Breakfast is often times the first meal that we neglect, whether we are trying to skip meals or would prefer to spend the extra time sleeping. But as we’ve been told since we were young, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and there really is some truth to that. We’ve been “fasting” all night and we need some energy to focus and perform our best, whether it be at school, work, or play.
When I was in high school, eating breakfast, was like, totally not important to me. I was focused on the essentials: finding the perfect Abercrombie & Fitch outfit and making sure my bangs were curled just so. My mother being oh-so-wise would make fresh waffles for my brother and I, which if we couldn’t eat whilst getting ready for school, we could take along in the car with us. Very Pleasantville of her, don’t you think?
Abercrombie & Fitch is no longer cool (I don’t think?), my bangs no longer need curling and I’ve fully embraced breakfast. My day just wouldn’t be the same without it, nor would you want to be in my presence if it was missed. Here are some of my breakfast staples – I often eat my meals in courses- an egg at home first thing and then something a little more substantial at work. I prefer splitting my meals up a bit, but obviously everyone will have different preferences!
- First Course: Coffee and Coconut Creamer
- Second Course: An Organic Egg (fried or hard boiled)
- Third Course: Oatmeal & Peanut Butter, Hemp or Sprouted Bagel or Smoothie
Oddly enough, I rarely find the need to switch up my breakfasts, I love having a combination of proteins, fats and carbs. On weekends at home the taster will often make some omelets or something a little more exciting! (ie. bacon) But if you like some variety, here are some other ideas:
- Cedarlane’s ready-to-go omelette
- hard boiled egg and slice of sprouted bread
- fruit, bread and peanut butter/almond butter
- greek yogurt, cereal and peanut butter/almond butter
- smoothie: almond/coconut milk, juice, spinach, fruit, amazing grass and/or protein powder, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Do you eat the same things for breakfast or do you have to switch it up?
A few years back, I met the tasters sister Amy at a great little wine bar in Chicago and one of the items that we had was butter with various salts. I’ve never forgotten how delicious it was and I’ve been building my salt collection ever since. When the truffle salt made its way into my collection, I knew I was ready for my own butter and salt experience.
The concept is simple and the preparation is minimal – simply sprinkle the salt over pieces of high-quality butter and serve with bread or crackers. Wine is optional but highly recommended 😉 Although I love red, I think a crisp white would pair beautifully with the saltiness and creamy butter.
Left to right: Truffle Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt, Smoked Sea Salt, Citrus Sea Salt
One thing I’ve been wanting to make since I received truffle salt is deviled eggs – with truffle. Doesn’t it just sound heavenly? I tried it in scrambled eggs, which turns them into a decadent treat but deviled eggs was next on my list.
I figured these upscaled deviled eggs could benefit from the addition of caramelized shallots in replacement of raw onions- a decision that I can confidently say, was a good one.
They would make the perfect cocktail party fare or be a wonderful addition to a brunch. Either way they are sure to impress.
Truffled Deviled Eggs – makes 16
- 8 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp truffle salt
Peel eggs and cut in half, lengthwise, being careful not to break the whites. Remove yolks and set in a medium size bowl. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat and add shallots, cooking until starting to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add shallots and remaining ingredients to egg yolk bowl and mash to combine. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Top with chopped chives if desired.
The salad bar can be a great place to build-you-own balanced meal or a place where you can feel like you are eating healthy when it really isn’t the case.
In college, the salad bar was my favorite aspect of dorm dining – when else do you have access to rows of clean and cut veggies? I frequented it on a daily basis and firmly believe that it helped prevent the dreaded freshman 15.
While I don’t get to the salad bar quite as often these days, it does make a great stand-in for those days that I don’t bring my own lunch. Here are my guidelines for building the perfect salad:
- The lettuce base: the darker the better, think spinach and spring greens for the majority, and some romaine for added crunch if desired. Fill most of the container with lettuce.
- Load up on veggies: add as many vegetables as you can, remembering the rainbow – think cucumber, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, sprouts, etc.
- Add a protein: tofu, beans, chicken or lean deli meats. This will add some staying power to your salad.
- The Extras: I sometimes like to add some deli salads for a little something extra, sometimes a grain or pasta, sometimes a veggie salad like the marinated Italian veggies shown here. If choosing a grain or mayo-based salad, stick to less than 1/2 cup.
- Fat & Flavor: Add 1 Tbsp of nuts (choose nuts over croutons) or flavorful cheese (feta, blue or parmesan) for some healthy fats and extra flavor.
- Dressing: Instead of the typical ranch dressing, try using a balsamic vinaigrette or a sprinkle of olive oil and vinegar over your salad.
What ingredients does your ideal salad bar have?
Filed under antioxidants, ask the nutritionist, cheese, fats, great meals, grocery shopping, lose weight, nuts, protein, salad, tomatoes, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods
I’m convinced that I could eat asparagus every single day – I love it that much. Usually, a bit of olive oil, garlic and salt is all it needs, but I do appreciate pairing it with some salty cheese every now and then. This most recent side dish used feta and it went perfectly with some grilled salmon.
I’ve never quite understood how people can claim to not like vegetables, but I’m fairly certain it’s just because they haven’t had veggies prepared correctly…they don’t know what they are missing!
Grilled Asparagus with Feta – 2 servings
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped off
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 oz feta cheese
- salt & pepper
Heat grill to medium. Season asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for about 10 minutes, depending on size. Cut into thirds and crumble feta cheese over top.
If you ever find yourself with some extra lobster tails lying around, I’m begging you, use them to make this. And if you don’t have any lobster tails lying around? Make it happen. It’s worth it.
When the most recent issue of Saveur arrived with a picture of a Four-cheese macaroni & cheese on the cover, I knew that my life would not be complete without a gooey, cheesy, ridiculously not-healthy, pasta dish in my future. Yes, you read that right. Not-healthy. It’s always been my feeling that sometimes life calls for white pasta, cheese and butter. All in the same meal. And I happen to think that balance is healthy.
Words can barely describe this meal, but there were many, “mmms and yumms” throughout. Rich, indulgent and so creamy and flavorful. The only healthy thing about this recipe? Cutting the size down from 8-10 servings to 2-3 servings. Oh, and just be sure to serve it alongside a large portion of vegetables.
Lobster Mac & Cheese – adapted from Saveur
- 6 oz pasta (I used fusilli)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk (1/2 cup skim, 1/2 cup half & half)
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 Tbsp brandy
- 1 tsp tabasco
- 2-3 oz cooked lobster meat (the taster grilled some small tails)
- 1/4 cup chives
- 1/4 cup grated aged cheddar
Preheat oven to 375°. Cook pasta in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth, about a minute. Whisk in milk and cook, whisking often, until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and stir in 3/4 cup fontina, mascarpone, brandy, Tabasco and freshly ground pepper. Add pasta and stir in half of the lobster and scallions. Transfer mixture to an 8″x8″ baking dish and sprinkle with remaining fontina and cheddar. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining lobster and chives.
This twist on the Mexican staple encompasses everything that an appetizer should be – easy, healthy and delicious. Really, what more could you ask for?
We took this over to a friends house (Thanks Taster for making, food styling and photographing!) and it was a very fun change from the typical guac and tortilla chips. We served it alongside some whole-grain bread that was toasted, carrots and radishes. The only downside? Guac just never tastes as good the day after – all the more reason to eat it up right away!
Guacamole with Basil & Shallots adapted from Bon Appétit
- 4 medium sized avocados, taken from skin and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- salt & pepper
Lightly mash the avocado, stir in shallots and basil. Season with salt to taste. Serve with toasted whole-grain bread and crudités.
Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, fats, herbs, raw foods, Recipes, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains