by June 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]


Some healthy tips for your summer cooking. (Chelsea Rinnig)

Healthy meal tips to keep you on track this summer

Barbecues, picnics, beach and beer — all a recipe for fun activities this summer. But frankly, I begin to feel it after a weekend of drinking beer all day; all of a sudden, a beach weekend becomes a looming fear where you wished you’d toned up a little more and drank a little less.

So, here are a few tips and past articles that may allow you to indulge a little in the outdoor events while staying healthy and looking good!


  • Instead of butter, use extra virgin olive oil and just a drizzle. Roast vegetables on the grill for a side instead of the potato chips and go for the ground turkey or chicken breasts when making your burgers.
  • Instead of bringing that baguette and cheese to the picnic, try these collard wraps.
  • Try out zucchini hummus instead of chickpeas for a backyard bash: roast a large zucchini, whole, at 425 for 30-40 minutes (until tender). Cool, slice, and blend with a ¼ cup olive oil, juice from half a lemon, and 3 tablespoons of Tahini. Serve with carrot sticks — it’s delicious. Add spinach for a boost of iron and extra green! The color is beautiful.
  • Swap a juicy, fresh watermelon for dessert — they will be in season soon! Or roast some peaches and serve with plain vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.

So have a beer for being good all week and enjoy the best your local markets have to offer this summer!

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by August 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,998 2 Comments


Sorbet! (Namita Koppa)

From Namita Koppa. Email her at namita[AT]

Summer fruits are the best, aren’t they? Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, peaches, plums, nectarines, and cherries are all available in abundance these days, perfect complements to backyard BBQs and lazy Saturdays by the pool.

Like most of you, these fruits were an important part of my childhood and the simple passage of seasons. When I was growing up, my sister and I would scoop out the middle of strawberries, fill them with sugar, let them sit for about 10 minutes, and then stuff the entire fruits into our mouths. Delicious! Probably not the healthiest thing to consume, but a tasty snack for our jawful of sweet teeth.

My mom would make peach crisps complete with oatmeal streusel topping, which we would greedily demolish with Breyer’s vanilla ice cream. Late summers were filled with trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where we’d pick blueberries with our friends, eating them along the way until our tongues were stained a beautiful Duke blue. Around the holidays, we would bake plum cakes, dust them with powdered sugar, and give them to our teachers and postmen as gifts.

Sorbet: Easy to Make

In the last few years, however, my sister and I have both expanded our culinary horizons. As she has delved into the great world of canning and preserving, I’ve happily received giant jars of homemade strawberry-rosemary jam and blueberry-ginger preserves. When she (or any friends!) pops into my place, I’m able to share with her ice creams and sorbets.

With the temperature rising in DC and National Ice Cream Month having just ended, this frozen delicacy is an easy way to beat the heat. You may think of jaunting off to Pitango or Dolcezza for a lovely cup or cone, but I’d like to introduce a simple alternative if your ice cream habit is more an addiction than occasional indulgence: homemade sorbet.

A simple summer sorbet is an incredibly easy creation. All you need is fruit, sugar, water, and a blender. A beautiful thing about fruit sorbets is that you can use use fruits that are very ripe or even slightly overripe, as they yield the sweetest flavor.

How to Create Unbeatable Texture

If you’d like to step it up a notch for unbeatable texture, you can purchase and use an ice cream machine, but it’s not necessary.

  1. Make sure your fruit is refrigerated prior to making this! Wash, pit, and destem your fruits. You probably want to use about 2 pints of fruit per quart of sorbet.
  2. To your cut fruit, add sugar (1/4-1/2 cup, depending on how sweet you’d like it), a little water (1/4 – 1/3 cup) and let it macerate (rest!) in a bowl for about 10 minutes. If you’d like a little kick, you can also add one minibottle of your favorite liquor or ¼ cup wine at this point.
  3. Put everything in your blender and puree! If you’re seed-averse, you can run the blended fruit through a sieve. Otherwise, churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions if you are using one. If you’re not, go to step 4.
  4. Freeze. Scoop out, enjoy.

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