Welcome to Cook Me Healthy!
On this blog, you will find delicious recipes and fun fitness tips to lead a healthy, yummy life!
All the recipes follow the same philosophy:
*I use real food, whose ingredients I can pronounce, and cook them in the healthiest, tastiest ways possible
*I use herbs and spices to liven your taste buds in order to rely less on added sugar, salt, and fat
*Natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, and sucanat are used- white sugar is used sparingly, if at all
*I cook as seasonally and locally as possible for utmost freshness and flavor
*Several recipes are vegetarian and vegan friendly
*I never deny a sweet tooth: the key to eating well is 90% healthy and 10% indulgence!
*All my food is prepared lovingly and mindfully
Friday, March 29, 2013
So I figured I'd resume where we left off...at butternut squash. When my little man was having some lovely daddy-son bonding time, I was able to dig into my growing pile of magazines and found this great recipe in Cooking Light for a Thai Butternut Soup. How inspired! I have never used butternut squash with Thai flavors before and the pictures in the magazine looked so scrumptious I had to try it out! I followed their recipe pretty closely but adjusted some of the ingredients to my taste and put my own twist on it where I could, and it turned out creamy and delicious with an incredibly complex flavor profile. This is definitely one recipe that is going into my soup rotation!
Adapted from Cooking Light, March 2013
Makes 4 large servings.
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil + more to drizzle if you choose
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 lb butternut squash, cubed
1 1/2 cup veggie broth
1 (14oz) can coconut milk
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp soy sauce (or more or less to taste)
Zest of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
Heat a saucepan and add the oils. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook until onions are soft and ginger-garlic are fragrant, about 5 min. Add the red curry paste and cook another 2 min. Stir in the butternut squash and mix until it is coated with the onion-red curry paste mixture. Allow to cook for about 5 min, stirring frequently. This will allow the butternut squash to brown a bit and build flavor. Add the broth, coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime zest, and lime juice and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat back down to low and simmer until the squash is tender. With an immersion blender or food processor, blend the mixture until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings. Serve with cilantro leaved and chopped peanuts and maybe one last squeeze of lime juice for freshness. I also like to drizzle a little sesame oil on top for extra richness.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
I usually make savory butternut squash, with lots of rosemary and flecks of sea salt. This time, however, I decided to try to make it into a dessert. Oh, right, I forgot to tell you that most of the things my baby wants to eat happen to be sweet carbohydrates like ice cream sundaes or pie. Just ask my friends who are witness to my new eating habits and somehow join the pregnant girl in head-to-head eating! But I try to resist temptation to stuff my face with not-so-good things, and try to substitute in more nutritious foods. So I thought to make a barely sweetened squash dessert with rich notes of fall spices that turned out to be really quite delicious. It's great warm or cold, you can add toppings to it if you like to make it even more special- my favorites are shredded apple and cranberries. But it's really quite simple and hits the spot both for it's sweet flavor and it's nutrition. And the baby loved it!!
Makes 6 servings
1 1/4 lb butternut squash, diced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp virgin coconut oil
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp orange zest
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Optional toppings: toasted sunflower seeds, shredded apple (super yummy and unexpected!!!), dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375. In a baking dish, combine the squash, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut oil, maple syrup, orange zest, and salt. Toss to evenly coat the squash with the spices. Roast in oven for about 40 min, then allow to cool to your desired serving temperature. When serving, add topping of your choice.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The cookbook my recipes are featured in is HERE!! Check it out!
Pick up your copy on Amazon:
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
|The amazing view from the lakehouse|
|Yay Friends!! Digging in!!|
Makes a lot!
4 ears of raw corn, shucked, kernels removed from cob
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (check the heat first, use more or less depending on how hot yours is!!)
1/3 cup finely minced fresh cilantro
1/3 cup finely minced fresh basil
1/3 cup finely minced fresh basil
2 tbsp finely minced fresh oregano
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss together so that all the herbs are evenly distributed. Season with the salt and pepper to taste, and serve as a salad. My friends enjoyed it as a salsa on top of tortilla chips as well.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Secondly, I would like to address the fact that some of you just read the title of this post and wanted to gag. I know a few of you who equate the taste of olives to that of shoes. I know you. And I want to change your mind with this incredibly tasty concoction. I probably won't, but you can't blame a girl for trying to push delicious things on other people.
Anyway, the above two things that I addressed have a lot to do with each other. As a pregnant person, all I want to eat are sour things. Throw some sriracha in there and it's a party! So for the picnic portion of a lovely peach-picking outing this past weekend, I made a batch of this tapenade. It's zesty and tangy and briny and fresh, and goes beautifully with a slice of artisan bread, the shade of a tree, and the laughter of friends.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
2/3 lb good quality pitted olives (I used a mix from the olive bar)
4 tbsp capers, drained
3 small cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon zest
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Place all ingredients in food processor and process until finely minced but not mush.
Serve with a baguette or other yummy bread.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with grape flavored candy. Jolly Ranchers, chewing gum, lollipops, you name it. But I rarely touched grapes! They just didn’t taste grape-y enough to my little palate which I had routinely bombarded with “grape flavored” foods.
Unfortunately, we live in an era in which processed food is so ubiquitous, our taste buds tend to have a bias towards foods that are overly sweet, salty, fatty, or have strong artificial flavors. We can get so accustomed to these flavors that natural foods end up tasting bland. This can lead to a cycle of consuming processed foods more and more over natural foods, causing a host of chemicals to wind up in our bodies and create allergies, illnesses, and adverse reactions.
Natural foods support our vitality by providing us with amazing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, electrolytes, and of course, the much-needed macronutrients in their most minimally processed form. Below are some smart tips to recalibrate your taste buds to go from junk food junkie to natural food gourmand:
- Start with sweets: Fruits are nature’s candy! Loaded with deliciousness, these are the easiest things to start including in your diet that can easily substitute for high-sugar treats. With fruit, your palate will be flooded with so much flavor that there will be no need for artificially flavored sweets.
- Look for color: Our bodies are naturally wired to search for the most colorful foods. To our prehistoric ancestors, bright color indicated nutrition density and food safety. Food manufacturers are aware of this and very often artificially color our foods to take advantage of our evolutionary senses (hot pink M&M, anyone?). So tune back in to your evolutionary senses and choose natural foods whose colors appeal to you. When your visual sense is involved, you are more likely to appreciate the flavor of the natural food.
- Stop and smell the…: Some of my most distinct memories of my childhood are my mom preparing an Indian meal in the evening. So whenever I smell garlic and onions sautéing, I am immediately reminded of her, and I immediately get hungry. In addition to our visual sense, food must satisfy our olfactory sense- our sense of smell. So next time you are grocery shopping or eating, pick up foods and smell them. Here again, start with the smells that appeal to you, and you’ll begin to find natural foods that you like.
- Add herbs and spices: I confess, I like salt! Sometimes I’ll cook a dish and my husband will devour it as-is, and I’ll sit there and complain it’s not salty enough, my hand already reaching for the shaker. But through my culinary adventures, I realized there was a way around my addiction, namely herbs and spices. When you add herbs and spices to foods, you add flavor, which satisfies your taste buds without the need to add more salt or fat or sugar. Dried herbs pack more of a flavor punch than fresh, but fresh offer a clean herbaceousness. Choose either or both depending on the end result you want. With spices, toasting them whole and then grinding them brings out their oils and deepens their flavor. But if you don’t have the time or the tools, spices as-is are fine too. By adding herbs and spices, you take your food to a new taste level and say bye-bye to bland!
- Take a cooking class, or just practice in your own kitchen: So many people rely on pre-packaged, processed, or take-out food because they don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen or are seriously pressed for time. This leads to the processed-food-dependency I described earlier. By taking a cooking class, you will learn the right tools to have in the kitchen, the right techniques for cooking certain foods, and of course, a few go-to recipes that you have already tried. By practicing more in the kitchen, you become more efficient in the kitchen, and the meal that used to take you 2 hours to make, you’re able to make in 30 minutes. Meals cooked at home are generally quality and quantity controlled, and tend to incorporate more natural ingredients.
- Plan ahead: I have another confession. At one of my first jobs out of college, we used to keep a stash of chocolate truffles in a drawer, and everyday at about 5pm, I used to shove a handful in my mouth. Because I was hungry, and because there was nothing else to eat. I had to wise up pretty quickly since my clothes started getting tight, so I learned to plan my snacks. Now I make homemade trail mix – nuts, seeds, a sprinkling of dried fruit - and take a little with me to work everyday, so when the slump hits, I have something healthy to eat. Planning works for every meal of the day. If you know what you are going to eat and you have the ingredients on hand, you are less likely to pick up the phone for take-out or eat something processed.
Making the transition back to natural foods can be a long and hard one. We are comforted by flavors we already know and love, and gosh, processed foods can be addictive! The key is to go at your own pace and incorporate natural foods little by little into your diet to the point where you are crowding out the artificial and processed stuff. In the end, making the switch can have some serious benefits to your overall health and wellness, and soon those grape-flavored candies will have nothing on a fresh bunch of cool, crunchy, juicy, tart red grapes.
Have your own suggestions on how to return to eating natural foods? Have a success story? Share it with us in the comments section below.
You can also find this article on MindBodyGreen's website.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I have exciting news to share!!
Some of my recipes have been featured in an upcoming cookbook due out this August!
A little information about this wonderful book:
Country Comfort: Cooking Across
is a keepsake recipe collection highlighting popular ingredients from each
region of the United States.
This fun and exciting cookbook is perfect for anyone looking to take a
cross-country culinary tour of America
and discover its vast food heritage.
Country Comfort: Cooking Across
includes over 175
enticing recipes and accompanying anecdotes from cooks throughout the country.
From the quaint seaside towns of the Northeast to the surfing villages of the
West coast, Country Comfort: Cooking Across America is sure to provide you and
your family with an endless variety of traditional and modern dishes all year
Some of the great recipes from across the nation featured in Country Comfort: Cooking Across
include Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast, Michigan Cherry Salad with Maple
Balsamic Vinaigrette, New England Lobster Rolls, Shrimp Creole, Real Texas
Chili, Georgia Peach Pound Cake, and California Apple, Raisin, and Almond
Chicken Salad. America
Country Comfort: Cooking Across
also includes: America
• Easy-to-follow techniques written by Chef Nicole Roarke to help simplify the cooking process
• Professional tips and tricks of the trade for preparing common ingredients including garlic, chilies, and blended oils
• And more...
Eating at home saves money, strengthens family bonds, and allows for creativity in cooking. Whether you’re a beginner who prefers easy-to-follow recipes or an experienced chef looking to expand your culinary horizons, Country Comfort: Cooking Across America is your go-to guide for flavorful and timeless recipes.
If you are interested in purchasing this book, click here.