Tuesday, April 22, 2014

{Recipe Redux} Coconut Cashew Cookies

This month, Recipe Redux members were asked to share a story of classic cookware, as well as a recipe to go along with it. A thousand food memories and stories rushed into my mind. My childhood memories with food are just some of the reasons I have chosen this food-focused path to become a dietitian. There's a lot of love that goes into cooking, especially when you cook with others. 

One of my fondest memories involves the simplest cookware of all, a mixing spoon. When I was young, my mom, twin sister, Brittany, and I would bake all the time - brownies, cakes, cookies, etc. The colorful Pillsbury Funfetti cake was always the most popular choice. Together, we would follow the recipe directions word for word. Brittany and I would fight over who got to mix the batter or dough. Once our concoction was placed in the oven,  things really got heated over who got to lick the spoon. So, my mom would jump in and assign one of us to the spoon and the other to the bowl. This made us both very, very happy.

And now for a recipe that requires the beloved, mixing spoon.

Coconut Cashew Cookies

2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup cashew pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup milk (skim, soy, coconut, almond)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking pan with oil.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, oats, cashews, coconut, cinnamon, and baking powder.
3. Add the milk, egg,  oil, and maple syrup to the bowl. Mix well.
4. Portion 1-2 inch balls of dough onto a baking sheet.
5. Place in the oven for 25 minutes. 

Makes 12 Cookies

Monday, April 14, 2014

{BAKED} Raspberry + Coconut Oatmeal Cups

My cravings were calling and I needed something sweet. But, I didn't really feel like going food shopping since my parents are coming to visit tomorrow and I won't really be home this week. So, I went on a scavenger hunt through my fridge and pantry in search of anything that could possibly be transformed into some kind of dessert.

So, I found some frozen raspberries. And then some oats and figured OK, I can bake this! 

These Baked Raspberry + Coconut Oatmeal Cups popped out of the oven. 

1 cup rolled oats
2 cups frozen raspberries (or fresh)
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
3. Coat muffin tins with oil or nonstick spray.
4. Spoon oat and raspberry mixture into muffin tins. Make sure they are packed well.

5. Place tins in the oven and let bake for 30 minutes. 

Serves 6

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

Let's chit-chat.

Last weekend, the honey and I took a mini getaway to Palm Springs. We went on a hike through the desert which was beautiful. And, HOT. The trail ran alongside a stream that was lined with palm trees. Actual, big, tall, and full palm trees. Not these skinny, little things that fill my neighborhood in Los Angeles. Afterwards, we indulged in a fancy dinner at The Daily Grill. I ordered trout almondine. I never had trout before, but the waitress told me she has it at least three times a week. It had to be good. And it was. It came with broccoli and a creamy baked potato. Oh, I've been dreaming about that baked potato. Then, there was dessert - chocolate cake and key lime pie.

On Sunday, we visited a local market which consisted of a large variety of vendors - art, handbags, cell phone gadgets, and produce. We picked up some fresh strawberries and dates for the drive home and they were some of the best I have ever had. 

Side Note: When I was little, my parents would take me furniture shopping with them. This one store we would always visit had a Chock Full O' Nuts which had the best date nut bread. I used to insist on getting a slice every time. I really want to make date nut bread this weekend.

To end the weekend off with a bang, Match Day was everything I had hoped for. I am currently obsessed with Portland and have ordered a handful of books from Amazon so I am fully prepared for my arrival in August. 

I have to admit, I loved the pictures I took of the pesto recipe I posted on Monday.

Oh, and then my roommate surprised me with these beautiful flowers! Thank you, Eitan! 

I love Lena Dunham. When I found out she directed this video for her boyfriend's band, The Bleachers, I instantly fell in love. It's amazing. 

These are a few of my favorite things from this week.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

{Dietetic Internship Update} #MatchDay2014

I've been in shock for two days...

This past Sunday, Match Day, nutrition students everywhere were hit with a wave of emotions. I, for one spent the day in a state of hyperventilation. After spending a beautiful weekend in Palm Springs, I drove back to LA with "Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammar on repeat. This at least turned the hyperventilation into a mix of excitement/acceptance/nausea.

So, like I was saying, I've been in shock for two days...

BECAUSE, I was appointed to the combined MS and dietetic internship program at Oregon Health and Science University!

My reaction went a little something like this...

I want to give a special shout-out to all my family, friends, and mentors who have supported me throughout this entire process and continue to do so! It means the world to me! 

Congratulations to all the dietetics students who were matched! And, to those who we're not, you're all rockstars! Don't give up!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fresh Basil Pesto

I love pesto. It's no secret. It's the first thing that catches my eye on any menu. The best part is that you don't have to go out to eat in order to indulge in a good pesto. You can easily make it yourself and create something that is totally quick and delicious! 

Five Things I love About Pesto:
1. It's insanely delicious.
2. It can be used as a sauce, dip, marinade, or condiment.
3. It makes everything taste better!
4. Each variation is equally as tasty - Sundried tomato and roasted red pepper.
5. It's easy to make! 

This weekend I made my very own pesto from fresh basil leaves. This time, I used it as a sauce and poured it over whole wheat pasta and roasted eggplant. 

Homemade Fresh Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves

Pour all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve over pasta, spread on a sandwich, or use as a marinade for grilled chicken. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Road to Becoming an RD

The countdown has officially begun! On Sunday, April 6th, I will know what my future has in store for me, career-wise that is. As you may already know, last January, I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Nutrition from Long Island University and am continuing my journey to become a registered dietitian. In February, I applied to the dietetic internship, my final step before becoming an RD. AH! Even though it's a torturous process, it's an exciting one. I'm always looking for new adventures and experiences, which I'm sure to get if accepted in a program. I have applied to a total of 6 programs and a computer matching program will match me with only one. Surprise!

For those of you who are also on the RD track or interested in joining the bandwagon, I have created a guide on how to become a registered dietitian and have provided you with some of my best tips!

How to Become a Registered Dietitian

1st: Undergraduate Degree
The road to become a registered dietitian requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Like any career path, there are many bumps in the road and bridges to cross before reaching your goal. The first step is to get your Bachelors Degree in nutrition and dietetics from a university that is accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You can find a list of accredited universities on the eatright website. The curriculum includes classes such as Medical Nutrition Therapy, Community Nutrition, Food Service Management, Nutrition Communications, Advanced Nutrition, Anatomy & Physiology, and Chemistry. During this time, you know, while you're trying to get straight A's and have a social life, it is important to gain as much experience as possible outside of the classroom. The options are endless! Experience within a hospital, community, and food service setting will be advantageous on your application to the dietetic internship.

2nd: Dietetic Internship
The dietetic internship is your second step towards becoming a registered dietitian. There are two internship paths - a one year dietetic internship or a two year combined Masters Degree and dietetic internship. The ever-so-handy eatright website contains a list of dietetic internships throughout the country. The internship provides you with hands-on experience in the field. You will take graduate classes and be placed in a variety of settings to fulfill the role of a dietitian.

3rd: RD Exam
You've completed your internship, so you're finally ready...to study! In order to receive the title of a registered dietitian, you must pass a national examination. But, the road doesn't end there. As a registered dietitian, you are committed to a lifetime of learning. To maintain the "RD" credential, a certain number of continuing education credits are required each year. Since I haven't gotten this far yet, I'm going to leave the rest for another day. For now, I'll leave you with this...

Good luck to all the nutrition students awaiting match day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Garlic Roasted Carrots with Lemon + Basil

Carrots are my favorite snack. They're convenient, portable, and can be dipped into my favorite snack of all - hummus. But, that's not all. They're just as good dipped into yogurt and used as a salad topping.

This made me think. I always, always, always eat carrots raw. Never cooked. So, this was what inspired me to make a recipe out of my carrot comfort zone.

For me, simplicity is the key ingredient for all of my recipes. A little bit of garlic and some fresh basil can go a long way, which is exactly what I aimed to accomplish with this dish. Plus, I've been dying to think of some new ideas that require me to pluck the leaves from my new and beautiful basil plant.

Garlic Roasted Carrots with Lemon + Basil

1 lb. carrots, washed
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash the carrots and cut off the tops.
3. Lay them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. 
4. Brush the minced garlic onto the carrots, then pour on the lemon juice.
5. Toss the carrots to make sure they all get coated. Place the basil over the carrots and let cook for 30-40 minutes.

Note: You may cut the carrots in half prior to baking for a faster cooking time. 

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