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What’s the Best Oil For Cooking? #AskTheTwins

The answer may surprise you–one of the healthiest oils is not good for cooking.  Find out why–the Twins answer on Qinetic:

Here are a few delicious recipes cooked with healthy oils for cooking:

Salmon Cakes with Chia and Lemon Zest

Tomato, Spinach, Egg ‘n Feta Never Tasted Beta’ Wrap

Broccoli Peanut Stir-fry

 Chickpea Burgers

What do you think?  We’re you surprised by this?  Do you cook with olive oil? Please leave a comment below to let us know!

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Skinny Egg Salad Sandwiches

As registered dietitians people are always asking us about carbs—are they good for you? Are they bad for you? Well, if you have read any of our books including our latest The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure, you know that we are all for quality carbohydrates (Oh yeah!)—and research shows including them in your diet lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity—yaaas!

And we find that when people completely avoid quality carbs like beans, fruits, whole grains like quinoa (and other quality grains including our Skinny Fried Rice, our Quick & Creamy Quinoa with Beans and Spinach, our Choco-nilla Oats n’ Quinoa Swirl and oatmeal, and sweet potatoes (Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash, etc. they end up overeating and also end up bingeing on sweets when they get their hands on them… but that’s for another day when we’ll teach you how to make sure you’re eating them the right way (and making sure they don’t backfire!)!

Because today we’re talking about those days when you want a crunchy sandwich (aka in our world a “sammie”) that is super low in calories, but totally satisfying. When we were in high school, we’d spend our summer days at the pool—we’d ride our bike there, play ball games and swim when we were there and we always felt that we wanted something refreshing and lighter for lunch—something that didn’t make us feel overly stuffed when we were wearing our bathing suits. We started wrapping our sammies in lettuce and using it as the wrap. And as time went by we started making other refreshing and light sandwiches. Remember our Skinny Cucumber Sandwiches? We went coocoo for those Cooocumber Sammies, (thanks for helping them go gangbusters on pinterest! Lyssie spotted the re-pinning action and excitedly, immediately called Tammy and we realized that the party must go on! So we made these little nips!

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Skinny Egg Salad Sandwiches

Serves 8

Ingredients
2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt, ideally organic
2 teaspoons Dijonnaise
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tbsp (3/4 ounce) avocado, optional
3/4 Tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat and four times the vitamin D compared to other eggs)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Salt to taste, optional
1 large cucumber (the wider, the better)
4 large radishes (the wider the better)
1 medium ripe on the vine tomato

Directions
1. Place yogurt in a medium bowl with, dijonnaise, lemon juice, avocado (if using) and dill and mash together with a fork. Mash until creamy throughout.
2. Chop eggs and stir them gently in the yogurt mixture.
3. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
4. Set aside in refrigerator.
5. Slice the cucumber horizontally so that you make large round coins about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Slice the radishes horizontally so that you make round coins about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
6. Place four cucumber “coins” on a plate and four radish “coins” on the plate. Top them with 1/4 cup egg salad. Add a tomato slice to the cucumber coin sandwiches and add a sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper and cover with a cucumber coin. Cover radish sandwiches with a radish coin, if desired.
7. Enjoy your Skinny Sammies!
We recommend having at least 4 sammies for yourself! That way you’ll have about 160 calories and 12 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.

Nutrition Facts per Serving for one Sandwich:

40 Calories, 1 g carbohydrate, 2 g fat, 3 g protein, 1 g fiber, 1 g saturated fat

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The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people to get more nutrients.

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Skinny Egg Salad Sandwiches
 
Author:
Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt, ideally organic
  • 2 teaspoons Dijonnaise
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tbsp (3/4 ounce) avocado, optional
  • ¾ Tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat and four times the vitamin D compared to other eggs)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Salt to taste, optional
  • 1 large cucumber (the wider, the better)
  • 4 large radishes (the wider the better)
  • 1 medium ripe on the vine tomato

Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Place yogurt in a medium bowl with, dijonnaise, lemon juice, avocado (if using) and dill and mash together with a fork. Mash until creamy throughout.
  3. Chop eggs and stir them gently in the yogurt mixture.
  4. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  5. Set aside in refrigerator.
  6. Slice the cucumber horizontally so that you make large round coins about ¼-1/2 inch thick. Slice the radishes horizontally so that you make round coins about ¼-1/2 inch thick.
  7. Place four cucumber “coins” on a plate and four radish “coins” on the plate. Top them with ¼ cup egg salad. Add a tomato slice to the cucumber coin sandwiches and add a sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper and cover with a cucumber coin. Cover radish sandwiches with a radish coin, if desired.
  8. Enjoy your Skinny Sammies!

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Sandwich Calories: 40 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 1 g Fiber: 1 g Protein: 3 g

 

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4 Surefire Ways To Get to The Event Bloat-Free

Here are our favorite tricks that we ALWAYS use before heading to a BBQ, a pool, the beach, or an event where we need to wear a LBD (i.e. the “Lil’ Black Dress”). Of course, as registered dietitians and personal trainers, these are based on science, but keep in mind that these are the tricks that don’t just look good on paper– they really work!  So we just have to share them! You’re welcome! 😉

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1. Wake up and immediately drink 16 ounces (or more!) of water

  • This will wake up your digestive tract—and get things movin’on out 😉 Buh, bye leftovers from last night that that are lingering in the colon. (This works like magic for us 😉)
  • It will help to flush bloating salt and water along with it.
  • It will prevent dehydration and give your body what it needs for its’ chemical reactions to make energy to start your day.

 

2. Get your sweat on! Do some form of cardio for at least 15 minutes.

  • This really gets your intestinal tract going to get things moving out of your colon. Ah-hem, yes, we mean, you’re preventing constipation and the gut bulges that come with it! (If you run, like we often do, you probably know how well this works!)
  • You’ll get rid of the little layer of “puff” right beneath your skin as you sweat out a little salt.
  • You’ll activate your muscles so they look toned and tight at the event.

 

3. Watch this move below. It’s the sink, line and hook for your bloat-free belly. Your stomach will look so much tighter! It’s crazy cool! :)

Tammy learned this move after she first gave birth to her twins. This activates your stomach muscles and it trains them to stay right and tight—rather than just hanging out like most of us (yep, us too– so this is a good reminder for us!) let our stomachs do when we are just standing around.

 

What to do:
Step 1. Activate the muscles in your stomach by simply standing with your back against the wall and placing your hand on your stomach.  Squeeze your abs, pulling your belly button back to your spine.  Breathe out as  you do it.  Think of your stomach muscles acting as a zipper and zipping the stomach in nice and tight from the bottom up. Your hand should feel your abs move back towards your spine.

Step 2. Remember, as you squeeze your abs towards your spine breathe out. Hold your abs tight for several counts and then release. Do this at least 15-20 times. You may feel this in your back too, that’s OK, and it’s part of the strengthening and toning process and actually is a sign you’re doing it correctly.

Step 3. Now that you’ve activated the muscles, do this on your way to the event—and even at the event! What we love is that no one will even see what you’re doing, but they will see tight abs and a flat stomach, oh yeah! :)

 

4. Eat a breakfast that is high in fiber and protein. The fiber will help you to feel satisfied by filling up your stomach and assisting your digestive tract in making sure everything keeps moving along to prevent constipation and bloat while the protein will keep you satiated.  Stay away from super heavy breakfasts that will weigh you down and make you feel heavy.

Try these:
Mini Frittata Muffins or Veggie Frittata Bites with a piece of fruit
3 Ingredient Blueberry Pancakes

For Smoothie Ideas that fit the bill, check out this and remember if you don’t add a protein source to your smoothie, you’ll want to add one, like nonfat Greek yogurt or eggs.
Orange Muesli

Cherry Muesli
And consider drinking this Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush (or something similar) during the day and at the event!
We’re dying to hear how our favorite bloat-free tricks worked for you! Please leave a comment below and let us know! Also, for bonus tips to stay bloat free at the event, check out these!

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Skinny “Fried” Rice

As you know, as registered dietitians and personal trainers and food lovers :)–we’re always working to “lighten up” comfort foods to make them healthier and waistline-friendly—yet still scrumptious (Skinny Cauliflower Gratin or our Skinny Mac & Cheese anyone?). So recently, as we’ve been looking over our clients’ food logs they have noted they tend to crave fried rice and want to indulge in it, especially when they whip up easy stir-fries that they add protein to, like our Broccoli Peanut Stir Fry. So we want to make their life so much easier (and ours too ;). So we’ve been a bit busy in our kitchens to bring you this little Not-So-Fried Skinny Rice number!

This will make you feel light and strong—like a superhero (well, that’s what Tammy tells her daughters when she gives it to them). After all, anything that provides you with energy as well as disease-preventing nutrients without weighing you down is Superwoman (or man)–like in our book. And although , we can’t guarantee that this not-so-fried rice will give you laser vision or the power to fly foods like flax seeds and kale are powerful in their own right because they have the ability to help your body function at its’ best!

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Check out a few of the “super” powerful foods in this recipe:

 

  • Flaxseeds boast fiber and phytonutrients. They’re also a source of omega-3s which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and may help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Kale is one of the few foods that plays a part in both phases of the liver’s detoxification system to help the body to rid toxins. And it’s packed with folate, vitamin A, C, & K! .
  • Carrots, Corn and Peas Hello fiber to keep you regular and phytonutrients to help prevent disease.
  • The dynamic trio of oats, brown rice, and quinoa are among the healthiest grain options out there! Aside from the fiber, phytonutrients and energy-revving carbs, mix the three together and you’ve got yourself one delicious side dish! :)

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Skinny “Fried” Rice

(Yields 8 (1/2 cup) servings)

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 1 bag frozen peas, carrots, corn (2 cups)
  • 4 egg whites (we use Eggland’s Best)
  • 1 large kale leaf, or two small leaves
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1/8 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos (healthy soy sauce alternative)
  • ¼ cup flax seeds

 

Directions:

Boil 2 cups hot water. Add brown rice and quinoa. Cover and turn heat to low. Allow for rice and quinoa to cook for about 20 mins. In a skillet, add frozen peas and allow to cook until defrosted and warm, about 10 mins. Add egg whites, and destem the kale leaf. Add shreds of the leaf portion to the mix and scramble. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice and quinoa, vegetable and egg blend, uncooked oats, liquid aminos, and flax seeds. Serve and enjoy!

 

Nutritional Information:

Per tasty serving (1/2 cup):

Calories 109; Fat 2g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 16.5g; Protein 5.5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 58mg; Fiber 4g

 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 1 bag frozen peas, carrots, corn (2 cups)
  • 4 egg whites (we use Eggland’s Best) EgglandsBest.com
  • 1 large kale leaf, or two small leaves
  • ¼ cup oats
  • ⅛ cup Bragg’s liquid aminos (healthy soy sauce alternative)
  • ¼ cup flax seeds

Instructions
  1. Boil 2 cups hot water. Add brown rice and quinoa. Cover and turn heat to low. Allow for rice and quinoa to cook for about 20 mins. In a skillet, add frozen peas and allow to cook until defrosted and warm, about 10 mins. Add egg whites, and destem the kale leaf. Add shreds of the leaf portion to the mix and scramble. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice and quinoa, vegetable and egg blend, uncooked oats, liquid aminos, and flax seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 109 Fat: 2g Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 16.5g Sodium: 58mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 5.5g Cholesterol: 0mg

 

 

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Skinny Chicken Pot Pie

Even as registered dietitians, we’re the first to admit that there is something so satisfying about comfort food. Growing up it was our mom’s creamy thick and chunky soups and her homemade pizza. Oh, and how can we forget her grilled cheese that as little girls we’d try to make her prepare open-faced, so that we could watch the cheese bubble in the toaster and then savor every last bite—boy did that hit the spot! And of course, nowadays, we’ve been creating waistline-friendly versions of comfort food so we can all enjoy it without guilt! Remember our Skinny MashSkinny Mac and Cheese and Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce and Parmesan Cheese? Well, now we’ve got another comfort food for the waistline—and for the soul! Guiltless Lil’ Chicken potpie!

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Traditionally, this comfort food is loaded with fat, calories, and cream. But we refuse to do that to your waistline, so being both food lovers and registered dietitians, we revamped this calorically dense dish by simply nixing all those doozy ingredients that spell bathing suit trouble–and made it nutritious! So say hello to your 28 calorie, bite sized potpies! A lighter, more snackable , yet classic way to have your favorite foods while keeping it healthy! Vegetables, chicken, and flavor are stuffed into each wonton. Have fun popping it in your mouth without the guilt.

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How does the delicious but guilt-free magic happen?   

First, we swap in Wonton wrappers which are low in calories yet still give a similar taste to the calorie-laden crust of a traditional chicken potpie. Then we create a healthy, creamy soup—it thickens and makes for a great wonton filling. And since we’re veggie obsessed (how could we not be after witnessing all of the health, beauty and weight loss benefits veggies have and watching them work their magic on us—and on our clients?! After all, that’s why we wrote our latest book, The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure to help everyone to deliciously get their veggie servings and reap all the benefits!), we loaded the soup with tons of veggies, because of their AMAZING health benefits! And lastly, we substituted almond milk and ditched loads of calories from cream. But don’t worry—we still have all of the creaminess– and WOAH what a hit. A perfect appetizer, snack, or even entrée to make for just about any occasion!

 

So if you’re craving something yummy, but don’t want the tummy, go ahead and give these lil’ nuggets a whirl!

 

So if you’re craving something yummy, but don’t want the tummy, go ahead and give these lil’ nuggets a whirl!

 

Lil’ Chicken Pot Pies

(Yields 40 pot pies)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed
  • 40 pack Wonton wrappers
  • 1 cups sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • dash of salt and pepper

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Cover the pan with enough water to cover the food. Boil until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  • Cook and stir onions in a saucepan over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and almond milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.
  • Place a heaping tablespoon of chicken mixture into each wonton and fold corners over.
  • Bake in preheated oven until wonton is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Nutritional Information:

Per 2 wonton cups

Calories 56; Fat <1g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 10g; Protein 4g; Cholesterol 6mg; Sodium 104mg; Fiber 1g

Lil’ Chicken Pot Pies
 
Author:
Serves: 40

Ingredients
  • ½ pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed
  • 40 pack Wonton wrappers
  • 1 cups sliced carrots
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • ¼ cup sliced celery
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • dash of salt and pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Cover the pan with enough water to cover the food. Boil until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  3. Cook and stir onions in a saucepan over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and almond milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Place a heaping tablespoon of chicken mixture into each wonton and fold corners over.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until wonton is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 wontons Calories: 56 Fat: <1g Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 10g Sodium: 104mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 4g Cholesterol: 6mg

 

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Hawaiian Protein Roll Ups

By now you probably know that we are girls who love our veggies, fruits, seafood, chicken and fish (and of course, our chocolate—mention any and we’ll already be drooling! After all, that’s why we created recipes like our Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls, our Guac-Chocolate Mousse -which marries veggies and chocolate and is debatably one of our top five favorite creations, and our Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn, just to name a few J ). But you’ve been asking for healthy meat dishes as well that taste delish and won’t break the calorie-bank. And who are we to disappoint? :) So we had our fabulous intern Kelsi Wildermuth create a healthy steak dish that is just for you meat lovers and for our Paleo peeps!

 

Remember fruit roll ups as a kid? Well that’s the inspiration for this protein roll up! To take it even further, vegetables and juicy pineapple are rolled in a piece of meat, simply tossed on the grill, and voila! A little taste of Aloha! The steak is marinated in Dr. Bragg’s liquid aminos and the veggies are drizzled with it. (Bragg’s liquid aminos are lower-sodium, non-GMO, replacement for Tamari and Soy Sauce.) Grill this up for any time of the day! It’s like having your own little luau.

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As we always say, a healthy meal must have both protein and fiber to provide satiety and prevent dips in blood sugar. This Hawaiian Roll-up has both– a 22 gram protein punch and seven grams of fiber in one serving! You’ll also get a dose of iron and B12.

Kelsi’s Tips:

  • Imagine you’re on a mini vacation to Hawaii for dinner tonight.
  • This dish is best a little on the rare side.

 

Enjoy the flavors of Hawaii, from our kitchen (well, Kelsi’s kitchen :) ) to yours, aloha nui loa

 

 

Hawaiian Protein Roll Ups

(Yields 6 servings)

 

Ingredients:

– One pound butterfly cut prime rib steak

– ¼ cup Bragg’s liquid aminos

– 1 large carrot

– 1 zucchini

– 1 red pepper

– 1 pineapple

– 6 toothpicks

Directions:

  1. Marinate Steak in aminos overnight or for about 4-5 hours (if you don’t have time to marinate, just drizzle the meat with the liquid aminos and allow to sit for about 10 minutes (this marinating helps to eliminate grilling carcinogens) before throwing it on the grill).
  2. Wash and shred the carrots and zucchini and julienne the red pepper into thin strips.
  3. Cut the pineapple at the top and bottom, peel the sides with a knife, and cut the remaining edible portion into long, thin strips.
  4. Lay the meat flat on a workspace and cut into 6 equal rectangles.
  5. Top each rectangle with the fruit and veggies, drizzle liquid aminos on the mixture.
  6. Roll each rectangle into a cylinder shape and toothpick the meat to hold closed by weaving the toothpick through both layers of meat .
  7. Place on a grill for 10-15 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes. (Cook until medium rare for best flavor and extra juiciness).

(If you don’t have a grill, bake at 350 for 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it so as not to overcook.)

 

Nutritional Information:

Per 1 roll up

Calories 177; Fat 1g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 26g; Protein 22g; Cholesterol 13mg; Sodium 200mg; Fiber 7g

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Hawaiian Protein Roll Ups
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • One pound butterfly cut prime rib steak
  • ¼ cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 pineapple
  • 6 toothpicks

Instructions
  1. Marinate Steak in aminos overnight or for about 4-5 hours (if you don’t have time to marinate, just drizzle the meat with the liquid aminos and allow to sit for about 10 minutes (this marinating helps to eliminate grilling carcinogens) before throwing it on the grill).
  2. Wash and shred the carrots and zucchini and julienne the red pepper into thin strips.
  3. Cut the pineapple at the top and bottom, peel the sides with a knife, and cut the remaining edible portion into long, thin strips.
  4. Lay the meat flat on a workspace and cut into 6 equal rectangles.
  5. Top each rectangle with the fruit and veggies, drizzle liquid aminos on the mixture.
  6. Roll each rectangle into a cylinder shape and toothpick the meat to hold closed by weaving the toothpick through both layers of meat .
  7. Place on a grill for 10-15 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes. (Cook until medium rare for best flavor and extra juiciness).
  8. (If you don’t have a grill, bake at 350 for 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it so as not to overcook.)

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 roll up Calories: 177 Fat: 1 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 26 Sodium: 200 Fiber: 7 Protein: 22 Cholesterol: 13