Papaya Almond Overnight Oats

papaya almond overnight oats | confections of a dietitian

I had the privilege of developing a second recipe for a quarterly newsletter to highlight papaya (read about the first recipe I developed here!). Now that I’m a new mom and need a fast and filling breakfast, overnight oats are perfect. These are packed with protein thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt. The combination of honey and almond is delicious with any fruit if you can’t find papaya. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Papaya Almond Overnight Oats

Servings: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. honey (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped papaya, for serving
  • Toasted almonds (optional) for serving

Instructions

  1. In a jar or storage container, combine the milk and yogurt. Stir until no lumps remain.
  2. Add the oats, chia seeds, almond extract and honey to the jar.
  3. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Place lid on jar or container and refrigerate overnight.
  5. In the morning, remove the lid and top the oatmeal with chopped papaya and almost, if using. Add additional honey as needed.

Notes

Nutrition Information: Serving size: 1 recipe Calories: 312kcal Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 50g Protein: 19g

Recipe adapted from Everyday Annie

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http://confectionsofadietitian.com/2018/06/06/papaya-almond-overnight-oats/

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Zucchini “Zoodles” with Broccoli Pesto Sauce

zucchini broccoli pesto | confections of a dietitian

One of my favorite things to do is sit and read through various recipes online and in cookbooks. So when my aunt, who is also a dietitian, asked me to develop a recipe for a newsletter she sends out quarterly, I jumped on the opportunity. The food highlighted for this spring’s issue is zucchini and it did not take me long to figure out what I would make: zucchini noodles or “zoodles”! I know I’m super late to the spiralizing trend, but I love how easy it is to substitute some or all of the pasta with zucchini noodles in many of my favorite pasta recipes. It’s a great way to get an extra serving of vegetables in without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Vegetables, in almost all forms, have sounded very unappealing to me throughout my pregnancy. Therefore, I’ve been trying to “sneak” them into dishes as often as I can. I’ve always loved my broccoli pesto pasta sauce so I was curious how it would pair with zucchini noodles. I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that it worked out great! The sauce, surprisingly, is packed with flavor, even though there are only a few ingredients. It does taste like broccoli, but it also has a hint of garlic, some nuttiness from the parmesan and a little bit of heat. It’s super creamy too! Replacing all of the pasta with zucchini left little sustenance so I chose to just replace half and use whole wheat pasta for the rest. The whole wheat pasta lends a nice, nutty flavor as well as a little bit of bite (the zucchini noodles tend to be on the softer side). The bonus of all of this is that the sauce is super green, so it’s fun to eat, and you get two servings of vegetables without sacrificing any flavor. All of that in 30 minutes of cooking makes this a quick and healthy weeknight meal that I hope you enjoy as much as we have!

zucchini broccoli pesto | confections of a dietitian

Zucchini “Zoodles” with Broccoli Pesto Sauce

Servings: 4, 1 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 lb. whole wheat spaghetti pasta
  • 1 large head broccoli (about ½ pound)
  • 1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (1oz) freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Use the fine noodle blade on a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. If you do not have a spiralizer, you can make the noodles using a cheese grater by running the long side of the zucchini down the grater. Set “zoodles” aside until step 9.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta and a medium pot of water to a boil for the broccoli.
  3. Remove broccoli florets from stems and chop into medium florets. Peel stems with a vegetable peeler and slice into 1/2-inch segments.
  4. Steam, for 5 to 6 minutes, or par-boil, for 3 to 5 minutes, the broccoli florets and stems until just tender. Drain broccoli, if needed, and set aside.
  5. When large pot of water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook to al dente, according to package instructions. When pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1 cup pasta water to thin sauce. Drain pasta in colander and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, in the medium pot used to cook the broccoli, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
  7. Add onion and reduce to medium-low, sautéing until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another two minutes.
  8. Add steamed broccoli, salt and red pepper flakes and turn the heat back up to medium-high, cooking it with the onion and garlic for a few additional minutes. Pour whole milk over mixture and let cook for 30 seconds.
  9. While onion mixture is cooking, heat large pot used for pasta over medium heat with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add zucchini “zoodles” and sauté for about 5 minutes, until zoodles are soft but still have a slight bite.
  10. Once broccoli mixture is cooked, transfer to a blender or food processor and blend in short bursts until it is finely chopped. Add a little of reserved pasta water at a time until sauce is smooth, but still thick.
  11. Add whole wheat pasta, broccoli sauce and parmesan cheese to large pot with zucchini zoodles. Cook over medium high heat for 1-2 more minutes, stirring frequently, and adding additional pasta water, as needed, to thin sauce and fully coat noodles. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  12. Serve hot with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

1. I frequently serve this with sautéed shrimp or chicken breasts to add more protein to our meal.

Nutrition Information for 1 cup: Calories: 190  Carbohydrates: 27g   Fat: 7g   Protein: 10g

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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http://confectionsofadietitian.com/2018/03/11/zucchini-zoodles-with-broccoli-pesto-sauce/

 

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Caramel Pumpkin Pie

caramel pumpkin pie | confections of a dietitian

Pumpkin pie is, without a doubt, my favorite type of pie. I always, and still do, greatly anticipated Thanksgiving because that meant there would be pumpkin pie for dessert. Luckily, I grew up in a family of pumpkin pie lovers so Thanksgiving was not the only time we would have pumpkin pie each year. I have a very distinct memory of visiting my Great Grandpa Frank’s house one afternoon and arriving just as he pulled a pumpkin pie out of the oven. Even though I prefer chilled pumpkin pie, I’ll never forget eating a warm slice of pie on a fall afternoon with him.

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Thai Carrot Salad with Curry Spiced Cashews

thai carrot salad | confections of a dietitian

Thanksgiving is next week and I’m giving you… a salad! I know, typical dietitian move, but you have to hear me out about this salad. For me, and I would assume for many of you, it is challenging to keep my diet in moderation this time of year with all of the delicious sweets and traditional, yet heavy, holiday dishes. For balance, I usually resort to eating salads each day for either lunch or dinner. After awhile though, green lettuce salads start to get a little mundane. Sure, there are lots of awesome salad recipes out there, but I can only buy so many ingredients for one person before it starts getting a little ridiculous. This Thai carrot salad is the perfect answer. I always have these ingredients in my pantry and it changes the salad pattern up just enough to keep things interesting! Another bonus is that carrots are always available, so you can make this salad year round and not have to worry about finding everything that you need.

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, Three Ways

pumpkin oatmeal cookies | confections of a dietitian

Fall abruptly ended here last weekend with the arrival of 5 inches of snow. As excited as I am for winter, I’m not quite ready for this beautiful season to end. After missing out on fall for the last 3 years, I want it to last forever! So even if the weather won’t cooperate with my wishes, my baking and the smells coming from the oven can.

I’ve been thinking about making pumpkin cookies since the leaves barely started changing colors, (maybe this little announcement had something to do with that) but didn’t get around to making them until this past week. As soon as I took my first bite of these, I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you!

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Pumpkin Spice Syrup

It’s November, which means pumpkin spice everything has been around for 2 months now. As someone who grew up loving pumpkin anything, long before pumpkin spice was a thing, I really don’t mind the craze. For me though, pumpkin is a food that should be celebrated in November, when Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie are most prominent, hence the reason for sharing this recipe now (It’s definitely not because moving halfway around the world, being new homeowners and filling the important role of Matron of Honor in your sister’s wedding pushes back all of your blogging timelines. Definitely not because of that.) Living in Japan for the past three years meant that we missed out on most of the pumpkin spice things, as their version of the pumpkin craze is much different than America’s (you can read about it here). For the most part, I was totally ok with that, but the thing I missed most was pumpkin spice in my latte (or Americano, if you really know me). I’ve always loved putting cinnamon in my coffee so adding pumpkin spice syrup is even better for this pumpkin loving girl. The only thing that really bothers me about the syrup from coffee shops is, what the heck is in it? Why does it turn my coffee orange?!? As someone who prefers a more natural approach to food and loves to try out recipes, I decided to develop my own pumpkin spice syrup. It’s been in the works for the past few years, so I wasn’t totally deprived in Japan, but I finally hit on my perfect version this year.

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Honey Cinnamon Granola

honey cinnamon granola | confections of a dietitian

Almost every Wednesday night in Okinawa is reserved for one thing: The Bachelor (or Bachelorette, for this time of year). Realistically, it’s just an excuse for my group of friends to see each other every week, talk and eat snacks. My friend, Jessi, would occasionally bring her fabulous granola to our girl’s nights and, I’m not going to lie, I always wanted to steal the entire bowl and not share a single piece. It was that delicious. Luckily, Jessi nicely shared her recipe with me before she moved and, with a few adjustments, now I’m sharing it with all of you!

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Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

lemon raspberry cupcakes | confections of a dietitian

Springtime around here means rain, rain and more rain. Even on the days we don’t think it’s going to rain, it probably will. That being said, we need something bright and cheery to make up for it, like cupcakes! Lemon raspberry cupcakes to be exact. There’s just something about the pretty pastel colors and tart yet sweet flavors that are perfect for this dreary time of year. I made these cupcakes as a special request for the first time a couple weeks ago and still can’t stop thinking about them. They were that good!

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German Chocolate Cake

german chocolate cake | confections of a dietitian

My friends here in Oki know how much I love to bake cakes and cupcakes so, occasionally, I’ll get a special request for a birthday or other event. A good friend of mine had a birthday a few weeks ago and asked me to make her favorite kind of cake, German chocolate. Never one to say no to a baking adventure, I gladly started searching for the perfect recipe for her birthday. Through my research, I stumbled upon a little a little bit of a history worth mentioning. Interestingly enough, German chocolate cake is not from Germany, but named after an American, Samuel German, who created a dark baking chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate. The company named the chocolate bar after him and, later, a recipe was created using the specific chocolate bar, titled German’s Chocolate Cake. The apostrophe and “s” have since been dropped from the name, but the recipe remains an American favorite.

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Cream Cheese Brownies

cream cheese brownies | confections of a dietitian

Colin and I frequently attend events that ask us to bring a dish to share. Most people probably dread this, but I love it because it gives me an excuse to bake something deliciously unhealthy, eat one serving and give the rest away. We had to go to one such event the other weekend so, naturally, I decided to bring cream cheese brownies and they turned out so good that I had to share them with you. The inspiration for the brownies came from my mom’s recipe, which, on my recipe card, is very accurately titled “Kim’s Best Brownies.” This is not her recipe, (don’t worry Mom, I’m not giving that away) rather my take on her delicious original.

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