August 2011

One of my goals this year was to cook more meatless meals. Sure, I may have a quarter of a grass-fed cow in my freezer, but I also believe that a largely plant-based diet is better for your health (not to mention the planet).

So when I received a copy of Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love, I started tearing through it. The author, mom-of-two Sarah Matheny, was eating Chex Mix and drinking her third Diet Coke of the day when she realized that she had to do better for herself and her kids. She traded her family’s diet of processed and animal foods for whole and organic ingredients and began writing a blog about it.

If (like me) you don’t plan to give up milk, cheese, and eggs anytime soon and don’t spring for organic sugar, you can still make these recipes and use the staples you have.

The Thai Veggie Burgers were good, especially dunked into the Lime Tahini Sauce. Though my kids didn’t try those, they did gobble up the Chewy Energy Bars.

But my favorite recipe so far is the Pumpkin Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, which I put on top of greens with dried cranberries and drizzled with the (crazy yummy) Cinnamon Vinaigrette.

I highly recommend finishing off your meal with the Peanut Butter Cooke Dough Balls, a recipe that garnered Sarah multiple marriage proposals, and with good reason.

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Peas and Thank You, leave a comment after this post and tell me your favorite meatless meal to make. I’ll select two winners at random, who will receive a copy of the book from the publisher. The contest will be open until Tuesday September 6th at noon ET.

Pumpkin Spice-Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 14-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained & patted dry
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. giner
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until evenly coated. Spread chickpeas on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring chickpeas every 10 minutes to ensure even crisping.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 153 Fat: 2 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 29 Sodium: 439 Fiber: 4 Protein: 5 Cholesterol: 0

Disclaimer: The publisher sent me a free copy of Peas and Thank You. This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase a product through this link, your cost will be the same but I will receive a small commission to help with operating costs of this blog. Thanks for your support!



Confessions of a Sweet-Toothed Dietitian

by Sally on August 23, 2011

I grew up having dessert every night after dinner, and my sweet tooth is frequently on overdrive. So this final guest post in the Dessert Dilemma series, written by Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better, hits home with me:

Everyone has his or her dietary demons. Mine is dessert.

I wish I could tell you that I have de-stigmatized brownies, cookies, cake, and candy for my children, but that wouldn’t even be close to the truth.

I could care less about chips, fast food, and soda, but the thought of going one night without dessert is, well, downright devastating, and I’m pretty sure my children feel the same. I have passed on my love of sweets to my three girls. Sigh.

As a dietitian, I take some comfort in knowing that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans allows for added fats and sugars, no matter what your calorie level, so there’s no need to stress about having a smallish treat every day. But, given that my family suffers from IDD (Intense Dessert Desire), and our nature is to go overboard on sweet foods, I’ve taken steps to reign in dessert calories.

My secret weapon is portion-controlled foods, including 100-calorie fudge bars, Skinny Cow candy (no, I don’t work for them!) in 120-calorie packs, and packaged Rice Krispy Treats (the small ones).  I don’t emphasize calories with the kids, I just let them know that they can have one portion.  Plus, we stick to the one-treat-a-day rule: if you’ve had a sweet earlier on, then no dessert for you.  At the end of the day, it’s all about balance.

In some ways, dealing with dessert is easier for me than for moms with younger kids. My girls are 16, 15, and 12, so I can reason with them. They know the basics of good nutrition, and they’re aware that there are foods to grow on, and then there are treats that offer little in the way of good nutrition. Still, dessert is somewhat of a struggle.

I wish I had some trick to offer about making our dessert obsession disappear, and to erase my earlier misstep of giving my children treats after dinner when they were young. Oh, well. As the mother of two teens and one of the verge of adolescence, I could have far more serious things to worry about!

Elizabeth also writes a blog about nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy called Expect the Best Pregnancy.

Photo by TheCulinaryGeek.

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Thanks, Mom & Dad

August 19, 2011

It’s a good thing my parents don’t read my blog. If they did, they’d have to endure all the references to my childhood diet of Steak-umms, cherry Kool-Aid, the canned corned beef (and of course, my mom would have to relive the Chocolate Milk Incident). But after spending several days with them at my childhood […]

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The Secret to Teaching Kids Moderation? Stop Making a Big Deal About Sweets.

August 8, 2011

In part 3 of the Dessert Dilemma series, I’m pleased to have this guest post from mom-of-two Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD, who writes the great blog Raise Healthy Eaters. She explains how creating some structure–and keeping her cool–help her kids manage sweets: Most parents want to teach their kids how to eat sweets moderately. The […]

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DIY Almond Butter (or How I Almost Made My New Food Processor Explode)

August 3, 2011

We eat a lot of nut butter around here. We use our natural peanut butter so quickly–a jar every week–that I don’t even bother to refrigerate it. I’ve been wanting to make homemade almond butter ever since I read this post on the great blog Eating the Week. I finally bit the bullet and bought a […]

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Cookies For Breakfast

August 1, 2011

When Sam demanded M&Ms for breakfast a few months ago, food sociologist Dr. Dina Rose had a radical suggestion: “Why not give him M&Ms for breakfast?” In part 2 of my Dessert Dilemma series, Dr. Rose (who coached me through Sam’s dinner strike and writes a terrific blog, It’s Not About Nutrition) explains how giving […]

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