Chicken Parmesan + Zucchini noodles

Before we met, my husband lived in Italy for almost 2 years while he was in the Navy. Needless to say he has high demands for an Italian dinner and almost refuses to go out to a restaurant.

I am by no means Italian, I’m from Northern Illinois for crying out loud. My version of Italian is the American version of meatballs and spaghetti or ordering pizza.

He’s hard enough to please when it comes to food anyways so when I prepare something he gobbles up even all the leftovers, I surely better share it with y’all!


Lighter Chicken Parmesan

Serves: 4-6


 1 lb chicken breast

2 pinches kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups or so marinara (homemade is best, but a store bought version makes an easy swap)

4 thin slices mozarella cheese or 1/2 cup part skim mozarella

2 tbsp parmesan cheese

zucchini, as needed

pasta, as needed



Trim the chicken of any perimeter fat. Place between a top & bottom layer of plastic wrap and pound out (with a mallet) to an even thickness.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and evenly coat in the egg wash.

Dip in the bread crumbs on each side. Can use whole wheat bread crumbs for more fiber and nutrient rather than panko.

Heat a large non-stick pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil.

Sear the chicken on one side for about 2-3 minutes. Flip when there is a golden brown color on the breading and cook on the second side for another few minutes.

Pour in the marinara and cover. Let simmer to heat through the sauce and finish cooking the chicken (about 20 minutes). Add the mozzarella cheese, cover again until melted.

Sprinkle with parmesan right before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve with pasta (whole wheat, brown rice, or lentil pasta are nutrient-rich options), salad and/or zucchini noodles.

Note: if you don’t need or want any pasta with it, you can omit the carb. 100% whole wheat, brown rice, or lentil pastas provide more fiber and nutrients than regular enriched white flour pasta. I’ll be the first to tell you though I don’t deprive myself of regular pasta, especially for certain meals. Some nights when the family is eating pasta with the meal, I have a small portion of whatever they are eating. Other nights I omit it and completely swap in spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash. I used a veggie peeler here for the zucchini just for a different shape. Other nights I combine the veggie ‘pasta’ with regular pasta just to help keep everything in balance (my goals, appetite, and cravings!).







Black Bean Salsa


A simple dish that is a great accompaniment to many summer party line ups or a delicious topping to add to your tex mex night!

Black Bean Salsa

2 cans no salt added black beans, drained + rinsed

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1-2 fire roasted tomatoes, diced

1/4 red onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bunch of cilantro, diced

1-2 limes, juiced

pinch of salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil


Toss everything together. That’s it!

This can be made ahead of time for a party and it saves for a good 5 days in the fridge to be used throughout the week.


For a touch of fresh, summery-sweetness I’ll also add pineapple or mango chunks and you can really tailor this to fit your taste preferences. if you don’t like tomatoes, just skip them. If you like less bell peppers or only have 2 on hand (or the mini peppers like me that are a staple in my fridge), just use what you have.

I also often omit the olive oil and will use avocado for the creamy, fatty flavor desired and then it becomes more like a guaca-salsa as I called it in my recent instagram post.


Happy summer-ing!


week day oatmeal


Make weekday breakfasts a cinch with classic oatmeal with the enhance flavor and nutrients.

Simply make a batch of oatmeal on Monday am (or even Sunday) and then portion into 5 jars.

Each morning take one container, microwave the oats with a splash of milk or cream for about a minute or two to warm through. Stir to combine the warmed oats with the liquid.


Top with berries and nuts for sweetness + crunch!

All you need is about 10 minutes and you’ll have breakfast ready for each day!


Berries & Cream Oatmeal 

Makes: 5-6 servings



1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

3 cups water

For the toppings, divided among the different containers:

1 teaspoon cinnamon

5-6 drops stevia extract, optional

1 1/2 cups Fairlife milk

1 1/2 cups berries

3/4 cup nuts, chopped


In a saucepan, combine the oats + water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until the oats are soft and have absorbed most of the water (about 5 minutes). Stir occasionally as needed.

Divide the oats into individual containers (about 1/2 cup cooked oats per portion).

In each container, sprinkle in about 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, a drop of stevia extract, 1/4 cup of Fairlife milk, 1/4 cup berries and two tablespoons nuts of choice.

Store in the fridge until breakfast each day. Reheat as needed or enjoy chilled on warm summer days!


This strawberry cashew cream is delish, but oranges + pistachios or blueberries + pecans are also great flavor + texture combos to try!


Turkey Shepard’s Pie with Roasted Cauliflower

Whenever you look at a recipe, the steps may seem long and cumbersome at first.

Read through them once to understand what you’ll be doing overall and then break it to in simpler steps:

1- cook the meat & veggies by sauting and adding flavor

2- prepare the cauliflower topping by roasting and then blending

3- combine it all and bake


Turkey Shepard’s Pie with Roasted Cauliflower 

~ 1 lb ground turkey breast

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

4 carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 package mushrooms, diced

1/2 cup cooking Sherry, red wine, or stock

1 heaping tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Seasoning

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

pinch of kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup Fairlife skim milk

1 teaspoon butter

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided


Preheat the oven to 425.

In a large non-stick skillet, brown the turkey meat until fully cooked {can add a touch of olive oil or stock to the pan if needed}. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the veggies (garlic through mushrooms). Saute until the veggies become soft, stirring often to not burn the garlic. Splash in the liquid of choice {sherry, stock, or water}  and stir in the Better than Beef seasoning & Worcestershire sauce. Turn heat down to medium low and allow to simmer.  Sprinkle in the corn starch and stir everything together to thicken the liquid and create a slight sauce to the mixture.

Add the meat back into the veggie mixture, cover and let simmer on low while preparing the cauliflower {can turn off and leave covered on the stove until ready to pour into baking dish later}.

On a baking sheet, spread out the cauliflower florets. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat the cauliflower. Roast in the oven until the cauliflower is charred (about 30-45 minutes).

Turn the oven down to 350.

In a blender, combine the cauliflower in a blender with the milk, butter, and parmesan cheese. Puree until you reach your preferred consistency of “mashed potatoes”.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour in the meat + veggie mixture. Top with the blended cauliflower mixture. Sprinkle on another spoon of Parmesan cheese.

Bake for approx. 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown (may need to broil at the last couple minutes to make the top golden brown.



Vegetarian: Replace the turkey with lentils and substitute with Better Than Bouillon Veggie seasoning.

Potato lovers: Use half potatoes, half cauliflower for the pureed topping.

Convenience praisers: Use a store-bought frozen cauliflower mash in place of roasting and pureeing your own cauliflower. Simply warm it in the microwave according to the package instructions before adding to the meat + veggies and roasting everything together.



~ Becca ~


Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas

First post in over 4 months.

It’s been a while, I know. But my hands (and heart) has been full! Finding the time to write just doesn’t come easily.

View this post on Instagram

Going into Friday night like 😍

A post shared by Rebecca Miller • RDN (@rebeccamillerrdn) on

I’ve even thought about discontinuing my recipe sharing for a while. But then a reoccurring need pops up when I’m a work: recipes and ideas are the top requests for my clients! So here we are, I’m back and sharing recipes that are centered on easy, fast, and family friendly meals + snacks. This was always the goal, but it’s even more so now.

Today I’m sharing a recipe right out of my own kitchen and meal plan from this week. It was meant to be a quick one dish dinner either on a sheet tray or in a skillet. I had actually prepped it over the weekend and stored in a glass dish & planned to use for a dinner early in the week after a busy and tiring work night. Then we could eat off of it for a few lunches & dinners.


One night though we decided to eat leftovers//fend for ourselves with what’s in the fridge (happening more and more these days) and also discussed what we’d do the next night with the intended-fajita-dish.  “Why not use the slow cooker?” said the hubby who last time I did this he had some opinions about how the meat should be cooked differently next time…?? Works for me though! I could toss everything in the slow cooker dish, store in the fridge overnight and turn it on in the am. A great option for a night of leftovers before so you don’t feel like you’re cooking or prepping two meals at once.

Wouldn’t you know despite my planning I forgot to do all that til the next am! So I’m rushing to do so before leaving and fortunately it was easy peasy since I had it all prepped ahead of time! That’s one of the slight tricks of slow cooking, it can still be challenging if you’re working because you gotta throw it in and turn it on before you leave. Sounds easy enough, but it still takes some thought and planning ahead.



1 flank steak (1-1.5 lbs or so)

2-3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

1 onion, sliced

1 bag mini peppers (or 2-3 large peppers sliced)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

freshly ground black pepper

pinch of kosher salt


Place the peppers and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker dish. Place the meat on top of the veggies. Sprinkle on the seasoning and spices (I literally sprinkled them the morning-of, you know me, I don’t measure much and as I shared I didn’t have much time that day!)

Turn on low for 8 hours and walk away!

Shred with two forks when you get home or just before dinner time. Serve with all your favorite fixins: cilantro, lime, & avocado or guacamole, etc. Wrap in lettuce wraps or whole grain tortillas (Hola Nola whole wheat or corn are my faves)! I had some extra cauliflower rice that I added to mine!

View More:

This is family friendly meal in the fact that it’s modifiable for each person pretty easily without cooking separate meals.

The hubby and I both eat the meat & veggies, our toppings & grains usually differ. He makes an extra pot of saffron rice for himself and uses a regular white flour tortilla. I’m not saying that’s what I recommend, but this is how we take one meal and fit two + people.

LEM (my 3 year old strong willed daughter) doesn’t really eat the meat- she’s practically a vegetarian, but we encourage the cauliflower rice (or blend it with saffron rice that she likes. I would do brown rice if I could but that’s too many additions and modifications to one dish for me to stay sane and likely for you too) and I’ll make her a whole grain (using 100% whole wheat tortilla) quesadilla using 2% cheddar + part skim mozzarella shredded cheese.

So all in all everyone eats roughly the same thing, but with a few accommodations for palates and preferences. It can be done my friends!


Pack it up to serve for lunch the next day! Got all the components: protein, veggies, plant-based fats, and whole grains. Check, check, check, and check! And something hydrating as well without cals + sugars but doesn’t have to be flavorless!



The next morning I decided at the last minute to skip the tortilla (just for time + logistics that day at work) and added a “dessert” for myself in the form of the Greek yogurt instead.

Instead of whole grains here, I’m still getting in good for you carbs, but adding in extra protein, probiotics and a dessert-like flavor with no added sugars! The Dannon Oikos triple zero has a similar texture to Yoplait, if you are used to loving that brand, but it’s made with stevia.

Hope you learned something here about how to plan, adjust, balance and satisfy your cravings all while eating foods you love. Of course, I hope you add this to your recipe box and try it soon! I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Homemade holiday treats

Last week I shared some nutritious holiday gift ideas for various important people in your lives. Adding an extra special touch with a homemade edible treat is always a nice addition. I’m particular fond of some of my recipes that are easy, affordable and tasty to add that extra touch of gratitude and thoughtfulness to your gift sets.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles img_5836


Chocolate BarkIMG_4674


Whole Grain Apple Oat Cookiesimg_5516


And not everything has to be sweet, you can even make some homemade soups and package them up in mason jars tied with pretty ribbon.

Butternut Squash SoupIMG_6316

Well that’s a “wrap” for me for a while! I’m all set with Christmas gifts for everyone in our lives from teachers & caregivers to friends & family to colleagues & co-workers! Now it’s time to relax and not run around frantically checking off my to do list!


View More: to just enjoy the last of my pregnancy, spend quality time as a family of 3 (plus 2 dogs) and wait for baby’s arrival!

Miller 33

Have a Merry Christmas everyone and don’t follow me on instagram for quick posts and updates- both nutritionally & personally!






Holiday Gift Giving Guide

It’s that time of year! When the Christmas trees are trimmed, everyone is merry & bright, and your gift giving list may be overwhelming you right now!?!

There’s lots of ways to show your appreciation and support for those around you! Here are some of my favorite gift baskets or bags that I’ll be putting together for those in my life!

Teachers: LEM has at least 4 teachers in her classroom, not including subs that float in and out. Not to mention, since she’s in a daycare and teachers have different hours of the day, she gets dropped off in one room and then moved into “her” room later in the morning when her teachers arrive. This means she encounters about 8-10 different people at any given point during the day. Therefore, this momma does special little gifts for her main teachers and then puts together a group basket that I take around to each classroom for everyone to grab some goodies {see extras at the bottom- I like to stock mine with fruit, beverages, and protein rich snacks}. 



Immunity support roller {thieves + carrier oil}

Essential oil {lemon, thieves, digize, peppermint} to drop in their tea

cute coffee mug {seasonal or not}

honey or other natural, but non-calorie sweetener



mommas | new mommas | mommas-to-be: self care is an important part of nourishing our bodies. This whipped body butter can be found on my blog from last week {link included below}, and I made a peppermint version to keep it seasonal. It smells and feels like frosting for your body! Now the “Glowing Skin” is one of my absolute favorite things! I roll it all over my face every single morning, especially on my forehead and under my eyes. It’s a standard part of my beauty care with oils to support skin health and makes me feel like I look less tired! ha! 


Glowing Skin roller  {frankinscense, lavender & tea tree and carrier oil}

Lip balm

Whipped Body Butter

 homemade freezer-friendly meal {I recently shared a post of my favorites here}


coworkers: My colleagues are dietitians|nutritionists and we work in a hospital-based fitness center so we tend to be pretty health-nut-ish and fitness-oriented. But who wouldn’t love a little extra support when they are trying to squeeze in that daily workout? The body spritz is a nice refresher  after a sweat sesh, and the bath salt is a nice reminder to take a more thorough, relaxing, and destressing bath or shower later!


bath salt

body spritz

facial wipes, nutritious snacks, &/or la croix


health caregivers: This isn’t on my list every year as I’m not always about to have a baby every year, but it’s on the top of my list this year as I’m due in under 2 weeks! While it’s not necessary to give gifts, I do like to share little tokens of appreciation and these are nice reminders to take care of our own bodies especially if we often focus on caring for others. While the body butter is a lotion on its own and I could have made homemade essential oil bath salts, Dr. Teals is my absolute favorite  brand of lotion and bubble bath and a nice store-bought option for those that need the time saver!


Dr. Teal’s lavender lotion & bubble bath


body butter

other add ins: Depending on  your budget, time, and energy these all make great additions to your gifts.

If you want a sneak peak into my purse then look no further than these essential here with thieves handspray, different essential oil rollers, and peace and calming – because life!?!


You’ll see a variety of these sprinkled throughout my various gift bags:

handwritten card

homemade hand sanitizer spray {like this}

homemade soap {I’ve used recipes that I’ve pinned on pinterest from both here & here recently}

la croix or other flavored water

fresh fruit especially vitamin C rich and seasonal fruit like local citrus

hoomemade or favorite storebought protein bar {like these or these}

protein drinks {two of my favorites- Iconic & Orgain}

homemade treats



lunch box

water bottle

coffee mug


All these gift bag | basket ideas make great for neighbors, hostesses, and even the friends and family on your list as well!


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!




Whipped Body Butter

We’ve been in holiday mode earlier than normal this year and since tomorrow is December 1st I feel like if you haven’t joined us in those preparations, you will be very soon.

The holidays can certainly be stressful when you start to account for all the different gifts you want to give. Between co-workers, health care providers (if you’re delivering a babe soon like me), teachers, friends, family, pets, sheesh the list could go on and on and on.

While you want to show your gratitude with a meaningful gift, sometimes it’s just down right hard to think of something someone would actually need or want.


That’s why I love homemade gifts.  While I do feel like I’m creating more work for myself than just flat out buying something, they are truly made with love and thoughtfulness.

Plus they’re pretty hard to be thought of as one of those unwanted gifts. I mean who wouldn’t want a sweet treat to indulge in or in this case a homemade lotion rich in nourishing and relaxing oils?!


This body butter is made with lavender, rosemary, and frankincense essential oils, which are all great for supporting skin health. They also impart some seasonal scent as well as some relaxation and grounding during this busy time of year!


This one is definitely going to be in the goodie bag going to my OB this year as she will be delivering another child of mine. They also make great gifts for mamas-to-be needing to care for their skin as it changes with pregnancy hormones, teachers who need to focus on some destressing and relaxing or someone who struggles with skin issues and discomfort especially in the coming cooler and drier weather.


To make the body butter I used this general recipe by the Unskinny Boppy which uses coconut oil, shea butter, and a liquid carrier oil like olive oil along with your essential oil combinations.

A peppermint, lemon, and lavender combo would be great to carry through to spring or a simple peppermint like the one Unskinny Boppy pictured would be perfect for the holidays.


In some instances I found that the oils began to separate over time. At which point, if this happens, do not panic. Do not discard.

Simply place in the fridge to firm up the oils again until you finish and need to replenish your supply. You’re going to want to make a jar of this for yourself to keep! Trust me!


I use this body butter not so much as a lotion, although you could especially for growing baby bumps or to help nourish your hands, legs and feet.

I really use this as my makeup remover & facial moisturizer. I’ll spread this on my skin to help clean off my makeup, especially around my eyes from mascara after bathing. I just use a dry wash cloth or cleansing wipe to smooth over my skin and wipe away the make up.


What would you most benefit from this? Body cream? Facial routine? Or both! Either way taking care of your self like this should somehow be a part of your daily routine! Gotta stay healthy and nourished; and this is one way to do so!


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!



Thanksgiving Favorites

Thanksgiving is just a week away my friends! I know, it’s hard to believe how slowly the moments seem to pass sometimes, but when you look back, time has flown by so quickly!

I haven’t finalized my menu for this year just yet, but I wanted to share some Thanksgiving favorites and staples in our family!

Let’s first start with the days leading up to Thanksgiving with some comforting, but easy meals. These can be made earlier and frozen and then used this week so you can cook less! Or you can make these in a big batch and use throughout the week this week!




red beans


pasta-less veggie lasagna

Now let’s talk healthy Thanksgiving dishes!

I always recommend (and try to bring) a simpler vegetable of some sort, just to lighten up the offerings from all the casseroles that will be available. It is also a nice option for any family and friends that have food allergies or sensitivities or who have specific preferences to or against certain foods {thinking vegans, vegetarians, etc}. My two absolute favorites are:


Roasted Vegetables

Simple roasted veggies that have been drizzled with olive oil, a touch of kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper is a festive and nutritious way to incorporate some veggies to the day! I roast mine at 425 for about 20-35 minutes, depeding on the size of the veggies. I check them often, toss frequently, and take them out only once they’ve gotten a nice char on them.


Another fall favorite is a pear + pecan salad. The blue cheese adds a nice touch of richness and creaminess, but you can omit for your friends that are sensitive to the flavor or do not eat dairy products.

pear pecan and blue cheese salad

For the starchier sides, I prefer fiber rich options that at least provide fall-flavors but are still nutritious, and of course, they have to be delicious. Pumpkin and sweet potato flavors top my list! What are your favorite sides; whether they are healthier or not? This is the time to pick what you love and have it without feeling bad – not that you should every feel bad about what you’re eating…


pumpkin cornbread dressing

Sweet Potato Casserole Makeover

And we can’t forget about beverages and cocktails! This mocktail would be a perfect addition to your table!


festive mocktail

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t forget about desserts, especially lightened up desserts like these pumpkin cheesecakes and mini pecan pies.

This year I’m honestly thinking of going to Whole Foods and buying slices or half-pies of pumpkin, apple, and pecan for all the different taste buds and preferences in our house. Did I mention it’ll just be the three of us this year? Well I guess you can count a 4th for baby M, but yea, what can I say, I want options and a little bit of each!


pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes

 mini mock pecan pies 


And for any of your favorites that you didn’t eat enough of or want to try in a different way, how about using up leftovers with something like cornbread sammy’s seen here with my pumpkin cornbread muffins with ham, cheese, and chutney!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I’m so thankful for you!





Beer Braised Pot Roast

Gearing up for the arrival of another Baby M along with the holidays all while trying to meal plan for a family has me thinking to make this perfectly delicious family favorite originally inspired by Southern Living’s Beer-Braised Pot Roast recipe.


This was a recipe my mom found & then made for us shortly after bringing Lillian home almost 3 years ago in January! Everyone just loved this dish; warm, comforting, and just a perfect winter-y dinner that everyone enjoyed.

Since then we’ve made it numerous times and even made it our own based on my more simplistic cooking style. I love it because it has all the essentials: lean protein, some veggies, and flavorful sauce that can all be done mostly in a pot for searing and then the slow cooker. It pairs perfectly with whole grain grits (yes, they do exist!) and when your 2 year old daughter who is practically a vegetarian will eat it, then it’s a meal to enjoy and repeat.

It’s also freezer friendly! So if you’re not feeding a crowd, eat off of it for a few days, then anything that’s remaining that your ready to temporarily move on from, just add to a ziploc bag, label it, press out any extra air and store flat in  the fridge until later.

I’ve already made it this fall, but I think I’m going to add it back into the meal plan soon just so I can freeze some and have for an easy meal post baby’s arrival.


Beer Braised Rosemary Infused Pot Roast


1 (3- to 4-lb.) eye of round, fat trimmed

2 pinches kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons instant coffee

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 cups unsalted beef stock

1 (12- oz.) bottle dark beer (I used pumpkin beer)

2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1-2 tablespoons beef consomme (I use Better than Bouillon beef base)

1 pound carrots, peeled and quartered (or sub with baby carrots)

3-4 onions, quartered (I switch between red, vidalia, yellow, or even pearl onions depending what I can find at the store or have on hand)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

hot cooked stone ground grits, cooked according to package directions

reduced fat (2% cheddar cheese), tablespoon or two garnish per serving


Sprinkle the roast with salt, pepper, and the coffee grinds. In a large pot or pan (with deep sides at least 2-3 inches), warm the oil over medium heat. Sear the roast until nicely browned on each side (about 3-4 minutes per side- and don’t forget the ends). Place in the slow cooker.

In the same pot used to cook the meat, add the tomato paste and garlic, allowing to quickly saute in the drippings for about a minute. Slowly add the stock and beer whisking to get more of the drippings off the bottom of the pan – being careful not to splash and burn yourself. Stir in the beef concentrate and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
In a mixing glass, whisk the vinegar, cornstarch, and a splash of water together. Add to the simmering stock mixture, and allow to simmer for another minute or so.
Pour the mixture over the roast in the slow cooker. Top with the carrots and onions. Toss in the rosemary sprigs. Cook on low for 8 hours until the roast is easily shredded with two forks.
Serve with warm, cooked stone ground grits, topped with 2% cheddar cheese.