Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

This delicious take on a fall time favorite will make it your go-to soup this year. This is a quick and easy recipe in a stovetop, Instapot, or slow cooker.

Yield: 6 servings

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoons red curry paste

3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

4 cups uncooked butternut squash (1-inch) cubes

1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk

1 lime, juiced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup torn fresh cilantro for serving

1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add coconut oil. Once it’s melted, add in the onions and the garlic with a pinch of salt and stir. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the ginger and curry paste and stir until it is incorporated. Cook the curry and onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock and add the squash cubes. Cover the pot and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the squash is soft, turn off the heat and very carefully pour the entire mixture into a blender. Blend until the soup is smooth and pureed. Pour it back into the pot and turn the heat on to medium low.
  4. Add in the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover and cook the soup for 10 minutes until it’s completely warm. Taste and season additionally if desired. Serve the soup with a garnish of torn cilantro and crushed peanuts.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 230 calories, 11g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 245mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 4g sugar, 6g protein

Healthy Recipes: Zuppa Toscana

PREP TIME 10 MINUTES

COOK TIME 10 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME 20 MINUTES

SERVINGS 6

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lb mild or spicy Italian chicken sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups peeled and chopped potatoes

32 oz vegetable stock

1/2 tsp oregano

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup half and half

3 cup chopped kale

Instant Pot Instructions:

1. Press the ‘Sauté’ button, and add the olive oil. When the pot is hot, add the chicken sausage and brown it until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

2. Add onion and garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add potatoes, vegetable stock, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything.

3. Lock the lid and turn the valve to ‘Sealing’. Press the ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ button and adjust for 10 minutes, pressure set to ‘High’. When the cook time is over, turn off the Instant Pot by pressing the ‘Turn Off’ button. Carefully quick release the pressure with a wooden spatula by turning the valve to releasing. Make sure you don’t hurt your hands from the steam.

4. Once the steam is completely gone and the metal pin on the lid drops, carefully open the lid and add half and half and the chopped kale to the pot. Stir everything, and serve warm.

Stove Top Instructions:

1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Add onion to pot and let cook until soft, 2-3 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Add vegetable stock and potatoes and cook over medium heat, until potatoes are tender, 23 to 25 minutes.

3. Stir in kale and let cook until leaves are tender and bright green, 1-2 minutes, then stir in heavy cream and simmer 2 minutes more.

4. Season with pepper, and serve.

March is National Nutrition Month!

National Nutrition Month (NNM) is celebrated every year during the month of March. It is a nutrition education campaign that focuses on the importance of providing science-based nutrition information to help people with making healthy lifestyle changes. It was created and promoted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics starting in 1973, originally in the form of National Nutrition Week.

Every year, a theme is chosen for NNM. Recent past themes have included, “Go Further with Food”, “Put Your Best Fork Forward”, “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle”, and “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. The theme this year is a simple one – National Nutrition Month. This year’s focus is back to the core purpose of NNM, which is “to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of good nutrition and position registered dietitian nutritionists as the authorities in nutrition.” The key messages of the 2019 NNM theme are:

  1. Discover the benefits of a healthy eating style.
  2. Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.
  3. Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  4. Select healthier options when eating away from home.
  5. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
  6. Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
  7. Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
  8. Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
  9. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
  10. Consult the nutrition experts. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

 

As you can see, there is special attention on making the public aware of a most valuable resource for nutrition information…registered dietitians or registered dietitian nutritionists (RD/RDN).

 

What is a RD/RDN?

A RD/RDN is considered to be a food and nutrition expert, armed with a wealth of knowledge to share with those interested in making diet or activity changes to enjoy a more healthy lifestyle.

What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

In order to become a RD, a person must complete certain requirements, which include obtaining a degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university, completing a supervised internship, and pass an examination. The title “nutritionist” is not regulated and anyone with basic background knowledge of nutrition might call themselves a nutritionist. Just remember, every dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a dietitian.

As part of NNM, we celebrate our RD/RDNs on National RD/RDN Day, which is always the second Wednesday of March. And did you know that CHAS has several dietitians on staff? We are armed and ready to help come alongside you to help you to achieve your health and wellness goals.

Healthy Recipes: Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

Ingredients
2 lbs skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

Directions
Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté setting. (See your manufacturer’s guide for detailed instructions on how to use your instant pot.)
Add the chicken pieces to the Instant Pot then dump the rest of the ingredients in it, excluding the cornstarch and water. Stir everything well with a spoon.
Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to the Poultry setting and set the timer to 5 minutes.
Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is
finished, about 10 minutes. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release, if in a rush. Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the Instant Pot.
Switch the Instant Pot to the sauté setting (do not put the lid on). Transfer the chicken to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
In a small bowl whisk the cornstarch and water together, then pour over the sauce and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot and turn off your Instant Pot by pressing the cancel button.
Garnish the chicken with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve in lettuce leaves.
Notes:
To make this in the crockpot, add all ingredients except cornstarch and water and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
After cooking, remove the chicken, turn the crockpot to high, add the cornstarch/water mixture and allow to thicken. Add the chicken back in and serve as desired.

By Erica Baty, RD, CDE

Healthy Recipes: Asian Noodle Salad

Ingredients

Salad:

8 ounces thin spaghetti

One 8-ounce bag julienne/fine-cut carrots (about 1 1/2 cups)
One 6-ounce bag baby sweet peppers, seeded and sliced thinly into rings (about 1 cup)
One 4-ounce bag bean sprouts (about 1 cup)
3 English cucumbers, halved,
seeds removed, and sliced
3 scallions, sliced
Up to 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 head or more napa cabbage, sliced
1/2 head or more purple cabbage, sliced
1/2 bunch kale, leaves torn off the stalks
and shredded
2 cups peanuts, chopped

Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped

 

For the salad: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions. Drain, rinse and let cool. Mix together the cooked spaghetti, carrots, peppers, bean sprouts, cucumbers, scallions, cilantro, napa cabbage, purple cabbage, and kale. Add the peanuts and toss together.

For the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil and garlic in a medium bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix together with tongs or your hands. If the salad seems a little dry, just mix up a little more of the wet ingredients of the dressing and throw it in. It’s a very organic process.

Transfer to a large platter and serve.

By Erica Baty, RD, CDE

Black Bean & Avocado Brownies

Ingredients:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup coconut sugar or
substitute with brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 medium avocado
Dark chocolate chips, enough to
cover top of batter when in pan,
about 1/2 cup-3/4 cup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a food processor (except the chocolate chips) until smooth.
Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray or oil and scoop brownie batter into pan. You can mix in some chocolate chips in at this point too. Sprinkle enough chocolate chips to cover the top of batter.
Cook for 38-40 minutes or until you poke the brownies with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
Let sit for 20 minutes before you cut. Store in fridge and enjoy!

Notes:
Flourless + Gluten Free
Drizzle with peanut butter if desired

Festive Fruit Kabobs

Ingredients:
A variety of seasonal fruit:
kiwi, star fruit, persimmon, oranges, pears, apples, pineapple
Mini skewers
1 cup low fat plain yogurt
2-3 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch cinnamon

Directions:
1. Cut the fruit into equal sized pieces and thread onto skewers.
2. Whisk together the yogurt, honey, vanilla and cinnamon.
3. Serve skewers with the yogurt sauce.

Notes:
Nutrition facts vary depending on type of fruit and yogurt used.

Pumpkin Pie Parfaits

Ingredients:
10 oz. pumpkin yogurt
1 cup 100% Pumpkin Pie Puree
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
15 Ginger Snap Cookies
garnish: sprinkle of cinnamon and white chocolate shreds

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, yogurt and honey. In a food processor, pulse the cookies until well blended and turn into a crumb.
In a stand mixer, add the heavy cream. Using the whip attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Blend in the sugar and vanilla extract. (You will have extra whipped cream)
In a glass of choice for the parfaits, layer the pumpkin mixture first followed by 1 tablespoon ginger snap crumbs and then 2 tablespoons whipped cream. Layer until glass is full or desired amount is added. You can serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and shaved white chocolate. Enjoy immediately—if you try to make this too far in advance, the crumb layer may get soggy!

Rise and Shine! It’s Breakfast Time

Mornings are busy! Often times the last thing we think of before we rush out the door is breakfast. We are hurried getting the kids to school and ourselves to work on-time, maybe the kiddos are complaining they aren’t hungry, maybe they are hungry but nobody is in the mood for cold cereal, we haven’t been able to get to the grocery store and there aren’t many options…the list goes on. Yet, we know that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. So, what can we do to make sure our children get their day started with full bellies and fueled brains?

• Take advantage of the school breakfast program: Typically,
school breakfast begins serving about 30 minutes before school
starts. Not only is it a time-saver, but it is a cost effective and healthy
option. Free and reduced meal costs are available to families who
qualify (see your child’s school for an application).

• Plan ahead: Think about breakfast the night before and even have
the kids help in breakfast planning. Put together a crockpot breakfast
meal, pre-cut fruit or veggies, assemble breakfast burritos or bake a
breakfast casserole that only needs reheating in the morning.

• Keep it simple: Whole grain toast with peanut butter, fruit
smoothie with Greek yogurt and leafy greens, bagel and cream
cheese, oatmeal with fruit, hard boiled eggs with whole grain English
muffin, and yogurt parfaits with granola and fruit are nutritious and
portable options that can be made in less than 10 minutes.

• Think outside the box: Breakfast does not have to be limited to
typical breakfast food! Dinner leftovers, quick grilled cheese and
fruit, veggie wrap, reheated pizza or even a mug of chicken soup can
be a healthful morning breakfast choice!

• Make breakfast a family habit: Be a positive role model for
your child by eating breakfast yourself every day, create breakfast
meals together and try to develop a morning routine that allows you
to sit down and have a breakfast meal together.

By Annette Anderson
RDN, CD

 

Kale and Basil Pesto

Serves: Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (100 g) grated Parmesan cheese

3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 cups (25 g) basil leaves

2 cups (35 g) kale leaves

3 Tablespoons pine nuts

1/2 cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

To serve:

1lb whole wheat spaghetti

1-2 cups grape tomatoes

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

Extra basil

Instructions:

  1. Add the cheese, garlic, basil, kale and pine nuts to a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil. Blend until fully incorporated.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss with cooked whole wheat spaghetti, fresh grape tomatoes and white beans. Garnish with extra basil.

Notes:

If you don’t have a food processor you can finely mince the basil, kale and garlic and whisk it with olive oil, Parmesan and salt and pepper for a more chunky version of pesto.