Memorial Day BBQ Reinvented

By: Devon Kroesche, RD to Be

I don’t know about you, but with everything going on lately I almost forgot about the upcoming holiday weekend. That being said, there is a good chance your Memorial Day Weekend is going to look a little different than past years. We may not be able to crowd outside to enjoy a red white & blue parade, and maybe your beach vacation got cancelled or postponed. Luckily, pandemic or not, summertime is just around the corner.

Whether you’re having friends and family over for some backyard burgers and brews, or just relaxing with your immediate household, we’ve got some all-American recipes for you to enjoy. So fire up the grill and let’s get cookin’!

Watermelon Feta Salad

recipe adapted from Tasty. Serves 4

What You’ll Need

  • 3 cups watermelon cubed
  • 6-8 cups dark leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

What to Do:

  • Make dressing: Whisk together lemon juice, honey, water, olive oil, and a pinch of salt
  • Toss together watermelon, greens, and feta. Drizzle dressing overtop.
  • Enjoy!

Grilled Portobello ShroomBurger

Serving suggestion. Serves 2

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper

What to Do:

  • Remove stems from mushrooms and wipe down with a wet paper towel (do NOT run mushrooms under water)
  • Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Brush mushrooms with mixture.
  • Grill for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Serve.
  • Pictured: grilled portobello mushrooms with spring greens, tomato, and avocado on whole grain Ezekiel bread. Also pairs well with Swiss cheese!

Kickin’ Street Corn

Serves 4

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 ears of corn, with silk removed but husks still on
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese
  • 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • garlic salt to taste

What to Do:

  • Peel husks back and remove silks only. Let corn (with husks still on) sit in a saltwater bath for 10 minutes.
  • Place corn still in husks on the grill for 10-12 minutes or until husks are lightly charred
  • Melt butter and once husks are removed from corn, brush each ear with butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
  • Brush one side of ears of corn with light sour cream, and sprinkle cotija cheese and cayenne pepper. Add chopped cilantro and squeeze half one lime’s worth of juice over top.

Frozen Red White & Blue Fruit Kabobs

Serves 7

What You’ll Need:

  • carton strawberries, rinsed and sliced in half
  • 1/2 carton blueberries, rinsed
  • 2 bananas, peeled
  • metal or wooden skewers

What to Do:

  • Once fruit is rinsed and chopped, simply stick on skewers in desired pattern.
  • Freeze at least 1-2 hours and enjoy!

Veggie Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

By: Devon L Kroesche, Media Intern and RDtoBe

Whether you are hosting Mother’s Day brunch or headed to a potluck with friends, this recipe is sure to impress. The best part? It is SO easy, and you probably already have most of the ingredients!

The key to keeping quiche simple is using what is already in your kitchen. Feel free to improvise with the add-ins and spices. If you still have leftovers from tacos on Cinco de Mayo, toss those in! Have some leftover veggies or sausage or ham or Parmesan cheese or feta from the night before, go for it! Just make sure any meat or fish is cooked to temperature before being added.

(recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

What You’ll Need:

  • pie pan
  • nonstick spray
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • mandoline or food processor with a vegetable slicer attachment
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

What to Do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray pie pan with nonstick spray. Peel sweet potatoes and use mandoline or food processor to slice thinly. Cut a few slices in half for the edges and arrange on pan, making sure every inch is well covered.
  • Spray again with nonstick spray and bake for 20 minutes.
  • In a skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add diced onions and peppers and cook for 5 minutes on medium high heat. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites, milk, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  • Once crust is done, remove from oven and turn temperature up to 375 F. Add veggies, then egg mixture, then top with cheese. Bake for 35 minutes.

Bring this to mom’s house today, and she will DEFINITELY claim credit for your exceptional cooking skills. Let her gloat. It is her day, after all. Happy Mother’s Day!

Shakshuka: The Comfort Dish You’ve Never Heard Of

By: Devon Kroesche, Media Intern and RD to Be

Eggs for dinner? Count me in! Shakshuka is a Mediterranean dish, tracing its origins back to North Africa. A common savory breakfast in countries like Israel, shakshuka is a warmcomfort dish that can be eaten at any time of day.

There are many variations of this recipe, but the base consists of a tomato sauce flavored with garlic, onions, cumin, cayenne pepper and paprika, with eggs dropped in and poached in the sauce.

Grab a loaf of freshly baked bread and use it to scoop and soak up the delicious dish, and travel across the country from the comfort of your own kitchen! 

What You’ll Need

cast-iron skillet
loaf of fresh baked bread (not sliced, you’ll want to rip off pieces to scoop up the shakshuka)
28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 6oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large eggs
1 onion, diced finely
1 bell pepper, diced
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/3 cup tahini
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
optional: small bunch chopped fresh cilantro

What to Do:

  • Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet on low to medium heat. Add chopped onions, bell pepper, and jalapeño peppers. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Add peeled tomatoes (including liquid) and tomato paste. Using a large spoon, slowly break apart peeled tomatoes until only small chunks remain. Bring to a simmer.
  • Form 4 wells in your sauce, adding one egg to each well. Cover your skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until whites are cooked but yolk is still runny.
  • In a bowl, warm tahini until it is a runny liquid texture. Remove skillet from heat and drizzle tahini over your dish and top with feta. Add cilantro if desired.
  • Scoop eggs and some extra sauce into individual bowls, and eat by tearing pieces of bread and scooping it up (no utensils required). Serves 2.

Mediterranean Salad

Dietitians have been long-time fans of the Mediterranean diet for its heart health benefits, but a recent study published by the British Medical Journal have found new benefits for gut health, specifically for the elderly.

We decided that is a good enough reason to share with you one of our favorite Mediterranean-inspired salad recipes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium feta
  • 1/4 cup unsalted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 15 oz can chick peas, drained (optional)

Directions

  • Make dressing by whisking together olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (separation is normal, just mix/shake it up again before using).
  • Toss together the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • drizzle dressing on top as desired, and it is ready to serve!

An Extra Tip

To add a little crunch to your salad, consider roasting the chick peas! I recommend drizzling them with 1 Tbsp olive oil, dusting them with paprika and garlic salt, and roasting them on 400 degrees F in the oven for 20-30 minutes, tossing them periodically.

This is a huge salad that can easily be eaten throughout the week. To keep your salad fresh longer, keep the dressing in a separate container and drizzle it on right before you eat it.

Happy eating!

Frozen Chocolate Covered PB Banana Bites

In need of a sweet, yet somewhat healthy treat to share with your ~lover~ this Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re enjoying a romantic evening with your soulmate or having a sappy rom-com and wine night, we’ve got you covered.

Image Credit: Not Enough Cinnamon Blog

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas (the riper, the sweeter!)
  • 1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 12oz semisweet chocolate chips (carob chips to make it vegan!)
  • coarse sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Peel and slice bananas into “pennies”.
  2. Make cute lil’ peanut butter sandwiches with your banana pennies.
  3. Let ’em freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 20-30 seconds until consistency is just melty, gooey goodness.
  5. Using two forks, dip the frozen PB banana bites into the chocolate and lay them out on a baking sheet with wax paper. Sprinkle with sea salt if you’re feeling wild & dangerous.
  6. Freeze them again for at least another 30 minutes.
  7. Turn on The Notebook, keep tissues close by, and dig into these delicious little babies. Happy V-Day 🙂 <3

Pumpkin Muffin

IMG_1942

Ingredients:
3 cups old fashioned oats
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
3/4 c. dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a non-stick muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients (oats–salt).
3. In another bowl whisk together all wet ingredients (egg–applesauce).
4. Add dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients, whisking to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Transfer batter into muffin tins (about 1/4 c. per slot).
6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tops are slightly browned and toothpick comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin):
Yield- 9 muffins
Calories: 186 kcal
Carbohydrates: 33g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 6g

Chickpea Pumpkin Curry

IMG_1866

Ingredients:
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup tomato, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained/rinsed
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 15 oz. can light coconut milk
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. red pepper curry paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:
1. Spray large pot with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Dice onion and place in pot to sauté for 2-3 minutes. As onions become translucent add garlic.
3. Dice tomato and carrots and add to pot after garlic cooks for 1 minute. Let cook for 5-8 minutes until carrots soften.
4. Add pumpkin puree and chick peas (drained and rinsed). Stir until well combined.
5. Stir in coconut milk and spices. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts:
Yields 6 (1 cup) servings
Calories: 189 kcal
Carbs: 27g
Fat: 7g
Protein: 7g

Week 1 Lunch and Dinner Meal Prep

See below for recipes for lunch and dinner to get you through Monday-Friday. Prepare all ahead of time or break them up throughout the week!

Lunches For The Week:
Monday- Apple Turkey Sandwich + baby carrots
Tuesday- Buffalo Turkey burger on whole wheat bun + roasted broccoli
Wednesday- Turkey meatballs + whole wheat pasta + asparagus
Thursday- Buffalo turkey burger + brown rice + parmesan green beans
Friday- Apple Turkey Sandwich + baby carrots

Dinners For The Week:
Monday- Buffalo Turkey burger (no bun) + brown rice + roasted broccoli
Tuesday- Turkey meatball hoagie + side salad
Wednesday- Chicken Teriyaki stir fry + brown rice
Thursday- Buffalo turkey burger  + sweet potato fries + side salad
Friday- Lemon Ranch chicken + brown rice + side salad

(more…)

Weekly Meal Prep Set-Up

I can’t stress to my clients enough the importance of being prepared. When you are prepared you can make a better decision. It takes the guess work out of what to make and takes you out of situations where you are stuck and are forced to make a bad decision.

Even if you can’t prepare your whole meal ahead of time, I think it can still be extremely helpful to at least do what we call, “meat” prepping. Preparing your meats in advance allows you to take away the most time consuming part of the meal. Dinner on a week night should not take you more than 20-30 minutes,unless you are someone with a more flexible schedule who can balance cooking dinner on a regular basis. I recommend spending the bulk of your work on the weekend. After grocery shopping, it should only take you 1-3 hours to clean, cut, and cook. For some people, breaking apart the cooking into a Sunday and Wednesday night can better maintain freshness of meals but still create some ease during the week.

(more…)