Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I realize I should have posted this pre-Thanksgiving but if you are like me and continue eating pumpkin through the rest of winter, you can enjoy this recipe for the rest of the holiday season!

We traveled to Jacksonville, FL for Thanksgiving this year to spend the holiday with my in-laws. While everyone is very supportive of my dairy allergy and choice to not eat meat, I hate to ask for dishes to be altered – it makes me feel too high maintenance. While we had plenty of dairy free side dishes, I didn’t want to feel left out during appetizers and dessert. In addition to packing some pistachio stuffed dates and Treeline cheese spreads, I thought I’d make a dairy free pumpkin pie. In my searches I continually saw tofu as an ingredient. While I hated it just a couple of short years ago, I have grown to love tofu and am better at cooking it on my own but, using it in desserts has never worked well for me. So, I scrapped any recipes I had found and threw together a cashew base and sweetened with dates with a little cocoa added in for fun! Continue reading

Warm Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

Warm kale salads are my fave. I get into patterns where I want to eat this salad every day for weeks so I am perplexed as to why I have not yet posted it. Better late than never to share with the world, I suppose! While this salad started out dressed with both tahini and sriracha, I made it a little more “clean” by adding in cayenne and ginger with the tahini instead of sriracha. Sometimes I mix it up but as I am posting this before the “jump start” week for the new 13 week wellness program pilot at the NAC, I went with this version since sriracha always has added sugar and xanthan gum (even if you choose Organicville or Trader Joe’s brands).

Warm Kale and Butternut Squash Salad (GF, V, DF)

Ingredients (for one serving):

1.5 C chopped Kale (any variety)
.5 C diced butternut squash (pre-cooked)
1/4 C diced onion
2 teaspoons sesame tahini
Ground black pepper, ground ginger and cayenne powder to taste
1 teaspoon hemp seeds

Directions:

Heat a small pan over low-medium
Add diced onion and cover 1-2 minutes
Add a splash of water to keep onion from sticking, stir.
Add kale and butternut squash as well as 1-2 tbsp of water and cover immediately. The steam from the water should keep contents from sticking and quickly soften the kale without over-cooking.
After 1-2 minutes, remove cover, sprinkle with black pepper, ginger and cayenne.
Transfer contents to a small serving bowl and drizzle tahini over top.
Sprinkle hemp seeds over the salad and serve!

Kale never gets old for me – please share your favorite way to enjoy this nutrient packed “superfood”!

Spelt and Oat Pumpkin Muffins

Happy Autumn! While I waited until it was truly fall in late September to start enjoying fall foods, I am completely embracing and enjoying fall tastes with apples, winter squash, and of course pumpkin. I do have to say though, that while at Trader Joe’s last week, the amount of processed pumpkin foods on every end cap and stand in the store was scarier than anything I will encounter on Halloween.

Anyway, I am so excited to share this recipe! While I love my gluten free almond meal pumpkin muffins, the texture of these new ones really hit the spot with Sunday brunch this past week. I actually adapted it from a pumpkin cookie recipe and originally intended to put chocolate chips and nuts inside the batter but was distracted with other food prep. I am happy I forgot because the drizzled chocolate and crushed maple chia nuts on top add a little crunch to the light, fluffy and tender  texture of this delicious pumpkin spice muffin.

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Hungryroot Plant Based Meal Delivery – Review and Discount Codea

Disclosure:  I received free products from hungry root and have received compensation for services. As always, all opinions stated are my own.

*Update 3/19/19: hungryroot has changed their format since this post was written. Click for $25 off of your first 2 orders.

After returning from California, I immediately traveled to CT for a friend’s wedding and didn’t arrive back home in PA until late Sunday night. We had a few odds and ends to eat on Monday and I was thrilled when a client rescheduled on Tuesday so that I could make it to the grocery store. While I could have made a meal, I was overjoyed when this package was on my doorstep when I got home from shopping!

 

What is Hungryroot?

Hungry root is a new whole foods meal delivery company. The catch is that the meals still need to be prepared… but it only take 7 minutes (if that)! Root vegetables (hence the name) are the base of the meal and you add in the plant based sauces, seasonings and toppings that come with the dish. In just 5 minutes in a pan or microwave, dinner is ready. The meals are chef designed and are all under 500 calories counting the chicken if you order it too. If not, you can add in your own shrimp, egg, or tofu, which is what I plan to do when I order more in the future! The meals are all non-GMO and gluten free as well.

I will be honest that when I opened the packages I thought the small containers of sauces and toppings seemed small. By the end I learned you can’t let the packaging fool you! Hungryroot had offered to send me two meals to try so that I could see if it was something I wanted to suggest or recommend to those I deliver nutrition information to {like you on this blog 😉 }. I don’t remember who chose what but between Tim and I we went with turnip noodles and pesto as well as carrot noodles and a sriracha peanut sauce. While all meals come without chicken to begin, you can add free range chicken when ordering. I did not eat the chicken but ordered it so that Tim could try for my poultry eating clientele and followers.

For our trial, I opened the packages, heated up a dash of avocado oil in a pan, and added the root veggies. I stirred and two minutes later added the other ingredients.

did screw up with the carrot dish though and forgot to add the homemade chimichurri while cooking, so I had to stir it in at the end. Can’t say it would have tasted any different if I added it sooner but it did contribute to how pretty the dish looked as you can see below!

First, pictured below is the turnip noodles with toasted walnut pesto, shredded carrots and chopped walnuts. So pretty!

The pesto was the perfect blend of sweet with a little bite of basil/garlic spice. The turnips were savory and had a hearty texture which I liked. Admittedly this is my first time having turnip noodles – total win! Even though the noodles didn’t look heavily coated with the sauce the flavor was powerful but not overpowering.

Here we have the carrot noodle dish with homemade sriracha peanut sauce and a peanut, cilantro, mint & lime chimichurri and pickled daikon radish. It sounds like it belongs on a high quality restaurant menu and tastes like it too!


T
he carrot noodles had a more fine texture than the turnips but I liked them just the same. I LOVE sriracha and can put it on anything so I knew I would like the sauce. However, this sauce gave a little bit of heat but had so many other great flavors balancing it out too. I couldn’t taste the mint much in the chimichurri but there was a slight sweetness that complimented the sriracha sauce well.

Tim’s was impressed with the chicken. He said it was crispy on the outside but tender inside, with a texture and taste as if it was just grilled. As mentioned above, you can easily cook and egg or some shrimp in the time the noodles are cooking and top with them for protein. I think tofu would also be good but since I like it well done, would take more time.

SO overall, we were impressed by Hungryroot. I was definitely full and I didn’t eat any of the chicken and also didn’t add another protein since I had a late afternoon snack. The flavor was amazing and the food was REAL! I recommend having these meals on hand when you know there is a busy week ahead, or even to take to work once in a while since they are microwavable too. If you are using a meal delivery system like Nutri-systems, go to their website and read your ingredient lists. Compare them to those on the Hungryroot site. You’ll be getting much better quality food and nutrition with this type of meal and you will be taking a small amount of time to prep the food. I think this is where most meal delivery programs go wrong. You cannot promote weight loss and healthy living in a sustainable way unless the person is making the effort to prepare a little and actually change their environment, habits and lifestyle.

Want to try Hungryroot yourself? Head over to their website and enter the code Kelly20 for 20% off your purchase. It is not a first time only code so you can keep using it for future purchases too.  I plan to get 20% off of the beet and sweet potato noodle dishes next – I’ll let you know how they are over on insta! Let me know how you like the meals too!!

Purple Power Smoothie

Shhhhh, don’t tell your kids… There’s a full serving of mixed greens in this post-exercise purple powerhouse!

Or you can tell them after. I’m not usually into “hiding” veggies and healthy ingredients in dishes because I want kids to learn to enjoy and want these foods. Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oats

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. But most products and recipes are loaded with tons of sugar, meaning you feel you can’t have this pair any old day. Not with this recipe! Nutritious, delicious and super filling, this oatmeal has no added sugar with all the flavor 🙂 And let me tell you, it was perfect this morning to warm me up on a snow day! As most people know, I am not a big supplement fan but the Garden of Life brand Raw protein is an excellent option every so often when you need a little boost in a carbohydrate dense meal for balance or after a workout. Another great protein is Manitoba Harvest Brand’s new Hemp Pro protein powders. Enjoy this healthy breakfast that seems like a treat 🙂 – there is even a slow cooker option if you think you don’t have the time!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal (V, GF, DF)

Ingredients for 1 serving:


Just double, triple, quadruple as needed!

1/2 cup oats (40 g)
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 scoop Garden of Life Raw protein (original)
1.5 tsp cacao powder
Optional: 1/2 tsp maca root powder
Optional: 1.5 tsp unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 banana, sliced

Directions:
-In a small saucepan, boil 6-7 ounces water (or non dairy milk)
-Add the oats and chia seeds at once and reduce heat to simmer
-Stir frequently to prevent sticking – quick oats should thicken within 2 minutes and rolled oats within 5
-Add the protein, cacao, maca, vanilla and stir well
-Pour into serving bowl and top with peanut butter, sliced banana, and coconut
Slow Cooker Version:
-Quadruple above recipe
-Use steel cut oats instead of rolled or quick oats
-Add all ingredients except banana and coconut to glass bowl that will fit into slow cooker basin
-Place bowl in slow cooker, fill slow cooker with water up to 1 inch below top of bowl
-Set on low for 6-8 hours, wake up and enjoy!

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 395
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 49 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sugar: 9 g
Protein: 24 g

Sodium: 76 mg 5 % Potassium: 375 mg 8 %

Thiamin: 4 %         Riboflavin: 6 %    Niacin: 20 %
Vitamin B6: 21 %    Folate: 7 %
Vitamin C: 7 %        Vitamin E: 10 %    Vitamin A: 1%
Calcium: 4 %         Iron: 37 %             Zinc: 12 %
Magnesium: 21 %   Phosphorus: 18 %

Omega 3: .65 grams (recommended intakes 1.1-1.6g/day)

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns

Easy, Creamy, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus has been super popular for years and I don’t see it going away anytime soon! While it is a healthful snack or spread, you are spending way too much money on it! This recipe can give you 4 times what you’ll get in a store bought container for a lower cost and with a better, fresher taste. Even if you think you can’t cook, it is so easy that I promise you can do this! Since red pepper is one of the most popular flavors, I figured it was a perfect one to post.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (GF, V, DF)

Ingredients :

2/3 C Roasted red peppers (I buy organic jarred or roast my own!)
1.5 cans or 3 cups soaked garbanzo beans
1.5 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic
Black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup warm water

*Purchasing tip: If I do purchase canned, I buy beans at Trader Joe’s because they do not contain BPA. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the carcinogenic chemical BPA. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, click here for brands that are BPA free.

Directions:
-Add all ingredients except the water to your food processor.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // Eatreallivewell.com

-Pulse for 30-60 seconds. If the mixture is very thick and difficult to blend, add 1/8 cup of water. If you use canned beans, you are less likely to need to add the water. Pulse for another 30-60 seconds and then gauge if you think you need the remainder of the water.
-Pulse an additional minute or until mixture is very creamy.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // Eatreallivewell.com
-Add to a serving dish or pour into a storage container and enjoy within a week!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // Eatreallivewell.comShown above on the right with black bean dip on the top and cashew cheese dip on the bottom. Who doesn’t love a variety of dips for your veggies?! Looking for another fun dip? Try my spicy sweet potato hummus or my dairy free creamy spinach & artichoke dip.

Since my home only consists of myself and my husband, I sometimes will freeze half for next week if we won’t be having anyone over. Just throw it in the fridge a day before you want to eat it 🙂

Real Ingredients with Real Benefits:

Garbanzo Beans, aka “chickpeas”, contain protein, fiber, manganese, folate and even some iron.

Tahini which is a paste made from sesame seeds, is an ingredient in the hummus you buy at the grocery store that you maybe never knew was in there. It provides great flavor but also gives you some protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and plant sterols. Vitamins and minerals in tahini include thiamin (a B vitamin), vitamin E, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc.

Red Bell Peppers provide you with tons of Vitamin C (even more per serving than citrus!), lots of Vitamin A and fiber as well as Vitamin E, B6 and potassium. Phytochemicals include lycopene (associated with reduced risk for prostate cancer & heart disease) and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for eye and cardiovascular health.

Garlic provides the phytochemical allicin and sulfides which are linked to improved immunity and respiratory health and act as antibacterial agents.

Too busy? What a Dietitian Eats with No Time and an Empty Fridge

Too busy to make healthy meals & exercise?

Suggested activity:
Make a list of things more important to you
than your health and the health of your family.

Have you been using the “I’m too busy” excuse a lot lately? I could be too… but I know I would feel more stressed and even more tired if I was eating poorly and not making time to exercise. In this post I want to help you tackle 2 barriers to healthy eating: busy schedules and running out of fresh food (cause you’re too busy to get to the store, of course).

I know you’re all busy right now… so am I. I’m actually writing this post at 9:00 PM on the train ride home from a Junior League of Philadelphia meeting in the city (yay for multitasking). Between teaching, advising, office hours with students, meeting with clients, grading diet analysis projects, holiday volunteer work, exercise and attempting to relax, it can seem there isn’t much time to cook healthy meals.  But then I remember my slow cooker!

This past weekend after traveling to New England for the Thanksgiving holiday, I didn’t return home until Sunday evening. This meant I had no time to prep food for the week and for Monday and Tuesday, Tim and I were relying on pantry and frozen items before I could make it to the grocery store later today. For us, because we stock our pantry & freezer with the right things, this doesn’t mean microwave meals and take out! We use the ingredients at hand and pull out the trusty slow cooker. It’s one of my best friends during the holidays and when I have an overly busy week. Here is a sample of how it was used to make healthy meals Monday and Tuesday, as well as other ideas when your pantry is looking bare and you’re pressed for time.

Monday & Tuesday breakfast: Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats with Pumpkin and Peanut Butter.

Simply add the following ingredients to the slow cooker and set on low for 6 hours:

1 cup of steel cut oats (aka old fashioned oats-rolled/quick won’t work)
4 cups non-dairy milk or water
1 can puréed pumpkin
6 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)
Optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Tip: less will stick to the sides if you put all ingredients in a glass bowl and fill the crockpot up to 1 inch below the top of the bowl.

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Monday lunch: Lentil Wrap

Leftover lentils were in the freezer that I thawed overnight with some frozen spinach. I added some seasoning (garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper) and put them in an ezekiel brand tortilla wrap for lunch and added an apple and some carrots as snacks (they keep in the fridge for a while).

Monday Snack: Smoothie

Frozen banana, and frozen strawberry/mango/pineapple mixture with a ½ cup of almond milk

Monday dinner: Pasta & Veggies

I am loving black bean pasta right now! If you haven’t seen it yet, I first found it at Organnons on Durham road in Wrightstown, but have since seen it at Giant and recently got a bulk package at Costco! It is a great pasta replacement with the same calories as normal pasta but 25 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber, many minerals, and one ingredient: black beans. I threw sauce together with garlic, a large can of organic diced tomatoes*, a can of tomato paste*, and dried basil, oregano and crushed red pepper. I sautéed up some frozen kale and broccoli and there you have a balanced dinner!
*When buying canned tomatoes I choose Muir Glen or Trader Joe’s as they are not lined with BPA. Low sodium is best!

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Tuesday lunch: leftover black bean pasta & veggies

Tuesday Snacks: Apple, Roasted Soy Nuts, Clementine

Tuesday dinner (and lunch today!): Slow-Cooker 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili (modified from my original recipe).

My husband and I always have dried beans and lentils on hand. They are less expensive and don’t have tons of sodium, or a risk of BPA lining the cans. When I woke up in the morning I boiled 1 cup each of dried black, pinto, and kidney beans and let them sit while I got ready. Before leaving for work I threw the following in the crockpot and set on low for 8 hours.

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chopped onion
Beans (drained)
½ – 1 additional cups water
1 large can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup frozen corn
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp: oregano, cumin, black pepper

When I got home I added half a bag of frozen spinach, stirred and it was ready for dinner!

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If you don’t have one, a slow cooker is a great addition to your Christmas list… or something to treat yourself to while you are shopping for everyone else 🙂

Still nervous to try one? Here are 7 answers to common slow cooker questions from Real Simple Magazine!
http://www.realsimple.com/m/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/cooking/slow-cooker-tips

What are your favorite healthy recipes when your low on time and resources? I am always looking for new ideas!

Spiced Butternut Squash and Leek Soup (w/ roasted seeds and baked beet chips)

I love pumpkin as my previous couple of posts have shown, but I think I like another source of carotenoids even more. I’m not talking about sweet potatoes, even though I love those year round too, I am talking about butternut squash! It is great roasted because you can eat it by itself, on a salad, on pizza, or even in an omelet, but soup just hits the spot as the weather gets cooler. Many butternut squash soups are absolutely filled with cream, butter, salt, more cream and more salt. Not only are those ingredients that anyone should be limiting in their diet, but they also totally take away from butternut squash’s already great flavor! In this recipe, I compliment that great flavor with garlic, leeks and rosemary. The last time I made the soup , I thought to add freshly baked beet chips and I must say I have to give myself a pat on the back! The sweet yet earthy flavors of the chips were a perfect compliment and added great texture too!

spiced butternut squash leek soup

Continue reading

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

 

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I love all of the seasons, but you really cannot beat the foods in season in the fall. I likely will have many more pumpkin and squash based recipes in the coming months because there are just so many yummy things to do with those ingredients! As food companies and coffee shops are flooding the market with tons of artificial pumpkin spice “foods” and beverages, I love being able to showcase the much more satisfying flavors of real pumpkin and real spice! Today, I’m highlighting my favorite breakfast food {oatmeal} with a quick recipe that has a kick of pumpkin spice! I am posting the quick oats, single serve version here now plan to post a food prep steel cut slow cooker version in the next couple of weeks too, so stay tuned. Even though the ingredients below are for one serving, you can easily multiply each ingredient by the number of servings you need.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal (V, GF, DF)

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Ingredients for 1 serving:

1 Cup unsweetened organic soymilk (or other milk or water)
1/2 c (40 g) organic rolled or quick oats (purchase certified gluten free if you have celiac)
1 teaspoon non GMO chia seeds (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 c pureed organic pumpkin (from home baked or canned*)
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix (I use trader joe’s mix)
1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon cacao nibs or 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon almond butter, other nut butter, or 2 tbsp chopped nuts

*Purchasing tip: If I do purchase canned, I buy beans at Trader Joe’s because they do not contain BPA. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the carcinogenic chemical BPA. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, click here for brands that are BPA free.
Directions:
-In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup of soymilk (or other milk or water)
-Add the oats and chia seeds at once and reduce heat to simmer
-Stir frequently to prevent sticking – quick oats should thicken within 2 minutes and rolled oats within 5
-Add the pumpkin puree and spices, stir well, and turn off burner
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-Add in your almond butter (or any nut butter) and cacao nibs
-Again, stir well, and EAT!IMG_5967.JPG

 

This makes a quick, easy and filling breakfast any day of the week, but can also be a great night time snack for an athlete looking to refuel and top off carbohydrate stores for training or competition. Combined, the oats, soy milk, and almond butter provide 19 grams of protein to boost the repair process when your body is recovering at night.

Check out my other suggestions for preparing oats here!

Nutrition information per serving (using soymilk, cacao & almond butter):
Calories: 370
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 42 g
Fiber: 13 g
Sugar: 2 g
Protein: 19 g

Sodium: 30 mg 1 % Potassium: 575 mg 12 %

Thiamin: 10 %         Riboflavin: 27 %    Niacin: 8 %
Vitamin B6: 12 %    Folate: 11 %
Vitamin C: 5 %        Vitamin E: 30 %    Vitamin A: 17%
Calcium: 13 %         Iron: 45 %             Zinc: 15 %
Magnesium: 28 %   Phosphorus: 22 %

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns