Coffee Talk

In addition to caffeine, we love coffee for its deep, complex flavor. But it also has a deep, complex chemistry. It’s nearly as popular as a research topic as it is in our morning cups, and even with such constant attention from nutrition scientists, there is still plenty to discover.

Today I’m focusing on a tiny detail of coffee’s big picture: fat. People don’t often think of coffee in terms of its fats (after all, the label shows that it is fat free!), but there are trace amounts of oils derived from coffee beans. These oils are stripped away when dripped through a paper filter, but remain present in unfiltered coffee – think espresso, Turkish-style, or French press brewing methods. Although these fats are not enough to make a caloric contribution, they have some compelling physiological effects.

Continue reading “Coffee Talk”

Joe-Joe Fro-Yo: Dark Chocolate Frozen Greek Yogurt

If you think that just because this is a dietitian’s blog, that there will be no sugar… you have the wrong idea . This is real life. Dessert is important. We have to stay sane somehow.

I’m of the opinion that we eat desserts for FUN, not for the health benefits – I’m not normally one to whip squash into my brownies, you know? However, this dessert has the added bonus of not destroying my RD credibility, because it is doctored-up Greek yogurt. Take satisfaction in the extra protein and probiotics while you achieve your recommended daily allowance of frozen chocolatey goodness.

Continue reading “Joe-Joe Fro-Yo: Dark Chocolate Frozen Greek Yogurt”

Bean & Slaw Tostadas

Quick dinner! This is one of my favorite deceptively simple dishes that ends up tasting greater than the sum of its various nutrient-dense parts. Crunchy fresh vegetables pair with a spicy saute of beans – my favorite type for this dish is the dark red kidney bean, which I cook with minced onion and peppers, until they have crisp exteriors and creamy middles (yum!)

Continue reading “Bean & Slaw Tostadas”

3 Simple Ways to Take Advantage of Fall/Winter Fruits

In summer, getting our daily dose of antioxidants isn’t rocket science. Fruit is everywhere, and it’s easy to eat it non-stop. Sliced over yogurt, churned into smoothies, and perfectly ripe and juicy out of hand… But when fall rolls around, and the beautiful fresh berries start to disappear, I can feel my fruit consumption slow down. Here are three no-fuss fruit fixes I’m using to fit into my busy winter season:

Apple Maple Oats

Apple Maple Oats

Cool-weather breakfast at its finest. Lately I’m into steel-cut oats (creamy/hearty/sogood), so I make a big batch for the week and prep the toppings separately. For this bowl, I thinly slice half of an apple, sprinkle with cinnamon, and microwave until tender. Top your hot oats with the apples, a splash of milk, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Fruity Salad

Fruity Salad

Jazz up those leafy greens! A juicy pear sliced into a salad like this, loaded with textures and flavors, is a great way to break up the lunch routine. I like to cut the sweetness with something salty/funky – here I’ve paired it with ham and goat cheese. Add some nuts for crunch and you’re good to go!

Pomegranate, Straight Up

Pomegranate

Why mess around with perfection? Pomegranate is the season’s most dazzling beauty, and also a nutritional powerhouse. To avoid the mess, I break apart the arils in a bowl of water. The good stuff sinks to the bottom, and then can be transferred to a container in the fridge for simple snacking.

If you have a tip for keeping up with fruit through the colder months, let’s discuss!

Pulp Fiction

As a Floridian, I consider quality orange juice to be a major breakfast luxury. It’s a sweet indulgence that you can feel good about – ample research has suggested that people who drink 100% juice tend to have positive health outcomes. In fact, I was surprised to discover a study claiming that a big glass of orange juice consumed along with a high-fat/high-carbohydrate meal (come on, we’ve all been there…) actually neutralized the meal’s inflammatory impact. That’s some genuine antioxidant power!

But before we grab the juice carton, we have to address the classic OJ debate: pulp or no pulp? Is one choice more nutritious than the other? Are there health benefits to be gained from orange juice pulp, or are the two options relatively equal?

Continue reading “Pulp Fiction”

Saucy Roasted Greek Vegetables

It was harder than I thought it would be to choose the inaugural recipe here. As time goes on, I’ll be happy to feature anything and everything that passes through my kitchen, but as your first glimpse it seemed important to kick off with something that sets the stage for my style of eating.

Of course, this made me gather some thoughts about what reflects my “style”. While I like cooking all kinds of dishes, the major focus of my cooking efforts is getting a wholesome meal on the dinner table. Like many families, dinner is the meal that we are most likely to enjoy together, and might I add, there’s just something climactic about the evening meal. After the challenges of the day, dinner gives the opportunity to slow down and turn our attention to nourishing ourselves. I love that about dinner.

Continue reading “Saucy Roasted Greek Vegetables”

POST #1

Welcome to flavorrd! This site has been cooking in my mind for a long time, and I’m happy to finally share it with you.

My name is Mary. I have been an avid cook and baker as long as I can remember. My favorite pastime is hanging out in the kitchen, trying new techniques, recipes, and ingredients, and it continues to delight me that after so many years of kitchen experiments, there is still no shortage of projects on my cooking bucket list.

Mary

If you’re a food enthusiast, I’m sure you can relate to what makes these kitchen endeavors so satisfying. Cooking offers a creative outlet, and it’s a pleasure to share the craftsmanship with those you love. But on top of these benefits, what really keeps me cooking is the continuous opportunity to experiment and learn.

At heart, I’m a lover of learning. This manifested in my life’s path as becoming somewhat of a science nerd. Biology was my field of choice – I’m a sucker for the beautiful complexity of life – and through my college years, whenever I wasn’t mixing things up in the kitchen, I was playing scientist in the laboratory. Eventually, I was sensible enough to combine my obsessions with food and science, and enrolled in a graduate program in nutrition. Best decision I ever made! I studied, researched, and cooked my way to a master’s degree and became a registered dietitian (RD – hence the titular spelling, flavorRD).

This Fall of 2013 was the culmination of a lot of hard work – graduating with my M.S., finishing my dietetic internship, and passing the RD exam – but there were still some big dreams on my mind. See, I’m a native of Florida, and I returned home for grad school after finishing college in southern California. As much as I rejoiced in the plentiful conch fritters and Cuban coffee, I couldn’t help but realize that I left my heart on the west coast. I finally decided to take the plunge, pack up my life (boyfriend and dog included), and set out for a fresh start in our old neighborhood in San Diego. With this new beginning, I think it’s a perfect time to pursue one more long-held goal: to launch this blog and explore taking part in the web’s food and nutrition community.

Cross Country

 

As an RD, I have been trained to appreciate eating from a scientific perspective. Like all things in life, food and nutrition are infinitely complex, and there will always be something new to discover.

Looking forward in life, I’m seizing this opportunity to reach out to the other people out there who are obsessed with this stuff too. I hope this site can become a portal for more of this sort of interaction: a place to share ideas and inspiration, to discuss the finer points of nutritional science, and to integrate those goals to address the constant logistical struggle to simultaneously nourish our bodies and spirits.

It’s not easy to define in one post both where I’m coming from, and what I hope to achieve with this site… but I hope you’ll join me for more. Perhaps, if dreams come true, we will find a community where food-lovers, free-thinkers, health nut hobbyists, and nutrition professionals can converse, convene, and decide what to make for dinner.

Here’s to the future!