Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Reader Favorites: May Edition

Thank you for all of the love this month! May is one of my favorite months; it's the end of the teaching semester, and the beginning of Summer. This month, I completed another year as an adjunct professor. I submitted final grades, so it's official!  If you missed any of the posts this month, here are the top five favorite posts you visited in the month of May. Enjoy!

Let me know if there are any nutrition-related topics you would like me to cover. You can comment below or tag me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Friday, May 27, 2016

State of My Goals Address: May Edition

As promised, I am sharing updates on my goals and 2016 resolutions in the state of my goals address. You can take a look at my 2016 goals and my thoughts on goals and resolutions. Sharing these goals is a way to keep me accountable and help me to improve, grow, and learn. People who share their goals tend to be more successful. So, I'm sharing the goals here to encourage you and to keep me accountable. You're welcome to comment with your goals and share your progress as well. Feel free to tag your goals with #RDTODgoals or #healthyRD on social media.

2016 Goals
Try 30 new recipes.
In May, I tried a few new recipes including:

  • Red and white manicotti
I took a pasta-making class, which was so fun! We learned to make homemade pasta. I'll be posting an entire blog post with my review of the class and tons of pictures.

  • Spring Pappardelle pasta

  • Ravioli con Uvo

I just realized that all of these pictures were pasta. I guess May was pasta month for me! For those keeping track, this makes my new recipe count 23 out of 30.

Build endurance and strength.
I'm continue to attend my favorite strength-training class. The fitness instructor does a variety of light weight, high rep circuit, and body weight exercises. She gives a great variety to all the classes.

I'm also loving the elliptical and stationary bike. It's hot here in Texas! So, I'm so thankful to have a climate controlled place to workout. I'm laughing to myself about how funny this is - a climate controlled place to sweat. Hahaha!

Let me know if you have favorite workout songs. You can leave recommendations in the comments below. I'd love to hear what you listen to and what motivate you. Comment below.

image from amazon.com

Read more.
In my free time, I've started reading more. I finished reading Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist this month. It is a book about taking the good with the bad. No life is perfect; we all have struggles. I like her perspective of  life being bitter sweet "The most bittersweet season of my life so far is still life, still beautiful, still sparkling with celebration. There is no one or the other, as desperately as I want that to be true. This season wasn't bittersweet. Life itself is bittersweet. There's always life and death, always beauty and blood." Shauna Niequist from Bittersweet page 248. Some parts were devastatingly sad and Shauna walks you though her life. But, it wasn't an entirely sad book. The author's writing style is beautiful. She paints pictures with her words. You feel like you are right beside her. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

For those keeping track, my book count is 4 in 2016.

Learn something new.
I took a cooking class as mentioned in goal #1. Cooking classes are a great way to learn a new skill. I foresee more classes in my future!

These are my broad goals for 2016. What goals are you working on in 2016?
Comment below.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fresh Summer Salad with Almond Crusted Feta

It finally feels like Summer, the temperatures are consistently in the 80s here and the daylight is lasting longer. There are gorgeous strawberries and blueberries at the farmer's market and in all the grocery stores. I finished grading all the final exams. It's Summer time!

I have a confession; I can not stop eating this salad. Second confession, I don't want to stop eating it. This salad is inspired by a similar salad I had at a restaurant with almond covered goat cheese. It was so good! Warm feta encrusted in a golden, toasted shell. Yes, please!

My recipe has more fruit, both in amount and variety. I also used my favorite salad green, spinach. Spinach is high in folate, which plays an important role in DNA and cell proliferation. Folate has been shown to play roles in preventing some types of cancer and is an essential nutrient especially during pregnancy. 
I hope you enjoy this quick, delicious, nutritious, nutrient-dense recipe.

Fresh Summer Salad with Almond Crusted Feta Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 7-10 minutes

2 ounces feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1/4 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

2 Tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1 egg

For salad dressing:
1 Tablespoon pureed strawberries or strawberry jelly/jam
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Crack egg into a bowl and scramble.
Mix panko and 1 Tablespoon almonds in a second bowl.
Slice 2, one-ounce slices of feta. Place feta into egg mixture. Then, dip in panko and almonds. Cover all cheese with the crunchy coating. Repeat with second slice of feta. Place breaded feta on a place and put in freezer for ~5 minutes.

Wash and thoroughly dry vegetables.
Place spinach, strawberries, and blueberries in a salad bowl.
Mix strawberry puree or strawberry jelly, lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and olive oil to make salad dressing. Use 1-2 Tablespoons to dressing for your salad.

Preheat oven to 300*F. Heat a small oven-safe pan with 2 Tablespoons canola or olive oil on medium heat. Place feta into pan. Brown cheese for 2-3 minutes until crust is golden brown. Flip cheese and brown on second side for 2 minutes. Then, place in the oven for 4-5 minutes until cheese is golden brown and warmed through.

Top salad with 1 Tablespoon almonds and feta. Enjoy!

This red, white, and blue recipe is perfect to bring on a picnic, Fourth of July Party, or Memorial Day party. To make it more transportable, you can pack this salad in a mason jar or recyclable plastic cup. Layer the dressing first, Then the blueberries and strawberries. Add your salad greens and top with feta. 

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter. 

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pickled Vegetables Recipe

As a Registered Dietitian, you can work in many areas, including recipe development. I have the wonderful opportunity to work with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). I've developed recipes for the NKF for more than 4 years. They featured one of my recipes yesterday, and I wanted to share it with you! Click on the link below to view the recipe for pickled Summer vegetables.


Pickling is a great way to preserve food. If you have an abundance of vegetables in your garden, you can consider pickling some to enjoy later in the year. My recipe is a lower sodium spin on pickling. Enjoy!

If you want more recipes, you can access to all these recipes for FREE by signing up for the Kidney Living publication through the NKF or by signing up for FoodCare on the NKF's website.

The recipes below are more samples of my recipes featured in the Winter issue of Kidney Living. This website features recipes for individuals with various stages of kidney disease, diabetes, and their families. Just plug your information into FoodCare, and it will provide feedback on the recipes you select. As always, please consult your doctor and registered dietitian before making dietary changes.

Here are some of the recipes I created for the NKF in the Winter issue of Kidney Living.


For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

RDtipoftheday Favorites: May Edition

Welcome to RDtipoftheday's favorites May edition. This is my blog series that highlights some of the best things I've been watching, reading, listening to, cooking, and eating. These are a few of my favorite things this month.

Eating & Cooking
This salad, y'all! I can not stop eating it.

I'm loving the copper trend for all things kitchen.

I've been loving anything by Shauna Neiquiest. I started reading her book, Bread & Wine, and put all of her other books on my reading list. Here's what I read this month.

image from amazon.com

One of my 2016 resolutions is to read more. This month, I've read Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. I enjoy the author's writing style; she paints pictures with her words. She is able to describe food, smells, experiences, and even difficulties and makes the reader feel like she is right there with her. 

I love seeing people succeed. I think it is amazing to see people discover what they're good at and then do that well. For all the graduates or people trying to find what they are meant to do, check out these 7 lessons. I believe that we all have gifts and talents, and there isn't only one thing we're good at. You're good at a lot of things, right? I think these tips are great for pointing you towards the things you are good at.


Brene Brown's Ted Talk on Vulnerability - encouraging and inspiring

This month, I got sucked into a black hole on YouTube. I don't find myself spending hours on most forms of social media. But, YouTube, that's a whole other thing. Once I start watching YouTube videos, I'm occupied for at least half an hour. This month's YouTube things that make me happy are cooking & baking instructional videos. I'm taking a few hobby cooking and baking classes this month, so I think the excitement and anticipation for these upcoming classes prompted these videos.
For tips on icing a cake with buttercream, check out this video on basic layer cake decorating.
Cupcake decorating with 8 buttercream designs.
Swiss meringue buttercream recipe *Note: For those that aren't familiar with the terms, caster sugar is superfine granulated sugar. And, icing sugar is powdered sugar.
I've been searching for a good, homemade brownie recipe. I think this might be a winner.
Hydrangea cupcake decorating tutorial.
Succulent cake decorating tutorial. *Note: Plant tutorials start around 5:50.
After all these sweet, I'm craving something more savory.
What's better than a cupcake? I'm not quite convinced. Are ya'll team cupcake, team cake, team pie, or team cookie? Comment below and tell me your vote. I'll post the results.

That Sounds Fun Podcast with Annie F Downs and Angie Smith. Y'all these are funny girls. I laughed out loud listening to this episode on my commute to work.

I hope you enjoyed these tips, recipes, and all of my favorites from this month. Let me know if this is a feature that you would like me to continue by commenting below. And, let me know if you have something you want to be featured. Thanks! Have a great weekend!

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

10 Simple Satisfying Salads

I love the idea of entertaining with salads. Especially since May is salad month. It feels like most people are trying to eat healthier. However, my population sample may be bias, since I am a Registered Dietitian (RD) who works primarily in weight management. Salads are a great way to get in a variety of micronutrients, and salads are a super filling meal with all the fiber.

There are several restaurants that have this build-your-own salad idea. You have the freedom to choose what you like. But, my favorite part of these restaurants are the salads that the chefs have suggested. You can do this too when you entertain. Make recipe cards or a chalkboard menu with ideas for assembling the ingredients into different salads. Here are some ideas for simple, satisfying salads:

Southern Italy Salad: Romaine lettuce or spinach, Sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, shallots, Parmesan cheese

Summer Salad: strawberries, blueberries, spinach, pecans or sunflower seeds, feta, fruit vinaigrette

Fiesta Salad: carrots, corn, tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, Mexican cheese, black beans, grilled chicken or steak, avocado and lime juice or light ranch

Caprese Salad: tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, spinach, roasted or grilled chicken, pine nuts, oil and balsamic vinegar

Supreme Salad: Romaine lettuce and spinach, mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, onions, Canadian bacon, light ranch dressing

Caesar Salad: Romaine Lettuce, grilled chicken, Parmesan cheese, Caesar vinaigrette

Peachy Spring Salad: Arugula, spinach, radishes, cucumbers, peaches, and peach vinaigrette

Harvest Salad: Green apples, blue cheese, Romaine lettuce, red or purple cabbage, almonds or walnuts, grilled chicken or turkey, vinaigrette

Greek Salad: onions, olives, cucumber, Romaine lettuce or spinach, feta, chicken, oil and vinegar

RDtipoftheday Tips for Salads:

1) Salads are a great way to use leftovers.
You can add whatever protein, beans, cheese, veggies, or fruits you have leftover to salad greens. It is a quick, easy, healthy, and delicious meal. I love salads around the holidays, especially for balancing the heaviness of many holiday dishes. It is a great way to use all the leftovers, so you don't have to eat the same meal for a week. I also love to take salads to work as my lunch. This way, I can eat my leftovers but as a new and different meal.

2) Use what you have.

This tip coincides with tip #1. You don't have to use all the ingredients listed to make the salad. You can omit ingredients you don't have on hand or don't love. And, you can add other ingredients. Use what you love! Enjoy your simple, satisfying salad!

3) Make it your salad a complete, well-balanced meal.

Salads are a great way to get your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They can be a well-balanced meal and also include dairy products aka cheese and protein (beans, chicken, poultry, etc.). I like to add baguettes, whole grain crackers, or another whole grain to go along with the meal. I like to have some sort of grain to "bulk up" the meal by adding fiber.

I hope you enjoy the salads and some easy entertaining. I would love to see how you are entertaining, so tag your entertaining pictures with #EasyEntree and #EasyEntertaining. You can also tag your healthy eating choices with #HealthyRD or #RDTODgoals. Remember to tag me @RDtipoftheday, so I can see what you do and maybe even feature you on the blog or Instagram.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Let's Celebrate May

Y'all I LOVE celebrations! I love birthdays, holidays, Tuesdays, and Fridays! I love celebrating achievements: graduations, babies, marriage, or just being an amazing human being. Give me a reason, and I'll celebrate with you! So, this is a new feature that I thought would be fun!

In this series, I'm going to provide an overview of the food celebrations and holidays in the month, so you can celebrate. For me, it's helpful for menu planning or throwing themed dinners. These food holidays are a great way to have a themed meal and invite people over to your home.

I feel like inviting people into your home is a great way to build community. There's something about breaking bread, cooking, sharing recipes, and food that sparks conversation. I love talking and celebrating around a table. So, here are some food celebrations in May.

May has several celebrations throughout the month. May is:
  • National Barbecue Month

  • National Egg Month
  • National Hamburger Month

  • National Loaded Potato Month

  • National Salad Month

  • National Salsa Month

  • National Herb Week
    • This is my small container garden with mint, basil, sage, and rosemary.

There are also many celebrations on days throughout May.
  • May 5th is National Enchilada Day and Cinco de Mayo!

  • May 6th is National Crepe Suzette Day

  • May 9th is National Shrimp Day

  • May 11th is National "Eat What You Want" Day

  • May 13th is National Apple Pie & National Hummus Day (interesting combination!)

  • May 16th is National BBQ Day

  • May 21st is National Brown-Bag-It Day

  • May 29th is National Biscuit Day
I thought this list would be inspiring for your meal plan for May. I hope it is inspiring. So, let's celebrate. If you participate in these monthly celebrations, tag me, @RDtipoftheday, and use the hashtag #RDTODcelebrate for a chance to be featured.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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