MyPlate Meal: Asian Style Quiche

Standard

IMG_4210

Have you ever had quiche with wild-rice in it? Try this recipe out and you will be in love! This recipe will pump you up with whole grains, protein, low-fat dairy, and veggies! Make it a truly MYPLATE meal by adding a side of fruit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt (Greek is best)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup green beans chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots shredded or grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Bragg’s liquid Amino Acids or soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Pinch of black pepper

Instructions:

  • Prepare wild rice according to package instructions
  • Pre-heat oven to 425.
  • When oven is heating, add sesame oil to pan over medium heat and add carrots and green beans, Gradually add one Tablespoon at a time of rice vinegar and Bragg’s/soy sauce and continue to stir until beans and carrots are soft. Add the wild rice to the green bean and carrot mixture. Toss in garlic, ginger powder and sesame seeds and stir for three minutes.
  • When oven is heated, put the pie crust in until golden brown (usually 10 minutes)
  • While pie crust is browning, mix together eggs, almond milk and yogurt and black pepper.
  • Pull the pie crust out of the oven and spread the green bean/carrot/rice mixture to the bottom of the quiche, filling about 2/3 of the pie crust (you may not use all the mixture you made).
  • Next pour the egg mixture over the green bean/carrot/rice mixture until the pie crust is filled.
  • Reduce oven to 375 and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the quiche comes out clean.

 

Advertisements

MyPlate Power Salad

Standard

IMG_4196

As promised, I am providing fun MyPLate recipes for National Nutrition Month! This yummy salad has all five food groups: fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein.

Here’s the Breakdown:

Fruit: Blackberries

-Full of Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants

-Perfectly bittersweet

Vegetable: Kale

-Vitamin A, C, K; fiber, and even protein

-When massaged (I’ll get to this later) it takes away the harsh texture

Bonus Veggie: Butternut Squash

A great source of fiber and beta-carotene!

Grain: Barley

-Loaded with fiber, which improves digestion and controls blood sugar levels

-Adds a chewy and nutty element

Protein: Rotisserie Chicken Breast

  • Perfectly lean and loaded with protein

Bonus Protein: Walnuts and Pumpkin seeds

  • Not only rich in protein, but full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals

Dairy: Feta Cheese

-Easier to digest than a lot of dairy, full of calcium, -salty, crumbly, cheesy goodness

As you can tell by the ingredients, this isn’t your boring house salad with cucumbers and tomatoes. It’s so much better. Try it out to get your full MyPlate meal- you won’t be disappointed!

MyPlate Power-Up Salad

Barley

  • ⅓ cup pearled barley
  • 1 cup water
  1. Bring water and barley to a boil in a pot then cover and reduce to a simmer until tender (about 25 minutes)

Butternut Squash

  • ½ butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix squash, olive oil, salt, and pepper, in a bowl.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Pour squash onto sheet and spread evenly.
  4. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until squash is tender

Homemade Maple Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl and set aside ½ mixture

Rotisserie Chicken Breast

  1. Discard skin off one Rotisserie chicken
  2. Pull off as much of the breast meat in shreds

Kale

  • 10 oz deboned and chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Cut the leaf off of the stem and chop the leafy part, throwing away the stem
  2. Add chopped kale and olive oil and salt to a bowl
  3. Massage the kale- just how it sounds. Rub the oil into each piece. It will go from a dull green to a bright and shiny green right before your eyes!

The rest

  • 2 6 oz packages of Blackberries
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

 

  1. Take your massaged Kale and add it to a big big mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the barley, squash, chicken, blackberries, feta, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and reserved vinaigrette mixture.
  3. Toss that salad and serve it up!

*Recipe makes about 6-8 servings

Chicken-broccoli-rice Bake

Standard

IMG_4137

I wrote about MyPlate in my last blog. To give you a basic overview, each meal you eat should include five food groups: whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and fruit. This Chicken-Broccoli-Rice-Bake is a one-pot meal that has all food groups, but fruit. Have a small bowl of berries with dark chocolate drizzled over it for dessert and you have one heck of a meal!

Enjoy!

Chicken-broccoli-rice Bake

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 5 cups of brown rice
  • 3 chicken breasts chopped in small cubes
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can of lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt divided
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Combine the rice, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 3 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes. You can do this quicker with a rice cooker or instant pot!
  • 15 minutes prior to the rice finishing, add chicken to a deep pan or Dutch oven, and pan fry for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. If the chicken or mushrooms are sticking, add a couple tablespoons of water.
  • 5 minutes before rice is finished:
    1. Preheat oven to 350
    2. Add remaining ½ cup of water to a pot with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil. Place broccoli in basket, cover and steam for 3 minutes.
  • When rice is finished, mix in pan with chicken mushrooms.
  • Toss in broccoli.
  • Mix in coconut milk, remaining sea salt. Italian seasoning, and cheese.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish and add ground pepper to taste.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Why I recommend MyPlate over fad diets

Standard

 

myplate_green

Are you on the Keto diet that everyone is raving about? I am not and I actually do not recommend it to my clients either because it is so easy to miss important nutrients when you focus on any fad diet. In honor of National Nutrition Month, I wanted to do an entry on my approach to nutrition.

I follow our government’s recommended nutritional plan called MyPlate. It’s the modern version of the Food Pyramid you may remember from childhood. Using MyPlate is an easy way to make sure you are reaching your health goals in the most balanced way possible.

Here’s the scoop:

The MyPlate plan focuses on what your plate should look like each meal, recommending that you have something from each of the five food groups: vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains.

I’ll dive deeper into those five food groups.

Vegetables

Vary those veggies! Try adding fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables to salads, sides, and main dishes. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables and prepare them healthfully by having them raw, sautéed or steamed.

Fruits

Choose whole fruits. These are nature’s candy. I love using fruit in smoothies or in my salads. I often throw an apple or banana in my purse to have as a snack when I’m on the go. The government says 100 percent fruit juice counts, but I personally recommending nixing the juice and choosing whole fruit.

Lean Protein

Choose lean meats like turkey breast, chicken breast, and lean beef cuts. Also vary your proteins with vegetarian options like beans, tofu, and nuts.

Whole Grains

So many people are kicking whole grains out of their life and it makes me mad because they are such an amazing source of nutrients and fiber—and they help give you energy! Look for whole grains listed first or second on the ingredients list—try oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain bread, quinoa, wild rice, and brown rice.

Low Fat Dairy

Choose low-fat or fat-free milk and cheese, to cut back on saturated fat. Replace sour cream, cream, and regular cheese with low-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese.

 

There you have it. If you want to get started on MyPlate. Check out the website, it has a plethora of amazing resources!

 

 

Controlling your food portions

Standard

servingshands

It is so easy to overeat when we don’t portion out our food. You know how it goes…you bring a bag of almonds to work and by the time lunchtime arrives, you read the label on the bag and realize that you have eaten close to 1,000 calories worth of almonds or seven ¼ cup servings.

Many times when you dine out, the servings are way larger than you should be consuming. For example, a serving of meat should be about 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards. I’m sorry, but I have never seen a steak that small at any restaurant I have frequented.

So what are appropriate serving sizes? I will give you two ways to visualize servings. One will be with common objects (like the aforementioned deck of cards). The other will be with using your hands.

Common objects that represent serving sizes:

  • Tennis Ball: Medium apple, orange, peach, nectarine = 1 fruit serving
  • Baseball: ½ serving of a cooked rice or pasta dish = 1 grain serving ALSO 1 cup of salad greens = 1 veggie serving
  • 4-stacked dice = 1.5 ounces cheese = 1 dairy serving
  • Large egg = ¼ cup nuts = 1 serving
  • Deck of cards: 1 3-ounce serving of most meat
  • Checkbook = 1 3-ounce serving of fish
  • Golf ball = 2 Tablespoons of nut butter or hummus = 1 serving
  • Poker chip = 1 serving of oil, dressing, etc

How you can visualize servings with your hands:

  • Tip of your thumb = 1 serving of oil, dressing, etc
  • A fist = 1 serving of fruit or 1 serving of grain
  • The palm of one hand = 1 serving of meat
  • The palms of both hands = 1 serving of veggies

I hope these guides help you out! When bringing snacks to work, I recommend using those snack-size Ziploc bags to portion out servings. Also, think of these guidelines the next time you go out to eat. Also, never eat snacks out of the bag! Portion them out according to these visuals!

Be sure to visit Kellyschoice.org and visit  Facebook, instagram, and Twitter for more nutrition education from the Kelly’s Choice team!

 

The Power of Five

Standard

4508181866_ee2b5bbb78_o

How good are you at assuring that you get the five powerful foods in your diet every single day? I’m talking about protein, dairy, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains? My guess is that you may have the protein part down (specifically if it is meat), but the other groups are more challenging.

Let’s go through each group and I will provide some suggestions about how you can incorporate these essential foods into your everyday-life.

I’ll start with whole grains. Too many people turn to refined grains and this is not smart because refined grains (pasta, white bread, cookies, crackers, etc.) are devoid of nutrients. Whole grains, on the other hand, have fiber, helping you to feel full longer, not to mention protecting your heart! You are supposed to aim for 6-8 servings of whole grains a day.

  • Make sure you sandwich bread is whole grain.
  • When you cook brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa, cook extra for another meal!
  • Oatmeal is a great choice for a whole-grain breakfast.
  • There are whole grain crackers too—look at the fiber content; if there is a decent amount of fiber, it’ s likely whole grain.

Dairy isn’t too hard to work into your daily regimen and dairy is a great source of calcium and protein. Always choose low-fat or skim (otherwise, you have to worry about bad cholesterol). Use cheese as a condiment on your salads or as a flavor enhancer to your meals. Try cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast or a snack. Smoothies made with skim milk are delicious as well.

Protein is an easy group for people. Did you know you only need 6 ounces of protein a day? My suggestion is to turn to lean options like chicken breast, lean ground beef or turkey, and definitely fish! I also recommend eggs and plant protein (nuts, seeds, beans, etc.).

As for vegetables, aim to get 4-5 servings a day! Sometimes you just do not have the energy to cook a veggie at the end of the day so stock your freezer. Frozen veggies are as nutrient-rich as fresh and they last way longer! Keep salad greens on hand and veggies that last a while in the fridge like peppers and carrots.

Fruit is the dessert of food. You should try to consume 4-5 servings of fruit a day. Always have a fruit bowl near you—at work and home! Add fruit to your lunch or dinner salads and to your breakfast cereal.

The best way to assure you get the power of five in your day-to-day life is to go for combinations, like these in your meals:

  • Strawberry spinach salad
  • Tarragon chicken salad
  • 3-bean salad with kale
  • Fresh mozzarella and tomato salad
  • Healthier cobb salad
  • Blueberry overnight oats
  • Scrambled eggs with veggies
  • Hard- boiled egg
  • Berry and yogurt smoothie

And skip the candy bar or cookies for your snack! Look to the power of five. Here are more than a dozen options:

  • Mixed nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Edamame poppers
  • Hummus dippers
  • Greek yogurt and granola
  • Tuna and whole grain crackers
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Popcorn
  • String cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Greek yogurt & berries
  • Dried fruit
  • Frozen watermelon kiwi or grapes
  • Melon kabobs
  • Cherry tomato & cheese kabobs
  • String cheese
  • Whole grain cereal dry

I hope these suggestions help you! The power of five is the best way to assure a balanced and healthy life!

 

 

The Difference between Insoluble and Soluble Fiber

Standard

You’ve heard this from me before: EAT MORE FIBER!!! In fact, only 10 percent of Americans are consuming enough fiber every day. Fiber is absolutely essential in achieving a healthy, vibrant lifestyle. It aids in weight loss, helps lower cholesterol levels, and keeps your blood sugar levels stable.

The American Heart Association eating plan suggests eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day.

In order to reap all of these benefits of fiber, it’s important that you consume both soluble and insoluble fiber.

When soluble fiber dissolves, it creates a gel that helps improve digestion. These fibers absorb water, increasing stool bulk, and lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Insoluble fiber helps soften the stool because it attracts water into your stool; this prevents constipation and keeps your intestines healthy.

The best types of soluble fiber are fruits like apples, grapefruits, and oranges, as well as beans, lentils, peas, oats, oat bran, and barley.

The best types of insoluble fiber include vegetables and whole grains like wheat, quinoa, stone ground cornmeal, bran, buckwheat, and brown rice.

So now you know what foods are great fiber choices. Here are some tips to get a fantastic amount of fiber in your body every day:

– Choose fruit for your snacks!

– Oatmeal for breakfast!

– Add a banana to your cereal

– Cook with brown rice instead of white rice.

– Always, always, use whole grain bread for sandwiches and toast.

– Add chickpeas, kidney beans, or black beans to your salad (one of the easiest salads every is a couple cups of mixed greens, a half-cup of black beans or kidney beans, a few tablespoons of salsa and a quarter cup of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese)

– Always have a vegetable with dinner—hey even sweet potatoes count for my “meat and potato” fans!

I hope I have inspired you to eat your fiber! Let me know any tips that have helped you!

By Kelly Springer RD, MS, CDN