Tired of rice? Why not try quinoa? This seed is a true gem in the nutritional department and makes a great replacement for most recipes that call for rice. What makes it so amazing? Besides being one of the few plant sources that is considered a complete protein (a real plus for Vegetarians!), it’s loaded with fiber, iron and magnesium. Another reason to love it? It’s easy to prepare and only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook.

Need some recipe inspiration? The recipe below is simple and versatile. It’s delicious as a side dish for any Mexican meal or can be used as a filler for tacos or burritos or even as a topping for a taco salad.

Looking to get more mileage out of this recipe? Amp up the flavor by adding more cilantro along with some chopped green onions. Want a spicier version? Try dicing up a jalapeno and cook it along with the cumin. Need a more satisfying dish? Stir in black beans, grape tomatoes and corn to make a hearty salad…really the options are endless!
 

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Quinoa with Cumin and Lime


  • Author: Sara Haas
  • Yield: 1 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. 1. Set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the quinoa and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cumin and continue to stir, cooking an additional minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. 2. Drain any excess water. Add the lime juice and zest, cilantro, salt and pepper and toss until well combined.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8
  • Calories: 96
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 23
  • Fat: 3
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 15
  • Protein: 3
  • Cholesterol: 0

Celebrate National Nutrition Month! Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle!

It’s that time of year again, National Nutrition Month! For dietitians around the world, it’s a time to celebrate and encourage you to enjoy the amazingly, nutritious world around you! We feel like every month is National Nutrition Month, but we know it’s not practical to suggest celebrating 12 months a year, so we have designated March as the official month-of-honor. This makes perfect sense to me, considering March is the time of year that you start to feel the hope of Spring. With that hope comes the desire to do a little “Spring cleaning.”

This year I encourage you to take your Spring cleaning to another level. Sure, it’s great to tidy up your home, but why not tidy up your lifestyle as well? Take a moment this month to reflect on your health. Ask yourself how you’re feeling. Really take a close look at the ways you could “clean-up” the way you eat and the way you participate in life. Pick one or two things that you know you can “clean” and make a pact with yourself to do it.

For example, look in your refrigerator. Do you see a bunch of food going to waste in there? Take the time to remove things that have expired and give your refrigerator (and freezer!) a good scrub. Re-organize the food so that you can SEE everything and try to eat those foods that expire quickly, first. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel once you open the door to a clean, organized refrigerator! (It feels amazingly similar to a clean closet!)

Or maybe take a look at your activity level. Do you find yourself making excuses for not moving more? How about instead of making excuses, come up with reasons why you should be moving more? Maybe you should move more because you want to stay healthy to play with your grandkids. Or maybe you want to move more so that you aren’t winded after one flight of stairs. Or maybe you want to move more because you want to run your first 5K this summer! Find inspiration and it will motivate you to move more!

March is the month to “Bite into a healthier lifestyle!” Why not celebrate by Spring-ing into action by tidying up your diet and lifestyle! Carpe Diem!

A New Form of Art

When I was much younger I firmly believed I was a gifted artist. Looking back at my art projects from school it’s evident that I was giving myself quite a bit of credit. Enter my mom. God bless her. She is an extremely talented artist and was (and still is) one of my biggest supporters, always complimenting my work and hanging it everywhere.  I knew from a young age that she was talented and I suppose I wanted to believe her when it came to my s0-called “talent.” I also wanted to be more like her; carefree, able to express myself and open to coloring “outside the lines.” 

My mom is talented and creative and I love seeing what she can build on a blank canvas. For her, paints and other materials are her tools for expression. When I was a teenager I remember looking at all of the paints and those canvases feeling slightly intimidated. As soon as I would lay a color down, I would regret it. Or I would start painting one thing only to be disappointed in how it looked. Let’s just say I gave up on it for awhile.

It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve picked up “art” again. This time, in a medium that seems more true to who I am. A medium that excites me and elicits my creativity. That medium is food. With food, I can create beautiful, thought-provoking works of art just like you would with acrylics or paint or pencils. I love that you can turn a pepper into a million different dishes or cut it a different way it and it almost tastes different. For me, food is my passion and being able to express myself this way is a true treasure.

I tell you this story because maybe it’s time you looked at food differently. Maybe, right now, you look at food as just a way to get energy, shoveling it in without much care. Or maybe you’ve spent too much time eating out, letting other people have all of the fun in the creativity of making your meal. Or maybe you’ve been depriving yourself, looking at food as the enemy, counting calories and not receiving the benefit of composing and enjoying it. I encourage you to reflect on this. What is your relationship with food? Would it be better if you appreciated it more? Or if you took the time to nurture your creative side and explore food as your new “art” form? You may find it will do your soul a world of good to gain a new perspective.

 

The Cutting Board Blog

The Cutting Board header image

 

It is with great honor and excitement that I can finally announce the launch of The Cutting Board Blog. The blog is an amazing way to learn more about food safety (we make it fun and hey, it’s important to know this stuff!) and easy and delicious ways to prepare your favorite foods (pizza, pasta, all of your favorites!). Expect plenty of recipes, pictures, tips and fun.  

Come on over to the blog where I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes along with other awesome dietitians. So go ahead and bookmark this page, you’ll be glad you did!

Oh, and a special “thank you” to the amazing women who work on the blog behind the scenes! Kudos to you Allison MacMunn and Amanda Cohen. Beautiful work!

It’s All about the Kids! Celebrate the First Ever Kids Eat Right Month!

August is Kids Eat Right Month

 

“To highlight the role everyone plays in ensuring a healthy future for our nation’s children, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation announce the first Kids Eat Right Month, to be celebrated each August. Kids Eat Right Month will focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children and families, featuring expert advice from registered dietitian nutritionists.”  http://www.kidseatright.org/

I love kids.  They are fun, hilarious, honest and care-free.  Basically, they are everything that I strive to be!  Kids find joy in so many things and it is a wonder to watch them learn and explore.  That’s why I am very excited that August is now officially Kids Eat Right Month!

This means that we as parents, friends, family members, caregivers, health-care workers and dietitians, have a special month dedicated to teaching the most spectacular people in our world the benefits of healthy eating.  We can take this month to honor our children’s desire to learn and explore by teaching them how amazing food really is.  We can get them into the garden or take them to the grocery store.  We can pull up a stool and have them help us in the kitchen.  Do whatever you can to expose them to the benefits enjoying healthy, wholesome food.

I encourage you to take this month to reach out to your children or the children in your community and teach them the life skills of healthy eating and living.  Teach them and be a role model for them.  If you need clues on how to bring these ideas to life, the Kids Eat Right website is full of helpful information.  Click on this link and get out there and celebrate Kids Eat Right Month!

The Return of the Green City Market in Chicago

Yesterday was officially the start of the outdoor Green City Market here in Chicago.  While a wee bit chilly, it was still a great morning.  Perusing the stalls left me feeling pretty darn grateful…and amazed!  How wonderful and beautiful all of the fresh produce, flowers and even the baked goods looked!

It is a real joy when the outdoor market returns to the city.  I always learn so much from the vendors and farmers.  They are always so willing to share what they know and offer tips on preparing or using their products.  A visit is always a lesson in something, and I love that!  So cheers to future months of learning and tasting!

Not in Chicago?  No worries!  There’s likely a great farmer’s market in your neighborhood!

Here’s a helpful link from the USDA that can help you locate one in your area: http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/

 

farmersmarket

Fresh farm produce!

Heads-up, I am NOT the Food Police

I know, it’s just a bad habit that most people have.  They assume that just because I am a dietitian, I wear a badge and write tickets for every poor food choice they make.  Well, first let me say, that would be very cool, and I may need to invest in said badge and tickets….maybe that’s the secret to get people to change their ways.  But I digress, as you will find that I do sometimes.  I want you to know that even though I may glance at your plate or tray, it does not always mean that I am criticizing you!  I do this only out of habit, and it’s a hard habit to break.  But here’s the good news.  By having this characteristic trait (sounds cooler than “habit”), I am the first to congratulate you on the amazing variety of vegetables you tossed on your salad or that swell-looking wrap you made of black beans and quinoa!  Who doesn’t like to have their healthy habits noticed and pray tell, who doesn’t like a pat on the back for a job well done?  While I am not the police, if I do see something horrific on your tray, let’s say 12 donuts, I may have to say something.  Not because I am disappointed in you or that I want to mock your choices, but because I care…it’s my job…it’s my life…and now that I am a mom, it’s worse.  So here’s the deal, dietitians are NOT the food police.  They are people that genuinely care about your health and how you feel.  Our goal is to teach you how to make good, yummy, healthy choices and keep encouraging you to do so.  Next time you see your dietitian, give him or her a hug, because they care!  And watch out, because I might start wearing that badge!

You Should Follow My Blog and Other Helpful Advice

Greetings and welcome! Do I know you? Well, I hope to! I am assuming you landed here after a random Google search accidentally dropped you here or maybe you were wondering why someone would put RDN after their name in their website address. It doesn’t much matter to me how you got here, it’s about getting you to stay and come back.

As you have probably noticed, this site is a bit under-construction. Please excuse my mess. I hope to bring much more pizazz and beauty to it in the upcoming months. Please bear with me.

Ok, so now to the real point here…why you should follow my blog. I don’t know about you, but I like things laid out for me. Paragraphs are nice when reading a novel, but not when you’re trying to get your point across. So, here you go, the reasons you should follow my blog, in no certain order:

1) Because you will learn stuff. Cool stuff. Not just why you need to eat more carrots or bok choy, but culinary stuff, too like recipes and cooking tips.
2) Because you are excited about nutrition and so am I! But really, who’s not?
3) Because you share a passion for cooking, eating and living a healthy life and you know I’ve got tips on that!
4) Because it’s your lunch break and you’ve already run out of things to research on the internet.
5) Because you know I will hook you up with really cool articles, recipes and other solid info from trusted professionals.

I think 5 points is enough for now. I certainly don’t want to overwhelm my new friend!

Check back often and see the progress that’s about to unfold before your eyes!

Welcome and it’s great to have you here!

It’s My Birthday!

It’s not really my birthday exactly, but more like my website’s birthday!  It’s been a long-time coming, but the birth of my website is here!  I hope to fill this site with not only info about me and what the heck it is I really do, but with practical and useful tips and info that you can use.  So, light a candle and wish my little website a “Happy Birthday!”