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.
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.
dinner, instagram, recipe, side dish, vegetables

Best Damn Green Beans

Green beans pre-roasting
Green beans pre-roasting

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I had a relaxing holiday, filled with some indulgences (I made Hershey’s Kisses Christmas blossoms…..) and great time spent with family.

My parents just purchased a house in Chico, California. Chico is a cool, college town an hour and a half north of Sacramento. When I moved to New Hampshire for my internship last year, I envisioned Keene being very similar to Chico. It wasn’t anything like Chico (probably due to the fact that Chico was Los Angeles compared to Keene) but living in Keene has made me appreciate Chico much more. If you are every visiting Northern California, it is definitely worth a stop. Bidwell Park has something for everyone – biking, hiking, swimming, nature and the town has great shopping and dining. Some of my personal favorites are Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe and Three Sixty Ecotique.

My meal from Tea Bar! Tofu bowl with Chipotle Sundried Tomato Hummus!
My meal from Tea Bar! Tofu bowl with Chipotle Sundried Tomato Hummus!

Why do I bring up Chico? Well while in Chico I happened upon an AMAZING farmer’s market. I love going to the farmer’s market and checking out the different stands, discovering new produce and striking up conversation with the farmers. It is one of the BEST ways to support your local economy and the small farms. My dietetic internship at Keene State College had an emphasis on food systems and sustainable agriculture. I was fortunate to work with some very passionate local foodies/RD2Be’s who were very knowledgeable about food systems and I was really able to learn and be more conscious of what I was eating and where it was coming from.

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Anyway, at the Chico farmer’s market I blacked out and spent all the cash I brought with me. My senses were overloaded with so many of my favorite things. There were stands of pickled vegetables, homemade lavender almond milk, walnuts that had been picked and shelled FIVE days ago, tons of winter squash, I really could go on. However, the one thing I bought that brings me to some damn good green beans is a small jar of crushed tomatillo peppers. I love all things spicy and stumbled upon a stand where the guy was selling homemade pepper blends. Talk about my kind of place. He had every kind of pepper spice blend a pepper lover like myself could want. I bought one without even sampling and am regretting that I didn’t buy more!

The pepper stand!
The pepper stand!

The spice blend is called the Zing Mix and it is a blend of dried tomatillo and peppers. It is perfect on just about anything. I have a batch of Zing Mix spiced tempeh marinating (recipe on the blog soon!) in the fridge and my green beans were pretty much amazing.

Zing Mix pepper blend
Zing Mix pepper blend

BTW this recipe is my favorite for green beans. Once you make them this way, I guarantee you won’t want to steam, sauté, microwave, etc again! The key is the squeeze of fresh lemon when they come out of the oven!

Best Damn Green Beans 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound trimmed and washed green beans
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp Zing Mix (or any mix of dried spices- I love no salt seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne, ground chipotle, don’t be afraid to experiment!)
  • 1/2 of fresh lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spread green beans in an even layer on a baking sheet
  3. Drizzle olive oil over green beans
  4. Sprinkle generously with fresh cracked black pepper and add a pinch of sea salt. Sprinkle spice on top
  5. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing green beans half way through. I like my green beans slightly more crispy so I will cook them a bit longer.
  6. Remove from the oven and squeeze half a lemon over green beans
Uncategorized

Parchment Paper Salmon

It’s been HOT, HOT, HOT in LA lately. Like sweat pooling behind your knees and through your shirt hot. Never thought I would say it but I wish it was a a bit cooler. It’s October and I love sweatshirt weather and cuddling under blankets at night and you definitely can’t do either of those right now. Despite my complaints about the warm weather, you really can’t beat views like this:

Sunsets in Santa Monica
Sunsets in Santa Monica

And what made yesterday even better? The San Diego Chargers running train on the Jets!! I will admit that I’m a newly converted Charger fan. Since LA does not have a football team, I naturally rooted for whoever the Patriots were playing because I have a strong dislike for any Boston professional sports teams. (As a side note- this stems from my love for the Lakers and their bitter rivalry with the Celtics. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I bleed purple and gold for #24 and the LOS ANGELES LAKERS.) My boyfriend in from San Diego and by default I have become a Chargers fan. SO excited to see them doing well and even more excited that we’re going to see them play the Patriots in December at Qualcomm! #boltup

#BoltUp
#BoltUp

With the Chargers win, it was only fitting to have a winning dinner. Whole Foods was having a sale on wild caught salmon (GO SUSTAINABLE FISHING PRACTICES!) and so we had to buy some. I will admit that I don’t eat it as much as I should but maybe if I make parchment paper salmon every night for dinner, I might just get all my Omega 3’s in!

Parchment Paper Salmon with Greek Yogurt Mustard Sauce

Parchment paper salmon packets!
Parchment paper salmon packets!

Ingredients

  • 3 salmon fillets (about the size of your hand)
  • 1 small yellow zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small green zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon sliced, 1 lemon halved
  • 1/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • Whole Foods all-purpose seasoning (or similar- I also like Trader Joe’s salt free 21 Seasoning Salute)
  • 1 TBS whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Tear off 3 medium sized sheets of parchment paper. In the middle of the parchment paper, arrange the sliced zucchini as a base for the salmon.
  2. Place the salmon fillet on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Top with 1 TBS minced onion and lemon slices.
  3. Fold the parchment paper into packets. I folded the parchment paper how I had seen on a cooking show (see photo) but the folks at Cooking Light have a great method that further hammers home the heart health benefits of eating fish!
  4. Put the packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets.
  5. While the fish is cooking, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mustard, garlic salt, all-purpose seasoning, fresh cracked black pepper, rosemary, thyme, and fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 TBS).
  6. Remove fish from oven and carefully open the packets. Serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle (or more!) of the yogurt sauce!
Uncategorized

Maple Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Since I’ve passed my RD exam I’ve had every intention of blogging regularly and posting really awesome pictures of all the cool stuff I’ve been up to. However, that did not happen. As much as I would love to be the dietitian that blogs on a regular basis, I decided, or rather realized that I’m better suited to post when I am feeling most inspired. And maybe if I have a really amazing recipe to share!

After I tackled the hurdle of passing my RD exam, I joined the league of Americans searching for a job. It was definitely a long and arduous process. I obsessively searched Indeed every day, upgraded my LinkedIn to premium and utilized my networking skills to see what I could find. During the internship I couldn’t wait to not have work to do but once I was jobless, I quickly realized I missed the work. I guess it’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

Thankfully, my hard work and obsessive job searching led to two great opportunities! I am working in a hospital one day a week and will work full-time as an outpatient RD for a medical group in LA (my same job from before my internship)!

I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate fall and new jobs than pumpkin muffins! These paleo pumpkin muffins were created 2 years ago when I was doing CrossFit and first heard about paleo. While I’m not a die-hard paleo-eater, I do love the way many paleo bloggers create some amazing grain free recipes! While the recipe is not completely paleo (oat topping) you can certainly change some ingredients around to make it paleo!

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal (ground up almonds)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe’s Organic pumpkin puree)
¼ cup real maple syrup (Vermont Trader Joe’s Maple syrup, you can also substitute honey)
2 eggs
¼ cup crunchy almond butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup roasted pecans
¾ cup roasted walnuts

Topping

¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup oats
1 TBS coconut oil, non-hydrogenated margarine (Smart Balance), or butter

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine all muffin ingredients and mix in a stand mixer.  Be careful not to overmix!

3) Toast walnuts and pecans in a frying pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and coarsely chop.

4) Add ¾ of chopped nuts to muffin batter.

5) Drop by batter by large spoonfuls into lined muffin cups. Recipe will make approximately 12 muffins.

6) To make topping, combine apple sauce, pumpkin, oats, and remaining nuts.  If using non-hydrogenated margarine or butter melt in microwave and then add to topping mixture.  Spoon a dollop of topping mixture on top of each muffin.

7) Bake in oven on middle rack for 30-35 minutes.  Muffins are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

8) While muffins are cooling, drizzle real maple syrup over each muffin.

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