Kamis, 27 Desember 2007

Skinny Gourmet's Best of 2007

I recently discovered that some bloggers are putting together a year’s end review of the best recipes, and are inviting bloggers to submit their best recipe from the past year. I thought this was a fun way to commemorate a year in food, so it got me thinking. I have different favorites for different reasons. Food can be a favorite because it is delicious, because it reminds you of a wonderful

Kamis, 20 Desember 2007

The Sights and Sounds of Christmas in Ghana

Christmas in Ghana is a fascinating beast. I can tell that today, the day after Ghana's official celebration of Eid, Christmas began. It isn't because silver bells ring out from every street corner, and it sure isn't because of the snow. And although it is unfamiliar to me, Christmas in Ghana has its own sort of magic. There is something in the air here too, there are quite moments of family,

Rabu, 19 Desember 2007

SG Santa Recommends: Garlic Press

Garlic Press This is one of the few things that I use almost daily in my kitchen. I am a fanatic for garlic. I love it roasted or sauteed. I love the bite it adds to everything from chili to salsa. I love how the fragrance of fresh garlic cooking fills the whole house, and starts eager stomachs rumbling. I grew up using garlic salt. We put it in our homemade marinara sauce. We used it to make

Selasa, 18 Desember 2007

(Mis)Adventures in Christmas in Ghana

Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself or you'd go crazy. My husband and I have really been trying to get into the holiday spirit. Normally this is not something I struggle with. On the contrary, I am something of a Christmas fanatic. I love the decorations, I love baking, I love Christmas carols. Most of all I love family and family traditions. Many of which have to do with food.Lately we

Senin, 17 Desember 2007

SG Santa Recommends: Pizza Stone

Homemade pizza is a tradition in our home, whether it is just my husband and I or a fun excuse to get togehter with friends. Making pizza at home also allows you to produce food that is both healthier and tastier than those you can purchase. Even if just for that reason, my first recommendation, for anyone who doesn't have one yet, is a Pizza Stone. But a pizza stone is about much more than pizza

The Skinny Gourmet Gift List

Looking for Christmas gift ideas for your favorite "foodie?" As my very own advent calendar gift to you, I'm offering a countdown of wonderful gifts to give the person who loves their food and their health in equal measure.When I close my eyes to my tropical surroundings here, I can almost picture the blustery holiday streets on Chicago's Michigan Avenue ("The Magnificent Mile") from memory.

Rabu, 12 Desember 2007

Chilled Asparagus with Wasabi Dipping Sauce

If you are looking for an easy, healthy, and elegant holiday appetizer, look no further. This recipe for chilled asparagus with Wasabi dipping sauce has to be one of the simplest and most elegant appetizers I know. Since I first learned the recipe from my mother-in-law, this has become a family favorite. We served it last year at our New Year's party to rave reviews. People simply could not

Jumat, 07 Desember 2007

Heart of Palm Amuse Bouche with grapefruit, thyme, and champagne vinegar

The holidays are, among other things, about glitz and glamour. About feasting with your eyes. One of my favorite tricks for holiday entertaining is to serve a tray of amuse bouche in flat-bottomed Asian soup spoons. This allows you to gather together interesting combinations of tastes that don't conform to traditional "finger food" forms. But this dish can be served equally well plated for a

Selasa, 27 November 2007

Papaya Faux-Custard with Pistachio, Honey and Pomegranate

Papaya isn't your typical holiday dish, but then again, who wants to be typical? A flurry of parties and entertaining usually accompany the coming of the holiday season. And whether a dinner party at home or an office party, these occasions usually demand some menu creativity. I say this as one who has a deep emotional attachment to classic shrimp cocktail, but one can have too much of the same

Selasa, 20 November 2007

Have your Thanksgiving indulgences, just don't drink them too!

Thanksgiving is a day replete with the makings of memory. Each family has its own hallowed practices and dishes. And each year as the big day approaches media outlets everywhere spin into overdrive reminding us of the evils of gluttony and inundating us with advice to survive the upcoming 'fat season.' This year I offer a less common bit of advice for Thanksgiving: Indulge intelligently. Select

Minggu, 18 November 2007

The First Thanksgiving

There is something magical and terrifying about the first Thanksgiving. And no, I don't mean pilgrims in funny hats. I mean the first time you decide to take on the behemoth task of coordinating a full-on Thanksgiving dinner. It is madness and mistakes and laughing and memories. At least mine was. But it was also the birth of a beloved tradition that still continues. This post is for all my

Jumat, 16 November 2007

Chicken Cobb Salad

In my world a salad is, almost by definition, an invitation to experiment. Some of the best salads come by combining what is on hand. Some of my favorites have a few predictable elements I always like to include, with enough room for variation to keep things interesting. And so it is with a Chicken and Cobb salad. Some form of Cobb salad can be found on many restaurant menus, but beyond the

Rabu, 07 November 2007

Why you should love cold churned honey

Sometimes on your quest for interesting food you have to seize the moment of introduction, wherever it is presented to you. My husband and I were driving along the highway en route to Niagara Falls. We had been together for five years and a little celebration seemed in order, complete with natural splendor and all the gawdy tourist traps. On the drive from Chicago, just after crossing into Canada

Minggu, 28 Oktober 2007

How to drink like a fashionable Ghanaian

Observing the fashionable food trends of Paris is so passe, so the last 100 years of haute cuisine. Everybody's doing it. Why not be a bit more daring and take your drinkable fashion cues from Africa? Starbucks has a team devoted to dreaming up new beverages. How do they do it? First they dream up what colors will be fashionable next season. And so because orange is trendy, we get the awful

Kamis, 25 Oktober 2007

Rice as a Measure of Womanhood

Rice is one of the world’s most popular grains. It is a mainstay in diets from Latin America to Africa and Asia. It is consumed on every inhabited continent, in some form, in every country. It is perhaps then little wonder that rice preparation can serve as a ruthless metric of womanhood. I was reminded of this today. My husband and I have been in the habit of sharing some of the food we make

Selasa, 16 Oktober 2007

The Best Carrot Cake in Chicago(and a recipe of my own)

Cake is a troublesome thing. On one hand it is powerfully nostalgic: we remember a grandmother's cake, we mark each birthday with...cake. Yet recently I had decided that cake rarely satisfied relative to all of its fat and calories. For me, it wasn't a wise indulgence. I believe that desserts are perfectly compatible with a healthy lifestyle, but that means I seek desserts that have a huge taste

Sabtu, 13 Oktober 2007

"Cage-Free" Eggs are the New "It" Accessory

Hotter than a Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag, cage-free eggs are all the rage. The living conditions of America's favorite poultry was only a simmering concern in 2003 when Adbusters did a scathing expose on the living conditions of commercially raised chickens in the U.S. But now concern for the living standards of our poultry has hit the mainstream media, as evidenced by a recent New York Times

Senin, 08 Oktober 2007

Baked Potato Soup

Some recipes add variety to your palate and nothing more, but some recipes become instant family classics. This recipe was an immediate classic in our home: pure comfort in a bowl, perfect to ward off the chill of autumn. I actually developed this recipe as a comforting, all-natural meal that I gave to a friend undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. When I prepared it for her, I

Minggu, 07 Oktober 2007

Seghesio Port

This is one wine to get your hands on before everyone else catches on. A group of friends and I discovered this fine port while on a trip to wine country in California. When we go, we make it a point to visit several vineyards and try new places. This was our first visit to Seghesio, and I have to say it is one of the more delightful wine tasting experiences. We did a tasting flight downstairs,

Rabu, 03 Oktober 2007

Restaurant Follies or How to Find a Good Restaurant in an Unfamiliar Locale

The other night I had the worst food I have ever paid to put in my mouth. This is doubly disappointing because I had this food at the restaurant that is right across the street from my new house in Accra's swanky Osu neighborhood. I hate that my first post about an Accra restaurant is going to be negative, because there are quite a few really fine restaurants here. But I will walk you through

Kamis, 27 September 2007

The Caper Continues: Why the Rolled Angel Food Didn't Rock

So our hard boiled detective has already investigated the mystery of the disappointing zabaglione. Although the case isn't definitively closed, there are some good suspects. Now for the rest of the mystery. Why was this apparently innocent attempt to make a high-brow version of rolled angel food cake a disaster? Rolled angel food cake with macerated Bing cherries and brandy zabaglione...it sounds

Senin, 24 September 2007

The Great Zabaglione Caper

It’s late, a little after eleven in the evening. The alleyway is soaked in shadows as I move in. My trench coat rustles against my feet. I have my collar turned up against the drizzle. The film noir scene is complete. “Is that the victim?” I gruffly ask an officer. “Yes, ma’am.” I click my tongue. What a sad sad way to end up. I lean in closer, too hard-boiled a detective to be shocked by the

Kamis, 20 September 2007

To Err is Human, To Post It...Divine?

I'm stuck in an internet cafe waiting out a torrential downpour, so it seemed like an ideal time to blog. I've long spouted philosophically to my friends that the world was made up of two kinds of people: those who have their kitchen garbage cans out for the world to see, and those who keep them discretely hidden beneath the sink. I've recently realized that this division runs deeper than I

Rabu, 19 September 2007

How to accidentally give someone a wedding present

We've arrived safe and sound in Ghana. We're still searching out accommodation, but we are temporarily lodging with my friend Victor "the maven." To disabuse any of you out there of your National Geographic ideas of Africa, the Maven is addicted to cutting edge technologies and fashions. He had an iPhone two weeks after they came out in the US and was one of the first who had it "cracked" to work

Minggu, 16 September 2007

A Kitchen on the Move

I am now less than 24 hours from the plane ride that will take me to Ghana for the next six months. Moving for a moderate amount of time to Africa is a challenge few people experience. I have done it now four times. The first time I went, as an eager 20 year old on a college exchange program, I was shockingly unprepared. That lack of preparation, however, encouraged me to live much as an average

Jumat, 14 September 2007

Cantaloupe Melon Fruit Soup with Applemint

Ever since discovering the wonders of a truly great farmer's market cantaloupe paired with the softness of apple mint, I have been thinking about fruit soup. Fruit soup is an odd thing for me to think about because frankly, where I grew up you just don't make fruit into soup. Until I started researching this post, I thought fruit soup was some trendy conspiracy between Gourmet magazine and

Kamis, 13 September 2007

My "Must Eat" Countdown

I love Ghanaian food. But in the final week before departing I can't help but kick into "deadman walking" mode, where I begin mentally listing (and craving) the foods that I won't be able to get when I'm there. Today, on the way back down from visiting my native Wisconsin, we stopped at Borzynski's Farm to get the best caramel apples on Earth (check). This afternoon I had a gourmet pizza at

Rabu, 12 September 2007

Skinny Gourmet Celebrates its 1000th visitor!

Last night the Skinny Gourmet was visited by its 1000th unique visitor. I have been watching this count-up to 1000 like a kid waiting for Christmas. So this morning I did a little happy dance around the kitchen. As a new blogger myself, I have often looked around for thoughts on more established food blogs about what they did when they were new. Things they found out the hard way. So although I

Selasa, 11 September 2007

Recipe Review: Chicken with Balsamic BBQ & Tri Colore Orzo

My mother-in-law is an incredible cook. She is responsible for my husband's culinary ability, and for that I am eternally grateful to her. That means that visiting my husband's parents in Wilmington, NC always means a ton of delicious food. One night she decided to do a meal based on the recipes of Giada De Laurentiis from Everyday Italian. She selected a delightful, sophisticated take on BBQ

Senin, 10 September 2007

Is Coffee the new Wine?

As I promised last week in my rant about airport "gourmet" I'm back with another installment of my investigation into all things gourmet (or not). Like so many fashionistas regularly announcing blue (or brown or red) is the new black, the high-end coffee industry is now emulating the well established snobbery of the wine industry. As I sit in Starbucks, gleefully sipping my mocha cappuccino with

Jumat, 07 September 2007

Is Your Olive Oil a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

Olive oil is fabulous. Let's just get that fundamental truth out there. Good quality olive oil is a delight for the palate. But it is also gaining fame as a "good" oil for your body. A pharmacist friend of mine once told me in no uncertain terms that we would all be healthier if we used olive oil in place of the other common oils in the American diet. The monounsaturated fats that predominate in

Kamis, 06 September 2007

Mother's Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is powerfully associated with feelings of warmth and home. In late summer when the zucchini crop was particularly plentiful and the air was just starting to show some signs of coolness, my mother would pick up zucchini from the local farmer's stands and make zucchini bread. We once shared a warm slice with a young neighborhood boy who eagerly ate the entire piece and then confessed

Selasa, 04 September 2007

Et tu Wolfgang?

I have been doing a lot of thinking, writing, and research lately on the concept of gourmet. A lot of what I'm finding out there is interesting, sometimes provocative, but often unsatisfying on the whole. Over the next few weeks, the cumulative efforts of all this thinking and writing will come out on the blog. I have a little rant on Starbucks, and the budding idea for a foodie event (does the

Senin, 03 September 2007

Frontera Grill

Preparing to leave on a long sojourn to another continent has all the disadvantages of moving and spending time away from loved ones. But it also has the advantages of causing one to really spend quality time with loved ones before departure. On this note, this past Saturday our wonderful friends Chris and Gabrielle Ferrales invited us out to Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill, sister restaurant to

Jumat, 31 Agustus 2007

Artichoke Dip a la Natalya

Many things can be sources of inspiration, but nothing occasions accidental brilliance like necessity. That is how a "Eat Us Out of House and Home" party to consume perishables before my husband and I move to Africa became the inspiration for an outstanding artichoke dip. This dip features many of the traditional elements of classic artichoke dip, but with a few modifications that really elevate

Rabu, 29 Agustus 2007

A twist on a classic salad

There are some salads that are classics: they are always delicious, but rarely surprise. On Sunday my husband and I were invited over to have dinner at our friends' house. Since she quit smoking five months ago, Berit has taken up cooking, and with impressive results. Dinner was delightful. They started us off with a bruschetta appetizer similar to my bruschetta essenziale. Our main course was a

Sabtu, 25 Agustus 2007

Bruschetta Essential

Bruschetta is, in essence, the simple rubbing of garlic cloves onto toasted peasant bread, drizzled with olive oil so fresh and unadulterated that it still has delectable fruitiness. In the United States however, the basic image of bruschetta is the combination of tomatoes, basil, and garlic. This recipe also makes use of some thyme, which is one of my favorite spices. Thyme has a long and

Selasa, 21 Agustus 2007

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Roasted beets pair exquisitely with the subtle tang of goat cheese. I first fell in love with this combination while dining al fresco in Napa Valley, but have since tried it just about anywhere they serve it, including at Crofton on Wells in Chicago and Quince in Evanston. So I decided to prepare some version of this favorite and submit it as my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging #97, hosted this

Developments for the Skinny Gourmet

With any luck at all it will not rain tonight in northern Illinois. Altruistically, this will help the many people in the Midwest who are facing potentially horrible flooding. On a much more petty level, this will also mean I get to see the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, live in concert. This is a woman whose music I have sung along to with reckless abandon for years. I can't carry a tune, but

Senin, 20 Agustus 2007

Ravinia Picnic Table

One of my favorite picnic items is the Crate and Barrel "Table in a Bag". This is a great inexpensive wooden table that packs easily into a canvas carrying bag, and assembles quickly into a gorgeous, low table. It is easy to eat around this low table, whether in lawn chairs or on the ground. Several people have emailed to ask about where to find these classic tables, which are favorites for

Sabtu, 18 Agustus 2007

Asparagus and Blue Cheese Bruschetta

This unconventional bruschetta puts big flavors together in an unusual combination that somehow just works. The gourmet combination of blue cheese, lemon, and asparagus, in just the right proportions, delights the palate while being very low in fat and calories. I served this as part of the trio of bruschettas for a picnic at Ravinia last friday night. I also brought some to a friend's house for

Crostini or Bruschetta?

Are you looking for bruschetta recipes? I offer a good recipe for classic bruschetta, but you may also enjoy the more innovative beet and goat cheese bruschetta, or asparagus and blue cheese bruschetta.There is often some disagreement as to whether a particular dish, consisting of some kind of bread and topped with some kind of topping, is bruschetta, or crostini. In my experience, food purists

Jumat, 17 Agustus 2007

Skinny Gourmet in New York

Traveling is always a great chance to check out food trends in new places, and find inspiration in different traditions. For the past five days I have been in New York, which is as good a place to seek inspiration as any. I was there for a professional conference of sociologists, but managed to get some good food experiences in on the side. Along the way I learned the value of trusting your food

Sabtu, 11 Agustus 2007

Ripe Melon with Mint

This dish relies solely on elevating the natural sweetness of summer melon. When paired with this subtle variety of mint, both tastes find a unique balance. This dish is perfect served as a side salad at a picnic, or dressed up as a cold summer soup for a dinner party.This is the second of a two part entry this week for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Cooking Diva.About Mint…In

Jumat, 10 Agustus 2007

Curry & Thyme Chicken Salad

This recipe is a favorite in our household, and really highlights the flavor of thyme. I love the way the crisp and subtle tartness of the apples stands up against the creamy, spiced curry base. The fresh thyme is really the star of this dish, bringing the rest of the tastes together. If you are someone who likes a little more sweetness with your chicken salad, you may enjoy the optional addition

Kamis, 09 Agustus 2007

Blueberry Kuchen

At the Farmers Market in Evanston, IL nearly every booth from Michigan featured some variety of plump, sweet blueberry. My husband, who loves blueberries, simply could not resist. With our newly acquired blueberries in hand, I decided to try to update my husband's favorite dish from his mother's kitchen: blueberry kuchen. The resulting recipe heightens the natural taste of the blueberries, with

Rabu, 08 Agustus 2007

Ravinia Picnic

float:right;">Are you looking for Gourmet Picnic Recipes? Or an elegant portable picnic table?This is another installment of the Skinny Gourmet packs a picnic. On Sunday the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the Ravinia festival grounds. My husband and I went with three other friends (Sian and Ian are pictured at right).Much of the menu is inspired by my trip on

Senin, 06 Agustus 2007

Rustic Plum Tart

Make use of summer’s bounty. The natural sweetness of dark, ripe plums means no need for added sugar. The succulent ripe plums pair nicely with the sweetness of the dried plums and the heartiness of the wheat crust. This is a simple and quick dessert that gives a rustic European presentation to traditional fruit pie. Better still, using one crust halves the fat and calories found in traditional

Jumat, 03 Agustus 2007

Artichoke and Purple Basil Pizza

For my first foray into Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Kalyn's Kitchen I knew I wanted to put together an interesting pizza. Putting together pizza toppings can be a really fun inventive process. My husband and I went over to visit our friends Kelly and Rachel with nothing but a rising bowl of whole wheat pizza crust and a plan. The four of us raided their kitchen and garden to come

Kamis, 02 Agustus 2007

Small Update

The Skinny Gourmet is now listed at Blog Directory.

Rabu, 01 Agustus 2007

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Everyone should master one recipe for pizza crust. I think many people avoid this divine experience because they are intimidated by the apparent time involved. Yet with this simple, easy to master skill you can make healthy, delicious pizza with whatever you have in your home. Improvising topping ingredients turns the making of pizza into a collaborative event. The active time in making pizza

Senin, 30 Juli 2007

Aebleskivers (Danish Pancakes)

Jump to the recipe.Buy an aebleskivers pan. Buy an aebleskivers cookbook.Sometimes being in a new place, really being there, means experiencing some part of its unique food heritage. This is true even if it doesn't fit into the diet plan. And so it was that while visiting Seattle I was introduced to Aebleskivers for the first time. My host Nick, at left working his magic, grew up in a home where

Individual Rhubarb Tarts

I love rhubarb. As a child we had a defiant little patch of rhubarb that thwarted all of my mothers efforts to remove or relocate it. In the summer when it was ripe we would sometimes sprinkle sugar on the stalk and eat it straight from the dirt. The tangy piquant taste is still my favorite for a fruit pie. My great grandmother was famous for her rhubarb pies, which generally ran to rhubarb,

Jumat, 27 Juli 2007

Fettuccine with Celeriac, Artichokes, and Sun dried tomatoes

The two following recipes are the wrap up of the Skinny Gourmet in Seattle trip. I am newly enamored with celeriac, or celery root. So when I set out to prepare dinner for my two hosts in Seattle, I was determined to incorporate it into the dish. Not only does it add a delicious but novel taste, but it adds quite a bit of healthy bulk to a pasta dish.Celeriac is traditionally paired with

Celeriac (Celery Root)

This week's adventures in trying unfamiliar produce has lead me to celeriac, or celery root. This variety of celery is cultivated specially for its edible root. Celeriac's swollen, knobby external appearance often scares off beginners. However, once peeled, it is a nutritious healthy vegetable with more natural flavor than most root vegetables. I am experimenting with substituting celeriac in

Seattle's Pike Place Market

Markets are one of my great loves. For me, walking into a marketplace is like emerging from a sensory deprivation chamber. Suddenly you are surrounded by a throng of people with the colors and smells of the market all around. Fish, chocolate, ripe nectarines, and pungent onions all swirl together. Its intoxicating. Shopping in a market is a great way to fall in love with your food. Shopping a

Selasa, 24 Juli 2007

Wenona's Fontina & Jarlsberg Fondue

I know what you are thinking: there is no place for fondue if you are eating healthfully. But see my post on cheese and see if you aren't convinced. It is better to grant yourself intelligent indulgences than to cultivate a sense of deprivation. And the warmth of melted cheese fondue is the perfect vehicle for memories. Last week my husband and I hosted a going away party. Our entertaining style

Minggu, 22 Juli 2007


This is another category that is often too quickly surrendered when one decides to diet. As someone who grew up in Wisconsin however, cheese is not just a food, but a powerful tie to childhood that embodies warmth and comfort. But when many dieters try to keep beloved cheese in their life they make a ghastly choice: faux cheese. In an attempt to recapture the delightful, heart-warming melty

Sabtu, 21 Juli 2007

The Magic of Produce Markets

I'm taking a long weekend out in the Pacific Northwest. I have a very dear old high school friend who lives now in Seattle and a pair of friends whom I lived with in Ghana who are now in Vancouver. Although as rainy as their reputation suggests, these cities are wonderful for exploring. One of my favorite explorations so far took us to the market on Granville Island. Much like Philadelphia's

Selasa, 17 Juli 2007

Meringue with Brandied Peaches and Chai Tea Custard Sauce

This version of a pavlova features brandied peaches on clouds of meringue with Chai tea custard sauce. It is a full-flavored dessert that can fit into any diet, and the presentation is sure to delight your guests. In fact, try not to drool on the screen. Monday night we had a few friends over for dessert and board games. I wanted to serve something light and summery, but a bit unique. The result

Turnips and Parsnips

"4. Try one new thing every week" --The Skinny Gourmet PhilosophyI advocate experimentation in the kitchen. I think it keeps you from getting into a rut. I think trying one new thing a week keeps the kitchen exciting. So last night I put my money where my mouth is. We had friends over for dinner at the last minute. I had decided to prepare chicken sausage and potatoes, because they were available

Senin, 16 Juli 2007

Orange Chocolate Meringues

Meringues...From fluffy and cloud-like to satisfyingly crisp, meringues are the perfect sweet accompaniment to a healthy lifestyle. Once you've mastered the basic meringue recipe and technique, the experimentation begins. Here is a meringue recipe I created to remind me of the dark chocolate orange candies that I used to receive in my Christmas stocking as a child, but the citrus taste makes it a

Sabtu, 14 Juli 2007

Adventures in Meringue

Meringue opens a world of possibilities to anyone trying to eat healthy but delicious food. Whether a soft cloud of meringue topping, the delicate chewiness of meringue as a shell for topping, or the delightful crispness of baked meringue drops, meringue is guaranteed to satisfy the sweet-tooth without busting the waistline. However, like many stars, this wonderful food has a reputation for being

Selasa, 10 Juli 2007

Classic Steamed Artichokes with Alioli

If you are lucky, artichokes are already a part of your culinary repertoire. Artichokes are definitely on the wonder list of foods for preparing healthy gourmet dishes. For those unfamiliar with these versatile vegetables, their unusual shape can be intimidating. For beginners, I have included a detailed "how to eat an artichoke" section at the end of the recipe. The best way to get acquainted

Tip of the Day: Hummus

I'll have to admit that I am a little bit obsessed with hummus. Growing up in a medium-sized Wisconsin town my childhood was more about cheesy-beer dip than hummus. Once in college, however, I was introduced to this wonderful, healthy dip. When we live in Ghana my husband and I make it from scratch. Hummus is great on sandwiches in place of mayo. You get less calories and fat, more protein and

Kamis, 05 Juli 2007

Heidi's Salad

Many of us understand intuitively that food is deeply laced with meaning and memory. A particular smell or taste has the power to conjure nostalgia like nothing else. That power of food can be mastered to make a dish that is a living memory. When I want to remember my summer living in a Costa Rican village, I make Gallo Pinto, the simple combination of rice, beans and local seasonings that is the

Puttanesca Sauce

I never liked olives before I visited Spain, but once I returned, I never looked back. Now olives are one of my key indulgences. Puttanesca is a traditional Italian tomato-based sauce that relies on olives and capers to produce a distinctly hearty and bold flavor. This is a simple and quick sauce that works well dressed up for special occasions or for an everyday meal.Ingredients3 garlic cloves1

Salad Love: Part II

Falling into a rut—optimistically called “doing what’s working”—is another frequent beginner’s mistake that can lead to plateau, decreased health, and eventually falling off the wagon. Why? Many people find patterned eating is an easy key to resisting temptation. They eat the same thing for breakfast every day. Some people go so far as to eat the same things for breakfast lunch or dinner. They

Salad Love: Part I

I grew up in the Midwest. If you are anything like me, you grew up thinking salads were something you ate before a meal, not for a meal. Salads were something to be endured, a punishment even. But bit by bit I discovered how truly delightful salads can be. A great salad is an assault on the senses: bursting with color, the strong scent of vinegar and herbs, that delightful crunch of lettuce

Selasa, 03 Juli 2007

Skinny Gourmet Packs a Picnic: Espinacas Con Garbanzos

Espinacas con Garbanzo is a light and summery dish that is perfect for a picnic. It packs well, serves neatly as a dip for small toasts, and has an interesting and novel combination of flavors. It is a favorite dish from Seville that I brought home to Chicago. Summertime in Chicago this year has been one of the best in memory. My husband and I recently bought a bocce ball set, and have been

Crofton on Wells

We recently took a friend for her 30th Birthday celebration to eat at Crofton on Wells, a well reputed restaurant in downtown Chicago known for a fusion of French and American styles and a dedication to fine foods at a reasonable price. In this post I review the atmosphere, service, and of course, the food!The atmosphere was pleasant and not too distracting. They have a silk paneled ceiling and

Senin, 02 Juli 2007

About Me

First, a brief disclaimer. I would have more truthfully titled this blog “The mostly healthfully sized gourmet, with occasional bouts of being more than healthfully sized” but that just didn’t have the same ring to it. So the Skinny Gourmet it is.I grew up in Wisconsin but have spent most of the last ten years living in Chicago. When I haven’t been living in Chicago I have lived in Costa Rica (

The Skinny Gourmet in Love

I am blessed with a very kitchen savvy husband. That's us, leaving the church on our wedding day amid a flurry of bird-safe sugar-based confetti that turned to sugary frosting on contact with skin. But back when we first met, on our third date, he offered to cook me dinner. He expertly prepared pan seared strip steak with rosemary mashed potatoes and a balsamic reduction sauce. For dessert


Repeat after me: I will never ever buy canned olives again. The more processed the olives are, the less taste they pack per punch. By this rule of thumb, the greatest offender of all are the pre-chopped canned black olives. Avoid these like the plague. They taste like nothing at all. I found myself heaping them into a puttanesca sauce in a stunning blunder of judgment. I wound up using two or

Food Tricks for Stocking the Kitchen

The first two food shopping tricks will be familiar to most lovers of high quality foods. The third is a core part of the skinny gourmet mentality.Three Core Food "Tricks" Buy Fresh Buy High Quality Splurge IntelligentlyCutting all high fat foods out of your diet is a mistake. The great secret of thin people who enjoy food is moderation. One important facet of building a life-long delicious

The Skinny Gourmet Philosophy

Too often dieters make a few key mistakes that lead to frustration, decreases in overall health, and eventually to yo-yo dieting. The “secrets” to successful dieting are things we all know if we would give ourselves a chance. Above all, get rid of the idea of dieting and all the mental baggage that comes with it. This is a lifestyle transition to a healthier happier you. You will eat foods you

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