In the Kitchen with Keri: How to Go Way Beyond Avocado Toast

We share heaps of healthy information on Nutritious Life’s blog every day, but “In the Kitchen with Keri” is your chance to spend some quality time with the wonder woman behind it all, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. It’s where she invites you into her space to share the ingredients she’s currently obsessed with, recipes she can’t get enough of, and other tips and tricks learned over many years of life as an always-ahead-of-the-curve nutritionist and wellness expert.


I’ve always loved open-faced sandwiches. Now, thanks to the avocado toast craze, I call them “toasts” along with everyone else (and have to focus on making them look super pretty in addition to delicious, naturally).

Why toasts?

avocado-toast

First of all, I like that you’re getting just one slice of bread at a time instead of eating a full sandwich, to avoid excess carbs (not because you shouldn’t them but rather because you can easily overdo them!) And you can basically layer anything you’ve got in your fridge onto one of these and have a delicious, healthy meal ready to go in minutes. Breakfast! Lunch! Snack!  You can really meet a lot of nutrient needs and have a lot of variety and flavor without having to plan far ahead.

For the bread base, I’m a big fan of Ezekiel’s Food for Life. I like it because it’s made with sprouted grains, is organic, and it doesn’t contain added sugar or other unnecessary, unhealthy ingredients. A good organic sourdough is another great option.

These are a few I whipped up recently.

3 Ways to Go Way Beyond Avocado Toast

avocado-toast

First, since we’re talking avocado toast, I love starting with the mashed avo and then layering on whatever vegetables and protein I’ve got. In this one pictured, I had leftover Spicy Roasted Zucchini and Corn, so I threw that on top. You could also add sliced turkey or leftover grilled chicken to turn it into more of a meal—veggies, protein, and healthy fats, all represented.

RELATED: Delicious Roasted Veggies, 3 Ways

avocado-toast

For the most simple of the bunch, I spread hummus on the toast for plant protein and then topped it with colorful heirloom cherry tomatoes and a little bit of fresh basil. Mediterranean magic made in less than a minute!

Finally, it doesn’t have to be all about savory. Sometimes your sweet tooth will be tingling, and you don’t want to give into cravings for less nutritious foods (I’m talking to you, cupcakes).

RELATED: Finally: Learn How to Prevent Sugar Cravings

avocado-toast

I spread a little goat cheese on the toast, topped it with fresh blueberries, and then drizzled it with a little bit of honey. Pro tip: Use Ezekiel’s Cinnamon Raisin bread for this one for even more sweet deliciousness, or sprinkle some cinnamon on top (for flavor and about a hundred health benefits).

That’s it! You’re ready to take a big bite…after posting your gorgeous #toasts on Insta, of course.

In the Kitchen with Keri: 3 Fast, Creative Homemade Protein Snacks

protein snacksWe share heaps of healthy information on Nutritious Life’s blog every day, but “In the Kitchen with Keri” is your chance to spend some quality time with the wonder woman behind it all, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. It’s where she invites you into her space to share the ingredients she’s currently obsessed with, recipes she can’t get enough of, and other tips and tricks learned over many years of life as an always-ahead-of-the-curve nutritionist and wellness expert.

When you’re having one of those weeks, reaching for a packaged protein bar may be the only option. But in an ideal world, I’d make all of my protein snacks at home—and so would you!

The ideal snack provides protein and healthy fats to keep you satisfied and give you energy without being a total calorie bomb (since it’s supposed to fill in gaps between meals, not become its own meal).

These are a few I’ve been making lately that are a little creative and different (AKA, not just handfuls of nuts…which I also love, by the way) but require very little time and skill to make.

protein snacks

Protein Snacks: Roasted Chickpeas

Let’s start with my Chickpeas with Toasted Nori and Cayenne. Chickpeas are a great plant-based source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. I like to throw them in everything, from salads to sauteed greens. Roasted, they make a great snack.

Here, I tossed them in a little bit of avocado oil and sprinkled them with a pinch or two of cayenne (be cautious if you’re sensitive to spice!) and sea salt. Then, I roasted them in the oven, on 400, for about 15 minutes. When there was just about a minute left, I took them out and sprinkled them with a sheet of nori, which you can either just tear up or chop. Then, back in the oven for one minute to crisp it all up, and they’re done!

RELATED: Why You Should Add Spices to Every Meal

protein snacks

Adding the nori is super beneficial since sea vegetables are loaded with minerals and they’re not something we have a lot of opportunities to get in often. They also add salty flavor and crispy texture.

When these are done, you can throw handfuls into baggies to keep in your purse or keep a little bowl on your desk for an afternoon bite.

Protein Snacks: Peanut Butter Bites

protein snacks

Next, I’m loving these No-Bake Peanut Butter Bites. Made with peanut butter (obviously), chia seeds, and flaxseeds, they’re filled with protein and healthy fats. I also like that these are automatically portion-controlled, since they’re made in a mini muffin pan and end up being bite-sized.

They make a great snack, or you can also serve ‘em to your kids as a high-protein, low-sugar breakfast that’s nice and sweet.

Get the full recipe, here.

protein snacks

Protein Snacks: Overnight Oats

Speaking of breakfast, you might think Overnight Oats are just for the AM hours, but they’re also a perfect make-ahead protein snack, when you throw in a little high-quality protein powder.

RELATED: 7 High-Protein Breakfast Recipes to Power Your Mornings

protein snacks

I love filling a bunch of jars and having them in the fridge for whenever you need something quick and filling. They’re especially great for post-workout, since the protein powder is paired with healthy carbs from oats. Bonus: You can add whatever you want to the jar to dress it up and keep things exciting: chia seeds, berries, bananas, almonds, cashews, coconut, etc.

Get the full recipe, here.

If you’re really feeling like a pro, make all three of these on a Sunday night and you’ll be set for snacking all week.


In the Kitchen with Keri: Cooking with Spring Veggies

 

cooking with spring veggiesWe share heaps of healthy information on Nutritious Life’s blog every day, but “In the Kitchen with Keri” is your chance to spend some quality time with the wonder woman behind it all, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. It’s where she invites you into her space to share the ingredients she’s currently obsessed with, recipes she can’t get enough of, and other tips and tricks learned over many years of life as an always-ahead-of-the-curve nutritionist and wellness expert.


There’s nothing like the taste of fresh spring vegetables after a long, cold winter (unless you live in Los Angeles, in which case…we’re super jealous!).

I mean, I seriously love nutrient-dense, versatile sweet potatoes or a really good creamy butternut squash soup. But when the sun starts shining and the flowers are blooming, you just want lighter, brighter flavors and textures on your plate.

Eating in sync with the season literally does put a spring in your step (pun intended!). It’s also great for the environment, and Earth Day is fast approaching.

Here’s how I’m currently cooking with spring veggies.

cooking with spring veggies

Cooking with Spring Veggies

First, a top farmers’ market find: artichokes. They’re filled with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that are great for both your overall health and glowing skin (which is important as temps rise and you start to show a little more). I’ve been a big fan of their benefits for a long time—so much so that they were a daily part of my O2 Diet four-day cleanse. And while artichokes are fresh during spring, you can eat them all year long by using canned or frozen. I drizzle them with olive oil and roast them to get them just a little bit crispy.

RECIPE: Roasted Artichoke Hearts

cooking with spring veggies

The perfect meal?

Serve them alongside a piece of omega-3-rich salmon seared or broiled and served on a bed of arugula. The nutritious green is super zesty and flavorful when its first leaves sprout in spring.

RECIPE: Broiled Salmon

Another way to easily enjoy fresh produce? Make a grain bowl!

cooking with spring veggies

“Bowls” are all over Instagram for a reason—they’re simple to put together and you can basically throw in whichever grains and veggies you have on hand.

For this bowl I made recently, I made farro—an ancient grain filled with fiber—as the base. (Okay, you got me! I didn’t have the perfect sized bowl, so this time I put it on a plate—but it shows you how simple it is to improvise, right?)

Then, I sauteed fresh asparagus and mushrooms in a pan with olive oil until slightly crispy, and threw those on top of the grains with raw sliced radishes. I love mixing it up with cooked and raw veggies. I topped it off with a soft-boiled egg for extra protein.

Asparagus, by the way, is the perfect anti-bloating food, since it contains compounds that aid digestion by acting like probiotics. (Again, perfect for crop-top weather!)

cooking with spring veggies

And radishes are a great source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and immune-system strengthener. I also love them for snacking, as part of a crudite platter to dip in guac or hummus.

RECIPE: Pesto Hummus Dip

See you at the farmers’ market, soon?

In the Kitchen with Keri: 5 Staple Ingredients I’m Never Without

in-the-kitchen-with-keriWe share heaps of healthy information on Nutritious Life’s blog every day, but “In the Kitchen with Keri” is your chance to spend some quality time with the wonder woman behind it all, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. It’s where she invites you into her space to share the ingredients she’s currently obsessed with, recipes she can’t get enough of, and other tips and tricks learned over many years of life as an always-ahead-of-the-curve nutritionist and wellness expert.


Years ago, I used to take more time to cook with interesting, unique ingredients regularly. (You know, in the B.C.—before children—era.) Now, I’ve definitely become more of a creature of habit. That means having go-to ingredients I can depend on is key.

Don’t get me wrong, I always love when a recipe calls for something new. Keeping an open mind in the kitchen is important, because you don’t want to get so bored that you end up making the same things over and over. (Remember, variety is key to getting all of your nutrients and not downing a dozen chocolate chip cookies after dinner!).

You have to push yourself to go and look at new things at the grocery store, or when you try a new recipe, don’t feel like it’s a bad thing to have leftovers of a new ingredient. Look at it as a way to expand your kitchen repertoire. When I have to buy a new ingredient for a recipe, it undoubtedly will be used again and again.

staple ingredients

I was making a new dish recently that called for pepperoncinis. I fell hard for the flavorful, nutrient-dense veggies as soon as I tried them. Now, I always have them around and I chop them up to add to all kinds of things. Pepperoncinis and eggs? You bet.

The key is having a few staple, go-to ingredients always on hand so that you then have the freedom to get creative with things like toppings, dressings, and new combos.

These are the five staple ingredients I’m currently never without.

Oats

Oatmeal is such a go-to breakfast for me and my kids, especially since you can make it in so many ways by just adding different things to it, like nuts, nut butters, seeds, fruit, and spices. It’s filled with fiber and protein and is super satiating. For the busiest mornings I make overnight oats. And, I will use oats when I want to bulk up a smoothie. Plus, you can bake with them whole, grind them and make oat flour, or make a healthy homemade granola.

RELATED: Are Steel Cut Oats Healthier Than Rolled Oats?

staple ingredients

Cinnamon

I literally add it to so many things, sprinkling its many health benefits all over the place. That includes my coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods. I’ll put it on a slice of Ezekiel Raisin Bread toast with coconut oil for breakfast. I sprinkle it on apples and pears for my kids for a snack. I’ll put it on sweet potatoes with coconut oil at night. I even have a chili recipe that calls for cinnamon.

RELATED: 3 Incredible Benefits of Coconut Oil

Avocado

Predictable, I know, but you may already know I’m totally obsessed with healthy fats. Avocado is so satisfying because of the fat and fiber, and it’s loaded with antioxidants. You can put it on toast, of course (do it for the Insta!), or in a smoothie, salad, grain bowl, or creamy salad dressing. Pro tip: Cut it in half, toss the pit, add a little lemon juice and sea salt, and eat it with a spoon directly out of the skin as a snack. I do it all the time.

RELATED: Why Healthy Fats Don’t Make You Fat

staple ingredients

Almond Butter

Nuts and nut butters are really important staples for me. They’re such a great way to get in plant protein that’s delicious and satisfying. Almond butter has plenty of antioxidants and calcium, too. It’s funny, I definitely liked peanut butter better for a long time. I feel like almond butter is a bit more of an acquired taste. I grew to love it equally and now find it’s more versatile. It has less of a distinct, strong flavor so you can use it in creative ways, like in place of tahini in a recipe.

RELATED: Is Almond Butter Healthier than Peanut Butter?

Sweet potatoes

I could eat sweet potatoes at every meal, seriously. They’re a great source of complex carbs, antioxidants, and fiber. I like to make them in big batches for the week. In the morning, I’ll eat half of one with coconut oil, cinnamon, and chopped nuts. At lunch, I’ll slice and throw them on arugula with other leftover veggies, and maybe a little goat cheese. You can make them savory or sweet, and if you slice them and make them into sweet potato fries, kids love them too.

Missed my love letter to fried pickles and how I gave them a healthy makeover? Read all about it, here.

 

In the Kitchen with Keri: My Quest to Make Fried Pickles Healthier

in-the-kitchen-with-keriWe share heaps of healthy information on Nutritious Life’s blog every day, but “In the Kitchen with Keri” is your chance to spend some quality time with the wonder woman behind it all, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. It’s where she invites you into her space to share the ingredients she’s currently obsessed with, recipes she can’t get enough of, and other tips and tricks learned over many years of life as an always-ahead-of-the-curve nutritionist and wellness expert.


This month, I’m starting with a confession: I love fried pickles, AKA frickles.

To be honest, I ate them recently at a bar while on date night with my man. Then, I went back to that same bar with friends on my birthday, and they were my only indulgence. I even chose them over cake. That’s big for me! I love cake!

But, I also love pickles. Why do I love thee? Well, cucumbers are hydrating and filled with fiber and vitamins, and when they’re pickled, they’re crunchy, salty, and virtually calorie-free. Some pickles are also fermented, which means major gut health benefits. (How to tell? Most pickles on the shelf at the supermarket made with vinegar are not fermented; look for brands that say “naturally fermented” and are stocked in the refrigerator. Or, ferment your cukes at home.)

Pickles are the perfect addition to salads, sandwiches, and bunless burgers and work perfectly as a finger food…watching a game or while sitting at a bar. Martini not included.

And fried…sigh. Frickles are just delicious to the point of dreamy.

But I’m a nutritionist, of course, so my go-to thought is: How can I make this a food that works for you instead of against you? How can I take out all of the bad stuff like the white flour, unhealthy oils, and the process of deep frying but keep the flavor?

fried-pickles

How to Make Fried Pickles Healthier

My solution: Bickles.

What the heck are bickles? Well, the first step is to replace the “fr” for fried with a “b” for baked. And instead of breadcrumbs, I coat them with almond flour and add antioxidant-rich spices like cayenne pepper.

The result is a baked pickle that comes with a kick but without the greasy taste. Compared to frickles, they taste “cleaner,” but the flavor’s still intact since most of it comes from the pickle itself, anyway.

fried pickles

Get the recipe, here, and serve them as part of a burger-and-salad night, as finger food while watching a game, or as a snack for the kiddies.

Bon appétit!