top of page

Nutrition Nook

Declicious Recipes from nutritionist Denice Hynd RD, MPH and Chef Brianda Younggren, MPH

Pot Roast Tacos - October 2023

Slow Cooker Season Has Arrived - and so have Pot Roast Tacos! 

Who doesn't slow cooked meals? Food simmering all day long is the perfect companion to any cozy night-in. With the price of gas and food, it can be overwhelming to decide if we should take the leap and go out for dinner, or worse take the leap and buy an expensive cut of meat all for it to become ruined in the cooking process. Slow cooker meals allow us to use the groceries that we have, and the long and slow cooking methods improve the quality of cheaper cuts of meat, such as a round bottom roast. This entire roast was ten dollars + the veggies were at most two dollars! 


For our PD friends, tough cuts of any meat can promote choking, aspiration and can be an immediate declination before it even hits the table. Instead of serving whole cuts of meat, consider adding the entire cooked meal through the food processor to give the meal a more 'pureed' texture without sacrificing the flavor and ingredients. Here, we took a basic pot roast recipe, cooked in the slow cooker on low for 12 hours, and did the final step of pulsing it through the processor. 


You can serve it over your favorite starch such as mashed sweet potatoes, mashed russet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or even inside tortillas like this recipe did! This is guaranteed to be enjoyed by everyone in your dinner circle. It gives shredded beef taco-vibes, without the fuss of BBQ or roasting the cuts of meat. The slow cooker did it all! To add more moisture, add ready to serve gravy, sour cream, broth, or salsa. To increase iron absorption, add fresh lime to any cut of animal protein. 


Think of all the other meals you can send through the processor that can be enjoyed by someone who has a need for modified textures! I'm thinking we could play around with the flavors of ground beef nachos over soft baked potato wedges for the corn chips (pulse ground beef and salsa, pour over potatoes), or green bean-dried cranberry-almond salad can be 'pulsed' into a minced salad. Ideas are endless!  Enjoy! 


Why we love this modified texture recipe: 

  • it feeds an entire family

  • offers plenty of leftovers

  • a great party pleaser for $12 or less

  • it freezes well

  • requires little to no skill

  • texture can be modified for our PD and non-PD friends

  • doesn't use too much power

  • beef is an excelled source of protein, iron, B vitamins

  • carrots and potatoes offer significant amounts of potassium, fiber, and beta-carotene 

  • set it and forget it!

Pot Roast Tacos


1, five-pound bottom round roast

4 cups broth of choice

1, 16 ounce ready to serve gravy of choice

6, large russet potatoes quartered 

1, onion diced

6, large carrots roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

Salt and pepper to taste


                                                                        1. Chop up all desired vegetables

                                                                        2. Season roast on all sides with salt and pepper

                                                                        3. Sear roast on medium high heat in pan on stovetop

                                                                        4. Add roast, chopped up vegetables, and all remaining

                                                                             ingredients to slow cooker

                                                                        5. Cook in slow cooker on low for at least 10 hours.

                                                                        6. Once tender, add all ingredients into food processor, pulse,

                                                                             serve as desired!

                                                                        7. Enjoy!

Pot Roast Tacos 01_edited.jpg
Pot Roast Tacos 02.jpg
Pot Roast Tacos 03.jpg

Declicious Recipes from nutritionist Denice Hynd RD, MPH and Chef Brianda Younggren, MPH

Oatmeal Cups - September 2023

Greetings PD Community!

We hope everyone is doing well after the hot summer months, Fall is here and we're embracing it full force with warm meals and sides. 


There are times when convenient meals are the only thing that gets us by. Between the cost of groceries, the time necessary to purchase those groceries, and all the clean-up....sometimes we want to surrender and just order take out. Before you pull into a drive through, or order meal delivery, consider shopping your own pantry for a meal or a snack.


Here, we increased the nutrient density of a cup of quick cooking steel cut oats. These were purchased at Grocery Outlet for fifty cents each! Amazing! Stock up when you find these deals! Many national chain grocery stores also sell a four pack for $2.00 (store brand). The toppings you choose are only limited to what you have on hand. Adding sliced bananas, raisins, and extra granola adds bulk, natural sweetness, and texture. The granola softens with steam, therefore reducing the risk of choking. Adding items such as honey, agave, maple syrup, whole milk, peanut butter, a little liquid protein increases sweetness and adds calories for those of us who have increased needs. Consider mixing in applesauce, sliced peaches, chia seeds or flax meal for added nutrients. 


Oatmeal has natural occurring fiber and protein allowing us to feel fuller for a longer period of time. Fiber (as you may recall) increases the bulk and softens the transition of our bowl movements, helping our PD friends who suffer from irregularity and constipation. These cups are also a great option for when we want a dessert but don't have access to all our favorite treats. Another great idea is to simply dump the uncooked oatmeal straight from the cup into the blender with your liquid of choice for a nutrient dense shake. 


Instead of boiling water or sticking the instant cup in the microwave, consider buying an electric kettle for boiling water. Minimal dishes, and no need to reach into microwaves for hot foods that could potentially burn fragile skin. 


Store bought options include blueberry, apple cinnamon, strawberries and cream, peaches and cream, cinnamon brown sugar, mixed berry, and plain. We hope you find some short cuts in your kitchen that are quick, nutrient powerhouses and indulgent at the same time. Cheers!


Oatmeal Cups - September 2023

By Denice Hynd RD, MP


Recipe and Image by Denice Hynd RD, MPH



Toppings of choice: sliced bananas, raisins, extra granola, pigmented fruits


-Make oatmeal of choice

-Cut up toppings from pantry

-Mix together


Enjoy! Super Simple!

Dietician Bites & August 2023 Recipe

- Tuna Salad with Roasted Corn

Dietician Bites By Denice Hynd RD, MPH

Recipe and Image by Brianda Younggren  & Denice Hynd, MPH 8/2023

Happy Sunny Days Everyone!


With the Summer months scorching our energy, there are times when we just want to open the fridge, stand in front of it, and wish for a meal to throw itself together. With five minutes of your time, you can have this high protein, refreshing salad that can be served with crackers, on a bed of lettuce, or can be served on crunchy tostadas as an elevated ceviche of sorts. 


The last thing you want to do is turn on the stove, wash dishes, or invest the little cool energy you have left into making a nourishing meal. Here, we use pouch tuna, it's great for our friends with compromised dexterity plus there's no need to drain the brine that's found in canned tuna; we mix in freshly roasted corn often left over from the BBQ dinner the night before, and we pop in some greens with the bounty that is found in yours or your neighbors garden. In today's recipe we have red Russian kale, but you could use cilantro, basil, spinach, rainbow chard or arugula. The dressing is a clean mixture of fresh lime juice, avocado oil, seasoned rice vinegar, and a slight drizzle of toasted sesame oil (has to be toasted!), sprinkled with sea salt. 


You can make this the night before, it will absorb everything beautifully and when you plate it, consider squeezing fresh lime and even a few slices of cucumber or jicama.


Why we love this recipe: upcycles dinner left overs, uses the current garden greens, helps rotate pantry inventory, affordable, minimal skill and equipment, no stove needed, make a head, and our PD friends can enjoy this meal with more or less texture, more or less moisture, if crunchy crackers are not appropriate, we can add to a soft quesadilla, or serve with soft brown rice. 


Tuna Salad with Roasted Corn

Recipe and Image by Brianda Younggren  & Denice Hynd, MPH 8/2023



2 roasted corn cobbs, kernels shaved off

1 handful greens of choice, chopped

2 individual pouches of chunk light tuna (we used lemon pepper)


Dressing Ingredients:

2 fresh limes

1 Tb seasoned rice vinegar

1 Tb avocado oil

1 Tb toasted sesame oil, seat salt to taste)


1. Mix everything together including dressing ingredients and serve with sides of choice.

Makes 2 servings 

Enjoy your summer! Cheers!

Dietician Bites & July 2023 Apricot Blueberry Shake

Dietician Bites By Denice Hynd RD, MPH

Recipe and Image by Brianda Younggren  & Denice Hynd, MPH 7/2023

Apricot Blueberry Shake

We hope you're enjoying the warm summer breeze matched with brightly pigmented sunsets! Speaking of bright pigments, we talk about them frequently for a reason. They are filled with antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Vitamin A and beta-carotene is known for its protective vision benefits, and vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster as well as collagen strengthener. So how do we include these powerhouse nutrients into our diet, without heating the entire kitchen during the hot summer months? We make cold food! 


Stone fruit is in season and thus on sale in the Summer months. At times, it may be so cheap that we buy indulgently and end of having too much to eat. Fruit becomes bruised, soft, or is at the point of tossing into the compost. Before permanently removing the wilted fruit from your kitchen, consider blending them into popsicles, aqua-fresca, or a fruit smoothie! Add frozen berries (highly pigmented) and your choice of milk or yogurt for a nutrient dense snack during the warm summer months. 

Why we love this idea: there are times in the PD community where we fatigue when we're constantly chewing solid food. This can lead to premature fullness which can lead to malnutrition. Additionally, a smoothie is a great way to add or disguise supplements, additional foods, or thickeners without compromising the taste or the texture of the point of aversion. 










Images by Denice Hynd, MPH 7/2023

In today's recipe we blended 1 cup of frozen blueberries which are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, with 2 bruised nectarines that regardless of their blemishes are still high in vitamin A and potassium, with 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Despite being made from almonds, almond milk is low in protein, contributing less than 1 gram of protein per serving. This would be an excellent choice for someone following a low protein diet, as seen in individuals with kidney disease. For a high protein add-in, consider adding Greek yogurt, soy milk, cow's milk, or a few tablespoons of oats, flax, and chia seeds. 



1 cup frozen blueberries

2 nectarines, pits removed

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Makes two, 16-ounce glasses


Mix in ideas: protein powder, peanut butter, thickener, bananas 

Dietician Bites & June 2023 Pigmented Foods

Dietician Bites By Denice Hynd RD, MPH

Recipe and Image by Brianda Younggren, MPH 6/2023

Happy Summer PD Community! This month's nutrition focus will highlight the importance of deeply pigmented produce. What does that mean? Fruit and vegetables that are deeply pigmented have rich pigments both on their exteriors and on their interiors. For example: tomatoes are both red on their skins and in their flesh, blueberries are blue throughout, spinach and kale are pigmented with deep rich greens whereas green apples are only green on their outside, and cucumbers match those of green apples. 

Image by Brianda Younggren, MPH 6/2023

Why are these pigments important? 

Rich colors like the ones described are filled with phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are known to be neuro protective. They help protect against oxidative stress as seen in dementia, PD, and in all diseased states. You can eat these pigments raw or cooked, but we absorb more of their nutrition, specifically their fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) when we eat them in the presence of fat. Avocado, almonds, cashews, nut butter, olive oil, are excellent additions. In addition to these chemical compounds, the foods that carry these rich pigments are also an excellent source of bound water, helping us stay hydrated through the summer and they offer fiber as well! Both the water and the fiber are beneficial for gut health and to alleviate and protect against constipation that affects some of our PD friends. 


This month's recipe isn't necessarily a recipe that has steps to follow but rather an idea of how to incorporate these pigments into our diets. We can start with breakfast with an egg scramble with our favorite greens, or serve avocado toast for midday lunch, for snack a bowl of berries and a parrying of cheese or yogurt would be tasty!


Sending you a bounty of ideas - stay cool this Summer and don't forget to shop for your richly pigmented produce!

Dietician Bites & May 2023  - 'Grab and Go' 

Dietician Bites By Denice Hynd RD, MPH

Recipe and Image by Brianda Younggren, MPH 5/2023

Spring has arrived! Although sometimes in Northern Nevada it feels like a daily war between Winter and Summer - haha! Regardless of the climate, our celebrations and events continue. During this time, we may be occupied with Spring cleaning, baseball, travel and celebrations such as Mother's Day, and graduations. With our time being pulled in opposite directions, it's important to have a handful of food options that are practical, quick yet nutrient dense. 

Dietician Bites By Denice Hynd RD, MPH

Recipe and Image by Brianda Younggren, MPH 5/2023

Here are some ideas to help you build a quick-grab-and-go pantry, freezer and fridge: 

  • Frozen egg bites are popular because they can be microwaved, air-fried, or pan-fried. Drive through coffee shops have been selling these quick breakfast bites for years. Grocery stores such as Costco, Safeway and Kroger all have some variation that is enjoyable by meat eaters and vegetarians alike. The egg-bites in this article are from Costco, and are made with spinach, red bell pepper and egg whites. They're low in calories at only 70 calories per cup, are packed with protein, and contribute some fiber to your day. With all the running around we're doing in the Spring these cups will start your day off strong! Consider chopping them up and adding to a corn tortilla for a variation on breakfast tacos!

  • Cottage cheese + toast has become a trending snack. Add sliced avocado, or drizzle with honey; having a tub of cottage cheese stored in the fridge satisfies both our texture preferences in PD and our nutrient needs

  • Frozen whole grain waffles + peanut butter is a quick snack that is sweet yet full of plant protein and fiber. Add sliced bananas for additional potassium and sweetness

  • Instant steel cut oat cups + chia seeds are warm and keep you energized with it's slow release carbohydrates


Why we love these options: these textures are appropriate and generally safe for our PD friends, they're affordable and offer a nutrient-bang without breaking the bank. It is 100% acceptable to buy short-cuts to make our lives easier - and who doesn't like the easy clean up? Enjoy!                


Tuna Salad and Rosted Corn 082023 01.jpg

Other Amazing Recipes and Digestive Bites

bottom of page