tzatziki

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

This is my ALL-time favorite dip. ALL. Time. Favorite.

And if you have no idea what tzatziki is, I’ll explain.

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

Years ago, we visited Greece with my parents and (in addition to having a different color hair) I was introduced to Greek cuisine and I totally fell in love with it. Some of my favorite memories from the trip are the ones that happened around a table. We started our days with these amazing phyllo dough pastries, had the best gyros in a restaurant with dirt floors and no power, some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had and “extra-amazing” gyros on New Years Day after dancing (if you can call it that) until dawn the night before.

A Nutritionist Eats

It was in Greece that I was introduced to their version of yogurt – which was so thick it reminded us of sour cream. And we were totally smitten with it. It’s also where I was introduced to tzatziki and it’s been a staple in my diet ever since. I can’t even believe I haven’t written about it more, because its something I make on a regular basis and it’s surprisingly easy!

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

It’s one of those foods that if you’ve ever been intimidated to make it yourself and you buy it from the store – you’ll be blown away by how much better your version is. Seriously, no comparison.

Even better, it doesn’t even require any fancy ingredients. The most exotic ingredient is greek yogurt…and nowadays you can find greek yogurt everywhere. A note about the yogurt: I use reduced-fat or full-fat – never fat-free! The extra flavor and satiety factor are so worth the minimal extra calories in my opinion. Fat-free works fine…if you must!

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

Tzatziki is so versatile and it’s honestly good on anything. I’ll often make some for the protein portion of my lunch and serve it with toasted pita bread and some fresh veggies. It’s filling and delicious. It’s great on kebabs or with grilled lamb burgers. And most recently, we determined that it’s fantastic on grilled bread. (Everything is good on grilled bread, but tzatziki really is too!)

Tzatziki | A Nutritionist Eats

I’m thinking next week’s lunches might have to feature an epic pita sandwich stuffed with hummus, tzatziki, sliced tomatoes and kalamata olives…who’s with me?!

Tzatziki
Cuisine: Greek
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3/4 medium/large cucumber
  • 16 oz greek yogurt (about 2 cups)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and seed cucumber.
  2. Grate cucumber with a cheese grater and squeeze excess water out with paper towel.
  3. You should have about 1 cup of packed cucumber shreds.
  4. Stir together remaining ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Calories: 163 Fat: 9 Carbohydrates: 9 Sugar: 5 Sodium: 42 Fiber: 1 Protein: 12

 

 

grilled chicken sandwich

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Today, I’ve got a delicious, messy, filling – and healthy – dinner for you all!

When I put a call out for the type of recipes you’d all like to see, there was an overwhelming request for kid-friendly, family dinners. That makes sense. Dinners are tough and so I’m working on more entire-meal dinners with a focus on kid-friendly meals.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

For this particular meal, the center, the main, the BEST part… is the grilled chicken sandwich. The sides – grilled potato wedges and a simple salad – are good, but the sandwich is WHERE it’s at. Let me tell you about it.

Multigrain bread. Avocado. Sriracha aïoli. Swiss cheese. Tomato slices. Grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And. YES!

In my mind, dinner needs to get to the table quickly and it needs to be nutritionally balanced. This sandwich fits the bill. The sides fit the bill. Protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains/starches…it’s all here!

When I look at this dinner on paper (or screen) it looks like a lot, but it really isn’t. Prepare the aïoli, prep potatoes and chicken and while those are on the grill, make the salad and get the remaining sandwich ingredients ready.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Dinner’s on the table in about 30-40 minutes!

 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (give or take depending on how hot you like it!)
  • 3 medium red skin potatoes, washed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, pounded even
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 6-8 cups salad greens
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 8 oz (8 slices) multigrain bread
  • 1 avocado, mashed and seasoned with salt
  • 4 slices of swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Make aïoli: combine mayonnaise and sriracha. Set aside.
  3. Make potatoes: cut potatoes into wedges about 1inch thick and toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and salt & pepper.
  4. Prep chicken: drizzle 1 Tbsp oil, salt & pepper.
  5. Place potatoes on grill and cook for about 7-10 minutes, flip over.
  6. Add chicken to grill and cook for 5-7 minutes, flip over. Cook both chicken and potatoes another 10 minutes, until both are thoroughly cooked through and remove from grill.
  7. Slice 1 tomato for sandwiches and remaining into small pieces for the salad.
  8. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, dijon and remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil together in a large bowl. Add greens and toss.
  9. Assemble sandwiches, plate sides.
Calories: 700 Fat: 32 Saturated fat: 9 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 62 Sugar: 11 Sodium: 600 Fiber: 9 Protein: 40 Cholesterol: 120
Notes
If you aren’t a fan of spice or sriracha, try pesto instead!

roasted corn, tomato & basil salad

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

I need to brag for a minute.

I have successfully grown plants. Yes, plural! I’m not going to publicly call it a garden quite yet, but in my mind it is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to grow edible plants. Ok, I’ll tell you. Pretty much every year, I’ve tried – and failed – to grow vegetables, herbs, and really anything.

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

But that all changed. And this year, I have jalapenos, flowers, succulents, a money tree, cactus and a big OL’ pot of basil. The basil just started multiplying. And then I started to panic…how do I use it fast enough? What can I do besides make pesto (which is a whole conversation in itself)?

So I took the best produce of summer and combined it all together in one, tasty salad.

Can we talk about summer for a minute though? We have done NOTHING. We haven’t gone to the beach, we haven’t been to Malibu, we haven’t even been to the Hollywood Bowl and we haven’t gone to one outdoor movie. We’ve visited our pool once – pathetic. Our favorite outdoor movie location isn’t happening this summer, which is really depressing, we have a few outdoor shows later this summer and we keep talking about the beach, but ugh, we really need to get going.

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

Another important topic: not only is this the summer of plants, but it’s the summer of corn. And, I like it. Mexican Street Corn Crostini was a great start to the corn season and I think I’ve got at least one more in me!

But this corn salad could also be considered a salsa, a topping for anything grilled, scrambled eggs or a topping for a green or tomato salad. The possibilities are endless. (And what I really mean is, put this on anything and everything.)

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

This recipe comes together really quickly, simply shake together the dressing and toss all ingredients together.

Enjoy! (Are you crossing things off on your summer-do list?)

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 16 oz fire roasted corn, or about 4 cups of grilled corn
  • 16 oz grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups basil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Sauté corn lightly if using frozen. Set aside.
  2. Slice tomatoes in half.
  3. Soak onion slices in cold water. (To lessen the intensity.)
  4. Thinly slice the basil into ribbons.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients in small jar. Shake together.
  6. Stir together all ingredients but basil, then gently add basil and stir just until combined.
Calories: 93 Fat: 4 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 14 Sugar: 5 Sodium: 11 Fiber: 2 Protein: 2 Cholesterol: 0

cucumber & dill goat cheese

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

Since moving to LA, we’ve become house/dog-sitting extrordinares. Meaning not much more than, we (mainly Richie) are good at taking care of a cute dog named Ruby.

So when my cousins head out of town, we move into their house. We love it because 1) grill 2) back yard 3) GRILL! And even though I always say we aren’t “dog people” we do love having a pet for a month or two out of the year. My cousins love food as much as I do, and it was in their kitchen where I got totally hooked on maldon sea salt. So much so that I refuse to use anything else. Most recently, it’s where I discovered a cucumber & dill goat cheese. Because last time we were there, we had special instructions to “eat the goat cheese!”

You don’t need to tell me to eat goat cheese twice…

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

It was a delicious and ultra-fresh goat cheese (from the farmer’s market) specked with cucumber and dill. We loved it. So naturally, I re-created it shortly thereafter.

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

While I could never choose my favorite cheese, goat cheese ranks with the best of them and I love this version. It’s fresh and totally perfect for summer.

The wonderful thing about this cheese is that it is good on just about everything. It’s reminiscent of the classic cucumber and dill creamy salad and the possibilities are endless. Bagels, pita chips or crackers – it’s all good. If you want to be especially virtuous, spread on cucumber slices!

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s eat cheese!

nutrition facts: 139 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber

P.S. What kind of recipes you would like to see here (healthy or a particular type of diet, kid-friendly, gourmet, quick dinners, 5-ingredients or less, etc.) I’d love for you to add your input!

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: appetizer snack gluten-free low-carb spring summer

Ingredients (2 cups, 8 servings)

  • 11 oz goat cheese (give or take, it will work out fine with 9-12 oz)
  • 1/2 english cucumber or regular cucumber (peeled and seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

Remove cheese from fridge and let come to room temperature.

Grate cucumber with cheese grater and then squeeze all of the water out of it. Use a paper towel to remove as much water as you can.

Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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