ask the nutritionist: favorite protein sources

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a science lesson on protein. I like the food aspect so much more than the scientific one. :)

Protein. We all need it. Some of us get too much. Some of us don’t get enough.

Sometimes it is easy to get enough. Other times its not.

I am definitely what I would consider a “protein person.” I need a decent amount of protein (and fat) at each meal or I get hungry. And then I get really crabby. Ask the Taster, he’ll tell you it isn’t pretty.

Here are some of my favorite – EASY – ways to get in protein!

Favorite, Easy Proteins: 

  • peanut butter or other nut butters
  • cheese sticks
  • greek yogurt
  • tofu
  • hard boiled eggs
  • edamame
  • protein bars like thinkThin
  • sprouted bread
  • cottage cheese
  • tuna
  • beans like lentils
  • protein shake/smoothie 
  • oatmeal
What are your favorite ways to eat protein? 

spicy pepper goat cheese spread

This spread is a favorite of mine.

It is slightly spicy, chock-full of vegetables and it contains cheese, so you know it’s got to be good.

The recipe inspiration comes from a favorite restaurant back in Wisconsin, High Rock, except that they have this special, secret hot sauce (Gilly’s hot sauce) that gives it kick. I don’t have Gilly’s hot sauce as it’s a home-made specialty so I had to use some jalapeno hot sauce, but it gives the same affect. Any type of hot sauce would work. Next time I think I might just try it with sriracha…

I can at least promise that sauteing garlic in olive oil will have everyone wondering what you are up to and when exactly it will be ready to eat. Isn’t it amazing how a simple ingredient cooking can bring everyone around to the kitchen?

spicy pepper goat cheese spread


  • 3 peppers (I used 2 green peppers, 1 red)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 11 oz goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 baguette, sliced


  1. Chop peppers and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large pan and add peppers and garlic.
  3. Saute over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until peppers are slightly browned.
  4. Add hot sauce to taste.
  5. Pour pepper mixture over goat cheese and sprinkle parsley on top.
  6. Serve with crackers or bread slices.

restaurant: m cafe

To say that I’m excited for all of the restaurants that come with a new city, is a huge understatement. We’ve already got a pretty long list going and I’m sure we’ll be adding to it faster than we cross them off.

Apartment searching was a great reason to head out and try a few restaurants in potential neighborhoods. Food after all, is a huge factor in picking out a spot to live…for us. :)

I’d been intrigued by M Cafe after seeing it many times on Lynn’s blog and I was really excited to try it out. For our inaugural trip (there will be many, many more) I tried the M Chopped salad which was wonderful. It had hearts of romaine & mixed greens, avocado, cucumber, chickpeas, herb-baked tofu, scallions, umeboshi pickled radishes, carrots, beets, tamari-roasted almonds, crumbled tempeh “bacon” & tofu-peppercorn ranch dressing.

All kinds of flavors and textures going on for a perfectly filling salad.

The great thing about macrobiotic food is that fish is a-ok (unlike vegan/vegetarian food) which makes the Taster very happy. He went with the Grilled Tuna Burger that was delicious. Not just any old tuna burger – a tuna burger glazed with teriyaki sauce & garnished with sliced avocado, pickled red onions, daikon sprouts, spicy yuzu mayo, fresh shiso leaf and served on a house-baked whole wheat bun.

Oh yes. You also get to pick your side dish with sandwiches and while I urged him to choose the Kale with Peanut Sauce, he went with the soba salad. Good, but I have a feeling the kale will be better. :)

Next time we visit M Cafe (which will be very soon – I just picked up a groupon for it) I’ll be getting the deli salad plate so that I can try that kale. ;)


acorn squash with sage brown butter

It really has been a while since I’ve shared a recipe with you all.

Trust me, I really miss the kitchen. Between the wedding, the move and the apartment search, I haven’t had my own kitchen for over a month!

The end is in sight though and I’ve got a huge list of things that need to be made. I’m baaaack! ;)

Anyway, brown butter is pretty much amazing. I’m convinced you could drizzle it over anything and whatever it was would taste delicious.

When you combine brown butter with squash and sage however, you are instantly transported to fall and all that comes with it. Crunchy leaves, pumpkin lattes, and brown boots. Any squash (or vegetable for that matter) would work although the acorn squash that I used was especially delicious.

And it felt like fall while I was eating it, even though I haven’t busted out my brown boots quite yet.


Acorn Squash with Sage Brown Butter


  • 2 small acorn sqush, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped sage
  • salt & pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bake squash for about 45-60 minutes until soft.
  3. Heat butter on medium-low heat.
  4. When hot, add sage and season with salt & pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until butter is a brownish shade and sage is crispy.
  6. Brush butter mixture over squash slices and serve.