Chicken and fresh pear salad with dried cherries and almonds

Chicken and fresh pear salad with dried cherries and almonds

Now that the weather is warming up (slightly), I’m in more of a mood for salad than soup. It’s still winter in Ohio, but I can pretend it’s spring. I recently received a lovely sample box of pears from USA pears and couldn’t wait until they got ripe enough to eat. They’re the pearfect treat for this food-loving dietitian.

Pears are not only beautiful (I have a collection of pear art and trinkets), they’re nutritious and delicious. A natural source of fiber, pears provide over 5 grams of dietary fiber in 1 medium piece of fruit. Adult men need roughly 38 grams of fiber daily while women should aim for at least 25 grams. Be good to your colon and eat that fiber!

In addition to fiber, pears are a source of phytochemicals- plant compounds that help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. They’re a versatile fruit that can be eaten by themselves or used in baked goods to reduce the amount of added sugar. Use 1/2 cup of pear puree for 1 cup of added sugar. You’ll need to adjust recipes a bit as pears and other fruit adds moisture to your recipes.

Here are a few ways to enjoy pears:

  1. “Pear” them with low-fat cottage cheese for a quick breakfast or snack.
  2. Top your breakfast oats with chopped pears.
  3. Slice or dice them and include in your salad.
  4. Try pears in a compote for meat or fish.
  5. Eat them with a side of nuts and blue cheese and pretend you’re in France.

Below is the recipe for my lunch!

Chicken and fresh pear salad with dried cherries and almonds

2 cups mixed greens, baby spinach or bagged kale salad

2-3 ounces cooked chicken or turkey

1 ripe D’Anjou or other fresh pear

1/4 cup almond slivers

1 Tbsp. dried cherries

1 tsp. blue cheese crumbles

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  1. Place the greens in a salad bowl.
  2. Add the chicken to the greens.
  3. Rinse, dry and cut the pears into chunks and add them to the salad
  4. Top with almond slivers, dried cherries and blue cheese crumbles.
  5. Whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard to make a vinaigrette.
  6. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss and eat!

Makes 1 pearfectly delicious lunch.

Super Bowl Sunday Turkey and Vegetable Soup!

Super Bowl Sunday Turkey and Vegetable Soup!

Truth be told, we don’t watch much sports here. My husband was never one of those guys that knew when the “big game” was on or could carry a conversation about football to save his life. I grew up with 3 sisters and a brother that ran track, but beyond catching a little bit of the Brown’s game on Sundays with my dad, we just didn’t watch much football. Sad but true.

But alas- here we are. The big game is on today! It’s Super Bowl Sunday! In a house where food trumps sports, I’ll have a souper bowl Sunday instead. This seems appropriate as it’s about 20 degrees in the Queen city today. Soup just feels right.

As you may have read my other posts, you know I despise food waste. I try to limit how much I cook, but we inevitably end up with leftovers. Recently, a friend passed on a 20 lb turkey she had frozen for Thanksgiving and didn’t use. Twenty pounds of turkey is A LOT for a family of four. We cooked it, ate what we could and froze the rest.

I made some potatoes along with it, but my girls must not have been in a potato mood. You never know with teenagers. I opted for boiled, seasoned potatoes over mashed and they weren’t buying them. More leftovers to use!

If you’ve got an Instant pot, this soup is a snap. You can use leftover chicken if you don’t have turkey on hand. Any vegetables will do, but I almost always start with mirepoix- onions, celery and carrots. Recipe below:

1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil

1/2 white or yellow onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1 cup leftover turkey or chicken, cut into 1″ chunks

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Set your Instant pot setting to sautee and cook the onions, carrots and celery for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add the Italian seasoning to coat the vegetables.
  2. Change the setting to soup and add the turkey, potatoes, mixed vegetables, and chicken stock.
  3. Close the lid, set the pot to airtight and let the soup cook. Release the steam when done and serve.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Soup should be eaten within 3 days or frozen.

Makes 6 servings. 

Vegetarian Cajun spiced white bean soup

Vegetarian Cajun spiced white bean soup

In search of something different to make, I sought my spice rack for inspiration. When the weather dips below 30 degrees, soup is always welcome in my house.

I made this vegan bean soup in my Instant Pot, but it can easily be made on the stove. The only spices I used were Cajun spice (Old Bay or other brand will do) and dried thyme. My daughter dislikes cooked carrots, so I left them out and used diced orange peppers instead for color.

You can add diced tomatoes to the soup, too- but I used tomato sauce instead since I was out of tomatoes. If you prefer more protein in your soup, try diced chicken or turkey, shrimp or turkey kielbasa. The soup was really delicious without meat. I add garlic later when I cook it to prevent it from browning too much.

This soup is a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber from the veggies and beans. If you’re concerned about sodium, use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or reduce it further by using water for broth. You won’t be disappointed.


1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

3 celery ribs, cleaned and chopped

1 orange or red bell pepper, diced

1 tsp. Cajun spice seasoning

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 clove garlic, mined

2 (15 oz) cans cannellini or other white bean (Navy, Great Northern), drained and rinsed

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth


  1. Place your Instant Pot on sautee mode and add the oil.
  2. Sautee the onions, celery and peppers for 3 minutes, then add the Cajun seasoning and thyme.
  3. Coat the vegetables in seasoning, then add the minced garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Turn the Instant Pot to soup mode and add the beans, tomato sauce, and broth.
  5. Close the lid of the pot, lock the release valve and let the soup cook until the cycle is complete.
  6. Release the steam and eat!

Makes 6 servings.

25% off food pun sale with GENKINUTRITION

25% off food pun sale with GENKINUTRITION

Can you use some humor right now? I sure can. This month, I’m partnering with Jonathan Valdez, a fellow fun RD in NY. Jonathan runs Genkinutrition, a food and nutrition communication agency. Jonathan’s got a flare for style and fun personality, so I thought I’d reach out to collaborate on a food pun giveaway.

This giveaway is unique- 3 winners will pick their own tee, tank, tote, mug or onesie! I’m also running a 25% off sale- use GENKINUTRITION at check out for 25% off until Jan.31.

Now until Jan 19, enter our Instagram contest! Details here:Jonathan Valdez (@genkinutrition) • Instagram photos and videos

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NEW YEAR GIVEAWAY TIME! I’m partnering with @nutrigirl66 (Sound Bites Nutrition) to bring you a very special treat. We’re giving THREE winners ONE FREE swag item from Sound Bites Nutrition Store filled with food puns on mugs, totes, unisex shirts, onesies, and tank tops (unfortunately, long-sleeve isn’t part of the giveaway). The store can be found #linkbio.
Here’s How To Enter:⁠
1. LIKE this photo⁠
2. FOLLOW @genkinutrition and @nutrigirl66
3. TAG a friend in the comments! One Tag in the comments is an additional entry. THERE IS NO LIMIT ON ENTRIES
4. Share this photo in your story and tag both of us for an additional 3 entries.
And guess what? I have a special discount so EVERYONE is a winner! Use code “GENKINUTRITION” at checkout for 25% off your next Sound Bites Nutrition swag order through the end of the month. Sound Bites Nutrition also has a “Lettuce Beet Hunger” giving program. Each purchase contributes to food insecurity by providing counseling, programs, and nutrition education. Purchase with a good purpose! Part of proceeds to go to @lasoupecincinnati and St. Francis Seraph Ministries.
RULES:⁠ ⁠Valid for U.S. residents only (this includes Hawai’i and Alaska). This contest is not sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use. Winners will be randomly selected. There are 3 prize packs to be given away. Contest only open to residents of the Continental U.S. who do not have a PO Box, APO, or FPO address. The giveaway closes on Monday at 11:59 PM EST, 1/18/21. Once announced, the winners have 24 hours to claim their prize. If they do not, a new winner will be chosen.

Chloe’s fruit pops product review

Chloe’s fruit pops product review

It can be difficult for people with food sensitivities or allergies to find tasty alternatives. While it may be cold outside, ice cream and ice cream pops remain popular desserts. But, most contain dairy, which may be off limits to those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergy.

In addition, some people may be trialing Veganuary (AKA vegan January). There’s plenty of meatless alternatives out there, but most desserts include milk, butter and eggs. Enter Chloe’s!

As a dietitian, I was happy to try samples of a new dairy free frozen dessert. While the company is called Chloe’s fruit pops, they also offer a non-dairy alternative made from oats. Being the curious culinary professional, I tried both the fruit pops and oat milk pops.

The fruit pops are made from just that- fruit, cane sugar and water. I love that they don’t include artificial colors, sugar alcohols (which can aggravate those with IBS) or any artificial flavors. To quote Willy Wonka, “the strawberry tastes like strawberry!”.

The fruit pops come in 9 delicious varieties including raspberry, blueberry, mango, banana, pomegranate, tangerine, cold pressed coffee, dark chocolate and strawberry. I’m a huge fan of mango and cold pressed coffee.

They also make dairy-free oat milk pops. The three fabulous flavors include salted caramel, raspberry chip and mint chocolate chip. All varieties are dairy free and low in fat.

My favorite was the mint chocolate mint oat milk pop. It wasn’t overly sweet, but had a smooth texture and refreshing spearmint taste with mini chocolate chips. They contain just 120 calories and a few grams of fat, which is awesome for anyone watching their waistlines this new year.

They also make a more decadent variety of dipped pops including banana, coconut, dark chocolate and strawberry. These will run you about 180 calories each, which is still within reason for dessert.

Check out their selection and locations to buy. You can find a coupon on their web site or drop me an email and I’ll send you one! Chloe’s Pops | Frozen Fruit Pops and Bars (chloesfruit.com)

Email here: lisa@soundbitesnutrition.com 

#ambassador #product review #freecoupons

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