Cashew Cream Tarts by Carla Trochez

cashew cream tart

Cream filling:

  • 1 cup of cashews, soaked and drained
  • ¼ c water
  • ½ c coconut nectar or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zest 

Soak raw cashews overnight or at least two hours prior to starting the recipe. Drain and rinse them. Place them in a blender or food processor. Add water, sweetener, vanilla extract, and lemon juice and zest. Blend until smooth. Place cream in a container and cool in freezer while you make the crust.


  • 1 cup of walnuts or nut of choice
  • 4-5 Medjool dates, soaked  
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Remove the seeds of the medjool dates and soak them for 10-15 minutes. In a food processor or blender add the cup of walnuts and process them until a rough meal flour is formed. Add the medjool dates and continue processing until a uniform mixture is made. Once finished, mix the crust on a small board and then press the meal into baking cups or reusable molds. You can use a muffin tray as a base to help form them.


Take the cream filling out of the freezer. Use a spoon to add cream into each crust formed. Once finished garnish with fruit and herbs of your choice. Serve and enjoy.  


Texas State University Nutrition Research


Texas State University nutrition undergrads, Colton Scott and Taylor McCartney, spent the summer of 2017 performing a data analysis under Lindsey Rambo Menge. Lindsey is a graduate student in the MS in Human Nutrition, and a graduate research assistant with the Texas State University employee wellness program, WellCats. Lindsey’s thesis, conducted under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia Crixell, is dedicated to assessing the food environment for faculty and staff at university-led events.

Scott and McCartney assisted in evaluating the types of foods offered at university-funded events over the past year. This research required the analyses of menus and receipts for each event. Receipts were collected for every department and the types of food were categorized. Six categories of foods were examined, including beverages, breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner, and desserts. Within each category were subcategories including sugar sweetened beverages, whole grains, lean or high-fat proteins, vegetables, and fruit. Panera Bread and Jason’s Deli are examples of restaurants Texas State used to cater these university events.

Another aspect of Lindsey’s research involves investigating factors that influence what foods are ordered for catered events. For this work, she developed and validated a survey through dissemination to administrative assistants who order food. The survey included rating scales and open-ended questions and addressed food preferences, university policies, budget considerations, nutrition, and convenience.

The results of these projects will be used to support intervention and education; which will comprise a thesis project for JR Oliver, another graduate student in nutrition working with Dr. Crixell. Once the intervention is completed, there will be a final round of data collection to assess the impact on the food offered at university events for faculty and staff.

Scott and McCartney both plan to promote wellness in their future endeavors. “I plan on pursuing a master’s in public health, so this research was a perfect fit,” Scott said. McCartney has other plans, including “going back for my master’s here and also applying for a dietetic internship the following Fall (2018). I would ideally like to do corporate wellness.”  McCartney also said “It was cool to know I played a small role in helping better the food environment at Texas State.”

Taylor McCartney
Colton Scott

TSDA’s Annual Nutrition Bowl!!

The 2nd Annual Nutrition Bowl is occurring on April 14, 2018 from 10:50-11:50 AM at the 2018 Texas Academy Annual Conference and Exhibition!
Make sure you sign up to represent your school and show off your nutrition and dietetics related knowledge!

Sign Up Here!


  1. Each team is composed of four (4) students in a Didactic Program in Dietetics 1. (graduate or undergraduate). Each team will designate a team captain. One student is an alternate who will play only in the absence of a regular team member.
  2. Students are selected by the Program Director of the participating school.
  3. Team members and alternates may participate only for one year. A first year student who participates as a team member or an alternate may not participate on a team in any subsequent years while a student in the program.
  4. The number of schools participating, and the format of the preliminary round,
    will depend upon the number of schools accepting the offer to compete. The two top teams from the preliminary rounds will compete in the final round.
  5. The tournament is a single elimination. Teams will draw at random to establish who plays whom. Teams will draw at random to see which teams play first.
  6. All questions are either (1) fill in the blank, (2) multiple choice. Questions will cover a multitude of subjects, including but not limited to: Nutrition Science, Food Science, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Metabolism, Community Nutrition, and Foodservice.
  7. Questions will be asked by the Master of Ceremonies. Any of the six contestants may answer the question by striking their “lock-out” device. The player who strikes first will electronically lock out the other contestants. A buzzer will sound, a light will light, and the Master of Ceremonies will identify the team and player who hit the button first. The individual who hits the button may not confer with his/her teammates, and, once identified, has five (5) seconds to answer the question.
  8. Should the lock-out system malfunction, the judges will determine which contestant hit the button first, or they may elect to disregard the question.
  9. The lock-out button may be hit at any time during the recitation of the question. However, once it has been hit, no additional information will be provided to the individual beyond the portion that was already stated before the button was hit.
  10. No answer will be accepted unless the lock-out button is hit first, and the team and player are identified by the Master of Ceremonies. Should a player reveal an answer without being called on by the Master of Ceremonies, the other team will have the opportunity to hear the complete question before answering. If neither team elects to try to answer a question, the host will reveal the answer, and the next question is asked.
  11. If a question is answered correctly, the points for that question will be awarded to the answering team. If the question is answered incorrectly, the point value of the question will be subtracted from the answering team’s score. The opposing team is then asked the complete question and given the option to answer the question or to pass. The decision must be made by the captain of the team within five (5) seconds. If the team passes, the answer is revealed and the next question is offered to both teams.
  12. Should Team “A’ choose to answer the question that Team “B’ answered incorrectly, the members of Team ‘A” may confer with each other for five (5) seconds but the captain must provide the answer. If the answer is correct, the point value will be added to the team’s total. If the answer is incorrect, the points will be subtracted from their total. A minus score will be recorded if a team fails below a zero score. The minus score is equal to the sum of the value (# of points) of each question missed.
  13. Prizes: The winning team will all receive a TSDA T-shirt and their school’s name engraved on the Plaque!!
  14. A trophy will be given to the winning school to display until the next College Bowl, and the name of the school and the year of the competition will be engraved on the Perpetual Trophy that is displayed in the offices of the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition, and Dietetics.
  15. Students participating in the competition may not receive college credit (ie, independent study) for their participation.
  16. Should a tie occur during the preliminary or final round, the Master of Ceremonies will select a tie-breaking question. The question will be asked, and each team will have 30 seconds to confer and write the answer to the question on a paper provided. The team answering the question correctly will be declared the winner. If both teams answer the question correctly or incorrectly, a new question will be selected by the Master of Ceremonies until only one team answers the question correctly. That team is then declared the winner.
  17. All disputes will be settled by the team of three judges. The judge’s ruling is considered final.

Vegan French Toast


French Toast:

  • 1/2 loaf bread (I prefer Dave’s Killer 21 Whole Grain Bread)
  • 2 TBSP, whole wheat flour
  • 1 TBSP, ground flaxseed 
  • 1 tsp, ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp, cardamom
  • 1c, nut milk (any kind, but I prefer macadamia nut milk)
  • 2 TBSP, nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp, vanilla extract 
  • Oil, for pan frying


  • 1 pound, frozen or fresh mixed berries
  • 2 TBSP, sugar
  • light zesting from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lemon


  1. mix together whole wheat flour and ground flaxseed. Incorporate nut milk slowly.
  2. Let sit a few minutes. In a Medium saucepan, toss jam ingredients together over Medium High heat. 
  3. Add nutritional yeast to french toast mixture. Once incorporated, add vanilla extract. 
  4. Occasionally mix the jam. 5-10 minutes. Time depends on desired thickness. Preferably runny, but not watery. If it gets too thick, add 1 TBSP water at a time, with a little lemon juice and sugar to keep flavor.
  5. Once finished, set aside.
  6. Heat oil in frying pan. Dip bread in mixture, and place on pan. Repeat with all slices.
  7. To serve: add a spoonful of jam/sauce on top of your french toast with Grade A Maple Syrup. 
  8. Enjoy!


Recipe shared by: JD Muraida, Dietetics student at Texas State University

JD Muraida is a third year dietetic student at Texas State University in San Marcos. He is a professional chef who studied at Le Cordon Bleu and upon graduation was recruited to work as a sous chef at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. He moved back to Texas to open a new hotel and restaurant with renowned chef Tom Parlo. During his time in the culinary field, he found his focus within dietetics. When JD isn’t in the kitchen, he is enjoying the great outdoors!! Upon becoming a dietitian, JD hopes to get into food policy with a goal to make it mandatory for the culinary field to hire dietitians. JD currently sits as President of the Student Nutrition Organization and is a Policy Liaison for TSDA. 


As you enter into the journey of Dietetics you quickly notice there are many organizations to be apart of. Although, other than simply being told it’s important, you may not really know why you should join.

So here are some reasons of why you should join TSDA:

First and foremost, it’s FREE!!! As long as you have an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics membership, you can freely join TSDA.

So no excuses….

Second, as with all organizations, the networking opportunities are endless. It is extremely important to gain relationships with fellow dietetic professionals, not only for your potential job, but for the all admired INTERNSHIP!

Third, members of TSDA obtain resources to be involved at the district, state, and national level.

Last but definitely not least, just by joining TSDA you are entered to win scholarships offered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Yes, that’s right, MONEY!!! Just by signing up for the FREE membership you have the chance to win a scholarship to the Texas Academy Annual Conference and Exhibition. This year it is April 12-14 at the Houston Marriott Westchase.

We have FIVE total scholarships to give out this year and TWO have been given already. So you still have your chance!

Here are our first two scholarship recipients:


“My name is David Sandoval and I am a senior at Texas Woman’s University. I will be graduating in May of 2018 and plan to work as a registered dietitian for a hospital in my community. A few years down the road, however, I want to be running a camp/organization where children and their families can come and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle, while bonding as a family unit. I am not much of a chef, but my wife says I make the best pancakes – sweet and fluffy! In my free time, you can find me at the gym playing basketball with anyone and everyone. My goal in life is to live every moment as if it were my last, meaning I don’t sweat the small stuff, I help those in need, give what I can, and do what God has called me to do.”


“My name is Azalee Higham. I am a senior at Texas Woman’s University studying Nutrition and Dietetics. My academic career has been non-traditional, as I originally wanted to pursue Physical Therapy; however, I have always had a passion for nutrition and decided to pursue a degree in Dietetics later during my academic career. I look forward to working in a field where I am able to enrich the lives of others through nutrition education.” 


The drawing of the next two recipients will be by Karen Geismar, Texas Academy President, in the next Texas Chat! So make sure to join now to be entered!



Written by 17-18 TSDA Historian, Sarah Dahms

Meal Prepping for 2018!

Meal Prepping: The Basics.

Are you looking to make some healthier choices this new year? We have gathered some great tips from TSDA’s President Kayleigh Kaiser!

“I truly believe that the secret to success lies in planning.  As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  But you have to know how to plan in order to prepare.  If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I want to meal prep, but I don’t know where to start,” you are not alone!  I want to give you some basic tips to get started.”

The Foods

  1. Lean Protein:  So, protein is super important when it comes to meal planning.  Protein helps with satiety, which helps in not feeling hungry, but also help with maintaining and building muscle.  My favorite source of lean protein is generally chicken because it is versatile and it is generally more inexpensive than other types Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 10.45.05 PM.pngof lean protein. If using ground meat, try going with a higher lean percentage.
  2. Whole Grain: Another part of meal planning is to incorporate a healthier option for a starch instead of a refined grain.  Refined grains take away the bran and the endosperm, which also takes away important components of the grain including fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc.  My go-to is whole grain rice, but some other good options are quinoa, freekah, farro, and oats.  I also like to have sweet potatoes as a carbohydrate option.
  3. Greens: Another thing that I love to add to my meals are some greens.  I know they are not everybody’s favorite, but they are great way to add bulk to your meal with less calories. Asparagus, broccoli, green beans, spinach, and kale are also great options.
  4. Snacks: I like to snack and I know I am not the only one.  I try to stick with one snack between each meal, and I make sure to incorporate some protein within these snacks.  Greek yogurt is one of my favorite snacks, and because I like a little “crunch” I like to add a bit of granola.  Some of my other favorite snacks are almonds, rice cakes and peanut butter (MEASURE IT OUT), and protein bars.  Protein bars are more of a treat since I really like to try to stick to whole, natural food items.  My rule of thumb is: make sure there’s a good source of protein.


  1. Cooking: Bulk cook.  Do it once or twice a week and be done with it.  Usually for protein, 3 oz. per meal is plenty, and males more around 5 oz.  With chicken breast, I will weigh before I cook, and whatever I do not use will go in the freezer.  I usually season my chicken with Mrs. Dash or a variety of spices.  This last week I sprinkled some rosemary, garlic, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice over some chicken.  I’m also a busy college student, so I make my chicken in the oven so I do not have to tend to it.

Now, many people get confused on how to measure their rice or whole grains when cooking in bulk.  Here is what I do:  I make however many servings I need for the week.  I then take the cooked product and weigh it.  I divide it by how many servings I made, and now I know how much goes into each meal.


Honestly, it really depends on the food.  I’ve noticed most chicken will last about 3-4 days depending on the brand, while things like ground beef will only last 1-2 days.  I’ve had some chicken that taste a little weird after 2 days. Some brands have a different amount of initial microorganisms.  Make sure to pay attention to off-tastes, colors, and odor, changes in texture, and slime.  Here are some recommendations from food safety according to

Sample Meal Prep

Breakfast: Cinnamon and Berry Oatmeal

-1/2c steel cut oats

-4 egg white

-1/2 c. berries (any kind)

-cinnamon to taste

-Stevia to taste

Directions: Make steel cut oats according to package.  Add egg whites and stir continuously until the egg whites are no longer liquid.  Remove from heat and put oats into a bowl.  Add berries of your choice and a dash of cinnamon to taste.  This can also be made in a crockpot for about 3 days worth of breakfast.  Add the berries when serving.

Snack: 1 oz of almonds and 1/2c cottage cheese

Lunch: Chicken and hummus wrap

-Flat out Wrap

-3 oz chicken

-1 TBSP hummus of your choice

-Veggies of your choice

Snack: Apple with 1 TBSP peanut butter

Dinner: Ground turkey, green beans, and sweet potatoes

-3 oz ground turkey

-1 c green beans

-3 oz sweet potatoes

-1 Tbsp olive oil

Snack: 1 cup Greek yogurt

This is a very, very simple meal prep example.  Feel free to explore some of your own favorite flavors!


Written by TSDA 2018 President Kayleigh Kaiser. Check out her blog here!

Vegan Cornbread Recipe

In perfect time for Thanksgiving, Hayat Muhammed, a TWU Dietetics Student at TWU, has shared her delicious recipe: Vegan Cornbread! 



1. 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds

2. 6 Tablespoons water

3. 1 cup all-purpose flour 

4. 1 cup cornmeal

5.  1/4 cup sugar

6.  4 teaspoons baking powder 

7. 3/4 teaspoon table salt 

8. 1cup soymilk 

9. 1/4 cup canola oil 


  1.  Preheat oven to 425F
  2.  Spray 8-inch-square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  4. Add the ground flax seed, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the ground flax seed in the water for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  5. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-combined.
  7. Add the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture.
  8. Beat just until smooth (do not overbeat.)
  9. Turn into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert cornbread onto wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer.


First Trip to FNCE: Celebrating 100 years in Chicago

Upset you missed FNCE? Interested in going next year? Not sure how to afford FNCE as a student? Don’t worry, we are all there. However, it is important to know going to FNCE as a student is possible!! There are many opportunities for us at dietetic students to be able to attend FNCE. Scholarships, volunteer work, discounts, etc.

Here’s is TSDA’s treasurer, Adrian Boulter’s story of her trip to FNCE this year:




As a budgeting college student, I never imagined I would have the outstanding opportunity to attend the Academy’s Food and Nutrition Convention and Expo (FNCE). Because of my very gracious employer, Register Dietitian Neva Cochran, who guided me to a reduced registration fee and funded all of the other expenses, I was flying out to Chicago Saturday morning with bags packed for a 4-day adventure of professional development and networking.

I flew into Chicago O’hare airport and took an hour trip on the train for just $3 to McCormick Hyatt Regency. When I got there, I immediately encountered a multitude of expo booths in a massive convention center. First stop was opening session, which couldn’t have kicked off the event any better. Our Academy president, Donna Martin, energetically greeted us and told her touching story of her journey as president and the Academy’s vision. She introduced past Academy president Doris Derelian, who received the Academy’s highest honor, the Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award. Doris was a delight as she thanked “bundles” of supporters in her life in her impressive memory coat covered in patches from when she served as president.


Donna then introduced the multiple Emmy award winning chief medical correspondent of CNN and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He spoke on important topics with such valuable insight and presented it in such an entertaining fashion.

After we were released I headed out to attend a few sessions and explore the expo. There were a variety of session topics that touched on a variety of areas including diversity, public speaking, leadership, culinary demos, food accessibility, career paths, entrepreneurship, agriculture, clinical practice and more. The expo took me over 2 days to get through it all and by the end I had two free tote bags full of free samples and information. There was a cranberry bog, a body fat analysis machine, career and educational opportunities, SO MANY FREE SAMPLES, and many other interesting aspects to the expo.

My favorite session was titled, “Improv for Effective & Adaptive Communication”. The speakers paired everyone and had us do many humorous and creative activities. There were also DPG meetings such as the Dietitians in Business and Nutrition Entrepreneurs where you got to network face to face with members, eat yummy food, and learn from experts. On Monday, I attended the Foundation Gala at Navy Pier at Neva’s table where there was food and cocktails in a beautiful setting. We celebrated the donors and recipients of the Academy Scholarships and I ended the night dancing with friends, professionals and the Academy president! It was so much fun!


On the last day, I started the morning volunteering. Prior to this trip, Neva encouraged me to apply for a student host opportunity and because I was accepted I only had to pay a $25 registration fee! I helped speakers prepare for their session and scan attendee’s badges, which lasted around to 4 hours total. The job was very easy going and it was where I met my new student host friend Giovoni, who is a current dietetic intern in Washington D.C. and native of Jamaica. At the closing session, we listen to physicist and futurist, Dr. Michio Kaku, talk about his very intriguing vision for the future in 2117. According to Dr. Kaku, artificial intelligence will be highly utilized in everyday life but humans will still be needed to perform many job duties so rest assured, dietitians will still have work to do!

Overall, I was very impressed with my experience at FNCE and will never forget it. Not only was it a good resource for professional growth, but also an opportunity to venture a new city! Chicago is a very beautiful place with so much to do. Now that I know what FNCE is all about I want to go to as many as I can! Hopefully I can go to the next one that will be held in Washington D.C., check out the sites and see Giovoni while I am there!


If Adrian can do it, you can do it too! Start planning for your trip FNCE next year in Washington, D.C. October 20-23, 2018.


Dietetic Internship Preparation Workshop at TAMU

TSDA Officers

We had another successful year at the DIPW at Texas A&M University! We were first welcomed by Dr. Boon Chew, PhD and Department Head of Nutrition and Food Science, wishing us all a successful year! Then we were presented by Karen Beathard, MS, RD, LD, FAND, TAMU’s DPD director, on the navigation through the dietetic profession. She shared with us an inspirational quote to get our minds ready for internship preparation, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Stephen A. Brennan. Karen continued the presentation with information on how to begin your internship preparation during your Junior and Senior years. She closed with another quote, “the will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.” -Joe Paterno. This was an incredibly informational, and inspirational speech, for aspiring future Dietitians.


We then broke out into sessions where we experienced “A Day in the Life of a Dietitian” by Neva Cochran, MS, RD, LD, FAND, Gabriella Goode Ramirez, MS, RDN, LD, Julia Jarrell, RDN, LD, Sandra Fillpp, RD, LD, Debra King, MS, RD, LD, and Rachel Poland, MS, RD. Also at the internship fair we had program representatives from, Abilene Christian University, Medical City Dallas, Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, TWU Denton/Houston, University of Texas Medical Branch, U.S. Military, Wellness Workdays, and Oklahoma State. TSDA also had a table to join, purchase/pick up T-shirts, and enter the raffle!

We then closed the day with Bailey Weiner, MCN, RDN, CNSC, sharing a great presentation of Public Policy, and TSDA’s raffle!! We (TSDA) gave away donations in our raffle from the Sarcastic Nutritionist, Anne Elizabeth RD, Texas Beef Council, and Market Street! We also drew for two out of five of our scholarships to the annual Texas Academy Conference in April! Congratulations to David Sandoval and Azalee Higham!!



TSDA Raffle Winners

This was an outstanding event to meet all of our dietetic peers and future preceptors. If you missed it we hope you are already marking your calendars to plan to go next year! Also, we look forward to seeing everyone again April 12-14 at The Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference & Exhibition at the Houston Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston, Texas!!

Texas Tech
Texas Woman’s
Stephen F. Austin


Hope to see ya’ll here next year!!

Sarah Dahms TSDA Historian