Suzanne Hollander, MS, RD

As a dietitian, home cook, and enthusiast of all-things-delicious, I'm often asked, "so what do YOU eat?" Here's a blog to answer that very question! My hope is that you'll find (even just a little) inspiration from some of my favorite recipes, restaurants, party-ideas and food musings for your own happy, healthy, food-loving lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Snack Food Finds!

It has been a while since I've posted, but I wanted to share a couple tasty, nutritious snack food finds with you! In addition to naturally delicious fruits and vegetables, these help keep you energized and satisfy those midday cravings:

Dreaming Cow Creamery Yogurt
Happy Moo, Happy You 
This Dreaming Cow is a nice break from the Greek yogurt we've been stuck on for years! I love that the yogurt comes from responsibly raised, grass-fed cows and that they've created whole fat, tasty flavors (like Honey Pear and Maple Ginger!) with minimal added sugar. I was able to pick some up on sale for $1.29 per container. With just ~120 calories per container, it's perfect paired with a piece of fruit for snack or would make a great yogurt parfait base at breakfast.

Perfect Bar
cranberryCrunchalmondButteralmondCoconutpeanutMini
I'm always "researching" (tasting) the perfect meal/snack bar, and I'm totally turned off by those varieties that have lots of weird ingredients and taste like sweetener + protein-powder. While I love the natural ingredients in Kind Bars and Larabars, I recently stumbled upon these Perfect Bars and was quite pleased! With natural ingredients and enough protein to fill you up, they make the Perfect (see what I did there?) meal replacement. For the right sized snack, go with a Lite or the Mini.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kabocha Blue Cheese Quesadillas

These vegetarian quesadillas make a seasonal, tasty appetizer or hearty meal. They have the flavors of autumn, without using the same old ingredients and spices. You could also replace the kabocha with pumpkin, which you may have lying around after Thanksgiving!

The Nutrition Rundown: Kabocha, like other orange vegetables, packs tons of vitamin A, which means that one of these quesadillas gives you over a third of your daily needs of that powerful antioxidant. Using whole grain tortillas in place of regular, refined flour tortillas packs in more fiber- pairing this quesadilla with a side salad is sure to fill you up! 

 Kabocha and Blue Cheese Quesadillas
Makes 4 large quesadillas 
Serves 4 meal portions or ~8 appetizer portions

Ingredients
½ medium Kabocha squash, halved and seeds scooped out (or about 1.5 cup mashed kabocha or pumpkin)
2 oz blue cheese (or goat cheese)- I used Humboldt Fog
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced
1 red onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
4 large whole grain tortillas 
~3 Tbs oil, divided
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In shallow glass baking dish, pour ½ cup water. Place squash flesh side down in pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until orange flesh is fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  2. Scoop squash from skin and place in medium mixing bowl. Add cheese and mash to combine. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Over medium heat, saute garlic, onions and leeks in ~1/2 Tbs oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread kabocha mixture evenly across tortillas. Top with leek mixture. Fold tortillas in half. 
  5. Heat 1/2 Tbs oil in large skillet over medium heat. Pan fry 1 quesadilla in skillet for about 2-3 minutes, flip quesadilla and fry until both sides are golden crisp. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Overnight Oats


Making sure you eat breakfast is a lot easier with prep work the night before. You may have seen recipes all over the internet by now, and there's a reason. Overnight oats refers to softening the oats by soaking them for a few hours (or overnight, get it?), so there's no need for cooking. I've included a "base" recipe, and then a few of my favorite combinations of add-ins. I love how easy this recipe is for using what you've got on hand and for using seasonal flavors. A bowl of this hearty, healthy, delicious breakfast will leave you satisfied until lunchtime! 

The Nutrition Rundown: The type of fiber found in oats, known as "soluble fiber", keeps your heart healthy by helping to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol. That same fiber also helps you feel full and satisfied! Chia seeds add omega-3 fats, and, of course, nothing beats a serving of fruit at breakfast for a vitamin boost!

Overnight Oats
Makes 2 Servings
The Base
1 cup rolled oats
Nutrition Facts based on
Base + 1/2 cup fruit
1 Tablespoon chia seeds (found at many supermarkets and most healthfood stores)
1 Tablespoon almond butter or cashew butter
1 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened soy milk, and that's what the nutrition facts are based on)

The Mix-Ins
1 mashed banana + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup blueberries + 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberries + 2 Tablespoons peanut butter (substitute it for the almond butter in base recipe)
1/4 cup chopped apple + 1/4 cup pumpkin puree + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Serve! (Tip: If you put chopped nuts in your concoction, then add them in the morning of eating...don't leave them overnight to soak). 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Re-Purposing: Mustard Bottle Salad Dressing

Making your own salad dressing can seem pretty daunting. But opting to do-it-yourself saves you from the excess sodium and preservatives often dumped into bottled salad dressing (and it saves you some cash!). A mustard bottle on its "last legs" is the perfect container for mixing up and storing your new concoction. Mustard serves as a natural emulsifier, which helps keep the oil from separating too quickly. With no measuring and just a few ingredients, this "project" takes almost as little time and effort as opening up the bottled kind!

How to: 
1 almost-empty bottle or jar of mustard (type is up to you!) 
+ 2 parts acid (vinegar or lemon juice) 
+ 1 part olive oil 
+ herbs/spices (optional) 
+ pinch of sweetness (also optional, but honey, sugar, fruit juice all work well)
Give it a shake and pour it on! 

Here are a few of my favorite varieties:
  • Dijon mustard with lemon juice + olive oil + garlic + honey poured over herb salad;
  • Brown mustard with apple cider vinegar + olive oil + celery seed + pinch of sugar (great for cole slaw!)
  • Dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar + olive oil + chopped fresh basil on spinach and strawberry salad.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quick Dinner: Lemon Ricotta Arugula Pasta


It sure has been a while since I've posted a new recipe! That doesn't mean it's been quiet around here. I've been enjoying the summer and, along with it, quick, simple summer recipes. I love this few-ingredient dish, with whole grain pasta, with fresh summer flavors and minimal effort...perfect for lunch or dinner on your busiest of days. Scale this recipe up or down whether you're cooking for 1 or many.

The Nutrition Rundown: At under 400 calories per serving, this fiber-rich, creamy-textured whole grain pasta dish won't leave you overly full like other rich pasta dishes. Adding in bunches of arugula (feel free to add more veggies, too!) boosts fiber and vitamin content, leaving you satisfied and nourished without the usual post-pasta food coma.



 Lemon Ricotta Arugula Pasta
Serves 4
Ingredients
8oz whole grain pasta 
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
1 Lemon, juice and zest
Pinch of salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh arugula
Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta, lemon juice and zest, spices, and olive oil until combined. Add arugula and toss to coat. 
  3. Drain cooked pasta. Toss into arugula mixture. Serve warm or chilled. 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Scones

Blueberries are finally in season! And here they shine in yummy scones. Using seasonal fruit in baked goods adds natural sweetness, so you can cut back quite a bit on the sugar without compromising flavor. 

The Nutrition Rundown: A scone from a standard coffee shop may run as high as 500 calories. This perfectly-portioned, whole grain version gets flavor from fresh fruit instead of refined sugar.

Blueberry Lemon Scones
Makes ~10 scones
Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 Tablespoons chilled butter
1 cup blueberries
6oz plain yogurt
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. In large bowl (or bowl of standing mixer) whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Mix with whisk attachment or with electric mixer until butter is about pea-sized.  
  3. In separate bowl, mix together yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. 
  4. Flour work surface, and knead dough (it will be difficult to knead). Pat into circle ~1/2 inch thick. Cut into ~10 triangles. 
  5. Transfer scones to baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool on wire rack. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fresh Pick of the Week: Kohlrabi


This root vegetable with edible leaves is at the beginning of its season, which runs from summer until early fall. After removing the tough outer skin, the edible root can be consumed raw or cooked, and is crisp and refreshing! Try it sliced with dip, chopped into slaw, or roasted (see below!). Kohlrabi root is rich in fiber, potassium, and B6. And don't forget about those greens! Get a hefty dose of vitamin K (important for blood and bone health) from the greens, which you can use like you would would kale, chard, or spinach.

Need more convincing? Try this simply Roasted Kohlrabi and Fennel. Eat it as is, or toss it, like I did, with greens, apple slices, and toasted almonds to make a hearty salad.



Roasted Kohlrabi and Fennel
Ingredients
1 kohlrabi root
1 fennel root
2 Tbs safflower oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Using vegetable peeler, remove outer skin of kohlrabi. Slice into crescents and set aside on large, rimmed baking sheet. 
  3. Remove top of fennel. Slice fennel bulb into quarters, and cut out tough inner core. Slice fennel into 1/2" pieces and place on baking sheet with kohlrabi. 
  4. Toss vegetables in oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking, until vegetable edges are golden brown and soft to bite. Serve warm, or toss into salad. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cauliflower "Mac" & Cheese with Truffle Oil

 I love reinventing classic comfort foods into healthier alternatives. This vegetable-rich take on Mac & Cheese leaves out the refined, white pasta in favor of complex-carbs, higher fiber content, and more vitamins. Because of its white color and relatively neutral flavor, cauliflower is a great alternative for starchier dishes. Cauliflower "Mac" & Cheese (and who ever complained about truffle oil?) is a great main dish or could serve more guests as a side. I served it as a Meatless Monday dinner entree, alongside some fresh whole grain bread.

The Nutrition Rundown: Replacing low-nutrient, refined white pasta with cauliflower gives this dish tasty, heart-disease reducing benefits. Bulking up the creamy sauce with white bean puree helps cut back on saturated fat (another heart-health hooray!). The beans also add protein and soluble fiber, which make it a more filling and complete meal.


Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese with Truffle Oil
Serves 6
Ingredients
2 Tablespoons cooking oil, divided (I used coconut oil)
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 15 oz can white kidney beans (no salt added), drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic
1 cup shredded cheese (I used ½ extra-sharp, grass-fed cheddar and ½ Gruyere)
¼ cup milk (I used 2%)
¼ cup crème fraiche (you can substitute sour cream or plain yogurt)
½ onion, diced
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 Tablespoons truffle oil (optional)
Salt and pepper

Directions
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using ~2 teaspoons of cooking oil, grease 9x13” baking dish.
  2. Fill large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until tender,  ~5 minutes. Drain and set aside cauliflower and pan for later use. (You could also steam the cauliflower or use frozen and steam in microwave).
  3. In food processor, make sauce by combining white beans, garlic, cheese, crème fraiche, milk, salt and pepper. Pulse until creamy and set aside.
  4.  Preheat remaining cooking oil to large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent. Add cauliflower and toss to combine. Cook ~2-3 minutes until cauliflower begins to brown. Add sauce and herbs and stir to combine. Turn off heat, and add truffle oil if using as well as additional salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Bake for ~20-25 minutes, until top is golden brown. Remove from oven, and allow to cool slightly and set for ~5 minutes before serving warm. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

All-Natural No-Bake Brownies

When shopping at the supermarket, "all-natural" doesn't necessarily mean healthy. But these brownies are fudgy, delicious, and full of truly natural and healthful ingredients. Packed with nuts and fruit, they taste good enough for dessert, and will nourish you well enough to be a balanced breakfast. You can whip up a batch in about 10 minutes, plus a little extra time for chilling, so no excuses not to indulge in these chocolaty treats!

The Nutrition Rundown: Bananas and dates replace the usual refined sugar and add potassium, an important electrolyte, which blunts the rise of blood pressure when you have too much salt and helps regulate the body's fluid status. Nuts and fruit will give you lasting energy instead of the typical post-pastry crash.



All-Natural No-Bake Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Makes 20 Brownies
Ingredients for Brownies
10 oz pecans
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ripe bananas
1 cup dates

Directions for Brownies

  1. Pulse pecans, coconut, and coco powder in food processor until it resembles coarse meal. Add bananas and dates and continue to pulse until well combines (you may need to remove lid and stir ingredients occasionally). 
  2. Press brownie mix into 9x13" pan. 
Ingredients for Frosting
1/4 cup organic, natural peanut butter
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions for Frosting
  1. Blend all ingredients in food processor until well combined. 
  2. Using rubber spatula, cover brownies in peanut butter topping. 
  3. Cover and chill brownies in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 1 week. 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gluten Free Beet Muffins

Beet muffins may sound weird, but shredded beets add color and flavor to these tasty gluten free goodies. I used almonds and oats as the gluten free "flour" base. With orange, spices, and creme fraiche topping, they are reminiscent of carrot cake but without too much added sugar and instead packed with tons of nutrients. 

The Nutrition Rundown: Oats and almonds replace refined flour, adding soluble fiber, healthy fat, and protein. Beets give the muffins betacyanins, pigments that have been shown to act as powerful cancer-fighting agents. 






Beet Muffins
with Orange Crème Fraiche Topping
(Gluten Free)
Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients for muffins
3 beets, cleaned, peeled, rough chopped
1 cup almonds, toasted
½ cup rolled oats (labeled “gluten free”)
2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger (or ½ tsp ground ginger)
¼ cup dark brown sugar
3 eggs
½ lemon, zest and juice

Directions for muffins
  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using butter or oil, grease 12 muffin tin or prepare with parchment liners and set aside.
  2. Pulse beets in food processor until shredded.  Remove beets and set aside in small bowl.
  3. In food processor, pulse almonds and oats until coarse meal. Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger and pulse to combine.
  4. Place dry mixture in medium mixing bowl. Whisk in brown sugar. Create a well in center of mixture and add eggs. Whisk eggs into dry mixture. Add beets and lemon and fold to combine.
  5.  Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for ~15 minutes, until set in center. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Muffins without topping may be served warm or room temperature, and can be stored in enclosed container at room temperature.  

Ingredients for Topping
1/3 cup crème fraiche
2 oz goat cheese
Zest of 1/2 orange (plus additional as desired)
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey

Directions for Topping
  1. Combine all ingredients with electric mixer (or whisk together thoroughly).
  2. Place topping in piping bag (or sealable plastic bag with corner cut). Pipe onto top of muffins.
  3. Garnish with additional orange zest if desired. Store in refrigerator.  Allow to chill at least one hour before serving.