Foodist Approved: Butter Sage Fish en Papillote

by | Oct 1, 2014
lemon sage fish en papillote

lemon sage fish en papillote

During my time living abroad in Switzerland, I discovered a crafty way to bake fish in the oven and it’s now become my laid back, go-to method. I love that “Butter Sage Salmon en Papillote” sounds so fancy-schmancy, yet to make it is so simple and foolproof.

The technique of baking fish “en papillote” literally means “in parchment paper,” and is a method of cooking food in a sealed packet so the food steams in its own juices. This prevents fish fillets from drying out (guilty here of trying to revive too many overcooked wild salmon fillets by dousing them in a sauce) and as an added bonus leads to an easy cleanup. No more stinking up your kitchen (sorry honey!) by leaving casserole dishes stuck hopelessly with burnt scales soaking overnight.

Make your own little packets, fill with your favorite fish, top with a little butter and sage, serve with a side of roasted veggies, light a candle and prepare to impress your guest of honor.

This recipe works fabulous with just about any type of seafood. To select a sustainable option free of contaminants, I highly recommend downloading the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide.
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The Worst Thing You Can Do if You’re Trying to Lose Weight

by | Sep 29, 2014

beauty pageant

I have always had tremendous pride in everything I do. If something has my name on it, I go the extra mile (or 10 miles if necessary) to make it excellent. Even the thought of sending an unedited email or a sloppy text message makes me cringe.

Call it pride, call it self-respect. Whatever it is, I was born with it. My dad always tells me about how he and my mom would spy on me in my crib practicing the alphabet or reciting days of the week. But as soon as I knew they were there I’d stop and wouldn’t show them what I was working on. I wanted to make sure I had it right before anyone could see. I did this in my crib.

Naturally I had a similar pride about my appearance. Sadly, women in this country are taught at a young age that we will be judged (harshly) by how we look. I saw it in my own family as my aunts gossiped about each other’s “Pino thighs,” at school where overweight children were teased and tormented, and on TV where thin, beautiful women got all the attention.

Although I could write a book on how despicable this is, it isn’t realistic to believe our value system is going to change anytime soon. Instead, today I want to focus on one of the consequences of this mindset and what we can do to combat the negative impact it has on our behavior.

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For the Love of Food

by | Sep 26, 2014
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week sitting less reverses aging, the evil cousin of procrastination, and shocking new data about sugar and dental health.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300 wpm. So neat! It’s been only one week and I’m already up to 400 wpm.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)
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Sugar’s Sweet Spot: How to Eat Less Without Saying No

by | Sep 24, 2014

Photo by pamlau.com

Recently I explained how restrictive dieting makes losing weight harder than it needs to be, not easier. But one reader wondered how my advice about limiting sugar and processed foods jives with this concept:

You say that mainstream diets encourage nutritionism and cut out groups of food like fat, gluten and sugar. However, much of what you discuss also encourages limiting sugar. How do you differentiate the two?

Am I hypocrite or trying to pull a fast one? Is this just a matter of semantics? As usual in biology, the truth is more complicated.

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How I (FINALLY) Cleared My Skin of Acne

by | Sep 22, 2014
Me in Kauai three weeks ago, no makeup

Me in Kauai three weeks ago, no makeup

I thought I was one of the lucky ones. While I certainly had my fair share of awkwardness during middle school and high school, bad skin wasn’t a problem for me. I assumed I was just genetically blessed in that regard––my mom’s Mexican heritage awarded her flawless skin––and so I focused my attention on studying and dieting my way out of the rest of my problems. Oh the joys of being a teenager.

It wasn’t until I got to college that my skin changed. Within just a few months of arriving at Berkeley I developed deep, cystic acne on my chin and around my jaw line. The blemishes were incredibly painful, not to mention embarrassing. I tried every over-the-counter remedy I could find, to no avail. The teasing and chastising I got from my family that Christmas was relentless.
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For the Love of Food

by | Sep 19, 2014
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Shockingly good, life-changing reading this week. Learn how to build stronger willpower, no-brain cancer prevention, and the secret to life-long happiness.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300 wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)
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Foodist Approved: Gluten-Free Maple Zucchini Nut Muffins

by | Sep 17, 2014
maple zucchini nut muffins

maple zucchini nut muffins

I typically don’t condone eating muffins for breakfast since they’re usually just a minuscule step up from a cupcake. Even the wannabe bran muffin is loaded with sugar and unhealthy oils, and will leave you feeling drained and hungry with lunch still hours away. But the illustrious muffin is a convenient food for busy mornings when you just need something to grab, so I set out to create a Foodist-approved muffin recipe.

The winner of my muffin escapades in the kitchen were these Maple Zucchini Nut Muffins. They’re the perfect balance of hearty and healthy. My zucchini muffins are free of refined sugars and flours (the gluten-free crowd will love ‘em!) and are loaded with protein and healthy fat from the nuts, oats, flax, eggs and organic butter.

Best part—counts as eating veggies for breakfast!
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The No.1 Thing That Prevents You from Changing Your Habits

by | Sep 15, 2014

Photo by Steve Rhodes

When I first went to college the last thing I cared about was learning to cook. Neither of my parents had a degree, and by the time I was in middle school it was clear to me that higher education was my only ticket to salvation.

I remember running errands with my mom one afternoon and seeing her bump into an old classmate she knew from high school. “Oh, hi! Wow, I haven’t seen you in 20 years.” They exchanged pleasantries and parted ways. It was obvious the two of them had no real desire to keep up with each other and that they were just being polite for etiquette’s sake. We were all glad when it was over.

The school they both attended was only a few blocks down the street and I knew it would be my fate to go there as well. Class of ’97. Go Vanguards.

Oh shit.

It didn’t take much for my brain to leap forward 24 years and imagine myself in her position, shopping at the same Albertson’s with my own children in tow, casually running into one of the mean kids who called me names and harassed me all year long when I was 14. At the time I couldn’t imagine anything worse.

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For the Love of Food

by | Sep 12, 2014
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Before we get started I want to let you know about an exciting new project I’ve been working on.

To help you jumpstart your fall cooking habit I’ve partnered with PlateJoy to deliver the ingredients for some of my favorite Summer Tomato recipes right to your door. PlateJoy will deliver a week’s worth of ingredients for the recipes of your choice (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) so you can easily create healthy and delicious meals at home.

How awesome is that?! Check out the recipes and see if PlateJoy is in your area: http://www.platejoy.com/p/summertomato

PlateJoy is also cool enough to offer a $10 discount for Summer Tomato readers. Just enter the code (case-sensitive): SUMMERTMTO

Now on to our regularly schedule links….

This week walking decreases negative impact of fructose, Xanax linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and cooking tips I wish I knew in college.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)
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Experience Stretching: Why I No Longer Love In-N-Out Burgers

by | Sep 10, 2014

Photo by Peter Fuchs

I grew up in southern California and, like most people there, I thought In-N-Out Burger made the best cheeseburgers in the universe. In-N-Out is legendary in SoCal, and I longed for their iconic burgers and shakes for years after leaving for college.

Even later as a blossoming foodist in my early years of graduate school, I gave In-N-Out the benefit of the doubt among fast food chains because of their commitment to “freshness”, and would occasionally stop there on the long drives home down the I-5.

But as the years went by and my dedication to real, fresh and insanely delicious food continued to develop, I noticed my taste for In-N-Out declined. Today it would take a substantial bribe (think 4-figures) to get me to even consider taking a single bite of a Double Double.

WTF happened?

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