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This cheesy garlic chicken and spinach spaghetti squash is a creamy and delicious meal for any day of the week! A fun and nutritious way to get your veggies in and satisfy your belly!

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It’s time for The Recipe ReDux! This month’s theme is:

“Spring Clean Your Kitchen: Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new. Show us how you reduce food waste by being resourceful!”

I am all about cleaning up the kitchen and using forgotten ingredients before they go bad.  I just happened to have a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter waiting to be used for the past week or two. This is the perfect reason to use it!

I also always try to have some greens in leafy greens in the fridge – this time it’s spinach and I always have a head of garlic on hand. Add in some chicken and cheese, which I had as well, and I’ve got a meal!  This cheesy garlic chicken & spinach spaghetti squash fits the bill for this month’s redux challenge.

If you’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash before, it’s time you had. Now don’t get me wrong, I love real pasta noodles as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s fun and delicious to switch things up!

It's cheesy, it's creamy...it's garlic chicken and spinach spaghetti squash!
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This recipe does have quite a few steps, but don’t let that intimidate you! It’s actually a lot easier to make than you think.  Plus, it makes great leftovers. I think the flavors taste even better the next day!

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Garlic Chicken and Spinach Spaghetti Squash
  • Author: Brittany Poulson
Description

This cheesy garlic chicken and spinach spaghetti squash is a creamy, delicious and nutritious meal for any day of the week!

Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 2-3 pounds)
  • 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk for added ‘creaminess’)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese + more to sprinkle on top
  • 1 package (5 oz) fresh spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Rub 1 teaspoon of the olive oil on the cut inside of the spaghetti squash. Place upside down in a 9X13 -inch baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup water in the bottom the baking dish. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until tender (baking time will vary based on the size of the squash).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken and sauce. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle with poultry seasoning, if using.  Cook the chicken until no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm.
  4. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the skillet along with the flour. Whisk continuously until a thick paste is formed. Continue whisking gently as it bubbles, about 2-3 minutes. (Do not allow it to bubble too vigorously, or it will burn.)
  5. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.  Add the milk and both cheeses to the skillet. Stir until smooth and creamy. Add in the spinach and continue stirring until it is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Transfer the chicken back to the skillet with the sauce and stir until combined. Turn off the heat. Set aside.
  7. Once the spaghetti squash is cooked and tender remove it from the oven, take off the tin foil (reserve for later) and allow to cool. Drain the water from the baking dish. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  8. Flip the squash to cut-side up. Using a fork, rake in the same direction as the strands, gently pulling the inner squash flesh from the outer peel to make “noodles.” Place all the noodles into the baking dish.
  9. Pour the chicken/sauce mixture into the baking dish with the squash and stir to combine. Sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with tin foil.
  10. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the tin foil and bake an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbling. Take out of the oven, allow to slightly cool and enjoy!
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Be sure to hop on over to The Recipe ReDux to check out all the other ways to spring clean your kitchen and get some delicious food out of it!

The post Garlic Chicken and Spinach Spaghetti Squash appeared first on Your Choice Nutrition.

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Add these Naturally Green Foods to your St. Patrick’s Day menu for some added fun, color and nutrition!

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Ah, the green holiday St. Patrick’s Day. All the green on St. Patrick’s Day – from shamrocks to leprechauns and everything in between – is something to be celebrated for sure. One of the things I love to do on St. Patrick’s Day is to make green food!

Now I’m not talking about lucky charms, green sour patch kids or candy apple suckers.  I’m talking about naturally green foods.

Green foods are easily added to every day meals. Leafy greens are great additions to smoothies, avocado makes a great vegan substitution for creamy soups or sauces, roasted green vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts are SO delicious and of course, green salads make an excellent lunch or dinner option!

Add these Naturally Green Foods to your St. Patrick's Day menu!
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Green foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants, and depending on the green food, are often low in calories and carbohydrates. Basically, they are nutrition powerhouses.

To help you add some green to your holiday menu, I’ve rounded up some of the best healthy naturally green foods for St. Patrick’s Day from dietitians.

Salads

Strawberry Spinach Salad from Your Choice Nutrition

Spinach and Lentil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from Veg Girl RD

Mixed Green Salad with Strawberry, Apple and Herb Dressing from Nutritious Eats

Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Yogurt Dressing from Bucket List Tummy

Kale Salad With Spicy Roasted Chickpeas from Desilicious RD

8-Ingredient Green Quinoa Salad from Chelsey Amer Nutrition

Roasted Balsamic Strawberry and Peppered Steak Salad from Jenna Braddock, RDN

Chard Salad with Carrots, Beets and Sunflower Seeds from Triad to Wellness

Blueberry Spinach Salad from Your Choice Nutrition

Powerhouse Kale Salad from Wholly Plants

Summer Berry & Quinoa Salad from Edwina Clark, MS, RD, CSSD

Mango Lime Quinoa Salad from Bucket List Tummy

Mediterranean Persimmon White Bean Kale Salad from Sharon Palmer, the Plant-Powered Dietitian

Brussels Sprouts Salad from Live Best

Tuscan Kale Salad from The Nutrition Adventure

Kale Salad with Grapes, Toasted Walnuts, and Blue Cheese from Jennifer Hunt, RDN

Arugula, Apple & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette from Liz’s Healthy Table

Smoothies

5-Ingredient, 5-Minute Green Smoothie from Alyssa Lavy, MS, RD, CDN

Arugula Apple Smoothie from Snacking in Sneakers

Peachy Green Smoothie Bowl from Your Choice Nutrition

Green Berry Smoothie Bowl from Nutritious Eats

Collagen Boosted Green Goddess Juice from Doug Cook, RDN

Strawberry Orange Green Smoothie from Jenna Braddock, RDN

Green Lactation Smoothie from Aloha Nutrition

5-Ingredient Energizing Smoothie from Alyssa Lavy, MS, RD, CDN

Healthy Shamrock Shake from Salubrious RD

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie from Tara Rochford Nutrition

Layered Wild Blueberry Green Smoothie from Your Choice Nutrition

Tropical Sunrise Smoothie with Spinach from Zest Nutrition

High-Protein Smoothie with Vanilla Bean from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Gorgeous Green Smoothie Bowl from Liz’s Healthy Table

Tropical Turmeric Green Smoothie from Edwina Clark, MS, RD, CSSD

Soups & Main Dishes

Chicken Zucchini Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Easy Green Curry with Chicken and Vegetables from Nutritious Eats

Healthy Spring Greens Pizza from Lively Table

Quinoa Lentil Stuffed Zucchini Boats from Desilicious RD

Creamy Pistachio Soup from Dietitian Jess

Green Pancakes from Your Choice Nutrition

The Spring Clean Soup from Avocado Grove Nutrition

Creamy Broccoli & Avocado Soup from Triad to Wellness

Spring Green Quinoa Bowl from Lively Table

Gut-Healthy Green Soup from Alyssa Lavy, MS, RD, CDN

Green Goddess Buddha Bowl from Sharon Palmer, the Plant-Powered Dietitian

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Spring Veggies from Edwina Clark, MS, RD, CSSD

Chicken and Couscous Zucchini Boats from Your Choice Nutrition

Turkey Green Chili from Kara Lydon, the Foodie Dietitian

Spinach Falafel from Avocado Grove Nutrition

Healthy Avocado Egg Salad from Meals with Maggie

Roasted Cabbage and Golden Beet Pot O’Gold from Jenny Shea Rawn, MS, MPH, RD

Spinach Banana Waffles from 360 Family Nutrition

Shrimp Green Goddess Grain Bowls from Lively Table

 Sides & Sauces

Oven Roasted Lemon Asparagus from Your Choice Nutrition

Avocado Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Zucchini Tots from The Foodie Physician

Garlic Parmesan Smashed Brussels Sprouts from Sinful Nutrition

Sautéed Cabbage & Kale with Bacon from The Nutrition Adventure

Chewy Spinach Peanut Butter Bars from 360 Family Nutrition

Garlicky Sautéed Baby Kale from Eat Real, Live Well

Brussels Sprouts with Grape Honey Glaze from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Roasted Okra with Smoky Red Pepper Ricotta from Jenna Braddock, RDN

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing from Meals with Maggie

Green Garlic Pistachio Pesto from Eat Real, Live Well

Hatch Chile Salsa Verde from Lively Table

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole from One Hungry Bunny

Healthy Pistachio Pesto Sauce from Nourish Nutrition Co.

Easy Guacamole from Jenna Braddock, RDN

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This Puff Pastry Wrapped Cheesy Asparagus recipe takes individual roasted asparagus spears coated with cheese and bundles them up in a soft, flaky puff pastry. A delicious appetizer for any spring-time occasion.

It’s time for another Recipe ReDux! I’ve missed the past couple of them, but I am excited to participate again this month. This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is:

“The Academy Awards will be February 24 – so let’s head to the movies – and into the kitchen. Show us your favorite movie-themed recipe; it might be a recreation of your favorite meal from a movie or a perfect appetizer to serve at an Oscar viewing party.”

I am straying from the theme just a bit – in that I am not picking a recipe from a movie. I decided to share a recipe inspired by a television series, Downton Abbey.  If you’ve never seen the show, Downton Abbey always has the finest meals coming from their kitchen. It’s as fun to watch the scenes in the basement kitchen as it is to watch what’s going on upstairs.

This Puff Pastry Wrapped Cheesy Asparagus recipe is a take on Asparagus Feuilletés, which basically means puff pastry with a sweet or savory filling – in this case cheesy asparagus. It would have been a delightful appetizer served for the Crawley family, who resided at Downton Abbey. It so happens they would also make a great appetizer for an Oscar viewing party. So I guess I am sticking with the theme!

A simple, but impressive spring #appetizer: Puff Pastry Wrapped Cheesy Asparagus
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Roasted asparagus is one of my favorite side dishes in the spring.  This recipe takes it to another level with individual roasted asparagus spears coated with cheese and bundled up in a soft, flaky pastry.

As spring is (hopefully) just around the corner, asparagus should be coming into season. This means all the asparagus recipes in my house, such as this pesto pasta salad with asparagus. And these puff pastry wrapped cheesy asparagus will be on repeat for a while, too.

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Puff Pastry Wrapped Cheesy Asparagus
  • Author: Brittany Poulson
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: bake
Description

This Puff Pastry Wrapped Cheesy Asparagus recipe is individual roasted asparagus spears coated with cheese and bundled up in a soft, flaky puff pastry. A delicious appetizer for any spring-time occasion.

Ingredients
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus (approximately 16-32 spears spears)*
  • optional: 1 egg + 1/2 teaspoon cold water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whip together the ricotta and parmesan cheeses and the black pepper. Roll the puff pastry sheet out on a lightly floured surface. Spread the cheese mixture evenly onto the puff pastry. Cut it into 16 even strips, about 1/2 inch wide.
  3. Rinse and trim the ends of your asparagus; pat dry with a paper towel. Wrap 1-2 asparagus spears with a puff pastry strip, with the cheese side in. Place on the sheet pan.  Optional: If desired, whisk together the egg and cold water and brush over top the pastry.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
Notes

*I used 2 asparagus spears in each wrap because mine were smaller in diameter. If you have thicker asparagus, you might choose to just place 1 spear in each wrap.

Keywords: Puff Pastry Wrapped Cheesy Asparagus

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Creamy, sweet and topped with juicy cherries, this Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Tart is a delicious dessert worthy of any special occasion!

I’m back with my annual chocolate + fruit treat for Valentine’s Day!  I always like to share a chocolate + fruit recipe for V-day because that is one of my favorite combinations to have on the holiday of love.

Previously I’ve shared chocolate strawberry German pancakes and dark chocolate raspberry mousse cakes.  This time I’m pulling out all the stops with a tantalizing (isn’t that fun to say?) dessert: Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Tart.

This dessert is everything you want it to be. It’s creamy, it’s smooth, it’s chocolatey and the cherries are oh, so juicy. I mean, what’s not to love about it?

Smooth & creamy with cherries on top. This Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Tart makes for a sweet ending to any special meal!
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There are a few steps to making this, but overall isn’t too hard to make.  If you can follow directions, you can make this – and your friends and family will be wowed with your amazing kitchen skills!

Although this is definitely a sweet treat, I did try to sneak in a little bit of nutrition. For example, I added ground flax seed to the crust, substituted Neufchâtel cheese for regular cream cheese, swapped in honey as my sweetener and used white whole wheat flour.

And guess what?  It still tastes Ah-mazing!

The cherry + chocolate combo is delicious any time of year, but is perfect for Valentine’s day. This treat will definitely make for a sweet ending to your special occasion!

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Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Tart
  • Author: Brittany Poulson
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
Description

Creamy, sweet and topped with juicy cherries, this Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Tart is a delicious dessert worthy of any special occasion!

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 16 chocolate sandwich cookies, cream removed, and crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil

For the filling:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 1 (8 oz.) package Neufchâtel cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used white whole wheat)

Topping:

  • 1 can (20 oz.) cherry pie filling
  • 3 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Instructions

For the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine the cookie crumbs and flax seed in a small bowl; stir in melted butter (or coconut oil). Press crust mixture onto the bottom of a lightly greased 10-in. spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes; allow to cool.

For the filling:

  1. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, melt butter (or coconut oil) and chocolate chips in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds until smooth; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, honey, vanilla and salt. Blend in chocolate mixture. Add eggs and flour and mix well.
  3. Pour chocolate filling into crust, spreading evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on wire rack, then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to fridge and let chill for 2 hours.

For the topping:

  1. Remove the tart from the fridge. Run a knife between the wall of the pan and the tart. Remove the sides of the pan and carefully transfer the tart to a serving platter. Pour cherry pie filling over the top.
  2. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream in the microwave, stopping to stir every 15-30 seconds until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over tart.
Notes

Keep stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Keywords: Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Tart

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These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are an easy weeknight dinner. Dress them up with your choice of toppings for a flavorful and filling meal!

In an effort to provide more dinner recipes for you all, I wanted to share some simple recipes I love to make at my home.  First up, I’m sharing these super easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.

We love chicken fajitas at my house. They are loaded with veggies, juicy chicken and endless toppings.  Our favorite toppings include plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), avocado, cilantro, lime juice, shredded cheese and salsa or diced tomatoes.  Really, you can dress these up however you want.

Make these simple Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas for an easy weeknight dinner!
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Making these on a sheet pan makes the cooking time all hands-off and if you line your sheet pan with tin foil, clean up is a breeze! These sheet pan chicken fajitas taste great the next day, too.

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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
  • Author: Brittany Poulson
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
Description

These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are an easy weeknight dinner. Dress them up with your choice of toppings for a flavorful and filling meal!

Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into strips
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 medium yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 packet (1 oz) fajita seasoning mix
  • tortillas

Topping Ideas:

  • sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • diced tomatoes
  • diced avocado
  • salsa
  • shredded cheese
  • chopped cilantro
  • fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the chicken strips, sliced onion and bell peppers on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil; toss chicken and veggies to coat with oil.  Sprinkle fajita seasoning mix over chicken and veggies and toss again until fajita seasoning is distributed evenly on the mixture.
  2. Put in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Distribute among the tortillas with additional toppings as desired. Enjoy!
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas Recipe Video - YouTube

Keywords: sheet pan chicken fajitas

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Cozy up with any one of these 70 Healthy Soup Recipes on a chilly day for a comforting and delicious meal!

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The fall and winter months are all about cozy, comforting foods – am I right?!  On a cold, chilly day all I want to do is stay inside, put on a warm sweater, slippers and eat a hot meal.  Many nights that hot meal is a delicious bowl of soup.

Soup has a way of warming not only the body, but the soul as well.  Because of my love for soup, I have rounded up 70 of the best soul-warming healthy soup recipes on the web. There is sure to be a soup recipe here for you.

Cozy up with one of these 70 #Healthy Soup Recipes from dietitians
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Slow Cooker Soups

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Slow Cooker Golden Lentil Soup (vegan) from Dishing Out Health

Slow Cooker Chicken, White Bean and Pumpkin Chili from Healthy Inspiration

Slow Cooker Green Chile from Tara Rochford Nutrition

Smoked Paprika Sweet Potato Chili from Shaw’s Simple Swaps

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili from The Real Food Dietitians

Pressure Cooker Soups

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Dumplings Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from The Wandering RD

Instant Pot Lentil Soup from Cozy Peach Kitchen

Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup from The Foodie Dietitian

Instant Pot Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup from Bite of Health Nutrition

Instant Pot Sesame Chicken Noodle Soup from Sinful Nutrition

Instant Pot Tuscan Bean, Vegetable and Bread Soup (Ribollita) from The Wandering RD

Pressure Cooker Minestrone Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Instant Pot Barley, Carrot and Chickpea Soup from Liz’s Healthy Table

Stove Top Soups

Chicken Zucchini Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Soup from The Nutrition Adventure

Vegan Split Pea Butternut Squash Soup from Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN

Honeynut Squash Soup from EmPowered Nutrition

Winter Vegetable Soup from Dish and Delite

Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Soup from Triad to Wellness

Soba Noodle Broth Bowl from Snacking in Sneakers

Peanut Stew from Tara Rochford Nutrition

Southwest Chicken Chili from Create Kids Club

Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup from E.A. Stewart

Potato, Leek and Kale Soup from Eat Real, Live Well

Butternut Squash Soup from Kroll’s Korner

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup from Nutrition to Fit

Grandma’s Cheesy Potato Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Bacon from Jenny Shea Rawn

Summer Corn and Zucchini Chowder from Champagne and Paper Planes

Asian Beef Noodle Soup from How to Eat

Curried Red Lentil Soup from Avocado Grove Nutrition

Chunky Tomato Cabbage Soup from Beekay Nutrition

Tuscan Chicken, White Bean and Vegetable Soup from Edwina Clark

Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup from Byte Sized Nutrition
Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup from Feel Good Eating
Chicken, Kale and Rice Soup from Edwina Clark

Roasted Carrot Apple Soup from Chelsey Amer Nutrition

Southwest Soup from Eat Real, Live Well

Easy Pumpkin Soup from Jessica Ivey, RDN

Creamy Cauliflower Carrot Soup from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Turmeric, Ginger and Roasted Carrot Soup from Your Choice Nutrition

Spinach Tortellini Soup from Nutrition Savvy RD

Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Alyssa Lavy

Leek & Potato Soup from Dish and Delite

Coconut Curry Shrimp Soup from Stephanie Lee Nutrition

Weeknight Minestrone from Salubrious RD

French Wild Rice Vegetable Soup from Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup from Alyssa Lavy

Immune Boosting Veggie Soup from Chelsey Amer Nutrition

White Bean, Sausage and Kale Soup from Sunny Side Up Nutrition

Pizza Soup from Sound Bites Nutrition

Indian Spiced Pumpkin Lentil Soup from How to Eat

Creamy Broccoli & Avocado Soup from Triad to Wellness

Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup from Dish and Delite

Creamy Butternut Carrot Ginger Soup from Healthy Inspiration

Curried Pumpkin Soup from Edwina Clark

Wild Mushroom and Barley Soup from Craving Something Healthy

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Hazlenuts (vegan) from Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

Carrot Ginger Soup from Dietitian on the Move

Turmeric Squash Soup from Wholly Plants

Italian Turkey Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup from Jessica Ivey, RDN

Gut-Healthy Green Soup from Alyssa Lavy

Potato Parsnip Soup from BeeKay Nutrition

Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup from The Nutrition Adventure

Spiced Sweet Potato Carrot Soup from Nutrition to Fit

Luscious Lentil Soup from Foods with Judes 

Ancient Grains and Kale Black Bean Soup from Jenny Shea Rawn

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If you are breastfeeding your little one, be sure to include these 10 breastfeeding superfoods into your diet to ensure the best nutrition for yourself and baby, too!

Breastfeeding is a journey – sometimes a rough and bumpy road, other times smooth sailing. Some are short and some are long.  Each journey is different from mom to mom and even baby to baby.  There are some things you can do to help breastfeeding go easier and some you have little or no control of.  One of the things you CAN control is your diet while breastfeeding.

While there is no specific “breastfeeding diet,” it is recommended to eat an overall healthy, varied diet while breastfeeding.  Choosing a healthy diet while breastfeeding is not only good for you, but good for your baby as well!  If you are lacking certain nutrients in your diet, your breastmilk composition will remain relatively unchanged because the nutrients needed will come from your maternal nutrient stores or body tissues.  So you may be depleting your own nutrient stores quicker if your diet is less than optimal. A general varied, healthy diet is recommended for most people any way – regardless of breastfeeding status – so this list is beneficial for everyone in the family!

I’m currently on my 3rd breastfeeding journey and am trying to choose an overall healthy diet not only to help me return to my “new normal” postpartum body, but to help with my breastmilk quality and supply as well (I say “new normal” because my body is never exactly the same as it was before getting pregnant, and that changes with each baby!).  So today I’m sharing 10 breastfeeding superfoods to help maintain a healthy milk supply for your baby while optimizing your health, too!  Spoiler alert: it’s foods anyone should include as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.

Water

While water technically isn’t a food, it is important – so I’m adding it to the top of this list of breastfeeding superfoods!  Staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining a healthy milk supply as well as a plethora of other health benefits.  Regular digestion, healthy skin, improved energy levels and brain function, prevent headaches, increased satiety, and weight loss or maintenance are some of the health benefits associated with drinking enough water each day.  Some days when I haven’t been drinking as much water as I should I notice a slight decrease in my milk supply – so I am always trying to stay hydrated.

But how much water do you need each day?  There isn’t one specific amount of water required per day, as needs will vary from woman to woman and even day to day, depending on your activity levels.  Drinking to satisfy thirst is sufficient for most mothers to stay hydrated.  If you are a numbers person and absolutely need something to gauge your intake off of, there is a general rule of thumb to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water.  For example, if you weighed 140 lbs, you should aim for about 70 ounces of water a day.  But again, know that this is only a suggestion. Pay attention and listen to your body.  I know I can get busy during the day and forget to drink water. To help, I keep a water bottle* near where I usually breastfeed my baby or on my desk at work to serve as a reminder. If you hate plain water, check out these infused water ideas.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and tuna, are a good source of the fatty acid DHA.  Consuming more fatty fish can improve the nutritional value of your milk, which is good for your baby’s nerves and brain.  It’s recommended nursing and pregnant women should limit their intake to 12 ounces a week, due to the high levels of mercury in some fish. Consuming too much mercury from fish could be harmful to your baby.  This chart shows fish based on their mercury levels and which varieties are best to choose.

Check out these 10 #Breastfeeding Superfoods every new mom needs!
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Whole grains

Whole grains are a good source of vitamins and mineral for both you and baby, and provide a healthy dose of fiber for you!  Oats are probably the most touted whole grain for breastfeeding moms, with many women swearing it helps increase milk production. Including some oatmeal as part of your breakfast routine a few times a week wouldn’t be a idea.  Other whole grains like quinoa, whole wheat, brown rice, millet, spelt, bulgur, and more can be breastfeeding superfoods, as well and excellent additions to a new mom’s diet.

Leafy greens

Leafy green vegetables are rich sources of iron and other minerals, as well as vitamins A, C and K, which are good for both you and baby.  They are also a good source of fiber, non-dairy calcium, filled with heart-healthy antioxidants and are low in calories.  Try incorporating broccoli, swiss chard, spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens, romaine lettuce and more into your diet for a boost of these nutrients!

Beans and Legumes

Legumes – beans, lentils, and dried peas – are an important dietary source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also are typically low in fat and contain no cholesterol.  Legumes that are green or darker in color, like black beans and kidney beans, are richer in iron and are a great breastfeeding food, especially for vegetarians.  Another great benefit of legumes is they’re a budget-friendly source of high quality, plant based protein.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are rich in protein, fats and minerals – definitely checking many of the boxes for being breastfeeding superfoods. Nuts like pecanpistachioalmond, peanut and walnut contain healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants.  Seeds like pumpkin, flax, sesame and sunflower are good sources of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids are important during pregnancy and lactation because they help with brain development of the fetus in utero, as well as in infants and children.

Healthy Fats

Specific fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats, benefit you and your baby more than others (I’m looking at you trans and saturated fats) and should be included in your post-partum diet.  Foods such as flaxseed and avocado contain healthy fats and can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Choosing to cook or bake with olive, canola or avocado oils is a good way to increase healthy fats in your diet, as can eating fatty fish (see above) once or twice a week.

Red and Orange Vegetables

Don’t think I would only choose one color of veggies for you to eat as part of breastfeeding superfoods!  You’ve heard the saying “eat the rainbow“, so besides those leafy greens, I’m adding another color of veggies onto my list.  Red and orange vegetables are rich in vitamins A, K, and C and potassium.  Other nutrients worth noting include manganese, folate, and vitamin B6.  Red peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, hubbard squash, and pumpkin are all examples of veggies from this group.

Some types of red and orange vegetables, particularly the root vegetables (i.e.- carrots and sweet potatoes) of these colors have been promoted for having lactogenic properties – that is, to help increase milk production.  It’s thought that phytoestro­gens in these vegetables as well as their high-nutrient composition may play a role in improving breast milk.  Either way, adding red and orange veggies to your diet is sure to be a good thing!

Eggs

Eggs are not only high in protein, but good sources of the healthy fat-soluble vitamins A and D, B vitamins and the mineral choline. You can even increase the level of the essential fatty acid DHA in your milk by choosing DHA-fortified eggs.  Eggs are a versatile protein and easily incorporated into any diet.  Try this easy breakfast casserole, a skillet hash or in quesadillas!

Dairy Products

Yogurt, milk, cheese, and other dairy products are an important part of healthy diet. Dairy products are high in bone-building calcium and many are fortified with vitamin D, which also helps strengthen bones. They also provide protein and B vitamins.  Some dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, contain healthy probiotics which are beneficial for gut health. Aim for 3 servings of dairy daily to meet your calcium needs.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

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The post 10 Breastfeeding Superfoods appeared first on Your Choice Nutrition.

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These 10 Foodie Inspired Valentine’s Day Gifts are a great way to show the food lover in your life some love this Valentine’s Day.

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get paid a small commission on sales of those products linked to – at no additional cost to you. These commissions help to keep my blog up and running, so thank you!)

Each year in December I share a healthy holiday gift guide.  Now that December has come and gone I’ve started seeing all things red and pink at the stores. Yep, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and it’s time to start thinking about what to get your loved one for the special occasion.  If you can never think of a gift for your Valentine, you are not alone. I spend waaaay too long looking online and in stores for a gift for my hubby.

Because I’ve spent all the time online, I’ve found quite the array of gifts and have decided to save you some time.  If your Valentine is a foodie, then you’re in luck! I’ve branched out from my holiday gift guide and created this post focused on Foodie Inspired Valentine’s Day Gifts. Below are 10 fun and thoughtful gifts perfect for the foodie in your life.

1. Heart Waffle Maker

Make breakfast in bed a little more memorable with these fun heart-shaped waffles!

2. Pink Silicone Kitchen Utensils

These durable silicone kitchen utensils are not only practical, but cute as well!

3. Foodie Dice

A fun way to switch up your cooking routine, this Foodie Dice game serves as inspiration for creating new dishes and meals!

4. Heart Shaped Silicone Baking Cups

From muffins to cupcakes or using in bento lunch boxes, these reusable heart shaped silicone baking cups are the perfect way to show some love to your Valentine!

5. Hearts Collage Apron

Wear your love in the kitchen while you bake and cook with this cute heart collage apron.

6. Heart Shaped Measuring Spoons

What does it take to cook with love? Stamped on each stainless steel spoon is a “measure of love”, with traditional measurements on the other side.

7. Gourmet Assorted Nuts

With a cute hand written note attached saying, “I’m nuts for you!” how could your loved one not love this gift?

8. Date Night In Cookbook

Instead of going out with your foodie, keep the spark alive by spending the night creating a delicious meal together at home!

9. Foodie Fight

For the serious foodie, this fun food trivia game is sure to be enjoyed again and again.

10. Better Together Stamped Forks

What better way to tell your foodie that you love them than with these cute stamped forks, because after all, you are better together.

Pin these Foodie Inspired Valentine’s Day Gifts for later!

The post 10 Foodie Inspired Valentine’s Day Gifts appeared first on Your Choice Nutrition.

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These whole wheat gingerbread pancakes with cinnamon vanilla syrup are fluffy and filled with warm seasonal spices, making them perfect for breakfast or brunch during the holiday season!

Pancakes are a favorite breakfast item of mine.  They are easy to make and you can switch up the flavor profile in so many different ways. Though the holidays are over, I’m still whipping up seasonal food in my kitchen.  Holiday spices are so warming, comforting and delicious!  These whole wheat gingerbread pancakes are no exception.

Filled with warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, these pancakes hit all the seasonal notes.  The addition of molasses lends that unique gingerbread taste, rounding out the flavor profile so nicely.  I used white whole wheat flour so up the fiber and nutritional content (as opposed to refined white flour) and they are still so fluffy!  A key to fluffy pancakes is to leave some lumps in the batter.  Whipping the batter until all the lumps are gone will result in flatter, thinner pancakes.

I love topping these whole wheat gingerbread pancakes with some butter and cinnamon vanilla syrup.  It’s not a requirement in the least, but the syrup sure brings the pancakes to a whole other level! I highly recommend it.

These whole wheat Gingerbread Pancakes are filled with spice and everything nice for a warm, delicious breakfast!
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VIDEO: HOW TO MAKE WHOLE WHEAT GINGERBREAD PANCAKES

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes Recipe - YouTube

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Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes
  • Author: Brittany Poulson
  • Yield: ~14 pancakes
  • Category: breakfast
Description

These whole wheat gingerbread pancakes with cinnamon vanilla syrup are fluffy and filled with warm seasonal spices, making them perfect for breakfast or brunch during the holiday season!

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon Vanilla Syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle to medium heat. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the milk, molasses, egg, brown sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir, leaving some lumps remaining in the batter.
  3. Pour onto the griddle ~1/4 cup at a time, and cook until bubbles start to form on the batter and the bottom begins to brown.  Gently flip over and cook until the opposite side is browned and the pancake is cooked through. Remove from the griddle. Continue until all the batter has been used. Top with cinnamon vanilla syrup.

Keywords: whole wheat gingerbread pancakes

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The post Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes appeared first on Your Choice Nutrition.

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