Sunday, August 11, 2013

Just Peachy

Peaches have been an abundant staple in my CSA loot these past few weeks. In order to preserve the life of some of the stone fruit that were about to cross over to the "other side", I decided to utilize them in a different manner than mixed with my Ezekiel cereal or Siggis at breakfast. Sure, I could have gone down the salsa or galette route but, when surveying the cheese department one afternoon, I knew what had to be done. Grilled peaches served as a flavorful catalyst for this summertime salad indulgence. Why do I consider this salad an indulgence? Solely because it was tossed with torn, creamy morsels of burrata. Hey, everyone has their vices; and mine typically fall in the stinky and fermented category.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lil Poppers

I first came upon chickpea poppers, as I fondly like to call them, in a Canyon Ranch cookbook while searching out healthy snacks to serve at a party. Many many variations later, I have kept them in rotation for parties or solo dining. The lifespan of the little poppers is short, but they can be revived when thrown into the oven and re-heated for 5 minutes. What makes the poppers so great is that they are able to scratch that crunchy, salty, itch which creeps over you during cocktails. They can also serve as a salad flavor booster, standing in for calorically dense croutons.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sort-of-Salmon Nicoise

Nothing personifies summer more to me than sipping crisp rose and eating chilled oysters or tart and tangy ceviche. Aside from the sticky and thick atmosphere that engulfs New York, summer pleasures can be simplified into hours slipping away at an outdoor cafe with animated conversation and ice cold wine. It also marks the beginning of my CSA. This is my second year as a supporter and participant in a local organic farm share. I love the unpredictability and challenge of receiving a bounty of produce and farm fresh eggs every week. There is also an inexplicable freshness and crunch that the produce has that you cannot obtain from your local Whole Foods. This past week’s bounty consisted of: kale, swiss chard, zucchini, green beans, mint, basil and mixed greens.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Big Chill: Soups and Adventures in Tahoe

My fiancé and I were recently invited to the birthday celebration of my fellow Soul Cycle freak and clean eating nut. There had been talk of the calmness and serenity of Lake Tahoe, but nothing prepared me for the tranquility and beauty that engulfed us upon arrival. The sun-filled days started with morning yoga and slowly progressed to sipping chilled wine while sailing the majestic crystal blue lake that was surrounded by snow-tipped mountains. Evenings were spent congregated around the fire pit with s'mores, liquid libations, melodic chatter, and good tunes. For the culminating meal and birthday celebration, the host arranged a jaw dropping seafood feast. I hope that the pictures below do some justice to the beautiful food and unforgettable scenery that we were fortunate enough to experience.

Now as I sit in my windowless office on a scorching summer day, I reflect back longingly on painted sunsets, crisp rose, and the cool lake breeze. Thanks LP for an unforgettable trip.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oats Mc Go-Goats

It's no new revelation that breakfast is an essential meal. "Back in the day" I used to be a breakfast skipper, and in those "dark days," it would not be uncommon for me to reach for an undesirable mid-morning snack, traditionally in bar form, or overdo it at lunch and then feel weighted down and lethargic. Sound familiar breakfast skippers?  Breakfast is the meal that breaks your overnight fast. For skippers who are also getting the ideal hours of sleep, you could be going around ten hours without adding any fuel to your body. Imagine then, if you wait until lunch, you could possibly be fasting for 16 hours. That's long enough to put your body into starvation mode and slow your metabolism down. I spend a majority of my breakfasts holed up in my office with a Siggi's, fruit, and some yogurt topper in the form of a complex carb, but lately I've started creating an oatmeal bake. I'd heard about this mythical bake before. However, it wasn't until a friend of mine with a plethora of dietary restrictions (gluten-free and dairy-free) recommended that I give it a try.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Pour L'amour De La Courgette

I am fortunate enough to have been to Paris four times, and each trip is special and unique in its own way. This was the first trip where I did not have a laundry list of "to do" activities. However, I kept a record of a few restaurants that I knew I wanted to try, a long awaited day trip that I've been waiting to take, and sights that I knew I wanted to revisit. 
All of the meals we had in Paris were memorable for one reason or another, and we tried to stay away from elaborate over the top multi-course affairs. Despite having a "healthy" mind-set, it was vacation, and Paris, and it would be pure ridiculousness to forego any indulgences. After a few days of eating and drinking out, I always yearn for the comfort of my own kitchen and the simplicity and wholesomeness of my own meals. 
A few pictures from my recent trip...
Monet's Garden in Giverny

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Turn Down the Lights

A good friend and fellow nutrition nerd was recently diagnosed with arthritis in her hips. Being a firm believer in food’s ability to heal and assist in the treatment of conditions, she started transitioning her diet and taking note of which foods promoted and which foods inhibited pain.  During her trials, she discovered that the avoidance of nightshades had a direct correlation with her hip pain.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Do or Don't Detox

I was approached recently by a private client to create a two-week detox plan. I am not one who truly believes in elongated cleanses, juice fasts, or detoxes, but I happily obliged and created my version of a detox meal plan. Why am I not pro detox? Because I don’t believe in quick fixes; I believe in making permanent, sustainable and realistic changes to your diet that will improve your well-being long-term. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Keep it Clean

Clean eating can mean a multitude of things to different people but, at its core, the ideals of eating pure, real food remain. In essence, clean eating is centered around whole foods and the avoidance of anything processed or refined. I try to eat this way for the most part, but understandably it's not possible to be a purest all the time. My most common "hick up" is during the 3pm post-lunch almost done with work slump, when I retreat to the cafeteria for a pre-packaged Sabra with pretzels and an iced double espresso. However, by focusing on eating foods in their most unadulterated state, you maintain control over what you put into your body and hence your overall health. The recipes I share here, on The Crunchy Radish are my attempt to "keep it clean". Although nothing is quite overtly complex, the recipes remain true to the "real" ingredients which I use and always focus on overall wellness and of course flavor.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

"I am the Eggman"

A few of my good friends are egg haters. I get it. If you think about the etiology of an's weird. As a self-proclaimed "pescatarian" who dabbles in Jewish penicillin and homemade turkey meatballs, I rely on eggs as one of my "go to" sources of protein. During the week, my breakfasts typically consist of a Siggi's thrown into my bag, then eaten in haste with the neon blue glow of my computer screen as ambiance. Now as a working girl, the weekends are my opportunity to enjoy a leisurely and warm breakfast, typically accompanied by Williamsburg mayo on some form of sprouted grain. In honor of Passover and in an effort to utilize my matzo in a more highbrow way than slathered with Earth Balance, I found inspiration from a recipe in the New York Times

I stayed pretty true to the recipe linked above, except that I used half egg whites and half whole eggs, replaced white matzo with oat bran, used Earth Balance instead of butter, added no salt whatsoever since my wild nova was on the saltier side, and laced fat-free greek yogurt with extra dill. Although I love my morning yogurt speckled with chia, this breakfast was a lovely change of pace and temperature.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HBD lil TCR: My Little Bitty Baby Blog Turns 2

It's my little bitty baby blog's birthday this month and, in retrospect, it's not that little bitty any longer. This month serves as the 2 year mark since I've been blogging. The Crunchy Radish has been able to serve as some what of a cathartic release, and I have been able to document my journey as a nutrition student, dietetic intern, and now a practicing clinician. In my annual birthday blog post, I like to take this celebratory opportunity to thank those who have been reading and supporting TCR from the very beginning and those of you who may be glancing over my blog for the very first time. I truly appreciate any time and energy you spend here. With my career advancements, my blog has grown as well. I like to think the recipes are a little more thoughtful and repeatable, and that my writing and nutrition knowledge has developed and grown. Although I have made personal and professional strides, there is so much more that must be done. I'd like to take this little radish to the next level and have a place where I can offer private counseling and consultation as well as give this baby radish a facelift. 

Friday, March 15, 2013


Of the top five nutrition related questions that I am asked, how to get more fiber usually tops the list. I've discussed fiber in the past here, but when a good friend asked for some meal plans and recipes, I decided to revamp a classic dish. I merged chili rellenos and stuffed peppers and upped the anti-oxidant quota by adding immune boosting turmeric to this fiber rich meal.  

For this dish, I started with dried black turtle beans. You can certainly substitute canned if you are short on time, yet the total nutrient and flavor profile of utilizing dried beans is greatly heightened. Additionally, the amount of control over taste and texture is optimized, not to mention reducing the dish’s overall cost. I mixed the quinoa with lacinato kale, but any variety of kale would work too.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

LBK Revisited

March must be my month of new beginnings. The past two years have marked the starting of my dietetic internship and now my job as clinical dietitian. This time of year also marks my family’s annual trip to Longboat Key, Florida. Each year I am reminded how beautiful and serene this part of the country is and am grateful that I get to be with family and visit such a special place overflowing with poignant memories.

In typical fashion, most of the trip centered around food. Whether it was hitting up our favorite spots or cooking with local fish and creating fresh and light meals, we all remained well fed and satiated during our stay.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Prelude

Beginnings are typically an adjustment period, and rarely is it possible to start something new and challenging unnerved. The past few weeks have been the beginnings of my career as a practicing clinical dietitian. During the first few days on the job, I almost felt as if I were playing dress up and at any moment someone was going to tell me "game over". It has been a long and grueling road to finally get to the place where I currently am, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a practicing clinician in an influential and respectable environment. I know that the days will get easier, and I will be rewarded knowing that I had a positive impact on a patient’s recovery.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Weekly Vices...Confessions of an RD

I've been a naughty little RD this week. Naughty in the sense of maybe having an extra glass or two of wine, multiple dinners out, and indulging with friends in rum babas and pistachio laced baklava's.  It's impossibly dull and unrealistic to live a puritanical eating existence. When having indulgent weeks like this one, which has been food and friend-filled, I try to be extra conscious of my remaining meals and get in an extra workout or two. It's all about compromise and eating as "cleanly" as possible without sacrificing friendships, social obligations, and delicious and exciting eating opportunities.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Morning After...

Using some of the remaining pesto, I added a tablespoon or so to a few eggs to scramble up with some thyme sautéed was divine. I enjoy my green fix any time of day.

Memoirs of a Kale Addict

Mentioned time and time again, kale is a powerhouse green with much versatility. In the warmer months, I have become quite partial to ripping up the leaves and massaging them with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil to prepare them for an avocado-laced salad. A friend of mine told me some time ago that she loves shredding the leaves into fettuccine-like strands, allowing the nutrient dense greens to serve as a foundation for her homemade meatballs and “gravy”.

Monday, January 14, 2013


I am so excited to share this recipe. Although extremely simple, it is booming with flavor and nutrients and provides the diner with a light yet filling and complete meal.

January is a time when a lot of people try and reboot their eating habits and get back on track after overindulging in the preceding months. Spaghetti squash is lighter and crunchier than its brethren winter squashes due to its increased water content, and has the magical ability, once roasted, to be scraped apart into spaghetti-like strands. Most people love pasta, but who enjoys that weighed down lethargy that usually follows a pasta filled meal. Spaghetti squash fills you in a lighter, energy inducing way and is ideal for someone who is aiming for a lower carb meal or has gluten sensitivity.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tree Top Livin' and Jerk Chicken Eatin'

After much persuading, my workaholic travel companion agreed to spare a few days to venture into the Jamaican Rainforest. Who would have thought that someone would put up such a fight for views like this?

Despite my companion's initial qualms, the workhorse was able to unwind and appreciate the incredible beauty and lushness that enveloped us. Although our travels were brief, we enjoyed our time to the fullest and were able to veer far away from touristy hot spots. We stayed at an eco lodge which consisted of individual treehouses. Not only was the atmosphere serene and breathtaking, the gracious host, who also happened to be an amazing cook, completed this memorable travel experience.  We went rafting on the Rio Grande, plunged into invigorating fresh water pools at Reach Falls, drifted on the Blue Lagoon, gaped open-mouthed at surfers and rock jumpers at Boston Beach, and savored the immensely flavorful local cuisine.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

So Nice They Named it Twice

Holiday Party Mixed Nuts- Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts with Maple and Brown Sugar

2012 was a trying year. In its fleeting visit, it brought along many ups and downs like all years do and for many, unimaginable hardship and devastation. I was fortunate to be able to celebrate some major accomplishments. I completed my dietetic internship, finished the Masters Program at NYU, and finally became a registered dietitian. The year also came with many challenges from school and work, some broken bones, and emotional tribulations with family. It also welcomed many wonderful travel opportunities for me such as herehere, and here and I will soon post about my most recent trip to the Jamaican rainforest. I look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. With January 1st, we are offered an almost clean slate to start some things anew and welcome fresh and exhilarating experiences. For 2013, I want to continue building and blossoming my little biddy baby blog, experiment and share more recipes, revisit places I adore, and explore places I’ve been dreaming of going. I hope to continue growing as a dietitian and a home cook, I'd like to share more meals with family and friends and reconnect with those who I might have lost touch with, but think about often… I wish you all a gratifying, healthful, and delicious 2013.