lunch, protein, recipe

Curried Turmeric Tuna Salad

 

A few weeks ago, I went to a corner cafe in Hermosa Beach to get some lunch. I looked at the menu and there was a wrap called “KARI.” I instantly ordered it and didn’t read the ingredients because if there is a menu item bearing your namesake with correct spelling, you order it! What arrived to me wrapped neatly in parchment paper was a whole wheat wrap with avocado, greens, sprouts, and an amazing curried tuna salad. I gobbled it down as I marveled over the fact that there was a wrap called the Kari served a few blocks from my house…day made! (Disappointingly, there was not a story behind why it was called the Kari…)

Tuna salad is an easy way to have lunch made for the week. It can be served with crackers and cut veggies or topped on a salad. I like to make a batch to have on hand for lunches/snack for the boy and I to eat during the week (just be sure to limit to 1 can per week due to the mercury content.) Canned tuna provides a good dose of omega 3’s (EPA/DHA) and I am always looking for food based ways to increase my consumption of omega 3’s. The curry and turmeric add antioxidants (the curcurmin found in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to reductions in pre-diabetes, cancer protection, and improvements in circulation)

This salad is crisp and crunchy, with warmth from the turmeric and curry powder. I am leaving for Europe TOMORROW and can’t wait to enjoy my curried tuna sandwich on the 13 hour journey (mints included!).

Curried Turmeric Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can solid white albacore tuna
  • 1/4 c organic/paleo mayo
  • 1/2 c nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon curry
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 c minced onion
  • 1/4 c chopped fennel fronds
  • 1/4 dried cranberries
  • fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. EAT! Goes great with whole grain crackers, wrapped in lettuce, topped on a salad, or classically as a tuna fish sandwich.
recipe, side dish, vegetable

Shaved Fennel and Parmesan Salad


I made the mistake a few nights ago of making a dinner using only the oven…in the middle of summer…when it’s hot…and my apartment is small. So to move past my momentary lapse of judgement, I made dinner the following night and refused to even turn my stove on!

This fennel salad is cool, crisp, and refreshing – perfect for warm summer days when the mercury is rising with no end in sight. I had an AMAZING fennel salad at Love and Salt in Manhattan Beach and since then, I’ve tried my best to recreate it.

Fennel can seem intimidating- the fronds! How do I cut it? I hate black licorice! However, once you learn how to cut the bulb (here’s a great how to video from Martha Stewart) and find a great recipe, you’re ready to incorporate fennel into your diet.

Want more fennel info? Check out Cooking Light for more details and to find some recipes.

Shaved Fennel and Parmesan Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 bulbs fennel, de-cored
  • 1/4 c shaved parmesan
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • fresh cracked sea salt and ground black pepper
  • fennel fronds, minced

Directions

  1. Using a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife, thinly slice or shave fennel. For best results, aim to cut the fennel nearly paper thin
  2. Add parmesan, a healthy drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle with minced fennel fronds and stir to combine
  3. Let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Tastes even better the next day.
dinner, healthy, paleo, recipe, side dish, vegan, vegetables

Roasted Delicata Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce


Roasted squash in the middle of August may not sound exactly tempting, but when I saw these squash at Whole Foods, I couldn’t resist. After cooking, the skin of the delicata squash softens and you can eat it! Meaning, no need to peel the skin, just trim and cook! I love anything that saves me an extra few minutes in the kitchen and so I braved the oven and got cooking.

What sets this recipe apart from other roasted squash is the to die for lemon tahini sauce! Tahini is one of the main ingredients when making hummus but this sesame seed paste is super versatile. It goes great in sauces and dressing to top pasta, vegetables, salad, and more. I love making a tahini dressing paired with a spinach salad and summer berries 🙂

Delicata squash is rich in beta carotene (which converts into Vitamin A). To help your body better absorb this valuable antioxidant, the addition of a healthy fat source (tahini sauce!) can help your body maintain it’s carotenoid and Vitamin A stores.


Roasted Delicata Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 delicata squash, de-seeded and cut into half circles
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBS tahini
  • juice from half large lemon
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place cut squash in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Stir squash with your hands to ensure they are evenly coated with olive oil and spices.
  2. Bake in oven for ~30 minutes until squash is softened and caramelized. Halfway through cooking, flip squash allowing them to cook evenly on both sides.
  3. While the squash is cooking, prep the tahini sauce. Add tahini, lemon juice, water, herbs de provence, and fresh cracked black pepper to a dish and whisk together with a fork to combine. I also added a drizzle of olive oil to bring the dressing together.
  4. Remove squash from the oven and drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve immediately.
  5. Dressing will last in the refrigerator in a mason jar for 3-5 days.
breakfast, recipe, snack, workout fuel

Smoothie Bowl 101


I have a certified obsession with smoothie bowls. Take a smoothie and top it with delicious, antioxidant rich toppings, add a dose of protein and your post workout smoothie is ten times better! However, store-bought smoothie bowls are expensive, higher in sugar, and will often charge extra to add protein or greens.

Along with the high price, many store-bought smoothie bowl can have more calories than an ice cream cone or a hamburger at a fast food restaurant. To ensure that I am creating a nutrient dense instead of a calorie dense smoothie bowl, I follow 3 main rules:

  1. Veggies
  2. Protein
  3. Non-juice base

I accomplish this by starting with a water base, 2 heaping handfuls of greens, and addition of a protein source (protein powder, almonds, Greek yogurt). This ensures that my smoothie is nutrient dense, slowing digestion and stabilizing my blood sugars to keep me satisfied until my next meal.

Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 packet frozen acai (I purchased mine at Whole Foods)
  • 2 heaping handfuls spinach/kale or greens of your choice
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/4 c frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 c frozen peaches
  • 1/4 c frozen berries
  • 1/4 piece frozen banana
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 TBS chia seeds + more for topping
  • 1/4 gluten free granola (I’m obsessed with Boulder Granola and Purely Elizabeth granola)
  • Fruit of your choice (since it’s summer, I’m obsessing over peaches and nectarines with berries! YUM)
  • Goji berries, hemp seeds,

Directions

  1. Run acai packet under cool, running water for 20 seconds. Break acai into pieces and add to blender bottle, along with frozen fruit, water, and chia seeds.
  2. Add almond milk by the tablespoon.
  3. Blend smoothie. It should be thicker than a drinkable smoothie. If smoothie mixture is too thick, add more almond milk.
  4. Once blended to desired consistency, pour into a bowl.
  5. Top with granola, and add sliced fresh fruit on top. Sprinkle with goji berries, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.

If you make your own smoothie bowl, experiment with different fruits and toppings. The different combinations are endless and each bowl will be delicious!

Let me know if you make your own smoothie bowl. Tag your smoothie bowl with #karionnutrition on Instagram, I would love to see your creations!

#karionnutrition

dietitian, entertaining, gluten free, how to

Building A Charcuterie & Cheese Board + Giveaway!

Our most recent cheese board creation.

My boyfriend and I love charcuterie nights. On our first date we split a charcuterie and cheese board- talk about a great way to get to know someone. We bonded over beautiful board of olives and prosciutto and manchego and since then we’ve maintained our hot and heavy relationship with cured meats and delicious cheese. Our dating relationship is going okay too 🙂

One thing that every twenty something should know is how to put together a good charcuterie and cheese board. Here are my tips:

  1. It starts with a good cutting board. I like dark wood that looks aged and unique, drawing attention to your spread.

    My go-to charcuterie board
  2. Charcuterie and cheese. My favorite charcuterie is an aged peppered salami. I try to choose one that is locally produced, with no nitrites, and ethically sourced (if possible). My cheese choices run the spectrum- a creamy, melty brie or a sharp grass fed cheddar.  I also will pick a cheese if the name is interesting, a very scientific approach.
  3. Accoutrements. My go to is whole grain mustard, artisanal jam (I have an amazing blackberry lavender jam that I bought when I lived in New Hampshire), along with olives, mini pickles, local dates, or truffle honey.
  4. The crackers. As a dietitian, I feel it is my duty to get people to eat more fiber so I choose a whole grain cracker with at least 2 g of fiber per serving.

To celebrate my love of charcuterie and cheese boards, I am teaming up with Crunchmaster crackers to offer one follower a 6 variety pack of Crunchmaster Gluten Free Crackers. These crackers go great with charcuterie and cheese but are also a great gluten free option for snacking. I like to bring whole grain crackers and hummus or cottage cheese to work as a mid-day pick me up.

Crunchmaster Multi-Grain cracker with aged local goat cheese and dates

These crunchy crackers are full of whole grain goodness. In my sample pack I received:

  • Multiseed Crackers
  • Multigrain Crackers
  • 7 Ancient Grain Crackers

My favorite were the Mulitgrain Crackers. The serving size was 16 crackers which provided 3 g of fiber and 23 g of carbohydrate. I would recommend them to my diabetic patients for snacks or meals because it would allow them to feel satisfied with a lower impact on their blood sugars. I also liked their light, crisp bite that paired well with my go to dip (cottage cheese with olive oil, black pepper and Hawaiian Red Sea salt).

Here’s how to enter the GIVEAWAY- 

1) Follow me on Instagram (@kari_on_nutrition)
2) Tag a friend and post your favorite cracker combination in the comments. If you post a photo on Instagram of your cracker combination, you will receive 2 entries! Be sure to use the hashtag #KariOnNutritionGiveaway and tag me in the photo (@kari_on_nutrition).
3) Winner will receive a 6 variety pack of Crunchmaster gluten free crackers.

Giveaway will end July 3rd.

Here are some helpful links if you want to try Crunchmaster for yourself!

http://www.facebook.com/crunchmaster
https://twitter.com/luvcrunchmaster
http://pinterest.com/crunchmaster/

Here is a link to a coupon so you can try Crunchmaster!

http://crunchmaster.com/coupon.aspx

Disclosure: Crunchmaster sent me crackers to sample. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated financially for my opinions, featuring Crunchmaster on my blog, or offering the giveaway. 

main dish, recipe, side dish

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

I’ve been majorly MIA but when I’m not blogging you can most definitely find me ‘grammin on @kari_on_nutrition. However, I am trying to post more deliciousness on my blog.

What’s eaten up all my time? I recently started a new second job! Every Friday I head to Westwood and work in the radiation oncology department at UCLA. I’ve always been interested in oncology and the opportunity to work at the 5th ranked health system in THE COUNTRY was something that I couldn’t pass up. Never have I felt more challenged or learned so much in such a short amount of time. I often question if I’m the right fit for the job, however if it scares me that much than maybe it’s a right fit!

How does my job at UCLA relate to my Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa salad? I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch last week and bought a delicious albeit expensive bowl of kale, nectarine, and quinoa salad. As I was eating it, I realized I could spend WAY less money if I made said quinoa salad myself. So last night after soccer, I brought this baby to life.

It’s protein packed and full of veggie goodness. Plus as a bonus, it includes homegrown tomatoes from my parents garden, local kale, and California avocados. Sustainable eating= happy Kari. I ate it over a bed of more kale and added some sliced chicken. It is great as a main dish or a side dish and would go great at a 4th of July BBQ (just sayin….)

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used tri-color quinoa)
  • 3-4 leaves of lacinto kale, Julienned into strips
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • juice from 2 limes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz feta cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Add first 9 ingredients to a bowl and combine.
  2. Drizzle with ~ 1-2 TBS olive oil. Add spices little by little, tasting to see if it needs more. I don’t typically measure my spices- I just add and taste until it’s perfection 🙂

Enjoy!!

baking, blogging, breakfast, brunch, dietitian, healthy

Best Ever Banana Bread 

Its been awhile…but I’ve been waiting for a very special occasion to share a new recipe with y’all! I’m a blogger for Food and Nutrition Magazine’s blog, Stone Soup and had one of my all time favorite eats posted today! Be sure to check out my post on the Stone Soup Blog and read below! 

Looking for a recipe for Mother’s Day brunch? You need a crowd-pleaser — but instead of overloading the table with more egg dishes, appetizers and salads, how about baked goods?

My mom has been making variations of her banana bread for years. Sometimes she will add walnuts or pecans — or, if she’s feeling indulgent, chocolate chips (my personal favorite). Regardless of the additions, it is hands-down the best banana bread I have ever eaten!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to pay homage and put a dietitian’s take on the best banana bread ever.

The “3 R’s”: of Baking: “Reduce, Replace or Remove”

I substituted in whole-wheat flour and cut back on the sugar and fat. Applesauce keeps the bread moist and bananas provide enough sweetness that no one will be able to tell I reduced the amount of sugar.

If you feel like getting fancy for your next brunch, you can also turn this delicious banana bread into an even more delicious banana bread French toast! This recipe also makes great muffins — but be sure to reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes.

Mother's Day Banana Bread | Food and Nutrition Magazine | Stone Soup Blog

Mother’s Day Banana Bread

Recipe by Kari Ikemoto, RD

Ingredients

  • 2 mashed, ripe bananas
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk (I make this from scratch: add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk)
  • ¼ cup oil (I prefer coconut or canola oil)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs whites
  • 1¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Scant ¾ cup sugar (a little less than ¾ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Spray pan loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Combine banana, buttermilk, eggs, applesauce and oil in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar and baking soda.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in nuts or other additions (like blueberries or chocolate chips).
  6. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.