Trouvé Cooks With: Carlene Thomas RDN
Recipe & Photographs by Carlene Thomas
Carlene Thomas is more than just a registered dietician with an eye for design. In addition to working one-on-one with clients, Carlene beautifully captures recipes and life and shares with her readers on her popular blog, Healthfully Ever After. Carlene takes the cake when it comes to knowledge on a wholesome meal. We spend some time in her kitchen, learning more about her and her quest to live a healthy, curated life as she prepares her scrumptious Mediterranean Protein Bowl.
Can you tell us more about your work and what you do?
It seems like the way I explain this changes from season to season! Can we define our work as just continuous progression and change? As of right now, I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist and food stylist and photographer. Most of my day revolves around developing recipes, styling and photographing food (and sharing them on my blog and YouTube Channel) and working with brands to create online strategy to reach the healthy crowd. I also see nutrition clients one on one to help them realize, yes, they totally can have pizza and be healthy. It’s not an either or situation. PS. If you want to send me pizza, please send cheese with spinach, microgreens and olives. Kay thanks.
Why does food and cooking in particular inspire you?
I think it’s comforting for me. Food is how we show love in my family. I always, always remember being in the kitchen growing up and taking treats to my neighbors. The time you put into food shows you care. Growing up, I remember my Dad was known as the guy who would buy the ladies at the bank drive through snacks and send them through the transaction tube. Except when he brought them watermelon. Then we had to go inside. I want to know how other people experience that feeling and about the foods that make them feel that way.
Tell us more about your book.
You all are making me sound so legit! The Wedding Wellness Workbook: Your Nutrition How To Before “I Do” is an e-book that spans 90 pages of everything I’ve been telling my bride clients for the past few years mixed with meal plans. This is the book I felt I ‘had to write’. I just wanted everything in an all in one place. I think the other reality is that this stems from a place of need: being involved in the social media world shows me there is so much wrong and dangerous information about diet out there, especially for women, I wanted to provide a trustworthy resource.
Your favorite workday menu?
Breakfast: 1 container Siggis Icelandic Yogurt (coconut is my favorite), Wegman’s organic almond granola, banana, green juice (kale, ginger, apple, lemon and parsley).
Snacks: (SO MANY SNACKS) Hard boiled egg with sea salt and fresh black pepper, sugar snap peas, lunchbox peppers, cheese….basically any kind, cottage cheese with black pepper, and miso soup.
Lunch: Mixed spring greens or spinach with last night’s leftovers on top (usually fish or rotisserie chicken), and dark chocolate.
Dinner: Platter night is my jam. I basically go through the fridge and our CSA and see what needs to be consumed usually it’s: fresh olive oil bread (as taught to me by Knead and Know), kalamata or greek olives, artichoke hearts, radishes, apples, pickles (love pickled asparagus), fresh herbs, salmon or rotisserie chicken and a side salad. For dessert, a croissant with almond filling or Rocky Point Creamery Organic ice cream in the cookies and cream flavor
Favorite ingredients to work with and why.
Whatever comes to me in my CSA because it’s the essence of that time and they’re a great challenge. The entire premise of the TV show Chopped on Food Network is basically a CSA subscriber’s day.
Go-to work snack?
I am obsessed with sesame crisps and basically anything from the Nature Box delivery snack service.
Kitchen/Cooking background music?
We have a record player that plays some pretty bad ass Earth Wind and Fire records mixed with Pandora stations that are a little bit of Livingston Taylor, Pentatonix, The Beatles and Pharrell. Also, Taylor Swift or as we call her ‘the voice of our generation’. If my husband is cooking it’s Daft Punk and Hans Zimmer.
Recipe: Mediterranean Protein Bowl
Ingredients | Serves One
1 hard boiled egg
1 T feta cheese
2 T microgreens
1/2 cup cook quinoa
Lemon & Olive Oil For Drizzling
Few inches baked salmon (1/2 inch thick)
1 cup baby spinach
3 kalamata olives, pitted
To make salmon, add salt and pepper and olive oil to the top of the fish and bake scale side down at 350 until the fish is flaky and no longer 'wet/translucent' on the inside (about 15 minutes). To check, take your fork and see if you can flake into the fish. Many recipes have you bake salmon in the 400 degree range, but this cooks it slow to keep it moist and will give you more time if you're a beginner to get it just right without rushing.
To compile the bowl and spinach and quinoa at the bottom in two halves. Top with the remaining ingredients and finish with a squeeze of lemon.