Thursday, December 8, 2016

*Kelly's Healthy Whole Grain Veggie Pizza*


1 cup, chopped Broccoli, raw
3 cups raw spinach
1 cup bell pepper, sliced (any colors)
1 cup sliced raw mushrooms
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup part skim milk ricotta cheese
¼ c Cheese, Natural Shredded Mozzarella 2%
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounce whole wheat pizza dough [I recommend Trader Joe's- found in the fridge section] 
½ c marinara or tomato sauce    
1 cup, chopped tomatoes
Basil, oregano and/or Italian seasoning to taste


Allow crust to warm to room temperature. Preheat oven to 420 degrees.

1. Sauté vegetables and garlic in oil, except for tomatoes.
2. Roll out dough (using whole wheat flour to prevent sticking) into large round pan.
3. Spray pizza pan with olive oil spray and place crust on top.
4. Spread ½ cup tomato sauce on dough followed by ricotta, tomato slices.
5. Put vegetables on top of ricotta and top with mozzarella and Parmesan.
 6. Add basil, oregano, or other spices as wanted.
7. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until crust browns and cheese starts bubbling.


TIP: Can sub cottage cheese for ricotta 


Serving size= 1/8 pizza
Nutrition Information per Serving
Calories: 201.93 Fat: 6.38g Carb: 30.49g Protein: 8.79 [analyzed by DietMaster Pro]

Picture Source: 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Healthy Tailgates article on

Here is the link to my latest article for speaking to how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle even if football tailgates are a regular part of your life during the fall:

Don't let a tailgate derail your diet

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kelly's Farro and Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

This recipe appeared originally in the September Issue of Wayne Living Magazine.

As the weather gets cooler, most people want warmer "comfort" foods and chili is often a staple. Chili can be a great way to get in some veggies and beans, and if you follow recipes like my Healthy Pumpkin Turkey Chili, you are in for a nutritious meal. However, sometimes you need some more variety, so this is my take on stuff peppers, but I have "healthified" them with lean ground turkey, healthy whole grains, and oats. Enjoy!

·        7 bell peppers
·        ½ lb ground lean turkey
·        1 clove garlic, minced
·        1 ½ c chicken broth
·        ½ c uncooked farro [can sub quinoa, barley, bulgur, freekeh]
·        2 c raw kale, chopped
·        1 large zucchini, chopped
·        1 onion, diced
·        2 tsp oil (olive or avocado)
·        ½ c oatmeal or oat bran, dry
·        ½ c shredded part skim mozzarella
·        Cilantro or parsley

1.       Preheat oven to 400°F.  Cut off the tops and seeds of the peppers, and dice up any leftover edible top (keeping the bottoms whole to stuff).  Place the pepper bottoms in a large baking dish.

2.       Heat the oil and 1-2 tbsp of the chicken broth in a large skillet with high rims.  Add all the vegetables except for kale [zucchini, onion, pepper tops], garlic, and ground turkey. Cook about five minutes while stirring often.

3.       Add the rest of the broth and farro to the skillet, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook covered for about 10 minutes.

4.       Add the kale to the mix, then cook for about 10 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Stir in the oats and cheese. Remove from heat.

5.       Spoon the farro, cheese, and vegetable mixture into the pepper bottoms.  Cover the baking dish with foil (not too tight).

6.       Bake peppers for about 45 minutes or until the peppers are tender. Top with herbs.

Nutrition info per serving [1/7 recipe]: 225 calories, 7 g fat, 29 g carb (6 g fiber), 15 g protein. Excellent source of Vitamins A & C [Nutrition info determined by Diet Master Pro]

Picture Source:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kelly’s “better than bagged” Kale Salad

Kale salads are all the rage now- I know many of my clients and friends have been buying the bagged mixes from places like Costco, Giant, and Trader Joe's and think they are absolutely delicious. Delicious they might be, but though they are made up of mostly kale, the dressing and cranberries make for a high sugar and calorie dense meal or side dish.

Since I personally do enjoy a creamy and sweet kale salad, I decided re-vamp the bagged version and make it quite a bit healthier. I've decreased the amount of dried fruit and made the salad dressing recipe much much healthier by using yogurt and reducing the amount of added sugar. This recipe appeared in last month's issue of "Wayne Living Magazine."


· 1 bunch kale, leaves chopped fine (bottom part of stem removed)
· 2 tbsp dried cranberries
· 1 diced apple
· 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts or broccoli slaw blend
· ¼ c unsalted pumpkin seeds (find in bulk at Whole Foods or Wegman’s)

POPPY SEED DRESSING INGREDIENTS [makes about 12 servings (2 tbsp each)]

· ½ onion, very finely diced
· 1 c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
· ½ c light canola or olive oil mayonnaise
· 1 ½ tbsp sweet vinegar (e.g: raspberry white balsamic, apple cider vinegar, well-aged balsamic)
· 2 tbsp honey or agave
· 1 pinch salt
· ½ tsp mustard powder
· 1 tbsp poppy seeds


1. Combine all of dressing ingredients in bowl and mix well (or mix in blender).

2. Mix all of the salad ingredients in large bowl and add dressing to this. Toss and enjoy! Serve ¼ of salad ingredients with 2 tbsp Poppy Seed Dressing. For a complete meal, add quinoa or farro and a protein such as chicken breast or grilled shrimp.

Nutrition info (1/4 salad mix using broccoli slaw blend + 2 tbsp dressing): 190 calories, 7 g fat, 26 g carb (5 g fiber), 8 g protein

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Review of "Perfect Bars"

I was recently sent samples of the “Perfect Bar” for me to taste and review on my blog. The company sent me the variety pack of bars which included peanut butter, carob chip, almond coconut, almond acai, and a few others. Before I wrote a blog, I wanted to sample most of them to have a fair impression of the product before I jumped to conclusions.

Overall, these bars taste fine, though I probably have a biased taste perception as I am more open to healthy products and don’t find many healthy foods offensive. However, I did give out a few samples and most people said that the bars were just okay- which is to be expected of something made from quality ingredients as opposed those made with brown rice or corn syrups. These bars do have a lot going for them, as they are certified organic and made from all whole foods, which I definitely advocate. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein, though also very high in calories. In fact, many of the bars are over 300 calories (most are over 250), which for many of my weight loss clients, I have their meals around 300-350 calories and snacks around 100-200. I would not recommend this bar as a meal replacement since it is primarily healthy fat and protein, with no whole grains nor vegetables. So, as far as eating for it as a snack, I would recommend eating 1/3-1/2 bar at a time if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight. For people trying to put on weight, these bars are PERFECT for you! They are small and calorie dense, and made up of relatively high quality ingredients, so much better than eating most other protein bars or shakes on the market. Below I have listed the pros and cons of these bars:

·         They have to be refrigerated, thus not good for travel.
·         They are expensive, averaging about $3/bar.
·         They are high in calories, not making them ideal for people trying to lose or maintain their weight.
·         They are high in sugar, though “natural sugar” from dried fruit, most bars contain 18-20 g sugar- so you would definitely want to eat one prior to or right after intense exercise.
·         The taste is just okay, and for many people, probably not worth the calories.

·         As far as bars on the market, these bars are made of high quality, natural, organic ingredients.
·         Most of the bars contain at least some protein, which make them better than other bars which are solely a source of carbohydrates and fat.
·         For clients with food allergies, these are gluten-free, vegan, and soy free. For people concerned about GMO’s- they are certified GMO free.


As a dietitian, I only recommend bars like these in a last-resort scenario like you are hiking and don’t have access to keep real food on you (though I would prefer you eat an apple and almonds over a bar). The problem with these bars are that they are supposed to be refrigerated, so they are not ideal for those hiking or traveling. While these bars are made of exceptional ingredients, the calories tend to be high and it is always preferred to eat real fruit and nuts over the processed form. They do add “nutrient dense super foods” like dried kelp and spinach, though the benefits are unclear and not nearly as good as eating those foods in their natural form. As mentioned previously, I would be okay recommending these to clients who want to put on weight or mass, as they are much healthier than other options or drinking milkshakes to put on weight. So, for people looking to add more healthy calories to their  However, for most of the public, I would say buying a bar like this is not necessary and probably not ideal.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Whole Grain Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes [Recipe]

This recipe appears in the June 2016 issue of Wayne Living Magazine and was written for families that want to have a special weekend breakfast together that is not only delicious but nutritious too! Blueberries are now coming in season, so this is the perfect time of year to make this recipe with your kids!

Whole Grain Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Prep Time: 5-10 min
Cook Time: 5-10 min
Makes ~12 pancakes


2 cups              blueberries
1 tsp                cinnamon
1 cup               non-fat or 1% cottage cheese
1 large             egg
1 tsp                baking powder
2 tsp                lemon zest
¾ cup               skim or 1% milk
1 tsp                salt
1/3 c                granulated sugar
1 tsp                vanilla
1 1/3 c             whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour

1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

2. Whisk eggs, cottage cheese, milk, lemon zest and vanilla in a medium bowl.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

4. Spray a non-stick pan with oil spray. Spoon on about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook until bottoms are golden and small bubbles start to form on top, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Spray oil on pan between batches. Serve with fresh fruit and cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

NUTRITION INFORMATION- SERVING SIZE: 1 PANCAKE (based on 1/12 recipe using skim milk and 1% cottage cheese)
105 calories, 1 g fat, 20 g carb, 5 g protein

Picture Source: Picture Source:
Nutrition Information Source: Diet Master Pro Software

Friday, May 27, 2016

Kick-Off to Summer! Staying healthy at Summer Parties

Note: This is a re-post of my blog from 5 years ago!

This weekend is one of the most fun & exciting of the year.... the kick-off to summer! Most people enjoy this special weekend by heading to the Jersey Shore, going to countless parties, and drinking endless supplies of beer (and let's not forget that this weekend is when most bars get into full swing!).

Most Memorial Day parties have similar food items: hotdogs, hamburgers, pasta salad, potato salad, baked beans, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and kegs of beer. Not the healthiest way to enjoy your friends, but hey, it's fun!

If you are a person that rarely eats processed meat (by rarely I mean less than once a month), then I am not going to tell you to avoid eating hot dogs and hamburgers at a party this weekend, since you are allowed to live a little. If you follow a healthy diet most of the time, you can afford to have processed meat or treats occasionally. However, it is always good to be educated about what you are consuming... so here I go!

Hot Dogs and hamburgers are not ideal foods just because of their high fat and saturated fat contents, but also because studies show that when these products are cooked (especially on the grill) they form heterocyclic amines (HCA's) which have shown to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Burnt bacon is actually one of the worst for you in terms of HCA's, since it is a very fatty and highly processed meat- sorry bacon lovers! Below I show why hot dogs are not the greatest, but basically: high fat, high saturated fat, high sodium, low-nutritional benefit. Recent studies show that people that eat red and processed meats have a very different makeup of gut bacteria compared to people that never eat these foods. Those gut bacteria have been found to break down carnitine into a compound call TMAO which increases atherosclerosis/heart disease risk.

Anyway, here are my tips for taking on summer barbeques when healthy options are not always available:

1) BRING A HEALTHY SIDEDISH! This is my #1 recommendation, since every host loves a guest that brings something, and bringing a healthy sidedish can benefit everyone at the party (rather than giving just the host a bottle of wine which they don't need). Plus, if you know what is in your dish, you can load up on that instead of high-fat potato salad.

2) If you don't want to eat a hot dog or hamburger, don't! Unless you are staying at the party for >5 hours, chances are you can last that long without having protein. So, if healthier salads are available, eat those, or something else that isn't terrible for you. Baked beans, although usually containing high fructose corn syrup, would be a fine option since beans are extremely nutritious. Just watch your portion size! Be sure to eat a protein-rich meal before or after the party.

3) Instead of having a cheeseburger, make a cheese-sandwich with lots of tomatoes, lettuce, and onion, with 1 (maybe 2, if you must) slices of cheese. While I don't advocate eating a lot of cheese, this would be a better option than the cheeseburger.

4) Eat 1/2 of a hamburger. Again, load up on the extras (L,T,O, pickle), but you can definitely feel satisfied on just 1/2 of the burger. Don't think eating the burger without the bun is "healthy", it's not.

5) If you really have a hankering to participate in the meat eating, I vote burger. The burger is less processed and contains more protein than the hot dog. A 1.6 oz Oscar Meyer Beef Hotdog has 150 calories, 14 g fat (6 g SFA), 461 mg sodium (20%) and only 5 g of protein. A 4 oz. 20% fat hamburger (which most people buy) contains 307 calories, 20 g fat (7.5 g SFA), 85 mg sodium (4%), 30 g protein, and 16% DV for iron. So, ounce for ounce the burger is much more nutritious. If you ate the equivalent amount in hot dog, 4 oz would cost you 368 calories, 32 g fat (12 g SFA), over 50% DV sodium, and only 12 g protein.

As far as beer, try to limit the amount you drink and try to choose light beers. Drink glasses of water in between and with each drink.

If you are hosting a party I encourage you to offer 100% Whole Wheat buns, offer turkey burgers, grilled chicken or lean turkey burgers as an option, and definitely healthy salads as side dishes.

Note: I realize that some people have a burger once or twice a year. If this is you, feel free to have it... especially since that low frequency is not enough to change your gut bacteria which is the main concern nowadays.

Have a great weekend and eat safe! (i.e.: be conscious of food safety... raw ground beef is not something you want to mess with).


SelfNutritionData (hot dogs and hamburgers)
ADA Times, Spring 2011, Vol 8, issue 3. "Analysis Explores Levels of Cancerous Compounds in Ready-to-Eat Meat Products"

Picture Source:

Friday, April 29, 2016

BROAD STREET RUN NUTRITION GUIDE… or any endurance exercise lasting >1 hour nutrition guide

Picture Source:

The famous Philadelphia Broad Street Run 10 Miler is this coming Sunday and many of my friends and clients have asked how to fuel properly for this race, both leading up to it and the day of. Surely someone in somewhat decent shape could eat a poor diet and not train much and do just fine in this race because of the energy and endorphins you get from the masses of people. However, if you want to optimize your time, feel good during and after, and actually be able to run the whole thing without taking a break or getting injured, I recommend you eat and hydrate properly.

The most important thing to know is that you need to eat properly for months and weeks leading up to a race, you can’t just eat well the day before and expect good results. There is a fair amount of research showing that if you train in a fasted state (ie: run in the morning without eating), that your muscles learn to optimize fax oxidation which gives you an advantage for competitions*. However, for Broad Street, it is too late to utilize this training strategy. At this point, you must try to fill your glycogen stores and try to maximize your nutrition tomorrow and Sunday.

One food group that I, and most health professionals, can’t stress enough is EAT MORE VEGETABLES!!! Eating loads of vegetables not only provides your body with lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but also antioxidants which help combat the free radicals that naturally surface from exercises like running. Furthermore, there has been quite a bit of research done regarding dietary nitrates and how they improve exercise performance. For some reason, about 2 years ago, I started eating roasted beets almost every day, along with a bunch more Swiss Chard, Spinach, Cabbage, Bok Choy, and other such greens. In that time, my training has not been as intense as it was in my younger days, but my race times have been equal, if not better, than when I was (regularly) competitively running in high school and college. I attribute this primarily to my improved diet, and perhaps, my increased dietary nitrate intake. Research on beetroot juice, which is high in dietary nitrates, shows that it may increase oxygen consumption, increase the length of time one can exercise, and increase speed by improving power output.  Beetroot juice and dietary nitrates have not just shown to improve exercise performance, but also is quite significant for lowering blood pressure.

Leading up to any endurance race or training exercise, you need to make sure you have an adequate carbohydrate intake each day to fill your muscles and liver with glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrate). Do not limit whole grains, fruits, or cultured dairy- these are your best sources of carbohydrates. Muscles run off of sugar in the bloodstream, (which only lasts about 4 minutes in a run), and glycogen stores in the muscle and liver (approximately 88 minutes). So, if you have adequate stores of glycogen, you should not “hit the wall” during your 10 mile race.

In the weeks and days leading up to any endurance race or exercise, make sure you keep a well-balanced diet with lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean protein, and plenty of water. Do not go on a low-carb diet such as Paleo or omit any major food group. If you are running Broad Street on Sunday, I would recommend eating similar to what I have listed below tomorrow (the day before the race):

Breakfast: Oatbran w/ milk and a banana

Lunch: Chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread with a side arugula, celery, and beet salad

Dinner: Quinoa and sautéed leafy greens with salmon

Snacks: kefir or yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese, nuts

Drinks: 1 cup beetroot juice (may want to consume the morning of the race too!), plenty of water

DAY OF THE RACE: Research shows the best results when consuming 1-4 g/kg body weight of carbohydrate in the hours leading up to the race. If you wake up super early and have four hours until race time, it is best to consume 4 g/kg body weight. If you only have one to two hours (I’m assuming that’s the average), best to consume 1 g/kg body weight and pretty much focus on carbohydrate and water intake while limiting fat intake. For a 150 lb person [68 kg], 1 g/kg would equate to about 68 grams of carbohydrate, which would be the equivalent of one bakery sized bagel. A healthier meal at almost exactly 68 g carb would be ½ c old fashioned oats cooked with 1 cup vanilla soymilk (since real milk may cause stomach issues during the race), and one banana and a dash of salt.  In my experience, that has worked as one of the best pre-race meals.  If you wake up late and have limited time, try to consume some quick absorbing carbs within 30 minutes of start time, such as a banana or fruit juice (if you can’t stomach food).

DURING THE RACE: After 45 minutes of any endurance exercise, studies show it is beneficial to get in some form of glucose [roughly 30 g carb/hr] to improve performance and to save your glycogen stores. So, be sure to drink a sports drink or even carry the little packs of sports gels to keep you fueling during your run.

AFTER THE RACE: Carbohydrates are the most important fuel to consume after the race to maximize recovery, but protein is also an important fuel to consume and may accelerate glycogen repletion. Try to consume about 1 g carb/kg body weight in the four hours following your run- so again, this would be about 68 grams carbohydrate. I generally recommend a carb:protein ration of 3:1 (so consume about 22 g protein). Milk, flavored kefir, yogurt, eggs and whole wheat toast, or fruit and cottage cheese are always ideal recovery snacks.

ALL ALONG THE WAY: Be sure to drink plenty of liquids, do not wait until you are thirsty! Continue to drink water for several hours after the race as well.

If you are running on Sunday, good luck and be sure to fuel and hydrate appropriately! If you are interested in learning more about fueling properly for your exercise, or proper nutrition in general, contact me at to set up an appointment. Independence Blue Cross (the sponsor of Broad Street!) offers 6 nutrition counseling sessions/year covered at 100% for most plans!

*NOTE: On the day of the race I would recommend you eat prior, so that way you get a great advantage by having sugar accessible to your muscles, and when that runs out, your muscles are trained to oxidize fat as best they can.

1. Achten, J. and Jeukendrup, A. E. 2004. Optimizing fat oxidation through exercise and diet. Nutrition, 20: 716–727.
 2. Lidder S, Webb AJ. Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013:75(3):677-696.
3. Larsen FJ, Weitzberg E, Lundberg JO, Ekblom B. Effects of dietary nitrate on oxygen cost during exercise. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2007;191(1):59-66.
4. Lansley KE, Winyard PG, Fulford J, et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of walking and running: a placebo-controlled study. J Appl Physiol. 2011;110(3):591-600.
5. Hord NG, Tang Y, Bryan NS. Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(1):1-10.
6.  Ivy JL. Regulation of muscle glycogen repletion, muscle protein synthesis and repair following exercise. J Sports Sci Med. 2004;3:131-138.
7. Coyle EF, Coggan AR, Hemmert MK, Ivy JL. Muscle glycogen utilization during prolonged strenuous exercise when fed carbohydrate. J Appl Physiol. 1986;61(1): 165-172.
8. Picture Source:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Looking For A Flavorful and Exotic Protein Addition to Your Meal? Try Ceviche!!!

I have always been a big fan of ceviche, which is raw seafood that is cooked in acid such as lemon and lime juice. It is a cold, refreshing, low-calorie and healthy source of protein (w/some veggies). The best ceviche I have ever had was la costera ceviche- a tomato-based ceviche- at Xilantro in Wayne, which has unfortunately closed. However, I recently attended an RD networking event at Xolo Tacos in Bryn Mawr,PA, and I have to say… they make a pretty delicious ceviche and had some very interesting food options that I was super excited about including huitlacoche /corn smut (corn fungus!), nopales (cactus leaf), and zucchini flowers. Regardless, this blog is about ceviche (though I feel like there may be another blog coming on the health benefits of the corn fungus...).

Making my own ceviche has always intimidated me, as I am always iffy about preparing my own raw seafood. I generally only get raw seafood at a sushi restaurant or buy sushi-grade fish. So, I decided for my first ceviche endeavor, I would start with a “safe” and easy recipe, so it is not traditional because it is not completely raw. I created this recipe by reading a Coastal Living magazine that had a bunch of recipes, and I kind of took pieces from a few. Below is what I came up with, which I’m pretty proud of!

Kelly’s Easy Ceviche
My homemade ceviche

  •           ~ 1 cup Trader Joe’s frozen Seafood  Blend (or about 4 oz of any     mix of  seafood/shellfish)
  •           Juice of 1 lime
  •           Juice of 1 lemon
  •           1 tsp chopped garlic
  •           1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  •           Pinch of salt
  •           1 tsp Trader Joe’s Habanero Hot Sauce (or any hot sauce w/o    added sodium)
  •           6 cherry tomatoes, sliced thin
  •           ¼ medium onion
  •           ¼ medium cucumber
  •           1 ½ tsp avocado oil (can sub olive or other types of oils)

Trader Joe's Frozen Seafood Blend

Directions (condensed version):
1. Thaw seafood in refrigerator overnight or for a few hours until soft.

2. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Blanch  seafood in boiling water for ~1 minute.

3. Drain hot water and put seafood in ice bath to chill immediately after cooking.

4.  Juice lemon and lime in a bowl. Add all other ingredients.

5. Pour ingredients over seafood in Tupperware. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours prior to eating.

6. Enjoy with avocado, on whole grain crackers, in whole grain tortillas, in salads, and more!

Directions (detailed version):
To start, I thawed out 1 cup of Trader Joe’s Seafood Blend (scallops, shrimp, and calamari) and put in a bowl. I then brought a small saucepan filled with 1 cup of water to a boil and threw in the seafood just to cook briefly ~1 minute.

From there, I juiced 1 lime and 1 lemon in a separate bowl. Adding to that, I mixed in garlic, chopped fresh cilantro, a pinch of salt, dash of Trader Joe’s habanero hot sauce, jalapeno (with ½ the seeds), tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and avocado oil. I then poured that vegetable/juice mixture on top of the seafood and mixed together. I put in a Tupperware container and let sit in the fridge for a few hours before dinner.

I chose to eat this ceviche as a starter to my kale quinoa salad- which created the perfect well-balanced meal! I also added in some avocado into both the ceviche and salad for a healthy source of fat.

I only made one cup worth because I am not keen on keeping seafood for several days (not ideal in terms of food safety)- so this lasted me the day I prepared it and one more serving for the next day. Obviously, you can increase the serving depending on the amount of people you’re feeding.

Overall, this was a super simple thing to make, delicious, and tastes like it should be really expensive (though I would estimate this recipe cost me a total of <$4/serving- the Trader Joe’s Seafood blend is $7.99/lb [one bag] and I used about ¼ lb of it). I plan to incorporate this into my regular dinner routine from now on!

Monday, March 14, 2016

I've given in to the social demands of society... I am now on Twitter!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Best/Healthiest Substitute for Pasta: Organic Edamame Spaghetti

One of my very generous clients recently gave me a huge Costco box of “Explore Asian” Edamame Spaghetti for me to try. She and others had been telling me about it and when I looked at the nutrition information I quickly gave my stamp of approval since the only ingredient is organic edamame. However, I had never personally tried it up until last week. Previously I had made the Explore Asian black bean spaghetti for my family and friends, which I have to say did not go over too well due to the fact it seemed dry, tasteless, and was not an adequate substitute for pasta at all. In defense of the black bean spaghetti, the nutritionals on it are exceptional since it is only made from black beans.

I was blown away by the quality of the Edamame spaghetti. For being a nutrient powerhouse, it actually does make for a good substitute for pasta in terms of texture and appearance. Calorie-wise, it is very comparable to eating regular spaghetti, at about 210 calories for 2 oz. However, nutrient-wise regular semolina pasta doesn’t even come close.  The edamame spaghetti has a whopping 24 grams of high-quality protein (compared to 6-8 g of low biological value protein found in semolina/regular spaghetti) and 11 grams of fiber (compared to the pathetic 2 grams in the white grain form). Additionally, you get 30% of your daily value of iron, some Vitamin A, C, and Calcium with the edamame version, not to mention the healthy isoflavones attributed with soy. These isoflavones exhibit antioxidant properties which have shown extremely beneficial for lowering cholesterol and have shown to help prevent many illnesses and may help ease menopause symptoms. For more info on soy, please refer to my previous blog on the subject.

Ever since I tried this edamame pasta, I have been recommending it to almost all of my clients as a great way to feel like they are eating something indulgent, while actually being very good for you. This “pasta” is especially good for my vegetarian clients or those that don’t eat much lean protein since the spaghetti is going to be your protein source for the meal. Additionally, since it is made from nothing but soybeans, it is good for those on a gluten-free diet.

Another benefit of this “pasta” is it takes about five minutes to cook, so it can be a very quick and healthy meal. So, I have been recommending people make a big bowl of spaghetti primavera with tons of veggies and up to a cup of the edamame spaghetti. I have enjoyed the edamame spaghetti this way, but I think it works well as cold or hot sesame noodles too, below is how I have made it:

Kelly’s Sesame Edamame Noodles
Makes 1 serving*

1 oz edamame spaghetti (~ ½ c cooked)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp honey
2 tsp sesame seeds

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil- add edamame spaghetti and simmer for 4 minutes
2. Heat oil, soy sauce, and honey in pan, add cooked edamame spaghetti
3. Top with sesame seeds and add to big bowl of stir-fried veggies for a very low-calorie and healthy meal!

* Note: Recipe can be increased to make more servings. For my clients looking for a “complete” meal according to my standards, I recommend adding your proper portion of 100% buckwheat soba noodles.

Nutrition info w/o added veggies: 175 calories, 7 g fat (3 g MUFA, 3 g PUFA), 15 g carb, 6 g fiber, 13 g protein (calculated using Diet Master Pro software)

DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any form of compensation or incentive to write this post advocating the consumption of Explore Asian products- I simply believe in and recommend this specific product. :-)