Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Cherry Tomato Extravanganza

So last week I found myself with an abundance of cherry tomatoes. We had planted them in our garden. My favorite variety is the Sweet 100's. I bought a container at Marc's(without thinking). Then, my mom brought me 2 large bags of cherry tomatoes. What's a girl to do with all these cherry tomatoes? Make Checca sauce! I found this recipe from one of Giada's cookbooks. These pictures don't even do it justice. It is a great tasting and simple sauce. The best part is that you don't even cook the sauce. Some times the simpler the better, you know? I paired it with some freshly made pasta from Ohio City Pasta. I hate to drown this pasta in an overpowering sauce, so this sauce was perfect.
I'm writing this recipe from memory, so forgive me if the amounts are not exact.
1. Cook your past until it is al dente.
2. In a food processor, combine 1- 12oz container of halved cherry tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, 8 basil leaves, 1/4 c. of chopped green onions.

3. Pulse your food processor until the tomatoes are finely chopped but not pureed. Drizzle 3 T. of olive oil into your tomatoes as you pulse
4. Add 1 oz. of fresh Parmesan cheese.

5. Fold your warm pasta into the tomato mix.

6. Slice or chop 4 oz of fresh mozzarella over the top of your pasta dish. (I was missing this part, unfortunately)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Night at the Ballpark

Last night B and I had a date to go watch the Indians beat the Yankees. B's a bit of a diehard when it comes to the Indians(got to give him credit for his perseverance). I tossed around the idea of finding healthy dining fare at the ballpark, but this could prove to be too much of challenge. So, we decided to make a stop at Johnny Mango on the way to the game.

Now, I know there are many mixed reviews on Johnny Mango. But, I am here to defend it. I think it is, hands down, one of the healthiest restaurants in Cleveland. I love the laid back, unpretentious atmosphere and fresh fruit drinks which are actually juiced as you order. Here are some more reasons I love it!

I love that this menu changes daily and the fresh produce comes from down the street at the Westside Market. The grapefruit margaritas were phenomenal!

I had the steak salad which is more salad than steak. Many cultures around the world understand this healthy concept... more vegetables and less meat. This is key to a heart-healthy, lean diet. The salad had big chucks of grilled vegetables. The flank steak was well-prepared and served in a citrus-peanut dressing.

I think this picture is beautiful! Only you foodies could appreciate garbanzo beans as a work of art. B ordered the tomato, mushroom, and garlic quesadillas(big plate). The big plate always includes the grain of the day, tangy slaw, and the "happy beans". Fresh salsa is served on the side.

This is what was left of B's meal.

Onto the game! Cleveland was looking lovely tonight.

Cleveland wins 4 to 1! Sorry Yanks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Unique Burger

Hi! Its Monday night which is my least favorite night to cook after starting off a new workweek. Lucky for me, my husband B loves to grill. He fires up the grill at least 3x/week no matter what the season. I especially love grilling in the summer because it doesn't heat up my kitchen and it's easy cleanup. The only problem is that with grilling comes lots of meat. I mean, they go hand-in-hand. When I found this recipe in Cooking Light for Sate burgers, I couldn't wait to try it!

The word, Sate, is Indonesian for meat skewers. These burgers are BIG on flavor. The recipe uses peanuts, lime juice, cilantro, browns sugar, and fish sauce. It also uses equal amounts of ground turkey and ground pork. This cuts down on saturated fats(artery clogging fat) as compared to a regular burger. The nutritional values are as follows: 166 calories, 7.5 g fat, 4.9 g Carbs, and 599 mg of sodium. So, if you are looking to lose weight this is great. If you are watching your blood pressure, not so great.

O.K. I'm done analyzing... Here's the recipe with some pics.

Sate Burgers

1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1/4 c. unsalted dry roasted peanuts finely chopped
1-1/2 T. brown sugar
2 T. fresh lime juice
1-1/2 T. fish sauce
1-1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. Tabasco
3 garlic cloves, minced,
3/4# ground turkey
3/4# ground pork

1. Combine first 11 ingredients

2. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into 1/2 inch-thick patties.

3. Place patties on a grill coated with cooking spray; grill 7 minutes on each side

Remove from grill; let stand for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taste of Tremont

I think I've had just about enough Cleveland bashing to last me a lifetime since this Lebron thing has happened. Since my husband is always listening to radio talk shows(usually sports-related),I get to listen to all these jackasses from other cities sympathize with LeBron about why he would possibly want to stay in a city such as Cleveland. Well, I'll tell you why.... take a look at these beauties! Tremont is quite possibly my favorite area in Cleveland. I'm not sure a lot of people from other cities make this a stop when they come to visit. We have a lot of well-kept secrets here. This is St. John Cantius church where we had a bite to eat on the steps...

Remember the movie The Christmas Story? Well, the house from the movie is in this neighborhood. This is my sister admiring some lovely leg lamp mini lights for her home next Christmas.

A Greek-like statue lady posed in front of one of my all-time favorite Tremont bars.
O.K. Enough of the sight-seeing. Its time to view the main event which was the Tremont food!

We tried some Lobster Gazpacho from the Southside! This was wonderfully refreshing on such a hot day. It was a little lite on the lobster, but, Gazpacho is so good and healthy I barely missed it!

Next, we mosied on over to Fahrenheit and has some Chinese Chicken Salad which was a beautiful combination of cabbage, roasted chicken, mango, and wasabi peas mixed in a light sesame dressing. I have to admit that I really wanted the loaded chips below it which were homemade potato chips with goat cheese and bacon. However, in keeping with the name of my blog... "skinny eats Cleveland", I behaved myself. I wasn't sorry. The chicken salad was good.

Isn't it pretty????

Lastly, we sort of fell off the wagon and got some pizza at Lago. At least it was vegetarian. It consisted of artichokes, olives, and goat cheese. Yummy! Oh, and this restaurant also has a Vegetarian Monday night event which I hope to attend one of these days.

So all in all I would say that it was the perfect culinary adventure day in Cleveland! It even ended up with a rainbow over my house. Bet you don't see many of those in NYC....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Roadtrip to the Smokies

Hi y'all! I just returned from a wonderful vacation with my family and some old friends to the Smoky Mountains in NC. This was our view from the house....

Imagine this sunrise with a warm mug of french roast coffee.....

Anyhow, when I started this entry I was feeling guilty for not writing this week, but, then I realized that I have just been busy relaxing on vacation! Isn't that what wellness is all about? I spent 5 great days with my family. We ate well, we slept well, and we played. We had no WIFI or cellphone connection and we reconnected with each other. I felt totally rejuvenated when I returned. Everyone talks about the cool mountain air, but unfortunately it was 95 degrees up there last week. We were able to beat the heat splashing around in a cool swimming hole...

We also had an awesome time white water rafting on the Ocoee River. Seriously, this was amazing... I felt like a kid again. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves water and can swim fairly well. Class IV rapids are pretty rocky, but fun, fun, fun. But enough about my vacation.... and back to food. Our food choices(or lack of healthy choices) while out on the road are rather appalling. I felt like I was never more than a stones throw away from a McDonalds no matter where I was. The south feels especially limited in their healthy options. This probably explains why NC(where we stayed) ranks one of the highest in childhood obesity.

I find the best defense while traveling is to arm myself with lots of healthy snacks. I always hit Trader Joes before a roadtrip because they have so many great snack items. One of the best snacks is their frozen edamame. These are so good and filling. My kids like them because they have a hint of salt and are fun to pop out of the pod. A 1/2 cup provides 9 grams of protein which will help give you a satiated feeling. They also provide a healthy dose of fiber which is always a plus while traveling(be careful not to overeat edamame for this reason).

Trail mixes are also great. I love their Temptation Mix which has peanuts, cashews, almonds, dried cherries, peanut butter and chocolate chips. You could probably save some money by concocting this mix on your own, but, I wasn't that organized.

Peanut butter sandwiches made on whole wheat bread are also easy and satisfying when traveling. Mozzarella cheese sticks are easy to throw into the cooler. And of course, fresh, cut-up fruit and vegetables are also good options. Also, be sure to pack lots of water. I really like La Croix seltzer water if your craving that carbonation(grapefruit is my favorite flavor). These have 0 calories and no artificial sweeteners.

If you still need a restaurant fix along the way, I discovered this great website... You can plug in a zip code and price range and find restaurants with healthy dining options in the area. This is a cool website! Check it out. Happy traveling y'all. I think I'll keep this southern accent up for a few hours...