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This ricotta and pear on pumpernickel toast offers a unique flavor combination, sure to satisfy your taste buds. Tons of flavor in one quick and balanced snack.

I’ve been eating a lot of pumpernickel bread, lately.  It started with the creation of my Roast Beef and Slaw on Pumpernickel Sandwich I made last year. Prior to making that recipe, I had forgotten how much I loved the flavor. Since then, I can’t get enough.

I’ve been on a toast kick lately. It seems many of you love protein-packed toast, too. I received loads of feedback about my Ricotta and Blackberry Toast. Many people never considered ricotta cheese as a toast topper. I love when I get feedback like that. Being able to share new, quick and easy ideas to help you eat better on the go is why I do this.  I thought it was time to share another favorite.

This ricotta and pear on pumpernickel toast has all of the nutrition as my other flavorful combinations, (try this ricotta and blackberry toast) but the pumpernickel adds a rich flavor that wheat bread doesn’t deliver.

Give this combo a try and let me know what you think.

Ricotta and Pear on Pumpernickel

This ricotta and pear on pumpernickel toast offers a unique flavor combination, sure to satisfy your taste buds. Tons of flavor in one quick and balanced snack.

  • 1 slice Pumpernickel Bread
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 medium pear
  1. Toast Pumpernickel bread. Spread with ricotta cheese, top with sliced pear and almonds, then drizzle with honey. Serve warm.
  • Recipes Makes 1 Serving
  • Serving Size: 1 slice ricotta and pear toast
  • Nutrition Facts (per serving):240 calories, 31 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 12 g protein, 7 g fat, 3 g  saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 4% daily potassium, 15% daily calcium, 6% daily iron
  • Meal Planning Servings: 2 CHO, 2 PRO, 1.5 FAT

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @heathermangieri on Instagram hashtag it #HeatherMangieriNutrition

The post Ricotta and Pear on Pumpernickel appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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Love restaurant-style roasted Brussels Sprouts? I’m sharing why this popular side dish might not be the best option, and how you can make a delicious, healthier version at home.

Brussels Sprouts are a hot menu item. But, what if I told you the ones offered at your favorite could be hindering your weight loss success? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true.

Brussels sprouts are a highly nutritious vegetable that taste fantastic, when prepared right. Thanks to some creative and clever chefs, this vegetable is back in the spotlight getting the love it deserves. In fact, the last three restaurants I’ve dined at offered roasted Brussels Sprouts on the menu. As much as I love them, I didn’t order them. I’m going to share why.

  • What Makes Those Restaurant Sprouts So Good?

I recognize high calorie foods when I see them, and restaurant roasted Brussels Sprouts are just that. No doubt they are delicious. But, there’s a catch to their extra-crispy, flavorful creation. Extra oil gives them their extra-crisp texture – and not just a little oil; a lot of it. And, that flavorful sauce everyone is raving about – chances are, it’s packed with sugar. {sorry KETO dieters, you might be getting more sugar than you realize.} The Asian -inspired flavoring you fell in love with? There’s a good chance it exceeds your sodium intake for the entire day. Don’t stop eating Brussels Sprouts.

Please understand –  I’m not telling you this because I want you to stop eating them. I’m telling you because I want you to be aware. I have clients share how proud they are of choosing this healthier option, and I’m proud, too. But, they often have no idea what made them so delicious.

Don’t worry – you can have the crispy, flavorful sprouts you desire. If you order them out, just be mindful of your portion size. Or, better yet, make them at home. I’m going to tell you how.

  • Try This Version Instead

As a dietitian and healthy recipe developer, I know how to make Brussels sprouts taste great without over doing it on the oil, or drenching them in a sugar-sweetened, sodium rich sauce. It’s a lot easier than you might think. The trick to preparing roasted Brussels sprouts, or any vegetable for that matter, is to control the oil, seasonings and condiments that are used to prepare them.  Unfortunately, the chef at your favorite restaurant isn’t usually concerned with how healthy it is – they want the food to taste good. Oil, salt and sugar-sweetened sauces make that happen.

So, while I’m sorry to share that your veggie side might not be as healthy as you thought, I do have a solution. This oven roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe shows you how to create crunchy, flavor filled Brussels Sprouts with only a tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt – and no added sugars either.

Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Oven- Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These oven roasted Brussels sprouts taste as good as the ones at a restaurant, but are made with less oil, sodium and sugar.

  • 1 pound Raw Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/10 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  1. – Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

    – Clean Brussels Sprouts and cut in half. Transfer to a bowl.

    – Drizzle with olive oil, tossing well to make sure oil is well distributed

    – Transfer to a baking sheet, leaving space between each. Add salt and pepper.

    – Bake in the oven for ~30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

  • Recipe Makes ~2 1/4 cups of roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Serving Size: ¾  cup
  • Servings Per Recipe: 5
  • Nutrition Facts (per serving): 80 calories, 9 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein, 4 g fat, 0.5 g  saturated fat, 90 mg sodium, 6% daily potassium, 2% daily calcium, 6% daily iron
  • Meal Planning Servings: ½ CHO, ½ PRO, 1 FAT

 

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @heathermangierion Instagram and hashtag it #HeatherMangieriNutrition

The post Oven- Roasted Brussels Sprouts appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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This ricotta and blackberry toast is filled with high-quality protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Make it for a quick balanced breakfast or as a snack to fuel you between meals.

When it comes to quick meals, there’s nothing much easier than popping a piece of a toast in the toaster.

Toast may not seem like a balanced meal, but if you make it right, it can be.

That leads to the question – What do I mean by “making it right?”  By right, I mean it includes a variety of macronutrients while supplying your body with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. If you’re not sure what that looks like, my article Building a Balanced Meal explains more.

This ricotta and blackberry toast meets the criteria. The whole wheat toast, blackberries and honey supply both complex and simple carbohydrates, while the ricotta cheese and almonds provide  protein and fats. This combination not only delivers the nutrition that you need, it is filled with flavors that make eating enjoyable.  The best part, it only takes a few minutes to make.

The next time you’re in a rush and need something quick, pop a piece of toast in the toaster and top it with ricotta and blackberries. Then, you can run out the door with a meal you can feel good about eating.

Ricotta and Blackberry Toast

This ricotta and blackberry toast is filled with high-quality protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Make it as a quick balanced breakfast or as a snack to fuel you between meals.

  • 1 slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • 1/3 cup lite Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 tsp sliced almonds
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1/10 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
  1. Toast whole wheat bread. Spread with ricotta cheese, then top with sliced blackberries and almonds and rosemary. Drizzle with honey. Serve warm.

  • Recipes Makes 1 Serving
  • Serving Size: 1 Slice Ricotta and Blueberry Toast
  • Nutrition Facts (per serving):210 calories, 28 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 13 g protein, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 2% daily potassium, 15% daily calcium, 6% daily iron

Meal Planning Servings: 2 CHO, 2 PRO, 1 FAT

 DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @heathermangieri on Instagram and hashtag it #HeatherMangieriNutrition

The post Ricotta and Blackberry Toast appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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Greek yogurt bowls make the ultimate protein-packed meal for any time of day. Top with a variety of colorful fruits, nuts and seeds to supply the fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body craves. 

Last week, I was hit with the 24-hour stomach bug – it was horrible! If you’ve managed to escape getting sick – lucky you. I think the 24-hour stomach bug is a little reminder that illness can hit anyone, at any time. When it passed, it really makes you appreciate your health. I knw it made me appreciate mine.

The evening before “it hit,”  I was in my kitchen trying to perfect a Belgium waffle recipe. I had 5 failed attempts at the waffle before heading to bed. At 4 am, I woke up vomiting. Do you know what that means? It means you won’t be seeing a waffle recipe on my blog anytime soon. The mere thought of eating a waffle still makes me sick, let alone if I had to smell or taste one.

I rarely get sick, and thank goodness – I’m not very good at it. When I recovered, I could help but question how I got that sick. What did I do wrong? Where did I pick this up? Did I fail at eating enough nutrient rich foods to  protect my body from illness? Did I allow myself to get run down over the holidays? Or, are some illnesses just inevitable?

I concluded that, chances are, we’ll all have a virus or illness take us by surprise at one point in our life. We can minimize our exposure to toxins, but unless you plan on living in a bubble, you can’t completely avoid them – especially this time of year. That’s why it’s so important to fill your body with the nutrients – the ones that work to keep you healthy. It doesn’t take a lot of time in the kitchen to eat right. It just takes filling your bowl with nutrient dense foods.

Greek yogurt bowls are an easy way to accomplish that task. Start with protein and calcium packed Greek yogurt, then top it with a variety colorful fruits, nuts and seeds to supply the fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body craves. Greek yogurt bowls are way more than a quick, delicious and nourishing meal. Made right, they provide the key nutrients to help you fight off viruses and bacteria. And, they can be eaten any time of day.

Here are a few of my favorite flavor-filled bowls.

The Bowl: Cherry Smoothie Bowl Topped with Chia Seeds, Cocoa Nibs, Coconut and Pumpkin Seeds.

What You Get: A combination of smooth, crunchy, sweet, bitter and tropical! A protein-packed base mixed with healthy fats, phytonutrients, and fiber. The pumpkin seeds add a great source of magnesium and zinc and the cherries deliver anthocyanin, quercetin and carotenoids– three bioactive compounds that work together to protect us from cardiovascular disease and cancer, and guard against diabetes related stress.

The Bowl: Plain Greek yogurt Topped with Fresh Blueberries and Slivered Almonds

What You Get: One heck of an easy, nourishing meal! The yogurt provides the protein and calcium, the almonds supply the healthy fats and the blueberries provide a big dose of vitamin C, manganese and polyphenols – those tiny compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The Bowl: Vanilla Flavored Greek Yogurt Topped with Chocolate Granola, Almonds and Drizzles with Warm Peanut Butter

What You Get: A bowl of deliciousness, beautifully balanced in macronutrients! Greek yogurt packs in protein, potassium, calcium, zinc and Vitamins B6 and B12, the almonds and peanut butter provide the fats and the granola balances out the carbohydrates.

The Bowl:Plain Greek Yogurt Topped with Strawberries, Mini Chocolate Chips, Crushed Almonds and Shredded Coconut

What You Get:Chocolate lovers rejoice! This bowl provides the same high-quality protein source as the others, but mixes in a sweet treat with every bite – mini chocolate chips. You’ll get a fiber, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants from the strawberries, and a crunch of healthy fats from the almonds. Though the amounts are small, shredded coconut contributes fiber, iron and zinc. The combination of nutrients from each of these foods adds up to a big bowl of nourishment.

The Bowl:Full- Fat Plain Greek Yogurt with Sliced Apples

What You Get:Sometimes, simple is best! That’s what you get from thisGreek yogurt bowl. Abowl of protein packed Greek yogurt, scooped up with an apple that offers big benefits to heart health, bone health and weight management. The skin of apples containscompounds found to have powerful inhibitory effects on cancer cells in the liver, colon, and breast. Plus, a flavonoid unique to apples may enhance bone density and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

The Bowl: Low-fat Plain Greek Yogurt Topped with Diced Strawberries, Kiwi, Crushed Pretzel Pieces and Mini Chocolate Chips.

What You Get: Sweet, salty, crunchy, sour and smooth, all combined into one delicious bite – that’s what you get from this colorful combination. This protein packed bowl includes kiwifruit, which contributes the phytonutrient luteinto your diet. Lutein has been shown to support eye health, working to prevent age-related blindness and protects the eyes from various kinds of damage.

The Bowl: Plain Greek Yogurt Topped with Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Crushed Walnuts and Granola.

What You Get: This berry and granola smoothie bowl is filled with three different types of berries – leaving you with over 6 grams of belly-filling fiber and loads of antioxidants. The oats used to make the granola deliver additional fiber and iron, and the crushed walnuts not only taste great, but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids.

Do you love Greek Yogurt bowls as much as I do? What are your favorite toppings?

The post Seven Greek Yogurt Bowls for Any Time of Day appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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From cold-brew coffee and herbal mocktails to CBD-infused water and alcohol-free beer – dry drinks are predicted to be a huge trend in 2019. If your health & wellness plan has you trading in booze, one of these beverages might be right for you.

Ditch alcohol? It’s happening. Health trends are hot, and that’s making alcohol-free beverages a big business.  Pinterest recently reported in their Pinterest 100: The Top Trends for 2019, that searches for sober living are up +746%.  Dry drinks are predicted to be one of the hottest trends in 2019, and companies are catching-on. If you’re looking to abandon alcohol in the new year, or you just plan to participate in the #DryJanuary pledge, one of these latest new beverages might be for you.

  • Herbal Mocktails

Move over Shirley temple, better-for-you mocktails are taking over the alcohol-free cocktail space, and these booze-free beverages are anything but boring. Restaurants and bartenders are using a variety of herbs and spices to create flavorful concoctions that offer more than just a non-alcoholic option; they come complete with some health benefits, too. Fresh herbs like mint and basil or those made with citrus peels and zest help make mocktails look and taste like traditional cocktails. And, they cater nicely to non-drinkers that still love to socialize with a flavorful drink in their hand.

With so much focus on health and wellness, you can expect to see some truly interesting flavor infusions with the new year. From calming aromas like lavender to refreshing and clean flavors like lemon, cucumber and ginger, there’s sure to be a mocktail for every preference. Cocktails made with kombucha and medicinal mushrooms are also gaining leeway.

What do I have to say about this trend? At last – the health benefits of herbs and spices are getting the recognition they deserve in the USA, and what better way to enjoy them than in a mocktail.

  • Alcohol Free Beer

If you love the taste of beer but don’t want the alcohol, Heineken has you covered. The Dutch brewing company is prepared for the dry-drink trend with the launch of their latest nonalcoholic beer – Heineken 0.0. According to CNBC, the product was first introduced in Barcelona in May, 2017 and has since rolled out in more than 30 countries. Heineken debuted their new product in the USA right at the turn of the new year – January, 2019.

As for the taste, I think beer drinkers are going to be pleasantly surprised. I had an opportunity to try Heineken 0.0 last month. While I’m certainly not a beer connoisseur,  I had no idea I was drinking a 65 calorie, alcohol-free beer until I was told. Cheers to all of the beer drinking fitness fanatics out there – a beer that you can drink post-workout is now available in the US.

  • Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee isn’t new, but its popularity has been growing so steady that it’s predicted to be one of the most popular types of brews in the coming years. Starbucks first added cold brew to its menu back in 2015  and more recently added cold brew coffee shakes to their menu. This new addition combines two huge trends – plant-based protein and cold brew – in one delicious beverage. But, cold brew isn’t only popping up on the menu at coffee houses. You can now find it on the shelves of your local grocery store, too.  The ready-to-drink version from Trader Joe’s mixed with milk and ice makes an unbelievable iced coffee.

Another option to get your cold brew on – make it yourself. Cold brew coffee-makers were a huge holiday hit this past year. Check out these best sellers from Amazon for yourself.

  • Flavor- infused Water

Sparkling water, flavor-infused waters and plain bottled water – the heightened sales of all water categories isn’t surprising, when you consider Americas interest in cutting sugar.  Sparkling water, specifically, caters to consumers craving carbonation, but trying to cut back on sugar-sweetened sodas. Companies like Ugly Drinks offer delivery right t o your door. Flavored waters offer an alternative to those trying to drink more water, but can’t seem to swallow it plain. You can plan to see more options in the flavored water category come 2019. Pepsi announced the launch of their new sparkling water product, Bubly, in February of 2018.The beverage comes in four flavors like lemon, lime, grapefruit and strawberry.

Hint, which has been successfully selling flavored water for years, announced the launched its latest product, Hint for Kids.

If spending money on flavored water isn’t for you, you’re in luck. This beverage is easy to make at home. All you need is water and the flavor of your choice. Squeeze the juice from a fresh lime, lemon or orange or a few cucumber slices for a crispy, clean taste. If you prefer some natural sweetness, add a splash of Pomegranate or 100% grape juice to your water. Top off with some fresh berries or herbs, and presto –  a refreshing homemade water in minutes, at a fraction of the cost to buy it bottled.

  • CBD Infused Water

CBD seems to be everywhere, including beverages like water, cold-brew, coffee and lemonade. Endo brands began selling their CBD-infused flavored waters in 2018, and Lagunitas introduced their cannabis-infused hoppy sparkling water in California. Many other companies have their eye on the CBD beverage trend, too.

Though CBD-infused beverages are on trend, their launch doesn’t come without controversy.  Up until a few days ago, I had New Age Beverages on my list. The corporation debuted their initial CBD product portfolio of at the North American Convenience Store show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, October 7-10, 2018. They had plans to launch their product with major retailers in early 2019. But, according to this recent article by Seeking Alpha, the launch of their new product was delayed indefinitely.

While CBD infused drinks won’t get you high, companies jumping on this trend highlight the research supporting other potential health benefits – support for sleep, stress and more. But buyer beware – while I’m all about adding ingredients to beverages that will improve the wellness factor, it’s also important to be mindful of marketing. CBD is an exciting area of wellness, but the research supporting the risks and health claims of CBD is not substantiated yet. Even if it was, the amount of active ingredient infused into these beverages may not be enough to reap the benefits that science suggests. Still, if your state allows the use of CBD, be aware that the sales of these beverages are soaring.

Whatever you decide, 2019 brings no shortage of options if you decide to jump on the dry drink trend. Have you tried one of these trendy drinks? What did you think?

The post Five Alcohol-Free Beverage Trends to Tap Into in 2019 appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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Belizean cuisine is a mix of cultures, with influences from Mexican, Caribbean, Mayan & Spanish cultures. If you visit San Pedro, be sure to try these local foods.

I absolutely love traveling and learning about other cultures. Not a single day goes by that I don’t sit back and appreciate how truly blessed I am to live my passion. Even better, I get to share my adventures with others that share my passion. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I’m a dietitian who loves too travel, and my tribe loves to travel too.

That includes Brian – thank goodness he shares my adventurous side. We’re constantly talking about places in the world we want to see, and as soon as one of our adventures is complete, we begin planning another. It’s so much fun!

I’ve traveled a lot, but I rarely write about my experiences. I have the best intensions when I am away – taking notes and photos of the culture and food. But, then I get home. That’s when life happens. My travel notes move to the bottom of my work pile and other prioritizes take the lead. I’ve been to over 20 countries with intentions of writing about each one of them. Sadly, the only travel post I’ve shared is from my trip to Argentina and a video from my visit to Peru.

I’ve decided it’s time for that to change. Today, I’m sharing some food history from our trip to San Pedro, Belize.

Despite this post being about Belizean food, we didn’t choose the location for the food – we wanted hot weather. I told Brian I don’t care where we go, as long as I was guaranteed a tan. We went to Mexico last December, so this year we decided to check out somewhere in Central America. Though we flew into Belize city, we didn’t spend any time in the jungle this trip. As soon as we arrived, we took a taxi to the harbor and boarded a water taxi to San Pedro. Other than a few outings – we flew over and snorkel the Blue Hole and spent a few hours at Half Moon Caye–  we spend most of the trip exploring everything the island has to offer.

Now, onto the food.  I was so excited to eat in Belize because I knew that red snapper was one of the most popular menu items – and I love fresh fish! I had red snapper 5 out of the 6 days we were there and I certainly wasn’t complaining about it.  As long as I’m getting a generous portion of protein, I’m happy – and that we got for sure. Red snapper, shrimp, chicken and pulled pork were all very common protein options. Most meals came with Belizean beans and rice, and a choice of coleslaw or potato salad. French fries and onion rings were also available as side dishes, but this was mostly because they cater to tourists. Ceviche was another very common menu item. I had my fair share of that served with tortilla chips. Yum! We washed all that food down with lots of bottled water and the local beer – Belkin.

Fresh Caught Red Snapper on the Beach

Brian and I made sure to embrace the food culture and eat all of the flavors of Belizean food, but we didn’t want to miss anything either. To make sure we didn’t, we went on a food tour with Belize Food Tour. If you ever go to San Pedro, I highly recommend this tour. It’s the only company doing food tours as of this date, though I’m sure that will change in the future. It’s run by Felipe and Dora, a brother and sister team that grew up on San Pedro. This is their third year in business, and Felipe explained to us that the business continues to grow. All of the stops on the food tour were filled with locals feasting on the food. Mingling with the locals and eating where they eat is one of my favorite parts of traveling – so this was right up my alley.

Felipe was our tour guide. There were 7 of us total in the group. Before we headed off to our first stop, Felipe explained that all of the seafood is locally caught & prepared, often the same day. All of the fruits and vegetables are farmed in the mainland of Belize and brought to the island by boat.  I won’t make this a six page blog post, but I do want to share some of our stops. I’ll share my favorites so that you can check them out for yourself if you ever visit the island.

Our first Stop was Elvi’s Kitchen. The restaurant opened in 1976 which, according to Felipe,  was the time a lot of Americans started investing in the Island, resulting in more and more business’s opening. At that time, popular menu items were turtle, manatee and any other seafood that was available. We got right down to business with a guarapo – a cocktail made with Belizean rum, sugar cane and mint leaves. It was very sweet and had a thicker than expected consistency. Still, I drank it. It was a great way to start an 11:00 am food tour. Next came an Akin taco— a corn tortilla w/chicken that was marinated in a blend of Central American spices. The flavor was similar to jerk chicken. Mixed in with the chicken was a combination of olives, raisins & Dutch cheese, giving it a spicy, sweet and savory flavor all in one bite. That was served with a side of mashed black beans. I could have eaten four more of those, but it was off to our next stop.

Next, we were off to Lily’s Treasure Chest. Lily’s opened three years after the first restaurant on the Island. It was our tour guide Felipe’s grandfather that opened the restaurant. Felipe explained how his grandfather had a vision of tourism & thought it was a good idea to get into the business. Pretty smart man, huh?


Local beer was the first item on the menu at this stop. Brian and I had already had our fair share of Belkin beer, but I had only tried one variety. Here, we were able to taste all 5 varieties – the original Belkin, the Lighthouse Lager, Guinness Foreign Extra, Belkin Stout, and the Belkin Sorrel Stout. Next came two types of Ceviche – fish (red snapper) & shrimp served with Tortilla Chips. This is one of my favorite meals. I did ask about preparation of the ceviche since I always have food safety on my mind. Felipe explained that in Belize, it’s common to steam the fish before serving rather than preparing it the traditional way when it cooks in lime juice for 6 or so hours.


Next, we stopped to see what a kitchen looks like in a traditional Belizean home. While there, we had a refreshing treat— Paletas. I chose coconut and it was amazing!  It was filled with real pieces of coconut and the higher fat content prevented it from dripping down my hand. Brian had strawberry, which was just as authentic with pieces of real strawberry. We washed it down with a shot of liquor.

Stop #4 was Brianna’s Food Place. According to our guide, this is the most popular grab and go food restaurant with the locals. All of the recipes are originals from the grandparents of the owner. Pig is a popular menu item here, so we fit in with the locals and had a plate of Pigs tail served with traditional Belizean beans & rice, coleslaw & plantains. The preparation method was quite interesting for this dish. The pigs tail is boiled for 1-hour, then drained to reduce the salt content. That process is repeated two more times before it is ready to be prepared. We tried a very unique hot sauce with this meal called Curtido- a hot sauce made with vinegar, Habaneros & onions that are soaked for about 12 hours. It looks like a bowl of raw onions, but the flavor was fantastic, and it definitely had a kick to it. I stuck with water at this stop.


We left the restaurant and headed to the back yard of Brianna’s. There, one of the owners was cracking and preparing coconuts, and we learned about the Belizean coconut industry. They use the coconut trash to make coconut milk and use the coconut husk to light fires for grilling bbq. The restaurant is also the home of the owners, so you see their laundry hanging & see them cleaning and doing housework.

The sixth stop of the tour was to Saul’s Cigar & Coffee House. Saul was waiting for us and when we arrived, we all got a taste of his three unique rum crèmes’. Wow, talk about strong! We tried coconut rum cream, coffee rum cream & chocolate rum cream. I also enjoyed hearing about the coffee and getting up close with the coffee beans. I love my coffee! Saul shared some knowledge about fresh cigars, something they market to go along with the cream rums and coffee. It was time for another bottled water.


After leaving Saul’s, we stopped by a local grab and go place known as Letty’s. This is one of those super cute local markets where you can pick up hot and ready-to-eat food to take with you. They sell lots of Mayan food, so most items are made from corn. Felipe was kind enough to purchase a Ducanu (think Tamaletas) for each of us to take home for later. It was a mixture of chicken & corn wrapped in corn husk. This is the Belizean equivalent to fast food, where locals can walk up to the window & order what they want to go. It got pretty busy when we were there. I loved this stop. It made me feel like a local.


From there we headed to El Flogon. This restaurant has a mix of British and creole thatch roof structure & it is the only restaurant in San Pedro that cooks on the authentic outdoor oven. All of the meals are prepared in this oven that sits in the dining area so that customers can watch food being prepared. The owner came to our table to talk to us and explained how the local fisherman bring their catch during the day & that’s what they prepare for customers. The seafood menu changes in the evening.

We started with jaguar juice – a fruity rum drink that was delicious. By this point, I couldn’t tell if my pictures were blurry or if it was just me not being able to focus. I was happy to see that my jaguar juice picture actually turned out pretty good.

We were served Salbutes along with our rum drink. Salbutes are made out of corn masa (dough) and topped w/Belizean stewed chicken, coleslaw, a tomato slice & a pickled pepper. I didn’t think anything could win my taste buds like the ceviche did, but this was my absolute favorite. This restaurant is a must see if you are ever in San Pedro.


It was now time for our final stop, and what better way to end the tour than with chocolate! We made our way to the Belize Chocolate Company – a small chocolate boutique. The company uses certified organic, direct trade cacao beans from small family farms in southern Belize to make its chocolate. Brian and I had stopped in the boutique earlier in the week, so we already knew the chocolate was good. This time, we both tried something different.

The food tour is a walking tour, but all of the restaurants are very close together, so it’s not a strenuous walk. I am so happy we included this food tour as part of our island adventure. I can say, without a doubt, that we experienced Belizean food culture and ate like the locals while we were in San Pedro.

After the tour, we got back on our golf cart and headed to the beach!

Have you been to Belize?  What foods did you try that you loved?

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Never worry about running out of taco seasoning again – keep your own spice blend on-hand, so you can make a last minute meal, even if you’re tight on time.

Who need’s store bought taco seasoning when you can make your own? Ok, busy parents might.

I’m definitely not against convenience, but making your own is just as easy. By keeping a few staple spices on-hand, you can make a quick taco meal in minutes.

All you need is chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Combine all of these spices together and store in an air-tight container.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Keeping homemade taco seasoning on-hand makes it easy to make a last-minute taco meal when you’re tight on time.

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  1. Combine the spices together in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to an airtight jar for storage.

    Before each use, shake the jar well to combine the spices.

  • Recipe makes 5 Tbsp of seasoning mix
  • ~1 tsp = 1 taco
  • For tacos, mix 2-3 Tbsp. seasoning per pound of protein. Combine with 2/3 cup water and simmer until water and spices are fully absorbed into the meat.
  • 3 Tbsp. seasoning mix is equal to a 4 oz. packet of store bought seasoning mix. 

Nutrition Facts: 1 Tbsp. = 30 calories, 6 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram protein, 1 gram fat, 540 mg sodium

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @heathermangieri on Instagram and hashtag it #HeatherMangieriNutrition

The post Homemade Taco Seasoning appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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Avocado toast is trending, but is it actually good for you? Find out what one of the hottest food trends of 2018 has to offer.

Have you noticed? Everyone is eating avocado toast these days. It is by far one of the hottest food trends of 2018. And, I don’t see it going away any time soon. A google search of avocado toast gets over 81 million results. Instagram alone has over 1 million pictures with the hashtag #avocadotoast. Believe me, avocado toast is big. But, is it actually good for you?

Before we dive into the toast, Let’s Talk Avocados.

I never get asked if avocados are good for you – most people know, or assume based on what they’ve heard, that they are. Most of my clients are proud to share that they include avocados in their diet. If I ask what makes them nutritious, the most common answer is healthy fats. An overwhelming majority can’t share much else. Do you know what else avocados have to offer?

Avocados are definitely high in fat, and according to the latest trends, fat is where it’s at. I guess that’s one reason they are so popular right now. But, I’m here to tell you, avocados have more than a mouthful of mono-unsaturated fats going for them. They are filled with fiber, phytonutrients and contribute lots of vitamins and minerals, too.

One medium avocado, without the skin and seed,  has ~225 calories, 21 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber,  potassium, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and carotenoids. They have lots of other vitamins and minerals, too. You can learn more about the nutrition benefits packed inside avocados in this post I wrote a few years ago.

Here’s the thing –even good for you foods have a limit, and avocados are no exception. If you’re trying to lose weight or eat within a certain caloric limit, potion size matters. Approximately ¼ of an avocado is considered a serving of fat. Mashed, thats equal to  ~2 tbsp. So, ½ of an avocado is  equal to ~1/4 cup mashed avocado, and so on. That’s not to say you should only eat one serving – you should know how much you’re eating though.

I made a visual to help you see what that looks like.

Avocado Toast

One of trendiest ways to eat avocado is on toast. It’s perfect actually. You take a healthy, whole grain carbohydrate, spread it with healthy fats, then sprinkle it with spices. Not only is it simple, it’s also delicious.

But don’t stop there. Remember my post on creating balance in your eating plan?

Is Avocado Toast Actually Good for You? Learn the nutrition benefits inside one of the hottest food trends in 2018. Plus an #avaocado & #egg toast recipe worthy of being called a meal. #RDChat
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Toast topped with only avocado is missing something. That something is protein. By including a high-quality protein, like oven-baked eggs, you can turn your toast into a complete meal.

Made right, avocado toast is a simple, nutritious and delicious meal that you can enjoy even on the go. Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

Avocado and Egg Toast

Made right, avocado toast is a simple, nutritious and delicious meal that you can enjoy even on the go. Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

  • 2 tbsp Avocado
  • 3 slices carmelized onion
  • 1 slice whole wheat (hearty) toast
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 2 baked eggs
  1. Spread mashed avocado on toast then top with carmelized onion and egg. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, pepper and salt as desired. 

    (Note: additional salt is not included in the nutriiton facts for this recipe.)

  • 1 Serving = 1 Slice
  • Recipe Makes 1 Serving
  • Nutrition Facts (per slice): 330 Calories, 27 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 16 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 430 cholesterol, 250 sodium, 18 g protein, 6% Daily Calcium, 15% Daily Iron, 6% Daily Potassium.

  • Meal Planning Servings: 2 CHO; 3 FAT; 3 PRO

The post Is Avocado Toast Actually Good for You? appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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Learn how to bake eggs in the oven, so you have a quick, high-quality protein that tastes great alone, or served on top of toast, a salad, rice or other favorite food.

Almost all of my blog posts are inspired by questions from clients and consumers – this oven baked egg recipe included.

Last week I was helping a client find easy ways to add protein to his breakfast. He likes eggs, but only if they are prepared over-medium. And, he was honest that cooking eggs before he went to work wasn’t an option. That’s when I suggested preparing a batch of baked eggs. He wasn’t familiar, but when I explained that he could bake them in advance and have a morning meal in minutes, he agreed to try them.

This recipe might be the easiest one on my blog. You only need one ingredient – eggs. And, you only need a few other kitchen essentials – a muffin tin, an oven and cooking spray.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Crack one egg into each muffin cup, being careful not to break the yolk. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or other seasoning, as desired. Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes. Remove from oven. Eat immediately or transfer to refrigerator to enjoy another day.

There are endless ways to enjoy these oven-baked eggs. They are perfect with rice pilaf, on top of toast or in your favorite salad.

Oven Baked Eggs

Learn how to bake eggs in the oven, so you have a quick, high-quality protein that tastes great alone, or served on top of toast, a salad, rice or other favorite foods.

  • 6-12 eggs
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

    Crack one egg into each muffin cup, being careful not to break the yolk. 

    Sprinkle with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or other seasoning, as desired. 

    Bake in the oven for 16-17 minutes.

  • Serving Size: 1 Egg
  • Nutrition Facts (per serving): 70 calories, 1 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 215 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 6 g protein, 2% daily calcium, 
  • Meal Planning Serving Sizes: 0 CHO; 1 PRO; 1 FAT

 

Did you make this recipe? Tag @heathermangieri on Instagram and Hashtag it #HeatherMangieriNutrition

The post Oven Baked Eggs appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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This Greek yogurt cream cheese filling is a great way to slim-down your favorite treat. Use is in place of traditional cream cheese icing to make pumpkin roll, carrot cake or other dessert.

Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Filling

This Greek yogurt, cream cheese filling is a delicious, slimmed-down version you can use in place of traditional cream cheese icing.

  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt, non-fat
  • 1 block 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese
  • 1.25 cups Powdered Sugar
  1. Combine Greek yogurt and cream cheese in a bowl and stir together. Transfer to a food processor and process until blended. Slowly add the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Recipe makes 2 1/2 cups icing or 18 servings
  • Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.
  • Nutrition Facts (per serving): 70 calories,, 10 g carbohydrates,, 2 g protein, 2.5 grams fat, 1.5 g saturated fat,, 5 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium.

The post Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Filling appeared first on Heather Mangieri Nutrition.

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