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Heart-Healthy Superfoods

Happy Friday! What are you getting into this Valentines Day weekend? I’m not going to see him until next weekend, but Eli is my Valentine every day of the year.

muddy eli

Last year I went out for an overpriced dinner and scared my date with a card, but this year, I have some fun plans I’m looking forward to. I’m balancing a hospital shift with celebrations of friendship and love—a wedding Saturday and a Galentines gathering on Sunday. Naturally, I’ve been having fun planning what foods I’m going to make and share.

February is all about matters of the heart, so this month I’m sharing some of my favorite heart-healthy superfoods over on Elana Lyn. Not like you needed another reason to love chocolate, but happy to provide some.

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Thinking Out Loud: Show yourself some love

Regardless of whether you adore or despise the holiday, Valentines Day brings love into focus during February. There are different kinds of love: romantic love, yes, but also love for friends, family, pets, and—the one we usually forget to add to the list—love for ourselves.

A few years ago, I wrote a post listing 10 ways to show yourself some love in February, though it’s always important.  Here are a few of my favorites from the list that I’ve been putting into practice in my own life this month. Read More »

What I Ate Wednesday #253

Happy What I Ate Wednesday. The mid-way point of the week seems to get here quickly, no? Pros and cons. Time flies when you’re busy…being busy? I think it’s time for some coffee.

I’ve talked on here about how I actually enjoy working weekend shifts at the hospital because it gives me more time during the week, but it was really nice to have a weekend to myself for a change. Though I did carve out time to see friends and catch up on work/life stuff, I mostly soaked up the relaxed vibe (and a long, slow yoga class Sunday morning), since I knew I had a crazy week ahead. I also took a little extra time in the kitchen. Here’s a look at what I ate Saturday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with flax, pumpkin puree, egg white, and cocoa powder cooked in. I added a half-tablespoon of peanut butter on top and a garnish of mini chocolate chips.

chocolate pumpkin oats

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Galentine’s Series Part One: Ask For It’s Alex Dickinson

In honor of Galentine’s Day this month, I’m doing a fun two-part series featuring the founders of Ask For It, a boutique consulting firm that strives to close the gender wage gap by working with companies, institutions, female entrepreneurs and individuals through trainings, workshops, and consulting. I actually had the chance to participate in one of their workshops this summer, and it was a total eye-opener. I’d always suspected my negotiation skills were terrible, but the event not only confirmed my worst fears—it gave me the tools to move forward by inspiring me to build on my strengths while addressing my weaknesses.

MIssy Lafferty and Alexandra Dickinson; Photo by Lydia Hudgens

Missy Lafferty and Alexandra Dickinson; Photo by Lydia Hudgens

Co-founders Alexandra Dickinson and Missy Lafferty were kind enough to do a little Q&A with me. This week, I’ve got Alex answering my questions. Stay tuned for Missy’s responses next week!

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Gnocchi Chicken Soup

I think I go through a soup phase every winter. Couldn’t call it unexpected, I suppose. Since learning the value of dressing for the weather, I don’t hate winter nearly as much as I used to, but I’m certainly no stranger to the “OMG when the f*** will this end” blues.

A lot of people panic about carb cravings in the colder, darker months, but they’re actually a normal response to lack of sunlight and blah emotions. Carbohydrates play a role in serotonin production, so when we experience a dip in serotonin levels and start feeling bummed out, our body starts begging for carbs to help make more.

The good news is that working nutritious sources of complex carbohydrates into your diet with a balance of protein and healthy fats can give you the energy and mood boost you need without sending you into a food coma. Pasta is a common carb craving, and there’s no reason to take even white pasta off the menu completely either. Portion is key. Of course, you can also go for whole grain and bean-based varieties as well. Here’s a way to enjoy a little of what you’re hankering for in a soup that also provides plenty of protein and veggies. Enjoy! gnocchi chicken soup

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Slow Cooker Favorites

rustic chicken Happy Friday—you made it! This time of year can get pretty crazy as we jump into real life and hit the ground running at work or ramp up our social lives. It can be easy to let dinner fall off the radar. This is where a slow cooker becomes your magic kitchen elf. You go do all the things while it cooks your food and keeps it warm until you’re ready to eat.

Here are a few of my personal favorite slow cooker recipes:

And all else fails? How about just reheating some leftover veggies (or zapping some frozen ones in the microwave) and adding eggs? Voila—dinner is served.

What are some of your favorite no-fuss dinners? 

Thinking Out Loud: Cooking My Feelings

Happy Thursday! First week of February, how did we get here? I haven’t done a proper brain-dump thinking out loud post in a while, so here’s a small collection of random.

*We all have our ways of dealing with emotional situations. I’ve been cleaning a bunch and cooking my feelings lately (so what else is new?). Apparently my feelings are ancient grains and sautéed mushrooms & shallots. How did I manage to go so long without eating farro? Crispy chickpeas with greens and fried egg have also been on the menu.

And so. Much. Soup. gnocchi chicken soup

The other night I made a chickpea pancake and topped it with leftover greens, some avocado, and nutritional yeast. That was good too. Why don’t I do it more often?

IMG_5227

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What I Ate Wednesday #252

I’ve been joking recently about descending into a life of workaholism. Since taking a legit day off is still a skill I’ve yet to master, as I was writing on here recently, I’ve taken to finding little ways to fit in “me” time, whether it’s a favorite workout or yoga class or even just cooking myself a nice meal. For this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, I thought I’d share a look at what I ate on a day I worked from home.  Read More »

On Vegganism

Eggs were a culinary game-changer for me. I still remember the time when, at the age of 21, I learned that if I scrambled an egg and wrapped it in a tortilla, I had a meal. Duh.
beans and greens with eggThey’ve been a kitchen staple for me ever since. The mix of protein and fat helps round out a humble plant-based meal, lending staying power (plus key vitamins and minerals) to salads, grain dishes, and dressing up vegetarian soups. There was only a brief time for me they were off the menu, which I wrote about in this Lady Project blog post on failing at vegetarianism and that time a carton of eggs was kind of the beginning of the end of a relationship.

I’m actually a big fan of plant-based diets, but some people can do really well including eggs as a source of protein and vitamins B12 and D, among other nutrients. The term I’ve heard floating around lately is “vegganism,” where you follow a vegan diet (so no animal products like meat, poultry, fish, dairy, honey, etc) except for eggs.  I was recently quoted in this Yahoo article on the topic. This approach can make a great transition or offer a plan that’s sustainable for the long term. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet out there, but it’s good to have options.

Do you like eggs? If you do, what’s your favorite way to eat them? Would you try vegganism? 

 

Easy Side Dish: Cruciferous Crunch

New Yorkers are kind of obsessed with Trader Joe’s. I think we love rolling our eyes over the long lines and sharing strategies for finding the best times to go and navigating the seas of hangry humanity if we happen to have a rush time as the only option. I’m always happy with the quality and consistency of their products. It’s also worth noting that in New York City, where it seems the cost of pretty much anything you could ever need is ridiculous (and what is up with that tampon tax business?), their prices seem dirt-cheap when compared to overpriced neighborhood markets, where a dusty jar of peanut butter can easily set you back a cool $13.

Cruciferous Crunch This recipe features one of my current favorite Trader Joe’s products. Their Cruciferous Crunch Collection is legit—I love this mix of kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green cabbage, and red cabbage. It’s great as a salad or slaw base, but I think it’s best cooked. A quick sauté or steam is all you need to soften the veggies slightly but still allow them to retain their shape.

Calling this a recipe feels like cheating, so we’ll just call it a how-to. I love it as a side with baked fish, but it’s also great with potatoes and a fried egg (or with beans, like so). You could use it in a vegetarian dish as well—maybe pair with some tempeh, hemp seeds, and an avocado-based dressing? Read More »

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