Mexican Quinoa Bake

Do you ever get stuck in the same meal routine and want to mix things up? I know I do! Here are a few things I look for when it comes to building meals:

  1. Quick & Easy

    • Like most people, my husband and I both have a busy work week. After I get home and workout, I just want something fast that we both can enjoy.
  2. Nutritious

    • It would be so easy to buy convenience meals which are fine on occasion, but for our everyday meal, I want to have tons of veggies + complex carbs + healthy fats + lean protein to nourish our bodies. Especially since we are both so active, it is crucial to replenish those glycogen stores + rebuild the muscles that were torn during exercise.
  3. Satisfying

    • Bottom line: you want to be satisfied after a meal! Have enough food freedom to actually enjoy your food…listening to hunger cues to know what your body needs. I could eat a salad every night (and I do sometimes), but I would be highly unsatisfied if I ate it all the time.
  4. Cook Extras

    • My biggest time saver for you! Cook extras for lunch the next day. To be honest, if I cook everything on Sunday for my lunches + dinners for the week, I am bored by Wednesday…so that form of meal prep doesn’t work well with me. My goal is to always have veggies, grains, and meats prepped on Sunday so I can cook easily throughout the week. That way I can enjoy the same meal two or three times instead of eight times…

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This Mexican Quinoa Bake was a trial run for me on Sunday and I will definitely add it to my cycle menu! If you love beans + quinoa + cheese then you will LOVE this recipe. What I love about this recipe? It contains complex carbs + protein + fat all in ONE dish! All you gotta do is add a nice mixed greens salad or roasted veggies with it and you have a complete, satisfying, fiber-filled meal! As always, there are modifications you can do such as:

  • Add more veggies! I use spinach + onion in this recipe, but bell peppers, spicy peppers, mushrooms, zucchini/squash, or tomatoes would also be a great addition!
  • Skip the cheese: If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you could always use nutritional yeast in place of cheese. *Why I like cheese in the recipe: more protein + flavor
  • Cut the recipe in half: If you are only cooking for 1, you probably won’t want to make the full 6 serving recipe.
  • Sodium: If you are watching your sodium, skip the taco seasoning and use only spices in powder form.
  • Use Different Beans: Truthfully, any bean would work well in this dish! If you wanna mix it up, you could do a mixture or sub the black beans out completely. Other bean ideas: pinto bean, garbanzo bean, kidney bean, navy bean, white bean, etc

 

Okay, now onto my original recipe 🙂

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Mexican Quinoa Bake

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1/2 a medium sized onion
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 pack of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Valentina Hot Sauce (or hot sauce of choice)
  • 1 cup of shredded White Cheddar Cheese (3/4 cup in recipe, 1/4 cup topping)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, add 2 cups of water + 1 cup dry quinoa and bring to a boil. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all of the water and is firm.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add quinoa, drained + rinsed black beans, onion, chopped spinach, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce and black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Fold in 3/4 cup of cheese.
  5. In a lightly greased baking dish, add quinoa mixture. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  6. Serve with your favorite toppings such as: sour cream, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, salsa, green onion.
  7. Pair with  a nice mixed green salad for some extra fiber + micro nutrients + meal satisfaction.

 

I used MyFitnessPal to calculate recipe Nutrition Facts.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 6

 
Calories 332
Total Fat 14 g
    Saturated Fat 7 g
    Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 40 mg
Sodium 656 mg
Potassium 464 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35 g
   Fiber 6 g
   Sugar 1 g
Protein 18 g
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 34%
Iron 15%

 

Make sure you tag me in your creations ( @livebetterwithkatdetter )!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

Peanut Butter versus Almond Butter PLUS BONUS PB Granola Recipe

If you’re still not making homemade granola, what’s stopping you??

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I kid you not…it takes less than 5 minutes to whip up all the ingredients with minimal clean up! If you haven’t checked out my other two granola recipes, go take a look!

Maple-Almond Granola  

Almond Joy Granola 

All of my granola recipes have the same formula: 2 cups of oats, 1/2 cup nuts, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed or chia seed, 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and either maple syrup or honey. Additional add ins based on preference: coconut flakes, dried fruit, chocolate chips, nut butters, etc.

This granola features one of my favorite things–peanut butter! Most recently, peanut butter has gotten a bad reputation as peanuts are not actual “nuts” but actually considered legumes. When we think nuts, our brain automatically thinks heart health, protein, and healthy fats…

Here is a comparison for you…

Almond Butter

So, as you can see…According to the USDA nutrition database, Peanut Butter and Almond Butter have very similar macronutrients: protein, total fat, and carbs.

From a micronutrients stand point, almonds are much higher in calcium, iron, and magnesium. However, peanuts have a richer source of niacin (a B vitamin important in cellular metabolism). Peanut butter is a little higher in saturated fat which has been shown to raise cholesterol levels, however, if you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fiber and limited saturated fat intake, peanut butter can fit into your healthy diet.

From a cost standpoint, natural peanut butter is a lot cheaper than almond butter. A 16 ounce jar of natural peanut butter (containing only peanuts + salt) costs about ~$2.50 (in North Carolina, prices may vary depending on grocery stores/states). For an 8 ounce jar of natural almond butter (containing only almonds + salt), it costs around ~$5.00 (in North Carolina, prices may vary depending on grocery stores/states). You get half the amount for double the price. While I do love almond butter, peanut butter is more affordable for me to consume on the regular. I’ll save the almond butter for special occasions! 🙂

 

Peanut Butter Granola

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter (or sub nut butter of choice)
  • 2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix oats, chopped walnuts, and chia seeds in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add coconut oil + peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for ~10 seconds or until coconut oil melts.
  4. Add oil + PB to oat mixture.
  5. Add maple syrup and mix well.
  6. Pour granola mixture onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  9. Store in air tight container.
  10. Enjoy with yogurt, fruit, smoothie bowls, or plain!

Regardless which nut butter you choose on the regular, know that they are both appropriate choices for a balanced, healthful diet. Pro Tip: Choose the natural nut butters that contain only nuts + salt (or no salt); many nut butters contain added sugars.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — NATURAL CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER, UPC: 011110016492. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45098931fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=natural+peanut+butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].
  2. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD, UPC: 041318210453. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45214016fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=natural+peanut++butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].
  3. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — ALMOND BUTTER, UPC: 858864004029. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45059935fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=almond+butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].

“Un-Cheese” Dip (Without the Cheese!)

Cheese is one of my favorite things (next to chocolate), and I probably eat some form of cheese most days of the week…cheddar, feta, mozzarella, bleu…I love them all!

One thing my husband and I love to do is order queso at a Mexican restaurant…I have no self control! We don’t do this very often, but when we do, I eat too much and usually feel bloated, wishing I had enjoyed it in moderation versus licking the bowl…

While I am not vegan, I do enjoy switching out animal based foods with plant based foods wherever I can! This recipe uses raw cashews, nutritional yeast, peppers, and tahini to create a similar alternative to dairy cheese dip.

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What’s Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a vegetarian dietary supplement rich in vitamin B-12 with a faint cheesy flavor–similar to Parmesan. It is a single-cell organism grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to make the yeast inactive (meaning it has no leavening properties).  According to the USDA Nutrition Database, 1/4 cup serving contains 60 calories, 8 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals including iron, niacin, vitamin B 12, and other B vitamins. Nutritional yeast is one of the few plant-based sources containing vitamin B 12 without fortification.

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What I love about this dip?

A typical serving of traditional queso at a restaurant is 2 tablespoons with 60 calories, 4 grams of fat (mostly saturated fat), 3 grams of protein and no fiber.

Traditional Queso Nutrition Facts (according to MyFitnessPal)

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Calories 60
Total Fat 4 g
Sodium 200 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2 g
   Fiber 0 g
   Sugar 2 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A: 2%   Calcium: 8%

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My “Un-Cheese” Vegan Cheese Dip has just 64 calories per 1/2 cup serving with 3 grams of fat (mostly unsaturated, heart healthy fats), 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. What a nutritional win!

  “Un-Cheese” Nutrition Facts (Tracked in MyFitnessPal)

Servings: 8 servings Serving Size: ½ cup
Calories 64
Total Fat 3 g
Sodium 149 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
    Fiber 1 g
    Sugar 2 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A: 9%   Vitamin C: 20%   Calcium: 3%   Iron: 5%

 

You can eat over twice the amount of traditional queso when swapping to “Un-Cheese” dip with less saturated fat, sodium and more fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron. It’s a nutritional win!

You can get the full PRINTABLE recipe below. Make sure you tag me @livebetterwithkatdetter in you creations!

 

Un-Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1-4 ounce jar of pimentos
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs tahini
  • 1 can (15 ounce) of Rotel (I use mild because my palate is weak) 🙂
  • 2 cups of water, divided

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in 1/2 cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. After cashews have been soaked, add them to a high powered blender with pimentos, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, cornstarch, lemon juice, tahini, Rotal, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add mixture to a sauce pan and simmer for ~10 minutes until un-cheese gets bubbly and thick.
  5. Serve with fresh veggies or your favorite dipping chip! Would also be good on salads and tacos.
  6. Enjoy!

 

I hope you love this dip as much as I do! While enjoying “the real stuff” is good every now and then, finding healthier, more nutrient dense options THAT TASTE GOOD is the way to go.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

 

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — LARGE FLAKE NUTRITIONAL YEAST, UPC: 039978025463. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45360902 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].
  2. Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Calorie Chart, Nutrition Facts, Calories in Food | MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/mexican-cheese-dip-441450166 [Accessed 6 Jun.
  3. Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/view/67379228593837 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

Going Plant Based: Tofu

If you’re looking for another #meatlessmonday meal idea, look no further! This Ginger Tofu Stir Fry is SO good that you won’t miss that meat!

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Tofu is a bean curd made from soybeans used mainly in Asian and vegetarian cuisines. I was about 10 years old the first time I tried tofu and I HATED it…I didn’t like the texture, consistency, or taste…

Fast forward ~14 years and it is one of my favorite protein sources–and I truly believe it is all in how you prepare it. My favorite kind of tofu is extra firm which is found in most grocery stores. The key is straining the liquid out as much as possible. My most used method is placing the tofu block in a clean dish towel (or paper towels) and wedging between 2 small plates. For time effectiveness, I add a heavy canned food item on top to really squeeze out the excess moisture. I let this sit for at least 30 minutes to get as much water out as possible.

Once the moisture is out of the tofu, I cut it up and place it in my marinade. Adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch really makes a difference in cooking tofu as well–it gives it a crunchier texture after its  been baked.

What’s good about tofu?

According to the USDA nutrition database, a 1/2 cup serving of tofu contains 94 calories, ~10 grams of protein, ~6 grams of fat, 2.32 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of fiber and numerous minerals including calcium and iron. While animal protein is a fine choice, tofu is lower in calories, saturated fat and contains fiber (which no animal protein source contains). A 2017 study published in Current Developments in Nutrition concluded that consuming ~3% less animal protein and replacing it with plant protein potentially results in 19% lower risk of death from a chronic illness. Incorporating more plant based proteins (and foods) into your diet may help decrease development of chronic diseases resulting in longevity.

 

On to the meal recipe! This Ginger Tofu Stir fry can be whipped up in no time as long as you have your ingredients prepped! Biggest tip: cut up all your veggies ahead of time so you can just throw it all into the wok.

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Ginger Tofu Stir Fry

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • 1 block of Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoon Ginger Dressing (I used Makoto’s brand-only 1 gram sugar per 2 T)
  • 1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground Black Pepper

Stir Fry:

  • 1.5 cups of Asparagus (washed and chopped)
  • 1 cup of Broccoli florets (washed)
  • 2 medium Zucchini (washed and chopped into half moons)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter (or oil of choice)
  • 1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Directions:

  1. Squeeze out excess moisture from tofu (directions found above in blog post). Let sit for 30 minutes. Cut tofu block into cubes.
  2. Put tofu in mixing bowl and add cornstarch, ginger dressing, low sodium soy sauce and black pepper. Stir and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes on each side.
  4. In the meantime, stir fry your veggies using a wok. Add butter and garlic to wok. Add asparagus in first (as it takes longest to cook). Then add broccoli and water, cover and allow to steam until tender. Add zucchini last, uncover to let moisture evaporate.
  5. Add low sodium soy sauce and let simmer.
  6. Add baked ginger tofu to stir fry. Serve over brown rice + cauliflower rice, or your favorite starch.
  7. Enjoy!

You can truly make this meal versatile by adding different veggies to it.

Some other suggestions:

  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • water chestnuts
  • baby corn
  • squash
  • cauliflower
  • bamboo shoots
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • bok choy

This meal is 100% hubs approved, so try it for your family the next time you wanna incorporate some plant based proteins! This recipe makes great left overs, too! 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Tofu, raw, regular, prepared with calcium sulfate. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show?ndbno=16427 [Accessed 3 Jun. 2019].
  2. Monique Tello, M. (2019). Eat more plants, fewer animals – Harvard Health Blog. [online] Harvard Health Blog. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eat-more-plants-fewer-animals-2018112915198 [Accessed 3 Jun. 2019].
  3. Micha, R., Peñalvo, J., Cudhea, F., Imamura, F., Rehm, C. and Mozaffarian, D. (2019). Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States.

 

CHICKPEA Brownies (no added sugar)

Okay, so I joined the chickpea craze…

Actually, I’ve been on the chickpea craze for a while now…chickpea pasta, chickpea pizza crust, roasted chickpeas, chickpea curry…lot’s of savory chickpea dishes!

I have seen many people make “chickpea blondies”–a healthified, fiber filled dessert…so I decided to make my own version of chickpea blondies + dark cocoa powder…so essentially making brownies!

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According to the USDA food composition database, 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) contains ~135  calories with ~7 grams protein and is a good source of fiber (~6 grams per 1/2 cup, aids in digestion), phosphorus (works with calcium to build bones + teeth), potassium (regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions+nerve signals), folate (forms red blood cells in bone marrow + prevents neural tube defects), and vitamin K (aids in blood clotting).

I promised you all some sugar free + artificial sweetener free dessert recipes–here is one! If you haven’t read “The Sugar Debate” blog yet, take a look before making these brownies! It’ll give you perspective on why we should limit our added sugar intake.

These brownies are sugar FREE, artificial sweetener FREE, vegan, and nutrient dense. Using smashed banana + dates as the main source of natural sweetener + stevia sweetened chocolate chips, you won’t miss the added sugars! Full FREE printable recipe down below. Share with your friends and be sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

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Chickpea Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (15 ounce) can of Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 T cocoa powder, dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup almond butter, unsweetened (or nut butter of choice, almond butter is a neutral flavor)
  • 3 T almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup stevia sweetened chocolate chips + 2-3 T to sprinkle on top 🙂

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a high powered blender, add chickpeas, dates, banana, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, almond/nut butter and almond milk and blend until smooth. *NOTE: add more almond milk as needed to blend mixture; batter will be thick
  3. Pour batter into a mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into a lightly greased baking dish and top with more chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for ~30 minutes at 350 F (or until brownies cooked all the way through).
  6. Allow to cool for at least ~30 minutes before cutting and serving.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

Even my 7 year old nephew loved these brownies–and he has quite the sweet tooth! Your family will love them 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

 

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/16057 [Accessed 28 May 2019].

ALMOND JOY Granola

It’s been a hot minute since I made homemade granola! Who else loves a good crunch with a yogurt parfait or on-top of a smoothie bowl? This girl does!

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Granola oftentimes gets a bad rap because many store bought ones are high in fat, calories, and sugar. While all of that is true, you can make granola in the luxury of your own home CHEAPER than you can buy it and you can make it more nutrient dense!

In this recipe, I use old fashioned oats (complex carb + soluble fiber), chia seeds (rich in omega 3 fatty acids + fiber), whole almonds (healthy fat + protein), and dark chocolate (antioxidant) as the base. Some other additives: maple syrup (only 2 tablespoons for the whole batch), unsweetened coconut flakes, stevia sweetened chocolate chips, and coconut oil. Find full FREE printable recipe down below!

NOTE: If you like things a little sweeter, feel free to bump up the maple syrup to 1/4 cup instead of 2-3 tablespoons.

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ALMOND JOY Granola

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted + cooled
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips ( I like using stevia sweetened )

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix oats, chia seeds, almonds, cocoa powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix melted coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup.
  4. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour mixture on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring granola halfway through.
  6. Add in coconut and chocolate chips and bake for additional 5 minutes.
  7. Allow granola to cool for 15 minutes and store in air tight container up to a week.
  8. Enjoy with some mixed berries + yogurt, on top of a smoothie bowl, with milk, or plain!

 

I hope you all enjoy this quick and easy granola recipe!  Add it to your meal prep for breakfast on the go!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

#livebetterwithkatdetter

Fresh Pico de Gallo

With summer just around the corner and gardens beginning to produce an abundance of fresh veggies and herbs, I decided to share my pico de gallo recipe.  Summer is the season of cookouts, BBQ’s, and grilling, and I guarantee this salsa will be a crowd favorite.

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About a year ago, I learned how to make this pico from a coworker who is from Guatemala.  I never made fresh pico de gallo before, and I was surprised that I liked it because I am not a big fan of tomatoes or cilantro…but combined with limes, jalepeno, and onion, this fresh pico is addictive.

And of course, pico de gallo is naturally nutritious! Tomatoes contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant (fights free radicals in the body to prevent  cancer and chronic diseases), onion (high in fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium), cilantro (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, fiber), and lime (vitamin C).

Full, FREE printable recipe below and make sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter and use #livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

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Fresh Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion, diced
  • 2 Jalepenos, seeded + diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 Limes, juiced
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash produce. Thinly slice and dice Roma tomatoes (I also de-seeded tomatoes, completely optional). Add to serving bowl.
  2. Dice 1/2 vidalia onion and add to tomatoes in serving bowl.
  3. Slice jalepenos in half. Using a spoon, scoop out jalepeno seeds (you may keep the seeds if you want extra heat). Dice peppers and add to tomatoes + onion in serving bowl.
  4. Finely chop fresh cilantro and add to other ingredients in serving bowl.
  5. Juice 3 limes into ingredient bowl.
  6. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  7. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to enhance the flavors.
  8. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

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Tikki approves, too! 🙂 I hope you all enjoy this fresh summer recipe! The leftovers are perfect for work lunches, too!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

Bunny Pancakes

It wouldn’t be a holiday if I didn’t post a bunch of festive favorites 🙂 Today I am sharing my PERFECTED pancake recipe–they’re fluffy, golden, cook perfectly, and don’t crumble when trying to flip!

The best part? These pancakes taste like regular pancakes BUT are filled with fiber and protein! Score.

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Simply make the pancakes and top with a ball of shredded coconut for the “bunny tail” and use sliced banana and chopped walnuts for the bunny feet. Your family will love these this weekend!

Full printable recipe listed below–tag me in your creations! @livebetterwithkatdetter

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  • Servings: 10 pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup PLAIN Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil (for griddle)

Directions:

  1. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.
  2. In a high powered blender, blend oats and almonds until flour like consistency.
  3. Add flour to mixing bowl and mix in salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, add eggs, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and vanilla.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add more almond milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
  6. Grease griddle with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Add 1/4 pancake batter to griddle (cooking 3-4 pancakes at a time.)
  7. When pancake begins to bubble, flip and cook on the other side (about 3 minutes each).
  8. Serve with your favorite toppings!

 

 

Get a little festive this weekend and make your pancakes into little bunnies! You’re family is going to love them!

HAPPY EASTER!
Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

FB & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

HEALTHIFIED Reese’s PB Eggs

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Easter is just a few days away, and if you’re looking for a more nutritious dessert to take to the family Egg Hunt, I’ve got ya covered!

One of my favorite Easter candies is Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs…why are they better than regular Reese’s? I have no idea…they just are! And I am thrilled that I was able to make a healthier version to fuel my body with healthy fats + natural sweetener + protein for a great sweet treat.

This recipe is essentially refined sugar  free (except for the sugar in the 85% dark chocolate I used) using medjool dates as the sweetener. Using natural peanut butter gives this recipe healthy fats and protein with no added sugars. Pro tip: look for nut butters that only have “nuts & salt” as the ingredients.

 

Below is the decadent recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs! Feel free to substitute recipe ingredients to what you have in your pantry. This is my version. Make sure you tag me in your creations! @livebetterwithkatdetter

 

HEALTHIFIED Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

  • Servings: 15 Eggs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour***
  • 1 dark chocolate bar***
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a high powered blender (or food processor) add dates, peanut butter and coconut flour. Pulse until smooth consistency.
  2. Form candy dough into egg shapes (you could also use a candy mold).
  3. Freeze eggs for 45 minutes.
  4. Chop dark chocolate and add to a microwave safe bowl with coconut oil.
  5. Microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth consistency.
  6. Fully dip eggs covering all sides and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  7. Freeze additional 10 minutes.
  8. Add decorative chocolate topping to look like “Easter Eggs”. (optional)
  9. Freeze a final 20 minutes.
  10. Serve at room temperature.
  11. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
  12. Enjoy!

 

***coconut flour: you may substitute almond flour or whole wheat flour; if dough is too runny, add additional tablespoon

***dark chocolate: 70% or above has antioxidants (highly recommended); 100% will not have added sugars

 

This is such a fun holiday recipe and something you can feel good about serving to your family! Get the kids involved 🙂

 

Happy Easter!
Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

FB & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Black Bean Brownies

Black beans in brownies?? YES!

This trend has been around for a few years now. The first time I made black bean brownies was in 2015…I was getting ready to pack up my car and move to California to attend Loma Linda University to become a registered dietitian.  Before I left for school, I made my family a special treat…and I didn’t tell them what was in it…

Now, I am going to give you a little background on my childhood…when I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, I LOVED “playing” in my mom’s kitchen experimenting with foods…that could be why I decided to become a dietitian and do recipe development professionally!

I can remember making a jello dessert and putting what I thought was orange zest in it for a little extra flavor…turns out I was zesting too much and ended up putting the orange peeling in it instead…and my brothers never let me forget it! They’re always kind of afraid to try new foods I make despite the fact that I’ve gotten wayyyyy better at recipe development.

Back to before I moved away, I made a special dessert for my last night in North Carolina…I made black bean brownies. After everyone took a bite and decided they tasted good, I had them guess what they thought was in it…no one knew!

“Black beans!” Course, we grew up eating beans so my brothers weren’t too put off…but my sister-in-law was like “Ew, gross” and decided they were not fit to eat. However, everyone else LOVED them, and you will to!

 

I’ve adapted my recipe over the years. Today I am using black beans and sweet potato in this recipe and I guarantee you will love it! Fudgey, smooth, and perfect for a warm, brownie sundae!

Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 can black beans

1/2 c almond flour

1/2 c sweet potato

1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/4+ 2 tbs maple syrup

2 T cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 T vanilla

1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans very well.
  3. Add to high powered blender or food processor.
  4. Add almond flour, sweet potato, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla to blender/food processor.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add to mixing bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour mixture into greased baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.
  10. If brownies are still goopy, bake for additional 5-10 minutes and let cool. The batter will thicken as it cools.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Have you ever tried black bean brownies ??

Until next time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me one social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter