Navigating the Frozen Aisle at the Grocery Store

Happy National Frozen Foods Day! Learn to navigate the frozen food aisle at the grocery store like a dietitian.
Navigating the Frozen Aisle at the Grocery Store
Did you know Frozen Foods Day has been celebrated all the way back from 1984? I’m sure majority of your grocery shopping trips make a pit stop to the frozen aisles for at least one item, if not more. The frozen aisle has definitely improved over the years.
I like to bring this question up in many of my nutrition group discussions – Which do you think is healthier: fresh or frozen? Many raise their hand for fresh and a few brave participants raise their hands for frozen, even if they don’t exactly know why. The answer is both are healthy! Frozen can be just as healthy as fresh thanks to American inventor Clarence Frank Birdseye II, who invented the process of flash freezing. Flash freezing of fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood preserve flavor, quality, and nutrients. Birdseye discovered the key was freezing the food quickly, locking in foods nutritional value. Flash freezing forms small ice crystals which prevent the cell walls from bursting. Large ice crystals turn the food to mush.

Previously working as a supermarket RD, I know how to navigate the aisles like a pro!
As like any section of the grocery store, the frozen aisle is broken into categories. Follow this dietitian’s guide to navigating the frozen food aisle.


  • Check your ingredient list. Make sure it is just the fruit itself. Avoid added sugar.
    My Picks: Campoverdue Fruit & Veggie Blenders, Dole Fruit & Veggie Blends, Earthbound Farm Organic Smoothie Kickstarts, Dole Dippers (for a portion controlled sweet treat)
    Tip: Skip the syrup for topping your waffles or pancakes. Try using frozen fruit! Simply add frozen berries to a small pot over the stove top and let simmer. It will turn gooey and syrupy. Add a teaspoon of chia seeds to thicken.


  • Opt for the plain varieties. Skip the vegetables with gravies, cheese sauces, and even those labeled as “lightly seasoned”. They may be light in taste but check the nutrition label for hidden excess sodium and fat.
  • Watch out for “par-fried” items. I’m looking at you frozen french fries. Par-fried means blanching or half-frying that involves partially frying the food but not browning it, so that it must be cooked again before serving. So even though you might bake them in the oven, they were still fried.
  • Look for new items like riced cauliflower and other riced vegetables. So far I’ve seen riced carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes too!
  • Cauliflower is popping up everywhere for a low-carb option. They are even making cauliflower tots to replace potatoes.
    My Picks: frozen cauliflower rice, Veggie fries, Dr. Praeger Veggie Tots, or ANY frozen plain veggies
    Tip: Give yourself a break prepping in the kitchen. Get a stir-fry going in minutes with pre-chopped onions, peppers, and carrots!


  • Look for the first word on the ingredient list to be the word “whole”, for frozen products like waffles.
  • Now ancient grains are even easier to get on the dinner table. No need to wait for them to cook in a pot. Warm up frozen whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.
  • Do steel cut oats take to long to cook in the morning? Don’t worry there is frozen version that can heat up in seconds.
    My Picks: Van’s Whole Grain Waffles, Kashi Whole Grain Waffles, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Ezekiel bread, Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Waffles


  • Again, watch out for “par-fried” items.
  • Opt for protein, like chicken or fish, without a breadcrumb coating. Choose lean choices of meat.
  • Look for plant-based proteins like edamame. Now they even have frozen beans & lentils available!
    My Picks: Hip Chick Farms, Good Food Made Simple, Hanover Beans, Good Food Made Simple Southwestern Veggie Breakfast Bowl


This is typically your ice cream section of the frozen department. There is a whole other refrigerated aisle dedicated to wholesome dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheeses – aka the dairy aisle.

  • Check your ingredient list. Look for real food ingredients.
  • Opt for yogurt-based items
    My Picks: As a dietitian, I always practice what I preach that everything in moderation. Now if you want that Ben and Jerry’s, go for it, being mindful of the portion sizes. There are so many new ice creams out there that I do have mixed feeling about. Some have sugar alcohols. For me personally, they bother my stomach, but it can be a good alternative for ice cream lovers who are looking to enjoy their ice cream a little more often than not. Halo Top, Nada Moo, Yasso, Enlightened, Ciao Bella Adonia Wild Blueberry Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars, are a few.

Frozen Meals

In general, look for meals that include one or more servings each of vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat, fish, or poultry. This combination will be higher in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber (which helps fill you up). Skip frozen dinners with cream sauces, gravies, or fried foods. And although dessert may look like a bonus, maybe have a piece of fresh fruit instead, for more fiber, nutrition, and fewer calories.
When comparing labels for frozen entrees, many eyes jump right down to the sodium, because come frozen meals can be sodium bombs. Look for a frozen entree < 600 milligrams.
It’s also important to pay attention to serving sizes. Although they may be lower in calories, smaller entrees may leave you hungry. But don’t be afraid to add a few extras to boost nutrition and satisfaction. Add a side salad or an extra bag of steamed veggies to up the nutritional value of the meal and add fiber, so it will fill you up and satisfy your hunger. Looking to bump up the protein? Add 1/2 cup of beans or a sprinkling of nuts to your meal. No additional cooking required!
My favorite trick: I place a big bed of baby spinach or zoodles on my plate then pour the piping hot Luvo frozen entree right on top straight from the microwave. It wilts the spinach or softens the zoodles and bulks up the meal with extra vegetables.
My Picks: Luvo, Grainful, Evol, Garden Lites, Kashi, Amy’s

Frozen Pizza
Check your serving size. Often those pizzas contain multiple servings. Again, bulk them up! Keep it simple so there is no additional cooking required. Add toppings like frozen grilled chicken strips and plenty of veggies. Also, look for pizzas that use whole grains in the crust.
My favorite trick: I pile my pizza high with extra veggies. (The more the merrier!) When there is about 5 minutes left until the pizza is done, I crack a few eggs right on top and finish cooking the pizza to add an extra veggie and protein punch. Plus, who doesn’t like a runny egg yolk?
MyPicks: Newman’s Own, Pea’s of Mind, American Flatbread, Kashi

Veggie Burgers
Check your ingredient list. Make sure there are actual vegetables in there! Don’t be fooled by packaging. Just because there is no animal protein in it, they can skimp on the veggies. Some veggie burgers contain fillers like rice and potatoes to bulk it up. Look for a veggie burger with plenty of vegetables on the ingredient list.
My Picks: Dr. Praeger, Hilary’s, Gardenburger

*Please note there are plenty more healthy options found in the frozen aisles of the grocery store. The ones listed are just a sampling. 
Want a more in-depth tour of the grocery store? I now offer grocery store tours in the north NJ area!
RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook

With September being Family Meals Month, the key to getting healthier meals on the table is meal prep. Register Dietitian and cookbook author, Toby Amidor, makes it easier with her latest cookbook, “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook“.

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook - reviewed by RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook – Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

It’s easy to reach for frozen and microwaveable meals when you’re short on time, but being too busy shouldn’t mean that you can’t have balanced and delicious meals. Learning how to meal prep properly will not only save you time and energy, but it will also help to make sure that you and your family eat homemade and nutritious meals. Providing practical and simple solutions with easy to follow instructions, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook shows you how simple it is to enjoy fresh and flavorful meals on even the most hectic days.
The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook features:

  • 3 flexible 2-week meal plans for ready-to-go healthy meals without the hassle of prep
  • More than 100 simple, wholesome recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, complete with nutritional breakdowns and portion control to keep calories in check
  • Practical weekly shopping lists with easy to find ingredients to prepare your pantry for the week
  • Convenient illustrated guidelines on how to freeze, thaw, and reheat your meals to keep food fresh, safe, and tasty

I was excited to chat with fellow RD, Toby, about her latest cookbook.
The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook - reviewed by RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

A little about Toby Amidor:

With over 18 years experience in the food and nutrition industry, Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN is a leading dietitian and recipe developer who believes that healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious.
In her new book, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook, Toby provides practical and simple solutions with easy to follow instructions. She shows you how simple it is to enjoy fresh and flavorful meals on even the most hectic days.
In her first book, The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, Toby shows readers how to cut back on fat and calories without compromising flavor. She shares how Greek yogurt is one of today’s most versatile and nourishing ingredients and how it can be used in unexpected ways, making even the most bad-for-you foods healthier, tastier and more satisfying.
Toby is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition, where she provides nutrition and food safety consulting services for individuals, restaurants and food brands. For 10 years she has been the nutrition expert for, writing for their Healthy Eats Blog, and is a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report Eat + Run blog, and and has her own “Ask the Expert” column in Today’s Dietitian Magazine. She also freelances for Furthermore by Equinox and, has been quoted in publications like,, Oxygen Magazine, Dr. Oz The Good Life,, Reader’s Digest,, Women’s Health, Redbook, Men’s Journal, Huffington Post, Everyday Health, and more. Toby has also appeared on television including shows like The Dr. Oz Show, AMHQ with Sam Champion,  Good Day Street Talk Fox5 NY, and San Antonio Live. For the past 8 years she has been an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and beginning in fall 2017 she will also begin teaching as an adjunct at Hunter College in New York City.
Toby trained as a clinical dietitian at New York University. Previously, Toby was a consultant on Bobby Deen’s cooking show, “Not My Mama’s Meals.” Through ongoing consulting and faculty positions, she has established herself as one of the top experts in culinary nutrition, food safety, and media.

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook - reviewed by RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Apricot Chicken Drumsticks – Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

With her stellar resume, I was excited to ask her questions about her latest project – “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook“.
Q: You have written a wonderful cookbook “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook.” What inspired you to write a book about the topic of meal prep?
A: Juggling a busy schedule can make it difficult to prepare healthy family meals, especially during the week. As a mom of three and a registered dietitian, I understand that struggle all too well. Over the years I have developed a weekly meal prep routine, and it has been a lifesaver. I wrote The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook to share my tips and tricks for getting food on the table fast.
Q: How do you think your meal prep strategies help families eat healthier?
A: When you plan out your meal and prepare them ahead of time, you avoid that last minute trip to a fast food joint or stopping at the local deli for an oversized muffin on the way to work. Not only do you eat healthier, you can save money by purchasing these last minute meals.
Q: What are your suggestions for dealing with a picky eater in the family?
A: Making a picky eater involved in the process can help them enjoy food and become exposed to foods they may not be used to. It can start with helping to select recipes. I loved taking my kids when they were younger to the supermarket and showing them the different fruits and vegetables. As my kids got older, I showed them how to determine the ripeness of a fruit and/or vegetable. Kids also love getting down and dirty in the kitchen from mixing to measure to even zesting citrus fruit. Setting the table has also become a way kids can also get involved.
Q: What would you say are top three pantry items that every family should have stocked in their pantry? 
Quinoa: This whole grain (which is technically a seed) provides 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup. It’s easy to pair with beans, serve alongside a protein like chicken, beef, or fish, and even toss on a salad for added protein.
Beans: Beans are an excellent source of fiber providing about 7.5 grams per ½ cooked cup. I prefer the ease of canned beans, but will look for those with no added salt. Beans can be tossed in a soup, over a salad, used to make burgers, chili, and even rice and beans.
Canned tuna: If you forgot to defrost your protein or finished it up for the week, canned tuna can come to the rescue. I prefer chunk light tuna canned in water and can toss it over a salad, mix it with celery, apples, Greek yogurt and light mayo for a delicious salad, or stuff it into a whole grain pita with my Chopped Chickpea Salad.
Q: What is your favorite recipe from the cookbook?
A: I am a huge breakfast fan, so Zippy’s Shakshuka and the Brooklyn Breakfast are two of my favorites. Zippy, my mother, always made Shakshuka (eggs in tomato sauce) for me and my 4 siblings when she was in a hurry and kept jarred crushed tomatoes and eggs on hand in case she had to whip something up in a hurry. As for the Brooklyn Breakfast, I was born in Brooklyn and smoked salmon and cream cheese was part of my regular diet. To this day, it is still one of my favorites.
Q: How long did it take you to write this book?
A: I wrote this cookbook in about 6 weeks and tested each recipe (some recipes I tested several times). I did work through weekends and did not take any days off. This is pretty unusual for cookbook authors but was the deadline I agreed to meet.
Q: What is your favorite spice to cook with?
A: I love cinnamon. It just has such a warming feeling that makes me feel so good. I used it in my baked goods (like scones and muffin), pancake batters, and oatmeal.

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook - reviewed by RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Beef Stir Fry with Asian Peanut Sauce – Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

Ready to get started?

Ready to start meal prepping? Order your copy of “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook” here!RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Why I gave up running for a month – Intuitive Movement

Breaking out of my comfort zone and getting a little more personal here on the blog. Hoping to start sharing a little more of me on here in between recipes!
Running and I have a love/hate relationship. Taking a break from running for a full month really opened my eyes to intuitive movement.
Intuitive Movement via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Growing up I hated doing training runs for sports. I could run all day on the field, but when I was told to just go for a training run, I felt like I was carrying bricks on my feet and mentally I hated counting down the miles and minutes to go on a run.
When my team sports came to an end, I need something to keep me motivated so I signed up for a 5k. This is when I started loving running. Signing up for a race gave me a challenge. I followed a training schedule to keep me on track. 5k’s turned to 10k’s then half marathons. I became the cardio queen.
Intuitive Movement via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
I was burned out. I haven’t signed up for a race in a year and my runs have been sporadic.

Early August I had planned to go for a run in the park and honestly was dreading it. I just didn’t feel like running. I know physically right I am not in the running condition I used to be in and mentally I know it would cause me to feel frustrated if I wasn’t able to run the distance and pace I was aiming for. But THAT’S OKAY! Instead of feeling defeated and not exercising at all, I popped on my headphones and listened to one of my new favorite podcasts, Food Psych, and this episode featuring the awesome Kylie Mitchell.
Intuitive Movement via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
If you never listened to Food Psych before, it’s a podcast about intuitive eating and breaking away from diet culture. As I listened to the podcast as I was walking along a trail on a beautiful summer afternoon and a light bulb went on in my head when Kylie mentioned intuitive movement.

I light bulb turned on in my head. Why was I trying to force myself to run? My mind and body were obviously trying to tell me something. This month, I took a break from running completely and was active in other ways.

Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
I changed my membership at the gym to include classes and been trying out different ones which has been fun! I enjoy being surrounded by others. Running alone can be soothing, but also very isolating. I was excited to check out the gym schedule each week to try new classes.
Intuitive Movement via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Instead of running:

I took spin classes.
I’ve been going for long walks listening to podcasts.
Intuitive Movement via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
I’ve done some YouTube yoga videos and no equipment workouts in the comfort of my own apartment.
I took some weight training classes and felt muscles that I haven’t felt feeling worked or challenged in awhile.
Adrian and I went on a mini vacation, which was filled with active activities like hiking and kayaking.
Intuitive Movement via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Intuitive Movement via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Honestly, I exercised more this month and I felt great. The old me would have been telling myself that I should be going for a run. I should run 5 miles today. I should aim to maintain a certain pace. But that’s not what I wanted. I want to move my body in a way makes me feel great physically and mentally. Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do.
Will I run again? Probably, but I’ve learned a lot about myself and the joy of intuitive movement this month.

What movement makes you happy?

RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

France Trip: Part Two

The sisters’ France adventure continues. Part one, we discovered Paris, Versailles, and Beaune. Our tour continued throughout southern France.
Croissants were consumed daily on this trip.
Bonjour! Unfortunately, my French didn’t really improve as the trip went on. Fortunately, I have pretty good charade skills, I didn’t really run into any problems.
Day Four:
Leaving Beaune, we stopped at Pont Du Gard, the largest remaining Roman aqueduct in France.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
We only made a brief stop here. I would have spent all afternoon at Pont Du Gard if I could. There was kayaking and so many hiking trails to explore. We sat on the edge of the rocks soaking in the view while we ate lunch.
That afternoon we continued our journey on the bus traveling south. There was quite a bit of travel time that day, but the Harrington sisters are always prepared with books, sudoku puzzles, and travel boggle. The journey continued to Avignon, a town on the Rhode River that in the 14th century became the residence of the popes.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
We explored the colorful shops that sell traditional products made in Provence, like cloth, honey, herbs, nougat candy, and lavender. The strong lavender aroma was trickling through the streets of Provence. I made a little pit stop for tiramisu gelato along the way.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
That evening, we ended up at Aix-en-Provence. We were pretty tired from traveling majority of the day and hit the hay to be energized and ready to go for the next evening.
Day Five:
Exploring Aix-en-Provence was one of my favorite days. We took a walking tour with our guide wandering through the small maze of streets. Our group stopped at a small cafe to enjoy cafe au lait with calissons (a traditional French confectionery). The little cookie tasted like marzipan with a coating of vanilla sugar on top.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
There was an amazing market in the middle of it all. The herbs were amazing and you were able to create your own spice blend.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
The biggest shallots I’ve ever seen.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
That afternoon, we ventured to Arles.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Dana took the stage! It was amazing to see how everything was crafted from stone. 
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Day Six:
That morning started with a visit to the hilltop town of St. Paul de Vance. There were quaint little art galleries and shops embedded right into the stones.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
The afternoon was spent traveling through Nice, the “Queen of the Riviera”. I wish we could have stopped in Nice to explore for awhile. I was able to capture the crystal clear bright blue waters at one of our pit stops.France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
We got to our final destination, to the tiny country of Monaco. That evening we traveled to the top of the hill to see the palace and royal church of the Monaco town.France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Day Seven:
It was our last day and we wanted to soak up every last bit of our trip. That morning we took a leisurely stroll through the rose gardens. I honestly had no idea there were so many varieties of roses.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
We dipped our toes in the Mediterranean. The water was so cold!
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
That evening we arrived at Eze where we visited the famous Fragonard perfume factory and created our own perfume! I had no idea the extensive training perfume creators go through. There are people called “noses” that have such a distinct sense of smell that only work 2 hours a day to create the perfect blend. 
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
That evening we enjoyed a dinner with our tour group to say our goodbyes.
France Trip: Part Two via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
I had such an amazing time exploring France with my sisters. It was an experience I will never forget. I highly recommend Globus Tours if you are ever looking to have a scheduled travel excursion.

RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

France Trip: Part One

Part one of my Parisian adventure. The trip started in Paris, then traveled to Beaune. Stay tuned for the remaining posts recapping the rest of our travels throughout France. 
Our trip started out buying a selfie stick at Newark Airport. Later to find out, none of us are skilled at using the selfie stick.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
My two sisters and I set out on an eight-day adventure in France with Globus Tours. Globus takes care of your flight, all your travel arrangements, hotel accommodations, and a group tour guide throughout the trip. For those who do not travel abroad often (like myself), I found being on the tour made the trip so much more enjoyable. Everything was planned out. Plus, being on a tour, we never had to wait in lines and learned so many interesting things about each location from our tour guide.
Day One:
We all tried sleeping on our red eye flight to Paris because when we landed we wanted to take advantage exploring the city of Paris before we had to meet up with our tour group. First stop, Eiffel Tower!
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Then to the Arc de Triomphe.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

We were starving, so we made a pit stop to a cafe. There are so many cute cafes around every corner of Paris. Of course, the first thing we had to try was a crepe, but also wanted something a little more substantial after a long day of traveling. Throughout our trip, we had to try more crepes, you know .. to compare. My favorite was the nutella strawberry filled crepe. Our crepe tasting throughout our trip inspired me to make my own version. Check out my Crepes with Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Filling.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
In the evening, we met everyone from our tour group and enjoyed a welcome dinner together. I got escargot as my appetizer. When in Rome Paris!
France trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
It was a quite lively dinner with live music serenading our table. After dinner, the group headed back to the Eiffel Tower, where we took the elevator to the second floor.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

It stays a lot lighter in the evening because France still runs on Germany’s time zone from WWII. When it finally got dark around 10 pm, we sat in the grass and gazed at the Eiffel Tower all lit up. It was amazing! Each night the lights twinkle for a few minutes and everyone cheers!
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Day Two:
Day two started sightseeing with our tour guide visiting the Arc de Triomphe, Opera, Madeline, Louvre, Champs-Elysees, and Norte Dame Cathedral.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
It was really interesting learning about all the artwork in the Louvre from our tour guide. I tried to get a picture of Mona Lisa, but the crowd was too much for me when another tourist pushed my head to try and cut in front of me. Yeah, that happened. Later headed up the hill to Montmartre to admire the art of the local artists.
Afterwards we headed up the hill to Montmartre to admire the art of the local artists.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
My sister, Dana, ran into her colleague and her students (she is a high school teacher) when we were there. Her colleague was taking students on a tour in Paris. Such a small world!
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
The evening included ice cream and a cruise on the Seine River.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Day Three:
The morning was spent at the Palace and Gardens of Versailles. First, touring the beautiful gardens.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
The details of all the intricate paintings on the ceilings were amazing, all lined with gold.
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
I was told the best place to get macarons was Laduree, located in Versailles. They were perfect!
France trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France Trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
In the afternoon, we traveled to Burgundy and arrived in Beaune, the capital of the region, where we did a wine tasting at Marche aux Vins wine cellar.
France trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
France trip via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Stay tuned to see the rest of our adventure to Pont du Gard, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Paul De Vence, and Monaco.

RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Go Nuts for Heart Health + 70 Recipes Using Nuts

Eating nuts can help your heart. Discover how nuts help lower your cholesterol when eaten as part of a balanced diet.
Go Nuts for Heart Health via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
Why eating nuts help your heart:
People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease.
Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can be good for your heart. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. A serving is a small handful (1.5 ounces) of whole nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter (serving size recommendation from the American Heart Association). But again, do this as part of a heart-healthy diet. Just eating nuts and not cutting back on saturated fats found won’t do your heart any good.

What’s in nuts that make them “heart healthy”?
Besides being packed with protein, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy attributes:

  • Unsaturated fats. The “good” fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that help your heart. Nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. When fiber is consumed regularly as part of a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat, soluble fiber has been associated with increased diet quality and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Fiber makes you feel full, so you eat less.
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
  • Plant sterols. Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products, but sterols occur naturally in nuts.
  • L-arginine. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.

What amount of nuts is considered healthy?

  • As much as 80 percent of a nut is fat. Even though most of this fat is healthy fat, it’s still a lot of calories. That’s why you should eat nuts in moderation.
  • Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts or a tablespoon or two of a nut spread. The American Heart Association recommends eating four servings of unsalted nuts a week. Select raw or dry-roasted nuts rather than those cooked in oil.

Go Nuts for Heart Health - Recipes using nuts - via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen


Strawberry Arugula Salad with Fennel, Toasted Almonds, and Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette via Nutritioulicious
Roasted Almonds with Cocoa via Food Pleasure, and Health
Banana Oat Blender Muffins via The Baby Steps Dietitian
Almond Raspberry Banana Baked Rice via Amy Gorin Nutrition
Salted Honey Sesame Almonds via Live Best
Spicy Curry Almond Butter Sauce via Macro Balanced
Balsamic Roasted Almonds via RDelicious Kitchen
Cherry Almond Energy Bites via Marisa Moore Nutrition
Mu Shu Shrimp via Hungry Hobby
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Parmesan via The Nutrition Adventure
Almond Granola Cups via Triad To Wellness
Romesco via The Nutritious Bite
Roasted Green Beans with Almonds and Bacon via Hungry Hobby
Almond Flour Blueberry Pancakes via 80 Twenty Nutrition
Sweet and Spicy Almonds via Nutrition Artist
Almond Clusters via Nourished Simply
No Bake Almond Bars with Berry Chia Jam via One Hungry Bunny
Jumbo Skillet Apple Pancake via RDelicious Kitchen


Sweet Potato-Carrot Casserole with Maple Pecans via Nutritioulicious
Grilled Cantaloupe Salad with Blueberry Ginger Vinaigrette via Healthy Made Easy
Oatmeal Pecan Cookies via Hungry Hobby

Peanuts/Peanut Butter

Loaded Apple Nachos via The Nutritionist Reviews
Peanut Butter Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies via RDelicious Kitchen
Healthy Fudge via Create Kids Club
Double Layer Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge via RDelicious Kitchen


Carob Walnut Energy Balls via Food, Pleasure, and Health
Blueberry Walnut Chickpea Salad via Kiss in the Kitchen
Savory Mediterranean Yogurt Parfait via Healthy Made Easy
Chickpea Walnut Sandwich via RDelicious Kitchen
Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars via Byte Sized Nutrition
Chai Walnuts via Live Best
Walnut Mushroom Lasagna Rolls via Live Best
Peach Walnut Crisp via RDelicious Kitchen
Beet & Apple Salad in an Edible Walnut Salad Bowl via Emily Kyle Nutrition
Kale Glory Bowl via Euphoria Nutrition
Honey Apricot Quinoa Granola via Euphoria Nutrition
Walnut Pesto Turkey Burgers via Hungry Hobby
Pasta with Swiss Chard and Walnut Pesto via RDelicious Kitchen
Roasted Broccoli and Walnut Pasta via Marisa Moore Nutrition
Kale Walnut Pesto via Gowin Nutrition
Dark Chocolate Walnut Butter via My Cape Cod Kitchen
Mini Caramelized Banana Split Sundaes via My Cape Cod Kitchen
Pumpkin Spice Walnuts via 80 Twenty Nutrition


Green Cashew Chicken Curry via Erica Julson
Creamy Tomato Soup via RDelicious Kitchen
Sweet Potato Noodles with Sage Cashew Cream Sauce via The Foodie Dietitian
Hawaiian Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice via RDelicious Kitchen
15 Minute Cashew Chicken via The Nutritionist Reviews


Pistachio-Stuffed Chicken Breasts via Nutritioulicious
Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Pistachio Topping via Amy Gorin Nutrition
Savory Pistachio Encrusted Salmon via Nutrition Pro Consulting
No Bake Tahini Energy Bars via Dishing Out Health
Banana Coconut Oatmeal via Real Living Nutrition
Pistachio Coconut Milk via Desi-licious RD
5-minute Pistachio Apricot Balls via Desi-licious RD
Roasted Pears with Dried Plums and Pistachios via Nutrition Starring You
Pistachio Cherry Coconut Crisp via The Plant-Powered Dietitian
Penne Pasta Tomato Salad with Lemon and Pistachios via The Plant-Powered Dietitian


Hazelnut Oatmeal Baked Pears via One Hungry Bunny
Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie Bowl via RDelicious Kitchen
Penne with Kale, Tomato, and Hazelnuts via How To Eat

Mixed Nuts

Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Ancient Grain Snack Mix via Shaw’s Simple Swaps
5 Nut Butters to Boost Your Health via Smart Nutrition
Almond Pistachio Cocoa Bites via Amy Gorin Nutrition
Homemade Dark Chocolate Chunky Bar via Healthy Made Easy
Crunchy Chickpea Trail Mix via Byte Sized Nutrition
Homemade Fruit & Nut “KIND Bars” via Erica Julson
Low Carb No-Bake Nutty Caramel Energy Bites via The Spicy RD
How to Make a Healthy Trail Mix via The Nutrition Adventure
Nut Quick Bread via Better is the New Perfect
RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Avoid the Yo-Yo Effect

Avoid the Yo-Yo Effect via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen

After enjoying the New Year’s festivities and watching the ball drop at midnight, the first commercial of 2017 was a weight loss program promising quick results. It is clever marketing since many vow to make new year’s resolutions to lose weight this time of year.
Don’t get sucked into another fad.  Weight loss experts know that losing weight and keeping it off requires a long-term commitment, yet even savvy dieters can occasionally be tempted by the quick weight loss promised by fad diets, only to be disappointed when the weight returns. As each new “lose weight fast” gimmick comes along, some people forget about the negatives associated with most fad diets — from a lack of nutritional value to food restrictions that are hard to live with. Look out for these common red flags:  read more here!

Q & A with Katie Sullivan Morford, Registered Dietitian and Cookbook Author of Rise & Shine

Rise and shine, it’s breakfast time!

Q & A with Katie Morford, Registered Dietitian and Cookbook Author of Rise & Shine via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_kitchenphoto credit: Erin Scott, from Rise & Shine (Roost Books, 2016)

Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook recently released a new cookbook! Katie is a talented food writer and registered dietitian with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition. She has a passion for helping families raise healthy kids through sound feeding habits, delicious recipes, and lots of patience. I was so excited when Katie sent me a copy of her cookbook!

What’s this cookbook all about? Rise and Shine is the answer for every parent who has struggled to get breakfast on the table and to get their child to actually eat it. With 75 breakfast recipes that are entry-level-easy, with at least half requiring no more than five minutes of hands-on prep time, every delicious recipe is an exercise in good nutrition and good taste. Written by a nutritionist with three children, this book arms parents with tips, recipes, and inspiration for making a nourishing breakfast doable and delicious. Rise and Shine is made for busy families and busy mornings, so when breakfast isn’t the priority, you can still eat something to start your day off right.

Q & A with Katie Sullivan Morford, Registered Dietitian and Cookbook Author of Rise & Shine via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_kitchenphoto credit: Erin Scott, from Rise & Shine (Roost Books, 2016)

What makes this cookbook stand out on the bookshelf? The recipes are healthy and approachable, with little prep time. I love how Katie provides nutrition education within the pages along with the recipes. She gives tips on how to remodel your breakfast in healthy ways, portion control, meal planning, plus so much more. The images are flawless as you flip through the pages and makes you excited to get up for breakfast in the morning.

Want to learn a little more how Katie got started with this book idea? Katie kindly answered some questions I had for her.

Why did you choose to write a cookbook solely focused on breakfast?
It came about after I was on tour with my first cookbook, Best Lunch Box Ever. A lot of the people I spoke with, parents especially, said they struggled with getting everyone fed in the morning before work and school. It was something I’d been hearing from folks through my blog as well. I figured there was already a good weekday breakfast cookbook out there, but when I did my research I found few resources focused on healthy meals for busy weekday mornings. It seemed like a natural follow up to my first book. I loved writing it.

What recipe from the cookbook do you make the most?
That is a tough one, since I tend to go in phases. A few regulars in the rotation are the Barely Banana Protein Pancakes, the Almost Instant Chocolate Breakfast Drink, and the Mini Spinach and Feta Frittatas.

From start to finish, how long did it take you to write this book?
It was about two years from the time I started the book to the time it was published, but actual writing and recipe development was about six months. After that there was some back and forth with my publisher over edits and about two weeks devoted to preparing for and cooking for the photo shoot.

What topic do you think your next cookbook will be about?
I’m talking to my publisher about an idea at this very moment, but I’m not ready to spill the beans.

Pancakes or Waffles?
Waffles. Crispy!

Eggs – preferred scrambled, sunny-side up, over easy or poached?
None of the above. My favorite eggs are soft boiled, still in the shell, with strips of whole grain toast to dip into the yolk. Rise & Shine has pretty foolproof recipe for doing eggs this way.

What do you hope people walk away with when they buy your book?
I hope they feel inspired and empowered to make delicious, healthy, doable breakfasts for themselves and their families. Homemade breakfast doesn’t need to be time-consuming or fancy to be good and good for you. I try to offer something for everyone in the book, whether that means a smoothie you can make in one minute, uncomplicated egg dishes, or wholesome muffins you can bake on a weekend afternoon and stow in the freezer.

Q & A with Katie Morford, Registered Dietitian and Cookbook Author of Rise & Shine via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_kitchenphoto credit: Erin Scott, from Rise & Shine (Roost Books, 2016)
What’s your favorite thing to make for breakfast?
RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

Back to School Lunch Ideas

Summer is sadly coming to an end. Whether you or your kids are going back to school or you need some new lunch ideas for work, you’ve come to the right place! Packing lunch doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple with healthy ingredients to help power you through the afternoon.
Back to School Lunch Ideas via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
Even though I am not going back to school, I get inspired to revamp my lunches I bring to work during this time of year. Packing a lunch doesn’t have to be complicated. First off, don’t start from scratch. Leftovers make great lunches! If you are taking the time to prepare dinner at night, make some extra and pack it for the next day. But sometimes when I know I’m not going to have time to cook the next evening and I want to save my leftovers for dinner the next day. So, now what to pack for lunch?
Sandwiches. They are simple, quick, can be prepared the night before, and with the right ingredients, healthy! Use the guide below to help you whip up a delicious sandwich.

Back to School Lunch Ideas via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
{via Produce for Kids}

Chickpea Walnut Sandwich via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
Looking to take your sandwich up another notch? Try some of these awesome sandwich (with a few twists) ideas!
Turkey, Avocado, Tomato, and Cilantro Sammie // via Simple Cravings. Real Food.
Chickpea Walnut Sandwich // via RDelicious Kitchen
Healthy Tuna Salad Sandwich // via Fannetastic Food
Apple Cranberry Tuna Salad // via Nutritioulicious
Ham and Cheese Flatbread Panini // via Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
Peanut Butter Banana Sushi // via Nutrition Starring You

Back to School Lunch Ideas via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen{via}

Not into sandwiches? Make a “snacky” kind of lunch with a various food groups. Bento boxes are the “it” thing now. I love these because you can have a little bit of a few items. Holley Grainger is the queen of bento box lunch preparation for her kids.
Be sure to keep food safety in mind when packing your lunch. Learn some food safety tips, here and here.

Back to School Lunch Ideas via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
{via Produce For Kids}

Produce for Kids has amazing recipes and resources to get everyone to consume more produce in meals and snacks. They are kicking off the school year encouraging everyone to eat a healthier lunch. Take the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge to eat a healthier lunch now through September 23 and get healthy lunchbox ideas, coupons and more! For every pledge taken, $1 will be donated to Feeding America®, providing 11 meals to families in need. By taking the pledge, you’ll also be entered for some awesome giveaways!

In 2015, 10,797 families and classrooms took the pledge and helped us donate nearly 108,000 meals to families in need through Feeding America. Help us provide even more meals this year!
I’m excited to see how much everyone can pledge in 2016! Take the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge HERE.

What are you packing for lunch?

That one time I modeled (jk) – My first Stitch Fix Review!

Things are a little different here on RDelicious Kitchen today. Usually I am behind the camera and food is the model. I was the model this time to show you some fun clothing items that I received for my first “fix” via Stitch Fix.
Stitch Fix review via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
Stitch Fix is partnering with The Recipe ReDux for a fun #StitchFixReDux this week!
I received credit to try Stitch Fix as a result of this promotion. By posting this review I am entering a contest sponsored by Stitch Fix and am eligible to win a prize. I was not compensated for my time. This post contains affiliate links. 
Stitch Fix review via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenI am not a fan of shopping. That’s kind of a lie. I like shopping when I can spend my leisurely time flipping through the racks, trying on various options. In reality, my shopping trips are a last minute “oh no, I need XYZ for tomorrow” with me frantically rushing in and out of a store as I’m probably running late for something else. Tack on the frustrating “nothing fits just quite right” feeling in the dressing room.
My schedule has been so busy lately, that shopping is the last thing on my mind right now. This was the perfect time for Stitch Fix to enter my life.
Stitch Fix is a personal styling service tailored to your taste, budget, and lifestyle. The best part? It’s delivered right to your door step. Your “fix” is a combo of 5 clothing/accessory items hand-picked for you by a Stitch Fix Stylist.
Before the stylist selects the items for your fix, you fill out a style profile to share your likes and dislikes. It is recommended to create a Pinterest board to help the stylist understand your style preferences even more. Then you schedule when you want to get your fix, which can be helpful if you know you are wanting new clothing options for any upcoming events. I waited to get my fix after I returned from my vacation when I was tan 😛
You have 3 days to decide what to keep and what to send back in a pre-paid bag (no shipping fee) If you keep everything, you get an additional 25% off!

I’ve been always wanted to try it, so thank you Recipe ReDux for partnering with Stitch Fix!
Okay, so promise not to laugh. I am by far no model or fashion blogger. My sister (Hi Dana!) was taking pictures for me and it was pretty comical. We were pretty much laughing the whole time. The first couple I looked like a robot. I didn’t know how to stand. We kept debating the hand on hip vs. not. Oh fashion bloggers, how do you do it?
Stitch Fix review via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenDress: THML Luceea Dress $68.00
Verdict: Keep! I really like this dress and it isn’t something I wouldn’t seek out for myself regularly. It was very comfortable and can be dressed up or dressed down with the right kind of accessories.
Stitch Fix review via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenTop: Collective Concepts Zariah Hi-Lo Blouse $58.00
Verdict: Return. I liked the pattern on it, but it just didn’t fit right on my body. On the hanger it looked cute and flow-y, but it was a little tight on the chest and made me look boxy from the side.
Pants: Mavi Frieda Skinny Jeans $98.00
Verdict: Return. These were very comfortable and fit well, but they were a little too high for my budget and I just bought a pair of dark wash jeans recently. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t struggle with the “back gap” (you know when you have that awkward gap right above your butt in pants) and the length wasn’t past my feet. #shortpeopleprobs
Stitch Fix review via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenNecklace: Romolo Montana Metal Sunburst Necklace $34.00
Verdict: Return. I like these larger statement necklaces, but I have a very similar necklace.
Stitch Fix review via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
Top: Kensie Rebekah Stretch Crepe Blazer $58.00
Verdict: Keep! LOVE this blazer. It is form fitting, with a stretch material which makes it super comfortable. I loved the inside lining with the small polka dots, plus the pop of color which I don’t typically alway gravitate toward when I am shopping, as I more stick to more neutral colors.
 Stitch Fix review via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenIt was a win-win, since I now have a new headshot.
Will I do Stitch Fix again? YES! I am very happy with my purchases. The more fixes you get, the more the stylists get to know you and your preferences, so it’s just going to keep getting better and better! I think Sarah, my stylist, did an awesome job for my first fix. Thank Sarah!
If you want to try Stitch Fix for yourself, please consider signing up with my referral link.  I’ll get a credit toward my next fix (thank you in advance!), and you can start to refer your family & friends to get credits toward your future fixes too!