Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Gluten-Free Baking Basics—plus a Breezy Blender Muffin Recipe!

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, it is estimated that Celiac Disease affects 1 in 100 people worldwide, though nearly two and a half million Americans are undiagnosed. Celiac Disease is an Autoimmune Disease that affects the small intestine causing inflammation. It is triggered by the ingestion of protein from gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.

Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Gillian White, RDN, LD, CNSC, shares an easy gluten-free Breezy Blender Muffin recipe in this video below. These delicious gluten-free muffins are easy to whip up, low in calories and full of protein for a filling breakfast or snack. Print the recipe.



Learn more from Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services with these video tips on gluten-free ingredients and avoiding cross-contamination when baking for those with Celiac Disease, recently featured on social media. Access more tips, recipes and articles on our Cooper Aerobics Facebook and Instagram accounts.



For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit or call 972.560.2655.


Red, White and Blue Healthy Treats to Beat the Heat

Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services is all about celebrating Independence Day with a healthy twist. These recipes provide a sweet treat without added calories, and can help you cool off from the summer sun.



  • 8 oz. 1% milk
  • 1 scoop Designer Whey Protein  (French Vanilla Flavor)
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen blueberries.


  1. Pour milk into blender.
  2. Add Whey protein powder. Blend until mixed well.
  3. Add 1 cup frozen blueberries and blend until thoroughly mixed.

(This makes a great post-workout smoothie as it has a nice carbohydrate-to-protein ratio!)

Makes one smoothie serving.

Nutrition Information:

  • Calories: 282
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 72 mg
  • Sodium: 189 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 37g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 27g
  • Protein: 27g



  • 3 cups vanilla Greek yogurt (divided use)
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen blueberries


  1. Blend 1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt in blender with 1 cup of frozen strawberries until blended well and is uniform in consistency and color throughout.
  2. Divide this evenly and pour into 6 Popsicle molds, to form a red layer.
  3. Next, pour 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt into the 6 Popsicle molds to make a second “white layer.”
  4. Finally, blend the remaining 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt with 1 cup frozen blueberries, until blended well and is uniform in consistency and color.
  5. Divide this evenly and pour into 6 Popsicle molds, to form a blue layer.
  6. Insert wooden Popsicle sticks and freeze Popsicles overnight or for about six hours.

Tips: Rinse blender between usages so the red and blue colors from the berries are more defined. The white layer will be a thinner layer compared to the red and blue layers.

Makes 6 Popsicles.

Nutrition information:

  • Calories: 113
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 72 mg
  • Sodium: 46 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Protein: 10g

Recipes provided by Cynthanne Duryea, RDN, LD, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.

Salad in a Jar

October 8, 2013 3 comments

Salad in a JarAt the beginning of the week if I don’t prepare a midday meal or snacks for the work week ahead I’ll find myself buying lunch, skipping lunch or finding an alternative (not so healthy) snack in my desperation to stop my hunger.

That’s where my love of Pinterest helps out! This is a great resource to find and share simple recipes. I found a great concept of ‘salad in a jar’ that is wildly popular on Pinterest and now a favorite way of my own to get my veggies in.

Preparing a Salad in a Jar is easy and the best part—it stays fresh! Bringing a salad to work can be aggravating when your lettuce is soggy or your dressing spills, it’s just not the same as making one at home. Worry no more! Save old pasta sauce bottles or something similar in size to store your salads to create the perfect lunch.

  1. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of dressing at the bottom of the jar. A few of my favorites are: Frank’s® RedHot® Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce for spice, a chopped juicy grapefruit dressing for a fruity salad or just a light vinaigrette.
  2. Add all ingredients that can marinade in the dressing (i.e. chopped chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, artichokes).
  3. Pack in your spinach or lettuce and seal the jar.

There is a saying, “Five is fine, but nine is divine” that Dr. Cooper often uses. It’s an easy way to remember how many servings (one serving is half a cup) of fruits and veggies to consume every day. If you’re not getting five servings in a day, start there, then work your way to nine. Eating a salad for lunch is a great way to get a majority of your servings of veggies in.

Check out the Nutrition Bites section for great articles by our registered dietitians on a host of topics like this. We also offer some of our favorite healthy recipes. But if you need individualized, expert advice, learn more about our Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.

For more Health Tips and meal preparation inspiration check out the Cooper Aerobics Pinterest page or Recipes section on our website.

Snack Time: Try Kale Chips

KalechipsA few months ago I worked with Amber Odom, RD, LD, one of our Cooper Clinic dietitians, to get a few green recipes for a Dallas Morning News story around St. Patrick’s Day. One of the recipes Amber shared was for kale chips. She listed kale as the number one way to Go Green Healthfully because it is high in vitamins A, C and K and is also an excellent source of fiber, folic acid and potassium.

Amber mentioned that kale chips are super easy to make, and even her kids love them. Since the story ran, I have been wanting to test out this recipe. I finally got the chance to make it last night, and it lived up to the hype. It was delicious! This will definitely be a go-to snack at my house. Here is Amber’s recipe:

Kale Chips
Serves 6


  • 6 cups fresh kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Morton Kosher salt (I added a little black pepper, too)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. Wash and cut kale into 2-3 inch pieces.
  3. Spread kale out on baking sheet in single layer.
  4. Mist the kale with olive oil spray and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are crisp and begin to turn brown. Be careful not to burn.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories: 53.39
Fat: 2.72 g (0.37 g sat)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 185.66 mg
Fiber: 1.34 g
Carbohydrates: 6.71 g
Protein: 2.21 g

This was written by Christine Witzsche former Communications Director at Cooper Aerobics. Christine is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

It’s Pizza Tonight

October 16, 2012 Leave a comment

My parents are from New York City and Italy, so in our house, we appreciate a good piece of pie. Yet many people think pizza cannot be part of a healthy diet. Think again! Don’t automatically assume that dinner at your favorite pizza joint is out of the question when eating healthy.

Dining Out
It is possible to eat out and eat healthy. Since pizza is made-to-order, simply choose a thin-crust pizza and ask for half or a third the usual amount of cheese. With plenty of flavorful toppings, the reduction in cheese is usually not missed – plus, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of a pizza crust that stays crisp longer.

I am definitely a plain jane when it comes to my pizza, but there are ways to save even more calories when choosing your toppings. Pick vegetable toppings and leaner meats. Canadian bacon and pineapple are delicious, and so is grilled chicken with onions and peppers or a bit of goat cheese.

If portion control is a problem, order the smallest size, and share with a friend. My husband and I always share a salad, too. So the pizza sitting on the table isn’t the only temptation, order the salad to come with your pizza – that way you’ll have a full plate which will contribute to your overall satiety.

Staying In
Pizza can also be a quick and easy meal to make at home. Check out this recipe from one of our registered and licensed dietitians,  Kathy Duran-Thal, RD. You can also use a ready-made, wholewheat pizza dough, which is widely available at most grocery stores. Just be sure to check the label and avoid any that contain trans fats. Also substitute low-fat cheese to lower saturated fat and cholesterol.

Make it pizza night tonight!

This was written by Christine Witzsche former Communications Director at Cooper Aerobics. Christine is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

Fall Fruit Favorite: Butternut Squash

September 24, 2012 2 comments

Now that it’s fall, it’s a great time to try out some seasonal fruits and veggies! Butternut squash, also known as butternut pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand, is a type of winter squash. It has a sweet, nutty flavor similar to pumpkin.

This squash packs a nutrition punch as a good source of fiber, Vitamin A, C, and E, potassium and magnesium. This fruit has only 45 calories per half cup, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber.

There are a number of ways to enjoy butternut squash. It can be roasted, pureed for soups, or mashed and used in casseroles, muffins and breads.

One of the most popular ways to prepare butternut squash is roasting. It’s very easy to do. Just cut the squash in half lengthwise, brush lightly with olive oil and place it cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake it for 45 minutes or until it is softened. Once done, you can scoop out the inner flesh from the shell and use in a variety of dishes. The seeds taste great roasted on a separate baking sheet and can be nibbled on as a snack or tossed on a salad for some great crunch.

You can also buy a pre-cut squash at the grocery store. I would suggest you do this instead of trying to cut and remove the skin yourself which can be tricky and “dicey.”

Here’s a tried and true recipe for a butternut squash casserole that your family will love.

Do you have any favorite fall fruits or veggies?

Game Day Menu: Tailgating Tips and Recipes

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

By Amber Odom, RD, LD, Registered Dietitian, Cooper Clinic

It’s that time of year again…fall, cooler weather and football season! Whether you are tailgating at the football game with a few friends or hosting a football extravaganza, here are some healthy tips for a winning game plan this season.

What’s on the Menu
Before you head to the game, don’t forget to put lots of ice in the cooler for food safety. Here are a few low-calorie ideas to get your party started for appetizers:

  • Fruit and Veggie Tray (made ahead of time or purchased from the grocery store deli)
  • Baked Lays potato chips, pretzels or multi-grain tortilla chips
  • Dips – salsa/picante sauce, hummus, guacamole or spinach dip
  • Laughing Cow Cheese (Light) with raw veggies, Kashi TLC crackers or reduced-fat Triscuit crackers

Go for the Grill
When you think of tailgating, go for the grill! It can be a fun and healthy way to enjoy your favorite pre-game foods. Here are some grilling ideas for the main entrée/protein:

  • Chicken – use breasts for grilled chicken sandwiches or kabobs; or try marinated chicken for fajitas
  • Fish – try wrapping your favorite fish in foil with fresh herbs, garlic & lemon and it will be ready for the grill, or you can try salmon (marinated in a little olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and basil) grilled on a cedar plank, or shrimp for kabobs
  • Pork – marinated pork tenderloin
  • Burgers – 97% lean ground beef or ground turkey (use 2% milk cheese slices if making cheeseburgers)
  • Hotdogs – try fat-free Ball Park, turkey Oscar Meyer or 97% fat-free Hebrew National (use 2% shredded cheese and 99% fat-free, turkey chili if making chili cheese dogs)

When packing the tailgating mobile, don’t forget to throw in a pot or pan to cook or heat up the veggies/sides:

  • Grilled onions for sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs, or fajitas
  • Chunks of tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, squash, and zucchini on skewers for kabobs
  • Baked beans
  • Brown rice to serve with kabobs
  • Whole-wheat buns for burgers and/or hotdogs
  • Whole-wheat tortillas for fajitas
  • Fresh fruit tray
  • Pineapple chunks on skewers for kabobs

By following these tips and meal ideas you’re sure to have a great tailgating bash. Remember – it is not about deprivation but moderation. Enjoy the game!


Amber Odom, a registered and licensed dietitian, joined the Cooper Clinic Nutrition Department in 2004 and specializes in preventive and cardiovascular nutrition and weight management. She leads grocery store tours educating attendees on how to navigate the store and select healthier food items and teaches nutrition classes to Cooper teammates as part of the CooperFit wellness program. In 2002, Amber was named “Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year” by the Texas Dietetic Association. She received a Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition from Texas Tech University and completed a combined Bachelor of Science and internship in nutrition at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Foods that Fight Pain

June 19, 2012 2 comments

How are you doing on your healthy-living journey? Mine has been a little painful the past couple of weeks, literally. The increased exercise, both cardio and weights, is giving my knees fits! So I’m going to focus on incorporating more foods that fight pain.

Meridan Zerner, my Cooper Clinic registered dietitian, gave me an article from the July issue of Environmental Nutrition called, “Soothe Pain with Foods, from Fish to Fruits.” It talks about how daily food choices can either reduce or increase levels of inflammation in the body… impacting levels of pain. Foods high in refined starches, sugar, saturated fats and trans fats can increase inflammation, while diets high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats plus fish and limiting processed foods and red meat are linked with lower inflammation. That makes sense to me and drives the point home that “bad” food can make you feel, well, bad.

Here are some of the top items Meridan and I discussed that can help my knees and entire body feel better:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish and fish oil, produce arthritic pain-reducing effects equivalent to ibuprofen,” the article says. And of course, glucosamine and chondroitin can help alleviate pain over time due to injuries or osteoarthritis. We have a ton of information on these supplements since we sell Omega-3 and Joint Health through Cooper Complete®. For more articles on this topic, check out this search from our Health Tips section.

    I love Tropical Green Organic Tea by Zhi Tea in Austin!

  • We’ve long known that green tea is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflamatory properties. I just bought a can of Tropical Green Tea from Zhi Tea in Austin while visiting my Dad for Father’s Day. It smells and tastes delicious! During the hot summer I prefer to ice my green tea. Meridan had a few other awesome tips: put the tea bag in soup and let it steep for a couple of minutes (shut the front door!); add a tea bag to boiling water for brown rice (brilliant!); or if you think green tea tastes bitter combine it with a cinnamon or other flavor to jazz it up (why didn’t I think of that!).
  • Fresh cherries or tart cherry juice are also linked with reducing muscle soreness after intense physical activity. Yum! Cherries are in season and I know this thanks to my Central Market mailer. Pomegranate and red grapes are also in the alleviate pain category.
  • I was surprised to see coffee on the list, which has been shown to reduce muscle pain during and after exercise. I can’t imagine heading to my Zumba class with a cup of coffee, but it’s good to know that the one cup I typically drink in the morning is helping me in more ways than simply wake up.
  • Spices are another area that are great for reducing pain and can certainly enhance the flavor of any dish. Try ginger, rosemary, chili and nutmeg. Add a dash of cayenne to spice things up and may help you eat a little less depending on how hot you make your dish. I’m a lightweight, so one dash is all I need.

These foods will help ensure I can stay physically active while I work on my health-living, and hopefully pain-free, journey. I can hear my iced green tea and your cup of tart cherry juice clinking as we speak! Cheers!

This was written by Amy George former VP of Marketing and Communications at Cooper Aerobics. Amy is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, a Cold Weather Treat

February 8, 2011 1 comment

Last week, Dallas was hit hard with an icy storm. And it’s about to storm again. The ice stranded many residents at home, getting a little stir-crazy. We heard from many of our Facebook fans, that it was tough to stay away from the sweets and treats while couped up inside. Fear not! There are some sweet alternatives for you to enjoy. Remember, being Cooperized means eating healthy most of the time.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake 

  • 1 1/4 c. sugar, divided
  • 1/3 c. margarine, melted
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 7 Tbsp. cocoa, divided
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 c. hot water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. skim milk


    1. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, flour, 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
    2. Blend in skim milk, melted margarine, vanilla and beat until smooth.
    3. Pour batter into 8 or 9” square pan.
    4. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar and 4 tbsp. cocoa powder in a small bowl.
    5. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter.
    6. Pour hot water over top. Do NOT stir.
    7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Let stand 15 minutes.
    8. Spoon into dessert dishes, spoon sauce from bottom of pan over top. Garnish with light whipped topping (optional).

Nutritional Analysis:
276 Calories
2 gm Protein
7 gm Fat
52 gm Carbohydrates
0 mg Cholesterol
258 mg Sodium
2 gm Dietary fiber


Smart Summer Snacking

By Christi Ballow, RD, LD, Registered Dietitian at Cooper Clinic

Summer is almost here! That might mean more time spent at home, but it doesn’t have to mean that you abandon your current healthy eating plan. Many people struggle with the temptation to “graze” all day long during the summer. Instead, plan smart and choose snacks that will boost your energy and supply essential vitamins and minerals. Smart snacking can dampen hunger pangs and prevent overeating at meals.

Research has found that making healthful snacks a regular part of your routine can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent unhealthy highs and lows in blood sugar. As with other food choices, remember variety, balance, and moderation in snacking. Snacks should bridge the time gap between lunch and dinner and shouldn’t sabotage the dinner meal.

Make Snacking Easier On Yourself:

  • Format your snacks as mini-meals that combine small amounts of protein and fiber to keep you satisfied. Implementing snacks between meals can prevent overeating at meals. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate a protein, moderate-calorie snack before a meal automatically cut back their calories during subsequent meals on the same day.
  • Plan snacks ahead of time so you won’t blow your daily calorie budget.
  • Keep a variety of ready-to-eat snacks on hand.
  • After a trip to the supermarket, wash and trim produce and store for easy access.
  • Be mindful when snacking. As with meals, practice portion control. Overeating often occurs when snacking from a multi-serving package. Prepackage your snacks in zip lock bags divided into appropriate serving sizes – make them as easy to grab as a cookie.
  • Snack only when you’re hungry. Try an alternate activity when bored, frustrated, or stressed to decrease the urge to snack.

Smart snacks don’t just happen. Buy portable options that are ready to grab on the go. On the go snacks should be sturdy food that won’t get squished in your bag. Tuck portable, nonperishable food in your purse, tote, or backpack for an on the run snack.

Easy, Tasty, Healthy Snacks with 200 Calories or Less:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter spread on slices of a small apple
  • 48 thin pretzel sticks and 1 light cheese stick
  • 5 whole grain crackers and 2 slices 2% milk cheese
  • 1 (6 inch) corn tortilla, 2 ounces grilled chicken, 2 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella and 2 Tbsp. salsa
  • ½ whole wheat English muffin, 1 Tbsp. tomato sauce, and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (6 inch) multigrain flour tortilla, 1 Tbsp. light cream cheese, and 2 oz. deli turkey breast
  • Fruit smoothie – 1 cup fat-free milk, 1 cup frozen strawberries, and ½ frozen banan
  • Peach parfait – 1 canned peach half (light syrup), ½ cup low-fat frozen yogurt, and 1 tbsp. granola
  • Trail mix – ½ cup Cheerios, 1 Tbsp. peanuts, 1 Tbsp. raisin, and 2 Tbsp. Goldfish crackers, whole grain cheddar
  • 3 Ry-Krisp crackers, 1 wedge Laughing Cow light cheese, 1 cup baby carrots

For the Kids

When refueling kids with snacks, offer snacks 2 or more hours before a meal which will not ruin their appetite at mealtime. Keep the nutrition-packed snacks at their eye level in the pantry and/or refrigerator. Lastly, parents’ food choices and lifestyle habits help set their kids’ food decisions and behavior. So as parents, snack smart! If you make smart choices, snacking can make significant contributions to the nutritional quality of your diet and you overall health!

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services visit our website or call 972.560.2655.