Author Archives: Brandi Koskie

About Brandi Koskie

Brandi is a health journalist who enjoys the task of keeping DietsInReview running like a well-oiled machine. She's also a health-conscious mom who loves to cook without recipes.

The Frozen Lemonade Sam Adams Summer Ale Slush You Have to Taste to Believe

sam adams lemonade slush

Last summer I spent a month in Savannah, Georgia, a true American gem that should be on your must-visit list. Aside from soaking up all the history, playing at the beach, and hitting up all the Forrest Gump tourist spots, one of the highlights was attenidng the fifth annual Fitbloggin’ conference.

If you’ve never been, mark your calendars for the last weekend in Denver this year. It’s a life changing three days with an inspiring, motivating, beautiful group of about 250 souls. No matter what your place is in within the weight loss blogging/social media sphere, there is a place for you within Fitbloggin’. And as last year proved, no matter how hot and sweaty you get — be it during one of the morning Zumba classes or out wandering Savannah’s scenic historic district — everyone still has plenty of love for ‘ya.

sam adams lemonade slush

On the last day of the conference, it was time to cool off and get even more scenic, with a drive out to Georgia’s Tybee Island. I didn’t go alone. My husband and daughter tagged along with myself, Emmie from, and Alan from After a whirlwind three days inside a hotel getting all of the hugs, blog lessons, and free California Almond trail mix snacks we could handle, sinking our toes in the sand and letting the sea breeze wash over our faces was the decompress everyone needed!

alan brandi emmie fitbloggin

And frozen lemonades, we needed those to fully complete the post-conference decompression slash Georgia heat exhaustion. After we dusted most of the sand from our bodies, we headed to a highly recommended local dive – AJ’s Dockside Restaurant. We sat outside, because we clearly love sweating as much as possible. We ordered po’boys, because when in Rome. And we ordered frozen lemonades. (more…)

Garlicky Mushroom Cavatappi Pasta Recipe: A Love Story

mushroom cavatappi pasta recipe

Do you remember the Book-It program? It’s Pizza Hut‘s program for rewarding kids for reading. I crushed Book-It. I mean, in first grade, I had piles of those free Personal Pan pizza coupons stacked up at home. About once a month, mom would take me to the neighborhood Pizza Hut to collect my prize. You were only allowed one topping. One.

Here kids, here’s a whole bag of Skittles, now let’s just eat one. Say what?


Early on I narrowed in on my choice and never once deviated. At age six — through elementary school — it was a plain mushroom pizza for me. I love those little squishy, cheesy bites of fungi! Three nights ago I ordered pizza for dinner — mushrooms only. It’s really the best option. Even my homemade pizzas are piled high with thick slices of mushrooms, and the salami, bell peppers, and basil are just there for decoration.

This, however, is not about pizza. It is a lot about how I’ve found one more place to enjoy three of my favorite things — mushrooms, cheese, carbs. Pile ’em up, baby! (more…)

Roasted Kielbasa and Potato Casserole: An Easy Meat and Potatoes Dinner You Can Feel Good About


I very much grew up in a meat and potatoes household. Our dinner menus were as predictable as the negotiating was to get out of doing dishes. Every night there was a meat entree — ground beef made into burgers, meatloaf, sloppy joes — with some form of potato — be it baked, mashed, or frozen fries. A side of canned green beans or corn would round out our plates. And for dessert we never received more than two small sandwich cookies.

This is my comfort food. This is what I fall back to when I’m homesick, too exhausted to think through a meal plan, or just want to keep things really simple.

So many of my recipes are fresh takes on old favorites, and that’s exactly what I’m serving up here. There’s nothing new with this recipe, it’s been served out of casserole dishes for decades. What is new is the realization that you can make it a little more wholesome, but just as savory, familiar, and comforting. (more…)

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Sandwich: Because We are Free to Eat Egg Yolks Again!


While most people like to take advantage of sleeping in on a weekend morning, I roll out of bed and start cooking. Similar to most other families, mine is a crazy kind of busy all week. But on Saturdays we get one another’s undivided attention over a hearty breakfast that fuels our equally busy weekends. Since I have a preschooler who rises at dawn, sometimes my version of sleeping in is letting someone else cook, and that’s where I found this sandwich.

One morning at a favorite local breakfast dive, I poured over the menu and couldn’t find anything I wanted. However, the BLT on the lunch menu called to me, especially with the mention of avocado and tomato slices. I asked them to breakfast-ize it with an over-medium egg. They did, and it was glorious. It seemed so obvious, yet, I’d never thought about it before!

Any guilt you’ve harbored for the last few decades over eating a fried egg, well go ahead and shake it loose. Cholesterol is no longer the nutritional enemy we’ve been told to avoid. Our Mary Hartley, RD explains why we are no longer relegated to egg white omelets. That’s why we’re celebrating over runny egg yolk sandwiches! (more…)

Naan Crust Pizza with Homemade Cabernet Basil Pizza Sauce

naan crust pizza cabernet basil sauce

There isn’t anything I don’t like about pizza. I like wood fire, NY style, grease bomb, and everything in between. You can hold the green bell peppers and onions, but otherwise I’ve never found a slice of pizza I didn’t like.

In the past year though, my favorite pizza is the one that I make. I’ve worked my homemade sauce to be just right, found a crust that is pretty perfect, and realized I don’t need a stitch of meat. Rather than give up pizza because it’s so unhealthy, I found a way to enjoy it on occasion because it’s not that bad for me.


I start with a whole grain naan, an Indian bread that is usually sold near your grocer’s bakery. The Stonefire brand is excellent (I find this at Kroger), and SuperTarget’s house brand is great, too. They usually come two to a pack and I try to keep at least one in the freezer at all times. You never know when it’s going to be the perfect night for pizza! (more…)

Eat Like a Patriot: Winning Recipes for New England’s Big Bowl Game


The 2014 Super Bowl lineup was decided last night, as the AFC and the NFC champions were named. The New England Patriots will meet the Seattle Seahawks on February 1 in Glendale, Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX. These names have been main-stays in the NFL championship line up in recent years, so we ought to have their fan-favorite menus down pat!

Now, unless you’re playing as hard, and working out as much, as the guys on the field, you probably don’t need to consume thousands of calories by way of queso, chips, burgers, and beer. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s possible to have all of that food enjoyment without the disastrous calorie bloat that won’t make anyone MVP.

Serve these healthier recipes inspired by the Patriots hometown roots. They look and taste just as good as their original versions, but will save you from going overboard on the second biggest food holiday of the year.

sam adams summertime lemonade


Healthy Dinner Menu Plan for the Week Featuring Easy Weeknight Favorites

FINAL whats dinner DIR #2 green




When it comes to the what’s for dinner? question, the struggle is real folks! We’re taking most of the guess work out with our new weekly meal plans! Turn Sunday in to Plan Day and you’ll be set right on through the weekend. (more…)

Exclusive! Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo Recipe from The Biggest Loser Bootcamp Book


Resolve to eat more vegetables. Or try new foods. Or eat more colorfully. Or reduce carbs. Or eat more home-cooked foods. Or just eat cleaner. Which ever one of these resolution categories your “diet” falls into, this dinner is a perfect fit.

We snagged this Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo recipe out of the new book The Biggest Loser Bootcamp (out December 30, 2014!). It met our own food resolutions — C: all of the above — and offered a fresh take on the spaghetti squash trend we love so much. Spaghetti squash has taken off in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a hearty vegetable that has a mild enough taste that you can pair it with almost anything. It’s a great alternative for noodles, but I don’t fully buy in to it being a supreme replacement. Don’t eat this expecting it to taste or feel like noodles; it gets the job done, deliciously so, but stands on its own as a noodle-ish food. (more…)

Healthy Dinner Menu for the Week Featuring Homemade Comfort Foods

healthy-dinner-menu-comfort foods


When it comes to the what’s for dinner? question, the struggle is real folks! We’re taking most of the guess work out with our new weekly meal plans! Turn Sunday in to Plan Day and you’ll be set right on through the weekend. We’ll even thrown in a few goodies, like a new side dish to try and expand those culinary horizons. And you’ll find something to settle your sweet tooth, a reward for all your effort! Be sure to use our FREE MEAL PLANNER WORKSHEETS to keep you on track.

From all of us at … have a delicious week!

MONDAYBlack and Mushroom Quesadillas with Chunky Serrano Guacamole

TUESDAYBBQ Pork Sliders with Homemade Coleslaw with Side to Try Sriracha Oven Fries

WEDNESDAYCreamy Parmesan White Wine & Chicken Pasta. Use this Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing for a salad on the side.

THURSDAYCrispy Pork Wontons with DIY Trader Joe’s Bistro Salad

FRIDAYTrashcan Nachos with a Jalapeno Watermelon Mojito

SOMETHING SWEETDark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls

Resolve to Eat More Colorfully: Mango-Cherry Chia Pudding Parfaits


By Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color

I’m on a mission to get people to eat more colorfully. Why? Brightly hued fruits and vegetables are loaded with compounds that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and obesity. You’d think that should be enough to convince anyone to throw some color on their plate! Unfortunately, the reality is that most of us are falling seriously short of getting enough fruits and vegetables.


That’s why I create fun and delicious ways for people to eat their colors, like the recipes in my cookbook Eating in Color. In my newest cookbook, I showcase just how vibrant and delicious real food can be. The book includes 90 family-friendly recipes that are fruit, vegetable, and grain focused that you’ll actually want to eat. With recipes like Caramelized Red Onion and Fig Pizza, Cran-Apple Tarte Tatin, and Roasted Tri-Color Carrots with Thyme, tasting the rainbow has never tasted so good, nor been so easy. (more…)