Tag Archives: Amy Rosenfeld RD

The Clever Cook: Back to School Lunchbox Learning

Posted on: September 8, 2015

The Clever Cook: Back to School Lunchbox Learning

By Amy Rosenfeld

Getting in the back-to-school swing after a relaxing, stress-free summer might be difficult, but Banana Sunbutter Sushiit’s definitely doable. Here are some tips to get lunchbox organized:

1) Start a lunchbox meal planner and start a rotation. It may sound silly but taking the task of thinking of ideas out of your daily routine is a real time saver.
2) Get organized with great lunchbox materials. Stock up on a variety of portable containers, including many sizes for hot and cold packing.
3) Make recipes ahead and freeze. As much as you can do ahead of time, the better off you will be. One way to get started: make soups ahead and freeze in ice cube trays for easy defrosting.
4) Make time to pack lunches ahead. Pack ahead as much you can on the weekends for easy lunchbox stuffing. Get the kids to help and make an assembly line into a game! Then, take a few minutes at night to pack lunches instead of during the morning rush.

Fun and easy out-of-the-box lunchbox ideas:

1) BYO Pita Pizzas – Pack the tools they need to make their own pizza at lunch. Pack different sauces like tomato, pesto, or hummus as the base and send a variety of cheese and veggies for toppings. Here is a great example of hummus pizza: http://www.food.com/recipe/hummus-pizza-436003
2) Whole Grain Pasta and Noodle Salads – Cold and hot noodle or pasta salads can be an easy way to get all the food groups. Experiment with different types of pasta, everything from Asian Buckwheat Noodles to Orzo Salad: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/orzo-salad-recipe.html
3) Summer Soups with Grilled Cheese Dippers – Who doesn’t love soup in a thermos? Add a side of grilled cheese dipper strips and you have a balanced, delicious lunch. Plus, soup is an easy, nutrient rich make-ahead meal for a whole week of lunches or from the freezer. Try this End of Summer Soup Recipe: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/summer-vegetable-soup
4) Bento Box – Make meals out of snacks. Make sure to include proteins, including cheese, nut butters, tuna/egg/chicken salad, or sliced turkey or chicken, and a whole grain, like whole grain crackers or pretzels. Experiment with different dips like hummus, guacamole and veggie dips. Add a side of fruit and veggies.
5) Breakfast in a Box – Your little one doesn’t like lunch food? Pack a brunch style lunch with breakfast foods instead. Add yogurt parfaits, cottage cheese with fruit, whole grain pancakes or waffles, sweet and savory muffins, and hardboiled eggs.

Try NWH’s Sunbutter Sushi:

(serves 1)
1 6” tortilla wrap
1 banana, whole
1 tbsp sunflower seed butter*
1 tsp chocolate shavings

*Feel free to substitute peanut or almond butter as great alternatives!

1) Lay the tortilla on a flat surface. Spread the sunflower seed butter evenly over one side of the tortilla.
2) Place the banana on one edge of the tortilla. Roll the banana inside the tortilla until completely rolled up. Slice the tortilla into 6 even pieces (like sushi).
3) Dip each piece of sushi into the chocolate shavings. Eat immediately or wrap for an easy snack on the go!

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 370 calories, 13 g fat, 1.1 g saturated fat, 390 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrates, 8.5 g fiber, 10 g protein
Breakfast for Lunch: Silver Dollar Oatmeal Pancakes

(serves 4, make 16 silver dollar cakes)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 ¾ tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 cup skim milk
4 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 cup fresh berries
1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1) Preheat the griddle on medium heat and the oven to 200 degrees.

2) While the griddle is heating up, in a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg, milk, applesauce to the center. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Do not over-mix – some lumps are ok. Let the batter stand for about 5 minutes.

3) Spray the grill with cooking spray. Using a small ladle, spoon batter carefully onto the grill – 1 ladles per pancake. Do not touch until you start to see some bubbles start to form on the surface.  Add a few berries to each cake. Cook for about another 1-2 minutes.

4) As each pancake is done, place in the oven to stay warm. Mix the Greek yogurt with pure maple syrup and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt on each pancake.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 320 calories, 4 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 600 mg sodium, 60 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 9.5 g protein

Editor’s Note: Amy Rosenfeld, M,S RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital

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Organic, Natural, Local, Grass-fed: What does it all mean?

Posted on: July 20, 2015

Decoding Sustainable Foods

By Amy Rosenfeld

In our efforts to be healthy and mindful when choosing the foods we eat, we often come across many environmental food terms including local, grass-fed, organic, etc. But what do all these labels mean?

Food grown or raised in an ecologically and ethically responsible manner, where the environment is protected, human health safeguarded, animals are farmed humanely, and workers are treated fairly is called Sustainable Food.

Sustainable foods are thought to reduce exposure to many harmful substances including pesticides, antibiotics, and food additives.  Many sustainable foods are also higher in nutrients and antioxidants due to limited travel time required to reach the consumer. The less time food travels, the more nutrients it contains when it reaches its destination. Eating sustainably also supports an environmentally and socially responsible food system, promoting local farmers. To help you better understand food labeling, I’m sharing the United States Department of Agriculture’s definition of several sustainable food terms. Keep reading for a wonderful Tomato, Watermelon, and Peach Salad recipe.

Common Sustainable Food Terms: (as defined by the USDA)
Local Food:
Food produced in the same geographical region as the consumer. The size of the geographical region is not specified (e.g. unspecified number of miles).
Free Range or Free Roaming: A method of farming in which animals are allowed to roam freely for a least some portion of the day rather than being confined to an enclosure for 24 hours per day. The amount of free-range time is not specified.
Natural: A product that contains no artificial ingredient or added color. The product was minimally processed meaning, it was processed in a way that does not fundamentally alter the product.
No Antibiotics or Hormones: Animals were raised without being given antibiotics or hormones.
Non-GMO: The acronym GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, which refers to any food product that has been altered at the gene level. Genetically modified foods are also frequently described as “genetically engineered,” “genetically altered,” or “genetically manipulated.”
Organic: Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using “most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” Organic food is also produced emphasizing environmental practices. In order for foods to receive an organic certification, the government-approved certifier inspects the farm for these qualifications.
Grass-Fed: Animals that are classified as grass-fed are to be provided a diet solely from forage consisting of grass, forbs (e.g., legumes, Brassica), browse, or cereal grain crops. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.

While eating sustainably is considered by many to be better for the environment and your health, many of these sustainable food choices are often more expensive and more difficult to find. If it is affordable for your family, consider trying to incorporate sustainable foods into your family’s diet, emphasizing local choices whenever possible.  I recommend shopping at local farmer’s markets to find these sustainable options.  My advice? Mix and match sustainable food choices from your local farmers market with options from your grocery store for the best bang for your buck.

Local Northern Westchester Farmers Markets:
Chappaqua Farmers Market
Pleasantville Farmers Market
Katonah – John Joay Homestead
Mt Kisco Farmers Market
Somers – Muscoot Farm
North Salem – Gossett Brothers Nursery
Yorktown – Hilltop Hanover Farm

Try out this seasonal recipe  from CookingLight.com

Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon, and Peach Salad

(serves 8)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 1/2 cups sliced peaches
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 pound heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add watermelon and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes); toss gently. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Sprinkle with goat cheese just before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 90, Fat 3.8 g, Saturated Fat 1.1 g, Protein 2 g, Carbohydrate 12.5 g, Fiber 1.5 g, Sodium 95 mg


Editor’s Note: Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN is a Registered Dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital

The Patriotic Plate – Red, White and Blue Superfoods

Posted on: June 22, 2015

The Patriotic Plate – Red, White and Blue Superfoods

Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN

This 4th of July, celebrate our country’s independence with good health and a patriotic plate. American flagRed, white, and blue foods are superfoods: nutrition powerhouses packed full of rich antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Red fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tomatoes, and pomegranate, are full of phytonutrients, anthocyanins, flavonoid compounds; nutrients that reduce cancer by fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative damage to cells. Red fruits and veggies are particularly high in the phytochemical lycopene, shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

White foods often get a bad reputation but fresh white foods, such as daikon radish, turnips, jicama or pears, are packed with nutrients. The anthoxanthins in white foods can reduce inflammation of all kinds.  One of the most common anthoxanthins, quercetin, is linked with lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer, easing the symptoms of allergies, and helping with pain from arthritis.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables like blueberries, beets, and eggplant, have rich doses of phytonutrients and flavonoids that lower your risk of heart disease. Flavonoids may also help improve memory with aging and prevent many cancers.

Try out these easy recipes for your 4th of July this year. These recipes are perfect for a party, cookout or relaxing picnic.
Grilled Chicken with Red & Blueberry Salsa 

(Adapted from All Through The Year Cheer)
(Yield:  4 servings)

4 (6 oz) chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 tbsp olive oil (for grilling the chicken)
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 c fresh blueberries, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seed and diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 TB fresh minced parsley
2 TB fresh minced mint
1 TB lemon juice

1) In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use (you can make this up to 1 day in advance but if you do so, I recommend waiting until right before you serve it to add the fresh minced herbs).
2) Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken breast, then season both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken until fully cooked (there should not be any pink).
3) Serve the grilled chicken topped with salsa.


Nutrition Facts: 278 calories, 12.2 g fat, 2.8 g saturated fat, 393 mg sodium, 7.7 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 33.6 g protein
Cous-Cous & Fruit Salad

(Courtesy of Eatingwell.com)
(serves 4)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
1 cup chopped nectarine
1 cup mixed fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

1. Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked couscous, nectarines, berries and almonds; gently toss to combine.

Nutrition Facts: 259 calories; 9 g fat; 1 g sat; 40 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 7 g fiber; 146 mg sodium



Red, White and Blue Yogurt Popsicles

(Adapted from The View from Great Island)
Yield: 10 popsicles

1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt

1. Using a small food processor, or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside. Repeat for the blueberries.
2. Put your popsicle mold in the freezer and freeze till firm, at least an hour, or more.
3. Layer a little bit of the blueberry puree into the mold. Put in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until solid. Alternate with layers, putting in the freezer for 10 minutes in between each layer.
4. When done layering, insert the popsicle sticks. Make sure to get the stick a little bit into the frozen layer so they will stand straight. Put back into the freezer until solid.
5. Once filled and completely frozen solid, you can un-mold your pops. If the pops don’t come out of the mold easily, run the outside of the mold under hot water for a few seconds.

Nutrition Facts: 31 calories, 0.1 g fat, 8 mg sodium, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 2.3 g protein




Get More Fruits and Veggies into Your Diet

Posted on: June 19, 2015

The Clever Cook:
How to Pack More Fruits and Veggies into Your Cooking

Fruit & Vegetable PlatterHave a picky eater at home? Or maybe you just don’t like fruits and veggies? Here are some “eat the rainbow” ways of sneaking fruits and veggies into your diet, making sure you get all your daily vitamins and minerals.


• Add fresh chopped tomatoes into your jarred tomato sauce.
• Bake with applesauce into your baked goods, pancakes, and waffles instead of butter or oil.
• Add red grapes, sliced radishes, pomegranate seeds, or sliced strawberries onto your salads.
• Make a smoothie with beets.
• Puree red peppers and add them to your tomato soup or sauce.
• Make a salad dressing using pink grapefruit.
• Add red chilies into your cooking for spice.


• Add sweet potato or butternut squash puree into cheese sauces such as for mac and cheese or morning oatmeal.
• Add carrot puree into tomato sauces.
• Add pumpkin puree or mashed bananas into your baked goods, French toast, pancakes, and waffles instead of butter or oil.
• Have spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Here is how to cook a spaghetti squash: www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-178036
• Make a smoothie with carrots or pumpkin puree.
• Make homemade salad dressing with orange or lemon juice.
• Grill pineapple and peaches on the barbeque for dessert.


• Add a handful of chopped greens into your eggs or on top of your pizza.
• Puree a handful of spinach leaves and mix into your tomato sauce. Just a little won’t change the color!
• Use butter or romaine lettuce instead of bread for sandwiches.
• Add chopped greens or herbs into chopped meat for burgers and meatballs.
• Make low-fat zucchini muffins or pancakes, try this recipe: www.skinnytaste.com/2011/07/low-fat-chocolate-chip-zucchini-bread.html
• Bake with avocado instead of butter or oil.
• Add some zucchini puree into your cheesy pasta dishes (such as lasagna).
• Make a green smoothie with kale or spinach and citrus fruits.


• Mix in purple cabbage into your salad, tacos or stir-fry.
• Switch to purple potatoes for your mashed and add in pureed purple cauliflower.
• Grill plums on the barbeque for a sweet dessert or side dish.
• Cook with red onion instead of white or yellow.
• Add blackberries, blueberries or figs to your salads.
• Add pureed eggplant into tomato sauce or soup.
• Try sautéing purple kale or make kale chips.

Use by date, Sell by date, Food safety

Posted on: November 14, 2014

The Sniff Test

by Amy Rosenfeld

How often do you take something from the refrigerator, smell it, and then promptly turn to the nearest unsuspecting family member and say, “How does this smell to you?” Foods can develop an off odor, flavor or appearance related to bacteria, and while the “sniff test” has become a way of life for most of us, there are certainly safer ways of determining if something in your fridge is still edible?

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