Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to Hop Past Easter Candy

Given the chilly weather, it may be hard to believe, but...The Easter Bunny will be hopping your way this Sunday! (I'm assuming that on the East Coast, he'll be recruiting snowshoe hares to help him out.)

Happily, this is the last big candy day of the holiday season. Soon, the weather will warm up, the days will get longer, and the focus will naturally turn from candy to fresh fruit.

Until then, here's a short-but-sweet list of tips to help you handle the Easter candy deluge:

Top Five Tips for Hopping Past Easter Candy
  1. If you're not keeping a food record, start one! If you're skilled with eating awareness, you may benefit from keeping a sweets record. Write down (or take a picture with your cell phone) every sweet treat you eat. If you're drinking more soda, wine, or other beverages, make a note of that, too.
  2. Remember that Easter, like other holidays, will come around again next year. If you don't eat a crème-filled egg, it's okay. You can enjoy one next year.
  3. Don't fall into the trap of thinking, "I won't see Peeps for a year...I better eat a bunch now!" Eating a dozen Peeps won't keep you from craving them in July.
  4. Consider balancing candy with non-food treats. This year, my son wants a hoodie he can tie-dye himself, my older daughter wants potted hyacinths, and my younger daughter wants a hydroponic tomato plant kit. I'm also going to fill plastic eggs with candy and hide them around the house and in the yard, but it's the big gifts that they look forward to receiving. You can use this tip to make it easier to bypass Easter candy, too.
  5. If you don't already have a personal or family tradition that includes physical activity, this is the year to begin one! Go to the park, take a walk, toss around a football or Frisbee with the kids, get everyone dancing on the Wii. Create your own March Madness challenge, and compete with friends or family!
Now it's your turn! What do you do to keep the number on the scale from hopping around during the Easter season? Let us know! :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe: Salmon in Pineapple Curry

I get a kick out of finding intriguing recipes, then changing them up to make them either healthier, quicker and easier to prepare, or both. In this particular recipe, I changed up a recipe for Pineapple Curry Tofu, which I found in a "Las Vegas Chefs Healthy Recipe Book," and made it quicker and easier to prepare.

I've also changed up the seasonings a little, as the original recipe called for tofu, which I replaced it with salmon. Because salmon has a more assertive flavor, I amped up the other flavors in the dish, too.

When I made this recipe last week, I served it on egg noodles, and its overall appearance worked well. If you prefer to serve it on brown rice, spaghetti, or just by itself on the plate, I suggest switching out the crushed pineapple for chunk or sliced pineapple (choose a sugar-free pineapple so you can use the juice). Or, omit the canned pineapple altogether, and replace it with pineapple juice.

Salmon in Pineapple Curry


8 ounces egg noodles (optional)
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1 pound salmon
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, minced


If using, prepare egg noodles according to manufacturer's directions. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, combine pineapple, tomatoes, coconut milk, onion, bell pepper, garlic, curry, and Sriracha in large skillet. Add salmon. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and cook until salmon is cooked through.

If desired, break up salmon. Add lime juice and cilantro and stir well to combine. Or, leave salmon intact. Drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro as a garnish.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Recipe: Madras Tomato Cream Soup

I just developed this recipe last week, but I've already fallen hard for it. You'll love it, too: It's creamy, spicy, and flavorful, and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. I've replaced the usual milk and cream with tofu, which bumps up the protein content while lowering fat and calories. It makes a perfect lunch served with naan bread. Or, for a casual supper, pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

You'll find whole cumin seeds and garam masala at most larger supermarkets, but you'll probably need to visit your local ethnic market for black mustard seeds. While you're there, stock up on bottled minced ginger and garlic, and look for any other spices or ingredients you need. Ethnic markets are typically considerably less expensive! I shop at my local Rani's because I absolutely love their garam masala; no other brand will do, as far as I'm concerned. Rani's also carries a huge range of Indian and ethnic products at fantastic prices. No Rani's in your neighborhood? No problem! Shop online at

Madras Tomato Cream Soup


2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 (12-ounce) package Mori-Nu tofu
1/4 cup milk (I use plain soy milk)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon Indian chili powder
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute, or until seeds are fragrant. (Be careful not to burn the seeds.) Remove pan from heat.

Puree tomatoes and onions in blender or food processor until just smooth. Carefully add tomato mixture to saucepan (it may bubble or even splatter vigorously when the hot oil and cold tomatoes interact). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 -15 minutes, or until onion is cooked.

Meanwhile, puree tofu and milk until smooth. Set aside.

When onion is cooked, remove soup from heat. Add tofu mixture, garam masala, and chili powder, and stir to combine. Cook on low heat until just heated through (do not allow soup to boil). Just before serving, add cilantro and stir to combine.