I love pizza. And I love it all year long, but when it’s July in Chicago (and the temperature is hitting the 90 degree mark), there’s no way I’m turning on my oven. Even for pizza. Thank goodness I don’t have to! That’s because even though I live in a small apartment in a big city, I still make my way out to my tiny deck to grill! And with some simple, yet, very delicious ingredients, I can make some pretty fabulous pizzas! Like this Grilled Cabot Cheddar BBQ Bacon Pizza!
Creative breakfasts on weekday mornings are not my forte. That’s why you’ll often see me noshing on PB&J toast. But recently, with the little sous chef heading out the door early, I’ve found the need to be a little more creative. Read – kids are choosy when it comes to breakfast food. What? You already knew this? 🙂 One thing we’re digging right now? Overnight bulgur! Nope, you didn’t read that wrong, I 100% meant bulgur NOT oats. Want to know more? Keep reading!
I made something fancy for you. Something you’d find on the menu at a bistro. A French bistro. The kind with wrought iron tables set with fine china. The kind where you see (and yearn to be the) people sipping rosé and wearing dark sunglasses and white linen pants. I’ve never been to France, but this is how I imagine every bistro there. Super cool without even trying. Kind of like this tuna salad, super cool without even trying!
Busy girls (and guys)! Attention please! I’m super excited to share some really fun stuff with you today. Just what am I sharing? I’m so happy you asked! In today’s post, you’ll find the following: A fast and fun recipe: my CURRY BULGUR BOWL and tips on nourishing yourself – I’m calling them Nourishing Reminders.
Intrigued? I thought so! Catch the recipe and my tips below.
Fertility Friday + Recipe for Maple Cinnamon Almonds
Do you remember back in the ’80’s and ’90’s when all fat was considered “bad?”
Looking back on that time, it was almost comical the degree to which we feared fat. Companies worked so hard removing it from their products and people went crazy buying fat-free everything. I remember noshing on a box of fat-free cookies thinking, “wow, no fat, but they sure taste good, I’m so glad they’re good for me!”
Fat is Back?
Oh dear! Luckily research has improved and we are no longer shunning fat. In fact, now we know that fat is vital to our existence. Fats provide energy, help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and can keep our hearts healthy. We just have to be smart about the type of fats we’re choosing and how much of them we’re eating.
But I Can’t Eat as Much as I Want?
While all fats fit, it’s important to keep moderation in mind. Saturated and trans fats are the types of fats we should limit. Research is always on-going on this, and recently saturated fast have been in the news about not being as “bad” as we once thought. My advice? Stick with moderation. Go for the whole milk, but keep your serving to one cup. Enjoy that birthday cake, but choose the small slice instead of the massive monster piece. See where I’m going with this? Don’t over-indulge. It’s never wise to eat too much of one thing, right?
Instead, focus on getting more healthy fats into your diet. We call those unsaturated (specifically monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats. These unsaturated fats can also help support fertility by helping control blood sugar and tamper inflammation. Where do you find them? Great question!
Where to Find The Fantastic Fat:
Sources of polyunsaturated fats: fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines; flax seed and flax seed oil, walnuts and edamame
Sources of monounsaturated fats: nuts (like in these Maple Cinnamon Almonds!) and seeds, avocado, canola and olive oil
Putting it Together
It’s easy! Eat fat, but make smart choices. Stick with moderation and balance your intake with other foods. Eating this way just makes sense! Feeling inspired? Get into your kitchen and make these yummy Maple Cinnamon Almonds so that you can enjoy some of those nutritious healthy fats!
Super easy snack made with almonds, maple syrup and ground cinnamon.
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups almonds
- Preheat the oven to 300’F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place the salt, maple syrup, water and cinnamon in a medium pot and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir to combine. Pour in almonds and stir until almonds are well coated. Spread out on prepared sheet pan and bake 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through cooking time.
- Remove and allow to cool before enjoying.
- Calories: 2118
- Sugar: 32
- Sodium: 1192
- Fat: 180
- Saturated Fat: 14
- Unsaturated Fat: 157
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 90
- Protein: 73
- Cholesterol: 0
Love cheese? Sure you do! How about grilled cheese? Oh yes, of course you do!
Did you know that this delicious comfort food can actually be a nutritious choice, even when it comes to fertility? It’s true!
And here’s some amazing news, not only is it National Grilled Cheese Month, but it’s also Fertility Friday and that means it’s time to get started on this series of posts dedicated to nutrition and fertility. In last week’s post, I introduced you to this series and today, I present you with the goods I promised – delicious, nutritious insight on food and fertility. Once you’re done here, don’t forget to check out Liz’s post over at Shaw Simple Swaps for her amazing post and recipe. You don’t want to miss it!
Ok, back to that grilled cheese. First, let me say that I love that these two days are intertwining, because grilled cheese can be a nutritious, fertility food. Who knew, right? Well, I did, but let me explain. It’s all about variety and moderation and fertility friendly foods.
Let’s take my recipe for Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Broiled Tomatoes as an example:
Whole Grains: This recipe starts with a whole grain baguette base. Why whole grain bread? Well, because it is more nutritious than it’s refined, white bread counterpart. Whole grains have more vitamins and nutrients and even more fiber. See, I told you, more nutrition!
- Fertility Focus – Whole grains help regulate blood sugar. Who cares about blood sugar? You should. You see, refined white breads, sugary cereals and candies can cause your blood sugar to spike quickly. Your pancreas has to work over-time to drive that blood sugar down. To do this, it sends out a handy hormone known as insulin to do to battle all of that sugar. This results in a high level of insulin in your bloodstream which have been indicated by research, to inhibit ovulation. So, no thank you white bread, white rice, chips and the like. I’ll stick with my whole grains!
Tomatoes: Who doesn’t love a sweet, juicy tomato? Ok, well, I didn’t until my early 20’s, but I’ve learned my lesson. These little red dynamos pack a serious nutritional (we’re talking Vitamin C and Vitamin A) punch. So eating them is a real win-win in my book! Tomatoes are also a great source of lycopene, a compound responsible giving tomatoes their vibrant red color. Lycopene just happens to also be a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants keep us healthy by preventing damage from free radicals. This is great health insurance, considering if free radicals are left to their own devices, they can do serious harm to our healthy cells and DNA.
- Fertility Focus – Men, take note. Lycopene may offer some benefits in terms of fertility. More research is needed, but there is evidence that lycopene could help with not only sperm count, but also sperm viability. Seems like a good reason to eat more tomatoes to me.
Whole Milk Cheese: This recipe uses sharp, whole milk cheddar cheese because of it’s great flavor. Sharp cheddar is so brilliantly savory and rich, that you don’t need a lot of it. And here’s the good news, cheese might be a great fertility food (see below) plus it’s also a fabulous source of bone-building calcium.
- Fertility Focus – The Nurses Health study revealed that women who ate ate least one serving of whole milk or dairy foods a day were less likely to experience infertility caused by an inability to ovulate. What does this mean for you? It means you can try swaping one serving of your typical low-fat or fat-free dairy foods with their whole milk counterparts. But tread lightly here, as those foods will still be high in calories. Bottom line, make this temporary adjustment but modify other foods in your diet to allow for the extra calories.
Amp up the nutritional value of your grilled cheese by adding delightfully delicious broiled tomatoes.
- 1/2 (15-ounce) whole-grain baguette, sliced in half horizontally
- 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- dash Italian seasoning
- Preheat the broiler.
- Place the cut baguette on a medium-size sheet pan. Brush the cut sides of the bread with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Slice garlic clove in half and rub over cut sides of the baguette. Place in the oven and toast 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- To a mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Spread out onto a small sheet pan lined with foil. Broil for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Remove and reserve.
- Sprinkle cheese evenly over bread slices, then dust with Italian seasoning. Place in the oven and broil 3-4 minutes.
- To serve: Distribute the broiled tomatoes on top of toasted bread halves, cut as desired. Serve immediately.
- For more fun and flavor, consider topping with fresh herbs before serving. Fresh, thinly sliced basil or freshly chopped parsley would be a fabulous addition!