12/14/11

Iron poppers and Seasons 52

Unbeknown to many, I spend a lot of time researching information for my articles. This article (on Iron), specifically, took a lot of time in putting together. What a complex topic!! But that's ok...all it took was a little time in my kitchen to come up with one of my most favorite recipes EVER!!! My editor and I are calling them "Iron poppers" but feel free to call them what they are.....Iron balls!

A friend of mine, Jennifer Hutchison, RD, commented that she made a similar recipe in 2000 when she made something wholesome and easy to carry for her friends who were training for an Ironman. She called them Iron Ballz.
Jennifer reminded me that we have a similar product on the market... "POWER BITES"!! Although my intent wasn't to re-create a sports nutrition product, I guess my idea to combine several non-heme foods in a food processor and roll them into a ball, is a great "powerful" snack!

I hope you enjoy them and if you want to make them a little less sticky, be sure to keep them in the refrigerator and perhaps, roll them in oats prior to putting them in the 'fridge.

Last night, Karel and I joined the other 3 dietitians from my work (Baptist Medical Center Beaches) and their hubby's at Seasons 52. This restaurant just opened in the Town Center here in Jacksonville, FL and was a perfect place for 4 RD's to celebrate the holiday season. If you have the opportunity to go to Seasons 52, get ready to be inspired!! This restaurant is a fresh grill and wine bar, that provides a "fresh dining experience that celebrates living well".

guests feel the freedom to indulge in a complete dining experience, including our custom flatbreads and signature mini-indulgence desserts, while still feeling good about themselves and their dining choices.

Here's a little about the menu from the website:

We use natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling,
brick-oven cooking and caramelizing vegetables to let the natural flavors shine through. And we execute precision with seasoning, and oil with control and care to ensure just the right amount is used to bring out the great flavor profiles. An added benefit to this style is that our menu items are naturally lower in calories. In fact, we make a promise that nothing on our menu is over 475 calories. The result is great tasting, highly satisfying food that just so happens to be good for you!

Our Dinner Menu evolves with the season and features broadly appealing signature guest favorites. Guest favorites include the Cedar Plank Atlantic Salmon, Caramelized Sea Scallops, Garlic Chicken Flatbread, Roasted Crab-Stuffed Shrimp, Ripe Plum Tomato Flatbread, Grilled Rack of New Zealand Lamb and the Char Crust Filet Mignon. This menu is designed to offer something for everyone, featuring a precise balance – no more and no less- of what needs to be featured every day. It is approachable and easy to navigate with straightforward terminology and accessible price points.

Our Specials Menu features specials and new market inspirations 52 weeks a year. It features the future of Seasons 52, offering guests the adventure of tasting fresh infusions and flavor combinations which feature ingredients at their peak of freshness and flavor profile. Because the Specials Menu is constantly evolving, we keep it flexible and nimble enough to change on a moment’s notice.

We’re enormously proud to be the pioneer, originator and founder of the mini indulgence. And we’re flattered that other restaurants are trying to emulate what we have done. The whole concept of the mini indulgence is just that- indulgence in a smaller portion size. Our desserts are designed to feature high-impact flavors and top quality ingredients, such as Belgian Callebaut Chocolate. We make the real thing… dessert… in all its decadence, and then we put it into a shot-size glass. So our guests get to have all of the pleasure and none of the guilt- along with the chance to try more than one in a visit!



I speak a lot about plant based eating in order to create a solid nutrition foundation for overall health, wellness and to support the demands of physical fitness. But I also believe in my saying that "if you eat well most of the time, you don't have to worry about the rest of the time". Holidays, special events, celebrations and occasional treats are all "welcomed" opportunities that should not make a significant impact on your personal fitness and weight goals, so long as you are focusing on the small consistent habits that make for a lasting life-changing journey.

Because we do not eat out but more than a few times per year (primarily when we travel or for our anniversary), I typically look forward to something "different" that I wouldn't normally eat on a daily basis. I love a warm brick oven fired pizza veggie burger on fresh bread or a mexican-inspired tofu wrap. I love to support local and family-owned restaurants and primarily eat at chains only prior to a race (ex. Outback!). It just seems silly for me to go to a restaurant and order a (expensive) salad similar to what I would eat on a daily basis. Also, due to fact that many restaurants lack the concept that in order to keep the vegetarians happy as well as others who see eating out as an opportunity to add more nutrient density to the diet, a bowl of greens topped with veggies will not do the job! A plant based diet is simply the foundation of our daily diet and should be complimented with lean/low fat protein, whole grains and healthy fats. Sadly, most "marni-friendly" meals at restaurants leave me un-satisfied after the meal...and I cringe when I look at the prices (especially when I have to order a meal without the meat but I still have to pay full price).

Well, I was pleasantly satisfied after my meal last night. The Farmer’s Market Vegetable Plate with butternut squash, grilled ponzu tofu and toasted almond tabbouleh was one of the most amazing-tasting "creations" that I have ever consumed. Every part of this meal had my taste buds jumping up and down and I was in total "plant-based" heaven as I consumed this meal.




What's the best "plant-based" vegetarian (aka "animal-protein" free meal that you ever ordered at a restaurant? Please share your comments of your favorite restaurant and meal below. If you asked for substitutions or add-on's, include those as well!
Let's see if we can get 52 suggestions for some "rest of the time" creations! Your suggestions will likely inspire me to get creative in my kitchen!