Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pick a Little, Eat a Little: Some Nom-a-licious Summer Faves

I try not to ramble about food too much, partially because this blog is supposed to be primarily about beauty products, partially because once I start talking about food, I can't stop. I just...I love it. It's ridiculous, really. If I had the time and the money to sponsor numerous food adventures, I'd start up a whole new blog just to ramble about my eating habits.

But instead of doing that (aka going off the deep end), I'm  just going to do a post about my current favorite noms on this here blog. I assume most of you won't mind. :)

NUTS. Ohhhh, the amount of money Emerald has made off of me in the past few months! I've always loved almonds, walnuts, and peanuts, but I didn't realize they came in such convenient little packages until recently. Of course I love the 100 packs, particularly the walnut-almond mixture and the cocoa roast almonds. But the real winner? The Breakfast-on-the-Go packs. All under 200 calories and perfectly sweet, these wee pouches contain far more monounsaturated fats and protein than the average candy bar. My only disappointment is that they can be quite expensive, so I try to look out for sales, and take over the kitchen cupboards. Sorry, family.

HONEY. I tend to fall in and out of love with honey. Sometimes it strikes me as being a sickly sweet, totally unnecessary addition to my cup of tea, and other times it seems like I can't live without a blob of honey on my cornbread. The real turning point for me, however, has been discovering the flavored honey sticks. Again, these are travel-friendly (have you noticed that that's a big thing for me?), and they add some new and interesting dimensions to honey. My favorite are the cinnamon.

FAGE 0% GREEK YOGURT. Greek yogurt has been a favorite in my family for about 2 years now. It all began with Chobani: mom and I tested them out, expecting the worst, and immediately fell in love with how rich and creamy it was. Nowadays, my mom, brother, and I can't even eat regular yogurt; it tastes too "watered-down." But ever since I tried Fage this past winter, I rarely eat any other yogurt. To me, this is what Greek yogurt should be: super-thick and creamy without added thickeners, rich but slightly tangy, and the perfect canvas for a wide variety of toppings.

Combine those three ingredients in to a single bowl and you have a snack of pure delightfulness that cannot be matched. 1/2 cup of Fage 0%, a tablespoon of honey, and an Emerald 100 Calorie Walnuts and Almonds package = 250-some calories of pure HEAVEN! This is one of my absolute favorite post-workout treats.

RAW BELL PEPPERS. I've always enjoyed a wide range of raw vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes, but I've discovered that raw bell peppers take the cake. Nothing quite matches their satisfying crunch, slightly-sweet flavor, or incredible nutritional impact. Red and yellow peppers are my favorites, but I eat green and orange from time to time as well. They're especially good with a small dollop of Marzetti's Dill Dip. *drools*

PITTED DATES. I know, I know, they look like animal poo. But dates have probably become my top addiction over the summer; on some days, I eat a dozen or more. Surprisingly cheap and satisfying, dates have this amazing chewy texture I haven't been able to find in anything else besides candy. Yet they're far more healthy than candy, of course, because they contain nutrients and fiber. In terms of flavor, I would describe them as the "love child of figs, toffee, and raisins." Ignore how they look on the outside and just look at that beautiful innards photo up above--don't you just wanna sink your teeth in to that?!

And last, but most certainly not least, the delicacy extraordinaire that I only eat a few times a year...

BAGELS WITH CREAM CHEESE AND SMOKED SALMON. You're probably side-eying me right now, given my recent claims that I don't much care for bread, especially white bread. And that, dear friends, is why I use a Thomas' Bagel Thin instead of a regular bagel: it's just enough bread to hold the whole sandwich together. Regular bagels are just bread, bread, bread, and they mask the taste of the delicious reduced fat cream cheese and smoked salmon. Oooooh, smoked salmon! It's stupidly expensive--a 4oz slice costs about $10 and will only make about 3 sandwiches--but totally worth it as an occasional reward. I like to toast the bagel a smidge, then leave all of the ingredients on the counter for 15-30 minutes so they get lukewarm. (It sounds gross, but trust me, it makes for the most satisfying sandwich!) And for those of you who are dieting, definitely try this preparation with a plain Thomas' Bagel Thin, 2 tablespoons of Philadelphia Reduced Fat cream cheese, and 2 oz of smoked salmon; it's just 300 calories and super-filling.

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