Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Smoothies

Banana, Kale, and Almond Milk Smoothie
In a blender, puree 1 medium banana, 1 cup chopped kale, and 1 cup almond milk until smooth.

201 calories | 5 g fiber | 5 g protein | 4 g fat

We made these smoothies at work on Monday as part of an Employee Health Fair during Commitment Week. It generated a lot of great discussion, but people were not too eager to try it because of the strong kale smell and the bright green color. 

We also used 2% milk because we didn't have almond milk, and a lot of people were hesitant to try it because they were lactose intolerant. Next time we make smoothies, I want experiment with almond milk or soy milk, try using spinach and experiment with a combination of fruits. 

Magic Fruit-and-Veggies "Cupcakes"

I think the "Cupcakes" turned out pretty well, but they really look and taste more like muffins. They would be great for a quick breakfast and are a lot better than some of those oatmeal breakfast bar recipes I've tried. I ended up doubling the recipe, which made 26 muffins.

I ended up using almost an entire zucchini, two small apples, shredded carrots and chopped raisins, and I definitely recommend using some kind of dried fruit to add some sweetness. It seems like a lot of people just use the leftover fruits and vegetables from their juice smoothies, which I think is a great idea! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's National Nutrition Month, hooray?!?

In case you didn't know, it's National Nutrition Month! Every year, RD's spend the month of March making posters and handouts, cooking up delicious food for others to sample, and devoting their time to educating the public and their fellow employees through health fairs and lunch and learns. 

Please tell me what other health profession invests so much time and effort into helping others during the month they should be celebrated? Ahh.. to be a dietitian

So naturally, we dietitians will be at the employee health fair next week... our focus will be fiber and we're planning on baking high fiber cupcakes for everyone to try. Because after all who doesn't want to feel full and poop on the regular?

I plan to test them this week, so I'll keep y'all posted!

Magic Fruit-and-Veggie Cupcakes

Cooking spray (optional)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon soy flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, plus more for topping (optional)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
3/4 cup grated or finely chopped vegetables (carrots, zucchini and/or spinach)
3/4 cup grated or finely chopped fresh or dried fruit (apples, pears, pineapple and/or raisins)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 24-cup mini muffin pan with paper liners or mist with cooking spray.

Whisk the flours, wheat germ, pats, flax seeds, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Beat the egg and brown sugar in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the olive oil, vanilla, milk, vegetables and fruit and mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir just until blended

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar, if desired. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Allergens: Wheat, gluten, egg, milk, soy
Nutrition (1/12 batch): 136 calories, 4.5 g protein, 1 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 17 mg cholesterol, 164 mg sodium, 119 mg potassium, 23 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 4 g protein, 11% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 6% calcium, 6% iron 

Adapted from:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Making Asparagus A-peeling

I always tell my patients, the worst thing that can happen to their diet is complacence. When you stop working to improve your diet, it will inevitably go in the opposite direction. So I recently set some goals for myself to improve my own diet.

1) Eat more meals at home
2) Cook more meals at home
3) Use more home-cooked meats, rather than processed/packaged meats
4) Bulk up on vegetables at lunch and dinner
5) Use only whole grain products at home

A lot of this has to do with finding products and recipes I enjoy, but also making time to prepare meals ahead of time. At first, this meant using a lot of frozen vegetables and microwaveable rice, and cooking meat in large batches for several days. But eating 90-second brown rice and frozen broccoli everyday can get a little boring, even if it does help me meet my goals. So now that I have a regimen that I am comfortable and happy with, it's time to shake it up a bit.

Asparagus is going to be in season in Maryland soon (this asparagus was from Mexico), so I recently was looking up recipes to use at the produce market at work. We planned to hand out recipes, and have a recipe prepared to taste test. I found a recipe that used uncooked, peeled asparagus in a salad, but I was concerned with how labor intensive it might be. So, I tried peeling zucchini yesterday for my shrimp scampi, and today I bought asparagus to peel and added in some grape tomatoes to my leftover shrimp. Both were delicious!

Peeled asparagus or zucchini are perfect for a saute, in a pasta dish to substitute for some of the noodles, or cold in a salad! I hope this inspires you to try something new, whether it involves asparagus or not!