Stepping Outside Of The RD Box

March 28, 2014

Fellow RD Lee Jackson emailed me about doing a guest post on KERF a few weeks ago. As we brainstormed topic ideas, I realized she had a really cool nontraditional RD job that I wanted to know more about. I get emails all the time about the job options for RDs, so I figured a post on Lee’s career path would be interesting, especially since I knew going back to school that I wanted to do something crazy with food too : )

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I was so excited to get the opportunity to write for one of my favorite blogs, and I immediately had a list of topic ideas running through my head, cooking for diabetes, arthritis, cancer…..but then Kath suggested, “What about a post about your career as an RD in a nontraditional role?” I have to admit, as a mom and registered dietitian for best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbook author, Holly Clegg, I get asked all the time ‘What do you do?’ But then reality hit and I realized I had to ANSWER that question – just what do I DO? As a stay-at-home-mom/work-from-home-mom, the job looks different day to day – heck, minute to minute, and balancing the two can be a little tricky at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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As a healthy culinary expert, Holly Clegg truly is an amazing woman to work with – more of a friend than a ‘boss’ – and she has been a promoter of healthy cooking long before it was cool. In fact, she will tell you that with her first Trim & Terrific cookbook she would hear people say, “Oh no, I can’t give that to my daughter-in-law/friend/sister/etc, she will think I am calling her fat!” We now know how important nutrition is to quality of life, but there was a time when it definitely wasn’t the norm.

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There also was a time when the internet wasn’t the norm. Years ago, when I began working for Holly I was pretty green as far as mass communications, social media, public relations go and as Kath can surely attest, so much of any business needs a good foundation in these areas. I knew about calories, but what good is that if you can’t reach people and have them hear and learn what you are trying to teach.

So between cheerios, games on the iPhone (monitoring amount of time spent on the iPhone), diaper changes (and even worse – potty training) nursing an infant, carpool, grocery shopping, preparing dinner, Bible study, laundry, and picking up the house (notice I did not say cleaning up – I am a neat freak – not to be confused with a ‘clean freak’) there is still work to be done – and that is just a Monday. Although it can be overload at times, I love it, and that is why I do it – amongst all the other good stuff; family, friends, work keeps me, me.

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Writing has become a big part of what I do. Sure there is plenty of recipe development that Holly has deliciously done over the years (and I have so graciously helped and TASTED many of the recipes). But writing, whether it be in her cookbooks, or for magazines, websites or blogs – it is a majority of what I spend my time doing. And when it is written it must be ‘talked’ about – via Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon – social media must hear about it! You might be surprised to know that though I can calculate nutritional information, when it comes to the hundreds of recipes in her cookbooks we leave that up to the calculation programs built around the USDA nutrient database.

Taping for TV is fun too. After the groceries are bought, the food is prepped, the linens and dishes are set, we load it all in the car to bring to the news station. With the magic of TV you see Holly whip up several of her fantastic healthy dishes and you will find me never too far away (behind the camera guy, although unfortunately my boot – or butt- has been caught in the scene a time or too). We then load it all back up – at least what is left since the tv staff usually likes it when we bring food – and go back home to do dishes. No magic fairies doing dishes in our world, but I do get a yummy dinner out of it!

behind the scenes

Holly’s approach to food is healthy, easy food should always taste good, and as a dietitian, this approach I fully support. While helping develop KITCHEN 101:Secrets to Cooking Confidence, we included a “D” by each recipe to signify all recipes that comply with the American Diabetes Association. In Eating Well to Fight Arthritis we added a “D” as well as “G” for gluten-free recipes. We wanted to make these healthier dishes mainstream, showing that eating well can be an everyday thing, not a special diet.

Chicken Fajita Pizza from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets To Cooking Confidence

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Fajita and pizza together in one recipe can only mean instantaneous deliciousness.

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cups shredded skinless, rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 (10-13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2/3 cup picante sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese

1. Preheat oven 425° F. degrees. Coat pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In bowl, combine chicken with chili powder; set aside. In large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion and green pepper, cooking until crisp tender.

3. Unroll dough and place in pan; starting at center, press out with hands. Bake 6 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and spoon chicken and onion mixture over partially baked crust. Spoon picante sauce over chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake 10-12 minutes.

Nutritional info per serving:

Calories 219, Calories from Fat 26%, Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 41mg, Sodium 546mg, Carbohydrates 21g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Total Sugars 4g, Protein 19g, Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat

Terrific Tip: Can use a Boboli crust or can pick up your favorite prepared pizza crust.

Giveaway!

 Cookbooks

Enter to win a set of Holly Clegg’s books –

trim&TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age

trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets To Cooking Confidence

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lee-Jackson

Lee Jackson, LDN, RD is a wife and mommy of James (3) and Madeline (3 months) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As Registered Dietitian with best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbook author, Holly Clegg, she enjoys spreading the message that good food really can be good for you.

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{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah March 28, 2014 at 7:18 am

Chicken fajita pizza

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2 Caroline March 28, 2014 at 7:20 am

My current favorite recipe is a roasted vegetable crustless quiche. So easy and so yummy!

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3 Jackie March 28, 2014 at 7:25 am

I’m loving that chicken fajita pizza, it looks amazing!

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4 Maggie March 28, 2014 at 7:33 am

I love healthy allmond joys!

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5 marie March 28, 2014 at 7:35 am

My favorite recipe name is Spicy, Smoky Black Bean Soup.

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6 Eva March 28, 2014 at 7:38 am

I love the general recipe name “deviled eggs”– even though it’s simply eggs, it just sounds so mischievous!

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7 Melanie March 28, 2014 at 7:38 am

I would love to win these cookbooks! The food looks fantastic :)

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8 Melanie March 28, 2014 at 7:47 am

meatball and ricotta pizza!

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9 Kelley March 28, 2014 at 7:47 am

I love hearing about other people’s jobs! The cookbooks sound great too!

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10 Kelley March 28, 2014 at 7:49 am

Favorite recipe name? Beer in the butt chicken – although I’ve never tried it – sounds interesting.

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11 Linda March 28, 2014 at 7:57 am

My favorite recipe these days is salsa chicken in the crockpot. The chicken is delicious in everything from quesadillas to burrito bowls.

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12 Tonya March 28, 2014 at 8:27 am

Adorable babies! Nice post. Interesting career!

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13 jen w. March 28, 2014 at 8:36 am

Love the chicken fajita recipe – making it for dinner tonight!

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14 Nikki March 28, 2014 at 8:39 am

My favorite recipe is garlic hummus

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15 Anne Weber-Falk March 28, 2014 at 8:39 am

A pizza from the Pioneer Woman. Thin crust topped with a thin spread of fig jam, prosciutto and arugula, parm and mozz cheese. So good.

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16 Marisa March 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

My favorite recipe name would be Gram’s Gingersnap Cookies – they were my grandma’s gingersnaps, and cannot be replicated, even by following her recipe.

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17 Elaina March 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

The pizza looks yummy ;) I’m not familiar with these recipes but I would like to be :)

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18 em March 28, 2014 at 8:53 am

My favorite recipe is a Southern Living Sweet Potato & Edamame Hash recipe.

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19 Kari K March 28, 2014 at 9:03 am

My husband and I LOVE easy pesto chicken!

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20 Melissa March 28, 2014 at 9:06 am

Carrot Cake Trifle

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21 Rebekah {aCricketSang} March 28, 2014 at 9:14 am

The fajitas pizza idea sounds great.

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22 Randi March 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

I love the outlook and perspective on healthy eating!

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23 Jenny March 28, 2014 at 10:06 am

With my mother having her 2nd heart attack just recently, we’re definitely looking for health cookbook that don’t have bland food. These would be the perfect help!

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24 Kim March 28, 2014 at 10:17 am

My favorite recipe is pumpkin stuffed shells from country living.

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25 Renee March 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

Anyone know what Rappie Pie is? My favorite recipe name and recipe!

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26 Katie March 28, 2014 at 10:44 am

As an in patient dietitian, I love hearing about what others are doing with food and nutrition!! One day I want to write my own cook book and it’s so inspiring to see others out there doing the same thing!

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27 Tonya March 28, 2014 at 10:47 am

hey Kath I have a question…whenever we have these “leave a comment for entry” sweepstakes, I notice other people are answering specific questions. Looks like today’s must be something like “what’s your favorite recipe name?” I never see these instructions. Where do you find those? All I see is “leave a comment for entry” LOL just curious. thanks!

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28 KathEats March 28, 2014 at 11:00 am

Click on the Rafflecopter widget and you’ll see the question. A little confusing indeed

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29 Laura March 28, 2014 at 10:52 am

Morning glory muffins :)

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30 Kaylin @ Enticing Healthy Eating March 28, 2014 at 11:07 am

Current favorite recipe name is Spring Green Pistachio Cake found here….
http://enticinghealthyeating.weebly.com/

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31 Carla March 28, 2014 at 11:12 am

I once tried a recipe called “sticky chicken,” basically, roasted and basted chicken. It wasn’t very sticky…but the name is great, haha.

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32 Margaret March 28, 2014 at 11:17 am

Spicy Glazed Chicken sounds delicious.

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33 Ashley March 28, 2014 at 11:30 am

Chicken fajita pizza for sure

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34 melissa March 28, 2014 at 11:45 am

pizza or the meatballs

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35 Jean March 28, 2014 at 11:46 am

I would love to win these!

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36 Laura P March 28, 2014 at 11:56 am

Bangin good shrimp!

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37 Kate March 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Chicken fajita pizza!

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38 Elizabeth March 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Probably Mediterranean Baked Salmon. So delish!

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39 JennieM March 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Chicken Fajita Pizza

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40 allison March 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Favorite recipe name– Neck Noodle Soup http://stonesoups.tumblr.com/post/68161524217/neck-noodle-soup

Check out my friend’s soup blog for more creative, delicious soup recipes!

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41 Michelle M. March 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

My currect favorite recipe…I have to pick one?! I’m loving almond flour bacon biscuits or island salmon salad!

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42 Leah F. March 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I can’t wait to check out these books! I can totally relate to both Lee as a stay-at-home mom to little ones….it is a tough balance and I’ve learned over time that taking care of ME has to be #1 so that I can be the mom, wife, sister, friend, etc that I want to be. thanks for your daily inspiration, Kath! I’m a 3-year reader, first time commenter :0)

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43 KathEats March 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

First comment yay!!

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44 Sara March 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Dirt Dessert! :)

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45 laura March 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

That pizza recipe looks amazzzing!

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46 Isela Grayson March 28, 2014 at 1:38 pm

My favorite recipe is Enchiladas de Mole, but I always like to try new things!

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47 Michelle March 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

This cookbook sounds amazing! ;)

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48 Alexandra March 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Favourite recipe is roasted red pepper hummus- so easy, so good.

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49 Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit March 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm

What a cool job! That recipe looks amazing, obviously I need to own these cookbooks!

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50 Kristen March 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Chicken ranch tacos

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51 Allison March 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Easy cinnamon rolls. Not because it is such a great name, but because it makes me want to try them.

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52 Lisa P. March 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

That pizza looks amazing. I love that she is from Louisiana and I’m sure she has some healthy Cajun recipes! I’d love her cookbook :)

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53 Amye March 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm

That pizza looks great!

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54 Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine March 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Chicken Fajita Pizza!

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55 Stephanie March 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

The chicken fajita sounds wonderful… I’m also loving white chicken chili lately.

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56 Laura March 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Mom’s Gazpacho which is my all time favorite gazpacho recipe I found on Epicurious.

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57 marcie March 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

That pizza looks good, but what about a whole grain crust option?

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58 Ashley N. March 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

BBQ Chicken Pizza!

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59 Erin March 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Chicken fajita pizza

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60 Becki @ Bites 'n Brews March 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Lemony, buttery risotto.

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61 Katie C. March 28, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Banana bread!

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62 EVA March 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hmmm….favorite recipe NAME?

Roasted butt!

Haha I always got a kick out of that as a kid and refused to believe it when my mom told me that it means ham.

Favorite recipe? Man, that’s hard. I’ve been eating this salad concoction almost everyday for the past two weeks: mixed greens, chicken breast, dried cranberries, dried cherries, sliced almonds, cukes, and tomatoes. It’s incredible.

I’ve also been obsessed with baked potato wedges….

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63 Clairerose March 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

cinnamon roles…drool!

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64 Amy March 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I’m super into baked spaghetti squash right now!

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65 Ellen March 28, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Drunken noodles – or anything else Asian themed :)

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66 Laura March 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Turkey Posole from cooking Light many years ago. My husband and I will cook an entire turkey for no other purpose than to make a triple batch of this deliciousness!

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67 Ana March 28, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Pilsbury dough for the pizza crust? When you check out the ingredients for that it contains cottonseed oil which is mostly saturated fat and has pesticides in it (from the cotton crops). Also the third and fourth ingredients are both sugar. I’d never heard of Holly Clegg but checked out the website. Almost every recipe I looked at had something that came in a box, can or otherwise prepared.

Her emphasis appears to be being skinny (trim) and she calls herself the “Queen of Quick”. What happened to real food and shopping the perimeter?

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68 Amy March 28, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos. :) I seriously need to make this Chicken Fajita Pizza!

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69 Sarah March 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm

I am loving a good, we’ll seasoned mased cauliflower made with almond milk, Greek yogurt, and dill!

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70 Sarah March 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm

**mashed

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71 Ilana March 28, 2014 at 9:10 pm

That pizza looks delicious! My favorite recipe is chicken with artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and garlic – mmmm.

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72 Rachel March 28, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Special meal!

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73 Debbie (accidently delish) March 28, 2014 at 10:56 pm

almond crusted chicken has been a dish i can’t get enough of lately. i grind my own almonds for the breading and just love the fresh almond taste!

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74 Laura March 28, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Favorite recipe: Protein pancake

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75 Charlotte March 28, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Ah the pizza looks amazing!

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76 sandy sh March 28, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Bad Mood Casserole….something I cook when I am NOT having a good day.

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77 Iman March 29, 2014 at 12:27 am

The new tiramisu recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie! Finally my favourite dessert has been recreated! Too excited to create it!

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78 Angela March 29, 2014 at 1:10 am

Couscous-Stuffed Peppers with Basil Sauce by Giada!!

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79 Lindsay Parker March 29, 2014 at 1:47 am

That pizza looks delish!

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80 jill March 29, 2014 at 3:21 am

That Chicken Fajita Pizza looks yummy!

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81 Nancy A. March 29, 2014 at 4:58 am

I would love to win these books! I am trying to eat healthier and get my family on board, these would help so much. The chicken fajita pizza looks so delicious, I think my family would go for that! Love all the ideas and tips you have!!

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82 theresa March 29, 2014 at 6:05 am

Lemon hummus chicken power salad on kale. Is that even a name? I made it up. And it is TO. DIE. FOR. Drippy humus melts over crisp kale with lemony chicken and a light balsamic-oil dressing.

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83 Kelly K. March 29, 2014 at 6:10 am

I’m always looking for healthy but tasty meals for my family!

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84 Livi March 29, 2014 at 6:28 am

So cool. Thanks for sharing your story Lee!

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85 Lee March 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Thanks so much Livi! I just followed you on Instagram @vwayca1:)

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86 meg March 29, 2014 at 7:06 am

I just created something new last night with a similar fajita inspiration – fajita pasta with a guacamole sauce. Yum!

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87 Charlotte March 29, 2014 at 10:16 am

Are you on instagram, Kath? I see you have webstagram but wanted to follow you on insta as well if you’re on there :)

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88 KathEats March 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

Yes @katheats!

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89 Dina March 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

I love anything hummus..so the roasted red pepper and garlic hummus sound delicious!!

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90 Sydney March 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm

My favorite recipe to make is black bean enchiladas! Thanks for the post!

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91 Emily March 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Banana bread

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92 Jenn March 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Chocolate chip cookies. I think it’s just because I’m 7 months pregnant and am craving them ;)

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93 Beaty March 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I love many recipes, but my crustless quiche is a current favorite. Lots of veggies, protein and a little cheese. What else could I want? I would love to win a cookbook. Especially if it has marking for recipes good for arthritis since my daughter struggles with arthritis. Anything that might help is worth doing!

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94 Janelle Mikulice March 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm

That chicken fajita pizza is looking pretty good!

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95 Makenna March 29, 2014 at 5:24 pm

I very rarely use recipes unless I’m baking–I like to just throw stuff together! But my favorite recipe when baking would definitely be my mom’s cut out sugar cookies! YUM

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96 Sydney March 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Love the recipe that looks delish!

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97 Kate March 29, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Kath’s “Throw In A Pot Veggie Chili”. I once ate it seven days straight.

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98 KathEats March 29, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Haha!

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99 Elyse March 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Homemade ALMOND BUTTER. YUM!

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100 Michele March 29, 2014 at 8:03 pm

That chicken fajita pizza looks delicious!

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101 Sarah March 29, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Overnight Oats In A Jar of course :) (sunbutter is my fave)

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102 Trisha March 30, 2014 at 8:05 am

Ohh, I’d have to say steel cut oats with some almond butter on top!

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103 Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

Thanks for this post! It’s really interesting to learn what opportunities there are for RDs and how you can craft a life around what you love.

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104 Taryn March 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

Evil oatmeal cookies!

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105 Julie O. March 30, 2014 at 11:52 am

Loving breakfast type recipes, quiche, and loving roasted cauliflower tossed in buffalo chicken sauce!! YUM. Would love to have either cookbook.

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106 Melissa March 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm

The green monster smoothie is the best name :) I also love a salad we named after a friend who came up with the recipe – now known as Jackie’s salad.

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107 lauren March 30, 2014 at 12:37 pm

My favorite recipes are old family recipes we’ve been making forever! Standard apple pie, rolls, quiche, etc.!

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108 Jen March 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Chicken pot pie

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109 Janette March 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm

This is my first time commenting. I have been reading your blog for the last few years and really enjoyed the evolution of it along with your family. I developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my two year old (age was the factor) and have been very conscious of eating healthy ever since, for myself and also for my son who now has a higher chance of developing diabetes as he gets older. These books would be another great resource to provide inspiration and information.

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110 KathEats March 30, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Thanks for your comment and best of luck

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111 Carol B March 30, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Poppy Seed Chicken

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112 Kristen March 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Roasted red pepper hummus for the win!

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113 Melissa @ ReThreads Charlottesville March 30, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I was just thinking tonight that I wanted to start using cookbooks more often; I’d love to check these out! Mostly I just throw things together without a recipe and call it a meal, but I always need to follow specifics for baking. I’ve screwed up too many baked goods when not following a recipe!

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