Happy National Banana Bread Day!

This Muffin is Bananas!

In honor of national banana bread day I have for you, of course, a banana bread recipe. These muffins were great. They were moist and soft and could be made into a loaf pan if you would rather (you can even add a nice yummy topping if you are going for more of a dessert…see bottom pic!).

They can even be added to a lunch pale or used as a snack for when the kiddo’s get home.

Bananas are a fun and healthy snack. They have great things like potassium, water, carbohydrates, and fiber. They are also pretty versatile.   They are great for snacks and added to fruit salads. Bananas are even great for a snack pre-workout. There was many a training day when I added some nut butter to a banana and it gave me the sustenance that I needed to make it through until lunchtime. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, it’s a family favorite!


  • 2-3 ripe Bananas
  • ½ cup Butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • A little salt (I just used a dash – so about one shake of the shaker)
  • 1 ½ cup of Flour
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Get a mixing bowl and put the bananas in it. Then mash away. This is the fun part, so if you have any little ones joining you it can be a good way to get them involved here (tip, keep a wet towel handy to wipe off those gooey hands after mashing!)
  3. Put the wet ingredients into the mashed bananas and stir
  4. Put the dry ingredients in to the wet and mix with a spoon or in a mixing bowl
  5. Pour mixture into a greased and lined 12 muffin tin (or you could use a loaf pan)
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. (I checked the muffins by inserting a small toothpick and making sure it came back out of the center of the muffin clean).
  7. Let them cool and enjoy the banana bread smell that will envelope your home!
  8. Enjoy!
Yummy Banana Bread!
The Banana Bread with a Coconut Topping and Chocolate Chips!

Tortes are for Vegetables Too

Who doesn’t love a torte? Now, thinking on tortes, I’ve never seen or eaten one that wasn’t sweet. But, the other night I started thinking about some of the extra veggies I had on hand and what to do with them. I needed a fresh and new way to get them onto the table.

Turns out, there’s lots of vegetable recipes on line (duh!). I came across this recipe from Buona Pappa that you can see a great video for here: http://www.buonapappa.net/zucchini-and-carrots-roses-tart/

It’s a beautifully crafted rose torte where the veggies are peeled and the peels are turned into beautiful roses. That’s some great food art!

After thinking on the idea of making a torte with (gasp!) VEGETABLES and NOT CHOCOLATE I decided to try something similar.

Here’s what happened:

Here’s a shot of the ingredients

Turn the oven to 350 deg F.

Get a puff pastry and unroll it over a flat surface. Then place it into your torte pan. (I didn’t have a pan solely for tortes but I had a spring form pan for cheesecake and this worked well)




I put some wax paper on the pastry and weighed it down with some dried beans (or you could use pie weights if you have them).  I then put the torte crust in the oven for about 20 minutes (make sure it’s golden brown when you take it out of the oven)

I used some beans I had in the pantry to weigh the crust down







While the crust was baking I made the filling and diced the veggies.

For the filling:

I cracked 2 eggs into a glass bowl (seriously you could use any bowl, I just like the glass ones) and poured in the small curd cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese, garlic, nutmeg, salt, chunked mozzarella and Italian seasoning and stirred







For the veggies:

I cut them into chunks like mini towers. I used egg plant, green and yellow zucchini, and carrots.

Cutting veggies

(Keep in mind you could also do slices for thinner chunks of veggies, or if your really brave, you could do the awesome roses like on Buona Pappa’s site)





After the crust was cooled, I poured the filling into the cooled torte crust until it was thick enough to hold the veggies upright (about ½ inch thick).  Then I placed the veggies all around to make a colorful veggie wonderland


Looks like a veggie wonderland!

I put it in the oven at 350 deg F for another 50 to 55 minutes.

When the torte was done I sprinkled some leftover cheese to melt on the top (I grated some mozzarella and Parmesan and mixed it).

Forgive me for not having a after cut picture but it was so yummy that it was gone before I realized I’d forgotten!

Note: If you have leftover filling like I did make sure to use it as there’s raw eggs in it (DON’T eat it out of the spoon even though it smells good!). It goes wonderful baked into macaroni and cheese!! (Seriously I have a mac and cheese fetish that is out of control, I think we know what my next recipe is probably going to be…that is if I don’t come across a good chocolate one!)

Have a great day everyone!

Recipe Below:


  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 puff pastry crust
  • 16 ozSmall curd cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cup chunked mozzarella (plus half cup grated)
  • 8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian Herb seasoning
  • Vegetables for torte (I used zucchini, eggplant, and carrots)



  1. Heat oven to 350 deg. F.
  2. Unroll pastry crust onto flat surface and place into torte pan
  3. Weigh down the crust with pie weights over wax paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown
  4. Mix eggs, cottage cheese, nutmeg, garlic, salt, mozzarella, parmesan cheese and herb seasoning
  5. Cut vegetables
  6. After pastry is done and cooled, pour cheese mixture into the pastry crust
  7. Place vegetables in cheese mixture
  8. Bake in already heated oven for 50 to 55 minutes
  9. Enjoy!




I have two words (or well, one hyphenated word) for you. Tater-Tots!

About two weeks ago when I was out and about I stopped at a farmers market and bought a fresh butternut squash. Yum!

But…when I got home, I couldn’t figure out what to make with it. We’d had lots of squash for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and while both of us love it, we didn’t want to overdo a good thing. So what to do with said squash?

Fast forward about a week. Standing at the open oven putting homemade French fries in to bake, it hit me. Tater-tots. We love them. Who doesn’t love them!

I thought why not try a tater-tot butternut squash.

Challenge set!

So, after looking around on the Internet and reading through various versions of this tater-tot recipe, I decided to make it my own.

Here’s what happened:


I preheated the oven to 350 F and sprayed a baking dish with non-stick spray. Then I peeled and cubed the squash and diced about ¾ of an onion.

I tossed the squash and onion in about 2 tbsp. of olive oil and Italian herb seasoning and put them in a greased baking tin.

I baked the vegetables for about 40 minutes. Honestly I lost track of time during this as I had to feed the baby, so it may have been a couple minutes more. Just make sure you can pierce the squash cubes with a knife or fork when you take them out of the oven.

I took the pan out (finished feeding the baby) and let it cool for about half hour.

When it was cool enough to handle I put the squash/onion mixture into the food processor.

When it was smooth and looked like baby food, I took it out of the food processor and scraped it into a bowl where I added some flax seed meal to help the soon-to-be tater-tots stay together (it can be used in place of eggs in most recipes).

Then I added some flour about ¼ cup at a time (I ended up using about ¾ cup). Add this slowly to ensure that you don’t add too much which could make the squash too much like dough.

Then I placed the gooey tater-tots on a cutting board to get ready to place in the fry pan

I used a non-stick pan and put about 2 tbsp. of olive oil in and heated it up.

I cooked the tater-tots on each side flipping after two minutes on each side.

Then I let them drain on a paper towel.

Once they are cool enough to pick up, make sure to put one in your mouth and enjoy it! They were so good and enjoyed by not only my husband and myself. Even Sam the dog got in on the tater-tot action.

There you go. Dietitian, husband, and dog approved! Butternut Squash Tater-tots…who knew?


1 Butternut Squash

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Italian Herb Seasoning

½ of an Onion, Diced (or more to taste)

1/4c-3/4c Flour of choice

3 Tbsp. Water

1 Tbsp. Flax Seed Meal


  1. Peel Butternut squash
  2. Cube the squash and dice the onion
  3. Toss with olive oil and Italian herb seasoning
  4. Bake cubed squash and onion together at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes (until you can easily pierce the cubes with a fork)
  5. Take out of the oven and let cool
  6. Put the squash into a food processor and puree
  7. Mix 1 tbsp. of flax seed meal with 3 tbsp. of water and let sit for two minutes, then mix into squash mixture (this can be used in place of egg in many recipes)
  8. Mix in ¼ cup flour at a time. Do this part slowly and stir well after each ¼ cup. You can use whatever flour you like (potato, oat, rice). I had regular flour at home and used that.
  9. Time to get your hands dirty! Form the tater-tots
  10. Once the tater-tots are ready to be put on the stove get out your non-stick skillet.
  11. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in the skillet (you could potentially not use olive oil if you are really cutting back on your calories but this would affect the buttery and crunchy flavor of the tater-tots so be aware.
  12. Cook the tots for two minutes on each side. I had to turn mine onto each side (so that would be four rotations) to get the entire tot browned.
  13. Once they are cooled ENJOY!!

Back in the (Running) Game!

So it has been quite a while since I have followed a training schedule.  One year exactly last week.  With the new year, I have set some new running goals for myself and here I’d like to share them with you.

  1. On May 7, 2016 I will be running the New River Marathon as a fun training run…and to get a little revenge on this course (more on that later!!).
  2. On June 5, 2016 I will be running the San Diego Marathon as my first official marathon back from my pregnancy. I will be celebrating being back running, while at the same time assessing where I am physically and mentally in order to get ready to run my goal race in the fall.
  3. My Goal race to attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon will be this coming fall (to qualify for Boston 2018 race).  I will run either the Syracuse NY Empire State Marathon (no 2016 date yet, last year it was in October) or the Peak to Creek Marathon in North Carolina (also in October). My goal for this race is to cross the finish line with a time below 3 hours and 25 minutes (which would be a personal best for me by almost 6 minutes).

I am giving myself the winter and spring to have fun getting back into the game and to slowly ease back into a training schedule. With a new baby I am still learning how to juggle working out, work and home life so I want to make sure there’s as little stress as possible so I can enjoy that baby girl!

Also, I still have on about 10 pounds from my pregnancy and my body is tired but continuing to recover, both of these affect my mile times and cardiovascular endurance.  I want to make sure that as I slowly loose the weight, I also gain muscle and keep my body strong and healthy while it heals.  In this, patience, consistency and a positive attitude will be key.

So for now, there it is.  Three Marathons. Two for fun and One with a gutsy goal.




Goal Setting

With January coming up quick New Year’s Resolutions are on many a mind!

Whenever I think about New Year’s, I think about what goals I’ve set for myself for the past year and for the future.  If you’ve never set goals for yourself you’re missing out!  Goal setting has been shown to enhance performance and keep you motivated to work with others as well as on your own.

When goal setting, make sure to take a step back and think about how your goals can help you achieve what you want.  That means, you may have three or four goals, or just one.  Taking a look at your lifestyle, your personal values as well as what you would like your ultimate achievement to be can enhance how your experience is and make your likelihood of achieving the ultimate goal more manageable and the experience more enjoyable.

Make sure your goals are SMART! Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based goals can really set you up for success.

So, for example if your goal is to have more healthy family meals at home, how can you set a SMART goal to make that happen?

Let’s first break this goal down and make it smart:

S (specific) – Make a healthy recipe with my family in the kitchen at home on Thursday nights at 6:30pm.

M (measureable)-I can measure our success with a calendar. I will put up a calendar in the kitchen for everyone to see that Thursday night is our dinner night and each person can fill in a healthy meal they would like to cook. I can measure if we are achieving our goal by making sure I check the calendar when we have our dinner nights.

A (attainable)-Thursdays everyone is home and is a slower night for our family, so this is the consistent weekly night we will cook at home. I know that I can pick up things at the store for our family dinner night when I do weekly grocery shopping and I know that each family member can have a list for the grocery store when it is their turn to pick a meal.

R (relevant) – We would like to learn how to cook healthy meals and eat out less.  By cooking healthy meals together, this can help us achieve that ultimate family goal.  We are all interested in cooking and will enjoy the new recipes.

T (time based) – We will cook once weekly for each week of the year. That means 52 times this year we will have cooked together at home.


SMART GOAL: In 2016, every Thursday night at 6:30, our family will cook one healthy meal for us to enjoy together.  We will check accountability for this monthly on the calendar and keep this up for one full year.

Whatever your goals are for 2016, whether they have to do with cooking, family fun, making sure Fido gets out for regular walks, or even just that you take 15 minutes daily to yourself, make sure that your goals are not only SMART, but that they help you achieve an overall improved feeling about your health and wellness!


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interventions for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Volume 116(1): 2016
Kleingeld,A.,Heleen, M., Lidia, A. The Effect of Goal Setting on Group Performance: A Meta-Analysis: Journal of Applied Psychology; Vol 96(6): Nov. 2011, 1289 – 1304

Nutrition Poll

Hey Everyone,

With the holidays rapidly approaching and yummy cakes and cookies on every counter I got to thinking, what is one holiday dessert you traditionally eat during the winter holidays that could use a nutrition makeover.  Fill out the poll and I’ll come up with a recipe!



Erin Osetek MS, RD, LDN

Well Hello!

Welcome to Osetek Wellness and Nutrition.  I am a Registered Dietitian with my Masters of Science in Nutrition and Wellness.  I am very excited to be opening Osetek Wellness and Nutrition and beginning to provide nutrition and wellness opportunities to the community.

My goal is to provide fun, exciting and educational information about nutrition and wellness that is accurate and scientifically based.  I will soon be offering services such as individual and group consultations, grocery store tours, phone and video consulting, pantry makeovers, meal planning and nutrient/calorie analysis.  I will also offer many other fun and educational opportunities for those interested in nutrition and wellness for themselves, their families, and their communities.

I believe that nutrition is an ever-changing piece of our lives.  By choosing to make healthy choices for ourselves and our families we are doing our best to ensure a good quality of life and are taking control of our health.  By choosing Osetek Wellness and Nutrition you are choosing to OWN your choices, OWN your lifestyle.

Thanks for visiting and I hope to hear from your soon!

Erin Osetek MS, RD, LDN IMG_2872