Tag Archives: snack

Homemade Ketchup (aka Tomato Jam)

31 Mar

When we want to go out for dinner but still be super casual, we visit the grill at our neighborhood Whole Foods and get their turkey burger.  It’s much healthier than a beef hamburger, not greasy at all and comes with a large side salad.  The best part of the WF turkey burger though is the tomato jam they put on the burger.  It’s thicker than regular ketchup and slightly sweet.  D challenged me to make some for us at home, which seemed like a daunting task until my March issue of Real Simple arrived and there was a recipe for tomato jam inside!  It is super easy to make and tastes so much better than Heinz ketchup (think: no preservatives, super fresh, slightly sweet).  Here’s my recipe adapted from RS.  Since I don’t like to cook with a lot of salt, I used low-sodium whole peeled tomatoes and a very slight pinch of salt for depth.

Homemade Ketchup (aka Tomato Jam)
Adapted from Real Simple, March 2012 issue

Ingredients
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes (low sodium – you can find at Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch kosher salt

Directions
1. Empty the entire can of tomatoes (and juices – do not drain) into a deep large skillet.  Add sugar and salt.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, mashing occasionally, until thick and jammy.  This should take 20 minutes or so
3. If you don’t like the idea of “thick” ketchup, once cooled, put in blender and puree until smooth.
4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

We use this homemade ketchup on burgers, fries, anything else you might put ketchup on.  You can even add some spices like oregano and use it as a pizza sauce.  However, our new favorite way to spread this is on slices of lightly-buttered bread that have been toasted then topped with extra-sharp cheddar cheese and melted under the broiler for a few minutes.  (See below for a picture.)

Tomato Jam

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Sweet Southern Comfort Goes on a Diet!

23 Jan

Healthy Veggie Snack Bag

OK…so the title of this post is a little deceiving; I’m not actually going on a diet, but my New Years resolution this year was to snack healthier.  That’s easier said than done when you work long hours and your office kitchen is always stocked with candy, chips and other unhealthy (and unfilling) snacks.  In order to help me implement this resolution, I turned to my friend Marc Perry, founder of Built Lean, an awesome fitness and weight loss website.  Marc also does personal training sessions in NYC, so I signed up for a couple to help get my butt into gear.  I got some great workout tips, but the most important thing I took away from our sessions was that in order to take my fitness to the “next level,” I would need to change my diet.  (Who knew an 8 oz. glass of orange juice can have upwards of 20 grams of sugar in it?  That is OVER five teaspoons of sugar in your morning drink!)  While I’m not going to stop cooking the Southern-style dishes I grew up with, in the past three weeks, my healthy snacking has already made a huge difference in how I feel. I find that the veggies in pre-packaged veggie snacks can be dry and old and you can’t order hard boiled eggs (Marc’s #1 breakfast selection), so I had to take matters into my own hands.  Every Sunday this January, I have hit up my local Whole Foods and picked up 1 dozen eggs, fresh veggies and some ingredients for a homemade veggie dip.  It takes about an hour to hard boil the eggs (useful tutorial here) and clean/prepare the veggies  and dill yogurt dip (recipe below).  I store the hard boiled eggs and have two egg whites and one egg yolk  every morning for breakfast along with a piece of fruit and a glass of skim milk.  Once the veggies are prepared, I divide them into 5 ziploc bags and take them to the office on Monday.  When an afternoon snack craving hits, I grab a bag of veggies and my homemade dip or hummus instead of the usual cookie or chips.  Not only do the veggies fill me up more than the “bad” snacks, but I also feel a LOT better, have lost a couple of pounds and I’m saving money not buying pre-packaged snacks too.  Let’s see how long I can keep this going in 2012 (and beyond)!

Healthy Veggie Snack Bags & Dill Yogurt Dip
Serves 1 person for 5 days of snacks

healthy veggie snack bags

One Week's Worth of Healthy Snacks!

Ingredients
1 bag baby carrots
1 head celery
5 assorted bell peppers
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound snow peas
1 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

Directions
1. Clean all vegetables and cut celery and peppers into bite size pieces.
2. Separate vegetables into 5 sandwich-size ziploc bags.
3. Add dill and lemon juice to Greek yogurt and mix well.  Store in a tupperware container.
4. On Monday morning, bring all 5 veggie bags and yogurt mix to office.  You now have healthy snacks for a week and don’t have to think about it again until Sunday night!

Dill Yogurt Dip

Healthy Dill Yogurt Veggie Dip