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Exciting News + Sesame Tofu Summer Rolls

25 Sep

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Before we delve into the world of summer rolls, I have some news! Last week I officially became a registered dietitian nutritionist otherwise known as an RDN. It took many years of school, a year-long internship, and a big test but now I can finally call myself Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN.  And gee, it feels good. I look forward to using my degree and credential to help people make good, delicious, healthy food choices.

And now…back to summer rolls.

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On a recent visit to Ithaca, New York, I ate Vietnamese summer rolls at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market and have not stopped thinking about them since. Weeks later, those delicious summer rolls were still on my mind and I thought, how hard could it be to make these at home?

Turns out, not that hard at all. Summer rolls are great because Continue reading

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

26 Jul

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This coming Thursday, I will graduate from my dietetic internship. I am so excited and exhausted and terrified all at the same time. Change is coming around these parts. Next up, I have to study for, take, and pass an exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and somewhere in between I have to find a real job. Goodness.

My last dietetic internship rotation was considered my elective, and I chose to help with a research study looking at how food affects the way children eat. Continue reading

Dietetic Internship Ramblings + Ramen Noodles with Collards and Peanut Sauce

5 Oct

For the next year, I will be rotating around New York City, interning with registered dietitians (RDs) at various organizations, businesses, and clinics. I must complete this internship year and pass an exam in order to obtain my license as an RD.

As a dietetic intern, I have to complete a certain number of hours in a community nutrition setting, a clinical nutrition setting, and a food service nutrition setting. From September through December, I intern at three different community nutrition sites for five weeks at a time. In the spring, I do a 15-week clinical rotation, and next summer, I do a food service rotation.

I am currently four weeks into my first community nutrition rotation, and I love it! I work with clients who have HIV/AIDS. Some of the tasks performed at this five-week rotation include: Continue reading

Drink Up! Green Smoothie

2 Jul

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Well I finally gave green smoothies a whirl at home, and…they’re great!

I first started adding just a small handful of baby spinach into a smoothie, but now I’ve expanded to kale and purslane.

A few weeks ago, I got a deal at the farmer’s market: two huge bundles of greens for $5. I bought collards and kale. I cooked the collards, and used some of the kale for salads.  I washed, de-stemmed and tore the remaining kale leaves into pieces and stuck them in a ziplock bag in my freezer (my friend Brianna gave me that genius tip!). Now I have a cold green leafy veggie in my freezer for when the smoothie pangs hit (I would imagine that frozen kale is easy to toss into a soup or pasta recipe, too).

Having frozen smoothie ingredients on hand  (i.e. chopped kale, chopped banana, frozen fruit) is key to keeping things cold. Sometimes I add ice at the very end to get the smoothie extra cold, but it is not always necessary.

If you are wary of the greens, don’t worry because you can’t taste them, especially if you use strong fruits like banana or mango and a nut butter like peanut or almond. The greens just make the smoothie turn, well, green.

Tip: blend the greens with the liquid first. Get it really nice and blended before adding in the remaining fruits and accouterment. This helps decrease the leafiness of the greens. I just use a regular blender.

A half portion of this smoothie fills me up in the morning when I drink it with coffee. I also make the full serving for a light lunch before a workout. Experiment with different greens and fruits and add-ins like chia seeds. Have fun, stay cool, and drink up!

Drink Up! Green Smoothie

Makes 1 large portion, or 2 small snack-size portions

1 cup of greens (I used 3/4 cup frozen kale and 1/4 cup fresh purslane)

1 cup liquid (I used 3/4 cup low-fat milk and 1/4 cup Greek yogurt)

1 heaping cup of fruit (I used about 1 cup frozen banana pieces and 1 poached fig)

1 heaping tablespoon nut/seed butter (I used peanut butter, but almond butter is great in smoothies, too)

optional: Ice

optional: a sprinkle of chia seeds (I didn’t use any in this smoothie because purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids)

Blend the greens and the liquid in the blender. Get it nice and blended, may take 1-2 minutes. Next, add in the fruit and the nut/seed butter and the chia seeds (if using). Blend again to incorporate. If you want the smoothie extra cold, add in a few ice cubes and blend again. You can top the smoothie with extra chia seeds if you like.

 NOTE: The full recipe, if you use nut butter, could add up to 350-400 calories, making this smoothie more of a mini meal than a snack. 

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding (Vegan)

4 Jan

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I’m on winter break. My last winter break as a graduate student. Nuts! It is always a strange feeling to go from being super insanely busy to having a bunch of time on my hands.

So far, I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours watching the videos on Catherine McCord’s website, Weelicious. McCord’s recipes were developed with the intention of educating kids and involving them in the cooking process. Kids love food that looks cute, but so do adults, right?!

I’m smitten by McCord’s emphasis on short ingredient lists and easy prep methods.

While this vegan pudding is not as cute-looking as rice crispy treat balls or banana dog bites, the rich, creamy taste makes up for it. I added peanut butter to the recipe because there’s nothing like a good ol’ pb + chocolate combo to make my heart melt out of my body.

It is so fun to woo non-vegans into enjoying vegan foods. I tend to say this a lot: “You would never know it was vegan if I didn’t tell you…” But really, it’s true. Silken tofu acts as the custard in the recipe, and the flavor and punch come from good-quality cocoa powder, vanilla, peanut butter, agave and salt. I’m serious, you would never know there was tofu in the pudding…if I didn’t tell you.

Six ingredients in a blender create a quick and healthy dessert. No stove required (this would be a great dorm-room recipe!). You can even eat it right out of the blender if you want to. I won’t tell. 

Brownie points: protein from the tofu, sweetness (and possibly antioxidants, depending who you talk to…) from the cocoa, and healthy fat/fiber/protein from the peanut butter. 

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Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding (Vegan)

adapted from Weelicious

1 package of silken tofu

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

1 big pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until combined. Scrape down the sides and blend again to make sure everything is smooth. Sprinkle with an extra few flakes of salt and serve immediately or chilled.

Oatmeal “Protein Pancake”

22 Dec

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I made a mini batch of (black pepper) ice cream last week that required three egg yolks. But what was I to do with the leftover whites?

Pondering my options, I remembered my friend Amy making this peculiar “protein pancake” for herself in college. I finally decided to investigate.

This is not your typical pancake. There’s no flour; just oats, egg whites, baking powder, and spices. Add some mashed banana (or any other kind of fruit) to the “batter” for a little more body.

I made this twice for breakfast last week. The first time (see the picture below), I did not put any fruit in the batter and cooked it in a tiny dash of coconut oil.

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My first attempt came out a bit pale and dry, but after lubing it up with a hefty amount of maple syrup and sunflower seed butter, I was very happy.

My second attempt…

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…came out just right. I added half of a banana, mashed, to the batter and sautéed it in butter (I used just shy of 1/8 of a teaspoon, so not that much at all). The edges were golden, and the fruit gave the pancake a little more oomph.

This oatmeal “pancake” is full of protein, whole grains, fruit, fiber, and healthy fat. A great way to use up leftover egg whites, but really just a great way to kick off the day.

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Prepare the batter the night before to save time and soften your rolled oats. Or, prepare the batter first thing in the morning, set the water to boil for coffee and get yourself dressed. When you come back, the batter will be ready to cook.

Note that you can change the ratio of ingredients. If you want a smaller portion, use 1/4 cup oats and 1/4 cup egg whites. Or you can go bigger and use 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup egg whites. After making the pancake once or twice, you will easily get a feel for portions and you can be looser with the measurements.

Oatmeal “Pancake”

adapted from Kath Eats and Carrots ‘n’ Cake

serves 1

Ingredients

1/3 cup oats, rolled** or quick

1 large or extra-large egg, or 1/3 cup egg whites (from about 1-2 eggs)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

cinnamon, to taste

optional: 1/2 mashed banana, or 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, or orange zest

optional: 1 teaspoon chia seeds (helps to thicken)

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes or so. **If using rolled oats, you can mix together the night before so the oats soften.

Spread a touch of butter or oil onto a heated skillet, and pour the batter in while shaping it into a large disc “pancake.” When you can shake it around in the pan, it’s time to flip. ++You can also do two mini pancakes instead of one large one. Cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Once cooked through, top with syrup, nut/seed butter, jam, yogurt, or fruit…endless possibilities.

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Oatmeal Protein Pancake, prepared the night before. In the morning, just pop the pancakes in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, place them back into the to-go container, add toppings and fruit, and run out the door! Yum.

G-nut Stew, Re-Done for the New Year

4 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone.

I thought I would bring you my updated version of this g-nut aka peanut stew. I have been making this stew for over 2 years now and it never fails to satisfy me and leave me with leftovers for the week.

I usually make this stew with garbanzo beans, but this time around I decided to use black-eyed peas. It is thought that on New Years Day if you eat black-eyed peas and greens then you will have prosperity and luck in the coming year. And who doesn’t want a little good fortune?

I am applying for an internship to eventually become a registered dietitian, and I need and want all the luck and prosperity I can get this year! Black eyed peas are just like most other beans and legumes, packed with protein, fiber, and iron and are great for reducing cholesterol.

With orange sweet potatoes and carrots, green peppers and chard, anti-inflammatory alliums onion/garlic, and our spicy friend ginger, this stew is packed with good-for-you veggies. The sauce for the stew is peanut butter and broth. Easy and simple.

I ran out of brown rice, so I made the stew and put it over white rice. Fine. Delish. Thank goodness for rice cookers. I have also made this stew with quinoa, or you could even pair it with cornbread.

I like to chop all of my ingredients up first before cooking, so that I can just dump the bowl into the pan quickly and have the stew ready in minutes. Because when I’m hungry, I want dinner FAST.

Let’s bring in this new year with lots of prosperity, luck, health, and delicious food!

African G-nut (aka Peanut) Stew

see my original post here

serves 4-6

2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated (NOTE: I like to keep extra ginger in the freezer so I have it on-hand at a moments notice)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 medium sweet potatoes, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups veggie broth

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 15-oz can of black-eyed peas

1/2 bunch of swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped or torn

1/2 cup peanut butter

optional: cilantro or parsley, for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the ground cumin and ground coriander and cook for 1 minute. Add the sweet potatoes and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt, vegetable broth, green pepper and garbanzo beans. Bring the stew to a boil, add the swiss chard, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the sweet potato and carrot are soft and the chard has wilted slightly. Mix in the peanut butter and cook for a final 5 minutes. If you want a thinner or thicker stew, you can add more peanut butter or, alternatively, more broth.
3. Serve the stew hot, over rice/quinoa/couscous, with toasted peanuts and cilantro or parsley as a garnish.