Posts Tagged With: recipe

Obama’s 3000+ Calorie Inaugural Luncheon

For those guests attending the 57th Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies today, January 21st, 2013, I might recommend skipping breakfast…and dinner. Why? Because the inaugural luncheon’s 3 courses add up to a whopping 3027 calories (and that doesn’t include the wine).  Most adults’ calorie needs are closer to 2000 calories, so a 3027 calorie lunch definitely provides more than enough calories for the entire day.

I am all for indulging yourself on certain special days such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, etc… and I suppose the 57th Presidential Inauguration falls into the “special event” category, so I’ll give a little leeway to those attending the luncheon. Heck, if I was invited, I’d try a little bit of everything.  It sounds pretty good, especially the hickory grilled bison in the second course. Yum!

You can find the menu items and even the recipes at the links below, if you feel like re-creating the luncheon for your family and friends.  Just be aware the calorie counts are a little crazy!!



Per Serving: Calories 783, Fat 45.7g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 247 mg, Sodium 1819 mg, Carbohydrates 55g, Dietary Fiber 7.5g, Sugar 14g, Protein 29g

Per Serving: Calories 1184, Fat 34.6g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 177mg, Sodium 7445mg, Carbohydrates, 149g, Dietary Fiber 16.7, Sugar 97.2g, Protein 51g

Per Serving: Calories 1060, Fat 64.4g, Saturated Fat 39g, Cholesterol 331mg, Sodium 488mg, Carbohydrates, 108.5g, Dietary Fiber 1.7g, Sugar 75g, Protein 14g


Calories 3027, Fat 145 g, Saturated Fat 71g, Sodium 9752 mg, Total Carbs 312.5g, Sugar 186.2g, Fiber 25.9g, Protein 94g

All this means that the lunch has around 43% calories from fat (21% calories from saturated fat!!), 41% from carbohydrates, and 12% from protein. Healthy recommendations are closer to 45-60% from carbohydrates, under 30% from fat, and 15-20% from protein. Additionally, the sodium content of the luncheon is close to 406% of recommended daily sodium intake! At least the lunch has fiber – 25.9g is within the healthy range for adults (around 25-35 g/day).

It is surprising that the first lady, Michelle Obama, through all her childhood obesity prevention and her Let’s Move campaign, didn’t take the inaugural luncheon as an opportunity to promote healthy eating.  “It was definitely a missed opportunity for nutrition education, for example, to offer lightened-up recipe alternatives (even if just on the website),” says Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CDN who compiled the nutrition data for this year’s inaugural luncheon.  Fighting childhood obesity is an important and noble cause, but lets not forget that as adults we have the responsibility to be good examples for kids, and that includes choosing to eat healthy.  Especially when there is such media attention surrounding this national event.

Categories: Current News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tis the Season for Pumpkin Rolls

My favorite fall food item that I love around the holidays is pumpkin. Even if I don’t eat it, I just like seeing jack-o-lanterns around Halloween and festive pumpkin centerpieces around Thanksgiving.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin rolls are great as well.

Today I decided to try my hand at making a pumpkin roll. I had made one before during my junior year of college but that was quite a while ago.  The recipe list is pretty basic so the only ingredients I had to plan ahead for and buy were cream cheese and canned pumpkin.

I used the recipe on the back of the “Libby’s Pumpkin” can label. I actually really like using the recipes that come on the back of boxes and canned items, because I figure that company has a chef who has tried out dozens of recipes to find the exact one that they know is good, and that they know the average person can make. Any recipe that has made it onto a package has been thoroughly tested and is worth trying!


  • Powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional…and I chose to forgo this option)


  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar (I didn’t sift it…)
  • 6 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar (for sprinkling on top of roll when finished, optional)

Spreading the batter on waxed paper (remember to grease both sides of the paper!)…Mine was 12.5 minutes at 375*F

Shake some powdered sugar on a clean, thin, cotton dish towel. You’ll use this to roll up the sheet cake with.

Flip the baked cake over onto the powdered-sugar-towel. Peel off the wax paper. Roll up in towel, and let cool.

When cooled, unroll and spread with the cream cheese filling. Roll back up, wrap with saran wrap, and stick it in the fridge. Mmmm…looks pretty good right now.

My finished product! Well, this is basically what mine will look like once it sets in the refrigerator. See now, isn’t that easy?

Detailed instructions can be found here. So please don’t be afraid of the pumpkin roll. Really, it’s super quick to make. Add cake ingredients in bowl, bake for 12-15 minutes, mix filling ingredients together…really it’s a quick and simple recipe that fits in with the season and is more impressive than your average muffins or quickbread.

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Healthy Recipe: Homemade Pumpkin Bread

Mmmmm….if there’s one thing I love baking, its quickbreads. They are super easy to make, freeze really well, are super customizable, and if you make them with vegetables and fruit, they can be somewhat guilt-free. 🙂 I have recipes I use for banana bread, chocolate-chip banana muffins, zucchini bread, zucchini-banana bread, and pumpkin bread.

Last week I decided to make some pumpkin bread, as I had nothing sweet in the apartment (!) and had some canned pumpkin on hand.

Here’s the recipe I used. I forget where I found the original, but I have tweaked it somewhat since, anyway:

Homemade Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • optional: 1/2 cup mix-ins, such as chopped walnuts, raisins, or white chocolate chips.

Makes: One 9x5x3 loaf pan (14 servings)

Ingredients all assembled

Step 1: Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

Step 2: Mix the remaining ingredients (pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices).

Step 3: Combine with the dry ingredients (don’t overmix).

Step 4: Pour into a 9x5x3″ loaf pan (pre-sprayed with cooking spray). Bake at 350*F for around 50-60 minutes until a knife poked in the middle of the bread comes out clean. This is usually around 55-60 minutes for me. Turn out of pan & let cool!

Soo great. It’s super moist thanks to the olive oil, sugar, and pumpkin, and I think it tastes great when you store it in a tupperware in the fridge and serve it a little chilled. But it’s also great served warm!

Nutrition Facts! Remember, this nutrition info is based on 1 slice, if you cut the loaf into 14 slices. If you slice your pumpkin bread into more slices, the calories will be less, and if you slice the bread into 13 or less slices, then the calories will be more than what is reflected below.

1/14th of the recipe (1 slice):

  • 187.2 calories
  • 8.7g fat
  • 1.3g saturated fat
  • 26.4mg cholesterol
  • 184.1mg sodium
  • 57.3mg potassium
  • 25.8g carbohydrate
  • 1.3g fiber
  • 14.9g sugar
  • 2.6g protein
  • 55.3% Vitamin A
  • and between 1-5% daily values for basically every other vitamin/mineral.

So the good news is that thanks to the pumpkin, we’ve got over half our percent daily value for vitamin A, from a single slice of bread! The other good news is, thanks to the heart-healthy olive oil, you have 7.4g of unsaturated fats and just 1.3g saturated fat. Someone on a 2000-calorie diet should be consuming 45-65g of total fat each day and no more than 15.5g of saturated fat each day, so pumpkin bread definitely can fit into a healthy diet.

And my favorite part– switching things up!

  • Try using 1.5 cups whole wheat flour, instead of a mix of both, and you’ll save 52 calories and add 11.2 g of fiber for the entire pan.
  • Try using brown sugar instead of white sugar, or use slightly more pumpkin…and eliminate a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
  • If you use liquid egg whites instead of 2 eggs, you’ll save 89.6 calories, eliminate 369.6mg of cholesterol, 2.8g of saturated fat, and 9.8g of total fat from the entire pan.
  • Don’t have allspice? Just use more cinnamon. The recipe uses 1.5 tsp of spices, so use whatever variety you think will taste good!
  • Not to mention any mix-ins…walnuts, chocolate chips, craisins, raisins, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini…whatever!
Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Healthy, Quick, & Inexpensive Recipe: Homemade Hummus

One of my new favorite food items is hummus. I have been loving it with carrots sticks or warm, whole wheat pita bread. For those of you who don’t know much about hummus, or haven’t tried it yet, hummus is a spread made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil, and a bunch of other spices. It’s great on top of pita bread, crackers, tortillas, and fresh veggies like carrot sticks, celery, and red pepper.  I like to think of hummus as a lower-calorie and lower-fat alternative to peanut butter.  Another benefit is that I find myself eating a lot more fresh vegetables when I have hummus around! So last week I decided that I should make homemade hummus, because it can be a little pricey to regularly buy hummus from the store, typically Athenos (my favorite) or Sabra.  I used a modified version of the hummus recipe I found in the recipe booklet that came with the food processor.

Homemade Hummus

(makes about 2 cups)

  • 1/3 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Sprinkle of black pepper
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers (optional)

Chop the parsley for 5 seconds; remove and reserve. Process garlic until finely chopped, about 5 seconds. Add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water, cumin, black pepper, and reserved parsley to work bowl;  process until smooth, 1 ½ to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape bowl as needed one or two times. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add any remaining optional ingredients (black olives, roasted red peppers, artichokes, etc) at the end.

The ingredients you’ll need.  Tahini is a sesame seed paste that can be found in most grocery stores. Check the international foods aisle, or in an aisle next to the pickles and olives. When you open the tahini it should have a layer of oil on the top, so be sure to mix it before measuring out the 2 tablespoons for this recipe.

I finally get to use my home-grown parsley! Make sure to wash the parsley with water & dry it on paper towels before use.

Mixing the final product…it’s looking good!  When adding your olive oil, this is where you can experiment a bit. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup olive oil, but I wanted to cut some of the fat out of the recipe, plus I like my hummus to be a little thicker, so I used just 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you like creamy hummus, you might want to add in an extra tablespoon of olive oil or more.

If you want to make different flavors of hummus, this is where you can add in any optional ingredients. I decided I wanted 1 cup to be basic (parsley, garlic flavor) and 1 cup to be flavored with roasted red pepper. So I scooped out half, and added 1 pepper in to the remaining half. Feel free to add artichokes, green olives, black olives, jalapenos, spinach, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, or other spices.

Final product! About 1 cup basic hummus and 1 cup roasted red pepper hummus. Ready to be eaten with carrots & celery! And just a note: If you decide to make or buy hummus, it should be stored in your refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Nutrition Facts

(serving size = 2 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 59
  • Total Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Potassium: 64mg
  • Carbohydrate: 6.8g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 1.7g
  • Vitamin A: 2.2%
  • Vitamin C: 6.0%
  • Calcium: 1.9%
  • Iron: 3.4%

Cost Breakdown:

  • 1/3 cup parsley leaves: 0.00
  • 1 garlic clove: 0.05
  • 19 oz chickpeas: 1.32
  • 2 tablespoons tahini: 1.05
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice: 0.13
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin: 0.08
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil: 0.29
  • 1/8 tsp salt: 0.00

Total: $2.92 for about 16 servings, which makes out to $0.18 per serving!

As a comparison, store-bought hummus is typically $3.49 for 7 servings, or $0.50 per serving.  The cheapest I’ve seen hummus on sale for was $2.00 for 7 servings, or $0.29 per serving. So by making homemade hummus you’re basically cutting the cost in half!

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Healthy, Quick, and Inexpensive Recipe: Cucumber Blackbean Tuna Salad

I don’t know why tuna has such a bad rep…packed with protein and omega-3s, cheap, and easy prep (hello, can opener!), this fish should definitely be a staple in everyone’s kitchen.  I thought I’d share one of my favorite tuna recipes today. It’s a recipe I use when I’m looking for something that’s fresh, high in protein and fiber, low in calories, and high in volume.  I probably make this at least once a week.  This is especially great for anyone trying to lose weight because the protein and fiber will make you feel full for hours, not to mention it’s a pretty generous portion size, so you don’t feel like you’re starving yourself.  Plus, the whole salad is only 357 calories! If you’d like, you could eat half of it, add a side of fruit and a cup of skim milk, and you’ve got a complete meal that way, too.

Homemade Cucumber Blackbean Tuna Salad

  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (a little goes a long way!)
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • dash of black pepper

All my ingredients, ready to go

Dicing up the cucumber. You’re going to need 1 cup, which is about 1/2 of a cucumber.

Drain and rinse the black beans (if you used canned beans), and drain the water from the tuna.

Throw all your ingredients together in a bowl or tupperware (don’t forget to add the black pepper)

When it’s all mixed together, feel free to eat it by itself, or what I like to do is put it in a whole wheat pita or whole wheat tortilla.

I cannot tell you how delicious this, especially for the summer when its 100*F outside and you just want something cold, light, and fresh to eat.

Nutrition Facts (for entire recipe):

  • Calories: 357
  • Total fat: 13.2 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 66.3 g
  • Sodium: 524.1 mg
  • Potassium: 769.2 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 28.0 g
  • Fiber: 10.3 g
  • Protein: 33.9 g

Not to mention a multitude of vitamins and minerals (% daily values):

  • 5.2% Vitamin A
  • 38% Vitamin B-12
  • 22.6% Vitamin B-6
  • 13.5% Vitamin C
  • 15% Vitamin D
  • 3.6% Vitamin E
  • 4.8% Calcium
  • 12.0% Copper
  • 37.5% Folate
  • 22.2% Iron
  • 19.0% Magnesium
  • 25.8% Manganese
  • 91.1% Niacin
  • 4.8% Pantothenic Acid
  • 15.8% Phosphorus
  • 5.0% Riboflavin
  • 152.1% Selenium
  • 16.9% Thiamin
  • 8.5% Zinc

Cost breakdown:

  • 1 can tuna: $0.70
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans: $0.23
  • 1/4 cup onion: $0.09
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise: $0.06
  • 1/2 cucumber: $0.25

Total Cost: $1.33….and who says healthy food is “too expensive”?? This is way cheaper than anything of similar volume at a fast food restaurant (Big Mac, Whopper, etc.).  Let me know if you give it a try!

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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