Friday, March 21, 2014

The Top 8 Reasons YOU should join the 21-Day Real Food Challenge

The next 21-Day Real Food Challenge starts on the 1st of the month. Here are the top 8 reasons you should be in the group!
  1. Provides exclusive access to a Registered Dietitian for 21 days for only $30 ($20 for students). 
  2. Gain new seasonal recipes and menus  
  3. Presents trustworthy nutrition information and education.
  4. Learn how to cook efficiently and to fit real food into your busy life. “What surprised you about the challenge so far? That I have so much 'unreal' food in my pantry and fridge!”
  5. Empowerment. Take control over your health! Set up goals and plans to help you reach success
  6. Learn to navigate your grocery store and pick real foods. “I read labels more carefully now.”
  7. Free flowing communication with all participants.
  8. Because it is fun! “Holly- this challenge has been fantastic. Been a lot of fun and something I hope to continue."
Review from one Challenge Participant:
“This fast-food consuming, sweet-toothed (?), chocolate-loving, Diet Coke-craving individual would like to thank each of you passionate, committed and creative individuals for the past 8 days. I am not perfect and have not been perfect; however, I can say honestly that I dramatically have altered my food choices and have had no fast food, no chocolate, no desserts, and no soft drinks in the last 8 days. I have made better choices in every food-situation. For me, it is a realization that there will be times when one simply must make the BEST choice; that is what it is about for me. As we move through today and the next 11 after that, I know that it will get easier. I look forward to all of your posts and continuing to try new things (although I am not as bold as creative as the rest of you)...Thank you for pushing my "competitive" button to get me to do this...”

Click here to register
Click here for more information

Recipe ReDux Buffalo Style Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

A Play on Patties: While St. Patty’s Day will be over by the time The Recipe ReDux rolls around this month,
we’re celebrating the ‘patty’ all month long. We’ve seen images of stacked patties go crazy on food photo sharing sites like; so stack ‘em up! Think healthy tuna burgers, potato patties, or veggie stacks.

This is a wonderful veggie burger idea that veggie and meat eaters will both love! The original recipe served these as sliders on mini buns, but I thought that was pretty starch-heavy. Instead, I served these as lettuce wraps and thought that they were delicious! The hot and crispy patties contrasted with the cool lettuce for a delicious meal. 

Buffalo Style Quinoa Patty Lettuce Wraps

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked sweet corn, frozen and thawed is fine
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup finely grated romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce + more for topping
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Whole head romaine, bibb or other large-leaf lettuce

  1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, corn, scallions, garlic and red pepper. Mix well to combine. 
  2. Add cheese, panko, flour, salt and pepper, tossing again to mix. Stir in eggs and buffalo wing sauce until the mixture is moistened. 
  3. Using your hands, form patties by firmly pressing the mixture together. Set the patties on a cutting board.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add sliders and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. 
  5. To serve sliders, place patties in the lettuce, top with shredded cheese and hot sauce and eat!

Adapted from How Sweet It Is. 

Please check out these other awesome patty ideas from registered dietitians around the country!

An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Guest Posting: No Trash Lunch by Erin!

Could you eat a meal that creates no trash?

On a typical trip to the grocery store I will usually find myself unaware of the the wide array of packaging my food is used to coming in. Often the container holding the item I’ve came for is absurdly larger than the item itself. Despite the environmentally unfriendly package to portion ratio, we are conditioned to accept this by the appeal of convenience and (supposedly cheaper) cost. As part of a nutrition class challenge, I assumed the task of creating a lunch entirely “waste-free”.  As someone who believes they leave a relatively small eco-footprint, the initial difficulty of planning this meal surprised me and consequently instilled a helpful dose of self-awareness in how I individually contribute to waste and pollution. Aside from some initial re-evaluating of my grocery shopping style to get this meal just right, the end result was nutritious, easy to recreate, and satisfyingly cost effective.

The ingredients
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomato Cashew Curry on Brown Rice
  • Red potatoes
  • Apple slices

The method
The bulk of my meal found in the produce section. It consisted of cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and apples. These were easily transported in re-usable bags. The cashew curry and rice ingredients were rounded up in the bulk section at Whole Foods. Even though plastic bags are free flowing to your hearts content here, it’s easy to bring your own ziploc bags to transport these items.  If you do use a bag or two, try to offset the environmental impact by re-using them for storage at home! After some chopping, dicing, sauteing, and a bit of seasoning, the final products were put into two tupperware containers and were ready to go!

This endeavor ended up being more affordable than if I had bought these items pre-packaged or pre-made. The total cost of this meal (not including leftovers) came out to $4.90, approximately. Comparing this to the fancy packaged tomatoes, bagged rice, single-serving cashew containers, etc, I would likely be seeing a major difference in future grocery bills. Even though this challenge requires some initial brain power to create something delicious and nutritious, it would eventually adapt as muscle memory the more you could incorporate this style of“mindful eating” into the everyday routine.

Here’s what you can do to get started:

  1. Eat more produce! Fruits and vegetables are always available sans packaging.
  2. Stock up on staples. Buying grains, legumes, nuts, and cereal in the bulk foods section can help you save and allows you to cut down on waste.
  3. Register with a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture programs are found all throughout the country, with home deliveries available. Brought to your front door in a reusable crate, you can enjoy fresh picked produce as well as locally produced milk bottled in old-fashioned, recyclable glass bottles.
  4. Consider Compost. Check out backyard compost blogs for “How To Guides” on setting up your own compost bin or check out options for composting in small indoor spaces.

Guest Posting by Erin
 Erin is taking Holly's Nutrition class at Montgomery College as she continues on her way to becoming a future nurse. She likes to spend her Saturdays perusing DC farmers markets and her Sundays baking black bean brownies.
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