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Stay Hopeful!

Stay Hopeful!

I want you to know it is okay to have good and bad days. This past week was a bit more lazy then last week. Lazy in the way of food choices, exercise, and completing my “to-do” list. I love the feeling of being productive 

Whipped Matcha

Whipped Matcha

Dalgona whipped coffee is all the craz right now. I love coffee but don’t have instant coffee and not going to the store for one item. What I also love is matcha and have it in the house. So whipped matcha it was! When I 

Zucchini and Eggplant Banza Lasagna

Zucchini and Eggplant Banza Lasagna

Here are the pretty tulips we got at Dalton’s farm. We drove around their tulip farm, which was something different to do and brought more happiness around in this quarantine. I hope they cheer you up!

So we are about a month into quarantine. Having a 6 month old totally helps distract us but also very difficult to get stuff done in the house. He takes about two 30 min naps a day and his sleep has been very off. Two to three hours of sleep last night and a 3 o’clock in the am crawl around his room. I know, I know we need to get more of a schedule. Which we have tried but this boy falls asleep in our arms and wakes up in the crib ready to play.

Today is a cold, rainy Saturday meaning we are more tired naturally, plus this lack of sleep doesn’t help. I may actually nap today, which I never do. I am trying to listen to what my body is saying. Yesterday I didn’t work out because I didn’t want to. Tomorrow we are going to get ice cream, since one of our fav places called Cream Valley opened for the season. Thinking about social distancing ice cream party while enjoying our ice cream sitting on the beds of our trucks.

Other wise, I am taking 1-2 weeks to track what I am eating just to get back on track. I don’t want to get too obsessed over the numbers and want to eat more intuitive so two weeks is the max. It is a way to get portions back into control and being stuck in the house there are more temptations.

This quarantine brings more time to try new recipes. Banza sent me a few boxes of their chick pea lasagna noodles. I don’t eat regular lasagna much, maybe once a year. Regular pasta and lasagna does not fill me up, so I usually am not satisfied. Plus, I like to add veggies in my lasagna. By using chick pea lasagna, it provided more protein and fiber compared to white flour lasagna. I added a small layer of zucchini and eggplant as well for an added punch of veggies. We also had a side salad with it to get the remainder of our veggies.

I only had 2 cups of tomato sauce from my previous blog with turkey meatballs with marinara sauce and crushed the meatballs to make more of a meat sauce for the lasagna. Since we don’t want to go to the store for just tomato sauce, I only used the two cups. But I totally recommend 3 cups (of regular sauce or meat sauce).

It is important to take the time to remove some moisture from the eggplant and zucchini with salt and paper towels. Salting the eggplant also helps eliminate some bitterness. Roasting the eggplant helps decrease the typical ‘slimy’ texture you get from eggplant and enhances the flavor.


Zucchini and Eggplant Banza Lasagna

Recipe by Chrissie Bittner, RD
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Banza lasagna

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced thin 3.0mm

  • 2 zucchini, sliced thin 3.0 mm

  • 3 cups tomato sauce*

  • 1 (15oz) container part skim ricotta cheese

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1.5 cups mozzarella, shredded, divided

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • Slice zucchini and eggplant on a medallion, keep skin on. On a tray, place a layer of paper towels and a single layer of eggplant/zucchini, sprinkle salt and repeat. Let it sit for 20 minutes to eliminate the water (See pictures).
  • On a greased baking sheet, lay eggplant on a single layer, drizzle or brush little olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, Italian seasoning, and egg.
  • Layer: sauce, Banza lasagna, ricotta mixture, zucchini, eggplant, finish the top layer with 1 cup mozzarella.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you want your cheese crispy like mine, broil for 5 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • *(I only had 2 cups with ground turkey meatballs from my recent marinara sauce with turkey meatballs and I broke up the meatballs to make a meat sauce. 2 cups was not enough)

Carrot Cake Banana Bread

Carrot Cake Banana Bread

Covid-19 and being quarantined can feel very depressing, especially if you put the news on, have family members that work essential, having a family member that is sick, or not being able to see family members. These are the times that having a positive mindset 

Easy homemade everything bagels

Easy homemade everything bagels

What do you do when you have a ton of plain Greek yogurt, you want bagels, and can’t go out to get them? You make your own bagels! I have heard people making bagels out of Greek yogurt and flour, so I decided what better 

Quaratine fun ideas

Quaratine fun ideas

Stuck in the house with kids? The biggest complaint I hear is not having enough time to eat healthy while working full time, taking care of kids, sport practices, keeping the house clean, and being able to have quality time with kids. Now is your time to spend quality time with your kids, instead of electronics all day after on-line school. It is also a time to build healthy habits, learn new recipes, and figure out a game plan before heading back to work. Here are some ideas if you have kids at home or maybe for yourself as well:

Teach them life skills:

  • basics of cooking
  • baking
  • cleaning
  • how to change a tire
  • Manners
  • wood work
  • how to use tools to fix stuff in the house
  • laundry

Get creative with ways to stay active:

  • obstacle courses
  • nature class
  • Scavenger hunt
  • clean and dance
  • family exercise class
  • playing in the yard
  • riding bikes
  • in-door “lava” game (can’t touch the floor but have to jump onto each object)
  • climb a tree

Get their imagination going:

  • side walk chalk
  • painting
  • blocks
  • coloring
  • building forts
  • family competitions on building something like a gingerbread or lego house
    • have people on social media judge
  • “drive up” movie theater with cardboard boxes as cars
  • sensory boxes
  • decorate eggs
  • bake and decorate
  • animal face toasts (see below)
  • fruit kabobs (see below)
  • homemade pizza
  • build your own sandwich or salad
  • play a cooking channel game

Animal Face Toasts

Recipe by Chrissie Bittner, RD
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking timeminutes

Let’s see how creative you get!

Ingredients

  • Toast ideas: whole grain bread; sourdough bread; rice cakes; english muffins; pita; sweet potato toast

  • Spread ideas: chocolate hummus (Pictured); natural peanut butter (Pictured); Nutella; Greek yogurt (Pictured); Cottage Cheese; avocado; Cream cheese

  • Toppings: fruit; chocolate chips; plain cheerios; veggies; eggs; bacon

Directions

  • Pick your toast option.
  • Spread your favorite spread option.
  • Get creative with the toppings!

I would love to see the creations you or your kids come up with! Tag me on instagram: a bitt of nutrition

Turkey meatballs with marinara sauce

Turkey meatballs with marinara sauce

Do you usually enjoy family dinners on Sundays? I know many Italians enjoy ‘gravy’ Sundays (I call it sauce). My family meets on Tuesdays for our family dinners, well before this quarantine. We are not Italian, but my mom has learned from an Italian friend 

Kick Emotional Eating in the Butt!

Kick Emotional Eating in the Butt!

We just got through the second week of corona virus quarantine. Fear of the unknown, job losses, social distancing, getting sick, being alone, not having enough food, and many more thoughts come through our minds. It is an odd time that no one has ever 

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Happy St. Patty’s day lads!

I have been wanting to try Shepherd’s pie for some time now. I am so glad I finally made it! What I wasn’t aware of was what the typical “Shepherd’s pie” really is and why. It is known that Shepherd’s pie is from a time when money was low (like what we are going through with everything shutting down and jobs stopping) and housewives tried to use their leftovers. Lamb is used, which is why it is called Shepherd’s pie, since shepherds tend sheep. White potatoes are cheaper and used on the top and bottom or just the top. The pie is filled with a stew of similar items like: corn, peas, celery, and meat.

Then there is a cottage pie, which is made with beef. But with the similar concept with potatoes on the top and bottom or just on top. The meat is the only difference.

I changed it up a bit. I used ground turkey for the meat, frozen mixed veggies, and sweet potatoes. Many people add a stout or wine to their recipe, which I decided not to use.

Grocery stores are emptied with the coronavirus, so I know your house is filed with many items (other than toilet paper). A lot of these ingredients are right in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. And you are stuck at home, so no better time to try a new recipe!


Shepherd’s Pie

Recipe by Chrissie Bittner, RD
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 cooking onion, chopped

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey

  • 2 tsp dried parsley

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

  • S&P

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tbsp flour

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 cups mixed veggies, frozen
    corn, peas, carrots, string beans, lima beans

  • 1 cup low sodium broth (I used chicken broth)

  • 2 lbs sweet potato, peeled and cubed

  • 1 tbsp grass fed butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a medium pot, filled with salt water, boil potatoes until soft- about 20 minutes.
  • While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet or cast iron skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add meat and spices until browned. Add garlic. Mix together.
  • Add flour and tomato pasta, mix into meat mixture until it is throughout the mixture.
  • Mix in frozen veggies and broth until boiling, let simmer on low.
  • Once potatoes are soft, drain water, add butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, and S&P. Blend together.
  • Spread mashed sweet potatoes over meat mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned.

Chocolate Tahini Spread

Chocolate Tahini Spread

Happy Valentines Day! I love that Valentine’s day is all about the heart and chocolate! If you are eating the correct kind of chocolate, 70% dark chocolate, you are being heart healthy! Here are a few heart statistics for you to think about on ‘heart