Health Blogs 101: Where to go for the Best Recipes and Advice

101 Cookbooks

101 Cookbooks was created by Heidi Swanson in 2003, a San Francisco based photographer, cookbook author and designer, who shares recipes that intertwine with her life, travels and interests. Heidi was inspired to begin the blog when realized that although she owned over 100 cookbooks, she was always using the same recipes. So she decided it was time to stop buying and start cooking. Since then, 101 Cookbooks has won numerous awards, such as the 2006 and 2007 Food Blog of the Year and has been featured in newspapers such as the Boston Globe and New York Times. With a focus on natural, whole foods and ingredients, 101 Cookbooks has recipes for those with vegan or gluten-free diets as well as recipes for those who love desserts and chocolate. It even has recipes perfected for every season. Here is a great summer dish that puts a spin on classic Macaroni.

Macaroni Salad (serves enough for a crowd or potluck)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced green onions {~3-4 bunches}
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
fine grain sea salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
zest and juice of one lemon
1/3 cup / 2 oz grated Parmesan
4 big handfuls arugula
1 large apple, diced

Cook the macaroni in a large pot of well-salted water per package instructions. Set aside at least 1/2 cup / 120ml pasta water. Then drain pasta and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Add most of the green onions, all of the garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions soften, and the garlic begins to take on some color, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple minutes.

Use a hand blender or food processor to puree the green onion mixture along with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, zest of the lemon, half the lemon juice, and the reserved pasta water. Puree and taste. The green onion flavor should be assertive. Stir in the Parmesan.

Combine the macaroni with the green onion sauce in a large bowl. Toss well. Add the arugula and most of the apple and toss again. Taste, and add more pepper, salt, or lemon juice if needed. Serve topped with the remaining apple and green onion.

Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 10 min

A Weight Lifted

A Weight Lifted is the blog of Green Mountain at Fox Run, the country’s first and only residential weight loss program exclusively for women. Contributing bloggers include two registered dietitians (RDs), a psychologist, executive chef, sous chef and managing director of the program. The blog reflects their combined vision on what it takes to reach a healthy weight by a balance between nutrition and fitness. Putting an emphasis on letting go of unhealthy obsession and pressure attached to dieting, this blog offers not only healthy recipes, but advice for how to conquer negative feelings about weight. Here’s a recipe by Chef Lisa for the Green Mountain Brownie that is served at the healthy weight loss spa. Just goes to show, a little indulgence here and there can actually be healthy.

Green Mountain Brownie (serves 16)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pint sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9 inch square pan (or similar size) with non-stick spray. Metal pans allow for faster baking than glass does.

In a small pan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat and carefully stir in canola oil and cocoa powder. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamy. Stop the machine, add a third of the flour mixture, then mix. Stop again, add half of the butter mixture, then mix. Stop again, add half the remaining flour mixture, then mix. Stop, add remaining butter, mix, then stop, add final flour addition, and mix until just barely combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-40 minutes, or until done enough for you.

Rebecca Thinks

Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian, credentialed nutrition therapy professional and American College of Sports Medicine certified Health and Fitness Specialist. She also teaches sport nutrition at George Washington University and has a D.C. based private practice for professional, aspiring and everyday athletes. Rebecca Thinks is where she shares her opinion on behavioral issues related to staying healthy and happy. The blog also shares her favorite recipes; my favorite was this one for a delicious, healthy fish taco.

Healthy and Light Fish Tacos Recipe (serves 8)
Mango Salsa
1 mango, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 onion (red preffered, any onion OK)
Juice of 1 lime, zest of 1/2 lime

Mix ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.

Zesty, Creamy Topping
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt, strained (Place a paper towel in a strainer and add the yogurt. This helps give the yogurt a thicker consistency like soft cheese. It needs about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator and you can skip this step if you don’t have the time)
1/2 tsp chili powder, taco seasoning, or fajita seasoning

Stir and refrigerate.

About 2-3 pounds white fish (we used tilapia)

Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lime over fish. Broil or grill on low to medium heat for 6-8 minutes (don’t over do it or your fish will be tough).

Spicy Black Beans
One 14 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained, and placed in a saucepan
1/2 onion, diced and 2-4 cloves garlic, diced (sautee both in 1 tsp olive oil and add to bean)
1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili powder

Mix together and heat on low for about 8 minutes.

You will also need…
Store bought tortillas (we used a low carb, high fiber tortilla with about 100 calories and 10g fiber per serving)
1 cup cabbage, shredded (green or purple – whatever looks good)

Making the Taco
Heat the tortilla in a toaster oven, microwave or dry pan for a few seconds until warm. (You’ve come this far, why not?) Place about 2-3 ounces of fish in the middle of the taco. Top with 2 tablespoons mango salsa, 2 tablespoons black beans, small handful of cabbage (cabbage is healthy and low calorie so use as much or as little to your liking), and 1 tablespoon of the creamy topping.

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