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

Tag: vegetarian

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Good things come in small sizes! Enjoy these inidividual mini cheesecake bites, bursting with berries and rhubarb, for under 200 calories!   More than a Pie Filling! We may recognize rhubarb as the perfect pairing for strawberries in pies and jams. Its natural tartness balances […]

Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

Try these protein-packed frittata muffins for your next brunch or meal prep for a busy week ahead in only 30 minutes!   Skipping breakfast due to a hectic work schedule? Or planning a summer brunch with friends? These vegetable frittata muffins are quick and guaranteed tasty!  […]

Creamy Peanut Butter Strawberry Chia Pudding

Creamy Peanut Butter Strawberry Chia Pudding

A new summer treat filled with healthy fats and protein! Try my new Strawberry Chia Pudding with a chocolate peanut butter topping!

 

I received free samples of the NuGo nutrition bars mentioned in this post. I was compensated for this blog post.

 

You could say I am on a berry kick! Last week I shared with you my Berry Lavender Lemonade recipe and now, a strawberry chia pudding! It is no coincidence either. As summer approaches, so does berry season! Bursting with vitamin C and fiber, berries should be your next favorite fruit in desserts, sauces, or even breakfast recipes.

 

strawberry chia pudding
NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter Nutrition Bars for a nutritious layer!

 

 

Watch your back Flax!

When it comes to summer time desserts, we mostly think of cold pies, scoops of ice cream, and decadent puddings. Trendy versions of ice cream are now “nice cream” made from frozen bananas and pies are now “no bake”. A not-so-new pudding version is slowly taking over at a cafe and smoothie store near you. Yes it’s chia pudding.

I did my first simply chia pudding chia pudding last year.  You may notice a difference in the quality of the photos as I continue to learn more about food photography! Many of us may ask, well what is a chia? Sounds like a wild animal, doesn’t it? Chia is a type of plant that provides the nutritious superfood chia seeds. You may recognize chia plants from the tv commercials showing grassy plants shaped as a puppy or even Mickey Mouse.  Similar to flaxseed, these tiny, but mighty seeds are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber!

 

 

strawberry chia pudding

 

 

How-to: Strawberry Chia Pudding

Just like my simple chia pudding, and most standard recipes, the trick is to let the chia seed pudding chill overnight (or for at least four hours). This gives the seeds time to absorb the milk which results in  a more viscous consistency. Most times making chia pudding I have always used almond milk. For this version, I finally tried it with low fat coconut milk. Coconut milk and other milks, like soy or cow’s milk will lend a bit more creaminess thanks to their adequate fat content.

To give the popular chia pudding a new take I used my favorite nutrition bars. I have been eating NuGo Nutrition bars since I first reached out to NuGo several months ago. Their passion for quality, plant-based ingredients in their bars and recipes is such an admiration. I have contributed previously to their blog about plant-based meals and really enjoy the recipes they share. Not only are they extremely considerate of their consumers, but they also value good quality nutrition in their food products.

 

 

strawberry chia pudding
Strawberry Chia Pudding with nutrition bars make a fun snack or dessert!

 

In this recipe, I used the NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter bars as a middle layer in the chia pudding.  What I love about these bars is that each are packed with 17 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber! This pudding parfait can be excellent as a dessert or breakfast! If you prefer the strawberry chia pudding without the bars, I highly recommend trying these bars as a new go-to snack. The box of bars doesn’t even last a full week in my house!

 

Creamy Strawberry Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Serving Size: 1/2 cup with one nutrition bar for topping

Creamy Strawberry Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries (thawed if frozen), stems removed
  • 1 can or 1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup plus two tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (for those gluten sensitive, make sure certified gluten free)
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter bars, chopped, optional

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the strawberries and coconut milk. Pulse until well blended and the strawberries resemble a puree. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chia seeds, strawberries and coconut milk mixture, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture to food containers with an airtight lid and cover.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. This allows the chia seeds to absorb the liquid and form a viscous consistency.
  5. Once a desired pudding consistency is achieved, layer with the chopped NuGo bars, optional.
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Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade

Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade

This all-time favorite dip is getting a makeover for grilling season! Try this new recipe for my Grilled Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade!   I received free samples of Sabra Hummus mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe […]

Roasted Fennel and Citrus Barley Salad

Roasted Fennel and Citrus Barley Salad

This light, yet hearty roasted fennel and barley salad paired with a citrus dressing will keep you feeling satisfied this spring season!

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Put those nutritious vegetable scraps to good use this Earth Day! Try this Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna and learn more about ways to reduce food waste!

 

I am very happy to introduce you to a new colleague of mine in the food blogging world! Jenna Gorham, a Registered Dietitian in Bozeman, Montana, will be sharing some amazing facts about food waste and helpful tips to reduce it! At the end of the article, don’t forget to check out my vegetable lasagna recipe!

 

vegetable lasagna
Save those vegetable scraps for soups, pastas, or stir fry!

Guest Blogger: Jenna Gorham

I’m excited to be here on Katie’s blog today, especially in honor of Earth Day! This month’s Recipe Redux theme involves preventing food waste. I’m a big proponent of reduce, reuse, recycle and I love applying it in the kitchen. It’s estimated that approximately 30-40% of food produced for human consumption is wasted -from farms to processing facilities to grocery stores and restaurants and even in our own homes. Food waste is a national concern not only because of the millions of Americans going hungry each day but also because of the economic and environmental impacts.

 

Why Should We Care About Food Waste?

 

  • When we waste food, we’re also wasting valuable natural resources, including land, water, labor, and energy…
    • 25% of our freshwater supply and 300 million barrels of oil are used to produce food that is wasted

 

  • Food waste is a huge contributor to methane production…
    • Landfills are one of the largest sources of methane production in the country and food waste is the largest component filling up our landfills.
    • According to National Geographic, “Producing the food we throw away generates more greenhouse gases than most entire countries do,” that’s 135 million tons of greenhouse gases each year.

 

  • Over 40 million Americans continue to go hungry each day…
    • That’s 1 in 7 people going to bed without dinner or not knowing where their next meal will come from

 

  • We’re throwing money in the trash
    • As a country, $250 billion dollars each year, to be exact.
    • The average family in the U.S. throws away an average of $640 each year in food waste alone.

 

You can read more here, here, and here.

 

Did you know 39% of food wasted is fruits and vegetables?

 

As much as it bothers me to see someone de-stem a strawberry along with another good ½ inch of a perfectly edible fruit, or to see someone throw out a whole broccoli stalk and only eat the tree tops, I know there are things I can be doing better as well. There are plenty of reasons to waste less, and I think we can all do our part.

 

 

vegetable lasagna
Carrot peels make this lasagna subtly sweet!

8 Tips to Reduce your Food Waste in Your Kitchen

 

1. Leave the skins on your potatoes

Not only is peeling the skins off your potatoes wasteful, but also strips the vegetable of it’s amazing fiber content.

 

2. Use the stems of chard, spinach, kale and other veggie scraps in smoothies, pastas, soups, sauces, casseroles, and lasagnas

 

3. Buy multi-purpose ingredients

Choose ingredients useful in multiple recipes. Instead of letting your leftover ricotta sit for weeks until it gets moldy try making vegetable lasagna, cheesecake bars, muffins, pancakes, or a sandwich spread.

 

4. Save your scraps

Just like Katie did, you can puree your veggie scraps for a lasagna or paella or use the scraps to make a soup stock.

 

5. Go to the grocery store with a plan

Meal prep and Meal planning are great for organization, family dinners, weight loss, and overall nutrition and also help to reduce our waste from the start. Without a plan, it’s more likely our produce will get left to rot in the fridge.

 

6. Repurpose your leftovers

I can only eat the same meal over and over for so many days in a row. By repurposing your meats, beans, soups, roasted veggies, whole grains, etc. you can easily create a brand new meal from the same delicious leftovers.

 

7. Use your freezer

Preserve your leftovers, meat, bread, baked goods, and soups by tossing them in the freezer to eat later on. If bananas, strawberries, peaches, etc. are starting to go- slice them up and throw them in the freezer too. They’re great in smoothies, purees, or dessert sauces.

 

8. Don’t be picky about sell-by dates

Buy the milk that ‘expires’ today, it’s likely on sale and will last another week, otherwise it will just get thrown out!

 

In this recipe, Katie geniusly blended up her leftover veggie scraps to make an amazing vegetable lasagna and put her perfectly good vegetable scraps to good use. She then used her leftover ricotta to make cheesecake squares and her leftover blended veggies in paella. The girl’s a genius!

 

Jenna Gorham is a Registered Dietitian in Bozeman, Montana. She uses a non-diet, all foods fit approach to help women make peace with food and reach their health goals. She specializes in women’s health and works one-on-one with clients virtually across the country. Jenna also provides nutrition consulting services to businesses and brands. You can read more about her at www.jennagorhamrd.com or see what she’s up to on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

This lasagna requires a few different steps. To shorten cooking time, prepare the filling and tomato sauce earlier in the day or the night before.

Ingredients

  • 12 "no boil" lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, part skim (set aside)
  • Tomato Sauce*:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Additional vegetable scraps of your choice, optional
  • Vegetable Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of broccoli, finely chopped (stalks and leaves too!)
  • 1 cup green peas, thawed if frozen
  • 4 cups raw spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup vegetable scraps of your choice**
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Ricotta Filling:
  • 2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium high. Saute the garlic and red pepper flakes for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and vegetable scraps. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir often, breaking up the tomato pieces with a large spoon to make a sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. To make the ricotta filling, combine the ricotta cheeses and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet or saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat. Saute the broccoli, peas, and vegetable scraps for about 5-7 minutes to soften.
  6. Add in the garlic, dried herbs, and spinach. Cook for only 1-2 minutes (to keep the garlic from burning) until the spinach leaves have wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. In a 9 x 13 oven-safe baking dish, pour in tomato sauce to just cover the bottom (about 1/2 to 1 cup). Layer the lasagna noodles crosswise to fill across the width of the pan, should be about 3-4 noodles each layer.
  8. Next, cover the noodles with a layer of the ricotta filling and then the vegetable filling. Repeat until you have three to four complete layers of noodles.
  9. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. If the lasagna looks dry, feel free to pour in up to 1/2 cup water to soften the noodles prior to cooking.
  10. Cover with tin foil that is lightly greased with cooking spray (this prevents the cheese from sticking to the foil).
  11. Bake for 30-40 minutes covered, then 5-10 minutes uncovered. Let the lasagna sit for a few minutes out of the oven before serving (this allows the noodles to soften more just before serving).

Notes

*If you prefer store bought sauce, replace the sauce portion with your favorite brand.

** For the scraps, feel free to pulse in a food processor to finely chop.

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Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

The warmer weather is here, and so is guacamole season! For a fresher taste this spring try this Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole!   I think we can all agree that guacamole is absolutely delicious! Is it the rich taste of avocado or creamy texture that […]

Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

For a healthy take on a traditional favorite this Passover, try this vegetarian matzo ball soup with inflammation-fighting turmeric and fresh dill! It turns out that matzo ball soup, one of the most traditional and simple dishes at Passover, is not so simple!  There are many […]

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Does your kitchen need spring cleaning? Try this simple and versatile recipe for Dukkah!

 

Move over fairy dust! Dukkah, a delicious Egyptian blend of nuts and spices is pure magic! This versatile topping combines a sweet, savory, and nutty taste all in one. Use it as a crust on on your favorite protein. Or, try it sprinkled on roasted vegetables, eggs, dips, or even popcorn! The options are endless!

 

Clean out your pantry!

Do you have any nuts or spices hiding in your back shelf just waiting to be eaten? Perfect! Even though Dukkah is most commonly made with hazelnuts and sesame seeds, other nut and seed varieties are also welcome. The most popular spices used are cumin and coriander seeds, which really come to life when toasted! For this recipe, I chose to use the original ingredient, hazelnuts for their amazing taste and nutritional benefits.

dukkah
Heart healthy hazelnuts are the main feature in this Dukkah recipe

Filberts, another name for hazelnuts, are an excellent source of good-for-you unsaturated fats, calcium, and magnesium.  Magnesium, in particular, is found mostly in leafy greens, whole grains, and of course, nuts, and many Americans are not getting enough of this magnificent mineral. The daily recommended intake for magnesium ranges from 320mg per day for women and 420mg for men. In just a one ounce serving of hazelnuts, you’ll get 46mg of magnesium!

Why fuss with getting enough? Long term research (such as NHANES, the Nutrition and Health Examination Survey) has supported the idea that magnesium can aid in muscle contraction, building strong bones, and lowering the risk for heart disease, but also has suggested that Americans are not getting enough magnesium.

Here are some other sources high in magnesium:

  • leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens
  • dark chocolate
  • avocados
  • other nuts such as cashews provides 82mg in a one ounce serving
  • bananas
  • legumes (peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans)

 

dukkah
Dukkah Crusted Salmon

 

This beautiful and exotic spice blend is usually served with olive oil and flatbread, but there are many other ways to use dukkah. Try it as a coating on your favorite meat, fish, or vegetable. Or, in the mood for a savory snack? Top it on popcorn or your favorite dip! This heart healthy recipe is simple and takes only 10 minutes!

 

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 cups total

Serving Size: 1/4 cup for topping

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a small or medium cast iron or non-stick skillet, using no oil, heat pan to medium high.
  2. Add the hazelnuts to the pan and toast them, about 3-5 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning. Empty into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, toast the seeds and spices in the pan, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of hazelnuts.
  4. Transfer the bowl of nuts and seeds to a mini food processor or high powered blender. Pulse until coarsely ground.
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Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and recent transplant to Boulder, CO. After working as an inpatient dietitian for almost five years in Boston, she is expanding her expertise in the health and wellness industry. Katie is passionate about cooking and food photography, sharing her culinary adventures on her food blog, One Hungry Bunny, and exploring her new Rocky Mountain surroundings. Follow Katie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

 

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Craving cabbage for St Patrick’s Day? Rather than serving it with its famous sidekick, corned beef, try stuffed cabbage with protein packed pulses instead!   These stuffed cabbage rolls are mixed with green lentils and brown rice as a healthy, plant-based meat subsitute to corned beef. Topping […]


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