Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Citrus Grilled Chicken

Apple Blossom Festival is upon us, and with it, the Food Fair!  Ah yes, even a dietitian such as myself can get a little giddy at the thought of funnel cakes, tortatoes, and food vendors as far as the eye can see…though the outrageous prices do keep one in check, thankfully.  I have to admit, I always get a good laugh whenever I cross paths with past or present clients.  Despite the fact that I, myself, might be toting an enormous plate of questionable food, my clients will often duck behind a tent or attempt to hide their food from my gaze when I pass.  And, even when I haven’t seen a familiar face, I inevitably receive guilty emails of confession after the fact.

In any case, we are headed to the Food Fair tomorrow and my husband has accordingly requested something light for dinner…a little pre-penance.  This recipe for Citrus Grilled Chicken is one of my stand-by’s for such an occasion (and many others, for that matter!).  Quick and easy both to prepare and grill, I throw it together whenever I need something in a pinch with great flavor.

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Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce with Beecher’s Flagship

There is nothing quite like homemade…and that goes for pasta sauce, too!  This recipe is quick and easy, not to mention super versatile.  Feel free to tweak the herbs, amount of cream, or the type and quantity of cheese to your heart’s content!  This sauce is even more delicious with a couple Italian sausages (spicy or sweet) sauteed with the onions and garlic.  Tonight, I kept it fairly simple and not overly indulgent with the cream and cheese.  Today is Tuesday, after all.  Leftover grilled chicken and steak were a no-brainer and put this dinner on the table in less than 40 minutes, though the sauce can certainly be made earlier in the day and then gently reheated come dinner time.  Where this sauce is slightly chunky, a shaped pasta is a great choice; though the creaminess also makes it a happy pairing with a long pasta, such as linguine.  My personal favorite?  Gnocchi!

Click for the recipe!

Making the Most out of Your Calorie Budget: Carbohydrates

You’ve figured out how many calories you need for whatever your goal may be–now what?  Though staying ‘on budget’ is the bottom line when it comes to your weight, how you choose to spend those calories will have a huge impact on what kind of weight you’re losing (or gaining), your ability to stick with your plan over the long haul, and–of course–your health.  In this post, I’ll discuss carbohydrates and the vital role they play in any diet plan.

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The Calorie Budget

Your weight is a balance between the calories you eat and the calories you burn, yes?  (Here’s a previous post on the topic, if you’re interested.)  So let’s talk a bit more about how to put a calorie plan into action.

First, you must figure out just how many calories you need.  The easiest way to do this (outside of indirect calorimetry), is to use a research-validated equation, such as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation which accurately predicts resting energy expenditure within 10%.  Here is a handy link that allows you to enter your personal information; the site then inputs that info into the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation and does all the number crunching for you.  A more labor intensive approach would be to carefully measure and record your food intake for a couple weeks, using an online food journal like SparkPeople.  Assuming your weight has been stable, you can use the calorie information from this food journaling to determine your average intake and–voila!–discover how many calories you need on a daily basis for weight maintenance.

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Change for Good

Tomorrow I have the opportunity to speak at a local business as part of a wellness program for their employees. I’ll be talking about eating habits worth changing, effective goal setting, and staying motivated through the ups and downs.  I thought you just might enjoy taking a gander at the handout I’ll be leaving them with…so here it is!

Want to make some big changes in your life?  While motivation and determination will carry you a long way, a solid plan will ensure you reach your goal.  Therefore, as you ponder the possibility of a new you, consider the following tactics; whether you’re hoping to shed weight, get fit, or quit smoking, these strategies will help you set your course, steer you past obstacles, and push you across that finish line.

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Sunny Side Up

Eggs have been the center of a heated debate for quite some time.  Are they healthy or not?  And how many is too many?

Let’s get some stats.

A single large egg provides about 70 calories, 5 grams total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 185 mg cholesterol, 0 carbs, and about 6 grams protein.  Eggs also provide a smattering of other essential nutrients, such as a small amount of various B vitamins, vitamin A, and a decent dose of vitamin D (about 10% of your daily value).  Egg yolks are also the richest source of choline, a B vitamin vital for normal cell function and a healthy central nervous system. So in a nutshell, we’ve got a nice little nutrient-rich source of highly bioavailable protein that is rather high in cholesterol.

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is it in you?

For your Sick-Day Survival Kit

Last week was officially the lost week.  The entire crew came down with some nasty strain of the stomach flu and it was no 24-hour bug.  Yeesh.  Anyway, as I struggled to keep myself and my family from the brink of serious dehydration, I was ever-so-happy that I had happened to pick up a big ole’ canister of Gatorade mix a couple months back.  While most folks think of Gatorade as merely a sports drink, it is supremely useful to have on-hand whenever dehydration threatens a trip to the ER.

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