The Spirit of Giving: Nacho Salad
In the spirit of giving, I thought I would share a new lightened-up version of one of my favorite comfort food dishes, Nacho Salad. This recipe flips the standard nacho dish on its head. Instead of tortilla chips and cheese acting in starring roles, vegetables and beans get their moment in the spotlight. This recipe is colorful and nutrient dense. What makes the recipe even more attractive, is the amount of time it takes to create the dish from start to finish and the cost to prepare it. You can be ready to eat in no more than 10-minutes if you have all the ingredients on hand and the dish is extremely low-cost by utilizing store-brand and canned products. Follow the steps below and you will have a deliciously simple, quick, nutritious, cost-conscious, "go-to" recipe for lunch or dinner!
The ingredients in this salad can be purchased at any grocery store. Though, I think it is always nice to provide you with the ingredients I used to make the recipe so you can easily find what you need at the grocery store. I bought all my ingredients at Trader Joe’s.
~Sara Mussa, RDN, CD
Meals on the Move
Fall is here and with it we are feeling cooler temperatures and are seeing leaves changing color. School is back in session and with that, an increase in after-school activities. Sometimes multiple sports with multiple kids in multiple places. Making family meals seem challenging. Unfortunately, the ever present feeling of being strapped for time can cause families to make unhealthy choices, typically found at the drive-through window.
Providing healthy food for your family is a priority for most, however challenging to find on the road. Whether you are feeding everyone in a fury before dashing off to practice or eating in the car on the way to multiple destinations, here are a few ideas to make meals on the move simple and healthy!
Quick meals before hitting the road
A little planning ahead makes feeding the troops before heading out simple. Although having options that everyone agrees on can be a challenge. Keeping the ingredient list short and options limited might make dining before you dash a much better deal.
Portable meals - let's wrap this up
I am a firm believer that you can put almost anything in a tortilla to make a meal portable - perhaps soup is the exception. This still leaves many other foods you can wrap up and go! For example, chicken caesar salad or any other salad for that matter. Lightly dress the lettuce in a bowl, place in the center of a tortilla, then add chicken or any other vegetable you fancy. Fold up the ends, roll it up, and wrap in a paper towel and perhaps a small piece of foil on the end and off you go!
This wrapping method can be used for breakfast too. Who doesn’t love a breakfast burrito?
Slow and low - A perfect cooking tempo
Using a slow cooker is a sure fire way to ensure whatever you are preparing will be tender and juicy. One pot meals are also fantastic! Clean up in minimal and the flavors are married perfectly together.
Here are a few recipes that include a slow cooking and one pot, courtesy of www.skinnytaste.com. They are simple, delicious and every recipe from this site includes nutrition information. Which is super helpful if you are trying to be a mindful eater.
One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (Stove-Top Recipe)
Nutrition per serving (scant 1 1/2 cups): 377 Calories; 10.5g Fat; 23.5g Protein; 43.5g Carbohydrates; 5g Fiber; 567mg Sodium
Easiest Salsa Verde Chicken (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)
Nutrition per serving (1/2 cup): 145 Calories; 2g Fat; 26g Protein; 5g Carbohydrates; 0g Fiber; 415mg Sodium
Beef Tacos (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)
Nutrition per serving (2 tacos): 382 Calories; 20g Fat; 31g Protein; 24g Carbohydrates; 8g Fiber; 744mg Sodium
~Olivia Mathisen-Holloman, RDN, CD
Tempeh is one of those foods that may not be on everyone's weekly grocery list. Often confused with tofu, tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and offers a whole host of health benefits. Let's see why you should incorporate more tempeh into your into your healthy diet.
These tasty tacos are quick to prepare and will be sure to impress! The combination of spices and seasoning pack a punch of flavor that won't leave you missing the meat. You can use whole-wheat flour tortillas or pre-made tostadas in place of the corn tortillas. Enjoy!
~ Lauren, Dietetic Intern
Lauren shared this recipe with me a while back and I finally got around to trying it tonight for our first dinner after returning from a Hawaii vacation. It definitely helped with the post-vacation blues and took me back to the Island at least in flavor. I also love the various textures and colors in this easy and quick dinner option. Give it a try and let us know what you think. With Aloha - Megan
Warm Up to Curry
With the temperatures cooling down, its human nature to start craving hearty, cooked meals that warm you from the inside out. Soups and stews are a popular choice, but by mid-November it’s easy to get bored of the regular recipes. When I start getting chilly, I reach for my curry powder.
The word curry actually means “sauce” in Indian and Asian cultures. It is typically made with a cream base, cooked with meats and vegetables of choice and served over rice. There are many different kinds of curries from the dairy-based Indian curries to the coconut milk-based Thai curries.
The fun part about making your own curry is that it is pretty much impossible to mess up! They can be a one-pan meal or even done in a slow-cooker. You can use any vegetables that you like, your favorite protein source, and can use cow’s milk, coconut milk, or a vegetable stock as your liquid base. Additions like curry powder, red curry paste, lemongrass, garlic, and onion will bring ethnic flare to your dishes and can be found in most grocery stores.
Nutrition facts per 1/6 of recipe: 483 calories; 18g fat; 54g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 27g protein; 231g sodium.
This next recipe uses seasonal vegetables, is vegetarian, and is easy on the wallet! The lentils pack a ton of iron, fiber and protein to help satiate you until your next meal. Butternut squash lends a slight sweetness, and bright green kale adds a great dose of vitamin K. Curry powder is made of a blend of healthy spices, but doesn’t make the dish spicy-hot. This may be better for children and folks with sensitive palates. Since this dish is so hearty, it doesn’t need to be paired with rice and can be eaten more as a stew. Feel free to add in whole grain brown rice if you miss it.
Autumn Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry
Curries are a wonderful way to satisfy your comfort food cravings and still pack in a ton of nutrients. These two recipes are very versatile, so feel free to add and take out any vegetable or other ingredient that you like. Try out your own variations and leave us a comment about what you did!
Lauren - Dietetic Intern
Pizza in a Pinch
Happy New Year! With the bustle of the holidays behind us, we can all settle into our daily routines again and get pumped up for an exciting year ahead. One new venture that Sound Dietitians will be pursuing in 2016 is teaching hands-on family cooking classes at Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood, Washington. Our first class in January will be all about pizza, from homemade dough to freshly blended marinara sauce to simple tips for quick prep. And the best part is, we’ll get to directly involve kids in the cooking process. Actively including kids in meal planning and food preparation helps develop important life skills and is one of the best ways to promote appreciation for healthy eating early on.
One recipe we will be teaching in our pizza class is a personal favorite: tortilla pizza! This is a quick recipe for those days when you’re craving a crispy, tasty pizza but want to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less. There is no need to fuss with dough because a whole wheat tortilla or flatbread makes the perfect base. Just add sauce, top it, and bake for 10 minutes at 400°F – quick, easy, and delicious!
Stay tuned for more posts about all things food and nutrition throughout 2016. Check out the Verdant Community Wellness Center events calendar if you are interested in learning about other health and wellness classes, seminars, and activities available to the public. Cheers to a healthy and delicious year!
~ Holly, RDN
A place for our consultant Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to share nutrition science, yummy and healthy recipes, tips on seasonal ingredients, and other nutritional musings. Enjoy!