Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

One pound at a time, one tablespoon at a time

When it comes to weight loss, don’t discount the small things.  Though drastic measures may be tempting in moments of desperation, lasting weight loss can be yours with a few tweaks here and there.  Don’t get me wrong–weight loss almost always requires due diligence and commitment.  But!  If you are a clever one, you might just be able to lose a few pounds without too much heartache.  But like I said, it’s about the small things.

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Plan to Fail

Get back on it.

Get slim with these 3 easy steps!

Change your habits in just 30 days!

Six weeks to a new YOU!

Despite what self-help books might promise, don’t fool yourself into thinking that any lifestyle change will be easy.  Overhaul your life in a matter of days or weeks?  Please.  It took you YEARS (if not a lifetime) to nurture those habits; how could anyone claim to reforge them in just 30 days?  No, real change takes time and stubborn commitment.  There will be ups and downs and certainly 30 days of focused effort will give you a running start, but changing your regimen, your rituals, your mindset, is an endurance event.

When you set your mind on change and begin to imagine the steps before you, the question isn’t, Will I stumble?  Rather you should be asking yourself, When will I mess up and how will I deal with that?  Will it merely be a lapse?  Or an utter relapse?  How you deal with the reality of failure will determine whether you will truly change or if you will remain as you ever were.

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Lentil Soup with Chicken Sausage

Every now and then, I come across someone who has never had (or heard of!) lentils and my reaction is always the same–something bordering on shock, I’m sure.  Of course, when you grow up in the supposed lentil capitol of the world, it can be no surprise that these tiny legumes were a regular staple in my family growing up.

Nutritionally speaking, lentils are ridiculously good for you.  Just one serving (1/2 cup cooked), provides complex carbohydrates, 8 g of fiber, 9 g of protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, iron, a range of B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus…and all for a mere 115 calories!  If you are trying to lose weight or boost your health, lentils simply must be on your grocery list.

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Kotopoulo Riganato tis Skaras (Broiled Chicken Oregano)

Here is another great recipe from The Complete Book of Greek CookingAs you’ll recall, I’ve been cooking up and posting adaptations of these recipes and thus far, they have been great.  I definitely recommend it if you are looking for some seriously good, home-style Greek cooking.

If you’re like me (and many of my clients), you are always on the lookout for new ways to cram some flavor into chicken breasts.  Not only does this recipe deliver big garlic and oregano flavor, but it is also super easy.  Bonus?  You can add this one to your arsenal of heart healthy recipes.  A quick word regarding cooking method here:  While you can certainly broil the chicken, I’m always quick to fire up the grill.

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Clean-up in the produce department, please…

Cantaloup.  Bagged salad greens.  Mangoes.  Bean sprouts.  More bagged salad greens.  Man oh man, the produce recalls for bacterial contamination have been bad the past several months.  While those fresh fruits and veggies may look amazing in their summer glory, let’s be real for a moment:  though they may look nothing other than appetizing to the naked eye, they can be covered with…well..all sorts of nastiness.  Like salmonella.  And E. coli.  And listeria.  Oh, and don’t forget all the viruses that have been massaged onto those tomatoes and peaches by countless fondling fingers.  From field to packing to purchasing, there are any number of ways these disease-fighting foods could be contaminated with dangerous pathogens.  So much for ‘triple washed and ready to eat,’ right?  These recent recalls have proven that our fresh fruits and veggies should be presumed dirty despite the labeling.

Most of us would think the answer is simple, yes?  Just wash your produce before eating it!  But does that really work?  Does a quick rinse under the tap make a difference?

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Pico de Gallo

pico de gallo

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE pico de gallo.  Really and truly, the chips are just a carrier as I obscenely pile on this deliciously fresh salsa and shovel it down the hatch.  So good.   And even better?  It is so good for you!  Not only is it low in calories, but it is loaded with a variety of vitamins and antioxidants.  Plus, the capsaicin found in spicy peppers has been associated with heart health, not to mention possible metabolism-boosting properties and appetite suppression–helpful if you are trying to shed a few pounds.

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