Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Favorites

Happy Leap Day, friends! Since its the end of the month, I wanted to introduce a new feature: monthly Favorites, inspired by Kristin's Favorite Things over at Kristin Eats. These are either things I own & love, or that are on the very top of my wishlist. This month it's half and half.  My February Favorites are:

1. Monthly Produce Calendar
I saw this on Pinterest and immediately hunted it down. It's beautifully designed and displays what produce is in season each month, both for planting and for buying, so you know how to eat more seasonably. You can buy it for your geographical region & use it year after year. LOVE. Buy here.


2. The illustrated version of Michael Pollan's Food Rules
A must-have for any home. Michael Pollan gives practical "rules" for eating and how to distinguish real food from what he calls food-like substances (aka processed foods). I have the original unillustrated version, but this one is on my wish list because it is simply adorable. The description says that this book "makes sensible eating fun." Too true. Buy here.

3. Chalkboard Tablet
I bought this along with the produce calendar & its such a fun addition to my kitchen. I use it to write out recipes, nightly menus, grocery lists, or just remind my hubby that we have a date night.  Buy here.

floral jeans

4. Floral Pants (Paige Denim on the left, Anthropologie on the right)
I'm currently lusting over floral pants. It's one of the biggest trends for Spring, plus if you are stuck inside an office all day, why not have cheery jeans remind you of the beautiful world outside? These pairs are a bit out of my price range, but you can find some similar Forever 21 pairs here and here.

Have you discovered any new favorites this month?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Tips: Preparing Quinoa

Photo Source
I'm a little bit obsessed with quinoa right now. Okay, very obsessed.

It's a complete protein, gluten free, affordable, easy to make, and there are endless variations of ways to make it (and I've pinned about a million of them).  Its a great way to ensure you are getting enough protein, especially if you are vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to cut back on how much meat you eat.

Here's the tip: You have to soak it before cooking it. I never knew that you are supposed to soak grains, I guess because I hadn't ever cooked grains before. Doing so initiates the sprouting process, making it more digestable. You should soak the quinoa for 7 - 24 hours, so just throw it in some cold water in the morning before you leave for work and it will be ready to cook when you get home. Just rinse well after soaking & before cooking.

I'll be sharing some quinoa recipes soon, so be sure to check back! xo.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blog Launch!

Welcome to Tiffany, Naturally! This blog has been a dream of mine for over two years, so I'm beyond excited to be launching it today. 

I wanted to start this blog to communicate all the things that I find fascinating about food, nutrition and health.  The more I learn and the more I’ve changed my lifestyle, the better I’ve felt. Because of that, I have developed a love for nutrition and a love for sharing it with people. As gracious as my husband and friends have been in listening to me ramble on, it might be a bit more productive to channel it into a blog.

It has been a journey and a process to live more naturally, and as I’ve shared it with my friends, I’ve found that most of us want to live a healthier life. It can just be really confusing to know how.

So my goal is to share tips & tricks, easy recipes, restaurant reviews, inspiration and useful information through this blog. I want it to be practical because unless you have a major health issue, I don't think that it's reasonable to overhaul your diet overnight. For most of us, it's about making simple choices that will boost our immune system, give us more energy, and prevent disease later in life. 

Thanks for reading & enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

On Lent & Pizza

This year for Lent, I've decided to give up pizza, inspired by the fact that I ate an entire Trader Joes pizza on Wednesday night. It's shameful, I know, especially since Wednesday was the first day of Lent. The frozen TJ's cheese pizza is one of the only pre-packaged foods I buy, and it really is my kryptonite. Once I start, I can't stop, especially on a stressful week like this one. So I'm giving it up. Here's to Lent, self control, and Easter coming quickly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Tips: Add Variety

Photo Source: Swanson Health Center 
We all know that we should eat our fruits and veggies every day. But according to the book Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life, the key to preventing disease is variety. The book talks about a University of Montreal study which proved that cancer genes may not be as harmful if not triggered by an unhealthy lifestyle.

They studied women who carry the breast cancer gene, meaning almost 80% of them will most likely get breast cancer in their lifetime. The book says that "the main discovery of the study was that the women who consumed up to 27 different fruits and vegetables a week (and variety is important here) saw their risk of cancer diminished by fully 73 percent."

I'm continually fascinated by the fact that our diet can prevent disease, and 73 percent is pretty incredible. So mix it up whenever you can and get in as many veggies as possible. You'll have to tell me if you find any new faves!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Artful Food

Sometimes I geek out about how beautiful whole foods are. These photos from my favorite blogs are more like art than food:

Sources: 1234, 5

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Recap

I've always preferred to keep it simple on V day, and this year Ben and I didn't want to play into the lets-spend-a-ton-of-money-just-because-its-February-14th pressure.  So we decided to make dinner together. Cooking can sometimes feel like a chore, but it can also be a fun date night - especially when you have your favorite bottle of wine (I was so excited to find Cakebread at KNB Wine Cellars last weekend!).

Ben & I.
We splurged on our fav bottles.

We decided on risotto, a simple salad and crusty bread.  Risotto was the perfect main dish because it feels so indulgent. The beauty of it is that the rice releases starch into the broth as it cooks, which creates its own creamy dressing. When you add a bit of parm at the end (you can also add butter and/or truffle oil), it creates a meal that is rich and filling. Plus, it's really easy to make. Win - win - win.

I didn't plan ahead so I just thew in a bunch of veggies that I had in my kitchen. I'm really into making do with what I have lately, so I love the endless variations you can make with risotto (another personal fav is this butternut squash kind). I left out a lot of the butter, cheese and cream from other recipes so it could be guilt-free. Here is my impromptu recipe.

<3 Trader Joe's Arborio Rice, & the Swanson's brand of stock.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Veggies of choice: 3 carrots, 1 zucchini, handful of frozen peas, 4 chopped heirloom tomatoes
  • 10 oz arborio rice
  • EVOO
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups heated chicken stock (you can use veggie stock too)
  • Big handfuls of chopped spinach & chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Use a medium saucepan (I LOVE my le creuset!). Saute the onion in some olive oil. You can add in veggies or mushrooms at this point (I added the carrots & zucchini).
  2. Add the uncooked rice and stir until well coated and translucent.
  3. Add the wine and cook until evaporated.
  4. Stir in 1 cup hot stock and simmer gently. Add the bay leaf & frozen peas. Stir every so often so it doesn't burn.
  5. When the broth has been absorbed, add another cup. Continue doing this for 18 - 20 minutes.
  6. At the end, take out the bay leaf & add cheese, tomatoes, basil and spinach. Salt to taste. You can also add a little butter, truffle oil, cream etc.
  7. Serve it while it's hot & enjoy!

Risotto in the le creuset, hot broth in the small pan.