Recipe: Grilled Sirloin & Peach Kebabs

28 05 2010

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and a great time for grilling!  These easy steak kebabs pack a lot of protein and flavor.  Makes 8 servings (2 kebabs per person).



  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  ground cumin
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 3/4  teaspoons  salt
  • 2  pounds  boneless sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4  peaches, sliced into 8 wedges
  • 2  small red onions, sliced into 8 wedges
  • 2  large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Cooking spray


  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4  cup  red wine vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon black pepper
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • Parsley sprigs (optional)


Spray grill rack with cooking spray and turn on grill.

To prepare kebabs, combine first 7 ingredients; toss well. Thread 3 steak pieces, 2 peach wedges, 1 onion wedge, and 1 bell pepper piece alternately onto each of 16 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on grill rack and grill 6 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Place kebabs on a platter; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

To prepare sauce, combine chopped parsley and next 5 ingredients (chopped parsley through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Spoon over kebabs. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information:

Calories:  220 (30% from fat)
Fat:  7.2g (sat 3g,mono 3g,poly 0.4g)
Protein:  25.5g
Carbohydrate:  12.4g
Fiber:  3.2g
Cholesterol:  69mg
Iron:  3.8mg
Sodium:  768mg
Calcium:  38mg

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.


Recipe: 15 Minute Mexican Chicken & Rice Dinner

19 05 2010

Stumped about what to have for dinner tonight?  Try this fast and easy chicken dish.  It’s got plenty of protein, and because it takes only 15 minutes to prepare, its perfect for a weeknight meal.  Add a green salad loaded with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and your favorite vinaigrette.

(Yield: 2 servings)

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 TBSP Canola Oil
1 cup Water
1 cup Salsa
1 cup Frozen Corn
1 cups Minute Rice, uncooked
½ cup Reduced Fat Shredded Mexican Cheese

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat
2. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until white in center
3. Remove chicken from skillet
4. Add water, salsa, and corn to skillet, bring to a boil
5. Stir in minute rice & top with chicken
6. Sprinkle with cheese
7. Cover & cook on low heat for 5 minutes
8. Stir & serve

Nutritional information per Serving:
Calories 575  | Carbohydrates 60 g  | Protein 49 g | Fat 15.5 g | Sat. Fat 4 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.

Recipe: Easy Grilled Tuna Melt

3 05 2010

Tuna is a conventient and delicious way to include more fish in your diet.  This simple sandwich is a great option for lunch, or even a simple dinner with a green salad.  Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 sandwich


  • 1 (2.6 oz) pouch chunk light tuna, packed in water
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread (I use Orowheat)
  • 2 teaspoons Light Butter (I use Land ‘O Lakes with Canola Oil)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cheddar cheese


1.   In a bowl, add the drained tuna and mayonnaise. Mix together.

2.   Spread one side of each slice of bread with Light Butter and the other side with mustard.

3.   Spread the tuna mixture on top of the mustard side of one of the slices of bread. Place the tomato slices on top of the tuna. Top each with cheese. Place the remaining slice, mustard side inside, on top to create a sandwich.

4.   Spray a skillet with cooking spray and add the sandwich, cheese side up. Cook on medium-high heat about 2-3 minutes until bottom is golden. Using a spatula, turn the sandwich over. Flatten a little with the spatula. Cook about 1-2 minutes until golden. Turn sandwiches over again and cook about 30 seconds more until cheese is melted.

5.   Serve immediately

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories   415 Carbohydrates   41g Fiber  6g Protein   29g Fat 14g Sat. Fat   4g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.

Pineapple Grape Smoothie

28 04 2010

Here is a great way to get grapes into your diet!  This recipe has a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein; perfect for post-workout recovery.


6 ounces pineapple juice
1 cup red seedless grapes
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup ice


Blend together juice, grapes and yogurt.  When mixed well, add ice and blend until slushy.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories   255 | Carbohydrates   53g | Fiber  1g | Protein   13g | Fat 0g | Sat. Fat   0g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.

Popeye was right!

14 04 2010

Many classify spinach as a superfood.  Research suggests that it may improve strength, brain function, bone health, and eye health.

Spinach contains a phytochemical called phytoecdysteroid.  A recent study completed at Rutgers University demonstrated a 20% increase in muscle growth with this phytochemical.

The vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin found in spinach are all carotenoids that help maintain eye health.

Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K and magnesium.  The combination of nutrients in spinach has been shown to promote strong and healthy bones.  Vitamin K has been linked to a reduced risk of bone fractures.  Magnesium is a component of bones and vitamin C helps promote collagen formation, which is necessary to build strong bones.

So add spinach to your diet by juicing, sautéing, tossing in a salad, or adding to your omelet.

Spinach and Chicken Stir-Fry Salad with Raspberries

Preparation Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time:  5 minutes

Serves:   3 people

Ingredients: Directions:
1 tsp Olive or Canola Oil 1) Heat oil in nonstick skillet or wok.
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-size strips (12 oz) 2)  Add chicken strips and onion, stir-fry over high heat 3-5 minutes until chicken is no long pink in the center.
1 cup of Onion, diced 3)  Turn off heat and add spinach and vinaigrette
Salt & Pepper to taste 4)  Toss well.
1 bag (6oz) Spinach 5)  Divide mixture among plates
¼ cup Fat-Free Raspberry Vinaigrette 6)  Sprinkle with raspberries and feta cheese
1 cup Raspberries (If frozen, thawed)
¼ cup Reduced-Fat Feta Cheese

Nutritional information per Serving:

Calories:  250 Carbohydrates:  14 g Fiber:  5 g Protein:  28 g Fat:  9 g Sat. Fat: 2 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010

Recipe: Pork Chop Packets

11 04 2010

Here is an excellent main dish recipe packed with protein, nutrients and flavor!  Many people don’t realize that pork chops can be just as lean as chicken breasts.  Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene and a very good source of vitamin C.  Peaches and nectarines provide potassium, lycopene and lutein. These nutrients are beneficial in the prevention of heart disease, macular degeneration, and prostate cancer. Cinnamon appears to have the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, lowering the risk for diabetes.  As little as 1 teaspoon has been shown to have the antioxidant power of 1/2 cup of blueberries!

Pork Chop Packets


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced (about 1/4″ thick)
Dash salt
2 teaspoons butter or margarine
4 boneless pork chops*
4 medium peaches or nectarines, peeled, and sliced
2 cups frozen peaches or nectarines
Dash ground cinnamon

*I used Hormel Natural Center Cut Pork Chops when testing this recipe.


  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut 4 (18 X 12-inch) sheets of heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray
  2. Place one fourth of the sweet potato slices on center of each sheet; sprinkle with salt. Put ½ tsp butter over sweet potato. Top with pork chop and sliced peach or nectarine. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal.
  4. Place packets on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 20 to 22 minutes, rotating packets 1/2 turn after 10 minutes, or until sweet potatoes and peaches are tender.
  5. To serve, cut large X across top of each packet; carefully fold back foil to allow steam to escape.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories   355 | Carbohydrates   32g | Fiber  5g | Protein   29g | Fat 11g | Sat. Fat   4g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.

Recipe: Banana Raspberry Smoothie

9 04 2010

Besides being a great post-workout drink, smoothies can be an excellent choice for breakfast on the go. This smoothie provides plenty of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are what give raspberries their rich red color. Nutritionally, they have unique antioxidant properties. So, enjoy this smoothie on your way to a healthier you.  Need more protein in your smoothie?  Choose the high protein version and get 31 grams of protein.  Great as a post-workout beverage following weightlifting, the additional protein aids in muscle repair.  Looking for a meal replacement?  The high protein version of the Banana Raspberry Smoothie would be a great choice; the additional protein is more filling and provides the additional calories needed for an entire meal.

Banana Raspberry Smoothie

(Yield: 1 serving)
1 Banana
1 cup Raspberries, frozen
¾ cup Orange Juice
6 oz Light Vanilla Yogurt

1. Blend all ingredients on high until smooth.
2. If consistency is too thin, add ice.

Nutritional information per Serving:
Calories 330 | Carbohydrates 76 g | Fiber 11 g | Protein 10 g | Fat 1 g | Sat. Fat 0 g

Banana Raspberry Smoothie (High Protein Version):

In addition to above ingredients, add 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder.

Nutritional information per Serving:
Calories 450 | Carbohydrates 80 g | Fiber 11 g | Protein 31 g | Fat 2 g | Sat. Fat 0 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.

The cereal you are eating might not be as nutritious as you might think…

1 04 2010

There are a lot of healthy cereal options, and there are the obvious not so healthy sugar-coated cereals. However, there are some cereals that appear to be “healthy” but in actuality contain very little nutritional value.

What to Look for in a Cereal?

  • Sugar: Choose cereals that do not have sugar or corn syrup listed as the first ingredient.
  • Whole Grains: Choose cereals that have whole grain listed in the first few ingredients.
  • Fiber and Protein: On the nutrition label look for at least 2 grams of both fiber and protein for every 100 Calories of cereal.

Recommended Cereals:

Wheaties (Original)
Raisin Bran
Frosted Mini Wheats
Smart Start
Kashi (all varieties)
Honey Bunches of Oats

Bottom Line: Before choosing a cereal, read the ingredients to
make sure it is a nutritious choice.

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.