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  • Hui Hui Lee, RD/LD

Back to Basic

Hello everyone! There are many things happening in March, including National Nutrition Month, DRH Health spring craft fair, spring season, getting busy starting some gardening, and many more exciting events. First thing first, the National Nutrition Month, in 2024, we are focusing on the theme ‘Beyond the table’, which is to remind us to think about how our daily choices of food and drinks can impact our health and environment. There are several ways to practice this:

  1. Focus on in-season fruits and vegetables

  2. Grow your own food      **It is spring already, which means it is time to get your hands dirty with gardening!

  3. Shop locally for your food

  4. Meal prepping for your family and yourself to help reduce food waste

A healthy eating lifestyle is very flexible, it should be shaped based on your preferences, budget, and health conditions, and most importantly, it has to be long-lasting. The core of a healthy eating lifestyle is very simple, as long as we focus on a BALANCE diet, keep everything in MODERATION, and practice MINDFUL eating. For my new friends here, what is a balanced diet? Have you ever heard about the MyPlate guidelines? It is about making half your plate with non-starchy vegetables and fruits; making about ¼ of your plate with grains (focus on whole grains); making about ¼ of your plate with protein food (focus on lean protein, such as eggs, poultry, fish, seafoods, beans, soy, and nuts). See it is not too challenging, right?



OK, now we have learned and relearned healthy eating tips, and also National Nutrition Month 2024, how about getting started in making some delicious meals. I don't know how you think and feel about your food choices that you make daily, but I care a lot about how my food is being prepared and where it comes from. So this March, let’s make some basic common foods at home, such as homemade veggie stock/broth, homemade dressing, queso (vegan friendly), and oatmeal bars.


Vegetable broth: I always believe having a good quality of broth will give your food the best flavor! A delicious homemade vegetable broth can be prepared easily, and we have full control of the flavor of the broth as well as the nutrient content (especially sodium content). This vegetable broth is totally freezable (and I highly recommend you portion it prior to freezing it). If you are interested in starting to make your own veggie broth today, do visit Feasting at Home for the recipe.

*** Thank you Chef Colby for helping in testing this recipe! I used the veggie broth in preparing several foods: Roasted tomato soup, vegetarian zuppa toscana, pasta e fagioli.  I will share these recipes in April.


Homemade dressings: I made dill ranch dressing and chipotle ranch dressing. I am very surprised it is EXTREMELY easy to whip up your own ranch dressing for your salad, sandwich, or dips. The ingredients to make these dressings are commonly used at home, such as mayo, sour cream, buttermilk/greek yogurt, and fresh herbs/dried herbs. You may ask me WHY homemade? Because most (if not all) store-bought dressing is filled with some many unnecessary ingredients, and I really do not care for them that much, especially since I am using these dressings quite often! The recipes are adapted from Feasting at home (Chipotle ranch dressing and Dill ranch dressing)

*** I used the chipotle ranch dressing to make honey mustard chicken avocado sandwich, which the sandwich recipe (except the tahini ranch dressing) is inspired by the Half-Baked harvest.

*** The dill ranch dressing serves very well as a veggie dip.

Honey mustard chicken avocado sandwich with chipotle ranch dressing


Dill ranch dressing with veggies



Vegan queso: After knowing the ingredients of store-bought queso, I am FREAKING OUT about how unhealthy it is!!! I decided to make my own vegan queso, which this homemade wholesome plant-based queso is packed with so many good flavors, and you DO NOT feel awful after eating it! If you are looking for healthier easy homemade queso, please visit Feasting at home.


Oatmeal bars: Do you need a pick-me-up snack? Have you considered making your own homemade oatmeal bars?  I highly recommend this chocolate-dipped sesame oatmeal bars recipe! Starting today, don’t spend money on buying the not-so-good store-bought bars. If you are interested in making some oatmeal bars at home, please visit Half-baked harvest.

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