Monday, September 8, 2014

Accidental Chocolate

In a fit of hunger I relied on the trusty middle console of my car to satiate my appetite. It's always a gamble with what you'll find in there and today I was extremely lucky. Fair Trade Dark Chocolate. Half eaten. It had been pushed upon me before several times actually but I was always dubious. The best chocolate I ever tasted was in the Swiss Alps and I've been chasing that dream ever since. That rich, fresh milk chocolate dream that's reminiscent of the opening scene in Willy Wonka. Today I awoke to another world of chocolate. This time down under with chocolate from Belgium. That part of the world very obviously has the chocolate market cornered and it got me decades later in a place I'd never thought it'd be. I've never been a fan of dark chocolate and truth be told I'm not a big fan of chocolate at all. This chance bar has changed things. It's Fair Trade so the makers of the chocolate not only use the finest ingredients but they receive a fair wage for doing so all the way down to the cocoa farmer. I munched away with a bit less guilt knowing that. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Can Our Brains Be Trained to Eat Healthy?

In a world where fast food and fast lives abound, is it possible to train your brain to crave healthy, low-calorie foods? A pilot study was published in the Nutrition & Diabetes journal has scientists saying that it is possible. This could drastically change the food game and have people looking even more to a more natural, healthier diet that is sustainable both mentally and environmentally. There is no better time than now. 

Beans beans are good for your heart... via cnn.com
The innovative study of obese individuals divided them into two groups. One control group and the other the experimental. The experimental were told to reduce their calories by 500-1,000 calories a day and eat protein and fiber dense foods for six months. They lost a significant amount of weight but the dopamine levels in the brain which are usually triggered when exposed to fatty foods, were lowered. Their old bad eating habits didn't bring them pleasure which could have long-term and positive effects on their health. 

I'll drink a big glass of water to my health after reading this amazing study. 

Here's to our health!

Read more here via cnn.com

10 picks from the list....

  1. Quinoa
  2. Beans
  3. Blueberries
  4. Dark chocolate
  5. Walnuts
  6. Spinach
  7. Salmon
  8. Eggs
  9. Green Tea
  10. Almonds

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Peter Timbs Is Our Favorite Dinner Party Guest

Recently I hosted a dinner party where I fed nine guests. I served round steaks and admittedly I'm not very good at cooking steak. Despite my originating from Texas, my kitchen confidence when it comes to steaks is low. The solution to that is to use very high quality meat to start off with. We chose Peter Timbs as we often do, and not surprisingly, all the guests were very pleased.
I marinated them for about an hour with a simple concoction of fresh garlic, salt and pepper before grilling them. They came out juicy and delicious. I was very proud of myself but I truly give all the credit to Peter making him the best guest of the evening.
Choose a top butcher for your meat needs because quality cannot be masked and you literally can taste all the difference!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Simple Soup Does The Job




It is getting cold. The chill you to the bones kind of cold. I have been finding smart ways to warm up but if your body needs a full-on jolt of heat, then soup is the easiest way to go. I enjoyed this delicious carrot and potato soup for brunch a few weeks back from The Beach Cafe. It was perfectly seasoned and portioned with just a bit of heat to wake up the palette as well as warm the soul. A smooth soup texture paired well with the crusty bread I used to dip and taste. No crumbly bits and no leftover soup either. This was absolutely the cure for my coldness.

 Soup is simple but it has to be good in order to do the job. This one did. 
Stay warm out there!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Home Burger and Fries

There is something to be said about the home-cooked gourmet burger. Is it the endless options of condiments and fixings? This one features: sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, aoili, tomato, spinach and cheddar cheese. Perhaps it's the essential hefty side of chips which if you are in New Zealand has the requisite tomato sauce? Or maybe that delicious aroma that permeates throughout the house beckoning diners bellies to the table? Whatever the case, here is our latest meal enjoyed with good friends which always makes a meal that much more enjoyable. We mostly take credit for eating this massive creation, and also for providing the takeaway chips, but enjoying a good burger is like buying a good pair of shoes: you have to indulge sometimes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is This The Healthy Grilled Cheese?

Grilled cheese is a go to food in our house especially during the colder months. We continue to stay busy with real life activities but the menu definitely changes with the seasons. We need a warm belly and fast as the temperatures drop. I remember days of yore where white bread, margarine and the key ingredient which I recently heard being referred to as "plastic cheese".  Times have changed and we've made an easy alternative that will keep the entire family healthfully and quickly fed all winter long.

Here are our 3 ingredient alternatives to the traditional grilled cheese:

White bread for Soy & Linseed Bread
Margarine for coconut oil
Plastic cheese for organic cheddar

Want to amp up the healthy points?
Add fresh spinach or grated carrots
Pair with a dipping sauce of greek yogurt & herbs
Have fresh soup as a main and offer grilled cheese on the side cut into triangles (preferably without crusts for serving)

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