Easy Veggie Bowl Inspired By Bibimbap

Bibimbap -Style Vegetable Bowl

This veggie bowl is loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as beta-carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A), vitamin C, calcium and folate, while also offering fiber, protein, healthy fats  and a spicy kick! And the best part? It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. This is my new go-to dish for busy weeknights!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1/2 C brown rice, cooked (I like to make a lot of rice at once and keep it on hand for dishes throughout the week – just heat it up before everything is finished cooking!)

1/4 C extra firm tofu, cubed and drained (remove excess water by squeezing in paper towel or cloth)

2 carrots, sliced (or about 1/3 C)

1 C spinach, raw

1/2 onion, chopped (or feel free to use shallots or scallions)

1 large egg

1 Tbsp oil

3 Tbsp hot sauce (I like Cholula)

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

Dash ground black pepper

Almost ready - now just top with egg and hot sauce!

Almost ready – now just top with egg and hot sauce!

Directions:

1. Warm oil in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Steam carrots (you can do this by covering them in a bowl and placing in the microwave for about 1 minute, or steaming them over the stovetop).

3. Add tofu to onions in saucepan. Add spices and mix all ingredients together. Cook until tofu is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp hot sauce, stir ingredients together and cook another 1-2 minutes.

4. Spray small pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray and warm over medium heat. Crack egg into pan and sprinkle with dash of pepper. Cover with a plate and cook until egg white is cooked, leaving the yolk slightly runny (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside.

5. Add spinach to saucepan with onion and tofu and stir 2-3 minutes, until spinach is wilted.

6. Place rice in bowl. Top with tofu and vegetables. Add egg to bowl and drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp hot sauce over entire dish. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 434 calories, Total Fat 24 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 186 mg, Carbohydrates 37 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 19 g, Calcium 158 mg, Sodium 385 mg

Star-Worthy Oscar Party Treats, Slimmed Down!

Entertaining Snacks

I love any excuse to have some friends and family over, hover around the television and host a potluck or a party – so obviously I am planning something fun for Sunday’s Oscars! But snacking doesn’t have to be mindless, and it doesn’t have to break your calorie bank, either! These suggestions below are what I will be having at my Academy Awards party – and I promise they are winners!

No Bake Peanut Butter Balls IMG_2751

These peanut butter balls taste like a rich dessert, but offer up filling fiber and protein, with minimal sugar! Also, they only take about 10 minutes to make from start to finish (plus some time to chill in the fridge). I love to keep these around and throw them in a bag for the day or snack on them at night when I want something sweet, and they stay in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for longer.

This is how the batter should look once blended

This is how the batter should look once blended

10 large, dried medjool dates, pitted

1/2 C natural peanut butter (only ingredients should be peanuts and a small amount of salt!)

1/4 C rolled oats

1/2 C unsweetened, dark chocolate chips

*Makes 15-18, 1″ balls

plain pb balls!

plain pb balls!

1. Soak oats in hot water for a few minutes (so that they soften)

2. Chop dates into small pieces and place in food processor or blender (I used my Magic Bullet).

3. Add peanut butter and oats. Blend until batter is course and ingredients are well incorporated.

4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Take a small spoon and scoop small portions of batter into your hands, forming small balls that measure approximately 1″ in diameter. Place each peanut butter ball on baking sheet and form rows of 3 or 4. Place baking sheet in fridge or freezer.*If you don’t want to make these chocolate covered, you are done after this step! I like to make about half chocolate covered and leave half plain, so continue if you plan to dip these in chocolate!

5. Melt chocolate chips. I prefer to use a double boiler (bring a small amount of water to a boil in a pot and cover with a large bowl. Add chocolate to bowl once water is boiling and allow the steam from the boiling water to melt the chocolate, stirring until chocolate is smooth). You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, but this often results in burnt patches. Place the chocolate in the microwave for short time segments if you prefer this method, and stir the chocolate often.

6. Take peanut butter balls from the fridge (they should be somewhat cool and solidified) and, using one at a time, roll each ball in the chocolate mixture, using a small spoon. Scoop ball up with spoon after it is coated and place back on baking sheet. Repeat for as many as you’d like dipped in chocolate!

7. Place in refrigerator to cool. They can be kept there overnight (or longer) or you can make these about an hour or two before your guests arrive (or you want to start eating them!) and take them out to serve once they are cooled. Enjoy!

1/2 chocolate dipped, 1/2 plain pb balls!

1/2 chocolate dipped, 1/2 plain pb balls!

Nutrient Breakdown for 1 ball (assuming recipe yields 16 servings): Calories 110 calories, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 26 mg, Calcium 3 mg

Sweet and Salty Popcorn

This popcorn is the easiest recipe you will ever make, and it is such a hit at parties! Also, popcorn is a whole grain and is a great, whole-food  choice over snacks like cookies and chips!

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2 1/2 C popcorn (*Note: Find a brand that simply uses popcorn, with perhaps some oil or salt – do not use buttered popcorn for this recipe! It should be simple, air-popped popcorn or very similar.)

1/4 C unsweetened, dark chocolate chips

1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted or very lightly salted popcorn)

*Makes 5 half-cup servings

1. Microwave popcorn according to directions on box or bag. Remove popcorn from microwave and open bag to let steam escape and popcorn cool. place popcorn in large bowl.

2. Melt chocolate chips using double boiler method (listed above in step 4 of ‘No Bake Peanut Butter Balls’ recipe). Drizzle chocolate over popcorn by dipping a spoon or knife into the melted chocolate and gently flicking it over the popcorn.

3. If using unsalted or very lightly salted popcorn, top with salt. Set aside (or place in fridge for about 15-20 minutes), until chocolate has solidified and cooled. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrient Breakdown for 1/2 C popcorn: Calories 71 calories, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 1 g, Sodium 233 mg, Calcium 0 mg

Popcorn on Fire

This savory popcorn is a good alternative to sweets  – and you can snack on handfuls for minimal calories and fat!

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2 1/2 C popcorn (*Note: Same rules as above recipe – air-popped and unbuttered!)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt (only if using unsalted or very lightly salted popcorn)

*Makes 5 half-cup servings

The spice lineup!

The spice lineup!

1. Combine all spices in small bowl and mix well.

2. Microwave popcorn according to directions on box or bag.

3. Once popcorn is all popped (and while it is still hot) open the bag drizzle oil over popcorn and mix with a spoon.

4. Slowly pour spices over the popcorn so that spices are evenly distributed. Mix well with spoon. Serve hot or at room temperature!

Nutrient breakdown for 1/2 C popcorn: Calories 65 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 3 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 1 g, Sodium 234 mg, Calcium 1 mg

Other Ideas

If you wanted other savory ideas, my dips are also great for entertaining! Find my buffalo-style cauliflower dip recipe HERE, my skinny spinach artichoke dip recipe HERE, and my guacamole recipe HERE! Also, veggies and pita with hummus is always a crowd-pleaser. Still craving something sweet? A fruit platter may just do the trick, without too much prep time (and without busting through the calorie budget)!

Looking forward to a night of fun, family, friends and food and fashion!

This Spicy Dip Has A Hot Secret: Cauliflower!

Buffalo-Style Cauliflower Dip

I was inspired to make this after seeing so many amazing looking recipes for similar dips, but so many of them were laden with cream and calories. This spicy, hearty-tasting dip only feels like a treat! It packs in a heaping portion of cruciferous standout, cauliflower, along with its fiber, vitamins C, K and and many B-complex vitamins! And for 100 calories and only 4 g fat per serving, you can get your buffalo wing fix without all the extra calories and fat. Serve with veggies, pita, bread, crackers or chips, or eat it on its own!

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Ingredients (serves 10):

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (or about 6 C florets)

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 small vidalia or sweet onion, chopped

1/2 C Cholula hot sauce (or similar hot sauce)

1 can (15 oz) white beans (also called navy beans), rinsed and drained

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 C 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash table salt (to taste)

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Ready to bake in the oven! Got a little messy - I used my immersion blender!

Got a little messy – I used my immersion blender!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Lay cauliflower, onions and garlic on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Drizzle oil over vegetables and roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.

3. While vegetables are roasting, blend all other ingredients together (Greek yogurt, flour, beans, hot sauce, spices).

4. Once vegetables are roasted, add to blender. Blend or pulse for a few seconds, keeping chunks of cauliflower visible. Bake in oven 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, until dip is warm and set. Serve with veggies, pita or chips and enjoy!

*This dip stays really well in the fridge and is amazing cold as leftovers (or warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave). I like to keep it around as an alternative to hummus and pack it for lunch!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Calories 100, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 2 mg, Carbohydrates 13 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 248 mg, Calcium 63 mg

Ready to bake in the oven!

Ready to bake in the oven!

It’s Soup Season!

Mushroom Barley Soup

This soup is a winter favorite of mine! The barley adds a hearty taste and texture to the warming vegetable soup, plus it’s packed with nutrients like fiber from the barley and vegetables, beta-carotene (which our body converts to vitamin A) from the carrots and B-complex vitamins from mushrooms. I usually make a large pot of this soup early in the week and eat a bowl every day with lunch or dinner (or sometimes both)! Perfectly portable for work and perfectly nutritious, this homemade soup is a must-try for cold winter days!

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Ingredients (serves 10):

8 C low sodium vegetable broth

8 C water

1 C barley, uncooked

5 C mushrooms, sliced

1 sweet onion, small, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 C carrots, chopped

1/2 C celery, chopped

1 Tbsp butter or margarine

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until slightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally (approximately 10 minutes).

2. Add carrots and celery. Add liquid (water and vegetable broth). Add spices. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until vegetables are softened.

3.Add barley and boil for another 10 minutes. Cover and reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve and enjoy!

*I love to make this soup for the entire week. If you still have leftovers at the end of the week, just store in single or double serving, airtight containers in the freezer!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Calories 91 calories, Total Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 312 mg, Calcium 32 mg

May require serious stove clean-up, but so worth it! My pot wasn't large enough and some boiled over...live and learn!

May require serious stove clean-up, but so worth it! My pot wasn’t large enough and some boiled over…live and learn!

A More Nutritious Bowl Of ‘Spaghetti’

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce and Cheese

This winter squash is a great alternative to pasta for those who are looking for a more nutritious bowl! With less than 200 calories per serving and packed with fiber and antioxidants like beta carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A) and vitamin C, this dish is filled with good nutrition and satisfies a carb craving for the starchy stuff!

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Ingredients (serves 5):

1 3-pound spaghetti squash

1 tsp canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

1 C tomato sauce (I like 365 brand tomato and basil pasta sauce from Whole Foods), or feel free to make your own!

4 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray baking pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Remove pulp and seeds with a spoon. Pour oil in your palms (make sure they are clean!) and rub hands together so that oil coats your hands. Next, rub the oil on the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle dash of salt and pepper on top of squash and turn squash over (face down).

3. Bake spaghetti squash for 25-35 minutes. When the squash is cooked, you will be able to pull the “spaghetti” strands with a fork, but it will be able to hold its form. Continue to do this until all of the squash is out of the skin (I like to pull the strands into a large bowl). Once all squash is in the bowl, pour sauce over squash and stir. Top with cheese. You may need to heat the squash in the microwave for a minute to warm the sauce. Serve and enjoy!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork - it forms 'spaghetti'!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork – it forms ‘spaghetti’!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 167 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 12 mg, Carbohydrates 22 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 9 g, Sodium 399 mg, Calcium 411 mg

Now just stir together and serve!

Now just stir together and serve!

Winter Veggie Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Winter Veggie Soup with Turkey Meatballs

This soup is great as a meal on its own, or as a hearty snack or side, and is packed with winter vegetables, like kale, parsnips, turnips and carrots. This winter veggie soup offers tons of antioxidants, like beta carotene (which is converted in our bodies to form vitamin A) and vitamin C, along with nutrients like folate, potassium and vitamin K. Also, this soup contains fiber and lean protein, which is perfect for filling you up, without filling you out! In fact, this hearty soup contains less than 250 calories per serving! I like to make a large pot of this soup on Sunday and enjoy the leftovers for lunch or dinner during the work week, when things are more hectic.

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Ingredients (serves 6):

3/4 small onion, chopped

1/2 C mushrooms, chopped

2 C baby kale, raw

1 1/2 C carrots, sliced (pieces should be about 1/4″ thick)

2 medium parsnips (about 6″ long), sliced

1 medium turnip (about 4″ in diameter), chopped

2 small yukon gold potatoes (about 2″ in diameter), chopped

16 oz lean ground turkey breast

5 C low-sodium vegetable broth

6 C water

1 Tbsp butter or Smart Balance

1 large egg

1/4 C whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp olive or canola oil

1 small bunch dill, rinsed

1.5 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper, plus a dash

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Ready to bake the turkey meatballs in the oven!

Ready to bake the turkey meatballs in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 9″ x 13″casserole dishes with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Empty ground turkey breast into large mixing mixing bowl. Crack egg in separate, small bowl, scramble and add to large mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, garlic powder and onion powder to mixture and combine. Form small meatballs (about 1/2″ in diameter) and place in casserole dishes (4 rows x 6 columns). There should be about 48 small meatballs in total. Bake in oven 15-20 minutes.

3. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and oil and cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale, dash of salt and ground black pepper and sauté until soft and slightly wilted, about 4-5 minutes.

4. Add carrots, parsnips, turnips and potatoes to large pot. Cover with vegetable broth and water. Add turkey meatballs, remaining salt salt and a 1/8 tsp ground black pepper. Add dill (remaining on stem). Cover and bring to a boil. Let boil about 45 minutes (covered), until vegetables are soft. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook another 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Sautéed kale, onions and mushrooms. Now just add the rest, bring to a boil and simmer!

Sautéed kale, onions and mushrooms. Now just add the rest, bring to a boil and simmer!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 232 calories, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 78 mg, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 23 g, Sodium 787 mg, Calcium 78 mg

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Russet and Sweet Potato Latkes

Russet and Sweet Potato Latkes

Chanukah may be coming to a close, but it is still the holiday season and these russet and sweet potato latkes are a festive addition to any holiday meal or party. Combing the russet potato with the sweet potato allows for a sweet, heartier latke without straying too far from the traditional version. And the best part? Each latke is under 100 calories!

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Ingredients (yields ~20 latkes)

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 large russet (baking) potatoes

1 sweet onion, finely chopped

1 large egg plus 2 egg whites

1/2 C canola oil

3/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

sweet potato is grated!

sweet potato is grated!

Directions:

1. Peel potatoes. After peeling each potato, place in large bowl of cold water to prevent browning.

2. Pat dry potato and grate by hand. Repeat for the remaining potatoes.

3. Once all potatoes have been grated, use a cheesecloth, dishtowel or paper towel and thoroughly dry potatoes by ringing out all excess water. Place grated potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, crack 1 egg and two whites and scramble with a fork. Add to potatoes.

5. Add salt, pepper and onion. Mix ingredients with hands until well combined.

6. Pour about 1/4 of the oil in a large frying pan (I find that a stainless steel pan works best) and warm over medium heat.

7. Take about 1 spoonful of batter, roll it into a ball and flatten the mixture (the latke should be about the size of half of your palm). Place latke in oil and repeat until the frying pan is full (usually about 5 latkes can fit in one pan). Cook until browned (about 5 minutes on each side).

8. Transfer cooked latkes over to a plate covered with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat steps 6-7 until the mixture is used.

9. Enjoy! Serve on their own, or with applesauce or sour cream (or try them with Greek yogurt to increase the protein content and decrease the fat content!)

Ready to be formed into latkes!

Ready to be formed into latkes!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (serving size is 1 latke)

Calories 97 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 9 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 102 mg, Calcium 12 mg

Yum! Almost done!

Yum! Almost done!

 

 

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Chèvre and Basil

Can you tell I had some leftover sun-dried tomatoes and basil from my last dish? I decided to make use of the large quantities in which these foods are often sold and make my favorite pasta dish. This dish contains calcium, lycopene, vitamin C and fiber, and only takes about 20 minutes to whip up! Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and is known to be abundant in tomatoes, giving them their deep, red color. Also, the fiber in this dish keeps you full and prevents severe blood sugar spikes normally seen with refined carbohydrates.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

1 C whole wheat pasta, dry

1.5 oz chèvre

1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

2 Tbsp basil, chopped

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

dash salt

IMG_2099Directions:

1. Bring medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions on box.

2. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to medium-sized pan and warm over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add sun-dried tomatoes, spices and garlic to pan and cook another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Strain the pasta and set aside, reserving about 1/3 C of pasta water. Add pasta water to pan and cook until all liquid has been absorbed (about another 5 minutes). This will make the pasta taste like it is in a thicker sauce!

5. Add remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil to pot used to cook pasta and replace on stove over low-medium heat. Add pasta and vegetables. Add chèvre and basil to pasta and combine all ingredients well. Serve and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Calories 453 calories, Total Fat 27 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Carbohydrates 47 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 77 mg, Sodium 259 mg

 

A Chicken Dish That Doesn’t Taste ‘Just Like Chicken’

Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Zucchini and Basil

Vegetables are actually the shining star of this flavorful chicken dish! This dish boast almost 40 grams of protein per serving with only 12 grams of carbs, along with a plate full of lycopene and vitamin C. I like to prepare this dish on a Sunday night and have leftovers for the busy week – although it is also a beautiful presentation for company.

I served mine over brown rice

I served mine over brown rice!

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 4-ounce chicken breasts

1 C sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

1 1/2 C mushrooms, chopped

1 large zucchini

2 cloves garlic

4 Tbsp chopped basil

1/4 C olive oil

dash salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

IMG_2092Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Chop zucchini. Cut sundered tomatoes so that the pieces are still fairly large. Chop garlic. Set aside.

3. Spray 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Place chicken in casserole dish and drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over chicken. Top chicken with salt,  garlic powder, onion powder and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Pour remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in large saucepan and warm over medium heat. Add mushrooms and zucchini and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and remaining 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and cook for another 5. minutes. Add chopped basil and stir. Remove saucepan from heat.

5. Remove chicken from oven and pour saucepan contents over chicken. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 366 calories, Total Fat 19 g, Saturated fat 3 g, Cholesterol 96 mg, Carbohydrates 12 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 39 g, Sodium 414 mg, Calcium 54 mg

 

Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice!

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Oatmeal with Walnuts

This autumn-y oatmeal has been my go-to this month for a quick breakfast before running out the door. I use instant oatmeal (although I am sure it would be tasty using overnight oats, as well) and pumpkin butter for this quick morning meal. Also, just a fun fact: pumpkin butter is not actually butter at all – it is pureed pumpkin, oftentimes mixed with honey and some lemon juice and typically has less than 35 calories per 1 Tbsp serving. That is a lot of flavor for minimal calories! Plus, pumpkin supplies beta carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A.  This pumpkin-y bowl full of cinnamon spice and heart-healthy walnuts is a seasonal way to start your day off right with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a tasty spoonful of beta carotene-rich pumpkin!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 packet instant oatmeal (*I like Trader Joe’s Oats and Flax or Bob’s Red Mill brand)

*Note: If you are interested in a heartier breakfast and looking for a way to increase calcium intake, you can prepare the oatmeal with milk in place of water! 

1/2 oz unsalted walnut halves (about 7 walnut halves)

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin butter (*Try to look for a brand that isn’t loaded with sugar – I like Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Cook oatmeal according to directions on package.

2. Add pumpkin butter and cinnamon and stir into oatmeal. Top with walnuts and enjoy!

(This may be the easiest recipe I have ever posted!)

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 231 calories, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol o mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 100 mg, Calcium 159 mg