A Chat with Catherine Winn

Hello my faithful readers! I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend! Today I wanted to share about my recent encounter interviewing the lovely Catherine Winn of Cooking Winn, in my home of Tuscaloosa, AL. Some of you may remember me mentioning my volunteer opportunities writing restaurant reviews for The Planet Weekly and Druid City Living. I recently had the chance to interview Catherine about her side business, Cooking Winn…{fun fact: Catherine is actually a PhD student in Renaissance Literature!} What I love about helping with publications and writing is meeting people just like Catherine and getting to know the story and person behind the name.

catherine winn articleAside from getting to talk with Catherine herself to prepare my article, I also received a flood of emails from her faithful customers. As a talented woman providing International flavors in a profile of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free varieties, she has become quite the popular woman in Tuscaloosa.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from her customers:

“Every time I get something new, it becomes my new favorite. I really like her variety of dishes and the fact that she uses local ingredients. I don’t always have the time to cook and it’s great to know that I can get healthy food from her (and have some frozen in my freezer) in order to live a healthy life! ” – Mary Meares

“From the first bite of a korma handpie from Cooking Winn, I was sold. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tasted from this business, but those will always be my favorite. I am not a vegan or vegetarian; I am, however, someone who likes delicious food, and Cooking Winn delivers that every time.” – Terri Roberts

“Especially for a vegetarian with a busy work schedule like myself, Cooking Winn has been phenomenal.  It offers a global range of tasty dishes–all prepared with fresh ingredients from local farmers markets & the like, to the extent possible.  Even more, all of these wide-ranging meals are available on a flexible, per request basis.  In that way, Cooking Winn is able to offer a much wider selection of vegetarian meals than any single restaurant would be able to do.” – Stacy Morgan

“As a busy single person, I find it difficult to find the time to cook, plus I hate having too much leftover food.  Catherine’s dishes are great, both because of her variety and because the portions are just right- one or two servings at most.  For convenience, I especially love her tomato tarts, which I can just heat up in the toaster oven for a quick snack or light dinner.  And it’s so wonderful to have so many options, especially for cuisines- like Ethiopian- that are not readily available in Tuscaloosa, or even Birmingham.” – Grace Lee

After reading the flood of raves and praises of Catherine’s food, I knew I had to try some of her dishes myself. The hubs and I had the opportunity to try her vegan potato kale enchiladas and her vegetarian tomato tart. Getting to warm up her dishes and eat them in the the comfort of our home was the icing on the cake. I can’t even begin to describe the symphony of flavors and textures from the enchiladas while enjoying the savory goodness of the tomato tart. I would boldly have to say that Catherine has made me a believer in delicious vegan dishes.

potato enchiladas SgreggOur potato kale enchiladas right before we warmed them up!

tomato tart SGreggSay hello to my little friend, the delicious tomato tart!

If you’d like to see my write-up on Catherine in its entirety, feel free to visit the fabulous Planet Weekly website. Many thanks again to Catherine for allowing me to interview her, hear from her fabulous customers, and try her delicious food!


A Filipino Foodie goes to A Filipino Party!

Hello friends! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend doing something fun and delicious. This past weekend I had the pleasure of coming back to my hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama to celebrate my aunt’s 70th birthday. Many friends and family including my mom and dad worked hard to create a special surprise event for a landmark occasion. Though I only live two hours away from my family, I’ve found that I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like so having an opportunity to see so many friends and family PLUS chow down on some Filipino favorites was incredibly exciting. The color theme for this party was white and khaki:women in all white, men in khaki and white…we had a black and white party a year ago for my other aunt during her 50th birthday (our family LOVES birthdays!). My mom had been working diligently to create the perfect centerpieces and overall decor for the party. Below is one of her creations using coffee filters, painted branches, and a revamped vase. What do you think?

vase

My aunt was definitely surprised upon entering the house full of old friends and family!

photo by Jesar Quizon photography

photo by Jesar Quizon PhotographyWe thought an “07” would look much cuter on the cake than “70” 🙂

On top of the excitement of my husband and I getting to see so many of our Filipino friends and relatives, we got to enjoy some of my favorite childhood dishes. Between an hors d’oeuvres table, a dessert table, and a buffet of various Filipino delicacies, we had quite the spread. My photographer cousin Jesar Quizon took some gorgeous pictures of our food selection…check it out!

Photo by Jesar Quizon PhotographyAh fruit!

10538064_10152678281337927_8790287291428846717_oA creamy Alfredo pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and roasted chicken

10838259_10152678279522927_3551597531357317356_oMy cousin Happy made these puto flan cakes…OH MY LANTA…delicious.

10854465_10152678278422927_5509912970962003008_oMy talented Aunt Gayle who also made my delicious wedding cake created these delectable caramel maracons.

10927862_10152678279367927_4851310331995055826_o

10955015_10152678280942927_2214983393392635779_oGorgeous butter lettuce leaves for lettuce wraps with the ground chicken and mushrooms seen below.

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11008813_10152678280757927_8524095545649533705_oIt’s not a party without fried rice!

11016793_10152678279087927_1957488489216933595_oMy Aunt Gayle’s famous carrot cake

11021330_10152678281742927_8597322713573752558_o

11033069_10152678277932927_4336291857299983686_oMy cousin Ashley made some incredibly tasty white chocolate bars (worth every calorie!)

11034321_10152678279752927_8626966579090001676_o

11038109_10152678280042927_4715430861833728115_oOne of my favorite Filipino dishes…ASADO!!

11038696_10152678280327927_4586791690413506870_oBaby cucumbers in a rice wine vinegar and sesame seed mix.

11041925_10152678278922927_6127576121760501219_oUbe cake!

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11043412_10152678282397927_9103019565826316596_o

11043433_10152678277817927_818920416459381166_o

11044584_10152678278792927_5991039727298948241_o

10955015_10152678280457927_784410524930748753_oAnd last but not least…pancit: the pinnacle and definition of all Filipino get together foods.

 As you can see, we’re all about food in my family. It’s actually inspired me to make some pancit and asado here in Tuscaloosa soon (future post ALERT!).  However, no Filipino party is complete without some singing and line dancing!

11016130_10152678299047927_2539784957184882014_oMy dad rocking out!

11063809_10203278859885969_72576554953388386_oA little cha-cha slide

Until next time!

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Me and my hubby with my mom, dad, and little brother


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 🙂

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 🙂

sunday lunch

Sunday lunch was eaten at a function at church that afternoon. The food you see above is from Taco Mama here in Tuscaloosa. It is absolutely delicious 🙂 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 🙂

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. 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!


Alabama Dietitians Leading Out Loud

 

 

Happy June friends! I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods but it’s definitely hot down south in Alabama. I’ve been on hiatus with the blog recently updating graphics and layout. It’s been a busy summer with cooking demos, conferences, and other trips, but I thought I’d launch the new look sharing a wonderful montage video of the awesome RDNs in the state of Alabama! Back in March, our state association had the pleasure of enjoying Joan Horbiak, dietitian and media specialist. She made a great video showcasing a handful of our wonderful dietitians, and I am honored to be a part of the video! This month I was lucky enough to collaborate with Joan again for a culinary media training in New Orleans (upcoming post soon!!!).

Check it out!


March is National Nutrition Month {Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle}

NNM

Hello friends! I can’t believe it’s already March! As a registered dietitian nutritionist, this is one of the most exciting months of the year because it’s National Nutrition Month! I still have some things to share with you as a recap from National Eating Disorders Awareness Week last month, so be sure to come back and visit this week! This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month is “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle” which can be a great motivator for any health goals you’ve set for yourself this year.

My personal goal for National Nutrition Month this year is to be very purposeful about planning meals and snacks this month, not only for nutrition purposes, but also for budgeting purposes! If you’re up for the challenge with me, be sure to comment and keep me in the loop! If you need some additional inspiration, one of my favorite RDNs and one of my first mentors and preceptors, Paula Gonzalez Rothschild, has some wonderful advice and resources on her website : Plan, Prepare, Portion.  I first met Paula, along with my other preceptor, Monica Montes, during my independent study experience in Pasadena, California. Monica and Paula founded N.E.W. Health Consultants, a Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness business with dietitians, a naturopathic physician, massage therapist, family therapist, personal trainer, and personal chef to meet all needs of wellness. I’d certainly like to say that they were my first set of mentors that really inspired me to be the RDN I am today!

plan prepare portion

Monica Montes (left) and Paula Gonzalez Rothschild (right), summer 2006 during my NHM 491 Independent Study Experience in Pasadena, CA

As far as dinner tonight, I thought my hubs and I would start National Nutrition Month off right with a vegetarian plate. Roasted red onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, brown rice, black beans, and baby kale salad made up our meal. As far as tomorrow goes, I’m planning a spinach and strawberry smoothie for breakfast, yogurt as a snack, leftover whole wheat spaghetti with sausage at lunch, and roasted veggie leftovers for dinner.

Sound off with your plan for Monday! Happy National Nutrition Month!

I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month


Recent Happenings including a few restaurant reviews and community events!

Happy Thursday, folks! I’m gearing up for FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo) with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that will be going on this coming Saturday – Tuesday. So much to do before I leave! However, I was happy to see that some of the local publications I contribute to came out this week! My friend Cindy from NewlyWed Nutrition recently recruited me to help her with restaurant review for The Planet Weekly. Below is my first review of a local pizza place in Tuscaloosa.

broadway review

I also had my articles from Druid City Living pop up this week. Instead of focusing mainly on food, I was asked to help with some awesome community events happening this month and next…including a delicious Bacon and Brewfest and a fun Monster Makeover! Check out this month’s digital issue of Druid City Living to read the publication in its entirety.

 

baconandbrewfestDCL

monstermakeover DCL

 

What are you up to this weekend? Let’s swap some ideas!


Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Guide 2014

gluten free halloween

Happy Tuesday to all of you! I don’t know what the weather feels like in your neck of the woods, but here in Alabama we are finally feeling the seasons change. With the arrival of this cold weather, I know that Halloween is just around the corner.

Halloween is always a fun time for neighborhood gatherings and hayrides, trick or treating, or perhaps an office Halloween party. However, Halloween can also be a high stress time for parents and children who battle multiple food allergies. Celiac disease and various levels of gluten-intolerance have now put gluten-containing foods and candies on the “watch out” list.

Thankfully, organizations like the Celiac Disease Foundation have worked hard to research candy companies and make extensive lists for folks to use when preparing for this ghoulish holiday. Below I have listed links for resources from the Celiac Disease Foundation as well as About Health. Please note that these resources are only a guide. Formulas and ingredients by the company can be changed at any time.

Wishing you all a safe and delicious Halloween season!

 


{Nutracore Nutrition} Skinny Whey : A Quick Review

product review

HEAVENS TO BETSY! It has been once again been forever since my last post. It’s now time to grab the bull by the horns and post something so you don’t forget about me 🙂

There’s a business called Total Nutrition which is similar to a GNC in many ways. I’ve felt bombarded with the amount of sponsored ads for the store, including one for a Skinny Whey as seen below:

total nutrition

What’s funny is that my main issue with it is that the flavor is called “Delicious Chocolate.” Being the curious girl that I am, I decided to try it out, especially since so many of my clients in Tuscaloosa have talked about Total Nutrition opening and that they’ve been wanting to try this protein powder since it’s only 100 calories per scoop.

Boasting 100 calories, 22 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate, according to Nutracore, it “supports a healthy low carb lifestyle.” In all honesty, I don’t have that big of an issue with most of the ingredients. I wish it had more carbohydrate, but then again you could always go with a different brand like EAS Lean 15 Chocolate flavor (which is delicious with almond milk, BTW).

EAS-Lean-15-Protein-Powder-Chocolate-Fudge-791083624039

After purchasing it and tasting it, here is my verdict:

It tastes sour. At first I thought it was because I used almond milk, but I really think it’s the powder itself. When I first opened the product, I noticed that the protective Styrofoam was not properly sealed. It offers 22 grams of protein which I will recognize can help with feelings of fullness…however, for a person of my size and activity level, I only need about 45 grams of protein/day. I think that if this product was used with a liquid that contained carbohydrate or if you had additional carbohydrate with the product such as a banana, then this could be a viable choice. I totally get that this product is specifically geared for a low carbohydrate lifestyle, but if you’re not giving your body enough carbohydrate to actually have the energy to use all these massive amounts of protein you’re putting in yourself, then what’s the point? Some evidence suggests an extremely low carbohydrate diet can be maintained long-term for some, but if you are any bit of an active person, please don’t go extreme low carb.

photo 2

Would I purchase this again? I don’t think so. I’m still curious to see if the vanilla flavor is any better or if the container I got was a fluke, but this “delicious chocolate” flavor did not taste chocolate at all. I don’t mind it as a protein source to add to shakes, but I do believe that adequate carbohydrate should be supplemented throughout the day.

 

What do you think? Have you tried this product before? Let me know your thoughts and please share what protein powders you have (and haven’t) enjoyed in the past!


Summer is over and I’m turning 30 soon

 

So once again I’ve had a little hiatus from the blog. Despite it being the summer time, it’s been busy for me in a few different ways. I am hoping to play catch up soon with some new recipes I’ve tried over the summer. This may not come to a shocker to my regular readers, but I have been obsessed with squash and okra this summer. I told someone earlier this week that I could live off of okra and ice cream (odd combination I know).  And speaking of food and recipes, at the beginning of last week, my husband and I decided to forgo bread/pastas as part of our 21 days of prayer at church. I have realized how much bread is part of my every day munching. However, I will be very candid and say that the one comical thing that I’ve noticed during this time period is that I’ve been gravitating to every single source of carbohydrate possible to “make up” for the fact that I haven’t been eating bread. Way to go, Ms. Dietitian, huh?  I think I’ve finally gotten comfortable with the whole no bread thing,  so maybe I’ll be okay after all 😉

30

On a side note,  I turn 30 in about two and a half months. I have mixed feelings about it, but I’ve planned a trip to say adios to my 20s and bienvenidos to my 30s that my hubs and I will be doing later this fall. [EXPECT A FULL REVIEW OF THE VACATION SITE!!! 🙂 🙂 ] Since I’d like to make the start of my 30’s as good as possible, I am publicly declaring I’m on a mission to try to get in a little more exercise this fall. This summer I’ve been on multiple medications for some health issues which have had some weight gain as a side effect. When you’re 5’1 like me, little fluctuations can be noticed 🙂 With all that said, I’m sure I’ll be chronicling some of my efforts with this in conjunction with my regular recipe shares, nutrition tips, and the like. Stay tuned readers…we’ve got a lot coming up this fall!

 


Redneck Caviar

Still need that last minute recipe idea to bring to your 4th of July cookout tomorrow? How about a quick and easy dip! 🙂

A Filipino Foodie

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Today, I’m honing in on my redneck Southern roots and sharing a recipe for Redneck Caviar. Funny thing is, I just realized as I was making this dip that this was what it was called. In college, I learned it from a friend’s sister who called it “graduation salsa” because she made it for my friend’s graduation. Odd, I know. Anywho, the great thing about this dip is that you really can do whatever you want with it because rednecks don’t care 😉 But seriously, it’s easy to add and subtract based on your taste preferences and not “mess it up” because it is so yummy!

My recipe yields a pretty big batch…I needed to make sure I had enough for both me and my husband to bring to our respective get togethers, but many of the recipes you’ll find may just call for 1 can of each item and…

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