Thursday, October 6, 2016

Roasted Root Vegetable & Brussel Sprout Medley

This vegetable side dish is one of many great recipes that I have adapted and loved from Vegetarian Times Magazine.  It was pretty quick to make and would go well as a side with pretty much anything. I served it alongside chicken tikka masala and brown basmati rice, and it was great. It would also be really good with some lean beef or wild salmon.

Roasted Root Vegetable & Brussels Sprout Medley


3 medium parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups organic rainbow baby carrots
2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 tsp olive oil (plus extra for oiling baking pans)
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil two large baking sheets.

2. Place parsnips and carrots in a large ziploc bag with 2 tsp olive oil. Shake to coat vegetables evenly, then spread on one of the baking sheets. Place brussels sprouts in separate ziploc bag with 2 tsp olive oil. Shake to coat evenly, then spread on second baking sheet.

3. Place all vegetables in oven and bake to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Remove brussels sprouts and bake carrots and parsnips for another 12-15 minutes, or until tender, stirring halfway through.

4. Whisk together honey, balsamic vinegar and garlic. In a large bowl toss mixture with all vegetables until evenly coated and serve.

(Recipe adapted from

What are the nutritional benefits of this vegetable dish? Parsnips are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese and iron. Carrots are a good source of fiber and beta carotene. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins C and K and fiber. They are also a very good source of several nutrients, particularly folate, and are a good source of iron.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stuff From My Fridge Wrap

I have to thank my husband, Ted, for coming up with this simple wrap with stuff leftover in our fridge. It is now my favorite thing to eat for lunch! Using whole wheat tortillas in place of traditional wraps or bread not only tastes great, but really cuts down on the calories. One 6-inch whole wheat tortilla has 80 calories, whereas just one slice of the whole grain bread that we buy has 120 calories. Toss some fruit or vegetables on the side, and it's an awesome lunch!

Stuff From My Fridge Wrap

1 6-inch whole wheat tortilla
1 tsp mayonnaise 
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
3 oz turkey breast
2 dill pickle slices
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp queso fresco

1. Place all ingredients in tortilla, wrap-up and enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2016

My Healthy Dish's Overnight Oats

Another keeper from My Healthy Dish! I highly recommend checking out or picking up a copy of the cook book. My husband takes the train to the city for work every day and never has time to eat breakfast before he leaves, so I've been trying to come up with easy, healthy and portable breakfast items that he can grab and take with him. This is a great one that he can pull right out of the fridge. Throw a banana or some berries in there, and it's perfect! I made 2 with almond milk and 2 with 1% milk, and while I liked both, I preferred the one with the almond milk. This is a great way to eat chia seeds, too, which are an excellent source of omega -3s, antioxidants and fiber.

My Healthy Dish's Overnight Oats


1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk - any kind (1%, almond milk, etc.)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey
dash of cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla


1. Place all ingredients in a small container and cover securely with a lid. Place in refrigerator overnight. Top with fruit and berries of your choice and enjoy!

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Oats are rich in fiber and  a range of minerals including manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. Cow's milk is a good source of protein, and both almond and cows milk provide calcium. Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega -3s, antioxidants and fiber.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Launch of my Private Practice - Becky Weitzel Nutrition

I am very excited to share that I have opened my own web-based private practice! I provide individualized nutrition assessment, goal-setting, feedback, and menu planning services, including weekly 5-day meal plans with nutrition information, recipes and grocery lists. From weight loss and improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels, to attaining better overall nutrition/health status through food preparation and lifestyle changes, I will work with each patient to meet their individual nutritional needs.

To become a patient and set-up an initial consultation, email me at, and I will send you an invite to set-up a free account with my practice via With this HIPAA-compliant telehealth software, I am able to conduct video calls for convenient one-on-one consultations, upload files (ie. personalized meal plans), and provide daily feedback on food intake for patients using the  free Fruit Street mobile app. With this app, you simply take a photo of everything you eat, and it will upload directly into your Fruit Street account with a timestamp, where I can view it and provide feedback.  Addtionally, Fruit Street pairs with all Fitbit devices, so you can choose to share the data from your device with me, including weight, steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns!

Embracing a healthier way of eating takes some time and self-discipline, but should not be overly restrictive. It's about balance and taking an active role in your food selection and preparation while still enjoying some indulgences (just more sparingly). My aim is to help people make these changes by setting attainable goals, preparing nourishing meals and becoming more active. 

If you or anyone you know is looking for nutrition help or support, please send them my way! Thanks, friends!!

Becky Weitzel MS,RDN,LDN
Registered Dietitian

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

I just checked out the My Healthy Dish cookbook from the library by My Nguyen and immediately wanted to make these sloppy joes when I saw the recipe. My 5 year old son has never liked ground beef but likes ground turkey, and he really liked this meal! Any meal that he will eat is a keeper around here. And the fact that my husband and I liked it too is a bonus! I made a few changes to the ingredients and amounts called for in the original recipe. In particular, I left out the dijon mustard thinking that my son probably wouldn't like it. The recipe called for chicken stock, but I had beef stock in the cabinet, so used that instead.

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes


1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup organic carrots, chopped
1 14.5oz can organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 organic red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup organic beef stock 
8 whole wheat buns (I got mine from the bakery at the grocery store)
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese


1. Cook ground turkey in pan over medium-high heat until cooked through. Place turkey and remaining ingredients (except buns and cheese) into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

2. Serve sloppy joe mixture on whole wheat buns, topped with cheddar cheese.

(Recipe adapted from My Health Dish by My Nguyen, "Turkey Sloppy Joes" recipe, p. 138)

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Ground turkey is low in sodium and saturated fat, and is an excellent source of protein. Whole wheat buns are higher in fiber and bioavailable vitamins and minerals due to the flour being unrefined.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Grass-Fed Ground Beef Tacos

This is probably my favorite and easiest meal to make at home. It's balanced, tastes really good and is super fast to make. It also makes great leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. I love to top these with a little bit of cholula hot sauce - perfection!

Grass-Fed Ground Beef Tacos

Makes ~8 tacos


1 pound grass-fed ground beef
2 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces
queso fresco, crumbled, for topping (optional)
sour cream, for topping (optional)
whole wheat tortillas


1. Cook ground beef over medium-high heat, until fully cooked through. Drain excess fat off beef.

2. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Fill tortilla with ~2oz ground beef and top with remaining ingredients: 1/4 cup tomato, 1-2 tsp red onion, 1/8 avocado, 1 tsp queso fresco, and 1 tsp sour cream.

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Compared with conventional beef, grass-fed beef is lower in total fat, higher in omega-3 fatty acids and higher in vitamins, particularly vitamin E. Onions are rich in quercetin (a type of antioxidant) and vitamin C. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and lycopene. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that have been shown to boost HDL (good cholesterol), and are an excellent source of vitamins C, E and carotenoids lycopene and beta carotene, as well as the minerals selenium and zinc. Whole wheat (versus white flour) tortillas retain fiber and B-vitamins.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kale & Farro Pilaf

Farro is a rice-like ancient grain that is gaining popularity for its versatility. It is very hard to overcook and doesn't tend to get mushy. It has a slight nutty flavor and is commonly used as a breakfast cereal, added to soups and salads, and also makes really good side dishes, as it takes on the flavor of what it is cooked with. Whole farro needs to be soaked overnight because the grain still retains the entire bran, but semi-pearled farro has had some of the bran removed, allowing it to cook faster but retain some fiber. I used semi-pearled farro in this recipe, and it cooked in about 30 minutes.  This was a really great dish for incorporating kale, and had a nice flavor from the dried porcini mushrooms. The original recipe I used from Vegetarian Times magazine called for a small amount of white wine, but I didn't have any in the house, so I replaced the wine with more vegetable stock. I also left out the red pepper flakes that the recipe called for. It turned out really great and held up well for leftovers!

Kale & Farro Pilaf


1/3 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup organic semi-pearled farro
1 shallot, finely chopped (~1/2 cup)
2 cups organic vegetable stock
2 cups, packed, organic kale, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tsp fresh organic thyme, chopped


1. Grind porcini mushrooms in food processor. Set aside.

2. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add farro and shallot, cook for about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup vegetable stock and cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Add ground mushrooms and remaining vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

4. Add kale on top of farro, do not mix in. Cover pan and let simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Fold kale into farro and top with sliced almonds and thyme.

(Recipe adapted from April 2016 issue of Vegetarian Times)

I served this farro as a side dish to go along with baked savory salmon. For my savory salmon recipe, click here.

What are the nutritional benefits of this dish? Semi-pearled farro is an excellent source of fiber and protein, and a great source of magnesium. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. It is also a good source of minerals calcium, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorous.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken & Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

I love a good Greek Salad, and this one is a keeper! I also love leftovers, so I have been grilling enough chicken breast to get 2-3 meals out of it - usually two dinners and one lunch. If you chop up the cucumbers and onions all at once, there's no prep for the remaining meals except tossing everything in a bowl! And as simple as this balsamic dressing is, it is my favorite dressing I have made to date. This is one to add to the weekday rotation!

Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken & Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Makes 1 serving

Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken


2-3 oz organic chicken breast
garlic powder, for seasoning
salt, for seasoning
black pepper, for seasoning
3 cups organic romaine lettuce
1 Tbsp sliced black olives
1/3 cup grape tomatoes
1/3 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, sliced
1 Tbsp feta cheese, crumbled


1. Cut chicken breast into strips. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

2. Heat grill pan over medium high heat (or use outdoor grill). Grill chicken until thoroughly cooked through. Set aside.

3. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and top with chicken. Drizzle with simple balsamic vinaigrette, or other favorite dressing.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette


2 tsp olive oil
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch salt (optional)


1. Place all ingredients in a small jar/container. Mix vigorously and serve.

What are the nutritional benefits of this salad?
Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is rich in B vitamins. Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamins, A,  K and folate, as well as the mineral molybdenum, and is a very good source of fiber, minerals manganese, potassium, copper, and iron, as well as vitamins biotin, B1 (thiamin) and C. Cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamin K. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene and vitamin C. Red onions are rich in quercetin, a type of antioxidant, as well as vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, folate, thiamin, and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Food & Nutrition's Zucchini Noodle Mei Fun with Chicken

Here is a great example of a delicious meal made with zucchini noodles - and lots of other great vegetables! I saw this picture on the front of my latest Food & Nutrition magazine, and had to make it.

Not only does it look nice, but it tastes so good, and is a really healthy and easy weeknight dinner. There is chili garlic paste in this recipe, which adds a lot of great flavor, but a little bit goes a long way. I put in about 1/3 of the amount that was called for, and it was plenty spicy. I also omitted the bean sprouts in the recipe because I don't care for them. But if you like bean sprouts, they're a nice addition for some added crunch and texture in the meal. 

If you're not sold on replacing regular noodles with zucchini noodles, this is the recipe to try!

Food & Nutrition's Zucchini Noodle Mei Fun with Chicken

Makes ~4 servings


2 medium organic zucchinis
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp chili garlic paste
2 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
1 large organic egg
1 organic chicken breast, cubed
1/2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 organic red bell pepper, sliced thin
5 organic scallions, chopped


1. Spiralize zucchini into noodles. Cover and set aside.

2. In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and chili garlic paste. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium-high heat. Scramble egg then remove from pan and reserve for later.

4. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil to same pan and heat. Add chicken and garlic. Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes.

5. Add onion and pepper and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. 

6. Add egg and sauce mixture to pan and simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes. 

7. Remove pan from heat and add zucchini noodles. Toss until evenly combined. Top with green onions.

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C and also provides fiber, manganese, lutein and zeaxanthin (phytonutrients that are good for eyesight). Compared with traditional noodles, zucchini is much lower in calories, providing about 21 calories per cup. Traditional pasta provides about 200 calories per cup! Zucchini noodles are a fresh, whole food, whereas noodles are an enriched processed food product. Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is rich in B vitamins. Garlic is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Bell peppers are one of the best food sources of vitamins A and C. Onions are rich in quercetin, a type of antioxidant, as well as vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, folate, thiamin, and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shrimp Flat Bread Pizza

On a recent rainy day, my little guy and I decided to make some pizza dough to use for making flat bread pizza that night. He came to the kitchen equipped with his work goggles and then enjoyed playing with the dough when it was all mixed and ready to rise. We had a lot of fun, and ended up making our best ever homemade pizza!

Shrimp Flat Bread Pizza


Pizza Crust:
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1Tbsp kosher salt
1/4 oz active dry yeast
1Tbsp sugar
2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 pound cooked shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 organic red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced red onion
Olive oil, for brushing on rolled-out dough (~2 tsp)
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (~2 tsp)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1/2 cup organic curly parsley, chopped


1. To make pizza dough, place flour and salt in large mixer with dough hook attached. Combine water, yeast and sugar in large measuring cup or small bowl and mix with a fork. Let sit for 5 minutes. Turn mixer on low and slowly add yeast mixture. Once all yeast mixture is added, allow dough hook to continue kneading dough for about 3 minutes.  Cover dough and bowl and allow to rise for about 2 hours. If you are not using the dough for several hours, place it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Oil rectangular baking sheet with olive oil.

3. On floured surface, roll out 1/4 of pizza dough into thin rectangular shape. Place dough on oiled baking sheet. Lightly brush dough with olive oil. Top with shrimp, bell pepper, onion, balsamic vinegar, and cheeses.

4. Bake for 13 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Top with parsley and serve.

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Whole wheat flour is less refined than all purpose flour so provides more fiber and nutrients, particularly B vitamins, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, and iron. Shrimp are an excellent source of protein, providing 18g of protein in a 3oz serving. Shrimp are also a good source of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Bell peppers are one of the best food sources of vitamins A and C. Onions are rich in quercetin, a type of antioxidant, as well as vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, folate, thiamin, and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Not All Convenience Foods are Created Equal

Not All Convenience Foods are Created Equal

There is a lot of talk about "clean eating" and not eating anything that comes out of a package. Generally, I would agree with this suggestion. But there are some great pre-packaged and convenience options available if you look for them - usually in your produce section! I often hear from people that making salads is so much work because there is a lot to cut up (and I can't disagree, especially when there's not a lot of time for making dinner). Instead of buying lots of veggies that you have to cut up, fill up a container of fresh already-chopped vegetables from the salad bar at your grocery store, and grab a container of pre-washed organic salad greens of your choice. This is a pure convenience and pre-packaged dinner, but still really good for you!

I was recently introduced to this amazing Trader Joe's pre-washed, pre-packaged salad kit by my friend, Beth (thanks Beth!).  It is a broccoli and kale slaw that comes with a package of dried cherries, a mixture of almonds and sunflower seeds, and the dressing. I've been mixing it in with some organic spinach leaves and topping it off with grilled chicken for a super easy and healthy dinner.

Trader Joe's has a couple of other mixes with different types of lettuce and toppings that look really good as well! You can check them out in the produce section by the bagged pre-washed lettuce.

Another convenience option I recently learned about is that our grocery store (Mariano's) will grill any raw meat, poultry or fish for you - free of charge! So you could go in and grab some wild salmon or organic chicken breasts, and they will grill them for you while you finish shopping. What a great way to get most of your dinner cooked without having to do a thing (except the grocery shopping that you had to do anyway!). Why not have the store grill a package of chicken breasts while you go grab some hummus and a couple bags of pre-peeled, washed and cut organic carrots and sugar snap peas to go with it? Another purely convenience and pre-packaged dinner that is completely healthy and delicious!

The time and inconvenience of food preparation can be a major hurtle standing in the way of providing healthy meals for yourself and your family. It's a hurtle for me, too! It's time consuming to plan meals for the week, shop for all the ingredients and then prepare/cook them. But luckily, there are some healthy and convenient options available that taste good and will leave you feeling less stressed and more satisfied that you provided a healthy meal for your family :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Savory Salmon & Roasted Green Beans

Our grocery store has had the best wild sockeye salmon recently and we've been eating this dinner once a week. My father-in-law gave us a jar of Urban Accents Fisherman's Wharf seafood seasoning, and we use it on both the salmon and the green beans. 

This is my favorite meal to cook on swimming lesson nights because we get home pretty much right at dinner time so I don't have much time to cook. To make it as easy as possible, I buy the bags of pre-washed green beans that already have the ends removed. It takes me less than 5 minutes to prep everything and then 20 minutes later, it's ready to come out of the oven. We've been loving putting fresh squeezed lemon juice on both the salmon and the green beans - the perfect complement to both! 

Savory Salmon & Roasted Green Beans

Savory Salmon

Makes ~2 servings


3/4 pound wild sockeye salmon, with skin
Fisherman's Wharf seafood seasoning (or other favorite seasoning blend), to taste
Fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place fish on foil, skin side down.

3. Season fish with seafood seasoning. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

4. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and serve.

Roasted Green Beans


16 ounce bag pre-washed green beans (with ends removed)
Fisherman's Wharf seafood seasoning, to taste
Olive oil, for drizzling

Fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place green beans in baking dish. Season with seafood seasoning and drizzle with olive oil. Stir to evenly coat beans. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and serve.

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Wild salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin D, and protein. Green beans are a great source of vitamin A, C and K, as well as fiber.