Tag Archives: nutritious and delicious

Creamy Mushroom Soup

By Jo Bartell

I often turn to the magazine Eating Well for creative and healthy dinner ideas. Last night, when I was trying to figure out what to make, I remembered that the “Healthy in a Hurry” section of this month’s issue gave a different soup recipe for each night of the week. I decided to modify the Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup based on what I had on hand in the refrigerator and pantry. The Eating Well recipe already had some healthy changes to traditional mushroom soup (e.g. using olive oil in place of  butter), but I didn’t have some of the ingredients the recipe called for, so I tweaked the recipe even more. I also found leftover kale and white beans in my refrigerator, so I decided to add those for some extra veggies and protein.The result was a nutritious, delicious, and filling soup that only took about 30 minutes to make, and the best part is I have leftovers for tomorrow!

healthy mushroom soupIngredients:

(Makes 6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each)

Eating Well Version Nutritioulicious Version
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced 1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons paprika (Hungarian) 2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons dried dill 2 tablespoons dried dill
4 cups mushroom broth or reduced-sodium beef broth 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups low-fat milk 2 cups nonfat milk
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1/2 cup sautéed kale
1/2 cup butter beans
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 tablespoons 0% Fage Greek Yogurt
3/4teaspoon salt

Directions (adapted for the nutritioulicious version):

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are very soft, about 3 more minutes. Add paprika and dill and cook, stirring for 15 seconds. Add broth, milk, kale, and beans; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 0% Fage Greek Yogurt. Enjoy!

For more recipes using mushrooms, try Jessica’s Pureed Mushroom Soup, Mushroom & Onion Barley, and Beef & Vegetable Stew.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy mushrooms?

Wednesday Wonders: Using and Storing Fresh Ginger

Wednesday Wonders are back! Your burning nutrition, food, and cooking questions are answered here every Wednesday. Ask your questions in the comments section of any blog post, post your question on the Nutritioulicious facebook page, tweet it to me, or email me directly!

Q: Hi Nutritioulicious!
I’m trying a new recipe tonight for a lower-fat sweet & sour stirfry chicken. The recipe calls for fresh ginger and I bought way more than what I needed. How can I store the ginger that I don’t use and how long will it keep for? Do you have any ideas of what to do with the leftovers? Thanks for your help! — Caren in Atlanta

A: Hi Caren!

Thanks for this great question. Good for you for trying something new! (And the low-fat sweet and sour chicken sounds great too!) Many people don’t know what to do with fresh ginger, so they use ginger powder or they skip the ingredient altogether. Ginger is an excellent spice that has great medicinal properties, such as helping relieve nausea and reduce inflammation, especially in people who have arthritis, so it would be a shame not to cook with it.

cooking with and storing fresh ginger

Fresh Ginger Root

I often use ginger in marinades, sauces, and vinaigrette dressings, but it can also be added directly to a dish to add flavor. For example, you can add julienned ginger to roasted or sautéed vegetables (I really like it on broccoli), make ginger cookies, or steep ginger in water for a nice homemade ginger tea. Ginger is also great paired with fish, like in these Black-Sesame Salmon Balls.

One thing to note is that fresh ginger and ground ginger have very different flavors, and cannot always be used interchangeably. However, if a recipe calls for ground ginger, you can use fresh ginger in its place, but remember that the amounts of fresh and dried herbs and spices are not equal. Generally, 1 teaspoon ground ginger = 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (remember 1 tablespoon=3 teaspoons), but be sure to taste often as you cook to see if you need more of the spice!  Here are some recipes that use ground ginger, but can be made with fresh minced ginger: Tomato Jam, Sweet Potato and Tofu Thai Curry, and Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup.

You can store ginger unpeeled in the crisper in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to 3 weeks or you can freeze it, unpeeled, for up to 3 months (put a date on it so you remember). If you freeze it, when you go to use it you can cut off what you need to use and then put the rest back in the freezer. Another thing you can do is peel it, grate it onto plastic wrap, roll up the plastic wrap into a log, and then when you want some, cut off the amount you want and wrap up the rest. You can then either let the frozen grated log defrost or grate it again.

Readers, please share with Caren how you use fresh ginger in your cooking! And if you have a Wednesday Wonder you’d like answered, email me at jessica@nutritioulicious.com!

Pureed Mushroom Soup

I love soup, but I’ve never been a huge fan of mushroom soup, most of which are mushrooms and barley in broth. (Don’t get me wrong – I love mushrooms and barley, but have never been so into the combo of both in soup form). A few weeks ago my mind changed when I had a delicious pureed mushroom soup.When the soup arrived at the table I was surprised to see that it was a puree, not the quintessential mushroom barley soup I was expecting. The puree was so smooth and velvety. I decided that I wanted to try to make it at home, and so I did. I searched for some recipes, and as usual I tweaked to keep the end result a light, creamy puree without the added calories and saturated fat from heavy cream.

Pureed Mushroom Soup
Serves: 12; Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots and/or onions
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds white mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and diced


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and/or onions and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt, and a few turns of pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, water, evaporated skim milk, and potatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for one hour.
  4. Working in batches, blend the soup in a blender (works much better than a food processor). Return the pureed soup to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot. (I served this soup in tea cups at a cocktail party. You can also serve it in shot glasses!)

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 62 calories, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium.

Cooking Tip: Hold the cover to the blender with a towel to prevent soup from splattering.

Serving Suggestion: Sautè some extra sliced mushrooms and put in the bottom of the bowl before pouring in the soup.  You can also top the soup with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Nutrition Tip: Mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle! They are also a very good source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure; selenium, an antioxidant with cancer-fighting benefits; and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, which help provide energy to your body.

Cheesy Bean, Zucchini, & Red Pepper Dip

Between football games and holiday parties there sure are a lot of celebrations this time of year, all of which tend to involve food.  Last week I shared one of my favorite hors d’oeurves, Salmon Ceviche in Cucumber Cups, on fellow dietitian Robyn Webb’s Fabulous Food Finds blog. Today I have another recipe to share, but this time it’s a classic cold weather favorite that is made a bit more nutritiously, while maintaining the delicious flavor.

Cheesy Bean, Zucchini, & Red Pepper Dip
Serves: 8; Serving Size: ½ cuphealthier bean dip


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1  small zucchini, cubed
  • 1 small red pepper, cubed
  • 1  small red onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2  jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 can (15-ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1 cup grated reduced-fat Monterey jack or cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Repeat step 2 with the red pepper, and then repeat again with the onions.
  4. Once the vegetables are all cooked, add them all back into the pan over low heat for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer vegetables from pan to a small to medium-sized ovenproof bowl. Add the drained beans, salt, pepper, and chili powder and toss to combine.
  6. Top bean and vegetable mixture with cheese and bake for about 10 minutes. Once the cheese is mostly melted, broil the dip for about 2 to 3 more minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve with healthier chips.

Nutrition Information (per ½ cup serving): 106 calories, 7 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 4 g fat, 2g sat fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 247 mg sodium

Food Meets Fashion

The following post was written by nutritioulicious™ intern Jo Bartell

As I shared in my intro post, I used to work in fashion, and I hope to combine my career as a dietitian with my love for fashion. Fashion and food have always been among my favorite topics, and lately it seems I’m not alone! Food and fashion are coming together in pop-culture and in Hollywood, where food and restaurants are becoming as trendy and fashionable as the newest clothing designers and runway shows. Chefs are even becoming the newest celebrities.

This concept became even more evident this season at Barney’s New York, where the holiday windows read, “Have a Foodie Holiday.” I went to check out this perfect depiction of the foodie/fashion combination last week and I wanted to share some pictures with you.  Renowned chefs from Julia Child and Jamie Oliver to Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, Daniel Boulud, and Bobby Flay are featured this holiday at Barney’s in an elaborate, whimsical display that is undoubtedly attracting attention from fashionistas and foodies near and far.  Enjoy!

holiday windows at barney's

Trail Blazers: Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Jamie Oliver

rachael ray holiday windows at Barney's

Paula Deen & Rachael Ray

daniel boulud holiday windows at Barney's

Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?

Nutritioulicious Oatmeal

I love oatmeal for breakfast. As soon as the cold weather hits, I am all about warm, comforting foods, and oatmeal is definitely one of them. When I was younger, I didn’t have the healthiest diet and I ate sugary packets of oatmeal (my fave: Maple & Brown Sugar). As I got older and started to enjoy the natural flavor of foods (I definitely have a sweet tooth, so it was no easy feat!), I began to like plain oatmeal with some fruit, cinnamon, and a touch of brown sugar — not too sweet, but just enough to give it some flavor.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the nutritional benefits of oatmeal — it’s a whole grain, good source of soluble fiber, helps lower cholesterol, keeps you full and satisfied, and maintains your blood sugar levels. To increase the nutritional value of my oatmeal, I make it with skim milk so I get a dose of calcium and protein. Here’s the bowl of oatmeal I ate for breakfast yesterday:

healthy oatmeal for breakfast
Nutritioulicious Oatmeal
Serves 1


  • 1/2 cup dry quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (can use fresh fruit if on hand)
  • sprinkling of cinnamon sugar


  1. Combine oats and milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for about 1 minute. Remove from microwave, stir, and continue heating for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and stir again.
  2. Top with cranberries and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar (or cinnamon and brown sugar)

Nutrition Facts: 283 calories, 13 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 3.5 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 129 mg sodium, 505 mg calcium

Do you like oatmeal? How do you prepare it?

Welcome nutritioulicious Intern Megan!

Today I am welcoming another intern to my team here at nutritioulicious! You have already gotten to know Jo, who is getting a masters in nutrition. And starting today, undergrad nutrition student Megan Kian will be contributing to the nutritioulicious blog! Read all about her below and stay tuned for some of her posts!
nutritioulicious intern megan kianHi! I’m Megan. I’m currently a junior in the nutrition program at NYU with a double major in psychology. It is an incredible process learning about nutrition and just how much “what you eat is what you are.” Growing up in a family where my mother cooked dinner every day, I got an early start understanding what it means to maintain a nutritious diet. I also learned from my mother that cooking can be fun, easy, and nutritious all at the same time! I love to eat out in New York City, but to me nothing beats a home cooked meal. That’s why I love coming up with new and creative ways to make nutritious and delicious meals right at home. And I also have a passion for baking and love making desserts at big family dinners during the holidays.

Most of what I learned about healthy eating comes from my parents. I was always taught to use the freshest ingredients, but never to restrict myself either. Everything can be good in moderation.

When I took up nutrition as my second major I wasn’t sure how it would fit in with psychology. However, I realize now more than ever just how much the two fields are interconnected. I hope that one day I can intertwine the fields of psychology and nutrition and start my own counseling practice.

I recently switched into the nutrition program so I am eager to learn more than just what I know from my parents. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to intern for Nutritioulicious and hope that you enjoy my posts!

Walnut Nutrition

California walnut harvestBy now you know that I’m a fan of walnuts. What with my post about interesting walnut facts, walnut pesto, dinner with walnuts, and how walnuts are harvested, you probably think that walnuts are the only nut I eat (not true)! I could go on for a few more blog posts about walnuts and my time at the walnut harvest festival, but I’ll make this my last post on the subject (at least for now). After all, this is a nutrition blog, so I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the nutritional benefits of this superstar nut, also known as a superfood!


  • are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids. One ounce of of walnuts (~12-14 halves) contains 2.6 grams of ALA (more than any other nut).
  • contain 4 g protein and 2 g fiber (8% of the recommended daily intake) per ounce.
  • are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin E and selenium. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, walnuts are second to blackberries in antioxidants.
  • are linked to improved vascular function, decreased total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, decreased inflammation, cognitive benefits, and improved heart health.

Walnut Nutrition Facts (per 1 oz* raw): 190 calories, 18 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 13 g polyunsaturated fat of which 2.6 g are alpha-linolenic acid), 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein, 125 mg potassium, 30 mg calcium, 5% iron, 11% magnesium

*1 oz walnuts = 1/4 cup shelled halves or pieces = 14 halves

As you can see, one ounce of walnuts at a time costs you a lot of calories, so you don’t need to eat a whole ounce at once. I recommend eating about 5 to 7 walnut halves (or 2 tablespoons pieces) at a time combined with a piece of fruit or a yogurt for a balanced snack. Here are some other ideas of how to enjoy walnuts:

  • Top oatmeal with 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Add walnuts to a yogurt and fruit parfait (lower in sugar than granola)
  • Add toasted walnuts to a salad
  • Toss walnuts into quinoa or wild rice as a side dish
  • Caramelize walnuts and add to a cheese plate

One more tip: Store your shelled walnuts in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent the loss of the healthy oils. Unopened packages are good to eat for a year, opened packages will keep for up to 6 months.

You can find many more ideas and recipes on the California Walnuts website.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy walnuts?

*Opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and I have not been compensated by anyone for this post.

Happy Birthday nutritioulicious™

Today is the 1st birthday of my blog, nutritioulicious™!

Here’s my first blog post: Welcome to My Blog!

In the past year I have written 132 posts on various nutrition topics, including nutrition news, nutrition tips, holiday eating, behavior modification, seasonal eating, and of course lots of recipes! Some of you have had your questions answered in my Wednesday Wonders column (send more Qs my way!), read some guest posts (and my posts on other blogs), and perhaps you’ve even seen me in the news in the past year too!

Hopefully in the my 2nd year you’ll get to read and learn more about nutrition both from my perspective and that of my nutrition intern Jo. I’m looking forward to continuing to provide all my readers with the most up-to-date nutritious and delicious news and information!

Thanks for reading !!

Happy, Healthy, and nutritioulicious™ New Year

As we close out the end of one year and enter into another, it’s a great time to reflect on what we have accomplished over the past 365 days and think ahead to what we want to achieve in the next 365 days.

Take out a pen and paper and write down some of your goals for the new year. As I said in my post Resolve All Year Long, it’s best to do this throughout the year, so keep the list and reflect on it periodically in 2010. And don’t forget about The Basics of Goal Setting and writing them in a way that will Make Your Goals Count!

Whether you want to fulfill nutrition, fitness, work, or interpersonal goals, you will be more successful if you write them down. Store that piece of paper someplace you won’t forget and go celebrate what you’ve attained in the past year!

Wishing you and your families a Happy, Healthy, Nutritious, and Delicious new year!