Category Archives: Vegetarian

Are Kodiak Cups Good For A Quick Breakfast?

So, first, thank you to Kodiak Cakes for the RD Kit containing free products. I have been wanting to sample Kodiak cakes. As a regular macro-tracker, the higher amount of protein in Kodiak products intrigued me. I jumped at the chance when I found out they offered an RD Kit with some samples. I received four products in my kit. Two were grab-and-go (Kodiak Cups) and two flour mixes (Flapjack and Waffle Mixes).

To be transparent, there are no strings attached to the kit. The company shares these kits with RDs in the hopes that we will like their products and share our preference with our clients. You can see on my disclosure page that I give honest reviews of products and would never let receiving a free product or training influence my review.

I tried the Kodiak oatmeal first and was happy to see they sent my favorite flavor: maple and brown sugar.

In terms of ease of breakfast, this is a big winner. I used my electric tea kettle to heat water, added, and let it sit covered for the recommended two minutes. You can also add water and microwave. It does not get any easier than that.

On the positive side, the oatmeal has a good flavor, a good consistency, no aftertaste, and a nice ingredients list. I was concerned about the very small portion and it only has about half of the calories of my typical breakfast. This little cup of oatmeal kept me full until lunchtime which surprised me.

If you take a look at the nutrition facts, I’m sure you can figure out that the staying power was due to the carbohydrates and protein. I personally would like to see a little more fiber in an oatmeal product, but the small amount of fiber is most likely due to the small serving size.

When it comes to grains, always look for a product that lists the first ingredient as whole grain – which this one does. The protein was increased in this product by adding pea and milk proteins. I’m not one who is afraid of long complicated words on an ingredients list but this one keeps it very simple and I’m sure many “clean eaters” would give this product a thumbs up.

Overall thoughts?

Two Forks up! This is delicious, filling, and heart healthy.

Next, I tried the flapjacks in the Kodiak Cup. This serving size made my eyes much happier as it filled up more of the container. It smells amazing and has a good crumb; but I do recommend a spoon instead of a fork as it ends up getting very crumbly as it is eaten. Per my husband, this tastes like smushed up pancakes and it is true the finished product was a little bit dense.

This is also lower calorie for a breakfast for me, so I added some butter, which made it taste even better. If you’re looking to add calories. you could also add some syrup (but it totally isn’t needed) or top it with an egg.

Nutritionally my one concern was the high amount of saturated fat and this is due to the use of palm oil.

So let’s talk about that for a minute. In the big picture of a day’s eating, 4.5 grams of saturated fat at breakfast is not going to put you over any recommendations. The recommendations are to keep saturated fats to anywhere between 7% – 10% of total calories. What concerns me about the saturated fat makes up more than half of the total fats in the product.

Wait a minute… let’s think about this a little more and take a look at the ingredients. I will first say that nothing in the ingredients list concerns me in any way. I’m investigating why there’s such a high ratio of saturated fat to total fat in the product. It is because they use palm and palm kernel oil, which are both saturated fats. My guess is this is to prevent the product from going bad too quickly. Unsaturated fats are less stable and will go rancid more quickly, so I am guessing that they balanced out the need for shelf stability with the desire for a nice nutrition profile.

Big picture – 4.5 grams of saturated fat at one meal is not going to put anyone over the recommendations; but it is something to be aware of if you are watching your saturated fats for heart health.

I would also like to see just a little bit more protein in this product to give it a little more staying power.

Overall thoughts?

One Fork up! This is also delicious but it’s just a little less filling and has a little too much saturated fat for my preference. However… if you compare this to traditional pancakes you’re going to find that this has a nicer nutrition profile.

This RD says Kodiak Cups are dietitian approved for a filling, nutritious breakfast. Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Does An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

In honor of American Heart Month, we are celebrating apples for heart health! Check out our newest recipe (Cinnamon Roasted Apples) and read on to learn why affordable, delicious apples are a great choice for your health and how to always pick the best apple from the bunch.

First, where did this “apple a day” idea come from?  The expression originated in the United Kingdom, specifically, Pembrokeshire in Southern Wales. The original proverb was “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.” We found record of it first being published in the February 1866 edition of Notes and Queries magazine.


While there wasn’t really research done on apples way back then, they got it right about the possible health benefits of apples. Research shows many possible health benefits associated with apples due to some of the wonderful little phytochemicals (plant compounds) that are found in apples. For example, apples have:

  • Phenolic Compounds which may have antimicrobial properties and are associated with reduced risk of tooth decay
  • Flavonoids (specifically quercetin) which is associated with reduced risk of lung and colorectal cancer
  • Pectin, phytosterols and polyphenols which are associated lowering cholesterol levels which can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Flavonoids which may improve endothelial function (basically the ability of your blood vessels to expand and contract when they are supposed to) in people who are at risk for cardiovascular disease – which may reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease

So, yeah. apples, which happen to be the 2nd most eaten fruit (yay!) pack a powerhouse of nutrition-rich, health-promoting goodies!

All this being said. Please don’t rely on apples when you need to visit the doctor! 

Good news – apples are available year-round and believe it or not, every single state in the USA grows apples. This could be thanks in part to Johnny Appleseed (remember him?) who planted apple trees on his trek as the United States were settled. And we are happy he did as the crabapple is the only apple native to North America.

Let’s talk real life here. You’re in the grocery store and looking at a huge selection of different types of apples. How do you know which apple to choose?

Well, we always say the best choice is the one you enjoy the most, so feel free to grab your favorite type of apple and call it a day!

After that, look to your food budget… which brings more good news: apples are affordable. If your food budget is your main concern, choose the least expensive type of apple.

If you want more details though…

In terms of picking out a good-quality apple, select ones that are firm, show no signs of bruising or decay, and don’t have broken or shriveled skin.

Great tasting apples should be ripe when picked, to maintain consistent flavor, texture, and make them last longer. You can speed up ripening by leaving them at room temperature, then store in the refrigerator when they are ripe.

There are many varieties of apples, each variety with its own distinct characteristics. For example, the Red Delicious, is excellent eaten fresh or in a salad, but does not do well in roasting. Some apples that are good for baking and/or roasting are the Fuji, Gala, Golden, Granny Smith, and the Rome Beauty. Click for more information on the different types of apple varieties and what they are best suited for.


One medium apple has just under 100 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 4.5 grams fiber, and 14% of the daily value for Vitamin C. It has no fat, very little protein (1/2 gram), no cholesterol, and only 2 mg of sodium (yes, natural foods have sodium – check out our series of videos on salt!).

Don’t peel your apples! Pectin and about 2/3 of the nutritional goodness (fiber and antioxidants) are in the skin. Also, be careful when juicing. There are approximately 2 1/4 apples in an 8-ounce glass of juice so you can really get a lot of calories and natural sugars by juicing and won’t register fullness the same way you would if you ate 2 apples.

The N.E.W. Motivation Coaching criteria for heart healthy foods includes (1) has fiber, (2) low saturated/trans fat, (3) low sodium, (4) low added sugars, and (5) not too high in calories. Apples are a perfectly heart-healthy choice!

Post a comment and let us know your favorite type apple or apple recipe! We are partial to the Honeycrisp variety and love us some good apple pie… and our Recipes Page has our Cinnamon Roasted Apple recipe which mimics the flavor of apple pie! YUM!

This blog was researched and written by Millie Yeamans, UNF Nutrition Student and edited by Alexia Lewis RD. We support RD2BE students!



  1. The Meaning And Origin Of The Expression: An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away. Accessed February 13, 2018.
  2. Kalinowska M, Bielawska A, Lewandowska-Siwkiewicz H, et al. Apples: Content of phenolic compounds vs. variety, part of apple and cultivation model, extraction of phenolic compounds, biological properties. Plant Physiol Biochem. 84 (2014) 169-188.
  3. Boyer J, Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J. 2004;3:5.
  4. Bondonno N, Bondonno C, Croft K, et al. Flavonoid-rich apple improves endothelial function in individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Feb;62(3).
  5. Drake BH, Shertzer JK. Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Apples. Published February 25, 2010. Accessed February 13, 2018
  6. McWilliams M. Fruits. Food Fundamentals. 10th ed. Pearson Education; 2014:120.
  7. Commodity Apples. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  8. Apple Facts. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  9. Apples, raw, with skin. Accessed February 14, 2018.


Butternut Squash Agnolotti

This is a #HelloFresh meal delivery review of the Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Kale in a Sage Brown Butter Sauce. HelloFresh provided a Meal Delivery Box containing three meals to me free of charge. This post is therefore #sponsored. As always, all opinions in my reviews are mine and I if love it or hate it, I’ll let you know.

Okay, first, do you love every single word in the recipe name? OMG yes! Butternut is a good friend of mine and a long-time Thanksgiving meal staple growing up. If you don’t know agnolotti, it is a type of ravioli – ravioli and I also go way back thanks to Chef Boyardee and this great restaurant in Brooklyn that I believe was called Cinzino’s (or something like that…). Then add kale (yes, how cliché, an RD who loves kale, I know), and brown butter sauce – heaven!!! Yes, please, get in my belly! Um, so it is safe to say I was just a bit excited going into this recipe.

The flavors of the pine nuts and butternut squash is what took this dish over the top for me. I love pine nuts but they are so expensive, even when bought in bulk so you can just get a small portion! All the pine nuts were used in the recipe but there was a fair amount of leftover kale, which was sliced into thin strips making it quick to cook and got rid of the thicker stems that can be so fibrous and chewy. I’m a fan of leftover ingredients and this kale was an addition to the next day’s salad.


I did make one mistake (as usual!) since I was multi-tasking with filming and taking pictures while I cooked. I added the whole 1-cup of reserved pasta water to the sauce when the recipe clearly says to start by adding 1/4 cup and add more as needed. Whoops! No harm, no foul as I just cooked the sauce down longer to evaporate some of the extra water (and left some liquid behind in the pan when serving…).

Nutritionally, one serving has 640 calories, 15 grams of saturated fats, 59 carbs, 9 grams of fiber, and 24 grams of protein.

What would I change? 

Since I’m currently typically eating five times a day (yep!), this dish is simply too much food/calories for one meal for me. This meal would fit nicely into many people’s meal plans with a satisfying number of calories and fairly balanced nutrition – or it could be split into two servings (bonus – no cooking the second night!) and served with a veggie side to get more bites per meal.

What did I love? 

This is one of HelloFresh’s 20-Minute Meals and it is such an easy recipe to make! The only chopping is to slice a shallot and mince garlic. That’s it! Chopping and prep work is the worst part of cooking to me so this is a big check in the win column for this recipe.

Lessons Learned?

Read the directions. Then read the directions. Then read them again.

HelloFresh provided a Meal Delivery Box containing three meals to me free of charge. This post is therefore #sponsored. As always, all opinions in my reviews are mine and I if love it or hate it, I’ll let you know.


A Pumpkiny Good Time

I had so much fun today sharing my new pumpkin recipes at the N.E.W. Motivation Coaching Pumpkin Love Make & Take!

These lucky ladies joined the fun and made a tangy pumpkin vinaigrette, a pumpkin-nilla-chai smoothie with no added sugar (thank you very much!), and some sweeeeeeet and healthy pumpkin power bites.

But I’m really just writing this blog to share the pictures. So, here they are!


For the Love of Pumpkin!

Why do we have such a fascination with pumpkin every autumn? Could it be the childhood memories of pumpkin carving, roasting pumpkin seeds, and the fun of dressing up for Halloween to go trick-or-treating? Or could it be the bombardment of some delicious pumpkin goodies being brought back on the market – hello PSL and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios – I see you!


I am firmly in the pro-pumpkin camp and will share some tidbits from an article I wrote way back in 2012:

Choose a pumpkin that is firm and has no visible damage or soft spots. The whole vegetable can be stored for months in a cool, dark, dry place. There is no need to refrigerate your pumpkins; they keep best around 55 Fahrenheit. Once you cut the pumpkin, however, it begins to deteriorate and only lasts a couple of days.

Pumpkin is a low calorie, fiber-rich, and nutrient-rich starchy vegetable. (Sorry my low-carb friends – pumpkin does not fall into the non-starchy veg category!) Pumpkin rates as a nutrition rock-star due to its vitamin A content. This is from the pigment, beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A and gives pumpkin its orange color. Vitamin A promotes healthy eyes and vision and is involved with immune function and reproduction. It appears that vitamin A reduces risk of certain cancers in non-smokers and may slow vision loss associated with age-related macular degeneration. While there are concerns with too much vitamin A from supplements, beta-carotene has no adverse health effects except for a change in skin tone to an orange hue. This could be an advantage if you find yourself without a costume for Halloween…

Seeds are typically packed with vitamins and minerals and pumpkin seeds do not disappoint. If you have the calories to spare, you will also get a hefty amount of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc (all over 50% DV) as well as 25% DV of iron. Only 5 of the 28 grams of fat is saturated fat and there is no trans fat.

My company – N.E.W. Motivation Coaching – is hosting a Pumpkin Love Make & Take Workshop next week and I would love to have you join us if you are local!

Whatever the reason, pumpkin is a delicious and versatile addition to your meals and snacks. And I’m not just talking baked pumpkin deliciousness like pumpkin pie or pumpkin breads… I’m talking some new ways to add pumpkin to your plate with a Pumpkin Vinaigrette, a Pumpkin-Nilla Chai Smoothie, and Pumpkin Power Bites!


Recipe: Spicy Mexi-Bowl (Gluten-Free!)

Here is another delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan recipe. This spicy Mexican-inspired quinoa and beans bowl is a quick to prepare, heart-healthy, and nutrition-rich meal that can be made ahead for take-to-work lunches or you can mix up a big batch for a family dinner.  You could even top it with an over-easy egg and make it a breakfast (although it won’t be vegan with that egg on it!).


And, before I forget – if you join up for our email newsletter before October 1, you will get a special offer on the Go Gluten Free or the Get Started Coaching Packages! Join today!

Here is the printer-friendly PDF: Recipe -Spicy Mexi-Bowl


A Mason Jar Meal-Prep Workshop Recipe by Alexia Lewis RD / N.E.W. Motivation Coaching

Makes 1 serving


1                          Mason Jar, 2-cup size

1 Tbsp                Red wine vinegar (or to taste)

1 tsp                    Lime juice

1/4 medium      Avocado (Florida), peeled and chopped

7                          Grape tomatoes, halved

1 Tbsp                Red onion, chopped (or to taste)

1 Tbsp                Jalapeño, deseeded and chopped

1/2 cup               Quinoa, cooked

1/2 cup               Black beans, low-sodium canned, rinsed or cooked from dry

1 tsp                   Cilantro, fresh, chopped


  1. Layer all ingredients in mason jar in order listed.
  2. Store refrigerated for 3-5 days depending on quality of mason jar seal
  3. To serve, shake food from jar into a bowl, toss to combine, and enjoy!

Nutrition per serving:

365 calories, 10 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat), 0 cholesterol, 153 milligrams sodium, 59 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fiber, 4 grams natural sugar, 14 grams protein.


We recommend making four servings at once – that way you use up the whole avocado – and can cook 3/4 cup of dry quinoa which should give you about 2 1/4 cups cooked.

Recipe: Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding (Gluten-Free!)

We are so excited about publishing our first Celiac Disease ebook that we are sharing gluten-free recipes in advance of our gluten-free focused special deals for October! First up is a coconut, chocolate, chia seed pudding. So much yes!

This is one of three gluten-free, treats (snacks or desserts) we are showcasing at our next Make & Take Meal Prep Workshop but we love it so much we are sharing it with you here too. By the way, this recipe is also dairy-free and vegan! And yes, it can be all these things and still delicious!


If you want to also learn to make Peach (or Pineapple!) Cheesecake and the Peanut Pecan Dream, we invite you to join us at the October 13, 2017 workshop (or see Upcoming Events to find the next workshop!) where you get to make three gluten-free, healthy, and delicious desserts – that can also fit in as a great afternoon snack – and take four meal-prepped treats home with you.  You will get the recipes and learn about what makes these treats a healthier option and what’s really going on with sugar and your health.

Yes, I said healthy AND delicious. I mean, where else can you get 10 grams of fiber, 20% of the Daily Value (%DV) for Vitamin D, and 50% of the DV for calcium in a dessert!?? This is one treat you can feel good about giving your little ones (or enjoying for yourself!) because this sugar comes with some solid nutrition as well!

Without further ado – here is the recipe! Click for printer-friendly PDF!

Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding

A Mason Jar Meal-Prep Workshop Recipe by Alexia Lewis RD / N.E.W. Motivation Coaching

Makes 1 serving


 1                        Mason Jar, 1-cup size

3/4 cup           Almond milk, dark chocolate

2 Tbsp             Chia seeds

1 packet          Alternative sweetener

1 Tbsp             Coconut, shredded, no sugar added

1 pinch            Salt

2 Tbsp             Coconut whipped topping


1.      Measure all ingredients except coconut whipped topping into blender

2.     Blend for 30 seconds

3.     Pour mixture into mason jar

4.     Top with whipped topping

5.     Close jar tightly and store in refrigerator until ready to eat (up to 3-5 days)


250 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 275 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 5 g protein plus 50% DV calcium and 20% DV Vitamin D


This will have a slightly “gritty” texture due to grinding the chia seeds, you can skip grinding (and skip alternative sweetener) but you should refrigerate 2 days before serving or pudding will be much more liquid. 

Reduce added sugar/carbohydrates by using unsweetened almond milk plus 1 scoop chocolate protein powder.



HelloFresh Meal Review: Sweet and Savory Plum Flatbreads with Ricotta, Charred Onion, and Arugula

I love every single word in the name of this dish! Color me excited to make this one!

If you want a deal, I can offer you this:  Get Cooking Today With HelloFresh And Get 50% Off!

HelloFresh categorizes this meal as a breakfast according to the recipe card. I think this would make a divine breakfast but it is just a little too much work for me to do while on my first cup of coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I love a hot breakfast. In fact, I have a hot breakfast pretty much every day! I can cook a veggie omelet with one eye closed and one hand on that coffee mug; but this recipe was just a bit too involved for that level of attention (or rather that lack of attention…).

As the video shows, there are not that many steps but there is some multi-tasking. Once again, I turned to my non-stick pan so my plums did not get any delicious carmelization action… and my onions did not get charred. I think I was a wee bit heavy-handed with the oil (which you may notice in the video!).

What would I change? Well, per the recipe card, this recipe calls for 5 teaspoons of olive oil for 2 servings. I love me some healthy oils but this was too much for me. Reducing the oil could easily be done by omitting from arugula and not coating the flatbreads and I think the recipe would be just as good without this much oil. I also found this dish to be flavorful enough without the honey drizzle – which was fun to do – but omitting honey would reduce the sugar which comes in at 21 grams. For my taste buds, the extra sweetness is not needed and doesn’t add any extra nutrition.

What did I love? Once again – this is a meal of delicious flavors that I would never have thought to put together. I love that HelloFresh is introducing me to new flavor combinations! I got excited a while back mixing blackberries and blue cheese (uh, yeah, so good!) but plums and red onion? No way! Totally works. I also love the small amounts of leftover ingredients. This time I had some pomegranate balsamic vinegar and almonds that got tossed onto the next days lunch salad… and there was leftover arugula which hubs and I ate on the side with the flatbreads.

Things I learned:

Non-stick pans – once again – are not always the best option

There is a world of flatbreads outside of my stand-by FlatOut wraps

I really have to double-check that my video shots are centered before I film!

Here’s that info again if you want to take advantage of the discount I can offer you to try out HelloFresh! Get Cooking Today With HelloFresh And Get 50% Off!


HelloFresh provided a Meal Delivery Box containing three meals to me free of charge. This is #sponsored and I was so impressed that I have joined their #affiliate program. As always, all opinions in my reviews are mine and I if love it or hate it, I’ll let you know.

Delicious, Easy, and Healthy Vegan CrockPot Quinoa Chili

Eat More Beans! Crockpot Quinoa Chili Recipe (Vegan)

Imagine this. You are in the grocery store and you need to buy some beans. In one hand, you hold a can of beans. In the other hand, you hold a bag of dried beans. Which one do you buy?

You probably consider a few things before you decide.

The first consideration may be convenience. The canned beans are ready to go. You can throw those in the microwave and have hot, cooked beans in just a couple of minutes. The dried beans will take much more time because you have to soak them for many hours and then cook them for another couple of hours. Do you have time for this? Do you know how to cook dried beans? Will you forget and then have to come up with a Plan B dinner?

The second consideration may be nutrition. Beans are a nutrition-packed food! If you cook dried beans, then in 1/2 cup of black beans you get 7 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of fiber, and 10% daily value of iron with only 115 calories, 1/2 gram of fat, and no cholesterol or sodium! If you choose the canned beans, much of this stays the same; but you get more sodium. If you choose regular black beans, that 1/2 cup can have 500 milligrams of sodium and reduced sodium black beans can have 240 milligrams of sodium. Some canned products are also packaged in cans that have BPA.

Many people don’t consider cost because those other two things are more important. A 15 ounce can of beans gives you approximately 1 3/4 cups of beans for $1.00 to $3.00. A 16 ounce bag of dried beans contains 3 1/4 cups of dried beans which gives you about 9 cups of cooked beans for about  $1.00 to $2.00. If you do the work of cooking dried beans, you get about five times a much for your money!

I used dried beans most of the time and save canned beans for when I don’t want to rely on myself to remember to cook dried beans the day before I need them or I decided on having beans for dinner on the day I grocery shop. I went in search of dried bean recipes that eliminated the need to cook the beans the day before. After reviewing a few recipes for cooking times and methods and a few trial runs, here is what I ended up with.

Crockpot Quinoa Chili

Makes 9 cups cooked chili

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 6 hours 15 minutes

Skill level: low


1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 teaspoon or 2 cloves minced garlic

2 cups frozen corn

1 package (10 ounces) spinach

2 cups low-sodium salsa

1/2 large red onion, chopped

5 cups water

1/2 teaspoon each: Hot Shot (red/black pepper blend) and red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon of each ground spice: turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, and chipotle chile pepper

Quinoa Chili Ingredients
Ingredients – Yes, those are pinto beans from Hatch, New Mexico courtesy of a great neighbor!


1. Layer all ingredients except spices in crockpot in order listed above.

2. Cook on high heat for one hour and then reduce to low heat for five hours. If home, stir occasionally making sure beans and quinoa stay covered by liquid.

3. Add spices and stir before serving.

Quinoa Chili Start
How it starts…

Nutrition Information per 1-cup serving: 138 calories, 1 gram fat (0 saturated, 0 trans), 0 milligrams cholesterol,  225 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams fiber, 8 grams protein.

Serving suggestion: Stir in plain Greek yogurt (not vegan!) to cool it down or top with chopped chipotle peppers and hot sauce to kick it up a notch! I added homemade cornbread muffins on the side (also not vegan) following this recipe and sliced tomatoes.

Delicious, Easy, and Healthy Vegan CrockPot Quinoa Chili
Delicious, Easy, and Healthy Vegan CrockPot Quinoa Chili


Prepping for the Tart

Weekly Meal Plan: Puff Pastry Tart & Cottage Cheese Enchilada

This is the first in a new recurring post. My plan is to do my personal meal planning for the week and then share the recipes and tips from the week with you. My hope is that you will try something new and be inspired with your own weekly meal planning.

One of my recipes this week was based on the foods I had that needed to be used, specifically a big bag of spinach and thawed puff pastry. I found a recipe for a Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Caramelized Onion Tart with Balsamic Reduction that sounded delicious and I had every single ingredient on hand. I reduced the amount of oil from 3 Tbsp to 1/2 Tbsp only used when caramelizing the onions; but that can even be swapped out for starting the onions with cooking spray. If you are trying to improve your cholesterol numbers, use the olive oil and if you are trying to reduce calories, use the cooking spray. I also replaced the honey with agave syrup (what I had) and used about 1/2 Tbsp for the balsamic reduction, which thickened up beautifully!

Prepping for the Tart
Prepping for the Tart

I found this to be scrumptious… but… the toppings were too thick. If you make this, I’d recommend using half the spinach and onions (or make two tarts). I piled it up anyway and I think this contributed to the pastry being a bit doughy in the middle (or it could have been that I should have cooked it a little bit longer). I also recommend you serve this on a day that you’ve had enough protein (meat, dairy foods, eggs, beans, nuts, etc.) since it is low in protein. I served this with grape tomatoes that I halved and roasted with mozzarella cheese on top. One tart serves 2-4 people depending on their appetites and what else you serve it with.

Tart Ready for the Oven
Tart Ready for the Oven

My other new recipe this week was enchiladas. I’ve been playing with using cottage cheese in cooking. While I love cottage cheese on its own; I’m kind of enthralled with cooking with it right now. Last week, I made lasagna rolls and they were delicious. I’ll be tweaking that recipe and posting it here in the future. I found myself with 1-cup of cottage cheese and I found a Cottage Cheese Enchiladas recipe. I’m not a huge fan of corn tortillas so I had to purchase those and I need your advice on these (see below).

Of course, I modified this recipe as well. We were out of cheddar cheese so I used shredded mozzarella as the only cheese, I omitted the chives and lime wedge, and I made the enchilada sauce. The sauce was simple, I used diced tomatoes (what I had) and pureed those in the food processor, then added chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and a touch of Splenda. Perfection! To the filling, I added some boiled chicken I had since my dog is currently not feeling well and is on a chicken and rice diet. Omit the chicken to keep this vegetarian.

Enchilada Filling
Enchilada Filling

These were INCREDIBLE in terms of flavor; but they completely fell apart. So, readers, if you know how to handle corn tortillas so they don’t fall apart, please comment on this post – I need your help since I will be making this dish again. I served this with chips and salsa and a side salad of halved grape tomatoes, diced avocado, and lime juice. As you can see, it makes a hefty portion!

A Whole Lotta Enchilada
A Whole Lotta Enchilada

I do apologize for the quality of the photographs. My wonderful husband got me a Galaxy Tablet for the holiday and I am still learning how to best use the camera… and to be honest, hunger was a factor in not having the patience to get that perfect picture!