Sunday, January 24, 2010

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!”


Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  To those that know, this is a healthy repeat, but for those that are unaware and are new to the blog, this is my way of “giving back.”  It is also a way to “Pay it Forward.”

CSPI shared this tip of the month and a healthy recipe using artichokes on their January 2009 Calendar.  I thought it was quick and easy and that you might like this too.   For a quick, healthy pizza, purchase a whole wheat crust and top with lightly shredded mozzarella, a spicy red pepper sauce, sliced onion red pepper, and chopped artichokes hearts—or your own favorite veggies.  You can even add some spinach, with diced tomatoes with some basil.  Follow the baking instruction on the crust package. 


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!” Guest-Chef, Registered Dietitian and Mother has Heart of Gold for Others: Wins Public Service Award and Shares Pizza Surprises

 jakeme02       Dr. Sandra Frank is a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist with over 30 years experience. She received a Doctorate degree in Nutrition Education with a minor in Nutritional Biochemistry. Her research identified success factors related to weight maintenance and presented the findings at the ADA convention in 1986. Most recently, she was honored with the 2009 Public Service Award by the Florida Dietetic Association due to her dedication and contributions in community nutrition. Some of her activities included: writing grants for Meals-On-Wheels and the Ryan White Foundation; coordinating the Dietetic Technician Program; and appointed by the governor to sit on the Ombudsman Council.

She is the author of “Menu Solutions”, a guide to designing menus and recipes for modified diets. The book is used in some universities to teach therapeutic cooking classes.

Dr. Frank is the proud mother of Jake, the 1992 Broward County Theme Child for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). Through her association with UCP, Dr. Sandra has helped make the menus for many of the group homes in South Florida.

Dr. Frank works for Bon Appétit magazine and the Tribune’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper for the last 20 years. She has designed websites, an online newsletter and a wellness calendar that focuses on food, nutrition, food safety and disability rights. The following are the websites and blogs developed by Dr. Frank. One of the websites is maintained by her son Jake.

Weighing-Success. The original website which contains the links to all the other websites. In addition, there are numerous educational resources, lifestyle calculators, menu planning tools, shopping tips and a lot more.

Wellness News. Current News and Resources in Nutrition, Food, Health, Weight Control, Recalls/Safety and Disability Rights. Encourages awareness and inspires ideas for Journalists, Educators, Consumers and Health Professionals. Up-dated daily. Contains the wellness calendar.  Twitter; Facebook; Blog
Sandra J. Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN   LinkedIn.

Dietitians-Online. Created to promote the Registered Dietitian and provide reliable on-line food and nutrition information to the media, consumer, health professional and educator through the knowledge, dedication and talents of the Registered Dietitian. Highlights RD Blogs and videos.  Facebook

Wheelchair (Ability) Connection Demonstrates the courage, strength and spirit of those we call "Special". Listen to their voices, see their faces and read their stories. Learn how the "Special", exceptional family and caregivers are handling challenges. Discover and share resources for assistance, equipment, or changes in the law. Meet the heroes.  Facebook



      Jake and his Uncle

My son Jake was born with Cerebral Palsy. He uses a power wheelchair to move around and he is able to use his right hand to eat finger foods. Finger foods are popular in our home.

Between having a mother who is a dietitian and an uncle who is a baker, Jake grew up with an interest in food and cooking. He loves mixing together different spices and foods in order to design a culinary surprise.

When Jake was about three years old, I noticed he was working with dough during his occupational therapy. He seemed to enjoy the feel and taste.

Later that day, I bought some refrigerated dough from the bakery and Jake chose the ingredients for the topping. We made the most amazing pizzas in unusual shapes and flavors. This become a tradition we continue every Sunday evening.

Many of the ingredients have varied through the years as Jake discovered new foods, but some special ingredients stayed the same.



Pizza Surprises, makes 6 small pizzas, 1 pizza per person.
Time with your child.
Self-esteem, discovery and accomplishment
Fun, messy and a lot of love and laughter
Plastic Gloves
13 x 9-inch Baking Pan or Pizza Screen
1.5 to 2 pounds, Refrigerated Pizza Dough from Bakery; divided into 4, 4 ounce portions and
  2, 3 ounce portions. Keep the dough refrigerated until one hour before you are ready to use.
Once the leavening agent in the dough is activated, the dough should be used within two hours. Any unused dough left unrefrigerated for more than two hours should be discarded.
Toppings.* The list includes sauces, cheeses and toppings we have used throughout the years.
Prepare the toppings first. Use plastic gloves to avoid cross contamination. If your child is unable to wear gloves due to tightness, divide their ingredients into small cups for individual use. Here are 3 of our favorite pizzas. The amounts listed are recommended for two individual pizzas.

Barbecue Chicken Surprise Pizza,  makes 2 individual pizzas.
One pizza equals. Calories: 411; Fat: 7 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 42 mg; Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g; Sodium: 704 mg

4-6 Tbsp Barbecue Sauce
4 ounces Chicken, cooked, diced
1/2 cup Pineapple Tidbits, own juice, drained (reserve juice to drink in beverage)
2, 4 ounce portions of refrigerated pizza dough
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with a Non-Stick Cooking Spray. Roll or pound the dough into any shape, make sure it is flat and even. Once you have the desired shape, place the pizza dough on the baking pan.
Spread one Tbsp barbecue sauce over each pizza dough, top with cooked chicken and pineapples. Add remaining barbecue sauce. Spread your toppings evenly over the surface of the pizza. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the crust has browned. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down before you serve. To prepare as a finger food, cut into one-inch shapes.

Salty Surprise Pizza,  makes 2 individual pizzas.
One pizza equals. Calories: 454; Fat: 22 g; Saturated Fat: 7 g; Cholesterol: 40 mg; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 1506 mg (without anchovy Sodium is 683 mg)

1 Tbsp Garlic Olive Oil
1/2 cup Spinach, fresh, chopped
2 ounce Bleu or Feta Cheese
1 Anchovy (for Jake)
2, 4 ounce portions of refrigerated pizza dough
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with a Non-Stick Cooking Spray. Roll or pound the dough into any shape, make sure it is flat and even. Once you have the desired shape, place the pizza dough on the baking pan.
Spread garlic olive oil evenly over each pizza dough, top with 1/4 cup fresh spinach, one ounce bleu or feta cheese and one anchovy. Spread your toppings evenly over the surface of the pizza. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the crust has browned. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down before you serve. To prepare as a finger food, cut into one-inch shapes.

Sweet Surprise Pizza, makes 2 individual pizzas.
One pizza equals. Calories: 423; Fat: 7 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 10 mg; Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g; Sodium: 240 mg.

2 Tbsp Brown sugar
4 Tbsp Chocolate Syrup or Caramel Topping
1/2 cup Favorite Light Ice Cream
Whipped Cream Topping
2, 3 ounce portions of refrigerated pizza dough

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with a Non-Stick Cooking Spray. Roll or pound the dough into a square shape, make sure it is flat and even. Place the pizza dough on the baking pan.

Top dough with brown sugar and chocolate syrup or caramel topping. Spread evenly over the surface of the dough. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the crust has browned. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down before you add the remaining ingredients. When you are ready to serve, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of your favorite light ice cream. Top with whipped cream topping and sprinkles.

To prepare as a finger food, add a small amount of ice cream and sprinkles. Fold pizza in half. Place whipped cream topping on the side for dipping.

*Toppings we have used throughout the years. The list includes cheeses, sauces, vegetables, fruits, meats and miscellaneous foods and condiments. The combinations are endless.

  Goat Cheese

  Melted butter with garlic
  Olive oil
  Alfredo Sauce
  Barbecue Sauce
  Chocolate Sauce

Meat and Miscellaneous
  Black and green olives
  Chicken, cooked, diced
  Ground beef
  Italian sausage
  Steak strips

  Bell peppers, all colors
  Broccoli, cooked
  Jalapenos, sliced
  Mushrooms, sliced
  Onions, white
  Spinach leaves
  Sweet Potato, mashed
  (add cinnamon, brown sugar and butter)

  Pineapple tidbits
  Fresh strawberries

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oven-Dried Sweet Potato Chips


Colorful, crisp sweet potato chips create a flavorful and low-fat substitute for the more familiar fried white potato chips.


  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled, if desired
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Combine salt and spices in mixing bowl.
  3. Slice sweet potatoes paper-thin and toss lightly with spices and oil.
  4. Bake until done.

Source: Adapted from Vegetarian Times, 2002.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blogoversary: 1-Year old today



Happy Blogoversay today; the blog is 1-year old.  It has been a pleasure to write and to meet so many wonderful people over the past year, and I am looking forward to continually bringing nutrition information and topics of interest your way.  Each of you that have read, contributed your thoughts and ideas, or shared your feelings along the way, thank you, which has made blogging so enjoyable. 

Thank you for reading and making “From A Dietitian’s Perspective” part of your blog world. Please enjoy a piece of “fat-free chocolate cake” below.



Anthony :)




  1. 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder,sifted
  3. 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  6. 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  7. 2 egg-whites
  8. 1 T vanilla extract
  9. 1 T white vinegar
  10. 2 T confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bow., combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the granulated sugar, yogurt, egg whites, vanilla and vinegar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  With the mixer at low speed, gradually add the flour mixture; stir until just combined (do not over mix.) Add 2 cups water and stir until just smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan on a rack.  Dust with the confectioners’ sugar.

Nutrition Information:

120 calories; 0g total fat; 0g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 133mg sodium; 28g carbohydrate; 1g dietary fiber; 3g protein Weight Watchers Points: 2

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hotel Guests: Seek Out Free Food



More guests are flocking to free hotel breakfasts and buffets, bypassing pricier restaurants, according to a research group that tracks the restaurant industry.

The number of free meals or snacks eaten at hotels this year inched up 1 as of Sept. 30 over the same period in 2008, even as the number of people staying at hotels dropped significantly.  That’s in sharp contrast to the number of paid meals eaten in hotel restaurants, which saw a double-digit dip of 14 percent.

“To be up 1 percent… is pretty remarkable, especially in these days and times,” says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for the NPD Group, a market research firm.

“Those hotels offering up a free breakfast along with the cost of their room are holding up relatively well compared to everyone else.”

Hotels have struggled like the rest of the travel industry during the economic  downturn, as companies slashed travel budgets and cash-strapped Americans postponed vacations.

Riggs says the increased popularity of free hotel meals likely signals that more people are switching from high-end hotels to those where they can get more bang for their buck, such as free coffee or a complimentary breakfast.

“At your higher-end, it’s very expensive.  And when travel budgets are being cut, there’s a trade-down,” she says.

The trend, Riggs adds, is visible throughout the restaurant industry.  “We see trade-down from full-service restaurants to fast food.  We even see trade-down in menus, so when people do go to a full-service restaurant, they’re ordering a sandwich instead of a steak.  This seems to be happing everywhere.”

Choice Hotels International, which includes brands Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge, has gotten a boost this year from bargain-seeking travelers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010


Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures.  Typically, peas is considered a family tradition for meeting-up with good luck on New Years Day.  And, according to tradition, monetary gain will come to those who eat the peas and greens on New Year's Day — unless there are dirty clothes in the house.  (I always thought this was kind of funny.) 

"For the black-eyed peas and greens, the greens could be collard greens, turnip greens, or mustard greens.  Place the black-eyed peas over a little bit of rice or on the side.  If you want to be a Southern cooking gourmet, fry up the onion, red pepper, celery, and garlic in some bacon grease before putting it in to cook with the beans. When adding the onions, celery, salt, pepper and peas; stir well.  Simmer slowly about 45 minutes or until peas are tender and liquid level is low.  Part tradition, fixing the old staples keeps the guess work out of cooking.

Black-eyed peas: considered in many cultures to be good luck due to the fact that they symbolize prosperity, many people consume some black-eyed peas to start the new year right.

Happy New Year to all,