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 ūüôā

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.
dietitian, gluten free, instagram, paleo, recipe, snack, vegetable, vegetarian

Oven Baked Okra Bites

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When I drove across the country to move to New Hampshire for my internship last summer, I was obsessed with Cracker Barrel. We don’t have it in California and it litters the highways from Utah to New Hampshire. So I did what every road trippin American should do – I stopped at Cracker Barrel!

Low and behold, I was surrounded with country decor like no other and a menu that had me salivating at every star, puzzle, plowhouse, and dog (a little food service menu design terms a la RD exam studying!). Cracker Barrel was no joke and I was in heaven.

The first time I tried okra was at CB. They were fried (of course) and I may or may not have eaten a few too many. Since this initial introduction to the Southern staple okra, I have been obsessed. During my food service rotation, they served them steamed and I loved their gelatinous but crunchy texture.

When I moved home this summer, I bought some beauties at the farmers market, marinated and skewered them on the BBQ – DELISH.

And now bringing me to today- wanna be Cracker Barrel – oven baked okra fries. I made these paleo, but you can certainly regular flour, buttermilk, add some cornmeal, etc.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound okra, ends trimmed and sliced into coins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the almond flour with the spices in a shallow dish.
  3. Whisk the 2 eggs in a separate dish.
  4. Create a breading station. Add a few pieces of the okra to the egg wash, remove, and toss in the almond flour mixture. Spread breaded okra evenly on a baking sheet.
  5. Once all okra had been breaded, spray with cooking spray. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. You may need to rotate the pans to ensure even browning.
  6. Remove when okra is golden brown and crisp. I dipped mine in Frank’s Red Hot! YUM!

Do you like Cracker Barrel? What are your favorite treats? Surprisingly my favorite is the chicken and dumplings…random but they grow on me every time I get them!

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!

 

dietetic intern, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe, salad, vegan

Kale Avocado Salad

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Kale, the superfood de jour, is a way that you can add major nutrition brownie points to any dish.  Rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and beta carotene, this superfood is low in calories, good source of fiber, and a great substitution for lettuce.  One complaint is that the leaves tend to be bitter and tough.  Tenderize by massaging the leaves and you have a dark, leafy green that can be added to just about any dish.


This salad was created in honor of National Nutrition Month.  It incorporates unsaturated fats, dark leafy greens, and a variety of colorful vegetables.  Avocado is the main base for this dish- it provides that creaminess that we desire from most salad dressing without the saturated fat associated with that Hidden Valley ranch dressing.  

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and shredded
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups fresh herb salad
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garlic and herb salt free seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¬†2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds

Directions

1)   Take 1 whole avocado (peeled and sliced) and sprinkle with garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Mash the avocado onto the shredded kale with your hands, evenly coating the kale with avocado.  Let sit for 30 minutes to help soften the kale.

2)   To make dressing- combine the olive oil, remaining lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and 1 TBS garlic and herb salt-free seasoning.  Whisk together to combine.

3)   Chop 1 whole avocado.  Add remaining ingredients to kale and combine.

4)   Drizzle dressing and top with chopped avocado.

5)   Eat and Enjoy!

baking, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe, vegan

Blueberry Banana Muffins

We made these muffins late one night while craving a sweet snack, that wasn’t packaged or filled with cups of sugar (though the thought of a homemade muffin from Primo Passo Coffee¬†in Santa Monica, CA sounds delicious and very needed as we work on our grant proposals!) ¬†The recipe for these muffins were adapted from the blog The Minimalist Baker. ¬†They use minimally processed ingredients and have recipes that meet a variety of dietary needs and preferences. ¬†These muffins were first made on a snowy, day before Valentine’s Day baked good for boyfriend who was flying in the next morning (It was during one of the worst 2014 polar vortex storms- the California intern just about died!). ¬†The simplicity and ease of the recipe makes these muffins great for anyone who is new to the kitchen!

They can be made gluten free, vegan or paleo by switching a few ingredients. ¬†This batch were vegan and were delicious! ¬†We’re still modifying the recipe but thought we would share our modifications and tips with you!

Blueberry Banana Bran Chia Seed Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBS flax, 5 TBS water)
  • 3 TBS agave nectar
  • 1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 med ripe bananas
  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 3 TBS almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/2 c plus 2 TBS wheat bran
  • 1/4 c chia seeds

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with liners (recipe makes about 10 muffins)

2) Prepare flax egg.  Add flax and water and let sit for a couple minutes.

3) Add banana and mash. ¬†Add blueberries agave, baking powder, vanilla, applesauce, and almond milk. ¬†During this step we began eyeballing the ingredients. ¬†The muffins aren’t super sweet so you can be flexible in how much agave you add. ¬†Since there are no raw eggs, you can taste the batter for sweetness!

4) Add almond meal and wheat bran and stir.  Be careful not to over mix batter as this can lead to tunneled muffins! (Thank you food science class!)  Depending on how dry or wet your batter is, add more liquid (applesauce/almond milk) or bran.  You can also adjust sweetness here.  We added a little honey at this point.  Add the chia seeds and give one final mix!

5) Fill muffin cups to the top and bake for 30-35 minutes. ¬†Check for doneness by pressing the tops of the muffins. ¬†We found that they were still fairly liquid at this point (still experimenting with the baking temps and ratios of the recipe…will keep you updated!) and turned up the temperature to 450 and baked for an additional 10 minutes. ¬†This did the trick!

6) Enjoy with all natural almond or peanut butter!  Delicious and nutritious!  Great way to Get Your Nutrition On!

 

We will continue to experiment with this recipe to perfect it!  To make the recipe gluten free, omit wheat bran and use Gluten Free flour (The Minimalist Baker used ground GF oats!) of your choice.  To make paleo, use almond meal flour.

 

Check out our Instagram feed for photos of the the muffin!  @getyournutritionon