BBQ Popcorn

BBQ Popcorn

After resolving last week to fill out my Recipe Index with more of my favorite quick weeknight dinners, I noticed another woefully empty blog category here at flavorrd: snacks! (!!!)

I’m definitely a snacker. I fully respect mindful eating, but there’s also nothing I love more after a long work week than a fully-stocked Netflix queue and a big bowl of something crunchy. And if you choose the right snack, there’s nothing wrong with that!

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Spicy Artichoke Pasta

Spicy Artichoke Pasta

You know those nights when you come home from work, you have no plans for dinner, you haven’t thawed anything from the freezer, and your veggie crisper has seen better days? Life is hard. These things happen. But instead of settling for mediocre take-out (and the regret that follows), wouldn’t you rather sit down to a big, bountiful, made-from-scratch skillet of healthy dinner like this?

It doesn’t have to be as hard it sounds, I promise. Not with this recipe in your back pocket. It’s made mostly from pantry staples, it’s drop-dead easy, and it’s FAST FAST FAST. I’ll give you the run-down!

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Low Maintenance Lunch-Packing Tips and 5 Favorite Packable Recipes

Low Maintenance Lunch Packing
The media is abuzz once again with the old back-to-school rhetoric. Whether we’re students or not, they’ll have us believe that summer is on its way out, and we are now to turn our attention to our responsibilities… time to put away the bikini, buckle down, and become masters of productivity. In the nutrition realm, this translates into dutiful healthy meal planning and lunch-packing. We all know that packing your own lunch is healthier, more economical, and all those boring grown-up ideals we so desperately strive for. But you know how I feel sometimes? Like life is hard enough already, and it’s not all about agonizing over engineering the optimal lunch routine. In this post, I’m giving us permission to TAKE IT EASY and feed ourselves good food with just a modicum of effort. You’re welcome!
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Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler Scones

Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler Bites
We all go through phases with our cooking interests, right? Right now, I’m all about baking… and I’m in deep. My current go-to “escape from reality” is to fall down an internet rabbit-hole of baker’s percentages, sourdough starters, and the low-down on all kinds of grains. I’m finding myself leafing through the bread-oriented texts from my cookbook collection, and I even bought my first baking stone! The only bad part is that my timing is a little off, since it’s August and firing up a hot oven in my apartment kind of makes me want to jump out the window.

So, while I’m sort of impatiently waiting for summer to wrap up so I can bake my heart out, I like to make the best of things. If I can’t help but heat up the kitchen anyway, what better way to celebrate summer’s last hurrah than with perfect peak-season stonefruit? This freshly baked treat just oozes with Southern charm – it’s like a flaky buttermilk biscuit and gooey peach pie wrapped into one brunch-friendly morsel. Yeah… it’s time to crank up the AC and get baking!

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HOW TO: Eat Healthy in College

How to Eat Healthy in College
Today’s post goes out to a special demographic, who if they’re anything like I was, are doing a lot of googling these days: soon-to-be college students. You’re about to uproot your life, be out on your own, deprive yourself of many hours of sleep in favor of homework/socializing/beer-pong, figure out the various intricacies of LIFE ITSELF… and as if that’s not enough, you’re expected to feed yourself too!

Generally speaking, college students have limitations in space, time, money, cooking/shopping experience, and transportation… basically, it’s the perfect storm for subsisting on pizza and beer. But you don’t have to let this happen to you! As an RD who’s spent the majority of my adult life as a student (and whose first job was rolling burritos in my college dining hall), I’ve been there and I’m on your side when it comes to keeping your body running well by putting good food into it. Let’s talk about the tools you need to make this happen.

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Steel-Cut Muesli, California-Style

Steel Cut Muesli, California-Style
While I’m proud of my Floridian heritage (haha), there’s no doubt that my heart belongs on the west coast. I’m completely in LOVE with the food culture in my new California home. The most gorgeous produce is both cheap and plentiful. The bulk bins overfloweth with every healthy ingredient. It’s really locavorism at its finest.

Since we’ve already been talking about planning ahead for our meals, let’s convert all those good vibrations into a make-ahead breakfast fit for a California king!

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Sweet Chili Tofu Salad

Sweet Chili Tofu Salad
Some people start the day with a crossword puzzle, but my morning mental exercise regimen is a little more practical. It involves staring into the fridge, jumbling together edible odds and ends to fill a lunchbox balanced enough to sustain myself through a day at the office. I’m usually pretty good at this game, so that’s my excuse for not being super organized with meal planning. But the day that I struggled to find a better “protein” than a bag of Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels… I knew it was time to get serious.

Last weekend I made a very minimal investment of time and efforts, which yielded big lunchtime results. It started with an idea to attempt a copycat recipe for the sweet chili tofu cubes stocked at the Whole Foods salad bar. For a time I used to live in an apartment right across the street from Whole Foods, and since this was during my busy grad student years, I built a pretty strong affinity for some of their healthy convenience foods. That salad bar saved me for dinner many nights, and those sweet, chewy tofu cubes were always a welcome addition to my leafy greens.

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Blueberry Cocoa Hemp Smoothie

Blueberry Cocoa Hemp Smoothie
As much as I like to try new things in the kitchen, lately I’ve been succumbing to summertime simplicity. We’re eating well, but my efforts haven’t exactly been innovative, and I know that the basic foods we’ve been thriving on are just too boring to blog about (nobody needs me to tell them how to make tacos, for real). But this – antioxidants and omega 3s, whipped into something that tastes like a fruity chocolate milkshake? – thankfully, it’s both a new flavor and a total no-brainer.

I’m a big fan of hemp – it appeals to my classic hippie sensibilities, of course, and it’s also a nutritional powerhouse! Hemp seeds are high in fiber, rich in omega 3s, and they’re even a complete protein (soy and quinoa are the only other plants that can make this claim).
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Why You Should Be Excited About Fiber

Why You Should Be Excited About Fiber
Don’t stop reading yet! All I’ve said so far is “fiber” and I’ve already lost most of you. Most people think that fiber is just about regularity, but that’s a load of, well… you know what! It’s an important component of every diet, and most people don’t eat enough of it. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men and women eat 38 or 25 grams of fiber each day, respectively, and the latest survey data indicates that our average intake is less than half of this amount!

Even though it’s simply undigestible plant matter, fiber has a wide range of benefits – it helps keep you full and satisfied, it decreases risk of colon cancer and diverticular disease, and helps lower cholesterol levels. But in my experience, there’s one particular “fun fact” about fiber that tends to surprise and intrigue; one thing that gets people ACTUALLY EXCITED ABOUT EATING FIBER…

So what are the magic words?

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Dark Chocolate Cake with Berries & Coconut Cream

Dark Chocolate Cake with Berries and Coconut Cream
Are you looking for a way to express your gratitude to whoever invited you to this weekend’s barbeque?

Are you staring down too many pounds of fresh berries that you couldn’t resist at the farmer’s market?

Are you sick of your vegan friends getting in the way of your desire to top everything with whipped cream?

This cake is the answer to all of these questions.

This time of year, fruit pies and cobblers get all of the attention. And sure, summer fruits are worth celebrating, but why not invite chocolate to the party? Personally, I think fresh berries and dark chocolate are really complimentary flavors – antioxidants on top of antioxidants, naturally! And of course berries & cream are a classic combo (and a personal weakness of mine), so getting swept up by the whipped coconut cream sensation taking over the internet solidified the vision of my perfect mid-summer dessert. I mean, any topping that can unite the vegan and paleo communities has got to be some powerful stuff, right?

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