Tag: what do RDs eat

What Kale Can Do For You — and Why It’s Anything But Boring

What Kale Can Do For You — and Why It’s Anything But Boring

What Kale Can Do For You — and Why It’s Anything But Boring

kale-1321908-1278x855image via James Wilsher/freeimages.com

by Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

As you know, my philosophy is “eat kale and cupcakes.” This being National Nutrition Month, I thought it would be a good time to look at the “kale” portion of my favorite phrase. We are all aware that kale is a nutritious food, but what kind of nutrition does it provide? Let’s take a closer look.

Kale has many vitamins, including A, C, K and E, plus protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber. It is also low calorie. In a side-by side comparison of kale and spinach on Prevention.com, kale comes up the winner in terms of “an extra-powerful nutritional punch,” and is recommended as a great way to get calcium for those who can’t eat or don’t enjoy dairy. Kale also has phytochemicals that help the eyes, beta carotene and antioxdants. Little wonder then that kale has grown to become a hugely popular food in the American diet.

One of the most enjoyable ways to get kale into your diet is to use it as a base for salads. In the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, I explore the “anatomy of a healthy salad.” Pomegranate seeds, nuts, and cheese are all great ingredients to add to liven it up. Oil and vinegar is an easy and healthy dressing.

One of my favorite kale-based salads is a kale and fennel caesar, created by Candice Kumai; you can find the recipe on Mom Dishes It Out.

But what if you are not a salad person?

This Fox News article, which I was a source on, includes 8 ways to use kale in your diet. These include sauteeing, smoothies, kale chips and steaming.

Kale can also be a nice add-in for homemade veggie burgers.

You can even eat kale at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Panera.

Nutrition and versatility — what more can you ask for from a food? So give kale a try and see how you can incorporate it to become a regular part of your diet. And don’t forget the cupcakes!




Throwback Thursday: Avocado Accolades

Throwback Thursday: Avocado Accolades

Throwback Thursday: Avocado Accolades


Image via freeimages.com/PatHerman

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

Eating an entire avocado a day could lower cholesterol, according to recent research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. And it’s not so hard to work a whole avocado, or at least a healthy portion of it, into your diet because it’s so versatile. Most people are familiar with avocado as a prime ingredient in guacamole or as a yummy topper on salad, but you can do other things with it as well, like substituting it for mayo in a sandwich or making avocado toast. If you’re stuck on ideas, just see how many avocado recipes you can find on allrecipes.com! The options are practically endless!

Christie Caggiani, RDN, LDN, CEDRD wrote about the many features and uses of avocado in a blog post titled “Avocado Accolades” from Mom Dishes It Out, and I thought this would be an interesting topic to revisit in light of this new, encouraging research. Read on to learn more about the amazing avocado and enjoy a great Cooking Light recipe for Avocado-Egg Salad Sandwiches with Pickled Celery.

Hardly mainstream when I was a child, these curious fruits have become quite the versatile and popular food lately, and for good reason. I’ve been experimenting with these green beauties, and have to say I’m so impressed with the results! There are some wonderful reasons to include avocado in your family meals, and extremely easy ways to do so.

Because its flavor is mild, it’s easy on young, developing palates, and the texture is silky smooth, allowing parents to introduce it as one of baby’s first foods.

There are many things that make avocados …. awesome:

Fat: The heart-healthy fat found in avocados is primarily monounsaturated, amazing for children’s developing brains and helpful for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Fiber: This feature, along with the fat, assists digestion and can help children who struggle with constipation.

Vitamins and Minerals: Avocados offer some great potassium, an essential electrolyte that runs our heart and assists in healthy muscle development. Additionally, they contains some Vitamin K and Vitamin E, both fat-soluble vitamins that assist in healthy blood clotting and provide strong antioxidant properties, respectively. The B vitamins, including folic acid, help in maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and are a key to unlocking the energy that other foods provide.

Flexibility and Versatility: You can work an avocado into endless meals in so many different ways. It lends well to whatever flavors you pair with it, and can be a nice change from typical condiments, spreads or dips.

  • Add some cinnamon and applesauce to mashed avocado for a sweet snack
  • Combine it with some tomatoes, onions and peppers for a dip with a zing
  • Try spreading some on your morning toast, then top it off with an egg
  • Dice some into your favorite pasta salad


Here’s one of my latest finds:

Avocado-Egg Salad Sandwiches with Pickled Celery

To prevent avocado from browning in leftover egg salad, place any remaining salad in a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Then cover the entire bowl tightly with plastic wrap.

  • Yield:

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 sandwich)


  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup mashed ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon canola mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry-roasted salted sunflower seeds
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices whole-grain bread, toasted
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 4 heirloom tomato slices


  1.  Add water to a large saucepan to a depth of 1 inch; set a large vegetable steamer in pan. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add eggs to steamer. Cover and steam eggs 16 minutes. Remove from heat. Place eggs in a large ice water-filled bowl.
  2.  While eggs cook, combine 3 tablespoons water, vinegar, and sugar in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until boiling. Add celery; let stand 15 minutes. Drain.
  3.  Meanwhile, combine avocado, mayonnaise, juice, mustard, pepper, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well   until smooth.
  4.  Peel eggs; discard shells. Slice eggs in half lengthwise; reserve 2 yolks for another use. Chop remaining eggs  and egg whites. Gently stir eggs, celery, and sunflower seeds into avocado mixture. Top 4 bread slices with about 1/2 cup egg mixture, 1/4 cup arugula, 1 tomato slice, and remaining 4 bread slices.



Sydney Fry, MS, RD,

Cooking Light

May 2015




Scallion Pancakes with Hoisin Chicken

Scallion Pancakes with Hoisin Chicken

Scallion Pancakes Filled with Garlicky Greens and Hoisin Chicken

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By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

One of my favorite cookbooks of all time is Donna Hay’s Flavours (this is spelled correctly). In this book, she shares her recipe for Spring Onion Pancakes with Hoisin Chicken. And that is what influenced this winning dish. I have never used hoisin sauce and even had a bit of a time finding it. But this recipe will treat all five senses!


Garlicky Greens

5 oz. spinach (1 pre-washed bag)

2 tsp olive oil

2 cloves of minced garlic or 2 tsp Litehouse garlic


Scallion Pancake/Crepe

1 cup plain, all-purpose white flour

3 eggs, organic

1½ cups milk, organic

1 tbsp sesame oil

4 scallions, sliced thinly (including greens)

peanut oil


Hoisin Chicken

½ cup hoisin sauce

4 tbsp low-sodium tamari

2 tbsp sugar or honey

1 lb. of chicken cutlets, thin (pref. organic/hormone free)

3 scallions

¼ cup sesame seeds




Garlicky Greens

Heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat for one minute and then add the spinach. Stir and sauté until all of the spinach is wilted. Place aside with lid to keep warm.


Scallion Pancake

To make the thin pancakes/crepes, place the flour, eggs, milk, and sesame oil in a bowl. Whisk well while adding the scallions. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over high heat and coat with peanut oil. You can use a paper towel to coat the pan with the oil, if helpful. Pour a thin coating, about ¼ cup of the mixture, into the hot pan. Swirl the pan to ensure the mixture evenly spreads out. Cook the pancake for about 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Coat the pan with peanut oil and stir the mix before you pour each new pancake into the frying pan. This will help to ensure the pancakes does not stick and the scallions are evenly dispersed. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven at about 200 degrees while you make the chicken.


Hoisin Chicken

In a small bowl mix the hoisin sauce, tamari sauce, and sugar. Heat a frying pan over the medium heat. You can easily use the same frying pan you made the pancakes in. Cook the sauce for 1 minute and add the thin chicken cutlets to the sauce. Add enough to fill the pan, allowing for sauce to cover each cutlet. Cook for about 5 minutes per side.


When all of the chicken is ready, slice each cutlet a few times across its width and place on the scallion pancake. Sprinkle each cutlet with sesame seeds and scallions. Alongside the chicken, place a line of the garlicky spinach greens and then roll up.


Before you take your first bite, just notice the presentation! It’s eye candy! Smell the garlic, onions, and sweetness of the chicken’s sauce. Notice the feel of the pancake in your hand. Finger foods can be uniquely pleasurable, as they most definitely engage the sense of touch. Think of all the time and preparation that went into making this three-part meal. Were you aware of the sizzle the peanut oil made as it hit the hot pan when making the pancakes/crepes? And then, of course, take a bite of your filled pancake, notice each flavor. Do you taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter or? What does this meal remind you of? As you take your next bite, be sure you have taken a deep breath, inhaling the eating experience and exhaling the stress from the day. Your attention is now devoted to this meal. Be grateful to the famers who grew your food, to the grocery store employees who made the food available to you, and of course to yourself, for preparing the meal and feeding yourself.


Eat, Sleep, and Be in Peace.




Eat This Granola!

Eat This Granola!

The Great Granola Decision



The Great Granola Decision

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, and Mom


Having recently moved to the suburbs, I finally understand what it’s like for my suburban blog readers and clients when it comes to shopping. You lucky folks! The variety is simply amazing but simultaneously overwhelming! I now shop at Fairway, Shop Rite and Food Town, and when my boys walk in, their eyes light up at the colorful boxes and rows of endless cookies. My weekly shopping trip can take about two hours, as I navigate to read labels, ingredients and sort through all those fancy packages.


Granola is one of those foods that seem to come in unlimited options, and it’s a food so many of us love — even my boys, who have the most discriminating taste buds. Finding a granola that I can recommend to my clients is always a bit of a challenge, as some people (including myself) do not have the luxury of getting locally-made granola or granola that is free from added fibers. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kind, but I can’t eat it every morning, as the added inulin on a regular basis hurts my belly. So while I do recommend this yummy granola, I needed another option. Well, I found it this weekend. My new favorite is Post’s Super Nutty Great Grains Granola!


In my latest lifestyle and nutrition book, the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet (out December 22 — pre-order your copy on Amazon for a discount), I recommend Greek yogurt and granola for one of the breakfast options. You can now choose Post’s Super Nutty Great Grains Granola as one of the two, granola options to mix with the Greek yogurt. This breakfast is ideal in that it provides about 400 calories. (I do recommend eating larger breakfasts with carbs, protein and fat.) The granola itself has a warming taste with hints of spices like cinnamon. It has 9 grams of protein and a whopping 19 grams when added to Greek yogurt. And, yes, it does have fat, but I believe fat is essential to our diet. The fat in Post’s Supper Nutty Granola is from GMO-free canola oil, walnuts, pecans and almonds. These are the much needed mononunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. So eat it! Eat it with the All Foods Fit mentality.


If you have trouble portioning foods due to emotional eating, an on-the-go lifestyle, or just hate decision making, feel free to get Post’s Great Grains The Bar Undone mix to add to your yogurt. These are snack packs that will help you reach the carb, protein and fat goals (aka mixed meals) that I refer to in both The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet and Women’s Health Body Clock Diet. And, one more thing: If you can’t find the all-too-famous Kashi Go Lean cereal, Post has a new Great Grains Protein Blend cereal that is high in natural fiber (which I am a fan of), with moderate carbohydrates and proteins to create the macronutrient balance that will help manage insulin, blood sugar, hunger and fullness.


So for now, I have conquered the cereal aisle in the mainstream grocery store. I have found Post’s Super Nutty Great Grains Granola, which I love for me, my family, my blog readers and my clients. If the grocery store experience is overwhelming for you, know you are not alone. Your RD (or if you live in New York, I) can help you navigate services like Fresh Direct, which will minimize the anxiety by allowing you to order your food online. (And now you don’t have to guess which granola to buy!) If you want help with your food dilemmas and nutrition decisions, subscribe here to get weekly lifestyle support. And do your best to eat your brekkie! It is essential to resetting you body clock! And go get some granola!

The Reality: What This Mom Eats

The Reality: What This Mom Eats


Homepage-Mockup3By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD and Mom

This blog was originally posted on MomDishesItOut.com on November 28, 2012

Someone recently asked me, “Do you only eat organic foods?” People have also asked me, “Are you really healthy?” Others, who do not know me well have commented, “I should probably order healthy since I am sitting at the table with a dietitian.” Let me cure your curiosity!! I eat all foods and so do my kids. So what does this mean?

To start off the day, I typically eat what my boys are eating since I can’t resist! Lately I make them homemade multigrain pumpkin pancakes with dark chocolate chips, using eggs and 1% milk.

On average, I eat two big pancakes and my son eats about one. If I am hungrier, I will eat more; this is especially true on Sundays when I spin. I eat prior to spinning and after. Some days I use syrup and some days I don’t. On mornings when I’m not enjoying pancakes with my sons, I have Kashi’s Good Friends cereal with almond milk (as I am lactose intolerant), with a pack of almonds and a banana. Breakfast may vary but one thing remains constant: It’s always followed by a double-tall soy latte!

Lunch during the weekday varies depending if I am home or lunching with clients, colleagues or friends.  Previous meals have included corn bread with a cup of chicken soup from Whole Foods, and from time to time, a chicken gyro. When dining out for lunch, once I am full I take what is leftover and bring it back to the office. Last week was different since I was able to bring Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch. Since I am not a huge fan of turkey, the chicken sausage stuffing was my protein source (and although not low-fat, was balanced by the other sides.) However, if I am home lunch may be a simple peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread with a Greek Yogurt. I am also a huge fan of homemade wraps with melted cheese and avocado.

Dinners always vary. There is no standard since I eat out quite often. Tonight we are having whole-wheat pasta with meatballs (beef – 93% lean and made by me last night). I try my best to cook three meals a week for the family. Ideally, I like to make a grain, protein and serve two veggies but this is not always the case. For example, last night’s dinner was simple: a two egg and cheese omelet with pasta. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing and wasn’t ideal, I couldn’t bare to make anything more complex.  Monday’s dinner was salmon with leftover quinoa and salad topped with cranberries and goat cheese. Sunday was Tandoori Chicken, dried fruit and quinoa. I had red wine with dinner Sunday and Tuesday. When dining out, my  favorite restaurants are Lupa, North End Grill, Commerce and Hudson Clearwater. Recently I have eaten at Acme, Harry’s Italian Pizzeria (with the family which is easy and always a favorite!), and The Lamb.  Meal choices vary depending what is on the menu. It may be pasta at Harry’s, veal meatballs with polenta at Commerce or fish at North End Grill.

Last but not least, I am a chocolate and sweets “mom”ster, so many evenings involve cookies (I love cookie dough too), chocolate bunnies, ice cream or at the very least chocolate chips. The kids enjoy a night snack with me, too. Sometimes we eat yogurt, fruit or perhaps fruit only smoothies.

The reality of my food? I think I eat healthy the majority of the time but don’t stress about it the rest of the time. That means, I eat white baguettes and white pasta from time to time and when the kids have Starbuck’s chocolate chip banana bread, it happily becomes mine when they are full. Fortunately, nutrition is second nature to me, so there is no crazy thought process or anxiety around food decisions. Please know, I never look at another’s dish to critique it when I am out. Going out to dinner is my time off from work, a time to socialize and enjoy with my family, friends and kids. The only plate I am looking at is my plate and when it’s almost empty!

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