Sunday, January 30, 2011

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!” Mother of Twins and Registered Dietitian Finds Time For Others: Lauren O’Connor

By Anthony Sepe

Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  For 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.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce to you this week, my colleague, Lauren O’Connor, MS, RD and her recipe:  NUTRI-SAVVY's QUINOA SALAD.”


    Lauren O’Connor, M.S., RD


Lauren O’Connor, MS, RD is a registered dietitian and mother of twin girls (Ailish & Julia) living in Los Angeles, CA. She is the owner/nutritional consultant for Nutri-Savvy. Her approach is teaching people to enjoy the essence and flavors of fresh, wholesome, natural foods:” Savor, Taste, Enjoy Nutrition!!!” As an experienced nutrition writer, she is a resource for various online, local and community publications.




Recipe developed and reprinted for use with permission by Lauren O’Connor, M.S., RD.

Winking smile Want a healthy alternative to fried rice? Well, here’s a salad I came up with that tastes just as good, has no saturated fat, no cholesterol, and  a lot less sodium. And, remember, quinoa is a great source of protein!


  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion chopped (can use green or red onions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon Smart Beat Super Light spread
  • 2 Tablespoons light seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mixed tropical dried fruit (or chose raisins, dried strawberries, dried blueberries)


  1. Wash and cook quinoa according to package instructions (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water).
  2. In a pan sauté onions with a Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) until soft (you can add the walnuts at this point for a toasty crunch).
  3. When quinoa is done, add a Tablespoon of the Smart Balance spread for a buttery taste.
  4. Then mix in the sautéed onions and walnuts, dried fruit, and seasoned rice vinegar. Makes about seven  1/2  cup servings.

Nutrition (per 60g serving): Cal 220, Fat 10g, Chol 0, Sodium 125mg, Carb 23 g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 10g, Protein 5g


Visit Lauren and her blog:

Thank you for reading and visiting with us today,


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Follower Sunday: “Thank You Readership!” Guest-Chef, Speaker, Spokesperson and Outstanding Nutrition Educator of 2011–Christine Palumbo—Pays it Forward Inspired to Help With Healthy Heart Recipe For Cerebral Palsy With“From A Dietitian’s Perspective” Blog and Cookbook

By Anthony Sepe

Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  For 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.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce to you this week, my friend and my colleague, Christine Palumbo, MBA, RD and her recipe:  “Mediterranean Couscous Salad.”


Christine Palumbo, MBA, RD


About Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RD

Christine Palumbo is a registered dietitian in Naperville, Illinois. Her monthly Good Sense Eating columns run in Chicago Parent, Brooklyn Family, Long Island Family, Queens Family and Bronx Family. She is also a contributing editor for the Environmental Nutrition newsletter. Between 2001 and 2008, her popular Food News column appeared in Allure magazine.

Christine has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC News NewsOne, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends, CNN Financial Network’s The Flipside, The Daily Beast and LiveWellHD Network, as well as many local TV and radio stations. In 1982, she debated the famous Dr. Robert Atkins on Chicago area television.

Publications such as Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Prevention, Health, O The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Redbook, Women’s Health, Woman's Day, Shape, Organic Style, WebMD, Fitness, American Health, Oxygen, Natural Health, Woman's World, Investor’s Business Daily, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Tribune, Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Journal of the American Dietetic Association have featured her nutritional expertise, as well as and

In addition to her work with the media, Christine is a sought-after speaker on a variety of health-related topics. In her private practice, she provides practical advice on weight management, family nutrition, heart disease prevention, and general lifestyle improvement. For over 15 years, she has been an adjunct faculty member of Benedictine University.

Christine also analyzes recipes for nutrient values, develops nutrition education materials, exhibits at professional meetings, and works on special projects for an interesting client mix of public relations firms and food companies. She began her career counseling cardiovascular and diabetic patients at the University of Chicago Medical Center and at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis.

Christine served on the American Dietetic Association Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large from 2006-2009, and participated in their House of Delegates and on numerous committees. Christine was one of seven entrepreneurial dietitians whose careers were featured in the American Dietetic Association Guide to Private Practice.

Awards include Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year (1982) and Outstanding Dietitian of the Year (2002) by the Illinois Dietetic Association, Outstanding Nutrition Entrepreneur (2007) by the American Dietetic Association’s Nutrition Entrepreneurs practice group and Outstanding Dietetic Educator by the West Suburban Dietetic Association for 2011.

A graduate of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Christine also holds a masters degree in business administration (marketing) from DePaul University. She is the mother of three.



©Photo: Christine Palumbo, MBA, RD.


© Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Recipe developed and reprinted for use with permission by Christine Palumbo, MBA, RD.

Serves 6


  1. 1 cup dry whole wheat couscous
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  4. 1 Tbsp. Champagne (or rice) vinegar
  5. 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  6. ½ tsp. salt
  7. ¼ cup pine nuts
  8. 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  9. 1 cup finely chopped plum tomatoes (about 1½)
  10. ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  11. 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint (or 1 tsp. dried mint)
  12. 1 tsp. minced lemon zest



1. Before squeezing the lemon juice, grate the zest off the fresh lemon.

2. Dump the couscous into a medium-sized bowl. Combine the water, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

3. Pour over the couscous and stir. Cover and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

4. While it’s sitting, prepare the nuts, scallion, tomatoes, parsley and mint and put it in a large enough serving bowl.

5. Once the couscous is ready and all liquid is absorbed, gently fluff it with a fork.

6. Transfer the couscous to the serving bowl and toss with remaining ingredients. Chill or serve at room temperature.

Makes 6 three quarter cup-sized portions.







Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RD
Speaker and Spokesperson
Dietitian in Private Practice
Columnist, Chicago Parent
Contributing editor, Environmental Nutrition
Adjunct Faculty, Benedictine University


Thank you for reading,


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Follower Sunday: Thank You Readership! Weight Management Expert and Dietitian helps others Wait no-longer; Healthy Recipe given from heart for Cerebral Palsy

By Anthony Sepe

Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  For 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.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce to you this week, my colleague, Shauna Del Prete, RD, CDN and her recipe:  “Turkey Chili.”


Shauna Del Prete, RD, CDN

Shauna Del Prete is a registered dietitian and certified dietitian-nutritionist in the state of New York. She received an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Miami and went on to receive a B.S. in Nutrition at C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. After completing her dietetic internship at C.W. Post in 2009, Shauna began working with individuals preparing for weight loss surgery at NY Weight Management Programs where she is currently employed.

Shauna believes that every person can live and eat healthy. Her passion is coaching individuals to make small changes to achieve their health goals. Her mission is to provide realistic nutrition advice to people of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to providing traditional weight loss counseling for clients, Shauna provides counseling on disease management, sports nutrition, general wellness, and a variety of other topics.


Recipe developed and reprinted with permission of Shauna Del Prete, RD, CDN.



Turkey Chili


  1. 3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 1-1 ½ lbs. 93% lean ground turkey
  3. 1 Tbsp. each dried: coriander, cumin, oregano, chili pepper flakes, chili powder, and ground pepper
  4. 3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  5. 1 small chopped jalapeño pepper or 1-7 oz. can of chopped green chili pepper
  6. 1 medium chopped onion
  7. 1 green bell pepper chopped
  8. 1 red bell pepper chopped
  9. 4 garlic cloves
  10. 2 cans kidney beans (rinsed and drained two times)
  11. ¾ c low sodium turkey stock
  12. 35 oz. canned stewed crushed tomatoes


  • Low fat sour cream or 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • Shredded Mexican cheese mix
  • Chopped scallion


  1. Pour 1 ½ tbsp. EVOO in large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add turkey, tomato paste, and all dried spices.
  3. Cook until browned. In the meantime, heat remaining oil in pan and cook onions, pepper and garlic on medium until onions translucent.
  4. Add cooked vegetables to stock pot and combine remaining ingredients. Let simmer for 1 hour uncovered.
  5. Garnish with sour cream (I use 0% plain Greek yogurt but it may curdle in hot chili), chopped scallion, cheese, and chopped onions.


Try Shauna’s Chili and let us know how you liked it, by posting your comment back here on this post.

Thank you for reading and visiting today,


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Follower Sunday: Thank You Readership! Inspired to Always Help Others, Guest-Chef and Author of 101 Foods that Could Save Your Life --Dave Grotto-- Shares Recipes For Cerebral Palsy With Blog: From A Dietitian’s Perspective

By Anthony Sepe

Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  For 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.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to introduce to you this week, my colleague and friend, Dave Grotto, RD,  LDN and his “Food for Lovers” recipes:                                                                           “Rosemary Nuts; CHILE HONEY ALMOND CHICKEN KEBABS accompanied by Wild Mushroom Ris-Oat-To.”


David Grotto, RD, LDN

Dave’s first interest in nutrition started over twenty-five years ago when he worked in the natural foods industry, having owned and operated his own natural food store. He decided to become a registered dietitian and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with honors with a degree in medical dietetics and nutrition.

After school, he worked in various clinical and food service settings and even tried his hand as a broadcaster where he hosted his own radio show on health and nutrition for over 10 years and hosted a local health-focused television show for two years.

Enjoying working in a media setting, Dave proudly served as a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association which he held that position for over 6 years.

He is now the founder and president of Nutrition Housecall, a nutrition consulting firm that provides nutrition communications, lecturing and consulting services, and also offers personalized at-home dietary services.

Inspired to help his patients without depriving them of their favorite foods, Dave wrote the acclaimed book, 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life which is now out in sixteen different languages (to date). 101 Optimal Life Foods, with a foreword written by Montel Williams, is his latest effort and debuted in January of this year.

One of Dave’s passions is improving the health of children through good nutrition. He is the advisory board chair for Produce for Kids® and PBS Kids™ health initiative. Dave also loves to laugh and lectures extensively on the health benefits of humor and laughter. He received additional training in humor therapy and is a Certified Laughter Leader. He also attended The Second City in Chicago receiving further training in improvisation.

Dave lives in Elmhurst Illinois with his wife Sharon; three daughters Chloe, Katie and Madison; and two-female dogs Abbey and Gracie and feels he is an expert in unopposed estrogen.


Rosemary Nuts

Servings: 28-30 portions (approx. 1/4 cup portions)


2 lbs. assorted nuts, roasted; but not salted
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles; finely chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/3 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted


Pour nuts one-layer thick on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 oven for 14 minutes.

Mix all other ingredients into the melted butter in a bowl big enough to hold the nuts, and keep warm.  Nuts should also be warm when they are added to the butter mixture. Gently re-heat either one until if they cool before combining.

Pour warm nuts into the bowl, and with two wooden spoons, mix thoroughly, coating nuts with the butter.  Let the nuts dry and cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

Nutrition Profile

290 Calories, 16g Fat, 2.5g Sat Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 260 mg Sodium, 7g Carbs, 3g Fiber, 5g Protein



Makes 10 servings

Active time: 40 minutes


2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken tenders

2 cups almond milk* or buttermilk

1 cup roasted almonds

3/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs, unseasoned (from 2 slices whole wheat bread)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

10 skewers (metal or wood)


Preheat oven to 400° F. Trim chicken thighs of visible fat and tendons. Cut each tender in half. Place pieces in a large shallow dish, add almond milk and stir to coat. Cover, and refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. In a food processor, grind together almonds, bread crumbs, paprika, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Place in a flat rectangular pan.

Strain almond milk from chicken through a colander, discarding liquid. Thread approximately 4 chicken pieces onto each skewer. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Dijon mustard until smooth. Place in a flat rectangular pan. Place each skewer into the egg mixture and turn to coat well. Remove from mixture, allowing excess to drip off, and place in the bread crumb-almond mixture. Spoon mixture over each skewer to coat pieces well. Remove skewers from the crumb mixture and place on a baking rack set on top of a non-stick rimmed baking sheet (or spray baking sheet with cooking spray). Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and crust is browned. While chicken is baking, prepare dipping sauce. Serve kebabs warm, with dipping sauce on the side.


Chile Honey Dipping Sauce

3/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles*

2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water or 2 teaspoons arrowroot


Combine all ingredients except cornstarch mixture in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and stir well; simmer over low heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.

*Chipotle chiles canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at Latin American markets and the international aisle of many supermarkets.

Per serving for 10 servings (chicken):


208 kcals


94 mg

Total fat

10.4 g


2 g


1.0 g


58 mg


5.9 g


51 mg


2.4 g


668 mg


6 g


161 mg



Vitamin E

4.4 mg

Per serving for 10 servings (sauce):


53 kcals


0 mg

Total fat

0 g


0 g


0 g


6 mg


0 g


4 mg


0 g


49 mg


13 g


64 mg


0 g

Vitamin E

0 mg



Wild Mushroom Ris-Oat-To

Servings: 6


1 ½ cups of water

2 cans low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup of yellow onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups Quaker Oats, Old Fashioned

1 cup of dry white wine

1 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste


To prepare Ris-Oat-To, in a sauce pan bring 1 ½ cups of water and broth to a simmer. Keep warm over medium heat.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Add onion and garlic, sauté about two minutes until golden brown.

Add Quaker Oats and toast until golden brown, stirring constantly.

Add wine, cook for a minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Stir in 1 cup of broth mixture, cook for four minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add remaining broth mixture, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next

Remove Ris-Oat-To from the heat and add in ½ cup of cheese

Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Mushroom Mixture


4 cups of sliced mushrooms of your choice

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped thyme

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper


Heat olive oil in a large non stick pan over medium high heat, add mushrooms and crushed garlic clove and sauté for about 4 minutes until golden brown and crispy. At the last second season with salt and pepper and fresh thyme.

Spoon Ris-Oat-To into 6 medium size bowls and top with crispy mushrooms, and a pinch of cheese.

Nutrition Profile

290 Calories, 12g Total Fat, 4g Sat Fat, 15mg Cholesterol, 320mg Sodium, 26g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 13g Protein


  • Author of 101 Optimal Life Foods (Bantam Books 2010) and 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life! (Bantam Books, 2008)
  • President and Founder, Nutrition Housecall, LLC
  • Nutrition Advisor for Fitness Magazine
  • Produce for Kids®\PBS Kids Advisory Board Chair
  • Benedictine University Nutrition Programs Advisory Board
  • Former Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association

at the following social media addresses:

Facebook Fan Page


Thank you,


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011



(Reprinted From: “Blog: From A Dietitian’s Perspective,” Friday, January 01, 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,




Gina said...

Black eyed peas are so delicious, yet I NEVER eat them! Nick doesn't like them, bummer. I need to find a great recipe that he will like, but unfortunately he doesn't like many greens either! He does like spinach though...
Anyway, thanks for the background on the black eyed pea! And, happy new year to you!

January 1, 2010 4:54 PM

Chow and Chatter said...

I made them lol, Happy New Year all the best for 2010
love Rebecca

January 1, 2010 6:25 PM

Carol Casey said...

As a person who has lived on each coast, midwest, deep south, and the melting pot of Florida; I have discovered that beans and legumes bring to mind different memories and preferences for each region. The most unique I have encountered in the Irish in New England, especially Boston, enjoys beans for breakfast. It doesn't matter what kind of beans, just as long as it beans.

January 2, 2010 1:38 PM