My Favorite Relaxing Yoga Videos

As the season of free outdoor fitness classes comes to a close, I’ve been on the hunt for a way to sprinkle in more movement without breaking the bank. I’ve since learned that Youtube has much more to offer than just hair tutorials and John Oliver segments, and have stumbled down the joyous rabbit hole of free Youtube yoga videos. Below are a few gentle routines that I keep coming back to. Nearly all of these routines are less than 15 minutes, so they are the perfect low commitment way to get into yoga if you’re new to the practice.

15 Minute Yoga to Wake Up (13:16) // Yoga by Candace

This video starts off super calm and gentle, so it’s a nice, soothing way to start the day, especially if you haven’t had your morning coffee.

Yoga to Get the Juices Flowing! (8:27) // Yoga with Adriene

If you feel like you have been sitting at the desk (or on the couch!) for too long, and need a quick stretch break to feel energized and get the juices flowing, this video is perfect. I also like to do this one in the morning when I wake up.

Yoga for Upper Back Pain (12:03) // Yoga with Adriene

Like most adults with a desk job, I tend to hold a lot of tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Since regular massages aren’t in the budget, this quick yoga routine is a pretty nice alternative. I also enjoy Adriene’s 15 minute sequence for lower back pain.

Yoga for Tired Legs (26:58) // Yoga with Adriene

With cooler autumn weather making appearances in Boston, I’ve been trying to go running more regularly. My sore body has not been as amused as my health-conscious heart, so stretches that soothe achy legs are a welcome treat. I have tried a number of post-run or “yoga for runners” sequences, but this video is my favorite routine to fill that need. This video is a bit longer than the others on the list, but it’s super relaxing, and not at all strenuous.

5 Minute Before Bed Yoga (6:56) // Yoga by Candace

This short sequence is a great stretch to do right when you are ready to go to bed. Sometimes I also do this one right when I wake up, if I’m so tired that I can’t fathom getting out of bed. Candace also has a 10-minute, before bed yoga sequence that I enjoy.

Do you have favorite yoga or fitness Youtube videos that you return to time and time again? Share the link in the comments!

– Kelly

Welcome to Our Garden

Dinner on a rooftop garden, Brookline, MA

^^ Dinner in the garden

While I’m perfectly content lugging my grocery basket up and down the tiny aisles of my minuscule but much loved Whole Foods Market, there is something incredibly rewarding about growing your own food.

As a lover of local, organic foods and CSAs, having a small vegetable garden has been on my bucket list for years. I first acted on this agricultural impulse several years ago, when I enrolled in the Citizen Gardener Certification course from the Sustainable Food Center in Austin. The program consisted of two classroom & field lessons and required 10 hours of volunteer work in community gardens. At the end of the summer, the training then culminated in a beautiful potluck feast at the Barr Mansion in Austin, where students brought dishes created with their homegrown produce.

Despite all of the education and volunteer work, I completely wimped out on the actual act of starting a garden, still too daunted to put these lessons into practice. At the potluck, I sheepishly put my farmers market vegetable tartine on the table (at least it was homemade!), and quickly deflected all questions about my summer in the dirt. So much for that!

In the years since, I’ve been much more enthusiastic about buying plants, and have subsequently let several herb starts and an embarrassing number of succulents perish on my watch. This year, however, marked a turning point in my gardening adventures, as our cozy Brookline abode came complete with a spacious rooftop patio, which I am determined not to take for granted. Plus, our newest roommate is from the Pacific Northwest, and is using all of her quirky Portlandia knowledge to spearhead this project. (Admittedly, I am mostly only contributing dirt and curiosity.)

Garden1

garden4

Cultivating the seedlings into strong plants was a challenge, but apparently, that was only half the battle. Our third floor elevation protects us from most predators, but we’ve dealt with a few heartbreaking run-ins with a rather malicious squirrel, as well as an infestation of aphids.

After several months of care, we are finally starting to see some veggies springing up. We started peas, carrots, green beans, zucchinis, basil, Thai basil, Chinese chives, sunflowers, and cucumbers from seed—a particularly rewarding endeavor. We also have tomatoes, strawberries, oregano, mint, rosemary, and sage, which we grew from starts.

garden2

garden3

If you’re looking to start your own garden, here are some tools we found particularly helpful…

Starting an Outdoor Container Garden in Boston

  1. Smart Pot // Amazon ( Assorted sizes, $8.72 for 5 gallon)
  2. BirdBlock Netting // Amazon ($8.35 for 7 ft x 20 ft)
  3. Neptune Harvest Organic Fertilizer // Amazon ($12.74 for 18 oz)
  4. Foxfarm Potting Soil // Amazon ($24.37 for 36.8 quarts)
  5. Seed Starter Pots // Amazon ($5.98 for 50 cells)

Are you growing anything this year?

– Kelly

Campfire Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Quinoa

stir fry

vvvvvv

Campfires are an essential element to all great summers, and this year, I hit the ground running. In mid-June, the season kicked off with a trip to Acadia National Park. While my sweetheart prefers sleeping under the stars, I tend to gravitate towards luxury hotels. One night of camping followed by an evening in charming Bar Harbor was the ultimate win-win.

Aside from the beautiful mountain views, the best part of camping, is of course, the food. S’mores are wonderful, but a girl cannot survive on chocolate stuffed grahams alone, especially after hours of hiking. Therefore, 99% of my vacation preparation was spent brainstorming the perfect campfire meal.

The trusty cast iron skillet was a mandatory passenger on our trip, so a one-pot meal, like stir fry, quickly proved to be our winner. I opted for quinoa instead of the usual brown rice, because it is one of the quickest cooking whole grains, often requiring only 12-15 minutes of cook time. The chicken was a welcome, hearty choice after a day on the trails, but if you’re looking to keep this plant based, you can also sub tofu or shelled edamame.

Stir Fry Collage

Campfire Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Quinoa

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 pound chopped mixed vegetables (we set aside about a 1/2 cup of the veggies for breakfast the next morning)
  • 6-12 oz grilled chicken
  • 2-4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

Method:

  1. Get a good fire going!
  2. Add quinoa and 1 cup water to camping pot and cover.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking,  warm oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over the fire, then add the veggies, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  5. Once the quinoa water starts bubbling, and the onions start to become translucent, add the chicken to the skillet. The quinoa needs to cook until all of the water is absorbed, and the grain sprouts a curly “tail”.
  6. When the quinoa looks like it’s almost ready, add the teriyaki sauce to the skillet, then stir well to combine.
  7. Once the quinoa is cooked, add the quinoa to the skillet, and stir to incorporate it into the teriyaki mixture.
  8. Divide the stir fry onto two plates, for serving. If there is any leftover after serving, cover the pan in foil so that it stays warm if anyone wants seconds. Best enjoyed in front of a crackling fire.

Nutrition per Serving: 570 calories, 21g fat (2.5g saturated fat), 46g carbohydrates (7g fiber, 10g sugar*), 48g protein, 124mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 37% Vitamin A, 234% Vitamin C, 7% Calcium, 20% Iron

*estimated added sugars: 4.5g

Acadia National Park

^^ Beautiful Acadia

– Kelly

Best (Easy to Read) Nutrition and Wellness Books

Few conversations can bring a bookworm out of his or her shell faster than a request for reading recommendations. Much to my delight, people from all walks of life are now embracing nutrition and wellness with a frenzied, passion-like curiosity. And guess what — they’re looking for something to read! While no one book can bottle up my entire education and experience into a practical, easy-to-read volume, I will happily supply recommendations for those wanting to learn more.

Not to worry — there  are no dense nutrition textbooks or food anthologies on this list. Rather, I’m sharing some of my favorite, easy to read book nutrition related books from the popular press. I also included four of my favorite food systems books, for those that want to dig deeper and approach nutrition on a public health scale.

Best Easy-to-Read Nutrition Books (according to a Dietitian)

Nutrition & Wellness 101: What to Eat and How to Eat It

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who Live the Longest, by Dan Buettner // This book investigates cultures around the world that live the longest, emphasizing the importance of achievable, enjoyable lifestyles and habits, rather than extreme regimens. The diversity of traditions represented demonstrate why small choices (black beans versus bok choy) aren’t as important as overall dietary patterns (eating lots of vegetables).

Disease-Proof, by David Katz // Although not every chapter of this book is devoted specifically to diet and food choices, it is a great handbook for anyone striving to take better care of their body. Dr. Katz not only addresses goals that are relevant to living healthier, but also the skills needed to make these goals a reality. (I blogged a longer review in a previous post.)

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan // While not an outright guidebook on what to eat, this is one of the clearest, most beautifully written explanations of the way that our food is grown and processed matters, and why farm fresh food and scratch cooking are wiser alternatives to packaged “health foods” and standard American fare.

French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters, by Karen Le Billon // This memoir follows the triumphs (and failures) of a North American family attempting to expand their picky palates and embrace real food (and table manners) throughout their year in France. The lessons can be applied to any life stage, even if you don’t have children. Most importantly, Le Billon reminds us not to lose sight of the big picture. After all, green vegetables cooked in butter are certainly more nutritious than opting for highly processed snack foods with no veggies at all.

Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, by Brian Wansink// Dr. Wansink is a firm believer that “it’s easier to change your eating environment than to change your mind.” This book offers plenty of practical tips to make nutritious choices the easy, default choices, applying data from the author’s behavioral research lab. Picking up from Dr. Wansink’s 2006 book, Mindless Eating, this follow up is even more user friendly, complete with illustrated blueprints on how to makeover your food environment to eliminate the triggers that cause mindless eating and overeating.(I blogged a longer review in a previous post.)

Extra Credit: Exploring Our Food System

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss // By now, we know that fast food and highly packaged junk foods (chips, soda, etc) are bad news. But if you wonder why these foods continue to engulf our communities and tickle our senses, Moss’s expose on the food industry is the perfect place to start.

The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, by Dan Barber // Celebrity chef Dan Barber’s tome is a refreshingly solutions-based approach to addressing the plagues of industrial food production. From aquaculture to soil health, Barber gets his hands dirty to find the best ways that chefs, farmers, and consumers can come together and get our food system (and our land) back in shape.

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty, by Mark Winne // Drawing from his personal experience in urban food activism, Mark Winne illustrates how truly sustainable food systems should address the needs of all participants, not just the wealthy minority. This book is a humble reminder that reforming our food system is not just a hobby for the well-to-do, but is directly in line with the changes needed to help end hunger and improve nutrition in America.

World Hunger: Ten Myths, by Frances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins // Yes, this is the book that I helped research – an experience that taught me so much about our food economy and food production system. Lappé and Collins go beyond admonishing industrial agricultural monopolies and praising sustainable agriculture – they actually demonstrate that agroecology is in fact better suited to feed a growing population.

– Kelly

Shakshuka Polenta with Chickpeas

Shakshuka Polenta

My morning oatmeal habit single-handedly turned breakfast into the most beloved of all meals,  so it was only a matter of time before I became enamored with polenta, a creamy cornmeal dish from northern Italy (similar to grits).

While this recipe started as an empty-pantry-desperation-dinner (requiring just a few canned goods and some eggs), it has quickly become one of my most dependable weeknight suppers, eliciting frequent cravings, roommate food envy, and a new tendency to stockpile canned tomatoes. The Eggs Shakshuka from the Beat Brasserie in Harvard Square inspired this unlikely pairing, as they serve the traditional, North African tomato dish over a creamy puddle of warm polenta.

Taking recipes to a more porridge-like level is always a winning strategy in my kitchen, so it is no surprise that this Shakshuka Polenta with Chickpeas is heavy on rotation at my place this season. In fact, it just might be better than having oatmeal for dinner. I’ll let you be the judge.

Shakshuka Polenta

Shakshuka Polenta with Chickpeas

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons harissa sauce (you can also substitute 1 roasted red bell pepper, finely chopped, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, or you can omit altogether)
  • 1 cup milk (I use nonfat organic)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn grits/cornmeal (preferably whole grain)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine)
  • optional: zatar seasoning 

Method:

  1. To make the sauce, put the tomatoes and harissa in a small pot and heat on medium low, stirring occasionally. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges, reduce heat to low, and let stay warm on the stove.
  2. In a small pot, add the milk, water, and corn grits and bring to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and let cook covered, stirring frequently. Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until mixture reaches desired creaminess.
  3. To prepare the eggs, crack the eggs into two individual small bowls or ramekins.
  4. In a medium to large pot, bring water to a simmer, where the edges are bubbling but it’s not quite a full boil.
  5. Add a few teaspoons of vinegar, and swirl the water in one direction .
  6. Gently pour one of the eggs from the bowl into the water, and let cook until the white becomes opaque, and egg reaches desired level of doneness.
  7. With a slotted spoon, gently remove the poached egg and set on a paper towel. Repeat with the next egg.
  8. To serve, divide the polenta between two bowls. Top each bowl with tomato sauce, chickpeas, and a poached egg. Garnish with zatar or freshly cracked black pepper.

Shakshuka Polenta

Nutrition per Serving: 420 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 67g carbohydrates (11g fiber, 20g sugar), 22g protein, 190mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, 43% Vitamin A, 49% Vitamin C, 25% Calcium, 36% Iron

– Kelly

Cranberry Persimmon Smoothie

Persimmon Cranberry Smoothie 1

Sometimes the most exotic ingredients are best delivered in nondescript packages. At least, that’s the case with this Cranberry Persimmon Smoothie, which conveniently tastes like good old strawberry banana. If you’re new to persimmons, or are uneasy about tofu (yep, I snuck that in), rest assured that even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy the comforting, sweet flavors of this seasonal fruity beverage.

Rather than sticking to tried-and-true favorites, I encourage you to begin 2016 with an open-minded palate. Persimmons (tomato-looking fruits that are in stores this time of year) are a great alternative to winter citrus. Eaten raw, the mildly tropical aromas will transport you to a warmer clime. They also add a delightful twist to baked desserts (like crisps and cobblers). Beginners should note that the oblong, hachiya persimmons must soften before they can be eaten, while the squat looking fuyu persimmons don’t need to ripen as much, and can be eaten firm.

Similarly, while most of us lean towards yogurt as a smoothie thickener, silken tofu is a nutritious (and inconspicuous) plant-based alternative. Although a favorite among the yoga and granola set, this simple soy food also makes for decadently creamy pasta sauces, dips, and salad dressings.

Once you “master” an ingredient, by utilizing it in a crave-worthy recipe, it is much easier to approach menus and cookbooks with an open mind, adding dimension and variety to what can oftentimes become a cycle of repetitive eating.

What new foods will you try this year?

Cranberry Persimmon Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 small banana, frozen in chunks
  • 1 ripe persimmon
  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition per serving: 250 calories, 2g fat (0g saturated fat), 60g carbohydrates (10g fiber, 36g sugar*), 5g protein, 0g cholesterol, 7mg sodium, 56% Vitamin A, 43% Vitamin C, 4% Calcium, 6% Iron

*All sugars are naturally occurring; none are added sugars

– Kelly

Paris Favorites

Paris Collage

Piggy-backing on a work trip to Milan, I took the opportunity to spend a few days in Paris – my first time ever to this enchanting city. Over the span of three days, I was able to visit so many memorable museums, monuments, and parks: The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Musee d’Orsay, Napoleon’s Tomb, Sainte-Chapelle, Monmarte, the Latin Quarter, Ile Saint-Louis, Sacre Coeur, Place des Voges, Tuileries Garden, Jardin du Luxembourg, Notre Dame, Champs-Elysees, and more…

However, the food experiences in particular were especially memorable. Here are a few highlights from the trip:

La Cuisine Paris French Market Cooking Class

French Market Cooking Class at La Cuisine Paris // To satisfy all of my French gastronome fantasies and channel my inner Julia Child, I could not leave Paris without taking a cooking class. I settled on La Cuisine Paris after David Lebovitz suggested it in the New York Times. The class began with a walking tour of historic French markets, where a Parisian chef worked with our intimate class of eight to come up with a dinner menu based on the seasonal ingredients.

We then made our way to the cooking school, where we worked together to prepare the meal, absorbing tidbits of French culinary wisdom along the way. On the menu was Magret de Canard, Sauce a la Figue (duck with fig sauce), Oeuf Cocotte (creamy egg casserole), and Crème Caramel (a custard-like dish with caramel), which of course, were accompanied by a cheese platter (Comte, Camembert, and a creamy goat cheese), sliced baguettes from a local boulangerie, and a generous serving of white wine. The magic of the evening carried all the way over to the dinner table, where we enjoyed the fruits of our labor in a charming dining room overlooking the dreamy Siene river.

Merci in Paris

Lunch at Merci // After spotting the dreamy red Fiat and handsome wall of bookshelves on Instagram several months ago, a visit to Merci got upgraded to the top of my Paris wishlist. Merci is a large store selling trendy home goods, decor, and clothing, and is great for picking out souvenirs. But the deceptively large building also houses three charming cafes. We ate in the Merci Canteen, a bright and airy dining room that features a healthy, vegetable-forward menu (see top two photos). There is also a used book cafe (bottom left photo) and a cinema cafe.

pirouette

Dinner at Piroutte // The grainy photos don’t do this place justice. This dinner was arguably one of the very best meals of my entire life. We made a reservation online about 2 or 3 weeks in advance, after seeing the positive reviews on Paris by Mouth (so grateful for online reservations when dining internationally!)  Every dish we ordered was superb (the 3 course tasting menu ran for 42 euro), and the elegant yet rustic dining room was absolutely charming.

Other can’t-miss food experiences in Paris were the warm crepes (the ham-cheese-egg combo became a breakfast ritual, as little croissants can’t tide me over in the morning) and the ice cream from Une Glace a Paris.

Other Paris Tips

  • Youtube is Your Friend: I never took art history in college, but I certainly didn’t want to wonder through one of the greatest art collections in the world without appreciating what I was looking at. A few days before visiting the Louvre, we watched a BBC documentary special called “Treasures of the Louvre” on YouTube (a little over an hour long). It was such a great look at the museum, that we took a similar approach for the Musee d’Orsay. And yes, there was a mandatory Midnight in Paris viewing before we left the states.
  • Get a Museum Pass: If you’re planning on visiting multiple museums or attractions (and why wouldn’t you?) be sure to pick up a museum pass. It allows you to cut the line at the Louvre and a few other museums, which is worth the price alone.
  • Google Maps: At the risk of sounding technology dependent, I am so grateful that I was able to use Google Maps on my phone. Directions aren’t my strong suit, and throwing a foreign language into the mix certainly doesn’t help. If you’re able to swallow the upfront cost of getting a temporary international data plan (I used AT&T Passport Silver: $60 for 300MB), it will make your trip so much less stressful. (Note: for a data-free map option: I recommend City Maps 2Go Pro, which runs for $4.99 in the App store). Google Maps was also great for trip planning, as I was able to create a custom map with different colored pins for different categories (restaurants, attractions, etc) and create layers within the map (one for each day, with the capability to map out a route between attractions). To learn more about custom Google Maps, see this tutorial.

What are your Paris favorites?

– Kelly

10 Healthy Apple Recipes

Apple Picking at Green Mountain Orchard in Putney, VT

This weekend I ventured out to Vermont for an afternoon of leaf peeping and apple picking. The first stop was Green Mountain Orchards in Putney. They aren’t organic, but at least they practice IPM (integrated pest management). Next up was a late lunch in Brattleboro. We ate at Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, a fun biergarten (the red building in the photo below) that overlooks the Connecticut River. Vermont never disappoints, but the fall foliage this weekend was especially stunning.

Brattleboro, VT

After coming home with approximately 30 apples (and that was just my half of the haul!) I am excited to get in the kitchen and start experimenting. Have you stocked up on this ubiquitous fall fruit? Here are ten healthy apple recipes (obligatory apple pie not included)…

Slow Cooker Apple Sauce

1. Slow Cooker Apple Sauce // The Kitchn

I’m always looking for ways to get more use out of my slow cooker, so this recipe was a no-brainer. Apple sauce isn’t usually a pantry staple for me, but these fragrant, stewed apples have been great to stir into my oatmeal in the mornings. For a snack, I like to stir a spoonful of natural peanut butter into my applesauce. You can also layer it with yogurt and granola, or use it to sweeten baked goods.

Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

2. Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal // Monica Matheny, The Yummy Life

This is a great recipe that I’ve turned back to over the years. These days I don’t use nearly as much sugar as the original recipe calls for, and I tend to up the flax seed as well.

Teff Porridge with Apples, Dates and Pecans

3. Teff Porridge with Apples, Dates and Pecans // Aube Giroux, PBS Food

For those that haven’t tried teff (a porridge-y , African whole grain with undertones of cocoa), this recipe is a great way to familiarize yourself with a new healthy ingredient.

Apple, Almond and buckwheat muffins

4. Apple, Almond, and Buckwheat Muffins // Green Kitchen Stories

These muffins are filled with a sweet surprise: a gooey, applesauce center. I don’t usually bake gluten free, but I love that this recipe is heavy on healthy, wholesome ingredients.

Israeli Couscous and Apple Salad

5. Israeli Couscous and Apple Salad // Delish

Crunchy apples and tangy feta are a winning combo. For a more flavorful, nutritious twist, swap out the Israeli couscous for whole wheat couscous, bulgur or quinoa.

Whole Wheat Bread, Apple and Cranberry Dressing

6. Whole Wheat Bread, Apple and Cranberry Dressing // Martha Rose Schulman, New York Times

Thanksgiving in a bowl. Need I say more?

French Lentil Soup with Parsnip & Apple

7. French Lentil Soup with Parsnip and Apple // Dana

Hearty lentil soup is one of my absolute favorite foods, so I’m dying to try this apple and parsnip studded stew.

Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

8. Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf // Oh She Glows

While some of my friends and family will undoubtedly be turned off the idea of a veggie loaf, this nutty lentil loaf looks deliciously hearty to me. They’ll come around to meatless mains soon enough!

Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing

9. Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing // Edible Perspective 

I am on a huge tahini kick lately, so this autumn squash bowl is calling my name. For those that haven’t experimented with tahini (outside of its supporting role in hummus) prepare to be amazed.

Butternut Squash Apple Pear Crisp

10. Butternut Squash Apple Pear Crisp // Edible Perspective

I love that this recipe incorporates rich winter squash into the classic apple crisp, for a welcome boost in both flavor and nutrition.

– Kelly

World Hunger: 10 Myths

Frances Moore Lappe and Kelly Toups with World Hunger 10 Myths

World hunger is not a traditional area of study for dietitians, but one thing I love about dietetics is that it has allowed me to explore food and nutrition issues from so many different perspectives. Following a passion for food and nutrition policy, I landed at the Small Planet Institute in 2013 working as a research fellow on Frances Moore Lappé’s newest book, World Hunger: Ten Myths.

For those of you not familiar with Frances Moore Lappé, she is often credited with being one of the early pioneers of the food movement. Diet for a Small Planet, her 1971 classic that has sold over 3 million copies, was among the first works that helped people make the connection between the food we eat and the health of our planet.

Today her latest book, World Hunger: Ten Myths, is finally being released! I am so grateful to have been a part of this project, even if only for a year. Anyone interested in hunger and food insecurity, food justice, food and nutrition policy, sustainable agriculture, GMOs, and more should definitely pick up a copy. You can order it on Amazon here.

World Hunger 10 Myths Cover

– Kelly

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds 1

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Blueberries, oats, Greek yogurt, almonds… the gang’s all here! These are basically all of the go-to “superfoods” in a dietitian’s arsenal, so naturally I had to combine them into one recipe.

Instead of my usual splash of milk, thick and creamy Greek yogurt offers more protein and probiotics, and helps keep you full. I usually hesitate to add refined sweeteners to porridge, but the scant ½ teaspoon of maple syrup here (yes, I got out the measuring spoons) is just the right touch of sweetness to tie the ingredients together. This is a prime example of “everything in moderation.” I don’t necessarily say no to sugar, but I insist that it be used with care.

This recipe was inspired by my mom, who always cooks her oats with a large handful of frozen blueberries. We’re obsessed with these particular oats from Bob’s Red Mill, so she sent me home with a large package the last time I was in Houston. The texture is what makes this Scottish oatmeal unique; it’s somewhere between steel cut oatmeal and cream of wheat. But just like my tried-and-true rolled oats, this creamy breakfast is microwave friendly and ready in a flash. Plus, if you do it my way, you end up with purple oatmeal. How’s that for a Monday morning?

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds 3

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Scottish Oats
  • 1/3 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat Organic)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds (about 16 almonds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Method:

  1. Combine the oats, blueberries, and water in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Then stir the mixture, and microwave for an additional 2 minutes. (Trust me about the large bowl.)
  2. Let the oatmeal sit in the microwave for one minute (this is the hardest part). Then, transfer oatmeal to a serving bowl if desired.
  3. Stir in the Greek yogurt, drizzle the top of the oatmeal with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup, then top with almonds and serve.

Nutrition per Serving: 350 calories, 11g fat (1g saturated fat), 22g protein, 40g carbohydrates (11g sugar*, 8g fiber), 6mg cholesterol, 42mg sodium, 1% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 21% Calcium, 16% Iron

*Only 2g added sugars, all of the rest are naturally occuring

– Kelly