Portabello Mushroom “Pizzas” {Money Matters}

Yesterday was beyond productive. Morning workouts are such a love-hate relationship, but I think I’m leaning more towards love than hate :) My evening are just too precious…and short. So are my mornings, but I really can make things work in the morning…many mornings. Not all, but many. And on days like yesterday when I really don’t have time to workout in the evenings, mornings make workouts possible. So my rear is feeling much more so in gear…and I have another morning workout planned for tomorrow :) I’m working out this afternoon, too. I have a plan and I’m sticking to it! :-D

Yesterday was also a successful dinner – 20 minutes from start to finish (including cook time!) and cost-effective, too. Oh, and did I mention healthy? Win-win-win!

I made these as I was finishing up my prep for class last night. Mr. Prevention didn’t make it home before I left to teach, so I called him to let him know there were 2 portabello mushroom pizzas in the fridge for him. I was thinking he would ignore them and pull off his usual Monday/Wednesday routine: frozen pizza. Much to my pleasant surprise, he gobbled up both pizzas! He really, really like them. Pizza Man loved’em. Got that? ;) These are keepers.

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Portabello Mushroom “Pizzas” slightly adapted from My Kitchen Adventures

4 portabello mushrooms
1 cup pizza sauce
2 oz part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tomato, halved and thinly sliced
8 turkey pepperoni slices, halved
Italian seasoning, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

With a spoon, scoop out gills of the mushroom and cut the stems down as small as possible. Set the mushrooms, cap side down on the prepared baking dish.

Divide the pizza sauce evenly among the three mushroom caps. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly among the mushrooms. Top with pepperoni and tomato and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and mushroom is soft. Yield: 2 servings (2 pizzas each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 186 calories; 6 g. fat; 21 mg. cholesterol; 730 mg. sodium; 19 g. carbohydrate; 6 g. fiber; 14.5 g. protein

Result: Delicious! These definitely hit the “pizza spot”…even for Mr. Prevention. These would be a great low-calorie or low-carbohydrate option for pizza lovers. I added quite a bit of cheese from Renee’s recipe…and pizza sauce, too. I like lots of goodies on my ‘za! If you’re not buying into the portabellos…you can always use English muffins! Enjoy!

Price: The 4 portabellos cost $4.99 (not on sale). The pizza sauce was a generic brand, scored for $1.19. Shredded cheese I buy on sale for $0.21/oz, so 3 ounces came in at $0.63. Half a tomato ran ~$0.20 and 8 turkey pepperoni ~$0.24. Total cost: $7.25 — $3.63/serving.

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I got some good news yesterday. I was chosen to speak at a Moderation Nation nutrition party sponsored by the American Dietetic Association. I sent this information to all my RD friends, and I hope some of them applied and got chosen as well! Anyone!? The opportunity sounds so unique and fun — going into a local home and working with a personal trainer to give nutrition/healthy living advice to the party host and their guests. My party is next Sunday – can’t wait! :-D

Today is another busy day…and weigh-in day. Grumble.

Question: What’s your favorite QUICK, healthy meal?

Be well,

Shrimp in Creamy Horseradish Sauce & Happy RD Day!

Today is…National Registered Dietitians Day! Wooo! (Yes, it is also Ash Wednesday for those of you who guessed what “holiday” is today). And I forgot until yesterday afternoon that yesterday, March 8th marks 2 years since I became an RD :-D

On the American Dietetic Association website they had a great article posted on the Top 10 Reasons to Meet with an RD. Here was the list:

1. You have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or high blood pressure.
2. You are thinking of having or have had gastric bypass surgery.
3. You have digestive problems.
4. You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
5. You need guidance and confidence in breastfeeding your baby.
6. Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully.
7. You need to gain or lose weight.
8. You’re caring for an aging parent.
9. You want to eat smarter.
10. You want to improve your performance in sports.

Most everyone’s needs falls into one of the above scenarios and as a young dietitian, I have counseled individuals with all of the above requests and needs — I think this is what makes being a dietitian so much fun! In the coming years, I wish nothing more than to have increased access and affordability of RD referrals and visits. Our healthcare system does not do an appropriate or adequate job of educating people on the powers of nutrition for treatment or prevention.

Just think the impact that could be made if people could visit an RD for any of the above reasons by simply paying a co-pay through their private insurer, or have such services included in Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Ah…to dream :)

Switching gears, last night’s dinner was wonderful. Quite possibly because I was STARVING -and- I proved to Mr. Prevention that he likes horseradish. When Mr. P asked what was for dinner, it was met with a big, long, disapproving sigh and an, “I don’t like horseradish.” Wrong. He loved it…he was dipping his potatoes in the creamy horseradish sauce, even. Men…

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Shrimp in Creamy Horseradish Sauce adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen, originally from Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way, as seen on Cara’s Cravings

a few thin slices of lemon
generous pinch of salt
1 lb large or jumbo raw shrimp, thawed if frozen
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp prepared horseradish
1 Tbsp (1/2 oz) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 large scallion, thinly sliced
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Fill a wide, deep saute pan with 1-2 inches of water. Add the lemon slices and salt and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, horseradish, and yogurt in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to a simmer and poach shrimp in boiling water for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain the shrimp and add to the bowl with the yogurt mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 223 calories; 8.7 g. fat; 203 mg. cholesterol; 558 mg. sodium; 2.7 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 31 g. protein

Result: Flavorful, unique, and a true 20-minute meal from start to finish, max! Like I mentioned, Mr. Prevention enjoyed this recipe, too. It’s great to go with very simple, healthy sides like a simple starch and a vegetable to make for a very low-calorie, low-fat meal. Enjoy!

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Weigh-in was last night and for the 3rd consecutive week, I am the exact same weight. With only 2 workouts last week and very sporadic eating (much of which was in the form of popsicles and the most amazing granola ever), I had no idea what to expect on the scale. But I got in a great 5-mile run/walk last night and have plans for workouts on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. :-D

A big shout out to all the Registered Dietitians and aspiring dietitians out there! Cheers to the best job in the world!

Question: Do you like horseradish?

Be well,

Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos & Happy National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is Eat Right with Color! Each year, the American Dietetic Association puts on this nutrition education and information campaign and its members vote on the theme.

In honor of this year’s theme, I will highlight the various nutritional benefits of several fruits and vegetables throughout the month as they pop up in my cooking! While I never aim to tire you, my dear readers, on every which vitamin and mineral, they truly are amazing and do miraculous work in our bodies each and every day, contributing heavily to our overall health and wellness. So expect to see some fruit & vegetable love this month!

In this taquito recipe, I used the Tomatillo Salsa Verde I featured on yesterday’s post. Tomatillos are a slightly tart, firm, green fruit that make for a delicious salsa verde! And taquitos, well…they’re just a flash from my childhood that I love & adore!

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Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos adapted from Pennies on a Platter and Pink Parsley, originally from Our Best Bites

3 4 oz low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup salsa verde (I used Tomatillo Salsa Verde)
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs scallions, chopped
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (about 3/4 lb)
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp 2% cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese (if you can find low-fat, use it! I couldn’t.)
22-24 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, spices, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and salt and pepper, to taste. Fold in the chicken and cheeses. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Working 3-4 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap. Cook 30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and workable.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with condiments of your choice, such as sour cream, Greek yogurt, salsa, and/or guacamole. Yield: 22 taquitos.

Nutrition Information (per taquito): 111 calories; 3.5 g. fat; 16 mg. cholesterol; 148 mg. sodium; 12.6 g. carbohydrate; 1.1 g. fiber; 7.3 g. protein

Result: We loved these! I grew up on taquitos, albeit a much unhealthier, frozen version. These came together quickly and were a fun dinner for us! I used white corn tortillas and I don’t think they are pliable and hold together as well as yellow corn, so I changed that about the recipe. I also used about 2 tablespoons of mixture per tortilla and ended up with more than double what the recipe said it would yield. I am A-okay with that, but also changed that about this recipe. I will definitely be making these again with those few changes – I think they would be perfect for a crowd, for kids, or just as something fun, tasty, and relatively healthy! Enjoy!

Note: To freeze for future use, prepare the taquitos, but before baking, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the taquitos are completely cold. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze. To bake, unwrap the taquitos and cook in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes (no need to thaw).

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An a note unrelated to nutrition…is it Friday yet? We lost power yesterday morning and had TERRIBLE flash flooding overnight (that on top of a late hockey game and Mr. Prevention talking in his sleep = nearly no sleep for me). The roads were flooded all over central Ohio and getting to work was a challenge. And because our house lost power at 6:40am, I was left with a head of frizzy hair and one candle…awesome. I packed make-up and my hair straightener and got ready in the bathroom at work. I worked a full 9 hours at my clinic before going to class and lecturing for 2 1/2 hours…with 3 hours of commuting thrown in there. Dinner was at 9pm…good thing I packed strawberries and cottage cheese to eat before teaching. Manic Monday much? Oy…:(

…but so glad it’s Tuesday, March 1st, and National Nutrition Month! :-D

Question: What’s your favorite finger food? Do you like taquitos?

Have a great day!

Soft and Sweet Homemade, Whole Grain Sandwich Bread

Firstly, thank you for all of the wonderful and insightful comments from my post yesterday on vegetarianism and veganism and whether it can be helpful or harmful. I also wanted to I wanted to address a few questions that were asked and assure all vegetarians and vegans reading my blog that I fully support any lifestyle choices people make. It is simply my role as a dietitian to educate people on choosing their foods most wisely. Hence, Prevention RD ;)

Marisa of Loser from Life had a very good point: vegetarian and vegan diets are not designed to be weight loss diets. I believe it has become somewhat “trendy” in the weight loss world to seek out vegetarian and vegan diets to promote weight loss. There is “healthy” junk is any diet you choose, sorry. A diet that produces safe weight loss will meet all macro and micronutrient needs while creating a calorie deficit, best achieved when calorie restriction and exercise are combined.

Gina, a fellow RD and friend, made a great point about deficient EPA and DHA in vegan and vegetarian diets. Omega-3′s now have set DRI’s and are considered essential for optimal health. While these nutrients are found in flax, canola oil, and several other vegetarian/vegan sources, the best sources are from fatty fish. It is important to recognize that vegetarians (and vegans) have noted lower EPA/DHA levels when compared to non-vegetarians [1].

Samantha had a great question about meat and dairy drawing calcium out of bones. The American Dietetic Association had a fabulous quote that read, “Diets high in meat, fish, dairy, nuts, and grains produce a high renal load, mainly due to sulfate and phosphate residues. Calcium resorption from bone helps to buffer this acid load, resulting in increased urinary loss of calcium” [1]. It is important to take away that there are multiple foods that can increase urinary loss of calcium, and they are from meat/dairy and grain sources alike.

As for iron, there are multiple foods that interfere with iron absorption, including spinach, greens, milk, dairy, eggs, coffee, tea, cocoa, beans, and fiber (slightly). It should also be mentioned that iron recommendations for vegetarians are 1.8x that of a non-vegetarian.

[1]. American Dietetic Association. The Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. July 2009; Vol. 109, No. 7.

And just like yesterday, let’s get to the GRUB already! ;)

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Soft and Sweet Homemade, Whole Grain Sandwich Bread adapted from food.com as seen on Get Healthy with Heather

1 3/8 cups hot water
1/6 cup olive oil
1/6 cup honey
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp sea salt
3 1/2 cups of 100% whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp dry active yeast

Directions:

Place the first five ingredients in the bowl of your standing mixer and stir together. Add 1 cup of flour (this will cool the water and end up with warm dough but not too hot to instantly kill the yeast). Mix with the bread hook then add the yeast. Add 2 cups of flour.

Mix until the consistency is some what even. You may have to knock the flour off the side of the bowl for the hook to catch it. Continue to slowly add the remaining flour until the dough quits sticking to the sides of the bowl. The dough should be tacky to the touch. The trick is to have enough consistency to stand up with the least amount of flour so the bread will be fluffy. It will most likely be 3 1/4 cups but in any case do not exceed 3 3/4 cups of flour. Don’t over mix or the bread will be tough.

When your dough is finished, leave it in the mixer, cover the bowl and let it rise for about 45 minutes. The dough will be larger but it doesn’t need to double.

Coat a bread pan with olive oil spray. You can also flour the pans to reduce sticking.

Punch the dough down at least close to the original size. Drop the dough on a floured surface so you can work the dough and shape it. Shape it with your hands to make a nice ball getting enough flour on it so it isn’t sticky. Shape the loaf by turning the dough under itself over and over. When the dough is shaped the sides and ends will be sealed and all you will see is a nice oblong shaped loaf with smooth sides and top. Drop the loaves in your bread pan, cover and let it rise until almost doubled (about 60 minutes).

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 30-35 minutes.

When the bread is done, turn it out of the pan to a rack to cool. You can eat it right away. Don’t wrap it until completely cooled. Store in a brown paper bag inside a zip lock bag on the counter. Yield: 1 loaf, 12 slices.

Nutrition Information (per slice): 164 calories; 3.6 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 194 mg. sodium; 29.6 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 4.7 g. protein

Result: Delicious! I was super impressed with this whole wheat bread! I don’t usually bake with all whole wheat flour because the end product always ends up dense and dry. But not this bread! The olive oil, honey, and molasses keep the bread light and moist! Yum! Enjoy!

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With this bread, we made simple turkey and Swiss sandwiches with a slather of Edamame Guacamole instead of mayonnaise. DELICIOUS!

Question: What’s your favorite kind of bread?

I don’t think anything beats a warm sourdough!

Carb-loving,

Is canola oil good for you?

It is nearly common knowledge that canola oil is “healthy” – it is lowest in saturated fat and highest in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat of all oils. And contains omega 3′s.

Many believe canola oil is developed from the rapeseed plant which contains toxic erucic acid. While this is not entirely untrue, canola oil is derived from the canola plant which was developed through natural hybridization of the rapeseed plant. The canola plant contains trace amounts of erucic acid.

Rapeseed is a member of the mustard or cabbage family and its oil is traditionally used in Japanese, Indian, and Chinese cultures. Up to 60% of rapeseed oil is made up of eurcic acid, which is linked to fibrous heart lesions.

Canola oil is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and is deemed one of the healthiest by most main-stream health professionals.

Canola oil is used as an edible oil as well as an insecticide, lubricant, fuel, soap, rubber, and ink. Ew, huh? Well, just as canola oil has alternate uses, so do most oils. Coconut oil is used as a moisturizer, soaps, and other cosmetics and flaxseed oil is used in paints and linoleum. Yummmmmmy… ;)

Others would argue that canola is the result of genetic modification. Sure, okay. Personally, I’m okay with this. If someone buys 100% organic foods and only eats 100% organic foods, I guess they have taken their stance. For the general population who does what they can in purchasing organic and local foods, it’s important to come to terms with genetically engineered foods…because it’s every where. Maybe even inescapable.

I think there are a lot of myths floating around about canola oil being toxic and “fake”. And the story of canola can be altered in a way to make that seem believable. Bottom line: all major health organizations (i.e. American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, MayoClinic, etc.) support canola oil as 1) safe and 2) healthy.

If you are a “clean eater” (despise that term with a fiery passion, but I know you’re out there!), then no, canola oil is probably not for you. But be realistic in the foods you choose to eliminate and don’t demonize certain foods without examining all the food you consume. Just to keep things legit. I really dislike when people slap a label on their dietary intake, demonize certain foods, and then aren’t educated enough in their decision to know how to put it into action..or are just to stubborn, lazy, or uncommitted to do so (I’m just saying…)

And, there will always be a study dispelling the main stream knowledge. Always.

So have your canola oil. Or don’t. But include everything in your arsenal in moderation. :-D

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Onwards to the GRUB!

Quiche is one of those foods I really love, but never make. For some reason, quiche intimidates me. But I put that to rest last night. Faith amazes me. Her recipes are always beautiful, balanced, and boast-worthy. Her ingredient lists alone make me salivate. This unique quiche caught my eye and as I read through the directions I thought, “Even I can do this.” So I did, and I’m so glad I did. DELICIOUS!

Spaghetti Quiche with Roasted Asparagus slightly from An Edible Mosaic

1/3 lb multi-grain spaghetti (or any kind of spaghetti)
3/4 lb (12 oz) fresh asparagus
1/2 1 TB olive oil
4 extra large eggs plus 2 extra large egg whites
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat fat-free milk
3 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 small tomatoes, sliced (I used Roma)
Salt and pepper (approx. 1/2 tsp each)
Butter olive oil (to grease the pan)
10-inch oven-safe frying pan

Roasted Asparagus:  Preheat the oven to 425º F.  Wash the asparagus and pat it dry.  Snap off the tough ends and arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then use your hands to roll the asparagus around so it’s evenly coated with oil, salt, and pepper.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, giving the pan a shake halfway through cooking.  The asparagus is done when it’s golden brown in places and fork-tender.  Allow the asparagus to cool slightly, then cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1-inch long).

Prepare the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions.

In a blender or food processor, process the cottage cheese and milk until smooth.  Pulse in the eggs, egg whites, and a pinch of salt and pepper until combined.

Turn the oven down to 350º F.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch oven-safe frying pan with butter.  Spread the spaghetti on the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle the asparagus on top.  Pour in the egg mixture evenly over the asparagus and spaghetti, sprinkle on the cheese, and arrange the tomato slices on top, pressing them down slightly.  Bake for about 40 minutes until the quiche is set and the bottom and sides are golden brown. Yield: 4 large servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 375 calories; 15.8 g. fat; 236 mg. cholesterol; 713 mg. sodium; 36.5 g. carbohydrate; 6.3 g. fiber; 24 g. protein

Question: Do you have any special Cinco De Mayo events or menus planned? And just for fun: margarita, Corona, or agua? ;)

I’m looking forward to homemade enchiladas! Ey ey ey!

P.S. Mr. Prevention and I signed up for a 5K on Saturday night! I’m excited! We ran this race last year and it involved beer at the finish line. My kinda race! ;)

Ta ta for now,