National Nutrition Month: Cookbooks Galore & A Wedding Gift

National Nutrition Month: Cookbooks Galore & A Wedding Gift

Photo by Joe Natale

Photo by Joe Natale


March is National Nutrition Month and last year I highlighted nutrition and exercise tips from top experts around the country. This year I wanted to come up with something especially creative, especially since this is the month before my brother marries Gena, a fellow registered dietitian and amazing cook. With that in mind, I decided to highlight one nutrition or cookbook a day (usually featuring a recipe) and each author was kind enough to donate a copy of their book (usually signed) to Gena. Also, just like you are reading this for the first time so is Gena. I kept this a surprise from her and the pile of books will be given to her at the end of the month as part of her wedding gift (pictures are forthcoming!). I figured my brother would benefit from the cookbook since Gena loves to cook and Gena loves building her cookbook and nutrition book collection. I can’t forget to also thank my brother Jack for unknowingly sending me the beautiful engagement photo by Natale Images. I think he totally forgot that I do out of the box things like this. Gena, I hope you enjoy your daily gifts and your new collection of cookbook and other fun nutrition books.


Beyond the Mediterranean Diet Cover

The first book I chose to highlight is Layne Lieberman’s Beyond the Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets of the Super-Healthy. As Gena is from a Greek background and Jack is from an Israeli background, I thought it was the perfect fit. This cookbook was a finalist at the Indie Book Awards and features 50 mouthwatering and nutritious recipes including these Turkey Breast Meatballs that Layne was kind enough to share with me.


Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Breast Meatballs
Serves: 5

3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey breast meat only
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grates
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano (or 2 tablespoons fresh)
1 tablespoon dried basil (or 2 tablespoons fresh)

  1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients. With clean, wet hands, form mixture into 10 meatballs by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place meatballs in a large baking pan with a small amount of water– just enough to coat the pan.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes or until done. Keep an eye on the pan and add water if needed.
  4. Serve with your favorite tomato sauce over whole-grain pasta.

*Chefs note: leave out the cheese if you prefer dairy-free meatballs

Nutrition information (per serving of 2 meatballs): Calories: 258; Total Fat: 6 grams; Protein: 39.6 grams; Carbohydrates: 11.2 grams; Sodium: 380 milligrams

Recipe from Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy by Award Winning Culinary Nutritionist Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN



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