Friday, June 10, 2016

Empty Nest Diet, including Apricot Crepes

No, we aren't eating orchids now that both of our boys have flown the coop.  But we are traveling - a lot - which makes eating healthy challenging.  The above picture?  It's from an Orchid Show in State College, PA.  And it was incredible!  But what we ate that weekend was not so incredible.  We were with our oldest son and went to a pub and a Mexican restaurant where craft beers were the appetizers and the main courses were, well, less than healthy.  And I have to confess that, after a few months of pub and restaurant dining, I paid for it.  I developed what seemed to be acid reflux and could only sleep propped up - pretty high.  So I reexamined my diet and made some changes.

First, I am cooking more.  I mean, I really enjoy it, so why not?  I am making Indian dishes, quiches, vegetarian pastas, and other non-meat fare.  I have cut out beer and any other liquor except for an occasional glass of red wine, which I only drink with a meal.  I make my own bread now - no exceptions.  I was alarmed when a loaf of whole grain bread I bought from our local market had not spoiled at all - after almost 2 months!  That is just not normal.  And I include an occasional dessert on the menu.  My favorite right now is Apricot Crepes.  Here's the recipe:

I make a basic low-fat crepe batter in the morning (using 1 percent organic milk and lite butter instead of their full-fat counterparts) and refrigerate it until after dinner.  Then I make a sauce out of 1 T. lite butter, 1 T. flour, 1 and 1/2 T. raw sugar, the juice of a small can of apricots and stir until thickened and bubbly.  I quarter the apricots and add them to the sauce with 1/2 T. lemon juice and 2 T. chopped pecans.  I make 2 large crepes and fill them with a little more than half of the sauce, roll them up and pour the rest over them.  I sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar, add a dollop of fat free whipped cream and serve. They are heavenly!  Plus, you will find that even making half of most basic crepe recipes, you will have enough crepe batter to either make about 6 to 8 of these or to have them 3 or 4 times if your nest is empty like ours.  The batter refrigerates well for a couple of days.

When I eat out, I am once more scouring the menus for healthy choices - grilled fish instead of "fish and chips" (which I had grown to love at the pubs we frequented), pasta Primavera, veggie burgers, and blackened fish tacos.  I no longer order french fries or any other fried foods.  And guess what?  Big surprise!  I am feeling better.  No more reflux, no more sleeping sitting up.  What a difference a change in diet made.

O.K.  So the nest is empty and we travel about as much as we are home.  But that is no excuse for developing poor eating habits.  There are so many healthy choices out there:  quinoa salads, sweet potatoes, and vegetarian options?  They are on virtually every menu these days.  Yes, my husband and I still travel - a lot.  But now my challenge - something I really look forward to - is finding restaurants with healthy menu options and keeping it all delicious.  So here are some restaurants I highly recommend:
If you are in Philadelphia, Pesto Italian Restaurant; in Annapolis, Maryland, Vin 909; in San Pedro, California, Think Cafe; in La Jolla, California, anything downtown on the water.  And the best veggie burger? The Burger Joint (and they're a chain).  Most Indian restaurants have delicious vegetarian options, as do Thai and Japanese ones.  If you are a Pescatarian like me, seafood places often have delicious options with great sides.

It has been ages since I have posted here.  But now that I plan to cook more often, I will post my favorite recipes here, as well as any restaurants that really stand out.

Until next time, happy and healthy eating!

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