Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipe: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal | Photo by Becca Boyd

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal | Photo by Becca Boyd

I know it’s trite, but isn’t it amazing how a slight shift of mindset can turn a frown upside down? Sure, the glass half-full approach to life is always a good thing, but I’ve found it to be especially so when I apply it to what goes down in my kitchen.

Take this baked oatmeal. I started out with the intention of making cakey oatmeal bars with an autumnal flair, using pumpkin spice, of course. So I was disappointed when the bars, although they cut cleanly enough, were too soft to survive a Tupperware container. It took a friend to recognize the delicious dish as a “baked oatmeal.” A-ha! Jackpot.  Read more »

Make: Creamy (Low-Cal!) Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

I mentioned recently to a friend that I’d put on a few pounds and intended to use soup to shed them. She replied, “Will that really fill you up?” I think she was picturing a clear broth with a few sad veggies floating around — so not what I meant.  Read more »

This Is the Only (Other) Quinoa Recipe You Will Ever Need

Brown Rice, Quinoa and Chia Seed Pilaf

Quinoa, Brown Rice and Chia Seed Pilaf

A few weeks back, I told you about the only quinoa recipe you would ever need. Well, you guys, I’m sorry to admit that I totally lied to you. Because over the weekend I discovered — rather, invented — another quinoa side dish that is absolutely, positively worth adding to your rotation.

Actually, it’s sort of a riff on the other recipe because it uses that same homemade vinaigrette that I just can’t seem to get enough of lately. This time, I whipped up a quinoa, brown rice and chia seed pilaf with sautéed spinach, doused in that there dressing, and you guys, it is INSPIRED. We used it as a hearty base for grilled chicken and veggie kebabs (Note: I also marinaded the chicken in the dressing because I’m smart like that), and it was honestly one of the most delicious homemade meals we’ve had in awhile.

You could use it as an easy side to chicken or fish, or mix in tofu and roasted seasonal veggies for a delicious vegan-friendly feast. Check it out below.  Read more »

Make: A New (Healthier!) Take on Tacos

Beef and eggplant tacos with Swiss chard and yogurt sauce | Photo by Becca Boyd

Beef and eggplant tacos with Swiss chard and yogurt sauce | Photo by Becca Boyd

This could be mental but I find organic ground beef to be much more flavorful than the conventional stuff. We eat it about once a week in my house, and while chili and stuffed peppers are all well and fine, I decided to take my beef hankerings in a different direction recently — and it paid off.  Read more »

This Is the Only Quinoa Recipe You Will Ever Need

Quinoa salad with roasted asparagus

Quinoa salad with roasted asparagus

If I eat something twice in the span of three days, and I do so by choice, you can pretty safely bet that whatever I ate will end up here on Be Well Philly. That’s exactly what happened this week — and, of course, what brings me to this blog post — with a quinoa salad recipe I happened upon during a desperate, pre-dinner Google search, after realizing I had no side dish to accompany my husband’s otherwise well-planned birthday dinner. Whoops.  Read more »

Savor the Summer: Simple Salmon and Quinoa Salad Recipe

Salmon and quinoa salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

Salmon and quinoa salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

Although the market is already showcasing early apples and some pretty stellar butternut squash, my shopping bag will be full of corn and tomatoes till they’re good and gone. These summertime staples are not only delicious, they epitomize what we love most about summer living: that it’s easy.

So in a final salute to summer, let’s stave off the high-heat roasting for at least a few more weeks and soak up the fresh summer flavors while we can. This dish can be served warm, room-temp or cold, and tastes great with my other summertime staple, corn on the cob.  Read more »

How to Skip the Chipotle Lunch Lines for Good

burritos

I’m as much of a Chipotle fan as the next gal — those burrito bowls are my jam — but a regular Chipotle-for-lunch habit is about as healthy for my bank account as it is for my waistline.

So this past weekend, I decided to take matters into my own hands: I whipped up a monster batch of make-ahead-and-freeze burritos that should keep me lunchtime-happy for at least two solid weeks. (See the photo I snapped above for evidence.) Bonus: The entire process, from chop to cleanup, only took about an hour.

All you need to do to pull off this bit of lunch-hour magic is make a batch of burrito filling, put it in some tortillas, wrap said tortillas in aluminum foil, pop them in the freezer and — voila! — frozen, ready-to-eat burritos whenever you need a quick lunch. Read more »

MAKE: Gluten-Free Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

The concept of gluten-free diets has been a hot topic for years now, but I’ve never never needed to pay attention to it until recently. See, I’m a firm believer in the fact that going gluten-free is only something one needs to do out of medical necessity. It isn’t a weight-loss diet, so I’ve never seen the need to wade into the gluten-free waters. Besides, I’ve eaten pretty much the same way for at least the past 10 years.

But when my husband started eating gluten-free about a month ago in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of an autoimmune disease, the cook in the family — i.e. me — had to change her wheat-loving ways — and quickly.  Read more »

Make: Lighter Frozen Peach Margaritas

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

Moderate alcohol intake can absolutely be a part of healthy lifestyle — and thank goodness for that, because summer barbeques wouldn’t be the same without a cold drink in hand. A light beer or a glass of wine is generally your best bet, whereas blended fruit cocktails can be loaded with sugar, clocking in upwards of 400 calories. But they’re also delicious. Can we keep the frozen fruit concoction but lose the guilt? I daresay we can.

This drink is bright, fresh, and comes just in time for summer peach season. With a small amount of honey, it’s just sweet enough, and while it is still on the sugary side, the calorie count isn’t out the roof. So give your blender a break from smoothies and get the party started — with a big dose of vitamin C to boot!

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Thirsty Thursday: The Bubbly Strawberry Cocktail You Have to Try

Photo by Stephanie Smith

Photo by Stephanie Smith

Throughout the summer, we’ll be bringing you healthier cocktail recipes concocted by Philly craft bartender and the brain behind Spirit Forward, Dan Hamm, who believes strongly in the powers of fresh herbs and fruits when it comes to whipping up a good drink. 

It’s Thursday and, boy, are we thirsty over here in Be Well Philly Land. You too, you say? Well, we’ve got just the fix: This week’s cocktail, called Off the Vine, features refreshing fresh strawberries, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, some elderflower liqueur, gin and champagne. It’s a doozy — and it’s so easy to make! Free of sugary simple syrups and juices, you won’t feel too bad about drinking it, either. Cheers!

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