The Danielselli’s (Italian for Danielson’s) take on spaghetti and meatballs

Posted May 29th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on The Danielselli’s (Italian for Danielson’s) take on spaghetti and meatballs.
Spaghetti and Meatballs!
We decided to make spaghetti and meatballs after church on Sunday and ended up having a blast! I had never made them from scratch but figured they couldn’t be much more difficult than meatloaf which (if I do say so myself) I think I have mastered. Okay Lets get started!
With my apron in place I was ready to start making magic in the kitchen!
Just when I thought I was okay to stick them in the oven, Keaton came into the kitchen to make sure they were all the same size.. he claims he wanted to make sure they would cook evenly, but I think he just wanted to make sure he was needed in the kitchen.. him and his tape measure of course!
We finally were able to sit down and enjoy this yumminess!

Vegetable Pusher

Posted May 10th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on Vegetable Pusher.

Yep, you read that right. I think my new official title should be vegetable pusher (no not drug pusher). Everywhere I go I end up telling people which vegetables they should eat or that they should simply eat MORE vegetables. Most recent example- an innocent “victim” at the local Hy-Vee grocery store.

Last night I ran into Hy-vee to grab a few things. I’ve been slacking on my greens (mostly just because there weren’t any in my fridge, proves myself right that if they’re there and ready to eat you’ll eat ’em but if not you forget about ’em) so I stopped to grab a bunch of kale. There were two people standing right in front of where I needed to get to grab a bunch. 

I overhear the man say to the woman “Kale is really the healthiest thing we have in the produce section and most people either don’t know what it is, don’t know where to find it or don’t know what to do with it.”  

I reach over and grab a bunch of dino kale and he says “see even she’s getting it, I bet she knows it’s healthy!” 

I respond “Oh, you HAVE to try some! Put it in smoothies, make a salad whatever but it’s great! (insert sour face from woman so I back pedal a little) it took me a while to sincerely like it. I’d make salads but mix it with romaine or spinach because I knew it was so good for me, but now I love just kale salads.” 

I flashed a smile and I walked away….

20  minutes later I go to check out and who’s in front of me but the lady! She has a bunch of kale on the conveyor belt thing! I was so proud of her. We exchanged an awkward kind of glance but I didn’t say anything. Just smiled a little toothless smile. 

Moral of the story. Don’t be afraid to share advice with people at the grocery store. I think that’s why I enjoy shopping at farmers markets and co-ops so much… people are so open and willing to share how to make this or what goes good with that. It’s like people really really care about their food. It’s not just something to wolf down the chute it’s mother natures gift to us! Food is really the easiest, least expensive thing we can do for ourselves to prevent all the yucky expensive problems that come from not taking care of our bodies! 

So go to the store, hang out in the produce section and share with others! You never know… they just might end up with a bunch of kale…


From a photo shoot at the Menomonie Community Garden Summer 2012.


What are you excited to do now that spring is here?!

Posted May 10th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on What are you excited to do now that spring is here?!.



Jump in a pool



Wear flip-flops


What have you been waiting since November to do?!

I went for my first run in shorts and tank top today. I felt like it was waaaay overdue, and it felt so good!


Here’s an update on my seedlings. I kind of got a late start…


Operation Grub for Gratitude Greenhouse!


Kale Day 0… planted

Kale day 3 already up!

Kale day 5

Kale day 9.. up and leaning towards the sunlight


Spinach day 0 planted

Spinach day 3 peaking up

Spinach day 9.


My next step is to figure out how long to wait until I put them outside. I don’t want to do it too early but if I wait to long they’ll be flimsy and weak but tall… Hmm any advice is welcome!


Purple basil and regular basil… there were also cilantro plants… they umm.. well… didn’t make it :( Maybe I’ll have to try again next week!


Want to try gardening but don’t know where to start? Just get a few plants at your farmers market, Menards, or Fleet Farm. Start small and experiment. Each year you’ll get better and better.





Spring Seedlings

Posted May 10th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on Spring Seedlings.

After a quick trip to the farmers market this weekend with my dear friend, Alex, I came home with lots of goodies!  Plants of cilantro, basil, and purple basil, packets of seeds for spinach and kale, and some parsnips! Alex and I decided we should find at least one thing we have never tried before and buy them, cook them and give em a try! 

Parsnips it was! Have you ever seen parsnips? They look like a cross between carrots and potatoes. 

Before cooking them we looked up what Betty (Crocker) would do with parsnips. She said boil for 9-13 minutes. So into the pot they went! 10 minutes later we drained off the water and added some sprigs of Alex’s new Rosemary plant and some butter. 

Rosemary parsnips, chili and salad for dinner! Yummmy! 

I would describe parsnips as mild but sweet in flavor and woody in texture. I would definitely buy them again. Next time I’ll have to try roasting them with some carrots, beets or potatoes. 

Maybe add them to this combination…

My own version of Sweets and Beets!

Okie Dokie Artichokie!

Posted April 10th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on Okie Dokie Artichokie!.


Look at this beautiful vegetable! But how the heck do you make it edible? That’s what I was wondering too! My goal for the next 2 months is to buy a fruit or vegetable I have never prepared for myself. So I didn’t plan which fruit or veggie I would do I was just at the store and grabbed something. Artichoke it was.. I was thinking to myself  “ugh I don’t even know what to do with this… Oh yeah, that’s the point!”


So after some research I found out that each of these little leaves have some “meat” at the bottom of them so it’s not just the artichoke heart that you can eat! Woah who knew?!


I started to peel back each leaf hoping to stuff it with some olive oil or something yummy like garlic. As I peeled I realized this sucker is prickly! See the tips of each of those leaves? Take caution! They’ll poke ya!


next I attemped to cut out the bottom pricklies… which was hard because I had all sorts of thorn looking things sticking to my hands. Then I just gave up and realized that if I cook it the pricklies will become soft and I’ll take care of them then when they’re less harmful.

So I chopped off part of the top…

And I stuffed that puppy with olive oil, fresh garlic and a touch of pepper. Then I wrapped it right up in tin foil.

Into the oven it went for ahh about 40 minutes at around 400 degrees.




When I took it out it was smelling pretty amazing!

I should have taken a picture of me eating the “meat” but I got so excited to eat I forgot all about my camera! But you eat it like you would eat a six-let out of the wrapper… you know what I mean? Stick the whole thing in your mouth, clamp down and slide it along your teeth to get the goods out. Then ENJOY! This would be a great appetizer or maybe something to cook with kids, I bet they’d thing it was a pretty crazy looking veggie to eat! :)


Happy cooking artichokie! 😉

New Recipes Coming Soon!

Posted April 9th, 2013 by Lisa. Comment (1).
Recipes coming soon! Don’t they look delicious!?

Gordon Foodservice Food Show

Posted April 9th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on Gordon Foodservice Food Show.

Well, I missed my alarm, luckily woke up in time to run a brush through my hair and brush my teeth… out the door I went! After a 3 hour drive in a van full of 7 adults we made it to the food show in Rosemont, Illinois.


This is what it looked like (times 5 because I couldn’t get it all in the picture)


Tons of men (and women) in business clothes eating samples and talking to food reps. It was quite the experience. Each station you try a sample (if you choose to), speak to the rep and grab some materials (or they are shoved into your hands). This is what my bag looked like when I got home… And I held back quite a bit considering I don’t actually make the decisions at the hospital about foodservice.


Some interesting products I found were:

1. The Odwolla bar/ drinks. They were whole fruit juices (similar to Naked if you’re familiar to that)


2. Servewise- sustainable disposable eco-wise serving solution. Most serving dishes are Styrofoam or plastic and when I saw this shaved wood serving dish I was a very happy camper. Seeing all of the waste at the hospital, cafeterias and any kitchen really puts a damper on my day. And I’m sure the reason this product isn’t used is because of the cost. I heard someone say “but Styrofoam costs pennies per plate” THAT IS NOT TRUE. The cost of us killing our environment by using not sustainable products is much higher than cents per plate. Its the future of our world and our children’s world.. Right?!?


3. Recipes for flavoring your own water with lemon, herbs and well water! It’s a great natural way to flavor it without artificial sweeteners and other man made chemicals.



Some products I found outrageous:

1. Butter Buds- I’m sure they would taste nice and buttery from a foodservice standpoint but from a future dietitian’s standpoint I found the ingredients interesting: maltodextrin (derived from corn), butter flavor, dried butter, salt, guar gum, baking soda, turmeric, and annatto. I guess the plus side is the colorings used are not artificial. But the first 2 ingredients are chemically produced in a chemistry lab. Why would we put that in our bodies?


2. All of the booths that looked identical to me but they all had deep fried something, usually mozzarella sticks, shrimp, french fries and cheese curds.. hmm why is that the norm at food show?

3. All of the interesting combinations of foods such as a waffle sandwich: A deep fried chicken sandwich smooshed between two waffles with cheese on top. The vendor encouraged using syrup or canned fruit on top of the sandwich. That baby would knock me out till 2 pm if I ate it for breakfast!


All in all it was a good experience. I learned to take everything with a grain of salt. I had to turn off the dietitian mind and think from a food service standpoint. The purpose of food service is to provide meals your customers will enjoy. I just wish it were a little bit more normal for us to eat healthy food.


Enjoy your Thursday! It’s almost Easter weekend!

Ladies and gentleman, meet the boss… the gymboss

Posted March 14th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on Ladies and gentleman, meet the boss… the gymboss.

 There she is so pink and pretty… and oh so helpful in so many ways!


Have you ever heard of or used a Gym Boss? Most people may think that this would only be used for exercise, like interval running etc. I love using it for things like that too. Teaching Bootcamp was super simple with this fancy little tool.


However, lately I’ve been finding other uses for it.

1. Laundry– We weren’t lucky enough to have our own washer and dryer in this apartment so we have coin laundry in the basement. I have a terrible habit of starting the landry and getting side-tracked.


2. Homework/ Studying– I have an attention span of a squirrel. If I set this timer for 30:00-45:00 I can have a break. It seems to help me concentrate and have more focused study time.



3. Naptime- Are you guilty of that afternoon slump like I am? Well don’t worry if you set your gymboss you can enjoy a short 20-30 nap resting assured you will be awake right on time to be productive the rest of the afternoon.


Go ahead give it a try! You’ll be more productive in no time!

Irresponsibility- Take responsibility now

Posted March 14th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on Irresponsibility- Take responsibility now.

After a good message at church on Sunday about irresponsibility… I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Of course, as a future dietitian, I relate most things back to health and wellness.

The message was about how God created us to take responsibility for our actions. However, human nature and sin makes us want to veer away from taking responsibility for our actions leading us to irresponsibility.

“Sin makes us want responsibility without the responsibility of management.” -Travis Roehm

For example: How many of you would feel great if they were given a promotion tomorrow? Most of us. However, how many of us want all of the work that comes a long with the promotion… not as many of us. We are made as humans to want the extra responsibility and credit for things but we do not always want to take on the responsibility of managing all of those responsibilities. Am I making sense or talking in circles? I hope I’m making sense!

NOW LET’S TIE IT ALL TOGETHER. Back to what this blog is all about.. health!

Don’t you think that if more of us as Americans would take responsibility for our health and well-being that we’d be a healthier nation? Instead of blaming fast food, processed food, TV commercials or whoever else we blame for our health problems we should take on the responsibility that WE are the only ones in charge of our health. All of those other temptations are not going to go away, in fact they will probably keep growing and growing it is up to us to take the responsibility to say I AM DOING THIS FOR ME.

And all of this is a snow ball effect. Don’t wait until you are so unhealthy that it seems like a daunting task to get started with exercise and healthy eating. Take initiative now. Remember Pinocchio? His nose grew every time he told a lie. Now imagine if every time you ate a big mac gained 5 lbs.. like literally eat a bite gain a pound.. (this is not possible and this is only for an example do nto take me literally).. but if this happened would you eat big macs? Probably not. The problem isn’t that we’re unhealthy.. instead it is that the unhealthy lifestyle that many people lead is slowly progressing and slowing hurting them in the inside but they are not seeing the outer effects of it and therefore are not doing anything about it. How can we help them? I wish I had the perfect solution.


I do my best to help others by:

Bringing exercise and nutrition into random conversation to let people know that I’m a resource.

I often offer to exercise with friends I know are struggling to get motivated.

When I’m on a run and a car passes me I purposely smile (even if I’m not having a good time, not all runs are wonderful you know) I do this in the gym when lifting to. I like to think that if someone sees me exercising and enjoying it, it might make them want to give it a try. (I know it is kinda silly, but I like to think I’m changing the world one person at a time)

I keep this blog.. Hoping somebody finds something interesting to take into their life.:)

All in all, the final message from today is that no matter what is going on in your life.. you are the one responsible for your actions. Human nature is to pass blame onto others but that is a dangerous snow ball effect. Take responsibility now before things get out of control. Focus on your opportunities not what you have or don’t have. If you are worrying about what you have or don’t have or what somebody else has or doesn’t have you are wasting precious time that could be used in a positive way. Life is never fair. Nobody ever has the same amount of opportunities, money, health etc. So take what you have and go with it!

Baked Carnival Squash

Posted March 14th, 2013 by Lisa. Comments Off on Baked Carnival Squash.

Woke up this morning with the husband when he went to work and decided to hit the gym and then the farmers market. After a good total body workout, followed by a little cardio I headed down town for my weekly farmers market visit. I needed some eggs and veggies. I usually hold off to get my veggies there because I know where they come from and I can visit with the actual farmer. There’s just something about that ya know? As I was walking down the aisles at the market I thought to myself.. “What a beautiful winter day to bake some carnival squash.”






It is so delicious and so easy! Now get yourself a squash from the farmers market and try it out for yourself!