Craving something sweet, but don’t want to make a whole batch of a dessert recipe? Enter this delicious (and allergy-friendly) Baked Apple for One.
I received free samples from Kip’s for the development of this recipe and am eligible for prizes for their recipe contest.
Baked fruit is often overlooked for dessert. Fruit is sweet as is, but when baked the natural sweetness intensifies. Baked apples are a delicious dessert. Simply remove the core, stuff with your favorite filling, and bake!
Using a dry-cook method, like baking, will break down the cell walls of the fruit and result in water loss from being exposed to heat. Be mindful of the cooking time. Too long, the fruit will become too mushy and mealy.
When creating a recipe for a single serving, there is no need to complicate the cooking technique with too many ingredients. If cooking for one, keep it simple!
These baked apples are stuffed with Kip’s Granola Bark. Kip’s is an allergy-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan granola bark is free from the eight main food allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, and soy, and additionally free of sesame and sunflower seeds.
For those navigating food allergies, Kip’s Granola Bark is a wholesome snack that can be enjoyed as is or incorporated into a recipe.
Craving something sweet, but don’t want to make a whole batch of a dessert recipe? Enter these delicious (and allergy friendly) Baked Apple for One.
1 honeycrisp apple (or another variety like gala or granny smith) 2 tablespoons crumbled Kip’s Cinnamon Crunch Granola Bark 1/2 teaspoon butter, melted (or dairy-free, soy-free margarine) 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use a melon baller, carefully remove the stem and seeds from the apples, making a deep hole where the filling will go. In a small bowl, combine the crumbled Kip’s Cinnamon Crunch Granola Bark, butter, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon. Fill into the cavity of the apple. Add water to a small oven-safe baking dish and place the stuffed apple on top. Bake for 30 minutes, until apple, is fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Spoon the sauce drippings from the pan over the apples. Serve with ice cream, if desired.
Make dinnertime stress-free with this simple Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies recipe.
This post is sponsored by the NY Beef Council. Thank
you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!
March is an exciting month for dietitians, as it is National Nutrition Month. National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. In years past there was a theme to go along with National Nutrition Month’s initiative.
This year, I’ve teamed up with the NY Beef Council for National Nutrition Month to help make dinnertime less stressful with simple strategies and a delicious recipe.
We all seem busier than ever and dinnertime looks different for everyone. Getting home from long days at work, to juggling kids after school activities, or feeling exhausted and grabbing take out; every night the chore of dinner getting on the table can be stressful.
How can you make nourishing meals more manageable? Sheet pan
dinners! Simply make a full dinner all on one pan. Sheet pan meals are great
fresh out of the oven, but also really great as leftovers. Cook once, eat
twice! Repurpose as is, eat over a whole grain, or enjoy over greens for a
robust salad. The possibilities are endless!
When creating a sheet pan dinner, think about ingredients that will provide energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. To this end, aim to eat a variety of delicious foods that balance the taste you love with good nutrition.
Beef is part of a satisfying heart-healthy lifestyle. All beef is a natural source of 10 essential nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Research shows that lean beef enjoyed as part of a heart-healthy diet and exercises, can help lower cholesterol, lose weight, and lower blood pressure.
What is “lean” beef?
To be considered lean, a 3.5-oz serving of cooked beef must have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 mg of cholesterol. Look for the word “loin”, “round”, and 95% ground beef in the name when finding a lean cut of beef. A few samples of lean beef cuts are top sirloin steak, strip steak (top loin steak), tenderloin steak, or 95% lean ground beef.
Maximize your prep
What are you more likely to cook with midweek? A head of unwashed broccoli still wrapped from the grocery store or the broccoli that is washed, trimmed, and stored in a produce bag ready to be cooked? I think we all know the answer here.
Create a plan
Look at your week ahead before you go grocery shopping and plan meals for the week. This will alleviate the “what’s for dinner?” question, prevent food waste, which will then in turn save you money.
Acknowledge the chaos
There are days that will just not go according to plan and
that’s okay! To really make meals manageable, it’s important to be realistic
with what to expect. Unrealistic expectations may set you up for a failed
experience before the meal even begins. Plan for sheet pan dinners mid-week
when you know you will be short on time.
Enjoy the moment
Whether you are dining solo or with a crowd take that time to enjoy the meal and be in the moment. Enjoy the company or the solidarity without outside distraction. We all need time to disconnect from technology.
Make dinnertime stress-free with this simple Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies recipe.
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced 3 cups broccoli florets 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme salt and pepper, to taste 1 pound strip steak
Preheat oven to broil (500°F). Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large pot of water, parboil squash for 5 minutes, to slightly soften. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine butternut squash and broccoli. Add 1-tablespoon olive oil, half the garlic, 1-teaspoon of thyme to the vegetables, and salt and pepper, to taste; toss to combine. Add to the baking sheet in an even layer.
Pat steak dry. Add to the baking sheet in between the vegetables. Brush steak with the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil and rub with the remaining ½ teaspoon thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper on both sides.
Place in the oven and broil until steak is browned and charred at the edges; about 6-8 minutes.
Remove from oven and flip the steak and toss the veggies. Cook for an additional 6-8 minutes for medium-rare, until an inserted thermometer, reads 145°F.
Cook time may vary due to the thickness of the steak. Use a digital thermometer to determine doneness.
Keywords: sheet pan, steak, beef, one pan meal, dinner
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References: Sayer RD, et al. Equivalent reductions in body weight during the Beef WISE Study: Beef’s Role in Weight Improvement, Satisfaction, and Energy. Obes Sci Pract 2017. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/osp4.118/full
You’ll be soon adding this easy Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon to your weekly dinner menu rotation.
A lot of Instant Pot recipes are used for tough cuts of meat. The function of the Instant Pot creates steam under extreme pressure and forces it’s way to the tough fibers of the meat breaking them down to become tender.
But what if you have an already delicate protein like salmon?
You can still utilize the Instant Pot for more delicate proteins like salmon, but the Instant Pot is utilized a little differently.
Instead of searing and submerging in liquid, utilize the steaming rack of the Instant Pot. Add a little liquid on the bottom which will steam the salmon and infuse flavors into the final product. For this recipe, I used vegetable broth and a few sprigs of parsley. Utilize different herbs to infuse flavors.
By simply laying the lemon and ginger on top of the salmon fillet, the flavors penetrate into the salmon fillet creating fresh and vibrant flavors.
While the cooking time is only 3 minutes in the Instant Pot, allow an extra 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to full pressure, then it begins the three minute cook time.
Research shows eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause. Seafood provides unique health benefits as a lean protein and is the best source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats essential to human health and development.
Use this simple and flavorful Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon to help you meet the mark for enjoying seafood 2-3 times each week!
Embrace the unsaturated fats found in foods such as walnuts, seeds, plant oils, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel, and herring.
Fats play an essential role in human health from head (brain) to toe (joints). Replacing just 5 percent of your caloric intake from so-called bad fats (like trans and saturated fat found in red meat) with unsaturated fat from seafood and plant-based foods can reduce your risk of death by 27 percent. (source)
You’ll be soon adding this easy Instant Pot Lemon Ginger Salmon to your weekly dinner menu rotation.
1/2 cup vegetable broth 1 small bunch of fresh parsley 1 pound salmon fillet (about 1-inch thick) salt and pepper, to taste 1 small knob (about 2 tablespoons) fresh ginger, sliced 1 lemon, sliced
Pour broth and parsley in the Instant Pot and then put in the steamer rack (coated with cooking spray) at the bottom, making sure the handles are extended up.
Place salmon, skin side down, on the steamer rack. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer on pieces of ginger and lemon.
Close the Instant Pot and make sure vent is turned to “Sealing”. Plug it in, press “Steam” and press the + or – buttons to set it to 3 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps that it’s done, quick release the pressure, being careful to stay out of the way of the steam that will shoot up. Press the “Warm/Cancel” button. Remove lid, and using hot pads, carefully remove rack with salmon and set on a plate.
Serve alongside a whole grain and vegetable for a complete meal.
Cooking time may vary. Depending on the thickness of your salmon, 3 minutes is perfect for a fillet that’s about 1 inch at its thickest part.
Brighten any salad, grain, or vegetable dish with this simple lemon vinaigrette. Made with ingredients you probably already have on hand, simply whip this up in a mason jar.
I don’t think people realize how EASY it is to make a homemade dressing. The most basic vinaigrette recipe is mixing an acid and a base. Then just add seasonings you enjoy. Simply pour ingredients into a mason jar and shake away. Your dressing is made! How easy was that? Plus, making it in a mason jar is ready to store any leftovers.
If you want to go beyond the basics, use this guide to build your own vinaigrette.
Create a homemade vinaigrette
Choose your acid:
This can be in the form of vinegar or citrus juice. Pick something that matches with your salad mix-ins. Opt for a sweet acid like white wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or an orange juiced, for salads that have fruit.
Try acids like apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, or other citrus juices.
Tip: Think about the components of your salad. If you have a salad with bright colors, avoid darker vinegar. Once the salad is dressed, those bright vibrant colors will look muddy. Remember – we eat with our eyes first!
Choose your base:
The base is oil. Use good quality oil. This can be a simple olive oil or fancy garlic and rosemary-infused walnut oil. Again think about the components of your salad. If there are avocados in your salad, why not try avocado oil?
Try oils like olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, hazelnut oil, or other flavor-infused oils.
If you are new to making dressings, simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing with a pinch of salt and pepper will work just fine. Once you are comfortable making dressings, try amping it up with other seasonings.
Add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard to add a little tanginess and also to help create a creamier vinaigrette. Add a teaspoon of miso for an umami flavor. Try using fresh herbs for a pop of flavor. For a sweet vinaigrette, add a little maple syrup or honey.
Once you start playing around with different combinations, you’ll start to know what flavor combinations you like best!
This one-pan chicken sausage & gnocchi saute utilizes simple ingredients to create a delicious meal in minutes.
I never understood the mad rush to the grocery store when there is an inkling of news about the possibility of snow. Previously, working as a retail dietitian, the madness was unreal. The aisles with the bread and milk would be completely wiped out. I guess everyone’s instinct is to survive on bread and milk if they get snowed in? I’ll never understand.
My kitchen isn’t always completely stocked and with news of snow, I’m the last person you will see heading to the grocery store. I don’t want to deal with the craziness!
I think it’s fun to poke around the kitchen utilizing what I have on hand to create new meal ideas. I always say that makes me feel like I am on an episode of “Chopped“. (minus the crazy ingredients like cow’s tongue the contestants get in their mystery baskets)
Each kitchen no matter how big or small has four kitchen zones: the refrigerator, freezer, pantry, and countertops. Don’t just open the fridge and just decide “there’s nothing to eat, let’s grab take out.” Utilize the ingredients in each zone to create a meal. This recipe uses all four kitchen zones to create a delicious and balanced meal.
Refrigerator: chicken sausage, kale Freezer: gnocchi Pantry: olive oil, white beans, chicken broth Countertop: garlic
No need to rush to the grocery store when there is snow on the forecast. Just utilize what you have in each kitchen zone! And with simply one pan, chicken sausage & gnocchi saute came together in minutes.
One Pan Chicken Sausage & Gnocchi Sauté making meal time a breeze
10 oz. gnocchi*, cooked according to package directions 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 4 links chicken sausage*, sliced on a bias 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 (15.5 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed 6 cups kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Cook gnocchi according to package directions.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken sausages until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan. Add garlic, white beans and gnocchi. Saute until beans and gnocchi are warmed through. (Keep an eye on the garlic. Do not let it burn. Turn down heat if needed.)
Add chicken sausage back into the pan. Then, add kale and chicken broth. Stir to thoroughly combine ingredients. Cover until kale wilts. Remove lid and allow excess moisture to evaporate.
Serve. Top with parmesan cheese, if desired.
*Can use cauliflower gnocchi in this recipe, if desired. *I used Alfresco chicken sausage.
Keywords: kale, chicken, chicken sausage, one pan, gnocchi, white beans, beans, dinner
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Do you ever have something on your to-do list that just keeps getting rolled over every time to a new to-do list? Welp. That’s posting this Pumpkin Pie Bites recipe. Sorry for holding out on you.
I know I am often the minority when it comes to the love of my paper planner. (Passion Planner to be exact) For the month of January, the pages are completely filled with meetings, cooking classes, presentations, parties, etc. I’m one of those people who likes being busy, but sometimes things fall through the cracks, like posting this recipe which has been sitting in draft for the past two weeks. #sorryivebeenbusy
A version of this recipe was developed with one of my awesome JWU interns. I have a sweet spot for JWU interns and I am a JWU alum myself. I love spending days in the kitchen as a full “test kitchen” days. It’s been fun working with JWU interns because we speak the same “culinary language”. This recipe was tested a few times until the texture and taste came out just right.
Batch cook these little energy bites for the week. They are the perfect on-the-go snack. Who says pumpkin season is over? Let’s keep the pumpkin around all year round!
There is nothing better then cozying up to a warm bowl of soup on a chilly evening. Soups can pack in a ton of flavor utilizing various food groups creating a balanced meal.
A couple of weeks ago I had a cooking class called “Hearty Soups & Salads” and in the class, we discussed when making soup, the ingredients and steps are well thought out to build and develop depths of flavors.
You might think, pairing butternut squash and Honeycrisp apples would yield a soup too sweet, but with the addition of sharp cheddar and plain yogurt, adds a balance of salty, with a hint of tart and tangy.
When blended, this creates a silky smooth soup. Batch cook and freeze some for later.
Properly cool, freeze, and reheat soup:
Refrigerators and freezers cannot cool soups quickly enough for food safety protocols. Speed up the cooling process by placing the pot of soup in a bath of ice water in the sink. Stir soup to help release the heat.
Label and date large ziplock plastic bags. To help pour soup in the bag, place bag in the bowl and cuff the bag over the edges. Ladle soup into each bag, let out excess air and seal.
Lay bags flat in a single layer in the freezer. When completely frozen, stack bags to save space in the freezer.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
1 tablespoon butter ½ sweet onion, diced 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks 2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and cut into chunks 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup) [I used Cabot’s sharp cheddar] ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) Salt and ground pepper to taste Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Saute onions with butter over low medium heat in a large stockpot until translucent. Add squash, apples, and stock or broth in a large pan; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan and simmer squash for 20 minutes or until very tender. Uncover and let cool. Puree in blender or food processor, in batches, if necessary. Return puree to saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir in yogurt, cheese, and ground red pepper. Add salt and ground pepper to taste. Whisk soup just until heated through (do not allow to boil). Serve sprinkled with chives.
The Instant Pot is a single appliance that does the job of seven (yes, seven!) different kitchen appliances. It can handle the tasks of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and a warming pot. Think of all those appliances taking up space in your kitchen that can be replaced by one.
New to using the Instant Pot? Learn about these seven tips of efficiently using your Instant Pot.
While I am still learning all the functions of the Instant Pot, the first technique I mastered was preparing hard and soft-boiled eggs.
Don’t fear the yolk!
One large egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. Nearly half the protein is in the yolk so don’t ditch the yolk!
Eggs were once avoided and criticized for their cholesterol content. However, the totality of scientific research has shown no or little effect between dietary cholesterol and cardiac outcomes or markers of heart disease risk in healthy individuals.
Government and health organizations have revised their dietary cholesterol recommendations. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans place no daily limit on dietary cholesterol intake. Foods like egg yolks and some shellfish are higher in dietary cholesterol but not saturated fats making them a healthful choice along with healthy eating patterns.
Why the Instant Pot method works:
Now, I know making hard-boiled eggs on the stovetop is not too challenging, but this Instant Pot method makes it even simpler and in just 5 minutes, they are ready. Plus, there is a science behind why cooking eggs in the Instant Pot make them easier to peel. The reason according to Alton Brown is:
“Eggs that are quickly heated are easier to peel than eggs that are slowly heated, say in cold water brought to a boil. Fast cooking prevents the white from bonding so epoxy-like to the outer membranes. Since pressure steamers can generate temperatures between 230 and 250 degrees F it is suspected that this is actually why folks think they’re magic egg machines.” Also, thorough cooling eases peeling by allowing the proteins in the albumen to fully set and harden, thus preventing tearing.
Hard-boiled eggs are something I pretty much meal prep every week for myself. One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including choline plus the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all just for 70 calories.
Hard Boiled Eggs will keep up to a week in your refrigerator. Make a few perfect hard-boiled eggs to create into delicious recipes throughout the week.
A few ways I use hard-boiled eggs are:
Pair hard-boiled eggs with avocado and tomato. I usually just add a little salt and pepper, but when I’m looking to add an extra pop of flavor, I add everything but the bagel, sesame seasoning blend.
For a filling snack, try my version of a “quick deviled egg”. Scoop out the yolk, mix with hummus and fill back in the egg white.
Looking for more recipe ideas?
Go for a traditional cobb salad but switch up your greens with a Kale Cobb Salad
Place the rack in the bottom of the pot. Pour the water in the pot. Place the eggs on the rack.
For soft-boiled: Set Instant pot on high pressure on manual 3 minutes. Quick release placing a towel over the valve. Quickly add eggs to a bowl with cold water and ice until cool enough to hold. Peel right away.
For hard-boiled: Set Instant Pot on high pressure on manual 5 minutes. Natural release 5 minutes then use quick release placing a towel over the valve. Quickly add eggs to a bowl with cold water and ice until cool enough to hold. Peel right away.
Zucchini bread in smoothie form? I was surprised by the amazing taste of this zucchini bread smoothie. Have you ever thought about adding zucchini to smoothies? Now you will!
This smoothie literally does taste like zucchini bread. When I took the first sip of this smoothie, my tastebuds could identify every single flavor that was blended together.
We pretty much have all heard of adding leafy greens to smoothies but have you considered veggies like zucchini. I recently started adding this vegetable to my smoothie with the plethora of zucchini I’ve been picking up from the farmer’s market.
Before I add zucchini directly to my smoothie, I chop, steam, then freeze them. Last week, when I was meal prepping, I made a little impromptu video of meal prepping my zucchini for smoothies along with a few other smoothie prep tips.
Smoothie Meal Prep Tips
Ps. Why does the freeze-frame shot always have to be so awkward! haha!
I’ve adapted this recipe with ingredients I had on hand and also making it a little easier to whip up quickly for any day!
Banana: rich in potassium and fiber Zucchini: vitamins C and A, potassium, folate, and fiber Spinach: potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9, and E, high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium Walnuts: rich in omega-3 fats, protein, copper, manganese Cinnamon: polyphenol antioxidants Ginger: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties Orange Zest: fiber, vitamins, and polyphenols
Smoothie or parfait – which do you prefer? Can’t decide? Neither can I! Get these best of both with this Mango Berry Smoothie Parfait.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by KIND Snacks for a recipe contest with Ahold Foods. This recipe was featured in Stop & Shop and Giants circular week of 9/20/18. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!
Do you prefer smoothie bowls or parfaits?
Smoothie Bowls vs. Parfaits
Making a smoothie bowl instead of an on-the-go drink can help practice mindful eating and encourage slower eating. It’s easy to suck down a smoothie in a few big gulps. By enjoying a smoothie bowl with a spoon it can help you slow down, be more aware of what you’re eating and pay attention to whether or not you are actually hungry. Plus you can add more toppings!
A yogurt parfait is typically served in a tall glass with layers of several different ingredients. Yogurt is the star of the recipe, but many add-ins, such as fruit or granola, also make an appearance. I always prefer to make my own yogurt parfaits with ingredients and products I love. Be mindful when ordering a yogurt parfait out, as they are often loaded with added sugars. Also, sometimes if the glass is too narrow I am usually eating layer by layer until there is enough room to mix it all to get every flavor in one bite.
What about getting the best of both worlds create a smoothie parfait!
Most smoothies have bananas as the base. But what if you don’t like bananas? (Hi, Steph – this recipe is for you!) I love bananas, but I often get requests from clients for smoothies without banana based on their preferences.
Banana is often used as the base because it helps create a creamy and smooth consistency of a smoothie. Using the frozen berries with yogurt help mimic that same creamy consistency, but I felt like it was still missing something. By adding a handful of KIND oats & honey clusters gave it a thicker consistency what I was looking for.
This recipe is for anyone who can’t make up their mind what they want to eat. This happens often for me. I can never decide and tend to merge things together, which gave me the inspiration for this recipe.