Vegetarian Chili Verde

Looking for a soup to get you through these last few days of what feels like winter this spring? Look no further!  This "green chili" is a little sweet, a tad tangy and a bit spicy.  It is satisfying and a perfect meatless Monday option everyone will love!  Try pairing it with tortilla chips or corn bread to balance out the heat of the pablano pepper.  Trust me, you will love this one!

Vegetarian Chili Verde
Recipe by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 5-6

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 large tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 russet or Yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
1 Poblano pepper without seeds, chopped4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped (or ½ cup chopped onion)
1 cup frozen corn
7oz can of mild green chilies
1 ½ Tbsp oregano
½ Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1-2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garnish: Chopped green onions

Directions:  Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat.  Add tomatillos, potatoes, Poblano pepper, garlic and shallots, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. 

Puree green chilies in food processor and add to pot along with corn, oregano, cumin and flour.  Stir well.  Add vegetable broth, a ½ cup at a time until desired thickness is reached.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Allow to simmer for another 20 minutes when potatoes are tender.  Serve with optional green onion garnish.

Nutrition Facts (1 cup): 139 Calories, 4g Fat, 24g Carbohydrates, 5g Protein, 4g Fiber, 346mg Sodium, 548mg Potassium


Seared Scallops with Orange Quinoa

Okay, so I'll admit it. I FINALLY got a teensy bit tired of my weekly salmon-for-dinner routine.  This week I decided to buy some scallops to shake things up a bit (wild and crazy, I know.)  A great tip is to always try to buy fresh, local seafood but especially when it comes to scallops, purchase the dry, wild-caught and not previously frozen.  The fresher the dry scallops are, the easier they will be to sear because they won't be carrying extra water.  On that same note, pat the scallops dry with paper towel before cooking.  This will ensure you get a nice golden color on each side.
For me, all really good scallops need is olive oil and salt, and maybe a squeeze of citrus.  This dish is paired with orange quinoa to help brighten the seafood up.  It is a mild and light yet mouthwatering dish that I will be making again and again.  And it is even easier if you have leftover quinoa in the fridge or prep it the night before.  I'd love to hear what you all think of this one if you make it!  See you back here soon!

Seared Scallops with Orange Quinoa
Recipe by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 2

1/2 to 3/4 pound dry sea scallops (buy local, wild-caught when available)
1 tablespoon olive oil
course salt

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup canned chick peas (low sodium)
1 orange (zest, juice and slices)
1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a small or medium pan over medium heat.  Pat scallops dry very well with clean paper towel.  Sprinkle with course salt. Sear scallops for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, combine quinoa, chick peas, orange zest and green onion in a bowl.  Squeeze the juice of half the orange over the quinoa, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir until thoroughly combined.
Portion half of the quinoa onto two plates (about 3/4 cup each) and top with scallops.  Slice the remaining half of the orange for garnish and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 365 Calories, 10g Fat, 44g Carbohydrate, 27g Protein, 8.5g Fiber, 249mg Sodium, 700mg Potassium


March is National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month! Every year, March kicks off a whole month of awareness for the importance of nutrition in the U.S. We can use this time to motivate eachother to either start or maintain healthy eating patterns!  How are you going to celebrate?!

Ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month:
  • Keep a Food Journal
  • Reach out to a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in your area
  • Make a nutrition or exercise goal for the month of March
  • Use a fitness tracker to increase your activity and encourage friends with weekly competitions
  • Visit choosemyplate.gov or eatright.org for information and great resources
  • Try cooking a new, healthy recipe
  • Follow the hashtag #NNM on Twitter or Instagram
From: dining.okstate.edu