Bits and Bites

News from Jen Messer Nutrition “a mid-month mini edition.”

Baby Turkey Meatloaves

Now that the weather is cooling off a bit we might take to cooking again. Mini foods are fun for everyone - including grown-ups AND children. This “cupcake” recipe is one that my family always loved. The nice thing is that by using beans, tofu, or TVP (textured vegetable protein) it is easily transformed into a vegetarian or vegan entree. Anything “baby” or “mini” has extra appeal in my eyes. Serve these with a veggie or salad and you have all your bases covered. For a little variety serve as BBQ meatloaf or Pizza Meatloaf by changing up the sauce.

Try these mashed potatoes on top:

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes - I keep the skins on for extra iron

  • ¾ cup milk of choice (I use plain almond milk) might need a little extra

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)

  • 1 tbsp powdered vegetable broth

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tbsp chopped dill and/or other herbs (optional)

  • 1 tsp yellow mustard

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • salt to taste (optional)

Tip: mash very well if you are piping the “frosting” I have had times when potato lumps caused major issues 😖

Back to School! 📚

This week I could feel fall coming quick. The crickets are sounding a little panicked at night and I can see that we have less light. Although summer is my favorite season I am less inclined to be in the kitchen during the hot months. I have to say fall makes me want to cook up a big soup, stew, or chili. Sometimes fall also means that commitments escalate back up to the busy hustle and bustle of evening mealtime.

It's hard to get an evening meal on the table that also keeps our health goals as a top priority when we are short on time.

Good News - You don't have to compromise on nutrition. This is one more area where working smarter rather than harder pays off.

Here are 3 tips!

  1. I always used an instant pot or crock pot on nights the girls had sports and knew we would be getting home late. It’s easy to make a whole chicken this way with veggies and starch all in one. Make sure your chicken is propped up on the metal trivet so it doesn’t get “soggy” and add about 1/2 a cup of broth to the bottom of the pressure cooker, add some potatoes, and veggies under, over, or around your chicken. I always liked baby potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Then set it to cook for 6 minutes per pound. Done! Leftover chicken can become soup, a wrap, served atop a salad for the next day’s lunch.

    Here is my favorite collection of pressure cooker meals. Download my free E-recipe booklet!

  2. Treat yourself to a simple clean-up and go for a 100% sheet pan dinner! Click here for some ideas to get you started. Use parchment paper to line your pan and bonus clean-up is instantaneous.

  3. At a fall sports event? Have dinner to go and tailgate or picnic! Pick up all the fixings for sandwiches or wraps at the grocer and serve with yogurt or cheese sticks, nuts, and fruits. Have an appetizer of hummus with veggies to dip - snap peas, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes are all easy no-prep options. I love Ithaca brand of hummus so fresh and tasty. It is sold in Hannaford, Wholefoods, Market Basket, and Target.

Fall into healthful habits.

Fall is the perfect time to establish new habits. I love helping people increase their energy, feel comfortable in their own skin, and normalize their biomarkers through wholesome nutrition!

August is a perfect month to begin by reevaluating your family’s nutrition, sleep, and physical activity. Think about any positive changes you would like to implement this school year. If you would like help managing your own nutrition get in touch.

Please share my newsletter with anyone who might benefit from nutrition tips from a registered dietitian. I currently have a wait list but anticipate openings in late September and early October.

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