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Posts Tagged ‘Alton Brown’

A year and a half ago my parents gave me this blender for my birthday. It’s great. Mine came with 2 large travel cups with lids and I used it almost every day to make these yummy iced coffee drinks, which my mom knew I loved, so it was the perfect gift. I loved it.

However, as I have mentioned before, I like my coffee with loads of cream and sugar. Think melted coffee ice cream.

I saw Live and Let Diet when it first aired. In the show, Alton sings the praises of having a smoothie for breakfast and shares his recipe. Based on that show, I decided to retire the coffee drinks and change over to fruit-based smoothies. My recipe is a little different from Alton’s so I thought I’d share it. I don’t measure, so these are approximate and make 1 large smoothie.

1 1/2 cups frozen fruit
1/3 cup of yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons of wheat germ
3/4 cup of pomegranate juice
fill rest of cup with another kind of fruit juice

Blend on low until fruit is chopped up, then blend on high for 30 seconds or so. Drink with a straw, it’s more fun.

I get frozen fruit at Walmart. I can’t find it on line to link to, so it’s possible it’s not available in all areas, but here’s a photo of it. It’s not organic, but it is, as it says on the bag, a great value. It doesn’t include bananas which is important to me, bananas always overpower smoothies in my opinion. It’s a combination of strawberries, peaches, mango and pineapple. I also sometimes throw in some frozen blueberries.

For yogurt I usually use Stonyfield french vanilla yogurt because I believe in the company, the yogurt is good tasting, it’s organic and from Vermont New Hampshire*.

I love wheat germ. That is maybe weird, but it’s awesome on toast with peanut butter and honey and I like adding the nutritional kick of it.

If I lived near a Trader Joe’s, I would buy all my juice there. But, since I don’t, I buy bottles of 100% pomegranate juice usually in the healthy section of the grocery store. At this point I think you can find Pom Wonderful in a lot of places, but it also seems like acai juice is taking over as the new “it” juice.

For the other kind of juice, I mix it up for variety. Orange, grape, cranberry, blends, anything that is 100% juice. I also sometimes get the V8 Fusion juices, they tend to be on the sweet side but include vegetables.

The best thing about smoothies is that you can add in anything you need. My neighbor got me into using vitamin D drops during the winter last year—those were easy to add into the smoothie. I would really like to find kale juice, I’d add that in a heartbeat to up the nutritional value. Make them your own and enjoy.

* My apologies Wilton and Londonderry New Hampshire! Stonyfield belongs to you!

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Today is Presidents Day. Some people had the day off. I did not.

Today is also Monday, which is a good day (as good as any) to start Eating Like Alton. To help you out, I’ve created this chart.

This chart has boxes so you can check off your ‘everyday’ foods, your ‘three-times-a-week’ foods, your ‘once a week’ foods, and reminds you of the ‘never’ list. It also has the helpful reminder to ‘eat breakfast every day, no exceptions’. This chart can help you keep track day-to-day, but also will help you reflect on your week and see where you need improvement (hello, oily fish!). If you’re the cheating kind and need something to help you stay in line, it will also let you know when you’ve already had that one dessert or one drink of your week.

Here’s a PDF of the chart EatLikeAltonWorksheet_4up you can download and print on an 8.5″ x 11″ size sheet of paper. This will give you 4 weeks worth of charts.

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Wow. I just found Lisa Hechesky’s blog, All About Alton Brown. She is a HUGE Alton fan, complete with photos of him, autographs, etc. She’s done a couple of posts about his Live and Let Diet show. Check her out.

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Today is Valentines day. My husband made us a great, Alton list-approved dinner: roast pork, green beans, baked sweet potatoes. We used our once a week dessert on cheesecake. And it was delicious! Hope you had a happy and healthy Valentines day.

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I’m a long time subscriber to Cooking Light Magazine. It’s one of 3 magazines that I read cover to cover (the other two being Real Simple and Entertainment Weekly) and as I’m reading I fold back the pages of all the recipes I want to try. Depending on my free time I enjoy cooking. I’m not crazy about making the simple meals. I like making elaborate meals and as my husband with tell you, I leave a wake of dirty dishes like no one else. One of the recipes I found a couple of years ago was Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup and it’s been a favorite ever since.

Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup

When I started looking for things I could make to Eat Like Alton, I was happy to discover that this soup could make the cut. This soup is fantastic if you make it exactly as the recipe says, but I have made some changes: Instead of snow peas, I use cauliflower. I love my curries with cauliflower and I like the texture of cauliflower in this soup better than snow peas. I don’t put in the red chilies. Depending on how much I want my son to eat it, I sometimes put in red pepper flakes. Lastly, instead of the pad thai noodles, I usually use basmati rice, I love the flavor, and the noodles seem to make the soup hard to eat. I’d also caution you to use the best chicken broth you can for this. I often use Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base, but this last time I bought the non-organic version by mistake and I think it made the soup a little salty.

My two suggestions for making this Eat Like Alton approved:

1. Instead of using spinach, use kale, or use half and half. With the spinach, it’s within the rules (leafy greens); but why not add in kale, the super food. I’d recommend cutting it up into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces, so your not trying to chew down big pieces of kale while enjoying your soup.

2. Instead of noodles or basmati rice, cook brown rice (I do it according to Alton’s Baked Brown Rice recipe – while still chewy, it’s delicious tasting and perfectly done). Put the cooked rice in the bowl first and then ladle the soup on top of the rice and enjoy. I think the texture doesn’t disrupt the soup, and it ads another Alton element to the dish: whole grains.

Next time I make this I’ll also be cutting up carrots and put them in. Carrots are on the eat daily list, they are delicious in curry and would work well in this soup, maybe in a 1/4 inch dice. I’m also planning to make this for a soup fundraiser in the future. It’s that good and I’m that confident everyone will enjoy it.

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Just home from this years Superbowl party. I had such good intentions. But instead of rehashing the bad (which included Tar Pit Wings), I thought I would tell you about what I brought to the party, which I think would be Alton approved.

Sate Burger from Cooking Light Magazine

Sate Burger from Cooking Light Magazine

Sate Burgers from Cooking Light Magazine (via MyRecipes.com)

These burgers are a great alternative to your everyday beef burger, they are full of flavor, moist, and cook up great on the grill. And, the best part: they follow Alton’s rules. They are made from ground turkey (the recipe calls for 1/2 ground pork, 1/2 ground turkey, but I use all ground turkey), have peanuts in them, and I even found these whole grain hot dog buns that I cut in half to fit my slider-size burgers. I also served mine with thinly sliced cabbage and a sort of spicy mayo made with Hellmanns mayonnaise, yellow mustard, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, hot sauce, and garlic powder, salt, pepper and cumin. Also, since we have 2+ feet of snow outside, I cooked these in a grill pan today, with some olive oil brushed on it, over medium-low heat and they came out great.

I will say that I did a decent job of only having a taste of the smoked cheese, french onion dip in a bread bowl, crackers and Boursin cheese, cup cakes, chips and dip (ok, maybe more than a taste of chips and dip), but overall, I don’t have horrible regret about my choices tonight. And maybe even Alton eases the rules a bit on days like this.

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After a multi-month run of eating holidays (Thanksgiving through New Years) something needed to change. We’ve tried other things in the past, with some success, but always fleeting. We needed something different, something sustainable, something with rules that were easy to follow, wouldn’t be too expensive to launch and sustain and could be done while living our regular lives. Those lives involve working full-time jobs, parenting an 8-year-old, being active members in groups and clubs and social engagements.

We are huge fans of Good Eats, Alton Brown’s food/science show on the Food Network. Last year we watched his Live and Let Diet episode, where he explained how he lost 50 pounds. It made sense. So when it came time to start a new healthy eating plan at the beginning of February, we looked to Alton.

You can watch the episode here:

Or read a transcript of the episode here.

The rules seem simple. Here is what you eat:

daily
fruits
whole grains
leafy greens
nuts
carrots
green tea

(at least) 3x/week
oily fish
yogurt
broccoli
sweet potato
avocado

(only) 1x/week
red meat
pasta
dessert
alcohol

0x/week (aka NEVER!)
fast food
soda
processed meals
canned soups
“diet” anything

This blog will follow along as we EAT LIKE ALTON. Recipes, experiences, challenges, suggestions and links to other resources. A disclaimer: I’m just a regular Joe Jill. I’m not a doctor, not a chef, not affiliated with Alton Brown, Good Eats, the Food Network, or anything else that puts me in a position to advise anyone else how to live a healthy life. This is a personal account of an experience, no more, no less.

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