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Owner, chef at Robert's Eatery and Bakeshop offers tips for healthier living

By Jessica Rodrigo
Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
Updated Jan. 6, 2013 at 7:07 p.m.

When Robert Rodriguez was diagnosed with diabetes, he started researching how to eat and live healthier. Rodriguez talks at his store about how he opened Robert's Eatery and Bakeshop in 2011 to offer diners in the Golden Crescent a better option than fried or fast food.

tri-colored pasta with grilled chicken

•  5.3 pounds of chicken breast, grilled and diced

• 6 oz. organic mixed greens

• 6 cherry tomatoes

• 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced

• 4 oz. low-fat Mozzarella cheese

• 1/2 cup olive oil

• 1 (16-oz.) bag tri-colored pasta

To prepare: Boil tri-colored pasta in water with a pinch of kosher salt and 1/2 cup olive oil for four minutes. Drain and drop into ice-cold water until cool. Then drain and set aside.

For presentation: Arrange mixed greens on plate, top with 1/2 cup of tri-colored pasta, sun-dried and cherry tomatoes and diced grilled chicken breast. Finish with Mozzarella cheese

and 4 oz. of dressing (see recipe below).

• 1/2 cup of olive oil

• 4 sun-dried tomatoes, pureed

• 1 Tbsp. fine chopped garlic

• Pinch of kosher salt

• Pinch white pepper

• 2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Combine ingredients in blender and puree.

Nutritional value

Tri-colored pasta with grilled chicken

•  Calories - 290

•  Carbs - 27g

•  Fiber - 3g

•  Sugar - 10g

• Protein - 20

• Total fat - 12g

When Robert Rodriguez was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few years ago, it hit close to home. He and his wife, Monica, have family who have been similarly diagnosed and others who have had feet amputated because of serious complications.

"I really got scared," he said. Diabetes is "something really scary."

His fear drove him to find ways to get healthier. Because there is no cure for diabetes, he said it's important to eat healthier. Rodriguez started researching ways to eat better by taking cooking classes.

As part of his move toward healthier living, he opened Robert's Eatery and Bakeshop in 2011 and has been building a reputation for healthy food in Victoria ever since.

He says it's not hard to cook healthy dishes, either. With the accessibility of recipes online and cookbooks at stores and libraries, he said, countless resources are available for people looking to cook for themselves.

Some of his go-to sites include and the Food Network website. He said a lot of recipes nowadays offer healthier versions, which can include different cooking techniques such as baking, sauteing, grilling and blanching.

He shared a recipe for a mixed greens salad with Golden Crescent Magazine that includes a combination of carbohydrates, fiber and proteins.

"It's a really good dish to eat in the evenings, mainly because a lot of people tend to eat a lot of red meat, but I think pasta helps keep you fuller longer," he said.

Since he started eating healthy - and walking three miles three times a week with Monica - Rodriguez has lost more than 50 pounds. His most important tip is to be aware of a dish's sugar and nutritional content. There are always substitutions to make recipes healthier, he said, such as brown rice, fresh veggies, alternative sweeteners, etc.



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