The Smart Way to Eat Granola + Mango Curry Granola

IMG_1425.2I love granola. But after all these years,  (granola was orginally introduced in the late 1800′s), many of us have been doing it all wrong. We’ve been eating this delicious, high fiber combination, the way it was marketed to us: filling cereal bowls to the brim  or snacking on it right out of the box or jar. Sound familiar?

What’s wrong with filling your cereal bowl with granola? It’s so nutrient dense (yes, I do mean high in calories!) and if you follow the recommended portion of  1/4 cup,  your bowl of cereal is teeny tiny. Here’s the solution: mix it with other, less nutrient dense cereals or use it as a topping for oatmeal (love it this way).

What’s wrong with snacking on granola out of the box or jar? It’s documented that we eat more food when eating out of large containers, than we do when eating out of smaller ones.  If you love to snack on granola, make sure to portion it  into smaller containers for eating (2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup portions are reasonable for most individuals).

Here’s the third, smart way to eat granola: Get creative with granola and us it as an ingredient in other foods. This easily and consitently  keeps the granola portion size in check.  I love   sweet and savory granola as a topping for vegetables;  raisin and sunflower seed granola as a coating for frozen bananas;  and fennel seed and pine nut granola paired with goat cheese. Once you try granola as an ingredient, you’ll find more uses for granola beyond breakfast and understand why this concept is so popular.

Today’s I made a granola that’s different then any of the ones I have made before; it’s salty and sour. This combination is a flavor bomb,  and the mango curry granola is perfect as a cooking ingredient.  Stay tuned, you don’t want to miss my recipes using this salty and sour granola as a  substitue for panko on fish, a topping for a  springtime salad, and in a  recovery snack.

IMG_1430_edited-1IMG_1421How do you use granola as an ingredient in other foods?

Mango Curry Granola

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (GF: look for gluten free label)
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Place ingredients oats through red pepper flakes in a small bowl and stir to combine.

3. Pour onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minute or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.

4. Allow to cool. Add lime zest and dried mango. Store in an air tight container.

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Cast Iron Skillet Fish Nachos

Two for one; as in cook once eat twice.  Have you tried this  short cut for getting healthy and delicious meals on the table? For me, it works as a way to reduce food waste as well,  and it just so happens to be this month’s Recipe Redux theme! Today, I’m taking a recipe already on  my blog, Cedar-Plank Wahoo, and reworking it  into this second meal…

cast iron skillet fish nachos2

When making the wahoo, cook a second pound for the nachos or use leftover cooked fish you already have in the refrigerator.  I ‘m using up the remaining cod  from last nights dinner. You can use any white fish; even if you have less than a pound of fish, you can make up the difference by adding some cooked shrimp. This recipe uses my favorite cheese, Cabot Cheddar (I am a proud member of the Cabot Cheese Board.) You can also use a Cabot Pepper Jack. I am keeping it light with low fat yogurt instead of sour cream and knocking off some  homemade baked tortilla  chips.

My recipe  choice  is related to my daunting task  mission of getting my family to eat more fish. I’ve discussed making family favorites vs. pushing the envelope before (Brownie Points or Epic Failure; No Bake Chocolate Mousse), and the inherent risk of failure. So let me be honest, fish isn’t a family favorite.  The Man is  indifferent to it (he eats it, but would prefer something else); my kids don’t like it, period. Usually I make it for myself. Truth.  Last summer was the first time I prepared cedar-plank wahoo, after my son and his friends’ fishing trip promise was fulfilled.  It was the Man who originally came up with the idea of fish nachos for a second meal! After seven months, I’m giving it a try.. so let’s see how this turned out…

IMG_1480My daughter breezed through the kitchen as I snapped this shot and said,

Mmm.. that looks so good!

I’m counting that as PLUS ONE. As the man and I sat down to a plate full for lunch, he gave a nod of approval, PLUS TWO. My son gets no voice as he was out of town. Moi?  I thought I hit a dang homerun, PLUS THREE. Hope you will try my healthier version of fish nachos and visit the links at the bottom of the post for more ways to save time and reduce waste with the two for one approach to meal planning.

What strategies do you use to save time and reduce waste in the kitchen?

 

IMG_1485Cast Iron Skillet Fish Nachos

4 entree serving or 8 appetizer servings

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 sliced greens onion, divided
  • 1 pound cooked fish, shredded
  • 1/2 cup low fat yogurt or low fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 1/2 ounce bag of corn tortilla chips or homemade chips
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Cabot cheddar cheese
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Cotija cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Add olive oil and half of chopped onion to a 10 -inch cast iron skillet.

3. Place skillet in oven and heat until very hot (two to three minutes). Swirl the skillet around to evenly coat the bottom.

4. Meanwhile, mix fish with yogurt, chilli powder, cumin and salt.

5. Remove hot skillet from oven and add tortilla chips to the bottom.

6. Cover chips with fish mixture and top with salsa and cheddar cheese.

7. Bake  for about 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with remaining green onions, radishes, and Cotija cheese. Serve hot.

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Petition to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – #RepealTheSeal

Repeal_-_basicI am participating  in the #RepealTheSeal campaign to show my disagreement with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ recent decision to allow the Kids Eat Right logo onto food packaging. In invite my fellow colleagues and bloggers, who also share this opinion, or who support this campaign, to also post this Open Letter on their own blog, to sign the petition at change.org, and/or  to use #RepealThe Seal hashtag via social media. ~Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

This week, there’s been something keeping me awake at night. It’s of great concern to me as a registered dietitian and long term member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Today I am voicing my opinion about the partnership between The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Kids Eat Right (KER) Foundation and Kraft, which allows for the inclusion of the KER logo  on packages of Kraft singles (the Academy’s formal press release can be read here.) AND states that this collaboration is an NOT endorsement or a nutrition seal of approval.

However, many members of AND, including myself, are discouraged and saddened by AND’s lack of transparency in this matter. Here’s our complaint:

As dietitians and nutritionists we work hard to provide full transparency in all of our own business relationships, and we expect the same from AND . In the business world, a logo on a product label conveys a seal of endorsement, an alignment, and recognition of a paid relationship.

 Respected dietitian colleages Regan Jones RDRachel Begun, MS, RD; , RD and Kate Geagan, MS, RDN have spearheaded this campaign with an open letter to AND and the public (below) and a petition that anyone can sign. If you share our opinion, here are the steps you can take to help make a difference:

You don’t have to be a dietitian to help #RepealTheSeal:

1. Sign the petition at change.org which outlines the steps we are asking that the Academy and KER take to rectify the situation.

2.Post this open letter on your blog and/or other social media platforms and use the #RepealTheSeal hashtag

3. Invite others to repost on their blogs and/or share the petition link social media networks

________________________________________________________________

OPEN LETTER

March 16, 2015

To Mary Beth Whalen, President Sonja Connor, leadership at the Academy and the Kids Eat Right (KER) Foundation: 

As long-time members and proud supporters of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), we are dismayed, shocked, and saddened by the blog post in last week’s New York Times.  The piece (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/12/a-cheese-product-wins-kids-nutrition-seal/?_r=0 – ) reports on the KER Foundation’s Nutrition seal— a seal that the Academy states was not an endorsement of the product, but is an indicator of the brands that support Kids Eat Right.

As dedicated Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists and food and nutrition experts, we are protesting the Academy’s position to allow the Kids Eat Right logo on Kraft Singles, as well as the possibility to allow any future implied endorsement of any product by AND for the following reasons:

Flawed Understanding of the Marketplace

We wholly reject the rationale that the Academy used in their formal press release to defend the nature of the relationship between Kraft and the Academy. A logo on a product label is an endorsement, an alignment, and recognition of a paid relationship. Simply stating otherwise in a press release, no matter how emphatically, doesn’t change this fact. Rather, AND’s actions illustrate how profoundly out of touch AND is with business principles, which has put our professional integrity and credibility at risk. It is also a decision that is out of touch with members’ values.

Failure to Provide Transparency to AND Members and Consumers  

We work hard to provide full transparency in all of our own business relationships, and we expect the same from the Academy. Failure to be transparent about ANDs actions violates the Academy’s own Ethics Policy*, which calls for the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and for members to not engage in false or misleading practices of communications.

Actions Requested of the Academy: #RepealtheSeal

We ask that the Academy make available to its members, the media and the public the following:

  • We ask for full transparency regarding the process of approval to allow the KER logo on the Kraft product— including the names of those involved, the meeting minutes of the discussion, and Board’s vote on this issue.
  • We ask for full disclosure of the terms of the financial agreement between KER Foundation and Kraft. We also request full transparency regarding the status of future agreements under consideration for use of our Logo.
  • We ask the Academy to provide their plan for the discontinuation of this specific relationship with Kraft and removal of the KER logo off Kraft Singles product packaging.

Academy members deserve strong leaders who will protect the integrity of the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist credential. This latest action is an embarrassing misstep that must be corrected swiftly in order to prevent further damage to the RD/RDN brand and to the Academy.

Sincerely,

Rachel Begun MS, RDN
Kate Geagan MS, RDN
Regan Jones, RDN
Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists colleagues listed at change.org

*American Dietetic Association/Commission on Dietetic Registration Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics and Process for the Consideration of Ethics Issues. J Acad Nutr Diet 2009;109(8):1461-1467.

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Chicken Satay with Coconut and Mango Jasmine Rice

 

It only takes a few key ingredients added to rice to maximize flavor and leave a lasting impression. ~ by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

IMG_1384

Disclosure:  By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

March is a special month. It’s the month my colleagues and I get a little crazy… no I’m not talking March madness, I’m talking National Nutrition Month. Whoot! Whoot! Our theme this year incorporates food and behavior

Bite into a healthy lifestyle.

 Here’s my first suggestion for an improved lifestyle:

Think U.S.- Grown Rice!

Yep, that’s it. No need to make this complicated.  Rice is  nutritious, sustainable, safe, locally-grown, and GMO-free! ( Look for the “Grown in the USA Rice” label on packaging.) Rice is also gluten free and the least allergenic of all grains, making it a great option for individuals with gluten sensitivity  or intolerance.  It’s  so  versatile and  pairs well with the foods we all need to be eating more of: fruits, vegetables and lean protein. I’m  smitten with the  nutty taste of brown rice (especially in my  Brown Rice and Pumpkin Risotto).  Studies link whole grains, such as brown rice, to a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers. The rest of my family prefers white enriched rice (in dishes like my Copycat Ginger-Seasame Braised Chicken Meatballs). Here’s the good news: brown rice and white enriched rice are a desirable part of a healthy diet! Both are naturally low in sodium, cholesterol free, trans fat free, and contain only a trace of fat.

If I still haven’t convinced you to think U.S.- grown rice,  let me ask you this, ….  ”faster is better, right?”  So for a fast, casual meal, use rice as the base and top with lean protein such as: chicken, fish and/or seafood, lean beef, eggs, low fat cheese, or beans (for a high quality plant based protein).   Today I’m using jasmine rice (my daughter’s favorite variety) to start the foundation of a meal that takes 30 minutes to prep and cook (not including marinating the chicken).  My inspiration for this dish came when I purchased some dried mango on my weekly trip to  Trader Joe’s. Here are the ingredients I used to  make the coconut and mango jasmine rice my family is still raving about…

IMG_1327.3

 Dried mango gives the rice a little sweetness. Peanuts and coconut add a satisfying crunch.  Topping it off with chicken satay complements the tastes and results in a meal  that’s packed with protein, affordable, flavorful, and  worthy of a special occasion. Now that’s a real slam dunk!

IMG_1404Be sure to see the links at the bottom of my post for more ways to think U.S.-grown rice during National Nutrition Month and beyond.

IMG_1399Chicken Satay with Coconut & Mango Jasmine Rice (serves 4)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Supplies: bambo skewers

for the coconut & mango jasmine rice

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked U.S.-Grown Jasmine Rice
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes*

Instructions

1. Soak bambo skewers in water while prepping ingredients.

2. Add ingredients peanut butter through garlic into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Reserve 3/4 of sauce for serving and use remainder to marinate chicken tenders for about 2 hours.

3. Preheat grill to medium high.

4. Thread  chicken onto skewers .

5. When grill is hot, (400 degrees F) place chicken on grill rack and grill 6-8 minutes per side or until chicken is beautifully charred.  Garnish chicken with green onion.

for the jasmine rice

1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil. Stir in jasmine rice; return to boil, stirring once. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.

2. Stir in dried mango, peanuts, and lime zest. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Serve chicken over a mound of rice with remaining peanut sauce on the side.

* TO TOAST COCONUT:  Spread coconut flakes onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring often.

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Power Couple: Protein and Exercise + Recovery Recipe

I love the ease of packing Greek yogurt, and the protein it packs important for boosting lean muscle mass gains, enhancing exercise recovery and helping with weight loss.  Here’s how I like it  enjoy it after resistance training .Yogurt_blog_post

I like to get it on board  30 minutes after a workout to take advantage of the relationship between protein and training; exercise sensitizes muscle to amino acid uptake. Studies have shown that protein type, amount and timing are the factors that influence muscle protein synthesis. This is the snack that delivers  21 grams of  protein, high in the amino acid leucine ( responsible for triggering  muscle protein synthesis).  ’Cause I like to keep the sugar content low,  I use the secret ingredient I introduced you to in my last post…

IMG_1272If the macerated fruit isn’t  sweet enough with the yogurt, add a little Monk Fruit in the Raw (zero calorie natural sweetener) to the yogurt and then layer with fruit. My recipe with exact measurements is below.

Layering Greek yogurt with pomegrante arils and macerated grapefruit makes a refreshing post recovery snack with the type and amount of protein necessary to maximize training gains. Hope you enjoy!IMG_1303

Grapefruit Pomegranate Greek Yogurt (serves 1)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Monk Fruit in the Raw, Bakers Bag (optional)
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup pomegrante arils
  • handfull of pistachios, shelled

for the macerated grapefruit

  • 1/2 grapefruit, sectioned
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

for the macerated fruit

Place grapefruit and honey in a Mason jar and allow to sit for 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to one day.

to assemble the yogurt Parfait

1. In a small bowl, stir Monk Fruit into Greek yogurt. Add pinch of salt.

2. In a parfait glass or portable yogurt cup, layer pomegranate arils with yogurt and macerated grapefruit. Finish with fruit.

3. Add pistachios just before eating.

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