Eat, Drink, Live Longer podcast

108: Health-ify the Holidays with Mona Dolgov

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On this week’s show, back by popular demand, is my guest from Show 88, Mona Dolgov. You’ll be inspired for the upcoming holidays with great ideas from Mona. Join us to learn more!

Mona Dolgov is a nutritionist, cookbook author, and publisher with a lifelong passion for creating kitchen comfort and simple, healthy habits through her delicious recipes. Her new cookbook, Satisfy, is about to hit bookstores and your favorite online retailers, including Amazon, and she’s here today to help us “health-ify” the holidays. We have a lot in store for you! You’ll learn how to health-ify gravy, sweet potato casserole, appetizers, and a peanut butter sauce to die for. You’ll definitely want to try her ideas for this Thanksgiving. We also have desserts: mini-cheesecakes and personal pumpkin pies. You’ll learn how to make the best brussels sprouts ever in the air fryer.

 

Show Highlights:

 

  • Updates in Mona’s world: her new cookbook is out November 9, cooking classes are ongoing, and she’s working on a new cookbook for next summer; Mona loves her city apartment life in the Boston seaport area
  • Mona’s philosophy to health-ify the holidays by lightening up dishes
  • Mona’s Butternut Squash Soup, made with roasted butternut squash and sauteed apples and onions; the mixture is blended with broth and spices that can be customized with different flavor profiles
  • How Mona and LIz will team up for cooking classes on Nov. 16th and 18th on appetizers and side dishes
  • Their favorite appetizers include Liz’s Roasted Carrot Hummus, Mona’s Peanut Sauce (made with peanut butter, coconut aminos, sesame oil, ginger, rice vinegar, and honey), Asparagus Wrapped in Turkey Bacon, and Cauliflower Wings
  • How Mona’s Peanut Sauce with fresh veggies leaves everyone wanting more
  • Liz’s funny story about “double-dipping”
  • Mona’s chapter in the cookbook called “Snack-ertaining,” which features her Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
  • How the air fryer has become Mona’s best friend and a favorite time-saving tool for veggies and protein
  • Check out the Phillips Premium XXL Airfryer giveaway in our Resources section, and use the 20% discount code “Mona20” to order yours!
  • Liz’s favorite side dishes: Sweet Potato Casserole with orange juice, zest, cinnamon, and ginger; Brussels Sprout Gratin
  • Why Mona makes a “Mona Salad” for many gatherings; it’s made with leafy dark greens, roasted squash and zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate arils; her dressing is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, canned pumpkin, and her spice blend of oregano, basil, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper
  • How Mona uses the air fryer for the best brussels sprouts ever: after cutting them in half, she sprays them with olive oil and sprinkles with salt and pepper; after 12 minutes, she adds minced garlic and cooks for three more minutes; she adds apples, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and a balsamic glaze at the end
  • Why the key to lighter desserts is to make them in bite-sizes
  • Mona’s crustless mini-cheesecakes: they are made with orange zest, sugar, and reduced-fat cream cheese and drizzled with melted dark chocolate and topped with an orange section
  • Mona’s upside-down individual pumpkin pies: they are made with pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and a pinch of salt; after being baked in ramekins, she tops them with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon
  • Final words from Mona: “Don’t stress about the holidays. Have fun. Be mindful. Focus on the traditions and bring your family in to help.”

 

Resources:

 

Sign up for our Health-ify the Holidays virtual cook-along. We'll be making appetizers on November 16th at 6 pm ET and sensational side dishes on November 18th at 6 pm ET. The cost for both classes is $69.00 (cost for single classes is $39). You can sign up on Mona's website. We hope to see you there. 

 

GIVEAWAY: We have the most epic giveaway EVER going on until Monday, November 22nd! One winner will receive a Philips Premium XXL Airfryer with Fat Removal Technology. (Retail value: $299.95). Our second winner will receive a copy of Mona's new cookbook, SATISFY: Delicious, Healthy, and Full-Filling Meals for 500 Calories or Less! To enter for a chance to win one of these two prizes, post a comment in the comments section below and tell us about your favorite holiday recipe and/or why you want to win the air fryer or Mona's cookbook. This is a U.S. giveaway only. Good luck!

 

Find Mona online:

Instagram

Website 

Cookbook on Amazon (official release date is Nov. 9th, but you can pre-order now)

Facebook

 

Find Liz Weiss:

Author, Color, Cook, Eat! coloring book series

Website: Liz's Healthy Table

Listen to my Podcast

Read my Blog

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    104: Olive Oil: What Every Home Cook Should Know with David Garci-Aguirre

    47:41

    On today’s show, I'm joined by olive oil expert extraordinaire, David Garcia-Aguirre from Corto Olive Company with a primer on extra virgin olive oil, which he says is "the ingredient that farm-to-table forgot." Discover how olives are grown, harvested and pressed, how to choose the freshest EVOO at the market, how to cook with it, and get recipes galore ... and hear why David wants us all to think of EVOO as the "fresh-pressed juice of olives." David Garci-Aguirre is the Vice President of Operations and Master Miller at Corto Olive Company in Lodi, CA. With a focus on serving independent restaurants throughout the US, Corto uniquely harvests and produces fresh, premium-quality, award-winning Extra Virgin olive oils that enhance the flavor of foods. David is an olive oil guru who is dedicated to the advancement of high-quality olive oil production, research, and education. He’s educating us today about what to look for at the market to know you’re buying the freshest oil, how to store it at home to keep it fresh, and why heat, light, and air are the three biggest enemies of your bottle of olive oil. He teaches us about the latest innovations in packaging, how to use Extra Virgin olive oil to elevate everyday cooking, and why it’s a nutritious addition to your meals. David will bust some myths about olive oil and take us behind-the-scenes at Corto to highlight their gorgeous olive groves and their harvesting, milling, storing, and packing processes.    Show Highlights:   David’s life and work in Lodi, CA Why olive oil is the ingredient that “farm to table” forgot How olive oil is different from all other edible oils in that it’s fresh-pressed juice that retains the flavors and nutrients Why all olive oils are NOT created equal--and most olive oil in your supermarket is already rancid before you even get it home! How Corto focuses on a new technology called “vineyard-style” planting that allows mechanized fall harvests of the fruit when it’s perfectly ripe How most olive oil is produced with olives harvested by the old-style “tree-shaking” method that yields poor quality fruit not at the optimal ripeness How to tell if your olive oil is fresh by its smell and taste (Hint: it SHOULD have a taste!) David’s overview of the milling process: The fruit is crushed into a paste that’s mixed together and then separated with a centrifuge to obtain the oil at cold temperatures; the oil goes straight into stainless steel casks where oxygen can’t get to it. How the “Extra Virgin” olive oil designation is reserved for a natural, unrefined product (CA has the tightest legal standard for EVOO in the world!) Tips for buying olive oil: buy local, if possible, from a reputable company; make sure the oil is in dark glass, stainless steel, or a bag-in-box package, and always check the harvest date How flavor-lock (bag in box) packaging preserves the oil from light and air David busts the most popular myth regarding olive oil, which is that you should never saute or use high heat cooking with it Because of the many healthy compounds unique to olives, olive oil is the #1 food item studied for nutritional health in medical journals Easy salad dressing ideas using olive oil:  David keeps it simple with salt, citrus, and an oil variety that pairs with his food Liz relies on the standard go-to of olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, shallot or garlic, and salt and pepper Unusual ways to use olive oil: drizzled on ice cream, as a dip for dark chocolate truffles, poured on popcorn, and homemade mayonnaise How uses olive oil in her rendition of Ina Garten’s recipe for gazpacho; it’s made with cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, red onion, red wine vinegar, garlic, fresh herbs, and fresh corn kernels How to introduce kids to the wonders of olive oil with creative thinking David’s final words: “Rethink how you think about olive oil. Think of it as a fresh-pressed juice.”    Resources: Giveaway: We are giving away a 3-liter Truly 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California Grown, Flavor-Lock Box from Corto. I don't know about you, but I go through a lot of EVOO in my house, so I can attest that this oil rocks. I use it every day ... all day. To enter for a chance to win, post a comment telling me how you use olive oil in your everyday cooking or why you want to win this bag-in-a-box from Corto. (PS: US only giveaway.) (PSS: If you have an awesome recipe for olive oil lemon cake, please share it with me!) Website:  www.corto-olive.com    IG: @Corto_Olive FB: @CortoOlive
  • Eat, Drink, Live Longer podcast

    103: How to Raise a Healthy Eater

    33:27

    On today’s show, we’ll be talking about how to raise a healthy eater, one nourishing bite and sip at a time. This episode is sponsored by Fresh Avocados – Love One Today®, a leading source of the healthiest reasons and tastiest ways to enjoy fresh avocados. A science-based resource, it provides recipes and articles to help make it easy for consumers and health professionals to learn more about the nutritional benefits of fresh avocados and ways to include them in everyday menus. As a mom of two grown boys, I’ve been in the family food and nutrition trenches for quite some time now, and so it’s no surprise that I’m often asked by listeners about the how-tos of raising a healthy eater especially when families are busy, kids are finicky, and unhealthy snack foods are a constant temptation. Well, on today’s show I’ll be giving you my top tips for raising healthy eaters including strategies on how to stock your kitchen as children progress from starting solids to school age and how to reduce the amount of added sugar in your family’s diet. I’m a firm believer that when families make the healthy choice the easy choice, they set a good example and help to build a foundation for life-long healthy eating. On the show, I also share a new, no-sugar-added recipe for Chewy Avocado, Apple, Banana and Oatmeal Cookie. This recipe is ideal for toddlers and kids, and it does double duty as a snack or dessert. But wait, there’s more. On the show, I’ll also tell you about this Avocado and Mango Smoothie. And yes, you guessed it: No added sugar. Show Highlights: Get my top 7 tips for raising your kids or your grandkids to be healthy eaters Set the tone for yourself and family from Day One Take a strategic/thoughtful approach to transitioning infants to solid foods Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables Rethink your drink Get Creative Eat and prepare meals together as a family And don’t deny dessert … but do pay attention to making them “better for you” and lower in added sugar CDC research shows that about a third of all US children are overweight… and that diseases with risk factors linked to poor nutrition like diabetes that were once unique to adults are now impacting our kids More research featured on LoveOneToday.com about the role of avocados in maternal diets that suggests eating avocados may support breastfeeding by supporting the production of nutritious breastmilk. So even before the baby arrives, whether you are the mom, the dad or grandparent, you can help set the family up for success by stocking the pantry with healthy, fresh foods like avocados. Make mealtime easier with the following free resources: 7-Day Meal Planner Supermarket Shopping List 9 out of 10 Americans don’t eat the recommended number of fruit and vegetables servings each day. If you could only make one change to your family’s diet, I’d steer you in the direction of eating more fresh fruits and veggies. Learn about my Fruit First strategy at breakfast. Serve fruit before things like cereal or waffles are presented. Kids will gobble it up, because they’ll be hungry. Plus, fruit is naturally sweet and kids love it Make my pumpkin pancakes Whip up a fruit smoothie Smash avocado on whole grain toast Get strategies for reducing added sugar from your family’s diet NEW recipe for No sugar added Soft and Chewy Avocado, Apple, Banana and Oatmeal Cookie Thirsty for a new smoothie recipe? Try this one from Love One Today for Avocado and Mango Kick-Starter Smoothie Tips for how to freeze fresh avocados (so you can use them up later!) A family dinner recipe for Avocado Shrimp Tacos The latest guidance from the USDA on nutrition: Resource: 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans  
  • Eat, Drink, Live Longer podcast

    102: Michelle Dudash, RDN: Low-Carb Mediterranean

    46:17

    The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets on the planet. It’s rich in fruits and vegetables, olive oil, seafood, nuts, and beans, and it makes good nutrition a pleasure to eat. But what about bread and pasta? Are they AOK to eat as well? Join me on today’s show with guest, Michelle Dudash, RDN as we tackle questions about carbs, kids, and how to enjoy a Mediterranean-style diet with the carbs you love … but fewer of them. Michelle Dudash is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu certified chef, a TV personality, and the founder of Dash Dinners Spice Kits. She’s the author of the top-selling Clean Eating for Busy Families, which was featured back in Episode 53. Michelle shares the benefits of a low-carb Mediterranean diet with recipes and tips from her newest cookbook, The Low-Carb Mediterranean Cookbook: Quick and Easy High-Protein, Low-Sugar, Healthy-Fat Recipes for Lifelong Health. We are discussing a few recipes from the book, including Simmered Tahini Chicken and an unbelievably decadent dessert recipe that is low in carbs.    Show Highlights:   Michelle’s life in Indiana as the mom of two daughters and a regular on local and national TV ; she spends her time in recipe development, cookbook writing, and designing her spice kit dinners  How Michelle’s Lebanese heritage gave her a love for a varied diet of Mediterranean foods that explores different cultures and new foods Why kibbeh was a childhood favorite for Michelle; it’s a traditional dish made with ground meat, seasonings, and bulgur wheat How carbs fuel our bodies with energy Why kids need carbs and parents want options Michelle’s new book: a mix of recipes of different types with readily available ingredients Michelle’s favorite recipe in the book: Grilled Chicken Gyro Lettuce Wraps, which are made with chicken thighs marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper--then served with a tahini sauce or cucumber yogurt sauce From the book: Simmered Tahini Chicken-- made with chicken tenders sauteed in olive oil and combined with onion, garlic, chicken broth, tahini, lemon juice, and soy sauce; to serve, top them with Greek yogurt and freshly chopped herbs Michelle’s daughters’ favorites from the new book are Fruit Tarts and Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes Michelle’s Berry Tart with Almond Flour Crust is made with butter, honey, cinnamon, salt, dark chocolate, mascarpone cheese, and topped with fresh berries Healthy salads in the book include a Lebanese classic made with iceberg or Bibb lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a dressing made with lemon juice, mint, olive oil, and salt; the other salad is made with kale, blueberries, feta cheese, walnuts, and a basic vinaigrette Michelle’s experience in Croatia with a delicious adult beverage made from sparkling rosé with fresh herbs, elderflower liqueur, orange zest, and grapefruit-flavored sparkling water Michelle’s advice for one change you can make for better health: “Plan a family meal and sit down to enjoy it together.”   Resources:     We're giving away a copy of The Low-Carb Mediterranean Cookbook: Quick and Easy High-Protein, Low-Sugar, Healthy-Fat Recipes for Lifelong Health. Leave a comment below telling me about your favorite Mediterranean recipe, a Mediterranean recipe you'd love to have lightened up, and/or why you'd love to win a copy. I'll pick one lucky winner at noon on August 11th.   Michelle on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michelledudash/ Michelle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDudashRD/   Michelle's website: https://www.michelledudash.com/

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