Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pump up the nutrition

Since it's a chilly day, I'm making a comfort meal for dinner tonight; Pioneer Woman's sour cream noodle bake.  Click here for the recipe.  I've made it before & it's super yummy & definitely comforting.  It's not exactly the most nutritious dish though with ground beef, sour cream, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese & noodles, so I decided to pump up the nutrition!  I know I've mentioned before that I have to sneak veggies into our meals like a criminal since my kids are such darn picky eaters.  So, this was no exception as I blended handfuls of spinach in my NutriBullet with the tomato sauce that the ground beef simmer in.  You could use any cooked vegetable you wanted in place of the spinach; carrots, broccoli, whatever.


I basically doubled the recipe for the most part, so I used two cans of tomato sauce instead of one.  I used just enough tomato sauce to puree the spinach.


Okay, I admit it, it doesn't exactly look appealing, does it?


But, by the time I added the rest of the tomato sauce, it ended up looking like a rich gravy instead of something pulled from the swamp.


You can always use plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream for some extra protein & less calories.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sour cream which is 240 calories & less than three grams of protein, swap that out for Greek yogurt & it's 85 calories & 12g protein, so you'll save yourself 155 calories & gain 9g protein.  You can always use whole wheat noodles in place of egg noodles for extra fiber.  Ground turkey or lean ground beef would be a perfect swap for the ground chuck.  I'm constantly modifying our recipes to boost the nutrition because every little bit helps.  And instead of having a heaping portion of the sour cream & noodles, I'll pair it alongside a tossed salad to up the volume of my meal without a lot of calories.

My MIL brought us a treat!

I'm a dietitian who believes that everything in moderation is just fine & I don't believe in fad diets.  Will you lose weight on a fad diet?  Probably.  Will you keep it off?  Not likely.  I don't avoid carbohydrates, gluten, sugar or any other foods labeled "bad" or "forbidden."  Yes, every once in a while I grab Happy Meals for my kids when they're cheaper on Tuesdays or Thursdays & we have a busy evening.  Gasp!  The dietitian eats McDonald's?!!?!  Yes, but not often.  For the most part, I do eat well, I try to limit my portions by using smaller plates & I get up & move whenever I think about it.  If I have a few minutes to spare at work, I run up & down the stairs a few times.  Instead of sitting in the cafeteria for my 15 minute morning break, I take two laps around the back of the hospital & eat breakfast at my desk.  We don't have to deprive ourselves or be extreme in order to achieve our goals.  Just look at the big picture & make small changes that can add up to a big result over time.  Working in the nutrition field can be frustrating because so many people dish out misinformation & assume the nutrition professional role.  Dr. Oz?  A doctor a dietitian does not make!  So that's my story & I'm sticking to it!  Happy Hump Day!

post signature

8 comments:

  1. pump up the jam, pump it up

    ReplyDelete
  2. happy meals are cheaper on certain days?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Florida they are! They were down to $1.99 a pop, but now they're $2 something. Can't beat it!

      Delete
    2. $2.19 plus tax = $2.34 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

      Delete
  3. I'd like to say that the meal you made was extraordinary. I know this won't sound good, but it's like a classy, cheesy, awesome version of a hamburger helper. It was great, and the spinach lent some creaminess to the whole thing. Great job Ally RD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mike, I really appreciate that!

      Delete