Tip Tuesday – Lighten Up Lasagna

So I have been wanting to start a new “segment” on my blog called:  Tip Tuesday! As a registered dietitian (RD), I’m always interested in healthy food. I thought –  why not share my favorite simple tips for making meals a little lighter. I wanted to implement this on either a weekly, or bi-weekly basis, so let me know if you all like this idea!

But don’t worry, I make sure to NEVER sacrifice flavor. Let’s be real, no one wants to eat boring, bland food. #notyummy

For my FIRST tip, I went the Italian food route. Specifically lasagna.

Lighted Up Lasagna Who can say no to Italian food right? But lasagna is one of those items that typically get a bad wrap for being healthy and not the healthiest option. My tip for making lasagna a little lighter:

Switch up the Fillings

Instead of using the standard, full-fat ricotta cheese, swap it out for this combination:

1/2 part-skim ricotta + 1/2 small curd, low-fat cottage cheese

Yes you heard me correctly: Cottage Cheese!

A little unorthodox, but you will honestly never realize the difference. The “small curd” cottage cheese* is key though! Just whip that together with the ricotta cheese until smooth.

I also typically add a package of frozen, chopped spinach to the cheese mixture as well (thawed and squeezed dry in a paper towel first). The spinach will add some extra nutrients [iron, folate, and vitamin A], but doesn’t detract from the flavor or texture.

*Note: I actually prefer “whipped” cottage cheese, but it is difficult to find. Small curd works well, but you just need to whip it with the ricotta a little longer to achieve a creamy, smooth consistency.

Happy Eating!

BIg News!

I am SO excited to share this news with you all today! While I’ve been a little MIA in the blog world, I have been in super study mode during August and September. But all that studying has finally payed off because….

I’m a Registered Dietitian!!

IMG_1670 I was a little bit sneaky in taking my registration exam yesterday. I barely told anyone when it was going to happen on the off-chance that something horrible happened and I failed my test the first go-around. But fortunately, that didn’t happen and I PASSED!!

IMG_1665  From the time you finish your test to the time you wait for your score to print out were the MOST nerve wracking minutes of my life. You sit and wait, and hope all of those long study hours payed off. And they did for me! Not an easy test my any means, but to finally have the letters, RD after my name make it so worth it!

So in case you wondered how a new registered dietitian celebrates passing her exam, here you go!

It was a late morning test, so when I finally finished it was prime lunch hour. So where did I go? To get some fried chicken of course (duh!).

IMG_1661 Don’t worry, I sneaked some vegetable in there as well! I went to my favorite place to get my fried chicken craving, Tenders Fresh Food! Tenders if just 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Cornelius, NC, but so worth the trip. The chicken is always fresh and perfectly fried so that it was hot and juicy, but never greasy. They have grilled chicken as well, but seriously, the fried is SO much better. I like to eat it on top of their caesar salad with a side of their homemade “buffalo blue” sauce. Yum!

PS: Did I make it official on the blog world that I moved to Charlotte?!?! (I don’t think I did…. my bad!) Here’s surprise #2 for the day:

I moved to Charlotte, NC!

My boyfriend, Marshall, lives and works in Charlotte, so that was my next location move post-graduating my Masters program. And speaking of Marshall, we had a celebration sushi dinner from my favorite restaurant, Yama Asian Fusion.

IMG_1668 I had a long post about Yama Asian Fusion way back when, and it is still one of the best places I’ve ever had sushi outside of California. Very fresh and flavorful!

After a wonderful dinner, we got some frozen yogurt for dessert and went to play some trivia! I LOVE to play trivia but I don’t go very often. We found some Thursday night trivia at Ed’s Tavern, which was super fun and had a great variety of questions.

Overall, a wonderful celebration day!

Question of the Day

  • What is your go-to celebration meal after you accomplish a goal?