Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recipe: "Cream" of Broccoli Soup

My mom made this recipe a few months ago, and I thought it was brilliant. Turns out she snagged it from a Jenny Jones cookbook called "Look Good, Feel Great". I've taken the liberty to modify it just a little by using brown rice and my salt substitute. I've also doubled it, because I tend to think bigger pots of soup make leftovers, which is never a bad idea.

The trick to this recipe is that the soup is thickened -- not by cream -- but by the starches from the rice, which is an infinitely healthier option.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup long-grain brown rice (I used short grain and it was fine)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (Aim for low sodium)
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets (I used broccoli crowns, and chopped them up, and I'm assuming Frozen would do in a pinch)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt substitute
  • Black pepper (to taste)
To Make:
  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium flame. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally until they are translucent.
  • When the onions have had a chance to cook, add the rice, stock, salt substitute, and pepper, and allow mixture to come to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in broccoli florets and allow mixture to return to boil, increasing the heat to medium. Cover and cook for five minutes, and then remove from the flame.
  • Allow soup to cool slightly, and then blend until smooth.
  • If the soup is too thick, add more water or stock for your taste.
Serves: 8
Serving:  52 calories, 7 g carbs, 1 g fat, 4 g protein

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pancake Art

In one episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, host Guy Fieri was presented with a pancake -- in the shape of his own head! (Check here if you want to see -- the resemblance is spot-on).

Chef Mustache Bill isn't the only pancake-maker-artist, though. I found this picture of Marine Invertebrate pancakes floating around on Pinterest!

Well, that really got my curiosity going, so I went to Google. And boy, did I hit the pancake-art jackpot! I've snagged a few of my favorites below. 

and of course:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Recipe: Microwave Personal Pumpkin Pie

I scooped up this recipe from MFP, where someone had previously found it on tumblr.


  • ½ cup pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin puree
  •  ¼ cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 packet of sweetener (I use Equal)
  • Cinnamon and/or Pumpkin Pie Spice (to taste)
To Make:
  • Combine ingredients in shallow dish.
  • Microwave mixture for 2 minutes.
  • Let cool before eating.
Serves: 1
Each Serving: 80 calories, 10 g carbs, 0 g fat, 7 g protein

  • If you prefer a more "flan-like" texture, add more pumpkin 
  • If you prefer a more "cake-like" texture, add more egg whites
  • For a creamy topping, mix together a dollop of non-fat Greek yogurt, a little bit of hazelnut cream cheese, and pumpkin pie spice, or top with toasted pecans.



Graduation, Anxiety, Weight Gain, and the Start of New Things

Thanks for bearing with my infrequent posts this month. Graduation and the last few weeks of college took me away from my computer for longer periods of time than I had anticipated. Between the anxiety of leaving my friends and home, the fantastic activities that Boston University planned for seniors, and the great weather, I've been too drained to cook, work out, or even think about food.

I officially graduated from college on May 20th, 2012. I was finished moving out of my apartment in Boston at 11:30 am on May 21st, and I was back home to my parents' house in New Jersey by 10:00 pm the same day.

Driving home from Boston was a bit surreal. I think it was the idea that my whole life could be packed into boxes that all fit into the back of my mother's minivan. Or the idea that a piece of paper with the word "Diploma" on it was a symbol to the world of the work I had achieved over the past four years. I'm excited for everything that this paper means, (Yay, career!),  but admittedly a bit nervous.

I've never had to leave a place that I've identified as "Home" before and not know when I'll be back. I've grown up in the same house, and even when I went away to school, my parents' house in NJ was always somewhere I belonged if I chose to.

I think this whole concept of leaving this "home" and never coming back is at the core of the anxiety I've been experiencing. And it's not just the physicality of my Boston apartment, it's the fact that I'm leaving my friends, my support base, and my familiar neighborhood. I know how to get around Boston. I cannot say that about New York or the Jersey suburbs where I've been apartment hunting. I've been overwhelmed, and (as a coping mechanism) I've been eating more indulgently, drinking more than I normally do, and avoiding the scale.

Today, thanks to a smack of a realization from my scale, marks the end of this moping -- and unhealthy lifestyle. Yes, college was fantastic, but it's not like I'll never see Boston again. I will see my friends and make many new ones. Boston was an adventure. New York will be one, as well. I will not wallow in my fear for a moment longer. Thus, I have officially recommitted myself to my healthy lifestyle and weight loss journey. We all stumble, the real test is how we pick ourselves back up, again.

One more thing. Even though I've graduated, I intend to keep "College" in the title of this blog. Not only have my memories and time at Boston University made a profound impact on my life, but it's damn catchy, too!

Thanks for giving me this self-reflective moment. Personal Pumpkin Pie recipe will be up this evening!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Meat Glue Pt. 2

Sorry I've been a bit MIA, Foodies -- it's senior week here at BU, and I've been away from my computer. During my absence, I was shown this video as a follow-up to the "Meat Glue" entry I made rebutting Perez Hilton's aggressive post.

I believe in having all the information you can before forming opinions, so I've posted the video below.

Once again, sorry for my absence, I'll owe you 3 recipes when the graduation festivities are over.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rebuttal to Perez Hilton's Meat Glue Argument

Hi Foodies,

So I'll admit it, I read Perez Hilton's gossip blog on a regular basis. Everyone's got some vices -- mine include the Kardashians. Perez runs a number of sites, including a one about health/fitness/celebs called “FitPerez”.

There’s no denying that Perez can be quite a bully at times. In the case of one of his most recent posts, I think he needs to read up a bit more before he posts something so aggressive.

Let me explain: On May 11, Perez wrote a blog post about the food industry’s use of the protein bonding enzyme transglutaminase – blasting the product for being disgusting and the industry for keeping consumers in the dark.

Perez, you’ve got it only half right.

Transglutaminase is a protein bonding enzyme, but in and of itself, it is completely safe for consumption. In fact, chefs have been using it in molecular gastronomy for quite some time. Just ask the Food Network – transglutaminase was used in several Iron Chef America battles. The most notably example occurred in Battle Tilapia where Chef Wylie DuFresne created tilapia noodles using the enzyme. They were a hit. Judge Karine Bakhoum said, “I love the texture. I would totally eat a big bowl of this. The tilapia in the dish, to me, is unique, interesting and fascinating.” (The link to her saying this is here: Skip to 3:57 for the full presentation of his dish.)

The issue with transglutaminase is not that it, in and of itself, is dangerous. Rather, the issue is an ethical and truth in disclosure dilemma when meat suppliers choose to use the enzyme to bond scraps together – and then charge customers the same price as the quality choice cuts of meat. 

In a society where a few harsh words posted online can bring down corporations, perhaps we, the bloggers, should all tread a little lighter when writing such condemning posts. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Recipe: Zucchini Sauté

This recipe is a modified form of a zucchini sauté from the 17 Day Diet cookbook -- I love how the lemon brightens up the dish. 


  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt substitute
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 TBS Parmesan cheese
To Make:
  • Put pine nuts into a dry skillet and heat over a low flame, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Careful not to burn them! Once they are done, set aside.
  • Grate the zucchini and use a strainer to squeeze out the excess water.
  • Spray the skillet with nonstick spray and put over medium heat until the surface of the skillet is warm.
  • Add the grated zucchini and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in salt substitute, pepper, and lemon zest, and garlic powder. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes. 
  • Transfer zucchini to serving dish and stir in pine nuts and cheese. 
Serves: 4
Each Serving: 80 calories, 5g carbs, 6g fat, 4g protein, 614mg potassium, 67mg sodium

  • If you slice the zucchini into longer strips instead of grating it, the dish takes on more of a "spaghetti" texture.
  • My friend suggested that this dish begs for a bit of a cream sauce. If you choose to do so, I would recommend no more than 1-2 TBS of light sour cream, just to mimic an Alfredo sauce.

Pop Culture Detour

This is another post that doesn't have much to do with College, Cooking, or Iron Chef America. However, they say variety is the spice of life -- bah-dum-ching!

Alright, bad puns, aside, this Youtube clip is by the same man that did the Dance Walking video I posted a few days ago, and I just think it's funny.

Happy Friday, Foodies!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dance Walking!

My MFP friends know that I've logged some serious calorie burns under the title: "Dancing around my room like a damn fool." You'd actually be surprised at how many calories dancing burns -- just slap on a HRM, and crank up your favorite tunes!

The question is, would you be up for dancing down 5th Avenue?

Which songs would you dance to? I'm very tempted -- care to join me??

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Project Bread 2012

As I promised, my friends Kathryn, Emma, and I fundraised and walked 20 miles to end Massachusetts hunger by participating in Project Bread's Walk for Hunger.

Between the three of us, we managed to raise $832 -- we also managed to walk the entire 20 miles in a little less than 6 hours, and (my heart rate monitor tells me) burned 2,403 calories doing it!

Thank you to all my wonderful sponsors, I could not have done it without you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Last Day of Undergraduate Classes

This isn't a food post, I'll admit it right off the bat. 

Today, at 12:00 pm, I will be finish my last undergraduate class. It's a thrilling and exhilaration feeling to be approaching a new stage of my life, and I want to thank everyone who's helped and supported me throughout my college career.

I'm going to make a very proud alum, BU.