chia seed pudding

chiaMy much-neglected blog got a little makeover today… and a new title! Welcome to the new and improved, celebrating my new credentials as a Registered Dietitian.

Tonight’s recipe features chia seeds (if you haven’t heard of these yet, yes, it’s just like cha-cha-cha-CHIA, the old Chia Pet commercial). Chia seeds are edible seeds originally from an ancient Mexican desert plant. They are full of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, contain about 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per serving, and have antioxidants and minerals to boot. They look like poppy seeds, and you can sprinkle them on yogurt or salads, cereal or oatmeal, and cook with them in many ways. Unlike flax seeds, which have to be ground in order to be absorbed by the body, your body will accept chia seeds just as they are. However, they taste a little more exciting all dolled up… like this:

Chia seed pudding is super easy to make, and works as a breakfast, snack, or dessert. Mix about 3 tbsp chia seeds w/ 1 cup almond milk (or regular, soy, or coconut milk if you want), 1 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice), and a little pinch of salt. For chocolate, add 1 tbsp cocoa powder, and for vanilla add 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir well, refrigerate 30 mins, then stir well again to break up the clumps, and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours. Top with berries, other fruit, nuts, cacao nibs… the possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

fun with a food processor

Almond butter

I may have raved before about my favorite Christmas present of all time (ok, tied now with the hand blender Chris got me this year): a Cuisinart food processor from my mom. I hadn’t used it in a while and I was inspired this morning when my friend Christy – RD/nutritionist/personal trainer/yoga instructor extraordinaire – tweeted a photo of her homemade organic cashew butter. I realized I’d never made nut butter in my food processor and it’s so easy to do – just pick a kind of nut, throw it in there, and pulse until you get a paste!




Edamame hummus



I made some almond butter and ate it on a sliced green apple – one of my favorite snacks – and then got to work on my next project: edamame hummus. I’ve made hummus before but wanted to try something different. This has almost identical ingredients to any hummus recipe, but it uses edamame instead of chick peas. The result was green deliciousness, to be enjoyed with peppers, pita bread, and various other sliced veggies throughout the coming week. Recipe here. Enjoy!

jalapeño poppers: healthy style

Jalapeños: a staple of Mexican food and an excellent source of Vitamins C and A, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus and Riboflavin. However, when you stuff them with cheese, bread them, deep fry them, and dunk them in sour cream, as in the typical jalapeño popper recipe, it’s hard to justify these little chiles as your source of Vitamin C for the day. So if you’d like to explore a lighter version of some of your favorite superbowl snacks this winter, try this recipe for Cheddar Cornbread Jalapeño Poppers. The original recipe is here at Clean Eating magazine, and I won’t recopy it since I followed it pretty much to a tee. However I will include a few tips:

– They suggest wearing gloves to de-seed the Jalapeños. Do it. I never do, telling myself it’s too much work to go buy a box of disposable gloves, and I always regret it about two hours later when I rub my eye and spend a solid fifteen minutes cursing and tearing up.

– Try to space your poppers out on the baking tray. I have a very small oven, so I could only get one baking sheet in there, and they all kind of clumped together when the cheese melted and I had to surgically separate them with a knife. So unless you want a jalapeño casserole, give ’em a little room.


Cheddar cornbread jalapeno poppers

mustard & ginger pickled carrots

Anyone who knows me knows that, at times, I can lack patience. Give me 200 screaming/whining/complaining teenagers at work and I’ll be fine; but putting me in a traffic jam or expecting me to wait for baked goods to cool before sampling them is just going to end badly. I think this is the reason I’ve never made pickles. Who wants to wait six weeks for vegetables to be ready? I tried pickling cucumbers and cauliflower once using this delicious leftover juice from some pickled radishes my friend got me at Brooklyn Larder, but I ended up breaking down and eating them after about a week. So when I came across a recipe for quick pickling (overnight!) I had to try it. This is from the same magazine by the way, as the grilled strawberry shortcake.
There were several different pickling recipes in the article, and I chose to make the carrot one because I had most of the ingredients already. Peel 10-12 medium sized carrots and cut them into matchsticks – imperfection is fine. Prepare a pot containing 3 cups of water, 2 cups distilled white vinegar, 3 tbs sugar, 3 tbs kosher salt, 3 quarter-size thin slices of fresh ginger, 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced lengthwise, 3 tbs yellow mustard seeds, 1 tbs coriander seeds, and 1/4 tsp red chile flakes (side note- I did not actually have mustard seeds or coriander seeds so I substituted a grainy mustard which is almost all seeds anyway and ground coriander). Bring everything in the pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for one minute. Then add the carrots and simmer for another 3 minutes or so. Let everything cool to room temperature and then chill overnight to let the flavors develop. Yes! Just one night.

mustard & ginger pickled carrots