I’d Like to Thank the Academy…

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m excited to start off the week with some news: I was nominated for a Liebster Award! blogger award

The Liebster award highlights new and small blogs and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. I have Lindsay from Broke and Bougie to thank for the nomination :) I love her blog, so I am honored to have been nominated by her.

Now that I’ve been nominated, here’s how it works:
1. I acknowledge my nominator (thanks, Lindsay!)
2. I answer 11 questions that Lindsay asked me
3. I list 11 facts about myself
4. I nominate up to 11 other small and new blogs (less than 200 followers) that I love and recommend
5. I propose 11 questions to those bloggers and they will pass it on!

So here are Lindsay’s questions to me:
1. Why did you start your blog?
I started this blog as an outlet for me to share my thoughts on healthy eating and nutrition. At work, I often hear comments that healthy foods are bland and boring and that I must eat only salads as a dietitian. Neither is true! I wanted share my experiences as a dietitian and foodie, hence “Chronicles of a Dietitian.” There is also so much misleading information floating around the Internet about nutrition and all it just adds to the confusion! I hope this blog helps to simplify nutrition and  shows the truth about healthy eating.

2. What are your goals for your blog?
I hope Chronicles of a Dietitian encourage others to eat healthfully by making healthy foods look delicious, simple, and easy. I also want my blog to be seen as a reputable source for nutrition information and clear up some nutrition myths along the way.

3. What is your biggest weakness?
I am a planner and struggle with last-minute changes. I’m good about moving on to plan b, but I’m likely to get a bit frustrated when doing so.

4. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Probably quit my job, travel all over the globe, then buy a house with a gorgeous kitchen and cook all day!

5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself with a family, working for on projects that provide nutrition or food to needy populations. My life goals do not necessarily have to do with accomplishing specific feats, but rather staying on a path that keeps me happy and feeling fulfilled.

Sushi Platter

6. What food could you never live without?
Sushi!! If it weren’t the most expensive meal to eat, I’d eat it every day!

7. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
Michelle Obama. She seems so down-to-earth, put together, and sophisticated. Love her!

8. In a dream world what would your job be?
Hmm, maybe a restaurant critic so I could enjoy delicious food for a living?  Though honestly, I really like my current job. I oversee food assistance programs that help provide meals and food to low-income seniors. It is a really rewarding experience.

9. What is your guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate covered pretzels and coffee ice cream. Not necessarily together, though maybe I should try that…

10. What are some of the top items on your bucket list?
Just a couple items: drive cross-country and explore what’s between the two coasts, visit South America and climb Machu Picchu, sky dive, (re)learn Spanish, adopt a dog, learn to ski.

11. Fruit or veggies?
Vegetables. Hands down.

Now 11 fact about me:
1. I named my car Nemo after Finding Nemo, one of my favorite feel-good movies.
2. I love to cook but I am afraid of the grill.
3. I am an ACC girl: went to UVa for undergrad and UNC for grad school.
4. I am obsessed with Law and Order and Jack McCoy.
5. I walked the Great Wall of China when I was 14.

557802_10100566290735636_15922439_n 6. I love the Washington Redskins (used to be a season ticket holder) and Washington Capitals.
7. I am a beach girl and loooove warm weather.
8. I may be the only girl who HATES Love Actually. I love this.
9. I wear the same earrings every day. I’m too lazy to figure out what type of metal I am allergic to, so I’ve worn the same earrings for 2 years now. And they were under $5 from Claire’s. Yep.
10. I volunteer for a free clinic in Arlington once a month, providing nutrition counseling to low-income individuals.

41_516560446576_1110_n 11. I took surfing lessons in Hawaii, but there’s no way I could surf now if I tried.

Here are my recommendations of other great blogs:
Megan from A Better Year to a Better Life
Rachael from An Avocado A Day

And my questions for them!
1. Why did you start your blog?
2. What is your favorite recipe (share the link!)?
3. When was the last time you cried during a movie?
4. What is your favorite food?
5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
6. What is your favorite TV show?
7.  Would you rather be able to travel back in time or travel into the future?
8. How many clothes do you have in your closet with the tags still on?
9. Where was your last vacation?
10. What is one thing you hope to accomplish by the end of 2014?
11. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

In writing this post, I realized how few bloggers I follow, so I would love for you to leave me a comment and share some of your favorites! They don’t have to write about nutrition or food, I would love to expand my horizons!

Gluten Free Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Pizza for Passover! Can You Guess the Secret Ingredient?

We are just a few days into Passover and unlike previous years, I have decided to embrace matzah. Normally, I just decide to adopt a near carb-free diet in an attempt avoid the bland cracker. I have heard of people making matzah lasagna, matzah pizzas- but I rarely enjoy anything made with matzah.

Then this week, I wanted one of my favorite Jewish breakfasts, bagels and lox. Obviously, bagels are out of the question during Passover. So for the past few breakfasts, I have chosen matzah and added avocado, tomatoes, and red onion to the lox. Surprisingly delicious, filling, and satisfying. Passover win!

Avocado Tomato Red Onion Lox Matzah

Just like most restrictive diets, the bread-less days of Passover always make me CRAVE pizza. I don’t normally eat a ton of bread or pizza, but on Passover, it is like a switch; as soon as the sun sets on the first night of Passover, all I want is that yeast-risen crust. So Tuesday night, I attempted a Pinterest-inspired cauliflower pizza crust.

Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza

Yes, you read that right: pizza crust made with cauliflower.

Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The ingredients are incredibly simple: cauliflower, cheese, eggs, and herbs. I (mostly) followed this recipe.

To make the crust, I added a head of cauliflower (chopped first, of course) to a food processor, quickly zapped them in the microwave, and squeezed out all of the water in a dish towel.

Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I then mixed the cauliflower together with shredded cheese, eggs, and a few different dried herbs.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Cheese Herbs

The crust was tasty (and cheesy)! It took a bit more work than store bought crust but so much faster than homemade wheat dough! A head of cauliflower made two 9-10 inch pizza crusts, and you can be sure that Aaron and I each ate a whole pie :) .

Gluten Free Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

What have you made for Passover? Have you tried cauliflower pizza before?

DC Spring White Flowers

Weekend Recap + How to Lighten-up Mashed Potatoes

It is officially spring in DC!

DC Spring Flower Blossoms

I no longer think we are at any risk for another snow storm, and oh man is that a wonderful feeling! The sun was out this weekend, we got to 85ºF with no humidity, and no rain- I couldn’t ask for better weather.

DC Spring Flowers

Friday night, Aaron and I took the non-traditional route and visited the DC cherry blossoms at night. The cherry blossom trees are gorgeous during the day and make a lovely addition to the already picturesque DC skyline. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the tidal basin where the views are best until after sunset, but we still got a chance to take in the sites from the MLK memorial.

DC Jefferson Memorial Cherry Blossoms

Saturday morning, we headed to Great Falls National Park in Virginia with a few friends for rock climbing! It was my first time out since last summer, and man did that wall of rock kick my butt!

Great Falls National Park Virginia

The great part about rock climbing at Great Falls is the climbs are right on the Potomac River. No matter if you are halfway up a climb or just lounging on the rocks waiting for your turn, you have some spectacular scenery.

Great Falls National Park Virginia Yesterday, our friend invited us over for a Passover potluck! Passover doesn’t officially start until this evening, but we started the celebrations a bit early. The host prepared the brisket, so the rest of the group tackled the sides. As I replied late to the potluck, the matzah ball soup, charoset, and macaroons were already taken! So I decided to incorporate horseradish, a seder plate staple, and do a Passover take on mashed potatoes: Lightened-up Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes with Chives

Mashed potatoes are super easy- peel, boil, mash, eat. That is my kind of dish! In case you wonder why I eat potatoes as a dietitian, check out this post.

Many traditional mashed potato recipes are full of sour cream and sticks of butter, so I tried to lighten them up with just a few tablespoons butter and lots of non-fat plain Greek yogurt. The dish was still light and creamy, but the Greek yogurt has 70% fewer calories than sour cream. Plus, the horseradish added a nice unexpected kick.

Mashed Potatoes Bay Leaves

The recipe yielded enough for the 10 people at the potluck, plus leftovers! If you plan to make it for a family a four, I would definitely cut it half.

How was your weekend? Did you get to take advantage of the weather and head outdoors?To those celebrating Passover tonight, happy Pesach!

Lightened-up Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 10-14 servings
Ingredients
5 lbs white potatoes, peeled, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 c non-fat plain Greek yogurt
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp prepared horseradish
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 c chives, chopped

Directions
1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with water. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil uncovered until potatoes are cooked enough to mash, about 20-25 minutes. Drain potatoes, discard bay leaves and return to pot.
2. Add remaining ingredients except chives to potatoes and mash with a fork until well mixed. Add salt and black pepper, to taste.
3. To serve, garnish with chopped chives. Serve immediately and enjoy!