All posts by Nutrition Map

My name is Yvonne. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, manager/ chef/ maintenance crew at the Syto Manor, novice superhero of the planet, and a foodie. Oh yeah, I am also a registered dietitian nutritionist. Needless to say, like so many women that have come before me, I wear many hats. I have one of the best jobs on the planet. I get to be a stay at home mother and wife that happens to gets paid to talk about food all day long. Many people are unsure what dietitians actually do when they are advised to see one. Contrary to popular belief, we are not in the business of taking food away. What a horrible business model that would be. Rather, we give food back to our patients, arming them with the tools they need to live healthy, in the real world. We provide survival skills to navigate in an ever changing world.

Tex Mex Pasta

Tex Mex Pasta

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This recipe serves 1, however it can easily be multiplied or split into multiple portions if you are using it as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz whole wheat penne
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 oz shallots, chopped
  • 3 oz chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 oz frozen (or fresh) kale
  • 1/2 cup black beans (canned), rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup “cheese” sauce (I am a fan of the Happy Herbivore version, vegan or diary based (1oz of shredded cheese of choice if using dairy based)
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chile flakes (optional)
  • 100 calorie pack of guacamole (optional), served on the side

Directions

  1. Cook penne according to package directions.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable broth in a separate pot until boiling.
  3. Add shallots, mushrooms and kale and simmer for 5 minutes until mushrooms soften and kale is cooked through.
  4. Add beans, corn, cheese sauce, and chipotle chile flakes. Stir until completely combined.
  5. Add cooked pasta.
  6. Stir and serve immediately.

Buffalo Tofu Pasta

Buffalo Tofu Pasta

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This is a super easy meal that is ready in about the same amount of time is takes to cook the pasta. I chose tofu, however I am sure any protein (e.g. chicken, wheat gluten etc.) you choose will go well in this dish. Serves 1 and easily multiplied


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 oz onion of choice (scallions or shallots work great), chopped
  • 3 oz chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped tofu
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 oz whole wheat penne
  • 1 oz cheddar style cheese (vegan or dairy based)
  • 1-2 oz sour cream or mayo (vegan or dairy based), optional

Directions

  1. Cook penne according to package directions.
  2. Boil 1/2 cup of water in a separate pot until boiling.
  3. Add onions & celery and boil until reduced.
  4. Add tofu and buffalo sauce and heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add cooked pasta, “cheese” and cream or mayo if using.
  6. Stir until combined.
  7. Serve immediately.

The International Year of Pulses 

The United Nations has declared 2016 the “International Year of Pulses” to raise the awareness of their nutritional prowess and sustainability in food production. Pulses refers to the edible seeds in certain plants. This is their way of saying “eat more beans, peas and lentils” my friends. They are good for your body and good for your planet.  Most recipes and meal/snack ideas I post will incorporate pulses of some sort.  Below is a total treat for me from Taco Bell. Soft bean al fresco tacos (I added some vegan “cheese” I made last night, but they are great without them too), topped with, you guesses it, more beans with red sauce (no cheese), plain potatoes and pico de gallo. Oh and a side of guacamole, of course. A gut buster in more ways than you can imagine. Beans: They really are magical.

Tex-Mex/Cajun Leftovers 

Last night we headed out to dinner at #JoseTejas in Fairfield, NJ for dinner after enjoying an open house event at #NewYorkRedBullsArena (however like so many NY teams, the stadium is in Jersey).  The best part of eating out, for me at least, is reinventing my leftovers. I had the vegetable jambalaya, which surprisingly did not have beans. I added a #Gardein Chipotle Black Bean burger and a few tablespoons of salsa. Once plated, I added a 100 calorie pack of guacamole, fine, 2 of them. Oh, and I am one of those unique folks that dislikes plain cornbread and as much as I typically avoid wasting food, it was tossed. Totally better the second time around.

What to do with leftovers?

Last night we had some Japanese take away with friends for a fun, relaxing evening.  After having an avocado brown rice roll, miso soup and a side salad, I was stuffed and ended up taking about half of my main meal of Vegetable Yaki Udon home.  The best way to doctor it up so the smaller amount is actually filling? First, boil 3 oz each of frozen broccoli and spinach, 1/2 cup white beans, and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.  Once the broth has reduced and the vegetables are heated all the way through, throw in the leftover noodles and serve once heated completely. I prefer to reheat on the stove, but this totally works in the microwave.

Best Breakfast Berry “Soup”

Come wintertime, the organic berry selection can be pretty dismal (and expensive) here in Jersey. Instead, I rely more and more on frozen organics. Pictured is 1 serving of mixed organic berries with 1/4 cup of quick oats, 1 tbsp of chia seeds, topped with unsweetened almond milk and cooked in the microwave for 2.5 minutes. If organics aren’t quite accessible, remember, a nonorganic berry is still way better to eat over any junk.  

 

Top 5 Secrets to Optimal Health

healthy_back Black SHIRT

Some of the best tools in your kit for reclaiming your health, involve more than just changes in what you select to eat and what you choose to avoid.

5 things to keep in mind when making a plan to “Bringing Healthy Back” include:

  1. Always eat with hunger and not out of habit.
  2. Be present at every meal.
  3. Know your trigger foods.
  4. Get plenty of quality sleep.
  5. Find ways to alleviate stress.

Quick Tomato Stew

Quick Tomato Stew

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Serves 1, however can be made in bulk for multiple portions.




Ingredients

  • 2 oz whole grain pasta
  • 1 serving of frozen meatballs thawed (I usually use vegetarian or vegan, however choose 1 serving of your preferred “ball”)
  • 1 cup of prepared tomato soup
  • 3 oz frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup canned, rinsed beans (any variety)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 oz cheese (I tend to use rice cheese)
  • Red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. If “ball” of choice is frozen, thaw according to package directions. I usually cook them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
  3. While pasta cooks, warm up the tomato soup until simmering.
  4. Add the spinach until thawed.
  5. Add the beans, soy sauce, cheese and red pepper flakes (if using) and continue to cook until heated thoroughly.
  6. Add cooked pasta, toss until combined.
  7. Serve.

3 Easy Steps For Big New Year’s Changes

December begins to signal a time that gets many of us geared up for the new year to come. Many of us feel the push to change our lives for the better.  For each of us, the objective or goals are quite unique and often personal.

I have to admit I totally get wrapped up in setting goals for myself and over the years, my approach has evolved.  Believe it or not, my goals don’t revolve around food or even health anymore, well at least not directly. Let me explain.

As I mentioned in my previous post “Alzheimer’s Disease: The Year After” the latter part of 2014 and much of 2015 was spent clearing out my mother’s home and sorting through massive amounts of her belongings. She held on to so much.  Receipts, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, cookbooks, you name it, she kept it. She had shelves of pots and pans yet rarely cooked. We sorted through multiple bags of clothes. At the end of the day, it all amounted to nothing.

It was from this experience, and bit of help from my studies of Buddhism, I began to learn the process of letting go.  Objects are just that, objects. They have a hold on you only if you let them. I vowed to never let the material keep a grip on me. My way may not work for everyone, but if it helps one of you, then sweet, I’m happy!

3 Steps that worked for me in 2015:

  1. Set professional and/or personal goals.
  2. Look at what is sustainable and achievable.
  3. Reevaluate often.  

For 2015, my professional as well as my personal goal was to let go of what no longer mattered in my life. Pretty vague, no?  Rather than saying I would get through all of my professional and personal belongings, I focused on only a few tasks at a time which meant I would have to revaluate often as I went. I only required myself 1 file and 1 bin per week.  If I got through more, great, if not, no biggie.

How far did I get? I downsized as much paperwork as possible.  I went through 3 packed file cabinets, 8 full drawers in all. Scanned, archived, sorted and recycled. My husband and I looked through all of the bins that remained in the basement from when we moved in about 13 years ago. Yup, 13 years! We moved about 1-2 bins per month and had donation trucks scheduled each month to force us to do it. It took the entire year, but I got through my share of mom’s belongings, by sorting and donating what she couldn’t use. I really hope many were helped by the 35 coats she held on to, most of which still had tags still on them.

What are my goals for 2016? Not quite sure of that just yet. The downsizing will surely continue. I think I am moving to scanning pictures and converting to computer scrapbooking, actually putting some fish in my office fish tank and finishing the next book.  😉

What are your goals for 2016?

 

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Balance.  

Progress and not perfection.  That is what we strive for here at Nutrition Map. We strive for balance. For example, pictured here is one of my favorite desserts. This is a total, “have an oatmeal with chia seeds in the morning before you have it” kind of dessert that should come after a meal full of beans, oodles of plants with a flax seed berry smoothie chaser followed by a long walk. BALANCE.

Upside Down Chocolate Caramel Flan Cake