Healthy-ish Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a great comfort food...and usually something that health conscious folk steer clear from. Because, one, they are a white starch, which the media has scared a lot of people away from. And two, because they are usually mashed with tons of salt and butter making them a silky, soft, creamy delicious side dish.

So why not get your mashed potato fix with a healthier version? White potatoes are not a sin. Yes, they have a lot of carbohydrates. But they DO grow in the ground making them a raw, natural food. Obviously, don't eat like seven potatoes minus the salt and butter and feel good about yourself. It's called portion control...something most of our restaurants have yet to figure out.

Sarah, from Life with B's, told me the other night, at her bachelorette party, that one of my favorite phrases is, well not actually a phrase, but a word ending..."ish." Apparently, I use it way more often than I thought.

Therefore, you get...Healthy-ish Mashed Potatoes.

Healthy-ish Mashed Potatoes

3 small potatoes
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
handful of chopped parsley (or any other fresh herbs you have available)
salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika to taste

1. Clean potatoes. Cut each in half. Do not peel. The potato skin is the healthiest part.

2. Boil potatoes until soft.

3. While the potatoes boil, chop red pepper, scallions, and Parsley.

4. Drain potatoes and mash together with all ingredients.

5. Season to your liking.

Throw some cheddar cheese on top if the Greek Yogurt and cottage cheese aren't completely satisfying you.

And try not to eat them all in one sitting. Share.


Springtime Berry Smoothies

A few things about these Berry Smoothies:

1. I am very excited for berry season. Strawberries are by far my favorite fruit. I do not love strawberry flavored things that much and I really dislike the gooey strawberry stuff you sometimes get with desserts, but there is nothing much better than a fresh, ripe strawberry!

2. I added tofu to this smoothie. You may be thinking "Eww...thats gross!" So it turns out that I have read a lot about adding tofu to smoothies, and you can't even taste the tofu. Like my roommate, Catherine, said, "tofu really just takes on the taste of it's surroundings." So when you add it to berries and yogurt and honey, thats what you will taste. Also, by adding tofu, you're adding a lot of good nutrients like protein, which is a huge bonus.

3. Smoothies can be made in so many different ways, so while I really enjoyed this berry smoothie...feel free to play around. Even go wild and do bananas, chocolate and peanut butter. The choices are pretty endless as I'm fairly certain all fruit tastes good mixed together.

4. If you have frozen berries, those work best. They serve two purposes at once: fruit and ice. This is especially useful when your blender won't blend your ice cubes!!!

Berry Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen berries
1/4 cup Pineapple chunks with Pineapple juice
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup tofu (extra firm, firm, soft...the choice is yours)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. One easy step: blend it all together!


the most amazing grilled cheese in the world

At one point, I made it my objective to make this blog about nutrition and healthy food. I did, however, tell you that that might not always happen. This post is in no way good for your health. Actually, I take that back...it will make you so happy...which in turn is good for your health.

I recently visited my friend Mandy in Cleveland. She is basically my other half. Our other friends find it comical to make us one, kind of like when Jennifer Lopez dated Ben Affleck and they were "Bennifer" or how Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are "Brangelina." We are Dandy Moogan. It's hard to explain, but look it up on facebook. We are there.

And...we definitely both love food. So of course, it was only natural that our weekend visit in Cleveland was somewhat planned around food. My number one priority: Melt Bar & Grill.

This picture is bad. Really bad. I'm sorry. I was so excited to eat it, I didn't really play around with the picture-taking much. But you definitely can not miss the amount of amazing fried food I had before me.

Why Melt? Have you ever seen Divers, Drive-ins and Dives? It is one of my favorite Food Network shows out there. Guy Fieri drives all over the country finding the best cheap eats available...which are usually greasy, deliciously fried little pieces of heaven. I have now been to three of the restaurants: Melt in Cleveland, Momocho which was also in Cleveland (it was on the show after my trip to Cleveland), and Blimpy Burger in the world's best college town ever...Ann Arbor, Michigan. Have I not told you that I'm a Wolverine?

Back to the grilled cheese. Mandy and I split...obviously. She ordered the Montecristo which is a must. Meats, Cheeses, beer battered! and you get to dip it in this sweet berry preserve which completes the entire grilled cheese.

I went with the The Parmageddon, which was featured on the show and also shown in the picture above. It is filled with pierogi, fresh napa vodka kraut, onions and a sharp cheddar. Who would have thought to put pierogi on a sandwich? It was awesome...really. (But....I'd go with the Montecristo if you happen to make it to Cleveland anytime soon!)

Also, side note, eat more sandwich than fries. Not that you'll really want to be counting any kind of calories at this place, but the fries are standard fries...nothing out of the ordinary.

Thanks to Mandy for making my Melt experience happen and for being a fat kid with me.

Mandy and I at the top of the state of Ohio.

Please excuse the orange jacket. It's Mandy's jacket. For some strange reason, she loves the color orange which most people can not pull off for the life of them. I am clearly one of them.

FYI...She got me to snowboard that weekend. My first time! I look happy here in this picture, but do not be fooled. Snowboarding hurts. A lot. But I can only assume that I probably burned an entire Melt experience worth of calories that day.