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!!

dietitian, dinner, main dish, nutrition, recipe

Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

Currently I am battling a nasty cold/bronchitis/the flu that has made my senses a little stuffed up and my mind a little boggled. When your sense of taste/smell has been compromised, I say go with extremes. I have found that when seriously congested, I can only taste foods that are either very spicy or very sweet- no in betweens. Similar to taste changes that occur when a patient is going through chemotherapy (ex.due to side effects of treatment) or natural taste changes as we age, we need to make slight changes in the preparation of our foods so that food will be palatable and nourishing.

My chipotle lime marinade is a great recipe that plays up spice and citrus to battle through my congested sinuses. It is spicy, smoky, zesty, and easy! It can also be used with chicken or other proteins. I’ll use it to top salads, tacos, burritos, or make enchiladas with.


Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 cod fillets (you can also substitute chicken breast or tilapia)
  • 1 can chipotle in adobo
  • 2 limes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2-3 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Remove chipotle peppers from can and dice.
  2. Place fish or chicken in a large zippered bag or covered container. Add chipotle, juice of 2 limes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, spices, herbs, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Shake bag or stir to combine. Ensure that the marinade is evenly distributed on the fish.
  3. Marinate over night!
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour in fish with marinade. Cook until the fish is opaque and browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with fresh cilantro, shredded cabbage, and salsa. Top with sautéed marinated peppers.

#karionnutrition

dietitian, dinner, instagram, main dish, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, vegetable

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Greek Yogurt Dressings, and Other Musings

image (2)

Since moving back to LA and with more time on my hands (thank the lord!), I’ve been able to work out more and COOK more! Both the cooking and working out are helping me build back the good habits and back to my previous not-constantly-stressed-out-about-the-internship-life (post about the internship coming soon!). In between studying for the RD exam and job hunting, I have been able to focus on myself and my passions- running, working out and cooking.

With a little less than 3 months until the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, I have been trying to run, tone up, and eat healthy to lose a couple extra pounds that I gained during my dietetic internship (oh, the impact of stress!). While I like to focus on progress not perfection, I know that over the last month of my internship and the road trip back to LA, I did not make any sort of progress. So with that here I am, half marathon training and making stuffed peppers and Greek yogurt salad dressings!

Stuffed peppers are an easy go-to meal, incorporating all the food groups. I first made them while working at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake as a food service intern. Then while living in New Hampshire, fellow my fellow intern (and roommate!) would make them for our house! Since being back  in LA my boyfriend has been the gracious recipient of my recipe experimentation and on the menu was stuffed bell peppers and salad with creamy green chile dressing! This recipe was also a use-up-all-the-leftovers-in-the-fridge kinda meal too!

I love using Greek yogurt as a dressing. Its creamy and tart texture imitate sour cream and the added dose of protein ain’t too bad either. I will add it to everything- tacos, tuna, watermelon (see my previous post!) and will make salad dressing out of it too! I’ll typically add an acid (think lemon juice/apple cider vinegar) and then spices and seasonings depending on the theme I am going with (cumin and cayenne pepper for Mexican, basil and garlic for Italian, etc). I love experimenting to create something new that will tantalize the taste buds and you typically can’t go wrong with doing it yourself! Much cheaper and healthier than buying a bottle of salad dressing!

Without further ado (thank you for reading this far!) here is the Stuffed Peppers recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 green bell peppers, tops sliced and seeds taken out (dice the tops to use with the meat)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (this was leftover quinoa pilaf that had carrots, celery, and mushrooms in it)
  • 1/2 pound grass fed ground beef (8o % lean)*
  • 1/2 c green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 c shredded cheese
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Hit a pan over medium heat. Add a swirl of olive and bring to temp.
  3. Add onions and let them saute until fragrant then add the garlic.
  4. Add the cumin, pepper tops, and tomatoes and  cook down, allowing some of the juices to release and the vegetables to release some of their water and cook down (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Throw in the quinoa and enchilada sauce and heat through.
  6. Remove from heat. Spray a baking dish and the outside of the peppers with nonstick spray. Fill the hollowed peppers with the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese.
  7. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.
  8. Serve with a side salad and avocado! Yum!

* You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken, or crumbled tofu for the stuffed peppers. This truly is a super versatile dish!

dietetic intern, dietitian, instagram, main dish, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe

Lemon Basil Cod

afterlight
This lemon basil cod was a quick, last minute Monday dinner prep. After a weekend of celebrating Germany’s World Cup win (awesome game and overtime goal!), my boyfriend and I wanted to prepare a meal that was quick, healthy, and would cook while doing the P90x ab ripper! And voila- lemon basil cod was born.

Cod is a light, quick cooking fish, that when cooked is moist and flaky. Add a mustardy lemon sauce with fresh basil and it’s like summer is dancing on your taste buds! We served this with cast iron skillet sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts and oven roasted lemon cauliflower (though my food service teacher from undergrad would be disappointed in my use of a white fish with white cauliflower-oh well!). We wanted to eat light and clean, so we limited the starches with this meal to the sweet potatoes and the crushed pita chip fish topping! 

Let us know what you think in the comments! Did you try the lemon basil cod? What are you favorite ways to prepare cod or fish? Any thoughts on the P90x ab ripper (it was my first time doing the any of the P90x series!)?

#getyournutritionon

Ingredients

  • 2 cod filets (around 6 oz each)
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping TBS german mustard
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 pita chips, crumbled

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

2) Combine lemon juice, garlic, mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.

3) Pour marinade over cod.

4) Top with crumbled pita chips.

5) Bake for 5-10 minutes. Fish should become opaque and flake easily.

6) Eat and enjoy!