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. 

dietitian, exercise, food blogger, Hermosa Beach, recipe, registered dietitian, South Bay, sports nutrition, workout fuel

Poise Fitness

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Well! It’s been awhile! A lot has been going on in the Kari On Nutrition camp. Here’s what’s happened since I last posted:

  • I accepted a position at UCLA as a radiation oncology RD (!!!)
  • Spent a week in Kauai for my birthday (check out my Instagram @kari_on_nutrition for photos!)
  • Collaborated with #RD2Be Tawnie Kroll of Kroll’s Korner on a Q&A post for students (check the post out here!)
  • Had my roomie from my dietetic internship visit from Boston
  • Repeal the Seal and the Kids Eat Right Kraft debacle

Two weeks packed into 5 bullet points…impressive I know!

Sprinkled in between all this was a visit to Poise Fitness in Hermosa Beach. A few of my friends had been telling me about a class they had been taking at Poise, so I decided to take the plunge and e-mail Justin (the owner). After exchanging some e-mails with him, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a 5:30 AM class (!!!)My friends were right! I loved the class! Each week, Poise focuses on a different goal or movement. The week I came in, the focus was abs. The gym is split into three sections – functional movement (body weight exercises, flexibility, core), cardio (in the form of treadmills), and strength (weights, kettle bells). There are 10 rounds in each section, for a total of 30 rounds, 1 minute each. What I loved the most about this set up was:

  1. There were tablets that showed each movement. Along with the coach explaining the movement, we had a demonstration of how to do the movement correctly, ensuring proper form and optimizing our work out
  2. The movement changed every rotation. Talk about zero workout boredom. By constantly changing what movement we did, I knew that I was getting a total body workout
  3. You could control the intensity on the cardio. I remember during one of our last sets on the treadmill, the instructor was pushing us to increase our speed. I was feeding off his positive energy and upped the speed to 9.0, which I would not typically do in the gym on my own

This class was the ultimate HIIT workout. I wore my Polar heart rate monitor to track my fitness. I like using a heart rate monitor because it allows me to push myself more to get within my training goals to optimize fat burning and maximize my cardio effort. Tracking systems help me to monitor my progress and give me a way to gauge how I can improve. I highly recommend getting a heart rate monitor if you are looking to up the ante on your fitness goals. It’s a great motivator and can help you to challenge yourself to do more.

According to my Polar:

  • Max heart rate: 173 bpm
  • Average heart rate: 128 bpm
  • Calories: 606
  • 61% fitness (cardio)
  • 39% fat burning

To re-fuel my muscles after this workout, I like to combine protein, carbs/fiber, and healthy fats. This will replenish my muscles and keep me satisfied until lunch. A favorite post workout breakfast is my power breakfast sandwich. It’s a perfect mix of complex carbs to replenish muscle glycogen and healthy fat to provide satiety and a dose of fiber. The addition of 1 egg provides 6 grams of protein, to help with muscle rebuilding, and increase the meal’s staying power. I choose sprouted bread because it is higher in fiber and I feel is more nutritious than other whole wheat varieties. There are no fillers/additives and the ingredients are all items I can pronounce 😉

Power Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sprouted bread (like Ezekiel), provides 30 g carbs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 egg
  • handful of spinach

Directions

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray (I prefer coconut oil spray). Crack egg into pan and cook until desired level of doneness.
  3. Mash avocado on the toast with a fork. Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Add salt if desired.
  4. Top toast with avocado and handful of spinach.
  5. Eat & enjoy!

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What is your favorite post-workout breakfast? How do you re-fuel your muscles?

A special thank you to Poise Fitness for having me! It was a great workout and I can’t wait to come in again (aka tomorrow!).

Note: Poise Fitness provided me with a free class. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.