Special Series for National Nutrition Month! Introducing… The MyPlate Bake

The MyPlate Bake: healthy home-cooked dinner for 2. One pan. One hot oven. One hour, start to finish.
March is National Nutrition Month, and it’s prime time for talking up my favorite subject: healthy food, and how to enjoy it!

This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” and I’m celebrating by biting into an exciting new series of recipes inspired by USDA’s MyPlate. I’m a big fan of the simplicity of this food icon, designed to make it easy to build a healthier diet, one plate at a time. If you ask me, striving to make your plates look more like MyPlate (with half of the real estate covered by fruits and veggies) is one of the most straightforward ways to shift your eating habits to become healthier than ever.

For this recipe series, I’m calling my invention the MyPlate Bake. The concept is to follow the MyPlate formula of 1/2 veggies + 1/4 carbs + 1/4 protein, and roast it all together on a single sheet pan. This results in a healthy home-cooked dinner for two, made from scratch with whole food ingredients, in under an hour (prep and clean-up included). Believe it!

I’ll be updating the blog every week this month with a tasty new variation, so stay tuned! First up is an instant classic that I already know will be a go-to in my kitchen: the Maple Dijon Chicken MyPlate Bake.

Contine reading

Green Eggs + Prosciutto Frittata

Green Eggs + Prosciutto Fritatta
Don’t tell me… I know why you’re browsing the food blogs today… because you need a festive brunch recipe to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday next week, duh!

No? OK, well, it was worth a shot. I didn’t actually plan it that way, but I couldn’t ignore the good timing. Really, this is just another easy way to fix ourselves a tasty balanced meal for brunch, dinner, or for packing up lunches for the week. Children’s literature theme optional!!

Contine reading

What I ate in the SF Bay Area

Bay Area
It took me a while to get this post together, but last weekend I was lucky enough to enjoy a super fun weekend getaway to beautiful SAN FRANCISCO! It was only my second time visiting the bay area, and this time I had the pleasure of exploring the city with two of my very favorite gal pals who know their way around the place… So I was well-equipped for an epic whirlwind tour of nothing but the best stuff.

We joked that some of this stuff doesn’t belong on a dietitian’s blog, but let’s be real. If you ask me, it’s only natural that vacation eating be a little more indulgent than the everyday. Personally, I’m addicted to checking out foodie trip reports before I visit a new place… So if that’s your kind of thing too, read on for my take!

Contine reading

Instant Pot Pressure-Steamed Artichokes

Instant Pot Pressure-Steamed Artichokes
The artichoke: nature’s finger food.

Au naturale. Simply steamed. Is any other plain vegetable quite so botanically romantic? Maybe it’s the delicately sweet flavor. Maybe it’s because they love cool, salty California air, like I do. Maybe it’s because you’re literally eating a dang flower! Whatever it is, sitting down to share an artichoke is something special.

Unfortunately, the things have a reputation for being a pain to prepare – their tough structures definitely need some cooking before they’re ready to melt in your mouth. On the stove top, you’re looking at upwards of 40 minutes of babysitting the pot, making sure the water level doesn’t boil too low. This is where Instant Pot* comes in. With my favorite set-and-forget pressure cooker on hand, the task really isn’t fussy at all.

Contine reading

Nacho Average Kale Salad

Nacho Average Kale Salad
If you have trouble with healthy eating, never forget that it’s all about balance. To me, building a balanced meal isn’t just about pairing the steaks and lasagnas of the world with steamed veggies and lightly dressed salads… it’s also about enhancing the so-called rabbit food with a little touch of that opposite end of the spectrum. Hence, the perfect pairing under the spotlight today: SALAD and NACHOS.

Contine reading

DIY Walnut Milk

DIY Walnut Milk
When life gives you a windfall of walnuts… this is the way to handle it. A while back I was given 5 pounds (!!!) of walnuts. This is some pretty serious bulk for a household of two, and despite my best efforts at generously nutty yogurt/oatmeal toppings, we’ve been having a hard time putting a dent in the seemingly bottomless bag in our freezer. Until this revelation!

Drinking our walnuts has been a refreshing pleasure, and a simple way to take advantage of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (they are the only nut with a significant amount of omega 3s!). It’s rich, creamy, and flavored like the pure essence of walnuts. You can drink it straight up, add to smoothies or pour over granola, but my personal favorite application is to use it as a base for hot cocoa. So unique and delicious!

Contine reading

Top 14 Recipes of 2014

Top 14 Recipes of 2014

Happy New Year, friends! I’m back in town after a vacation home to Florida, and life is good. After taking some time to unplug from technology to reconnect with family, friends, and the good stuff in life, we are back in business and ready to rock.

New Years is one of my very favorite holidays. The sentimental reflection paired with the coming year’s new potential just puts things in perspective and speaks to my spirit. New Years also marks the anniversary of this blog’s humble beginnings! I couldn’t help but put together a little retrospective of the most popular recipes of flavorRD’s first year. Read on for the countdown!

Contine reading

FLAVORful Holiday Gifts for 2014

FLAVORful Holiday Gifts for 2014

Along with the food and festivities of the holiday season, it’s also prime time for stepping up our generosity and lavishing our family and friends with the fruits of our gift-giving prowess. That being said, it can be pretty challenging to discover that perfect little something to surprise and delight the people we love… and I think we can all benefit from a little inspiration. Thus, this is a gift guide for my kind of people: people who love to cook, eat and obsess over food. If you love someone who sees the kitchen as a playground, I hope you’ll find something here that they can get excited about!

Contine reading

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
How much tradition do you like on your Thanksgiving table? Is it just not the same without your family heirloom recipes for turkey, stuffing and green bean casserole? Or do you prefer to flex your creative muscles and trick out your menu with fancy stuff like cranberry coulis or pumpkin panna cotta?

Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. Traditional flavors, but with enough twist to keep things interesting. Right at home on my holiday table? These dreamy Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes.

Contine reading

The Unsweetened Truth from SugarScience

SugarScience

Image Source: SugarScience.org

I think it’s safe to say that I don’t conform to the “Food Police” reputation that is often (usually unfairly) attributed to dietitians. For one thing, I support a total diet approach, and advocate for eating and loving good food. Secondly, I find that it’s more productive to talk about the positive aspects of nutrition: getting plenty of the good things that our bodies need. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not important to also talk about dietary patterns that have been recognized by researchers to be harmful and associated with specific health outcomes. Knowledge is power, and this stuff is real!

The reason why I’m finding myself on this soapbox today is because I’m inspired by the good work they’re doing at SugarScience.org. The site launched this week as a project by leading experts in the field, who are making an effort to publicize what we currently understand about the risks of eating too much added sugar. The content is exhaustively researched and simply communicated – public health gold, in my book. In addition to perusing the research, you can follow their blog, submit your own questions to their panel of experts, and access a wealth of resources for spreading awareness of the associations of excess sugar consumption with not only obesity and diabetes, but a whole range of inflammatory and hormonal disorders including cancer, heart disease, liver disease, aging, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Seriously, you’ll want to dig into this information. If you’re a dietitian who counsels patients, definitely incorporate some of these killer infographics into your handout repertoire!

Contine reading