italian boy

italian boy

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

healthy office snacks so you can save the bad decisions for 3am on a saturday

Recently, I've found myself chatting about what to snack on in the office.  Healthy snacks so you can make up for situations like the photo above.  Easy, non or minimal prep foods you can pick up at the corner store or CVS that don't require you to spend an entire evening dehydrating fruit to make home-made paleo protein bars.  Unfortunately for me, my supplies have been limited lately, so whenever someone brings in brownies or I see Girl Scout cookies in the kitchen they end up in my mouth before I can even count the calories.  Well, I just made a list of a couple snack ideas (in no particular order) that are easy to find, that help in keeping your metabolism raised, that can curb your appetite, and provide you with lots of nutrients, vitamins, and essential fats. The key is that you still need to ration and diversify your snack intake- eating half a jar of peanut butter (guilty face) will really do you no good, BUT if you have an assortment of these ingredients at your desk or in the fridge, they're great to snack on or even substitute as a lunch. From the list below, think: one hard-boiled egg, one piece of fruit, one string cheese, 5 almonds, a celery stick dipped in peanut butter, and a couple carrots dipped in hummus. THAT is a healthy way to keep you going throughout the day.
Modify, add to, and save this list in your phone so when you're at the grocery store you can remember to stock up on some healthy options.
  • celery
  • celery dipped in hummus or peanut butter (with no sugar added)
  • carrots
  • carrots and hummus
  • bell pepper strips
  • salsa
  • hard boiled eggs- sans the yoke
  • an avocado
  • light mozarella string cheese
  • beef jerky (they say only grass fed) 
  • turkey jerky
  • mixed nuts
  • cucumbers
  • cucumbers and hummus, salsa, cream cheese
  • canned or bagged tuna or salmon (sriracha makes that palatable) 
  • good quality dark chocolate (like, not Hershey) 
  • lunch meat (turkey, chicken, a good quality ham) 
  • sliced cheese (be aware of the fat content) 
  • scoop of your favorite protein shake in H20
  • berries
  • one fruit (orange, banana, apple)
  • olives
  • dried seaweed
  • edamame
  • small yogurt
  • pickles 
  • kimchee
  • miso soup mix
  • steam-in-bag vegetables
  • raw vegetables
  • cooked shrimp
  • cottage cheese

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Japanese chicken soup

Get a big deep pan, drizzle some oil, throw in one whole chopped sweet onion, a chopped thumb-sized piece of ginger, and two small green chilies.  Let that cook covered on low heat (so it would all get mushy, not brown).  At the same time open a pack of 5 or 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs.  I rinse them under water (you should always do that with any chicken) then trim off any fat  you see.  By this time the onions should be translucent  so place the chicken in the pan and raised the heat to medium-high. While  cooking wash two whole containers of quartered white mushrooms, drop them in the same pan, and let that cook covered for another 5, 10 till they get tender and shrink up. Now, by this time the chicken should be cooked so remove it all and with two forks shred the meat and returned it to the same pan. Last add a pint glass of filtered water, about a tablespoon of soy sauce, and about two table spoons of red miso paste. Basically let that all come to a boil, ladle into a bowl and serve with a handful of chopped green onions (some warm French bread on the side might just be orgasmic).

minced pork and legume salad

This was a random creation I don't even know how to describe so you'll just have to read it.  All I have to say is a couple people were over and they went for seconds, thirds and FOURTHS.  So yummy and protein PACKED! Get one can of black beans, one of navy beans and two of chick peas, throw them in a pasta strainer and rinse really well.  Let that completely drain then throw it in a big bowl.  Next get a container of ground pork. Sautee it in a pan (if its super lean you might have to add some oil) with salt and pepper (more salt than you would normally think and probably double the black pepper you would normally use). Chop and mix it and when it's completely cooked throw it on top of the beans.  Drain out any fat from the pork pan then chop an onion, 2-3 jalapenos, some ginger, and 2 carrots.  Sautee that in the same pan.  When it's done add to the mix. Then in the same pan throw in two containers of quartered white mushrooms (or that quantity of your favorite mushrooms), about 1/2 a cup of vinegar, and some salt. Cook till they're all tender then throw in the mix. Then SUPER finely chop like 4-5 stalks of celery and throw that on top, raw. Last, toss one huge handful of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, juice from 2-3 limes, drizzle good quality olive oil and [preferably sea] salt over the top of everything and serve. 
The key is to cook everything separate and add everything as DRY as possible so its a very loose mixable protein and vegetable filled salad.

coconut curry cauliflower

Fantastic for a dreary winter day.  Sautee some green chili, an onion, chopped carrots, and chopped celery. Add a bit of salt or a tablespoon of fish sauce (your choice).  When that's all tender add a whole cauliflower, separated in pieces, two tablespoons of Jamaican curry powder, and a cup or so of water.  Stir then reduce the heat to medium, cover and let simmer.  Once the cauliflower is tender, add a can of coconut milk. If you want this more as a side, let that cook down to your preferred consistency OR if you'd like a chunky soup add another cup or two of water and bring to a boil (just recheck for salt).  Dress with thyme if you have it and enjoy!

About Me

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Hi there, my name is Giacomo and I enjoy things delicious. Long story short, my parents moved from Italy to NJ where I grew up (and loved it) but found myself in Washington, DC fourteen years ago and haven’t yet found an excuse to leave. Food has always been a huge part of my day and life… from happy times, sad times, holidays, drunken escapades and all the rest in between, I’ve usually spent a good portion of that time putting something in my mouth. I guess I started this blog a little while ago to keep track of what I was cooking and places I’d eat-- simply because my friends were always asking “how do you make this” or “where do you get that” but surprisingly over time I guess real people started reading too. SO, take a look around and let me know what you think. You’ll see that the backbone of lots of my food is Italian but I manage to cover most bases. Thanks for stopping by. BUON APPETITO!

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