Weekend Wrap-up: What did the dietitian eat this weekend?

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend full of fun, food, and football. Though I didn’t document what I had for every meal this weekend, I thought I’d at least share a snapshot of a few meals and snacks from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

friday night dinner -

Friday night dinner consisted of oven-roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus (asparagus was cooked a little too long…oops! #ithappens), baked sweet potato, and lentils made with chicken broth and bay leaf (YUM!). I really wanted to find some end of season okra at the grocery store, but I should have known better. The brussel sprouts were a nice compromise and mighty delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

saturday night dinner

Saturday night dinner (although not pictured very pretty) consisted of homemade burgers with smoked Gouda and caramelized onions with a horseradish sauce. The monstrosity beside it is an extremely large blue cheese baked potato all compliments of the husband. I ended up only eating about an 1/8 of it due to the size. Since I was already planning on eating the bun from the burger, I decided not to eat as much of the potato since I typically like having only 3-4 carbohydrate exchanges/servings at dinner. In hindsight, my hubs and I should have split the potatoes but they were on sale 2/$1 so my hubs took advantage of the deal ๐Ÿ™‚

sunday lunch

Sunday lunch was eaten atย a function at church that afternoon. The food you see above is from Taco Mama here in Tuscaloosa. It is absolutely delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ I ended up with a handful of chips, lettuce, chicken, black beans, cheese, tomatoes, and jalapenos. I should have taken a picture of my actual plate, but I was a little too hungry to remember ๐Ÿ™‚

sunday snack

Sunday snack happened around 5:15 p.m. while catching up on some work in my office. It was a little too early for dinner, and I needed something to hold me over until later that evening. I am absolutely in love with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavored Quest Bars.ย However, I wish they were less expensive. Depending on where you purchase them, price can range anywhere from $2-3 per bar. Yikes!

Well there you have it friends- a little hodgepodge of eating over the weekend. What did you have to eat this weekend? Let’s share together!


Movie Theater Popcorn and Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas

A happy Friday to all of you! I hope everyone has some great things planned for the weekend. Last night I had the opportunity to watch Divergent with my book club. If you’re a fan of young adult fiction, I do believe you’d really like this series. I could go on endlessly about how I feel about the third book and the way the series ended, but I’ll refrain. As not to spoil anything about differences between the movie and the book, I’ll refrain from any details other than saying that I really enjoyed the movie last night ๐Ÿ™‚

divergent_poster_hq

Due to a busy schedule before getting to meet my friends, I was a little panicked about what to eat. I knew I wanted movie theater popcorn but wasn’t sure how much I wanted it as my full-fledged dinner, especially since we weren’t watching the movie until 8 p.m. I had to give a presentation to a student group at 6:30 p.m. and had run out of packed snacks in my purse. The building that I was speaking in had a small food court, including aย Pizza Hut Express. Now mind you, when you reach Defcon 1 overt hunger, you pretty much pick foods based on what smells good versus thinking things through and making a healthful choice. Enter the supreme personal pan pizza. I would have taken a picture right when I picked it up, but I was so hungry I forgot. After I ate one of the four individual slices, I decided to stop. I knew that popcorn and a personal pan pizza would not make the most pleasant situation in my stomach. I didn’t want to waste the pizza either, so after flattening the whole thing with a napkin to get the grease out, I stuck the pizza box in a brown paper bag and into my purse, making my way to my lecture. One of the students said I smelled like really good pizza.ย GREAT!

This the pizza AFTER it had been to the movie theater with me stuffed in my purse and AFTER I gave the dog part of one of the slices. Doesn't really look so appetizing 5 hours after I bought it....

This the pizza AFTER it had been to the movie theater with me stuffed in my purse and AFTER I gave the dog part of one of the slices. Doesn’t really look so appetizing 5 hours after I bought it…. (Excuse the photo quality or lack thereof!)

pizza hut

Moving on to the movie theater popcorn. Have you ever wondered what makes movie theater popcorn so delicious? It might be the fact that they cook it in coconut oil. After doing some research on the internet, I found that a lot of movie chains are going cheap on this end and going back to canola oil. I decided to call the corporate office of the theater chain I was attending to see what they use. The lady on the phone told me that they did indeed use coconut oil. There’s been a lot of concern about movie theater popcornย but honestly, if you haven’t had it in forever, then go ahead and enjoy it. I’ve been in a bad habit the past few years of woofing down a small popcorn, adding the pseudo butter topping, and then sprinkling some regular and peanut butter M&M’s in the bag (oh good golly it’s delicious). I decided to be a little more healthful in my decision and went with a medium diet coke and a small popcornย sans candy. Now granted I still had the pizza stuffed in my purse (yes gross, I know). When I got home from the theater, I realized I was so engrossed in the movie (and perhaps a particular movie character…) that I only ate about 1/4 of this bag. The only thing that’s a bummer is that “unfresh” movie theater popcorn kinda tastes gross.
photo 1
To put a little more perspective on how many calories, fat, and saturated fat (often from coconut oil used to pop corn which gives a better mouthfeel) in your golden buckets of pleasure, check out the graph from City Girl Bites.ย 
***Popcorn Sizeย โ†“ Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat
Kid’s with butter 470 37 22
Kid’s without butter (5 cups) 300 20 14
Large with butter 1640 126 73
Large without butter (20 cups) 1160 77 55
Medium with butter 910 71 41
Medium with butter 1220 97 56
Medium without butter (11 cups) 650 43 31
Medium without butter (16 cups) 900 60 43
Small with butter 630 50 29
Small without butter (7 cups) 400 27 19

Are you a movie theater popcorn lover or a personal pan pizza lover? What about a Divergent reader? Let’s sound off here boys and girls! ๐Ÿ™‚


“Hot” Chocolate

chocolate1

Happy Thursday friends! How many of you like your chocolate hot? And by hot, I mean spicy. If you do, then my little sweet treat today might hit the spot. I’ve been super stressed at work lately with all the activities coming up, and a coworker/angel decided to provide me with a delicious piece of chocolate. She said, “this looked like something you’d enjoy” and boy was she right. I’ve never had any of the Chuao Chocolatier products but had the pleasure of trying the spicy maya mini chocolate bar today.

After getting the initial taste of dark chocolate, I started feeling the sensation of heat from the chile and cayenne, and cinnamon undertones. I always enjoy high quality small bits of chocolate because you can really savor them and get some enjoyment from such a small amount. For only 50 calories, this was pretty delicious and satisfying ๐Ÿ™‚

chocolate2

 

For my chocolate lovers out there, what’s your favorite brand and flavor of high quality chocolate? Let’s sound off!


Hummus!

Today’s post is inspired by my dog Lou’s insatiable appetite for hummus. Sometimes I think he eats better than me and my husband with his affinity for hummus, mangoes, clementines, and Greek yogurt. One thing I look towards the most every day is coming home and snacking on hummus with my pup ๐Ÿ™‚

Lou collageCall it the food nerd and dietitian in me, but sometimes I get excited thinking about how something so delicious can be so healthy for you. And with the varieties of hummus that are out there, the sky is the limit on the flavor and nutrition profiles you can create with this great dip. Because hummus is essentially pureed garbanzo beans typically including olive oil and other “hummus staples”, hummus is a great source of protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. Folate, zinc, and magnesium are additional vitamins and minerals that tend to be present in hummus as well.

Making your own hummus at home can be easy and fun, especially when putting your own spin on recipes. My favorite varieties of hummus tend to be on the spicy side ๐Ÿ™‚ Below I have included One of my favorite recipes from fellow dietitian Roberta Duyff with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Sun-Dried Tomato-Olive Hummus (don’t worry, not spicy ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Ingredients

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup finely-chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or Italian (flat) parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts for garnish (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine chickpeas, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin. Process until smooth. Consistency should be smooth but not runny.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, olives and cilantro.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer to blend flavors.
  4. To serve, top with pine nuts and/or paprika, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serves 12ย (1/4 cup serving)
Calories: 100
Calories from fat: 30; Total fat: 3.5g; Saturated fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium 210mg
Total carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary fiber: 3g; Sugars: 2g
Protein 4g

**

If you’re trying to decide how to eat your hummus outside of dipping a pita chip in there, see the 10 Helpful Hummus Tips from WebMD to create some variety in your hummus lifestyle:

1. Hummus serves as a super spread on sandwiches and wraps. Try it instead of mayonnaise. You’ll get more flavor with less fat.

2. Hummus turns into a tasty dressing. Blend some hummus with broth, water, or wine until you get your desired drizzling consistency to make a dressing for cold pasta salads.

3. Hummus serves as a great dip with raw veggies. Fill a serving bowl with the hummus of your choosing and surround the bowl with assorted raw vegetables such as sugar snap peas, sliced cucumber or zucchini, grape or cherry tomatoes, and broccoli or cauliflower florets.

4. Hummus + salsa = a spicy dip. Spice up plain hummus by blending in your favorite salsa. With about 20 seconds of mixing, a spicy dip is born.

5. Hummus is for hamburgers. Use hummus as a spread for veggie, turkey, or beef burgers in place of traditional condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or mustard.

6. Make a better bruschetta with hummus. For a more satisfying serving of bruschetta (an Italian appetizer of grilled sliced bread traditionally topped with a mixture of chopped tomato, garlic, olive oil, onion, and basil), top a sliced toasted baguette with some hummus before adding a dollop of the tomato bruschetta topping.

7. Hummus is easier to make than you may think. Just combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse for a minute. It keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

8. Serve hummus with whole grains. Hummus works well as an appetizer served with whole grain crackers and crisps. Toasted whole wheat pita pocket crisps or grilled whole grain tortilla triangles are ideal but whole wheat crackers complement the flavor of hummus, too.

9. Spread hummus instead of cream cheese. Try hummus on your whole grain bagel instead of cream cheese.

10. Hummus is a friend of falafel. If you are a fan of falafel (fried or baked crispy balls made with chickpeas, bulgur, and spices), hummus is a nice condiment for falafel served as an appetizer or as a filler in a pita sandwich.

Do you have a favorite hummus recipe? Please share and spread the hummus love ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚