Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Lights

A toast to summer!!
How about a little rose wine this summer? Remember Mateus? Perfect with crab cakes at a pool party.
Mateus is an inexpensive medium-sweet frizzante rosé wine produced in Portugal. From research, ie Wikepedia!!"The brand was created in 1942 and production began at the end of World War II. The wine was especially styled to appeal to the rapidly developing North American and northern European markets. Production grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s and by the late 1980s, supplemented by a white version, it accounted for over 40% of Portugal's table wine exports."

I think a litle pink is poised to make a comeback. Dry rose wines are ALL the rage in smart sets now from Montreal to Montana.'s a toast to summer slimmers!!

Summer rules! Time to wind down, wear shorts on weekdays, dine outside and declare a free zone away from all of the fuss. Foods lighten up too. Summer issues in a new crop of restaurant menus featuring more salads, grilled entrées, cold soups, frozen drinks and fruit for dessert. The heat drives more diners to cool down with chilled foods and cold beverages and because summer fashions bare more skin there’s more demand for diet-friendly dishes. The problem is that “light and fresh” doesn’t always mean light in fat and calories.
Summer Salads
Whether you’re tossing your own or eyeing the salad section on a restaurant menu beware of the summer salad “blockbusters”. Many overly huge entrée salads aren’t a slam dunk for summer dieters so check web site nutrition information for the big chain restaurants. Many weigh in around 1000 calories. And anywhere you dine, stop and do the mental math- high fat ingredients add about 100 calories per ounce. So chances are when you pile on the cheese, fried chicken, croutons, bacon bits and salad dressing you’ve probably eaten more calories than a large burger and fries.
Remember that the principle ingredients in a salad are supposed to be fresh, raw vegetables, which are low in calories, a good source of fiber to keep you feeling full. Pick veggies in lots of different colors to contribute a wide variety of nutrients to your diet. Add a total of 3 to 4 ounces of lean proteins such as boiled egg, grilled chicken or steak, steamed shrimp, seared tuna or deli sliced roast beef, turkey or ham. Accessorize with a few nuts or small amount of grated parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.
What’s really refreshing to see this summer is a bumper crop of culinary creativity in the salad category. Cheryl Orlansky, dietitian and spokesperson for the Georgia Dietetic Association likes what’s on the menu at Metro Fresh in midtown Atlanta, “To help plan I check their daily specials on line before I go. For example, English Peas and Black Eyed Peas in a salad with mint from their garden with a little feta cheese and lemon zest with olive oil.” Orlansky also likes Metro Fresh’s version of Spaghetti and Meatballs which turns the dish into sort of a salad, “Instead of pasta they use julienned zucchini and yellow squash topped with marinara and meatballs. There’s lots of creativity here.”
Slimming Summer Menus:
- Look for menus that take advantage of summer’s bountiful harvest of low calorie nutrient rich produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, field peas, peaches, basil, and all kinds of berries. Did you know that the vitamin C in produce is essential for building collagen for healthy skin? Another summer beauty tip.
- Don’t be fooled by the fire. Grilled meats and fish are often slathered with butter or oil so request that your order be brushed lightly with oil. Orlansky likes what’s going on the wood fired grill at Fuego Mundo, a South American inspired restaurant in Sandy Springs, “It’s easy to eat well here. Pick a protein, such as tilapia, tuna, sea bass, honey citrus salmon, chicken, chicken sausage, steak, lamb, or tofu. Then you choose your veggie sides such as plantains, rice, quinoa, or black beans. You can go vegan, vegetarian or full on carnivore at this fun spot.”
- Avoid cream based cold soups and go for choices chock full of vegetables such as gazpacho. Fruit soups, from melon to strawberry are delicious and nutritious summer menu additions, too.
- Instead of ice cream or gelato, you’ll save hundreds of calories per serving by choosing fresh fruit sorbets or frozen desserts made with low fat or fat free milk. Many of those trendy frozen yogurt outlets make versions with fat free milk, but watch the toppings. Choose fresh fruit when possible and skip the crushed candies. Milk and muscle note: A study in June issue of Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise reports that women who drank two glasses of fat free milk a day after their work outs improved muscle tone and lost more fat.
- Think about your drink. Pina coladas may be popular poolside cocktails, but the high calorie content really doesn’t pair well with a bikini! Count 400 calories per 8 ounces of a Pina colada, margarita, or fruit daiquiri. Look for the new ‘skinny’ mixers made with no calorie sweeteners such as sucralose or stevia. Or for less than 100 calories per 8 ounces choose a light beer, vodka and soda with spritz of fruit juice or a rum and diet cola.

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