Tuesday, September 22, 2015

20 Things to Do with an Apple - Solving my post-apple picking dilemma

My family went apple picking with Tarala's new school this past weekend. It was a gorgeous fall day and we took home a boat load of apples. One dad jokingly said he would rather pay $20 and drop his family off at Wegman's for apples, but I gladly shelled over the money to watch my daughter devour two apples. Now that they're home, she wants less to do with them so I'm forced to use some creativity before these bad boys go bad. While apples are my favorite fruit (probably because they are a perfect carrier for peanut butter), even at two a day my stash will last a while. Therefore, I hunkered down today and came up with a game plan. In case you are in the same pick-your-own dilemma, I thought I'd share my 20 Things to Do with an Apple.
  1. Eat it fresh off the tree
  2. Slice and add to a sandwich – turkey or peanut butter. Being the weirdo dietitian eater that I am, I LOVE me some apples on my grilled cheese.
  3. Crock pot applesauce – good for baby food too! I pealed and chopped about 6 apples, added a splash of lemon juice and a cinnamon stick and cooked on low for most of the day. We enjoyed it warm with dinner and I blended it for little man. I received lots of smiles from both kiddos on this one. I might use leftovers for baking, freeze to mix with other baby foods for little man, or add to oatmeal for Tar-buddy.  
  4. Bake or microwave topped with brown sugar and a touch of butter
  5. Shred into pancakes and muffins. While my shredded carrot and zucchini sneaking has been noticed lately, apples are still my stealthy secret to get more fruit in my three-nager (and husband, for that matter). They also keep the baked goods super moist. Make sure to store extra muffins in the fridge or freezer so they don’t mold with the extra moisture.
  6. Cut with apple cutter and keep it together with a rubber band to prevent browning. I’ve seen another rendition of this
    where you stick a string cheese in the middle where the apple core used to be. Cute!
  7. Chop into oatmeal
  8. Add to smoothie (tastes great with plain Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice). I was obsessed with these apple smoothies last year when I was pregnant. Add some spinach or other greens if you’re feeling really adventurous.
  9. Dip into peanut butter or make apple peanut butter sandwiches. Slice the apples long ways and use as “bread” with peanut butter and raisins in between.
  10. Sauté with onions to top pork chops or turkey burgers
  11. Roast with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts
  12. Add to broccoli slaw with some raisins and cashews. For the broccoli slaw dressing, use Greek yogurt, light olive oil mayo, and apple cider vinegar. We had this the other day on ground chicken burgers. It was fantastic and I even got Tarala to try some. 
  13. Top a pizza – brings me back to my U of I days. Za’s had a Big Apple Pizza with chunks of apples and sausage. 
  14. Dehydrate into apple chips. Full disclosure: I have not made these yet. All the rest of the apple ideas I have tried, but this is on my to do list for the week. Based on reviews of the recipe, it’s worth a try.
  15. Add to a pumpkin or butternut squash soup
  16. Bake into a crisp
  17. Add to a fruit salad. My grandmother’s recipe for fruit salad is my favorite combining frozen strawberries, canned peaches, and fresh fruit. The juice from the strawberries and peaches helps keep the other fruit from browning as quickly.
  18. Mix with yogurt or cottage cheese and top with sunflower seeds or a low sugar granola for a fall inspired parfait
  19. Swirl into noodles
  20. Use with a dip as an appetizer at a get-together. I’ve made a pumpkin dip with peanut butter and served it with apples and pretzels – yummo!  
    We were definitely more focused on having fun than
    being photogenic!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pumping up the Jam

I started traveling for work about four weeks ago when my little buddy was 3.5 months old. I breastfed/pumped with his older sister for a year, so this again is my goal. I was lucky the first time around to have my own office and supportive co-workers who blocked my clinic schedule to allow me to pump during the work day. This time around, I’m learning on the job as I travel for work. In the last month, I’ve traveled to Ohio, Virginia, Connecticut, and throughout Massachusetts and have picked up a few tips.

First off, I couldn't find many suggestions for coolers, but I ended up finding one that I love.

My husband surprised me by purchasing "backpack fridge" and it has worked out fantastically. The
evrgrn 24 Pack Backpack has a giant slot to fit my laptop and can store my milk, tons of ice packs, my bottles as I pump throughout the day, and my lunch. Plus it's great for traveling through the airport. I take my cooler and my pump with me as carry ons and check my suitcase. And I look real cool, especially because the cooler is big enough for both my kids to fit in.

I’ve found it easiest to wipe down the bottles and pump pieces after each pump with the Medela Quick Clean Wipes and throw them in a large plastic bag. Then I keep the bottle refrigerated or in my cooler until the next pump. Once or twice a day, or when I have access to the microwave or a clean sink, I’ll scrub the bottles or steam them in the Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags. These bags are the best thing ever! I don’t know if they were around when I pumped with my daughter and if they were, I didn't know about them. I’m pretty sure they are better than sliced bread.

I quickly realized that it’s a good thing that I’m not shy as I pump on the road. I’ve pumped in my car twice using the nursing cover and hands free pumping bra, which by the way is my favorite prize to buy new nursing mamas. I’ve asked random people where the best place to pump and have discovered some not so bad spots. Yesterday I pumped in the surgical changing room at a hospital and I’ve taken advantage of empty office while making sales calls. I’ve also found the family bathrooms at airports to be pretty good because they have electric outlets. I’ll put toilet covers or paper towels down on the changing table to make a counter and I’m set. I also asked for a few extra sub bags and borrowed some ice from a Subway when I didn’t have cooler packs on me.

At hotels, I make sure to request a fridge and microwave if not already available. Most of the time, the mini fridges don’t have a freezer and if they do, they’re too small to fit all my freezer packs. Hotels are required to allow space in their freezers for milk and I’ve felt no shame in storing my freezer packs and milk. When I’ve been gone for more than one day, I freeze the milk before taking it back with me. Depending on how long it’s been out, I either keep it frozen when I return home or use it as soon as possible and freeze the newly pumped milk. According to the Mayo Clinic, pumped milk can be stored in an insulated cooler for up to one day. 

Another tip that I’ve found helpful is packing food. When I have 3-4 meetings scheduled per day and need to allow time to drive from location to location, any extra time in between meetings is used for pumping. Therefore, carrying a PB&J, Justin's Nut Butter packets, fruit, whole grain crackers, protein bars (I like Clif and Larabars personally) and yogurt, string cheese, or cottage cheese with me is super helpful. 

I have also discovered that I need to carry more water with me. I always have my 32-ounce CamelBak but I go through that in an hour when I’m talking a lot. I usually count on refilling it but have found water fountains a dying trend. I ended up buying 3 water bottles yesterday...I hate spending money on water.

In my experience so far, this is what I’ve discovered as my go-to pump packing list:
  • Medela Pump in StyleⓇ Advanced
  • Picture of the kiddo (I keep one in the pump to help me smile when I feel like I'm running around like a crazy person to fit the pumping in)
  • Permanent marker to label pumped milk (include name if storing in a public place)
  • Mini soap container
  • Large ziploc bags
  • evrgrn 24 pack backpack
  • Medela Quick Clean Wipes
  • Hands free pumping bra
  • Freezer packs
  • Extra batteries
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Nursing cover
  • Milk storage bags (my favorite is Lansinoh)
  • Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags
  • Bottle brush
  • Travel soap dispenser

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Kiddo Snacks

I recently had my second child (4 months ago this week!), and my health and fitness goals are drastically different. While I still make it out the door to run five days per week, my focus has been balancing providing the healthiest (although far from perfect) meals for my family while working full time and traveling for work and pleasure. While my almost three year old has never been a big eater, she’s not picky. She eats like a bird so snack time is a huge opportunity for nutrition. I’ll admit that my daughter has had M&M’s for breakfast and French fries for dinner (I did cry inside while this was happening), but I try to avoid these on a regular basis.  I always have snacks with us (for her and myself – I’m ALWAYS hungry since I’m breastfeeding) and I’ve noticed if I only keep healthy ones around, my daughter will eat them. She sometimes whines and refuses them and as soon as she realizes the healthy snacks are her only option, if she’s really hungry, she does cave. Here are some of my staples:

Fresh fruit – I’ve found that if I bring some cut up fruit with us while out and about, it helps curb hunger or round out a restaurant meal. As a family we do like to eat out, and my daughter’s all time favorite food is Chipotle’s quesadillas, so I grab some fruit as we head out the door and she’ll munch on it in the car or while we wait in line. She’s thrilled to get a quesadilla, and I’m happy she ate more than cheese and white carbs for dinner. I usually keep cut up mango, melon (made into bite size pieces with my melon baller), grapes, or clementimes (when in season) around. She’ll also eat whole fruit – small apples, pears, and peaches - as well. I’ve even snatched leftover veggies (roasted Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and roasted broccoli are a fav in our house) for an appetizer while we wait for food at a restaurant. 

Dried or freeze dried fruit – Little boxes of raisins are in the diaper bag, my purse, the car, pockets, nooks, and crannies. We’ve also had good luck with freeze dried blueberries (with a side of wet ones) and freeze dried broccoli and pea pods (from Trader Joe’s). They add crunch like chips but maintain the fiber and nutrient benefits of fruits and veggies.

Kid-friendly bars – Bars are not ideal, but for our lifestyle and for my kid, they work. We oftentimes have to weave around meltdowns in the morning, so a Z-bar (Clif bar for kids) or a Larabar make a easy grab-and-go breakfast. Washed down with a glass of milk, the peanut butter cookie Larabar does the trick. My husband let’s the chocolate chip ones sneak into the grocery cart once in a while too. When I’m really planning ahead, half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich accomplishes the same goal. This has worked well as an early morning breakfast on the way to the airport.

Yogurt – My kid loves yogurt. She could spend hours in the yogurt aisle in the grocery store and thinks all the different shaped containers are actually different food groups. She usually hones in on the ones with candy or cookie toppings and after some arguing, we agree upon Chobani kids pouches (I love the pouches because they’re not too messy) or Stoneyfield tubes, drinkable yogurt, or cups. Obviously these snacks require refrigeration, but some yogurt pouches are shelf stable. Cheese sticks or Cabot cheese bars are also great to grab when a cooler is available. Last time we made a picnic lunch, the cheese bar made it into the middle of the PB&J sandwich….

Peanut butter or nut butter – Thank goodness my daughter doesn’t have a nut allergy or she’d never have grown out of her 12-month clothes. She’s tiny and as I mentioned before, not a huge eater, so I am a fan of this healthy fat to pack in some calories with not a lot of bites. She’s been know to double fist peanut butter spoons and loves almond butter as well. The peanut butter and almond butter pouches from Justin’s are a mainstay in our house. Sometimes the peanut butter gets on an apple, but most of the time it gets squeezed right into the mouth. Another messier snack, but they’re worth it for her enjoyment and my piece of mind.

Pouches – I always travel with baby food pouches. While these fruit and veggies pouches don’t still have the benefit of fiber, they still are full of vitamins and minerals and make a great snack on the go. We travel a lot to visit family, so the pouches help us in a hunger pinch or to round out a meal on the road. It’s also an aisle in the grocery store where my daughter gets to have some control; I’ll allow her to pick the pouches and she's in heaven.

What are your go-to snacks for your kiddos? What foods are always in the car or diaper bag? I'd love to hear more ideas! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rehab and Injury Prevention

I've been in a bit of a life slump that has affected my blog. I haven't posted in over two weeks despite having a request for a very important topic - Rehab & Injury Prevention. Therefore, I hope I can make up for my hiatus by writing a relevant post.

First off, if you're hurt, I know it can really mess with your psyche. Therefore, props to you for thinking about nutrition at all. The challenging part is balancing eating enough calories, and the right kind of calories, for healing and repair while still reducing overall calories to stay in balance with a lower energy expenditure. Eating the right kind of foods can expedite the healing process in two ways: 1) reduce inflammation by including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and 2) include enough protein to repair damaged tissues as well as maintain lean muscle mass.

Omega-3 fatty acids contain a substance called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which is made into prostoglandins that signal the inflammatory system giving an anti-inflammatory message. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, and herring (2-3 servings per week) 
  • Olive oil and canola oil
  • Flax seeds (Make sure to use ground flax seed. Otherwise the oils stay within the seeds.) 
    • Add to cereal, yogurt, smoothies, salads, 
  • Walnuts (Add chopped nuts to salads, oatmeal, trail mix, or munch on a handful for a snack.) 
If you find it hard to eat the recommended 2-3 servings of fatty fish per week, consider taking a fish oil supplement. I like the burp-free variety so I don't re-taste the supplement all day and personally take a multivitamin with DHA/EPA in it. 

Eating plenty of high quality protein helps you heal and maintain as proteins (amino aids) are building blocks for new tissue. It's also important to eat enough protein to keep as much muscle as possible during a reduced training period. Make sure to include ample carbohydrates (ie Atkins will not help an injury!) so that the protein can be used for growth and repair and not for energy. It's best to choose lean protein foods because higher fat meats can increase inflammation and be counterproductive to the healing process. Great sources of lean proteins include:
  • Eggs (Avoid butter and margarine for cooking and hold the high fat cheese or breakfast meat pairings.)
  • Beans and lentils 
  • Low fat yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Chicken
  • 93/7 ground turkey 
  • Fish
  • Soy (Edamame, tofu, tempeh - don't be scared! Try my fav marinated tofu recipe and experience a whole new side of soy.)
Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D can aid in bone healing and formation. Consider having your doctor check your vitamin D levels as many of us are deficient. I consider myself a very balanced eater and had well below normal levels. We don't get enough sunlight during the hours of 10am-2pm and there aren't enough food sources of vitamin D. Food sources of vitamin D are limited to the flesh and bones of fish (think canned salmon or sardines) and fortified dairy. Even meeting your recommended 3 servings of dairy a day gets you only 50% of the way to your vitamin D needs for the day. If you do find that your levels are low, plan to supplement alongside the fish oil; vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is absorbed better when taken with a fat. 

Vitamin C and zinc are also important nutrients while healing. Zinc plays a role in protein synthesis and wound healing and is found naturally in most animal products (especially oysters if you're looking for an excuse to hit up the raw bar) as well as beans, legumes, oatmeal and yogurt. It's best to get your zinc from food sources because supplements in high doses can cause nausea and vomiting. Vitamin C helps make collagen, the structural protein of connective tissues. Get your vitamin C from:
  • Citrus fruits
  • Red bell peppers (Red peppers have almost twice as much vitamin C as green peppers.) 
  • Kiwi
  • Dark green leafy vegetables 
  • Broccoli 
  • Berries 
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
Rehab diet for a day (portions and calories will depend on your height, weight, and altered activity levels):

Breakfast - 1-2 slices whole grain toast with almond butter, "Healing Smoothie" with berries, spinach, flax seed, plain Greek yogurt, and unsweetened soy milk 

Morning snack - hard boiled egg, red pepper slices

Lunch - salmon salad with whole grain crackers, orange slices, and cherry tomatoes with hummus 

Afternoon snack - cottage cheese with kiwi and flax seed

Dinner - Ground turkey and black bean burgers with baked sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli with walnuts

Basically by sticking to the same diet that helps fuel performance and recovery, you will be helping your body get back into the game before you know it. If you're nervous about overeating and gaining weight, consider reaching out to a Sports Dietitian (like me!) for more guidance with calorie recommendations and portion suggestions. 


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Sports Nutrition Care Manual. Nutrition from Rehabilitation from Injury. Accessed May 26, 2014. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eating Healthy While Traveling...or trying to

@KendraThornton reached out to me last month in preparation for her upcoming vacation. She came up with some suggestions for staying healthy while traveling and I thought I’d share some of my own.
Fit Vacation Tips for Anyone Who Struggles with Weight
Getting away from it all is an expression that typically means you can do whatever you want on vacation. I know that I have definitely gotten into this mode while on vacation especially on road trips. I find myself gorging at times, and then I realize there's a better way to stop myself. With some tricks, I have been able to keep my family and I fit even while we go on vacations. These are some of the simple ways that I do it.
Bring Water With You
If you're going on a road trip, one thing you have to pack is your own water. Buying a case of water and bringing it with you will save you time and money in the long run, but it will also mean that you're less tempted to stop for soda and sugary drinks along the way. It's important to stay hydrated, so keeping a bottle of water around works wonders when you're thirsty or when kids just need a pick me up in the car.
Stay at Health-Savvy Hotels
Many hotels are doing all they can to help their guests eat better and stay fit while on vacation. They are offering organic food, lighter fare menus and fitness centers. I find that hotels are also offering better options like fruit for breakfast rather than sugary cereals. Getting in a workout is pretty easy when it's just a floor down from you. I tend to go to the hotel gym in the morning or in between activities if I am feeling restless. For our upcoming trip to Orlando I was able to get a great hotel with a great gym. With so many hotels in Orlando, sites like Gogobot can be a great tool to sort through and read user reviews.
Buy Local Food
I love tasting different cuisine, and going to local restaurants offers great experiences. Typically these restaurants have a greater amount of organic, all natural food than chain restaurants, and they take time preparing wonderful dishes. I love the healthy options that I find at local restaurants.
Stay Sane at the Buffet
The word buffet in itself is exciting. It means you get to eat whatever you want, right? I found that's the best way to get a stomachache on vacation. Instead of gorging, I limit myself to one plate. On that plate, I can have a few treats, but I always make sure to follow up with lighter meals the next day. This is key to keeping weight off if you eat out a lot on vacation.
If you're heading out with your family this summer, remember to stay healthy and active no matter where you go. You'll feel better while you're on the beach and when you get home.
I’m getting just getting back from Boston after traveling this weekend to support my husband and his team for the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay. I brought Tarala along, which involves even more careful planning when it comes to food and timing. Along with Kendra’s suggestions, I have some go-to plans I always make when traveling that I thought I’d share.
Check with the hotel to see if they have a refrigerator and microwave. If they don’t have a fridge, ask if you can rent one. It usually costs around $10 and helps you get in a quick breakfast before a race or before a day of sightseeing. This also allows you to stock leftovers.
Pack some items for snacks and breakfast. I always bring instant oatmeal, bars (like Larabars and KIND bars, and protein powder. I’ll rely on the hot water from the coffee pot in the hotel to make the oatmeal and throw in some peanut butter if I’ve brought it along.
One of my go-tos while I was pregnant was jerky. While not normally in my repeteur, jerky is one of the few non-perishable protein sources out there (nuts work too), so it works great on the go. I keep a wheat-free diet, so I’ll throw in some gluten free crackers and/or bread to make sure I get in some starch at meals even if the menu doesn’t allow. I’ll pack in some yogurt pouches for the baby and whole wheat fig bars. My husband will probably snag a few of those for his racing snacks this weekend. I’ve also brought along small raisin packs and Annie’s bunnies in the past. I kept
reusable baggies with us to keep full of snacks. I definitely recommend renting a locker at an amusement park and keeping a cooler full of lunches and drinks to avoid high prices and heavy foods.

Check out local restaurants and grocery stores before hand, especially if following a special diet. As soon as I know the tentative schedule, I will scope out local trendy, healthy, special-diet-supporting dining spots and peruse the menus. I’ve found some delicious spots this way and it helps save time when it comes to mealtime. If possible, make a reservation ahead of time, especially with a big group. I’ve made a few reservations for our July Disney trip already and always rely on a reservation the night before a race. This also helps us stay within nap constraints.
Fitting in exercise on vacation has never been very challenging for me. Running around Rome on our honeymoon allowed us to see more than we could have! Even when it hasn’t been convenient, I’ve gotten the run out of the way before the day starts. When we were in Punta Cana, we did 16 miles around the 1 mile resort. I don’t think I’ve ever run in such humid weather in my life. In most cases, I will adjust the long run to be before or after the trip instead, but you gotta do what you gotta do. For my readers that are not as avid exercisers, take a walk to see where you’re staying or take advantage of the hotel gym. You’re paying for it anyway, so you might as well use it! The time in the gym will help balance the eating out and help you resume your exercise routine when you come back from vacation.

My number one tip for traveling is to order groceries before you go. Then when you come home after eating out every day to a full refrigerator. My favorite is Harris Teeter Express Lane but you can also look into Safeway delivery or Peapod. This was especially helpful today so we could have lunches and a homemade dinner before we head out of town again on Thursday.
So with all my planning, I have to admit Tarala still ate pretzels, raisins, and peanuts for dinner on Thursday when our plane was delayed. I still didn't get nearly as many vegetables as I would have liked, so today I made two different veggies at dinner and had a bunch of raw veggies at lunch to make up for it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

FIBER and all its wonderful benefits

As athletes, I’ve encouraged you to choose more whole grains. I’ve helped you add protein for recovery and satiety. I’ve pushed fluids before, during and after workouts for hydration. But have I spent enough time touting everyday wellness? May is a crazy month for us with traveling 3 out of 4 weekends, listing our house, writing proposals, finishing school work, picking up odd jobs, and in our spare time being parents. Normally that would leave us short-changing dinners and too tired to pack a wholesome lunch, but after a recent overnight trip to the ER for my husband left us with 1 hour of sleep, I have remained strong in my commitment to include more fiber in both of our diets. While everyone may not be as passionate about fiber as I am (it’s admittedly one of my interests on Facebook), it should be something we all strive to include in our diet.

Why do we need fiber?1

Fiber is a type of food the body cannot digest. Unlike most carbohydrates, it isn’t broken down into sugar. Therefore, it doesn’t provide us with energy but what it does provide us with is so much more:
  • Lower risk of heart disease (even as athletes, we can develop heart disease)
  • Manages cholesterol (soluble fiber helps lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol)
  • Regulation of blood sugars (energy maintenance and balance)
  • Regularity (gotta keep the BMs moving, but not too much - fiber helps both ends of the spectrum)
  • Prevents diverticular disease (risks rise as we age)
Even more, foods high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and flax provide us with multiple other benefits:
  • Antioxidants (repairing damage done from intense or long workouts)
  • Phytonutrients (preventing cancer and disease)
  • Vitamins (helping meet the high demands of an athlete)
  • Healthy fats (providing anti-inflammatory properties)
Therefore, your next challenge is….wait for it, wait for it…..to increase the fiber in your diet!! And here’s how you can accomplish it:
  • Add beans to a salad, pasta, or rice dish or blend into your own veggie burger (LOVE these burgers, plus they freeze well)
  • Add nuts or flax seed to oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese
  • Scoop nut butters onto fresh fruit as snack
  • Add lentils or beans to a soup (check out my fiber-filled soup ideas here). Smashing some with a potato masher or immersion blender makes the soup thick and creamy without adding extra fat.
  • Blend beans into your own hummus or bean dip (Tarala knows how to work the food processor we make this hummus so often)
  • Add spinach or kale to smoothies, sandwiches, and salads
  • Use ground oats or whole grain cereal in place of bread crumbs
  • Add an extra vegetable or salad to lunch and dinner. Lean on steam in a bag veggies if nothing else.
  • Grab single serve carrot sticks or munch on mini sweet peppers or cherry tomatoes
  • Make homemade sweet potato fries in less than 20 minutes for a side dish with a lean burger or sandwich instead of chips
  • Buy pre-chopped squash and roast at the beginning of the week to add to salads and pastas or for a quick side dish
  • Have baked or refried beans as side dish at dinner (We smash our own with cumin, onion, and garlic or rely on Harris Teeter’s Fat Free Lime Black Beans).
  • Add sauted veggies (mushrooms, carrots, onion, pepper, shredded zucchini) to tacos or chopped veggies to a meatloaf
What are your sneaky ways to fit in more fiber?

1. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Slimmed Down Cinco de Mayo Menu

I'm a little early, but I've been asked to write a blog entry for another website and it got me thinking about Cinco de Mayo. I love Mexican food, but can't imagine going to one on the holiday. I will not wait 2 hours to eat lard-filled refried beans covered in cheese. But I would like to celebrate because I love me some Mexican, so here's what I came up with. Skip the chips, slim down your drink, and make some homemade fish tacos and you’ll avoid the long lines and the high calorie meal. Add a little tequila to this menu and you're in for a real treat!

Broiled Fish Tacos with Grilled Cabbage Slaw
*Broiling fish is super quick and tilapia never dries out. It makes for a quick weeknight meal. I would make extra of this spice rub and keep it around for fish, chicken or pork chops.*

  • 1 lb firm fish (rockfish, cod, tilapia, etc.)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh limes
  • Greek yogurt (optional)
  • Corn tortillas
  1. Preheat broiler with rack 4 inches from the top.
  2. Add seasoning to small bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Line a pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray and place fish on pan. Brush fish with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning over fish and rub. Flip fish over and repeat.
  4. Broil fish for 4-5 minutes each side until flaky.
  5. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the fish. Serve in warm corn tortillas with grilled cabbage and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Grilled Cabbage with Spicy Lime Dressing
*I am obsessed with this recipe.*

  • Juice of 3 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves or 2 tsp garlic paste (Garlic paste is a great time saver! You can find it in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle. Our grocer carries Gourmet Garden.)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • Grapeseed or canola oil
  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill. Combine the limes, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne and sugar in a small chopper or blender until the sauce is combined.
  2. Remove the loosest, toughest outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut into 8 evenly-sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core. Lightly brush the wedges with grapeseed or canola oil.
  3. Place the wedges on the grill and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften. Flip each wedge over, cover the grill, and cook for an additional 10 minutes on the other side. Remove the cabbage when it is wilted.
  4. Take the cabbage off the grill and shred. Pour the dressing over top and toss.

Slim Rita
*What's Mexican food without tequila?!*

  • 1.5 ounce tequila
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 6 ounces Diet Squirt or other lemon lime soda
  • Salt
  1. Wet the rim of your tumbler or margarita glass with water by tipping it upside down into a bowl of water.
  2. Rub the rim into coarse salt.
  3. Fill the glass with ice, tequila, lime juice, and lemon lime soda. Stir and enjoy!