Chancletas de Pataste: Honduran Egg-battered Chayote Squash (English)

Type: Main dish

Difficulty: Not too tricky

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4


This is a nice meatless dish, low in calories and carbs, especially suitable for diabetics, given that tayotas have very little starch.


2 Patastes (Chayote/tayota Squash), peeled, cut into 4 slices (lengthwise)

2 eggs, whites and yolks separate

1 cup of AP flour

3 medium Roma tomatoes

2 Tbsps. olive oil

2 garlic cloves

½ onion, roughly chopped

1 small bunch cilantro

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. dried oregano

Salt and pepper tt

8-10 oz Mozarella cheese, shredded (optional)

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Adopt a healthy lifestyle

It is easy to forget to exercise when one is extremely busy with responsibilities related to work, school, or family. However, it is very important to learn to place exercise on the top of your to-do-list because of the many health benefits. Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, diabetes type 2, obesity, and stroke. Interestingly, studies have shown that survivors of certain cancers prolong their life by maintaining an active lifestyle.1 For these reasons it is imperative to adopt an active lifestyle. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends two and a half hours a week of moderate aerobic exercise, or an hour and fifteen minutes a week of intense aerobic exercise, or some combination of both. In addition, it is recommended to perform strength training at least twice a week of the major muscle groups that include the biceps, triceps, chest, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. For those who need to reduce their blood pressure or cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends performing forty minutes of aerobic exercise four to five times a week to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

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Tips for Healthy Holiday Meals!

Holiday season is here! And most likely the first thing that come to everyone’s minds is family gatherings and food. Truth is that the holiday season is a nice opportunity to get together and be thankful for all important things in life. However, for many people, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, are also stressors that could potentially sabotage your weight and health goals.

And it is not only the fact of not knowing what to cook but how much to eat. We all need to be mindful about our food choices throughout the year, and although most people tend to think that holidays and healthy eating do not belong in the same sentence, it is still possible. Although weight loss may not be realistic during the holidays, people can still aim at not gaining extra weight.

Pay attention to the cooking methods and ingredients you use in the preparation of your holiday meals. Roasted meats are usually the entrée choice for holiday celebrations. Regardless of the choice, it is most important to have a ‘juicy’ meat that doesn’t require so much gravy; remember, gravy tends to be high in calories and fat.

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Butternut Squash with Avocado Soup

NUTRITION November 2016

Fall is here! Let’s start enjoying the flavors of warming pumpkin spice drinks, squash, apples, cinnamon, cranberry sauce, creamy and hearty soups, stews and so much more!  This soup will satisfy the cravings for fall flavors while at the same time provide excellent nutrition with all goodness in butternut squash and avocado including vitamin A, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, healthy fats and good carbs. 


1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut in half lengthwise and seeded
4-5 cups of unsalted vegetable broth
1 Hass avocado, peeled and pitted
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped in big pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper tt
Diced avocado and chili flakes to garnish (optional)
Crusty bread to serve


Step1 Roast the squash

Pre-heat oven at 400F
Place squash cut side up on baking sheet. Lightly drizzle squash halves with olive oil. Bake until fork-tender for about 45-50 minutes.

Step 2 Make the broth

In a medium saucepan, heat oil and cook onions and celery until onion is translucent (about 4-5 minutes).
Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add stock, oregano, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 3 Blend it all together

Once squash has cooled down enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a blender.  Add broth, lemon juice and avocado.  Blend until smooth.  Correct the salt before serving. 

Serve with crusty bread and garnish with diced avocado and chili flakes!

Suellen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in the Rochester, NY area.  Connect with her at or follow her on Instagram at @Suellen_Pineda



HEALTH October 2016

Challenges of adapting to the American diet

For many Latinos, the adaptation to the American style of life is very difficult. One of the most common challenges is adaptation to the American diet. 

Similar to Latino culture, American cuisine is an important part of the culture. Even though there is similarity between them, some food and traditions are different. For example, the American diet generally includes less food at home and more food outside of the house, in a hurry. In the Latino culture, the families pass the meal together in the house and use the time to talk and relax. This disagreement between the cultures causes difficulties.

Furthermore, many Latino immigrants are in a lower socioeconomic class and don’t gain a lot of money. In this population, there is a proportion of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease much higher than in other classes. Also, the immigrants suffer from more food insecurity and it is very difficult to obtain healthy food. When a family lives far from a supermarket, it is difficult to prepare a healthy meal in the style of their home country.

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Pacayas with Egg

This is a very simple and delicious dish. Traditionally, pacayas wrapped in a frothy mixture of beaten egg and fry in hot oil. Although it is very delicious, it is also quite high in fat and calories. For that reason, it is healthier ‘seal them in a hot frying pan, that way we save a lot of calories at the same time enjoy this equally tasty recipe. 

On the other hand, the nutritional profile of pacayas is very good. A ½ cup serving provides 60 calories, 1 gram of fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein, 35% of the recommended daily intake of calcium and about 25% of the daily recommendation of vitamin C.

Buyer fresh pacayas, you must pass them briefly for hot water to remove the bitter taste. If bottled shopping, this step is not necessary.

Bon Appetite!

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Quick and Easy – Kid Friendly Snacks!

Quick and Easy – Kid Friendly Snacks!

In a hurry and looking for a healthy yet satisfying snack? Ever wondered what nutritious snacks to give your kids when on-the-go? Get your fruits and veggie servings in with these quick low-cost and tasty treat ideas! Try these tips for staying healthy and happy even in a time crunch! Involve your kids in snack selection and preparation – they often eat what they make!

*Make pita pockets! Stuff a small whole-wheat pita with sliced bell peppers, salsa, and a slice of low-fat cheese. Melt in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

*Try a piece of “cheesy toast.” Toast a slice of whole wheat bread and top it with a slice of your favorite low-fat cheese!

*Energize your kids for better learning! Pack the kids with energy while they are at school! Wrap up some peanut butter and banana in a whole-wheat tortilla wrap! It’s delicious and will keep your kids fuller for longer!

*Freeze your fruit! For a frozen treat on hot days, try freezing grapes or bananas! Don’t forget to peel the bananas and pull grapes from the stem before freezing.

* Creative Veggies! At times it can be difficult to get youth to enjoy vegetable, right? Try these ideas: cut up some celery into long sticks, put a little peanut butter on top, and then throw on some dried raisins or cranberries. Who wouldn’t want to try “Ants on a Log?!”

*Jazz up your favorite cereal! Make a trail mix! Stir 1/4 cup of unsalted nuts, 1/4 cup of dried raisins or cranberries, and 1/4 cup of whole-grain cereal together. A great snack for when you’re on-the-go! (For youth ages 4 and older.)

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