Sign up

You deserve to feel great, look great & LOVE your body

Enter your email for your FREE starter kit to get healthy & lose weight without dieting:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

For the Love of Food

by | Aug 22, 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 breakfast and salt are back under fire, how to count your bites, and a possible risk in hand sanitizers.

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.)

Read the rest of this story »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the Love of Food

by | Mar 14, 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 is one of the best link roundups in a long while. Learn everything you’ve always wanted to know about protein and mortality, the real reasons habits are hard to build, and new guidelines for sugar intake.

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. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).
Read the rest of this story »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the Love of Food

by | Nov 22, 2013
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 skim milk spikes controversy, how to feed your gut microbiome and how your alarm clock impacts body weight.

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. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Read the rest of this story »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Foodist Approved: Feta and Avocado Egg Scramble

by | Oct 30, 2013
Feta Avocado Scramble

Feta Avocado Scramble

Lately, with the mornings getting darker and colder, I’ve been waking up craving a hot breakfast. Fruit and yogurt just isn’t making the cut. And getting out of bed on crisp fall mornings is easier when I know I’ll soon be enjoying my favorite egg scramble.

Starting your day with protein is a great way to fuel up. I’ve noticed when I eat a high-protein breakfast I’m more productive throughout the morning and less likely to get the afternoon munchies. Once incorrectly branded an unhealthy food, eggs are now heralded as a top 10 healthiest food by many nutrition experts. Eggs contain the purest form of protein found in whole foods, which means our bodies use it more efficiently than any other protein.

And please, please, don’t throw out that yolk! Unless you’re allergic, you should definitely indulge in the egg’s incredible center. The yolk contains not only all the egg’s vitamins and minerals, but also healthy fats your body needs to absorb such fabulous nutrients.

My favorite egg scramble naturally has to include avocado. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love avocados (and to those out there who don’t, you’re seriously missing out!). Avocados can turn an average dish into an oh-my-I could-eat-this-every-day type dish. They give the eggs a creamy texture and a decadent flavor. The trick is to add the chopped avocado towards the end of cooking so you don’t end up with just a mushy pile of green eggs (although Dr. Seuss would approve).

Read the rest of this story »

Tags: , , ,

Foodist Approved: Nutty Sunrise Granola

by | Sep 18, 2013
Nutty Sunrise Granola

Nutty Sunrise Granola

Big news!

I’m thrilled to announce that Elyse Kopecky has officially joined the Summer Tomato team as our new recipe developer. Elyse is a whole foods chef and marketing consultant based in Portland, Oregon, who studied health-supportive culinary arts at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York.

Elyse Kopecky

Elyse Kopecky

Since the launch of Foodist I’ve been looking for new ways to grow and improve Summer Tomato, and thousands of you have made it clear that you want more Foodist Approved recipes. Elyse’s fabulous creations are the perfect mix of seasonal, nutritious and delicious, and are designed to be both simple enough to fit into your life and fun enough to keep you cooking.

You can expect new recipes from Elyse every other Wednesday, and your feedback is always welcome. Follow her adventures in the kitchen and on the trail at freshabits.com and on Twitter @freshabits.

 

Bon appétit! 

Darya

Foodist Approved: Nutty Sunrise Granola 

by Elyse Kopecky

The food industry knows that very few of us have time to cook a nutritious breakfast, that’s why the cereal aisle runs the length of the grocery store. But any breakfast that you rip out of a package or grab from the glass counter at your go-to coffee joint probably has few redeeming nutritious qualities.

Even those fancy bags of “high-fiber,” “high-protein,” “whole-grain” granola that cost as much as a bottle of wine are full of ingredients that lack true sustenance. Often they have lots of added sugar marketed as “organic cane sugar” or “evaporated cane juice,” which is just a fancy (and deceptive) way of saying white sugar––the last thing we should be feeding our bodies first thing in the morning.

Here’s some good news.

Homemade granola is seriously easy to make and is a fabulous healthy breakfast option. I’ve baked many batches (enough to last me the year) to perfect this recipe, which is packed full of protein, loaded in omega-3s and balanced with whole grains. Of course it’s also full of nutty, cinnamon-y flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.

For the sweetener, I use brown rice syrup because it’s minimally processed and has a low glycemic index. Its consistency makes the oats and quinoa extra crunchy, which allows us to use less oil.

For an awesome weekday breakfast I suggest my Nutty Sunrise Granola sprinkled atop whole milk organic yogurt and chopped fresh fruit. Or enjoy it with unsweetened almond or hemp milk. And on those days when you’re rushing out that door, grab a small bag of granola to munch on at your desk.

Nutty mornings now won’t seem quite so bad!
Read the rest of this story »

Tags: , , ,

How To Make Your Own Muesli – It’s Stupid Easy

by | Sep 26, 2012

I’ve explained before that muesli is my favorite alternative to traditional breakfast cereal. It’s minimally processed, has no added sugar and when made properly is quite tasty. The only problem is that these are features that food companies hate, because most people won’t buy it. This makes it difficult to find muesli, particularly a high-quality version at a reasonable price.

Luckily it’s stupid easy to make your own muesli. Doing it yourself is also a lot cheaper and lets you customize your mix to your preferences. All you need is some rolled grains (oats or a mixed cereal like I use here) and an assortment of nuts and dried fruits of your choosing—you don’t need a real recipe.

In the mix above I chose a 5 grain cereal that I found at my local market. I picked up a simple nut mix of roasted and lightly salted nuts, some extra hazelnuts (because I love them), some golden raisins and some dried currants. It turned out AWESOME, way better than the expensive stuff I normally buy.

I used to always eat my muesli mixed with a little plain yogurt, but these days I’ve preferred to just pour a little in a bowl, add some water and microwave it for 2 minutes. It comes out like the tastiest oatmeal you’ve ever had. I sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, and maybe add a splash of almond milk and it is amazing. If you’re still acclimating to the lack of sugar in muesli, you can try stirring in a spoonful of peanut butter, low sugar jam or a drizzle of honey.

Lastly, I love these POP containers by OXO. They come in a bunch of different sizes and shapes, and do a great job of keeping foods fresh. I use them to store all my beans, lentils, grains, dried chilies and other pantry items.

Thanks to Kevin Rose and Glenn McElhose for help with filming and editing.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How To Make Eggs Taste As Good As Bacon

by | May 30, 2012
Fried Eggs

Fried Eggs

Something magical happened a few weeks ago. While trying to figure out what to do with the first fresh eggs I’d found at the farmers market this season, I discovered the greatest egg ingredient in the history of mankind.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little (truffles are pretty darn good on eggs), but not much.

Generally I am a big fan of adding some kind of ground red pepper (usually chipotle or ancho) to fried or scrambled eggs. But this day I tried something a bit different.

Digging through my pantry I remembered that I had a ton of smoked paprika left over from the hummus I made. I decided to do an experiment and sprinkle the smoked paprika onto my eggs.

I can’t believe I went all my life without knowing about this.

But before I explain why exactly the smoked paprika made my eggs so amazing, I want to address what I’m sure many of you are wondering:

How healthy are fried eggs?

Answer: Eggs are perfectly healthy, and frying doesn’t make them any less so.

Personally I cook my eggs in olive oil (it’s just easier), but even if you use butter it isn’t a problem since the amount you need to cook is so small.

What scares people about frying eggs is an irrational fear of dietary fat. But theoretically the amount of oil you use to fry an egg should be about the same as you need to scramble eggs, so it isn’t clear why fried eggs would pose any more of a problem. I use olive oil to scramble eggs as well.

The other issue people have with eggs is the yolk. It amazes me how often people proudly inform me that they eat eggs but “only the whites,” as if this were some unique virtue.

I understand that the public health message we’ve heard about eggs for the past few decades has been extremely negative, but eggs have since been completely exonerated from heart disease accusations. There was a time when it was assumed that dietary cholesterol (which is definitely higher than normal in eggs compared to other foods) would raise blood cholesterol, but it doesn’t for most people. In fact, the healthy fats in egg yolks are likely to positively impact your good HDL cholesterol.

Moreover, dietary fats in general have been shown to be excellent at satiating hunger, and are thus a terrific replacement for calories from refined carbohydrates. That makes egg yolks your ally in fighting heart disease and burning fat, not your enemy.

Then there’s the fact that egg yolks are incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals, since they are meant to be nourishment for a developing life.

And finally there’s the most important part, that farm fresh egg yolks are out-of-this-world delicious.

Which brings me back to how to make the best eggs in the universe.

First you must start with high-quality eggs. Two factors have the biggest impact on egg flavor. The first is the diet of the hen who laid the egg, and the second is the egg’s freshness. Thus for best results you want to find the freshest pastured eggs you can get your hands on. Pastured means the hens that lay the eggs are allowed to peck around on grass eating bugs and whatever else they find.

Your best shot at finding pastured fresh eggs is at a farmers market or direct from a farm, since if they are already on a grocery shelf they probably aren’t very fresh. Try to find eggs less than 1 week old. Their day of boxing should be clearly marked on the carton. It requires a little math, but I’m not the one who made up these rules.

Chances are good that if your eggs are very fresh then they are from pastured hens, but this is not guaranteed. Ask the farmer and try to hold out for hens that are allowed to roam free in grass during the day. If you cannot get fresh pastured eggs, “cage-free” is your next best bet for flavor (though these may still be fed a limited diet).

Without asking the farmer it is hard to tell the difference between real pastured eggs and industrial eggs labeled “cage-free” that are still fed standard or organic chicken feed. One good indication will be the price, since pastured eggs tend to run $6-10/dozen here in SF. Trust me, it’s worth it.

I do not endorse the taste or healthfulness of industrially produced eggs (even the fancy kinds), and if you do eat them you should be careful to cook them completely.

(Aside: I never worry about the safety of eggs from farms I trust, so I always eat them runny. If you think runny eggs are gross, I don’t blame you. Runny industrial eggs are gross, and before I had fresh eggs I would have completely agreed with you. But fresh egg yolk is incredible, and it is something you have to taste to really appreciate. I definitely recommend stepping out of your comfort zone on this one.)

Once you have great eggs, fry them one at a time in 1 tbsp olive oil or butter on medium low heat and sprinkle with sea salt, course ground black pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika. The paprika adds a depth and complexity above what even chipotle peppers can offer, and the smokiness is reminiscent of—I kid you not—bacon. Needless to say, it is the perfect compliment to eggs.

Fry your eggs for just two minutes or so on each side, being careful to keep the yolk intact while turning. You really don’t want to overcook eggs, which will turn them rubbery and ruin the effect.

I haven’t actually tried these eggs with bacon yet, though I certainly plan to. But bacon is no longer a requirement for making a show stopping breakfast of champions. Here I served them with some ruby chard sautéed with pistachios and garlic.

Did you guys know about smoked paprika on eggs and if so, why was I not informed?

Originally published March 3, 2010.StumbleUpon.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For The Love Of Food

by | Nov 11, 2011

For The Love of Food

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

This week I found a fantastic piece on the environmental impact of real meat versus fake meat (read this book if you’d like to learn more on this topic), another about how the honey market is flooded with a fake product, as well as two counter arguments in the great 8 glasses-a-day debate. Good readin’!

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. 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.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Reason Breakfast Makes Your Life Better

by | Jul 20, 2011

Yogurt, muesli and blueberries

I should admit right now that I’m a born again breakfast eater. In the past I always told myself that skipping breakfast meant one less meal adding calories to my day, and I was proud to have eliminated this annoyance from my life.

For the last several years, however, I have grown to love breakfast and am something of an evangelist. Breakfast may seem like an odd thing to try to covert people to, but once you see my reasons you may become a believer yourself.

8 Reasons Breakfast Makes Your Life Better

  • It’s easy. Breakfast doesn’t take much time or energy to prepare; I’m half asleep when I pour my cereal, rinse my fruit and boil my coffee every day. It also requires minimal planning. Just buy everything you need every week or two and you are good to go. What’s your excuse?
  • Health wins. We all must deal with the internal struggle between eating healthy and eating not-so-healthy. Throughout the day breakfast is by far the easiest battle in which health can triumph, since there is no outside social pressure and unhealthy options are harder to attain. I recommend taking winning odds whenever they are presented.
  • Hunger check. If you eat a satisfying breakfast before heading into work you are less likely to be tempted by the junk food that haunts most office environments. Likewise, you will have better self-control when it comes time to decide what to eat for lunch.
  • Whole grains. For my own healthstyle, intact whole grains are the most difficult to get in my diet. Unsweetened oats, plain brown rice and quinoa aren’t exactly staples on American restaurant menus. But without grains I feel constantly hungry and my workouts suffer. If I eat them at breakfast I am guaranteed at least that one serving during the day. (For tips to get more whole grains at dinner, check out my easy frozen brown rice balls).
  • Higher metabolism. Eating healthy food has a positive effect on your metabolism. Not only does what you eat for breakfast affect how your body reacts to different foods for the rest of the day, it also influences your metabolic rate in the long term. Be careful though, highly processed and easily digested foods have a negative effect.
  • Healthy habits. Healthy behavior begets more healthy behavior. According to some studies, this is especially true of breakfast eaters. Waking up and eating a healthy breakfast encourages you to pack a healthy lunch and plan your day around wholesome food. It feels really good to do healthy things, but we easily forget this when presented with free donuts on an empty stomach during a mid-morning meeting. Build your healthy habits when it is easy and help them stick around for the long haul.
  • Self-esteem. I think it is important to reiterate how good it feels to do healthy things for your body, and as a bonus it extends to how we feel about ourselves. Most of us feel proud and confident when we know we are doing the right thing. Why not start out each morning on the right foot?
  • Deliciousness. Of all the reasons I just listed, this one probably has the biggest sway with me personally. My breakfasts are absolutely delicious and I adore waking up and eating such yummy food. It is worth going out of your way to find healthy foods you enjoy eating, that way good food has as much pull on you as the less healthy junk. This will make your food decision making a whole lot easier.

Once you have convinced yourself that eating breakfast is important and worthwhile, it helps to know what constitutes a healthy one. I have written about breakfast before, focusing on the difference between fake “whole grains” as sold to us by processed food manufacturers and real intact whole grains.

Recently I have switched to a new favorite breakfast: plain yogurt, muesli and fruit.

I love this new combo for a few reasons

  1. I tried yogurt because I was having digestive issues for a few weeks and was hoping the probiotics in the yogurt (I eat even more probiotic foods now) might help. It totally did, and I’m sold on this method for improved digestion (despite my mild lactose intolerance).
  2. Coarse and chewy muesli is perfect on yogurt and I was able to completely cut out the fake whole grain flakes that bothered me about my old breakfast. Woohoo!
  3. The added protein and fat from the lowfat plain yogurt helps me feel satisfied longer in the day and adds a creamy luxury to my morning.

Be sure that when you are choosing your healthy breakfast you find foods with no added sugar. For example, fruit and vanilla yogurts are notorious for having obscene amounts of sugar (especially vanilla) putting it more on par with ice cream than health food. Likewise, most store bought granolas are loaded with sugar, molasses, honey, agave, concentrated fruit juice and other sweeteners. This is why I prefer muesli–completely unsweetened grains with bits of dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

When choosing plain yogurt I recommend lowfat instead of nonfat yogurt, because it is much more palatable and satisfying. Nonfat plain yogurt tends to be too tangy for me. Also, you need the fat to help with nutrient absorption and satiation.

My breakfast

  • 1 c. Plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1/4 c. Dorset muesli
  • 1/4 c. fresh fruit

What is your favorite healthy breakfast?

Originally published August 17, 2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For The Love Of Food

by | May 20, 2011

For The Love of Food

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

I love Marion Nestle calling out the food industry on their ridiculous health claims, the emphasis on food culture in health and the launch of the new and awesome Gilt Taste.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. I also share links at Twitter (@summertomato) and the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,