Wednesday, August 28, 2019

My Healthy Pick at: Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA

It's been a long time since I last blogged, so I thought I was due for a "Healthy Pick" to help my local readers navigate food choices in the area. This healthy pick I've been meaning to write about for months (I am now 9 months pregnant, so obviously have not eaten this meal in the past 9 months due pregnancy rules and the tuna being partially raw). But, back in my non-pregger days, I would get this dish quite often. It's filling, delicious, and healthy!

What is it? It's the Teresa's Next Door Tuna Burger. All of their burgers are served with a mixed green salad, which I give high praise. The waiter/waitress will always give you the option of adding pommes frites, but be careful because that is a lot of extra calories and an extra cost! I recommend you eat the tuna burger with the salad and go sans bun (it is buttery and delicious, but refined grain + butter= bad for health). If you want to doll up the burger, you can add any assortment of toppings from avocado to portabella mushroom.

Teresa's Next Door Tuna Burger & Mixed Greens salad
I highly recommend this burger if you are into seared tuna and want to eat something healthy at Teresa's... since finding a healthy dish takes some work in these types of establishments. Be sure to drink your water and try to skip some of the heavier beers. Remember, my general rule of thumb is the higher the ABV= higher the calories. Teresa's is always a good time and one of my favorite local joints (even when pregnant!), so I know from experience you don't need to overindulge in the food or alcohol to have a good time. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Recipe: Turkey & Quinoa Halupki (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves)

Growing up in a family that is part Eastern European (Ukrainian & Hungarian), I have been lucky to have become exposed to some of the foods traditional to that area of the world. This past Easter as my relatives were eating Paska (Easter Bread), my aunt brought up Halupki, which is traditionally cabbage stuffed with ground beef/pork and rice, and topped with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. It is also known as Gołąbki in Polish. I haven't had Halupki in years, but I remember that I liked it, mainly because I am a big fan of cabbage and this is a tasty and unique meal. So, this inspired me to come up with my own recipe that is somewhat healthier by cutting out the red meat and rice, and replacing with ground turkey and quinoa. I realized that this is actually a very well balanced meal since it has the vegetable (cabbage), protein (turkey), and grain (quinoa). While I can't say that my grandparents would approve of this recipe modification if they were still alive today, I would think they'd be proud that I am at least still interested in cooking somewhat in a traditional way. This recipe makes several Halupki, which is great for meal prepping for the week and an easy thing to heat up for lunch the next day. Enjoy!
Cooked Halupki


1 small head of cabbage (or half of a very large head)
water to cover
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar

1.      Place the cabbage in a large pot with enough water to cover.
2.      Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the water and cabbage.
3.      Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn cabbage every few minutes and remove leaves that separate from cabbage and place in a strainer to cool. Boil until all the large leaves pull off and middle is somewhat soft.
4.      Reserve 10 fl oz. of cabbage water.
5.      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6.      Cut off the tough stem of each cabbage leaf.
7.      In a large bowl thoroughly mix together, ground turkey, quinoa, chopped onion, parsley, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Turkey Onion mixture

8.      Lightly pack a small amount of turkey quinoa mixture and place in the center of the cabbage leaf.
9.      Roll the cabbage leaves with filling like a burrito, making sure the sides are closed tight.
10.  Cut the leftover cabbage parts from the pot into pieces and place into the bottom of a roasting pan.
11.  Layer the stuffed cabbage rolls over the chopped cabbage parts in the roasting pan.
12.  In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce, reserved cabbage water, white vinegar, and white sugar.
13.  Pour the tomato vinegar sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls.
Halupki before cooking

14.  Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil.
15.  Bake in preheated oven until the turkey mixture is no longer pink in the center, about 2 hours. Baste stuffed cabbage rolls every 30-60 minutes to keep moist.
16.  If rolls are not browned, broil on high for 2 minutes.

Nutrition determined by DietMaster Pro software

Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Healthy(ier) Pick at The Great American Pub: Wayne

My friends and I go to the Great American Pub (GAP) in Wayne, PA quite frequently. It is a fun spot where lots of locals hang out, and it has a very diverse food menu. Certainly, since there is a lot of bar food, there aren't a ton of "Wayne Nutrition" approved menu items, and even those usually take some special-ordering.  Thus I will often will get their salad specials (such as the Greek salad w/ chicken), but sometimes I like to mix it up and not order a salad. When I do that, I tend to get the Scottish salmon that comes with spinach and quinoa, and I request the lemon butter on the side. However, this one night I went, I was not feeling that either.

I always recommend to clients that they scan the menu to see what is available so you can kind of create your own meal if you want. So, one night I got creative and looked at their "Plant Based Vegan Diet" options and chose the Pineapple Quinoa Stir Fry that comes with sweet potatoes, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, toasted sesame seeds and teriyaki. This meal appealed to me because I was in the mood for Asian food and I certainly loved all the veggies it came with, and as an added bonus, it was served with quinoa instead of rice! However, it was lacking in protein. So, I went ahead and added on the salmon (which you can add to other meals, so I figured it would be okay), to balance out the meal. Granted, it is going against the "vegan" meal that was, but I like to have a bit of protein with my meals. 

When it came out, it looked delicious. In hindsight, as I always recommend to clients, I should have ordered the teriyaki on the side, since it was pretty sweet. However, after scraping some teriyaki to the side, this meal was flavorful and very veggie dense. I was only able to eat half, and then had the second half for lunch the next day diluted with more veggies. Not bad for ~$20. 

So, while this meal was definitely not the healthiest order I could have made, it was a meal that hit my cravings for the night and definitely one of the healthiest options I could have made. I would highly recommend this combo next time you are at the Pub!

Sunday, February 3, 2019


This meal is quick and easy and uses very few ingredients. It’s a one pan well-balanced dinner that can provide leftovers for days. Quite tasty too!

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey

1 bunch collard greens (or another leafy green like kale or spinach), chopped finely

2 medium sweet potatoes, previously cooked until just soft, then cut into cubes

1 bell pepper or another vegetable of choice, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

1.         Sauté onion with olive oil until clear, then add ground turkey.

2.         Cook turkey until almost fully cooked.

3.         Add all the other vegetables and cover with lid until veggies are soft and turkey is fully cooked. You can drizzle with the maple syrup if you want a touch of sweet to this meal.

4.         Once everything is cooked, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm. Enjoy!

NUTRITION INFO: Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 350 calories, 12 g fat, 35 g carb [9 g fiber], 30 g protein
*adding maple syrup brings it to 360 calories and 37 g carb per serving

Saturday, January 5, 2019

My Healthy Pick at: THE GOAT'S BEARD ~ WAYNE, PA

Wayne, PA is full of fantastic restaurants and several that offer locally sourced produce, proteins, and libations... and I am all about buying local and knowing where your food comes from. Once place my husband and I frequent is the Goat's Beard in Wayne. The drinks are fairly expensive, which helps go along with my recommendation of limiting or avoiding alcohol, and the food is reasonable for an "upscale" bar type atmosphere. The service is usually very good, and it is always a hopping spot with locals. 

Previously, I struggled to find a healthy dinner option when I would dine here, with things like TGB nuggets (chicken nuggets), burgers, fish and chips, and scallops with pork belly on the menu. Many of their dishes are unique and delicious, but not necessarily "healthy". However, I have noticed over the past few months they have really amped-up their salad game, creating more meal-like salads that provide vegetables, protein, and whole grains. To date, I have gotten their garden salad that comes with mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, onion, quinoa and sherry vinaigrette (ordered on the side), and I add chicken. The chicken is very good, though not a large quantity. Their Drunken Goat salad is also quite good which contains a scant amount of bulgur wheat, field greens, fennel, apple, walnuts, pickled onions, and I requested they add chicken but leave the goat cheese and cider vinaigrette on the side.

Cauliflower & Quinoa Salad 

My new favorite is their Cauliflower & Quinoa salad that comes with pickled shrimp, arugula, yogurt, red onion, tahini, grapes, tomatoes, and cilantro. This dish is very healthy since there seems to be very little added oil or fat and it is not very salty. The pickled shrimp are different, but good, and I am always an advocate of adding yogurt to salads. I was very pleased with this meal and it is a pretty decent serving size for a meal. It was fairly well balanced, though I would like to see a bit more quinoa.

So, if you're looking for a salad, Goat's beard has quite the variety and has all the components that I like to include in a meal (veggies, protein & whole grain). Their entree options are definitely unique and interesting, but don't yet get the Kelly Stamp of Approval for nutrition.

So next time you are in Wayne, check out the Goat's Beard salad menu! More restaurant recommendations to come....