Move over chickpea hummus. There’s a new hummus in town – Edamame Avocado Hummus.
I recently did a presentation about smart snacking. One thing I like to mention about smart snacking is to opt for real food first. Snacking is an opportunity for nourishment.
Yes, grabbing a bar is quick (some bars do pack in great nutritional value), but really think about your snacks throughout the day. How many of them are real food vs. processed foods?
I’ve been challenging myself to include more veggies into my snacks. I go through snacking phases, and raw veggies have fallen out of my routine a little bit.
Snacking is more fun when you are dunking. I love dunking my veggies into hummus, but I decided to switch it up a bit and use edamame as the base instead of chickpeas. Edamame, a plant-based protein is a young soybean that has been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden.
Adding avocado to the edamame helps make this dip creamy. Avocados can act as a booster to help your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from the foods eaten with them, like vitamin A. Vitamin A foods, like carrots, contain carotenoids, which not only promote healthy skin but benefit the heart and immune system as well. This vitamin is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals. So, pair carrot sticks with this delicious dip!
Whip up these quick and delicious Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes that have been sponsored by StarKist, but of course, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for like-minded brands for making this blog possible!
Traveling is always fun and like many of you, I make sure I am always packing plenty of food for my travel adventures. No one wants to be stuck in the car, train, or airplane hangry. One food group that sometimes is a struggle packing for travel is protein. I don’t want to be that person that whips out hard boiled eggs and be known as the stinky food traveler that gets stuck sitting next to me. StarKist’s new Chicken Creations are making protein on the go a cinch. These Chicken Creations come in a pouch that is ready to be on the move – just tear, eat, and go!
If we are friends on Instagram you saw that I recently was at FNCE (Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo), the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts — more than 10,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health-care providers, and industry leaders attend the annual meeting — and address key issues affecting the health of all Americans.
At FNCE, I spent most of my time at the expo hall connecting with RDN colleagues and businesses. I made a stop over to StarKist’s booth to chat with Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN of StarKist. I love that brands are hiring registered dietitians on staff to provide evidence-based nutrition. I wish more brands would do that! We chatted about StarKist’s new Chicken Creations pouches. If you didn’t know, they already have convenient pouches for tuna, salmon, and now chicken!
Last week I posted on my Instagram stories, asking what you wanted to learn more about StarKist’s new tear and go Chicken Creations. You asked, they answered! I went back to Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN of StarKist with your questions and here is what she said.
Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN of StarKist answers your questions about StarKist Chicken Creations
Q: What defines “premium white chicken”? Does it come from chicken breast or other parts as well?
A: “Our chicken is 100% white meat with no dark meat added”
Q: How is the chicken cooked?
A: The chicken is lightly grilled and then cooked to a safe internal temperature before it is mixed with our seasonings and added to the pouch. It is then vacuum sealed and then retorted for sterility.
Q: What is the shelf life?
A: 3 years
Q: Is the pouch recyclable?
A: Not at this time. We are actively investigating options for how to recycle the pouch.
Q: What is the pouch made of?
A: The pouch is made of food grade materials. It has 4 separate layers of aluminum, polypropylene, nylon, and polyester.
Q: Can you heat the chicken in the pouch?
A: No, it is not a microwaveable pouch so you should remove the chicken and place it in a separate container to microwave.
Q: Will other flavors be coming out?
A: Our beaks are sealed! But you can be assured StarKist has a strong innovation agenda with many new products planned for the future!
I am all about quick and easy recipes. Coming back from FNCE, I didn’t have my usual meal prep done since I got home on a Tuesday evening. I was able to whip up this recipe from ingredients I had on hand. Having protein ready to go in my pantry was clutch. StarKist Chicken Creations are ready to eat as is. I’ve been also grabbing a pouch as I’m running out the door to top a simple salad with for quick and easy lunch. The possibilities are endless!
1 large sweet potato 1 teaspoon chili powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/2 cup black beans 2 (2.6 oz.) packets of Starkist Chicken Creations BOLD Buffalo Style 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
For the Avocado Lime Sauce: 1/2 avocado 1/4 cup plain yogurt 1/2 lime, juiced 2 tablespoons cilantro 2–3 tablespoons water (more if needed)
salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, and place both halves flat side down on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Once the sweet potato halves are finished cooking, remove from the oven. Let cool enough to be able to handle. Scoop out the inside of the sweet potato halves and place in a bowl. Add the chili powder and garlic powder; mix together. Fold in the black beans.
Scoop the mixture back into the sweet potato skins. Top each sweet potato with one packet of Starkist Chicken Creations BOLD Buffalo Style and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until heated through.
While sweet potatoes are cooking, combine avocado, yogurt, lime, cilantro, and water in a blender or a small food processor. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and drizzle with avocado sauce.
Don’t love buffalo sauce? Try this same recipe with one of Starkist’s Chicken Creations other flavors: Chicken Salad, Ginger Soy, or Zesty Lemon Pepper.
Looking to switch up the same old appetizer recipes you serve at parties or gatherings? Kick off your next party with Smoked Salmon Avocado Flatbreads your guests will love. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I was excited to enter this recipe contest sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership because I feel like seafood does not get enough love in the appetizer department. Also, I selfishly can’t wait to see what everyone else came up with for this contest to get even more seafood inspired recipe ideas.
Yes, you may see the usual shrimp cocktail, or crab dip included in an appetizer spread. There are so many other seafood options to consider.
Why add more seafood into your weekly routine?
Eating seafood twice a week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause. Studies show it may reduce your risk of heart disease, plus it gives you more energy throughout the day. (Source)
My feeling is the general population knows they should eat more seafood, but not sure how to prepare it. From delicate, mild flounder to rich, flavorful salmon, or sweet and savory shrimp, seafood can please any palate. Seafood fits with all of your favorite flavors – it can be incorporated into a spicy Latin dish, flavorful Creole recipe, light, and refreshing salad, or a rich Italian pasta bowl.
I’ve loved smoked salmon ever since I was introduced to it when I worked at a local bagel shop in high school. It has a silky, buttery, texture balanced with a not so fishy, smokiness flavor. All seafood, including smoked salmon, is one of the leanest sources of protein and a superfood packed with nutrients such as omega-3s, which is essential for your good heart health.
The Great Debate: Farm-Raised or Wild Caught:
I get this question often and I never tell anyone one way or another, but rather to help them educate themselves. The Seafood Nutrition Partnership collaborates with FishWatch.gov who provides easy-to-understand facts about the science and management behind U.S. seafood and tips on how to make educated seafood choices. Helping everyone—from chefs to consumers—understand sustainable seafood.
Also, check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. They make recommendations, in your area, showing you which seafood items are “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives,” and which ones you should “Avoid.” This list is constantly being updated as things are changing.
A classic B.L.T. with a little twist! Adding the “A” (avocado) and a creamy spread takes this average BLT up a notch. Don’t skip out on quality ingredients when you assemble this sandwich. I received free samples of Sabra Spreads mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Have you seen the new Sabra spreads hit the shelves at your local grocery store? I was excited when Sabra sent me all three flavors to experiment with in the kitchen. The flavors are honey mustard, garlic herb, and sea salt and cracked pepper. I had so many recipe ideas running through my head. These spreads will definitely be making an appearance here in the future. With these fresh ingredients and flavors the new Sabra spreads will become a staple condiment in my refrigerator. When it comes to a BLT, you need quality ingredients. I decided just a BLT just wouldn’t suffice and needed a little extra flavor. I turned it into a B.A.L.T. with slices of avocado. I love sandwiches when you can really taste all ingredients in every layer.
To build your perfect B.A.L.T. you have to start out with quality bread. I like a hearty whole wheat bread. Next, comes the bacon. Not all bacon is created equally. Look for pork shoulder bacon, it is a much leaner choice. Pork shoulder comes from a leaner part of the pig (the shoulder) which contains less fat than pork belly, which majority of bacon comes from. Then comes the avocado. You can mash it. I decided to keep it as slices. Whatever you like best! The lettuce I chose was a Boston bib lettuce. The leaves are tender. If you prefer more of a crunch, go for romaine. Of course, this jersey girl has to choose a juicy plump jersey tomato sliced on top.
The part that ties it all together is the Sabra spread. This is a much healthier choice than adding mayo as a condiment. The new Sabra spreads contain 75% less fat than mayo and are convenient for sandwiches now that it is in a squeeze bottle. Of course you can add any of the new flavors, but I wanted to keep it in the simple side and added the sea salt and cracked black pepper.