Recipe Redux: A Memorable Vacation Meal + Belgium Waffles and Fresh Fruit with Balsamic Vinegar

 Belgium Waffles and Fresh Fruit with Balsamic Vinegar

Do playful memories of  a past vacation ever enter your mind by simply reminiscing about a  special meal you enjoyed?  Can food  prompt your memory about an entire vacation you once experienced? On more than one occasion, my kids and I have tried unsuccessfully  to recollect the  specifics of a trip until we recall (would you believe) where we ate! Food is tied to so many memories. It’s almost silly how we can forget the  details of a journey even though the memories of where we ate, what we ate,  and who we ate it with can be wonderfully vivid.  A memorable vacation meal is priceless and is this month’s Recipe Redux theme! At the bottom of this post I will try to recreate a healthier version of  a portion of this scrumptious meal I am about to describe. Make sure to check out the other links at the bottom of this post for more unforgettable meals!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Would you believe me if I told you it’s also my most memorable vacation meal? It’s true. But if you have ever eaten the breakfast buffet at the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst, North Carolina you can certainly understand why. Fresh food, outstanding variety, superb service and background piano music in a relaxing atmosphere all make this meal an indelible memory. Adding  to it’s memorability is the size; bigger than my usual a.m. fare to  fuel a day on the golf course.

Although I vary what I eat day to day for breakfast, there are two things I count on desperately desire every morning: a good cup of java and fresh fruit. The Carolina exceeded my expectations on both necessities.  They serve a bottomless cup of hot, brewed gourmet coffee and the widest selection of fresh fruit I have ever seen in one place. Fruit selections  included:  fresh bananas, apples, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew,  mango, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  I love the kind of decisions I have to make on vacation!

To be honest, it’s tempting to fill up on just fruit. But I know better. I always include some protein with my breakfast. The great thing about a buffet is you don’t have to chose between two items, you can have a little of both. That’s what I did. I had some of the smoked salmon and a made to order egg white omelet stuffed with sauteed vegetables and grated cheese.  Just tell the chef what you want and they’ll serve it your way.

Vacation is a time to indulge a little bit.  What was so enticing I wanted to indulge already at breakfast?  It makes me salivate just thinking about the made to order Belgium waffles.  As if the waffles weren’t good enough by themselves,  there were an abundance of toppings to make this fare lip smacking good! Below is my recipe for a healthier version of this irresistible breakfast food.

I hated that the meal had to end. I looked around and my kids were gone. I stayed. The opportunity to sit and sip hot coffee, while a musician played piano music, in a quiet atmosphere is not familiar territory for a mom; but I certainly could get used to it!

What’s your most memorable vacation meal?


 Belgium Waffles and Fresh Fruit with Balsamic Vinegar


 Belgium Waffles and Fresh Fruit with Balsamic Vinegar


 Belgium Waffles and Fresh Fruit with Balsamic Vinegar

 Belgium Waffles and Fresh Fruit with Balsamic Vinegar

Classic Belgian Waffles topped with Fresh Fruit and Balsamic Vinegar 


by Diane Boyd (Emeril Lagasse’s Classic Belgium waffles, modified, reduced fat)

Prep Time: 13 minutes

Cook Time: varies with waffle iron

Ingredients (8-10 (4inch waffles))

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 16 -24 walnut halves


Preheat waffle iron. In medium bowl sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. In second bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until sugar is dissolved and eggs are pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter,and skim milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until blended. DO NOT OVER MIX. In third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. DO NOT OVER MIX! Spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray and pour enough batter in iron to just cover waffle grill. Close and cook until golden brown. Time will vary with waffle irons. About 2 to 3 minutes.

Slice peaches and add blueberries. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on fruit. Add  balsamic vinegar to fruit mixture. Spoon on top of waffles and top with walnut halves.

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How to be Fit and Healthy



How to be Fit and Healthy

It’s all about lifestyle! Yep, if you want to be fit and healthy you’ll have to adopt a healthy lifestyle that’s permanent. Sporadic dieting and occasional exercise don’t work. You must commit to a lifetime of good eating habits and routine exercise.  In my experience, individuals fail to sustain good eating habits when  they don’t enjoy their food! If you’re not satisfied, you won’t be successful;  food is meant to be enjoyed. As a matter of fact, consumer attitudes toward Food, Safety, Nutrition and Health,  commissioned by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) show that taste (not health) is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing food. Yet,  I believe you can have both: nourishing food and great taste! Much of what I do is help individuals find healthy alternatives to the not so healthy foods they love.  Aside from enjoying healthy food, here are 8 more steps to a healthier lifestyle.

Pay attention to portion sizes. Control your caloric intake by controlling your portion sizes.  Today many portions are simply distorted. Over the  past 2 decades, portion sizes of all foods and beverages have dramatically increased. Twenty years ago a bagel measured 3 inches in diameter and contained 140 calories. Today, they are double in size and calories. When you are served more food, you will eat more food.  One strategy is to use smaller sized plates; you will eat 15-25% more off of larger plates.

Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals will eventually catch up with you leaving you irritable, unable to concentrate and more likely to  binge. Control your appetite and enjoy the most nutrient dense foods by having three meals a day with several small snacks in between.  Make sure to carry healthy snacks with you to avoid vending machine food.

How to be Fit and Healthy Eat more fruits and vegetables. Because fruits and vegetables are low in calories they are helpful in weight control. On top of that, they are naturally low in fat, contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals (substances that are associated with disease prevention).  A good rule of thumb: one half of your plate should be vegetables. This is visually represented in USDA’s graphic for a healthy diet- My Plate.

Eat more high fiber foods including whole grains. Research has shown fiber, once only touted as the substance necessary for regularity, to be associated with a decreased incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Fiber is also helpful in weight control, by wheatberriesincreasing satiety (it fills you up). Not sure how to boost fiber? In addition to fruits, veggies, beans and legumes, include whole grains in your diet. Start the day with a bowl of oatmeal or whole wheat cereal flakes, snack on popcorn, use brown rice instead of white rice and swap buckwheat noodles (soba) for white pasta. If you don’t like large servings of whole grains, simply add a couple tablespoons of wheat germ to smoothies, hot cereal or baked goods. Likewise, cooked grains such as bulgur and barley can be added to soups, salads and stews.

Enjoy more seafood and include a variety of protein foods. Protein will keep you full longer than carbs, and when restricting calories protein will aid in maintaining lean muscle.  Research has linked large portions of red meat  and processed meat over extended periods of time to an increase in some cancers. Try to vary your protein sources to include less red meat and more poultry, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds  and soy products.    Substituting plant proteins for animal proteins one day per week can reduce saturated fat intakes by 15%. Here is one of my favorite Meatless Monday Meals.

Limit meals away from home. Research shows when we eat out we consume more calories, saturated fat, added sugar and alcohol. We also consume less fruits and veggies whole grains, and low fat dairy. By preparing meals in the home, you have complete control over what you’re eating! Click here for ideas to make “eating in” fun and easy!

How to be Fit and Healthy Exercise regularly. Good nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand. Aim for one hour of moderate to intense exercise daily. If you don’t have an hour, try breaking exercise bouts into 10 or 15 minutes increments. Consider functional fitness to focus on individual goals while keeping training applicable to the everyday stresses of life.

Practice moderation not deprivation. There are no “bad” or “forbidden” foods. The USDA categories fats, sugars and alcohol as discretionary calories and advises Americans to consume these foods in moderation. A good rule of thumb; limit calories from added fats sugar, and alcohol to 10% of your total caloric intake. If there is a food you can’t live without, chances are it can be worked into your meal plan. Consult a registered dietitian for help.  Occasional indulgences can help keep you on track with good eating habits. The key is to plan for them, don’t just let them happen!

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