Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl


  • 1 cup quinoa (1 cup uncooked quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked!)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 small apple, with skin on for fiber and diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (feel free to substitue with black raisins or dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it with cold running water…this will help remove any bitter flavors. In a medium pot, bring water and quinoa to a boil and add salt. Reduce to lowest heat setting, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove cover from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the apples, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts. Serve warm.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Photo Credit: TastFoodBlog

Recipe by Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE,CEDS  *Originally published published in Everyday Health

Each cookie has 70 calories, 2g fat, 15g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g protein, and 6g sugar. Yield: 28-32 cookies.


¾ cup canola oil
1 cup honey or agave nectar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup raisins
½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
1½ cups wheat germ
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup powdered fat-free milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the canola oil, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, raisins, chopped walnuts, wheat germ, and rolled oats.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and powdered milk.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until well-combined.
  • Scoop out spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Cookies will not spread much, so you don’t need to leave a lot of room between them.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until dry around the edges.
  • Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Gingerbread Cookies


Keep the spirit of the holidays alive while making traditional recipes a bit healthier!

Gingerbread Cookies
Each of these low-fat cookies has 50 calories, 0.5g fat, 12g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g protein, and 4g sugar. Yield: 30-36 cookies.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
⅓ cup dark molasses
1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1½ cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves


  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, honey, and applesauce until smooth.
  • Add the egg and molasses, mixing well.
  • In another large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well.
  • Divide the dough into two flat balls; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keeping the other portion refrigerated. Roll out the dough to ¼- to ⅛-inch thickness; sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it’s sticky. Cut the gingerbread with cookie cutters of your choice.
  • Place the cookies 1 to 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf, but 2 loaves are pictured above!)

  • 1.5 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup apple sauce (cinnamon flavored works great with this recipe!)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread (optional):
  • 1/2 cup light, whipped cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat the bread pan with oil.

Sift flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, gloves and ginger. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil and water. Combine the dry and wet ingredients until well blended. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. While this is baking, you can prepare an easy pumpkin cream cheese spread that will compliment the pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin puree and sugar. Whisk gently, until sugar has dissolved. In honor of Halloween, I served this in a mini pumpkin. Simply slice off the stem of the pumpkin, and remember to scoop out all of the seeds before filling it with this delicious spread!

After 45 minutes, remove from the pan from the oven to check if it’s ready. (Baking time may vary depending on the pan you use.) Insert a toothpick or  knife in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. Allow it to cool for about 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. Serve alone or with a dollop of the pumpkin spread!


Meatballs on a Stick

Recipe by Laura Cipullo, R.D., C.D.E.  *Originally published published in The Daily Meal

Homemade meatballs made with lean turkey meat, these little balls on a stick will be a yummy addition to any meal or party. Since we’re on the cusp of Halloween, you can even serve these at a party  for a healthy side — and not to mention, easy clean up!


  • 1 pound ground white turkey, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4-1/2 slice whole-wheat bread
  • 1 egg, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • No-sugar added tomato sauce, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion, bread, egg, red pepper, and oregano. Form the mixture into small balls and place on a baking sheet. (The smaller the meatball, the faster it will finish baking.) Cook for about 30 minutes. When cool, add to kebab sticks, alternating 2 meatballs per skewer with 1 cube of mozzarella. Serve with tomato sauce.

Tuna Topped Cucumber Bites

A lighter take on the traditional sandwich, these tuna inspired cucumber bites will put your veggies to work! You can add minced carrots, diced red peppers or fresh onions for a pop of color and even more zest. Get your kids involved in the kitchen by having them wash vegetables and helping to dish out the goods. With light tuna salad mounded on top of cucumber slices, this duo will surely add a protein packed and refreshing kick to any palate at any age!

Ingredients (Makes about 20 servings)
2 cans solid white tuna in unsalted water, drained
1/2 cup light mayo, (or sub in Greek yogurt for a lighter finish)
1 tbsp yellow mustard
4 tbsp pickles, diced
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp dried onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cucumbers
Salt and pepper


1. Combine mayo, mustard, pickles, dill, onion powder, garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.

2. Slice cucumbers into 1/2 inch thickness

3. Top with a cucumber tuna salad

Good-for-You Granola Bars


Ingredients (Makes a dozen bars)

1.5 cups puffed wheat/rice/kamut
1/2 cup bran cereal
1.5 cups traditional rolled oats
3.5 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter
1/3 cup organic honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp Cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 9×9″ pan with a long sheet of parchment paper that extends over the edges of the pan. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients of kamut, oats, bran, dried fruits, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a saucepan over low heat, warm the peanut butter, honey, vanilla and brown sugar until sugar has melted and mixture is thin.

Pour liquid mixture on top of dry ingredients. Once ingredients are equally coated, spread the mixture into the pan. Using extra parchment paper, press mixture into pan until firm. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

After removing the pan from the oven, use a non-stick spatula to press bars flat. Allow it to cool. Then lift the ends of the parchment and cut into bars.

Send the Message with a Cookie

My son’s school recently invited parents to share their jobs with the students. I happily agreed, but as the event got closer, I continued to struggle with what to do with the class. There are so many fun options. And while I had already made the new MyPlate with both Bobby and Billy’s classes (see the picture), I was still left to decide between taste testing different fruits and dips, coloring placemats portraying everyday foods like fruit, veggies, legumes and low-fat dairy products, or something else.

Anytime I participate in an event like this, my goal is for the kids to have fun learning about different foods so they realize that nutrition and being healthy is both easy and delicious. Easier said than done though; they are, after all, only four to six years old.

One of my ideas was to use a lesson plan from my program, Healthy Habits, to educate the kids on what it feels like to be hungry and full, and then have them take a quiz using their newly learned cues. When working with such young pupils, however, I also want to make sure that the message touches their bellies—not just their brains—and I was afraid that this activity wouldn’t achieve that.

Unsure of what to do, I went to my oldest son, Bobby, and asked what he would’ve liked me to do. He said he didn’t know. So instead, I tried another tactic: I asked him if he knew what I did—what a dietitian does. After thinking momentarily, he went on to share this very insightful response. “You teach people what is healthy and what is sometimes food,” said Bobby.

I don’t know why, but I was amazed that Bobby was able to give such a brief, succinct description of what I do, and I especially loved the fact that he used the phrase “sometimes food.” My efforts and practices are most definitely influencing my son. As an RD, but most importantly as a mother, I felt proud.

This is when I prosed the idea of making healthier cookies. From my encounter with Bobby, I knew that the kids could understand the idea of “sometimes foods” and “everyday foods.” (It doesn’t have to be cookies either; you can modify any recipe at home, like turning traditional spaghetti and meatballs into whole-wheat pasta with turkey meatballs and all-natural sauce.) For the purpose of my upcoming show-and-tell though, cookies would do just fine. They take just 20 minutes to make, and they’ll certainly send a kid-friendly message. Better yet, the kids may even bring the recipe home and share it with their siblings and parents.

So that is what I’m planning to do for bring your parents to class day: to turn a “sometimes food” into an almost-everyday-food and a decidedly healthy and delicious snack option.

Here is the recipe for our wholesome chocolate chip cookies (dark chocolate that is) if you want to try them out too:

Wholesome Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tina Sweitzer – Mom to Young and Chef

 Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE – Mom to Robert and Dietitian

For ~ 2 dozen cookies


Ingredients Wet

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white

Ingredients Dry

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole grain oats rolled
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt

Finishing touches

  • 8-10 oz. package of Whole Foods Dark Chocolate Chips or 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Now just mix and bake them like a batch of normal chocolate chip cookies. In a mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (partially soften the butter in the microwave, just be careful not to melt it too much). Stir them together with a spoon. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Now carefully stir in the dry ingredients in with the wet. Now stir in the dark chocolate chips. 
Place cookies on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 – 14 minutes.

Download a PDF of the recipe here.