Dash of dinner: Sweet Potato Goodness

Happy September!! I think I say this almost every month but I can’t believe it’s September!  September means football, leaves changing, cooler weather and fall!! I’m pretty excited that fall is around the corner. My basic self is about to emerge: PSL’s boots, scarves, leggings…a6153fb7af862a1527702cc8a6a59ee0meme found here

In the spirit of fall, I was craving something for dinner that was fallish but still delicious while it’s 90 degrees here in Saint Louis.

I found this recipe by tablefortwoblog.com and the original recipe can be found here. I tweaked the recipe to have chicken and  some sliced jalapeños to add some pop.  What I like about this dish: it’s full of vegetables, protein, This is a nice quick meal that can be made in about 20 minutes. Cooking the chicken in advance will help speed up the preparation time. Here is my version of Vegetable and Chicken Stuffed Potatoes.

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Vegetable and Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

Makes 1 Potato

Ingredients:

1 Large Sweet Potato

1/2 medium zucchini, shredded ( about 1/2-2/3rds cup)

1 medium carrot chopped

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/4 yellow onion chopped

1 medium chicken breast shredded

Optional sliced jalapeños ( about 1/4 cup)

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to season

olive oil

Instructions:

1.  Cook or grill chicken breast

2. Poke potato with a fork 8-10 times. Depending on the size of your potato and your microwave, cook the potato for about 4 minutes. The potato should be soft but not too squishy when you touch it. Once the potato is done, slice potato in half, but do not cut in half.

3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat an oiled skillet and cook the zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots until soft about 10 minutes. Add in the shredded chicken, jalapeños if wanted, and seasonings.

4. Once potato is cool, scoop out about 1/2- 3/4s of the potato and add to skillet.

5. Once potato is evenly mixed, scoop the mixture into the stuffed potato and Enjoy!!

Nutrition information

376 calories, 4.2g fat,232, mg sodium, 52.8g carbohydrate, 10.8g fiber, and 34.6g protein

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(disclaimer I did not make this recipe I give 100% credit to tablefortwoblog.com and made some minor adjustments)

What are you looking forward to about September?

xoxo,

Katie

What I learned from this weekend

Happy Monday!! What a whirlwind of a weekend it has been. The weekend was filled with good friends and a crossfit competition. I did not compete ( not quite sure I want to take that plunge) but got to judge and volunteer. This was kind of a different experience, I usually am the athlete, but it was a good experience to not be the competitor. 

Here is what I learned from this: 

  1. Counting can be tricky. Sometimes your head will bob so much while counting you get dizzy.
  2. I think as athletes, retired athletes, competitors or whatever you are, we expect a lot out of those people running the event. Well as the judge I expected a lot out of the athletes too. You never want to see someone struggle or have to repeat repetitions. Calling someone out on their mistakes makes them better. 
  3. Don’t give up. Just when you think you can’t do anymore, you find a way to get one more rep. 
  4. I have never felt more sore from standing around all day. Darn you hard concrete floors.
  5. Small victories are just important as the big ones and shouldn’t be overlooked. So many times we get bogged down focusing on 1 thing that we miss the little achievements along the way. 
  6. Support,  believing, and communication. These are extremely important elements of a successful team.
  7. Watching people workout all day is good motivation to get your butt back in the gym and working out. 

What did you  learn from the weekend??


Xoxo,


Katie

Holy Guacamole it’s Monday

Happy Monday!!

It’s always crazy how fast the weekends fly by and before we know it, the alarm is going off and it’s Monday.  Well here’s to a new week!! Over the weekend I was craving guacamole. I have made some excellent guac, and have had some epic guac fails. These fails usually come from not following a recipe and me trying to be Giada or Bobby Flay and getting creative. Well I have found a recipe that needs no changing. I realize that I’m bit behind to making this recipe, but surprise it’s Chipotle’s guac recipe!!

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This guac is AMAZING. It’s simple and quick to make, and just delicious!  Here’s why you should eat avocados:

  • They are heart healthy. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, the good fat that helps lower your bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. Avocados also contain plant sterols which also help your good cholesterol.
  • Avocados are good for your eyes. They contain 2 carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, that help slow down age related eye issues.
  • Keep your bones strong. Avocados are high in vitamin K. Vitamin K can help increase calcium absorption.
  • Cancer fighter. Avocados are a good source of folate. Eating food high in folate can help decrease the risk of developing breast, colon, stomach, pancreatic, and cervical cancers.
  • It keeps you regular. Avocados contain approximately 6-7 grams of fiber per half. This also will promote weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer.

The recipe can be found on Chipotle’s website

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If you haven’t tried this guac yet, go buy some avocados, red onions, cilantro, and jalapeños and make yourself a batch. You won’t regret it!!

xoxo,

Katie

TBT to when I blogged

Remember when I used to blog more often, typed out insightful witty nutrition info, and would post delicious recipes?? Yeah I’m having a hard time remembering as well. Whoops well guess what… I’mmm baaackkk 🙂 And for this first post back, we’re going to talk about something that is important in the month of August, hydration. I admit I do a horrible job of drinking enough water.  There are days when I have to force myself to drink water. Well, what if I told you you can get hydrated by foods you eat. Kind of a crazy thought, but if you think about it, some foods are kind of a no brainer like watermelon. It literally has water in the name. As shocking as this is, I have had a patient who did not realize that the watermelon he was eating was causing him to go over his fluid restriction. #palmtoforehead #dietitianfail

Anyways you can eat your way to hydration!!! Here’s how!!!

http://fox2now.com/2015/07/23/eat-your-way-to-hydration/#ooid=FndTJndjrjCTMB1WqrNjfSu77zMA9Su9

The deets: The old adage of drinking 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated resonates in many minds, however this myth has been debunked. The Institute of medicine recommends that general fluid intake for men be 15+ cups a day, women 11+ cups a day, children aged 9 to 13 7 to 8 cups of fluid per day, and teenagers aged 14 to 18 8 and 11 cups.

About 80% of our water intake comes from what we drink, while the other 20% comes from what we eat. Choosing foods that are higher in water content can help increase fluid consumption keeping you hydrated and happy.

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Foods to eat:

  • Watermelon

Not surprisingly watermelon is high in water, containing 91.5% water. This fruit also contains lycopene a cancer fighting antioxidant.

  • Cucumbers

This vegetable has the highest water content of any vegetable at 96.7%. in a half of cup of cucumbers ½ of this is water (1/4 cup) and only has 8 calories per ½ cup. Cucumbers also provide vitamin A that helps with eyesight.

  • Celery

Celery is often thought to be the negative calorie food, which isn’t true however it is very low in calories and high in water. It contains 95.4% water and only 6 calories per stalk. Not only is it high in water, it also contains fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, and K.

  • Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is one of the juiciest melons containing 90.2% water. One 6 ounce serving contains 50 calories and provides your daily needs of vitamin A and C.

  • Various vegetables: bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots

These colorful vegetables each provide >90% water content. Choose green peppers which contain a little bit more water and just as much vitamins and minerals as the other peppers. Cauliflower is full of water and vitamins and nutrients to help fight cancer and lower cholesterol. Broccoli fives the 2 punch of fiber and water, to keep you full and hydrated.

start eating those fruits and veggies!!

xoxo,

Katie

Happy July 11th

Happy the 11th of July! Doesn’t quite have the same ring as Happy 4th of July, none the less happy birthday. Time for a recap on celebrating America’s birthday last week.

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The started the day off with 4 miles on the 4th, some patriotic toast

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Then it was time to BBQ!!

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Big thanks to Marissa and Spenser for hosting a wonderful party!! This girl knows how to put on a spread of food and her fiance can grill with the best of them. I feel I should have a a dislaimer for the rest of this post; the following recipes are deliciously amazing. Remember it’s okay to have a day where you splurge and enjoy yourself. It’s all about moderation and adapting a healthy lifestyle. Back to independence day ☺

 

While we prepared apeptizers, sides, and dessert, we sipped on a Firecracker margarita.

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Firecracker Margarita

4 Servings

Ingredients

4 ounces of Tequila

2 ounces of Triple Sec

16 ounces of La Croix lime Sparking Water

16 ounces of La Croix Lemon Sparkling Water

Handful of blueberries and strawberries.

Instructions

Mix Pitcher mix 4 tequila, triple sec, lemon and lime sparkling water.

Give it a good stir to mix it up. Add some ice and pour into cups.

Garnish with blueberries and strawberries.

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Clearly we did not enjoy the Firecracker Margarita. Along with the margs we enjoyed Red, white, and Antipasto Skewers, Sparkler Strawberries, and, Patriotic pie.

We also added some festive decorations to round out our table.

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Paper straws add lots of color and pazazz to any drink and using scrapbook paper makes for festive signs.

The Red, White, and Antipasto Skewers are super easy to throw together for any party. Some tips, use string cheese to get round cheese verse cube cheese. It adds a nice dimension to the skewer. Grape tomatoes and olives are a good, and any type of cured meat will work. I chose Genoa Salami and tried to find the lowest sodium kind possible. Also if your kebob sticks are splintery, soak them in water first, then cut them in half.

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Red White, and Antipasto Skewers

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 can black olives

1 container of grape tomatoes

6-8 low fat mozzarella string cheese

¼ pound of genoa salami or cured meat.

Instructions

1. Cut the kebob skewers in half.

2.Cut the string cheese into ½ inch pieces

3. Add tomatoes, olives, cheese and meat in various order. I added 2 cheeses per stick.

4. Enjoy!

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After eating a delicious brat   IMG_3734 it was dessert time.

These two festive desserts are easy to put together and involve fresh blueberries and strawberries. You can also add raspberries to add some variety.

 

For the Patriotic Pie we bought Pillsberry sugar cookie to decrease time spent in the kitchen.

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Patriotic Pie.

Makes 1 12 inch pizza cookie

Ingredients

1 roll/ tube of sugar cookie

4 ounces of 1/3 less fat cream cheese

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla or to make the frosting more tart use 1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup blueberries

2 cups of sliced strawberries * the amounts of fruit are estimates. I purchased a large container of strawberries and 1 pint of blueberries and did not use all of them.

Instructions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Spray pizza pan or cookie sheets with oil.

2. Spread the sugar cookie dough out on the pan, as thin and as close to the edge as possible. The cookie with thicken and spread out as it bakes. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

3. While the cookie bakes, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla or lemon juice until smooth. * soften cream cheese prior to mixing to make it easier to mix. 4. Slice the strawberries into thin slices.

5. Spread the cream cheese frosting on the cookie. Put the blueberries in the upper left corner then create strips with the strawberries leaving space between for the white stripes.

6. Cut and Enjoy!!

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The last gem that we made are Sparkler Strawberries. These are absolutely delicious and refreshing strawberries and are easy to make. Trust me, I am not the most crafty person and if I can make them, anyone can. Before we get to a recipe, a quick less on hulling strawberries. Cut off the stems of the strawberries. Then with a ¼ round teaspoon, draw a circle in the middle of the strawberry with the edge of teaspoon

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Sparkler Strawberries

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Makes 12 Strawberries

Ingredients:

12 strawberries

2 ounces of softened

1/3 less fat cream cheese

4 ounces of white chocolate

red, white and blue sprinkles.

Instructions

1. Rinse and dry strawberries. Remove stems and hull out the center of the strawberry. Slice off a small portion of the end of the strawberry to help it stand up. 2. Melt the white chocolate and dip half the strawberry in the chocolate. Let stand on parchment paper.

3. In a pastry bag or in a zip lock bag, add the cream cheese. Snip off the end of the ziplock bag to use like a pastry bag. While the chocolate is drying, Swirl the cream cheese into the strawberry, sprinkle with sprinkles and stick in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.

4. Enjoy!

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What I love about these strawberries is that they look super fancy but are really easy to make. If your cream cheese ends up a little lumpy instead of swirly, add more sprinkles and no on will notice 😉

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Between the food and the fireworks this 4th will be one to be remembered for quite some time.

It wouldn’t be an Independence day without some sparkler fun!!

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What are your favorite dishes to make for BBQ’s or parties???

 

Xoxo, Katie

What to Eat Wednesday II

We made it to Wednesday!!!

I have had an extremely busy last 5-6 days and have lots of recipes and events to share with you! But first, let’s talk about What to Eat Wednesday! This week we are talking about cucumbers!!

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Cucumbers are a great vegetable to have on hand at all times. It is full nutrients, very low in calories,  and can help with weight and heart health.

Heart Healthy: contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. Cucumbers are a good source of plant sterols which help decrease cholesterol, as well as containing potassium, magnesium, and fiber which help regulate your blood pressure.

Weight managament: The peel of the cucumber is chalk full of fiber, keeps you full longer as well as helps relieve constipation. It also acts as a diuretic helping get rid of excess fluid as well as helping get rid of toxins from the GI system.

Supports bone health: Cucumbers contain high amounts of vitamin K which aids in bone strength by promoting the continued building of bones.

Hydration helper: It is 95% water , so eating a cucumber will help rehydrate you as well as decreasing puffiness in skin, keeping your skin looking smooth and hydrated.

Cancer fighter: Cucumbers have antioxidants called lignans that can help decrease the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. It also contains beta carotene, vitamin C, and Vitamin A which help stop free radicals from damaging healthy cells and progression of disease processes.

Here are a few  recipes on how i plan to use cucumbers this week:

Cucumber sandwiches 

Cucumber and watermelon Salad

Cucumber Salsa

xoxo,

Katie

 

 

Pre 4th of July breakfast

Happy day before the 4th of July! I love that I can use food to celebrate a holiday and what screams red, white, and blue more than a yogurt parfait!!

Since this is also a Thursday, how fitting for a #TBT recipe! This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes from my blog, homemade granola.

Original recipe found here. Now this recipe is also near and dear to my heart because my cousin got my uncle to change up some of his eating habits and one of those was breakfast. Since I developed the recipe, he trusted her and had it with yogurt and fell in love. You will too!! I modified this from the original recipe. I was out of brown rice syrup so I swapped that for applesauce. I also used flaxseed instead of wheat germ and a smaller batch. Too much of a good thing is still too much!!

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Homemade Granola

8 servings (about 1/3 cup)

 Ingredients

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flaxseed
2 tablespoons Chia Seed
3 tablespoons flax seeds
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup craisins

Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 325F.

2.       In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (minus the dried fruit)

3.       On the stove, hear the oil and brown rice syrup

4.       Once the oil and syrup are heated and starting to bubble, pour over the dried ingredients.

5.       Spread on a cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes. At about 15 minute or right as its starting to turn brown, add the dried fruit and bake for an additional few minutes.

6.       Remove from oven once it is golden brown.

7.       Let it cool and store in glass jars or Tupperware.

8.       Enjoy!!

Nutrition facts:

1 serving:  299 calories, 9.6g fat, 1.2g saturated fat, 37.9 g carbohydrate 16mg sodium, 15.2g protein

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Now once you’ve made this adding 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup of  slice strawberries, and 1/4- 1/3 cup of granola. Layer in a glass or a jar and enjoy!!!

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What is your favorite red, white, and blue food to eat on the 4th??

xoxo,

Katie