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, October 29, 2013

Spiced Sunchoke and Root Vegetable Oven Chips

Autumn and winter are a great time to experiment in the kitchen with root vegetables. These Oven Chips are spicy, satisfying, and savory. They make a perfect football or holiday party appetizer or can be served as a hearty side dish. I used sunchokes, turnips, and parsnips, but go wild and substitute any root vegetables you like!

The Nutrition Rundown: In addition to having way more flavor than the usual store-bought potato chip, these Oven Chips also have 5 times the fiber to keep you fuller longer as well as more of the antioxidant vitamins A and C.
Spiced Sunchoke and Root Vegetable Oven Chips
with Cool Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Serves 6

~8-10 Jerusalem Artichokes (aka Sunchokes)
2 large parsnips
1 large turnip
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil
3 Tbs smoked paprika
2 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs ground coriander
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp crushed black pepper

For sauce
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tbs mayo
3 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs harissa or hot sauce
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2.  Scrub root vegetables (chokes, parsnips, and turnip). Slice thinly along diagonal, making pieces evenly sized as possible. Place sliced vegetables in large bowl, and toss with both oils.
  3. In small bowl, mix together spices. Sprinkle over vegetables, and toss to coat evenly. Spread in single layer on rimmed baking sheets (I used 2 large baking sheets).
  4. Bake in preheated oven until both sides are golden brown, ~45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
  5.  While vegetables roast, in small bowl, mix together all ingredients for dipping sauce. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. Serve chips warm or room temperature with cool dipping sauce. 

    Nutrition for 1 Serving of Oven Chips
    Nutrition for 1 Serving of Dipping Sauce

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fresh Pick of the Week: Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes) are available at many fall/winter farmers markets throughout the country. These tubers or plant roots grow below sunflower plants and can be prepared similarly to potatoes. However, Jerusalem artichokes offer a sweeter flavor profile than typical potatoes due to the fact that they are composed of a fructose-based carbohydrate known as "inulin". Beyond the benefits from Jerusalem artichokes' vitamins and minerals, the inulin content may confer health benefits of its own. Inulin has been shown to act as a prebiotic, feeding our body's beneficial bacteria, which may result in a stronger digestive tract and immune system. If all of that doesn't give you reason enough to go out and buy them, stay tuned for a tasty recipe later this week!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grilled Caesar Salad

This summer, some family friends introduced us to this delicious side dish. There is something about preparing vegetables in unorthodox ways that make the usual favorites really shine at the dinner table. Grilled Caesar Salad is quick (and cheap!), which makes it a wonderful weeknight choice or easy, rapid-cook dish at your next dinner party. 

The Nutrition Rundown: Lettuce is often criticized for having "no nutritional value." Not the case! Romaine lettuce, like many fruits and vegetables, is full of fiber and water, helping to keep you full and hydrate you. One romaine heart also contains ~1/4 of your daily folate needs, particularly important for a healthy pregnancy and/or a healthy heart. 

Grilled Caesar Salad
Serves 4

Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
2 Romaine hearts, sliced in half lengthwise (keep the bottom end on)
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup Tbs freshly grated Parmesan

  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 2 Tbs olive oil, salt and pepper. Brush onto inside portion of romaine hearts.
  3. Place romaine hearts, inside down, on grill. Allow to cook ~3 minutes, until scored. While cooking, whisk together dressing with balsamic, mustard, and remaining olive oil.
  4. Serve salad drizzled with dressing and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cauliflower Mash with Leeks & Parmesan

This Cauliflower Mash has become a comfort food staple at our dinner table. Because cauliflower steams in just minutes (much faster than potatoes), it is a quick, weeknight fix that feels decadent and special. I use leeks for texture and subtle, onion flavor as well as Parmesan, which adds a saltiness and creaminess to the dish. This version was so delicious, it will likely make an appearance on our Thanksgiving menu this year!

The Nutrition Rundown: In addition to offering fewer calories than standard mashed potatoes, this dish uses leeks, from the "allium" family, and cauliflower, from the "cruciferous" family of vegetables. The combination of nutrients in these vegetable families help reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Can't beat something this healthy and delicious!

Cauliflower Mash with Leeks
Serves 4

2 Tbs Olive oil
2 leeks, bulb and lower leaf, cleaned well, sliced into thin half moons
Salt and Pepper
1 head cauliflower, core and stem removed, chopped into florets
1 cup water
¼ cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 Tbs chopped chives, divided

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté ~2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower and toss to combine. Season again with salt and pepper and cook, stirring gently, until cauliflower ends begin to brown (~3-4 minutes).
  3. Add water. Cover saucepan and let vegetables steam until soft, ~7 minutes. Stir halfway through.
  4. Remove pan from heat. Using immersion blender*, puree vegetables. Stir in 3 Tbs Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbs chopped chives. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
  5.  Serve warm with remaining cheese and chives sprinkled over top. 
*If you don't have an immersion blender, use a handheld, manual vegetable masher. The end product will be lumpier, but still delicious! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jalapeno & Green Onion Cornbread

I was recently inspired by a college friend's deliciously healthy rendition of Southern cornbread. In this version, I added some smokey spice, using a jalapeno mixed into the batter and chipotle butter spread. These grainy muffins were excellent alongside Burning 'Bocha Chili (black bean chili made with Golden Road Beer--recipe coming soon!).

The Nutrition Rundown: Made with all whole grains and made without butter and sugar, these pack more filling-fiber, fewer calories, and less saturated fat than standard cornbread. It gives you some room to add the delicious buttery spread!

Jalapeño and Green Onion Cornbread with Chipotle Butter
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients for Cornbread
1/3 cup safflower oil (or other plant-based oil)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon molasses
2 cups buttermilk (or make it vegan using 2 cups unsweetened almond milk + 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar)
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (~3 Tbs minced)
4 pieces of green onion (tops and bulbs), sliced (~1/4 cup sliced)

Directions for Cornbread:
Nutrition Facts based on vegan recipe,
without butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using butter or oil, grease 12 muffin tin and set aside.
  2.  In medium bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup, molasses, and milk.
  3. Sift cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt into large bowl.
  4.  Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Add jalapeno and green onion and stir to combine.
  5. Pour batter into greased muffin tins. Bake for ~15-20 minutes, until knife inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Serve warm or room temperature with Chipotle Butter. 
Cornbread is best served fresh. It can also be stored in closed container at room temperature for up to 48 hours.

Ingredients for Butter
½ cup (1 stick) Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 chilis from canned chipotles in adobo, finely chopped

Directions for Butter
  1.  In electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk butter ~1 minute. Add chilis and mix until well combined, ~1 minute more. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, clean hands work really well for this!)
  2.  Place butter on parchment paper, and roll into log, ~2” in diameter. Allow to chill 30 minutes in refrigerator and slice to serve. (You may also forego step 2, and serve butter whipped at room temperature).

Butter can be stored in tightly-wrapped parchment in refrigerator up to a month.