This vegan peanut curry with chickpeas and sweet potato is the newest addition to my back pocket repertoire of simple and fast weeknight meals! I have made it a couple times already and packed the leftover for my work lunch and I can’t get enough of it! You only need one pan to whip it all up and it usually takes me only ~40 from start to finish. The other great thing about this recipe is that it utilizes a lot of pantry staples like chickpeas, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and peanut butter. Keep those ingredients on hand and you are well on your way to recreating this delicious curry.
This recipe makes 5-6 servings so for those with smaller households like us, you’ll get to enjoy a few days of leftovers! Serve this curry over rice or your favorite grain and garnish it with a few chopped peanuts and some fresh cilantro. Feel free to use other veggies in this dish based on what you have on hand. You could easily substitute spinach for the kale or toss in some chopped broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, etc. I kept the basic veggies in the recipe below, but I’m excited to experiment with new ones as I make this recipe on repeat.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dole® as part of their #SharetheSunshine campaign.
One of my go-to healthy snacks is hummus and fresh vegetables, but recently I wanted to create a hummus-alternative that I could use as a dip for fruit. Traditional fruit dip is usually made of some combination of either marshmallow cream or whipped cream mixed with cream cheese. Although delicious, it isn’t something I would normally make as a fruit-based alternative to my favorite hummus snack. So, I created this healthy strawberry yogurt fruit dip as an alternative! You only need 4 ingredients to create it at home: Dole® frozen strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and water.
You may be wondering, why take the extra time to cook down the strawberries rather than just pureeing them in the yogurt? Cooking the strawberries into a sauce brings out a lot of their natural sweetness so you don’t have to add a lot of extra sugar to this dip. That’s also the reason why I didn’t just use a strawberry flavored yogurt, since I like to be able to control how much sugar goes into this dip. (Many flavored yogurts you can buy at the store usually have a lot of sugar added!) The cooking process also draws out more of the natural strawberry flavor too. I kept it super simple for the recipe and video below, but feel free to add some other ingredients for additional flavor. I think vanilla extract, ground ginger, or lemon juice would be some great options for add-ins.
Since the dip needs some time in the fridge to thicken after blending, this dip is perfect for making ahead. I usually make it on a weekend and chop up a variety of fresh fruit that I plan to pair with the dip while I wait for it to chill. I love these glass rectangle containers for transporting my fruit and dip to work with me during the week. In addition to fruit, I usually toss in a few almonds as well for additional protein.
Up your healthy snack game with this simple strawberry yogurt fruit dip make with Dole frozen strawberries, yogurt, and maple syrup. Perfect for meal prepping on the weekend for the week ahead.
2 cups Dole frozen sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
Fresh fruit for serving
Add strawberries, water, and maple syrup to a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As strawberries begin to break down, mash them with the back of a wooden spoon to break them apart even further.
Continue to simmer gently until thick sauce has formed. This should make ~1 cup strawberry sauce. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to cool completely.
Add Greek yogurt and strawberry sauce to a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill at least 1-2 hours. (Dip will thicken slightly more with chilling.)
If you prefer a sweeter dip, use 1/4 maple syrup instead of the water and 1 tablespoon maple syrup listed above.
Jazz it UP! Switch up the flavor of the dip by adding 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger OR 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the strawberry sauce when it is nearly finished cooking.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company. They are also offering a $500 “I Heart Quarter Oats” prize pack including a KitchenAid Mixer – see bottom of post for rules and details! No purchase necessary. Ends 2/28/18.
Growing up, oatmeal was a staple in our home during cold northwestern winters and it remains one of my favorite breakfast foods today. In fact, I regularly recommend it as a nutritious breakfast option to clients since it is such a good source of fiber. Most Americans fall short of the recommended daily intake of fiber. Adult women should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day and men should aim for 38 grams of fiber per day. (For those over the age of 50 the recommendation changes to 21 and 30 grams daily, respectively.) Dietary fiber is found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains like oats. Foods with fiber can help support digestive health by acting as an “intestinal broom” to help move things through the gut. Starting your day off with a bowl of oatmeal is a great way to help you meet the recommended intake for fiber.
If you follow me on instagram, you already know that oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast foods! Other than the benefits of oats, I love that they are so versatile. I am always adding new toppings and flavors so that they are never boring. Some of my favorite oatmeal add-ins includes sautéed apples, bananas and peanut butter, berries and almond butter, or canned pumpkin and cinnamon. This chia berry swirl oatmeal recipe is sure to become a new favorite! Keep some frozen berries on hand and you’ll be able to whip up this recipe any morning you want a nutritious breakfast choice.
I really like this chia-berry swirl oats recipe in particular since it combines a familiar food like oats with a trendy foods like chia seeds. Like many other plant-based foods, chia seeds are a great source of fiber. In fact, the chia seeds in this recipe provide another 5 grams of fiber in just 1 tablespoon! Because soluble fiber may help slow digestion, combining both oats and chia seeds in this recipe means you’ll have the fuel you want to help get you through a busy morning at work.
This chia berry swirl oats recipe constitutes a good source of fiber (at least 3g of fiber per serving), see nutritionals below for fat content. [Digestive Health Recipe]
1/2 Cup(s) Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 Cup(s) water
1/2 Cup(s) fresh or frozen berries (use blueberries, raspberries and/or blackberries, thawed if frozen)
1 Tablespoon(s) chia seeds
1/4 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon(s) ground ginger
1 Tablespoon(s) plain nonfat yogurt, Greek or traditional
1 Teaspoon(s) unsweetened coconut
1 Teaspoon(s) honey
In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in oats. Cook uncovered over medium heat, 1 minute for Quick Oats, 5 minutes for Old Fashioned Oats, stirring occasionally.
Place berries, chia seeds, cinnamon and ginger into blender or food processor container. Process until fruits are pureed. If mixture seems too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.
Swirl into bowl of cooked oats. Serve topped with yogurt, coconut and honey.
One of my goals for 2018 is to figure out a routine for meal prep on the weekends. Anyone else?? As a busy person just like all of you, I am often scrambling in the morning to figure out what the heck to pack for lunch! (While also trying to inhale a healthy breakfast before I have to sprint out the door.) That’s where meal prep becomes the biggest time saver during the week. In an effort to make myself better at meal prep, I thought I would also share the journey with you too. I’ve been trying to come up with recipes lately that work well for the meal prep model where you make a big batch of something on the weekend and then divvy it up into smaller servings that you can use throughout the week. These soba noodles with peanut sauce are a great example of something simple you can cook up on Sunday and then pack for lunch all week long.
By incorporating colorful veggies, you can say sayonara to sad desk lunches for the week. To make these, you’ll cook up some rice or soba noodles. While the noodles are cooking, bake a block of firm tofu until golden brown. The tofu brand (Phoenix Bean for any Chicago locals!) I buy is vacuum sealed so I find that I don’t even need to press the extra firm one and it gets nice and crispy when baked. If you buy a water packed tofu like they have at most stores, you may want to press it first before baking. As you wait for your tofu to bake, chop up your veggies. In this case, I wanted to pack as much color into these bowls as I could so I added purple cabbage, red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeño. You can copy me or you can toss in other veggies you may have on hand like broccoli or spinach. The peanut sauce is super simple to whisk up and so tasty you’ll want to drizzle it on everything. (Or at least I did!) For crunch, I added some chopped peanuts. Sriracha is also a must if you too are obsessed with it like I am. Chopped cilantro and sliced green onion round it all out.
Say sayonara to sad desk lunches with this colorful soba noodles with peanut sauce recipe! This healthy dish is perfect for meal prep on the weekend.
14 oz. package extra firm tofu, chopped into 1″ pieces
6 ounces soba or rice noodles
6 tablespoons water
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ginger paste (I buy it at Trader Joe’s; can also use 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root)
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
For the Bowls:
Thinly sliced assorted veggies (I used purple cabbage, carrots, red bell pepper, cucumber, cilantro)
Sriracha sauce (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange tofu pieces in single layer. Spray with cooking oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
Cook soba or rice noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water to cool. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together all the peanut sauce ingredients with a whisk until sauce forms.
Chop your desired veggies.
To assemble, divide the noodles between 4 dishes and top with 1/4 tofu, 1/4 peanut sauce, and 1/4 vegetables.
It’s the weekend which means it is the perfect time to heat up the oven and make a batch of this homemade healthy peanut butter granola. I seriously wish my blog had smell-o-vision because this granola smells delicious! It had been ages since I made a batch of homemade granola until I made this healthy peanut butter granola for the first time a couple weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been making it on repeat each weekend since I love having it on hand during the week for an easy breakfast option. I usually pair it with plain yogurt and fresh fruit like in the photo below or with almond milk and fruit. You can also just snack on it by itself! (I’m guilty of eating at least a serving when it is still cooling in the pan…oops!)
For fun, I added some cacao nibs and hemp hearts to the granola after baking. Both are packed with nutrients and the cacao nibs add a dark chocolate flavor that pairs really well with the peanut butter in the granola. I found both the cacao nibs and hemp hearts at Trader Joe’s, but you can also find them online, Whole Foods, etc. If you don’t like cacao nibs, you can also use chocolate chips instead.
No one can resist this healthy peanut butter granola with cocoa nibs, coconut, and hemp hearts. Serve with granola and fresh fruit for breakfast.
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 cup hemp hearts
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract to a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until creamy sauce forms and turn off the heat.
In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and salt. Drizzle with peanut butter mixture and stir well to coat.
Spread oat mixture onto baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Transfer pan to cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the cocoa nibs and hemp hearts. (You can also add dried fruit like raisins at this point if you’d like.)
When it is cold out, I find myself almost unconsciously pulling out our enamel stock pot to make yet another batch of soup. Healthy, comforting, and easy to make – what’s not to love? Since most soup recipes make several servings, I always have leftovers which I typically end up packing for lunch for work. I’ll just divvy the soup up into glass containers and I am set for lunch for most of the week. Which is great since I always feel like I am scrambling in the morning to pack a lunch most days! It’s true. As much as I’d like to have my act together, I just can’t seem to make myself pack my lunch at night to avoid the AM scramble. (Anyone else?) Batch packing lunches for the week is definitely something I’d like to work on this year! Luckily, soups like this easy vegan ramen with crispy tofu make sorting out lunches for the week a little easier.
To save yourself a step, you can toss your tofu directly into the soup. However, I like to serve my soup with crispy tofu so I dirty the extra pan to stir fry it separately. It works out well since you can stir fry the tofu while you are waiting for the soup to simmer. One of the ramen places in town serves their veggie ramen with crispy tofu on top rather than stirred into the soup and I loved it! So I started doing it with my homemade ramen as well. I used a turmeric tofu that a local Chicago company makes for my ramen above. It not only tastes delicious but it has such a vibrant yellow color too that makes it so much prettier to serve atop a bowl of ramen. Feel free to mix up the vegetables a bit in this if you’d like. I prefer carrots, cabbage, and spinach but I’ve also made it with sliced peppers and bok choy too. I’ve also tried making this soup by cooking the ramen noodles directly in the broth. This does work, however the noodles fall apart quickly in the soup. Cooking the ramen noodles in a separate pot helped prevent that. If you are planning to have leftovers store the noodles and the rest of the soup in separate containers unless you don’t mind soggy noodles in your leftover ramen. (I didn’t!)
Fill a medium saucepan with water and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the ramen noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a large stock pot, add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil, sesame oil, mushrooms, and onion. Saute for 5 minutes or until onion is starting to soften and turn translucent.
Stir in the ginger, garlic, cabbage, carrots. Cook another 2-3 minutes until cabbage starts to wilt.
Stir in the water, broth, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer.
Stir in the sriracha, vinegar, and spinach. Cook for 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
While soup is simmering, add the other 1 tablespoon of canola oil to a nonstick skillet. Arrange tofu in a single layer in pan and cook for 5 minutes on one side. Turn each piece once bottom is browned and allow to cook on the second side another 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat until all sides of tofu are lightly browned. Set aside.
To serve, divide noodles into 4 bowls and ladle soup over the noodles. Top with tofu and drizzle with sriracha and chopped green onion to serve.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dole® as part of their #SharetheSunshine campaign.
Open up just about any social media app on your phone these days and there will be lots of talk about New Years resolutions. Do you make them? Have you ever made one last the whole year? (I haven’t! However, I did share some of my intentions/goals for the new year below!) As a dietitian, I get pretty excited to see everyone so motivated to change the way they eat! However, going on a diet that you can’t keep up with long-term isn’t the best way to go. This new year, think about setting smaller health goals rather than overhauling your whole diet or committing to an hour at the gym every day. Lofty new years resolutions are the hardest ones to keep, so try to come up with a new healthy habit that you can successfully maintain over the whole year. It should be something that can manageably fit into your current routine like: switching from refined grains to whole grains (ie. whole grain pasta vs. white pasta), drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, eating at least 3 servings of vegetables a day, doing your favorite workout 3x/week, etc. Eating more vegetables is definitely a new years resolution that just about everyone could use. That’s why I love coming up with creative ways to incorporate them into my diet like in this raspberry, beet, and lemon smoothie!
Dole Beet Smoothie YouTube - YouTube
Add this pretty pink smoothie made with Dole frozen raspberries to your weekly breakfast routine and get in a couple of servings of fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning. I know beet sounds like a really odd vegetable to add to a smoothie, but I think you’ll be surprised by how well the flavor of the beet blends in with the raspberry, banana, and lemon. Trust me! I usually pair my smoothie with a slice of toast with almond butter to round out my breakfast. It keeps me energized and feeling full all morning long. You could also pour this in a lidded jar or cup and store it in the refrigerator at work so you can sip on it as a pre or post workout snack.
Start your morning off right with this pretty pink raspberry, beet, and lemon smoothie packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants.
Author: Deborah Murphy
Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
½ cup peeled, chopped beet
½ cup plain yogurt (use vanilla if you like a sweeter smoothie)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup cashews
1 cup Dole frozen raspberries
Juice from ½ lemon
Add all of your ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Makes 1 large meal-size serving or 2 small snack-size servings.
If you don't have a high powered blender, you may want to pre-cook the beet before using. I would just steam the chopped pieces in a steamer basket on the stove top until fork tender and allow to cool before using in the smoothie.
Serving size: 1 recipe Calories: 459 kcals Fat: 19 g Saturated fat: 5 g Unsaturated fat: 9 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 66 g Sugar: 33 g Sodium: 116 mg Fiber: 15 g Protein: 14 g Cholesterol: 16 mg
Psst! Here area a few of my goals/resolutions for the year.
Blog Growth: Continue to grow this space and my social channels. I hope to make the content even more useful for you! I’ll be working on more videos and (fingers crossed) continue to improve my technique since it feels like video is such a great way to show that creating healthy meals doesn’t have to be complicated. I will also be focusing more on growing and developing content for my email list.
Be Vulnerable: Speaking of video, I am planning on trying to get over my shyness and get on instagram stories! I love watching everyone’s stories so I want to jump in and start sharing more of my own.
Creating a Home: Will and I are in the process of looking for our first home. (Well, condo because you know, city living!) I’m so excited to finally settle into a place after moving every 1-2 years since I left for college at 18. It will be so fun to be able to make a place my own and finally upgrade our furniture which has gotten a little beat up with so many moves over the years!
Natural Skincare Routine: As I continue into my 30s, I am hoping to figure out a good skincare routine that works for me. (I welcome any suggestions!) I have also been switching over my skincare and haircare products to more natural, vegan based ones.
Loaded baked sweet potatoes are one of my go-to meals when I am not really in the mood to cook. You can really load them up with just about anything which is why I love them so much! Plus, sweet potatoes happen to have a lot of great nutrients like potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. My standard loaded sweet potato has black beans, sautéed spinach, avocado/guacamole, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce. Last weekend, I was inspired to whip up a Mediterranean version and came up with these curry chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes. I had the oven on since I was roasting up some other vegetables and roasted up a couple of potatoes as well. If I want to make this in less than 30 minutes, I’ll just microwave the potato.
My shopping list always includes sweet potatoes, spinach and beans so I am already halfway to making a meal like this one! I am currently obsessed with pomegranate and have been using them a lot in salads of late. I thought they would be a fun addition here since they pair well with other Mediterranean flavors. The chopped pistachios were a last minute add-on, but I loved them! They add just a bit of crunch and really round out these potatoes. I just love meals like this one that are healthy and super simple. Healthy meals don’t have to take forever to make!
Hey there! For those of you thinking about hitting the reset button on healthy eating this year, I wanted to provide a simple guide to get you started. This one month meal plan includes a lot of my favorite recipes from the blog laid out in a convenient printable calendar. Each week has 6 days worth of dinner recipes to get you inspired to get back into the kitchen on a regular basis. Some of the meals take as little as 30 minutes to prepare. Any recipes that take a little longer to cook, I added to the weekends since you likely have a little more time to work on prep on those days. Each week also includes one day for eating up leftovers or going out. (Since no one wants to have to cook every night!)
I didn’t plan out breakfast and lunch, but I did provide a list of some of my favorite go-to breakfast and lunch recipes below. I just mix and match those based on my week. For work, I always pack my lunch so I will either reheat leftovers or prep a favorite salad to portion out over the week. (I am currently still hooked on that winter kale salad for lunch. Mmmm!) I also make macro bowls too if I have the time on the weekend to roast up some veggies and cook a pot of grains.
Curious to see what a typical week looks like for me? Since it is just Will and I, we will eat leftovers some nights if we cook up a recipe that makes more than 2 servings. On nights when we don’t really feel like cooking, I’ll just have a simple cooked vegetable, Field Roast veggie sausage (not sponsored- just like them!), and a microwaved sweet potato. (Simple, yet filling!) Here’s a snapshot of what a typical week might look like for me. Anything underlined is a recipe linked below. For those of you who want to organize the recipes on your own rather than follow a set plan, here is a comprehensive list of some great breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes that will get you started! I’ve included all of the dinner recipes from the one month plan above in the list below.
Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018! Let me know in the comments below if you find these types of plans helpful!