Discover Your Potential at “Wellness at Wells”


Beginning October 2, students will have the opportunity to discover their health potential in a central location on campus at Wellness at Wells, a partnership between the Health Center and IU Libraries.

Wellness at Wells offers students a chance to explore their own health and well-being with walk-in wellness assessments by Certified Wellcoaches in the Wells Library Learning Commons.

“We are excited to partner with the Library on this new initiative to support the mission of the university in promoting well-being while providing opportunities for academic success,” said Cathlene Hardy-Hansen, Director of Health & Wellness Education at IU Health Center.

In addition to wellness assessments, other services will be offered on a rotating basis. These include chair massages, wellness coaching, biofeedback, tobacco cessation, and aromatherapy, along with nutrition, sexual health, mental health, and other various workshops.

“Serving the whole person is an exciting opportunity we will regularly offer students visiting the Wells’ Learning Commons,” said Kate Otto, Learning Commons Librarian. “Having the Health Center offer services and guidance on things like sleep, nutrition, de-stressing, mental health, tobacco cessation, and more will serve students on a whole new level in a location that is accessible and convenient.”

This is the first of many new academic year health and wellness initiatives here at the Health Center. In the near future, we will launch Student Wellness Coaching (#AdultingIU) and Employee Wellness Coaching (#WellnessAtWork) programs, as well as a larger tobacco initiative, Clear the Air: Refresh IU.

Follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for weekly updates on the rotating activities of room 138, and contact Nick Metzger ( to book a workshop.

Wellness Assessment Hours (Wells Library, Learning Commons Services Hub), Fall 2016:

  • Tuesdays 1:00-3:00
  • Tuesdays 5:00-8:00
  • Sundays 5:00-8:00

Rotating Service Hours (Wells Library, Learning Commons Room 138), Fall 2016:

  • Tuesdays 1:00-3:00
  • Sundays 5:30-7:30

Pathways to Recovery

By Jackie Daniels

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), sponsors National Recovery Month. The month of events promotes public awareness of mental health and substance use issues, and most importantly, celebrates recovery.

As this month comes to a close, allow me to introduce myself and my qualifications for writing this blog. My name is Jackie Daniels, and I am the director of OASIS, a department within the IU Health Center and Division of Student Affairs. I am also a person in long-term recovery, and have not found it necessary to drink alcohol or take a drug since December 15, 2000, when I was in my fourth year as an IU Bloomington undergraduate. I do not share my recovery status for accolades or attention, but to challenge stigma. As I have openly shared my recovery status on campus, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a new student organization, Students in Recovery-Bloomington (SIRB).

I know how hard is to imagine that college students would a) give up drinking and b) have a “real problem” in the first place. However, these ideas are simply untrue. The truth is, many current IU students, and thousands of other college students across the country have found recovery, and currently participate in Collegiate Recovery Programs in existence on over 140 campuses nationwide. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education defines a “Collegiate Recovery Program” as a “supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to disengage from addictive behavior.” The main purpose of a collegiate recovery program is to provide equal opportunity in achieving academic success while simultaneously managing personal addiction recovery through access to supportive campus services.

What is recovery? For some, it means achieving a level of health and stability while living with a mental health condition. For members of SIRB, it means completing college sober. It also means giving back to the community through acts of service, or supporting their peers or classmates struggling with current substance use issues, without judgement or shame. It can also mean attending 12-step or other support meetings, hitting the gym for a workout, or hanging out with other sober friends, while other IU students are hanging out in bars.

Members of SIRB shared with me recently what recovery support on this campus means to them and I am sharing their thoughts (with permission) below.

  • “Recovery support on campus means acknowledging that everyone’s not ‘doing it.’ Some of us can’t [do it their way] successfully, and choose not to use alcohol and drugs. And, we are part of this community, too.”
  • “Recovery support on campus means getting rid of the stigma. It means talking about alcohol and drug use as a public health issue. It means taking steps to amend the issue through the provision of support groups, specialized academic help, and building a positive community in which everyone belongs.”
  • “Recovery support means having people understand that I am not a bad person. It means trusting science. I have a disease that doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, nationality, or socioeconomic status. It can happen to anyone, and we want to educate and raise awareness.
  • “Recovery support is about hope. Hope for students struggling, for students who’ve lost friends and family to addiction or overdose, and hope for future Hoosiers in recovery.”

There are common misconceptions about addiction and individuals in recovery that act as barriers which prevent college students from getting help for substance use problems. These misconceptions are fueled by stereotypes, misperceptions of collegiate substance use, and shame. Below are some common examples of these misconceptions and their solutions.

  • “Addiction isn’t a disease. If they want to stop, they can.”
    • Years of scientific research do not lie. Addiction is recognized by the American Society of Addiction Medicine as “A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability and even death.”
  • “If you wanted to control it, you could. Addiction is a lack of will power.”
    • Prolonged exposure to drugs alters the brain in ways that result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes make it extremely difficult to quit by sheer force of will. For some, the changes take decades. For others, it only takes a few months or years, resulting in addiction as young as age 18, 19, or 20.
  • “People in recovery are boring and don’t have any fun.”
    • If you want to see what people in recovery do for fun, come to a meeting of SIRB on a Thursday evening in the IMU. The truth is, IU students in recovery can find fun in the most mundane things. They also remember the fun the next morning.
  • “You can’t drink in front of, nor invite people in recovery, to parties where alcohol is served.”
    • While it may be true that students in recovery are not responsible for addiction, they do recognize they are responsible for their recovery. Students in recovery attend all kinds of events and gatherings, and can say no when they don’t feel comfortable attending.
  • “People in recovery are judgmental about alcohol and drug use once they quit.”
    • While they can’t speak for everyone in recovery, the students in recovery on our campus do not judge others who can and do choose to use substances. They help others by sharing their experience, not by judging. Through unity and support, they get better while living in a culture saturated by messages supportive of substance use.

OASIS and SIRB would like to invite you to a National Recovery Month panel presentation, “Pathways to Recovery” that will take place on September 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Oak Room.   Five panelists will shed light on the variety of ways individuals find recovery, including an IU student currently in recovery. We hope you will join us for the event and bring awareness of helpful resources in combatting addiction.


Additionally, a variety of workshops on addiction and recovery are available upon request. You may also contact OASIS for recovery resources by emailing We are available to speak in classrooms, student organizations, or at special events.

Thank you for being a part of a culture that cares on our campus.

Cook with Katie, Breakfast Style!

img_2202Welcome to #CookWithKatie, breakfast style (and Tuesday) edition!

If you’re like me, weekday morning routines are hectic and balancing eating a healthy morning meal with getting out of the house on time can be a challenge. Many convenient breakfast items like breakfast sandwiches are loaded with saturated fat and salt, and most breakfast cereals have too much added sugar to keep you satisfied until lunch.

My recommendation for a healthy meal is to include at least three food groups: something that contains protein, something with a complex carbohydrate (grain or starch), and either a fruit and/or vegetable. Snacks should be considered mini-meals and contain two food groups, something with carbohydrates and something with protein to help you feel your best and energized.

3 food groups at breakfast, you say?! Am I crazy? Well, perhaps, but I’m going to show you how it can easily be done, and we’re actually not going to cook a thing. We’re simply going to assemble.

Katie’s Overnight Oats

Start with three basic ingredients: oats (quick cooking or old-fashioned are both fine), milk (cow’s milk, almond milk, soymilk, etc), and yogurt. Greek yogurt or regular yogurt are both fine, but choosing something unsweetened is going to be the healthiest. Mix these ingredients together equally. I usually use ½ cup each of oats, milk, and yogurt for 1 serving.

Next, get creative with your combinations and add some more ingredients to the mix! Try out some of my combos below for your third food group!

Monkey Overnight Oats: Bananas, Peanut Butter, Honey

Antioxidant Blend: Strawberries/Blueberries, Chia seeds, Dark Chocolate

Tropical Adventure: Bananas, Coconut, Pecans

That’s it! Simple, right? It’s easy as 1-2-3 (literally)!

You can assemble all of the ingredients the night before to have breakfast ready to go in the morning.

Oats are an incredibly nourishing food that offers whole grain, 10% of your daily value for iron, 3g fiber (1g of soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol), and 5g protein per ½ cup dry serving. They are a rock-star nutritional powerhouse in my book. They are also ridiculously cheap—usually between 10-15 cents for that ½ cup serving. Milk and yogurt add protein along with calcium and Vitamin D. Add some fruit and Whammo! you have a breakfast with 3 food groups. And you thought I was crazy when I said a three food group breakfast could be easy.

Flu Shot Clinics Available Beginning September 28

Please note: the most current flu shot information for 2016-17 can be found here.

Preventative healthcare. Fall is time for Flu ShotsBeginning September 28, flu shot clinics will be available to students, faculty, and staff at the following locations:

  • Wednesday, September 28, Service Building, Range Road, Davis Conference Room, 11:30-1:00
  • Tuesday, October 4, Law School, Ground Floor Student Lounge, Room 001, 9:00-11:00
  • Wednesday, October 5, School of Education, Atrium, 9:00-11:00
  • Wednesday, October 5, Poplars Building, Room 185, 2:00-4:00
  • October 11, 12, 13, 14, IU Health Center, 1st Floor Lobby, 8:00-4:30 (schedule your appointment online or at 812-855-7688, option 1)
  • Tuesday, October 18, Cyberinfrastructure Building (10th and the Bypass), Main Lobby, 9:00-11:00
  • October 25 and 26, Business/SPEA, Lobby, North Entrance, 9:00-11:00
  • Thursday, October 27, School of Optometry, Room 108, 11:00-1:00
  • Thursday, November 10, IU Health Fair, Indiana Memorial Union, Alumni Hall, Solarium, 10:00-2:00


  • Employees, Graduate Appointees, Fellowship Recipients, and Retirees (under the age of 65) covered by an IU-sponsored medical plan (with valid medical plan ID card presented at time of immunization): No cost to you (paid for by the University)
  • Employees not covered by an IU-sponsored medical plan: $35.00 (IU employee ID required)
  • Former employees with IU Retiree status: $35.00 (IU employee ID required)
  • Students who have paid the health fee: $25.00 (check or bursar options)
  • Students who have not paid the health fee: $35.00 (check or bursar options)
  • Please note: Cash, check, credit, and debit cards are accepted at the IU Health Center only. All other clinic sites are check only. Ineligible individuals include spouses/partners who are not IU employees, former employees without IU Retiree status, and dependent children of employees.


Microsoft Word - 2015 FLU SHOT - Employees, Graduate Appointees
Employees Covered by an IU Medical Plan
Microsoft Word - 2015 FLU SHOT - Student Form.docx
Student Form
Microsoft Word - 2015 FLU SHOT - For Employees Not On an IU Medi
Employees Not Covered by an IU Medical Plan









Influenza is a serious disease and is highly contagious. More information about the Influenza Vaccine and Disease is available here.

For additional questions, please call the nurse’s hotline at 812-855-5002.

New to Campus? Run Here!

mirandaBy Miranda Addonizio

Runners know that the best way to explore a new place is to get out and run. But having an idea of where to start is always a good idea. Luckily, Bloomington has a wealth of great places to run.

For students of Indiana University, campus is the natural starting point. IU has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, and just wandering the shady paths in the rough square formed by Indiana Avenue, 3rd Street, Union Street, and 17th Street is an enjoyable way to log a few miles. For a basic campus loop just under three miles, try running 3rd Street to Union Street to 10th Street to Indiana Avenue.


From campus, you can easily reach other parts of the city, including the B-Line Trail and Bryan Park. An easy 4.5-mile loop takes you through the heart of Bloomington’s downtown, south on the B-Line, and then over to Bryan Park and the quiet neighborhoods south of campus before finishing up on Jordan Avenue and through campus to the Showalter Fountain and 7th Street.


If you are interested in running on natural surfaces, you are in luck. Just northeast of campus lies the IU cross country course. When the cross country course is not in use for meets, community members are welcome to run, walk, and even cross country ski its wide grass paths (in winter). The best way to reach the cross country course on foot is to run east on 10th Street, cross carefully at SR 45/46 (there is a traffic light and crossing signal, but it’s a big, busy intersection, so please be cautious!), and then follow the paths next to the CIB building to Range Road. You can enter the cross country course across from the IU Data Center. There is also some permit parking available there.


For those interested in testing their speed in a road race, one of the biggest local 5Ks is Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, which benefits the IU Health Olcott Center and takes place this Saturday, September 17. Bloomington also has a spring half marathon, the Hoosier Half Marathon on April 8. For a calendar of local races, visit the Magnificent 7 Race Series online.

I’ve just barely scratched the surface of the running possibilities in Bloomington. Each of the routes I suggested is almost endlessly adjustable, and can connect to spots that are farther afield, like the Jackson Creek Trail, Olcott Park, Clear Creek Trail, Polly Grimshaw Trail, Griffy Lake trails, and more. The area around Bloomington is also known for its public lands and trail systems. To find more ideas, consider using tools like MapMyRun and Strava to look up local routes. More importantly, to find running friends and take advantage of local knowledge, try looking into one of the area’s running clubs, such as the IU Run Club, Bloomington Area Runners Association, or Indiana Female Fellraisers.

Miranda Addonizio received an M.A. in Journalism from Indiana University. She has been a runner for twenty years, twelve of those in Bloomington, and took up ultramarathoning in 2014. Miranda has also served on the executive committee of the Bloomington Area Runners Association. She blogs occasionally at

On World Suicide Prevention Day

By Dr. Nancy Stockton

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day which gives us a chance to talk about a topic that most of us may not spend much time contemplating. There are reasons for this.

Suicide can be such a difficult subject to think about or grasp, when most of us, most of the time are in full throes of various life forces. We have much that we are excited about, much that we are living for – be it a special life event such as an anniversary, a wedding or birthday celebration or more simple things such as a concert or special dinner that we take pleasure in anticipating. We eat lots of kale, exercise, meditate in order to try to prolong our lives and experience a variety of pleasurable activities. Our psychological strength is continuously reinforced enabling us to cope with the many vicissitudes of life.

What are some of the hard to understand things that frustrate and countermand this powerful life force, that lead people to lose it, block it, fail to experience it? There are many, and we are slowly learning more about them. They include chronic physical illness, depression, being forced into positions of psychological helplessness, feeling hopeless. People who have not been allowed to develop a sense of resilience, who have always been told and shown what they can’t do, who have been told consistently that they are failures have a harder time developing the ability to bounce back from serious disappointments. If people feel so bad that they are isolating themselves, this can make their situation worse, and  keep them from support and hearing corrective feedback from others. Loneliness is not a cause but can be an enabler of other forces leading to suicide.

All of these factors can lead people to experience periods of despair, hopeless and perceiving no way out of their misery. If such moments are complicated by drug and or alcohol use people’s judgment can be further impaired. If means of death, such as firearms or pills are available the risks are higher.

There are some elements unique to young people that make them more vulnerable to suicide risk. First, we are learning that the human brain is not fully developed until the mid-twenties, causing many young adults to have poorer judgment and be more impulsive. They have had less time to develop resilience and protective factors. Some have a much harder time recovering from a relationship breakup, cruel treatment by another, an academic or job performance disappointment. Some have not had enough experience with failure to know how to cope with it. They may be more vulnerable to unthinking abuse of a substance. So again, if a profound disappointment is combined with poor resilience, available substances to abuse, and means of death this  can tragically make a few more vulnerable to impulsive suicide. Further, a few may be more likely to emulate a high status peer or celebrity. Suicide ‘contagion’ can occur.

What can we as a caring society do about this? While there are no facile answers, we can learn to look out for each other, to listen carefully to each other, to not be afraid to ask if friends or family members are feeling so bad that they are contemplating suicide. We can talk with them, refer them to professionals (like us!), try to remove the easy means of death, if appropriate, and ultimately call for emergency assistance if that is indicated.

IU Health Center is one of the sponsors of this year’s Bloomington Out of Darkness Suicide Walk for Prevention which will take place at Memorial Stadium at 2:00 p.m. on October 2. Consider joining in to learn more.

Sexploration in September


The first of September’s Sexploration events, 80 Seasons of Love: Rent and HIV Over 20 Years, a panel discussion in collaboration with IU Auditorium’s presentation of RENT, will take place Thursday, September 8, 1:00-2:15 p.m. in the IU Auditorium Lobby. This event is free and open to the public.

The face of HIV has changed dramatically since the groundbreaking musical debuted in 1996. As part of the IU Health Center’s Sexploration series, Kathryn Brown, a health and sexuality educator with IU Health Center’s Health & Wellness, will moderate a discussion about how perception and treatment of this disease has evolved over the last two decades. Kathryn will be joined by:

Emily Brinegar, MSW, LSW, who been working in the field of HIV services and prevention since 2000. She originally began working as a care coordinator for people living with HIV and for the last 10 years she has been the coordinator of prevention services for IU Health Positive Link.

Dr. Diana Ebling, medical director at the IU Health Center who has been with the Health Center since 1988.

Terry LaBolt, musical director for IU’s Musical Theatre program in the Department of Theatre and Drama and Contemporary Dance. Terry was the musical director of the department’s 2010 production of Rent and has been living with HIV for many years.

Dr. William L. Yarber is professor of applied health science, adjunct professor of gender studies, senior director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, and a senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at IU. Dr. Yarber was a pioneer in researching and writing about HIV/AIDS, having authored four school AIDS/STD prevention curricula beginning in the late 1980s.

Additionally, IU’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion is celebrating its 10th anniversary with special guest Dr. Ruth, the second September event in our Sexploration series. The event will take place Wednesday, September 14 at 7 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Ruth Westheimer, better known as “Dr. Ruth,” will discuss a life spent in sex education as part of the Bloomington Sex Salon, a monthly community-based speaker series on the topic of sex research, education and advocacy.

The lecture will celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Center for Sexual Health Promotion, based in the Department of Applied Health Science in the School of Public Health-Bloomington. The center is a collaborative of sexual health scholars from across the university and partner academic institutions who work toward advancing the field of sexual health through research, education and training initiatives.

“Dr. Ruth, for many people, has been an important figure in how the world views talking comfortably about sexual education,” said Debby Herbenick, host of the Bloomington Sex Salon and director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. “She’s dedicated half her life to talking about sex and educating people about it. We are excited about the opportunity to have her here and to celebrate the anniversary of the center.”

Tickets for this event are $10 and can be purchased at the theater box office, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., online at or by phone at 812-323-3020.

“Let’s Talk” Lowers Counseling Accessibility Barriers


As a student, one may confront issues that affect his or her ability to succeed in both personal life and in the classroom. Often it can help to talk to a willing ear. Other times one may need more advanced help. Either way, Let’s Talk, a new collaboration between Indiana University Health Center’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and several multicultural centers, has students covered with two new programs.

Beginning today, students can utilize the services of Let’s Talk Now and Let’s Keep Talking at five multicultural locations on campus—Asian Culture Center; First Nations Educational and Cultural Center; La Casa, Latino Cultural Center; Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; and Office of International Services.

Let’s Talk Now is a free and confidential informal conversation with an emphasis on self-understanding and finding solutions to students’ problems, particularly those encountered by multicultural students. In addition to a walk-in conversation with a consultant, Let’s Talk Now connects students to other accessible campus resources, both informally and formally.

The second element to Let’s Talk is Let’s Keep Talking, for when students need more than a friendly chat. Professional counselors are available to meet and address more complex issues.

“Let’s Talk lowers barriers to counseling, especially for multicultural students who might be hesitant to seek it elsewhere,” said Dr. Nancy Stockton, CAPS Director. “This two-part program gives students an alternative to going to the Health Center itself, directing them to more convenient locations to chat informally—and possibly formally—about problems the students experience.”

Let’s Talk is loosely based on Cornell University and Gannett Health Services Counseling and Psychological Services’ program of the same name.

“This initiative is especially important for traditionally underserved student populations,” said Muhammad Saahir, CAPS counselor and program coordinator. “The services we now offer to our campus excite me as a clinician as we literally meet people where they are,” he said.

Counselors come from a variety of backgrounds, including Dr. Wei-Cheng (Wilson) Hsiao, a CAPS psychologist who is fluent in Mandarin. Hsiao is based in the Asian Culture Center and Office of International Services locations.

“Being an Asian and a former international student who is now an early career clinical psychologist, I am honored to have the opportunity to work with students to overcome their barriers—especially those which are cultural or language-related,” he said.

Additional formal counselors include Saahir, based in Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center and First Nations Educational and Cultural Center; Shelena Davis, based in Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center; and Luciana Guardini, an Argentina native based in Office of International Services and La Casa, Latino Cultural Center.

“Feeling connected to others is a key aspect in emotional healing. It helps us bounce back from adversity,” said Guardini. “Let’s Talk is a great opportunity to cultivate and strengthen connections between the students and CAPS services. This presence in the cultural houses will facilitate access to a safe and confidential space for students to build the connections needed to thrive and succeed.”

The diverse group of consultants which make up Let’s Talk Now come from the School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, rotating annually under the supervision of Dr. Paul Toth, a staff psychologist with CAPS.

“We are extremely excited to be part of this initiative,” said Mai-Lin Poon, Associate Director, International Student Life. “We hope students will utilize these free and confidential services to talk about a range of issues they may be facing; from homesickness to test anxiety. Services like these not only lower the physical accessibility barriers, but also demystify how the counseling process works.”

Expansion to other locations is in early stages. Current participating locations and hours are available at

Cook With Katie – Labor Day Edition!

CookWithKatie_logoBy Katie Shepherd

Hi! Happy Labor Day and welcome back to #CookwithKatie! Today I want to talk about one of my favorite local food scenes—the Bloomington Farmers’ Market! If you’re new to Bloomington (or Indiana) and want to check out local food, this is a great place to start. It’s open April to November on Saturday mornings (downtown on Morton Street next to City Hall) and the Tuesday Market is available June to September from 4-7 p.m. I just love walking outside and perusing the vendors while being able to talk to the people who grew my food.

Although it’s now September and the semester is underway with cooler weather on the horizon, it’s still a great time of year to find fresh produce grown locally. Eating fruits and veggies while they are in season is the best way to ensure peak ripeness (a.k.a. best taste!) with the best retention of nutrients.  Also, your food is most economical when it’s purchased in season. It costs a lot less to move a cantaloupe from Jackson County to Monroe County than from Florida to Indiana! If you want to learn more about what’s in season annually in Indiana, check out this great calendar from The Indiana Department of Agriculture and Purdue University.

For today’s recipe, I’ve chosen something very simple—green beans—a pretty standard vegetable in many Hoosiers’ diets. I think the most common way to eat green beans for Hoosiers is the canned variety, sometimes with a little bacon added. Steaming them and adding a little butter, salt, and pepper is fairly common too. But for today’s recipe, we are going to roast them. I love roasting all sorts of vegetables, because it adds a rich deep flavor, and I like being able to put something in the oven for 20 minutes and not have to tend to it over the stove. So…LET’S GET COOKING!

Today’s Recipe: Roasted Green Beans

060Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Start with around one pound of green beans. Rinse them in a colander and snip the ends. You can roast the beans whole or cut them into pieces–this is totally a personal preference. Next, spread the beans on a baking sheet and add approximately one tablespoon of olive oil (one tablespoon is one quick swizzle—no need to measure!). Next, add in ¼ cup of pecans. Adding nuts to this dish adds another depth of flavor and texture, plus some protein. You could also substitute almonds or walnuts, but I personally love the taste of roasted pecans. Toss the green beans, oil, and nuts together so the oil evenly coats the beans. Spread this mixture evenly across the baking pan, so the dish cooks evenly. Note: using olive oil in a recipe instead of butter replaces saturated fat with heart healthy unsaturated fats.

Place those beans in the oven! I usually roast green beans for 20-25 minutes, turning the veggies mid-way through to ensure even cooking. The dish is done when you start to see some caramel color on the vegetables, and the pecans have a deeper brown color to them. I finish off my dish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for some additional flavor.

For a balanced meal, pair your green beans with grilled chicken (or any other lean protein) and a whole grain side such as brown rice or roasted potatoes. Bon Appetit!

Introducing #CookWithKatie and Her Veggie Zucchini Lasagna!

CookWithKatie_logoHi! My name is Katie Shepherd. I am a registered dietitian through Health and Wellness Education. I’m married, a mom to two outrageous toddlers, and a lover of all things food. I’m super excited to start my bi-weekly cooking recipe column, #CookWithKatie. As a dietitian at the health center, one of my primary roles is to meet with students individually. Frequently, students ask me if I have any websites, blogs, or cookbooks I would recommend. I have quite a few that I enjoy, but often times I find cookbook and blog recipes fairly complicated and too involved. Many of the students or employees we see have limited cooking experience, want to eat healthy but don’t know where to start, and have little time and less money (at least the students!). Regardless who you are, I think we all can relate to not having enough time on our side. With these things in mind, I plan to bring to you easy recipes that won’t break the bank. So…LET’S GET COOKING!

Katie Shepherd
Katie Shepherd of #CookWithKatie

Today’s Recipe:  Veggie Zucchini Lasagna

My mom has a garden. She visited me last week and inundated my fridge with gorgeous swiss chard, zucchini, beets, zucchini, yellow squash, and more zucchini. Did I mention she brought me zucchini? Of course it just so happens I can’t get my kids to touch the stuff. So, as these cute little squash sit in my fridge, I try to think of new ways to prepare them that won’t end with scraping sautéed zucchini off kiddie plates and into the trash.

I recently saw some zucchini muffins recipes on the internet. You grate zucchini and mix it with your traditional muffin ingredients, add chocolate, and voila, you’ve hidden vegetables inside a baked good! But…I can’t serve muffins for dinner. That said, I could still grate the zucchini, mix it with spaghetti sauce, add cheese and noodles, and maybe, just MAYBE, I’ll have a tasty concoction that the whole family can enjoy (or at least me and the hubs will like it). Well, let’s give it a try.

Time to #CookWithKatie!

IMG_2147Preheat your oven to 350. Grate the zucchini/yellow squash. This step is important because I want the veggies to cook thoroughly, and if they are small, this is more likely to happen. Also, my children are less likely to notice the vegetables exist. I used a box grater and grated 2 yellow squash and 1 zucchini, and this seemed to be enough veggies for a 9 x 13 pan.

Start layering! Spread a small amount of one jar of marinara sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Next, a layer of veggies, a layer of “no boil” lasagna noodles, and then cheese. For the cheese, mix ricotta cheese with one egg. You can also add shredded italian blend or mozzarella cheese. (The egg is optional, but it adds a nice texture.)

Repeat until you get to the top of your pan. I like to spread an extra 6-ounce bag of shredded parmesan on top of the dish. For the lasagna noodles, I buy one box of the “no boil” variety. They are about $1.00 more than the traditional noodles, but it saves you time, an extra pan, and a colander (yay for less dishes!). Well worth the investment in my opinion. You also won’t use them all, so you’ll have extras for next time around.

Bake! Cover your pan with aluminum foil (so the cheese on top doesn’t burn) and bake for 1 hour. You can take the foil off for the last 15 minutes of that hour so the cheese on top gets a little brown too. Allow lasagna to cool for 10 minutes or so before slicing.

  • Important note: This is a simple recipe of which you could do many variations. Instead of zucchini, you could use spinach and grated carrot or really any other vegetables you like. You could also add meat, if you’re a fan.
  • Another important note: I find that adding veggies to my lasagna does make the final product a little liquidy. You can reduce this by cooking the vegetables on the stove before adding them to the baking pan. For me, I would rather spoon off the liquid and not have an extra pan to clean though! It’s totally up to you.
  • Even more important note: Lasagna makes great leftovers – and they freeze well if you’re looking to eat them a week versus a day later!