As Featured In: it’s okay to eat the cupcake

Just in time for the end of summer vacation and back to school – a return to “our regularly scheduled programming”, here is a charming cookbook filled with delicious, nutritious, simple recipes, using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen!

“Eat Well, Live Well, Age Well” is the motto of Patricia Greenberg, The Fitness Gourmet. Dedicated to helping families eat tastefully and healthfully no matter how busy they are, she and her teenage daughter, Gabriella Grunfeld, have created a terrific collection of recipes in Scrumptious Sandwiches Salads and Snacks that will make it easy to put fun and flavor into healthy foods.

Patricia really wants to make it easy for everyone to develop healthy eating habits for life. In fact, she reminds us that learning to cook also builds skills in organization, math, science, and time management. She writes about the importance of not categorizing foods as “adult food” and “kid food” (especially at the grocery store, where the term is a marketing ploy to get parents to purchase extra items that may not be healthy), and encourages the use of healthy packaged and pre-made products. One of the great features of this book is an explanation of how to read a nutrition label; a nutrition label also accompanies each recipe.

The dishes are easy to make using ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Sesame Cole Slaw Salmon Bowl is tossed with a light but very flavorful dressing, made with sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey (scroll to the bottom for the recipe). I had a feeling that the vinaigrette would be great tossed with almost any salad. I am in the habit of having salad almost every day for lunch, using whatever I’ve got in the fridge (leftover meats, fresh fruits and veggies, cheese), so I tried this yesterday and I was right! An added plus: it took less than 5 minutes to whip up, with all the ingredients already on hand. I’ve got the leftover dressing in a jar in the fridge, so I can just shake and pour over my next salad.

Patricia uses creative ways to update lots of old favorites (like Mustard Egg Salad and Roma Tomato Toast). And it’s really easy to use the recipes as a springboard for your own ideas…

…for instance, the recipe for Greek Yogurt and Blueberry Waffle Sandwich (which uses frozen whole grain waffles) got me thinking about pancakes.  This led to making a batch of pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and now we can have fun with the leftovers.  I can wrap a turkey breakfast sausage in a pancake with homemade applesauce to dip (a healthier version of pigs in blankets).  Or I can spread peanut (or other nut) butter over the pancake and top that with sliced apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.  (Here’s my go to recipe for pancakes with a bunch of suggestions for seasonal variations!)

And for a light breakfast or lunch, or even a post-yoga class dinner, Parfait Patricia is indeed perfect. Vanilla yogurt, strawberries and trail mix (store bought or homemade; the book includes a recipe from the author) combine for a quick and nutritious meal.

I used blueberries and my favorite homemade granola.  Voila! Simple, tasty, healthy and satisfying – made with (say it with me now) ingredients I already had in my fridge, freezer and pantry. Pick up a copy of this neat-o collection for your busy days and enjoy, y’all!

“…change it up, be creative, and enjoy.” Patricia Greenberg

The original article can be found here.