Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken

By Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services


To prepare for the upcoming school year, I’ve been trying to focus on finding meals I can make ahead and then have ready to heat and eat during the week.  This yogurt marinade recipe is my recent favorite because in addition to a marinade for chicken, I’ve also used the recipe as a sauce or even dressing for other meals and side dishes. It keeps chicken moist–whether grilled or baked–and is a tangy and fresh compliment to seasonal veggies and sides!



Makes 4 servings (marinates 4 chicken breast fillets)

2 cups Greek yogurt, plain

2 tbsp honey

1 medium lemon, juiced

1/4 cup cucumber peeled and diced, finely

2 medium strawberries diced, finely

1/4 medium onion, diced

1-2 cloves garlic, made into paste

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper



1. In medium bowl, stir to combine yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and honey.

2. Dice onion, cucumber and strawberry. Paste garlic. Combine all with yogurt mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.

For Marinade: Pour into gallon-sized ziplock to cover chicken breasts and squeeze bag to coat chicken.  Allow to marinade in refrigerator overnight. Grill or bake chicken to desired doneness, checking for an internal temperature of 165F.

For Sauce: Chill yogurt mixture in airtight container and enjoy with veggies, grains, salads or proteins as a dipping sauce or dressing.



Crowd Pleasing Veggie Burgers

By Brenna O’Malley and The Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team


In search of a meatless option for a crowd or just an alternative to packaged veggie burgers with lots of extra ingredients? This easy make-ahead recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, a salad or lunch topper, or a great way to get some protein and veggies into your day! These are crowd pleasing veggie burgers because your whether your friends are meatless, gluten free or particular about the veggies or ingredients they like, these burgers can be adapted to fit your guests’ palates!

Yields ~8 patties


1 can black beans, mashed

½ medium onion, diced

1 large carrot or 1 cup baby carrots, grated or diced finely

1 (8oz) pkg of mushrooms, diced

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 cup oat flour (can be made by blending 1 cup oats)

½ cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked

½ cup sweet potato, diced and cooked

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 cloves of garlic, minced and made into paste

1 tbsp olive oil

2 eggs

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp red pepper flakes


Optional Add-ins:

1 cup sautéed spinach or kale, 2 tbsp chopped almonds, 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce



  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. If you do not have roasted sweet potato or rinsed and cooked quinoa ready, prepare those now. Sautee onions, garlic paste, mushrooms and red pepper with tbsp. olive oil until veggies are soft.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and any optional add-ins you choose. Season to taste and mix well.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet, moisten hands with water and begin to tightly pack and shape patties for baking.
  5. Bake patties in oven for ~25 minutes, if your patties are thicker, flipping halfway through may promote even baking.
  6. Can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen to have on hand for the week. Enjoy!

For Coffee Drinking Moms: Say Goodbye to Starbucks

Photo by @bluestonelanecoffee
Photo by @bluestonelanecoffee

Sipping a cup of coffee on the way out the door while making sure everyone’s shoes are on the right feet is how many busy moms may be starting their morning. Or maybe you grab a cup on your way to work, or even prefer to meet up with a friend for coffee and catching up! Regardless of how you take your coffee, you’re not alone in getting your caffeine fix—nearly 90% of the adult US population consumes caffeine, and 98% of that caffeine comes from coffee![1] While we may (almost) all be drinking coffee daily, there are still a few controversies even the most devoted coffee drinkers might not have the answers to, including a list of some of the best coffee shops to try in NYC!

Does the Brew Method Affect Caffeine Content?

Yes and no. An 8oz cup of drip coffee will have marginally more caffeine than instant coffee and about 2-3 times as much caffeine as a 1oz shot of espresso.[2] But your barista has the final say in deciding how much caffeine you’ll have in your order. While the variation from day-to-day likely depends on the training regimen and reputation and goals of the coffee shop, it can be significant. A study in Maryland followed coffee shops over a six-day period to find they served up the same drink order but it was measured to have a wide range of caffeine presence, from 58-259mg. (For reference, moderate intake of caffeine is considered three cups a day and averaged to be 300mg.[2])

Might Coffee Irritate Me If I’m Gluten Intolerant/Have Celiac Disease?

It could! Instant coffee is often contaminated with traces of gluten that could irritate someone with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.[4] However, drinking pure coffee should not cause problems for someone with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.[4]

My child wants to try coffee…

Children are grouped into a sensitive subpopulation, along with pregnant women in terms of a having a cap on caffeine consumption, under 300mg/day to reduce risk of adverse affects.[2] More specific recommendations for children, based on age and weight, suggest that no more than 45mg/day for a 1-5year old and no more than 125mg/day for a 10-14 year old.[2] Considering other sources of caffeine that may be in your child’s diet (chocolate, teas, soft drinks) just a half cup to a cup of coffee could exceed the child’s daily recommendation.

Where to get the best cup?

Here are our favorites coffee shops around Manhattan and some we’re excited to try!

Photo by @bluestonelanecoffee
Photo by @bluestonelanecoffee

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Serving specialty coffee and their signature cold brew for the summer months, Stumptown offers a laidback and inviting environment to enjoy any weekend morning. Optional (but limited) outdoor seating and prime West Village location makes it easy to bring along the stroller or kids on your way to Washington Square Park!


30 W 8th Street, New York, NY 10011

Ace Hotel, 18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

Breakfast at Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe by Brenna O'Malley
Breakfast at Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe by Brenna O’Malley

Bluestone Lane

With locations across Manhattan, it’s hard to find an excuse to not pop into this charming coffee shop for a drink or their West Village location for some “brekkie”. They are known for their avocado toasts and uniquely named coffees, like the “magic”. Also offers indoor and outdoor seating and is a popular weekend brunch spot!

Location:         55 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014 (Collective Café)

805 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10022

1114 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036

30 Broad St. New York, NY 10004

770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

La Colombe

The perfect spot after Soul Cycle in Noho, or a break from shopping in Soho. These airy cafés are welcoming and filled with light, if you don’t get a seat, we promise, their iced coffee is just as good, to-go.


319 Church Street, New York, NY 10013

270 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012

400 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

75 Vandam Street, New York, NY 10013

Flat White at Little Collins by Brenna O'Malley
Flat White at Little Collins by Brenna O’Malley

Little Collins

With one Midtown location, this is a great spot to grab a quality coffee between meetings or on your way to the office. With very similar vibes to Bluestone Lane’s Collective Café in West Village, Little Collins slows down the busy pace of a midtown weekday with their own Australian brews.


667 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022

Happy coffee-shopping!


[1]Fulgoni, V., Keast, D., & Lieberman, H. (2015). Trends in intake and sources of caffeine in the diets of US adults: 2001-2010. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1091-1087.

[2]Hogan, E., Hornick, B., & Bouchoux, A (n.d.). Communicating the Message: Clarifying the Controversies About Caffeine. Nutrition Today, 28-35.

[3]Mccusker, R., Goldberger, B., & Cone, E. (n.d.). Caffeine Content of Specialty Coffees. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 520-522.

[4]Vojdani, A., & Tarash, I. (n.d.). Cross-Reaction between Gliadin and Different Food and Tissue Antigens. Food and Nutrition Sciences FNS, 20-32.



Scheherazade Casserole

In the midst of figuring out my nutrition beliefs, I went from picky eater to vegetarian to vegan to omnivore.  While vegetarian and vegan, my two favorite cookbooks were “A Celebration of Wellness – A Cookbook for Vibrant Living” and “Moosewood Cookbook”.  I wanted to share with you what remains one of my favorite recipes from Moosewood Cookbook.  Scheherazade Casserole is a delicious recipe, which includes bulgur, onions, bell peppers, and soybeans (just to name a few ingredients).  I hope you enjoy this satisfying dish just as much as I do!  Maybe it will become one of your favorites too!


Photo Credit: Emily Barney via Compfight cc


Scheherazade Casserole

Makes 6-8 Servings


  • 1 cup raw bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 3 larges cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons basil
  • black pepper and cayenne to taste
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ cup dry soybeans, soaked
  • 1 14 ½ oz. can tomatoes, drained
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup (packed) finely minced parsley
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups crumbled feta cheese



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. Place the bulgur in a small bowl.  Add boiling water, cover with a plate, and stand at least 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, garlic, salt, and seasonings.  Stir occasionally as you sauté over medium heat for 5-8 minutes.  Add bell pepper and sauté about 5 minutes more.
  4. Drain the soybeans, if necessary, and place them in a blender or food processor with 1 cup fresh water.  Grind until the soybeans resemble a coarse batter.   Transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Add the soaked bulgur and sautéed vegetables to the soybeans,  Stir in the tomatoes,  breaking them up into bite-sized pieces.  Add tomato paste, the parsley, and 1 cup of the feta cheese.  Mix well.
  6. Spread into the baking pan and sprinkle the remaining feta chees on top.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 375°F, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more with the oven turned down to 350°F.  Serve hot.



It Takes a Village – And Then Some!

It Takes a Village – And Then Some!

by Erica Leon, MS, RDN, CDN

While not easy, I somehow launched my children into college and beyond. With fellow empty-nester friends who are also health professionals and moms—one a nurse, one a psychologist—I took a walk down memory lane. We reflected on teaching children good self-care, particularly when they have health concerns related to food.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc


Peanut Allergy:

Carpooling was challenging enough, but when I thought three-year-old Thomas had shared my son’s peanut rice cakes, I panicked! Thomas was severely allergic to peanuts as well as tree nuts. Still parked at the nursery school, I hoisted Thomas like a football, screamed for the teachers, and rinsed his mouth, hoping I did not have to administer his EpiPen. He never ate any of the rice cakes, but I learned a valuable lesson on scrutinizing food items when you have or care for a child with allergies!

According to Hildie Kalish, RN, an elementary school nurse whose child has a severe nut allergy, “Keep your child safe by constantly checking and then rechecking ingredients in food products. Never assume an item is safe as it is not uncommon for food manufacturers to change ingredients or processing techniques. As soon as children are old enough to understand, teach them to read labels and avoid sharing food with other kids. When they are responsible enough, have them carry Benadryl and their own Epi-pen or Auvi-Q, and make sure they know how to use them.”


My nutritional skills were put to the test when I rescued ten-year-old Luke, my son’s friend, who was dizzy from playing baseball in the summer heat. Driving up with hydrating sports beverages and a mom’s wisdom, I remembered that Luke had an endocrine condition that made dehydration particularly dangerous. When a child exercises, their muscles generate heat, which in turn raises body temperature. The body cools itself through sweating, which must be replaced by fluid or the body will overheat.

Dehydration is more common in children, and young athletes are particularly prone to dehydration. Encourage your young athlete to drink fluids before, during, and after sports to prevent heat-related illnesses. Recommend fluid-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables and have your youngster carry a water bottle and drink a sports beverage when his/her physical activity level exceeds one hour.


I became a celiac expert when Rachel, a good friend of my daughter’s, was diagnosed. From that day forward, I stocked my cabinets with gluten-free items and helped her mom educate other parents about which foods to keep on hand for play dates.

 Merle Keitel, Ph.D, counseling psychologist and parent of a child with celiac, says,

“It is important to establish a support system that is aware of your child’s dietary restrictions and has food on hand that your child can eat if at their homes for an extended period of time.  In the case of celiac, fruits and vegetables work but if other children are having sweets, it is helpful for there to be chocolate or other gluten-free sweets so the child does not feel cheated and self conscious about being ‘different.’ Friends and extended family who are educated and willing to help can be a gift to the child with special dietary needs.”

Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc


These real-life scenarios portray what can happen when a child has a chronic health condition. Says Kalish, “At school I work with families of kids newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I always say that education is key. I see parents overcompensating with extra treats for fear that their child will feel deprived. Diabetic children do not need extra treats. It is important to treat them like any other child and learn the merits of a healthy balanced diet with plenty of ‘everyday’ foods and occasional ‘sometimes’ foods.”

While we can try to protect our children from all types of threats, educating your child, caregivers, schools, and trusted friends about a chronic health condition is essential. Allow your child to take the reigns and manage his/her own health as soon as he/she are emotionally and intellectually ready. We want our kids to remember the lessons that we teach them at home, as they will eventually leave the nest.

Gluten-Free: Diet Trend or Medical Necessity?

Gluten-Free: Diet Trend or Medical Necessity?
By Julie Holland Faylor, MHS, CEDS


Open a magazine, visit a restaurant or shop for groceries and you’re likely to observe the gluten-free diet craze. Books, magazines and blogs claim various health and weight loss benefits from eliminating gluten from our diets, restaurants tout separate gluten-free menus, and grocery stores have added whole aisles dedicated to gluten-free foods. In fact, the gluten-free eating trend has become so pervasive that there’s even a gluten-free Girl Scout cookie!

For many people, gluten-free eating is the latest fad. However, for people like me with celiac disease, it’s a necessity. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, only 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune illness that damages the small intestine and restricts the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. People who have this disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. If any gluten is ingested, even a small amount, uncomfortable medical symptoms develop shortly afterwards, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation. In addition to those with celiac disease, there is a portion of the population who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. These people also cannot tolerate gluten, and while they may experience similar symptoms, they don’t experience the same damage to their small intestine.

As an eating disorder specialist, two things are concerning to me about the swift rise in gluten-free diets—the connection between dietary restriction and eating disorders, and the impact of the growing popularity of elective gluten-free eating on people without medically-verified gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Eating disorders often begin with a seemingly innocent diet—medically indicated or otherwise—and many diets call for the elimination of entire food groups like gluten, dairy or meat. Sometimes, dietary restriction can lead to disordered eating behaviors like “orthorexia,” a condition characterized by an unhealthy preoccupation with healthy eating. In other cases, dietary restriction can lead to a full-syndrome eating disorder (the dieting behavior activates the latent genetic predisposition toward developing an eating disorder—remember, eating disorders are hereditary! Link to first post) For individuals without a medically diagnosed gluten intolerance that elect to stop eating gluten, I encourage them to think about why they are making this significant change to their diet. In general, whole grains are an important part of a balanced pattern of eating, and labeling foods as “good” and “bad” can stigmatize eating and reinforce the cycle of dieting and dietary restriction. A simple best practice following any significant change in food intake is to consult with a registered dietitian to establish an optimal nutrition plan. While doing so, it is important to specify that the gluten-free change is a dietary preference rather than a medical necessity. Regardless of our diet choices or mandates, it is important to keep wellness and balance in mind.

Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc

Additionally, the gluten-free diet fad creates a misperception that gluten-free is merely a preference, not a medical necessity. As a result, gluten-free standards have relaxed to the point where many products and menus claiming to be free of gluten actually contain some measure of wheat, rye or barley. This makes it more challenging to practice a medically-indicated gluten-free diet. While food products must list their ingredients, gluten-free menus at restaurants can be blatant offenders, not taking the time to truly understand what gluten is and in what products it is used. In my personal experience at many restaurants, I have ordered meals from these special menus that actually contained gluten ingredients like soy sauce, and I felt terribly sick shortly after. In a sense, it seems as though elective gluten-free eating has trivialized a celiac disease diagnosis. I encourage those with gluten intolerance to be hyper-vigilant about their product choices and restaurant visits—in light of the gluten-free trend, we have to listen to our bodies even if a label or menu item claims to be gluten-free.

In today’s culture, dieting is pervasive. Gluten-free eating is all the rage this year, the latest in a long line of fads and gimmicks like low/no-carb, high protein, raw, fat-free, sugar-free—the list goes on and on. While the majority of diets are elective in nature, some diets—including the dietary restrictions of individuals with celiac disease—are medically indicated. Regardless of the motivation for the diet or the diet’s underlying philosophy, it is important to understand the connection between dieting and eating disorders. In fact, research has found that 35 percent of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting, and of those, 20-25 percent progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.* With this statistic in mind, caution must be exercised when any sort of dietary restriction is taking place.


* Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The Spectrum of Eating Disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3): 209-219.

A Creative Approach to Food Allergies and Trick-or-Treating

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

*This post was originally published on ASHA’s online blog. The original can be found here.

Photo Credit: Nomadic Lass via Compfight cc

Ever notice how many kids who are in feeding therapy also have food allergies?  With Halloween just around the corner, I’m encountering parents in my practice who are scared to let their food-allergic kids go Trick or Treating.  As their child’s feeding therapist, I try to offer creative strategies to ease their minds and still allow their little munch bug an evening of safe but spooky fun!

Trick or Treat Nirvana (What’s a Parent to Do?) 

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My neighborhood is a child’s Trick or Treating nirvana; street after street of tightly packed houses, much like enormous Pez® candies crammed inside a spring-loaded Casper the Ghost container. It’s the perfect setting for little fists holding giant plastic pumpkins to collect as many pounds of sugar as humanly possible in the shortest amount of time.  The neighbors are obsessed with decorating their homes to the hilt and consequently our sidewalks are packed with little Batmans, Disney Princesses and giant Rubik’s Cubes negotiating their way to each and every over-the-top decorated home and loading up on anything the neighbor’s offer when the kids shout “TRICK OR TREAT!”

So what’s a parent to do when their child with food allergies so desperately wants to join in on the door to door fun?  Well, keep this in mind: For the kids, Halloween is about ringing a doorbell, shouting “TRICK OR TREAT”,  remembering to say “thank you” as they scurry off to the next house and most of all – giggling non-stop with their friends.  It’s truly about the social experience, and not so much about what gets thrown in the bag.  But for many of my clients, what ends up in their bags is vitally important for safety reasons. Here a few strategies for parents to consider.

Enlist the Help of a Few Neighbors 

1.    Secret Passwords Nobody wants a child to miss out on the big night.  Most friends and neighbors will be thrilled to stash your candy alternatives by their front door.  If your alternative candy needs to be kept separate from other food substances,  be sure to let them know.  If your child is old enough and/or you are not present,  just tell them that  Mrs. Smith needs to hear the secret password (e.g. “monster mash”) because she is saving something just for them.  The last thing you want is Mrs. Smith accidentally giving some random fairy princess your child’s special allergen free candy!

Photo Credit: Will Montague via Compfight cc

2.    Create a “TREASURE HUNT” with clues that lead your little pirate to the buried treasure where X marks the spot.  Give ten clues to ten neighbors; use brown grocery bag paper, black ink and even singe the edges for that authentic “treasure map” look.  Each piece of paper provides the next clue on where to go:  “Yo ho ho, ye pirate gents! Go to the next house with the white picket fence!”  Little do they suspect that the 10th clue will send them back to their own house, where they will discover a giant X and a special treasure buried beneath, just for them!

To continue reading, please click here to be redirected to ASHAsphere.



We only call it treats due to Halloween but they are really candy, food, or food with lower nutrition.

Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa and Corn

This recipe can be a bit labor intensive, but it serves as a great opportunity to teach your children about tomatoes and have them help you with the prep work. Who knows, your kids who dislike tomatoes may find they enjoy them when baked!


  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin (can be omitted if not a family favorite)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 ounces colby-Jack cheese, shredded (feel free to change to cheese of choice)


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Add corn and onion to pan; broil 10 minutes, stirring twice. Stir in oregano, oil, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, and black pepper.
  3. Cut tops off tomatoes; set aside. Carefully scoop out tomato pulp, leaving shells intact. Drain pulp through a sieve over a bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract liquid. Reserve 1 1/4 cups liquid, and discard remaining liquid. Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Invert tomatoes on a wire rack; let stand 30 minutes. Dry insides of tomatoes with a paper towel.
  4. Rinse quinoa. Combine reserved tomato liquid, quinoa, 1/4 cup water, and the remaining salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Add quinoa mixture to corn mixture; toss well.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°.
  6. Spoon about 3/4 cup corn mixture into each tomato. Divide cheese evenly among tomatoes. Place tomatoes and tops, if desired, on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler. Broil the tomatoes 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese melts. Place tomato tops on tomatoes, if desired.


The recipe and photograph featured in this post are courtesy of our friends at Cooking Light. To view the recipe please click here.

Summer Ratatouille

We love soup at my house. However, we miss it in the summer months because it’s just too hot to enjoy it. Luckily, this Summer Ratatouille recipe can be served both hot or cold, making it a great option for these warm summer months!

Summer Ratatouille

Photo Credit: alykat via Compfight cc


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • Small eggplant peeled & diced
  • 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 zucchini sliced
  • 2 green peppers, cleaned & diced
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Salt & pepper to taste



  1. Heat oil in heavy sauce pan
  2. Add onions & garlic brown quickly over high heat
  3. Add eggplant & tomatoes & mix
  4. Crush mixture with back of wooden spoon
  5. Add zucchini & green peppers & mix well
  6. Add all seasoning, cook 2-3 minutes over high heat, stirring most of the time
  7. Cover & simmer for 1 hour, stirring once or twice until sauce is thick & creamy


*Recipe provided by The Darsa Family