Posts Tagged ‘dawn jackson blatner’


Indulge the Bulge

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 by Marjorie

Alright people. The holidays are here in all of their glory and with them come the joys (and stress) of planning and attending holiday parties, shopping for and wrapping presents, and of course, cooking and eating delicious holiday treats.

If you are anything like me, you start the season with high hopes of restraining yourself around all of the candy, chocolate, and baked goods that people so kindly offer to you at this time of year. After several offerings, you give in to your “sweet tooth” and declare that you will start a diet on January 1st as part of New Year’s Resolution! Yeah, right. I don’t think I can remember a New Year’s Resolution that I have kept up with for more than a week or two!

This year, I have just decided to “keep it real”. I think the comedian Jim Gaffigan put it best in his standup routine Beyond the Pale; ”I have a bit of a sweet tooth” – “Oh, so you’re ordering it for your tooth, I see. Cuz it’s going straight to your [butt]. I think your tooth owes your [butt] an explanation!”

Well, my butt is well aware of what happens every year at this time and so I am going to stop worrying about it. Don’t we need a little extra cushion to help keep us warm through this cold Chicago winter? Pretty sure Tom Skilling said it is going to be the worst winter yet. Maybe I am just being smart and insulating myself a little better. Or maybe I am being generous, by giving my husband just a little more of me to love for Christmas-at least that is what I will tell him!

Either way, I am going to enjoy my holiday treats without all of the worry this year and then make a date with The Chopping Block’s resident dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner in 2012!


Marjorie Campbell grew up on Chicago's south side and currently lives with her husband in West Town. After years of customer service and sales at Southwest Airlines and The Chicago Tribune, she decided to go back to school to explore her passion in the Culinary Arts. Having worked for a year at The Chopping Block as a Class Assistant and Retail Sales Associate, she took on a new role in the Private Event Sales Team. Marjorie loves braising copious amounts of pork for family and friends, traveling, going to concerts and her hula hoop.


Greek Start to Your Day

Monday, June 27th, 2011 by Tulie

It’s officially summer, and while there are still richly decadent foods to enjoy, this is certainly a time of year when people attempt to eat a little bit healthier and even add some exercise for the seasonal slim down. Given our short season, many of us try to make the most of getting the freshest fruits and veggies at farmer’s markets and grocery stores.

For me, my favorite way to complement the abundance of fresh fruit—peaches, blueberries, strawberries, especially—is through my little Greek Yogurt Parfait which I’ve become quite obsessed with in terms of starting my day right. I’ve since convinced others that it is a tasty, healthy and satisfying breakfast treat. While I know some people cannot imagine eating breakfast, studies show that it really is an important way to start your day for a multitude of reasons, including staving off food cravings and overeating later in the day. Of course, this is an easy habit for me as my mother never let us leave the house without eating something to start the day. I’ve continued that to this day!

I got turned on to Greek yogurt through The Chopping Block’s resident nutritionist, Dawn Jackson Blatner. I’d resisted it, but she shared that by using honey to sweeten the yogurt, you no doubt will curb the sugar you take in and avoid the fake sweeteners. So, I’ve come up with the following breakfast parfait that I hope some of you will try after a morning workout or before a big day ahead.

Tulie’s Greek Yogurt Parfait

Note: I make this size as it works for me but it can easily be doubled.

½ cup of Greek style yogurt (I find even the 0% or 2% are thick and creamy)

Honey to taste

¼ cup oatmeal

Diced fresh peaches or mango or sweet berries

Fresh granola for sprinkling on top

1.       Combine yogurt and honey in a small cup or bowl. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.

2.       Add oatmeal to yogurt and honey and combine thoroughly.

3.       Spoon one-third of yogurt mixture into bottom of glass parfait dish. Add one half of fruit and add another layer of yogurt mixture, then rest of the fruit and the last of the yogurt.

4.       Sprinkle with favorite granola for crunchy, delicious topping.

5.       Chill briefly, if desired.

Tulie O’Connor is a part-time Class Assistant at The Chopping Block where she loves the creative outlet of helping people learn more about cooking and learning from the chefs as well! In her “full-time” life she focuses on business publishing—helping/encouraging authors to write books, articles or other publications. When not working, Tulie is usually expending energy in a pool or at a Pilates class and of course planning or cooking her next meal with friends or family nearby.


Add to your Cookbooks in May

Sunday, May 1st, 2011 by Bridget

Can you believe it is already May? This is my favorite time of year because the farmer’s markets start making their comeback. My weekly trips to the Western and Green City Markets can once again commence. It also means fresh, seasonable veggies are finally here! What better way to welcome them back than with a new cookbook during our May cookbook promotion?  This month we are offering 15% off the purchase of one cookbook, 20% off if you buy two and 25% off of three or more!

Here at The Chopping Block, we have a huge array of wonderful cookbooks. Lately, we have been getting in a slew of veggie-centric books; my current favorites being “Veganomicon” and “Earth to Table”.  I have noticed that more and more of our customers are interested in cooking with more fruits and veggies in place of their normal meat and potatoes.  Maybe it’s the change in weather or maybe we’ve been watching too much Oprah (did you see her Vegan challenge show?!). Either way, we have a cookbook to help you along.  We also have quite a few veggie-centric classes coming up in May, including Culinary Adventure: A Trip to the Mediterranean, The Gluten-Free Gourmet and Meatless Monday.

Also, our favorite nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner will be teaching 100% Nutritionist Approved and you can pick up her fabulous cookbook “The Flexitarian Diet” after class for 15% off.

All month, we will be handing out a favorite Chopping Block “recipe of the day” from previous and upcoming classes along with a coupon for our May cookbook sale. So, get in the kitchen and start cooking!


Holiday Snacks aren’t Naughty

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by Dawn

My classes this month are focused on Healthy Holiday Snacks & Apps. Next time you are asked to bring something to a party, office potluck or family gathering – try one of these fast & vegetarian-friendly recipes. These dishes are delicious so you’ll get plenty of compliments PLUS you will have a clean conscience knowing you are serving food that’s wholesome and nourishing!

Simple Vegan Antipasto Tray

This is the perfect heart-smart substitute for an artery clogging cheese tray! Roasted garlic and roasted tomatoes are plated with seasoned slices of bread and assorted olives. Since it’s not tomato season, roasting cherry tomatoes brings out more natural flavor and cooking them with a little oil also increases their healthy anti-cancer compound called lycopene.

Spiced Chickpea Nuts

This crunchy snack has 3X fewer calories than mixed nuts, is a good source of fiber and contains protein for added fullness. You can season them with your favorite herbs & spices… my favorites are chili powder or a cumin-allspice blend.

Polenta & Spinach Bites

They taste so flavorful you’ll be surprised these bites are made from just a few simple ingredients…olive oil, frozen spinach, garlic, cornmeal, broth and spices. They are gluten-free and vegetarian. Dunk them into hot pasta sauce and leftovers (if there are any) can be enjoyed with eggs for breakfast.

Pumpkin Pie Turnovers

Pumpkin pie is one of the healthiest choices when it comes to seasonal desserts. This version is even more waistline-friendly than the classic since the crust is made from low-calorie wonton wrappers!

Come to class!

Saturday, November 13 at the Lincoln Square location from 10:00-12:30.

Monday, November 29 at the Merchandise Mart location from 6:00-8:30pm.

Sign up at

To learn more about me, visit or follow me on Twitter @djblatner.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, LDN is the resident nutrition expert at The Chopping Block and teaches healthy cooking classes every month. She also works with the Chicago Cubs, USA Today, NBC Chicago and national magazines. In her cooking classes and her book, The Flexitarian Diet, she shows people how to eat a more plant-based diet without giving up meat. Words of wisdom: Be good to your body and it will be good to you.


Recipe Rehab: Comfort Food Makeovers

Monday, October 4th, 2010 by Dawn

Got a craving for something deep-fried, carby or chocolaty? Indulge in the taste you are jonesing for without having to bust out of your skinny jeans! This month’s class is going to give your comfort foods a healthy makeover! Here are the recipes we will be making…

Beer-Battered Zucchini

Crunchy and oh-so-naughty tasting! Get that deep-fried bar food feel by learning how to “fake fry”. The secret: Whole wheat panko breadcrumbs + generous mist of healthy oil + hot oven.



Sea Cakes

Crab cakes are a favorite deep-sea delight. Enjoy a vegan version made with a mild-tasting, mineral-rich seaweed called arame. These cakes are served with a dollop of lemony Old Bay aioli.



Lemon Garlic Pasta with Artichokes

What could be more satisfying than twirling carby linguini strands around your fork! The healthy trick here is the 2:1 ratio of artichokes to pasta…having more antioxidant-rich artichokes (or other veggies) in the bowl and less pasta is the best way to enjoy guilt-free Italian.




Dark Chocolate Covered Figs

Delicate & sweet figs are dunked into pure dark chocolate and sprinkled with walnuts – need I say more?

Click here to sign up for a cooking class at Merchandise Mart on Monday October 25 at 6 PM.

Click here to sign up for a cooking class at Lincoln Square on Saturday October 30 at 10 AM.

For more information visit my website:

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, LDN is the resident nutrition expert at The Chopping Block and teaches healthy cooking classes every month. She also works with the Chicago Cubs, USA Today, NBC Chicago and national magazines. In her cooking classes and her book, The Flexitarian Diet, she shows people how to eat a more plant-based diet without giving up meat. Words of wisdom: Be good to your body and it will be good to you.