Monthly Archives: January 2010

restaurant: broders’ cucina

“I sometimes think that I am a terrible nutritionist,” I said to the taster as we were waiting for our Italian take-out goodies. “I just love food TOO much.”

And I’m not talking salads and veggies. (Which I do also adore) I’m talking penne with spinach and gorgonzola sauce. Roasted eggplant with goat cheese, caramelized onions & sweet red pepper pizza. Garlic & Herb Mascarpone.  

But you know what? I’m ok with it. Is it the healthiest food? No. It is delicious. And sometimes, that’s what matters most.

So there you have it. Take-out from Broders’ in South Minneapolis, I’ll be visiting you more often.



Filed under ask the nutritionist, cheese, eating local, great meals, pasta, restaurants, Uncategorized

Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausages with Garbanzo Beans

If this is what pork & beans are like in Greece, I think I’ve found my new favorite! I obviously love the flavors of Greece and this encompasses all of them. I also like this meal because it is full of protein and fiber – two of my favorite components for a satisfying meal. Served alongside a green salad and some garlic bread, dinner was quickly, and deliciously, served.

Recipe: Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausage with Garbanzo Beans – serves 4

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 package chicken sausage (I used Bilinski’s Organic Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausages)
  • 1 – 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (I accidently used mine in my lunch that day)
  • spices: red pepper flakes, garlic salt

Heat olive oil in large pan. Add onion and sausages. When lightly browned add garbanzo beans, red peppers and spinach. When heated through and spinach has wilted, toss with feta cheese, spices and serve! (Thanks to the Taster for serving this to me!)


Filed under beans, cheese, great meals, protein, Recipes, vegetables, whole foods

avocado-cumin yogurt dip

An odd conodrum for January: an avocado nearing its demise and leftover cilantro from dal with curried tarka.  First thoughts were a salad but after spotting some greek yogurt in the fridge I was reminded of a dip my friend Mary Beth made years ago. So a dip was made, no food was wasted and I had a taste of warm weather in the middle of winter. Life is good.
Avocado-Cumin Yogurt Dip
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of hot sauce

Combine all ingredients. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips. (Does not keep very well so eat up!)


Filed under fats, gluten-free, herbs, protein, Recipes, vegetables

Things are looking better…

…for school lunches. Between my work at Camp Endeavor and my passion for real, whole foods, I have always hoped that the quality of our school lunches would improve.


And two women in California are making this happen. Kristin Richmond and Kristen Tobey started Revolution Foods, which began as a graduate school project and has turned into a school meal program that serves more than 40,000 lunches daily. There are fruits and vegetables at every meal, no artificial ingredients, no trans fats or HFCS and the milk and meat is hormone and antibiotic free. Whenever it is possible, organic and locally sourced ingredients are used.

An example of a meal? All-natural honey-glazed chicken with roasted potatoes and garlic braised collard greens.

Sounds good to me! I don’t think we give kids enough credit. They are willing to eat and try more foods than we think! But I think this program is definitely a step in the right direction. Read the full New York Times article here.

What do you think of school lunches?


Filed under article, ask the nutritionist, eating local, vegetables

Creamy Leek & Spinach Pasta

Pasta night may just be a new addition to the weekly menu. Between carbonara and zucchini linguine with herbs, I’m really not sure why pasta doesn’t make a more frequent appearance. It is delicious, easy, economical and the possibilities are endless. Although the deliciousness and total disregard for portion control may be part of the problem…

Inspired by this Food & Wine Recipe, leeks are always welcome and appreciated in my kitchen.

Creamy Leek & Spinach Pasta – serves 2 with leftovers

  • 6 oz pasta whole wheat pasta
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp garlic & herb mascarpone cheese (or plain)
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • parmesan cheese, pepper and red pepper

Prepare pasta as directed. Heat olive oil in large pan and add leeks and garlic when hot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until soft. Add cooked pasta to pan and toss with mascarpone and spinach. Finish with freshly grated parmesan and red & black pepper.


Filed under antioxidants, cheese, leeks, pasta, vegetables, whole grains

endive boats

There is something about endive leaves that I love. Perhaps it’s because they are so pretty and seemingly dainty. Perhaps it’s because they can healthfully and deliciously stand in for yet another piece of bread. (Not that I would ever get sick of bread, let’s be real). But whatever the reason, I’m going to continue to use them. They are perfect for dips, spreads and bruschetta-like toppings.

I served the components alone and let my guests serve themselves. Which turned out to be a good idea because they all thought the beets tasted like dirt and wanted nothing to do with them.  I didn’t mind though, the leftovers made a great topping for salads. 😉

But I promise – to the beet lovers of the world – you will love it.

Squash, Beet & Blue Cheese Endive Boats

  • Endive leaves (about 2 bunches)
  • 2 roasted beets, chopped
  • 3/4 cup roasted squash, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp roasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Serve the beets, squash, pecans and blue cheese in little dishes and let guests build their boats!


Filed under cheese, Recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegetables

roasted cauliflower with blue cheese vinaigrette

Some vegetables are just plain better when they are roasted. Cauliflower is one of them for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat some raw cauliflower with hummus any day, but I devour it roasted.

Adding a vinaigrette with blue cheese just takes it to the next level. I’ve been thinking of the leftovers ever since I placed them in the fridge…

Roasted Cauliflower with Vinaigrette from Eating Well

  • 1 head cauliflower, sliced into 1″ thick pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles
  • salt & pepper

Roast cauliflower in a 375° oven, about 20 minutes, or until edges start turning brown. Mix remaining ingredients and drizzle over warm cauliflower.


Filed under cheese, Recipes, Uncategorized, vegetables