against all grain’s grain-free granola bars

againt all grain grain-free granola barsI can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I first made these grain-free, dairy-free granola bars. They’re a savior to have on hand in the freezer.

They’re even better than I remembered… and so easy to make.

Basically take every nut and seed you have (I used almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, dates and coconut) and grind ‘em up (I used my Vitamix, but you can use any food processor). Then mix that with a melty pot of coconut oil, almond butter, honey and vanilla… then freeze.

Luxury awaits.

And you’ll hopefully never eat a pre-packaged bar again :)

The official recipe is on Against All Grain’s blog… but you should tweak and play using your favorite nuts and seeds and make it your own. I smushed lotsa Enjoy Life grain-free, dairy-free chocolate chips in mine cause I wanna… enjoy life.

honeymoon highlights: thailand, indonesia, and a couple other stops along the way

rome gelatoAnd there is no better way to kick off a honeymoon than with some gelato from Giolitti in Rome! We only had a few hours here between flights, and we made the most of it. The Coliseum! The Pantheon! (You can check out all of our honeymoon pics on Instagram, by the way. His… and… hers.)

nahm rice crackerNext stop: Bangkok. Everyone recommended (and raved about) Nahm — it’s one of the world’s 50 best restaurants! — but I thought the food was way too spicy. And I like spicy food. But this was so spicy I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted to. These rice cakes covered with blue swimmer crab with peanuts and pickled garlic were delicious, and reminded me of the spicy tuna rice cakes we get at Catch (and elsewhere) back home, but I could barely get them down. My mouth was on fiya. HOT, HOT, HOT. (And for those wondering, you apparently can’t ask them to turn down the heat. It is what it is, as they say.)

bangkok thai iced coffeeIt wasn’t just the food that was hot, either. We walked around Chinatown in Bangkok one night — eating so much fantastic, and fantastically cheap street food — when it was about 90 degrees and sweltering outside. We stopped in one place for spare ribs and Brian ordered a Thai iced coffee — in that mug I’m using to cool down — and it was one of the most deliciously sweet cups of coffee I’ve ever had. I am far from a coffee connoisseur, but I drank a lot of it on our trip (thank you, jet lag!) and this was by far the best. I wish I remembered the name of the place so I could pass it on… but perhaps  you can find it/figure it out based on that money exchange sign hanging above our heads?

honeycomb w koh samuiThen we went to Koh Samui, a small island off the coast of Thailand, where we had the best breakfast buffet either of us had ever seen. The whole W Retreat was a dream, and the breakfast buffet was the bright red cherry on top. Just look at this fresh, raw honeycomb! They had a massive cell that they’d cut a piece from, that you could eat however you like. I put half in my yogurt and the other half I ate straight cause it was that good. If I wasn’t scared of bees, or lived in an apartment building, I would get my own.

brian me koh samui beachElsewhere in Thailand, we had coconuts and fruit smoothies on the beach after we rode elephants. I drink a lot of coconut water here in New York, but they taste so much better on an island. No exotic, tropical vacation is complete without coconuts.

chedi club fruitAnd the fruit! My goodness, the fruit. Truly nature’s candy. This dragonfruit/yellow watermelon platter was part of breakfast at the Chedi Club in Bali. Funny that they serve it with lime segments, as if it needs any added sweetness. I also had dragonfruit sorbet when we were walking around Ubud, and that was tremendous. All the fruit there just tastes… better.

last lunch sumbaThis was our last lunch of the trip… at Nihiwatu, on the beautiful Indonesian island of Sumba. I had whatever the special salad of the day was (bottom right) and Brian had the chicken caesar salad… and again, the fresh watermelon with lime on the side. I would say it keeps you from needing or wanting any sweets for dessert, but I’m pretty sure we had ice cream anyway.

When on your honeymoon!

>> Which was the best advice we got. Do it all. See it all. Don’t think twice about any of it. <<

The trip was a dream and this is just a tiny glimpse of it. Any questions or need/want any recommendations… just ask! We were in Rome, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore, two places in Bali, Sumba, then Frankfurt, Germany on the way home.

summer salad season is back!

summer salad seasonAnd so am I — from my almost three-week honeymoon through Thailand and Indonesia. More on that later, though.

Let’s talk summer salad season. And this year, it’s bringing sugar snap peas and mango along with it. Not that either of them are new, but they’re new as a salad combo for me. Even raw pumpkin seeds, too. (The seeds are actually way better toasted, but who wants to fire up a stove in this weather?) Throw it all on a bed of arugula with some cucumber, salt, pepper, oil and balsamic vinegar, and you have dinner in less than 10 minutes of chopping.

When I posted this on instagram I said I couldn’t believe there was a time when I didn’t like fruit in my salad — any kind, ever — because now I want some kind of fruit or citrus in every salad I eat. Apparently I’m not alone because I got some great summer salad ideas from people that follow me.

One that also uses mango: arugula, shallots or red onion, avocado and mango. Add red wine vinegar and olive oil and you’re good to go!

And another with watermelon and off-the-summer-vine tomatoes. Add red onion, toasted cumin seed and oil & vinegar. Addictive. Could also add a touch of cinnamon.

I’ll definitely be trying both of those, as well as some other fun recipes I learned on my dream of a honeymoon on the other side of the world.

Standby for those, coming soon…!

physical therapy graduate!

grain-free cookieYesterday, exactly 20 weeks after foot surgery, I graduated physical therapy.

To celebrate, I made a batch of my favorite grain-free, dairy-free chocolate chip cookies.

I actually loved PT, and will miss it, but I know I now have all the tools and exercises I need in my arsenal to stay healthy and get strong.

My advice to anyone contemplating (or more likely, dreading) any kind of surgery you might need: do it. I limped around on my bad foot, in terrible pain, for almost a year. I struggled. I cried. Still, I denied it… until I couldn’t any longer.

The road to recovery is long, and can be brutal at times, but a life without pain is worth every minute it takes.

turmeric tea

turmeric teaI think it’s time we have a conversation about turmeric.

It’s one of my go-to anti-inflammatory helpers in my vast arsenal of anti-inflammatory spices, supplements, vitamins, and foods. My kitchen cabinets and counter tops sometimes look like a giant science lab with all the potions I mix into my shake each morning. (Some of my other mainstays: L-glutamine, maca powder, bee pollen, collagen powder, manuka honey, coconut oil, every nut and seed imaginable, flax meal, almond butter… the list goes on.) I don’t think there’s one magic herb or spice, but I do believe that each helps my body in a different way and that over time, I’m making myself stronger and healthier by loading up on all this goodness. They all have different qualities and benefits, so it’s fun to play and see what works.

But back to tumeric! It’s an old Indian spice that contains the medicinal compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a strong antioxidant. Dr. Lipman actually gives me straight circumin supplements to take, and they work wonders… but I still like to add turmeric to everything I can. It has a very distinct taste, but that doesn’t stop me from sprinkling it atop all my roasted vegetables, fish and meat. It’s everywhere now in restaurants too: in tonics, dressings, and even cocktails.

And now, mushing it into manuka honey and whipping it into a tea! And by whipping I mean swirling the honey/turmeric mixture into hot water. It’s so easy I can barely call it a recipe. I use manuka honey because it, too, has medicinal effects, but feel free to use any honey you can get your hands on. Raw honey is fantastic, too.

I swear it has helped my body remain strong as I — major post-foot surgery milestone alert – started going back to spin class last week. And while I’m sure it’s the endorphins, too, I’m going to keep drinking it. It makes me feel good and it tastes good, too.

Turmeric Tea

SERVES ONE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 TBSP turmeric, from dry spice jar
  • 3 TBSP manuka honey

Instructions

  1. Mix together the turmeric and honey either in a bowl, a mug or a ramekin.
  2. Boil or microwave the water for your tea.
  3. Swirl the turmeric/honey mixture into the hot water… then drink and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe was adapted from 101 Cookbooks, who uses lemon and black pepper. I like it with both of those ingredients as well, but they’re not necessary.


A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

roasted kale sprouts

kale sprouts

What happens when a kale and a brussels sprout make a baby? KALE SPROUTS.

What happens when you roast said kale sprouts in the oven for 10 minutes with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper? CRUNCHY SPROUT GOODNESS.

Also: the easiest TV Dinner side dish ever.

I bought a bag of these cuties at Trader Joe’s the other day but I heard they’ve also been popping up at area farmer’s markets. So be on the lookout.

B gobbled them right up, too. So ya know they pass the smell test.

Roasted Kale Sprouts

SERVES TWO

Ingredients

    • 1 bag of kale sprouts (from Trader Joe’s)
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
      2. Toss sprouts in olive oil, and a touch of salt + pepper — they don’t need much.
      3. Spread them on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes.
      4. Enjoy!

A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

lunch + smoothie tips with @bewellwitharielle

eataly birreria lunch arielleYesterday I had lunch with Arielle Haspel, aka @bewellwitharielle, who is an absolute ray of healthy sunshine. She brought me to Birreria, the restaurant on the rooftop of Eataly, and not only was the space (and lighting) gorgeous, but the food was tremendous. The meat plate was filling and the salads were so fresh, with some unexpected fun twists. Like the grapefruit in my kale salad (which I’m going to copy at home), and the roasted hazelnuts sprinkled atop the brussels sprouts (which I’m also going to copy at home).

Arielle is a nutritionist who has a fun, clean-eating cooking show on Glamour Magazine so she has some great tips for healthy living. My favorite one, which I plan to start doing this week, is for quick smoothies/shakes. She says to prep all of your ingredients — fruits, vegetables, powders, extras — then take all of that (everything you would have in a shake/smoothie except any liquid you might add: almond milk, coconut water, etc…) and put it in single serving ziploc baggies. Then freeze them.

That way the next time you want a quick shake or smoothie but don’t have time to prepare one, you can just grab a baggie out of the freezer and toss it in the blender with your liquid. No chopping, cutting, or measuring… just blending and enjoying.

Genius, right?!

I already keep some fruit in my freezer, but this is a whole other level. One that I can’t wait to be on.

prosciutto + pears: the perfect paleo snack (or lunch!)

pears prosciuttoEven though I’ve been grain-free for almost a year now (since last May, which is WILD) I’m still figuring out good snack options. Luckily I’m not much of a snacker, but when the mood strikes I don’t always want grain-free granola, nuts, seeds, or a chia bar. Those are great, and filling, too. But I want options. So I started buying some meat to keep in the house that I could just slice and enjoy… a solid move, one I’m glad I made.

I put together this little platter when B and I sat down to binge on House of Cards: slices of prosciutto wrapped around slices of pear (way better than the usual melon suspect), slices of hard salami with spicy mustard for dipping, and some cornichons.

This snack was so good it turned into lunch.

My kind of snack.

three days of treats in tulum

tulum olivia jake beachB and I just got back from a few days in Tulum, Mexico where we were celebrating our one year anniversary (and my foot finally being out of the boot). It was just as relaxing as it was beautiful. And the food was spectacular!

tulum be tulum saladMy favorite dish was this Be Salad at Be Tulum — with avocado, cucumber, celery, green apple, mango and walnuts tossed in a mango/passion fruit dressing. Every bite was fresh and sweet and glorious. I’m determined to recreate it this weekend. Standby for results…

tulum fish tacos groupWhat’s a trip to Mexico without fish tacos? Our new friends Mike and Carrie (friends of our Infatuation friends) brought us here, to Taco La Eufemia, and it lived up to all of their hype.

tulum frozen margaritasThe frozen margaritas helped, of course. This is what we washed down our tacos with — pineapple for B, mango for me — and the mango won because when it came time for round two, he switched his order to mango.

tulum ice cream in a jarAnother frozen treat… this ice cream in a jar at Casa Jaguar. It was a little steamy during our meal so I told B I could go for some ice cream. Lucky for us, this was one of their two desserts: vanilla ice cream with layers of berries on the bottom. We raced to the bottom because it was melting so fast; the only race that everyone wins is a race to the bottom of a jar of ice cream.

tulum full fried fishThis guy was our last meal in Tulum and while I’d love to take credit for finding this spot off the beaten path, I can only take credit for following the directions provided in the New York Times’ 36 hours in Tulum. Chamico’s has no menu, no website, and they don’t speak a word of English… but it’s some of the most fresh, authentic food we’ve ever had. And the sand is white! (It’s the beach photo at the top of this post.) The perfect taste to leave in our mouths as we boarded the plane home. Til next time…