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Brian Higginson, RD, CD

Brian Higginson, RD, CD

Clinical Nutrition Specialist

Brian Higginson has always been interested in food. He grew up eating foods out of an organic garden, got raw milk from the cows up the street, and worked as a cook in a variety of settings. This interest in food eventually led to a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut, followed by the completion of a dietetic internship at Marywood University in Scranton, PA in 2000. Brian has been an RD at Swedish Medical Center for over 7 years. He enjoys teaching community classes and helping individuals to make lifestyle changes that enable them to reach their nutritional goals. His interests include cardiovascular health, diabetes, weight loss, digestive disorders, maternal health, incorporating organic/local foods, and teaching others to make good food a priority in their lives.

Blog Posts by Brian Higginson, RD, CD

Easy Mix & Match Roasted Vegetables

Variety is the spice of life and the key to getting the most from your veggies. This super flexible recipe allows you to make healthy choices based on what's fresh and in season, as well as what type of dish you'd like to prepare. You just start by roasting or grilling a colorful cornucopia of veggies, and then tossing them with your favorite fresh herbs. Delectably delicious on their own, this menu basic of simple roasted vegetables also becomes your go-to for topping a pizza, tossing with pasta or scooping into salads. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds vegetables (for example: carrots, white or sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, onions, eggplant) cut into uniform wedges, chunks, or slices; green beans trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, flat-leaf parsley, thyme, basil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with oil, salt, pepper and herbs.
  3. Spread the vegetables in baking pans just large enough to hold them in one layer, keeping like vegetables together as they cook in the same amount of time. Roast, stirring vegetables occasionally, until they are fork-tender, about 15-30 minutes depending on type and size of vegetables.
  4. Or, on the grill: toss vegetables with oil, herbs and seasonings, place on grill and turn frequently for even cooking.

Per serving: 105 calories, 2g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 4g fat, 1g saturated fat, 2g mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 194mg sodium (analysis done with ½ pound each of potato, green beans, carrots, red bell pepper).

THE SEASONED COOK Use this recipe throughout the year, choosing what’s in season and looks best at the market. Make it fresh by trying 1 or 2 new vegetables each time.

Easy Bulgur

 An easy, fast, and healthy side dish. Serves 4.

Try this with: Cod with Orange Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup bulgur

Directions

  1. In a pan heat broth to boiling.
  2. Add bulgur and stir.
  3. Cover and turn off heat. Let sit for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Per serving: 139 calories, 7 gm protein, 28 gm carbohydrate, 1 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 gm fiber, 42 gm sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Bulgur is a processed form of cracked wheat. It is an excellent source of fiber and has a satisfying, nutty flavor.

Applesauce Nut Muffins & Fruit Salad with Yogurt and Honey

Muffins are all-time favorites, but laden with fats and calories (purchased muffins contain up to 30 grams fat and more than 600 calories!) they’re true villains. Enjoy our recipe (makes 12 muffins) guilt-free. We’ve added walnuts, for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And with the fruit salad (serves 4), you’ve got a winning combination for your family or guests.

Applesauce Nut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup apples, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon allspice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil, brown sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in applesauce and diced apples.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, spices, and nuts. Stir into the applesauce mixture, just until moistened. Do not overmix.
  4. Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking oil spray, fill, and bake for 15-18 minutes. Let muffins cool in the pan for five minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Per serving: 135 calories, 3 gm protein, 21 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 2 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 gm fiber, 180 mg sodium

Fruit Salad with Yogurt and Honey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 orange, bite-sized pieces, pith removed
  • 1 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • fresh berries in season (optional)

Directions

  1. Stir together the yogurt, honey, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Prepare fruit and toss together in a bowl. Sprinkle fruit with lemon juice.
  3. Combine with yogurt mixture, divide into serving bowls, and top with nuts and raisins

Per serving: 230 calories, 6 gm protein, 44 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, trace sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 1 gm cholesterol, 5 gm fiber, 50 gm sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Make muffins by the dozen to freeze—take some out at night for use the next morning. Instead of oiling the muffin pan, you can simply use paper muffin cups. Feel free to make the fruit salad with a variety of your favorite fruits, depending on availability.

Apple Coleslaw

Not too creamy, not too tart, this coleslaw is just right.

Try this with: Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

Ingredients

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup shredded green and/or red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon crushed basil
  • Dash black pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and water.
  2. In large bowl mix together remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture. Toss well. For a more tart flavor, allow to marinate.

Per serving: 105 calories, 1 gm protein, 12 gm carbohydrate, 7 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 5 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 gm fiber, 5 gm sodium

Anytime One-Dish Salmon

This traditional English breakfast (serves 6) is called Kedgeree (pronounced kej-uh-ree). It will get you going with a tasty and very nutritious start to the day. But the truth is, it’s delicious for any meal. Make it once a week. It’s easy to reheat at work or school. Add a cucumber yogurt salad and call it dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 eggs hard boiled, chopped
  • 1 14.75-ounce can pink salmon drained, bones removed and flaked
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in deep fry pan on low heat.
  2. Add cooked rice, chopped eggs, salmon and spices, heat through and stir to mix.
  3. Remove mixture to round bottomed bowl and press in with spatula.
  4. Place serving plate upside down over bowl and holding the two tightly together, invert so that Kedgeree is neatly mounded on a plate.
  5. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

Per serving: 249 calories, 19 gm protein, 16 gm carbohydrate, 12 gm fat, 3 gm sat fat, 6 gm mono fat, 144 mg cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 423 mg sodium

Easy Baked Tortilla Chips

Ingredients

  • 4 small corn tortillas, quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. Spread tortillas evenly on baking sheet.
  3. Cook for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned.

Per serving: 18 calories, 1 gm protein, 0 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 gm fiber, 7 mg sodium

Dreamy Carrot Souffle

Light and creamy, and soooo easy! With this soufflé there’s no fuss, just lots of flavor, making this festive side dish perfect for your holiday table. Serves 12.

Ingredients

  • Non-stick pan spray
  • 2 pounds carrots, boiled until soft
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • 6 tablespoons matzo meal or bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons heart-healthy margarine, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2-quart soufflé or casserole dish with non-stick pan spray.
  2. In food processor, puree carrots until smooth. Add all other ingredients except for nuts and process until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle nuts across top and bake for 50-60 minutes or until soufflé is puffed and set in the middle.

Per serving: 143 calories, 5g protein, 15g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 3g mono fat, 75mg cholesterol, 186mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This festive dish for your holiday table can be made a combo of carrot and sweet potato or yam. Simply substitute 2 pounds of sweet potatoes for the carrots to add additional flavor and texture. 

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