The Blog: Recipes & More

Hemp Seed Tabouli {Recipe ReDux}

April 22nd, 2015

In one lonely corner of my pantry sits a blue basket filled with bags I pick up at expos or the market. You know, things like chia seeds, no-coffee “coffee,” random protein powders and hemp seed. I like hemp seed, it’s just not in my regular repertoire of ingredients. But, that may now change…

Hemp tabouli_dish_final

This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is Spring Cleaning.

Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

Remembering a delicious hemp seed tabbouleh I made for a food allergy workshop last year, I grabbed that bag of hemp seed and decided to re-create the dish. I love traditional tabbouleh (or tabouli, however you spell it) with cracked wheat (which is also sitting in my pantry). But, my patience (or lack, thereof) for letting the wheat soak is the reason that box of cracked wheat has been sitting in the pantry, untouched.

So, here’s my take on the new, easy tabbouleh. This 7-ingredient springtime salad is so easy to make that it calls for the shorter name. And between the hemp seeds and the chickpeas, this Top 8 allergen-friendly salad is protein-packed. Perfect for springtime lunch or summer picnics.

Hemp tabouli_ingre_final










Hemp Seed Tabouli {Recipe ReDux}


  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Dash of salt


  1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Makes 2 servings.

PLEASE SHARE: If you make this recipe, please share your thoughts and photos with me. I’d love to hear from you!

And, please check out the recipes from my fellow Recipe ReDux’ers. You’re sure to find something mouth-watering below!


From Sticks & Slaw to Fish Tacos {Recipe ReDux}

March 22nd, 2015

I find that double duty dinners are essential for this working mom of two young children. While I wish I could devote a whole day to cooking a whole week’s worth of meals over the weekend, this just isn’t going to happen any time soon. But, I find that having even just part of the meal prepped or cooked ahead of time is a huge time-saver. Sometimes this means making twice as much whole wheat pasta or quinoa as I need for one meal, other times it means roasting two pans of veggies instead of one.

This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is all about re-purposing leftovers.

Two for One:We’re all about cooking once and eating twice. In short, double dinners are better. Show us how you take a favorite recipe already on your blog – and ReDux the leftovers into a new dish. Or, whip up a new healthy recipe and give suggestions on how to make it a second meal. For example, slow cooker pot roast could become shredded beef tacos; or grilled chicken breasts might morph into chicken salad.

So, of course, I wanted to share one of my all-time favorite re-purposed dishes… Sticks & Slaw turned Fish Tacos.

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A fish and chips-style meal is one of our go-to healthy comfort meals. We usually dredge the fish in egg whites and a little whole wheat panko and make our own cole slaw using bagged broccoli-carrot slaw. Brussels sprouts or baked sweet potato fries usually round out that meal.

While it’s not always easy to re-use leftover cooked fish, I found that leftover breaded fish and broccoli slaw–paired with some avocado and black beans–make fabulous fish tacos! This fish and chips-tacos combo is one of my favorite double duty meals.

Sticks & Slaw
Serve this fish & chips-style meal with baked sweet potato fries and a leafy green veggie. A tasty makeover of a comfort food fave.

Fish sticks:
1 lb. fish of choice (cod, salmon or other favorite fish), cut into strips and patted dry
2 egg whites, lightly whisked
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat panko or dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Olive oil, to grease pan

1.5 cups broccoli and carrot slaw
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place egg whites and flour in two separate shallow bowls. In third shallow bowl, mix panko and seasonings. Add a few drops of olive oil to shallow baking pan and distribute evenly on bottom of baking pan.

Dip each fish strip in egg whites, then flour. Dredge through panko mix. Place on baking pan in single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cooked through and breading is crunchy.

While fish is cooking, mix all slaw ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Serve slaw with fish sticks. Makes 4 servings.


Fish & Slaw Tacos
If you have any breaded fish leftover, try these fish and slaw tacos. They make an easy and delicious lunch!

Leftover breaded fish, 2-3 ounces
Leftover broccoli and carrot slaw
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 avocado, sliced or 2 Tbsp. guacamole
2 corn tortillas

Distribute the fish, slaw, black beans and avocado or guacamole evenly between the two tortillas. Serves 1. Enjoy!


PLEASE SHARE: What are your favorite double duty dinners? Please share. I’d love to hear from you!

And, please check out the recipes from my fellow Recipe ReDux’ers. You’re sure to find something mouth-watering below!

March into a Healthier Lifestyle

March 6th, 2015

March is National Nutrition Month®, an initiative started by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics to bring attention to the importance to two facets of a healthy lifestyle: getting the right amounts of nutritious foods and daily exercise. This year’s theme, Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle, emphasizes those two facets perfectly.

NNM logo


The words “nutrition” and “healthy” are used a LOT… between healthcare professionals and patients, in media (sometimes accurately, many times not) and in everyday conversation. But when registered dietitian-nutritionists talk about “nutrition,” we’re typically focusing on eating patterns and foods that do the following:

  • Maintain or achieve a healthy weight;
  • Promote health; and
  • Reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

The great news is that there’s no ONE “healthy” diet. In fact, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee identified three eating patterns (Healthy American-style, Healthy Mediterranean-style, Vegetarian) that help Americans meet these goals in their recently-released Scientific Report. This report serves as the foundation for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which will be released later this year.

If you’re looking for 15 easy tips to help you march into a healthier 2015, check out this National Nutrition Month® resource, “15 Health Tips for 2015.”

My five favorite tips on this handout…

  1. Eat breakfast. You’ve been fasting all night. A tasty and nutritious morning repast is the healthiest way to wake up your metabolism. Choose dishes that help you meet your whole grain, lean protein, fruit and vegetable quotas: steel-cut oats with seeds and apples, nonfat yogurt with berries or a spinach-mushroom egg white frittata.
  2. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. So simple. Use the MyPlate method and build your plate around vegetables and fruit first, with a side of heart-healthy protein, whole grains, nonfat dairy and/or heart healthy fats.
  3. Get cooking. Bottom line: We tend to eat fewer calories, smaller portions and healthier foods when we eat at home. Aim to cook more meals at home.
  4. Enact family mealtime. Studies show that children whose families eat at least one meal together every day perform better in school, engage in less risky behaviors, are less likely to be overweight and tend to have healthier body image.
  5. Eat seafood twice a week. As a dietitian who provides nutrition counsel to food companies, like National Fisheries Institute, I have seen first-hand the vast amount of science that show how eating just two seafood meals a week is important for a healthy heart and essential for baby brain and eye development.

Again, these aren’t the only ways to keep your waist slim, your brain fit and your heart ticking, but they are easy ones to fit into most lifestyles. And, that’s what’s most important: Finding the healthy behaviors that fit into your lifestyle.

PLEASE SHARE: What are the healthy habits that keep YOU motivated? Please share. I’d love to hear from you!


Fruit & Pepita Chocolate Squares {Recipe ReDux}

February 22nd, 2015

Um, how you could not love this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge?

Favorite Chocolate Matches
Does your chocolate need a friend? This month’s posting will be after Valentine’s Day, so you may have a bit of extra chocolate around. What’s your favorite chocolate match? Be it traditional peanut butter or something more exotic like cayenne + chocolate. Show us your favorite healthy chocolate combo recipe.

Fruit & Pepita Chocolate SquaresI could pretty much eat chocolate–especially dark chocolate–with (or following) anything. For an afternoon snack, I sometimes grab a dark chocolate square with a few dried apricots or a small scoop of dark chocolate chips with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. So, naturally, my brain thought of these foods as my favorite chocolate pairings.

These Fruit & Pepita Chocolate Squares were inspired by this recipe in Nutrition Action (December 2014), but I made mine nut-free. You can use dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate bars or any leftover chocolate you prefer. They are tasty and elegant and super easy to make.

Fruit & Pepita Chocolate Squares {Recipe ReDux}


  • 4-5 ounces nut-free dark chocolate, chopped (I like Enjoy Life dark chocolate bars)
  • 1/4 cup lightly roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried mixed berries and/or cherries


  1. In a double boiler, heat chocolate over hot water until chocolate melts and is smooth. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin seeds, dried fruit and melted chocolate. Spread onto a baking sheet with parchment paper. Allow to cool to room temperature and cut into squares.


PLEASE SHARE: How do you use your favorite leftover chocolate? What is your favorite chocolate pairing? Please share. I’d love to hear from you.

And, don’t forget to check out recipes from fellow Recipe ReDux’ers below. You’re sure to find some seriously yummy recipes that will inspire you to get into the kitchen and mix up some chocolate goodies!


Dining out with food allergies: A teaching moment

January 30th, 2015

Last night, I led a food allergies and nutrition workshop for newly-diagnosed families. With the exception of two families, all of the other families (moms, actually) were not newly diagnosed. Like all of us, they were still trying to find their way with some aspect of feeding a food allergic child.

One thing that echoed in the room was the sentiment that many mothers are paralyzed with fear when it comes to introducing new foods and going out to eat. One of my children has food allergies, and I get it. I feel fear every time she eats something new, whether it’s at home, someone else’s house or at a restaurant. There are varying levels of fear, and usually I am silent about my fears and just study her face every few minutes to make sure she’s not showing any signs of a reaction. But, I also know these are the moments to teach her about her food allergies and how to manage them… wherever she chooses to eat.

Family Enjoying Meal At Outdoor Restaurant

Not surprisingly, a survey conducted by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) found that dining out in restaurants in the #1 aspect that negatively impacts the quality of life for food allergic families. And, 1 in 5 families surveyed reported not going out to eat at all.

Yes, it’s not easy to eat out in restaurants when food allergies are involved. But, eating out is a part of our culture and just a part of our lives. And, taking our food allergic children out to restaurants presents us the opportunity to be a role model for our children, not just in table manners and how to choose healthful foods but how to talk to restaurants managers and wait staff directly and openly about food allergies.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the world of dining out with food allergies:

  1. Call ahead to speak with the manager, as Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) recommends. Describe your child’s allergens and ask if the restaurant can properly accommodate your family.
  2. ALWAYS identify your child’s food allergies once you arrive at the restaurant. Let the wait staff and manager (even if you called beforehand) know about your child’s allergens. Be explicit that your child could become very sick or have a food allergy reaction if his or her food touches the allergenic foods.
  3. Choose to dine before or after the “rush.” If possible, dine out either before or after the crowds, when wait staff are likely to be more receptive and attentive.
  4. Bring a FARE chef card with you. These cards are awesome. It just reinforces the point you made vocally, and can be helpful for the wait staff to actually show the cook staff and manager.
  5. Just avoid riskier places… buffets where spoons have been used in who-knows-which-dish, bakeries, ice cream shops (shared scoops), restaurants serving cuisines that typically use the food allergen (like people with tree nut and peanut allergies may want to avoid Asian-style restaurants, which tend to serve a lot of nut-laden foods).
  6. ALWAYS carry your child’s medication. Enough said.
  7. Be prepared to walk away. If the restaurant staff don’t seem interested in meeting your child’s needs or aren’t willing to work with you, walk away. Who really cares if you leave a glass of water and unfolded napkins on the table? When in doubt, walk out.

It is our job to keep our children as safe as possible. And, it is also our job to help prepare our children to become self-sufficient adults who dine out safely, responsibly and confidently.

PLEASE SHARE: Does your child have food allergies? If so, how do you help keep your children safe and/or teach them how to order when dining out? Please share. I’d love to hear from you!