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Apr 25, 2019 · Black Bean and Avocado Enchilada

Calories: 250 | Protein: 6.5g | Carbs: 30g | Total Fat: 12.5g | Fiber: 9g | Sodium: 255mg Yield: 6 | Serving Size: 2 tortilla wraps

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2 tbsp. canola oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 Garlic Cloves, Minced

¼ tsp Oregano

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1-1/2 cup black beans (canned and

2 each Avocado, Diced

12 each 6” white corn tortilla

1 cup red enchilada sauce

½ bunch chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Heat oil in pan and sauté onions
and garlic. Add the remaining spices and black beans. Cook until heated
through. Place in a food processor and pulse to mash. Leave coarsely ground.
Transfer to a bowl and gently fold in diced avocados. Set aside.

Heat tortillas to make pliable either in a steamer, microwave or oven. Pour a quarter of the Enchilada sauce into a baking pan and spread evenly. Roll 1/3 cup of filling into each tortilla and place seam down into pan. Pour remaining sauce on top.

Bake covered at 350F degrees
until heated through, about 20-30 minutes.

Serve garnished with fresh
chopped cilantro.

Feb 14, 2018 · Nutrition Spotlight: Dark Chocolate!

Life Just Got a Little Sweeter…

Now that I have your attention, I’ll admit, it is actually more bitter than sweet.  Cocoa.  The cocoa bean is a rich source of phytonutrients, plant compounds that may have protective or health promoting properties.  Research reveals 5 ways dark chocolate can be good for you:

  1. Reduces Inflammation: The cocoa bean is a rich source of the antioxidant theobromine, which may reduce inflammation.
  2. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease: Studies have found that habitual chocolate consumers had a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke compared with subjects who didn’t eat chocolate.
  3. Reduces Risk of Future Cognitive Decline: A 2015 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that cocoa flavanols, a type of phytonutrient, may reduce some measure of age-related cognitive dysfunction with habitual intake.
  4. Reduces Blood Pressure: Again, those powerful flavanols in dark chocolate are thought to increase nitric oxide, which improves blood vessel function and can lower blood pressure.
  5. A Smart Choice: According to a 2012 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine places where chocolate consumption is highest have the most Nobel Prize recipients!

Chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet. Like any food, the less processed it is, the better it is. In this case, more cocoa and less added fat and sugar allows us to increase our phytonutrient intake without empty calories.  Add a little cocoa to your morning coffee, oatmeal, or smoothie.  Enjoy a small piece of 60-70% dark chocolate.  Join us in the DAHLC demo kitchen this month to learn more healthy ways you can incorporate chocolate into your diet!

COOKING DEMOS: These 30-45 minute classes will give you time-saving tips to prepare healthy meals. $4 fee due at time of registration. Theme: Dark Chocolate

  • Registration period: Jan 31 – Feb 20
  • Class meets: Wednesday, Feb 14 11:15-12pm OR Wednesday, Feb 21 12-12:45pm
  • Recipes: Mighty Mocha Black Bean Cupcake with mocha icing

Oct 30, 2017 · All About Cranberries!

Cranberries  – good for you and for making silly faces!

Cranberries are in season! These small, round, bright red berries are bursting with… sour.  Yes, sour.  Let’s have more fun with the taste description and call it “wrinkle-your-nose tartness”.  Most commonly found in a sauce, dried, or as juice, cranberries’ sour taste is balanced with the sweetness of added sugar or other juices.   But you need not add any sugar to enjoy these berries – or you can certainly add less.

These sour berries – fresh or dried, pair well with savory flavors, like chicken or turkey.  They will liven up wild rice or other grain pilafs and salads.  Ease into the tartness by adding a few to your dishes.  Then don’t worry about how many you add (unless you are on blood thinners since it can potentially increase the blood thinning effects) as there is only 25 calories in a ½ cup of fresh cranberries. 

Cranberries, like many berries, are a good source of fiber and vitamin C, an anti-oxidant.  Additionally, the phytonutrients in cranberries may be anti-inflammatory.  All may prove beneficial for better circulation, a healthy heart, and in cancer prevention.

Want to learn more about how to select, store, and enjoy fresh cranberries?  Join us in the DAHLC demo kitchen this month where we will be making silly faces as we wrinkle our noses exploring these tart berries.

May 21, 2017 · Getting to Know 5 Kitchen Knives

There are enough kitchen gadgets to fill entire stores. But ask a chef for advice and they will likely tell you their essential tool is a good knife. In the kitchen, a knife is as important as one’s fingers as they are an extension of a chef’s hand. Your ambitions may not include being a professional chef; however, having the right tools and know-how to use them is a great skill when it comes to efficiency in your kitchen.

There are wide array of knives.  What ones do you really need?

  1. Chef (or French) knife: is an all-purpose knife with an 8-12 inch blade
  2. Serrated Slicer (or boning knife): is often used for cutting meat or fish, generally a longer blade. Blade can be straight or serrated.
  3. Utility knife: is general purpose, lighter and smaller in size
  4. Bread knife: a type of slicer, often serrated
  5. Paring knife: trimming or pealing fruit and vegetables or small items, 2-4 inch blade

Beyond this list, there are specialty knives such as cleavers and fillet knives.

Here are a couple tips for you:

  1. Find the knife that best suits you. Hold the handle. Do you like the material, the shape, the weight? Is the blade a comfortable length?
  2. Care for you knife. Knives are easily dulled if used and stored improperly. Keep it clean but don’t put it in the dishwasher.
  3. Despite how much you like your knife, don’t try to catch it if it falls. Get your hands and toes out of the way.

Want to know more about knives and how to use them? Join our chefs and dietitians for culinary classes. We offer a variety of classes to include one specific to knife skills – Wielding a Knife. Let us help you be more confident in chopping, slicing, and dicing veggies and fruits.

Source: The Professional Chef, the Culinary Institute of America, Chapter 5.

Mar 31, 2017 · Don't Let Others Fool You...

It’s April, we welcome spring and hopefully a good laugh on April Fool’s day. Thoughts of April’s Fools got me to thinking about all the confusing information about nutrition and weight loss. You might be wondering, what’s a gag and what’s true? I asked around, what are folks wondering about?

1. Coconut oil will help with weight loss.

Don’t rely on coconut oil for significant weight loss. There are reports to suggest it might help with waist size but these are from a few small studies.

Uniquely, coconut oil contains medium chain length fats, types of fat that are digested, absorbed, and stored differently than longer chain fats, the ones we more commonly consume. Keep in mind, that coconut oil like any oil is high in calories, about 120 calories per tablespoon. Excess calories are going to result in weight gain. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, more saturated than lard. Saturated fat, including coconut oil, has been shown to increase cholesterol.

If you enjoy the taste of coconut oil use it in place of other saturated fats such as butter or other animal fats and keep the portion small. 

2. Eat gluten free to lose weight.

Gluten free food is not necessarily healthier than gluten containing food. People who report weight loss after eliminating gluten may be experiencing the result of math – eating fewer calories overall. Eliminating foods from the grain group may include higher calorie snack food and dessert foods or even nutritious cereals, breads, or other wheat varieties of grain. There are nutritious gluten containing and gluten free grains. Like most things, it is how it is prepared and the portion that matters when it comes to how it fits into your diet.

3. Eating before bed makes you gain weight.

Eating excess calories will lead to weight gain. Does that mean timing has nothing to do with it? Here are a few things to consider.

  • You are training for an endurance event, you are burning more calories and your body may need more food to meet demands. A snack before bed may help you refuel and sleep better.
  • You work second or third shift. You are hungry and then want to catch some much needed sleep. Choose tasty, good-for-you foods in reasonable portions. Aim for a balanced meal. This should help keep you within your calorie needs and satisfy your hunger.
  • Does that mean the “don’t eat after 7 pm rule” does not apply? Let’s give it perspective. If “don’t eat after 7 pm rule” helps establish meal and snack times so you are not mindless munching in the evening, then it may be helpful.

Weight loss may not be easy and often times keeping it simple can lessen some frustration. Choose nutritious foods, eat a balanced diet, keep portion sizes reasonable, and move your body.

Eat Well,

Dec 29, 2016 · Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Warm up this winter with this healthy vegetarian chili!

2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. water
2 diced red Fresno peppers (or Jalapeno peppers)
2 quarts crushed tomatoes
2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chipotle pepper
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp oregano

In a stockpot, sweet onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in the small amount of water over low heat until onions become translucent—about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally. If the chili becomes too thick, thin with a little water.

Learn how to prepare meals in our Culinary Classes! For more recipes, click here.

Nov 16, 2016 · 5 Thanksgiving Recipes

The traditions and flavors of our Thanksgiving meal are rich. Rich doesn’t have to mean loaded with fat and calories. Herbs, spices, cooking technique, and ingredient combinations can lead to a memorable meal experience. Right here in our Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center kitchen, we have created interesting takes on the traditional. We’d like to share 5 with you:

  1. Often the centerpiece of the meal, the holiday bird must look and taste delicious. This recipe literally adds the base of flavor from mire poix – onions, carrots, and celery.  The turkey is rubbed in fragrant herbs. Try this Roasted Holiday Turkey recipe!
  2. Cooking for a smaller crowd? Consider this turkey breast with cranberry chutney. The flavor combinations in the chutney will hit every taste sensor in your mouth.
  3. Practically a tradition here at the DAHLC, the Midwest Pride Stuffing delivers that traditional holiday favorite in a healthy package.
  4. Searching for that recipe to update your traditions? The roasted squash with wild rice and cranberry recipe embodies all that is seasonal and much of it is local too.
  5. And for some, the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers! I could date myself with a reference to the iconic sitcom, Friends, but I’ll let the sandwich speak for itself – just label it if you put in the work fridge. Try this Turkey and Cranberry Salad Sandwich!

Here’s to eating well and enjoying food, family, and friends,

For more recipes, click here.

Nov 10, 2016 · 7 ways to be mindful of Thanksgiving calories

Running-TurkeyThanksgiving may rank as one of my favorite holidays.  From a food perspective, what could be better than a holiday that seems to focus on that?  Yes, I love the food – the smell of a turkey in the oven, grandma’s mashed potatoes and stuffing, crisp green beans sprinkled with silvered almonds, and cranberries. Yum.  I know the reality can be too much food – big portions, feeling stuffed, and all the calories.  Some reports state some people will eat as many as 4000 calories in this meal.  Thanksgiving doesn’t have to leave you feeling uncomfortable or regretful.  Like any day, we have the opportunity to eat nutritious foods in a reasonable portion. Try a few of these tips:

  1. Earn your meal: Sign up to get in a great workout at the DAHLC on Wednesday, Nov 25 for our one-hour Turkey Earn class! At 6am you can choose to Climb, Carve and Connect or Pedal, Push and Roll. Cost is $10 due upon registration.
  2. Where to start: A small plate will help keep your portions in check.  If your only option is a larger plate, keep the portions the size of your fist or smaller and leave space between foods (no touching! i.e., no overfilling of the plate).
  3. Fill up and keep calories down: As appetizers are on the buffet table, offer a variety of vegetables and fruits.  The water and fiber in these goodies will fill your stomach and leave less room for higher calorie foods.
  4. It’s lean: Turkey is a lean protein and good source of the antioxidant selenium. Enjoy it in a reasonable portion and the same rule applies for the gravy.  “Talk Turkey” with the chef and dietitian Nov. 16th from noon – 12:45pm for our Roasting Turkey demonstration.
  5. Traditional foods: Potatoes, stuffing, squash, and cranberries are all nutritious foods. Keep the skins on the potatoes, use whole grain bread for the stuffing, roast the squash, and keep the cranberries tart.  You’ll get the benefits of fiber and lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Limit the added fat and sugar to keep the calories in check.
  6. Make it better: Consider more nutritious versions of some of your favorite recipes. Join the chef and dietitian in our kitchen to Get Cooking: Thanksgiving Sides November 10th from 5:15-7pm.
  7. Turkey Burn: Sign up to get in a great workout at the DAHLC on Friday, Nov 27 for our one-hour Turkey Burn class! At 9am you can choose to Power, Pull and Pilates or Run, Resist and Refresh. Cost is $10 due upon registration.

The recipe for a great holiday: nutritious and delicious food, family and friends, and some physical activity.