Expo East with Nounos Creamery

This past weekend I attended Expo East in Baltimore on behalf of Nounós Creamery, a Long Island-based authentic Greek yogurt company that I represent. If you haven't had a chance to try Nounós yet, hopefully you will soon. The company started in Southampton and has been around for about four years, but just started expanding outside of New York State in the last year. You can now find the yogurt in the northeast, Texas, Chicago and Southern California. For those in the Hamptons, it's in Citarella, Schmidt's and several local farm stands.

Nounós is unlike most Greek yogurts on the shelf because they use the traditional method to strain the yogurt. Big yogurt companies rely on mechanical straining. At Nounós, they simply use cheesecloth bags and let gravity do all the work. The entire yogurt-making process takes about three days and you can taste the slow-food difference. It is creamier, tangier and fresher-tasting than any yogurt in the store. In fact, Nounós is the only company with FDA approval to sell yogurt made with this method outside of New York.

Expo East attendees got a chance to sample all of the unique Nounós flavors, including classic plain, this past weekend. We also debuted three new whole milk yogurts. In addition to the fresh and delicious taste, attendees were blown away by the innovative packaging for the yogurt. The original low-fat flavors come in little glass jars, and the new whole milk flavors are packaged in ceramic. Both materials are better for the yogurt and the environment compared with plastic.

Check out our booth and be on the lookout for Nounós Greek yogurt!

Expo East

Ina Garten at Bridgehampton Library

This past Friday I had the pleasure of seeing Ina Garten speak at the Bridgehampton Library in their Fridays at 5 series. I had been looking forward to this for weeks and the event lived up to the hype.

Gates opened at 4:30 pm and we headed onto the back lawn to grab a seat. Before Ina came out at 5 pm, there was a lovely reception with local wine and snacks. The spread was fabulous! I had salmon on toast, some fresh veggies, a piece of brie cheese, and a small salmon quiche. I helped myself to some wine as well!

Ina came out right on time and was interviewed by her friend (and movie director) Rob Marshall. I have always been a big fan of Ina and her recipes, and my respect for her only grew after hearing her speak. Ina emphasized that truly great cooking is very simple; it just requires the best ingredients. I love her emphasis on fresh, wholesome foods and find that even her most decadent recipes can fit into a balanced diet.

Ina had no culinary training, but rather a passion for food and cooking. Her main message was to do what makes you happy every day. I can get behind that!

Why I Love Breakfast

Everyone who knows me well knows that I love breakfast. Yes, I believe that it is important to eat a morning meal to get your metabolism up and running for the day. Yes, I love most breakfast foods, like Greek yogurt, fruit, whole grain toast, eggs and smoked salmon. But really, it's the ritual of breakfast that I love the most.

I'm sort of a morning person, but I will fully admit I'm not a people person in the morning. I relish the hour or so I get to myself before the rest of the house gets up (the dog included). Breakfast is me time. A time to wake up. A time to relax and simply enjoy before the day really gets started. Some people have meditation; I have breakfast.

Nourishing foods, freshly ground Hamptons Coffee and a New York Times crossword: it might sound simple, even silly, but I have so much value for my morning routine. We live in such a fast-paced world, so many people rush through the day without taking some time for themselves. It doesn't have to be breakfast, but I encourage you to find a few moments when you too can simply enjoy. Take a 15-minute afternoon stroll, get away from your desk during lunch, or head to bed a few minutes earlier and read a new book. Find time for yourself no matter how stressful the day. You will learn to look forward and cherish the few moments for you.

How to Build the Perfect Salad

Salads are my go-to lunch. They pack a ton of vegetables into one dish, they're super filling, and they can be eaten at home or on-the-go. There are so many possibilities for delicious salad combinations, but I generally stick to this formula when crafting my lunch:

Step 1: Pick a Green Base

Generally, the darker the green the healthier it is, but you don't always need to opt for spinach or kale. Romaine works well if you’re in a crunchy and crisp mood and there may be some days when you're just craving iceberg---and that's fine. You can also use chopped salad mixes that incorporate cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts and more.

Step 2: Add More Color

Pile on the color: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, summer squash...seriously anything goes. I love to add leftover roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower from dinner the night before. Go to town here.

Step 3: Choose a Protein

You need a protein to help keep you satisfied. Leftover grilled chicken or steak, canned tuna or salmon, or hard boiled eggs are go-to options if you like a little meat. For vegetarian protein sources, try quinoa, beans, hummus, seeds, chickpeas or lentils. Remember, a serving of animal protein is about the size of a smart phone; for vegetarian sources the standard is half a cup.

Step 4: Dress it Up with Healthy Fat

Adding some healthy fat to your salad will bring flavor, promote satiety, and aid in absorption of all the nutrients in those vegetables. Olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice or splash of vinegar is the simplest way to go. If you buy a dressing, pick one with simple ingredients, preferably organic, and stick to just about one tablespoon of dressing. You can also add avocado, cheese like feta, or nuts. If you add a fat source go easy on the dressing.

This salad started off with spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I had leftover basil chicken as a protein, and my fats were avocado and homemade tzatziki. I just used some vinegar as a dressing since I had two fats. (And some whole grain pita chips on the side!)

This salad started off with spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I had leftover basil chicken as a protein, and my fats were avocado and homemade tzatziki. I just used some vinegar as a dressing since I had two fats. (And some whole grain pita chips on the side!)