Recipe Redux: Apple Crisp

I keep meaning to blog more, but then life happens and I don’t get to it. Thankfully, I participate in this monthly recipe redux, so at least you get a yummy recipe from me once a month!  I promise I’ll try to do better.

This month’s theme is tied in with the upcoming Oscars. We’re to share our favorite movie-inspired recipe. Well, when it comes to favorites, that’s tough for me. I’ve never been the kind of person who could pick a “favorite” anything. Not food, movie, song, color, not anything! Perhaps its the Gemini in me with the whole two personalities thing OR maybe its just because I can’t ever make up my mind about anything. But, usually I can narrow things down to at least a handful of favorites, and when it comes to movies one that definitely makes that list is When Harry Met Sally.

And anyone whose seen that movie certainly must remember how famously and specifically Sally ordered her apple pie–heated with strawberry ice cream on the side, if no strawberry ice cream then whip cream, but only real, not from a can, if they only have the can, then just pie but not heated.

I too am a lover of apple pie a la mode, however I prefer vanilla ice cream with my heated pie and like it on the side, not on top, just like Sally.  Oh, and mine has to be homemade–not a heated up frozen, packaged pie.  However, when it comes right down to making pie, well that’s another story.  I do make a pretty darn good one, but I’m far more likely to make apple crisp because I have to admit pie crust intimidates me a bit.  I’ve made many tasty ones, but that fear of it all tearing and sticking to the counter is always there.  I’ve found I can get mostly the same flavor and pleasure out of a much simpler apple crisp.

And the recipe I’m about to share is written in  my cookbook as “5th Grade Apple Crisp.”  Now I can’t remember why we made apple crisp in 5th grade, but we did and it was a pretty darn good dessert.  I’ve tweaked it a bit here and there and the results I think are perfection in a baking dish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have all these years since I was in elementary school.   Let me know.

Delicious Apple Crisp
Sweetened, cinnamon-y apples with a crispy, crunchy brown sugar topping.
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  1. 8 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  1. 1/4 cup white sugar
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 3/8 cup flour
  4. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  6. 4 tbsp cold butter
  1. Mix together apples, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and salt. Place in an 8-inch square baking dish; set aside.
  2. Combine remaining sugars, flour & spices. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 375° about 45 minutes until apples are tender. Serve warm
Foodie Mom, RD

Please check out my fellow Reduxers fav movie inspired recipes:

Also, check out the Country Cook’s Weekend Potluck.


Recipe Redux — Italian Style Chicken Soup

Our recipe challenge this month was to look at a food trend for the upcoming year and turn it into a comforting bowl of soup or stew. Well believe it or not, chicken is a trend for 2013. It’s being predicted that chicken will take a more prominent spot on restaurant menus primarily for cost reasons. As the country’s money concerns continue, consumers are looking to be able to enjoy luxuries, such as eating out, while still trying to keep their budget in line.

For me, nothing says comfort like this Chicken Soup, so it was instantly the only choice for this blog recipe challenge. The recipe originally came from my Aunt Debbie. It was a staple meal every year when all of my aunts and cousins would gather at her house in New Jersey for a post-Christmas weekend get together. Over the years, its been tweaked a bit by this family member which brings us to today and this steaming, flavorful version of comfort in a bowl. I hope you enjoy it.

Italian Style Chicken Soup

1 leftover roasted chicken (bones and meat)

3 cups low sodium chicken stock plus water

1 medium onion

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

15 ounce can tomato sauce

2-3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

Half a medium onion, finely chopped

4-5 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

Any other leftover vegetables you may have (optional)

1 cup acini de pepe, alphabet noodles, or ditalini, cooked and drained

Place chicken and stock in large pot, add enough water to almost cover chicken.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Remove chicken from pot and place in colander.  Discard onion.  Pick meat off of chicken, tear into bite-sized pieces  and place back into broth in pot.  Discard skin and bones.  (If you didn’t have much meat left on your chicken, or if you would like more, you can add as much more cooked, shredded chicken as you’d like.

Add salt, oregano, pepper, cheese, tomato sauce, celery, diced onion, and carrots.  Simmer uncovered 2 to 3 hours.  Just before serving add leftover vegetables and pasta and allow to heat through.

Delicious served with whole grain crackers or soft rolls and a salad.

I hope you enjoy this belly warmer as much as my family has.


And check out what my fellow Reduxers have done with this challenge:


Green Bean Casserole with a Hip Twist

My challenge this month for Recipe Redux was to put a new spin on old-fashioned side dishes. Immediately I decided I’d be doing some veggie-filled spin on my my grandmother’s spaetzle. Spaetzle are those delcious little german dumplings usually covered in gravy or buttery bread crumbs. Yummy and great fare for a redux, right. However, the other night I was trying out a new green bean recipe, and started mentally tweaking it before I even put the pan on to heat. Thoughts of that Thanksgiving standby–green bean casserole as well as green beans almondine danced in my head as this new recipe began to look nothing at all like the recipe I’d ripped out of a magazine, and then it hit me—REDUX! (Don’t worry, I’ll try to work that delicious spaetzle recipe in another time).

A few tweaks later and I ended up with the recipe below, which I believe turned out great! I took away the creamy, canned soup sauce from the original casserole–but I did keep some of those crunchy little onions because I LOVE them! The resulting recipe is a slightly sweet, light, flavorful, and beautifully green side dish that is a perfect accompaniement to any poultry, seafood, or beef dish. In fact, just about anything, the night I made it I happened to be having lasagna.

Raspberry-Glazed Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, grated or minced

2 tablespoons raspberry jam

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup fried onions

Steam green beans until desired doneness. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat olive oil and garlic together until garlic begins to lightly brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in the jam and vinegar. Add the grean beans and toss to coat. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon of fried onions.

Serves 4

Let me know what you think of my spin on green beans.

And, check out how others put a new twist on an old fashioned side dish:

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Recipe Redux: Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

It’s that time of the month again–Recipe Redux–Yeah!!! When I read this month’s theme, “Orange You Glad It’s Fall,” I knew my recipe would involve sweet potatoes and cinnamon. Those flavors to me meld into the perfect, comforting flavors of the season.

While two ingredients came to me immediately, what I was going to do with them took me a little while to figure out. However the other night we were having twiced baked potatoes with dinner and BAM! it came to me. I can make a more colorful version of that delicious potato side dish with sweets instead of russets–yum!

Before I get to the star of the blog, the recipe, just a bit about sweet potatoes. Many people are under the wrong impression that sweet potatoes are much higher in calories and carbs than regular potatoes due to their sweetness. In reality, a medium sweet potato contains only about 20 calories and a couple grams of carbohydrate more than a medium regular potato. PLUS, the sweet potatoes have twice the fiber (4 grams) as well as well over a day’s worth of vitamin A and a good dose of vitamin C.

If you like sweet potatoes, you’ll love these. If you’re not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, give these a try anyway, you may be sweetly surprised.

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

1 large sweet potato

1 tablespoon skim milk

1 teaspoon butter

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of ground ginger (optional)

Dash of kosher salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400.  Scrub potatoes and poke a few times with fork.  Bake in preheated oven until soft, about 60-75 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees.  Let potato cool slightly.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out potato halves, leaving about 1/8 inch thick shell and set aside.  Combine potato centers with milk, margarine, brown sugar and spices.  Beat with electric mixer until well combined.  Divide mixture evenly among emptied potato shells. * Return to oven and heat through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

* Can be prepared in advance up to this point.  Refrigerate until ready to eat and heat in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Hope you enjoy the way I’ve turned the beautiful colors of fall into a delicious, comforting side dish or simple lunch.  Let me know and check out what my fellow redux’ers did with this month’s theme.



Chocolate Milk—Yum!!!

I recently worked with The Hershey Company to discuss the health benefits of chocolate milk during my latest media tour and I thought I’d share these benefits with you.

As a mom and registered dietitian its important to me that my kids are eating a healthy diet and getting all the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. While milk isn’t an issue in our house, I know in many households it is which means children may be missing out on key nutrients found in milk. Offering chocolate milk, once in a while, is a great way to get kids to drink more milk. There are a lot of different types of chocolate milk out there, but many are high in sugar and fat. You can make your own for just 150 calories using 8 oz. of low-fat (1%) milk and 2 Tbsp. of HERSHEY’S® Lite Syrup with 50% less sugar.

Low-fat chocolate milk like this contains many key nutrients necessary for children to help achieve a balanced diet and provides vitamins and minerals to help build and maintain strong bones.

But chocolate milk isn’t just for kids. Research shows that low-fat chocolate milk is a great way for adults to refuel after exercise and replenish fluid and electrolytes. With its 3:1 carb to protein ratio, low-fat chocolate milk refuels muscles and provides natural protein that helps muscles recover after a tough workout.

So, go ahead give your kids chocolate milk in moderation—they’ll think they’re getting a treat, but you know they’re getting something good for them.

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Recipe Redux: Vacation Food

Well, I hope you enjoyed my first recipe redux recipe last month as much as I did. Now here we are a month later and it’s time for round two. My task this month involving “vacation food,” really made me think. My husband and I were fortunate enough to get engaged in Barcelona and honeymoon in Hawaii. Since kids, however, our vacations have mostly been camping or visiting family. At first I focused on those early trips we took together, sure the resulting recipe would be as fantastic as the trips. But, my thoughts gradually lead me to more recent, family trips.

One thing we try to do every summer, if possible, is spend a few days on Cape Cod–something I’ve been doing with my parents, aunts, and cousins for the last almost 20 years. No matter who’s there, what we do, or what the weather is, there’s always one thing that’s a given for family trips to the Cape–we’ll be having plenty of grilled, fresh seafood. Um—my key ingredient I decide. Now, what to do with it????

Just a few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to be able to celebrate my Grandmother’s 100th birthday with her. Doing so involved all of us heading out to California, where she lives, for a few days. Something I really looked forward to trying was fish tacos–a very west coast dish for us New Englanders.

Um—something to do with my fish I think…

All that was left was turning my two ideas into one delicious recipe.

The fish in the California tacos were fried, so my grilling would add a different texture and flavor I thought would work well. In addition, fish tacos traditionally have a cabbagy slaw on top. Well, I’m not a big fan of slaw, but I do LOVE fruit salsas and thought that would add a wonderful, crunchy sweetness to my fish (and I was right!) After a bit of trial and error, I finally came up with a winner. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

Grilled Fish Tacos

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 small red pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, minced*
3 rings fresh pineapple, diced
1 1/4 pound cod loin, or other firm white fish like haddock
1 1/4 teaspoons salt free lemon pepper seasoning
8 6-inch flour or whole wheat tortillas

In a small bowl, combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. Add avocado, red pepper, onion, and pineapple. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes to let flavors combine.

When ready to eat, heat grill to medium heat. Spray 2 medium-sized pieces of foil with olive oil and divide fish among two foils. Spray fish with olive oil and sprinkle on lemon pepper seasoning. Place fish on foil on grill, and grill until fish flakes with a fork, flipping once, about 8 minutes.

To serve, divide fish evenly among tortillas and top with pineapple salsa. Wrap and eat.

My family insisted on a sprinkle of colby-jack cheese, but even thought I love cheese, I think they were better without it.

Serves 4, 2 tacos each

*If raw onion is a bit too strong, soak the minced onion in cold water and drain before adding it to mixture–learned that trick recently from my mother-in-law–Thanks Gail!

See my fellow Reduxers’ yummy vacation recipes, check this out


Recipe Redux: No Cook Meals

Today I launch a new chapter in my blog; I’ve officially joined a website called Recipe Redux  This is a site developed by foodie dietitians just like me who strive to make delicious AND nutritious foods.  Each month I’ll be posting a new, original recipe based on that month’s theme. It could be chocolate, mini celebrations, little fishies, or like this month–no cook meals. My blog post will be linked to their site and you’ll not only see my recipe, but you’ll be able to link to their site and see how everyone else interpreted the theme (and I’m sure get slew of yummy recipes too!)

My inspiration for this month’s recipe goes way back.  The original recipe comes from the mother of my best friend growing up in Kansas.   I just loved her Taco Salad and it was what popped into my head as soon as I saw this month’s theme.  For this recipe creation challenge, I’ve added black beans for a boost of fiber and avocado for heart healthy fats to my version.  I’ve also replaced the full fat cheese and salad dressings with reduced fat—-You will rarely, if ever see me using artificially fat free ingredients, however there are many reduced fat ingredients on the market that, I believe, are almost, if not, just as good as the original—and I took advantage of a few of them in this recipe.

Mrs. Sanks’ Taco Salad–Redux

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/2 small head of lettuce, chopped (about 2 cups)

1 cup black beans

1 1/2 cups diced or shredded leftover chicken (about 1/2 a pound or 1 medium breast)

2 oz shredded, reduced fat cheddar or colby-jack cheese

4 oz baked tortilla chips, crushed

2 oz reduced fat ranch dressing

2 oz reduced fat Italian dressing

1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

In  large bowl, combine tomato, lettuce, beans, chicken, cheese, and chips.  In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine dressings.  Pour dressing mixture over salad and mix until well coated.  Top with avocado and serve immediately.  Serves 4.

I hope your family gobbles it down like mine did! Olè!

To see all of the other tasty Redux creations:


It’s Raspberry Time!

Is it raspberry time where you are? It’s just wrapping up where I am, and I was fortunate enough to get some time a few days ago to pick a bunch.

For just a tiny little berry, the raspberry packs quite a nutritional wallop. In just one cup you’ll get almost half of your daily vitamin C as well as 8 grams of fiber–and all for just a measly 50 calories. Plus they taste so yummy!!

I know, in the grocery store, these little gems can be a bit    on the pricey side—I’ve seen them as high as $4.99 for just a little 6 oz carton.  But, if you have a raspberry orchard near you, you really should try picking your own.  Not only is it alot of fun, especially if you have little ones, it’s a lot more affordable.  For just $24 I came home with enough berries to make a batch of delicious and nutritious bars,  6 jars of jam, and still have plenty of fresh berries to gobble up as is.  What a bargain!

And speaking of those tasty little raspberry bars I made, now you can make them too.  This recipe came from my friends, the MealMakeoverMoms.  It originally came from Driscoll’s Berries, where they were fortunate enough to recently visit.

Whole Grain Raspberry Bars

After you give raspberries a try, give your tastebuds a treat and try blueberries,  strawberries, or a combo of all three.

Raspberry Filling

  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/3 cups) Driscoll’s Raspberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Breakfast Bars

  • 1½ cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Simmer, stirring constantly, 2 minutes until sauce is thick and translucent. Remove from heat

3. Combine oats, flour, sugar, walnuts, wheat germ and cinnamon in a food processor. Process until the oats and walnuts are finely ground. Add the oil and egg; pulse to evenly combine, scraping sides of work bowl.

4. Press half of the crumb mixture evenly on the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Spread the raspberry filling evenly over crumbs. Top with the remaining crumbs and pat down gently.

5. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan. Cut into 12 bars.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 bar): 230 calories, 10g fat (1g saturated), 10mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g protein



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Win a Puffins Cereal Prize Pack!

You may have seen the new “Pass the Puffins” commercials airing recently. In celebration of the “Pass the Puffins” theme, Barbara’s Bakery is excited to offer a Pass the Puffins Prize Pack to my readers. When it comes to nutrition, Barbara’s understands the importance of wholesome ingredients. Puffins cereal, along with ALL their products, contains NO hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, trans fat, artificial additives, refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

You can check out the cereals yourself and

 And you can WIN SOME!  One lucky winner will receive a Puffins Prize Pack, which includes the following: a sampling of Barbara’s signature cereal line including Puffins Original, Puffins Multigrain and Puffins Peanut Butter & Chocolate (the newest addition!), a reusable canvas tote bag and cute Puffin plush.  My kids LOVE the Multigrain (Yes, I was surprised too!) and are anxiously awaiting to try the PB & Choc—me too!

Simply comment to this post and I’ll do a random drawing of all the comments received by 5:00 PM EST Friday July 13th.


Processed Food: Not all bad

Think banning all processed foods from you and your family’s diet is the only way to ensure you’re eating healthy?  Well you may want to think again.  Certainly there are many highly processed foods out there that you and your family can avoid without problems, and most likely be healthier for it.  But, you may actually be missing out on some nutrient-packed foods by enforcing such a ban 100%.

Think about it, while processing often brings to mind overly salted, overly sugared, and overly chemicaled foods, it’s really any action taken on a food that takes it from the way it’s found in nature and turns it into something you can eat.  Processing includes any cutting, peeling, cooking, and more.

For example, wheat.  Many people consider white or all-purpose flour a processed foods.  But did you know whole wheat flour is often more processed?  That’s right,  whole wheat flour is often milled into white flour and then undergoes additional “processing” to add the rest of the grain back into it.

That’s just one.  There are a few other foods such as canned 100% pure pumpkin, tuna packed in water, canned tomatoes, and more.  Processed foods that can add quite a nutritional punch to your diet.  Just another example of how eating healthy isn’t an all or nothing decision.