11 Light Dinners for Those Days When You’ve Eaten Too Much

Over indulged a little too much earlier in the day and can’t face fixing yourself anything for dinner? The last meal of the day doesn’t have to be big and ‘meaty’ to be satisfying – and there are plenty of options other than a salad that are quick and easy to put together. It could be as simple as having a poached egg on gluten free toast with avocado, or even a refreshing green smoothie (a great way to sneak in lots of goodness!). 

For some inspiration, I have put together these 11 nourishing, delicious, light recipes that are quick and easy and won’t leave you feeling heavy and even more lethargic afterwards.

  1. Fish & Lettuce Tacos

These Fish & Lettuce Tacos are so quick and easy to make. All you really need is some lettuce (to use as the wraps), white boneless fish and perhaps a few veggies to add to the taco. We used a mixture of chopped fresh herbs, onion, avocado, tomato, cucumber and some lemon or lime juice on top. Something like this could be whipped up in less than 15 minutes.

  1. Breakfast Omelette Wrap

Don’t be fooled by the name – our Breakfast Omelette Wrap also makes a great dinner. This is a perfect recipe to use up those leftover eggs, herbs and veggies that may be hiding in your fridge from last week’s shop.

  1. Easy Pumpkin Fritters

The best part about our Easy Pumpkin Fritters is that any leftovers make a tasty breakfast the next day. We love adding in grated zucchini and/or carrot to increase the veggie quantity – you can also mix in a handful or two of grated cheese.

  1. Simple Beef Kebabs with Creamy Garlic & Mint Dressing

These Simple Beef Kebabs with Creamy Garlic & Mint Dressing can be so versatile – use up any leftover veggies and whack them on your BBQ or in the oven to cook. You can omit the dressing and just use herbs, salt and pepper to season them for a super simple, quick meal.

  1. Turmeric Chicken Zoodle Soup

A small bowl of this Turmeric Chicken Zoodle Soup can do wonders for making you feel better and reduce inflammation. Chicken soups are economical and super easy to make. Simply put all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and leave it for around 6-8 hours on low.This is a great meal to pop on as you’re having your morning coffee or just about to head out the door to work. By the time you come home, your dinner is ready and waiting for you.

  1. Zucchini & Sage Quiche Muffins

If you love savoury muffins, you’ll love these Zucchini & Sage Quiche Muffins. This is a delicious and versatile recipe. Mix it up by adding your favourite herbs, spices, grated cheese or leftover roasted chicken or chemical-free bacon. 

  1. Basil & Veggie Fritters

Another one of my favourite recipes is these Basil & Veggie Fritters. If you’re pushed for time and need to create a healthy meal that is super easy, super quick, yet tasty and nourishing then these fritters are my go-to. What I love about fritters is that they not only taste great but you can change up the flavour so easily by adding in other herbs, lots of spices, tomato, feta, smoked salmon, etc. You can also enjoy any of the leftovers for breakfast or lunch the next day.

  1. Lemon & Thyme Chicken Broth

A cup or two of bone broth for dinner can help to settle an uncomfortably full belly. This Lemon & Thyme Chicken Broth is so easy to make. I recommend my clients have some bone broth on hand, whether it’s frozen as ice-cubes and stored in a zip lock bag or dehydrated chicken broth. 

  1. Pepita & Coconut Paleo Bread

Sometimes all you really want is a piece of toast. But if you’re trying to avoid gluten it can be pretty hard to find a delicious gluten free bread recipe. Try our Pepita & Coconut Paleo Bread – I like to make a batch of it, slice it up once it’s cooked and put 2 pieces into ziplock bags and place it in the freezer. Then when I’m in a pinch, or really don’t feel like cooking, I can grab it out of the freezer and toast it. Top it with avocado, salt and pepper for a really simple light lunch or dinner option.  

  1. Cauliflower & Herb Detox Soup

This Cauliflower & Herb Detox Soup is a perfect quick and easy meal for those nights where you’re full, but you want to up your veggie intake and get some nourishment. You can also make a big batch of this soup and keep some in the freezer for an even speedier dinner.

  1. Green Apple, Ginger & Cucumber Smoothie

Have you ever tried a green smoothie for dinner? This one might sound a bit strange, but stay with me. Our Green Apple, Ginger & Cucumber Smoothie is a great way to pack more greens into your diet and it contains probiotics which will nourish your gut bugs and boost your immune system. It also has herbs which will naturally cleanse and detox the body, ginger which will help to settle nausea/uncomfortable belly and cucumber which will help to rehydrate you. I love smoothies because you can easily adapt the recipe to whatever you have in your fridge, and to suit your taste buds.

We’d love to know your favourite go-to recipes for when you don’t feel like eating much, or simply don’t want to spend ages in the kitchen. Comment and share with us below.

Jordan Pie

Changing Habits Nutritionist & GAPS Practitioner

 

 

Jordan Pie

Jordan Pie

Practicing Nutritionist at Changing Habits

I am a qualified holistic Nutritionist and a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) practitioner. No matter your chosen path or where you are in your own health journey, my heartfelt mission is to help as many people as possible to achieve and sustain vibrant health and wellness by inspiring you to get creative with real, whole, fresh foods and to see them in a brand new light! I’m an avid believer in the value of home cooking, utilising the healing power of foods, extremely passionate about gut health, eating intuitively and the importance of listening to your own body.

Jordan Pie

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5 Ways to Build a Healthy, Mindful Relationship with Food

 

Mindful eating is a new concept… until processed foods came along, there wasn’t a need to eat mindfully.

For thousands of years, foods were always natural – not tampered with, not genetically modified, and free of dubious additives. Today, eating healthily often involves becoming more aware of what not to eat.

Way back when, we also never had to think about how to eat, because we didn’t have the stressors we have today. We didn’t eat at our work desk, while driving, while on the phone, while watching TV or the like. Instead we ate in nature, being present with our food and surrounded by our family and friends.

So, how can you reestablish a healthy and mindful relationship with food? Transitioning from an unhealthy, mindless way of eating takes time. A lot of people think willpower plays a large role in this, but I think the term ‘respect for my body’ is a lot more relevant. Willpower is when you really want a food, though know you shouldn’t have it, so you don’t eat it. However, I think it’s more important to realise that you actually don’t want that food at all because you have respect for your body. This is a very important habit to gain, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

Here are a few tips that can get you started on your way to eating healthily and more mindfully:

  1. Eat to be well, not to be thin. This makes healthy eating SO much easier. By eating non-inflammatory, nourishing foods always – not just sometimes – you are eating to be vibrant, energetic, confident, happy and free of symptoms, and weight loss or maintenance is simply a positive side effect. When people are ‘eating to be thin’, they focus on their weight, not their body’s nourishment. When this happens, they often reach their desired weight, but then gain the excess weight back soon after, because they were eating to be thin, not to be well. Eating to be well means having a long lasting, sustainable, positive relationship with food where you are mindfully eating 100% of the time.
  2. Take three deep breaths before eating. This aims to get you out of the stress mode, and into the rest and digest mode, preparing you for your meal. It also allows you to take a good look at your food, appreciate it and be thankful for what you are about to consume.
  3. Put away or turn off electronic devices around you, like your phone, TV or radio. These devices can leave you feeling tense, stressed and remove you from the present moment. When you are feeling stressed, your body shunts energy away from your digestive system, which can stop you digesting efficiently (read more here).
  4. Educate yourself. We cannot get away with being uneducated about food and nutrition today. Those that are uneducated about the food they eat are at risk of becoming one of the many statistics that are on the rise: those with obesity, autoimmune diseases, cancers, anxiety, depression and more. Seek a holistic practitioner to support you, read books, listen to podcasts, and always question anything you are told.
  5. Make your food ridiculously delicious. You don’t need to deprive yourself when eating healthy. I promise that I never, ever eat a boring, tasteless meal. It is quite the opposite! Visit our recipe page for inspiration – you will find some wonderful, satisfyingly delicious recipes that I eat on a regular basis.

These steps have become a natural ritual for me now. I hope that they help you to overcome any concerns about eating healthily and mindfully, because it is a pleasant, positive process and the rewards are definitely worth your while!

What are you going to try to implement? What has worked for you in the past?

Sheridan Austin

Nutritionist and GAPS Practitioner

Sheridan Williamson

I am a qualified holistic Nutritionist and a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) practitioner. I’ve been working with Cyndi since 2012 and consulting for Changing Habits since late 2014. I have an overwhelming passion to help, inspire, research and do everything possible to assist in providing a better life to those that need it, and particularly for those people that have been told there is nothing they can do about their debilitating symptoms. It is my honour to encourage individuals to believe that they can live their best life possible, and to continue creating the best version of themselves.

Years ago I was addicted to sugar, processed foods, was taking antihistamines like lollies and antibiotics were always a part of my life. I had ongoing gut pain, reoccurring sinus and chest infections, rashes, extreme fatigue, a foggy brain and the list continues. While suffering from these symptoms for almost all my life, not one person told me that there was something I could do to resolve them. After studying and doing my own extensive research, I became fanatical about nutrition and the power of food, and my health is the best it has ever been and will only continue to improve. I am constantly learning and relaying the latest research to my clients. I have a specific interest in gut health and its ability to impact our overall health, and it is with great pleasure that I assist you in becoming the best version of you with real, delicious and nourishing food, love and happiness.

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4 Ways to Promote a Healthy Gut-Brain Connection

 

Do you ever have that ‘gut feeling’ that something isn’t right, mentally or physically? As your brain and gut actually do communicate with one another, this could be more accurate than you perhaps think. The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is an important organ, sometimes referred to as our ‘second brain’. Emerging evidence suggests that the gut plays a very important role in our overall health and wellbeing— affecting our immune system, digestion, hormone regulation, vitamin production, our ability to eliminate toxins and also our mental health. Unfortunately, however, our gut health can get overlooked.

The Gut-Brain Connection Explained

The brain and gut are connected by a large network of neurons, chemicals, and hormones which constantly provide feedback about how hungry or thirsty we are, whether or not we’re experiencing stress, or if we’ve consumed a disease-causing microbe. This connection can be known as the ‘gut-brain axis’, providing information from both ends.

The gut is highly sensitive to certain emotions such as anxiety, sadness, anger, and excitement. Signals, in the form of thoughts and emotions, are produced in the brain, received by part of our nervous system and then have a direct effect on the gut. This is demonstrated by the ‘fight or flight’ response, when a person senses danger and decides whether to stay and face up to the danger (‘fight’) or turn and run from it (‘flight’). In this scenario, the central nervous system sends signals to the enteric nervous system (which is embedded in the gut) to slow down or completely stop digestion. This allows the body to redirect energy that would have been used to digest food to the ‘fight or flight’ situation.

The ‘fight or flight’ state can be triggered from states of stress and anxiety. While our bodies are designed to cope with this situation every now and then, some people constantly feel stressed or anxious, which can cause a problem. Being in a constant state of stress can lead to undesirable health outcomes such as chronic inflammation, which is the root cause of some autoimmune disorders.

How to Promote a Healthy Gut-Brain Connection

Our diets can help shape the health of our gut. To have your gut performing at its best, you could try to:

  1. Avoid Highly Refined Processed Foods

Refined sugars and processed food serve as a feeder for pathogenic microorganisms and yeast, causing them to multiply and ultimately creating an unhealthy state in our gut.

  1. Be Mindful of Gluten

Gluten has been shown to cause havoc to the balance of bacteria (microbiome) in our gut and can lead to a ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut is where undigested food leaks out into our body and can produce symptoms such as headaches, weight gain and joint pain, which can develop into autoimmune diseases. Read more about a leaky gut here.

  1. Consume Healthy Fats

It is also essential to create a healthy microbiome for a good gut-brain connection. Our microbiome and brain require nutrient-rich forms of fat to function optimally. Good fats assist in decreasing inflammation and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and the formation of new cells. Some good fats include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Wild salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocados
  1. Increase Good Bacteria with Probiotics

Consuming probiotic-rich foods can also aid our gut. Probiotics are good bacteria that line our gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption, and help support our immune system. Foods rich in probiotics include:

  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Coconut kefir

The gut plays a huge role in our overall health. Food and lifestyle habits are extremely important when it comes to our gut and overall health and wellbeing. Look after your gut and it will help to look after you!

References

Monique Hastie

Monique Hastie

I am a student nutritionist and will graduate from university this year. I live by the mantra ‘nourish not punish’ and I am a huge believer that real whole foods are the key to achieving and sustaining radiant health and wellness. My mission is to help get people eating more from the earth and not a box, spending more time in the kitchen and eating intuitively. I want to help others become an inspiration, not just for themselves, but for those around them to live a healthy active lifestyle.

Monique Hastie

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Activated Charcoal: What You Need to Know

 

Most of us are familiar with charcoal. It’s the stuff that helps you have a killer barbecue, or the black stick you might have drawn with in art class when you were young. But more recently, people are consuming activated charcoal (which is quite different) as a supplement. But what are the benefits? And is it actually safe?

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal can be made by burning a source of carbon such as wood or coconut shells. The material is then placed in a furnace and activated with oxygen or steam. What is left is a highly absorbent material – the expanded surface area of activated charcoal has millions of tiny pores which bind with toxins and chemicals. This porous surface has a negative charge, which attracts positively charged gas and toxins. Once bound to the charcoal, these undesirable substances can be transported out of the body through your stool.

Health Benefits of Charcoal

  • Acts as an emergency detoxification supplement – activated charcoal has been medically proven to remove toxins from the body in emergency situations such as alcohol or drug overdoses. It’s estimated that activated charcoal can reduce absorption of toxins by up to 60%! However, in the case of such an overdose, we recommend you ALWAYS seek professional help immediately and let them know what has been swallowed.
  • Reduces intestinal gas – some studies show that charcoal binds to gas within the intestines and helps to transfer it out of the body. This may be a good supplement for those who suffer from stomach pain created by gas, bloating or even food intolerances/sensitivities.
  • Prevents hangovers – activated charcoal may help trap the toxins that your body produces when drinking alcohol. You can take activated charcoal with plenty of water after a night drinking, just before you go to sleep, and it should help you feel more refreshed the next day.
  • Whitens teeth and reduces bad breath – activated charcoal can naturally whiten and brighten teeth and reduce bad breath. Lots of different companies are now adding charcoal to their toothpaste products because of these benefits.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels – in one study, patients with high cholesterol who took activated charcoal 3 times per day had a 25% reduction in total cholesterol.
  • Reduces body odour – activated charcoal is often used in soaps and other personal skin care products. Body odour can be the result of toxins leaving the body and adding charcoal to these products aids detox and reduces body odour.
  • Aids skin ailments – activated charcoal is a handy remedy to have in your first aid kit for insect bites as well as skin rashes. Mix one capsule of activated charcoal with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the affected area. Place a bandage over the treated area and reapply the remedy every 30 minutes until symptoms are relieved.
  • Acts as an internal cleansing agent – activated charcoal can help support a healthy digestive tract. It helps remove environmental toxins that can cause allergic reactions and have an adverse impact on immune system function. Activated charcoal can also be helpful in binding and eliminating heavy metals like lead and mercury.
  • Can be used for water filtration – activated charcoal water filters can be used to filter carbon-based impurities such as pesticides, industrial waste, chlorine and other chemicals from your drinking water. These filters will not, however, trap bacteria, minerals, viruses, nitrates, and other substances not attracted to carbon. If you use activated charcoal filters in your home, it’s best to replace them regularly.

But, for all these benefits, you should be mindful when you take charcoal…

When to Take Charcoal

Charcoal is not choosy when it comes to absorbing things. Some studies have shown that while charcoal absorbs toxins, it can also absorb vital minerals in your body and disrupt important medications or supplements. Make sure you ingest charcoal 2-3 hours after taking any kind of medicine, supplements or food, so that the charcoal doesn’t interfere with them.

Drink Plenty of Water

Be sure to drink enough water when taking activated charcoal to prevent dehydration.

Everyone is an Individual

Everyone responds differently to different doses. To avoid potential undesirable effects, such as constipation, please consult your chosen health care practitioner before using activated charcoal and use only as suggested.

Have you consumed charcoal as a supplement before, and did you notice any benefits?

References

Jordan Pie

Jordan Pie

Practicing Nutritionist at Changing Habits

I am a qualified holistic Nutritionist and a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) practitioner. No matter your chosen path or where you are in your own health journey, my heartfelt mission is to help as many people as possible to achieve and sustain vibrant health and wellness by inspiring you to get creative with real, whole, fresh foods and to see them in a brand new light! I’m an avid believer in the value of home cooking, utilising the healing power of foods, extremely passionate about gut health, eating intuitively and the importance of listening to your own body.

Jordan Pie

Latest posts by Jordan Pie (see all)

Potty Training Basics (The first 3 days, and the first year!)

 

There are so many articles out there about potty training: the different methods (3 day vs. baby-led), different tools to use (book recommendations, a separate potty chair vs. the kid seat for the big potty), and opinions — that when I started getting asked questions about how we potty trained Layla, I wasn’t sure I had much to add to the advice already out there!

Then I realized that most of the articles I read talked about the process of potty training — what to do before, what things to get, etc. But none of them talked about what happens a week later, a month later, and even a year later!

I just assumed that once we potty trained Layla, she might have an accident here or there, but in general we’d be on a steady path away from diapers. I also thought that if she didn’t show any anxieties about using the potty initially or even after a few months, that we’d be in the clear.

Boy, was I wrong!

So here is our potty story: the easy, the frustrating, and the truth!

To start, here are a few FAQs:

How old was Layla when you started potty training?

She was about 2 when she showed an interest in the potty, and so for a couple months we’d just “mock” it — have her sit there with her diaper on, get her used to washing her hands after, etc. Then one magical day when she was 2 years, 3 months, she took off her diaper and said she had to go pee on the potty. And she actually did! It was awesome. Essentially, we just let her lead from there, and kept putting her on the potty to go pee (didn’t attempt pooping on the potty for a couple months).

Did you buy any potty books?

No, we tried to go as lightweight as possible. Since we waited until Layla asked to go on the potty, and since she was fairly good at bladder control in the beginning, we didn’t end up needing to buy a book (initially – more on that later).

How long did it take Layla to be potty trained? 

Once she went pee that first time on the potty, it was only about a week until we had no more accidents. She trained herself for pee pretty fast! For poop, we let her lead that too — and it was about 3 months later when she pooped on the potty for the first time (so she was about 2.5 years old when she was done being potty trained). Done is a loose term though – read on!

Did you buy a separate kid potty, or did you use a potty seat for the regular toilet? 

I was grossed out by having to clean out a kid potty multiple times a day, so we decided to start with a seat that goes on a regular toilet. We loved this one from Baby Bjorn, and this one from Baby Cubby. Layla had no problem with the regular toilet – we animated it for her so she could “talk” to it and learn about flushing and where everything goes, etc. – which I think helped.

Did you give her treats or incentives to go? 

No, not initially, mainly because we didn’t have to! We did a lot of cheering and positive verbal reinforcement, but never had to do treats as a bribe. Later on though, we did!

Did you let her wear underwear overnight? 

No. We still put a pullup on her at night – a year later! 99% of the time, her pullup is dry. But there have been a handful of times in the past year where her pullup is totally full of pee in the morning, and to avoid having to clean up an accident at 3am, we are still doing pullups at night. We’ll probably let that go when she’s 4 or so and see how things go from there. For her naps, she wears underwear.

What was easy about potty training? 

We got lucky with a kid who basically potty trained herself. She had good bladder control and pooping control from the start, we literally only had 2 accidents for pee and 1 for poop, so initially we didn’t have to do much work. The real work came with managing all the regressions – which I didn’t anticipate!!

So what were these regressions?

Ok. Here goes. Layla’s regressions for potty training all had to do with poop unfortunately. Pee was always fine from 2 years 3 months onwards. But pooping. Oh. my. God. I have never talked about poop with another adult (or child) so much in my life!

It all started with her first (and only) pooping accident. She was just about 2.5 years old, and she was napping in her crib. We think she forgot that she was napping, woke up because she had to poop, thought she was in the bathroom, pulled down her pants, and went in her crib. And then she laid down in it. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Traumatic!!

After that incident, she just started holding her poop. FOR DAYS. She was terrified to go. It had nothing to do with the potty, it all had to do with the act of pooping. She wouldn’t even go in a diaper. And our kid is STUBBORN. No incentives, no treats, nothing would work. After 3 days, we had to give her Miralax (which btw, is an excellent, non-habit forming, no-side-effects, tasteless stool softener that will work on the most stubborn of kids!) That worked. Her fear of pooping took about 3 weeks to subside, thanks to the help of Miralax every day which prevented her from holding it. We also used Lara Bars as positive reinforcement (since Layla thought they were dessert). So every time she pooped on the potty, she’d get like 1/8th of a Lara Bar, and lots of positive verbal reinforcement from us.

We thought we were in the clear.

Then, about 5-6 months later, the fear of pooping came back! We think this time it was because she had ONE uncomfortable poop, and then again, she just never wanted to go. Again, not related to the potty, just related to the act of pooping (again, when offered a pullup to go in, she said no). She was terrified of her poop “hurting her bum.” And again, no treats or bribes would work.

3 days, 4 days, and Miralax again. This time the fear was more persistent — because it’s 5 months later and we’re still dealing with the on and off anxiety about pooping. We’re almost 1 year from when we first declared Layla “potty trained!”

It was about this time that we started looking into books, and found this one, called “It Hurts When I Poop,” especially helpful. Layla really related to the main character and still talks to him from time to time (as an imaginary friend) when she’s feeling anxious about pooping.

At this point, because her anxiety was coming back on a weekly basis, I started hating the fact that I had to give her Miralax multiple times a week. First, because I didn’t like the idea of a constant stool softener (even though Miralax is mild and not habit forming), and second, to make it effective, you have to mix it in juice (and I definitely didn’t like the idea of giving her juice so often!)

Then, one of my friends came up with the brilliant idea of giving Layla baby prunes daily to help “keep things moving.” I used Plum Organics Baby Prunes and it worked like a charm!! I told Layla it was apple sauce, and she’d happily eat half a packet a day. I feel a lot better about it because it’s literally just organic prune paste. We’ve been doing that for about 2 weeks now and it has been working well.

But I have no illusions that we are completely over all anxieties about bodily functions. Our pediatrician said that sometimes when kids develop a fear of pooping or peeing or the toilet in general, that it can take months or even years to subside completely!! How crazy is that? That is the one thing I wish someone had told me when we were potty training Layla. That even when you think you’re done and think you’re in the clear, that regressions can still happen at the most random times.

So what’s my advice about potty training? 

  • Use whatever method works for you. There is no “right” way to potty train. I know parents that have had success with the 3 day method, parents who waited until their kid was ready and let them lead, and parents who got lucky (like us) and had their kid just potty train themselves with minimal accidents!
  • Potty training is a PROCESS and regressions are common. I thought once we were done, we were done. But regressions can happen for a variety of reasons: anxiety, life changes, a new school or sibling, etc. can all trigger a regression with the potty.
  • If you have a stubborn pooper, here are my favorite tools:
    • 1) Miralax (most effective when put in juice, you don’t even need a full dose of it to be effective)
    • 2) Get a helpful book like It Hurts When I Poop
    • 3) Use Plum Organics Baby Prunes to keep things moving!
    • 4) Use bribes as needed – if they work then use them for sure!

And if you have any questions or need advice about a stubborn toddler, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! We have been through the ringer with Layla, so I have tried just about every trick in the book at this point! I hope this post helps you with potty training your little one when the time comes!

Delicious, Flourless, Gluten Free Brownies!

 

Super fudge-y, moist, chocolatey, and absolutely amazing: you won’t believe that these brownies are flourless, gluten-free, low-fat, low-sugar, all-natural, and less than 100 calories per brownie!

The secret ingredient will surprise you…

These brownies are made with black beans.

Yup. That’s right. BEANS.

You have to try it to believe it, but these don’t taste like beans at all, they just taste like brownies! I took them to a dinner party where there were a bunch of kids all under the age of 8, and they all gobbled them up just like they were regular brownies. We didn’t tell them they were healthy (shhh 🙂 )

Most healthy brownie recipes I’ve tried in the past have been too dry, or too cakey, but not these guys. They’re an actual guilt-free treat.

The Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs (Note: To make these vegan, you can use flax eggs instead)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or coconut sugar, if you want to make it slightly lower glycemic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
  • 3/4 cup mini semisweet (or dark) chocolate chips

The Directions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a nonstick 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Step 2: Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee in a food processor or blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Fold in half of the chocolate chips until combined.

Step 3: Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies.

Step 4: Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.

Delicious Flourless, Gluten Free Brownies!

Makes 20 Brownies. Nutritional Info Per Serving (1 serving = 1 brownie): 91 Calories, 3.4g Fat (1.9g Saturated Fat), 7.7mg Sodium, 14.7g Carbs, 1.8g Fiber, 10g Sugar, 2.2g Protein

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs (Note: To make these vegan, you can use flax eggs instead)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or coconut sugar, if you want to make it slightly lower glycemic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
  • 3/4 cup mini semisweet (or dark) chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a nonstick 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
  2. Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee in a food processor or blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Fold in half of the chocolate chips until combined.
  3. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies.
  4. Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.

Notes

4.14

Delicious, Flourless, Gluten Free Brownies!

Recipe by: The Picky Eater, pickyeaterblog.com

Superfood Salad with Healthy “Ranch” Dressing

 

superfood salad

It has been a HOT summer so far, and being 36 weeks pregnant has just made the weather feel even hotter!! It might be a combination of not wanting to spend a ton of time cooking near a hot stove, or wanting to find more cooling meals, but I have been making a lot of salads lately.

Salads are kind of the perfect summer staple. The produce is so great this season, with tons of fresh fruits and veggies to choose from, so why not throw them all in a bowl together with a nice tangy dressing and gobble it up? It tastes great, is totally guilt-free, and can be kid friendly too!

My main tip for making salads kid friendly: a super flavorful dressing and veggies that are cut up small — so we do a lot of “chopped salads” in our house.

superfood salad

This particular salad was a big hit: fresh broccoli florets, bright blueberries, crisp Fuji apples, sweet red onion, shredded red cabbage, baby spinach and baby kale (for the base – I used Taylor Farms’ mix), and a tiny bit of dried cherries and pine nuts sprinkled on top for some texture and even more flavor.

I topped it off with a healthier version of “ranch” dressing, made from Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt and buttermilk. We ate this as a light dinner paired with some crusty bread spread with herbed goat cheese – it was delicious!

superfood salad

Superfood Salad with Healthy “Ranch” Dressing

Makes 4 servings. Nutritional Info Per Serving: 206 Calories, 7.6g Fat (1.5g Saturated), 260mg Sodium, 27g Carbs, 4.5g Fiber, 19g Sugar (from the fruit), 10.2g Protein

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1 large Fuji Apple, diced
  • 1 cup chopped Red Cabbage
  • 2-3 cups Baby Spinach/Baby Kale Blend (I used Taylor Farms)
  • 1/8 cup dried cherries (unsweetened)
  • 4 tbsp Pine Nuts
  • 3/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used Stonyfield)
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. Toss all of the salad ingredients (broccoli through pine nuts) in a bowl.
  2. For the dressing: In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine buttermilk and greek yogurt. Using a small whisk, beat until fully incorporated. Add rest of the ingredients (scallions through paprika). Place lid on jar and shake until all seasonings are mixed in.
  3. Toss 1/2 the dressing with the salad, and right before serving, drizzle some (or the rest) of the dressing on top. Taste and add more salt & pepper if needed.

4.14

Superfood Salad with Healthy “Ranch” Dressing

Recipe by: The Picky Eater, pickyeaterblog.com

Chickpea, Tomato, and Feta Salad

 

We’ve been doing a lot of picnic-ing these days. The weather has been absolutely perfect for it: warm, sunny, with a light breeze but not too hot or humid! It also helps that the parks around our neighborhood have tons of nice shady picnic spots, and eating outside with kids means less mess to clean up!

And of course, since I’m obsessed with salads this summer, what else would I make for a picnic other than… a salad? 🙂

chickpea tomato feta salad

This recipe is super simple. It’s full of fresh veggies, summer tomatoes, chickpeas, feta and spices. No cooking required: just chop your veggies, toss and serve. It’s even better a few hours later once the salad has had a chance to marinate in the dressing a bit!

You can use this salad in so many different ways: serve it over mixed greens for lunch, stir in a cup of cooked quinoa for a more hearty dish, or use it as a filling for a pita or a wrap (which is also a great way to use up the leftovers).

It’s kid friendly, vegetarian, gluten-free, and is the perfect dish for a picnic, potluck or just a quick weeknight dinner!

chickpea tomato feta salad

Chickpea, Tomato, and Feta Salad

Makes 8 servings. Nutritional Info Per Serving: 135 Calories, 6.1g Fat (2.1g Saturated), 255mg Sodium, 16.1g Carbs, 4.3g Fiber, 2.5g Sugar, 5.1g Protein

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 1 10.5oz container red cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 10.5oz container yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 ½ English cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced
  • 1 Hass avocado, peeled, cored, diced (ripe but semi-firm)
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss until combined.

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Chickpea, Tomato, and Feta Salad

Recipe by: The Picky Eater, pickyeaterblog.com

Super Fast Goat Cheese Crostini

 

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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

AnjaliSee what I'm eating this week

 

July 18th, 2017

goat cheese crostini

These little goat cheese crostini are one of my favorite appetizer recipes to make when we have a ton of people coming over.

Why? Because this recipe…

Is Easy

Is Super fast to make (which is important if you’re making a bunch of dishes!)

Is Light and low-calorie

Requires 3 ingredients

Looks fancy 🙂

Is easy to eat with one hand (while chatting of course!)

Tastes amazing!!

goat cheese crostini

It’s a hit with kids and adults, a total crowd pleaser. And you can enjoy 4 of these crostinis for just 150 calories!

Super Fast Goat Cheese Crostini

4 crostini = 1 serving. Nutritional Info Per Serving: 151 Calories, 6.5g Fat (3.1g Saturated), 189.6mg Sodium, 17g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 8g Sugar, 5.5g Protein

Ingredients

  • 4 Raincoast Crisp Crackers (any flavor you like!)
  • 4 tsp goat cheese
  • 1/2 tsp honey (1/8 tsp per cracker)

Instructions

  1. Spread the goat cheese on the crackers
  2. Top with honey
  3. Enjoy!

4.14

Super Fast Goat Cheese Crostini

Recipe by: The Picky Eater, pickyeaterblog.com

TAGS: appetizers, kid friendly recipes, quick meals, side dishes, snacks, vegetarian

3 responses to “Super Fast Goat Cheese Crostini”

    1. I was never a big fan of goat cheese but this looks so delicious that I might try it myself! It’s also low on calories which makes it absoulutely perfect!:)

    1. […] Delicious Delicious Miso Chicken and Ramen with Blue Apron Crispy Baked Honey BBQ Chicken WingsEasy Super Fast Goat Cheese Crostini Quick and Easy Cherry Tomato Salad Flavor – definitely those Kabobs above! Fresh to death! […]

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Food

 


The Best Vegetarian Chili EVER!

 

vegetarian chili recipe

My husband has always been a bit skeptical of vegetarian chilis.

The classic response from him when I make a vegetarian chili recipe is: *taste* *pause* “this is pretty good. but it’s not chili.”

My theory is that he responds this way because he used to eat meat (he turned vegetarian at age 15) and probably never got used to the non-meat flavor in veggie chili. I think most veggie chilis don’t have that smoky, thick, meaty consistency, which also makes it hard for chili-lovers to get on board.

vegetarian chili recipe

BUT: This recipe blew my husband, the veggie-chili-skeptic, away. He no longer responded with “this isn’t chili,” but instead said “this is really good!” He even went back for seconds. It’s got the deep flavor of traditional meat chilis, but is much healthier and vegetarian friendly.

The smokiness in this dish came from a recipe I found on Kath Eats. The secret is adding a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder to the recipe, and honestly it makes a big difference. I made quite a few modifications to Kath’s recipe, and added a few other ingredients to enhance the smokiness (like smoked paprika – so good!)

vegetarian chili recipe

I also served my chili with fun toppings like Greek Yogurt (tastes just like sour cream!), shredded cheese, green onions, diced tomatoes, and crushed tortilla chips.

Oh and did I mention, this is SUPER kid friendly too? Layla gobbles up this dish every time I make it, and she will be happy eating it for dinner for literally four days in a row. This recipe freezes really well too – so sometimes I’ll make a double batch and freeze half for an easy weeknight dinner when I’m in a rush!

The Ingredients

  • (1) 15oz can Kidney beans, drained and rinsed (if you like a chunkier chili, use 2 cans here)
  • (1) 15oz can Black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (1) 15oz can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp Ghirardelli cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp (or a bit less) cayenne pepper
  • A couple splashes of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp regular paprika
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, diced tomatoes, o% Greek Yogurt (or Low Fat/Fat Free Sour Cream), tortilla chips

The Directions

Step 1: Chop the garlic, onion, and bell peppers. Saute lightly over medium high heat in 1-2 tsp olive oil. Meanwhile, wash the beans until all of the canning liquid is gone. 

Step 2: Once the veggies have sauteed for about 5 minutes, add everything else into the pot (tomatoes, beans, spices, etc.). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 min or longer as needed.

Step 3: Once the chili is done cooking, you can top it with anything you like: 1 Tbsp cheese, fat free sour cream or 0% greek yogurt, or tortilla chips.

The nutritional info for this chili is pretty great. This recipe makes 12 ladles of soup, and each ladle has ~150 calories, 9g protein and 10g fiber. So you could go back for seconds and even thirds, completely guilt-free! And I promise, you will feel totally full and satisfied after (the meat eaters will love it too!)

vegetarian chili recipe

The Best Vegetarian Chili EVER!

Nutritional Information Per Serving (2 ladles of chili, 1/6 of the recipe): 300 Calories, 1.7g Fat, 800mg Sodium, 61.8g Carbs, 20.2g Fiber, 4.3g Sugar, 18.1g Protein

Ingredients

  • (1) 15oz can Kidney beans, drained and rinsed (if you like a chunkier chili, use 2 cans here)
  • (1) 15oz can Black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (1) 15oz can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp Ghirardelli cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp (or a bit less) cayenne pepper
  • A couple splashes of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp regular paprika
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, diced tomatoes, o% Greek Yogurt (or Low Fat/Fat Free Sour Cream), tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Chop the garlic, onion, and bell peppers. Saute lightly over medium high heat in 1-2 tsp olive oil. Meanwhile, wash the beans until all of the canning liquid is gone.
  2. Once the veggies have sauteed for about 5 minutes, add everything else into the pot (tomatoes, beans, spices, etc.). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 min or longer as needed.
  3. Once the chili is done cooking, you can top it with anything you like: 1 Tbsp cheese, fat free sour cream or 0% greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, green onions, or tortilla chips.

Notes

Adapted from KathEats.com

4.14

The Best Vegetarian Chili EVER!

Recipe by: The Picky Eater, pickyeaterblog.com