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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad

This meat and vegetable based pasta salad is a perfect meal for a picnic. It’s easy to pack up in a basket or toss in your travel backpack and enjoy anywhere.

1 cup cooked Clearly Organic Whole Wheat Rotini
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup cooked Italian sausage chunks
1 cup red, green and/or yellow pepper chunks
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 cup canned artichokes, drained and sliced
1/2 cup black olive slices
1/2 cup Colby cheese cut into small chunks
1 cup Clearly Organic Italian dressing

Cook whole rotini noodles according to package. Place cooked noodles into a medium size mixing bowl. Cut cooked chicken and Italian sausage into chunks and place in mixing bowl with the noodles and stir. Chop peppers and broccoli and add to meat in mixing bowl. Drain canned artichokes and olives. Slice olives and artichokes and add to mixing bowl. Add Clearly Organic Italian dressing and toss mixture. Just before serving, chunk cheese and add to salad.

Variations: This can be a vegetarian dish. Simply omit the chicken and sausage and add extra broccoli and peppers.

Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad
Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Simple Summer Salad

1 (5 oz) pkg organic mixed field greens
1 (6 oz) pkg raspberries, rinsed and pat dry
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted or candied
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, cubed
1 thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Raspberry Vinaigrette salad dressing

Place Mixed field greens in a salad bowl. Top with raspberries, walnuts, goat cheese, avocado and green onion. If desired mix salad dressing in with the mixture and toss, or serve salad dressing on the side. This salad also tastes great topped with grilled chicken.

Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Simple Summer Salad
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Seed Muffins

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Apple Sauce
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup Clearly Organic All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon

In a small mixing bowl whisk together eggs, orange juice, apple sauce and oil. Add chia seeds and oats to the liquid and stir to combine. Let mixture sit for at least ten minutes while you prepare the rest of the batter. Chia seeds need to soak for the nutrients to be released. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl and stir until evenly distributed. Add OJ mixture into the flour mixture until ingredients are just combined. OJ mixture will be slightly gelled after soaking for 10 minutes. Gently fold blueberries into batter. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small ramekin, then sprinkle over unbaked muffins. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.

Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins
Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins
Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins
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Nutritionist Corner: Reading Ingredient Lists

It’s difficult to know what to prioritize when looking at a food label. Between the fine print of the ingredient list, and the mess of the Nutrition Facts chart it can be hard to know what words or numbers to scan for on a label. Not to mention the changing trends of health gimmicks that aim to catch our eye on the front of the package. However, one truth does remain, the nuts and bolts about what is in packaged food still lingers in the ingredient list.

Here are two things to look for when reading the ingredient list:

  1. The length of the ingredient list. I know this is an elusive recommendation, because how long is too long when it comes to ingredients? If the list is longer than around 5 ingredients, scan more closely to see what’s in the food you are holding. Leading you to recommendation #2.
  2. Watch for certain words in the ingredient list. Try to limit or avoid foods with the words “modified”, “enriched”, “color” and “soy lecithin”. These words typically imply that the food is genetically engineered and contains GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).

One of the best labels to look for on the front of a package is the USDA Certified Organic label. This is one way to ensure you’re consuming food that is not genetically modified, and contains limited or no extra processing.

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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Chicken Salad

2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise (store bought or homemade, see recipe on blog)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups diced chicken
1 cup finely diced celery
3/4 cup red grapes, halved
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Toast slivered almonds in a sauté pan, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove almonds from pan and set aside. Combine lemon juice, mayonnaise and salt. Vigorously whisk the 3 ingredients together in a bowl. Gently stir in chicken, celery and grapes. This mixture can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Add almonds just before serving.

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The chicken salad can be served in bib lettuce cups.

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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Homemade Mayonnaise

3 egg yolks at room temperature
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard spice
2/3 cup Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1/3 cup organic coconut oil (warm)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place egg yolks into a blender and blend until smooth. Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper, and slowly blend until evenly distributed. Very slowly add olive oil while blending. The mixture will start to emulsify as you add oil. Blend for 1-2 minutes before adding coconut oil. Add additional warm coconut oil slowly. Scrape sides of blender and blend for another 1-2 minutes.
Variations: 1 cup Clearly Organic Olive Oil or canola oil can be used verses adding coconut oil.
This mayo recipe goes great on Chicken Salad.


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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Roasted Vegetables and Chicken

2 lbs free-range boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 cups squash or zucchini, cut in chunks
1 cup red onion, cut into chunks
1 cup red and yellow peppers, cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning (see recipe on blog)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves of crushed garlic (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a large freezer bag. Seal and toss mixture until ingredients are distributed evenly. Store in refrigerator over night. When you are ready to roast the mix preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place contents from the bag onto a greased pan or baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Check to be sure chicken is cooked through. Broil for 2 minutes so chicken can be golden on top and veggies can be crisp. Serve with a mixed green salad.

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Nutritionist Corner: Make Ahead Meals

After a long day at the office or an endless afternoon taking care of your children, cooking dinner can become a daunting task. The thought of starting to cook dinner when you’re already hungry usually becomes very challenging. That’s when it’s tempting for the cook to cut corners on a recipe for the sake of time. Furthermore, we can all relate to the overly busy day that leads you to get take out and call it done.

Making meals ahead of time can be a lifesaver for a busy lifestyle. If you chop and season meat and vegetables ahead of time it becomes much easier to provide a well balanced fresh meal for your entire family. By setting aside one hour once a week, to chop and prepare food, it could be possible to make meals for up to a week.

My favorite “make ahead meal” is roasted veggies and chicken. I put two free-range boneless skinless chicken breast in a large ziplock bag with 4 cups of my favorite chopped fresh veggies. I like to use red and yellow peppers, mushroom and red onion. I then add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of my homemade Italian seasoning. Then I’m set for when I walk in the door, starving, at 5:30pm. When I come home all I have to do is take my mixture out of the bag, place it on a greased pan and roast it at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. The uncooked chicken and chopped vegetable mix can also be put in the freezer and used at a later date. Watch for more “make ahead meal” recipes next week.

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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Homemade Italian Seasoning

Homemade Italian Seasoning

2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Basil
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Parsley
2 Tablespoons Organic Oregano
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

In a small bowl mix together each of the spices. Store in an air tight container for up to 6 months.

Nutritionist Corner: Homemade Italian Seasoning
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

1 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 Clearly Organic Eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon oats for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with Clearly Organic cooking spray. In a mixing bowl add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir dry ingredients until evenly mixed. In a small bowl add blueberries and 2 Tablespoons of the flour mix, this will prevent berries from sinking to the bottom of the loaf pan. Toss blueberries until they are lightly coated with flour mix. In a separate mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, yogurt and oil until well blended. Stir in dry ingredients to the sugar mix in 3 batches until all ingredients are well incorporated. Gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest. Add batter to prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of oats over the batter and bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes in loaf pan, then remove and let cool for an additional 20 minutes.

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