Health & Food

Big City, Small Kitchen

I’m excited to be a guest blogger on The Candid RD. Gina is one of my dearest friends. Not only did we go to high school together, but we lived together in college. One of the best things about living with a Dietetics major? I got to taste test all of her creations.Candid RDFor me, one of the biggest challenges living in New York is to not eat out all of the time. There are so many good restaurants and everyone delivers, but that’s certainly not the most healthy or economical way to eat. Another disadvantage of living in New York City — I don’t get to see my favorite RD very often, but she continues to inspire me with her blog.

Here are two great recipes: Butternut Squash and Duxelles Casserole and Tempeh Meatloaf. Both recipes came from “Vegetarian Times”. Even though I’m not a vegetarian I love this magazine! It’s a great resource for healthy recipes and they always feature vegetables that are in season.

Butternut Squash and Duxelles* Casserole

*Duxelle is a paste of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots – who knew?


8 oz. Fresh mushrooms (I used white button)

2 shallots, coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)

1 ½ tsp. Butter

1 Tbs. Finely chopped parsley

¼ tsp. Ground black pepper

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

2 Tbs. All purpose flour

1 clove garlic, minced

¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (3 oz.), divided

¼ tsp. Nutmeg

1 (2.5 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/8 inch slices


  1. In food processor, pulse mushrooms 20 times or until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Place shallots in food processor and pulse 20 times or until finely chopped. Transfer to same bowl.
  2. Melt butter in skillet. Add mushrooms and shallots. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and stir in parsley and pepper.mushrooms
  3. Preheat oven to 350 and coat baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Bring milk, flour and garlic to a simmer in saucepan. Whisk constantly. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce is thick enough to coat the pack of a spoon, whisking frequently. Whisk in 1/2 cup of cheese and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread 1/3 of squash in prepared dish. Top with 1/3 cup cheese sauce and 1/2 mushroom mixture. Repeat layers ending with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake 45 minutes or until squash is tender and top is brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.mushrooms 1

mushrooms 2Nutritional Facts per 1 cup serving: 134 cal.; 7 g protein; 5 g total fat (3 g sat fat); 19 g carb; 15 mg chol; 60 mg sod; 3 g fiber; 5 g sugars


This dish was amazing! It’s not hard to make, but there was a lot of prep. I’ll admit, I enlisted some help from my roommate, Kate, who made the Duxelle while I hacked away at the squash. Next time I make this dish, I’ll make sure to do all of my chopping before I begin.

Tempeh-Oatmeal Meatloaf


2 cups old-fashioned oats, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp), divided

1 bay leaf

1 small onion, chopped ( 1 cup)

1 Tbs. herbes de Provence

1 15-oz. Can chopped tomatoes

1 8-oz. Pkg. Tempeh

¾ tsp. vinegar

1/4 tsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat large loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray. Bring 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp. garlic, bay leaf, and 1 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 10 minutes or until oatmeal is thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add Herbs de Provence and remaining 1 tsp. garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add chopped tomatoes and juice. Crumble tempeh into mixture and stir in vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and
  3. Transfer tempeh mixture to food processor, add cooked oatmeal, and blend until combined. Add remaining 1 1/2 cup of oats and baking powder and pulse until combined.4. Spread oat mixture in prepared loaf pan. Spray top with olive oil cooking spray and pour marinara sauce over top. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until top begins to brown.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 289 cal; 14 g protein; 10g total fat (2g sat fat); 38g carb; 1mg chol; 449 mg sod; 6g fiber; 10g sugars.


I really liked this recipe, but there was something missing, and I think it was a texture issue. I might add celery next time to give it a nice crunch, and although I’m not a big salt user, this could have definitely used a little more, but I never know how much to add when it says ‘to taste’! Finally, I’d make sure to get a nice and tasty prepared marinara sauce, it makes a difference.

About author


Hi, my name is Rebecca Houston and I am a writer. I write about health, healthy food and daily meal plan for various websites.
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