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Baked Butternut Squash Chips

January 27, 2018
Ingredients

• 1-large butternut squash
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Fresh or ground sage
• Fresh or ground rosemary
• Fresh or ground basil
• Grated parmesan cheese
• Salt
• Pepper

Instructions

1. Cut off the top of the squash and remove the peel

2. Slice the squash into thin chip like pieces using a mandolin or a knife. They should be about 1/8 inch thick

3. Boil a small pot of water. Place the chips in the boiling water for about 5-10 minutes

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

5. Pat chips dry with paper towel

6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

7. Spread the chips on the parchment paper

8. Coat the chips with extra virgin olive oil

9. Season with sage, rosemary, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper

10. Bake in the oven for 10-20 minutes depending on your oven

11. Remove from oven when crispy and add additional seasonings, as desired

12. Serve immediately and store leftovers in an sealed container






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Vegan Vegetable Soup

January 6, 2018
This delicious vegan vegetable soup is a excellent way to add volume and bulk to meals, without consuming a bunch of extra calories. Plus…it’s versatile and highly nutritious. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 32oz. carton of vegetable broth. Buy an extra carton of broth in case you need extra.
• 1/2 of a red onion, diced
• 3 celery stalks, diced
• 3 medium carrots, diced
• 1 small head of broccoli, broken into florets
• 1 cup chopped tomatoes
• 2 cups spinach, de-stemmed and torn in pieces
• 6 stalks of asparagus
• 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
• a handful of pea pods, any type, halved if large
• several mushrooms, sliced
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
• fine-grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Heat olive oil in pan. Gently sauté the shallot and garlic for a few minutes until softened.
2. Add the broth to the pan, along with the onion, celery, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and asparagus. Sauté for several minutes until vegetables are soft. Add the pea pods, purple cabbage, and mushrooms. Sauté a few minutes longer.
3. Add turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
4. Add any extra water or broth if too much evaporates.
5. Pour into bowls and serve.

Recipe produces 6-8 servings



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Eggplant and Sage Stuffing

November 19, 2017
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Not only is it a time to give thanks and express gratitude for our blessings, but it’s also about enjoying good food while having entertaining conversations with family and friends. My favorite dish at Thanksgiving is the stuffing. Although I’m not that big of a ‘bread person’, my aunt Kathy has always made the most delicious stuffing. However, in my quest to improve my health and the health of Americans however, I’ve discovered a new and satisfying way to enjoy stuffing without all the sugar and carbohydrates. The key ingredient to this successful outcome is eggplant. Yes, this highly nutritious and versatile vegetable provides a fantastic alternative to traditional homemade stuffing in both flavor and texture. While I will always love eating my aunt’s homemade stuffing at Thanksgiving, I’m happy to know that healthier alternatives exist for those who are interested.

Ingredients:

• 2 cups celery, chopped
• 1.5 cups onion, chopped
• 1 medium eggplant peeled and cubed, 4 cups
• 1 stick of salted butter
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 1/4 cup of ground sage
• 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
• 1 Tablespoon celery seed
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 2 eggs, beaten
• black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a medium size baking dish

2. In a large cast iron skillet, melt ½ of the stick of butter. Sauté the celery and onion until celery is tender and the onions are translucent.

3. Add in the eggplant and the remainder of the butter. Sauté about 4 minutes

4. Pour in the chicken broth. Simmer until some of the liquid has evaporated

5. Add the ground sage, dried rosemary, celery seed, and cumin to the mixture. Simmer a few extra minutes.

6. Remove half of the eggplant mixture from the skillet and transfer to a blender

7. Add the eggs to the blender and blend until smooth

8. Add the eggplant puree to the eggplant skillet mixture. Mix together

9. Stir in fresh ground pepper

10. Pour mixture into the greased baking dish and cover

11. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Enjoy!



This recipe can be made 3 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat the stuffing in the oven until warmed through.


Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: ½ cup. Recipes makes approximately 10 servings

Calories: 43.5

Fat: 1.5 grams

Carbohydrates: 6.37 grams

Fiber: 2.4 grams. Net carbs: 3.97 grams

Protein: 2.4 grams

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Hodgson Mill....Premium Quality Whole Grains

August 12, 2017

This past week, I had the opportunity to visit the Hodgson Mill headquarters in Effingham, IL. I have to admit; I live in IL and had no idea that Hodgson Mill products were created in a small rural town about an hour east from where I grew up. If I knew about this information sooner, I can guarantee I would have already made the trip. Below, I will discuss some of the delicious whole grain products you can purchase from Hodgson Mill as well as some of the health implications of eating whole grains.

Whole grains…should you eat them or should you avoid them? The subject of whole grains is a heavily debated topic in the nutrition field. People who are low carb advocates say you don’t need to eat whole grains in a healthy diet, while people who are vegan say you can’t live a long and healthy life without sufficient whole grains. Who is correct? Well I can tell you that both sides of the whole grain argument have valid truths. It’s true that you technically don’t need whole grains to live or produce glucose; our bodies are able to burn fat for fuel in the absence of significant carbohydrates in the diet and this can be done in a healthy, nutritious way. However, being a person who has followed a low carb diet with tremendous success, I do believe there are wonderful benefits to eating whole grains at times to enhance health. One of the biggest reasons why I think everyone needs to eat some whole grains from time to time is to promote better gut health. A lot of research is showing a strong correlation between gut health and increased risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, and type 2 diabetes etc. The microbes that are created from eating whole grains enhance the good, healthy bacteria in the gut. While research is still ongoing in this area, the results look promising. As I said before, I am a person who has followed a low carb diet for various reasons and I don’t intend on drastically increasing my carb intake based on the latest gut research. However, a few times a week I have added a small serving (1/2 cup) of whole grains to my diet to promote better gut health while still minimizing carbohydrate cravings and blood sugar fluctuations. Which whole grains do I eat? Well you will have to continue reading to find out.

Hodgson Mill offers a variety of whole grain products. You can find various ready-to-eat cereals, oatmeal, and pastas as well as pancake, cake, bread, and flour mixes for those who like to get a little creative in the kitchen. I have personally tried the Ancient Grain Medley, Brown Rice and Quinoa, Sorghum with Rosemary and Garlic, and Organic Cracked Kamut. I eat a ½ cup portion of these products as a side dish to accompany my protein, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables at my evening meal. You simply bring 1-2/3 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan, add 1 cup for example of Ancient Grain Medley, and within 15 minutes you’ll have a delicious and nutritious whole grain that’s approximately 150 calories and 2-4 grams of fiber per serving.

I personally haven’t tried the pancake, biscuit, and bread mixes, but I know several clients and registered dietitians who really enjoy them and eat them regularly. I have created a few recipe ideas using the Hodgson Mill bread and biscuit mixes so look for those results in the near future. Hodgson Mill also offers numerous gluten free products for those who are celiac or avoid gluten to reduce inflammation. You can order all products online at www.hodgsonmill.com. You can also go online to www.hodgsonmill.com and type in your zip code and they will send you a full list of stores within a 50-mile radius of you location where you can buy the products. They also have great customer service so please don’t hesitate to reach out for questions or comments.

If you’ve personally tried some Hodgson Mill products, feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below. You can also check out my Instagram page at username: speakingofnutrition for more information.

And always remember… “ A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives”.



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Meez Meals...Reclaim Your Dinnertime!

July 26, 2017
Meez Meals is a Chicago based company that sells DIY meal delivery kits that are delivered directly to your door with all ingredients chopped, prepped, and measured to make healthy cooking easy and fun! A representative from Meez Meals reached out to me last week and asked if I would sample some of the products and provide my feedback. As a dietitian, I certainly love food and love to cook, so I was very excited and pumped for this opportunity, and surprisingly…I have never tried a DIY meal delivery kit before. Sure, I see and hear commercials constantly for companies such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, GreenChef etc. and many of my clients have used or currently use a home delivery meal service and I think it’s wonderful and innovative. I personally have never pulled the trigger for myself, not because I think they’re bad or unnecessary in our time demanding, unhealthy society, but because I’ve always enjoyed my time in the kitchen as cooking is therapeutic for me. Well thanks to this positive and enjoyable experience from Meez Meals, this dietitian may soon jump on the DIY meal delivery bandwagon with much delightment, ease, and creativity as it provides me with another beneficial tool in maintaining my unwavering lifelong commitment of good nutrition and overall health.

Meez Meals provides you the opportunity to select meals that are customizable to you and your dietary needs/preferences. Whether you’re gluten free, vegan, or have allergies to tree nuts, etc. Meez Meals has got you covered. I selected the All American BBQ Chicken Burrito, Farmers Market Salad, and the Ultimate Oreo Cheesecake. A recipe card accompanied each item as well as simple cooking instructions that turned my meal into a delicious and satisfying experience. Also included on the recipe card are the nutrition facts (including Weight Watchers Smart Points) and a dinner hotline number to call for questions/concerns. Below I discuss each item in greater detail.

All American BBQ Chicken Burrito:

This item took me approximately 30 minutes to cook and included 5 items: cabbage and carrot slaw, cage-free chicken breast, flour tortillas, coleslaw dressing, and BBQ sauce. I ordered enough for 2 servings and it was plenty for 2 people, especially if you eat additional side items such as a salad or dessert. I really enjoyed this item and found it provided a different and refreshing taste to my normal dietary cuisine. I would certainly order it again.

Farmers Market Salad:

This was my absolute FAVORITE item that I ordered. I love salads and can generally be quite picky in the types of salads I eat, but this salad certainly delivered and surpassed my expectations. The ingredients included: Arcadian lettuce blend, Persian cucumbers, sugar snap peas, green beans, red and yellow peppers, and Green Goddess dressing. It tasted so fresh and contained huge amounts of vitamins, minerals, and an abundance of antioxidants and phytochemicals. I also fell in love with the Green Goddess dressing and will find a way to make my own version in the very near future. The only negative I will say about this item (and it’s not really a negative) is that I would have preferred the peppers to be chopped or sliced smaller than what was presented. The slices were a little large for my personal taste, however I understand that many people enjoy eating large slices of red and yellow peppers so “to each his own” I guess!

Ultimate Oreo Cheesecake:

Cheesecake… you are the great love of my life! I adore sweets and cake is my absolute favorite food, but I have embraced the low carb lifestyle for several years so I really only ordered this item for my family to enjoy. I am not a dietitian that encourages sweets or baked goods very often in the diet as I find many people struggle with moderating sugar, however I am not opposed to the occasional treat now and then. This item included 3 ingredients: Eli’s Original Cheesecake, Oreo cookie crumbles, and caramel sauce. The only prep involved was drizzling caramel sauce over the cheesecake and topping it with Oreo cookies. I only had one bite of the cheesecake and I can tell you that it tasted amazing. My dad’s birthday is today and he reported that he very much enjoyed his piece of Ultimate Oreo Cheesecake for breakfast this morning.

My first experience into the world of DIY meal delivery kits was exciting, intriguing, and highly enjoyable. Meez Meals provides a variety of meal options that can accommodate any number of dietary needs/preferences. Another advantage of Meez Meals is there is NO COMMITMENT OR SUBSCRIPTION to try it out and experience the process. If you try it once and for some reason don’t like it, you can rest assured knowing that you only paid for that one experience. I don’t know about you, but that is a huge advantage in my opinion.

We live in a fast paced, stressful, and often unhealthy society. Clients are always asking me “ How can I plan my meals during the work week?” While meal planning is still going to be required with this approach (you still need to take time to log onto the website and select your menu), it can really provide an easier avenue and solution to meal planning while keeping your diet healthy, nutritious, and most importantly…delicious! While you may or may not feel you need this service every week, I encourage you to keep Meez Meals in mind when you have a super busy week filled with homework, kids activities, work deadlines, and other life demands that can negatively impact your eating habits. Because after all, an organic, cage-free All American BBQ Chicken Burrito, and a super nutritious, organic Farmers Market Salad will certainly be preferable… and sometimes necessary… than another stop at your local area drive-thru.

For more information on Meez Meals, you can access their website at www.meezmeals.com. You can also see my pictures of the experience on Instagram at username: speakingofnutrition. Feel free to share any of your experiences with the DIY meal delivery kits in the comments section below.
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Black Rice: The Forbidden Rice

July 19, 2017

Black rice is considered a popular super food and was once only consumed by royalty and emperors in Asian cultures. Black rice is actually a purple grain that is cultivated throughout Asia. Its dark, rich color contains numerous health benefits, which makes it a far superior choice compared to traditional white, brown, and basmati rice. One-half cup serving of black rice contains 160 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. Black rice is also a good source of iron so it’s a great addition to the diet for vegans and vegetarians who rely on plant based foods for protein. Below are some additional health benefits of black rice:

1) High in Antioxidants: The outermost layer of black rice is high in anthocryanin-a powerful antioxidant known to fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Black rice contains the highest amount of anthocryanin compared to other whole grains.

2) Can Help the Liver with Detoxification: Studies have shown that black rice can help detoxify the body due to its high antioxidant content. These antioxidants help the liver function more effectively by removing toxins from the body.

3) Source of Fiber for Digestive Health: Fiber aids proper digestion, which is why many people need to aim for eating 25-35 grams of fiber per day. One ½ cup serving of black rice is 2-3 grams of dietary fiber. Combine this with large amounts of high fiber vegetables at your next meal and it will certainly help boost your fiber intake.

4) Protects Heart Health: A few studies have shown that black rice has reduced dangerous plaque build up in arteries. This is from the large amounts of anthocryanins found in black rice and it helps reduce LDL cholesterol.

5) Reduce Blood Sugar and Prevent Diabetes: Black rice is a whole grain that is considered low on the glycemic index. Foods lower on glycemic index have less impact on blood sugar when digested. People with diabetes, or those trying to prevent diabetes, can greatly benefit from eating foods lower on the glycemic index.

6) Naturally gluten free: Black rice is a safe whole grain for those who have celiac disease or choose to avoid eating gluten to control inflammation.

Let me know if you have tried black rice and feel free to share your cooking and eating experiences in the comments below. Black rice has a rich, nutty flavor, which adds a dynamic flavor and dimension to many dishes compared to traditional rice. If you give black rice a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed with the outcome.

“A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives”.
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Nutritional Yeast...Where Have You Been All My Life?

July 7, 2017
Nutritional yeast is a magical substance found in the bulk or supplement section of health food stores. It’s an inactive yeast made from sugar cane and beet molasses and provides amazing flavor and variety to those who follow the vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, and paleo diet. Nutritional yeast is wildly known for its delicious, cheesy flavor and replaces milk-based cheeses in most standard dishes; which is a welcomed alternative for those who avoid dairy.

On average, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast provides 60 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate (4 grams coming from dietary fiber). A serving also provides 9 grams of protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids the human body cannot produce. Since vitamin B12 can be of concern for those who are vegan, nutritional yeast does not contain a significant source of vitamin B12 unless it’s been fortified. It does contain 180%, 160%, and 140% the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Since it’s a dry product, it’s best to place it in a mason jar with the lid tightly sealed to keep moisture out. As long as nutritional yeast stays dry, it can last for 2 years.

Nutritional yeast is a vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly ingredient. You can find numerous recipes, cooking tips, and suggestions for using nutritional yeast when you explore websites, blogs, and cookbooks proving it’s possible to eliminate dairy from the diet, without sacrificing flavor and enjoyment. Below are some simple ways you can incorporate nutritional yeast into your diet:

1) Sprinkle it on popcorn or snack mixes for added flavor and zest

2) Add it to soups and stews for increased flavor, texture, and thickness

3) Stir into mashed potato or mashed cauliflower dishes

4) Add a teaspoon to bean dishes for enhanced flavor

5) If you enjoy eating pesto, adding nutritional yeast to your next batch will certainly not disappoint

6) Make decant macaroni and cheese, lasagna, and appetizers without missing the traditional flavor and taste of cheese

7) It’s a terrific salt alternative for those who are salt sensitive or following a salt-restricted diet

If you have any additional ideas or questions for using nutritional yeast, feel free to comment below. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, feel free to email me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com.

“ A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives”.

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Prosciutto Wrapped Greens

July 2, 2017
Prosciutto, an Italian thinly sliced ham that’s used in many dishes and appetizers, is considered one of the best-known Italian foods with a history that dates back to pre-Roman times. Prosciutto is often added to Italian salads since it pairs well with fresh greens and olive oil. This recipe incorporates the same concept of a salad but the greens are wrapped around a slice of prosciutto instead of eaten with a fork. Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and ingredients than listed below, as I sometimes add thin slices of avocado to these wraps for an interesting twist. This recipe also makes a delicious, healthy appetizer for a party or small gathering, or it can be prepared ahead of time for an easy snack during the busy week.


Ingredients:

• 4 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
• 2 teaspoons of red-wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons rosemary
• ½ lb. arugula or fresh greens. (I normally buy the pre-washed brands
to save time)
• ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
• 4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
• 12 thin slices of prosciutto. (Most pre-packaged brands of prosciutto
will be thinly sliced. If you shop at an Italian meat market, ask the butcher for thin slices that resemble the packaged brands)

Directions:

1). In a small bowl, combine the oil, red-wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and rosemary. Mix well.

2). Add the arugula to the bowl and mix throughout so all the arugula is covered well with the dressing. Sprinkle in the black pepper and Parmesan cheese, mix thoroughly. Taste the arugula to see if it’s seasoned to your liking. Sometimes, I add additional black pepper, rosemary, and Parmesan cheese to enhance the flavor. Set aside.

3). Take a cutting board or a clean flat surface and lay down a slice of prosciutto. (Be careful taking the prosciutto out of the package to avoid tearing)

4). Place a generous portion of the arugula mix on one end of the prosciutto. Slowly roll up the arugula until you reach the other end of the slice. Continue these steps for the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or place wraps in a sealed container and store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 wrap

Calories: 66.5
Carbohydrates: 0.75
Protein: 1.8
Fat: 6.0

For additional tips and ideas, feel free to email me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com.

"A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistance to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives".



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Cha Cha Cha Chia! How Eating Chia Seeds Improves Health!

May 26, 2017
Chia seeds are members of the flouring plant in the mint family that’s native to Central and South America. These seeds are tiny and appear useless, however, they are loaded with essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and many vitamins and minerals such as, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of dietary fiber.

Chia seeds also increase satiety, which promotes a greater feeling of fullness after meals. When chia seeds are added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, a gel is formed. This gel can be added to items such as smoothies, jams, desserts, etc. to provide a thicker consistency that delays stomach emptying and allows you to stay full longer after eating. This benefit can be helpful weight loss tool.

Below are some healthful ways of incorporating chia seeds into your diet:

1. Make a chia jam. Chia seeds can be added to any jam to provide a thicker consistency but with less sugar due to the amount of dietary fiber. I often make strawberry and raspberry chia jam and it tastes delicious!

2. Add chia seeds to pudding. Chia seeds absorb many times their own weight so when added to liquids they provide a thicker texture and can be ideal for items such as pudding.

3. Make chia seed crackers. Combining chia seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds along with some flax seed mill can make excellent crackers that are lower in carbohydrates. They also provide a cracker with a nutty flavor that I find delicious and enjoyable!

4. Use chia seeds as a topping. Add chia seeds to oatmeal, yogurt, puddings, etc. to provide a crunchy, nutty flavor.

5. Mix them into muffins, pancakes, or waffles. Chia seeds have a neutral flavor so they can be added to many foods without negatively impacting taste. Adding 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to your pancake or muffin mixture can add an easy 5 grams of dietary fiber to your breakfast.

6. Snack on chia seed bars. Chia seed bars are located in many retail stores. I have purchased some from Amazon and I enjoyed them. The bars come in many different flavors and are generally around 100 calories per bar.

7. Add chia seeds to meat, fish, or chicken breading. Adding a few tablespoons of chia seeds to your breading can add extra crunch, texture, and boost nutrition to your regular fried chicken, fish, or breaded pork chop recipe.

The above tips are a few healthful ideas for using chia seeds, as there are many more creative and interesting ways of reaping the benefits of this tiny but yet powerful seed. If anyone has additional ideas, please share in the comments section below. I would love to hear your experiences with chia seeds.

If you have any additional questions or would like to book an appointment, feel free to email me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com. You can also follow me on Instagram for additional nutrition tips and ideas.

“A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives.”


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How to Pack a Nutritious Salad in a Mason Jar

May 14, 2017
I love eating salads and they make for an excellent weekday lunch. There are endless possibilities for the perfect combinations of protein, grains, fruits and vegetables to make your salad both interesting and nutritious. Preparing and packing the salad, however, is where the process gets a little tricky. Dress the salad too early, and the salad becomes soggy. Transporting salad dressing in individual containers requires additional preparation and increases the possibility of leakage. For an easy meal planning solution, try packing your salad in a mason jar to simplify prep, without sacrificing flavor and quality. The layering steps to packing a salad in a mason jar are listed below:

1. Salad dressing goes at the bottom. I normally use about 2-3 Tablespoons of salad dressing

2. Hard, crunchy vegetables. Add 1/2 -3/4 cup of vegetables such as celery, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc.

3. Beans or lentils. Add ¼ cup black beans, lentils, chickpeas, green beans, etc.

4. Protein: Add ½ cup of chicken, shrimp, beef, etc.

5. Leafy greens: Top salad with 1-2 cups of spinach, arugula, kale, etc.

6. Seal the jar tightly with the lid and store in refrigerator until time of use

7. When ready to eat, shake the salad in the jar and pour into a bowl.


As I said above, there are endless possibilities for salads that don’t require hours of preparation time but can enhance your overall nutrition. For additional questions or ideas, feel free to comment below or contact me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com. You can also follow me on Instagram at speakingofnutrition.

“A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives.”


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Sauteed Spinach with Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

April 30, 2017
This recipe is an easy and delicious side dish that can accompany any meal. Spinach and leafy greens are excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants that help prevent and fight disease. Feel free to use fresh or canned diced tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes for this recipe.

Ingredients:

• 10 cups of baby leaf spinach
• 3 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 Tablespoons grass fed better
• 4 Tablespoons minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 teaspoons ground sea salt
• ¾ cup of sun-dried tomatoes

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter. Sauté the minced garlic and cook until soft.

2. Add in the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.

3. Add in salt and pepper to taste as desired.

If you have any ideas to enhace this recipe, add your comments below.

"A health lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives."
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What To Do With A Jar Of Tahini?

April 22, 2017
Tahini, what’s that? How does one cook with tahini?

Tahini is a sesame seed paste that’s similar to a nut butter, but without the sweetness and thick texture. It also has a mild, neutral flavor that can be used in a variety of sauces and dishes. The most common use for tahini is in hummus. However, that’s not the only way to cook with tahini. Below are some additional tips and ideas for eating and cooking with tahini without limiting yourself and making good use of that entire jar of tahini in your cupboard:

1) Spread tahini on toast: On sprouted bread, spread 1-2 tablespoons of tahini for a savory flavor

2) Tahini and vegetables: A variety of raw vegetables taste great dipped in tahini

3) Stir it in a soup: Tahini is a great alternative soup thickener

4) Make a vinaigrette: whisk tahini with sesame seed oil, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice to make a great vinaigrette for salads

5) Add it to marinades or dipping sauces: Mix tahini with garlic or soy sauce to enhance a marinade or create a creative dipping sauce

6) Tahini in cookies: Replace peanut butter or other nut butters with tahini in cookies and other baked goods

7) Add it to side dishes: Include tahini in coleslaw, deviled eggs, and other side dishes for a added earthy, savory flavor

If you have other creative ideas for using tahini, post them in the comments section below. If you have questions or would like to book an appointment, please email me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com . You can also follow me on Instagram.

“A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives!”

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Avocado Toast

April 9, 2017
Avocados are very nutritious and contain 20 different vitamins and minerals. They actually contain more potassium per serving than a banana. Avocados are also high in healthy, monounsaturated fat, which is anti-inflammatory. Avocado toast is a simple and nutritious breakfast choice with endless possibilities. The recipe below provides a quick and easy way to prepare avocado toast. I used mashed avocado in this recipe, but you can slice the avocado if you prefer that method. I also have added a fried egg or 2 strips of bacon on top of the mashed avocado and it tastes great!

Ingredients:

• ½ half ripe Haas avocado
• ½ tablespoon of butter
• 1-2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice, whatever taste you prefer
• 1/8 teaspoon ground sea salt
• 1 slice of sprouted bread such as Ezekiel bread
• ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch of fresh ground pepper if desired

Directions:

1. Scoop out the avocado into a bowl. Add in the lemon or lime juice, ground sea salt, and ground pepper, mash together with a fork until mixture is slightly chunky

2. Toast the bread. When finished toasting, spread butter on toast and place mashed avocado mixture on top of butter.

3. Drizzle olive oil and red pepper flakes on top of avocado

4. Serve immediately

If you have other ideas for avocado toast, please share in the comments below. To book an appointment at Speaking of Nutrition, you can email me at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com. You also can follow me on Instagram at speakingofnutrition.

" A healthy lifestyle take confidence, knowledge, and persistence to acheive, but never disappoints when it finally arrives!"

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Turmeric...Colorful Spice and a Powerful Antioxidant

March 25, 2017
Turmeric is a new trendy superfood that’s hitting the nutrition scene. It’s a bright yellow, colorful spice that’s native to India and has the scientific name Curcuma longa. It’s mostly used in savory dishes such as soups, sauces, and curries; however it can also be used in sweet dishes such as breads, cakes, and ice cream. Besides its versatility in cooking, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which provides numerous health benefits throughout the body. Turmeric also promotes heart health by preventing the development of atherosclerosis-the hardening and narrowing of arteries from plaque formation. You can find ground turmeric in the spice section of any grocery store. Fresh turmeric root is mostly found in specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme. The flavor of turmeric can be intense the first time you try it, so start with adding a small amount to your dishes and increase once you get use to it. Below are a few cooking tips for how to add both ground and fresh turmeric to your diet:

• Add 1-2 teaspoons ground turmeric to any soup
• Blend it into smoothies. Start with only 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
per smoothie
• Add 1 teaspoon ground turmeric while sautéing vegetables
• Stir freshly grated turmeric into homemade salad dressings
• Add 1-2 teaspoons of freshly grated turmeric to stir-fry’s
• Sprinkle freshly grated turmeric into egg dishes such as omelets,
frittatas, and quiches
• Add ½ teaspoon ground turmeric to homemade or store-bought
hummus

I hope you have fun exploring and experimenting with this colorful superfood. If you have any additional ideas for using either ground or fresh turmeric, feel free to share by commenting below. If you have additional questions or would like to book an appointment, please send me an email at stephanie@speakingofnutrition.com. You can also follow me on Instagram at speakingofnutrition.

And always remember… “A healthy lifestyle takes confidence, knowledge, and persistence to achieve, but never disappoints when it finally arrives.”

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