Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall Recipe Round Up + Thanksgiving Inspiration

This week, I'll enjoy my first Thanksgiving turkey since 2007 and I think I'm going to enjoy every bite. Adding meat back into my diet over the past few months has been interesting on so many levels. Some of my concerns over the slippery slope have been realized and lately, I'm making more of an effort to bump the veggies in our meals back up to pre-omnivore levels!

Since I've mastered some crowd pleasing veggie-filled dishes, I'll be preparing some crispy roasted brussels sprouts with garlic aioli and a new variation of my butternut squash lasagna for our family's Thanksgiving feast. If you need some inspiration this week, here are a few of my favorite fall recipes and a look back at some of our past Thanksgiving meals.

Delicata Squash Stuffed 2 Ways
If you have any non-meat eaters coming to your Thanksgiving feast, this is an entree option that is sure to wow. Delicata squash are delicious but are near the end of the season. If you can't find them, you could try this with any small squash. 

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Leeks

This year, I'm going to add some kale and mushrooms to this recipe and sub goat milk for the half and half. I also got some gluten free no-bake lasagna noodles so my niece can enjoy this! 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Pistachio Parsley Pesto

The parsley and pistachios that top this squash will add a burst of color to what can otherwise be a fairly monochromatic table full of shades of brown (no offense, stuffing, turkey, and potatoes, but you're a little lacking in the color category!)

Another delicious vegetarian entree option. Add some cannelini beans to the pesto to bump up the protein. 

Ah, my old standby. 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast

We hosted Thanksgiving a few years ago and got super creative so nobody missed the Turkey. Even my sister, not the world's biggest fan of veggies, loved the massaged kale salad. 

Maple Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Leave the refined sugar in the pantry with this recipe! It's still sweet and the maple and ginger add some more complex flavors. 
Spice things up a little with this superstar soup! 

Hopefully you've found some inspiration for something a little different than your standard candied yams, mashed potatoes, and stuffing here.

If you end up overindulging this week, you might want to try my Easy Detox Week

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


It's getting cold, and that means I'm transitioning from smoothies to oatmeal in the morning. I wasn't all that excited about this transition because last winter, I think I overdosed on oatmeal and I didn't do a great job with my ratios, meaning that it often ended up turning into a brick before I finished it. Well, I put a little more effort into my first bowl of the fall and when I shared a photo of it on InstagramFacebook, and twitter I got several requests for the recipe, so here it is! Note that I ate this for brunch. It makes a really big bowl that could easily serve 2. I've included rough nutritional estimates below. 

1 c unsweetened original tempt hemp milk (any unsweetened milk or water will work)
1/2 c rolled/old fashioned oats (this makes a very large bowl but is a "serving" according to the package)
1/2 apple, diced small (use the whole apple if feeding 2 with this)
2 tb raisins
1 tb chia seeds (can be bumped up to 2 tb for 2 servings)
1 tb pumpkin butter (or pumpkin puree to taste)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
1 tb sunflower seed butter (or any nut/seed butter of your choosing)
dash sea salt

Optional: To make these into proats (protein oats) add 1 tb of unflavored whey (try to find organic grass-fed if you can!) protein powder (or plant-based protein powder if you prefer). This makes a great post-workout recovery meal to help muscle synthesis. Added protein not included in nutritional info below.

Soak oats and chia seeds for as little as 5 minutes or overnight in water. This helps wash away water-soluble anti-nutrients in the oats and encourages early stage sprouting of the chia seeds; even a quick soak/rinse is better than no soak.

Combine hemp milk, raisins, salt, and apples (and whey if making proats) in a small/medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles form. Add the pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie spice, and oats. Stir to combine, lower heat to simmer, and cook until you reach your desired texture. This shouldn't take more than a few minutes since your oats have already soaked! Stir in the chia seeds, transfer to a large bowl, and top with a the sunbutter. Note that if you skip the nut/seed butter, you might want to stir in a tb of real butter or ghee. A little fat is an important part of a well-balanced meal, adds a ton of flavor, and should not be feared! That said, this recipe is sweet enough with the pumpkin butter, raisins, and apple... you don't need any added sugar! Enjoy your bowl of fall!

Quaker Quick Rolled Oats - Rolled Oats, 1/2 cup150202500
Tempt - Hemp milk (unsweetened), 1 cup801821250
Apple - Washington, 0.5 large (3-1/4" dia)551500111
Raisins - Seedless, 2 tbsp(s)621601212
Trader Joe's - Pumpkin Butter, 1 tbsp (18g)40100009
Spices - Pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp610010
Trader Joes - Sunflower Seed Butter, 1 tbsp100484602
Tj Chia Seeds - Chia Seeds, 1 Tbsp137153450


Monday, November 3, 2014

It's Been a While

Why hello there. You may remember me as the sustainable food and nutrition blogger who used to post recipes and stuff once in a while. Well, I've been a bit busy this year with my new job publishing Food Science books covering Sustainable Food, Nutrition, Functional Food, and Dairy and oh yeah, GETTING MARRIED (more photos of our big day here). It's been a wonderful year and now that I've hit my goal at work (and then some, yipee!) and have wedding planning (phew, that was tiring) behind me, I'm so excited to be re-launching my blog along with nutrition workshops, cooking classes, and 1:1 health coaching!

I'll delve into more specifics about those in a future post and in page updates, but for now, I figured I'd share some of this year's highlights with you in a digestible list with some fun pictures just to get us caught up. Sound good? Great. Here goes.
  • 18 new scientific reference books contracted on topics like protein and amino acids, vitamins, sustainable protein sources, insects as food ingredients, and probiotics. All right up my ally.
  • 5 conferences attended, including American Society for Nutrition at Experimental Biology in San Diego, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in New Orleans, IFT Wellness in Chicago, the 17th World Congress of Food Science & Technology (IUFoST) in Montreal, and Elsevier's Editorial Retreat in Chicago. I sat in on some fascinating scientific sessions which gave me new perspectives on macronutrient balance in our daily diets, micronutrient fortification of foods, the definition of sustainability, industry's role in our food supply, economies of scale gained in food production, food waste, food loss, and a whole host of other really fascinating topics. 
  • After sitting through and speaking 1:1 with scientists who have spent their entire careers studying protein, amino acids, and cardiometabolic health and muscle syntheses, I gradually reintroduced meat back into my diet. After 6 years of semi-vegetarianism (there was some fish in there), it's been good. I tried meeting the complete protein recommendations made by said scientists without meat, but it was really hard to do while staying within my reasonable daily calorie requirements. My new husband was rather reluctant about eating meat again, but he's fully on board now and makes a mean grass-fed organic pasture-raised burger, which we like to sandwich between english muffins made of sprouted organic ancient grains and top with whole grain mustard and home made slaw. 
  • Before the wedding, James and I both started 5 am classes at a fitness studio around the corner from our new home. We also cut WAY back on dairy, refined grains, and refined sugar. These were the biggest offenders in our diet and these changes helped both of us look and feel our best for our big day. :-)
  • Oh yeah, we moved from Somerville to Malden in July. I will have to convert one of our off-street parking spots to a container garden next summer or find a community garden to get my hands dirty in.
  • Turks and Caicos is beautiful and the food there is delicious. We spent 8 glorious nights in an oceanfront suite on Grace Bay. I had never needed a vacation so badly in my life and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I drank lots of rum punch and ate lots of fresh fish. I even indulged in the best bread pudding I've ever had. Every morning. With breakfast. I also listened to 3 audiobooks and took 3 yoga classes. We swam in the ocean, went snorkeling, jet skiing, and kayaking and rented a vespa to explore the island ourselves. So. Much. Fun! 
I promise to write another post this week. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, comments, or ideas for future posts!