Monday, January 18, 2016

Bookmarking the "Old" Site

Thank you for checking out my site Twisted Nutrition! I'm so glad you're here!

Feel free to use this blog site to keep my recipe box handy!-- but for new posts, recipes, tips & tricks, please check out my new site at TwistedNutritionblog.com.  

There you can sign up for email updates to get the latest scoop on what I'm sharing!

xo,

Becca






Monday, December 21, 2015

Stacked Eggs Benedict

It's time for our monthly recipe redux!
 
 
The December theme celebrates the 54th month of reduxing! So in honor, I'm twisting the recipe on page 54 of my Bride and Groom Cookbook by Williams Sonoma {in honor of my 5 year wedding anniversary to take place next month}!
 
 
I'm making a version of Eggs Benedict -- a simplified recipe that's perfect for breakfast or brunch for your family this Christmas.
 

I used a lot of premade ingredients I had on hand for ease {helps when cooking with a baby, but it's also great for those of us that need to reduce our food waste}! What better way to add vegetables into your breakfast too?! Eggs and veggies go perfectly together!

 
Eggs benedict is one of my favorites because it's so versatile. You can switch out the type of bread to increase the fiber with a whole grain version or omit it altogether. You can add plenty of veggies or keep it simple with just one type. You can make an easy hollandaise sauce, like in the original cookbook, or you can skip it and save time and calories. I like to use the soft yolk as a "sauce" as twisted version!
 

I took a shortcut here {a lesson a learned from my MIL} by cooking my eggs in a muffin pan in the oven. It's perfect to cooked your poached-style eggs when needing to feed a crowd.

 
The roasted asparagus was leftover from a previous night and the few slices of avocado adds a creaminess so you won't miss the hollandaise sauce.

I also made a quick Greek yogurt chipotle sauce to smear on the toasted bread for some extra moisture. It also adds a nice kick of heat!

 
Stacked Eggs Benedict
Makes 6 servings
 
Ingredients:
6 eggs
6 whole wheat English muffins {or bread of choice}
1 avocado, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
6 slices prosciutto {if desired, can also substitute with another meat of choice, preferably nitrate/nitrite free}
1 bunch asparagus spears, roasted
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 chipotle packed in adobo sauce, diced
 
Directions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray and then crack each egg into each individual muffin cup. Bake the eggs until reached the desired doneness {until the eggs are slightly firmed when you jiggle the pan, but soft enough to still have a runny yolk if desired} about 15-20 minutes.

Toast the bread and prepare the veggies to assemble {can warm them in the microwave if you are using leftover ones, like I did here or quickly throw them on a sheet tray to roast quickly with the eggs in the oven}.

Prepare the Geek yogurt-chipotle sauce by mixing the two ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

Spread a tablespoon or two on the bread. Assemble the veggies onto the bread and top with the cooked eggs.


I hope you enjoy this quick & versatile version of eggs benedict! It'll make a protein & veggie- packed addition to your Christmas line up this week!

Speaking of the most wonderful time of the year, I hope everyone has a blessed, relaxed, restful, and memorable Christmas with the ones they love!


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
 
xo,
 
Becca




Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Last week I shared my ideas for various gift baskets for healthy holidays. I had promised to share a healthier sweet treat that you could give as a part of your Christmas gifts this year and that treat is chocolate coconut truffles!


These truffles were originally given to me (and our Eat Fit NOLA dietitian-team at Elmwood Fitness Center) a few months ago by one of our interns as a thank you {I know, how sweet, right?!}. Well let me tell you that they were d-e-licious! I made a few slight tweaks to the original recipe that was shared and now I have a delicious and lower sugar recipe to share with you all! In fact, these truffles are Eat Fit NOLA-approved since they only have a teaspoon of added sugar per serving! There aren't too many naturally-sweetened desserts that can say that! So whether you make a batch of these to give or wind up eating them all yourself {I'm not saying I did that or anything...} they are sure not to disappoint!


Chocolate Coconut Truffles
Makes 24 servings

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups cocoa

In a food processor, add the melted coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and sea salt. Blend until well mixed. Add 1 cup of the coconut flakes and pulse to combine. The coconut flakes will break up into small pieces.

In a mixing bowl, sift the cocoa powder and then add half the cocoa to the coconut and honey mixture. Pulse to combine. Add the remaining half. Pulse again quickly to fully incorporate.

Pour the mixture into the same mixing bowl used to sift the cocoa. Set in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

In a blender add the remaining 1 cup of coconut flakes and blend until it resembles, smaller flakes {almost like snow}. Pour the coconut crumbs onto a plate.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the truffle mixture and roll into a ball in your hand. Roll into coconut crumbs. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.


Per serving: 140 calories, 11 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 2 grams protein

I will say that the calories are probably a little over estimated as there are some remaining coconut crumbs even after dusting on the top of the truffles if that will make you feel any better.

I just love how the coconut looks like snow! Perfect for someone like me who is dreaming of a white Christmas!


As I was preparing my second batch of these in the last week, I thought how truly easy they are to make for people who need a quick and affordable gift {hint hint, like new moms who have a bunch of new people on your gift giving list with nannies, babysitters, or teachers}! They are also very versatile and would taste amazing with a few flavor twists. I'm thinking in addition to the teaspoon of vanilla, you could try--

Chocolate & Orange Truffles with orange extract and some orange zest for garnish
Chocolate Peppermint Truffles with peppermint extract or oil and mint leaves on the side
Chocolate Almond Truffles with almond extract and then rolled in chopped nuts

Stay tuned next week for one more post before Christmas! It'll be perfect for those with a house-full of guests!

xo,
Becca



And, don't forget, you can follow me on social media at facebook and instagram @twistednutrition and pinterest @twistednutrdn


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gifts of Good Health


Every month I have an article published in Louisiana's Health and Fitness Magazine. This month I'm talking giving gifts of good health!

You can read the original article here, but I wanted to share some special notes as well as additional ideas as the holidays are fast approaching and there are never enough gift-giving ideas to share! It's often hard to figure out what to get loved ones who don't need anything or are capable of buying things for themselves {-and often do! Ahem... this would be all the men in my life. They make giving gifts very challenging}.

So I hope this sparks some interest to get your wheels turning on some unique, but healthy gifts this holiday season!

---


This is a perfect little piece of NOLA to send loved ones who live far away.

NOLA-style spicy basket
Louisiana Sisters Bloody Mary Mix
Paul Prudhomme Magic Seasoning Spice blends
Pickled Green beans (olives, pickles, etc. are also great to add even if not locally-inspired)
Louisiana Hot sauce
Coffee & Chicory
Finish it off with some cute straws, napkins, or cocktail glasses to tie it all together.


Inspiring Cooks Basket
A basket full of kitchen supplies is a great way to customize a gift for anyone who enjoys cooking, is learning to cook, wants to cook more, has a new home or even to give as a hostess gift. Going the extra mile by having something embroidered or engraved is a great way to personalize it.

Kitchen utensils {spoons, tongs, cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, colander, knives, etc.}
Cookbook
Kitchen Towels
Oven Mitts
Homemade Jam/Jellies


Homemade dinner
For new parents or anyone who needs to stock the freezer with a healthy meal, this homemade dinner basket is just for them. It’s fairly simple, but really shows you care. Make it healthier by stopping by my blog for some recipe ideas.

Provide a kitchen towel and a dish filled with a delicious already-prepared dinner such as homemade soup or lasagna.

Add more by selecting items similar to the Nola-style basket above if you want to really amplify this one.


At-home spa basket
This is a great gift for someone who needs a little more relaxation in their lives. Offering to take care of the kids or cook dinner is an added bonus which will give him or her time to actually pamper mind and body. Of course, a coupon to get a mani/pedi or a massage is also a great addition or substitute.

Warm fuzzy socks or slippers
Manicure set
Nail polish
Lotion
Face mask
Scented candle


Fight the buggies kit
It’s the peak of cold and flu season and this is great to give someone who may be battling a bug.

Travel-size hand sanitizer
Individual packs of tissues
Cute Coffee mug stuffed with tea bags, mini bottle of honey, and Emergen C packs
Chap Stick
Cute bag to put it all in {like a new bag for toiletries}


Health and wellness bag
If you know that someone is working towards some health and wellness goals, this basket of goodies can help to keep them motivated. Here’s some ideas of what could be included:

Embroidered tote bag or workout bag
Customized water bottle {an initialed Tervis would be super easy}
Note of encouragement
Reusable lunch bags
A coupon or subscription to various snack or recipe/meal planning/delivery services such as  Graze, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc.
Pedometer or HR monitor such as a Fitbit, Polar or Nike
Coupon to meet with registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) for help with customized and individualized recommendations and meal planning
Coupon to meet with personal trainer
Workout clothes


Eat to Beat your Resolutions Bag
Like the basket above, this one is great to provide healthful, grab-n-go treats for anyone trying to eat more nutritiously. Here's a list of my favorite lower sugar, higher protein, tasty, & portable snacks {links are provided for preferred brands that can be bought most places in a variety of flavors}.

Beef jerky {Perky Turkey Jerky or Krave}
protein bars {like Power Crunch or Think Thin}
protein powder


A Thank You Box for Teachers
As a special thank you for teachers or caregivers, the nutritionist in me can't help but give some healthful, yet some still indulgent treats. This is what I'll be giving out this year! 

Homemade treat {like some dark chocolate coconut truffles that I'll share next week}
Cuties {perfect for something sweet, yet nutritious, and great for snacks at work}
Protein Bars {like Nature Valley Protein or Kashi}
gift card to a local coffee shop 

I did something like this as well as a thank you to the nurses who took care of us in the hospital after LEM was born. I did a combination of the teacher basket as well as the 'fight the buggies basket' as I knew they'd need a little bit of healthy snacks at work as well as some hand cream, santizer for the cold winter-y, germ-infested months. 


College Prep Basket
For those college students that may need some extra encouragement when they get back to school you could do combination of the different baskets. Here's a list of my favorite stay healthy items, lower sugar beverages & snacks, comforting gifts 

protein bars
fresh fruit
vitamin water zero 
gift cards to local eateries {such as coffee or sandwich shops}
hand sanitizer {Whole Foods has a relaxing lavender scented one}
tissue packs
warm socks or slippers
bubble bath
chap stick
hand lotion
tea


Pregnancy Kit
For new or soon-to-be new parents, some of these items are helpful in the pregnancy journey or those about to embark on a brand new part of their life. 

journal
pregnancy book
healthy snacks {same items as previously noted}
stay healthy items {like the tissues, chap sticks, etc above}
heating pack [for sore necks, backs, etc}
embroidered water bottle {to promote healthy hydration}


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

xo,
Becca

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Motherhood, Imperfectionism, and Feeding Babies

Perfectionism.

Most of us strive for it knowing (or at least being told) that it doesn't exist.

Yet, when we have children we want nothing more than the perfect life for our little one/s. My good friend, fellow Tulane graduate, and fellow RD shares her thoughts on this perfectionism in a recent blog post.

One (ahem, -of the many) aspects that I strive for perfectionism is in feeding LEM. Despite my attempt, it has not always been perfect. I'm still learning to accept this.

This applies to us as adults as we try to eat healthy. If we don't eat perfectly then we tend to have an 'all or nothing' mentality and somewhat toss away our attempts for the rest of the day. We need to be more flexible & forgiving of ourselves. In the end it might make us less stressed and enjoy things more. Which would lead to a more positive relationship with food and our self esteem.

Now, in a perfect world I'd make my own baby food- at home- from scratch.


When LEM turned 6 months she had her first bite of food. For those first few months I was able to accomplish my goals- that is until we changed daycares in September. Long story short, due to licensing we were not allowed to bring homemade food. Boo for this RD-mommy-- there goes my hopes and dreams of providing the start of a perfect life of healthy food (insert previously explained lesson on learning about this imperfect life called motherhood). 

I tried to fight this battle for a little while, but then got consumed and caught up in the day to day operations of working, running a household, and caring for this baby. Needless to say I had to quickly educate myself on the world of store bought baby food. Pouches vs. jars.  Organic vs. conventional. All the different brands. The different food/flavor combinations. The cost. Sheesh. 

Like many of us, I didn't have the time or patience to sit in the store and overly evaluate every product. So I stocked up on a few different varieties when they were on sale and called it a day.


What's my conclusion?

My absolute fave food store bought variety to offer LEM when at daycare {or camp as we like to call it} is Pure Spoon. I received my first samples at work before we had even begun adding complimentary foods into her diet. I knew I wanted to make our own food for her, but I thought these would be nice to try on upcoming vacations. Turns out that we both absolutely love the taste {yes, I had to try it before giving it to her}. I also love the flavor varieties. It just so happens that based on the timing of foods first introduced happened to lined perfectly with Pure Spoon's avocado flavor varieties. On the negative side for some, they are somewhat on the pricier side, but they'd make great gifts from friends or family from afar as they can be shipped! 

There are some pros to having prepared baby food on hand, even if you do make your own food at home. Case in point, just like when you or I are sick, our taste buds and food preferences change, at least in the short term. Our family recently encountered our first bout of illness {inevitable, from germies being passed innocently at daycare}. LEM's appetite wasn't fully back for about 2 weeks and in that time, it was actually nice to have the time saver and appetite pleasing prepared baby food {not to imply that my homemade food ins't pleasing. 

My favorite places to buy food is at Whole Foods, Target, and Amazon. Why? Because this is where the sales take place {I like to get them 5 for $5}. Whole foods and Target are on our weekly errand/grocery running route, and Amazon has prime with free 2 day shipping. It's amazing for working new parents.


What's my nutritional-expertise on prepared baby food?
While homemade food is going to be fresh & wholesome, have more of a variety of ingredients/products available, and can fit into your family's usual intake so everyone eats the same thing. It's cost productive and not super time consuming if you try to match your food with what you're feeding your baby.

In general, though, prepared baby food is still pretty simple in it's ingredients. You do want to look at the ingredients as your first and foremost and keep it as simple as possible with just water mixed with whatever food is in the product. There is likely to be some vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or other similar vitamin preservative added to prevent browning.

In terms of organic vs. conventional food. I choose to feed LEM only organic as just a precaution for her little body. From the research I did, there wasn't any detectable traces of residues in organic or conventional baby food. So you could buy non-organic baby food and be just fine. With 'adult food' or 'regular' food, since some foods have more traceable residues than other, since I make homemade food as well, I choose organic for these.


With regards to pouches vs. jars, I haven't found a health reason as to why avoid them. I pour the contents into a bowl and feed them to her with a spoon rather than having her suck the fruits/veggies straight out of the pouch.

See, there's so much to consider!

I'm still trying to remind myself that everything doesn't have 'to be perfect. I'm still learning. Wanting what's best is perfectly fine, but when things go slightly astray from the path it is nice to have a little babe to remind me of what really matters.

If you have any thoughts, additions, comments to share, please feel free. I'd love to hear them!

xo,

Becca



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Whole Grain Apple Crisp

As I started to mention earlier this week, I have been given opportunity to teach a cooking classes with Whole Foods in NOLA!


This past weekend was my first demo and my fruit crisp with whole grain oat crumble was one of the holiday-inspired dishes I designed and prepared. I also made my lighter version of the classic southern sweet potato casserole and was so pleased that they both were hits among the participants & passer-byers!


This dessert is a great option to add to your Thanksgiving treat table as it is super easy to make and can be a delicious way to add some nutrition to your indulgence.


I am a texture person and I particularly love fruit crisps of any sort specifically because of the different textures with the warm, soft fruit and the nutty, oat topping.


This recipe is a lighten version because I'm twisting the amount and type of sugar as well as limiting added fat from the amount and type of butter. I'm also adding fiber and whole grains by choosing oats and oat flour compared to enriched, white, processed flours. You could use whole wheat flour, but for those needing something gluten free, this recipes can suit your needs by using gluten free oats. Just as a nutritional side note- oats are naturally free from gluten, but because they can be packaged in the same facility as other gluten-containing grains there is a risk of cross contamination. So for those with Celiac's disease or others avoiding gluten, a gluten free designation is likely necessary.



Whole Grain Apple Crisp
Serves: 12

Ingredients:
3 lb bag of apples
3/4 cup Truvia brown sugar blend
1/4 cup oat flour {simply grind whole rolled oats in a blender or food processor}

For the topping:
1 1/2 cup oat flour 
2/3 cup truvia brown sugar blend 
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup Brummel and Brown margarine

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. 

Slice the apples and toss with brown sugar and flour. 

In a bowl, combine the topping ingredients and crumble onto the apples. Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes.


I used apple here, but you could use almost any type of fruit or even winter squash for this recipe! Cherries would be sweet! A mix of berries in the summer would be light and almost-refreshing! No matter your preference, there's a version perfect for you! Apples & pears together are delicious, especially this time of year, just in time for Thanksgiving!

The countdown is on 'til turkey day! I wish everyone short check-out lines a the grocery store, happy prepping, and little stress in the coming days!

xo,
Becca

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Apple Crunch Gingerbread

It's Saturday morning and that means it's time to sleep in {hopefully, if the little one will let me}, slowly drink my morning coffee, and relish in a delicious muffin or homemade sweet bread of some sort. It's a treat. Perfect for the best morning of the week.


Wait. Wake up. That's just a dream. A dream from my life before baby.

This weekend, however, is a hint of my picture of a perfect Saturday morning. Even better now is that I have a beautiful little baby to actually make it even more perfect!

The reason I'm making a special Saturday post is that another recipe redux has approached and this month's theme {just in time for the holidays} is quick breads. Yum!

The best food on earth, if you ask me. I had so much exciting inspiration to choose from that I had a hard time deciding what I would make, but {drum roll please} I have made a delicious {of course} and healthy quick bread for you this holiday season!

This apple crunch gingerbread as a crunch top like a Panera apple crunch muffin but with a gingerbread-like warmth to get you in the mood for the holidays! The best part, nutritionally, is that it's made with 100% whole wheat flour, no added oil, and less sugar! So here you go my friends, a delicious blend of fall and the holidays in one delicious and always nutritious loaf!


Apple Crunch Gingerbread
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:
2 cups white whole wheat flour {or whole wheat pastry flour}
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 cup Stevia
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
2 Tbsp Brummel and Brown or other trans-fat free margarine or butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup Stevia


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a small mixing combine the flour, baking powder, and spices. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, Stevia, and maple syrup and mix well until fully incorporated. Add the Greek yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla extract stir until smooth.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and stir with a spatula to fully combine. The batter will be somewhat thick.

In a small bowl, add the crunch topping ingredients and combine with a fork.

Pour the batter into the pan and top with the crumb topping.

Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

 

This would make a perfect gift this year either by itself or wrapped in a pretty towel & ribbon or pair with some Christmas ornaments or kitchen utensils! 

Have a great weekend, a grateful and delicious Thanksgiving, and the merriest of holidays!

xo,

Becca