Chef's picks: Tuscola nutritionist shares favorite recipe
Tuscola nutritionist shares favorite recipe
Nutritionist Kristina Adams Smith admits that she doesn’t stick to healthful foods year-round.
Story: Christine Walsh
Chef: Kristina Adams Smith
Nutritionist Kristina Adams Smith admits that she doesn’t stick to healthful foods year-round. “For me it’s about balance and more of an 80/20 rule works best for me: Eat what my body needs 80 percent of the time and what I want the other 20 percent,” the owner of Sliced Right Nutrition in Tuscola said, adding that her guilty pleasure is typically something crunchy or salty like chips and salsa or a soft pretzel.
Formerly employed with Carle Foundation Hospital and Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Services, Adams Smith started her nutrition counseling and cooking demonstration business a year ago. If she weren’t a nutritionist, Adams Smith thinks she would probably still be in medicine or a culinary-related field.
“I have always had a love for cooking and gardening and considered culinary school; however, my advisor at the time of my master’s program suggested nutrition/dietetics, and I liked the idea of knowing the science behind the food,” Adams Smith said.
Adams Smith said the best part of her job is connecting with patients and seeing their “aha moments” when they realize and finally get it when it comes to food and health connection.
To save money at the grocery store but still eat healthy, Adams Smith advises looking for items on sale that you can stock up on, especially produce. “Fresh, frozen and canned can all be part of healthy diet,” she said. “Frozen unbreaded fish, eggs, beans and salt-free spices — the more you can add of these items when cooking can help keep calories and nutrients balanced.”
Adams Smith said using a slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker can be big time savers in getting meals on the table quickly. “I’m a big fan of kitchen gadgets or appliances,” she said.
Zucchini is Adams Smith’s favorite ingredient to cook with. “I can peel it and shred it and add it to just about any recipe or freeze it and save for later,” she said. “It bumps up the nutrient content of the dish, and it’s kid approved!”
Looking for a diet or a pill that can do it all is possibly the biggest misconception about trying to lose weight, according to Adams Smith. “There’s a lot that goes into gaining weight that many don’t realize, and all those factors need to be addressed in order to lose the weight — and more importantly — keep it off,” she said.
If Adams Smith could offer just one piece of nutrition advice, it would be to drink more water. “There are so many empty calories consumed when it comes to the drinks we choose,” she said.
Next on the horizon for Adams Smith is an e-cookbook she’s writing that she hopes to publish in 2020.
Adams said Sliced Right Nutrition is designed for anyone. “It can be for someone just needing a few healthy cooking tips or someone needing a complete assessment due to a recent diagnosis or health scare,” she said. “I’m able to take time with the client and cater to their needs when it comes to not only their diet but to their lifestyle and make it relevant for them.”
For more information call 217-493-8970 or go to slicedrightnutrition.com.
One of Kristina Adams Smith’s favorite Sliced Right Nutrition recipes is Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Sage and Brown Butter Sauce.
Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells
Makes: 12 servings
1 medium butternut squash
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
16 oz. ricotta drained of liquid
¾ cup plus 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, finely chopped and smashed
Pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1, 8-oz. box large shell shaped pasta, cooked and drained
Cut squash in half, remove seeds and strings and place flesh-side down on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray and roast at 325 degrees in oven until soft when knife inserted. Remove and let cool to room temp. Scoop out squash, place in food processor with all ingredients above except pasta shells.
Pulse to blend until smooth. Place mixture in piping bag or gallon-size plastic bag and seal. Snip small corner of bag and pipe filling into pasta shell. Place into baking dish. Make sauce below to put over shells. Cover and bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
1 stick butter
8 whole sage leaves
Optional: approximately ¼ chopped walnuts or pecans
Melt butter and allow to brown. Add whole sage leaves halfway through to get the flavor infused.