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Vegetable Recipes

Parmesan Cauliflower Mash Faux-tatoes
Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Parmesan Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes

Dear Diary,

This mid-west born Dietitian loves some mashed potatoes. My own smashed garlic red skin potatoes are delish but I also love restaurant versions made with just about any kind of potato. Mashed sweet potatoes? Yes, please. Smooth and creamy yellow potatoes whipped to the perfect texture? Bring it. A Thanksgiving table without mashed potatoes? Um, no. Just no.

The only caveat is, of course, the high amount of calories that gets served up in my beloved taters. I have to be honest, the thought of replacing the perfect potato with cauliflower to create a lower calorie substitute sounded abhorrent. But, as the saying goes, you have to try to know. While these faux-tatoes will not be gracing my Thanksgiving Day table any time soon, they will definitely be on my regular everyday table.

Cheers to eating my vegetables…and liking it!

Parmesan Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes
 Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower, cored, leaves removed and cut into small florets
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely green onions (use green and white parts)
  • 1 teaspoon M Salt
Instructions
2. Use a strainer to remove excess liquid and transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese, chives, and onions.  Season with M Salt and garnished with Parmesan and green onions. Serve warm.

PS – if you don’t have M Salt then you can use salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. However, I highly recommend you buy some M Salt to sprinkle on eggs, mix in guacamole, for vegetables, and pretty much anything savory.

Breakfast Recipes, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Mushroom Spinach Spaghetti Squash Strata

Dear Diary,
Whether it’s called a frittata, quiche or strata…it all has to do with eggs in some sort of casserole form. Eggs have so many good qualities that I have to agree with the commercials that boast their incredible, edibleness. Eggs are an inexpensive form of protein that are easy to prep in a variety of different ways. They contain tons of vitamins, minerals and nutrients including selenium, choline, and essential amino acids. Be sure not to short yourself by ditching the yolk! It’s good for you and does not increase cholesterol or risk of stroke…in fact some studies show it’s quite the opposite.
This recipe is packed with protein, veggies, and flavor and is very versatile. Keep it vegetarian or add in a little uncured bacon for additional flavor and protein. You can also play around with adding or swapping out vegetables depending on taste preference and availability. The best part is that it’s perfect for any meal and tastes great warmed up the next day too. For me, leftovers are an easy and fast way to get in a veggie packed meal when I have little time.

Bon appétit!

Mushroom Spinach Spaghetti Squash StrataMushroom Spaghetti Squash Quiche - Diary of a Dietitian
Crust:
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, about 2.5 lbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Filling:
  • 3 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped, packed tight
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup feta or goat cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp onion or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half and place face side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool until safe to handle.
  2. In the meantime, preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and saute until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make the crust, remove seeds from the spaghetti squash and separate flesh into strands using a fork. Transfer to a medium bowl along with 1/2 tsp thyme, garlic, and salt; mix to combine. Transfer to a deep oven safe dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil and press evenly onto bottom and sides using your hands. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, feta/goat cheese, mushroom kale mixture, 1 tsp onion or garlic powder, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper and mix to combine. Pour into prepared crust and flatten with spatula.
  5. Bake in 400 degrees F oven for 50 mins or until the knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool and set for 10 mins. Cut into 8 slices and serve hot.
Tips: Any dark, leafy greens like kale can be used in place of the spinach. Use fresh thyme if you it available.
Kale and Mushroom Spaghetti Squash Quiche

Adapted from an ifoodreal recipe. Pictures from www.ifoodreal.com.

 

 

 

Fresh herbs can turn a so-so dish into a wow dish!
Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Fresh Herb Polenta with Mushrooms

Dear Diary,

Today I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I am writing to you from my new favorite spot in our little atrium herb and vegetable garden. When we moved in, the atrium was a dry dirt plot filled with overgrown plants. It was not an inviting place and had not been given any love for a long time. I knew it had so much potential and pictured fresh herbs, tomato and bell pepper plants, and beautiful flowers thriving. Now, with some sweat equity, help from my super handy Dad, and Pinterest, I am enjoying watching it grow.

One of my boys has been keeping a very close eye on the daily changes with our heirloom and yellow pear tomatoes as well as our orange and red bell peppers. We have picked leaves off of every fresh herb to smell them and he can now identify basil, mint, oregano, lemon thyme, and cilantro. I think it’s so important for children to learn about how food grows and to be able to prepare their own meals.

Herbs don’t just look and smell good. They also have a wealth of health benefits including protective polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. With all these wonderful fresh herbs available, I decided to make a fresh herb polenta dish using other vegetables I had in the fridge. The herbs paired perfectly with polenta (also known as corn grits), goat cheese, zucchini and mushrooms. This recipe is versatile and a combination of fresh and dried herbs could easily be used depending on what is available. Bon Appetit!

Fresh Herb Polenta with Mushrooms

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces Goat Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme, garlic chives, and basil
  • 2-3 cups Cremini Mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 small zucchini, cut slightly larger than mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet marsala wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions: Cook polenta according the package directions for making “cereal.” Bring water to a boil, add polenta and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove polenta from heat, cover, and let stand for a couple of minutes. Stir in butter, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh herbs. Cover polenta to keep warm while prepping the vegetables. In a small skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and zucchini. Saute for 5-6 minutes and add wine and black pepper. Continue to saute until vegetables are tender. Serve vegetable mixture over the polenta and top with more fresh herbs, goat cheese salt and pepper if desired.

www.diaryofadietitian.net
Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Black Bean Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Dear Diary,

What could be better than a healthy meal served in it’s own straight-from-the-earth bowl? Um, nothing that’s what! This dish is an easy, vegetarian, low carb go-to meal that packs lots of fiber and flavor to keep me satisfied. It’s also one of those meals that tastes even better the next day for lunch after all of the ingredients have had a chance to sit around in the fridge and get to know one another.

Spaghetti Squash is my favorite when it comes to the squash family. It’s low in calories, versatile, delicious, and easy to make. Whether I use it as a pasta replacement, a side dish or a main dish, this squash never disappoints. There are several ways to cook it but I prefer to slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub it with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake it. This method gives the squash a little bit of that roasted, slightly charred flavor that I love.

Squash can be a bit intimidating with all the varieties, shapes, colors, and an outer shell that hides it’s goodies inside. It all seems too mysterious to take a chance. Spaghetti squash is a good “beginner” squash that has a mild enough flavor to take on whatever spice or sauce it’s cooked with. Never fear, a great spaghetti squash recipe is here!

Black Bean Spaghetti Squash Bowls

YIELD: 4 large servings (each served in half of a spaghetti squash shell)

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium spaghetti squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, minced (leave seeds in for added heat)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

1 medium avocado

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice each squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds with a large spoon, and place cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Scrape out the spaghetti squash from the shell with a fork, creating the “spaghetti.” Set aside the squash in it’s shell for later use.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add red onion, garlic, jalapeno and red bell pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper. Sauté 1 more minute. Stir in beans, corn, lime juice and half the cilantro until well combined. Add the “spaghetti” from each squash to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season as desired.

Set oven to broil. Stuff each squash half shell with the squash/vegetable mixture from the skillet and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until cheese melts and gets brown and bubbly, 1-2 minutes.

Top with remaining cilantro, slices of avocado and green onion. Serve warm and with wedges of fresh limes or salsa if desired.

Kung Poa Chicken Zoodles from Diary of a Dietitian inspired by Skinnytaste
Motivation & Inspiration, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Just Do It Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles

Dear Diary,

After our one year anniversary, I did a fabulous disappearing act. POOF! What happened and where did I disappear to? Well, long story made short, I temporarily misplaced my motivation AND my inspiration. Yikes! I moved in for an extended stay at the Desperationville hotel. Maybe it was Exasperationville, located right next door. Whichever “ville” I was in, I spent my time there prioritizing anything and everything above my health and wellness. I forgot to lean into the things that improve my well being and help carry me through tough times.

Trips to the gym were sporadic at best, meals became less planned and more on the fly, eating became less intentional, and I stopped holding myself accountable by faithfully writing blog entries. I closed my eyes to all the inspiring people and gifts of motivation around me. Here I am, half way through April, needing to rip off the proverbial band-aid. JUST DO IT! No more excuses, no more telling myself lies about exercise, no more eating my feelings, and no more allowing myself to be sucked down into a chasm of negativity.

Life is full of peaks and valleys. March, along with a good chunk of April, was a giant valley for me. I have decided to join Nike (and all those gorgeous, fit looking people in their advertisements) and move back to Justdoit Town. By the way, people from Desperationville despise people from Justdoit Town. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya! Motivation and inspiration are something I’m rediscovering. It’s quite a treasure hunt but I can assure you that neither one is found at the bottom of a bag of chips or a glass of wine while plopped on the couch. Believe me, I checked…several times. If only binge watching The Mindy Project and House of Cards while eating chips burned calories!

A few key people and events have helped me to locate my mojo again. I started this blog so people could have a bird’s eye view into a Dietitians life so here is what helped me.  Step 1: I reread some of my past blog entries to hear my own voice telling me how to find my way back. My blog has truly become my diary, in which I can flip back through and use tools that have already helped me. Step 2: Get a little help from my friends. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who inspire you to be your best you. I am lucky enough to have several key people that help lift me up. Step 3: Give motivation to receive motivation. I have restarted counseling a friend on nutrition and I am in the planning steps of creating an exercise group in my neighborhood (motivated by my friend Jennifer O). Step 4: Read a life changing book written by an author that somehow has put many of my own thoughts into words. My friend Whitney sent me “Carry on, Warrior – The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life” by Glenndon Doyle Melton. I love her style of writing almost as much as what she has to say about navigating life. Step 5: Tell the people who inspire me how much they inspire and motivate me. I’m sticking with the “get and give” and “send and receive” policy. Step 6: Be kind to myself as I keep taking baby steps towards a happier and healthier me. In the wise words of a former client, “This shit ain’t easy.” Nope, nothin’ easy about it.

Today I successfully completed my first yoga class in a very long time. I finally started using My Fitness Pal app to log and track my food intake. I am about to complete my first blog post after an almost two month hiatus. My herb and vegetable garden sanctuary is well under way with actual herbs growing. Many thanks to my Dad who worked tirelessly on it while he was supposed to be on vacation. The sight of plants growing and thriving is such a positive thing for my soul. Finally, I bring you another delicious recipe called Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two by Skinnytaste.

My friend Jennifer O was the driving force in making this recipe as we love to cook together and “talk the journey.” She needed to have a go-to zoodle (zucchini noodle) recipe and her comfort level was low before yesterday. She brought the zucchini, red bell peppers and her positive energy, while I supplied the rest. It turned out fantastic with a few minor tweaks. We used fresh grated ginger instead of the dried ginger, Siracha instead of chili paste, doubled the recipe so we would have plenty of leftovers for lunch, and squeezed fresh lime juice over the finished product. With only 277 calories for 2 cups, this will definitely be a future meal in both of our homes.

To make the recipe from skinnytaste.com click below

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two from skinnytaste

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two from skinnytaste

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles fresh from the kitchen of Diary of a Dietitian

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles fresh from the kitchen of Diary of a Dietitian

 

Deviled Eggs
One hard boiled egg...remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste, and topped with chopped green onions.
Intermittent Day Eating, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

10 Unique 100 Calorie Snacks that Satisfy

Dear Diary,

It’s 3:00 pm and I feel that familiar rumble in my belly telling me it’s snack time. I open the fridge, I open the freezer, I look in the pantry…then I head back to the fridge. Hmmm…I see cheese. I love cheese. I can eat a lot of cheese. I saw some crackers in the pantry. I can eat a lot of cheese and crackers. Yikes, better not get that started. What else, what else? Apples, melon, sliced red bell peppers, carrots, greek yogurt? Argh! None of these snacks are appealing all on their own. I need something more satisfying, pronto!

If I could reverse time, a good plan would have been…to have a plan. A little planning ahead, before cravings and hunger strike, helps to not eat a snack that is as calorie dense as a meal. Snacks can mean trouble. A lot of planning goes into meals, but little planning or thought goes into snacks. I must avoid panic snacking or risk taking a full cracker box to an empty cracker box!

If I restart an Intermittent Day Fasting Plan such as 5:2 or 4:3, these snack ideas could also help me get through those rough days. The recommendation is 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men on low calorie days. If I put five of these snacks together, a 500 calorie day is looking a lot less intimidating. This is a huge revelation, Diary, HUGE!

Pickled Veggie Spring Rolls  Simply thin slice carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber and soak in the juice of a jar of pickles, jalapenos, or yellow banana peppers overnight to "pickle" them. Take a spring roll wrapper and run it under water. Fill the middle of the wrapper with a romaine lettuce leaf and the pickled veggies. Tightly fold over one side of the wrapper, fold in both edges, and roll up the rest. Cut in half and make a second one the same way. For extra kick, tuck in a few jalapenos!

Pickled Veggie Spring Rolls
Simply thin slice carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber and soak in the juice of a jar of pickles, jalapenos, or yellow banana peppers overnight to “pickle” them. Take a spring roll wrapper and run it under water. Fill the middle of the wrapper with a romaine lettuce leaf and the pickled veggies. Tightly fold over one side of the wrapper, fold in both edges, and roll up the rest. Cut in half and make a second one the same way. For extra kick, tuck in a few jalapenos!

Apple Slices with Pumpkin Pie Dip Slice half of a medium sized apple. To make the dip mix 1/2 tablespoon light cream cheese, 1/8 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon honey, and sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Apple Slices with Pumpkin Pie Dip
Slice half of a medium sized apple. To make the dip mix 1/2 tablespoon light cream cheese, 1/8 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon honey, and sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Mini Pepperoni Pizza Half an Oroweat Sandwich Thin, 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 laughing cow cheese wedge, 3 Hormel Turkey Pepperoni slices, mild banana pepper rings, and sprinkled with dried oregano. Pop it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes and voila...you just got your pizza fix!

Mini Pepperoni Pizza
Half an Oroweat Sandwich Thin, 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 laughing cow cheese wedge, 3 Hormel Turkey Pepperoni slices, mild banana pepper rings, and sprinkled with dried oregano. Pop it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes and voila…you just got your pizza fix!

Deviled Eggs One hard boiled egg...remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste, and topped with chopped green onions.

Deviled Eggs
One hard boiled egg – remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste. Add yolk mixture back inside the white and top with chopped green onions and a little dill.

Turkey Roll-ups Two slices of turkey wrapped around a laughing cow cheese wedge, a sliced Persian cucumber, and sliced bell peppers. A very satisfying 100 calories!

Turkey Roll-ups
Two slices of turkey wrapped around a laughing cow cheese wedge, a sliced Persian cucumber, and sliced bell peppers. A very satisfying 100 calories!

Light Babybel Cheese & Rice Crackers One mini light Babybel with 7 Simply Balanced brown rice crackers. A quick fix for crunchy, salty goodness!

Light Babybel Cheese & Rice Crackers
One mini light Babybel with 7 Simply Balanced brown rice crackers. A quick fix for crunchy, salty goodness!

Cottage Cheese with Chopped Veggies 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers) and a little black pepper.

Cottage Cheese with Chopped Veggies
1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers) and a little black pepper.

Organic Rustic Bean & Vegetable Soup One piping hot cup topped with freshly sliced green onions will warm you up and fill you up.

Organic Rustic Bean & Vegetable Soup
One piping hot cup topped with freshly sliced green onions will warm you up and fill you up.

Chocolate PB2 on Ezekiel Bread Toasted Ezekiel bread topped with 1 Tablespoon PB2 Premium Chocolate mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon water.

Chocolate PB2 on Ezekiel Bread
Toasted Ezekiel bread topped with 1 Tablespoon PB2 Premium Chocolate mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon water.

Spicy Hummus with Celery & Bell Peppers 4 tablespoons of HOPE Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus (Costco) with celery and bell peppers.

Spicy Hummus with Celery & Bell Peppers
4 tablespoons of HOPE Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus (Costco) with celery and bell peppers.

Rosemary-Roasted-Sweet-Potatoes-and-Onions-1
Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Easter Sides for Toni

Dear Diary,

It’s that time of year when eggs of all kinds are plentiful…including those giant, solid chocolate ones! My personal favorite is the Cadbury Mini Eggs. You know, the little eggs that are perfect pastel colors with a crunchy outside coating and pure heaven of creamy chocolate inside? Not to be confused with the large Cadbury eggs that gush white and yellow goop when you bite into it. No, no, no…these little beauties are popable, delishishness that I am happy are only available once a year! I apparently just created two new words in the English language in that last sentence according to spell check.

Aside from my obvious love affair with Cadbury mini eggs, I am also starting to think about Easter Sunday dinner. Yesterday, my co-worker and friend Toni asked me if I had any good Easter recipes. She is sick of the same old sides and wants something new. Well, Toni I have a Roasted Sweet Potato recipe that will knock your bunny ears clean off! I have found that I like most vegetables roasted compared to other ways they can be prepped…Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Cabbage, and of course Potatoes.

Toni, this recipe will help you keep your calories in check and maybe even leave some room for pie!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions

  • 4-5 medium sweet potatoes (yams), scrubbed clean, cubed with skin left on
  • 2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (use fresh if you have it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet or cookie sheet (with an edge) that has been covered with parchment paper*. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, flip potatoes, and continue roasting for an additional 25 minutes or until done. Onions and sweet potatoes should caramelize (turn dark brown).

*I always use parchment paper when roasting anything at a high temperature to reduce clean up and save my pans!