TasteMakers: Jennifer Tyler Lee

Jennifer Tyler Lee TasteMakers Portrait

Jennifer Tyler Lee is on a mission to prove that getting your kids to eat healthy can be simple and fun. She knows that changing the way we eat is a multi-layered, complex problem, but, with a little creativity and a simple change at the dinner table, this Mom of two has been successful in getting her own kids (as well as many others) to eat healthier. She came up with a fun, engaging food-related card game that her kids immediately took to and eventually evolved into Crunch a Color™.
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Weeknight Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai

Aida_Mollenkamp_Shrimp_Pad_Thai_Recipe

One of the most common questions I get asked is what I cook when I’m not cooking.

Between recipe testing, styling, and shooting, work leaves me with plenty of leftovers,  but there are a few easy, quick recipes I always rely on and have “most” of the ingredients on hand. (Meaning, I keep the dry ingredients as pantry staples so I only have to stop by the store for a handful of fresh things.) I’m going to start sharing these easy weeknight recipes with you beginning with Pad Thai.
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Spinach Salad with Seared Misoyaki Tofu

Aida Mollenkamp Healthy Easy Dinner Recipe Raw Spinach Tofu Salad

It’s that time of the year when some of us have ditched our healthy eating New Year’s resolutions while others are still attempting to hold on with dear life.

I’m in that second group and am doing my best to eat clean and healthy — with the help of a ton of lighter soups, healthy grains, and wintry salads. I know, when I write winter salads, you’re probably saying, “oh, great, that’s sure to be boring,” but  it really doesn’t have to be that way.

My search for an interesting seasonal salad combined with my recent time in Hawaii led me to create this green salad topped with some seared miso-marinated tofu. It’s meatless, healthy, and made with ingredients available (to most of us) throughout the winter. The element that separates it from other, more predictable salads is the misoyaki tofu. Here I used the marinade with tofu but, if you’re not a fan, you could use it with salmon, tuna, or chicken. But, another resolution of mine has been to eat less meat so meatless sources of protein like tofu and I have become close friends.
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10 Tips For Healthier Holiday Cooking

AidaMollenkamp_HealthyHoliday

It’s officially the 11th hour: the table’s been set, the turkey’s defrosting, and you’ve got already got an emergency plan in place should that uncle go nuts yet again this year. Sure, that may be the case for some but we are the other 99%; those who are making last-minute trips to the store and last-ditch efforts to round out the menu. But just because it’s a crazy time of year, doesn’t mean you have to ditch your good-eating habits. Take a brief pause from it all and let’s quickly talk smart holiday cooking. Even if you don’t have time to cook the recipes I developed for The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving, there are still a lot of things you can do to prep your holiday table for smart eating.


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Spinach Salad With Pears and Pomegranate

Raw Spinach Salad with Pears and Pomegranates Recipe

Some scoff at the idea of adding a salad to the Thanksgiving spread, but it’s an elegant way to start things off, and, if you’re watching your waistline, it’s an easy way to fill up on healthy calories before you dig into the rest of the meal. This seasonal salad works during the fall or winter, and brings a lot of festive color to the holiday spread with sliced pears, red onion, and tart pomegranate.
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Roasted Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Healthy Snack Recipe Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip

My healthy-eating mantra is if you begin your meal off with a fiber-rich appetizer, you’ll fill up on healthy calories and eat better over the course of the night. So, I put that rule into effect when developing The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu and started things off with this Roasted Sweet Potato Dip and Toasted Sage Dip. It’s just a few ingredients yet packs tons of flavor and can accommodate almost any diet as it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, lowfat, and low calorie.


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“Candied” Sweet Potatoes

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Healthy Dinner Recipe "Candied" Sweet Potato Casserole

Candied yams are a staple at Thanksgiving but they’re traditionally made with loads of sugar, butter, and marshmallows. To make this recipe worthy of The Biggest Loser, a fair amount of reworking was in order. In this renovated version, the yams get simmered instead of mashed with butter then topped with a yogurt and goat cheese combination instead of marshmallows. It may sound strange on paper, but it makes for a seriously satisfying substitute for the traditional dish.
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Whole Grain Stuffing with Apples and Toasted Walnuts

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Healthy Dinner Recipe Whole Grain Stuffing

More often than not, the alternative eaters get left out of Thanksgiving and are given a paltry plate of sides instead of a real meal. While working with The Biggest Loser, I learned that trainer Bob Harper is vegan, so I focused on making the menu accessible for him as well. The result is this whole grain stuffing that, when served in a roasted squashed half, doubles as a main so the non-meat eaters still feel the holiday love. As is, this recipe is very low in fat and calories, but feel free to add more to it like, some roasted chestnuts, crumbled chorizo, or some crisp bacon if you’re feeling indulgent.
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Mashed White Beans and Cauliflower with Leeks

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Healthy Dinner Recipe White Bean and Cauliflower Mash

Mashed potatoes are the foundation of the Thanksgiving meal but they’re nutritionally lacking so, for my The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu, I decided to makeover mash. By using steamed cauliflower and white beans, I crafted a vegan take on mashed potatoes that has fewer calories, fat, and more fiber than the original. The key to the flavor here is the leeks and the chives so don’t skimp on either and know that the longer you cook the leeks, the deeper, more caramelized the flavor will be.


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