Monthly Archives: October 2010

Chili Contest: Entry 7

It’s a 2 post kind of day…I’ve been cooking and baking faster than I can blog. Always a good thing 😉

This week’s chili contest entry accompanied an Illini VICTORY! 🙂 That, too, is always a good thing!

Chunky Fire-Roasted Chili from How Sweet It Is

2 lbs 96/4 ground beef
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup red wine (I used Chianti)
1-28 ounce can low-sodium tomato puree
1-28 ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
2-15 ounce cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup cumin
1 Tbsp cocoa chili powder (1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder + 1 1/2 tsp chili powder)
1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp smoked paprika


Heat a large pot on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the chopped onion, peppers and garlic. Saute until vegetables are soft.

Add the ground beef to pot and break apart with a wooden spoon. Let brown. Add one cup of red wine and continue to saute and stir for about 3 minutes.

Add tomato puree, diced tomatos, fire-roasted tomatoes and kidney beans. Stir and add tomato paste.

Add chili powder, cocoa chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and smoked paprika. Stir and let simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. Simmer for 2-8 hours. Yield: 9 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 383 calories; 9.6 g. fat; 62 mg. cholesterol; 1572 mg. sodium*; 35.8 g. carbohydrate; 11.3 g. fiber; 31.6 g. protein

Result: This was a good, traditional chili heavy on the tomatoey flavor. I loved the addition of wine, it was so fragrant and added a smoothness to the chili. I think it I would omit the tomato paste and just use a small can of tomato sauce just to bring out the chili flavor more so than the tomato flavor. The consistency was spot on — not too thick, and not too soupy. Mmmm! The nutrition status (other than the sodium*) are excellent — look at all that fiber!

*The sodium content in the chili is less than calculated above as the beans were drained and rinsed and the canned goods were low-sodium, if available.


In celebration of Halloween today we carved pumpkins!

Question: Can you guess which one is mine? 😉

Trick-or-Treaters in T-40 minutes and then off to my hockey game!

Happy Halloween!



Filed under recipe, sodium

trick or treat?

Happy Halloween! 😀

Pup-A-Ween at the dog park was HILARIOUS! There was, indeed, bobbing for hot dogs! And a costume contest! Check it out:

Lily is ready to go! How cute is that tushie?

Everyone was dressed up!

Mini Me!

There were stations set up for bobbing for hot dogs. Do you see them in there?! Some dogs just didn’t get it (like Lily) and others went to TOWN! It was hilarious! I was too busy laughing to catch any great pictures, sorry!

“I smell them, mommy…how do I GET them!?”

Lily napped the remainder of the day, ha!


As for me, I tricked myself into a workout. I put it off all morning…I was making chili and watching college football, after all. Those 2 activities always take precedence in the Prevention household! And then we had Pup-A-Ween and by 4pm I had lost motivation to workout. I said to myself, “You had 4 miles planned. If you get up now, you can do 4 miles. But for every hour you procrastinate, add a mile.” I ended up treking down to the treadmill at 5:10pm and ran a sluggish 5 miles. I felt good, just wasn’t in the mood to push it 😉 But I TRICKED myself into that workout!

…instead of enjoying treats.

…Because I promised no candy until Halloween which has been fine, until my kitchen table looked like this in preparation for tonight’s trick-or-treaters:

Oy! The last 24 hours have been oh so difficult, but…I DID IT! I also pinky swore with a patient of mine, and I can’t let him down. His blood sugars were outrageously high and in talking to him I learned it was because he had Halloween candy laying around. I told him the deal I had made with myself, and he wanted in. We pinky swore on it! And, his blood sugars look AWESOME!

Question: What is one candy you DON’T like?

Our staff wanted to put together little Halloween goodie bags for our patients (it’s the little things in life, right?) and they asked me what the patients could have. Unfortunately, chocolate, caramel, and nuts are all no-no’s for our kidney patients and so that leaves the fruity, chewy candy like Starbursts, Skittles, gummy bears, etc. The staff were in agreement that those were their least favorite candies, and I agree. I want the chocolate!

Have a spoooky day!


Filed under blood glucose, challenge, diabetes, dialysis & kidney disease, dog, exercise, pets, physical activity, running, self-control, sleep

3 attempts – 1 bust = 2 successes

I’m lucky enough to have a lot of Friday’s off. It’s great. I have time to catch up with everything that didn’t get done during the hectic week, spend time with Lily, catch up with bloggy friends, and exercise. And a lot of times, I get the urge to bake!

Yesterday I did just that!

I started off with a recipe I saw on Erica’s blog. It’s been almost a week since I made anything pumpkin (cream cheese, aside), and with Halloween this weekend, it seemed only appropriate.

Success #1

Pumpkin Pie Bars from The Healthy Junky

Crust and topping:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup chopped pecans

For the filling:
8 oz. light cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup butterscotch chips


Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan.  Lightly grease the foil.  Combine the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and toss with a fork.  Add the pieces of butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the oats and chopped pecans.

Reserve 1 cup of the crust mixture and set aside.  Add the remaining crust mixture to the prepared baking pan and press onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer.  Bake the crust alone in the oven for 15 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare the filling.

To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium speed until smooth and well combined.

Once the crust has been removed from the oven, pour the filling into the pan and smooth over the crust.  Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture and butterscotch chips, as desired.  Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Slice and refrigerate until served. Yield: 15 bars.

Nutrition Information (per bar): 303 calories; 17.2 g. fat; 51 mg. cholesterol; 92 mg. sodium; 33.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.2 g. fiber; 5.4 g. protein

Result: These were excellent, especially when served cold. Very rich and plenty big! There’s absolutely nothing, whatsoever healthy about them…and that is why they are going to work with me on Monday for an in-service I have to do with our staff. I hope they like them! 😀

Success #2

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites from How Sweet It Is

2 cups dry rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I chopped mine a bit)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey


Preheat oven to 325° F.

Combine oats, flax, wheat germ, salt, nuts and chocolate chips in a bowl and mix. Use your hands to mix well. Add honey slowly and coat thoroughly. If the granola won’t stick together, add more honey 1 teaspoon at a time.

Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Scoop granola into muffin tins and press down to fill the well tightly.

Bake for 25 minutes, checking in every 10 minutes to make sure granola isn’t burning. Remove from oven and let cool completely – this is a MUST to ensure the granola sticks together. When cool, gently twist or use a spoon to remove granola from the tins. Yield: 30 bites.

Nutrition Information (per bite): 90 calories; 5.4 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 55 mg. sodium; 9.1 g. carbohydrate; 1.6 g. fiber; 2.8 g. protein

Result: These were really good, but a bit dry. I think I would add a bit more peanut butter next time..2 tablespoons more would probably do the trick. They are so yummy with milk, and the perfect 2-bite treat. Portion control, always a good thing! 😉


I tried making caramel-dipped apple slices for this Halloween weekend, and all of the caramel ended up everywhere BUT on the apple slices. WHAT did I do wrong?! I heated a bag of caramels, dipped the slices, and laid them on parchment. No idea 😦 Anyone? Bueller?

Sad! But, a successful day in the kitchen, none-the-less. And I will have happy co-workers on Monday…always a good thing!

Question: What are you doing to celebrate Halloween? Are you dressing up? If so, as what?

It’s Saturday! College football day! That means chili and orange hoodies! 😀



Filed under dessert, recipe, Uncategorized, work

Not Greek? Not good.

When Mr. Prevention and I lived in Tulsa, our house had a huge jetted tub. And every Monday when Mr. P’s BusinessWeek magazine came in the mail, he would grab 2 beers, his magazine, and head for the tub. A routine that annoyed me just a bit…the man could bathe for HOURS..

This week, Mr. Prevention pointed out an article in his BusinessWeek about yogurt. For the past year yogurt sales look like this:

Yoplait: -2%
Fage: +57%
Oikos: +88%
Chobani: +246%

Of course health & fitness bloggers jumped on the Greek yogurt band wagon quite some time ago, but it appears most everyone is now on the Greek yogurt train. Or should I say the Chobani train?

There’s no denying Greek yogurt has its perks. Outside of taste, there’s the added protein and loads of live and active cultures to keep your gut nice and healthy. Plus, most are organic products. The drawback tends to be cost. Yoplait and Dannon have tried to meet the demands of the Greek yogurt trend at a lesser cost, but fall short (taste wise) to brands such as Fage and Chobani. Of course, that is just my opinion. Personally, I buy most any brand because I buy what’s on sale for the week.

A huge thanks to Siggi’s who loaded up my fridge this week with their strained yogurt to try! I am yet to try Siggi’s…can’t wait! 😀

And for those adventures folks out there, you can successfully make Greek yogurt in a yogurt maker or a crock pot. I’ve tried both with great results! 😀 And there is a definite cost savings if you decide to tackle Greek yogurt-making for the long haul.


Aside from Greek yogurt, I have also been enjoying Pumpkin Cream Cheese on my bagel thins for breakfast this week. A few weeks ago I made Pumpkin Butter and I simply mixed equal parts of that delicious pumpkin butter and light cream cheese. Divine! Note: Bring the pumpkin butter and cream cheese close to room temp before combining. Then your cream cheese won’t be chunky like mine. No biggie, it’ll just look prettier 😉

Question: What’s your favorite brand of Greek yogurt?

I think my favorite is Fage, but I’ve heard great things about Siggi’s. I hope I can confirm! 😀

Have a Happy Halloween weekend! Be sure to check-in over the weekend to see pictures from “Pup-A-Ween” at the dog park on Saturday afternoon. Lily is going in her tutu and there’s going to be BOBBING FOR HOT DOGS!!! You’d better bet I’ll be there…with my camera! I can’t wait…haha!



Filed under breakfast, condiments, crock pot, dog, grocery store, pets, protein

productive day #2!

Wheeeew! Being productive is getting exhausting! I may have to slow things down a bit today 😉

Yesterday morning started off with a strength session (go, self!) and then a quick shower before throwing dinner in the crock pot. I dashed out the door with my hair in a frizzy mess and worked until after 7pm (I didn’t get to break away from the nephrologist until 4pm — I was GROWLING for lunch!). I got in the door at 8pm and the smells of Thanksgiving infused the house. YUM! Mr. Prevention had even followed directions for our brussel’s sprouts. Impressive. The crock pot and I are officially bonding, I would say…another successful crock pot meal 😀

8 am:

8 pm:

Note: You can’t judge a crock pot recipe by looks alone!! 😉

Cranberry Pork Roast from A Year of Slow Cooking and Bean Town Baker

1 (2.5-3 lb) pork tenderloin (I used 2 1/2#), trimmed
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 1/4 cup white sugar + 1/4 cup Splenda granular
1/2 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup diet cranberry juice made with Splenda
1/2 small lemon, thinly sliced


Use a 4 quart crockpot. In a plastic zipper bag, put dry spices and cornstarch and add meat. Shake to coat. Put contents into your slow cooker.

Add cranberry sauce, or your fresh cranberries and sugar. Put in raisins and garlic. Pour in cranberry juice, and top with lemon slices.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (I cooked mine for 12 hours), or high for about 4. The longer you cook the meat, the more tender it will be. Serves 7 (about 5 ounces after being cooked).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 374 calories; 7.8 g. fat; 128 mg. cholesterol; 261 mg. sodium; 28.3 g. carbohydrate; 1.1 g. fiber; 46 g. protein

Result: It was an early Thanksgiving in the Prevention household! What a nice surprise! We loved this dish – it was so tender, and because of the low and slow cooking time with the long duration, the meat shredded with a fork. Mr. Prevention preferred this pork to the Slow Cooked Char Siu Pork I made last week. I liked both, but I definitely appreciate the leanness of the tenderloin cut – very low fat!! If you’re looking for an early T-day treat, look no further…it’s the perfect fall delight!

And Mr. P managed to put the Brussel’s sprouts in the oven…

1 lb Brussel’s sprouts tossed in olive oil, 1/4 cup pecans, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes at 350° F. Sprinkle with 1-2 ounces of Gorgonzola and bake another 3-4 minutes. DELISH!


I emailed lots of fellow RD and bloggers yesterday morning to see who would be interested in collaborating on a RD Q&A. I’ve had an amazing response and I look forward to adding a tab on my blog about becoming an RD, the schooling involved, what internships are like, job outlook for RD’s, career paths for RD’s, and our best advice for those entering the field. I get questions weekly from readers who are interested in nutrition, and I hope that joining forces with other RD’s and bloggers will help those interested! So look for that in a week or so! I’m excited!

Question: What did you want to be when you were a little kid?

I remember wanting to be a professional figure skater…and now I play ice-hockey. My, how things change! 😉

Bon voyage to my parental unit who are off to the shores of Puerto Vallarta for the week. I am green with envy! Off to work I go…!

Have a fabulous day!


Filed under blog, blog topic request, crock pot, dietitians, dinner, doctors, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, healthy cooking, hockey, hunger, meat consumption, physical activity, physicians, protein, recipe, sugar substitutes, travel, work

dinner for…one.

Yesterday was productive.

Work was productive. I came home to pound out a 4-miler and was showered all by 6pm…productive. I started on dinner…productive. And then I checked my phone. Mr. Prevention sent me a text.

Mr. P: I will be home late tonight…what are you thinking for dinner?
[20 minutes passes – I was working out/showering]
Mr. P: Your delay makes me think you are leaning towards pizza for take-out 😉
Me: Sorry for the delay, I was running. That’s fine, but I’m making French onion soup and crab cakes.
Mr. P: I don’t want soup, I had soup for lunch.
Me: Did you have homemade crab cakes for lunch, too?
Mr. P: I could handle crab cakes…but I do have a taste for pizza. 😀

Needless to say, Mr. P settled on a pizza. Oh well, can’t win’em all! More for me…and leftovers! Besides, his loss…it was gooood!

Pizza Head. How…appropriate!

So, onwards with the REAL food…

Crab Tater Tots Cakes from Eats Well With Others

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 3/4 cup seasoned mashed potatoes (I used leftovers from last night)
8 oz crab meat
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste (approx. 1/4 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp pepper)
oil for frying (1/3 cup canola oil)
2 Tbsp chives, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped


In a small pan, combined the butter and water over medium-high heat.  Simmer until butter is melted.  Lower the heat and mix in the flour.  Keep mixing until the paste that forms peels away from the side of the pan.  Remove from heat and let it cool for five minutes.  Mix in the egg.

Mix the egg into the seasoned mashed potatoes.  Mix in the crab. Heat oil for frying.

Take a handful of the potato/crab mixture (or less depending on how large you want your tater tots to be).  Roll in some panko until it is completely covered.  Place in the oil, turning once in the frying process.  They should take 2-3 minutes to cook. Place on a paper towel lined plate. Yield: 9 medium-large crab cakes.

Nutrition Information (per crab cake): 177 calories; 12 g. fat; 42 mg. cholesterol; 266 mg. sodium; 10.6 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 3.8 g. protein

Result: These were great! I loved Joanne’s suggestion to add chives. I rarely fry, but these used very little oil and were very simple. I love crab cakes, so I’m glad to have a go-to recipe for them!


Remoulade Sauce adapted from Paula Deen

2 Tbsp chives, chopped
2 Tbsp green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp capers, with juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise + 1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard


To prepare sauce, place the parsley, green onions, capers, and garlic in a blender or food processor and combine. Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. Blend well. Chill until ready to serve with seafood. This keeps in a covered container in the refrigerator for several weeks. Serves 8 (2 tablespoons each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 30 calories; 2.4 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 122 mg. sodium; 1.6 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 0.6 g. protein

Result: Delicious! I’ve never made remoulade sauce, but it’s delicious! I loved doing 1/2 Greek yogurt instead of all mayonnaise. You don’t need any additional salt because the capers are plenty salty.

And last, but not least…

French Onion Soup

2 cups low-sodium French onion soup
1 yellow onion, sliced into rings
1 slice of wheat bakery bread, cut in quarters
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, halved


Preheat broiler to 500° F. Layer a baking sheet with tin foil.

Simmer soup and onions for 30-60 minutes, or until onions are tenders and very aromatic.

Pour soup into mugs and top with bread and then cheese. Place onto baking sheet and broil for 6-9 minutes, or until melted and bubbly. Serves 2.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 256 calories; 14 g. fat; 25 mg. cholesterol; 567 mg. sodium; 23 g. carbohydrate; 4 g. fiber; 11 g. protein

Result: Just like restaurant-style ooey gooey cheesiness! This isn’t quite “homemade” but it’s certainly jazzed up from the can. Delicious!

Quite the meal, wasn’t it? Like I said, productive day!

Question: What makes you feel most productive?

I love having my workout out of the way early on in the day…that makes the whole day seem easy breezy! ..Off to do my full body strength routine before work! 😀

Happy hump day,


Filed under exercise, pizza, recipe, running

assembly line to dinner

I wasn’t surprised when Mr. Prevention requested Biggest Loser “Fried” Chicken this week…it has been a few months since we last had this recipe, and it is a favorite of ours. Who doesn’t love fried chicken minus the unhealthiness of frying? But this recipe does require quite the assembly line: cornstarch and spices –> egg whites –> bread crumbs. Not difficult once you’ve got the pattern down, and certainly easier the second time you make the recipe. Though not as quite as basic as microwave potato chips! 😉


Biggest Loser “Fried Chicken”

2 pounds chicken tenders
1 quart 1% buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp organic seasoning Salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
Large pinch cayenne pepper
4 egg whites, beaten to very soft peaks
Pam cooking spray or olive oil


Soak chicken tenders in refrigerator, in buttermilk, for 6 hours or overnight.

Drain and blot with paper towels to remove excess buttermilk. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325° F. Lay bread crumbs out on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool.

Increase oven heat to 450º F. Combine cornstarch, paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a large Pyrex dish – mix well.

Dredge drained and blotted chicken tenders in seasoned starch. Next, coat dredged tenders thoroughly with beaten egg whites. Last, dip tenders in toasted panko to fully coat. Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet, fitted with a baking rack. Lightly spray chicken on both sides with Pam and season lightly with salt, if desired. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes or until outside is crispy and chicken is just cooked through and juicy. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 270 calories; 4 g. fat (1 g. saturated fat); 65 mg. cholesterol; 210 mg. sodium; 27 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 28 g. protein

Result: Good as ever! Always a favorite! You can always make 1/2 or even 1/4th of this recipe. I usually make 1/2 and there’s plenty of leftovers which reheat beautifully! It’s a perfect, healthy comfort food meal. Of course, Mr. Prevention slathers his chicken fingers in one of several Buffalo Wild Wing sauces *eye roll* Wing sauce is definitely his most prized condiment.


I got in my lower body strength session last night – WOO! It…was not fun, but it’s done 🙂 I warmed up with a 2 1/2 mile run, lifted, and cooled down with a 1/4th mile walk. I felt accomplished and strong! Tomorrow I plan to run and Wednesday morning I plan to do my upper and lower body (i.e. full body) strength routine. And then Thursday will be a rest day 😀

..::My Business Update!::..

I am starting a private practice with 2 other Registered Dietitians. Together we are Mid Ohio Nutrition Specialists!  Please check our our website — feedback is welcomed! We are in the editing stages and are very excited to see things taking off! We are pitching our business to the largest group of neprhrologists in Ohio come January and we couldn’t be happier! In the meantime, we are busy building our Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) courses which will be submitted for AADE accreditation in the next 4-6 weeks. We are seeing Medicare patients with chronic kidney disease and diabetes in physician offices, a service that is reimbursable for Registered Dietitians. It’s exciting, and busy!

Thanks for all of your support! 😀

Question: What’s your favorite condiment?

P.S. A great article on high-fructose corn syrup, for those interested..


Filed under diabetes, dialysis & kidney disease, dietitians, exercise, fried food, guilt-free, physicians, recipe, running, Uncategorized