Comments Off on Food Sensitivity Elimination diet: Nightshade Ratatouille

Food Sensitivity Elimination diet: Nightshade Ratatouille

Category : Healthy Eating

This is my mini-chronicle of following the Dr. Oz and Dr. Hyman Food Sensitivity Elimination diet.  The beginning of this series and the links to the elimination diet can be found in this link: Click Here.

OK, my evil plan was a success and I was able to eat my brother-in-law’s incredible marinara and amazing ratatouille at my Mom’s birthday. Let me rephrase that; In pursuit of the scientific study of my diet, I risked fatigue and potentially worse by adding nightshades back into my diet.  And I loved every minute of it and my only reaction was Yum!

So it turns out that Ratatouille is the perfect dish for testing out nightshade sensitivity.   This is because the two main ingredients are eggplant and tomatoes, two of the primary members of the nightshades.  Other nightshades include red peppers (both hot and sweet), the spices paprika and cayenne, and potatoes.  I don’t eat these every day, so I wasn’t expecting trouble.

I’ve never had ratatouille before and I have to say it was absolutely delicious.  Of course, my brother-in-law is an amazing chef, so that is a large part of why it was so good.  He said that he grilled all the vegetables first to give it that bit of smokiness, but otherwise followed a basic ratatouille recipe.

I found a highly rated recipe from, the bon apetit recipe website, that I will be trying.  Epicurious Ratatouille, Click Here.  It’s a great way to get those vegetable servings that Karin has been promoting during March nutrition month.

Comments Off on The only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed!

The only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed!

Category : Healthy Eating

We’ve been meaning to share this amazing recipe from Eben Erhard ever since he unexpectedly showed up on our door step one winter in December with a sample.  Truly the only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed.  If you don’t know Eben, he is the husband of our trainer Lori. 

Here’s a note from Eben:

“On a whim for Thanksgiving I decided that along with the standard boring side dishes, I should add something healthy to the menu and what’s not to love about Brussels sprouts?  Lots, according to some people I guess, but I was not to be deterred.  What I came up with seemed to be more than palatable.  I hope you will agree.

The lovely Brussels Sprout is a great fall vegetable and cool to grow even you are reluctant to eat it.  They take the cold temperatures of fall and store well making them a great late season food.  My initial sprouts came from the grocery store, but later I found some in their natural form at the Green Bay winter farmer’s market.”

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form









Ingredients for Brussels Sprouts ala Eben:

1 – 2 cups of Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size.

1/3 T Coarse salt: Kosher Sea Salt

1T Olive oil

1 stalk celery

¼ cup chopped onions

1 small apple (or 3/4s of one if you are hungry)

¼ pepitas (pumpkin seeds – I used roasted with no salt)


Shake the Brussels sprouts in a sealed container with enough olive oil to coat and a scant ½ teaspoon of salt. 

Place on cookie sheet or other backing pan and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Brussel Sprouts ready for roasting






While the sprouts are roasting chop up the onion, celery and apples into ¼ to ½ inch pieces. 

Other key ingredients

Other key ingredients clockwise: pepitas, celery, onion, apple








After the sprouts have been in the oven for 15 minutes, caramelize the onions with some olive oil over medium high heat.  After about 1-2 minutes add the celery.  Cook until the onions have a nice translucent quality stirring often.  Add Brussels sprouts, apples and pepitas and cook for a minute or so until the chill is taken off the apples and you are ready to serve.

Brussel sprouts-the finished product







Nutrition Analysis:  Makes 3  servings.  175 calories/serving including 6g protein, 16g carbs, 10g fat, and 4 g of fiber.

Comments Off on Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins

Category : Healthy Eating

Zuchinni muffins GFThe zucchinis are still in abundance, so here’s another delicious recipe using our favorite summer squash! Thanks to Gini M. for the recipe from her cookbook, “Grain-Free Gourmet” and introducing us to almond flour. Thanks to Jennifer for the zucchini AND thanks to Jasmine for grating the zucchini!!  Note that this is not a low calorie food but is gluten and grain free.

Makes one 8×4-inch loaf or 12 muffins


3 heaping cups grated zucchini photo (4)

4 1/2 cups almond flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup oil (we used canola oil)

6 Tbsp. honey

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. cider vinegar

1 cup chocolate chips (optional…we added the chips; they were not in the original recipe)


1) pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

2) peel and grate zucchini. Place in middle of dish towel; gather sides and wring out as much liquid as you can. Set aside.

3) in  a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

4) in another bowl, combine the eggs, oil, honey, vanilla, cider vinegar. Then add the grated zucchini & chocolate chips (optional) to this mixture.

5) add the wet ingredients t0 the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.

Zuchinni muffins GF 2

6) For muffins, evenly fill each baking cup with the batter. We like to use an ice cream scoop. Bake for 30 minutes & check (the cookbook called for 50 minutes which seemed like way too much time and I am glad I did not leave them in that long) They are done when the top springs back when lightly touched. For a loaf, scoop the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.

Note about the nutrition facts:  Almond flour is a VERY dense food and is helpful for anyone avoiding grains or gluten.   When you eat one of these muffins you will very satisfied for a long time due in part to having 21% of your daily fiber (2000 calorie diet) and a high but healthy fat content.   Have we mentioned that fat doesn’t make you fat? It’s the removal of fat from carbohydrates that drives your hunger?  So with that little disclaimer, here’s your nutrition facts!

Serving size: 1/12th batch or 1 muffin

Calories: 381  Fat: 28g  Carbohydrates: 21g  Protein: 11g  Fiber: 5g  Sodium: 272mg



Comments Off on Friday Foodie: Zucchini Quiche on the Grill

Friday Foodie: Zucchini Quiche on the Grill

Category : Healthy Eating

So it turns out that real men not only eat quiche, they make it on the grill! The idea of baking things in my kitchen while the air conditioning is running is just unthinkable so Iphoto (4) resorted to using the grill as my oven and it worked reasonably well. Previously this summer I’ve baked lasagna and boiled a few dinners. It’s my summer kitchen.

This week’s Friday Foodie is Gini M. who introduced me to the recipe I adapted from Grain-Free Gourmet authors Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass. Thanks also to our business manager, Jennifer, who supplied the monster zucchini and Grandma Zuehlke from whom I inherited the 9×13 aluminum pan that is a prized possession in our kitchen. I doubled the quantities to make a 9×13″ pan to ensure leftovers for lunches.

This is not a ‘low calorie’ nor a ‘low fat’ recipe, however it is extremely satisfying and is a Low Carb Meal for our VEMMA carb-cycling clients .

Zucchini Crusted Quiche (makes 9×13″ pan, cut in half for a 9 or 10″ pie pan)
4 cups shredded zucchini patted dry

Zucchini Crust!

Zucchini Crust!

2 eggs
1 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese or Mozzarella cheese

8 eggs
2 cups plain yogurt ((I used 50/50 yogurt/cottage cheese)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 10oz chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese (I just used Mozzarella because I had it)
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup parmesan and 1 cup Mozzarella)

1. Preheat your oven to 350′ or turn all burners on your grill to low (obviously not an exact science, but since when has my cooking been scientific?)

Chopped Spinach

Chopped Spinach

2. Grate a Wisconsin-sized zucchini, then use a towel to squeeze all the excess water out of it to get about 4 cups of shredded Zucchini.
3. Mix shredded zucchini with 2 eggs and 1 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese.
4. Press into a lightly greased 9×13″ pan and up the sides a bit to make the ‘crust’
5. Bake the crust for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and the edges are browned.

1. Make the batter: Mix together 8 eggs, 2 cups of plain yogurt, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cayenne and black pepper.
2. Distribute the chopped spinach on top of the cooked zucchini crust.
3. Layer the cheeses on top.
4. Pour the batter on top.
5. Turn up the grill to medium high (oven to 450′) and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Reduce the grill to low (oven to 350′) and bake 20-30 minutes.
7. Remove from the grill/oven when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Zucchini Crusted Quiche

Zucchini Crusted Quiche

Nutrition (estimated)
Serving size 1/12 pan (3″x 4″ piece)
Calories: 322
Protein: 27g
Fat: 20g
Carbs: 10g
Sodium: 710mg (fairly high, try omitting salt to drop to 560mg/serving)

Comments Off on XO Friday Foodie: Super Simple Salmon Patties (Low Carb, Gluten Free)

XO Friday Foodie: Super Simple Salmon Patties (Low Carb, Gluten Free)

Category : Healthy Eating

Sometimes it’s nice to simplify something already simple.  Too many ingredients and preparation equals a big mess.  With many of our clients trying out our Smart Loss Seminars and learning how to cycle their carbohydrates to break weight loss plateaus, we decided that it was time to simplify our already simple Salmon Patties.   

Low Carb Salmon Pattie
1 pouch (5oz) of Salmon   (See the original recipe
Salmon Pattie with Roasted Cauliflower

Salmon Pattie

if you want to use a larger, less expensive can of salmon)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 pinch of black pepper 
Drain any juice out of the pouch of Salmon and place into the bowl with the egg and all spices.  Mix up with a fork until you have a mixture that is Pattie-worthy.
Form into a pattie about the size of your hand.   Some will be able to form into patties and arrange onto a pre-heated, canola or olive oil sprayed pan.  Brown on both sides. 
The photo shows our favorite way to make Cauliflower: Roasted! (posted back in March 2012) Easy smeezy.  Slice a rinsed head of Cauliflower and slice it into 3/4″ slices.  It will crumble up a bit, but who cares?  Arrange the slices and pieces of cauliflower onto a cooking sprayed jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with low lip) and season with your favorite seasonings.  We like to flavor with Celery Salt and Pepper but you can season it with darn near everything.  All you do then is pop it in the oven at 375′ and cook until a bit browned.  Serve and be praised!  

Comments Off on Friday Foodie: Blackened Fish Tacos

Friday Foodie: Blackened Fish Tacos

Category : Healthy Eating

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Our client Anne M recommended these and they are delicious AND easy.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light’s March 2011 issue.  As advertised, when you add the optional sauce, they taste like something right off the food truck!  Gluten free too.
Optional Jalapeno sauce
Puree together:
    1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt (or reduced fat Sour Cream)
    2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro
    2 Tablespoons fresh Lime Juice
    1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
Then add but do not blend:
Jalapeno Sauce
Jalapeno-Onion Sauce
     1 cup thinly sliced White Onion
 Blackening Spice
Mix together:
    1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika
    1 1/2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
    1 teaspoon dry Oregano
    3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
    1/4 teaspoon ground Red Pepper (cayenne or chipotle)  (I used 1/8 teaspoon so I wouldn’t freak out the kids)
Note:  You could make double or triple and store the extra in a shaker to make this recipe faster
Blacken that Fish!
Spice mixture
Sprinkle the Blackening Spice to evenly coat:
     1 lb to 1 1/2lbs of Tilapia (defrosted and patted dry with a paper towel)
Next, Heat 1 Tablespoon canola oil on medium -high heat in a frying pan.   Cook the fish for about 3 minutes per side.  Fish should flake when done.
Serve immediately with:
Preheated Corn Tortillas
Lime Wedges
Avocado (thinly sliced)
Jalepeno sauce (optional)