Archive | July 2012

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls

This recipe is a great vegetarian meal with a lot of protein from the black beans, Greek yogurt and quinoa, and healthy fats from the avocado.  I also went heavy on the tomato topping to add extra nutrition.  It was a happy moment for me when Dan asked for more “sour cream,” meaning I had successfully fooled him into eating Greek yogurt!  This really is a vegetarian meal that even a meat lover will be full after eating, remember protein is not just meat!!

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls slightly adapted from Prevention RD

Serves: 3-4

2 cups low sodium chicken broth (sub for water if vegetarian)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (if you like cilantro- add it in!)
2 tsp chili powder
pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (I used the refrigerated bottle of lime juice)
2-3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 avocado, pitted and diced
1/4 cup pineapple salsa

10-15 blue corn tortilla chips (for dipping)


  1. Heat chicken broth (or water) in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add quinoa, stir, and return to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add black beans, half of cilantro, chili powder, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until quinoa is finished.
  4. When the quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  5. To assemble bowls, divide quinoa between three bowls. Top with black beans, tomatoes, yogurt, cheese, avocado, and salsa. Serve warm.

What DO Dietitans do?

I have to apologize- I missed Monday’s post!  I was actually out of town for a long weekend, and after landing back in Buffalo after 11pm on Monday, I accepted that the post just wasn’t happening.  Here’s the proof of my excuse.. and yes, I really was that close to a giraffe!

I’m getting back into the swing of things and should have some new recipes up for you next week.  Here’s something funny I wanted to share for any RD readers, hopefully it gets a laugh..

I don’t have a recipe for you today, but I did make this Mexican quinoa dish last week (scroll down a bit on the post to find it) and it was probably the best version of quinoa I’ve tried so far.  The only changes I made were using regular oregano instead of the Mexican kind, and I subbed out the paprika for a few dashes of ground cayenne pepper.  Definitely give this one a try in the near future!

Tropical Summer Salad

This salad was just a little creation one night and I wanted to share it because it was so fresh and summer-y.  Personally, I could live off of avocados, and the one in this salad was perfectly green.  I couldn’t have been more excited to see no brown spots after a string of bad ones the last few times I’ve purchased them!  If you don’t know how to prepare an avocado it’s very simple, here’s a very helpful step-by-step description that I found…

Avocados are a great source of the healthier unsaturated fats.  Don’t let that be an excuse to eat the whole thing though, (although it will be hard to resist!) a healthy portion of an avocado is only 1/4 of it.  So enjoy the healthy fat, but watch your portion.

Tropical Summer Salad

Serves: 4-6

1 mango, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 tbsp. green olives, sliced

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

6 oz. spinach & mixed greens

Dressing: I made a simple red wine vinaigrette with olive oil, red wine vinegar and a little salt and pepper.  The amount will depend on how much salad you plan to eat.  For 3 servings I used about 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.  Prepare it to taste and to the amount of salad you will eat in that sitting.


  1. Mix all ingredients and top with dressing given or dressing of choice.

Basil Pesto & Mushroom Lasagna

This one was such a delicious vegetarian dinner.  Lately I’ve been steering towards 2-3 veggie meals a week because it just makes me feel more satisfied (whaat? more satisfied with no meat?? Yes!), it is usually quicker and easier to prepare, and I know I’m meeting my veggie requirements for the day.  I hope you make this using the fresh pesto too… there really is nothing like the smell of it coming out of the food processor.  I’m a HUGE fan of fresh basil.  Despite what professional chefs may say, I think that dried herbs pack good flavor and are an economical choice for a lot of herbs.. BUT I do have to agree with them that fresh basil just doesn’t compete with dried.  Get down to your local farmers market, buy a pot of it, and make this recipe!

Basil Pesto & Mushroom Lasagna- slightly adapted from chocolate broccoli

Serves: 8

8 whole wheat lasagna noodles

1 (15-ounce) tub part skim ricotta cheese

2 cups sliced white mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped basil

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cooking spray

6 tablespoons homemade pesto (see below)

1 cup (4-ounces) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Homemade Pesto:

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (note: If it’s a season where basil isn’t so fresh, you can sub this out for spinach and use 1 tsp. of dried basil to get the flavor)
3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook 8 lasagna noodles according to package directions.
  3. Prepare homemade pesto by mixing basil, garlic, walnuts, salt & pepper in a food processor.  Add oil in a little at a time, making sure it is well combined.  Add enough oil to reach the consistency you prefer (I only used about 1/4 cup).  Then mix in Parmesan cheese.
  4. Combine ricotta, mushrooms, 1/2 cup basil and 1⁄4 cup walnuts in a small bowl.
  5. Coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray (or a lasagna pan if you have it). Spread 2 tablespoons homemade pesto across the bottom of the pan, then cover with 4 of the noodles. Spread the herb-ricotta mixture over the noodles, and top with the 4 remaining noodles. Cover with the remaining 4 tbsp. pesto and sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbling.

Disclaimer: The homemade pesto made about 6 tbsp. but I didn’t measure it exactly.  So don’t worry if it is slightly less then the measured amount, I promise it will work in the recipe.

Shrimp & Bulgur Risotto

I’m squeezing this recipe in after working an 11 hour day with children… so, you’re just getting the recipe! I hope it looks like something you may enjoy :)

Shrimp & Bulgur Risottoslightly adapted from Self

Serves: 4-5

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bulgur wheat
salt to taste
12 ounces fresh or frozen (thawed) raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (I used 1/2 of a red pepper and 1/2 of a green pepper because that’s what I had on hand)
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a small pot.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, for 30 seconds; add bulgur and salt; stir 1 minute more.
  3. Gradually stir in 2 cups boiling water, 1/2 cup at a time (waiting until bulgur absorbs it to add more), until bulgur is slightly soupy, 8 to 10 minutes (You might not use all the water- I didn’t).
  4. Add shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until it turns pink, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add corn, bell pepper, juice from 1 lime and red pepper flakes; stir, adding 2-3 tbsp. water to keep mixture creamy.
  6. Cook, stirring, until corn and pepper are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Grilled Farmers Market Sandwiches

Try to actually buy these ingredients at a local farmers market.  They will taste better, smell fresher, and you’ll be supporting local farmers which is a great thing to do!

Grilled Farmers Market Sandwich– slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Serves: 3-4

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces

1/2 small white onion, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces

1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

10 oz ciabatta bread, cut into desired sandwich size and sliced open

Cooking spray

1/4 lb (4 oz) provolone cheese

1 plum tomato, thinly sliced

8 fresh basil leaves



  1. Preheat grill to medium-high (I actually used a George Foreman but feel free to use a real grill!)
  2. Brush 1 tbsp. olive oil (you may need more to coat) evenly over both sides of eggplant, onion, and zucchini.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place onion on grill coated with cooking spray, grill for 5-6 minutes on each side (or 5-6 minutes total if using a closed George Foreman).  Remove from grill, and separate into rings.
  4. Grill eggplant and zucchini 4 minutes on each side until tender (or 4-6 total with a closed George Foreman).
  5. Preheat broiler (or feel free to stick this step and grill the bread!) to high.
  6. Combine 1 tbsp. oil and vinegar in a bowl.  Brush mixture over cut sides of bread.  Place bread, cut side up, on a foil lined cookie sheet and broil 2-3 minutes.  Divide cheese evenly between bread pieces and broil for another minute until cheese is melted.
  7. Top each sandwich with 1 eggplant slice, 1 zucchini slice, 1 tomato slice, a few grilled onions, and a basil leaf.



Raspberry-Peach Ice Pops

Here’s a really simple summer one for you that will be refreshing and sweet without all the calories and fat of ice cream.  I can’t take credit for the idea (see link below) but it’s such a great one that I had to share with you.  Feel free to alter the fruit and juice to, well, whatever you want!

Raspberry-Peach Ice Pops– inspired by foodventures

Makes: 4 ice pops

About 1 cup Oceanspray Light: Cranberry & Raspberry Juice

Handful of Raspberries, diced

1/2 peach, diced


  1. Place enough diced raspberries and peaches into each ice pop mold to fill 3/4 of the way to the top.
  2. Pour juice into each mold to fill to the top (will be about 1 cup total divided between the 4 pops).
  3. Freeze for 4-5 hours and enjoy