In my nutrition business, I get a lot of questions from clients about how to handle the holiday season. My answer, enjoy yourself and don’t feel restricted, but try to make healthy choices wherever possible. Today I have 10 recipes for you for a delicious, healthy Thanksgiving.
Tag Archives | vegetables
5 Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies
Staying healthy during such a busy time can be tricky. One of my suggestions is to eat more veggies. That can sometimes be tricky though, especially with kids. Here are five ways we get in more veggies that are easy, and won’t make you feel like a cow grazing on grass all day. These fit […]
Pizza Spaghetti Squash
My love for spaghetti squash is no secret. I recently wrote a post about how much I love spaghetti squash, how to make it, and how to use it (click here to read the post).
But here’s the thing you have to understand. Spaghetti squash is delicious because it’s spaghetti squash, not because it has the taste and texture of thick, gluten-filled spaghetti noodles you can buy in a pack and boil. You can’t slurp a spaghetti squash “noodle” to romantic music and have it end in a kisss (even if you are a cartoon dog). You can’t twirl spaghetti squash around a fork and you don’t throw spaghetti squash at a wall to check if it’s done. It’s not a replacement. This is something I hear from clients all the time. “It doesn’t feel like spaghetti. It tastes different from spaghetti.” Well… it’s a vegetable. It’s not spaghetti.
I totally understand how people would make this assumption, since so many recipes claim, “It tastes just like spaghetti!” And, “Eat healthy without giving up your favorite foods.” It’s jut not true. Spaghetti squash is delicious and helps me get all my “spaghetti fixes” in because it’s a great way to deliver so many of the flavors we’re used to associating with pasta in a much healthier way, but it is its own food.
Eating healthy does require change, including a change in our taste buds. My dark chocolate doesn’t taste like a maple-glazed donut; but it’s a much healthier way to get a sweet fix in. The point is (yes my rambling does have a point), if you decide to change the way you eat, expect to… change the way you eat. The flavors, textures and ingredients will be very different. That doesn’t mean they won’t be delicous. This is a chance to discover new foods and develop new tastes.
That said, I miss pizza. I know if I eat gluten and cheese my skin will break out for a month, my tummy will rumble (that’s the G-rated version) and my joints will hurt. It’s not worth it. But I love pizza! So I decided to make a new kind of pizza using my beloved spaghetti squash.
The whole family was happy. And since this is a dish you layer in each individual bowl, everyone had what they wanted. My husband and daughter had cheese, and I had olives. We all had different veggies and we were all satisfied.
Start with a bowl of spaghetti squash. To find out how to best cook spaghetti squash, check out my spaghetti squash blog post.
Then top it with ground pork seasoned with classic pizza seasonings. If you’re not a fan of pork, feel free to use chicken, beef or even just diced ham or pepperoni. We are making pizza after all.
After this, everyone can add their favorite pizza ingredients. I added roasted veggies to mine because I LOVE veggies on pizza. This is a part you can totally customize. I used broccoli, bell pepper, and onion. I LOVE broccoli on pizza. This was an option at Mod Pizza and I was hooked. If that’s not your jam, use a different veggie or leave it out.
Then come the olives, the warmed sauce and the optional cheese. I left the cheese off and was still very satisfied.
So enjoy your “pizza.” It won’t taste exactly like pizza. It won’t feel exactly like pizza. But it will be a delicious, healthy dinner that even picky kids will enjoy.
Creamy Vegetable Curry Soup
Fall means pumpkin spice, sweaters, pretending leggings are actually pants and my favorite: SOUP! I love having soup for dinner. It’s warm and comforting, and so easy to make. It’s also a great way to get in some extra veggies.
This soup is on a whole new level of awesome. Roasting veggies is my favorite way to eat them. So roasting veggies and then turning them into a soup is pretty much the perfect combination. And adding curry is the perfect flavor. Even veggie haters will love this soup.
One thing that makes this recipe so easy is my Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is my favorite for soups. I love my slow cooker but something about pressure cooking soup makes it taste and feel like it’s been cooking for hours. I love it! And it only takes 5 minutes once it goes into the Instant Pot. You could even roast the veggies in advance and then add them to the Instant Pot when you get home in the evening. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook the soup in the slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours or boil it on the stove for about 20 minutes. The veggies are already fairly soft, but this makes them soft enough to puree and helps all the flavors blend together.
If you’re like me and eating dairy makes you feel completely awful, you may be missing out on creamy things. The solution: coconut milk. Any soup recipe that calls for heavy cream can be just as (if not more) delicious with coconut milk. It’s extra fitting in this soup as coconut and curry go well together; and not just because they both start with “c.”
You could easily add chicken or a ground meat to this soup to give it extra protein, but I love it plain. Now go put on some leggings and have some soup.
Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower Hummus
I love hummus! I eat it on veggies, on wraps, on hot dogs (way better than ketchup) and on a well-rounded spoon. I decided I wanted to make my own, but I also wanted to up my veggie consumption. Since vegetables are amazing and we all need more, I’m always trying to find a way to get more in my diet. So I decided to replace the beans with roasted cauliflower and see how that worked out for me.
My life will never be the same. It’s DELICIOUS! If you’re not a big fan of cauliflower, give it a try and see what you think. The addition of tahini and the red peppers, plus the smoky flavors from the cumin and paprika cover any cauliflower taste and make this amazing! I mostly use this as a vegetable dip for broccoli and carrots, upping my veggie intake even more. This is also delicious with crackers or plantain chips. If you’re sensitive to tahini, cashew butter works as well, but the tahini gives it a bit more flavor. If I use cashew butter, I sometimes add a bit more cumin and paprika.
I’m also willing to make this homemade “hummus” because it’s super easy to make, freezes well, and lasts longer in the fridge than traditional hummus. Because I line my sheet pan with parchment paper, the only big dish I have to clean is the food processor bowl.
I just throw it all in together to mix, so there is no order to the ingredients. The only part that takes effort (if you can even call it effort) is scraping down the sides of the food processor bowl between blending. If you don’t have a food processor, feel free to use a blender. Just make sure to continue to scrape down the sides.
I’m so happy with the results, I plan to change up the flavors and see what else I can come up with. Stay tuned!
How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally
We work really hard to avoid artificial ingredients in our home, including artificial coloring. So when it comes to Easter, I feel awful taking our beautiful eggs and smothering them in red 40. We decided to try a natural approach. Not only did it work but it was way more fun than dropping pellets in […]
Two Weeks of Healthy School Lunches
Packing school lunches for kids 5-days a week, it’s easy to get burned out and run out of ideas. By Friday I kind of just want to fill each section of their lunch boxes with cheerios and send them a milk chug and a spoon. So to make your life and mine easier, here are […]
Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes
Tonight on the menu in our house was shepherd’s pie. I always try to make dinner as easy as possible, but sometimes even that’s more effort than I feel like giving after a day of being a mom.. The idea of using a pan to cook the meat, two more to cook potatoes (we have to make sweet and regular potatoes in our house because everyone likes something different), and two pans to bake the pies (again for different potatoes) made me want to order a pizza.
Then I thought, “what if I just put the meat on top of a baked potato? Wouldn’t that taste the same?” The answer: YES! It does. I made the potatoes on one foil-lined pan that didn’t need to be washed. I didn’t have to wash a potato masher, and I didn’t have to wash the pans I’d have to use to bake the pies. I ended up washing one skillet. SUCCESS!
I used a lot of vegetables in this dish because I’m always trying to cram in more vegetables. This dish is a perfect way to add vegetables because once it all simmers in the sauce, your kids won’t even notice all the veggies. Mine didn’t!
I had to take a picture of this because it’s so beautiful! When they say, “eat all the colors of the rainbow everyday,” this is a great start.
I topped my husband’s and daughter’s servings with some grass-fed, grated cheese. My daughter hasn’t eaten dinner that fast in a long time. We cook our sweet potatoes using this method from empowered sustenance (click here for link). I always add a russet potato to the pan for my husband and it comes out just as perfectly as the sweet potatoes.
15 Minute Smoky BBQ Stir Fry
My favorite lunch is a salad. Not a wussy salad with veggies only and dressing on the side. I’m talking a salad loaded with veggies but also avocado and a nice , filling protein. YUM! But this week in Denver, we got snow. Cold, wet snow. So when it came time for lunch yesterday, I wanted something warm that didn’t take a ton of time or dishes. I decided on a stir fry.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love a to make stir frys. It’s a great way to mix together a ton of leftovers and have a great, filling meal. Yesterday my leftover addition was ribs. The day before I made ribs by covering rib meat in Diane Sanfilippo’s Smoky Spice blend (click here for recipe), topping them with my N0-Sugar BBQ Sauce (click here for recipe) and cooked them in my slow cooker on low for 8 hours. They were AMAZING!
So for my stir fly, I stripped some meat off the bones, mixed it with some veggies, a little more smoky spice blend and some coconut aminos. It was so warm and delicous! Plus with all those veggies it was loaded with great nutrients. I’ve listed the veggies I used but feel free to customize this how you like. You really can’t mess it up!
One Pan Autumn Chicken and Veggie Dinner
I recently got a new set of knives. I didn’t exactly need them, but they were at Costco and they came in different colors. They were so pretty I couldn’t resist. I’m kind of like a fish drawn to shiny things. I brought my lovely knives home and unpacked them (which was quite an accomplishment since the package was pretty much welded together) and selected which knife to use based on color. The massacre began when I was slicing an onion. My new, very sharp knife slipped and I cut my pointer and middle finger. Luckily we have a rather extensive collection of Star Wars band-aids, so I wrapped up my hands and went back to making dinner. The next cut was to my knuckle. I’m still not totally sure how that one happened, but there it was. Another R2D2 bandaid and I was set to go.
A few days later I was making something with coconut milk and cut my other knuckle on the can. It’s been so bad lately that my 8-year-old who is as oblivious to what’s going on around him as any 8-year-old said, “Mom. Why do you keep cutting your hands? Maybe you shouldn’t use knives anymore.” Seriously! Am I the only one who is a total spaz in the kitchen? Am I the only one who goes through more band-aids than their children?
To make my story relevant, I have a recipe for you that requires a lot of chopping. One thing it doesn’t require though is a lot of is dishes. I wanted a complete meat and veggie meal that could be made with one pan. Done!
Not only does this dish come together in one pan, but it’s a savory dish that has all the delicious flavors of fall.
To make things easier, chop all your veggies and add them to a large plastic bag with the oil, salt and pepper. Then shake it up to coat the veggies.
Here’s where the fall flavors come in. We get to make a fabulous spice blend that has slightly sweet flavors like cinnamon and orange, and warm flavors like paprika and cumin.
Using the same bag you tossed the veggies in, toss some chicken thighs with the seasoning mix. Remember that commercial back in the 80’s/90’s with the little girl who helped make the chicken? “It’s shake and bake and I helped.” Funny. I don’t remember freshman science, but I remember that commercial. That’s basically what we’re going to do here.
So if the veggies and chicken covered in delicious flavors isn’t enough, we up the flavor with the ingredient that improves anything: Bacon! I ended up using 8 slices of bacon to wrap all 6 thighs but use however many you need/want based on the size of thighs you have.
The chicken goes on the same pan as the veggies and it all goes in the oven together.
I like to eat mine over spinach, but my husband thinks that’s a terrible idea. You choose.
However you eat it, be careful cutting those veggies.