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Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

It’s no secret that we grew up in a healthy, veggie-centric household.  Sweet potatoes were a veggie that our mom served us on the reg, typically as a carb to many of our meals on a winter evening.  We always loved the creaminess of the potato, it felt like a real comfort food– and the sweetness helped us to curb our wicked sweet tooth.  Now, as registered dietitians, we’re always creating new, healthy recipes that feature our orange fleshed lover, the sweet potato.  This baby packs in 21.5 grams of satisfying protein and 15 grams of fiber for the ultimate satisfaction!

A few more of our faves:

Sweet Potato Nachos

Roasted Tarragon Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt & Chocolate Drizzle

Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash

and…

Mexican Sweet Potato Salad, Cherry & Pistachio Sweet Potato Medley  and our Sweeeeeeeet! Potato Pie

 

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato -so satisfying with 21.5 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber!

Other than the fact that there is something so satisfying about a creamy, fiber filled sweet potato, there are so many benefits! Check them out below!

Sweeeeet potato!  This sweet potato may be loaded with delish goodies, but the sweet potato itself is packed with mega benefits including:

  • Two very potent antioxidants– carotenoids (including beta carotene) and sporamins, which fight everything from the negative health consequences that come with aging to almost all types of disease.
  • Fighting inflammation: Eat a sweet potato and research shows that inflammation in the body immediately decreases, especially in the brain and nerve tissues throughout the body.

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

 

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 small sweet potato (about 4.5 oz)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons low fat or fat free mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Directions:
1.Microwave or bake the sweet potato until tender. While it is cooking, prepare the filling.
2.Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat with a spritz of olive oil in a spray bottle. Add the onion, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli and sauté until tender, about 6-7 minutes.
3.Add the black beans, turmeric, and cumin, and cook until heated through.
4.Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise and split open. Mound the filling onto the sweet potato (there is a lot of filling – it will not all fit tucked into the sweet potato, but that’s okay!)
5.Sprinkle the cheese on top of the filling, then microwave or bake the whole thing until the cheese is melted.
6.Dollop the Greek yogurt on top and serve.

Nutrition facts:  344 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 187 mg sodium, 65 grams carbs, 15 grams fiber, 21.5 grams protein

 

Ten Quick, Easy & Healthy Meals You Can Make from the Items in Your Fridge

Wonder what one of the top questions we get as identical twin sister, veggie and chocolate-loving, registered dietitians and personal trainers is? Well, other than how we ended up going into the same profession (we’ll share that answer another day!) – it’s “what can I make for dinner that’s healthy, satisfying, easy and quick?”

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Check out this kitchen staples list and the meals you can make using them, below.  We can’t tell a lie; most of these meals are so fast and simple that you can pull them off even after a long day with your eyes half shut! 😉

Keep these staples in your kitchen at all times– they’ll save you from mindlessly munching on chips and cookies as you decide what to order for dinner.  You can use these ingredients to whip up at least 10 healthy & easy meals!  (See our suggestions below–some of them we started making in our college days as nutrition students and we still make them today).

• frozen veggies (load up on all your faves, ideally non-starchy ones*! Our personal faves are Whole Foods’ organic cauliflower, Cascadian Farms’ organic broccoli cuts and Trader Joes’ organic broccoli florets [and Whole Foods’ organic tri-color peppers are great for stir-fries!])
• fresh fruit
• canned beans
• canned tuna (or our personal favorite, sardines! 🙂 )
• frozen skinless poultry and/or shrimp
• eggs
• nonfat Greek yogurt
• low-fat/ nonfat cheese (can store frozen to prevent spoiling)
• whole grain tortillas
• instant brown rice
• whole wheat pita bread
• tomato sauce
• salsa
• olive oil or another healthy oil in a spray container 
• oatmeal
• low-sodium soy sauce or low-sodium stir-fry sauce

*non-starchy veggies are most veggies except peas, potatoes and corn.  All veggies are healthy, just non-starchy ones contain fewer calories and carbohydrates.

10 healthy, quick and mindless meals you can make with the ingredients above:
(Use oil in a spritzer/ spray bottle to save calories.).  Recipes with links are variations of the options listed.

1) Chicken or shrimp and veggie stir-fry with brown rice
2)  Open Face Mediterranean Veggie & Tuna Sandwich or tuna sandwich on whole wheat pita with side of steamed veggies
3) Chicken, bean, & veggie burrito with low fat cheese and salsa  Try this Easy Burrito Bowl or this 5-Minute Burrito

4) Shrimp, bean and rice burrito with low fat cheese and salsa
5) Whole wheat veggie pita pizza or veggie and chicken pita pizza
6) Brown rice and beans with side of steamed veggies
7) Chicken parmesan—with marinara and low fat cheese, side of veggies
8) Scrambled egg tacos—veggies, chicken or beans, tortillas, low-fat cheese and salsa
9) Oatmeal Muesli
10) Scrambled eggs with low-fat cheese and veggies (omelet) in whole wheat pita or in whole grain tortilla and fruit.  Try these Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes

And there you have it!  Give this list and these recipes a whirl and let us know which are your favorite go-to’s!

x & x,
L & T

Ten Quick, Easy Healthy Meals You Can Make from the Items in Your Fridge
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • ⅔ cup quinoa, cooked
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime
  • dash of chili powder
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4 TBS low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce (optional)
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle chili powder on both sides of chicken breast.
  2. Bake chicken breast in oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked all the way through.
  3. When the chicken is done, slice it up into bite-sized chunks.
  4. To assemble each bowl, lay down ½ cup of quinoa, 1 cup of lettuce, and ¼ cup of tomatoes.
  5. Add chicken to the bowls, top with avocado slices, and squeeze the juice of half a lime over each bowl.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 319 Fat: 18g Carbohydrates: 18 g Sodium: 308 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 24 g

 

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta

A big fat cooking rut.  I, Lyssie, was in one.  Yes, even this registered dietitian and one of The Nutrition Twins who loves to cook got stuck in one.  And thanks to two generous samples- #zesprikiwifruit and #organicgrain (organicgrains.com) and an urge to instantly marry the two in one dish, I’ve been set free!  Having these delicious and healthy ingredients forced me out of my healthy, in a hurry “go-to meals “and got my creative juices flowing once again and gave me the ammunition to make a new, quickie and healthy alternative!  And thank gosh, I’m B-A-C-K! 🙂

It feels great to be back in the “mode”, whipping up light, summer-inspired dishes that don’t require slaving over the stove.  After all, summer is my favorite season and fresh summer produce is so much fun to take advantage of.  Quinoa (the wholesome, protein and fiber-packed grain) is perfect for summer since it’s light and satisfying and makes me think of the Mediterranean and of olives.  I know olives aren’t necessarily a summer food for most, but for me, I immediately think “olives” and summer are a pair.  I live in New York City and I get my olives at Fairway or Zabars from the big barrels.  Shopping with winter coats and gloves and scarves are not how I envision shopping for olives, rather in a summery tank top and shorts scream olives to me! J

Tammy and I always say “O-live for olives”.  Translation: I live for olives. 😉  Olives not only a source of good-for-you, mono-unsaturated fats, they also contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that protect the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, immune system, inflammatory system, and digestive system—and help to prevent cancer!

Kiwi (in this recipe we used Sungold kiwi, which is a new, golden-fleshed variety.  It’s got a refreshing sweet taste with just a hint of sour—and just like other kiwi fruit, it’s packed with vitamin C that helps your skin to glow as it enhances collagen formation, making your skin more elastic so it can appear more youthful.  And it’s got fiber to help keep your digestive tract constipation and bloat-free!

Briny olives, sweet kiwi and chewy cranberries with salty feta and satisfying quinoa—this dish packs flavor with a nutritional punch.

Photo taken pre-feta

 

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta

Serve this light, satisfying number with a chopped salad of cucumber and tomato or with a side of steamed broccoli.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa or 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (we used Organic Grains from their generous mailing delivery)

1-1/2 cup water

3/4 Tbsp. olive oil

3/4 cup Kalamata olives

3/4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

3/4 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice (alternatively, you can substitute this for 3/4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar)

15.5 ounce can, chick peas, (ideally low salt, we use Trader Joe’s Organic chickpeas which are lower in sodium than most, 140 mg/serving))

Pink Himalayan sea salt, ground to taste, optional

 

1/4 cup dried cranberries

3 ounces fat-free crumbled feta

2 tsps. fresh ginger, finely grated, optional

2 Zespri kiwis, sliced and quartered

 

Directions:

  1. If using uncooked quinoa, prepare quinoa by adding to a medium sauce pan with 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Fluff with a fork.
  2. Mix olive oil, vinegar and lime juice (or lemon juice, if you opt for that) together.
  3. Pour over quinoa and stir in well. Drain about one-quarter of the liquid in the can of the chickpeas out and pour chickpeas into quinoa.  Grind salt to taste in quinoa and chickpea mixture.
  4. Stir in cranberries, feta and ginger. Gently fold in kiwi.  Serve warm or chilled! Enjoy!

Nutrition facts per serving:

355 Calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 g protein, 53 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 314 mg sodium

OrganicGrains.com and Zespri Kiwifruit both sent The Nutrition Twins samples that were used in the creation of this meal!

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa or 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (we used Organic Grains from their generous mailing delivery)
  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • ¾ Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ cup Kalamata olives
  • ¾ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¾ Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice (alternatively, you can substitute this for ¾ Tbsp. red wine vinegar)
  • 15.5 ounce can, chick peas, (ideally low salt, we use Trader Joe’s Organic chickpeas which are lower in sodium than most, 140 mg/serving))
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt, ground to taste, optional
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 ounces fat-free crumbled feta
  • 2 tsps. fresh ginger, finely grated, optional
  • 2 Zespri kiwis, sliced and quartered
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. If using uncooked quinoa, prepare quinoa by adding to a medium sauce pan with 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Fluff with a fork.
  3. Mix olive oil, vinegar and lime juice (or lemon juice, if you opt for that) together.
  4. Pour over quinoa and stir in well. Drain about one-quarter of the liquid in the can of the chickpeas out and pour chickpeas into quinoa. Grind salt to taste in quinoa and chickpea mixture.
  5. Stir in cranberries, feta and ginger. Gently fold in kiwi. Serve warm or chilled! Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 355 Fat: 9 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 53 g Sodium: 314 mg Fiber: 9 g Protein: 15 g

 

Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

 

By now you probably know that we are girls who love fish and seafood.  Lyssie is obsessed with sardines, to put it mildly (she could eat them at every meal and be happy as a clam.).  Tammy tends to think that it’s not only the taste that Lyssie loves and that they’re a great source of inflammation-fighting omega-3s, but she feels like we have a lot in common with the little guys since we’re small too –only 5-foot-2, and that’s on a good day. 😊

As registered dietitians, we’re always encouraging our clients to get more omega-3 fatty acids, and since we know that having them eat sardines at every meal may not fly, we’re always creating recipes that help them to get their omega-3s.  We created this salmon recipe for that very reason.  We love the combination of the sweet, crunchy salsa with the rich salmon.

Interested in more healthy salmon recipes?  Please feel free to search our site.  And here are a few to try:

DIY Brown Sushi Salmon Rolls

Soy Ginger Salmon

Buffalo Salmon

 

Omega-3s.

 You’ve heard you need ‘em.

 Wonder Why?  

 

Here’s what omega-3s can do:

  • help lower high triglycerides and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • ease the pain or rheumatoid arthritis by fighting inflammation and reducing join pain and stiffness.
  • help to fight mild depression. Research has shown that people with low levels of omega-3’s have higher rates of depression.
  • Research shows promise in improving symptoms of asthma, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Pregnant? Don’t skip on omega-3’s
    • DHA, one of the critical omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish (EPA is the other one) is essential for brain and eye health of infants

 

While we’re throwing back salmon and sardines 😉 if they ain’t yo thang, you can always try these other great omega-3 sources:

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Tuna

However, before fishing for other ways to get your omega-3s with the options above, we think you should try this easy recipe and see if you love it like we do! 🙂

 

Salmon with Pineapple Salsa (We use wild salmon whenever we can—they contain more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and they contain fewer contaminants as well.)

 Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

4 oz salmon filet

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 lime

1/4 cup diced pineapple

2 tbsp diced red onion

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

For serving ½ cup cooked brown rice, 1+ cups steamed veggies

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Place the salmon filet on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the cumin and squeeze half of the lime over the top. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, mix together the juice of the other half of the lime with the pineapple, red onion, and cilantro.

When the salmon is done, top it with the salsa and serve alongside brown rice and veggies.

 

Nutrition facts per serving (salmon + salsa with ½ cup brown rice): 347 calories, 9 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 50 grams sodium, 44 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 27 grams protein.

Enjoy!

 

Nutrition facts per serving (without brown rice – just salmon and salsa): 197 calories, 7.5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 50 grams sodium, 9.5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 23 grams protein

Salmon with Pineapple Salsa
 
Nutrition facts per serving (salmon + salsa with ½ cup brown rice): 347 calories, 9 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 50 grams sodium, 44 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 27 grams protein.
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 4 oz salmon filet
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lime
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple
  • 2 tbsp diced red onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • For serving
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice, 1+ cups steamed veggies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place the salmon filet on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the cumin and squeeze half of the lime over the top. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the juice of the other half of the lime with the pineapple, red onion, and cilantro.
  3. When the salmon is done, top it with the salsa and serve alongside brown rice and veggies.

Skinny Speedy Honey Ginger Chicken

As registered dietitians, one of the requests that we get the most is for healthy, delicious meals that can be made in a flash.  We hear ya, and we relate!  We all could use a few extra hours in our day.  So recently, when Tammy’s daughters requested one of those squeeze pouches of peanut butter and honey, it brought back memories of our love for honey.

We loved our Mom’s peanut butter, honey and banana sandwiches– and one of our favorite things to do was to help her make her homemade granola so we could stir in the honey and eat the honey-covered granola right out of the bowl before it was cooked.  Our poor mom would always have to chase us down to clean our grubby, sticky, honey-covered little hands 🙂 before we covered the furniture in honey (our favorite honey-covered rocking chair finally had to be retired– apparently we were the only ones who wanted to sit in a sticky chair– go figure!).

This quick, easy, healthy and delish dish was inspired by our love of honey!

Honey_ginger_chicken

 

Psst… looking for more healthy and tasty chicken dishes? Please feel free to search this site!  And here are a few to try…

 

Skinny Chicken Pot Pie

Peruvian Style Chicken

Cajun Chicken

Yogurt Paprika Chicken

 

Skinny Speedy Honey Ginger Chicken

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

2-1/2 tablespoons honey

Ginger powder

Garlic powder

3/4 pound very thinly sliced chicken breast

Sesame seeds (optional)– sometimes we cover the chicken with the seeds, but sometimes we’re in the mood for the chicken without the seeds– and it tastes just as delicious!

 

Directions

  1. Add honey to a large skillet over medium heat.  As honey thins, add garlic and ginger.  Then add chicken.
  2. Cook chicken until thoroughly cooked and chicken looks seared and starts to turn a nice golden brown as the honey absorbs into the chicken.  The more thinly sliced the chicken, the better in terms of cooking quickly.
  3. Add more ginger and garlic powder to liking.  Once chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink, remove from pan.  Add to a plate filled with your favorite veggies or cover with sesame seeds and then serve.  Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Information: Calories 181, Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 72mg, Sodium 63mg, Protein 26 g, Carbohydrates 11g

Honey_Ginger_Chicken_Collage_sm

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Skinny Speedy Honey Ginger Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • Ginger powder
  • Garlic powder
  • ¾ pound very thinly sliced chicken breast
  • Sesame seeds (optional)-- sometimes we cover the chicken with the seeds, but sometimes we're in the mood for the chicken without the seeds-- and it tastes just as delicious!
Instructions
  1. Add honey to a large skillet over medium heat. As honey thins, add garlic and ginger. Then add chicken.
  2. Cook chicken until thoroughly cooked and chicken looks seared and starts to turn a nice golden brown as the honey absorbs into the chicken. The more thinly sliced the chicken, the better in terms of cooking quickly.
  3. Add more ginger and garlic powder to liking. Once chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink, remove from pan. Add to a plate filled with your favorite veggies or cover with sesame seeds and then serve. Enjoy!

Pesto Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Pesto Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Growing up, every Thursday night was pizza night in our house. This was our favorite dinner and also one night that we knew that if we invited our friends over for dinner, they would love it—after all, what kid doesn’t like pizza, no matter how healthy it’s prepared?! Our mom, who cooked all of our meals from scratch would start making her pizza dough mid-afternoon, when she’d put it in the oven and wait for the dough to rise. After that, she’d work up a sweat kneading it for what seemed like hours. When she could round us up to help, this was one of our favorite parts—and we’d love using the rolling pin after kneading it to make the round pizza pie. She used whole wheat flour in her dough and we remember our dad requesting she use only half whole wheat flour because it made the dough too tough. 😉 We loved mom’s pizza and appreciated all the effort she put into it, but it would have saved her so many hours had she had known our delicious Pizzeria at Home secret! 🙂

mushrooms3label

We didn’t have to become registered dietitians to know how much everyone seems to love pizza—or to know how much so many weight-loss hopefuls feel guilty after eating it.  Guilty is the last thing we want for anyone to feel—especially after eating a food that can be delicious and guilt-free! After all, that’s why we created waist-line friendly pizza options like our Portobello Pizza, Easy Veggie Pita Pizza and our Polenta Pizza just to name a few.

mushrooms4label

And check out this way to make a your favorite food! By using a Portobello mushroom instead of carb-heavy dough, this pizza cuts back on carbs without cutting back on taste! (Pssst…if you remember our Balsamic Egg White Capped Portobello Burger , you’ll see another time the delish Portobello saved mega calories!)

 

Pesto Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients:

Pesto:

½ cup tomato paste

¼ cup fresh basil, lightly packed

Garlic – ½ clove, peeled

Pizza Mixture:

2 portobello mushrooms, thoroughly washed and patted dry

½ cup tomato, diced

1/8 cup yellow onion, diced

½ cup green pepper, cut into slices

half of a medium zucchini (about 3 inches), diced

½ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut out the stem and ribs from the mushroom caps. Spray the mushroom caps and baking sheet lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Finely chop the fresh basil.
  4. Mix together the tomato paste, basil, and garlic. Add mixture to the bottom of the inside of each mushroom cap.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the tomato, onion, green pepper and zucchini. Fill each mushroom cup with the mixture.
  6. Top each pizza with ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until cheese has melted and looks ooey gooey and delicious! Enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pizza Calories: 158 Fat: 2 Carbohydrates: 18 Sugar: 9 Sodium: 284 Fiber: 5 Protein: 12 Cholesterol: 15

Pesto Portobello Mushroom Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Garlic – ½ clove, peeled
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, thoroughly washed and patted dry
  • ½ cup tomato, diced
  • ⅛ cup yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup green pepper, cut into slices
  • half of a medium zucchini (about 3 inches), diced
  • ½ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut out the stem and ribs from the mushroom caps. Spray the mushroom caps and baking sheet lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Finely chop the fresh basil.
  4. Mix together the tomato paste, basil, and garlic. Add mixture to the bottom of the inside of each mushroom cap.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the tomato, onion, green pepper and zucchini. Fill each mushroom cup with the mixture.
  6. Top each pizza with ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until cheese has melted and looks ooey gooey and delicious! Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pizza Calories: 158 Fat: 2 Carbohydrates: 18 Sugar: 9 Sodium: 284 Fiber: 5 Protein: 12 Cholesterol: 15