Something to Chew On

A Guide to Eating Right and Living Well

Leave a comment

Trying New Things With Chicken

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a chicken recipe. We’ve been eating chicken all right, but I’ve had a handful of recipe fails lately that did not make the cut to be featured on the blog. For weeks, I have been craving a solid honey mustard chicken recipe. It took me fives tries before I came out with this one, but that didn’t stop me from continuously trying to make the perfect chicken recipe. Whether your challenge is training for a ½ marathon, making strength gains at the gym or, like me, cooking new recipes… remember, taking on any new challenge can have its own set of triumphs and letdowns. It’s important to not let those set-backs get in the way of you achieving your goal and boy, am I glad I didn’t quit. My husband has already asked me to make this recipe again since finally nailing it! It’s quick, simple and can be served by itself or prepared in a salad.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken


  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup (not the generic syrup we’re most accustomed to)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of fresh rosemary or 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375oF. Lightly season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and lay in cooking dish.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together mustard, syrup and red wine vinegar. Pour mixture over chicken breasts and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle rosemary on top of cooked chicken and serve warm.

Leave a comment

Dietitian and Husband Approved!

img_3802If you’re like me and need a go-to recipe that’s quick, easy and doesn’t take many ingredients —then this one is for you! This recipe takes a healthy spin on a classic dish.It’s gluten-free and packed with tons of vegetable servings and lean protein.It’s perfect to make on Sunday afternoons and use as lunches for throughout the week  or enjoy it with a large group of people.

Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 lbs of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I used an organic garlic and herb tomato sauce)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp dried basil

1. Pre-heat oven to 425oF.Cut off one of the ends of the spaghetti squash. Lay the cut end down on cutting board and cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and lay flat sides down on baking dish. Cook for 30-40 minutes until tender and squash threads easily with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until onions become translucent. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink and internal temperature of 165oF is reached. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain excess liquid and set aside.

3. Once spaghetti squash is done, use a fork to scoop out the threads into a large casserole serving dish. Add turkey and onions, mushrooms, sauce and basil and mix evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together and then mix into spaghetti squash mixture. Stir until eggs are no longer visible.

4. Reduce oven to 350oF and cook mixture for 60-75 minutes or until top layer has slightly hardened over. Serve warm and enjoy!

Leave a comment

Perfect Savory & Sweet Dish

photo 1Sweet potatoes are a perfect combination of filling and healthy carbs that add a touch of natural sweetness to any dish. Typically, I enjoy my sweet potatoes sautéed in some coconut oil with a pinch of salt and pepper or roasted in the oven with garlic and onions. I usually avoid recipes for sweet potatoes that call for additional sweet ingredients like brown sugar and cinnamon because I feel they are then too sweet. But, boy oh boy am I glad I tried this recipe–out it’s became another instant favorite in our household. This dish is a little bit higher on the carb side so make sure you serve it with a lean protein and non-starchy vegetables (green beans, salads, broccoli, etc).

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Raisins, Rosemary and Goat Cheese

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Raisins, Rosemary and Goat Cheese

  • 3 lbs of sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1-2 tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ c. raisins
  • 3-4 oz goat cheese, crumbled or cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425oF. Place cubed sweet potatoes in pan and toss with melted coconut oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes or until slightly crispy.

2. Meanwhile place raisins and balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes so vinegar reduces and raisins plump up. Be sure not to overcook the vinegar as this can scorch your pan.

3. Once sweet potatoes are done, place in serving dish and toss in raisins, remaining vinegar, goat cheese and rosemary. Serve warm. (But it was also quite tasty cold the next day!)

For more delicious and healthy recipes head to our Pinterest Board.

Leave a comment

Yummy Recipe

mango salsaBlackened Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa

It is well-known that fish, especially salmon, is very healthy for us; but most people are afraid to prepare it at home. I came across this delicious salmon dish that even my husband  compliments. This is a perfect entrée  for entertaining guests or to simply have on a casual evening. The salmon is spiced perfectly, and the mango-avocado salsa adds a bright bite of freshness to the dish. I also like to  make the salsa to put on other proteins like chicken, or serve it by itself as a great, nutritious party dip.


  • 1½ to 2 pounds wild salmon fillets, boneless and skin on
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cracked pepper
  • ¼ tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne

Mango Avocado Salsa

  • 1 large ripe mango, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1 large avocado, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup diced grape tomatoes or 1 roma tomato, diced, seeds removed
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt

1. Slice the salmon evenly into 4 to 6 smaller fillets. You can also choose to prepare the salmon whole and slice after it’s been cooked.

2. Combine the oil and spices in one bowl and rub evenly over the salmon.

3. Preheat oven to 450oF and bake salmon until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.

4. While salmon is cooking, prepare all mango avocado salsa ingredients and combine in one bowl.

5. Serve salmon hot and spoon salsa over salmon.

Don’t forget to check out Springfield Clinic’s Pinterest boards that are full of delicious healthy recipes and more! pinterestrecipes

Recipe inspired by:

Blackened Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa - Watch my live segment on ABC Newschannel 20 to watch me make this simple recipe!

Leave a comment

Think Healthy for the Holidays!

Looking to make something healthy and creative for your friends and family this holiday season? Watch this video  to learn about healthy choices plus see how easy it is to whip up this fun holiday treat.

7-Layer Lemon Hummus & Pesto Yogurt Dip

1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 T tahini (sesame seed paste found in the ethnic food section, or use unsweetened almond butter)
1 lemon separated into 1 tsp grated zest, 3 T juice
3 T organic or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup basil pesto
1 cup shredded (not grated) Parmesan cheese (or use crumbled feta for a stronger taste)
1 large tomato, seeded, diced 1/4 inch (1 cup)
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded with a spoon, and diced (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

For dipping
Serve grilled or toasted whole-grain pita chips or flatbread torn into pieces
Romaine hearts

1. To make the hummus: Purée chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, broth, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil. Spread hummus evenly in the bottom of a 9- X 9-inch glass dish.

2. Stir together yogurt and pesto and spoon over hummus. Evenly sprinkle the cheese, followed by single layers of tomato, cucumber, scallions, and olives. Enjoy this dish on the same or the next day for optimal freshness.

*Note: For a more festive look, use a trifle-style glass bowl rather than a square baking dish. It makes for a great-looking potluck contribution.

Nutrient Analysis per 1/4-cup serving
Calories: 77; Total fat: 5 g; Sat fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 4 mg; Sodium: 243 mg; Total carbohydrate: 5 g; Dietary fiber: 1 g; Protein: 4 g

— Recipe reprinted with permission from Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes With Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love by Michelle Dudash, RDN (Fair Winds Press, December 2012) 

Leave a comment

The Perfect I’m Sorry Dish

We’ve all been there. That moment when you need to swallow your pride and admit that you were wrong. My most recent episode occurred a few days ago. I had brought home a cat assuring my husband that he was already

Portrait of a male tabby catproperly trained and would get along great with our Australian shepherd, Bamboo. To get the cat accustomed to his new environment, I shut him in one of the guest bedrooms with food, water and a litter box for the night. To my horror the next morning, the cat had shredded up a good chunk of the carpet next to the door in attempts to free himself from the locked bedroom. The cat ended up going back to his original owner and I was left with the silent treatment from my husband.

If there’s a way to get to back on my husband’s good side, its bacon. Since bacon is a higher fat meat, it is not consumed on a regular basis in our household. That means when it is served, it is a real treat. This bacon stuffed chicken recipe not only cheered him up, it was also loaded with healthy vegetables.

Bacon-Vegetable Stuffed Chickenphoto 1

  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5-8 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5-8 strips of bacon
  • 3 chicken breasts, pounded thin or butterfly

1. In a medium-large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and spinach and continue stirring until spinach is wilted. Add just a pinch of salt and pepper, for taste. Once cooked, remove pan from heat.

2. Meanwhile lay bacon strips on baking sheet and cook at 375oF for 10 minutes. Flip bacon and cook an additional 10-12 minutes until crisp.

3. Chop cooked bacon and mix evenly into vegetables.

photo 4

4. Spoon mixture evenly onto thin chicken breasts. Fold one half of the chicken breast over mixture and secure with a toothpick. Bake chicken at 375oF for 25-30 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 F is achieved. Serve with your favorite vegetable dish.

Have you ever wondered what to do with your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? Amanda Figge, Springfield Clinic registered dietitian, shows us around County Market on how to make a delicious recipe with leftover turkey.  Plus she delivers some excellent healthy eating tips. Enjoy!

Roasted Turkey Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


For the dressing:

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:

3-4 oz leftover white meat Thanksgiving turkey

1 ½ cups Salad Greens (50/50 mix of Spring Mix and Spinach recommended)

1 oz of goat cheese, crumbles or freshly sliced

2 Tbsp dried cranberries

2 Tbsp walnuts

1. Whisk together salad dressing ingredients in small bowl and set aside. Combine all salad ingredients in bowl. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp of dressing over salad and serve immediately.


In case you missed Part One :


Leave a comment

Becoming Stronger Than Your Excuses : Part Three

a slow cooker Oval Crock Potcrockpot

Taking on healthy eating habits, typically does not occur over night, rather it’s a gradual progression of gaining knowledge and understanding between health foods and less-healthy foods and finding strategies to make health foods fit into one’s lifestyle.

When someone states “I don’t have enough time to make a healthy meal”, my first two questions are “do you have a crockpot” and “do you have a day off during the week”?

Prepare meals ahead of time on your days off. One cooking approach I took up in grad school was cooking my proteins in bulk. On Sundays, I would bake or grill several chicken breasts or fish to have on reserve for my lunches and dinners for the next several days. Doing this saved me time and energy in preparing healthy and well-balanced meals when I would get home after a 12-hour work day as an intern. Using a crock pot is a great method for cooking for those with busy schedules. Home-cooked meals are often lower in sodium than those purchased away from the home.

Purchase pre-cut vegetables or ready-made salads. Purchasing whole vegetables and cutting them up ahead of time will save you a lot of money, but not necessarily time. What’s great about most grocery stores is that they offer pre-cut vegetables that can be thrown into a stir-fry, salad or consumed raw as a snack. Most supermarkets also offer freshly prepared salads which are often bigger (so you can use them for more than one meal) and more cost-effective than a single-serve salad purchased from a fast food restaurant.

Consistency is key. You must be consistent to make any change. This principle applies to many aspects of health. In order for a post-workout protein snack to be most effective, it needs to be taken consistently (for those participating in vigorous strength-training programs). Good habits are as addictive as bad habits. Form a new one now! Eating breakfast can jumpfood3_MP900411701start your metabolism, but it won’t have a lasting effect if you only consume breakfast 2-3 days per week. Exercise can have similar effects on muscle cells just like  Metformin, a common diabetic medication. However, these beneficial effects of exercise last less than 48 hours, raising the importance of daily physical activity. Forming healthy habits can be a challenge for some, but when we identify barriers (our excuses) we can find ways to overcome our challenges and lead healthy, active lives.

Every day is a good day. Some days are just more challenging than others.

I’d love to hear from you! Share your favorite healthy crock pot meals that you have made below in the comment section.

Photo Credit :

Leave a comment

Trendy Dish

Spaghetti squash is one trendy food item that continues to grow in popularity. It’s a great alternative for individuals who have gluten intolerance or for those simply wanting to cut back on consumption of starches. The first time I attempted to make spaghetti squash, I failed miserably. In fact, I couldn’t even cut through the squash, so thinking it was a bad squash, I threw it out. When this recipe called for spaghetti squash, I did what every normal person would do; I used Google to see how to cut it. The simplest and safest way to cut squash (without losing a finger) is to lay the squash on its side and cut off the top end. Then you can put the cut end down on the cutting board and have a stable base to slice the squash lengthwise in half. It takes a little muscle and a very sharp knife, but the rewards of the spaghetti squash will definitely be worth it!

I was excited to try this recipe, especially since one of the ingredients was hot sauce, which is one of my husband’s top 5 favorite food group (No, hot sauce is not considered a “food group” but for hot-sauce lovers out there, you understand me). I’m not too keen on hot sauce, but mild buffalo sauce was appropriate for my sensitive taste buds. The recipe calls for ½ cup hot sauce, but you may scale up or down depending on how much heat you like in your dishes.

photo 1Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash


•             1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise

•             2 tablespoons olive oil

•             1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

•             2 garlic cloves, minced

•             ½ sweet onion, finely chopped

•             1 large carrot, finely chopped

•             2 stalks of celery, finely chopped

•             ½ cup hot sauce ( I use buffalo-mild sauce)

•             Salt and pepper, to taste

•             Chopped green onions, to garnish

•             Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

•             1/3 cup mayonnaise (I recommend the mayo made with olive oil-the one with the olive-green colored lid)

1. Preheat oven to 415oF.

2. Place spaghetti squash open side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skin is soft and threads of squash easily remove with fork.

3. While squash cooks, place a large pan over medium heat. Add oil and chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Once chicken is browned and cooked to an internal temperature of 165oF. Remove chicken from pan.

4. In the same pan, still over medium heat, add garlic, onion, carrot and celery. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Once onions become translucent (about 5 minutes), remove from heat.

5. Add spaghetti squash threads, chicken, mayo and buffalo sauce to pan. Garnish with green onions and red pepper flakes.

Recipe adapted from


Healthy Recipe – Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto



  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, small diced
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400oF and arrange a rack in the middle.

2. Combine broth, rice, squash, puree, and onion in a 3-quart baking dish, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir to evenly combine.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake, stirring occasionally, until most the water has been absorbed and rice granules are puffed, about 35 to 30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, stir in remaining ingredients, season to taste and serve. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 269.Total Fat: 11 g. Saturated Fat: 4 g. Sugar: 3 g. Fiber: 2.5 g. Cholesterol: 12mg. Sodium: 253 mg. Total Carbohydrate: 36 g. Dietary Fiber: 2 g. Protein: 9 g. Recipe courtesy of Aida Mollenkamp; 2012 Television Food Network G.P.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,694 other followers