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Pistachio-Crusted Whitefish

May 22, 2019
Ingredients:

• 2 large eggs
• ½ cup chopped cilantro
• 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 cup chopped Nichols Farms California Pistachio Roasted Kernels
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
• ¼ teaspoon chili powder
• 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
• 4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Dash of ground black pepper
• 1 pound of whitefish such as cod, haddock, tilapia, etc.

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a small baking sheet or line the sheet with parchment paper
2. Whisk the egg, cilantro, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl
3. Chop the pistachio kernels in a mini food processor into fine pieces
4. Mix the pistachios, cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl
5. Dip fish in egg mixture, coating well on both sides, then coat the fish with the pistachio breading. Place fish on the pan. Repeat this step with each piece of fish.
6. Bake fish in the oven for 15-20 minutes

Serve the fish with some wild rice and plenty of vegetables. Enjoy!!!




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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

February 9, 2019
Yes, you can make America’s classic family comfort food in an Instant Pot. And for the best part, it’s super duper easy and delicious. It takes only a few simple steps and you and your family can enjoy mouthwatering mac and cheese in as little as 10 minutes. Now that’s worth throwing away those boxes of highly processed Kraft Mac and Cheese!

Ingredients:

• 1-16 oz. box of elbow macaroni. Consider buying whole grain macaroni for the additional fiber
• 4 cups of water of chicken broth. The chicken broth adds a little more flavor to the mac and cheese
• 3 Tablespoons of butter
• Any desired seasonings such as garlic, parsley, pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce
• 1 cup of whole milk
• 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (or any cheese you desire)

Instructions:

1. Add the water to the Instant Pot
2. Pour in the entire box of macaroni
3. Cut the butter into chunks and place it on top of the macaroni
4. Add any desired seasonings. I generally use garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley
5. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set to sealing. Cook on the pressure cooker setting for 5 minutes. Do a quick release when finished cooking.
6. Pour in the milk and the cheese. Mix well. Enjoy!

To enhance the nutrition of the dish, try adding some vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, or peppers. You could also try adding some cooked protein such as chicken, tuna, or turkey for a more complete meal.

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Grocery Shopping on a Budget

January 21, 2019
There’s no denying that, grocery shopping is a chore, and Americans often rate it as one of their least favorite weekly activities. Now grocery shopping on a tight budget, that’s even a bigger headache and challenge for millions of Americans. But it doesn’t have to be this way. For less than $5 dollars a day, the average person can receive all the nutrients they need for overall health. Below is a list of nutritious, budget friendly foods that can make your next shopping trip a little bit easier.

1) Whole wheat bread. Most people are afraid of eating bread these days, but they don’t have to be. Bread is more than just carbohydrates; it also can be a significant source of protein. Two slices of whole wheat bread can contain up to 2 ounces of protein (14 grams). Combine this with peanut butter or lean protein (turkey) and you have yourself a protein powerhouse sandwich. And whole wheat bread cost around 11 cents per slice.

2) Peanut butter. I just love this stuff and eat it regularly. It’s a good source of protein and vitamin E and costs about 12 cents per serving. I also love the versatility of peanut butter. Spread it on toast, dip carrots or apples in it for a tasty snack, or… if you adore Reese’s peanut butter cups like me, you can spread a teaspoon of peanut butter on a small piece of dark chocolate and make your very own homemade, lower calorie version of a Reese’s. It’s delicious!

3) Canned tuna. A protein powerhouse with a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids. It’s easily transportable and generally has a long shelf life. Canned tuna costs around 45 cents per serving and can be used to make tuna salad, added to casseroles for protein, or simply eaten by itself if that’s your thing.

4) Eggs. Hands down, eggs are the cheapest, and easiest way to get all your essential amino acids for the day. And at 16 cents per egg, they really are incredible. You can scramble them for dinner, eat them hard-boiled for snacks, make egg salad, or you can get even fancier in the kitchen by making a quiche or a frittata.

5) Pasta. Many people fear pasta these days. Again, this is unnecessary. Pasta, like whole wheat bread, is more than just carbohydrates. It also can contain a significant amount of protein per serving. It costs about 12 cents per serving, and can be used to make delicious soups, casseroles, or enjoyed traditionally as pasta with red sauce.

6) Spaghetti sauce. Most people are unaware, that cooked tomatoes contain more lycopene (a rich and powerful antioxidant) than raw tomatoes. It cost about 20 cents per serving so stock up on spaghetti sauce or have those mason jars and fresh tomatoes ready to make your own homemade delicious spaghetti sauce.

7) Rice. Costs about 10 cents per serving and is extremely versatile. It also pairs well with dried beans.

8) Dried Beans. You can easily consume 3-4 ounces of protein and a large amount of dietary fiber from a simple ½-1 cup portion of dried beans. They cost about 12 cents per serving and can be combined with vegetables and other dishes for satisfying meals.

9) Milk/Yogurt. Traditional cows milk will cost about 25 cents per serving and contain a full serving of calcium along with a decent amount of protein. Yogurt will cost a bit more than milk, however you receive the benefit of probiotics that help promote gut health. To save additional money, consider buying unsweetened yogurt as it often tends to be cheaper.

10) Fruits and Vegetables. Never feel bad about buying frozen fruit and vegetables. They often are higher in nutrients compared to fresh and are readily available throughout the year. To save money, also buy what produce is on sale that week as it tends to cost significantly less than the produce that isn’t on sale. Canned fruit and vegetables are also a solid option. For canned fruit, avoid purchasing any items with the word “syrup” on the can, and for canned vegetables feel free to rinse the vegetables in water to remove any additional sodium from preservation. If purchased wisely, fruits and vegetables can cost about 25 to 75 cents per serving.


Now ,this list is missing healthy items such as olive oil, salad dressings, and condiments as these items are also necessary and important for health and enjoyment. And I know that bag of chips or that box of cookies generally still finds its way into the shopping cart. However, I feel this list of 10 foods can be a good foundation to build a healthy diet from, while still being budget friendly. The cost of consuming all these foods while factoring in a 2,000 calorie diet comes out to being around $4.00 per day. And remember, portion sizes not only benefit the waistline, but also benefit your pocket book.

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Are Pumpkins and Gourds More Than Just Decoration?

October 1, 2018
As a decorative front porch ornament or a relaxing and homey fireplace mantel accent piece, pumpkins and gourds are more than just eye appeal. Yes, I’m talking about the edible benefits of adding some green, orange, and yellow colors into your diet. Feeling intrigued, yet?

Pumpkin and gourds are a type of winter squash that are a significant source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. This nutrient density better supports the immune system, as well as benefiting the heart. Pumpkin and gourds are also high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which supports eye health and helps to prevent the development of cancer. They're also low in calories (approximately 50 calories per serving), which can be a delicious addition to a weight management plan.

The types of pumpkins bred for Jack-O-Lanterns may be a little less flavorful and a bit stringier than pumpkins bred for pies, however any type of pumpkin or gourd is edible and usable for more than just decoration. If a pumpkin or gourd has been sitting on your porch but is still firm and intact with no evidence of insects or animal tampering, then these can be safely used for cooking. However, once a pumpkin has been carved, it needs to be discarded after use to avoid the potential for contracting food borne illness.

You’ve eaten pumpkin pie before, but what are some other fun recipes for you to try? Some recipe ideas for incorporating more pumpkin and gourds into your diet include:
Pumpkin chocolate Greek yogurt
Blueberry pumpkin oat muffins
Pumpkin hummus
Pumpkin ravioli
Baked Parmesan pumpkin fries
Pumpkin pancakes
Pumpkin bread
Pumpkin soup
Pumpkin waffles
Stuffed squash
Squash lasagna
Roasted squash
Squash cheesecake bars

If you make or have made some delicious recipes with pumpkin or gourds, feel free to share your ideas below or comment on my Speaking of Nutrition Facebook page. Happy Decorating and Happy Cooking!!!
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The Reasons You Hate Grocery Shopping..And How A Change in Mindset Can Benefit You!

September 8, 2018
You Don’t Value Spending Money on Groceries

When you value something, it’s a lot easier to appreciate the complexities and the challenges involved with it. And when you don’t value a specific task or outcome, not only will this hold you back, you’ll completely avoid it. Food is EXPENSIVE, there is no denying it. But truth be told, you have to eat and eat well for a long and happy life. You can change your eating habits, cooking habits, shopping habits, and even meal planning habits to save money. Anything is possible with the right approach. So the next time your finding yourself hating grocery shopping due to the cost of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy oils, and whole grains, focus on how great you feel when you eat healthy and how good, nutritious food is the power and force behind anything you want to accomplish in this life. When you eat well, you feel well!

Grocery Shopping is Inconvenient

Make no mistake about it, living in a rural area makes grocery shopping incredibly inconvenient. I often find it highly annoying having to drive several miles just to purchase simple ingredients. This inconvenience makes it much easier for anyone to say “lets just order takeout”. But I believe ordering takeout isn’t what the majority of people really want to do. The cost of buying takeout or eating out adds up quickly, and lets not forget about the excessive calories that’s often consumed from eating out. There has to be a better way!

If it’s truly inconvenient to go grocery shopping because of a work schedule or whatnot, then maybe you should checkout the world of online grocery shopping. This allows you to shop around “your” schedule, without even needing to leave the house. I often use my Amazon Prime membership for buying groceries as I’m able to find specific ingredients that aren’t available where I live. And the best part of it all….it ships directly to my house.


Grocery Stores Are Always Crowded

Ohhhh the long checkout lines and the narrowly crowded aisles. I know this is the real reason majority of people hate grocery shopping. However, this is normally only an issue if you shop during peek times, such as after work or on weekends. I have found that grocery shopping on Friday evening or in the morning to be some of the best times for avoiding crowds. And if you want to be like me, you can grocery shop at 5:30am so you can enjoy your evenings to yourself, while also allowing extra time and space to study the foods and create meal plans. I know you’re thinking to yourself “what kind of crazy person grocery shops at 5:30am?” But before you toss this idea out the window, just imagine grocery shopping in your most comfortable sweats, without any attention given to your hair and makeup, and drinking coffee while cruising up and down the aisles in a gigantic store that you basically have all to yourself. Not a bad idea my friends!!!

You Grocery Shop Too Often

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!!! If you avoid meal planning, then grocery shopping is going to feel a lot more time consuming. Instead of grocery shopping just once a week, you will find yourself shopping several times a week or even daily. Plus you’re also going to spend a lot more money if you shop daily, so get going on creating that meal plan. It really does save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation.

You Don’t Create a Grocery List or You Always Forget To Take the List With You

You need to create a grocery list. Numerous studies have shown that creating grocery lists saves time, money, and significantly helps people follow through with better eating habits. So get going creating those lists!!

If you do take the proper time for meal planning and creating lists, but you forget to take the grocery list with you when you shop…that’s going to be ULTRA FRUSTRATING! If you have a smart phone, I suggest keeping your grocery list on your phone. And if you prefer to write your grocery list on paper, I suggest taking a photo of your list so you have a backup copy on your phone.


I hope you found some of these tips helpful in shifting your mindset towards grocery shopping. Proper nutrition is often a critical and necessary step towards reaching health goals, and proper nutrition involves grocery shopping. If you need additional help and assistance with meal planning and grocery shopping, feel free to book an appointment with Stephanie.


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


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