Spicy Brown Rice and Veggie Bowl with Tempeh

Any food that includes sriracha is a win in my book. If you haven't tried it yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle today. You won't be disappointed! This rice and veggie bowl is a go-to dinner in my house. There's flexibility with the vegetables and grains, so consider it a way to use up what you have in the fridge. For this version I added baby bok choy, carrots, and kale. I've also made it with spinach, mushrooms, and bean sprouts - seriously anything that is a vegetable would taste good in this bowl. Same goes for the grains. No brown rice? No problem, sub quinoa, farro, or even oats. The result? A fiber-packed bowl with at least two servings of nutrient-dense vegetables. 


1 block tempeh
1 bunch baby bok choy, washed and separated
1 bunch kale, washed and stems removed
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup dry brown rice (I used a quick cooking rice)
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp olive oil

For the marinade
2 tbsp grain mustard
2 tbsp sriracha
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Cook rice and set aside. Slice tempeh (or your choice of protein). Mix grain mustard, sriracha, and soy sauce in a bowl. Add tempeh and mix well. Set aside. Prepare kale and bok choy. Grate carrot. In a wok or sauce pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and ginger. Saute until ginger is fragrant and soft. Add tempeh and cook until brown. Remove tempeh from pan. Add kale and saute until wilted. Remove from pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil and saute bok choy until wilted.

To build the bowl: split rice between two bowls. Split remainder of ingredients between two bowls. Top with sriracha and sesame seeds. Optional: 1 over medium egg. 

Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Radicchio, and Watermelon Radish Salad

Bitter, spicy, crunchy, colorful. This salad is a simple, back to basics recipe (#btobrecipes on Instagram), and a tasty addition to your holiday table. It's perfect for winter featuring three seasonal vegetables: brussels sprouts, radicchio, and watermelon radish. You'll need a cutting board, knife, and food processor. Optional is the mandolin, a useful, but not necessary kitchen gadget used to thinly slice produce. Note: always use a guard. I can speak from experience, a mandolin and the tops of your fingers don't mix!


1 bag of brussels sprouts or about 3 cups
1 medium head of radicchio
1 medium watermelon radish
ANEWtrition Dijon Vinaigrette with Shallots 

Wash brussels sprouts and trim ends. Wash radicchio, trim end, and cut into quarters. Wash watermelon radish and set aside. Assemble food processor with blade in place to slice vegetables. Add brussels sprouts and radicchio to slice/shred. Use a sharp knife or mandolin to thinly slice watermelon radish. Toss all ingredients in a bowl, add vinaigrette and mix well. Hold in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to serving. 

Dijon Vinaigrette with Shallots

It wasn't until I found myself in graduate school in Boston that I truly learned how to be comfortable in the kitchen. At that point I had been immersed in the nutrition field for over 5 years and had been a registered dietitian for 2 of the 5 years. My signature response when someone asked how it was possible that I could be an RD and not know how to cook was: "I can tell you everything about the nutrients in the food, but I can't tell you how to put it together." I honestly felt like my lack of culinary of skills was justified because I didn't go to culinary school. Another post for another day, but boy was I wrong. 

Is culinary school necessary to prepare delicious meals? Nope. I did what I call, learn on the job, but I have to give credit where it's due. For this one, a dressing I've modified over the years, I give credit to a brilliant fellow student at Tufts University whom I had the privilege of living with for a few years. She was a master in the kitchen and could almost create something out of nothing. The basics of this simple dressing came from watching her make it over and over in our tiny Boston apartment. That experience proved to me that something like a salad dressing isn't daunting and has a much superior taste than many store-bought varieties. 


1 lemon
1 medium shallot, diced
2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cut lemon and squeeze juice through a strainer (to catch seeds) and into a bowl. Dice shallot and add to bowl along with mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, and cracked black pepper. Mix well. Slowly add olive oil while whisking to blend. 

Dressing can be held in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Farro Salad

I've talked to multiple clients who are intimidated by whole grains. Quinoa and rice? We seem to get that, but when you introduce kamut, amaranth, or farro, then I'm typically met with a blank stare. Think of it like this: whole grains are your blank canvas. You start with a whole grain base (most of which are interchangeable) and you build flavor from there.

Confidence with whole grains is important. Research shows that diets consisting of at least half of the grains as whole grains are shown to be protective against certain cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Also, whole grains are a good source of fiber which contributes to satiety and they're a great source of many antioxidants. 

I made a simple, back to basics recipe (#btobrecipes) using farro, an ancient wheat that's a good source of fiber and protein - both at about 8g per cup, cooked. Plus, the seasonal flavors of butternut squash and cranberries makes for an easy side dish for your Thanksgiving celebration.


1 medium butternut squash
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup dry farro plus 1 cup water for cooking
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme
(optional: 1 tbsp pure maple syrup)

Cook farro according to package directions. (I used Bob's Red Mill) Typical cooking instructions for farro: Rinse 1 cup farro and add to a saucepan with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until cooked, about 30 minutes. 

Makes 4-6 servings


While farro is cooking, preheat oven to 375F. Wash and peel butternut squash. Tip: Be sure your vegetable peeler is sharp. The skin on butternut squash is thick and tough. Cut squash and remove seeds. Dice and toss with cranberries and olive oil. Place mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 30 - 40 minutes. Squash should be soft enough to put a fork through, but not mushy. 

Drain excess water from farro and toss with squash mixture in a large bowl. Add thyme. Maple syrup is optional. This salad is best served warm or at room temperature.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with White Beans and Chard

Spaghetti squash is a versatile vegetable that makes its debut in the fall and winter months. It's a good source of fiber, is low in calories, and has a mild flavor making it an ideal substitute for pasta.

This recipe may seem overwhelming considering it takes over an hour to prepare, but before you move on to find something to make in a shorter amount of time then consider that the majority of this cook time is due to the time it takes to bake the squash. As soon as you walk in the door do this: preheat the oven, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and put in the oven to bake. Go about your evening for the next 45 minutes. Once cooked then the rest of the recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes. Sold?


1 medium spaghetti squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 box crushed tomatoes
1 can low sodium cannellini beans, rinsed
4 large leaves of swiss chard (about half a bunch), chopped
1 bunch basil, chopped
1 cup mozzarella
2 tbsp shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place cut-side up into a baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until you can use a fork to scrape the spaghetti into noodles. Set noodles aside.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add shallot and saute until translucent. Add swiss chard and beans. Saute until chard wilts. Add tomatoes and spaghetti noodles. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. While filling is simmering, finely chop one bunch of basil.  

Add 1/3 of filling to the bottom of the baking dish surrounding the spaghetti boats. Split the remainder of the chard and bean filling between the two boats. Top with mozzarella, parmesan, and 1/2 chopped basil. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining half of the basil on top of the boats. 

Back to basics tip: opt for a jar of tomato basil marinara and eliminate the crushed tomatoes, shallot, and basil. 

Cranberry, Blueberry Granola with Coconut

In recognition of this little event called Election Day, I've created a red, white, and blue granola featuring cranberries, coconut, and blueberries. This is the order of your day - vote first, make this granola second. Got it? 

Cranberries are bitter, so they're usually prepared with loads of added sugar (cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table, for example). In an effort to limit added sugar, I've combined cranberries with a sweeter blueberry and added banana over sugar for a lightly sweet granola which makes for a great topping to smoothies or yogurt.

Cranberries are in season, so purchasing fresh this time of year makes sense. However, I used frozen wild blueberries since berry season is long gone and frozen berries are picked at their peak of freshness before freezing which preserves the nutrients.  

Cranberries and blueberries are both rich in antioxidants, some of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanin, the phytochemical that gives cranberries and blueberries their bright color, has been linked to cardiovascular protection and also has potential anti-carcinogenic properties. Plus, they taste great, so eat up! 


1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen wild blueberries)
3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 ripe banana
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a food processor, blend banana, cranberries, and blueberries. Add coconut and vanilla and pulse until combined. Remove blade and add oats. Stir with a spoon. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes. Important: stir mixture every 10 minutes to prevent from burning. 

Everyday Smoothie Bowl

I've always been a fan of vegetables for breakfast. This probably stems from the lack of vegetables in the traditional breakfast meal. Whether it's cereal, toast and peanut butter, or a good 'ole southern-style breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, and sausage, you rarely see veggies included in the mix. 

Let's break the mold every once and a while. 

This Everyday Smoothie Bowl is exactly that - one you can make every day (with minimal planning) because you probably already have the majority of the ingredients in your cabinet and fridge. 

frozen blueberries and/or mixed berries
greek yogurt
Optional: coconut and chia seeds 

Everyday Smoothie Bowl
makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup greek yogurt
2 tsp honey
1 large handful of spinach
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 banana, sliced
5 fresh strawberries, sliced
Optional: 2 tsp chia seeds plus 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Put first 6 ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl of your choice and top with sliced banana and sliced fresh strawberries. Top with coconut and chia seeds if desired. Enjoy with a spoon.



5-Ingredient Coconut, Walnut Crunch Bites

Confession. I've never owned a food processor. I've always used a blender which worked well, but that meant hand-grating things like carrots and actually using a cutting board and knife for cucumbers and the like. Oh the horror. 

But, here we are with a food processor and what better way to break her in than to make these simple, 5-ingredient coconut, walnut crunch bites. These are great for on-the-go snacking and are delicious enough to masquerade as a dessert. 

5 ingredients:

pitted dates
almond flour
unsweetened shredded coconut. 

Put all ingredients, except shredded coconut, in the food processor. Process until you reach a mealy consistency.

Shape into quarter-size balls and roll in shredded coconut to cover. Store in an airtight container to maintain freshness. 

Coconut, Walnut Crunch Bites

1 c      pitted dates
1/2 c  chopped walnuts
1/4 c  almond flour
1 tsp  cinnamon
1/4 c shredded coconut                      

Process first four ingredients in the food processor until a mealy texture is achieved.
Form into quarter-size balls. Fill a shallow bowl with shredded coconut and roll bites in the coconut until covered. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 11-12 bites.     

Carrot, Raisin, Walnut Scones with a Maple Brown Sugar Glaze

Turns out, having a back-up of your blog content is necessary when you redesign your site. Rookie move. 

These scones were too good to leave behind, so here it is - take 2. 

I baked these delicious little guys on a lazy Saturday morning. Key word - lazy. Missing a few ingredients (and having no desire to leave the house to purchase them) meant making minor substitutions. Follow the Eating Well recipe or switch it up: 

No eggs? Try substituting ground flax seed instead. 1 tbsp ground flax plus 3 tbsp water. Mix in a small bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Use as you would an egg.
Note: Ground flax is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and  is a source of fiber. Keep a bag handy for topping oatmeal, yogurt, or adding to your favorite smoothie.  

I used walnuts instead of pecans. It's a flavor preference and they were readily available. Toasted or not, nuts add flavor, crunch, and a hefty dose of heart-healthy fats per serving.

The coconut is an added bonus in this recipe, but again, totally optional. I left it out. 

For the Maple Brown Sugar Glaze, mix equal parts brown sugar and 100% pure maple syrup in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Drizzle over scones.

Now that's what I call a Saturday.