Living a healthy life is supposed to be fun and filled with good food!

Author: Katie

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

Almost time for the holidays? Try a meatless main dish! Bursting with seasonal cranberries and rosemary flavors, try this Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash at your next holiday meal!       Feed that Healthy Gut! This stuffed acorn squash may be the main star […]

No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars

No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars

Pumpkin season is here! Try this simple and delicious No Bake Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars for a healthy snack or convenient on-the-go breakfast this fall season!

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

The fall season is finally here! Why not cozy up with a warm

cup of this naturally gluten-free and vegetarian Creamy

Roasted Broccoli Soup?

 

With hints of lemon and topped with parmesan cheese, this healthy version of a broccoli soup classic is sure to please!

 

Simple and Easy Roasted Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli soup is not just for Campbell’s soup fans! Make your own version at home with your favorite broth and milk source. Personally, I tried it with homemade almond milk, but this soup can be creamy with regular milk, dairy-free milk, such as coconut, or even without milk altogether! If you prefer no dairy, use a total of four cups of broth instead for this recipe.

To give this roasted broccoli soup that creamy texture, make sure you have an immersion blender or high-powered blender. If using a traditional blender, transfer the soup (with the heat turned off) in small batches and pulse until a smoother consistency is achieved.  To be honest, I am completely obsessed with my immersion blender. I use it often for soups, sauces, and dips. For a version similar to the one I own check out this Cuisinart one from Amazon here.

 

 

roasted broccoli soup
Antioxidant-rich broccoli is the main star in this soup recipe

 

 

 

roasted broccoli soup
Serve this soup with fresh bread or a side salad to make it a satisfying meal!

 

 

roasted broccoli soup
This soup recipe can be made vegan, vegetarian, or with meat broth for a fulfilling family meal.

 

Nothing better than homemade!

Besides a homemade broccoli soup, I finally made homemade almond milk (used in this recipe). After reading about how easy and simple it is to make this tasty dairy alternative, in addition to viewing how-to videos by other dietitians, I knew I had to try it. Not only is homemade almond milk tastier than the boxed version, it also doesn’t include any fillers.

When I say simple, I mean simple when making this delicious beverage. Almond milk at home involves three basic steps. Soaking the almonds (or other type of nuts) overnight in water is the first and easiest. Second, transferring the almonds after draining the soaking water into a blender and pulsing them with clean water until a blended, thick consistency is achieved. Make sure you are using a 1:2 ratio of almonds to water. Lastly, drain the almonds in a mesh nut bag and squeeze out the liquid into a bowl or container. Voila, this drained liquid is now tasty and creamy homemade nut milk. If you want to try this fun method in the kitchen, try these amazing hemp nut milk bags from Gaia Guy . For more on making almond milk, read this helpful article here from The Kitchn.

 

Photo credit by Gaia Guy Organic Hemp Nut Milk Bags

 

I hope you find this soup recipe delicious and comforting as the colder weather approaches. Wishing you a beautiful and healthy fall season!

 

 

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

This soup is so quick and easy! If you prefer a vegan soup, use almond or coconut milk for a unique flavor. For those that prefer chicken broth, try it with low sodium chicken broth for less sodium content. This recipe has a strong lemon flavor, I recommend reducing the lemon zest to one teaspoon if you would rather have a subtle flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium heads of broccoli, chopped into medium florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, largely chopped
  • 4-5 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 cups low sodium broth (I used vegetable)
  • 1 cup milk ( I used homemade almond milk)
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • Optional topping: Grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Place broccoli florets on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. While the broccoli roasts, in a medium pot, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Sautee the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sautee for 30 seconds to one minute until garlic is slightly browned. Add the lemon zest, broth, and milk. Bring to a simmer and continue for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the roasted broccoli to the soup pot. Turn off the heat.
  5. Using an immersion blender (or transferring soup in small batches to a blender), blend the soup until the ingredients are a pureed consistency.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with optional parmesan cheese.
  7. Enjoy it with whole grain bread or a side salad for a complete meal.
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Pesto Tilapia Sheet Pan Dinner

Pesto Tilapia Sheet Pan Dinner

Dinner in under 30 minutes with little to no cleanup? Try this tasty and simple Pesto Baked Tilapia Sheetpan Dinner for your next weeknight meal!

Lavender Honey Glazed Apple Muffins

Lavender Honey Glazed Apple Muffins

As apple season arrives, it’s time to get out those cozy sweaters! If it isn’t obvious enough, my favorite season is fall, and yes I am a fan of anything pumpkin-flavored! With the colder weather approaching, hot cereals are the go-to breakfast routine, so why not change it up with muffins! Using a seasonal favorite combined with the uniqueness of lavender, these apple muffins will not dissapoint!

Blackberry and Watermelon Caprese

Blackberry and Watermelon Caprese

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t

mean to skimp on your H2O! Hydrate yourself with this

new recipe for a refreshing Blackberry Watermelon

Caprese!

 

 

 

Drink Up!

No matter the season, adequate hydration is crucial all year round! Who hasn’t heard the advice to “drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day?” Let’s be honest, in reality, not everyone is drinking only water during the day. The newer guidelines I discuss below address recommended intake of all fluids, including fluids from food items! Watermelon is one of the most hydrating food items; other produce that will quench your thirst are oranges, cucumbers, and cantaloupe. And don’t forget foods that are in fluid form (or melt at room temperature), for example, soup, ice cream, and gelatin, these foods count towards your fluid requirement too!

So, what is our daily fluid requirement? There is no perfect number. The recommended amount can vary based on age, sex, health status, and your physical activity level. More general fluid requirements range from 25-35 milliliters of fluid per body weight in kilograms. If you are a numbers person and prefer more calculations, check out Nutrition 411’s article here. Instead of calculating out your needs, you can follow these guidelines by the Institute of Medicine. The adequate intake (AI)  of fluids for men is 3 liters per day (about 13 cups) and for women 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) per day.

 

blackberries
Fresh blackberries boosting with antioxidants and hydration!

 

Watch for the Signs

Before you grab your liquid measuring cups, keep these helpful indicators in mind too! The color of your urine tells you a lot about your hydration status. The lighter the color, the more hydrated; aim for the color of lemonade. Darker yellow is a sign of dehydration, and those noticing amber or red tints (not including from beet consumption) may want to seek medical advice as this can mean your urine is blood-tinged. Moving on from toilet talk, these are a few symptoms of dehydration to be aware of: thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and increased respiratory rates during exercise. For more on hydration during physical activity, read this excellent article by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics here.

 

watermelon caprese
This refreshing Blackberry Watermelon Caprese can be ready in minutes!

 

Mouth-watering Watermelon Caprese

This watermelon caprese is bursting with hydration thanks to its fresh fruit content. In under 20 minutes, you can enjoy this delicious fruit salad as a healthy side, appetizer, or dessert! For other recipes that can quench your thirst, click below!

 

 

Blackberry and Watermelon Caprese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 1 cup

Blackberry and Watermelon Caprese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon, deseeded and chopped
  • 12 oz whole blackberries (thawed if frozen)
  • Juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 8 oz mozzarella balls (or chopped mozzarella)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Top with additional basil as a garnish (optional). Enjoy!
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Breakfast Polenta: Simple, Sweet, Savory

Breakfast Polenta: Simple, Sweet, Savory

Tired of oatmeal every morning? Try breakfast polenta as your next sweet or savory brunch alternative!   A-maize-ing Polenta Are you more of a sweet or savory breakfast eater?  Most days I crave eggs during the week, but on weekends I am ready for a […]

Creamy Avocado Macaroni Salad

Creamy Avocado Macaroni Salad

Lay off the mayo with some heart healthy avocado! Try my new recipe for this Creamy Avocado Macaroni Salad at your next cookout!   Hold the Mayo… When it comes to our favorite side dishes at summer cookouts, we mostly think of creamy coleslaw, potato […]

Harissa Spiced Salmon Burgers

Harissa Spiced Salmon Burgers

Add some spice in your life this summer season with these delicious and healthy Harissa Spiced Salmon Burgers!

These burgers can be enjoyed as a sandwich or alone on top of your favorite salad! If fish and meat are not your favorite, read on for my vegetarian chickpea burgers!

 

salmon burgers
Salmon burger patties ready for the grill! While cooking aim at an internal temp of 145 degrees Farenheit to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

 

Delicious Salmon Burgers

In place of the very popular beef burgers, why not try salmon, which is loaded with heart healthy unsaturated fats and protein? Lately, there has been a trend in consumption of bacon, butter, and coconut oil. Previously, I have talked about coconut milk and its source of MCT fats, but new reports from the American Heart Association suggest that excessive intakes of these fats are not beneficial to our health. In fact, consuming too much of these fats is linked to raising bad cholesterol, and may also make consumers miss out on nutritious fruits and vegetables, fish, and legumes. For more on the benefits of limiting saturated fats in our diet, click here.

Like the healthy salmon burgers described in this post, salmon naturally provides an excellent source of protein, B12, and Selenium.  As the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines suggest, aim for two servings of fish a week. For those that prefer vegetarian options, try legumes like chickpeas or black beans!  Adapted from my Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs, check out below my recipe for Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers!

 

Spice it up with Harissa!

Harissa spice continues to be a trendy spice for good reason! This smoky, spicy flavor enhances any dish without the need for salt or other condiments.  I am talking to you, ketchup fans!  Harissa is most commonly seen in a paste, but also comes in a dried form. I previously used the paste version as a marinade on roasted cauliflower and fell in love with the spice! My recipes for both chickpea and salmon burgers include the dry form of harissa spice, and still provides an excellent flavor kick! So, whether you prefer the salmon or chickpea version, try it with harissa for an exciting new twist on your next burger! For more on the magical spice blend, harissa, click here.

 

 

Harissa Spiced Healthy Salmon Burgers

Harissa Spiced Healthy Salmon Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 4-6 ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, largely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium preferred
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground harissa spice
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, leaves and stems chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large food processor, pulse together all ingredients except the parsley and scallions. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and the salmon achieves a pureed texture.
  2. Transfer the salmon burger mix into a large bowl and stir in the scallions and parsley to combine.
  3. Working with clean hands, form the burger mix into patties about 2" wide and 1" thick. Adjust the size based on your liking. Place on a clean plate.
  4. Whether using a grill or grill pan, cook the burgers on medium hot heat for 3-4 minutes each side. The internal temperature should reach at least 145 degrees Farenheit.
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Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers

Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 15 ounce can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground harissa spice
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley ,largely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large food processor, pulse all ingredients except the onion and parsley. Mix until all ingredients are blended thoroughly to a thick consistency. Add more oats or breadcrumbs if the mix is too watery. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the onions and parsley. Combine thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a 10" cast iron skillet or large pan, heat oil on medium high heat (this can also be heated on top of a grill if using the cast iron skillet). With clean hands, shape the chickpea mixture into 2" patties and gently place on the pan. Cook for at least 3 minutes each side or until the middle is cooked through. Turn off the heat and serve hot.
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Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl

Want a dish that hydrates, restores energy, and satisfies hunger? Try my new recipe for this Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl!   I received free samples of NuGo Nutrition bars mentioned in this post. I was compensated for this blog post. The opinions and comments of […]


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