Here's How to Copy Ellie Krieger's Awesome (Healthy!) Weekend of Fiery Chicken, Frozen Grapes & Avocado Bagels
Yes, there's plenty of dessert in here—plus a killer salad and much more.
TV chef, cookbook author, and registered dietitian Ellie Krieger's entire food philosophy can be summed up this way: We don't actually have to choose between eating deliciously indulgent foods or staying healthy. And she clearly practices what she preaches, creating meals that totally tick both boxes—and eating the same way herself. These days, she's sharing her recipes, cooking methods, and a few go-to tricks via the online learning website Craftsy's new Culinary All-Star series, where Krieger has her own six-lesson workshop fittingly titled Flavor Comes First: Healthy Meals That Taste Delicious. Krieger, who also hosts the public television series Ellie's Real Good Food, heads to a farmers market weekly to restock her arsenal of fresh, local ingredients that she needs to whip up her signature simple, flavorful, envy-inspiring meals. Last weekend, the chef kept track of every single thing she ate and shared it with The Feast. Ellie Krieger photo above courtesy of Craftsy.
Frozen grapes: super-tasty, healthy and like "orbs of sorbet," says Krieger.
Morning: Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie. For breakfast Krieger went with her favorite smoothie, which requires just three simple ingredients: "A frozen ripe banana, one-percent milk, and a big dollop of peanut butter and I just blend that up," she explains. "When you freeze a banana when it's extra ripe, A. it's a great way to use up bananas up, and B. it makes you not need any added sweetener. When you blend those three ingredients it's so delicious. It tastes kind of like a milkshake and it's filling."
Afternoon: Tuna Nicoise Salad. On Friday mornings, Krieger bikes to her local farmers market near her home on Manhattan's Upper West Side. "It's kind of fun because my whole weekend revolves around all my finds, and I whipped this up based on all the things I'd gotten." she says. "It was haricots verts, a boiled egg, some new potatoes that I boiled, lettuces, olives. And this is totally tomato season so there were some gorgeous beefsteak tomatoes in there as well." The imported Italian jarred tuna in olive oil, which she describes as "beautiful and flaky," is the only ingredient in this dish that didn't come from the market. As for the dressing, "I do a whole thing in my class on healthy oils and salad dressings, and this was a basic Dijon vinaigrette."
Nicoise salad photo courtesy of Ellie Krieger's Instagram.
Late Afternoon: Frozen Grapes. "It was so darn hot, so I was snacking on frozen grapes," she says. "I love keeping grapes in the freezer. They're so refreshing, and like little orbs of sorbet, kind of." Another use for the frozen fruit Krieger recommends? Putting them in your wine glass to chill your vino without watering it down. Genius.
Evening: Raw Bar and Wine. "My husband and I met some friends at this local seafood restaurant, The Mermaid Inn, and we had—it's one of my favorite things—happy hour with shrimp cocktail, piles of fresh oysters, clams, and raw bar kind of stuff. And they have these really nice seeded flatbread crackers that I munched on. And of course some nice white wine."
Late Evening: Popcorn
Krieger went home to watch a few episodes of Orange Is the New Black and made—what else?—popcorn. "I popped some up with canola oil and just salt. Sometimes I add other stuff but this was just basic."
Morning: Bagel Avocado "Toast." "I'm a New Yorker, you know, so I'm definitely eating my bagel," she admits. But in true Krieger style, she gave her bagel breakfast a healthy avocado-toast spin, sticking with half an everything bagel (from her favorite bagel shop Absolute Bagels), topping it with avocado, some more of those farmers market tomatoes, and a bit of the leftover hard-boiled egg from Saturday's salad along with salt and pepper. "To me that's just heaven."
Late Morning. Greek Yogurt and Fruit Krieger split lunch into two mini-meals, starting with a pre-yoga snack of Greek yogurt topped with a little honey, blueberries and peaches. "Those are killer at the market right now."
Mid Afternoon: Zucchini and White Bean Soup. "I was starving after yoga and I had made some of my zucchini soup with white beans the day before. It's another dish from the class. It's so easy to make. It's a pureed soup with zucchini but I put in white beans to give it protein and make it thicker," she explains. "You serve it hot or chilled. I ate it chilled with tarragon in it and it was really lovely."
Evening: Ancho Chicken. Krieger coated chicken breasts with an ancho chili rub, made from ancho chili powder (which she chooses for its smoky flavor, but any chili powder will do), garlic powder, and salt and pepper. "If I had an outside grill I would use that, but I live in New York City," she explains. "I like to put it in the skillet so that when I take the chicken out there are warm bits in there. And I make this warm zucchini, corn, tomato salad kind of thing in the same pan and then I serve it on top of the chicken."
Late evening: Gelato I'm not generally the hugest dessert person, but we did go to this little gelato place on our corner called Scream. I got a gelato, a crazy-rich double-dark chocolate, but (and you're going to hate me) I just take a few bites and put the rest in the freezer," she says. "I have to hide it so my husband doesn't eat it. Actually I think my husband is right now literally looking in the freezer. He'd better not touch that."
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