Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Cookies? What. How am I going to write a nutrition blog about cookies?! Well I may have figured it out. I was surfing the web when I came across a very interesting recipe. It was a peanut butter chocolate chip recipe that had no flour, eggs, or white sugar in it. Well naturally it sparked my attention and I held to try it out! So I did. The flour and egg substitutes were canned garbanzo beans. I was skeptical but so intrigued. The sugar was substituted with honey.

Here were some of my observations when making the cookies. First, do not to eat them when they first come out of the oven. I know that is the best time to eat normal cookies but with these they just tasted like warm peanut butter and garbanzo bean. You have to let them cool and set in order for them to taste like normal delicious cookies. They were even better the next day and tasted awesome! They didn't get hard and stale like normal cookies do. They stayed soft and delicious. Second, the recipe calls for a food processor. I do not have one so I used a blender. It worked well but it was a bit of a challenge. I blended the garbanzo beans, honey, and vanilla. I had to make sure that I mixed it a few times and re blended it so all the garbanzo beans were to a smooth paste. After that I moved everything to a mixing bowl and added the other ingredients and combined. This is a really easy recipe with only a few ingredients. Its a great substitute for people who are gluten free or vegan! Enjoy :)


1 can garbanzo beans drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 Cup honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a food processor combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips.
3. Process until the beans are smooth and there are no chunks.
4. Add chocolate chips and pulse until they are combined.
5. Roll into balls about 1.5" in diameter.
6. Place on a cooking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or a silicone pad
7. With a fork flatten down the cookies as seen in the pictures
8. Cook for 12 minutes
9. Remove and let cool on a cooking rack. AND remember they need to cool down :)
10. ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Crock-pot Wheat Berries

I have discovered a new grain that I have been overlooking for who knows how long. It is actually one of the most common grains except that I have never thought of using it in its natural form. Wheat. I whole wheat kernel or berry is called a Wheatberry. This is a fabulous inexpensive grain that has some great nutritional qualities such as my favorite of them all: FIBER! I can't stress how important and beneficial fiber is to have in your diet. I will not go into depth about the benefits of fiber because I already have in previous posts but there are some other great benefits of the Wheatberry. The Wheatberry has zero saturated fat, is a great protein replacement, and contains both calcium and iron.

The Wheatberry is a perfect crock-pot grain because it is quite resilient. Since the Wheatberry is the entire kernel except for the hull it will stay together while being crock-potted for hours and will stay firm. The germ, bran, and endosperm is left on the grain which is where the fibers and minerals are stored. When stripped you are left with just a refined white starch (boring). These little beads of wheat are chewy and soft when cooked. I chose to make a crock-pot stew for my first experiment with the berries. This is a very simple basic crock-pot recipe with one extremely interesting twist. It is screaming for you to add your own flare to it, whether that is more veggies or some white beans. These little berries also make great salads full with fresh veggies. Enjoy keeping your heart healthy with these tasty little berries!


4 cups water or stock
.5lb chicken thighs or breast cut into small pieces
1.5 cups chopped tomato
1 cup Wheatberries
.5 cup Kalamata Olives chopped (optional, this is my own little flare)


1. Place 4 cups of water or stock into the crock-pot and set on high
2. As water is heating add the wheatberries and diced tomatoes
3. Chop Kalamata Olives and chicken
4. Place Kalamata Olives into the crock-pot
5. On medium heat saute the chicken in a tablespoon of olive until cooked through
6. Add the chicken and juices from the pan to the crock-pot
7. Let everything cook for 4 hours or until the berries are tender
8. Pack into Mason Jars for your lunch for the week!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Taking a Classic Up a Level

Just because something is said to be bad doesn't mean it is entirely true. Now, I am not trying to say there isn't anything better you can choose than a grilled cheese sandwich, but sometimes it is what you have a craving for. If I have a craving for a grilled cheese I will do what I can to not only make that grilled cheese taste amazing but try and substitute or add a few things to make it slightly healthier. I am a strong supporter of moderation and that you shouldn't make food into anything more than what it is, food. Food is not a treat or a reward. Food should be enjoyed as exactly what it is, food. You may notice a few different things about my grilled cheese sandwich. First, the spreads. There is nothing more delicious to me than the play on salty sweet. The grilled cheese on the left has a mango and golden raisin chutney with arugula. The middle has a spicy aioli and mustard. The grilled cheese on the right is just a classic grilled cheese. The little LITTLE bit of mayo keeps the grilled cheese nice and moist and gooey on the inside. There are two very easy steps that can be taken to make these gooey delights a little healthier: whole wheat bread and olive oil (not butter). On mine the arugula also adds a little green and some vitamins there. You could substitute it with spinach, tomato, cucumber or whatever you think sounds amazing. In these sandwiches I used a Vermont Cheddar but some other delicious choices are: gouda, gruyere, and taleggio (all can be found at Quel Fromage in Fairhaven). Experiment, have fun, and remember the few little tricks to make this grilled cheese a little better for you.  Oh, and remember, medium low eat. With a grilled cheese slow and stead wins the race!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Chia Seed

The Chia seed is one of the most interesting and obscure foods I have come across. They are little tiny seeds that look like they are little black sesame seeds or even like they are little rocks. These seeds don't seem to have much flavor but what they do with water is amazing. Each one of the seeds has a thin translucent membrane that allows water to pass through. The seeds suck up the water into the membrane and become sticky. It is almost like they transform in to tiny tapioca balls. They are very high in Omega-3, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and protein. You can put the chia seeds into juice and watch them plum up. Or my favorite thing to do is make a wonderful dairy free coconut pudding or yogurt. These wonderful chia seeds can be found at Haggen or the coop.


2 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp agave syrup
Mango or other fresh or frozen fruit (optional)


1. Place almond milk, coconut milk, chia seeds, and agave syrup into a small bowl and mix until combined. 
2. Cover with plastic rap and place in fridge for 4 hours or over night. 
3. Stir and add fruit
4. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Colorful Side

One of my favorite side dishes is a quinoa and beet salad. It is simple, easy, and only takes a few ingredients. Not to mention it may be the most colorful thing you have ever made.

Another great part of this dish is that Quinoa is a complete protein, which is a big deal for a non-animal protein. A complete protein is a protein that contains all of our 9 essential amino acids needed to fulfill all of our bodily processes. All complete proteins are animal based which makes it just a little trickier for someone who is vegetarian to have all their essential amino acids. It is not impossible by any means but just requires you to make sure that you are eating at least 2 different types of plant proteins to make up for the essential animo acids that may be lacking in just one single vegetarian protein. Animal protein contain a lot more saturated fat than plant based proteins making Quinoa a happy medium with all the benefits of both.

Here is my festive quinoa salad. Enjoy!


1 cup dry Quinoa
1 medium beet pealed and graded raw
1 cucumber halved, seeds removed and cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook 1 cup Quinoa according to packaging
2. Add grated beets, cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine ingredients. 
3. Chill in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy New Year!

I must admit, you may notice a trend in my post for the next little while. When winter rolls around I crave soups of all kinds. I try and be as creative as possible making different stews, bisques, or good old chicken soup. For the first post of the new year I decided to do a won ton soup.

The recipe for me really started about a week ago when I decided to by a whole chicken to roast. While roasting the beast I realized that there are many meals that I can pull out of this chicken. First I roasted it and pulled the legs off for my first meal. Then I carved off the breast and made chicken salad for my lunches the next two days and saved some to put in soup. I took the rest of the chicken, mostly bones, and I made a big pot of stock. After making two different soups I have taken the last of my stock and tonight made one of my favorite soups: Won Ton soup. For about 9 dollars I made roughly 12 meals, with sides, out of this one chicken. Now that is pretty cost effective I would say. Well, I am hooked. Expect more soups to come :)

I have made one adjustment to a normal won ton and that is changing out the ground pork for ground turkey to make it a little healthier. Enjoy!

Won Ton Broth

6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp ginger root minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup scallions chopped


1. Over medium heat in the pot for the broth saute oil, ginger, garlic, and scallions together for 2 minutes or until the ingredients give off an aroma.
2. Add broth and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes while make the won tons.

Won Ton Ingredients

Won Ton Papers
2 cups ground turkey
1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger root
1/8 cup scallions chopped
3 cloved of garlic minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 egg yolk
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


1. Place ground turkey, ginger, scallions, garlic in a bowl and mix until combined.
2. Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and egg yolk to mixture and mix thoroughly.
3. Add salt and pepper and combine. 
4. To form the won tons place one wrapper in from on a level surface. 
5. Wet the edges lightly with water by dipping your fingers into water and running it along the edges. 
6. Place about roughly 1 tsp of filling into the center on the won ton wrapper.
7. Pull the won ton wrapper over the filling so the opposite corner is matching up.
8. Press the edges together firmly
9. Pull the two ends together and meat with a dab of water.

The method is the same for these dumplings as they are in my post on Pelmini if you need a better visual. 

Add any veggies you would like to the soup to make sure you are getting a well balanced meal. We chose one of my favorite baby bok choy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Pelmeni!

There are so many delicious places to eat out in Bellingham. One of my personal favorite is Pelmeni. Pelmeni is a very successful Russian dumpling restaurant on State street with two menu items: beef or potato. Every time I go and spend 6 dollars I always wonder: if they are able to make so many Pelmeni in such large quantities I bet I could too while improving the recipe. So, that is exactly what I have done. I have replace the white flour with whole wheat flour and the beef with ground turkey and pork. Here is my healthier Pelmeni recipe for a fraction of the price. Enjoy!



1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 eggs
½ cup warm water
½ tsp salt

¼ lb ground turkey
¼ lb ground Pork
½ onion grated
3 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper


1. Pour flour onto a large cutting board and make a volcano
2. In a mixing bowl mix eggs, water, and salt together
3. Pour half the egg mixture into the volcano and carefully mix dough together
4. Add the rest of the egg mixture slowly until dough just comes together, you may not use all egg mixture
5. Kneed the dough for about 5 minutes
6. Place dough in a bowl, cover with cellophane, let rest for 30 minutes
7. While dough rests, place turkey, pork, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and mix until completely combined.

Forming the Dumplings

You can make the Pelmeni any size that you like. The ones at Pelmeni are about the size of a chestnut. I chose to make mine a little bigger to make it easier to work with the dough this first time. By the end I was able to make tiny dumplings that would be great in chicken soup!


1.  Cut the dough into small pieces and roll into small balls like seen in photos
2. Dusk the the ball with flour so it does not stick
3. I used a wine glass to roll out the dough, make sure it is very thin
4. Roll until about 2 inches in diameter.
5. Place a small amount of meat mixture into center of dough
6. Pull sides together and pinch all sides to close the dumpling
7. Pull the ends of the dumpling together to form the shape of the dumpling
8. Dust with flour so it does not stick with others
9. Repeat until all dough or mixture is gone.


1. Boil a large pot of salted water
2. Reduce heat to simmer and place desired amount of dumplings into water
3. Cook until the dumplings float
4. Cook for an additional minute or two
5. Drain and serve in bowl with white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, curry powder, chopped cilantro or dill, and sour cream on the side.

The pelmeni also freeze great! Now, we all know that this is not a balanced meal, there are not veggies or fruits! I would highly recommend making a spinach and yam filling pelmeni with your meat pelmeni to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals with dinner. A great veggie substitute for the meat is mushrooms (especially chanterelles). Enjoy! Remember to have passion for your food and compassion for your body :)