Make: Gluten-Free Molasses Spice Mini Pumpkin Pies

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Photograph by Becca Boyd

You can put pumpkin in just about anything, but for me the classic pumpkin pie reigns supreme. While pumpkin pie is naturally packed with fiber, vitamin K and vitamin A (thank you, pumpkin!), the crust has always been a head-scratcher for me. I mean, when it comes to pie, there’s just no way around a buttery, fat-filled crust—or is there?

My latest creation was a revelation, you guys. I simply removed the crust all together, put my pies in ramekins, and topped them with a dollop of whipped cream. The outcome—a crustless, gluten-free mini pie—actually presents more elegantly than the regular kind, and no one will think you’re serving a “healthy” dessert. That can be our little secret.

If you’re hosting the Thanksgiving this year, feel free to make these up a day ahead (I like my pumpkin pie chilled). If not, offer to bring dessert. You’ll happily and guiltlessly nosh while accepting praise from your adoring public.

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Make: Protein-Packed Asian Chicken Salad with Ginger and Cilantro

Asian Chicken Salad | Photograph by Becca Boyd

Asian Chicken Salad | Photograph by Becca Boyd

Okay, you’ve made it past Halloween. Sure, you ate one too many Reese’s, but you’ve ditched the rest of the candy stash and are ready to get back on track. Of course, now Thanksgiving is around the corner, which could pose another looming threat by claiming what’s left of your self-discipline and leaving you helplessly shoving Christmas cookies in your mouth as you watch the scale tick upward.

Resist! Fight back! Do it by dialing up the health factor on every meal within your control. Soups, big salads and lean protein should be all that’s coming out of your kitchen until Thanksgiving Day, or what I like call “My Annual Excuse to Eat Lots of Pie Day.” This chicken salad will get you there. Flavorful and packed with protein, it’s great in a pita but one step healthier over mixed greens.

Hang in there—you can do it!

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What to Eat This Week: Stuff Yourself Silly Edition

stuffed apples

Shutterstock

When you take stock of your kitchen and realize a nearly empty pantry or fridge is staring back at you, it’s time to get creative. I have two words for you: stuff it.

I’ve found that if you have a veggie and a handful of other things (beans, rice, other veggies, pasta, whatever), it is often very easy to stuff the veggie with said other things and call it dinner—a delicious dinner at that.

If you prefer to follow a recipe rather than winging it, here are five dinner recipes you can try this week—and one bonus dessert recipe, because duh—that involve stuffing one thing with another thing to create an all new (and, of course, delicious) concoction that just might make it into your regular rotation. Happy stuffing, friends.

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Snack Attack: The 71-Calorie Apple Chips You Have to Make ASAP

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.11.24 PM
On a post-hike corner-store trip a few weeks ago, my very hungry friend spotted a bag of baked apple chips, frantically ran to them and scooped them up like they were the last bit of food on planet Earth, ran back to me, shoved the bag of apple chips in my face and declared them to be “The greatest snack you will ever eat in your LIFE.” And I have to say, they were really good. But at four bucks for a tiny bag that barely lasted the two of us 10 minutes of snacking, I thought to myself, I’m never buying these again. But I will make them.

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The Only National Chocolate Day Recipes You Need

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Yes, yes, it’s National Chocolate Day. It’s all my Facebook friends are talking about.

While I’m not a huge chocoholic (Have a fruity pie? I’ll go to town on that jawn.), I’m sure more than a few of you are. Our Be Well Philly recipe czars certainly know what’s up when it come to chocolate. They’ve whipped up some pretty spectacular—and healthy(ish)—chocolate creations that even this non-choco can get behind.

Here, three of our most insanely delicious chocolate recipes ever. Go. Celebrate.

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Make: Tomato, White Bean and Rosemary Soup

Photo credit: Becca Boyd

Photo credit: Becca Boyd

A recent article by Mark Bittman in TIME magazine discussed how millenials’ obsession with food media—competition shows, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on—isn’t translating into our kitchens. Maybe we see the bar set so high that we figure anything we attempt will fail in comparison. On my blog, I try to make the recipes approachable for every skill level; food is a constant in our every day lives and, nine times out of 10, it won’t be glamorous.

This soup exemplifies those beliefs. Using canned tomatoes and beans, this beautifully healthy recipe comes together in about 30 minutes. It’s real, home-cooked food, and it’s simple enough for the most novice beginner. Dairy-free yet still creamy, thanks to the beans, it’s about as healthy, and I daresay tasty, as dinner can be.

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The Ultimate Outdoors Guide for Fall in Philadelphia

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

It is no secret, on this blog and in my real life, that I am obsessed with fall. I get the way about fall that some people do about summer: giddy, stir-crazy, kinda itchy to get outside.

If you’re like me (hello, friend!), consider what follows your go-to resource for every fall activity worth doing in our area. I’m talking camping, hiking, apple and pumpkin picking, and more. And if you’re not a fall-lover yet, allow me to convert you.

See you on the trails.

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Make: Coconut-Maple Quinoa Granola

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

I have to admit that sometimes I can be a tad judge-y when it comes to omission diets. There are tons of books touting dairy, gluten or sugar avoidance with amazing results guaranteed. I’ve consistently maintained a solid position on team “everything in moderation.” But while I still stand by my position, I’ve recently made a major modification out of necessity: my exclusively breast-fed baby hates when I eat dairy.

So here’s my new stance: Omission diets can be a lifesaver for certain people, if and when they actually help you feel better (or they help your baby not to scream like a fighting raccoon). This quinoa granola is a wonderful, high protein start to your day whether you’re avoiding dairy (or gluten, if you use gluten-free oats) or not. Serve up about a third of a cup (granola is high calorie, so watch your portions, please) with fresh fruit and almond milk for a quick and naturally sweet meal.

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