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Vegan Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

In an attempt to try some new recipes this year and try to eat as clean and fresh as possible, I decided to try Vegan Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes, which I found on Genna’s blog. I am a HUGE fan of pancakes, but sometimes all of the sugar, oil, and eggs that are added into traditional fluffy pancakes weigh me down for the remainder of the day. I decided to try something new, and used honey, flax, and yogurt to create pancakes instead. To my surprise, I really enjoyed these pancakes…they were a little thicker and denser than a typical pancake, but when served with a tablespoon of peanut butter and sliced banana on top, they were tasty! This is a great option to try for a weekend brunch or a great snack before or after your workout.

Although I would consider myself a “flexitarian,” I have become really interested in the vegan diet. I enjoy dairy way too much to become a strict vegan, but I do see many benefits to eating a plant based, vegan diet. Vegan recipes are light, fresh, and chock full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables…a Dietitian’s dream! So, you may be seeing more vegan-inspired recipes posted throughout the course of this year. But fear not, I’m sure there will be plenty of vegetarian and meat-based recipes as well. I hope you enjoy!

PS: I apologize that I do not have the actual pictures of the vegan pancakes posted. I cannot seem to find where I saved them on my computer! For the time being, enjoy the pic art ūüôā

 

Vegan Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

1/2 C plain yogurt (I used plain, non-fat Fage yogurt)

1/4 C almond milk

1 T flax meal

3 T warm water

1 T honey

1 T organic cane sugar

3/4 C whole wheat flour

1/2 C old fashioned rolled oats

Pinch salt

1/4 tspn. baking soda

1 tspn. baking power

1 tspn. cinnamon

 

 Preparation:

1. Mix the flax meal and water. Let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Mix the yogurt, milk, honey, and flax in a bowl.

3. Mix the sugar, flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and mix until a batter is formed.  If it is too dry, add milk in small amounts.

4. Spray a griddle with oil and heat to medium.  Ladle the batter onto the griddle to make medallions and cook until brown on one side. Flip the pancake and cook through. Serve with 100% maple syrup, sliced banana, or your favorite jam.

 

Do you have any delicious vegan recipes that you would like to share? 

 

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Thanksgiving Potluck in Los Angeles

I promised that I would make a blog post about my Thanksgiving Day adventure, so here it goes! My brother invited many of his friends from film school who were staying in L.A. for the holiday. We had about 15 people in total come over for the occasion, and everyone brought a dish to add to the Thanksgiving buffet. What I found particularly fun was that all of our guests came from different parts of the world, including China, Russia, Romania, Spain, and Mexico. Many people made traditional holiday dishes from their country, including sangria, tortillas, and gazpacho. I decided to make a very traditional American Thanksgiving menu, which many of our guests have never had before. Thanksgiving was filled with many international foods, flavors, and memories!

My brother JR and I cooking up Thanksgiving dinner!

Here is what our menu looked like:

Turkey

Cornbread stuffing

Turkey gravy

Homemade mashed potatoes

Homemade sweet potato casserole

Homemade orange spiced cranberry sauce

Steamed carrots

Homemade chocolate pumpkin pie

Chocolate pumpkin pie...yum!

Orange spiced cranberry sauce

Spanish "tortilla" with eggs, onions, and sliced potatoes

I will be posting some of my favorite holiday recipes on the blog throughout the Christmas season. I would love to hear what your Thanksgiving traditions are, and what you love to prepare for your guests! 

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Are You Ready for Turkey Day?

Free-range turkeys can roam throughout the farmland, increasing their health, diet, and overall quality of life compared to factory-raised turkeys.

Last year, Dr. Fisher, one of my professors at Meredith College, was describing to her students her annual turkey day traditions, one of which included reserving a free-range heritage turkey. Since I did not grow up in this area, I have never heard of reserving a turkey at a local farm. In fact, I thought that all Thanksgiving Day turkeys were always frozen, wrapped in white plastic and made from Butterball brand! That is all I have ever seen in my lifetime, so I was especially intrigued to look further into purchasing a free-range heritage turkey. Here is what I have found, and I hope you consider purchasing a free-range turkey for your holidays this year. You’ll get richer flavor, better nutrition, and the satisfaction of supporting a local poultry farmer!

Happy heritage turkey farmers!

Nutrition Know-How: Heritage versus Factory Farmed Turkeys

  • Pasture raised turkeys are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed turkeys that are raised in factory farms. They are also much lower in omega-6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory.
  • Pasture-raised turkeys do no require antibiotics and hormones necessary to raise turkeys until the crowded conditions of factory farms. This essentially keeps the meat cleaner and safer for you to eat.
  • Factory farm turkeys tend to be dry and tasteless, so they’re often injected with a saline solution and additives to enhance their overall taste.
  • Turkeys processed by farmers instead of large processing facilities are much less likely to be exposed to contaminated and harmful bacteria, reducing your risk of food-bourne illness.
  • Turkeys are a great source of protein, Vitamin B6, Selenium, Zinc, and Phosphorus. It is best to receive these beneficial nutrients in a farm-raised turkey!

The classic roasted turkey is always a favorite, however there are many ways to prepare your turkey for your guests!

Quick and Easy Turkey Recipes:
Have leftover turkey during the holidays? Or, are you looking to prepare a new turkey dish for your friends and family this year? Look no further! Here are four delicious recipes that will tantalize your taste buds!
  1. Asian Turkey Cole Slaw- mix shredded turkey into your favorite slaw mix. Toss with tahini dressing and sesame vinaigrette, then add green onions and toasted slivered almonds for a zesty crunch.
  2. Turkey Avocado Wrap- on a whole grain wrap, spread cranberry mustard. Add shredded napa cabbage, sliced avocado, shredded turkey meat, and sliced strips of red bell pepper. Roll up the wrap and enjoy!
  3. Turkey Chili- mix up your favorite batch of chili. In the last five minutes of cooking, toss in a hearty helping of chopped cooked turkey meat. Top with a dollop of tangy greek yogurt and chopped green onions. Add a pinch of cayenne or red chili pepper for extra spice, and fresh cilantro for color and scent.
  4. Cubed Turkey on Salads- top your salads with leftover turkey and add your favorite seasonal ingredients, such as diced pears, apples, dried cranberries and toasted pecans (I have tried this before and it is not only healthy, but delicious!)
Have you purchased a free-range heritage turkey before for the holidays? Do you have a unique turkey recipe that you prepare for your friends and family? If so, share your thoughts here! 

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Sassy Sweet Potatoes…In Minutes!

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope this blog post finds you well and in the festive fall spirit! We are in the midst of fall and its crisp, cool weather, and with that brings two of my favorite foods in the whole wide world: apples and sweet potatoes. These two nutritious foods are in full swing at the farmer’s markets, and I thought that I would focus today on the sweet potato- bright and orange just in time¬†for Halloween!

 

There are so many other ways to prepare sweet potatoes besides simply baking them whole. They can be used for appetizers, casseroles, stews, and even desserts! Take a look at these easy preparation tips below to increase your sweet potato consumption this season!

 

Background:

Sweet potatoes are actually native to America, although they are often confused with yams, a tuber root found in West Africa. Sweet potatoes come in many different shapes and colors, ranging from light brown to deep orange or even purple. The rich, fertile soil of NC offers the perfect environment for growing sweet potatoes, and we actually grow more than 40% of the US supply in our state!

Nutrition:

Sweet potatoes are truly a nutrition powerhouse. especially rich in fiber, Vitamin A, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and Vitamin C. It even contains important Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for cognitive development.

Preparation:

Sweet potatoes cook the best when they’re sliced, diced, or cut into wedges before cooking. There are multiple preparation methods for sweet potatoes.

1. Roast whole or halved sweet potatoes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes

2. Saute sliced or diced potatoes in oil for 10 minutes

3. Boil by adding 1 inch thick slices to a skillet with 2 inches of boiling water; cook for 12 minutes.

4. Microwave whole sweet potatoes on high from 5-8 minutes, rotating halfway through

5. Grill or broil 1-inch thick slices for 10 minutes.

Sweet Dinner Ideas:

-Shred raw sweet potato to add color and flavor to salads and slaws

-Sprinkle wedges with vegetable oil and cajun seasoning. Roast in the oven.

-Mash cooked sweet potatoes with butter, milk, salt, and pepper.

-Puree cooked sweet potatoes and apples, blending in a little mil, salt, pepper, and ground ginger. Bake in a casserole dish, topped with chopped nuts.

-Toss sweet potato chunks and sliced onions with oil, salt and hot sauce. Roast until tender.

What are your plans for Halloween? Are you attending a costume party, taking your children trick-or-treating, or making a delicious dinner or dessert for your friends? Share with us here, include pictures if you’d like!

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It’s A “Love A-Fair!”

This past weekend, my Dad came to visit Raleigh all the way from Philadelphia to continue our annual tradition of visiting the NC State Fair. The theme of the fair this year was “It’s A Love-A-Fair.”¬†Since I have made my big move down to Raleigh, I have enjoyed having my Dad visit this time every year to explore the new “unique fried treats” of the state fair. Last year’s new food invention was the Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger, and this year the popular item to try was Fried Kool-Aid. By no means am I condoning the idea of eating mass quantities of deep-fried, sugar-laden foods all day long, but it was very interesting to check out the food that was offered at each vendor and see what people are willing to wait in line for half an hour for! After all, it is only ONE day (hopefully) out of the year, so I don’t see anything wrong with trying something new….but the foods offered at the fair are certainly not for everyday consumption!

Mt. Olive Pickle Booth- a local NC based company!

My favorite booth- the giant candy apple stand!

3rd Place Winner of the Cake Contest- A Farmer's Market!

The State Fair is all about having fun, and I definitely had fun spending time with my Dad. Not only were there jumbo pickles, fried oreos, and candy apples galore, but we got to see pig and billygoat races, and bought tickets to see Kansas and Kelly Pickler in concert. The state fair is a great local event to attend, and for those who are out-of-town, it is something that I recommend everyone experiences at least once in their lifetime. Although I am not a huge fan of fried foods or street food, I did try a jumbo Mt. Olive pickle, candy apple, and NC State Laughing Cow homemade ice cream (fyi- I got the Campfire flavor, filled with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate chips, and it was delicious!). For the remainder of the weekend, I brought a couple snacks with me to keep me from getting too hungry at the fair- peanut butter crackers, trail mix, and protein bars were my snacks of choice ūüôā

I hope you enjoy some of the fascinating (and shocking!) pictures that I took of the state fair this year:

My Dad, enjoying a giant dill pickle at the NC State Fair

My Dad again, about to try a Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger for the first time

Holy fried food!

I'm standing in the middle of the world's largest gummy bear sign. The gummy bears and gummy worms for sale weighed in at 5 pounds a pop!

Check out some of the “healthier options” of the State Fair, which I found in the agriculture and farming booths:

Check out the state's largest watermelon and pumpkin!

The state's largest sweet potato weighs in at 19.05 pounds!

One squash plant yields 10# of squash, while one tomato plant yields about 25# of tomatoes

One cabbage plant yields a 3-4# head, while one sweet potato plant yields about 50# of potatoes

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Be A Part of My Next Nutrition Adventure!

As some of you know, I will be graduating with my Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Meredith College¬†in December 2011. Although it is very exciting to finally complete my degree after seven and a half years of being enrolled in school (yikes!), but it is also nerve-wracking to figure out the next phase of my life.

 

My true interest lies in outpatient counseling, especially sports nutrition. I love to teach others how to eat more healthfully, improve their overall diets, enjoy eating and cooking, and fuel properly for energy and performance. Therefore, I am so proud to announce that after graduation I will be working as a private practice Registered Dietitan at Triangle Nutrition Therapy, Inc.

I will be working alongside Tracy Owens, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, and owner of  Triangle Nutrition Therapy. Tracy has been in the private practice business for over 15 years, and is an experienced clinical and sports dietitian. Our office is located on 6200 Falls of Neuse Road in North Raleigh.

For anyone who is interested not only in local, sustainable foods, but also how to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle, please check out the company website for further information. Nutrition is such an amazing topic to learn about- there are so many different topics to choose from, and nutrition can truly improve current disease state or quality of life.

Triangle Nutrition Therapy specializes in many areas of nutrition and physical activity, including:

  • ¬†Sports nutrition
  • Wellness
  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes/Gestational Diabetes
  • Food allergies
  • Nutrition counseling for many other medical nutrition therapy diagnoses.

Often times, we assist with health fairs, lunch and learns, grocery store tours and corporate wellness events. If you are interested in an individualized appointment, or are looking for a Registered Dietitian to attend a wellness related event, please contact me. I would love to hear from you!

 

Thank you to all who continue to read “Fresh From The Farm” every week, and I appreciate your support in my new nutrition adventure. Don’t worry, there will always be plenty of recipes and information posted on the blog weekly!

For more information: www.trianglediet.com

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Lessons Learned (and some great FNCE pictures!)

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to the west coast, where I attended the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) ¬†in San Diego, California. I am not a big fan of airplanes, or traveling by myself, but I forced myself on that plane because I knew that the payoff would be worth it! I met many new faces, visited new places, and never thought that I could do it alone. I explored some beautiful areas on the west coast, walked many miles around town, and tasted some delicious local food. Most importantly, I learned¬†a lot¬†about myself and what I am capable of.¬†¬†I wanted to share with you all some of the life lessons that I have learned along this journey…along with some pictures I took at the FNCE conference!

1. You never know until you try

 

Flower terrace in San Diego

 

 

2. Believe in yourself

Enjoying my huge apple cranberry salad in Little Italy!

3. Explore, and don’t be afraid to take chances!

Feeling on top of the world on Coronado Beach

4. Be yourself

Photo op with the Laughing Cow cheese mascot

5. Everything is all about time and place

I got to meet Jen and Jay from the Bigget Loser

6. People come into your life for a reason

I'm so thankful that I got to spend time with my fellow dietetic interns!

7. Don’t let other people define who you are

Exploring Coronado Island on my beach cruiser!

8. Always keep your zest for life

I met Hungry Girl from Food Network

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