I BEGAN WRITING about my son and his tricky eating habits six years ago. At the time, Achilles was only four and I was a cookbook author and restaurant critic for the New York Observer newspaper. The first book inspired by our dinner dynamic—my passion for food, his distaste for it—was a children’s book called “Can I Eat That?” It was an imaginary dialogue meant to foster a love of xiao long bao, tournedos and tostadas in young readers. I wanted to get away from the finger-wagging, carrot-and-stick routine Achilles and I had developed à table. Six children’s books later, it’s safe to say that, apart from content creation, the mission hasn’t been a success. Achilles only eats bread, pizza (without the sauce) and Parmesan fritters from a place near our house in Brooklyn that charges $10.95 for three paltry bâtonnets.
Fire is a mighty ingredient all on its own, adding an alluring smokiness to meat, seafood, cheese and vegetables. So skip the marinade: Grill your ingredients with only oil and salt, and over unrelenting direct heat for a crisp char. Then season them hot off the grill. This style of cooking takes little time and less planning — and can simplify and shake up dinnertime.
For a good time grilling, heed these tips:
Prep your ingredients, and get the grill super hot. Choose something slender and sturdy (like asparagus or scallions) or lean and marbled (like skirt steak or shrimp) that can cook in less than 20 minutes. As the grill heats up, pat your ingredients dry with paper towels, then let them air-dry until you’re ready to cook. You want the grill hot, but only on one side, so that there’s a cool zone where you can move ingredients
Smoothies seem to be the poster child for “healthy eating,” and many people grab one as a substitute for breakfast or other meals. But without proper planning, it’s easy for that simple smoothie to fall short when it comes to nutrition.
As a dietitian, I’ve worked with so many clients who would tell me that they just blended fruit with water or almond milk and had that for breakfast. Then they’d end up feeling hungry shortly afterward and throughout the day too. Many of them would then eat more than felt comfortable at meals because they didn’t take in enough nutrients during the early hours.
Just to be clear, I’m not here to knock anyone’s smoothie game. I make smoothies regularly and think they can be a quick and easy way to fuel your body and mind while satisfying mealtime hunger—as long as you keep a few key points in
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved
1 cup apple, cut into ¼-inch pieces
4 green onions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Put enough water in a frying pan to just cover the chicken and heat on high until it simmers. Add chicken and cook at a gentle simmer until done, 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. Cut into thickest part of chicken to determine doneness.
2. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 4 minutes; set aside. Mix together the mayonnaise, lemon