Shrimp Quinoa Casserole

Super easy to prepare and packed with protein!

Difficulty: Easy
Total Number of Servings: 4
Serving Size: approximately 1 cup


¾ lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
½ C chopped onion
½ tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp olive oil
2½ tsp cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2½ C cooked quinoa


1. Toss the shrimp and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning together, set aside.
2. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, set aside.
3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet.) 4. Cook the shrimp until opaque, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Cook until the onion and jalapeno are tender, stirring often. Mix in the quinoa, tomato paste, ½ tsp Cajun seasoning and tomato. Top with the shrimp.
6. Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Berry Basil Pops

There is nothing better than a cold treat after being out in the heat on a hot summer day, the problem is traditional popsicles are loaded with sugar, dye and low in nutrients.  Try this easy homemade version for a twist.

Prep: 5 min.
Assembly: 2 min.
Cook: let freeze approx. 1 hour
Yields: 4 pops


1 c fresh or frozen berries of your choice (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and black berries)
½ c pure pomegranate juice
½ c water
¼ c fresh basil chopped


Blend all ingredients until smooth and pour into Popsicle molds. Freeze and serve when ready.

Summer Grilling Tips

By Dana Yarn, RDLD

Grilling is a great way to prepare food at home, at a park, camp site or at a bonfire.  Grilling controls the fat content, maintains flavor and is a quick way to prepare a meal on the fly.  The best part of grilling for anyone who is busy is the minimal amount of dishes that need to be washed.

Grilling Tips:

Marinade meats 24 hours prior to placing on the grill to maintain flavor, and moisture while grilling.  Especially boneless skinless chicken breast, these tend to dry out quickly.

Grill vegetables to avoid losing nutrients, over cooking vegetables while steaming on stovetop reduces nutrient content and fiber.  Lightly coat in olive oil and fresh or dried herbs and wrap in foil or grill pan.

Don’t forget about dessert.  The grill is not just for meat, and veggies, dessert like banana boat S’mores, grilled pineapple skewers, and grilled cinnamon apple slices are all healthy sweet treats that can prepared on the grill.

Grilling safety and food safety tips:  It is important to keep safety in mind especially with children around at a campsite or fire pit.  Food preparation and storage are essential in reducing bacteria exposure.  

• Avoid foods that may produce dripping fat. Foods that can create hot, drippy fat as they cook-certain cuts of steak, bacon-may cause flare-ups and should be avoided.  Avoid cooking with oils, this may cause a flame flare up too.  A Dutch oven offers more reliable heat than a frying pan with added protection from splatters.

• Keep it cold or not, nothing in between. Pulling raw meat or poultry out of your fridge for your outing? Make sure you keep the food well packed in ice leading up to grill time: Bacteria can grow dangerously on food that warms to between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, conditions that create a breeding ground for food-borne pathogens. Food should never sit out for more than three hours-or one hour, if the outdoor temperature is very hot.

When grilling, always use a meat thermometer. Food needs to be heated to between 140 degrees Fahrenheit and 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any food-borne pathogens.

• “If it goes in the campfire it stays in the campfire.” This rule is the most important to establish before the campfire is even lite.  A child may want to fish out the lost marshmallow, but make sure you have plenty extra so it can burn away if something drops in the fire.
• Put out, clean up, and secure your site. Always have a bucket of water or sand on hand to extinguish the fire when you’re done with it. Once the flames have been extinguished and the embers stop hissing, stir the ashes using a metal skewer. Pour on more water or sand. Repeat this process until the ashes are completely cold and wet or smothered.

Are You Getting In Enough Protein?

By Dana Yarn, RDLD

We have become a very “protein aware” society, it seems like every diet book and blog emphasizes the importance of getting adequate protein.  It is hard to believe that some of us still do not consume enough.  When I review a new client’s food recall almost half of the time there is still a lack of protein when the daily total grams are added up.  Lack of protein is especially common amongst women.  When women are trying to lose weight or lean out they tend to start cutting calories and since most women tend to enjoy eating carbohydrates more the daily protein is the nutrient group that is sacrificed over carbohydrates.

Here are some common signs and symptoms that you may not be getting enough protein. 

You are hungry and craving sweet and starchy foods.  It is common among dieters to eat low calorie cereal, bread or plain oatmeal in the morning, sure they may feel full for a short period of time but within an hour or two they feel like they never ate.  If that person were to have incorporated an egg or protein powder to their morning meal they would feel fuller and have less cravings.  Protein helps regulate our insulin hormones, preventing highs and lows allowing the body to metabolize fat and have steady energy levels.  It’s not about the daily calories it’s about the chemistry.

You find it difficult to concentrate. If you feel like you cannot get your thoughts together or mentally “foggy” you may be lacking protein.  Protein contains essential amino acids that help fuel our muscles.  Being deficient in amino acids can eventually cause muscle wasting and malnourishment resulting in a hindered ability to concentrate and focus.

If you get sick all of the time.  Our immune system thrives off of being nourished properly with adequate carbohydrates, fats, proteins, hydration and vitamins and minerals.  If one of these maco or micro nutrients is lacking then your immune system will not be as strong as it should be and more susceptible to getting sick when exposed to bacteria and viruses.  Those who eat a diet rich in all nutrients tend to get sick less often because they have built an immune system that is able to fight off sickness when exposed to certain bacteria and viruses.

How much protein should you eat daily? 

Protein can also be over consumed this is typically common in men, they double or even triple their protein scoops in shakes or have 10-12 ounces of meat in one sitting.  The body is typically only able to metabolize and absorb in one sitting 30-40 grams for women and 40-50 grams for men.  If you consuming more than that it is your kidney’s responsibility to filter out the excess, which can strain them over time.

Aim to consume .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of your GOAL body weight.  If you are 250 pounds but would like to get below 200 pounds do your calculations per the goal weight.  The higher side of the recommendations are for those exercise intensely often (ie. Runners, cyclist, weight lifters, body builders, etc.).

Grilled Greek Chicken

Flavorful grilled chicken that can be enjoyed with rice and veggies or over a bed of fresh greens.

Difficulty: Easy
Total Number of Servings: 8
Serving Size: approximately 1 chicken breast

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. Greek seasoning
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dried oregano
black pepper to taste

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Preheat grill to medium high. Put chicken on the grill and cook about 8 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook about 4-8 minutes on the other side, until chicken feels firm.