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IMG_0045.3Who’s the most quoted registered dietitian (RD/RDN) in America? I actually don’t know the answer to this, but I’d  bet on Marisa Moore, MBA, RD, LD. Here is an awesome fact, since 2007, she’s been quoted over 4600 times!  This lovely lady has combined her love for food and science with her passion for teaching.View More: http://sophia-barrett.pass.us/marisamoore

Marisa is not only a valuable resource to the media, she provides up-to-date evidence based consulting to worksites,  the food industry, as well as private individuals. She thrives on the diversity of her career which is anything but dull, and she affirms, ” On any given day I may be prepping for a cooking demo or presentaion, researching and writing an article for a magazine, or blogging for a brand  or creating and testing recipes.”   Outside of work she enjoys “salsa dancing and seeing the world”.

In anticipation of Super Bowl Sunday, I’m thinking of making  Marisa’s caramelized onion dip that she healthified by substituting Greek yogurt for the sour cream.  Connect with Marisa on all of her social media sites: Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Google+

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Throw back to September, at the Blog Brulee where I first met Marisa and these lovely ladies who have all been an inspiration to me! Photo Credit: Gretchen Brown of KumquatBlog and one of the founders of the Blog Brulee.

 

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The Ultimate Match-Up: Super Bowl Food Challenge

Disclosure: I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time. 

It’s seven days before Super Bowl Sunday and I’m thinking about making substitutions. No, not players, food. Today I’m calling a time out with my team; the team that’s seeking to serve healthier food options on game day.  I’m a believer in small change. You’ll never be named MVP, throwing a party without some of the coveted Super Bowl comfort foods,  even if they aren’t sports dietitian approved.  That said, if someone served up some heathier options (in addition to just salsa and baby carrots), wouldn’t you be glad they did?

I’m not predicting healthier food options will start beating out the wings, nachos, delivered pizza or desserts anytime soon, but they never will if we don’t start offering them. So are you ready to receive my Super Bowl Food Challenge? photo-253photo-248 copy_edited-2Yes, I am playing with a deflated football, not because I condone it, but this puppy puncture  is one of the risks of playing football with labrador retreivers. (By the way, did you notice any retrievers on the Patriot’s sidelines?) Anyway,  today I’m using it as symbol of my Super Bowl strategy: take advantage of deflated calories. Make it your game plan, by joining my team and embracing my Super Bowl Food Challenge:  Throw a Super Bowl party with some of the customary foods, but match each traditional dish with one healthy option.  And just to get  you started, I’m sharing this Mediterranean inspired cheese board. IMG_0963No matter how you do it, you will always score with a cheese platter! They ‘re ideal for the casual mix, mingle, and grab a snack approach to entertaining. They’re easy on the hostess, who doesn’t always know dietary restrictions and doesn’t always have time to cook. I suggest starting with Cabot cheddar, a protein rich snack that’s naturally lactose free. My board also includes other nutrient rich foods that pair exceptionally well with  Cabot Alpine cheddar including:  smoked salmon, tzatziki, crackers, and fresh pears.  This recipe is so easy and can be modified to any number of football/food fans.

Before I close, I do want to mention that Cabot is more than just yummy cheese that is always a satisfying choice for a cheese board. Here’s a fact you should  know:  Cabot is a coopertative of 1200 family farms located throughtout New England and New York. Also, 100% of Cabot’s  profits go back to the farmer. That’s as American as the Super Bowl!

Let me know your game plan in the comments sections below, and  be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more inspiration for this ultimate match-up!

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Mediterranean Cheese Board (8 appetizer servings)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  •  6 oz. Cabot Alpine Cheddar, sliced into 1/4 inch rectangles
  • assorted crackers with seeds/herbs or hearty whole grain artisan breads, sliced
  • 4 oz. smoked salmon, cut into bit sized pieces
  • 2 pears, sliced
  • 12 oz. baby zucchini, sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • store bought tzatziki sauce (or make your own with recipe below)

for the tzatziki sauce

  • 1/2 pint nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 English cuccumber, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

Instructions

for the tzatziki sauce

1.Grate cuccumber and place into a seive that is set on top of another bowl. Refrigerate and allow to drain for 3-4 hours.

2. Squeeze liquid from cuccumber. Add Greek yogurt to a small bowl and combine with cuccumber. Add lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil , garlic and dill. Stir to combine.

Use immediately or refrigerate. Can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time.

to assemble cheese board

Casually arrange all ingredients on a board, platter or cake plate.

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Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Recipe Redux, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Steamed Oysters with Smokey Peach Sauce

IMG_0859I don’t consider myself a big fan of winter, but there are somethings about winter I do adore. One of them is oysters. In my modest opinion, the best thing about these mollusks is they bring people together.  Because who wants to be flying solo when it’s time to  clean, shuck, steam, eat and repeat?

Last weekend, when we had a few more heads at the table, it  sparked the idea of  an oyster roast. And while I was anticipating my monthy Recipe Redux post, it  seemed like a good time to tie-in the Recipe Redux theme, heat things up with smoke and spiciness.

Oysters always need a dipping sauce. I usually like to make a classic horseradish sauce and then to keep things interesting, I like to make a second one that’s unconventional. That’s the one I’m sharing with you! I found this recipe Grilled Oysters with Smoked Paprika-Peach Sauce online. When we (my family)  were inexperienced at preparing  oysters, we used a grill. But  now, we prefer to steam them. In our opinion, it’s much faster. By the way, the nutritional value remains virtually identical. Oysters are a very good source of protein, vitamin B12, iron,  zinc, cooper and selenium.  Below is our family recipe for steamed oysters and also the redux for the  unconventional, smokey peach sauce. Like many recipes, this sauce doesn’t need as much butter as in the original recipe to make it good. Using frozen peaches in lieu of fresh  was a no brainer,  because who can  find a fresh peach this time of year?!  But let’s be practical here, as much as I love the idea of farm to table, if it’s not in season,  frozen fruits are just as nutritious, and sometimes more. (Frozen fruits and veggies are frozen at the peak of their ripeness, locking in nutrients.)   I added  the smoked paprika to taste. (You too  may want to adjust this to your liking.) Finally I finished the dipping sauce with Italian parsely. This smokey redux was successful as even my pickest eater gave it a thumbs up. Please check out the links at the bottom of this post for more smokin’ hot recipes!

Do you have any recipes you make together as a family?PicMonkey Collage.oysters

IMG_0885IMG_0887Steamed Oysters with Smokey Peach Sauce (makes 16 appetizer servings)

adapted from the Washington Post’s Grilled Oysters with Smoked Paprika-Peach Sauce

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

    for the sauce

    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 cups frozen peaches, defrosted
    • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
    • 4 Tablespoons Italian parsely, chopped

    for the oysters

    • 1/2 bushel fresh oysters

    Instructions

    for the smokey peach sauce

    1. Remove peaches from freezer and thaw. Place thawed peach slices in blender and puree.

    2.Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.

    3. Add peach puree and smoked paprika. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Cna be made several hours before serving. Reheat slowly and add fresh chopped parsely just before serving

    for the oysters

    1.Rinse and scrub oysters.

    2. Fill large stock pot with serveral inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add a steamer basket to pot.

    3. Fill steamer basket with oysters. Replace lid on pot and cook until shells open slightly.

    4. Shuck oysters carefully by removing top shell. Place and platter and serve with sauce.

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    Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Recipe Redux, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

    Stop Chasing Unicorns + How to Lose Weight and Preserve Muscle

    Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the Nutrition for Life campaign sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs.  I was compensated for writing this post. Opinions are my own.

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    Believing  a single food will protect you from disease is like believing in unicorns; they don’t exist. Your health depends on the combination of your genes and your lifestyle. Taking care of yourself is a MUST and should include eating right, exercising daily and not smoking. Safest Choice Eggs agrees a healthy diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. As a matter of fact, they want to help jump start your  2015 health and fitness goals with an awesome Nutrition for Life campaign to kick off the New Year! I am proud to be a partner and together, we want You to WIN! Every small step toward your goal counts. Take one step at a time. Step one  (also my first tip to preserve muscle): Eat regular meals containing 20 to 30 gram of protein about every 4 hours.

    If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I love muscles. You also know the 10 reasons why you should care about muscle maintenance. But are you doing everything YOU can to preserve YOUR muscles? Are you feeding your body with a steady intake of fuel throughout the day in the form of protein to manufacture lean tissue?

    If you’re like most Americans, your protein intake is skewed. In other words, you don’t  eat much protein at breakfast, you eat a little more at lunch and you load up  in the evening. Sound familiar?

    So what’s the benefit of spreading protein intake throughout the day (vs loading up at one meal)?  It allows the body to effectively build muscle and other proteins. Small frequent feedings of protein are better for muscle- allowing for maximal muscle protein synthesis. It’s also  helpful if you’re aiming to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Studies show that protein increases satiety and including about 20 grams in the morning possibly reduces caloric intake for the rest of the day.

    Start shaping up breakfast with the power of protein. (I will be sharing more ways to spread protein throughout the day in upcoming posts.)  But for today, the focus is breakfast!  My savory Dutch pancake made with Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs is not only a victor when it comes to taste; one serving  IMG_0661provides 20 grams of protein. SafeEggs  are my choice for a high quality protein and they also provide iron, vitamins A, D, E  choline and antioxidants.  Not to mention the peace of mind I get with naturally pastuerized eggs, there is NEVER a risk of salmonella.

    So stop chasing unicorns, and strive to take the first step to better health by eating breakfast and including dietary protein.  Try this recipe or discover other ways to enjoy SafeEggs

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    Savory, High Protein Dutch Pancake

    serves 4

    by Diane Boyd

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 4 scallions, whites and greens separated
    • 4 whole Safe Choice pasteurized eggs
    • 1 cup nonfat milk
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 cup low fat shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
    • 4-5 slices Canadian bacon, sliced lengthwise into thin strips

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Chop scallion whites.  Add melted butter and chopped scallion whites to a 10 inche cast iron skillet. Place in oven and heat until very hot. Swirl skillet around to evenly coat bottom and sides of skillet.

    2. Meanwhile, slice scallion greens into long slivers and place them into a bowl filled with cold water. (They should curl up and be prefect for garnishing your Dutch baby when it is finished.)

    3. In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and smoked paprika.

    4. Remove hot skillet from oven. Pour in batter. Top with half of cheese and return to oven for 25-30 minutes.

    5. In a small fry pan, sautee Canadian bacon.

    6. Remove Dutch pancake from oven when edges are crispy and center is fluffy.

    7. Dry off scallion greens. Top Dutch baby with remaining shredded cheese, sauteed Canadian bacon and curled scallion greens. Serve immediately.

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    Ten Reasons Why You Should Care About Muscle Maintenace

    IMG_0659Healthy muscle isn’t just about being bigger and stronger. More than any other single factor, muscle loss is responsible for the frailty and diminished vitality we associate with old age. As I mentioned in my last post, Get After It In 2015, this starts as early as age thirty-five. (Between the ages of 35 and 80, we lose one-third of our muscle.)  But it doesn’t have to happen to you. A physically active lifestyle, along with a nutritious diet, can reduce age-related decline.  Here are the top 10 reasons you should care about muscle maintenance:

    •  allows you to be more physically active

    •  unloads pressure off your joints, important for anyone with an  arthritic condition

    • decreases your risk of falling  by improving balance

    •  halts bone loss and even restores bone

    • prevents bone fractures and osteoporosis

    • makes you look trimer and tighter

    • helps control weight

    •  energizes and revitalizes

    •  can improve sports performance

    •  can reduce the difficulty performing work related activities or activities of daily living

    For ALL of the above, my nutrition counseling is designed with muscle maintenance in mind. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, eat ‘cleaner’ , or change your body compostion, maintaining muscle mass should be a priority.  Please stay tuned for my upcoming posts that will incorporate tips to maintain and/or increase muscle.

    What inspires you to embrace a physically active lifestyle along with a nutritious diet?

    Posted in Fitness, Inspiration | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments