ask the nutritionist: office snacks


I don’t know about you, but I work in an office and even though I generally pack snacks…sometimes I eat them by 1:30 :( So when 3:30 rolls around, I’m starving and I have 2 options – vending machine or heading to the store. FYI: I never choose to just not eat a snack…doesn’t happen in my world.

After a less than stellar lunch (ate part and then tossed), string cheese for a replacement that was bad and a drawer of 3 Lara Bars and tea I knew I needed some new office snacks. I set out to the store immediately because a) I was starving and b)I needed a break from work after a stressful morning. I went up and down every aisle (of just your regular old grocery store – I do what I can in the burbs) in search of  a snack that fits the following criteria: natural, decent source of protein and fiber, low in sugar and satisfying enough to keep me out of the vending machine.

– Instant Oatmeal – while I hate the added sugar, convenience is key here and I had been wanting to try the Simple Harvest line (I thought it was rather average, probably wouldn’t buy again)

– Annie’s Mac – this was total impulse, not sure what prompted this but it definitely brought back memories of Saturday nights as a kid, home alone with my Brother watching Walker Texas Ranger and being scared out of my mind

– Luna & Cliff Bars – love Lara but sometimes I need chocolate something that tastes a little more like dessert ;)

– Tuna – while this will be made at home it is a great addition to a soup and salad lunch

– Hummus – I heart it. That is all I have to say.

What snacks do you bring to work or have on a regular basis?

rachael’s steakhouse chili

Dear Rachael,

You have yet to fail me. Your meals are no-fuss and always delicious. And while watching your E! True Hollywood Story on the treadmill I actually got a little teary-eyed that people are so mean to you. Did I just admit that on the internet?


Your Steakhouse Chili is a meat-lovers dream and now my dream too. But really, what do you expect with beef AND bacon? It is pretty much awesome adds an element I’ve not experienced with chili. I did make a few adjustments – I added 2 cans of beans, they are a chili-must in my book. Next time I would add some chopped green pepper (yes, taster, you did suggest this) and any other veggies I can think of. I would probably cut the beef in about 1/2 too.


For a *light* companion (emphasis on light) I made my Mom’s (well, technically Gertrude Houlihan’s) famous coleslaw – here is my version.

Napa Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp celery seed

Whisk together and pour over shredded napa cabbage. (about 3 cups) Top with some blue cheese crumbles if desired.


zucchini linguine with herbs


In my quest to convert the taster from whole grain to raw zucchini pasta ;) I came across a recipe in the October Food & Wine that is far from raw and undeniabley scrumptious sounding. Could a blend of noodles, zucchini and green onion strands convince him that zucchini can hold a place in my pasta repertoire?


Zucchini Linguine with Herbs adapted from Food & Wine

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 zucchini, sliced into strips with mandoline

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp herbs (I used thyme and rosemary leftover from risotto and dip)

Fresh whole grain linguine

Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Heat olive oil in pan and saute zucchini, green onion and garlic until soft about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile cook pasta as directed. Toss pasta with veggie mix and a ladle of cooking liquid, stir until the liquid has thickened and grate parmesan cheese over top.


A last minute decision was made to stop for some chicken – my body has been craving extra protein lately and I’m happy to oblige :)  This meal was outstanding. The zucchini and green onions lighten up the pasta a bit and it is SO flavorful! This is a must try!

in my cupboard: bissinger’s naturals – gummy pandas


The gourmet gummy bear. Sometimes I find myself craving something sweet. and chewy. and specifically candy. Now of course I don’t indulge (or have) this craving on a daily basis but when it strikes again I sure know what I’m having. This is a candy I can feel ok about eating and while it would be a stretch to call it healthy I appreciate the simple, straight-forward ingredients, the boost of antioxidants and the fun, grown-up flavors. If you see these, buy.