Archive | Vegetarianism RSS feed for this section

The 411 on Protein

16 Dec

Ally Kuehn Kuehnhealth

About the Author: My name is Ally Kuehn. I am a 21 year old, senior at Ohio University majoring in Applied Nutrition and Dietetics. I am preparing myself to graduate in May 2017. My goals are to become happy and healthier person through nutrition, health and wellness.   Instagram: Kuehnhealth Website: Click Here to see KuehnHealth Blog

Why Protein?

Protein is an essential nutrient that everyone needs in their diet. No if, and’s, or buts about it, because its such an important energy source for your body! It’s involved in muscle, hormone, blood, skin and bone development. Fun fact, hair and nails are mostly made up of protein! How much protein do we need to consume daily? According to the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. For an average male who is sedentary  this calculates to about 56 grams per and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.

I personally am adopting a more plant based lifestyle. In the beginning stages of transitioning, I was personally so closed minded. My thoughts were “I couldn’t eat meat, welp there goes all my good protein”. Now, through the help from my nutrition and dietetics professors at Ohio University I was able to see that protein is in so many various food sources. Which blew my mind! Now, I get to share all of my knowledge with all of you!

Say What?

When people think about protein, they think meat, beans, and nuts.  Contrary to popular knowledge fruits and vegetables are sources of protein too! Fruits provide less protein than vegetables, but, are still a good source of protein! Who knew? I researched some of the top five high protein fruits:  thumb_600

  • Blackberries
  • Guava
  • Dried Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Any Many More Fruits!


Its very important to your body to consume adequate amounts of protein. I have attached a very informative info graphic to assist in the explanation of good sources of protein!

Protein 1.PNGProtein 2.PNGProtein 3.PNGProtein 4.PNG

How can you add more of these protein sources to your diet?

This is very achievable for everyone! From the tips from the ” Be Creative” portion of my last post called How to Start Food Budgeting with Less Than $100 A Month. Get inspired and add these alternative protein sources to your meals today!

Are you making rice for your taco night? Maybe add some beans, or switch to quinoa “fried rice”  Click here for an awesome recipe! (for vegan version subtract the eggs).

Are you making a salad? Add some crunchy pumpkin seeds, fresh spinach, kale, or mushroom for some added protein to that delicious salad!

In the morning, jazz up your toast with some almond butter! Maybe add  a little healthy monounsaturated fat to your toast  from avocados!


Who to talk to about protein if you still need more assistance!

Consult with Nutrition Translator Colleen Poling RD, or a registered dietitian in your local area. With the new year coming up, a healthier you will never go out of style! Invest in your self this year and seek out some assistance from a Registered Dietitian.

❤ Ally Kuehn





Top 5 Benefits of Getting Hot and Sweaty

1 Nov

Can’t beat the heat?……Then don’t….you will actually benefit from it!

Top 5 benefits of getting hot and sweaty:
This can include training outside in the heat, relaxing in a dry sauna, or doing some hot yoga! Be sure you are pushing yourself to feel pain. Short term pain, long term gain!

1) Helps grow neurons and makes you smarter: Increases norepinephrine which increases focus. Increases prolactin which increases myelin growth in neurons and therefore increases brain function.

2) Helps grow muscle: Increases growth hormone. Decreases muscle degradation increases insulin sensitivity. Decreases insulin resistance.

3) Helps increase endurance: increases bloodflow to muscles. Reduces need to use glycogen stores. Increases blood flow to heart. Reduces body core temp by allowing the body to sweat at lower temps.

4) Helps heal your injury, and prevents muscle loss to your injured area: Increases growth hormone. Increases heat shock proteins which help repair damaged proteins, and increases antioxidants within the body.

5) Heat gives you a “runner’s high.” By putting yourself through the pain of the heat you release Dynorphins. The release of these dynorphins causes sensitivity to the opioid receptors and therefore become extra sensitized to those feel good endorphins. It is worth the pain to feel amazing!!! Hence the explaination why some people like very spicey food!

Get sweaty y’all!



Top 5 Healthiest Whole Grains

14 Mar

Have you heard that whole grains are healthier for us? This is not a myth! Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. Nature never intended for white bread or white products to enter our bodies. Turning the grain from brown to white only happens in a factory. In this process, the outside bran layer and germ are removed. The bran and germ contain oil, and by removing these components of the seed it can increase the shelf life of the end product. In this process all the vitamins and minerals have been removed, and must be fortified back in. How do you know if it is whole grain or not? The only way is to look on the back of the label under the ingredients. Look for 100% whole wheat to be listed first, which is the most abundant ingredient.

There are many other options besides wheat to choose from. The following grains are perfect for those people trying to build a diverse and great tasting diet rooted in guidance of healthier eating. Try incorporating these whole grain products into your diet this month:

  1. Spelt- Spelt is a cousin of wheat. Spelt has a nutty like flavor. It does contain a little bit of gluten. If you have a celiac disease this is not for you, but is can be tolerated by some people with minimal gluten intolerances. Spelt can be used in the same way as wheat in bread and pasta making. Spelt has an excellent source of manganese, copper and zinc. Spelt is also very high in protein and fiber.
  2. Teff- These tiny grains are the staple grain of Ethiopia. Teff is completely gluten free. 1 cup of cooked Teff contains all the iron you would need in a day, 9.75 grams of protein and 7.1 grams of fiber. You can use Teff flour to make pancakes, banana bread, muffins and even porridge.
  3. Amaranth- Amaranth can be comparable to corn, and can be popped just like popcorn! It can also be flaked like oatmeal. It is very high in fiber, protein, iron, and calcium. Amaranth packs a lot in its tiny seed. Amaranth is free of gluten. Amaranth flour can be used to bake cookies, breads and make pasta.
  4. Quinoa- Quinoa is a protein powerhouse. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. Quinoa can be used as a replacement for rice or its flour can be used in baking. Quinoa is gluten free, and is good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.
  5. Millet- Millet is very digestible and good for those on a wheat free diet. Millet is as good source of manganese, phosphorus and magnesium as well as protein and fiber. It can be prepared like rice and made into a pilaf, and can be added to soups our casseroles.

My Transition To Veganism!

9 Jan

To many the word vegan sounds and IS weird! When someone tells you that they are vegan, some non-vegans may feel like they are being judged. Non-vegans may be thinking in their head…”oh great this person is a vegan,

that’s weird. I bet they are judging me since I eat meat and dairy.” How do I know non-vegans are thinking this? Because I used the think this!! Before I was vegan I used to stereotype the word and think that only hippies were vegans, and that a vegan was so far out there. I used to think who in their right mind would ever want to be vegan? I used to think, what would I eat all day long if I am not eating meat or dairy products. My view on veganism has dramatically changed over the course of this year, and I am happy to say I am a more open minded person because of my conversion! In this blog I will talk about my transition to veganism over the course of this past year. This is coming from a girl who would never have imagined being vegan in a million years!

In Feb 2011 I decided that I would eliminate all meat except for fish out of my diet. I am really not sure why or how I came to this conclusion. I think mainly because I didn’t consume much meat in the first place, so I would just take it out completely. Eliminating meat from my diet was also easier and cheaper for me to plan and make recipes. In February I attended a vegan cooking class at Mrs. Julie’s kitchen in Akron, Ohio. I had these perceptions that vegan cooking was impossible, bland and boring. I also had the perception that there would not be much to work with in vegan cooking. Boy, was I wrong! Mrs. Julie is a great teacher and proved me wrong! Check out that blog here: CLICK HERE. I also started watching shows like “Kill it, Cook it, Eat it.” I couldn’t see myself killing an animal and eating it myself. I thought to myself, what gives me the right to eat this prepackaged animal at the grocery store? If I was starving in the forest and needed food, I would then kill an animal to eat it! But right now I am not starving the forest, so I don’t need to pick up prepackaged hotdogs just because they taste good. I really started contemplating, and thinking about why I was consuming meat, and if it was really necessary to consume at the expense of the animal. To be honest it really was not that hard to stop eating meat with this mentality. 

In May 2011 I cut out fish completely from my diet. It was the last thing I needed to cut out to be completely vegetarian. At this point I still consumed dairy products and eggs. I really enjoyed this time experimenting with vegetarian recipes. I found them easy and very tasty! I found myself consuming more fruits and vegetables as a vegetarian. I felt happier and healthier for my decision! Check out these fantastic Vegetarian Recipes! CLICK HERE!

In June I experimented with a raw vegan meal for a week. That was quite the experience! I also started experimenting with more vegan recipes. Check out this great Vegan meal I made for my dad. CLICK HERE!  In June I watched the movie called Forks Over Knives. Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. At this point I eliminated drinking cow’s milk. It was just the cheese and eggs that got me! I tried to eliminate the cheese and eggs all at once, and realized that was not realistic. So I slowly started cutting it out of my diet. 

By september I watched the documentary called Earthlings. You can watch it free here online. CLICK HERE! Earthlings is an award-winning documentary film about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. Considered the most persuasive documentary ever made, EARTHLINGS is nicknamed “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs. After watching this movie, it helped me make the final decision to eliminate all animal products from my diet. 

Currently I am working on eliminating all other animal products from my lifestyle. I try to
“veganize” my wardrobe and all the
products that I use on my body. I have really found myself in this whole process. I now feel more control over what goes into/on my body. I feel more energetic, happier and healthier by eliminating consuming animal products. As far as my athletic performance, it has been easier to get in shape. I have more energy for workouts. I have a quicker recovery time. I do take a raw vegan protein powder supplement called Sun Warrier to make sure I am getting enough protein. It really isn’t hard at all to get enough protein from a vegan diet; I just need a little more to build muscle right now. I definiely do not judge people who do eat meat or animal products, but I do challenge them to consider why they consume these things. As American’s we are raised to think that we need meat! My Grandma always nags me and always asks me, “well what are you eating then??” I tell her I have been trying new fruits and vegetables that I have never heard of before. My diet consists of more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals then ever before! I love experimenting with new recipes and sharing them with my friends and family. I am showing them that being vegan isn’t weird, bland, boring or difficult in the least.

If you are thinking about going vegan, then I recommend transitioning slowly like I did. If you cut everything out right away, you may be more likely to throw out the whole idea! 

What questions do you have about veganism? I am here to answer!!

6 Documentaries You MUST See!

12 Sep


EARTHLINGS is an award-winning documentary film about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. Considered the most persuasive documentary ever made, EARTHLINGS is nicknamed “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs.



The statistics are terrifying. Two hundred million Americans are overweight and 100 million are obese. More than 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. 24 million people are diabetic. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death for men and women, followed by stroke and obesity-related cancers. Obesity is about to overtake tobacco as the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States. 60% of bankruptcies are caused by what has become known as “medical debt.”Fast food, fast medicine, fast news and fast lives have turned many Americans into a sick, uninformed, indebted, “processed” people. Processed People features insightful interviews from nine preeminent health and environmental experts/advocates. They discuss how and why Americans got into this mess, and what we can do to break the “processed people” cycle.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH TRAILERS of processed people

3) FOOD, INC.:

Food, Inc. is an alarming expose of the way food is produced and distributed in the United States. Interviewing investigators, journalists and farmers, filmmaker Robert Kenner shows how almost everything we eat is produced and distributed by a very few huge multinational corporations, such as Monsanto and Tyson, and that quality of nutrition is secondary to production cost and corporate profits



Tom Simon and Sarah Teale present a huge humane society alert inDeath On A Factory Farm, their documentary about the harrowing treatment of livestock in the United States, where virtually no federal laws regulate conditions in which food animals are bred, raised and slaughtered–and economic efficiency is the prevailing consideration in self-governance.

CLICK HERE FOR CLIPS of death on a factory farm


imply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days is an independent documentary film that chronicles six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication.

The six are challenged to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, processed food, packaged food, and even cooked food for 30 days. The film follows each participant’s remarkable journey and captures the medical, physical, and emotional transformations brought on by this radical diet and lifestyle change. We witness moments of struggle, support, and hope as what is revealed, with startling clarity, is that diet can reverse disease and change lives.

The film highlights each of the six before they begin the program and we first meet them in their home environment with their families. Each participant speaks candidly about their struggle to manage their diabetes and how it has affected every aspect of their life, from work to home to their relationships.



What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure.

Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to “battle” these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.

Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive but so straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?

FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

CLICK TO VIEW TRAILER-for forks over knives

Three Tantalizing Vegetarian Recipes

26 May

If you are a vegetarian, started Meatless Monday’s or just want to try to cut back on meat then these recipes are for you! They are all very easy to make and are packed full of flavor! If you are sick of the same old pasta and tomato sauce, then these recipes are sure to please! I made these all in under 30 minutes! Enjoy!

1) Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans
6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 16-ounce package gnocchi (regular or sweet potato) 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped chard leaves, (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. OR Boil gnocchi for a softer/moister gnocchi boil instead. (I would boil them instead next time.)
  2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

2) Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers
4 servings

  • 4 yellow, orange and/or red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat orzo
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar


  1. Half the peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving the stems attached. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Place the peppers cut-side down in a large microwave-safe dish. Add 1/2 inch water, cover and microwave on High until the peppers are just softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool slightly, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Mash chickpeas into a chunky paste with a fork, leaving some whole.
  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and oregano and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the orzo, chickpeas, 1/2 cup feta, tomatoes, vinegar and salt; cook until heated though, about 1 minute. Divide the filling among the pepper halves and sprinkle each pepper with some of the remaining 1/4 cup feta.

3) Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino
4 servings, 1 1/4 cups each

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese ravioli, preferably whole-wheat (I used organic spinach)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook ravioli until tender, 7 to 9 minutes or according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, mash garlic into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife or back of a spoon. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic paste and shallots and cook, stirring often, until just starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, mustard and pepper; remove from the heat.
  3. Drain the ravioli well. Place in a large bowl and toss with arugula and the dressing. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Would You Kill an Animal for Your Own Meat?

2 Feb

Since I was little eating meat on a bone seemed revolting to me. I had a hard time enjoying myself at Thanksgiving time, because looking at the Turkey carcass would sicken me. Ironically when the turkey was cut from the bone and put on my plate I was able to eat it.

Why was I/am I able to make such a distinction between “animal” and “meat”. Shouldn’t itjust be an Animal? Just because the animal is cut up into pieces shouldn’t mean that it isn’t an animal anymore. The picture to the right gives you a funny, exaggerated viewpoint on my previous comment.

Watching the T.V. Series Kill it, Cook it, Eat it, has been an eye opener. Each episode, volunteers head out to the farm to meet, care for, and then slaughter and eat a wide variety animals including pigs, sheep cows and chickens. I agree that meat tastes very good, but is it worth killing a life to have something to fill my stomach and satisfy these cravings? Is it worth putting our earth at risk for things such as global warming with the industrial meat produced? This show brought up these questions and more. The show puts emphasis on the farm raised meat products verses the economy meat products. One volunteer is on a budget and can only afford economy meat for her family, she is faced with the reality of what is actually put in these economy meat products. She will have to make the decision on whether to reduce the amount of economy meats and increase vegetarian options while choosing lesser amounts of quality meat products. It is interesting to see each of the volunteers reactions to the slaughtering of the animals, as well as my own reaction to the slaughtering! I have to agree with James, when he compares animal meat to human meat, he cannot see the difference because muscle is muscle. I see myself relating a little to each of the volunteers.

This show has really got me thinking about my choices involving eating meat. I do not eat meat all that often. Throughout the week I primary have a Ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet, but occasionally on the weekends I will order a steak or chicken at the restaurant. I do not think I could eliminate fish from my diet, especially salmon. Could I switch to a pesco-vegetarian diet (vegetarian diet with fish)? Some argue that the pesco-vegetarian diet isn’t a vegetarian diet, since it involves eating animal flesh. Another good point brought up in the “Pig episode” was, would you kill an animal for your own meat? My answer to that would be absolutely not. I would never kill a pig, cow, sheep or chicken (unless in a survival situation). Since I cannot slaughter it myself, I probably have no business eating it.

Overall I just want my readers to investigate where their meat comes from. Watch the episodes of Kill it, Cook it, Eat it, watch Food Inc. and other documentaries explaining the controversy surrounding this topic. It is worth knowing where your food comes from. Remember, you are what you eat! I am not saying that eating meat is wrong or that it is bad for you. (Keep in mind some meat products are higher in saturated fats which are linked to raising LDL blood cholesterol levels. Some economy meats such as sausages have added fillers and very little actual meat (fat, connective tissue and skin are all considered meat)).

I just think it is important to build the body up as much as we can and not break it down. We only can build the body up by making a conscious effort to learn what is in our food, learn where it comes from and making the best choice for our planet and to keep our health.

Here is a link to watch the Episodes of Kill it, Cook it, Eat it Pig episode (please be advised that it is very graphic).

5 Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes

17 Jan

Eating healthy vegetarian foods carry many benefits. Eating a vegetarian diet full of fruits, vegetables, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, soy products, low in sodium, low in fat and water can lower your risk of lung and colorectal cancer, prevent type two diabetes, promote healthy skin, increase energy, lower cholesterol, improve digestion, lower grocery bills and increase your lifespan. Of course this may not be true for vegetarians who consume unhealthy processed high sodium frozen foods, chips, cookies, pop and fast foods. A vegetarian must consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and low sodium foods for these health benefits to be true.

Try these easy to prepare vegetarian recipes I made and tested, which are high in fiber, lower in sodium, lower in fat, higher in vitamins and minerals than the typical ready prepared food in the freezer aisle.

1) Vegetarian Tortilla Pie

Serves 6


  • 1 jar (11-12 oz) Medium Salsa
  • 1 can 8 oz low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 can no-salt added black beans
  • 1 can no-salt added whole kernel corn drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh packed cilantro leaves
  • 9 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 6 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese


1) preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

2) In a large mixing bowl, mix together salsa, tomato sauce, beans and corn.

3) Place 3 tortillas down on a large cookie sheet. Spread mixture evenly over tortilla. Top each with a sprinkle of cheese. Cover each with a tortialla and repeat on next layer. Top with a final tortialla on each.

4) Back pie until cheese has melted and filling is hot, 10-12 minutes.

2) Flatbread with Salad

Serves 4


  • 1 pre-made pizza crust (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 2 ripe medium tomatoes peeled and cup into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 6 cups salad, such as radicchio, endive, and arugula, torn into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8th teaspoon pepper


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and cook pizza crust for 5-10 minutes

2) Mix together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper in a small bowl to make dressing

3) Mix together salad greens, tomato and cucumber in a separate bowl

4) Mix together salad dressing and greens

5) Top salad on hot crust

3) ALT (Avocado/Lettuce/Tomato) Sandwich

Serves 2


  • 4 slices WHOLE WHEAT bread
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


1) Chop tomato into slices for sandwich

2) Peal and Chop avocado in half, then into smaller slices

3) Place 1/2 tablespoon mustard on each slice of bread, place 1/2 cup of spinach leaves on each slice of bread, place 1/4 tomato slices on each slice of bread, place 1/4 avocado on each slice of bread.

4) Put together sandwiches by closing two pieces together slowly, then press gently to compress sandwich.

4) Pasta with Garbanzo Beans and Spinach

Serves 6


  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bags (6 oz each) baby spinach


1) In a large sauce-pot, cook pasta as label directs

2) Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion: cook covered, 5 minutes stirring often. Stir in garlic and oregano and cook 30 seconds. Stir in beans, vinegar, pepper; cook, stirring often 5 minutes.

3) Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Return pasta to sauce-pot. Add spinach, bean mixture, and reserves pasta water; toss gently to combine.

5) Homemade Cranberry-Nut Granola

Serves 4-6


  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted and almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2)  Spread the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

3) Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

4) In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, cranberry juice, and cinnamon over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.

5) In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

6)  Pour the maple mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Stir in the cranberries and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture begins to brown. Cool completely. Store airtight in a plastic container for up to 1 week.