Getting to Know Us: Dana White

by in Uncategorized, January 13, 2009


Some folks have been asking to know more about the voices of Healthy Eats. You can see Dana and Toby’s official credentials here, but for a glimpse into their food lives and loves, they’ve filled out a fun quiz.

First up, Dana Angelo White, dietitian and fitness extraordinaire…

You’re stranded on a desert island. What five food items do you hope are on hand?
In no particular order:
• Lemons – the juice and zest are perfect for so many things
• Brown Rice Pasta – a delicious whole grain pasta, I eat it at least once a week
• Natural peanut butter – all I want in my peanut butter is peanuts and salt, so delicious!
• Nectarines – a fruit I could never get sick of
• Any green vegetable – I eat what ever is in season so I would take whatever I could get

What’s your guiltiest indulgence?
Ice cream – I paid my way through private school and college working at Ashley’s Ice Cream in Connecticut. The most amazing homemade ice cream on the planet! I never make a trip to my hometown without picking some up.

What dish do you love to cook?
Stir-fry gets made quite often in our house. It’s so quick, easy and delicious. Sometimes with shrimp, sometimes with roasted tofu and whatever vegetables I have in the fridge.

What food do you always bring to a potluck party?
Ina Garten’s Szechuan Noodles

What recipe does everyone always ask you for?
My banana chocolate chip muffins. Made with soy milk, bananas, apple butter, maple syrup and just the right amount of chocolate chips, they are so yummy and good for you.

If you could have dinner with three people (from the past or present), who would they be?
1. Michael Pollan
2. Julia Child
3. Peyton Manning (quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts)

What’s one food you just can’t stand?
Processed meats – bologna, SPAM, olive loaf – yuck!

What ice cream flavor would you be?
Banana Oreo – a favorite creation from my ice cream-making days

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget or appliance?
Gadget = a microplane – perfect for grating citrus zest, cheese, garlic, nutmeg or chocolate
Appliance = a good food processor – they can chop, slice, puree. You can make everything from pesto to coleslaw to pie dough.

Favorite fruit: a three-way tie between nectarines, blood oranges and tomatoes (yes, tomatoes are a fruit)
Favorite veggie: Sweet potatoes – roasted with olive oil salt and pepper
Favorite kid-friendly dish: Mac & cheese – enough said
Favorite cookbook: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. This is the first of six by Ina Garten; they are all amazing, but if I had to pick one, this would be it.

Mexican or Italian?
It’s a tough call and my grandparent’s Italian cooking is hard to beat. But…. I would have to go with Mexican. I love cooking fresh Mexican food, lots of chilies and avocado. Fish tacos with guacamole and a margarita can’t be beat!

PB&J sandwich or grilled cheese?
PB&J – HUGE FAN! I love it for a meal or a snack. Natural peanut butter, whole wheat bread and any flavor natural fruit spread – it’s the perfect food.

You get one food-related wish – what would it be?
To have California produce on the East Coast where I live.

[Ed. Note: the picture above is Dana at a California vineyard; she says, "I look at these in the winter and get happy immediately."]

Learn more about Healthy Eats’ other expert, Toby Amidor »

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Comments (43)

  1. Dana White says:

    Here you go Rachel -

    Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

    MAKES 16 LARGE MUFFINS OR 36 MINI MUFFINS

    – Ingredients:

    ¾ cup maple syrup
    ¼ cup honey
    2 ripe bananas, mashed
    1 tsp cinnamon
    ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    ¼ cup canola oil
    ¼ cup apple butter
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1 cup unsweetened soymilk
    2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp kosher salt
    1 cup dark chocolate chips

    – Directions:

    1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or coat with non-stick spray.

    2. In a large saucepan, combine maple syrup, honey, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, canola oil, apple butter, vanilla and soymilk. Heat over low heat for 2-3 minutes; whisk to combine- set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.

    3. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda). Set aside.

    4. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Make sure batter has cooled, and then stir in half of the chocolate chips.

    5. Scoop batter into muffin tins, sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top of each muffin.

    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

    Nutrition Info (1 large muffin)
    Calories: 216; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Carbohydrate: 39g Fiber: 2g; Protein: 3g

  2. Toby Amidor says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Dana’s muffins are the best in the world- they are so delicious, healthy and moist. She makes them for me on my birthday and holidays! I am very lucky:)

  3. Julie says:

    I know right! They sound soooo good!

  4. Dana, the muffin recipe you left for Rachel sounds so good I’m going to have to ask my clients to try it at the next open house I host for them. I hope you don’t mind sharing it. Thku

  5. Katie says:

    Dear Dana,
    your recipes and positive attitude toward healthy living has truely inspired me to live a healthier life.
    Thank You

  6. Kristen Gleason says:

    Dana, I just saw your recipes on the Food Network and will try them out – they sound great! Just curious if you have a healthy chili recipe that you can share? Thanks.

  7. Christine Leary says:

    I just logged on Food Network to get a recipe I saw and watched your videos! I didn’t even know about you and am so glad I watched them! I printed every recipe! Sounds great and I look forward to trying them and looking for more from you.

  8. Logan says:

    Hey Dana, i’m new to the healthy eats portion of the Food Network, but I have a question. What is your opinion of lean pockets? Should I stay away from these since they’re processed?

    Thanks@!

  9. Dana White says:

    Hi Logan-
    Most frozen ready-to-eat foods are high in sodium and other preservatives. Why not try making your own “pocket” by wrapping up some of your favorite ingredients in a flour tortilla – I like to do with with fresh vegetables and some low fat cheese. Just pop in the microwave for a few seconds and you’ll be good to go!

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