olive oil, and a touch of salt + pepper.  Place on baking sheet and cook for 35 to 40 mins.
  • After the sweet potatoes have cooked for 25 mins, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Lightly season a couple of bone-in pork chops (around 1 inch thick) with salt + pepper.  Cook until browned, around 3 - 5 mins per side.
  • Place the pork chops onto the same baking sheet as the sweet potatoes and roast for about 7 - 8 mins more.
  • While those two are in the oven, get going on the kale.  Heat a little bit more olive oil in the same skillet with some thin garlic slices.  Add the kale and 1/4 cup water.  Use a wooden spoon to toss the kale around until tender, around 5 - 7 mins later.
  • Plate everything and enjoy.

Looks just like the picture from the magazine!
p.s. There was no way I could eat all of that... 2 meals for the price (and time) of 1

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sport Nutrition: Protein

For all of you runners out there, even the crazy marathon runners (including my cousin James who is about to run one in Greece), proper nutrition can improve your performance.  Here is some information about the growing field of sport nutrition and some tips for those of you who may be training for a big event.

What are the basic purposes of food?  Food provides energy, food regulates metabolic processes, and food supports growth and development.

Sport nutrition may be viewed in two ways:
1. Nutrition for training - All three purposes of food are taken into account with training
2. Nutrition for competition - Prime importance of food is energy and regulating metabolic processes

During your training period, due to the increase in energy expenditure, you need to increase your calorie intake to maintain your bodyweight and to help your body make adjustments in becoming more efficient.  For example, you will be forming new body tissue.  

Another example that has long been known to effect long distance runners is an increase in hemoglobin content in the blood.  Hemoglobin is a protein in our red blood cells responsible for picking up and dropping off oxygen throughout our body.  The key to hemoglobin is iron (4 irons per hemoglobin) and is the actual element that "picks up" the oxygen.  This translates to a daily diet needing to "contain adequate amounts of iron not only to meet normal needs but also to make effective body adjustments due to the chronic effects of training." 

Meats are really the best source of absorbable iron.  Fortified grains also contain iron.  See this iron dietary fact sheet for more information.

In competition an athlete will utilize specific body energy sources and systems, depending up the intensity and duration of the exercise.  For short, high intensity exercise, our bodies will use stored carbohydrates in our muscles anaerobically.  This can last up to one to three minutes.  During endurance exercise, lasting longer than five minutes, we use aerobic respiration that oxidizes stored carbohydrates (glycogen) and fats in our bodies.  So you need to have enough of those carb & fat energy stores to satisfy the energy demands of exercising for long periods of time.

Contrary to what people may think, protein is not generally used to provide the energies needed for exercise.  Don't get me wrong, protein is extremely important in our bodies, but we use it for all of our other body functions, not typically energy storage.  If you do not consume enough carbs, our body will convert proteins into energy, but then you are taking it away from all of the other jobs that only protein accomplishes.  Some other negative side effects include breaking down muscle and raising blood acidity.

Your intake of protein during training doesn't need to be altered all that much.  Since you will be consuming more calories in general (marathon trainers will consume around 700 - 1,000 extra calories!) you will probably get the additional amounts of protein anyways without having to try.  If you want me to get particular, simply multiply your weight, in pounds, by one of the following:
      • Active adult 0.4-0.6
      • Growing athlete 0.6-0.8
      • Adult building muscle mass 0.6-0.8
For example, a 180 pound man training for a marathon should be consuming around 126 grams of protein each day.  A 110 pound female also training, should consume around 77 grams each day.

Lean beef, white-meat poultry, pork tenderloin, legumes/beans, eggs, nuts, yogurt, and seafood are all excellent sources of protein.

Information above was gathered from my textbook Nutrition for Health, Fitness, & Sport by Melvin Williams and Understanding Nutrition by Ellie Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

5-Minute Brussels Sprouts

After I finished up volunteering at the Caring Community Senior Center yesterday afternoon, I went to the Union Square Greenmarket.  I started volunteering on Wednesdays at lunchtime and help serve food in the kitchen.  The people there are wonderful and I'm really enjoying getting to know the seniors of Greenwich Village.

Anyway, my Wednesday ritual has become volunteering and then going to the Greenmarket to pick up food for the remainder of the work week.  Brussels sprouts are in season and the market was full of them, so I decided to pick up a pound.  They were on the small-medium size and were beautifully bright green.

When picking out Brussels, it's best when they are firm, bright green, compact, and somewhat heavy-feeling for their size.

I normally saute or roast them with balsamic vinegar, but I wanted to try and steam them this time around and luckily I stumbled upon the perfect recipe on the WholeFoods website.

I made some slight amendments to the measurements, as I normally always do with any recipe.  I washed and trimmed the Brussels sprouts and steamed them for 5 minutes.  As they were cooking, I combined and stirred up the juice from half a lemon, around 2 Tbsp olive oil, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and one pressed garlic clove.  I didn't add any salt or the optional mustard and parsley.  When the Brussels sprouts were done, I threw them in the bowl with the dressing, tossed 'em around, and that was that.

My leftovers for tomorrow

Nutrition: Plenty of vitamins C, A, and K, as well as fiber, folate and potassium.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

East Village Gem: Hearth

Sorry I've been gone for so long...midterms took over my life for the past couple of weeks, but everything is now back to normal.  And to celebrate midterms being over, I snuck out with a dear friend of mine Sunday night and had a cozy dinner at Hearth.

We had randomly stopped by Hearth the night before, for a glass of wine at the bar, while waiting for our table at Luzzo's across the street.  As food kept coming out of the kitchen, we found ourselves drooling and wishing we were eating here instead, so like the proactive ladies we are, we immediately made reservations for the very next night.

The menu is concise, clean, and offers a great variety.  I especially love that the chef lists the farms where all of the produce is from on the backside of the menu.  That's a great touch for picky eaters like myself who wants to know where her meats were raised.  The service was very attentive; I never saw the bottom of my water glass.  As far as price is concerned: you pay for what you get, which is all-around quality, and the bill definitely added up, but was not too outrageous.

I was feeling like a Sunday Supper sort of night, so I ordered the veal + ricotta meatballs with spaghetti ($28).  My friend ordered another pasta dish with wild boar ($30).  I'm such a sucker for homemade pasta.  A Piedmont Barbera ($10) sealed the deal and I thoroughly enjoyed everything about my meal at Hearth.  We were there early on a Sunday night, so it was quieter and more relaxing compared to our Saturday night drink at the bar when the restaurant was bustling.  We passed on dessert (somehow), but I ended the evening with a mint hot tea ($4.50).  Hearth is all about finishing touches, and this "coaster" for my mug stole the show.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 Healthiest Ingredients

I found this list from a Real Simple magazine which states "Stock your pantry and refrigerator with these nutritious, expert-recommended foods."  I don't know who these experts are, but this list sounds pretty good to me and I already buy most of this stuff on a weekly basis.

Try adding 1-2 of these ingredients to your shopping cart each week.  While you're at it, as you add one of these items in, try to take out something not as healthy; perhaps a heavily processed item or something high in sugar or fat?  Give it a try and see how it goes.  Soon you'll be eliminating the unhealthy and enjoying the healthy.

  1. almonds
  2. avocados
  3. barley
  4. black beans
  5. blueberries
  6. broccoli
  7. bulgur
  8. chard
  9. chicken breasts (skinless)
  10. edamame
  11. eggs
  12. extra-virgin olive oil (may I recommend finding one that contains olives grown and bottled in weary of ones that just say "bottled in Italy" as those could be olives from anywhere).
  13. kale
  14. kidney beans
  15. kiwi  
  16. lentils
  17. mushrooms
  18. oatmeal (steel-cut or old-fashioned)
  19. oranges
  20. peanut and almond butter (all-natural)
  21. pumpkin
  22. quinoa
  23. sardines
  24. skim milk
  25. spinach
  26. sweet potatoes
  27. walnuts
  28. wholegrain pasta
  29. wild salmon (aim to get sockeye or Alaskan salmon, try to avoid Atlantic salmon, which is basically synonymous with farm-raised.
  30. yogurt (nonfat Greek)
Quinoa + Salad

Friday, September 16, 2011

Basil: The Versatile Herb

I bought this basil plant about a month ago and have found myself pinching off it's leaves to add some flavor to most all of my dishes.  Just having it around has made all the difference.  I cut up the leaves and add them to salads, soups, scrambled eggs, sandwiches, entrees, and my personal favorite: cocktails [kettle, polar lime seltzer, muddled strawberry and a few basil leaves].  Plus, it's nice to have some more green in an apartment where no trees are visible.

I tried grilling some peaches to go along with a new pork tenderloin dish I was trying out and I found that adding some shreds of basil really enhanced the overall taste.  Get creative and experiment.  If you love the taste of basil, like I do, you can do no harm.

Basil plants are annuals, so they are only supposed to last one growing season.  Don't be sad when your basil plant doesn't last forever; they are inexpensive and you can go get a new one.  This plant was only $5 at the Union Square farmers market.  They like sunny windows, water every other day or so, and be sure to pinch off the big leaves so the little ones can grow.  Once the basil plant flowers it will probably stop producing new leaves, (this is the end of it's growing period) but if you trim off the flowers, you may be able to trick it into producing leaves a little bit longer.  Go get one and start cooking!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Brekkie: Cereal + Fruit

A week of cereal for brekkie:

Cheerios, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

Barbara's Shredded Oats, banana, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds

Barbara's Shredded Oats, peaches, pomegranate seeds

Cherrios, peaches, strawberries

Cherrios, banana, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

Try to find a cereal with at least 3-4g of fiber, whole grains, and limited sugar and sodium.
Cherrios is an easy to please cereal with many of the vitamins and minerals we need daily...I think Cherrios offers more vitamins and minerals than most other cereals and you can be sure it's whole grains too.  Add a bunch of fruit, especially berries, to your morning cereal and you'll get quite a nutritive boost!

 Nutrtion Facts:
1 cup Cheerios:
100 Calories
2g fat (.5 in in each of the healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats)
0g Cholesterol
160mg Sodium
20g Carbs
3g Fiber
1g Sugar
3g Protein

I only use skim milk with my cereal or nonfat yogurt, 0g of fat vs. 8g of fat.  However, little kiddos should be drinking whole milk to get the right amount of fats need for growth and development; usually from age 1 - 3 years old.  Then, they should gradually change to low-fat and then skim milk once they're older.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Go pick up some corn on the cob at your local farm stand or farmers market today!  The season for corn on the cob usually ends around mid-September, so there aren't many days left to enjoy a summer favorite.

It's a great nutritious and delicious addition to your dinner.  The most common variety of corn I have found around the New York markets is the bi-color variety or "butter + sugar" which has always been my first choice.
Butter + Sugar
When I was growing up in Western Massachusetts, my family would pick up corn on the cob every day from our favorite farm stand, Golonka's, (  I think that place is still a local favorite, and I must say, I have never found a better ear of corn.

The Union Square Farmers Market has plenty of stalls offering corn on the cob, and I have actually been pleasantly surprised.  Though they're no Golonka, they are the next best thing.

I like to cook all the ears at once in a large covered pot about 1/4 filled with water to a boil for steam.  Bring the water to a boil before adding the shucked corn ears.  The ears that go in first usually get covered with water and the ones on top are out of the water- it's okay, they will all come out great.  I find it's best to cook them for about 6 to 7 minutes- I like a little crunch.  And the best part is, there is no need to use any butter; just let the ears cool down a bit and chow down.

Nutritional benefits:
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin C
Vitamin B5
1 cup of corn is about 177 calories

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lunch at Torrisi

My boyfriend and I went for a long run yesterday morning throughout the city.  We started in Brooklyn, crossed the bridge and did a tour of the southern point of Manhattan before making our way up the Westside Highway and then inward towards SoHo.  Pics from our run:

Brooklyn Bridge

One World Trade Center progress

To reward ourselves, I wanted a chicken parm hero (grinder, if you're from New England) from Torrisi.

Torrisi is a recent hotspot in Little Italy on 250 Mulberry Street.  I like that their lunch hours are from 11 - 4pm so I can still grab a late lunch sandwich at 3:30.  They have some strict policies to be mindful cameras inside, no reservations, no substitutions, only one menu offered for dinner- which alluringly changes nightly.  Dinner is served from 6 - 10pm and they begin taking names at 5:30 in-person for the waitlist.  Their nightly menu is updated online everyday at:

Taken from their website: Our nightly menu is our only offering for the table; there are no menu substitutions available for vegetarians, children, or dietary restrictions.

Lunch is a bit of a different story.It's counter service with tables (around 15-20 or so) available on a first come first serve basis.  We walked in to the tiny restaurant around 12:50pm and a table happened to be open.  My boyfriend claimed the table and sat down while I waited a few minutes to order with the helpful gal behind the counter.  Order, pay (cash or credit card), and leave your name to retrieve your order when they call you.

$11 - chicken parm hero
$11 - house roasted turkey hero (no onion, no mayo)
$ 3 - whipped ricotta (comes in a little dish with some olive oil and herbs on top)
$ 2 - Dr. Brown black cherry soda

There is a counter by the window with carafes of water, glasses, silverware, various condiments, and napkins for you to help yourself to.  There are no "servers" per se, but there is a "maintainer".  The "maintainer" brings out the food to those people who are dining-in, clears the tables, keeps the carafes of water and supplies full, and answers the phone.  He might do other things too, but that was all I noticed yesterday.  With that said, I was very satisfied with the service.

By 1pm the place was a zoo with the line running out of places to wrap around to and most people began waiting outside.  We got our food within 10 minutes of ordering and were out the door after 30 minutes.  We were hungry and it was yummy.  The bread was fresh, the meat was delicious, the portions were on target- all in all, a great sandwich lunch spot, but try to beat the masses if you're want to make it quick.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Food Day: October 24, 2011

Food Day is a nationwide advocacy day with events in all states.


Please sign the petition to EAT REAL to Congress found on the homepage:

Get involved and attend an event, or better yet, create an event.  And remember to always "vote with your fork" - Food, Inc.  (Please watch the movie Food, Inc. if you haven't seen it yet!)

Events going on in New York City
Event:                                                  Location:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peach Crisp

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love summer produce.

Peaches are overflowing at the farmers markets, so I picked up a some beauties and decided to make a peach crisp.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4-5 large fresh peaches
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter (one stick) not softened!

Slice up the peaches (I always use yellow, though, I'm sure the white peaches would be great too).
Spread them all out on the bottom of a 9" X 9" glass pan, or a similar dimension pan.

In bowl, combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Mix 'em all up.
You could add a dash of salt if you want to as well.

Cut up the butter into small pieces; you should be able to handle it quite well since the butter is cold.  Add the cut up butter to the bowl, work it in a little bit, and ensure everything is mixed up evenly.

Crumble the mixture over the top of the peaches and scatter it all around.

Put in the oven for 45 minutes.

When you take it out, let it sit and set for a few minutes before serving.  Goes excellently with vanilla ice cream, or my personal favorite, fresh whipped cream.

I will say that it's best the first day you make it.  There is no way around it getting a bit soggy as it sits in the refrigerator.  If reheating leftovers the next day, I usually put it in the oven under the broiler for 5-10 mins so it can crisp back up, but watch out for the "crisp" burning.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Lunch

Summer lunches are my favorites because I love having fresh fruits and veggies on my plate, especially summer berries. 


Today I had a herb roasted turkey sandwich on whole grain seeded bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado.  There is no need for any spreads when avocado slices are added to your sandwich.  It's a great tasty alternative, and avocado is packed with the "good fats".

Now is a good time to pick up some heirloom tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries from your local farmers market.  Hurry up!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pan-fried Artichokes

12 baby artichokes for $2.99 at Whole Foods

Mix up 1 egg, milk, parmesan cheese, flour, salt, pepper, and fresh pressed garlic

Wash artichokes

Peel back the layers until the flesh is softer and yellow-green

Cut the tips off and the bottom stems

Slice the artichokes into 3's or 4's depending on size

Heat up a skillet with canola oil while you finish prepping the artichokes

Dunk the artichoke slice in the egg-flour mixture to cover both sides
Place it into the hot skillet (med-high heat)
Flip them over after a couple minutes to cook the other side too
Both sides should be golden brown

Take 'em out of the skillet and place on paper towels
I usually have about 2 - 3 batches to cook from the 12 baby artichokes
Best if served fresh and warm, but they can be refrigerated and served cold too

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weekend Brekkie

Sunday Breakfast

Everything here was purchased at the Union Square Farmers Market last Saturday (except the avocado).

- Freshly sliced sunflower whole wheat bread
- Vine ripe pesticide-free tomato
- Cage free scrambled eggs (1 yolk : 2 whites) with fresh Cremini mushrooms, avocado, ricotta, and basil
- Flying Pigs Farm apple sage sausage

I love waking up to a delicious hearty breakfast on Sunday mornings.
Grazie to my Mister!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July Sunset

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

The sunset in New York was just as gorgeous as the fireworks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Best Pignoli Cookie

Moist, delicious, and flavorful all packed into this little pillow of yumminess.  A little pricey per pound, but worth it.  I've tried pignoli cookies all around town, and Veniero's has the best.  Their cannoli's are pretty great too.

342 East 11th Street (at 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baba Ghannouj / Eggplant Spread

I've tried many different packaged baba ghannouj dips in the city since I moved here and have been disappointed with all of them, until I found Abraham's All Natural Baba Ghannouj.  First of all, I was thrilled to find one that didn't include mayonnaise as an ingredient.  Then I fell in love with the deep smokey flavor of the roasted eggplant.  Perfection.  If I can't have freshly made baba ghannouj, this is the next best thing.

You can find it at Whole Foods for the reasonable price of $2.79.

Serve with some cucumber spears, carrots and toasted flat bread for an easy snack or starter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Seared Tuna

At the fish market (PE & DD) this past weekend in Union Square, I picked up my usual lobster, and the tuna looked so good, I had to grab a couple of steaks too.

Not having a grill is definitely a bummer, but I improvised with a stovetop grill pan.  I was even able to get the adorable crosshatch marks across the steaks.

This is the first time I ever cooked tuna!

Heat the pan to high, brush a little canola oil on the pan and on the fish.  These were pretty thick steaks, so I cooked them about 3-4 minutes per side, adjusting half way through to get the crosshatch marks.

I added a little sea salt and just a touch of teriyaki sauce once they were cooked.

I cooked some brown rice and added a dash of the teriyaki sauce to that too.  I just so happened to have a fresh pineapple, avocado, and yellow and red tomatoes in my kitchen (really, that was not planned).  I decided to chop all of those up in a bowl to make a salsa.  I stirred in some chopped fresh rosemary from my lovely herb garden, and again, I added dash of the teriyaki sauce.  Easy.

I threw everything on our plates and it actually came out looking like a professional dish.  Everything complimented each other so well; I gave myself a pat on the back for this one.