December 21, 2012 § 2 Comments
I was excited to hear that this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was Gadget gifts! Since we just got married less than 9 months ago, we were given all kinds of cooking tools, kitchen appliances, and baking items as wedding gifts. I suspect this is why they say couples gain weight after getting married…because cooking is so FUN now! My absolute FAVORITE is the one that saves me the most time in the kitchen… this gorgeous Kitchen Aid mixer from my Aunt Sue.
This mixer just makes everything so much easier, I absolutely love it. Everyone questioned the color that I picked when I told them it was called “Boysenberry,” ha! But as you can see, it’s a warm color that really looks great in our kitchen. It’s a perfect gift for any cook with any level of experience.
This week I used my mixer to create a recipe for Egg-Free Almond Butter Cookies. I must admit, the egg-free decision was purely based on necessity since I had used the rest of the eggs that morning. However, it became a great experiment that produced some delicious cookies! Check out the recipe below:
Egg Free Almond Butter Cookies
Makes 20-25 cookies
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 c almond butter
- 1/4 c butter
- 2 T 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 c whole wheat flour
- 3/4 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- slivered almonds, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix together almond butter, sugars, vanilla, butter and yogurt.
- Add the flours, baking powder and baking soda.
- Roll dough into 1/2 inch balls approximately, place on ungreased baking sheet and gently press down with fork.
- If desired, add slivered almonds to top of cookies
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool before eating.
I prefer rounder cookies, but feel free to make thinner, crispier cookies by flattening more with your fork. If you do this, you will want to bake cookies 1-2 minutes less.
These make a FABULOUS treat to bring to Christmas parties and gatherings. The almond butter adds extra protein making them hearty and filling. I hope you enjoy!
December 8, 2012 § 5 Comments
Yesterday in L.A. the weather was a bit overcast from the South Bay’s marine layer. I was working from home and craving something hearty, yet easy to make for dinner. For our wedding, my sister-in law & brother-in-law gave us the BEST crock pot and it has been fun experimenting with all the ways we can use it…outside of the traditional dip recipes.
Here’s what I threw in the crockpot:
*I choose organic when it comes to the Dirty Dozen. Check out the list HERE if you are interested.
- 1 lb skinless boneless (organic) chicken breasts, rinsed and thawed
- 1 cup frozen (organic) corn kernels (corn is low in pesticides, but if it’s USDA organic, it is not genetically modified)
- 1 (organic) green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 15 oz can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 T low sodium taco seasoning
- 1 cup salsa
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Extra sharp cheddar cheese, optional
- Put chicken, corn, peppers, beans, taco seasoning, cayenne pepper and salsa in crock pot and stir.
- Cover crock pot, set on Low for 7- 8 hours. Stir occasionally during this time.
- 2 hours prior to serving, add mushrooms and tomatoes.
- Before serving, top with 1-2 T. cheddar cheese, if desired.
I also had a surprise special guest & his favorite nanny come visit me while I was whipping up this crock pot creation during my lunch break. He was excited to help me in the kitchen, did a FABULOUS job and can officially endorse this recipe as kid-friendly!
Also, this will work well for anyone with diabetes. It is a perfect combo of protein, fiber-containing carbohydrates, and vegetables.
December 4, 2012 § 14 Comments
Many of my patients and clients have been making the switch to Greek yogurt in the past few years. Their reasons? Usually they tell me that they prefer the thicker consistency, have noticed it is higher in protein than other yogurts, or have just “heard” it is better for you. As a Dietitian, I agree with all of these reasons, AND have a few more of my own. Since Chobani offered to sponsor a giveaway to our readers, I decided to specifically highlight what I like about their yogurt:
- No Artificial Sweeteners or Preservatives
- 3 Different Types of Probiotics. Probiotics help promote digestive health and increases our immunity…perfect for winter!
- Calcium. Each 8 ounce container provides over 20% of your daily calcium needs. Everyone wants healthy bones, right?
- Chobani has a heart. 10% of all profits this company makes goes to charities worldwide. Now that’s a big deal!
My favorite way to use Greek yogurt?
I prefer the 0% plain variety for breakfast. I just add my own blueberries (frozen if I’m out of fresh), 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of almonds for a quick, yet balanced breakfast on the go. Yum!
Chobani has offered to send one lucky reader a case of their 16 ounce 0% yogurt Blends. To enter, just comment on this post telling us what your favorite way is to eat/use Greek yogurt AND follow me on Twitter: @LoriTheRD. Winners will be chosen and contacted this Friday, December 7th.Disclosure: I was not paid to write this post or promote Greek yogurt. Chobani simply appreciates Dietitians who blog and I think their Greek yogurt is pretty awesome.
November 6, 2012 § 1 Comment
This recipe was recently created by my sweet ( and undeniably sassy) Southern mother. She has recently become much more health-conscious in her cooking. I would love to take credit for this, since I am a Registered Dietitian, but it has nothing to do with me…ha! She simply discovered that eating well and exercising made her feel really great.
So when she is not busting a move on the dance floor like the picture below, or selling Avon, she is cooking up some healthy eats in her kitchen.
Check out the details below on how to make your own delicious Chocolate Pudding:
- 1/2 banana, pureed
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 tablespoons organic sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Puree banana in a blender and set aside.
- Combine and stir milk and half of sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, blend remaining sugar, cocoa, pureed banana, and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the simmering milk mixture into the cocoa mixture. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until thick, approximately 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm and enjoy!
- Optional: Garnish with fresh fruit or roasted walnuts or almonds.
October 26, 2012 § 1 Comment
Just this week, a fabulous new book was released, A Year of Being Well: Messages from Families on Living Healthier Lives. The book is a simple 13-month guide using a diverse group of real families that demonstrates how they have improved the health in their both their communities and personal lives. The book is the result of a collaboration between the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation as well as the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
I must say, as a Registered Dietitian, this is an excellent tool to help families. Realistic advice makes healthy lifestyle changes seem achievable rather than overwhelming. The best part about this book is that it is FREE… available in Spanish and English by clicking HERE
I also had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Aliya Hussaini, the Health Team Lead for the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Please see the interview below:
Lori: What do you feel is the most difficult barrier for families to overcome in order to improve their health?
Dr. Hussaini: Time. Overwhelmingly, our easy-access environments are not conducive to good health. We are not required to move for much of what we do during the course of a day. We are all multitasking and moving our minds (though perhaps not our bodies) from one thing to the next, so time available to be active or to prepare healthy meals is short. If we don’t make an active decision that we will do the planning necessary to create healthy meals and find time to be active, the easy access to predominantly unhealthy foods and the lure of a sedentary lifestyle make it very hard to be healthy – in fact, only 1 in 3 adults is succeeding at remaining a healthy weight.
Lori: Can you tell us what prompted your passion for this topic and as a physician, why do you feel it is important to prevent childhood obesity?
Dr. Hussaini: At the beginning of my pediatric residency, most of the diabetic children I took care of were type 1 diabetics. By the time I was in my third year, almost all new diabetics I was taking care of were type 2 diabetics. I was seeing the consequences of the burgeoning rates of childhood obesity right before my eyes. It was a wake up call to the tremendous health impact of obesity. And being an obese child doesn’t just put children at increased risk for adult obesity and adult onset chronic disease, it leads to chronic disease in children while they are children. Earlier onset of chronic disease allows more time to suffer debilitating effects of the disease at younger ages. Beyond the physical consequences, though, I knew that very commonly, those kids were not as happy, not as likely to perform well in school – there are other social and emotional effects of obesity that are equally debilitating. I was an overweight child and I have yo-yo’d a lot over my life. I remember very precisely moments when a look or a joke or even a loving, but misplaced comment hurt my self-esteem. Once you are an obese child, you are much more likely to be an obese adult. I wanted to figure out how to get in front of this tidal wave and how to protect kids from the damage to their bodies and their spirit.
Lori: Wow, thank you for all that you have done to help prevent childhood obesity. What was your role in aiding the families involved with the Be Well Book and how were the action steps developed?
Dr. Hussaini: I actually didn’t help any of the families in the book because they each came up with these solutions on their own and/or with the support and guidance of friends, family, and community resources. We asked some of the organizations we work with to identify families who’d made creative, simple, inexpensive changes to help their families access healthy foods and increase physical activity. We also asked them to think about people who had had a slightly larger impact – say on their communities. The action steps are based in part on what those families were doing that worked, and in part on what the best evidence the scientific literature and experts have to offer. (A lot of times those two things line up!) We tried to provide a range of options to meet readers where they are. All the steps can be effective so families can really figure out what their natural “next step” is and what resonates with them.
Lori: I love it, empowering the families to make their “next step.” And just for fun, what did you eat for breakfast today?
Dr. Hussaini: I eat the same thing for breakfast most mornings – ½ a cup of unsweetened oatmeal with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, a banana, and a cup of coffee. Most people like variety, but my life is pretty hectic and I like not having to figure out a new, healthy breakfast choice every day. That routine makes it work for me. It’s a point that the book makes, too. You have to figure out what works for you and your family. That’s the only way to make changes that you can stick to for the long haul.
Lori: Thank you for your valuable time and sharing with us your expertise and passion. I know both this book and your organization will continue to impact families around the country!
Disclaimer: I was asked to review this book and agreed to do so because I believe this is a wonderful resource for families to use. I was not compensated for my time.
October 21, 2012 § 7 Comments
I am REALLY excited to post my first recipe for the Recipe Redux, which is the first and only recipe challenge founded by Registered Dietitians! The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Each month we receive a new topic, and on the 21st of the month we each reveal our recipes. I’m really looking forward to challenging myself to think outside of my “go-to” recipes and start developing some new creations.
This month’s topic is called “Orange You Glad It’s Fall” which is highlighting the variety of orange produce that is packed with carotenoid antioxidants. Since you’ve probably noticed on my blog that I can’t get enough of pumpkin, I decided to make some pumpkin pancakes for my first recipe. Pumpkin contains Beta-Carotene which is a type of carotenoid antioxidant that contains a yellow-orange pigment found in plants like sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, squash, golden beets, and carrots. It is a precursor to Vitamin A which means it helps aid in our vision, enhance our immune system, and even fights off cancer.
- 1/2 100% Pumpkin Puree
- 3/4 cup Skim Milk
- 1 Egg White
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Canola Oil
- 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablesoon brown sugar (can substitute for Splenda brown sugar if you prefer)
- 1/2 teaspooon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons 100% Pure Maple Syrup (optional)
- Whisk together pumpkin puree, skim milk, egg white, vinegar, and mix in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend just until mixed.
- Spray a skillet with canola oil spray over medium heat and put approximately 1/4 cup of mixture on skillet to cook.
- Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Serve with maple syrup, if desired. Recipe will make 4-6 pancakes. Enjoy!
These pancakes take only about 15 minutes to make… perfect for a weekend breakfast!
And if you are still craving more pumpkin, check out one of my previous pumpkin recipes: Pumpkin Soy Smoothie.
October 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Starting today, voting begins for a great contest being put on by the California Almond Board for Nutrition Professionals to submit original recipes that include almonds in some way. Entries must contain 10 ingredients or less and be in the “snack” or “breakfast” category.
I was definitely interested in the challenge and have honestly never eaten anything with almonds that I didn’t enjoy, so I’m excited to see what the other contestants create also! Here is my recipe below:
Nuts Over Bananas:
- 2 Bananas
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
- 1/2 Cup 0% Greek Yogurt, divided
- Mint and berries as garnishes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice bananas in half, lengthwise. Place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over bananas and cook for 10 minutes
- Once bananas are cooked, take out of oven and place on a plate. Put a dollop of Greek Yogurt and add sliced almonds. Garnish as desired and ENJOY!
- Recipe makes 2 servings. Each serving is approximately 225 calories.
Try it out and let me know what you think! It’s super easy. And if you would like to vote for my recipe, click HERE to go to the Facebook contest.