Spring Reset: To Health and Triumph!

April 18, 2011

Long Island Clam Paella

I had really been anticipating this post being triumphant. By tackling a diet without meat, wheat, and dairy for 10 days, I thought that I’d be thrilled and victorious. And I guess I am! Just not in the way I had imagined.

Anytime you challenge yourself by removing what seem like staples in your life, it’s considered a sacrifice. In this case, those sacrifices were agreed upon for the greater good: a health reset. But at about the half way point, it didn’t feel like much of a sacrifice. Because through the 10 days, with the exception of a random unwavering craving for a cheese steak, I felt great, without hunger. Meals full of fruits, vegetables, beans, and rice were packed with flavor and sustenance. Light yet somehow hearty lunches helped replace my afternoon food coma, and I was never so consistent with eating breakfast (the most important meal of the day blah blah blah).

So while the reset was designed to re-generate my energy level and my overall sense of heath, the outcome went well beyond that. And while I won’t go on and on about how effective these 10 days were for me, I will say this: the food you eat, unequivocally effects the way you feel. And sometimes we all need a friendly reminder of this.

That being said, it made it a hell of a lot easier to handle going through the 10 days with Em. A daily cereal and/or yogurt eater, her commitment was way more impressive than mine. And I certainly didn’t want to be the first one to crack! So with a little celebration on the mind, I had started to think of meals to break the reset. A juicy burger or maybe a nice steak sounded nice, but a dozen clams and a half dozen oysters sent in by Em’s folks, straight from the LI waters sounded much better. With the oysters shucked and served with our favorite garnishes, and a clam paella that rocked our worlds, we couldn’t have had a better Sunday Supper!

Fresh Shucked Oysters

I’ll be posting some of the great reset recipes this week but if you are feeling inspired to do something similar on your own, feel free to reach out for some thoughts. I’m no dietician, and I’m certainly not an expert, but luckily for us, this isn’t rocket science!

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Sunday Supper: Brunch

January 17, 2011

 

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Weekends in New York are all about Brunch. And while there are many restaurants that add 3 bucks to their omelette, offer bloody marys, and call it brunch, there are just as many places doing some brilliant food! We ate at August in the West Village on Saturday and I was pretty pleased with my hot smoked salmon and potato hash with poached eggs. It’s a flavor combination I’ve had before but this version was light and delicious and served with some awesome french bread. Plus they had some great coffee!

But the best part of the meal was the outcome. Because like all of the great food I’ve had while dining out, the desire to get back into my own kitchen immediately followed. So for Sunday Brunch, it was all about pancakes! And these from scratch, whole wheat apple cinnamon pancakes were just awesome. Light and fluffy, packed with flavor and smothered in maple syrup, Em and I were pretty pleased with our work! With some crispy oven baked bacon (my new favorite way to cook it) and some OJ, the only thing missing was a bloody mary. Oh well, there’s always next time!

 


Sunday Suppers are Back!

January 10, 2011

Mexican Chicken Cacciatore w/ Pumpkin Polenta

One of my 2010 proclamations never really stuck. Because more often than not a busy Friday and Saturday turned into a lazy Sunday and the kitchen remained empty. So while “Sushi Sundays” became a regular occurrence, “Sunday Suppers” remained a blog post, and nothing more. But this Mexican Chicken Cacciatore and Pumpkin Polenta is all the motivation I need to make Sunday cooking a priority…

My initial plan for the day was upended by a morning stuck in bed. With Em finally fighting off the flu, it seemed inevitable I was next. So the pasta fagioli, beers, and disappointment of an Eagles playoff loss at a buddy’s had to be put on hold. That is, everything but the disappointment with the Eagles. But rather than spending my Sunday in bed, I decided a day in the kitchen was just the medicine I needed.

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Sunday Supper: Low and Slow

March 25, 2010

No, I haven’t gone crazy. I know last night wasn’t Sunday. But the old adage that soups and stews taste better after a day or two in the fridge  is undeniably true. So sometimes Sunday Supper is served best a few days late.

One of my all time favorite comfort foods is my Mom’s braised brisket. And honestly, if you’d ask for the recipe she probably couldn’t give you one. Sometimes preparing a dish becomes second nature and trust me, her version is fantastic. But recipe or not, there is one crucial rule with brisket. Whether we’re talking perfectly smoked bbq brisket or the melt apart braised brisket, there is only one way to cook it…low and slow.

And low and slow is exactly what makes a Sunday Wednesday Supper so great. Because after hours and hours of cooking, your house tiny apartment is filled with deliciously tantalizing meat perfume; it was tough not to eat this on Sunday. My brisket was braised in a sauce made with fire roasted tomatoes, red wine, leeks, and poblano peppers. The peppers added a bit of heat and created a slight twist on my mom’s tradition. The brisket fell apart, the flavors were fantastic and the dish couldn’t have been better served with twice baked potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts.

Now as the weather gets a bit warmer, I’m hoping to take advantage of the apartment rooftops of a few of my friends. Because the only thing that makes a Sunday Supper better, is when you get to cook it and eat it outside!


Sunday Supper: Moules Frites

February 1, 2010

Long ago, in homes far, far away from “The Jersey Shore”, real housewives of all counties made family meals a priority; breakfast, lunch and dinner were about more than just refueling. Sharing in both the process and the sustenance traces back to our earliest history as a people, yet more and more often we  fall victim to the eat quickly, and mainly alone dining experience. There may not be a cure all solution for your schedule but even a small shift towards the “past” can result in amazing new revelations in what food means for your health, both physically and mentally.

One of my New Year’s Focuses (resolutions scare me), is the “Sunday Supper”. I’ve always enjoyed cooking because of the enjoyment that comes with sharing your creation. But “Sunday Suppers” are about more than one person’s contribution. Whether you are chopping vegetables, baking a dessert, or pouring the wine, the collective effort is what makes a “Sunday Supper” so enjoyable.

Last night marked the first of many Sunday Suppers and it was collaborative from the very beginning. When I suggested buying some mussels earlier in the day, Emily reminded me of that sweet potato sitting on our counter. As she said, the only thing better than mussels, is mussels with fries! We prepared the mussels with fennel, white wine, and arugula and served them with our sweet potato wedges and curry mayo. The first delicious meal of many Sunday Suppers to come!

Moving forward I plan on taking this to the next level setting up once a month gatherings of friends and family to prepare a Sunday Supper. So if you are interested leave a comment below, or shoot me an email. But in the meantime, when your schedule permits, make sure your meals are about more than just eating. I promise, you won’t regret it.


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