October 23, 2014

Recipe: Vietnamese Crêpes

  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil


Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl to form a smooth batter. Make pancakes in oil and enjoy with filling of choice!


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1/8 t fish sauce
  • 4 T water
October 23, 2014

Recipe: Cuban black beans

This is a rich and meaty recipe that makes a nice big pot. Leftovers freeze well. Adapted from momtoellis’s recipe on allrecipes.com

Wash & soak overnight (or boil until soft in plenty of water):

  • 2 pounds dried black beans

Rinse until the water is clear.

Saute until soft in 1/2 cup olive oil a large pot:

  • 2 medium sweet onions, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped

Turn on medium-high heat and add 9 cups water + the beans.

Mix in a bowl:

  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 oz (2 small cans) canned tomato paste
  • 8 oz diced pimentos from a jar, drained
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon white sugar

Add to pot and boil for at least 2 hours with the top slightly off to vaporize the liquid.

October 22, 2014

Recipe: 3 Spice Chicken with Apricots and Squash

This awesome one-pot meal is staple in our household. We use a large Le Creuset pot. It turns out tangy and juicy and sweet and hearty all at once. Goes great with a green salad. Adapted from recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Squash on Weight Watchers Website.

1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp Pepper
1 pound(s) raw chicken breast
a few tablespoons of butter
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 large Onion – any kind but a sweet onion like vidalia works well
2 cup(s) winter squash (about 3/4 lb) – can be frozen or fresh roasted
¾ cup(s) brown rice
16 halves Apricots, dried, roughly chopped
1½ cup(s) Broth, chicken
¼ cup(s) Cilantro, minced

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Rub salt and pepper all over chicken; set aside.
3. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in the pot on medium heat. Add cumin, coriander and cinnamon; cook for about 1 minute. Add chicken; cook until lightly browned, flipping once, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate; set aside.
4. Add onion and squash to pot, scraping down sides and bottom of pot to incorporate pan drippings. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn translucent and squash begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add rice and apricots; place browned chicken on top. Pour in broth; bring to a boil for 1 minute.
5. Cover pot and bake in oven until rice and squash are tender and chicken is cooked through, checking half way through to see if more broth is needed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

October 22, 2014

Recipe: Moroccan shepherd’s pie with sweet potato

This recipe is not my own creation! Its from the fabulous Our Four Forks. I am saving it here because we love it!
For the filling:
1 lb grass­fed ground lamb or beef   OR  3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15 oz. cans drained)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about ¾ 28 oz can, drained)
½ cup stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) + salt to taste
½ cup currants or raisins
½ bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped
For the mash:
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chucks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons non­dariy milk (more if needed)

For the filling:
1. Brown the ground meat in a large skillet over medium high heat.
2. Remove meat from skillet and set aside.
3. Add olive oil to the pan along with the onions, garlic, ginger, spices and salt and cook for 8-­10 minutes until the onion is softened.
4. Return the meat to the pan (if using) along with the honey, tomatoes and stock.
5. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes more.
6. Add chickpeas (if using), currants, and chopped cilantro, stir and remove from heat.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the mash:
1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes or until tender.
2. Drain well and add the olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, salt and milk.
3. With a hand blender (or potato masher), blend until they reach a creamy consistency.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Fill a 13 in x 9 in casserole dish with the filling and spread the mash on top.
3. Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is beginning to brown.
4. Garnish with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.

October 22, 2014

Recipe: Easy Rhubarb Shortcake

2014-06-16 13.38.10

I made thisfor goodness sake with my grandma the last time I saw her. We all agreed was so easy and so tasty!





1 cup sour cream

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1-1 1/2 cups flour

2 cups chopped rhubarb


Stir together and bake at 325 for 45 minutes.



October 22, 2014

Recipe: Butternut Squash Enchiladas with spicy peanut sauce

This staple in our household is from Dr Connor’s book. He was a pioneer in the field of nutrition and I was lucky enough to meet him in 2008 when I was visiting Portland, OR.

Yield: 6 servings of 2 enchiladas each


1 t vege oil

½ c diced carrots

1 ¼ c sliced mushrooms

½ c diced onion

¾ c diced jicama

¾ c diced granny smith apple

1 package (12 oz) frozen butternut squash, thawed

¼ c chopped fresh cilantro

1 T vinegar

1/2 t salt & ¼ ground pepper

Spicy peanut sauce:

1 can (15 oz) lower salt chix broth

½ t cumin

1 clove minced garlic

1 T flour

3 T chili powder

½ t dried oregano leaves

1 T minced onion

¼ c reduced-fat peanut butter

12 tortillas (corn or ww flour)

½ c grated fat-free cheddar cheese

Prepare filling:

Heat oil in skillet.

Saute carrots, mushrooms, jicama, onions, apple until tender.

Add squash, vinegar, 2 T cilantro.

Mix well, set aside.

Prepare spicy peanut sauce:

Combine broth, cumin, garlic, flour, chili powder, oregano, onion in medium saucepan.

Bring to boil, cook 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, add peanut butter, stir until smooth.

Set aside.


Preheat oven to 350°. Soften tortillas*

Place ¼ c squash mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll up tortilla and place seam side down in 9×13 inch baking pan coated with non-stick spray.

Pour peanut sauce over rolled tortillas and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.


Cover with foil, bake 20-25 min (until cheese is melted). Garnish with remaining cilantro.

*Soften tortillas by 1) wrapping in damp paper towel, heating in microwave 1/2 to 2 min or 2) wrapping in foil and warming in the conventional oven 10 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 2 enchiladas

Calories: 272

Sodium: 453 mg

Fiber: 9 g

Fat: 8 g

Saturated fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: trace

Connor and Connor, 1997. The New American Diet Cookbook. Simon and Schuster, New York, New York. p. 168.

April 21, 2014

Recipe: Spinach Fritters

Thanks to Naomi Mayer for sharing this recipe with me many years ago! I have adapted it a little and it has become a staple in our household. They freeze well and are good eaten hot or cold. Great for kids on the go!

spinach fritters

More fritters please!


1 package frozen* chopped spinach (10 oz), water drained out

4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons shredded onion

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons flour (gluten free or wheat)

Butter for frying



Mix all the ingredients (except the butter)  together in a bowl. Melt butter in a cast iron pan or griddle on low heat. Fry the batter in butter, flip and cool on a plate. This recipe makes about 6-12 fritters, depending on how large you make them.

*if using fresh instead of frozen, use about 1 cup cooked, drained, chopped greens

December 15, 2013

Robbie’s Favorite Pancakes

give me more pancake mom

“More pancakes please!”

Robbie is 9 mo. old now and he loves these easy peasy pancakes for breakfast. This is not my recipe – thanks to Laurel Cellemme for showing me how to make them while we were camping last summer!

Ingredients for about 7 pancakes – the proportions listed are approximations

1 ripe banana

1 egg, beaten

1/3 c. almond meal (I use Trader Joes)

1/2 c. flour  or pancake mix (all purpose, whole wheat, gluten free, anything will do)

1 spoonful of cottage cheese (or ricotta or greek yogurt)

A few Tablespoons of almond milk

A few Tablespoons of Oatmeal or Happy Baby Oatmeal

Butter for frying


Heat the butter in the pan or griddle on medium low heat while you make the batter.

Mash one ripe banana in large bowl.

Mix in the wet ingredients (beaten egg and splash of almond milk and spoonful of cottage cheese/yogurt).

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients (almond meal, flour/pancake mix, oats/baby oatmeal) until the batter is a consistency you like for pancakes. I use about 2 Tablespoons of baby oatmeal.

Fry the pancakes in butter on low heat. Make them as big or small as you like.

Serve warm with jam, applesauce or nut butter or just as is.

These keep for a couple days in the fridge (they make a great snack on the go) and freeze well.

Some notes about the preferred ingredients:

Any pureed fruit, like applesauce, could be substituted for the mashed banana.

Freshly made (homemade) almond milk is best. When not available, Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk, in either vanilla or plain, found in the refrigerated section is nutritious (high in Calcium and contains natural vitamin E instead of synthetic) and tastes  the best. Not to be mistaken for the shelf stable Almond Breeze which is not as tasty.

Dairy products are ecologically expensive but nutritious and delicious so I typically use dairy in small amounts. Organic, grass fed dairy products- butter and cottage cheese/ yogurt/ ricotta in this recipe – are preferred because they best for the environment and our health. Raw milk is preferred but hard to find. Its important to avoid ultra pasturized (UHT) milk which is heated to very high temperatures, extending the shelf life while killing any traces of beneficial live properties in the milk. Most dairy products these days are free of growth hormones (RGBH) but organically grown is typically more respectful of the environmental resources used to produce them. Grass fed cows have higher amounts of healthy fats in their milk.

Butter is best for frying although a high heat tolerant oil or coconut oil could also be used. Avoid using olive oil for frying as high heat destroys its beneficial properties. Canola oil, which used to be considered a top choice for health, is now more controversial because of the deoderizers used in processing. Butter is minimally processed and, if obtained from the cream of a grass fed cow is a good choice because of the healthy fat profile – butter is high in saturated fat which is good for frying but grass fed cows also produce a good amount of conjugated linoleic acid (one that is good for you!)

Nothing beats locally produced, free range, organic eggs – they are high in choline, vitamin A and taste great. I get mine in a CSA or from my local farmers market.

I add oatmeal to the recipe for added fiber and texture. I use Happy Bellies oatmeal for my baby because it contains a decent amount of iron which he specifically needs at this stage. At another stage in his development I may choose to omit this ingredient or use plain whole oats purchased in  the bulk section of the grocery store instead. My friend Laurel likes to run her oats through the food processor to make a rough-ish oat flour which is another option you might like to try.

Chocolate chips could be added to make these into a healthy dessert.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about this recipe!


February 11, 2013

Ask the RD: Is it necessary to take Evening Primrose Oil at the end of pregnancy?

Q: Why did my doula recommended taking Evening Primrose Oil at the end of pregnancy?

A: Oftentimes an Evening Primrose Oil supplement (2,000 mg/day) is recommended for pregnant women starting at 36 weeks of pregnancy. In my opinion this is not an intervention, but it could be a waste of money as it is not necessary for all pregnant women. Please keep in mind that I am a nutritionist, not a midwife.

Evening Primrose Oil contains an essential fat called Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA). GLA is a precurser, kindoff like an ingredient our bodies need, to synthesize prostaglandins. You may have already heard of prostaglandins which semen is famous for containing in high amounts. Prostaglandins contribute to cervical ripening and dilation- and it is believed that having a high enough prostaglandin level before/during labor could speed up the process. (In my review of the information available, there is not overwhelming amount of scientific evidence out there that supports that GLA supplementation speeds up labor.) If the theory is correct however, taking it as a supplement would not induce labor, but just help the body make prostaglandins when it is time to make them because Evening Primrose Oil contains a lot of GLA.


Hemp Seeds (mindfuleats.com)

Here is where the nutrition part comes in. There are other good sources of GLA in our diets besides supplements. Like hemp seeds & hemp milk, chia seeds, walnuts, flax….

One of my personal favorites is hemp seeds by Nutiva. 3 Tablespoons added to salads, yogurt or smoothies adds 11 grams of protein and 600 mg of GLA!  I also love eating Chia Seed pudding.

A woman who eats these foods regularly probably does not need to supplement with Evening Primrose Oil.  It seems that it could helpful for women who don’t get any GLA through their diets. Personally, I am taking 1,000 mg of Evening Primrose Oil starting at 37 weeks of pregnancy on the days that I don’t eat hemp seeds.

Hope this helps! Please see my pregnancy resources page for other pregnancy related info.


June 13, 2012

Smart Snacking Nutrition Class at Xtreme Ninja Martial Arts Studio on June 11

A great group of martial arts students learned about smart snacking on June 11.   The main part of the lesson was that SNACKS THAT INCLUDE TWO OR MORE FOOD GROUPS DO GREAT THINGS FOR YOUR BODY! A few reasons why this is true include:

  • Satisfies hunger
  • Keeps your energy levels constant
  • Provides fiber
  • Gives your body vitamins & minerals it needs 
  • Prevents overeating because keeps you from getting too hungry between meals