RecipeRedux: Stoneware By Sarah in the kitchen

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A few years ago, I thought it would be fun to take a pottery class.  I signed up for a 10-week block at Hinckley Pottery…and then another…and another…and after a few months I realized I was hooked.  Throwing clay (that’s what they call it!) on a wheel is creative, relaxing, and productive – even after the first set of classes I’d made things I could give as gifts, though they were much lumpier and heavier than what I can make now.

This month’s RecipeRedux post features “classic cookware” – pieces that have an emotional or family connection beyond their practicality.  I figured it was the perfect time to share my pottery!  Don’t forget to check out the link at the bottom to see everyone else’s contributions.

Why handmade stoneware is great in the kitchen

  • This stoneware is high-fired – that means it goes into a kiln that gets up to over 2000F! Because those high temperatures are reached, the resulting pots are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe.
  • Many of the glazes are non-stick, making them easy to clean, and less oil can be used.
  • They’re personalized and practical – the perfect combo for a gift!  I like to melt glass from wine or beer bottles from special occasions (like weddings!) to give.  It makes a sparkly, crackled appearance that is smooth to the touch.  My wedding collection includes a spoon rest, his & hers mugs, or a ring dish – or all 3!  Click the picture  (or here) for more information about how to order for yourself or a loved one.


I love the idea that pottery I’ve made is now being used and cooked with in my friend’s and family’s homes!  Just another sneaky way I’m encouraging more healthy eating by getting back to the kitchen.  Check out more of my work and see videos on my SBS Facebook Page  (and don’t forget to give a Like if you like it!).

If you’re in the DC area, join us for the Student Show at Hinckley – May 4th, 12-5pm, 1707 Kalorama Rd NW.  I’ll be there with over 20 other student artists, sharing and selling our wares.  We’d love to see you!

Now, for the recipe: my brother got married last year, and their gift is finally ready.  I made them mugs (actually the ones pictured, above!), a salt shaker, and a tarte pan.  Because his birthday is also this month, I baked a carrot cake into it as a gift for that occasion!  I used this recipe from Alton Brown, but healthed it up a little by substituting half the flour with whole wheat, the oil with applesauce, and poured some of my cheesefake filling on top in place of icing!  I’m excited to see what else they bake into it in the future. :)

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Click here for more amazing RecipeReduxer’s recipes using classic cookware!

Cruciferous Veggies 3 Ways (omnivore, vegetarian, vegan)


The cruciferous family of vegetables includes cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage – all are low in carbohydrates and high in vitamins C, A, and K and cancer-fighting phytonutrients.  Because vitamins A & K are fat-soluble, oils enhance their absorption in your body!  Try each of with a variation on a sauce that fits into your eating pattern.

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Carnivorous: garlicky anchovies

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 can anchovies packed in oil
  • ½ lemon’s juice

Heat a saute pan on the stove; add the anchovies and oil from the can when hot.  Add garlic, saute until soft.  Anchovies should fall apart after a few minutes.  Squeeze in lemon juice.  Puree in a small food processor or use a fork to mash.

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Vegetarian: capers & parmesan

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ c capers (with liquid)
  • ½ c shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ lemon’s juice

Heat a saute pan on the stove; add the oil and garlic, saute until soft.  Add capers.  Squeeze in lemon juice and cook for 2-4 minutes.  Puree in a small food processor or use a fork to mash.  Fold in parmesan.

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Vegan: seaweed & tahini

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 sheets Nori or 1 package SeaSnax, diced into small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • ½ lemon’s juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

Heat a saute pan on the stove; add the oil and garlic, saute until soft.  Add soy sauce and seaweed, cook for 1 minute.  Stir in tahini, then squeeze in lemon juice.  Puree in a small food processor or use a fork to mash.

Roasting cruciferous vegetables:

Broccoli & cauliflower: cut into bite-sized pieces and spread evenly on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil (or lightly spray); toss to coat.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Roast for 15 minutes, remove and coat with sauce of choice, tossing to mix evenly, then roast for an additional 5 minutes.

Brussels sprouts: cut into strips, removing the nub end, and spread evenly on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil (or lightly spray); toss to coat.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Roast for 10 minutes, remove and coat with sauce of choice, tossing to mix evenly, then roast for an additional 5 minutes.

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A trip to Manna Food Center (+donated dinner party for Spring!)

At my last full time job, I had a flexible schedule and project work that could be done from a computer almost anywhere.  I was on a small team with a high level of communication and interaction, and for the most part a happy, open work environment.  Our normal work weeks were short – only 37.5 hours required, leaving time to take a half hour lunch every day without feeling strapped to a desk.

Given all of that, I thought it would be an easy sell to my boss on the idea of taking a day every month to do some sort of community work, if I accounted for it in my schedule and worked a few extra hours on the other weeks to make up for the time lost.  There wasn’t a downside, in my opinion!  But it didn’t fly – I was told that this would create a slippery slope, and then where would it stop?  Two volunteer days a month?  A week’s trip to aid natural disasters?  How would “community” and “volunteer” be defined?  I was told I could use vacation time if it was that important to me.

I get the reason to have standard policies, I really do – some of those questions are good ones!  I guess I just don’t think it’s hard to create some easy parameters, if that kind of activity is considered an acceptable priority, and therein lies the real reason my request wasn’t granted.  Volunteering isn’t that much of a priority to most people. People (especially in DC) want to contribute to a charity by giving money or attending a party or gala benefit so they can enjoy themselves at the same time.  While important for funding, those activities don’t really meet the needs of whoever is being served at the ground level, and that’s a place where anyone can offer help!  As a small business owner, I don’t have much money to offer right now – what I do have is my time and expertise.  And I think every business should build in a system for giving back as a corporation, while encouraging their employees to find ways to do the same.

This may all sound very higher-than-thou: let me be clear that I am in no way trying to brag, and I certainly don’t have a spotless history of monthly volunteering through my adult life.  What I am doing here is making a public commitment to that goal, and inviting you to think about joining me in your own way!  And I want to share with you the inspiring organization that is Manna Food Center – the people who work here live and breathe giving back on a daily (if not hourly!) basis, and what they accomplish as a whole is amazing.

Some amazing stats:

  • 2 million pounds of food is donated to needy people annually – and that’s food that would otherwise be thrown away!  Everything from dented cans, to about-to-expire food, to food rejected by grocery stores because part of the order was damaged…sometimes perfectly good products are cleared from shelves just because a store is resituating where things are placed!
  • 3,300 families are fed monthly at 14 distribution centers in the area, providing enough food for 3-5 days
  • Balanced boxes of food are created to give recipients by combining the donated items in ways that make sense nutritionally, and they have a Registered Dietitian on staff
  • “Smart Sacks” is a program that gives school children a bag to take home, so their only meal of the day isn’t at school

A quick tour…

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This warehouse is gigantic, and full of people busy as bees!  Some are paid staff, but you can also volunteer here…they are very organized, as Kevin (pictured), their Director of Operations explained the whole system. I’ll be giving the next donated WFW Dinner Party to recipients of Manna’s charity – booking yours this spring will help me reach the 10 needed to initiate getting that on the books!

2ArmadillosCo @Whole Foods Market (+cinnamon chickpea crackers)

Exciting news – I’ll be at the P Street Whole Foods Market tomorrow with 2ArmadillosCo!  They will have stations set up so you can try every flavor, and a few will be partnered with other foods – including my chickpea crackers!  The tomato-basil flavor was so good I tried the same recipe with their rosemary-olive oil, and created a tomato & herb ricotta spread to complement them for the tasting on Saturday.  I planned to stop there, but…

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A few nights ago I got to visit Union Kitchen, where the 2Armadillos chickpeas are roasted, seasoned, and packed by hand with love. These guys really do it all by hand – first the chickpeas are soaked, then roasted, then covered in seasoning, and roasted again to lock in flavor.  Here’s the process, in pictures:

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Cinnamon toast is their latest chickpea flavor, and an idea struck: what if this cozy, cinnamony chickpea were made into a cracker?  What if that cracker was paired with a cinnamon-vanilla ricotta spread I’ve been slathering on everything from toast to tortillas?

Unsurprisingly, the answer is: a sweet, crunchy treat that’s still loaded with protein and fiber.

The recipe is below, but if you’re in Dupont, come by the Whole Foods Market from 4-7pm for a sample and a lot of smiles – see the flyer here.

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Gluten-free cinnamon chickpea crackers


In a blender, grind the first 3 ingredients until the size of crumbs.  Add cornstarch; pulse to combine.  Drizzle in water while blender runs a little at a time.  Dough should be sticky enough to form a ball. Place onto a non-stick cookie sheet and roll thin with a rolling pin or glass. (I put a piece of waxed paper on top so nothing stuck to the pin!) Use a pizza cutter to score into squares, sprinkle salt on top.  Tested trick: sprinkle water around the outside of the dough so crackers bake evenly!  Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crackery.  Break into squares.

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Cinnamon-vanilla ricotta


  • 1 c ricotta cheese (I use the real thing, made with whole milk)
  • 1 Tbsp honey or sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg

Blend all ingredients together in a bowl with a fork until spices are evenly distributed.  Spread.  Enjoy.

Weekend review (+chickpea crust quiche and GF raspberry scones)

When you work for yourself, as I do, sometimes a weekend isn’t work-free – and that’s ok! But it’s also a blessing to have a day that you completely checkout and unplug…Saturday was one of those days :)

I started things off with one of my favorite yoga classes – if you’re in DC and want to experience ashtanga on crack, you have to check out Jonathan’s Rocket class at Kali on Saturdays. He supercharges the hour and a half sweat-fest with a fantastic mix of pop, top 40, and hits of the 90′s (hello, Backstreet Boys and classic JT!) – this is all about the moving, and less about the meditating, though Jonathan always has a few thoughtful gems to share.  This time, my friend and fellow RD Anne of FannetasticFood joined for the fun, and even fueled by our pre-class latte, we were dripping with sweat and worked to the max!  Afterward, we hit my deck for a homemade brunch (recipes below!) and when Anne asked Jonathan “what’s acro?” he decided to show her instead of answer:

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Nothing like a little spontaneous airplaning after a full meal!  Check out Anne’s perspective of the day with more pics on her blog here!

After some more relaxing, I finally got to see an Oscar-nominated movie that’s out on RedBox: American Hustle.  I liked it – fantastic performances, great costumes, killer soundtrack – but wasn’t so enthralled that I wished I’d paid $14 to see it in theaters!

And now, the recipes: as always, a combination of protein and fiber, some sort of fruit/veg, and the right portion sizes are my keys to menu planning!  What are your brunch go-to recipes for hosting?

Chickpea crust quiche with basil and goat cheese



  • 1 c roasted chickpeas (I used 2Armadillo’s rosemary!)
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 c oat flour
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 c cold water

Quiche filling:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
  • dash salt & pepper

In a food processor, pulverize chickpeas.  Set aside.  Combine oat flour and cornstarch, cut in butter with a pastry cutter or dough setting on food processor.  Add chickpeas back in, and drizzle in water as you mix until a dough ball forms.  Spread mixture into a 9″ round pan and press down until even.  Layer zucchini evenly over crust. Combine eggs, milk, garlic in a blender, then pour over zucchini.  Add goat cheese in dollops and put basil leaves on top, patting down into egg mixture.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until firm and golden brown on top. Serves 6.

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GF Raspberry Scones


  • 1 c almond flour
  • 1 c oat flour
  • 1/2 c cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 c cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond (or vanilla) extract
  • 2 c berries
  • 1/4 c raw sugar (for sprinkling)

Stir first 4 ingredients (dry) together in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, banana, oil, milk, extract and salt and use a hand mixer to blend.  Stir in quinoa with a spatula.  Add the flour and fold with a spatula until blended.  Fold in berries.  Drop with a spoon onto a non-stick baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and bake at 350F for 20 minutes* or until browned.  Makes 6 scones.

*I used frozen berries, and baking time was more like 30-35 minutes

RecipeRedux: vegan lemon-scallion patties with spicy ginger dressing

The theme of the month of March for RecipeRedux is…patties!  Check the link at the bottom of this post for all foods patti-fied and healthed-up…this goes wayyyy beyond a burger.

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As you may or may not know, I am a chia seed LOVER.  It’s one of the few foods I truly eat daily (usually ~1 Tbsp), in the form of smoothies, puddings, salads, or baked goods.  Their ability to gel (literally) with liquids makes them especially unique, and while I’ve heard they’re used that way as a vegan substitute for eggs, I’ve never tried it.  Since I wanted to do a light, herby patty (well HELLO spring, where have you been?) I decided to go the extra step and make them vegan by using chia to bind!

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These patties are best served over a salad – the binding power of eggs is second to none, and they wouldn’t stand up against being squashed in a bun, but given that the lentils and quinoa are carbohydrate-rich, a bun would be overkill in that department anyway.  They’re rich in protein (quinoa is a complete source!) and fiber (lentils have 16g per cup cooked!), and the herbs and lemon juice make them light but flavorful.  The spicy ginger dressing gives it an exotic kick – I’ll be keeping that recipe on hand to try with soba noodles in the future!

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Lemon & Scallion Patties with Spicy Ginger Dressing



  • 1 c cooked lentils
  • 1 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds + 6 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 c spring onions, diced
  • 1/3 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • dash of salt & pepper

In a small bowl, combine chia seeds and water, stirring every few minutes until gelled (about 5-10 minutes). In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and fold until evenly mixed with a spatula.  In a pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil on high.  Form 6 patties – batter will be sticky and packable – and place in oil.  Fry on each side for 5 minutes, or until browned.  Flip carefully! Serve over spinach and watercress, and add slices of avocado

Ginger dressing:


  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1″ fresh grated ginger, or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 c olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients except oil.  When blended, add oil while whisking to incorporate.

21-Day Real Food Challenge: A Review

Being a foodie and dietitian in DC, I get to meet some pretty amazing people.  Miss Holly Larson (also an RD) is one of them – we met while working on the same nutrition contract back in 2012.  When we figured out that we lived in the same neighborhood, and practically on the street, and both loved to cook, wine, farmer’s markets, and Spa World…well let’s just say we’ve been friends ever since.

Holly Larson

Sadly (though happily for her!), Holly moved back to her home state of Ohio (why-o, why-o?) and opened up shop doing nutrition coaching, cooking classes, and a cool service called Bridebod that focuses on nutrition from engagement to post-wedding lifestyle.  She also started the 21-Day Real Food Challenge, which you can do from anywhere in the country!

What the challenge includes:

  • Introduction to nutrition & metabolism
  • Program guide with menu plans
  • Shopping tips and lists
  • Open access to ask Holly questions
  • Access to the private Facebook group that offers support, inspiration, and conversation

All of that, for $50. Consider this: you’re more likely to stick to what you pay for (ie, place value on), and most people pay at least that for an hour with a dietitian – you’ll have the chance to ask Holly anything that pops into your sweet head, at no extra cost!  And if you’re a student, bike commuter, or farmer, you get half off – and will probably save more than that by cooking more at home, anyway.

If you’re still on the fence, here’s what it did for me:

I was excited to join for the month of February, but unsure of what I would get out of it – as you may imagine, my food consciousness is at a pretty high level, and I already prepare most of what I eat.  What changes would I really have to make, I wondered?  Turns out: several.

Sugar Swap: Resetting my Default
I like to talk to people I coach about their default choices – what they do most of the time, from what and how much they eat for breakfast, to how they deal with stress, to bedtime.  These “defaults” are also known as “habits” and they’re what can make or break you.  My default is to have tea with my morning meal, and a spoonful of sugar is what I prefer.  There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar here and there in the diet, but Holly makes the point that while most sugars are metabolically and chemically equivalent, honey (or maple syrup, in some places) is a superior choice because they can be purchased locally.  Part of the challenge is to minimize added sugar for the 21 days, and so my default of table sugar changed to honey…and that’s one I can keep up!  I’ll still use regular (cane) sugar for baking treats, but my tea will get a hit of sweet, smooth, Virginia-produced honey.
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A better bread
My bread choice has been 100% whole grain for years now.  The “100%” and “whole” parts are the key and crucial parts to look for, but beyond that I tended to play it by sale.  Unfortunately, most grain products these days tout an ingredient list longer than a candy bar’s, and while I don’t really think the additives are the biggest drivers of health problems, there are better options out there.  And it’s all about the default!  Holly breaks down options by brand and highlights the best choices.  While I don’t have to avoid gluten myself, I find that I don’t consume very much bread, so purchasing one loaf of Ezekiel bread (at a whopping $5.99!) lasted me for the entire challenge plus a few days and didn’t break the bank.  It’s kept in the freezer, so freshness isn’t a problem even though it doesn’t contain any preservatives.  (Side note, next time you talk to someone living in Europe, ask about the bread.  They’ll probably tell you it goes bad in a few days, because their food standards are different from ours and many breads don’t contain preservatives!)

Keep it in the family
Or at least in state, if possible…I’m a huge fan of eating local, which is part of the challenge, but I did slip once when strawberries were on ridiculous sale at the store.  $1.99 for a pound? I couldn’t resist…but did live to regret it.  Grown in Mexico, they were picked before their prime to stand up to shipping, and were a sad, gray echo of the bursting juicy strawberry flavor their local in-season relatives provide.  I have resumed waiting for the farmer’s markets to open here in April, and look forward to those soft, vibrant berries with dreams of shortbread and cream.
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This was my recovery snack for a day – at least the chocolate milk was awesome!  If you missed it, join me on Instagram for food inspiration and motivation to move!

All in all, a fabulous experience – I got to really rethink some of my food choices, and connect with some awesome new people without leaving my desk :)  So – sign up!  March’s group starts on Saturday!

Gluten-free chickpea crackers

I just can’t get over these 2ArmadillosCo chickpeas…they keep making new flavors and have the most satisfying crunch!  If you can’t find some in one of your local DC area grocery stores, they do sell online too.

In addition to being a great snack, you can also cook with them! I blogged two other recipes using 2ArmadillosCo chickpeas previously:

Gluten-free breaded chicken tenders:

Chickpea stuffing:
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Recently I’ve been inspired to make crackers – after doing a gluten-free dinner party for a customer a few weeks ago, I realized that 1) there aren’t that many good GF crackers on the market and 2) crackers are EASY to make.  And so the WFW chickpea cracker was born.

These are crunchy, nutty, and hearty – perfect for dipping, topping, and munching on the go.  Crackers from scratch in less than 45 minutes – that’s less time than it takes to go to the store – and this recipe makes about as much as you’d get in a box of Wheat Thins.  Pair with a creamy tomato & herb ricotta spread, recipe below!

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Gluten-free Chickpea Crackers


  • 2 c 2ArmadillosCo roasted chickpeas (I used the Tomato Basil flavor)
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds (mine were salted)
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 3/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 c water
  • Dash salt

In a blender, grind the first 3 ingredients until the size of crumbs.  Add cornstarch and cheese; pulse to combine.  Drizzle in water while blender runs a little at a time.  Dough should be sticky.  Spread onto a non-stick cookie sheet and roll thin with a rolling pin or glass. (I put a piece of waxed paper on top so nothing stuck to the pin!) Use a pizza cutter to score into squares, sprinkle salt on top.  Tested trick: sprinkle water around the outside of the dough so crackers bake evenly!  Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crackery.  Break into squares.

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Tomato & herb ricotta spread


  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp (or to taste) Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • dash salt

Combine all ingredients and stir to blend.

Pistachio Pairings: Mediterranean (+roasted red pepper dip)

I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.2014-02-02 19.41.52Did you see the pistachio commercial during the Superbowl? I love Steven Colbert, though the head-cracking part is mildly disturbing. (You can see the whole thing here.)

He’s right though – they should sell themselves!  This is my final entry to the RecipeRedux contest sponsored by the Pistachio Health Institute, but please know that I wouldn’t endorse anything for money that I wouldn’t endorse for free, use myself, or recommend to loved ones. (Just think how different advertising would be if celebrities use those standards!)

The Mediterranean diet is hot right now…in fact I think it’s been popular for years.  With its focus on fish, veggies, legumes and other whole foods like nuts and fruit, it’s easy to understand why: it is FAR removed from the typical intake of most Americans!

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Roasted red pepper dip

  • 6 oz plain greek yogurt
  • 1 small (!) clove peeled garlic
  • 1/2 c roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
  • dash of salt, to taste

Puree all ingredients until smooth.  Refrigerate overnight to thicken.  Serve with fresh veggies or whole grain pita chips. 

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Pistachio pairing: roasted red pepper dip + cucumbers + cucumber and lemon infused sparkling water

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Pistachio Pairings: Skinny Snacks

I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.2014-02-06 14.54.21

As I mentioned in my last post, pistachios are a great mindful snack because as you shell them, you’re left with a visual cue of how much you ate.  Mindful eating relies on internal signals, focuses on flavors, and makes eating a singular activity (instead of secondary to work or watching TV) to help people eat the right amount and maintain a healthy relationship with food.  And by extension, maintain a healthy weight too.

This pairing fits into the “Skinny Nut/Reduced Calorie” category of the contest.

A word about the word “skinny.”  I don’t like it.  Skinny makes me think bony, undernourished, or weak.  There are many words that more complimentary than skinny: “willowy” implies grace and flexibility, “svelte” implies sleek muscle tone, “slender” implies lithe femininity.  I don’t know when or how the word “skinny” was chosen as the media and marketers’ synonym for “lite” or “attractive” or “healthy,” but think twice before you call a person skinny (especially if you mean to flatter!).  Ok – soapbox disembarked!

For the purposes of this category, I went for foods that complement the flavor of pistachios and are lower in calories – I target ~200 for a snack.  It also fits the bill of having a protein + fiber combo, includes a fruit or veggie, and finishes with a tall glass of water.  This combo (dried apricots + string cheese + pistachios + mint infused coconut water) is portable, delicious, and sweet, salty and creamy!  Pictured below is about the right amount for 2…so grab a buddy and get crackin!2014-02-06 14.37.212014-02-06 14.37.55

Check out more pistachio pairings here: