Monday, September 27, 2010

Do Not Just Add Water

I did my first official 24-hr recall with a classmate. This is a type of nutrition assessment. I've done them before, but not to the full entirety - portion sizes, time, etc. I've also haven't been subjected to one myself. I learned that it's quite a task to remember everything you ingested from sunrise to sun-up, but it's a good activity to try out once in a while.

During my recall, I told my classmate that I use carnation instant breakfast packets to blend into my coffee. He was a little intrigued. Then, when I told him I finished my day with cocoa, he was also intrigued, as I don't use water for instant cocoa. I use tea, usually a nice roobios or black from Teavana. Water is great, and you should drink it, but as a drink base, it can be pretty bland at times. I like blending other liquids with instant drink packets, you reap extra vitamins and minerals from various liquids (tea, milk) and amp up the taste. A chocolate flavored tea with hot chocolate can yield a very chocolate-y beverage without the extra calories.

And brewing tea is simple. Get a nice pot, mind the time, and cool it off. That way you have tea on hand to blend to your heart's content. Also, have in mind the kind of beverage you want, hot instant cocoa doesn't work well with cold liquids, some brands don't readily dissolve with a'll need a blender, frother or hand mixer/immersion blender. Once you know what you're working with, all the adding comes to place.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ubiquitous Must Have Item #2

Fat free Greek yogurt!

Yogurt is an all around good food. Even some lactose intolerant folks can enjoy yogurt because of the bacteria cultures present. Now, now, don't worry it's friendly bacteria, and you probably have more bacteria on your keyboard than in the yogurt.

Greek yogurt is even better because of it's reduced milk serum content. It's strained, so it's thick and creamy. It makes an excellent marinade for meat (tandoori chicken anyone?) and a good swap for sour cream. I've also used it to thicken smoothies (not my favorite use, but good one) and I add flavor to plain yogurt all the time to make banana splits. It's also a great low-calorie protein, nonfat varieties tend to have 8-11 grams of protein per 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup serving.

A good on the go snack is an individual sized Greek nonfat yogurt, Fage, Chobani, Oikos and Trader Joe's all make them, and I add a packet (usually tablespoon sized) honey to it. Very tasty and you're reaping the digestive benefits of both the honey and the yogurt!

Dannon also makes a Greek Yogurt, pre-sweetened. It comes in a large tub and 6oz size. Also tasty. I dig the vanilla. You could also make a suitable yogurt cheese by straining your favorite plain yogurt overnight in the fridge with a cheese cloth or coffee filter. Get thee to the Greek.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Foodprint: Dishing

Sometimes, I pay people to feed me.

Welcome to my latest grouping of random thoughts & food: Dishing!! This was per suggestion of friends. So if this is awful, blame them.

Havana Central

A very lively, bubbly, noisy place off of Time Square, New York that features live music amongst other things. The music is fantastic, it really does accent the restaurant. I was there in July. I had the picadillo. Why? 1. Because I knew what it actually was. 2. It's made from prime ground beef, sauteed in onion, tomato, raisins, peppers, all good stuff.

I have no idea how many calories I ate, but I wasn't worried. Cuban food can be good when it's at its simplest. Health conscious folk should steer from the fried, salty, porky and sugary, but head full on for the flavor.

Havana central's picadillo is delicious and well portioned in my opinion. It was that night's dinner and next day's lunch. It came with a side of rice, plantains, avocado, and yucca. The yucca was fried, but also decoration as it served as a bowl for the picadillo. It was also one of those entrees that taste even better the next day because the flavors just keep developing. The ground beef is savory, with hints of sweetness and a bit of heat. The yucca's crisp and light, however, that's only for one night. Upon refrigeration, it's chewy, but tasty. And plaintains. Yummm. They didn't make it home. It was so good that I to made a picadillo the week after as I was so inspired.