Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

P1170412 Thanksgiving has passed, the glory days of sweet potatoes are over until next November. That is, unless you try this amazing sweet potato soup. This soup is creamy, naturally sweet, and it has a little fiery kick from cayenne pepper. I had a non vegan version of this soup at a “Friendsgiving” party and thought that it was really amazing. With only two non vegan ingredients I figured it could easily be vegan-ized for all to enjoy! You may ask yourself, why do I care if its vegan? Aside from the usual reasons, like not wanting to eat animals, there have been a few recent articles about how the meat and dairy industry is a much bigger contributor to climate change than we realize. So if you don’t mind eating animals, try some vegan recipes to be more kind to our planet.P1170375

As a foodie first, and dietitian second, I definitely believe in eating food because it tastes good, not solely because of it’s health benefits. This is why you will not find me chugging green smoothies or downing tasteless protein bars. This soup gets me really excited because it is winning in both categories. Not only is it vegan, but its packed with calcium, healthy fats and vitamin A. Not to mention pepita seeds are the perfect vegetarian food! They are a great source or iron, magnesium, and protein! No need to go light on those soup toppings!vegan sweet potato soup

clearly, I'm a sucker for the pour shot

clearly, I’m a sucker for the pour shot

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

Sprinkle on those pepitas! Do you like my nails?

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stocks celery, diced
  • carrots, chopped (about 1/2 C)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable or coconut oil
  • 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth plus 1 C water
  • 1 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 C lite or regular coconut milk
  • Pepita seeds for topping (pumpkin seeds, optional)

Directions

Make mirepoix by dicing first three vegetables.

Add oil to large soup pot. Add veggies when the oil is hot. Simmer on low while peeling and chopping sweet potato.

Add chopped sweet potato and spices (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper). Add vegetable broth and water, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Check potatoes with a fork, if soft blend soup with an immersion blender or pour into regular blender. Add almond and coconut milk. Stir to combine. Serve hot topped with pepita seeds and coconut milk.

Let me know if you try this recipe at home! I promise, you will not be disappointed!

 

Workout Wednesday: How Many Calories Do I Burn?

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Sorry folks, no video today! Stayed tuned next week for part two of Workout with Your Baby! Today I’m talking about calorie burn. Not always everyone’s favorite subject, but it is important none-the-less. Recently, I have read several studies demonstrating that … Continue reading

Real Talk: Holiday Weight Gain

In college I had a running teacher that told the class the average holiday weight gain was between 7- 10 pounds. After she said this, I looked around and saw horror on all of the freshmen girls’ faces. I was shocked Holiday weight gainwhen I heard that number, 7 pounds?!! That is like 2 pants sizes. Could it be true? No. The answer is no. I don’t know where that teacher got her statistics from but she is totally wrong. I hope she is reading this post right now and not spreading unwarranted fear to her current running class.
The truth is, people do tend to gain a bit of weight during the holiday season, but the real average is only between 1-2 pounds. Not a big deal. However, if you are gaining 2 pounds every holiday season it does add up. Keep in mind the holidays are about more than just food. Good food is an important part of celebrations, but it is not the only part! Here are my top five tips for avoiding holiday weight gain.

  • Just as you shouldn’t go grocery shopping while hungry, don’t go to the holiday party ravenous! Have a meal full of fiber and protein before you go. Such as roasted chicken and kale salad.

To read the rest of my tips for keeping your weight in check this holiday season head on over to Shopwell.holiday-weight-gain-snowmen

Healthy Holiday Desserts: Oatmeal Pecan Pie

Oatmeal Pecan PieOut of all the Thanksgiving desserts I have consumed in the past four days, this pie is by far my favorite! In fact, I didn’t even make this pie for Thanksgiving, but I wish I had. I made it a couple days before Thanksgiving and it was gobbled up in two days flat! There are only three of us, so I would say that was a pretty darn good pie!

My future employer (Cooking Light) really hit the nail on the head with this one! This pie is unbelievably rich and nutty, yet still manages to be about 200 calories less than traditional pecan pie. Mind blowing! Most of the calorie savings come from the reduced amount of pecans and the addition of oatmeal and egg whites. At 300 calories a slice it is definitely not diet food, but it is a little bite of heaven that is a tad healthier than the original. I believe in eating good food, and if you can eat good food that is also healthy, why not do it?

Separating the eggs

Separating the eggs

fresh whipped cream

If you have some extra time on your hands whip up some fresh cream!

fresh cream

If you are still in a post-Thanksgiving food coma and can’t muster up the appetite for pie right now, I completely understand. Pin this pie for later! You will want it for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza!

You can find the original recipe and a video about this pie at Cooking Light. I followed this recipe exactly, with the exception of adding 3/4 cup of pecans instead of 1/2 cup. It’s best if you can let this pie sit in the fridge a couple hours or overnight before serving, so it can firm up a bit. But if you are eager and want to eat your pie fresh out of the oven, do it. It tastes great either way! oatmeal pecan pie

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

The oatmeal adds an extra crunch which is delightful

oatmeal pecan pie

I love you pecan pie

Ingredients

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (or make your own)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 C light corn syrup
  • 2/3 C regular rolled oats
  • 3/4 C chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350.

Fit dough on to 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under; flute.

Combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients, stirring well. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Workout Wednesday: Exercise with Your Baby!

You don’t have to be a Mom to do this workout! That is just an added bonus.

When is it safe to start working out after having a baby? Typically 6 weeks after a normal delivery. But always check with your physician first! You want to start slow, no marathon running right away! You should be able to do walking and low-impact exercise whenever you feel ready.

Here are some simple moves to help get you going! Please try the push-ups first, without your baby on the floor, to be sure that you have enough strength to control the downward movement and push up successfully without slamming on the floor and crushing your baby!

Some of the benefits of exercise for new Mama’s include:

  • Bonding with your baby! It’s never too soon to teach kids the joys of exercise.
  • Regaining your strength and stamina. Despite the fact that you are drained of energy 24/7, a little bit of exercise can actually give you more energy.
  • Help fight postpartum depression.
  • Feel and look your best!

No baby? Try this exercise with a small, well-trained pet or a medicine ball would work great too!