A Recipe for a Healthier Louisiana – 2,000 Nutritious Calories a Day

Not all calories are created equal. Some are nutrient rich. Others are “empty” calories. At LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Professor Catherine Champagne, Ph.D., R.D., and Director of the Metabolic Kitchen Renee Puyau, R.D., L.D.N., have prepared a sample menu with recipes to help you visualize how 2,000 healthy calories can be consumed in a typical day.

Catherine Champagne, Ph.D., R.D.

Renee Puyau,
R.D., L.D.N.

U.S. News & World Report in 2018 voted the DASH diet as No. 1 in best diet overall for the eighth year.


CALORIES BREAKFAST – 438 Calories Total
102 Egg, scrambled (1 large egg)
191 Raisin Bran (1 cup)
102 Milk, low fat (8 fl oz)
42 Blueberries (1/2 cup)


CALORIES SNACK – 233 Calories Total
208 Hummus (1/2 cup)
8 Cucumber slices (1/2 cup)
18 Carrots, baby (5 medium)


CALORIES LUNCH – 585 Calories Total: Turkey Roll-up
29 Sliced turkey (1 oz)
25 Low-fat Swiss cheese (1/2 oz)
4 Shredded romaine lettuce (1/2 cup)
13 Shredded carrots (1/4 cup)
8 Diced tomatoes (1/4 cup)
8 Cucumber slices (1/2 cup)
145 Ranch dressing (2 tbsp)
129 Tortilla, whole wheat (about 1.7 oz size)
152 Whole wheat pretzels (1.5 oz)
72 Apple, medium


CALORIES DINNER – 752 Calories Total
128 Catfish fillet, blackened (3 oz)*
Summer veggie pasta: *
174 Whole wheat pasta (1 cup)
14 Zucchini squash (1/2-inch pieces)
27 Tomatoes, cherry (1 cup)
17 Eggplant, cooked (1/2 cup)
90 Olive oil (3/4 tbsp)
62 Parmesan cheese (3 tbsp)
Yogurt parfait
104 Yogurt, vanilla, low fat (1/2 cup)
24 Strawberries, fresh (1/2 cup)
112 Dinner roll, whole wheat, medium (1.5 oz)


The number of daily servings in a group may vary depending on individual caloric needs.

Pennington Biomedical helped develop the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which was created through a federally funded research trial at four premier sites in the United States. The diet is based on 2,000 calories per day. The DASH eating plan results were so significant for reducing blood pressure, that it became the main diet promoted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

A Louisiana favorite doesn’t have to be fried.


  • 3 oz catfish filet
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp seasoning blend (we used Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic Seasoning Blend)
  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Place the catfish filet onto a sheet pan.
  • Rub the filet with olive oil and seasoning blend, and bake it for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Pairs flavor with nutrients


  • 1  1/2 – 2 pounds raw zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 1  1/2 pounds raw eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta, uncooked

  • 3 pounds raw cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1  3/4 cups shredded parmesan cheese

  • Seasoning salt or salt-free seasoning and garlic powder to taste

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

  • Spread the zucchini and eggplant on a sheet pan in an even layer, drizzle about half of the olive oil over the veggies, and sprinkle with seasoning salt (or salt free seasoning blend), and garlic powder.

  • Roast the zucchini and eggplant in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until soft and browned. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  • Add the pasta to the pot and boil until al dente.

  • Drain and rinse the pasta, and add it to a large bowl.

  • When the veggies are finished roasting, remove them from the oven and add them to the bowl with the pasta, along with the cherry tomatoes.

  • Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

  • Toss everything together until combined.

2019-05-10T18:13:10+00:00 May 15th, 2018|