Paula Recommends ...Zucchini and Onion Frittata

Presenting a delicious, nutritious take on a zucchini and onion frittata, just in time for summer’s favorite squash. Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C along with fiber and potassium. Well-known in the Mediterranean diet, the frittata can be enriched with a variety of seasonal vegetables and/or cheeses to create your own personal dish. Try tomatoes, leeks, mushrooms, asparagus …use your culinary imagination. - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

Cooking spray, preferably olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
8 oz. zucchini (1 medium), cut into 1/8-inch rounds
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut cross-wise into thin slices
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Coat large skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat.
2. Sauté onion until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Mix in garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until onion is lightly browned. Transfer contents of skillet to plate to cool.
4. Coat skillet again with cooking spray and return to heat. Using tongs, spread and turn zucchini to slightly brown slices on both sides. Add to onion mixture. Wipe out skillet.
5. In mixing bowl, whisk eggs and whites until well combined. Mix in cheese, salt and pepper. Add vegetables and basil, and mix with fork to combine with eggs.
6. Add oil to skillet and evenly coat. Set over medium-high heat. Pour in egg mixture, spreading zucchini and onion in an even layer. As eggs start to set, use wide spatula to lift frittata around edges while tilting skillet slightly so liquid egg flows out and under the edges.
7. Cook until frittata is soft brown on bottom and set except in center, about 8 minutes. Off heat, invert large plate over skillet. Pressing it firmly in place against the skillet, invert the two so frittata falls from pan onto plate.
8. Slide frittata back into skillet and cook to lightly brown bottom, 1-2 minutes longer. Slide frittata onto serving plate. Serve immediately, or cool frittata to room temperature before serving. Cut into 4 wedges, and serve.

Note: This frittata also can be covered and refrigerated overnight.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 138 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat),  5g carbohydrate, 9g protein; 1g fiber, 419mg sodium 

Paula Recommends ...Strawberry Chia Smoothie

This blend of fruit, milk and seeds is chock full of protein, calcium, vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber. That's why we also call it a Superfood Smoothie and a great way to start the day or to refuel after a workout. Strawberries contain ellagic acid, which may act as an antioxidant and decrease inflammation. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, rich in omega-3s and a good protein source. It's a delicious and satisfying quick-fix with the same amount of fiber as a bowl of oatmeal …all for less than 250 calories.  - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

3/4 cup skim milk
4 teaspoons chia seeds
1 cup fresh strawberries (or frozen is fine)
1 Tablespoon strawberry all-fruit spread, or to taste if desired
2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In blender, place milk and chia seeds and let sit while measuring remaining ingredients.
2. Add strawberries, (a few ice cubes if using fresh strawberries), preserves, orange zest, ginger and vanilla to blender.
3. Whirl on high speed until smoothie is blended and creamy, about 1 minute.
4. Pour smoothie into tall glass and serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 249 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat),  44g carbohydrate, 9g protein; 9g dietary fiber, 90mg sodium 

Paula Recommends ...White Bean & Yogurt Green Goddess Dressing

It's summer time and the livin' is delicious ...and nutritious! Fresh herbs are everywhere and they, along with the white beans in this recipe pack a huge a plant-based health punch. From preventing the growth of cancer cells and keeping your heart healthy to helping manage arthritis and reducing inflammation, wellness never tasted so good. - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

Note: Dried herbs are stronger than fresh. When using dried herbs crumble or crush them to release flavor. Use 2x to 3x times more fresh than dried. Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking. 

1 small garlic clove, halved, green shoot removed
1⁄2 cup cooked white beans (drained and rinsed if using canned beans)
1⁄2 cup whole milk or 2 percent Greek yogurt or regular yogurt
1 ice cube (if using Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Process garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until minced garlic is adhering to sides. Stop processor and scrape down.
2. Add beans, yogurt, ice cube, tarragon, parsley and chives and process until smooth.
3. With machine running, add lemon juice, salt and olive oil and process until mixture is smooth.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning.
5. Scrape into a bowl. Serve as a dip or use with crisp salads

Note: It’s a bit too thick for delicate lettuces like spring mixes.

Nutritional information per serving: Serves 8. Per serving: 70 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat, 1g polyunsaturated fat, 2g monounsaturated fat), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 4g carbohydrate, 2g protein; 1g dietary fiber, 6 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste) 


Paula Recommends ...Gluten Free Chocolate Walnut Brownies

This sweet treat is chock full of healthy fats (walnuts and olive oil) phytochemicals (dark chocolate, cocoa, maple syrup) fiber, protein, and deliciousness while keeping added sugar to a minimum. Plus, they are dairy and gluten free.
- Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
8 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao) chopped
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt
2/3 cup almond flour
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with oil. Line with parchment, leaving overhang. Brush parchment with oil
3. Melt half of chocolate in a heatproof bowl; whisk in oil, sugar and syrup. Remove from heat.
4. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, then cocoa, baking soda and salt
5. Fold in flour and remaining chocolate
6. Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with walnuts
7. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes
8. Let cool completely on a wire rack
9. To serve, cut into 16 2-inch squares

Nutrition information: per serving (1 brownie): 206 calories, 16g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 17 carbs, 3g protein, 2 g fiber.

Paula Recommends ...Chocolate Coconut Cake

A little whipped cream and a pile of luscious berries completes the transformation of this healthier take on a decadent dessert for a special occasion. The coconut flour adds interesting flavor and makes this treat gluten free. Cocoa powder is a good source of protein, potassium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Eggs add protein and sugar is kept to about half the recommendation for daily added sugar. - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

½ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 Tablespoons butter
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf pan or an 8" square cake pan.
2. Sift together the coconut flour and baking powder, mixing to combine; set aside.
3. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter with the cocoa, stirring until well blended.
4. Whisk the sugar, salt, vanilla and eggs into the butter cocoa mixture. Add the coconut flour and baking powder, whisking until smooth.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
6. Bake the loaf or cake until set, and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. This will take 35 to 45 minutes for the loaf pan, or 30 to 35 minutes for the square pan.
7. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely. The cake is easiest to slice when it’s completely cool.

Note: Prep time: 15 minutes. Bake time: approximately 35 minutes. Total prep time: approximately one hour.

Nutritional information: Makes 12 servings. Per serving: 165 calories; 9 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat);  18 grams carbohydrate; 4.6 grams protein; 3.2 grams dietary fiber; 153 milligrams sodium

Eating for the Health of It

Enjoy the Holidays Without Guilt

By Karen Sabbath, MS, RD, CSO

The holiday season presents challenges for even the most disciplined eaters. From holiday parties, gatherings of family, friends and co-workers, treats and gift baskets at work and bags of homemade cookies, the focus seems to be food, food, food. Is it possible to eat well and get through to January without packing on the pounds? Absolutely...and here's how!

Enjoy your favorite holiday dishes in small portions...moderation is the key. Take a pass on foods that are less tempting.

Alcohol can be a source of excess calories AND it can stimulate your appetite. You can stretch your alcoholic beverage by adding club soda, fruit juice or diet soda OR avoid it altogether by having another beverage. Try to limit your alcohol to 0-1 drink/d for women and no more than 2/d for men. (1 drink=5 oz. wine, 1 ½ oz. hard alcohol, 12 oz. beer)

Try not to go to a party or family gathering if you are'll just eat more! If you have a small meal or snack before, preferably one with fiber and protein (like high fiber cereal and yogurt, or a half sandwich on whole wheat bread) you will eat less at "party time"

Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables and salad and go easy on the rich entrees or side dishes. Watch out for large portions.

Omit trans fats from your menu by avoiding processed foods.

Recipes can be made healthier by modifying for calories and fats especially if you are the chef!

Help your host or hostess by offering to bring a dish...make it healthy AND delicious. You'll know that there will be at least ONE thing you can eat.

Exercise a little more than usual to stay in shape and burn off those extra calories and pounds.

Allow yourself to eat and enjoy your food, but try to stop when you are satisfied instead of stuffed.

Look around at the foods that are available and make some decisions about what choices would be best, before digging into the first thing you see.

Talk to everyone in the room. Make family and friends the main focus instead of food. Socialize....away from the table!

Paula Recommends ...Puree of Winter Vegetable Soup

As the colder temperatures of winter approach in many parts of the country, what could be more soothing than a pureed vegetable soup? This recipe offers a robust mix of root vegetables, herbs and a touch of ginger. Root vegetables are a wonderful source of vitamin B ~ an important player in helping to lower cancer risk. At Mission, we stress the importance of balance, variety and quality and this recipe delivers on all three. One of the ways to increase variety is to try a new food as least once a month. Kohlrabi anyone?

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ lb. leeks (1 large or 2 small), white and green parts sliced
½ lb. carrots (2 large), peeled and sliced
½ lb. kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled and diced
½ lb. turnips, peeled and diced
6 oz. potatoes (2 medium), peeled and diced
1 medium butternut squash, about 2 lbs, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced about the same size as the squash
1 ½ quarts water, chicken stock or vegetable stock (see note)
2 fat slices fresh ginger, peeled
1 bay leaf
Couple sprigs each of thyme and parsley
12 peppercorns
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.  Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven.
2. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften (about three minutes).
3. Add the leeks and a generous pinch of salt then cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned (about five more minutes).
4. Add the carrots, kohlrabi, turnips, potatoes and water or stock. Bring to a boil.
5. Meanwhile, wrap the ginger, bay leaf, thyme, parsley and peppercorns in cheesecloth. Tie them up to make a bouquet garni and add to the pot.
6. Add salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons), reduce the heat, cover and simmer one hour.
7. Remove the cheesecloth bag, and discard.
8. Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender. (Do not put the top on tightly; Cover the top with a towel to prevent hot splashes.)
9. Pour the soup through a strainer into a bowl; press the soup through the strainer with the back of a ladle or with a pestle.
10. Return to the pot and heat through. Add lots of freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust salt then serve.

Note: Finished soup will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Whisk before reheating.

Nutritional information: Makes about 6 servings. Per serving: 109 calories; 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 21 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams dietary fiber; 76 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 3 grams protein.



Primary Macronutrients and Why They Matter


The three primary macronutrients--protein, fat, and carbohydrates--all perform essential roles in the human body. Macronutrients are the main components of our diet. Our bodies require others nutrients as well, such as vitamins and minerals. However, these are needed in much smaller quantities, and thus are referred to as micronutrients. All three macronutrients are needed in the diet, as each perform vital functions in the body.

Protein should consist of about 10 to 35 percent of your diet. Protein builds, maintains and repairs body tissue. It is especially important to physically active individuals. Among its many functions, protein also aids in the immune process

2. Fat
The misconception about fat is that it is always bad for you. In fact, fat is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Your diet should consist of about 20 percent fat. The trick is to eat more of the good fats such as nuts, avocados, and olive oil and less of the bad fats.

Fat has many roles in the human body including promoting growth and development, as well as maintaining cell membranes. Additionally, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins, meaning they need fat in order to be absorbed into the body.

Carbohydrates are the main energy source of the body. For this reason, your diet should consist of at least 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in many foods. However, you should stay away from sweet foods with excess sugar. Instead, opt for healthier options like fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts, as well as whole grains.

For the complete article, click here.

Paula Recommends ...Red Lentils

Protein, as one of the three macronutrients,* is an important part of a healthy diet. Plant sources of protein such as lentils are high on the list of foods recommended by the American Cancer Society in its prevention guidelines. Lentils are hearty, convenient and cheap. They have plenty of potassium, iron and vitamin B-1 ...and every cooked cup contains a hefty 18 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber and only 230 calories! Here are two delicious ways to prepare red lentils.

Classic Red Lentils (for a hearty winter dish)
1 cup red lentils
2 cups of water
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic
extra-virgin olive oil
black pepper

1. Combine red lentils, water, bay leaf and garlic clove.
2. Simmer until tender, 8-10 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaf and garlic.
4. Add scant salt to taste.
5. Drizzle each serving with 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Nutritional information: Makes 3 one-cup servings. Per serving: 290 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 18 grams protein; 40 grams carbohydrate; 9 grams fiber; 300 milligrams sodium 

Greek-Style Red Lentil Salad
1 cup dried red lentils
6 cups water
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 lemon (juice + zest)
1/4  cup red wine vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup fresh Italian parsley
½ cup Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (any tomato is fine)
1⁄4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup fennel bulb, finely diced
1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1. Bring lentils and water to a boil and cook for 5 minutes (or until lentils are al dente).
2. Drain and rinse under cold water.
3. In a bowl, toss the lentils with the oregano, lemon juice and zest, and vinegar.
4. Allow the mix to marinate for at least 2 hours.
Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and serve.

Nutritional information: Serves 6. Per serving: 150 calories; 3 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 7 grams fiber; 200 milligrams sodium; 24 grams carbohydrate; 9 grams protein