Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Vegetarian Meal: Zucchini PIe

I've been super busy and I don't think things will let up until the end of the month!  So I want to apologize in advance for not posting recipes and pictures, but in the meantime Karen Moreno, Feed Your Sister's nutritionist has been sharing with us many of her great healthy recipes and good tips for living and eating while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle!  I hope you've enjoyed them thus far, today she shares with us a vegetarian meal that's easy to put together with minimal ingredients!  I hope you enjoy!!

Here's Karen's Recipe for today...

Sometimes I’m not always in the mood to have a heavy dinner that consists of chicken or fish. I actually just came back from Israel and over there they eat very differently than from us in the United States, maybe its something we should learn from. They have a big lunch and a light dinner, which could be an omelet or even some yogurt, or a light cheese sandwich. This way you go to sleep without that full feeling or being stuffed. Try to aim to have one day a week where you become a vegetarian and don’t eat meat. This can help lower your cholesterol, and maybe even your weight. This recipe is super easy and quick to make. Serve along with a colorful green salad and you’ve got dinner ready  to put in the oven in less than 20 minutes.

Zucchini Pie
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 1 hour

Nonstick cooking spray
4 tsp breadcrumbs
5-6 zucchinis, peeled, and cubed small
½ cup 0% cottage cheese
½ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp reduced fat feta cheese
2 eggs
1 egg white
¼ tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x11 inch Pyrex with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 2 tsp bread crumbs on the bottom of the Pyrex.  In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cubed zucchinis, cottage cheese, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, eggs, egg whites, and spices. Mix all together. Pour into the Pyrex. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and feta cheese on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, or until the top browns and bubbles.
NOTE: This recipe calls for breadcrumbs but it can easily be omitted for those following a Gluten Free diet

This can also be served with a Tzatziki sauce:
2 cucumbers, diced
2 tbsp dried mint leaves
8 oz 0% Greek Yogurt
Salt, to taste (and garlic powder—optional)

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and serve.

Nutrition Content (per serving: 4x2½ inch piece of zucchini pie with 2 tbsp tzatziki):
126 Calories, 4.45g Fa,t 2.5g Sat Fat, 8.3g Carbs, 1.5g Fiber, 12.4g Protein, 122mg Sodium, 361mg Calcium, 375.7 mg Potassium.

-Karen Moreno, RD, CDN

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trim Down Tuesdays: Run for Israel Q+A

Even though it's going to probably rain all week, the weekend is supposed to be nice and sunny.  May is coming to an end in about two weeks and hopefully that will mean the end of this gross weather we've been having.  Nice weather means more people are out and about in NYC. Whether it's people watching, brunching, walking around, or working out outdoors, there's always something going on on a nice warm sunny day here!  

On Sunday June 5th there will be the 1st Annual RUN for Israel in Central Park. The 4 mile race begins at 8am-11am followed by the 63rd Israeli Day Parade. It will be a day of fun and what's better than starting the day by running for a great cause? This week Karen Moreno, Feed Your Sister's in-house nutritionist answers some questions that many people always ask when signing up for a race, a marathon, or just a run. Read on to hear what Karen has to say…
What are the best foods to eat before and after a workout or a run? When starting an exercise regimen, it is important to understand how to fuel up before and after your workouts. You don’t want to eat too much food before exercising, because that may cause you to become nauseous or crampy.  You want your snack to digest quickly and you want it to supply a sufficient amount of energy — and that is exactly what complex carbohydrates do.  If you are working out early morning, try having a small snack an hour or two before your workout.  If you are working out after lunch, make sure to wait 3-4 hours after eating a solid meal. 

Some tasty and healthy snack ideas include:
·      half a high-fiber English muffin with a tbsp of peanut butter (my new favorite is Smuckers all natural peanut butter)
·      ½ a whole wheat turkey sandwich
·      1 oz. pistachios and a pear
·      Gnu flavor and fiber bar
·      an apple or banana
·      1 cup non-fat yogurt with ½ cup high-fiber cereal

If you are not careful after your workout, you could end up eating more than you burned at the gym — so why bother working out in the first place? After a workout, and before grabbing something to eat, try drinking some water. The symptoms of dehydration are similar to hunger: feeling tired, weak and shaky.

Another benefit of drinking after a workout is that you replenish fluids that were lost through sweating. When it comes to a post-workout snack, aim for a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates.  Protein is essential for repairing and building muscle, and the complex carbs will help replenish your energy stores. 

Great choices would be:
·      apple with string cheese
·       slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter
·       ½ cup cottage cheese with 1 cup berries
·      1 cup baby carrots with ¼ cup hummus
·      Starkist Lunch To-Go tuna kits (omit the crackers) and 4 whole grain high-fiber crackers
All of which contain less than 200 calories.
I hope this helps and please email or comment below if you have any other nutrition related questions or questions on how to prepare for the race…See you all in the Park!

-Karen Moreno, RD, CDN

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Asian Coleslaw Chicken Salad

Here’s Karen’s recipe that  I promised I’d post…enjoy this fiber filled recipe!!
This is a great quick lunch or dinner recipe that is healthy and tasty. You can serve it with grilled chicken on top or turn it into a vegetarian salad. I love to make this in the summer and if you don’t put the dressing on, it can last in the fridge all week without going bad. In case you weren’t aware, cabbage is high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and iron. It’s also low in calories so it’s ideal for anyone looking to lose weight. Fill up on cabbage this summer—you can even make it with a honey mustard, balsamic, or lemon dressing. Let us know what your favorite way to eat cabbage is!
Asian Coleslaw Chicken Salad
(serves 5)
1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced
2.5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup shredded napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 carrot, julienned
3 green onions, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the dressing:
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
½ tbsp minced garlic
Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray. Grill the chicken 6-8 minutes on each side, remove from heat and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together all the salad dressing ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients.  Add in the chicken. Toss with the peanut butter dressing just before serving.
Nutrition Content:  322 Calories  15g Fat 2.1g Sat Fat 17.74g Carbohydrates 3.44g Fiber  39.8g Protein  623mg Potassium  322mg Sodium
-Karen Moreno, RD,CDN

Thursday, May 12, 2011


My cousin gave birth last week to a baby boy, Aaron Isaac Galiard.  I offered my services and decided to bake something to have for dessert at the bris.  After we eat bagels, of course! He's as delicious as the cupcakes I made...isn't he?

Here's the recipe for the funfetti cupcakes I made.  And the recipe for vanilla bean buttercream follows! I doubled the recipe for the cupcakes and was able to make 24 mini cupcakes plus 18 regular cupcakes.

Funfetti Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk
1/2 cup colored sprinkles
For the icing:
½ cup butter, softened
4½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
5-6 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.
While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Add sprinkles and mix to combine. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin (about 1/3 cup batter per cupcake.)
Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.
In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.

Trim Down Tuesday, on Thursday!

Sorry for the delay, Trim Down Tuesdays is finally here, except that today is Thursday! Oh well, better late than never! Instead of doing a Q&A with Karen, Feed Your Sister's in-house nutritionist, I thought it would be fun to learn all about fiber.  So, this week's post has everything to do with fiber. Karen shares tips on how to increase your fiber intake, inform us about foods containing fiber, and tells us all about the benefits of fiber!  I will post a fiber-filled recipe from Karen tomorrow, so stay tuned!!
Here's what Karen had to say...
Tips on Increasing Your Fiber Intake:
  • Eat a High Fiber cereal for breakfast
  • Add fruits such as bananas or blueberries (fresh or frozen) into your cereal or oatmeal
  • Have a big salad mixed with lots of different colored veggies (fresh or frozen) for lunch
  • Make your own sandwich with 100% whole wheat bread
  • Replace ½ the flour in your favorite recipes with whole wheat flour
  • Eat more whole grains and whole grain products such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta
  • Eat more beans, peas, and lentils. You can add them to your salad or turn them into soups such as lentil soup
  • Snack on fruits throughout the day such as apples, berries, and pears
  • Snack on baby carrots with peanut butter or hummus
Foods Containing Fiber:
  • Grains and Whole Wheat Products (such as Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Whole Wheat Bread, Oatmeal, and Cereals High in Fiber like Fiber One and Kashi Go Lean)
  • Fruits and Vegetables either Fresh or Frozen (such as Berries {strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.}, Apples, Pears, Bananas, and Citrus Fruits)
  • Vegetables (such as Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts,hearts of palm)
  • Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds (such as Lentils, Chickpeas, Black Beans, Pistachios, and Almonds)
What is Fiber? What are the Benefits of Fiber?
Fiber (also known as roughage or bulk) is the part of a plant that your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike proteins, fats, or carbs, it can not be broken down by your body so it passes through your colon unchanged, therefore it has 0 calories.
There are 2 types of fiber:
Soluble Fiber: This fiber dissolves in water and can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels. (Ex. Oats, beans, apples, barley, psyllium)
Insoluble Fiber: This fiber helps move food through your digestive tract and increases stool bulk. This is beneficial for people struggling with constipation or irregular stools. (Ex. Whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, many vegetables)
  • Relieves Constipation
  • Lowers Cholesterol levels
  • Controls Blood Sugar levels
  • Aids in Weight Loss
  • Keeps You Feeling Full
How much fiber do you need?
Women: 25 grams per day (minimum)
Men: 38 grams per day (minimum)
Here's a sample menu for one day filled with all the fiber you need!
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, ½ cup Fiber One cereal, and ½ cup blueberries (16 g Fiber)
Snack: 1 Apple (4 g Fiber)
Lunch: ½ cup lentil soup, Whole Wheat sandwich with turkey, lettuce, and tomato, and Granola bar (10 g Fiber)
Dinner: ½ cup brown rice, 6 oz grilled salmon, ½ cup steamed broccoli (4 g Fiber)
Dessert: 2 small chocolate chip cookies (<1 g Fiber)
Total: 34 g Fiber
IMPORTANT TIP: When beginning to add fiber into your diet, don’t forget to increase your water intake. Adding too much fiber too quickly can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, and gas so increase your intake slowly. Water can help with these issues because the fiber absorbs the water making stools soft and bulky.
-Karen Moreno, RD, CDN

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trim Down Tuesdays: Q&A + Cheesecake Light

Welcome back to Trim Down Tuesdays with Karen Moreno, Feed Your Sister's own nutritionist!  Every week she answers questions from you, the readers, and posts a yummy and healthy recipe for you to try! Here's this week's question...

How much salt do we really need? What are some hidden salty foods that we should be aware of? What is the best way to de-bloat and flush out the excess salt after eating a salty meal like sushi or Chinese?  What are the best foods to eat to help with the de-bloating??

The latest salt recommendations according to the American Heart Association that came out in 2011 are “that everyone--adults as well as children--limit their daily sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg daily.”  That’s less than 1 tsp of table salt.

“Sodium is added to most processed foods, often in huge amounts, to enhance flavor. What many people don't know is that most of us get enough sodium from the fresh foods we eat and don't require additional sources.”

Hidden salty foods include: tomato soups, any canned soups, condiments such as soy sauce, chicken broth, condiments, canned or frozen foods, and prepared mixes such as seasoned rice mixes.

So, what are the best foods to eat to help with the de-bloating?
WATER WATER WATER!!! To help flush out your system. Potassium rich foods are also great because they help counteract some of sodium’s harmful effects on blood pressure. Potassium is found in fruit and veggies. Some high potassium foods include sweet potatoes, yogurt, and bananas.

Here are some tips to lower your salt and sodium intake:
  • Don’t buy foods with more than 300 mg sodium per serving
  • Look for foods that are labeled “low-sodium,” “sodium-free,” “no salt added,” or “unsalted.” Check the total sodium content on food labels. Be especially careful of canned, packaged, and frozen foods
  • Remove the salt shaker from the table.
  • Don’t cook with salt or add salt to what you are eating. Try other spices or herbs for added flavor such as pepper, garlic, lemon, basil, or parsley. Be careful of packaged spice blends as these often contain salt or salt products (like monosodium glutamate, MSG).
  • Avoid foods that are naturally high in sodium, like anchovies, meats (particularly cured meats, bacon, hot dogs, sausage, bologna, ham, and salami), nuts, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, soy and Worcestershire sauces, tomato and other vegetable juices, and cheese.
  • Take care when eating out. Stick to steamed, grilled, baked, boiled, and broiled foods with no added salt, sauce, or cheese.
  • Use oil and vinegar, rather than bottled dressings, on salads.
Source: American Heart Association

Here's Karen's recipe for this week! 
You know cheesecake is no diet food, but consider this: Just one slice at some of the more popular restaurants can be 1200 calories. That’s insane! Plus, I always find typical American cheesecake tastes too heavy, so I came up with my own recipe. The base of it is an Israeli cream cheese that gives the cake a light and fluffy texture. It’s called Tnuva Creamy Soft Cheese 5%. You can find it in specialty stores (sometimes it’s sold under the name Normans) or online at Avi Glatt. If you are in NYC, most kosher markets as well as Fairway carry this cheese product. As for the rest of the recipe, feel free to individualize it. You can add cookie dough to the base, light Hershey’s syrup on top, light Reddi-wip, or even just plain strawberries for added decoration and flavor. Whatever way you like, have your cake and eat it, too! 
Cheesecake Light
(Makes 16 servings)
6 eggs, separated
1½ cups sugar
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 (9.7 ounce) containers Tnuva Creamy Soft Cheese Spread, 95% Fat Free
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding (powder) 

Preheat oven to 325ºF degrees. Separate egg whites from egg yolks. In a bowl, beat egg whites with 1 cup of the sugar until stiff.  In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks, the other 1/2 cup of sugar, cheese, flour, pudding powder, lemon zest, and the juice from that lemon until well blended. Add egg white mixture to the other mixture by fold it in with a spoon or spatula, until evenly incorporated. Pour batter into a round aluminum springform baking pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake rises high and the top turns brown. Turn off the oven. Let the cake sit in it with the oven door open for 20 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for 2 hours. Refrigerate overnight to set. Serve cold.

Nutrition content:
Per serving (1 slice, 1/16 of cake): 165 calories, 3 g fat, .6 g sat fat, 22 g carbohydrate,
0g fiber, 4 g protein, 93 mg sodium
-Karen Moreno, RD, CDN

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Few Updates...

I know I've been MIA over the past few weeks, sorry about that.  There's a lot going on here.  Between the holidays, figuring out what I'll do with my life, seeing family, and working on the new website, it's been pretty crazy! Here's what's been going on: I got my business cards, I've got fun stickers to go along with them, and I've got a new site!  Check it out if you haven't already.  Any suggestions, comments, and/or thoughts are welcomed!! A new feature will be a menus page on the site. There you will be able to view various menus with links to the recipes.  Cool, right? Also there's a new about me section, where you can read about me! Ha, go read it.  The links are not all working yet, but I will get to them at some point!

Over the next few weeks I am going to try to phase out of blogspot and getting into wordpress.  It's going to take some time, so please be patient with me. This also means that I might not get to cooking as much, sorry in advance.  But, I hope that in the end it will all be worth it.  Trim Down Tuesdays with Karen Moreno (Feed Your Sister's own Nutritionist) will continue regardless, so look out for those! For now I will probably post them on both blogspot and the .com site.

That's all for now...meanwhile enjoy the gorgeous spring weather and the cherry blossoms in Central Park!
P.S.- Tomorrow's post looks delicious!!!
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