The Costco Phenomenom

Costco peaches

It happens to everyone at some point, right? You get caught up in the concept of bulk shopping and you come home with 3 pounds of peaches. Sound familiar?

It happened to me this past weekend…alone in Costco, slightly hungry, and dizzy with possibility. In my cart…more grapes, hummus, sweet red peppers and french bread than a family of 3 could possibly consume. And let’s not forget the peaches. I got A LOT of peaches.

Hence, I celebrate peaches below the only way I know how — healthy and delicious peach recipes! Feel free to contribute to the list by adding your own favorite peach recipe! I’ll let you know how mine turn out.

Breakfast:

Peach-Mango Smoothie
Peach Pie Smoothie

Lunch/Dinner:

Savory Peach Chicken
Spinach Salad with Peaches and Pecans
Grilled Tilapia with Peach BBQ Sauce
Roasted Turkey Breast with Peach Rosemary Glaze
Peach Gnocchi
Spiced Peach Chutney

Dessert:
Peach Ice Cream
Peach Berry Cobbler
Peach Parfait
Peach Muffins

Life is a bag of peaches. Be the juicy one.

 

In Season: Asparagus

Nothing says Spring better than Asparagus! In season, inexpensive, and easy to make — now is the time to add these long stemmed delights to your grocery list and your dinner table.

Varieties: Asparagus comes in three colors: green, white, and purple. Most common is the long green kind. The white asparagus are grown totally underground and the purple grow with just their tips an inch or two above the earth. The flavor is about the same for all types, but the purple and white variety are sometimes less sweet and less stringy than the green.

How to pick: Look for bunches with firm stalks and tightly closed lids. The stem should be uniformly green from top to bottom and asparagus with large white ends should be avoided. Fresh asparagus has no odor at the tips — old asparagus has a strong and unpleasant odor. Store in the fridge with the stem ends wrapped in a moist paper towel for up to 3 days. To trim, cut off or snap ends.

Loaded with: Antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, potassium; high in fiber and low in calories.

How to prepare: Below are some quick, easy ideas for serving asparagus tonight!

  • Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and lightly grill, broil or roast — then sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Create an asparagus stir fry with green and red peppers
  • Whip up an asparagus omelet with spring onions
  • Blanch and serve as an appetizer with yogurt dip or hummus
  • Steam and coat with your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing
  • Blanch and wrap in smoked salmon or prosciutto
  • Peel asparagus into ribbons and serve over spaghetti with shaved Parmesan

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh asparagus?

15 Secrets to Eating Out

Countdown to a Healthy Summer — Week 3

This week I’m tackling how to eat out successfully. This advice is for those of you who eat out regularly and need to adopt some strategies for healthier and lower calorie eating.

How to order:

  1. Choose lean meats and fish that are baked, poached, broiled, or steamed
  2. Choose foods that do the portion-control for you (i.e., soup, small plates/tapas or appetizers)
  3. Avoid beverages other than water — no calories in your drinks!
  4. Avoid fried foods
  5. Sub-out high fat or large portion rice, pasta and other grains for double-veggies or a side salad
  6. Limit or avoid alcohol
  7. Order salad dressings on the side so you can control amount used; use dip and stab method
  8. Order burgers and sandwiches with sauces/dressings on the side, or not at all
  9. Skip cheese on sandwiches, burgers and salads
  10. Order salmon or grilled chicken entree salads as your meal

Simple Strategies:

  1. Order first! Don’t let others influence your decision
  2. Check out the options online first, know what you’re going to order before you get there (don’t even open the menu!)
  3. Don’t come hungry; plan a snack 1-2 hours before the meal
  4. Eat your veggies/salad first — eat lowest calorie to highest calories
  5. Eat bread plain — don’t soak it in seasoned oil or butter — this alone can save you 100’s of calories!

I worked on an article with Jennifer Huget of The Washington Post last week where we gave tips on healthy, low calorie lunch options at the “company cafe.” Check out my suggestions here.

Next week, we’ll focus on meal planning and at-home eating! Fast and simple recipes using 3-5 ingredients.