Refreshing Fruit Infused Water

Refreshing Fruit Infused Water

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio


Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1


½ cucumber, peeled and diced

Juice of 1 limes

¼ cup raspberries

1 tbsp. mint, chopped

8 oz. water

Optional: Stevia or other natural sweetener of your choice


Blend water and cucumber until fairly smooth.

Pour into glass with raspberries and ice on bottom, add lime juice, and garnish with mint.  Let sit for a moment for the flavors to infuse.

You can sweeten naturally by blending the berries with the cucumber.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 25; Fat: 0 g; Potassium: 128 mg; Carbs: 6 g; Fiber 2 g; Vitamin C: 16%


Broccoli Slaw Chicken Salad

Broccoli Slaw Chicken Salad

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD


Broccoli Slaw Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 5-7 Minutes

Servings: 4


1 lb baked or rotisserie chicken, shredded or diced, your preference

1 bag HEB broccoli slaw

4 avocados

.5 cup cilantro, chopped

Lime juice to taste

1 tsp. garlic powder


Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Mash avocado while mixing to incorporate it with the chicken and broccoli slaw.  Divide into 4 and served chilled.

Note: This meal is super simple and quick.  It is easily modifiable and I made this recipe to keep ingredients to a minimum.  Feel free to add diced onions and tomatoes to add more of a guacamole flair.  I also like to add red wine vinegar for extra zing and a dash of salt, to taste.  You can substitute some of the avocado and add rinsed beans if you want a source of complex carbohydrates.  To make a more traditional style chicken salad, you can use mayonnaise instead of avocado.  If you want to lighten it up, use less avocado and add some fat free Greek yogurt to keep it creamy!

Chicken Salad is a summer staple and can be easily modified to fit a variety of flavor profiles.  Classic chicken salad is made with chicken, mayonnaise, celery, and herbs.  There are many modifications to this recipe, but let’s step outside the box a bit and try some new flavors.

One of the reasons I like making chicken or protein based salads is because they are simple.  I keep it easy and quick by baking up a bunch of chicken breasts over the weekend.  I chop them up and portion them into 4 oz. servings and can grab, assemble, and go as needed.  4 oz. is a quick go to serving size for most women, and 6 oz. for men.  I also keep plenty of individual serving pouches of tuna and salmon in the pantry.  Some of my favorite add-ins include broccoli slaw, diced zucchini and cucumber, red onions, avocado, and fat free Greek yogurt.  You don’t have to stick with chicken, either.  Any source of protein that you can enjoy chilled works.  I often make salads with lean white fish such as mahi-mahi or tuna, and beans always work as a good vegetarian option.

Use this table for some quick meal ideas.

Protein Vegetable Complex Carb Fat/Binder Seasoning
Chicken Broccoli Slaw N/A Avocado Red Wine Vinegar, Mustard
Fish Zucchini, Cucumber, Red Onion N/A Avocado Lime Juice, Salsa, Hot Sauce, Cilantro
Pork Tomatoes, Cabbage Beans Avocado Lime juice
Beans Tomatoes, Broccoli Sweet Potato, Corn Avocado Lime Juice, Chipotle Powder

Here are some quick flavor ideas and combinations you can try.  You can mix these up easily and make them to your liking.  Any of the fats/binders can easily be substituted.  For example, if you are not a fan of avocados like I am, fat free Greek yogurt or mayonnaise will work.

Mexican Style- Diced Avocado, Salsa, Cilantro, Lime Juice, Garlic

Curry Mustard/Indian Flavors- Avocado, Stone Ground Mustard, Curry Powder

Spicy- Hot sauce of your choice- mix with avocado or mayonnaise

Chipotle Chili- Avocado, Chipotle Chili Powder, Lime Juice, Dash of Salt

Chipotle Ranch- Ranch Dressing, Avocado, Chipotle Chili Powder

BBQ Ranch- Ranch Dressing, BBQ Sauce

Sriracha Mayonnaise- Mayonnaise, Sriracha

Chimichurri- Adam’s Chimichurri Rub, Olive Oil

Greek- Fat Free Greek Yogurt, Oregano, Greek Seasoning, Lemon Juice

Here are some cold salads I regularly make at home.  All portions include 4 oz. of meat, ½-1 whole avocado, and approximately 1 serving of vegetables, unless otherwise stated.  I typically follow a low carb, high protein, and moderate fat diet, which is why I have few complex carbs listed below.  You can, however, make these to fit your meal plan needs and personal goals.  That is the great thing about preparing foods in this manner.  You can have everything ready to assemble in separate containers in your refrigerator and mix what you want when you want!

  1. Mahi-mahi, salsa, diced red onion, diced cucumber, diced green zucchini, avocado, lime juice, and Tony Chachere’s Salt Free Seasoning
  2. Chicken, HEB broccoli slaw, avocado, red wine vinegar, spicy mustard. Sometimes I add curry powder and a dash of salt.
  3. ½ tin of smoked oysters, diced red onion, diced cucumber, avocado, red wine vinegar, liquid smoke, Tony Chachere’s Salt Free Seasoning
  4. Chicken, ¼ cup black beans, 2 oz. roasted sweet potatoes, ¼ c fat free Greek yogurt, 1 cup roasted and diced asparagus, 1 tbsp ranch dressing, 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  5. Chicken, diced zucchini, diced cucumber, diced Roma tomato, ¼ c fat free Greek yogurt, Greek seasoning, lemon juice
  6. White fish, diced green zucchini, diced tomatoes, capers, sliced olives, avocado, red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp Italian dressing
  7. Shredded pork tenderloin, broccoli slaw, avocado, salsa, lime juice

Other ideas.  You can serve any of these salads on bread or a tortilla if you want a bigger meal.  HEB sells thin, round slices of jicama that you can use in place of a tortilla.  They are great with the fish mixes.  Also, once in a while I will mix chicken with avocado and guacamole seasonings and have it with a serving of the HEB’s Chili-Limon pork rinds.  All of these salads are to be modifications of a basic chicken salad, which is a mayonnaise based, creamy recipe.  I do of course make lettuce and spinach based salads, but we can save those for another day!

As a reminder, my goal is to provide you with healthy, nutritious meal ideas.  At the end of the day, your calorie intake should reflect your personal goals- either weight loss, maintenance, or gain.  If you make a meal idea above, keep in mind that some of the items, such as avocados and mayonnaise, are calorie dense.  It is ok to eat those foods, but in moderation.  If more than one combination sounds good to you, decrease the portion size for each item.  For example, if I am in the mood for both avocado AND mayonnaise, I will use only ½ of an avocado and 1 tbsp. of mayonnaise.

Fall Harvest Salad


1 lb diced chicken breast, baked, or rotisserie chicken

6-8 oz diced sweet potato, baked (about 1 cup)

1 cup no salt added black beans

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Paprika

1/4 c green onions, diced, to garnish


Set oven to 400 F.  Dice a medium sized sweet potato and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  You can toss with a dash of olive oil for added tenderness.  Set all ingredients next to a large mixing bowl.  When potatoes are cool (and chicken, if freshly baked), add all ingredients to a bowl and mix.  Garnish with green onion and serve atop fresh Romaine lettuce or baby spinach leaves.

Note– This meal can be easily made vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding more black beans.  Avocado or fat free Greek yogurt can be substituted for the mayonnaise and more apple cider vinegar can be splashed on for extra zing.  Feel free to add some diced celery and bell pepper to add more nutrients, bulk, and fiber to your bowl!

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio


A nutritionist or a registered dietitian?

Rhaizza And I

People often ask what the difference is between a nutritionist and a registered dietitian.  A nutritionist is someone who has a degree in nutrition, whether it be a bachelor’s, a master’s degree, or both. To become a registered dietitian, however, in addition to having a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, one has to complete a practice program in a nutrition related setting.  Most internships are 6 to 12 months long and students typically complete over 1200 hours at their rotations.  Experiences vary from program to program, but most include working in a clinical setting (like a hospital), community environment (like Meals on Wheels, WIC, and/or a food bank), long term care, and food service management, amongst others.  Once the internship is completed, future registered dietitians take a national examination that is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).  In order to maintain registration, professional education credits are completed regularly.

At any given time, I may have a student sitting alongside me at my cubicle at Meals on Wheels.  I get many requests from different universities to be a preceptor for nutrition students and dietetic interns.  I always say yes to these requests because I enjoy my job and I like to educate others, but I also know it is difficult to find preceptors in the field.  Additionally, when students work at Meals on Wheels, it shows them a side of nutrition that many haven’t thought about.  We provide a service to an underserved population and our meals meet all nutrient guidelines.  While here, students learn about menu planning, nutrition analysis, and recipe creation, as well as creativity in the kitchen, blogging, and nutrition education topics for seniors.  Many students also spend time in the kitchen working on the line and helping to prepare breakfast packs.

Often times, I will incorporate student ideas in the menu planning process.  I’ve had interns with different backgrounds and each has something to contribute.  I recently had a student who worked with me from the University of the Incarnate Word.  She and her family are from Mexico and own a chain of restaurants.  Together, we worked to add some new recipes to the menu and came up with a recipe for a Pork Pozole Stew and her mom’s “Cheesy Chipotle Chicken.”  Both meals are delicious and our clients seem to like them.  More recently, I have another student who is originally from Venezuela.  We modified a typical dish from her country to fit our plate at Meals on Wheels and this beef meal will be served in August.

Whenever I have students here, I do my best to provide a variety of learning activities for them.  Not only do they learn about my day to day tasks as mentioned above, but we have created new recipes in the kitchen, visited local food vendors and suppliers such as Lux Bakery and Ben E. Keith (our main food supplier), and sampled new foods for our menu.  Sometimes, students have tasks they need to complete for their school program, so I work with them to ensure they get completed.  Rhaizza, my Venezuelan student, and I created a video about healthy eating over 50.  We will post this on the Meals on Wheels blog soon so be sure to come back and check it out!  In fact, check in often- you never know what you may find!

Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio