fruit parfait

My midnight snack.

Unfortunately, Annenberg has fresh berries about 1% of the time (seriously, why is fresh fruit not a daily thing? Apples and bananas don’t count), so I indulged myself this evening with homemade fruit parfait!

fruit parfait

Fruit Parfait

Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 cups vanilla yogurt (Greek works especially well)
1 banana
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
4 tablespoons granola or wheat germ

Slice bananas and strawberries into small pieces.  Layer fruit with yogurt and granola.  Enjoy!

fruit parfait 4

grilled cheese with roasted tomato and avocado

The holiday spirit is well in season this December, bringing with it a host of  delicious home-cooked meals and sugary temptations.  For myself, coming home from Harvard this winter break was initially both a relief and a shock — gone was Annenberg, but so were its endless options and well-stocked salad bar.  You forget how much you eat in college when you are not limited by the size of your refrigerator or tray.

grilled cheese with tomato and avocado 1

Luckily, there are plenty of healthy options for every meal which are available year-round.  Earlier tonight, I introduced my family to an inspired creation, grilled cheese on seeded country bread with roasted tomato and diced avocado. While the original recipe calls for basil leaves, I made the best of my pantry and replaced it with a creamy guacamole-esque spread instead. Mmmm!

Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomato and Avocado

grilled cheese with tomato and avocado 3

Ingredients: (serves 2)

4 slices whole wheat seeded bread
1 tomato (vine or roma), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 hass avocado
3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place tomatoes on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast the tomatoes for 45-50 minutes.  Meanwhile, pit and peel avocado.  Dice into as small pieces as possible, and place in a bowl.  Add lemon juice and salt, and mash to your desired consistency.

For the optional balsamic vinegar glaze, add vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until liquid begins to resemble syrup.  Pour vinegar into a bowl and set aside to sit.

Once tomatoes are finished, brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil and place into a large griddle over medium heat.  Add mozzarella cheese to one side, followed by tomatoes, followed by avocado, followed by cheese again.  Grill until cheese is melted and each side is golden and crispy.

Once the sandwiches are finished, serve immediately and drizzle with balsalmic glaze. Enjoy.

Much love and many thanks to my friends and family this winter.  Happy Holidays!

spicy hummus dip

Recipe by Remi Y. ’16

Why settle for plain salad-bar hummus when you can make your own? Paired with homemade toasted pita chips, this delicious dip adds a dash of flavor to any meal.

spicy hummus dip 2

spicy hummus dip

garnished with a spinach leaf because there wasn’t any parsley. win.

Spicy Hummus Dip

Ingredients: (serves 1)

4 tablespoons hummus (from the salad bar)
A generous amount of olive oil
A dash of ground black pepper
A pinch of spicy red pepper seeds
pita bread

Drizzle olive oil over hummus and add ground black pepper and spicy red pepper seeds.  Pop a few pita bread halves on the toaster (the one with the conveyor rack) and bam, instant pita chips.  Dip, taste and enjoy!

tuna pasta salad

I’ve been enjoying this salad on a daily basis now, so I thought I’d introduce to you the recipe behind one of my favorite healthy creations from Annenberg.  The great thing about this salad is that it is wonderfully filling (thanks to the pasta) and the dash of white vinegar adds just the right touch of acidity to this lightly salted mix, which when combined with blue or feta cheese will make your mouth water.  Mmm.

tuna pasta salad

Tuna Pasta Salad

Ingredients: (serves 1)

1 cup cooked rotini pasta, drained (can be substituted with ziti)
2 cups spinach leaves
3 tablespoons flaked tuna
3 tablespoons feta cheese (can be substituted with bleu cheese)
olive oil
a dash of white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine spinach leaves with pasta, cheese and flaked tuna in a deep dish platter.  Drizzle olive oil generously over the salad and toss thoroughly.  Add a dash of white vinegar and season with salt and/or pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

peanut butter and banana on toasted bread

Short on time for breakfast or hungering for an additional meal?  Try this alternative snack, which can be whipped (haha, whipped. get it?) together in about 3 minutes.

peanut butter and banana on toasted bread

Peanut Butter and Banana on Toasted Bread

Ingredients: (serves 2, or 1 if you’re starving)

1 banana
2 slices whole wheat bread
a generous serving of peanut butter
a dash of cinnamon
whipped cream

Slice banana and microwave for 30 seconds.  Spread peanut butter on toasted bread, and top with banana slices.  Drizzle honey on top and decorate with whipped cream and cinnamon.