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Ginger lime coleslaw with apples and peanuts

Ginger lime coleslaw with apples and peanuts

I often hear “I’m too busy to prep meals”. I get it. After a long day of work or being home with your kids, you may not be in the mood to chop a lot of food for dinner. With St. Patrick’s Day coming, I feel that it’s my duty to provide a simple cabbage-based recipe.

Fortunately, there’s lots of healthy short cuts you can take. For example, bagged coleslaw can be used in salads, stir fries or to top tacos. It’s already shredded and ready to go. Coleslaw is made up of two ingredients- cabbage and carrots. Both are a source of vitamin C as well as beta-carotene. Cabbage also provides vitamin K, a necessary nutrient for blood clotting and bone health. Being from the same family as broccoli, it’s also a source of phytochemicals, which help prevent cancer.

Rather than using a super sugary slaw dressing, I like to blend up citrus juice with simple ingredients like Dijon mustard, cumin or in this case, ginger paste. You’re welcome to grate fresh ginger for this slaw if you have it on hand, but I’ve gotten used to the convenience and shelf life of ginger paste. You can find it at most major grocery chains like Kroger or Aldi. If you use ground ginger, you’ll need half of what the recipe calls for as it’s a concentrated source of ginger.

I used canola oil in the recipe, but avocado oil or corn oil would work well, too. Olive oil has a distinct taste, so I don’t recommend it for this particular salad. If you don’t have limes or lime juice on hand, lemon juice or even orange juice would go well in this slaw. I add apples to mine, but if you’re concerned about carbs, you could use chopped cucumbers instead.

If you want to make the salad but have a nut allergy in your house, sunflower or pumpkin seed butter and sunflower seeds may be substituted for peanut butter and chopped peanuts. Pumpkin seeds could also be used.

This salad will last a two to three days in the fridge after making it. The vitamin C in the lime or other citrus juice keeps the apples from browning. Isn’t food science cool?

Ingredients:

1 (14 ounce) bag coleslaw mix

1 Honey Crisp, Cosmic crisp or Fuji apple, cored and chopped

2 green onions, chopped (use green and white parts)

Juice of 1 large lime

1/3 cup canola oil

1 Tablespoon ginger paste

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

1/3 cup chopped peanuts

Directions:

  1. Place the coleslaw, chopped apples and green onions in a large bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, canola oil, ginger paste, honey and peanut butter to make a vinaigrette.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the coleslaw mix and toss to coat.
  4. Top with chopped peanuts, toss and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Celebrate National Nutrition Month with me!

Celebrate National Nutrition Month with me!

I’m a wee bit late to the National Nutrition Month party. But with 31 full days in March, I’ll allow myself a little grace. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the flavors of the world”. Variety is the spice of life! Why not enjoy more flavors every day?

The first day of National Nutrition Month happened to coincide with Fat Tuesday. Coincidence indeed! This year, I opted to get my “last groceries” on March 1, which seems like a good Fat Tuesday thing to do. I’ve decided to give up shopping for Lent- including both groceries and otherwise. In the spirit of Lent and broadening my flavor horizon, I’ll be forced to cook creatively with what I have on hand. Consider it my individual version of Chopped!

As spring is here, I noticed asparagus on sale. This green veggie is a source of vitamin C, vitamin K and inulin- a type of prebiotic fiber that’s good for your immune system. You can even eat them raw!

I honestly never thought I liked asparagus. My mom used to cook it until it was khaki and stringy. It was my least favorite vegetable growing up. The good news is that your palate changes as you get older. Things you may have despised as a kid may now taste good to you. Or, like me- they may have been prepared differently and are worth a second chance.

We normally grill, roast or steam asparagus. grilling is great when it’s warm out and roasting warms up the house, but also uses gas. Last year I got an air fryer for Christmas and decided, why not try asparagus in it? The result was great! I no longer have to heat up my stove or go outside in cold temps to grill them.

To change up the flavor a bit, I dusted them with tarragon and a little bit of salt and olive oil. You can make these at home in your air fryer (set at 400 and ‘fry’ for 8 minutes) or sautee them lightly in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes on the stove. Enjoy!

Super-duper super bowl party dip!

Super-duper super bowl party dip!

It’s a very eggciting thyme here in the Queen city! The Cincinnati Bengals are in California as I write to prep for the Super bowl against the LA Rams! We haven’t had the privilege of being in the Super bowl since 1989. The power of Who DEY is palpable here.

Businesses are lit up in beautiful bright orange and most schools and businesses have taken the DEY off to allow for appropriate partying. Cincinnati knows how to party.

The Super bowl will no doubt have your blood pumping! If you’re looking for a tasty, tailgate party appetizer, that’s also kind to your ticker, look no further! This dip is made with creamy avocados and Greek yogurt and can be paired with your favorite veggies, pretzels or baked chips.

Avocados are plentiful right now and a great source of MUFAS (mono-unsaturated fatty acids). This type of fat helps lower your LDL (“lousy” cholesterol) while maintaining your HDL (“healthy” cholesterol). It adds a gorgeous green hue to the dip as well as potassium.

Greek yogurt is a source of calcium, B vitamins and potassium- which are great for your blood pressure in addition to protein, which provides satiety- a scientifically sophisticated word for the feeling of fullness between meals. Toss that word around at your super bowl party and impress your friends!

The dip can be served in one bowl or single cups if you’re feeling fancy! No matter WHO DEY you’re rooting for, enjoy the game with this simple treat!

Ingredients

¾ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1 ripe avocado, pit removed and cut into chunks

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1 clove garlic

¼ cup loose cilantro leaves

¼ tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. Place the Greek yogurt, avocado, cumin, garlic, cilantro, salt, lime juice and olive oil in a food processor.
  2. Process the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Adjust seasonings as desired.
  4. Serve with pepper strips, baby carrots, grape tomatoes or your favorite chips or pretzels.

Yield: 1 ½ cups dip

National Nutrition Month 2022 Food Pun Gift Sale til 2.7.22

National Nutrition Month 2022 Food Pun Gift Sale til 2.7.22

It’s nearly National Nutrition Month!

National Nutrition Month happens every March. It’s the month that food and health professional geek out about fruits, veggies and all things food and health. Recipes, research, retail. It’s great to see our profession recognized in the science field along with nurses and other healthcare professionals.

What we do

Dietitians and NDTRS (dietetic technicians) are not just in clinical settings. We work in food service, hospitality, community nutrition, education, long term care, research, retail and consulting. It’s great to have so many ways to share our nutrition knowledge and expertise with the public.

RDN VS Nutritionist?

I’ve been asked many times if a registered dietitian is the same as a nutritionist. Yes and No. A registered dietitian has a minimum of a 4-year degree, has completed a comprehensive, accredited, dietetic internship and has passed a rigorous credentialing exam. In addition, we maintain 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years in the field. We may also go by the name nutritionist. We must be licensed (in most states) to practice MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy)- which is the ability to counsel people on medical conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes, gut health and the like.

A nutritionist does not necessarily have a degree in nutrition and may or may not be an RD. It could be someone that’s done an online credential in health coaching or someone that works in a smoothie shop. They may have a degree in nutrition but hasn’t completed all the steps to becoming a registered dietitian. A personal trainer may call themselves “nutritionist” but in all honestly, should NOT be dishing out nutrition advice, especially when it comes to medical conditions.

When in doubt, look for the credential RD or RDN after a person’s name if you’re seeking nutrition counseling for a medical condition. A person that states they’re an expert in pregnancy because they’ve been pregnant is not the same as someone who has worked with thousands of women providing nutrition counseling.

Celebrating National Nutrition Month (NNM)

One way to celebrate NNM is to wear fun nutrition clothes! Years ago, I worked for a community agency called the Nutrition Council. We participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade wearing apple, banana and tomato costumes. As the parade has been on hold with the pandemic, those days are long gone.

However- you can still dress in fund foodie clothes for the month of March (and beyond)! Now’s the ‘thyme’ to get your tees, totes, mugs and more for yourself or colleagues for National Nutrition Month. These make great gifts for interns, students, colleagues or for yourself!

Now through Monday, Feb 7, use code NNM22 and take 22% off all food pun swag. Got a pregnant co-worker? I’ve got your covered with adorable onesies. Need a one-size fits all? Go for a coffee mug or tote. No sizing whisk involved!

Whatever you ‘chews’, part of the proceeds will go towards programs that support food insecurity. It’s my way of giving back to my community. Everyone deserves to eat well throughout the year. Help me with this effort during National Nutrition month!

 

Lentil quinoa salad with spinach and dried cherries

Lentil quinoa salad with spinach and dried cherries

Hearty salads are just the ticket for lunch or light dinner these days. Lentils are a quick- cooking dried bean that’s not just for soup. This one includes red lentils, which are closer to orange in color, to be honest.

I made this salad recently for a Saturday, virtual demo for the Home – Cancer Support Community (mycancersupportcommunity.org). I’ve been doing cooking demos for them since I started my business 14 years ago! I’m grateful for the opportunity to cook and chat about nutrition while I do it.

This lentil quinoa salad is a good source of several nutrients, including protein, iron, vitamin C and fiber. If you’re trying to protect your immune system this thyme of year, this salad is your go-to.

Fiber from different food sources (beans, grains, fruits, veggies) helps to keep your gut microbiome (located in your large colon), thriving. Yes- poop has a function! This is why I’m a fan of eating a balanced diet that includes ALL food groups (and doesn’t diss dairy, gluten and the like).

That being said, the salad is gluten free, primarily because it’s made with quinoa. You can certainly sub other whole grains like bulgur, farro, sorghum or even brown rice.I love how quickly quinoa cooks and gives the salad a nutty taste and chewy texture.

The original salad was a recipe used in my Heart Healthy Meal Prep: 6 Weekly Plans for Low-Sodium, High-Flavor Grab-and-Go Meals – Kindle edition by Andrews MEd RD LD, Lisa Cicciarello . Cookbooks, Food & Wine Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. but I added greens to it to boost the volume, color and nutritional value of the salad. I think it’s even better with the addition of fresh spinach! The salad keeps for about 3 days after being dressed.

The dressing is a simple vinaigrette with lemon juice, corn oil and honey. Both the lemon juice and spinach are sources of vitamin C, which enhances the iron absorption from quinoa and lentils in the salad. If you’re going meat-free this year, this is an excellent way to obtain iron in your diet. Make it vegan by leaving out the cheese.

1 cup dry red lentils                                       3 Tablespoons canola oil

4 cups water, divided                                     ½ cup pecans, chopped

1 cup quinoa                                                   ½ cup dried cherries

2 Tablespoons lemon juice                            ½ cup feta cheese crumbles

1 teaspoon honey                                           1 green onion (green & white parts), chopped

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar                 3 cups ripped spinach leaves

Directions:

  1. Boil the lentils in 2 cups of water for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer on low until the lentils are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off extra water and place in a large bowl to cool.
  2. While lentils are cooking, boil 2 cups of water with 1 cup of quinoa in a small pot for 3 minutes. Cover the pot, reduce heat and continue to simmer quinoa for about 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Allow quinoa to cool, then add it to the cooled lentils.
  3. In a measuring cup, mix the lemon juice, honey, vinegar and canola oil and whisk to make a dressing.
  4. Pour the lemon juice dressing over lentils and quinoa.
  5. Add the pecans, dried cherries, feta cheese, green onions and spinach to the lentils and quinoa. Toss the salad to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 400 calories, 15 g protein, 18 g fat, 47 g carbohydrates, 13 g fiber, 7 mg cholesterol, 117 mg sodium

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