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Posts Tagged ‘guests’

9:14 am - Posted by Gregg

As promised, I am sharing the recipe for the salad pictured with the Steak a la Gregg recipe I posted last week. For that steak recipe, click here.

This side salad is tasty, hearty and a real crowd pleaser. What’s more, it’s so healthy that you don’t have to avoid it when on a diet or another type of healthy eating program. But at the same time, because it tastes so good, you don’t have to “Doctor it up” for guests who might not be on a diet.

Imagine: You and your guests eating and enjoying the same food. What a concept!

Ingredients:

4 Cobs of Corn

1 Avocado (Large, ripe, but firm – not mushy)

2 Pints Grape Tomatoes

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste

Preparation:

• Remove corn kernels from cob with sharp knife, and then place freshly cut kernels in bowl.

• Rinse grape tomatoes, cut into halves, add all to bowl with the corn kernels.

• Peel avocado, cut into small chunks, add to bowl with corn and tomatoes.

• Add 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar. Pepper to taste. Toss together and serve immediately.

Serves: Approximately 6

This also makes a great dish to bring to any party. I promise, it will be a big hit. Double the recipe and make it shortly before you leave. Do not add olive oil, Balsamic vinegar or Pepper until just before serving.

Looking for the steak recipe? click here.

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9:38 am - Posted by Gregg

Looking to cook up some mouth watering, diet friendly steaks that are as healthy as they are delicious? Well, look no further – because I’m going to share my tried and true recipe for creating delicious steaks that are sure to please any dieter as well as any dinner guest (whether the guest is on a diet or not).

I usually fix these steaks on Sunday nights as a special weekend treat. And the best part is, when having guests over, I don’t have to do anything different to “dress up” (read: add flavor to) their steaks. Easy. Fast. Delicious. No outdoor grill necessary. Just a broiler and a few spices. And the best part? Steaks prepared this way won’t wreck your diet!

First things first: Look for steaks that are red, juicy and fresh (always check the expiration date and never purchase steaks that are about to “expire” or look dull in color or that are even starting to “grey”). The steaks should also have “fat veins” running through the meat as well as some fat around the edges. We won’t be using any additional butter or oil with this recipe, so the fat in the steak helps with the flavor (making the steaks virtually self-basting while broiling and extremely juicy and tender for eating).

And no, this naturally occurring fat won’t harm your healthy eating plan when eaten in moderation. (It’s all about balance, remember?)

I usually prefer big, thick Rib-eye steaks. And the cuts of meat I prefer are large. But as you’ll read later, each of the steaks I buy serve up more than one serving, which makes for convenient “left over” meals during the week.

Steak à la Gregg

2 – 4 Rib-eye Steaks (depending on number of guests – can always make 1 steak, too)

Granulated Garlic

Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions

•   Preheat Broiler to Highest Setting

•   Line Shallow, Broiler-Safe Baking Pan with Nonstick Aluminum Foil

•   Place steaks on foil (in pan)

•   Cover each steak generously with Granulated Garlic and Fresh Ground Pepper

•   Broil for 10 – 17 minutes, depending on thickness of meat

•   Remove pan from broiler, turn steaks over, re-sprinkle with Garlic and Pepper (being careful of the sometimes bubbling liquefied fat)

•   Broil for 5 – 7 minutes more (depending on desired cooking temperature)

•   Remove from Broiler (again, being careful of the sometimes bubbling liquefied fat)

•   Carefully remove steak from broiling pan, place on doubled paper towel (on plate)

•   Put another doubled-paper towel on other side, then “press” steak (which is now between the paper towels) with spatula (this soaks up most of the “fat juice” from the steaks, but still leaves the steak moist with a little bit running liquid)

•   Remove paper towels, turn steak over (so the first side cooked faces up for “best presentation” purposes)

•   Add side salad (recipe for salad shown will be shared next week)

•   Serve immediately

Additional Tip: As always, you want to keep portion control in mind. I usually eat about half of my steak and save the rest for an easy midweek meal (chopping up the remaining portion in a salad or simply warming it up and serving with steamed vegetables and freshly chopped cherry or grape tomatoes). If you think you might overdo it (eat too much!), then cut your steak portion in half before serving.

Also, because I know I will be reheating the saved portion of the steak later in the week, I usually undercook my steak a little, and avoid eating that part of it during the first serving.

For the side salad recipe, click here.

Please let me know how you like this recipe! Or better yet? Invite me over!

Happy Steak-ing!

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September 15, 2011

Nature’s Ice Cream

9:32 am - Posted by Gregg

I often point out that learning to eat food in moderation while enjoying a variety of foods has meant re-training my taste buds. There are so many additives, food substitutes and chemicals in over-processed junk food that often when we start a healthier eating regime, so-called ‘healthy’ foods taste like cardboard.

In my book, I write about giving taste buds a couple days (or more) to adjust to the new way of eating – while assuring readers that eventually the healthier food will taste better. And yes, this means the unhealthier foods will begin to taste worse. In fact, I can tell when food is overly processed with too many additives, too much salt or (heaven forbid) has trans fats as an ingredient. It’s not a matter of not eating this junk to avoid going back to weighing over 450 pounds – I simply hate the way these foods taste and hate how I would feel (lethargic, nauseas, physically ill) if I still consumed them.

Thankfully, nature has some goodies of its own that can rival even the sweetest cakes or frozen treats. And one of these bounties is good ol’ watermelon. When fresh, crisp and sweet, I find it as enjoyable as a bowl of ice cream. And yes, I still enjoy naturally made ice cream or frozen yogurt from time to time. But I balance those treats out with fresh fruit. And during this time of year (just before the winter months hit), I do my best to enjoy watermelon for all it’s worth.

Studies have revealed that besides being delicious, watermelon delivers several health benefits, including being an excellent source of Vitamin C as well as a good source of Vitamins A and B6. It also contains the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene, which can help neutralize free radicals and help prevent prostate cancer. Watermelon has been shown to reduce the risk of other types of cancers as well. Plus, its high water content makes it great for hydration. What’s more, it’s a terrific dessert or snack for kids and can help them understand that not every ‘treat’ has to come covered in fudge.

When selecting watermelon, I always go for seedless. I’m not a happy camper if I must interrupt my chewing with spitting seeds into a nearby napkin (even though I suppose it burns a few more calories).

According to produce specialists, Mid-June through mid-August is when watermelon is at its ripest (with July being the most prized month of all). Good watermelon can still be found even now. But its time is growing nigh. Even if imported from warmer climates during the winter, it’s likely not as delicious as the fruit the summertime month’s offer. So let’s go watermelon shopping, shall we?

When picking a whole watermelon, size matters since 80% of a watermelon is water. Pick one of the largest you can find, while making sure the exterior doesn’t have any visible cuts, bruising, dents or soft spots. Experts also suggest looking for a yellowish area on the melon’s exterior, which indicates its ripeness after sitting in the sun.

Next, do what you’ve likely seen other shoppers do – knock-knock on the exterior with your knuckle. You’re listening for a slight echo to your knock, which indicates that the fruit is ripe. A dull thud could indicate otherwise.

When preparing watermelon for guests, or myself, I make sure to make the eating experience as relaxed and “special” as possible – therefore I don’t usually serve it in wedges. Giving food a more delectable presentation is something I strive for almost every time I eat. This helps my brain, eyes and other senses know that I’m eating, which helps ‘up’ the enjoyment factor – and, therefore, the satisfaction and fullness factors.

I suggest slicing watermelon into quarters, length wise, then taking a quarter and carefully running a knife along the red center’s outer edge and the whiteness of the rind. Cut all the way around on both sides, so that the whole quarter of the red stuff could slip out. But don’t slip it out just yet. Next, cut the fruit from side to side, on both exposed sides of the quarter. Finally, cut across your long slices, from left to right, leaving about 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch between each slice. (Note: You can click on the pictures to see close-ups of slicing details.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, slide your perfectly prepared chunks into serving bowls. But before you serve the fruit, put the bowls into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to give the fruit an extra kick of crispiness.

When time to serve, pull the bowls from the freezer and serve with a napkin underneath (to keep the bowl from being too chilly to the touch). The watermelon chunks should have a minimal layer of frost that kicks up the flavor and the crunchy quotient, making for a texture-y, sweet and delicious eating experience. (Careful not to keep the chunks in the freezer too long or the pieces will freeze and require a little defrosting before being comfortably edible).

Saving the uneaten portion of the watermelon can be handled two ways – either by “chunking up” the remaining portion and putting it into airtight containers and storing in the fridge; or wrapping up the other half or quarters (rind and all) in cellophane wrap and then wrapping them in an additional plastic bag before putting into the fridge (to avoid having to clean up leaked watermelon juice at a later time). Plan on consuming the leftover fruit sooner rather than later to enjoy it at its freshest.

Watermelon. It’s not just for summer picnics anymore. And when enjoyed at its peak, it can kick ice cream’s butt anytime. Or, at the very least, tie it in deliciousness.

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