Have you ever had those cans of Amy's chili? I was wanting to create something similar to those, but that could be cooked in the slow cooker. This recipe got the thumbs up from everyone who tried it, although there still seems to be some ingredient in Amy's chili that I just can't place my finger on. Either way, this is an easy to make yummy chili so I will take it! Don't be put off by the list of ingredients, it comes together quickly. I tend to serve this with tortilla chips which is always a hit with the kids but feel free to serve with what works for you.
Slow Cooker Chili
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
1 Can Kidney beans*
1 Cup of veggie ground round (you could also use textured vegetable protein that has been rehydrated)
2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Can Tomato Paste**
2 Tbsp. Braggs
1 Tbsp. Taco seasoning
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Basil
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
2 Cups. Tomatoes (blended)
3/4 Cup. Corn
1. Put all ingredients in the slow cooker.
2. Cook on high for 4 hours
** I have subbed this with tomato sauce and adjusted the water in a pinch
*I have also subbed this with black beans
On my last trip to the grocery store I definitely noticed the increase in prices as I was shopping. With that in mind, I thought I would give you a few tips in order to help save you money.
And for a bonus tip:
I hope you find these tips helpful and that they help you save a bit of money.
Want more tips to help you save money on groceries? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at email@example.com
Having dinner ready when I get home from a busy day is the best! Honestly, it takes so much pressure off and makes the evening go so much smoother. This one is similar to a lasagna taste but in a soup form. Warm comfort food that's easy to make. It's full of fibre from the vegetables and lentils. Lots of protein to keep you satisfied from the cashew cream and the lentils. This is vegan and can be gluten free if necessary if you use gluten free lasagna noodles. Throw everything in the slow cooker and with minimal work at the end you have a filling meal to enjoy.
6 cups Vegetable broth
1 cup. Green or brown lentils, rinsed.
1 tsp. Dried basil
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Chili pepper flakes
1 can Tomato sauce
1 Carrot, grated
2 cups. Zucchini, grated
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Add after the soup is cooked
12 Lasagna noodles, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp. Lemon
2 cups. Spinach, chopped
For Cashew Cream
1 cup. Raw cashews (soaked in boiling water when soup goes in the slow cooker, but to use when soup is done).
1. Put onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, rinsed lentils, basil, oregano, chili pepper flakes and salt and pepper into the slow cooker and stir.
2. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
3. Cover cashews with boiling water and let soak while the soup cooks.
4. Once the soup is cooked, add spinach, noodles and lemon juice and cook on high power 10-15 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
5. Drain cashews and place in a blender. Add 1.5 cups of water. Blend on high speed until a cashew cream forms.
6. Add cashew cream to slow cooker, add more salt/pepper to taste, stir and enjoy.
Looking for more slow cooker recipes? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
This time of year our family eats a lot of soup. Soup is easy to make, often with minimal time spent actually "cooking" and I can make a large amount so that there is enough for everyone as leftovers for another day. I was looking to make a soup that was loaded with veggies but was a bit different. This is what I ended up coming up with.
1/2 Onion, diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 inch. Piece of ginger, minced
6 cups. Vegetable broth
1 can. Coconut milk
2 Celery stalks, diced
1 cup. Cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Carrots, diced
1 cup Corn
2 Tbsp. Curry paste (I used Thai red curry)
2 tsp. Turmeric
3 Tbsp. Braggs
1 package Tofu (pressed with a tofu press or heavy book if possible)
1.5 cups. White or brown rice, cooked.
1. Cook rice- either in a rice cooker or on the stove.
2. Fry onion in a large pot on medium heat until slightly browned. Add in garlic and ginger for 1 minute.
3. Add in the rest of the vegetables- celery, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and corn. Stir.
4. Mix vegetable broth and curry paste together. Once mixed, add into vegetable mixture.
5. Add turmeric and braggs and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and add in coconut milk.
6. Dice tofu and fry until browned on all sides.
7. When tofu and rice are ready turn heat off the soup and let cool for a few minutes. Use an immersion blender or carefully transfer soup to a blender and puree.
8. You can reheat soup if desired. Serve in a bowl with some fried tofu and a scoop of rice.
Looking for more soup ideas? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at email@example.com
As a dietitian, when I talk to people about healthy eating they expect me to only be talking about the food they eat. However, there is a large part of healthy eating which isn’t really about the food so much as “how” we eat.
Eat with others
Eating with other people is a healthier way to eat. I know this has been challenging over the last (long) while, but when you eat with other people it’s a healthier environment to eat in. When kids eat meals with their parents, they eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as more variety (1, 2). Although research on this topic has limitations, it shows that eating family meals has a positive effect on obesity rates and a reduction in eating disorders as well as increasing academic success in youth (3)
Enjoy your food
This is a big one. If I had a dime for every time I was asked what are the “good” foods and what are the “bad” foods….
You can eat all the foods. I truly mean this. Obviously, if there is medical reason for you to avoid certain foods, please follow that. What I am asking of you, is to please stop feeling like you need “cheat” days or that you have been “bad” because you have eaten certain foods. This line of thinking was actually what inspired this post, as we head from the holiday season where there are treats galore over to the New Year where we are bombarded by diet marketing and propaganda. As I am writing this, I realize that this really could be a blog post all on its own.
Cook more often
Most people aren’t shocked when I tell them that eating home cooked foods is healthier than eating at restaurants and fast-food places. When you cook at home, it is easier to have a better variety on your plate. I’m looking at you, vegetables – eating out can be hard to get that balance! When kids are involved in the cooking process, they are often more open to trying the foods and research shows that it can help increase their fruit and vegetable intake (4).
For both adults and children, eating while distracted is not a healthy behaviour. Having your phone, computer, tv, etc. around while you are eating interferes with our ability to assess our hunger and fullness cues. If you are distracted by your phone, you may be eating less food than your body is telling you it needs. Although some people may try to tell me this is a good thing, it’s not. If you don’t eat enough at your meals, what happens is you end up making up for it by overeating at other meals in the day, or by filling up on snacks (typically higher fat, sugar and salt foods with less fruits and vegetables). On the other hand, when you are distracted by your phone during a meal, you may end up eating much more than you needed to. This leaves you feeling stuffed and lethargic and, when doing this on a regular basis, is again not a healthy way to eat. By removing distractions when you eat, you are able to check in with your body to see if you should stop eating, or you need to eat more. It also helps you be more present while you are eating and is a great way to help be a role model for your kids. It’s very hard to give your kids a hard time about having phones, etc. at the table when you are doing it yourself (or have been for years before they have a phone, etc.) The bottom line is, removing distractions when you eat is a healthier way to eat (5).
So, when talking about healthy eating, I do talk about certain foods. Yet, I am always careful to spend some time on the “how” of eating when I am discussing healthy eating as well. All of these topics I touched on above are very important pieces of the healthy eating puzzle. So as people start to think about January resets and resolutions, I would encourage you to take a different approach to those this year. Perhaps just working on the “how” of your healthy eating is all that is needed. Remember to be gentle and kind with yourself as changes take time.
Happy New Year!
Looking for more support around healthy eating? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some healthy, spooky halloween treats. These are easy, no bake goodies that come together fast and are a fun snack. Serve up some of these on a plate to get quite a reaction. Enjoy!
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1 Tbsp. Carob powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
3 Dates, pits removed
1 Tbsp. Peanut butter
2 Tbsp. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
Sliced almonds for finger nails
1. Mix almond flour, carob powder, cloves, cardamom and salt together in a bowl .
2. Place prunes, pitted dates and peanut butter in a food processor and mix.
3. Add maple syrup and almond milk into food processor with date/prune mixture. Process until combined.
4. Add prune/date mixture into flour and stir to combine.
5. Form into finger like shapes. Add line marks for knuckles and sliced almonds for finger nails. Place in fridge to set for about 15 minutes.
Store in fridge in an airtight container.
Looking for more fun snack ideas? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at email@example.com
A quick and easy meal that is filled with veggies and leaves you feeling satisfied, but not overly stuffed like you can after pasta meals sometimes. This recipe came together after a busy school and work week. Having no dinner plan on a Friday night can be difficult, especially when everyone is tired and hungry. Honestly, having no dinner plan on any day of the week can be difficult!
1 package(454g) Pasta of choice (gluten free if necessary)
4 Veggie sausages of choice (gluten free if necessary)
1/2 Onion, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
1 cup Cauliflower
1 Tbsp 10- spice
2 tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp. Thyme or Herb de Provence
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp All Purpose flour (gluten free if necessary)
3/4 cup Canned Coconut milk
1. Fry sausages in a frying pan over medium heat until browned. Cut into rounds. Put aside.
2. Fry onion, pepper and garlic in the frying pan until slightly browned.
3. Boil the water for the pasta and put cauliflower in it as it comes to a boil. Cook cauliflower until a fork will go through it easily.
4. Place tomatoes, cooked cauliflower, onion, pepper and garlic in food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Add blended mixture to frying pan and stir in flour.
6. Add spices, sausages and coconut milk to mixture in frying pan and simmer.
7. Cook pasta following directions on the package.
8. Once pasta is cooked, mix into sauce, stir, and enjoy.
Need more ideas to get quick meals on your table? Contact Jill, Nurture's Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
It may seem rigid and boring, but setting a snack schedule for your kids is a very positive thing. It reduces meal-time battles, helps prevent the "hangry's", helps avoid the constant drone of "I want a snack", and helps increase intake at meals times. Sound too good to be true? I know, but read on.
Kids have small stomachs. They need to eat frequently. However, there is a balance between grazing throughout the day versus eating scheduled meals and snacks. Ideally, you want to offer a snack between breakfast and lunch, and another between lunch and dinner. You may also want to consider offering a snack at bedtime, but that depends on the timing of dinner and bed.
If kids are allowed to graze throughout the day, they go into meals not feeling hungry, which means they don't eat their food. This can mean that kids are eating "snack" foods throughout the day and missing out on their "meal" foods. This can also mean that they purposefully don't eat their meal food because they know they have a free for all of foods to graze on that they actually want to eat. This can be a slippery slope of parents telling kids to eat their dinner, for example, when they aren't feeling hungry because they have been grazing for hours. This leads to either the kids eating their meal, even though they aren't hungry resulting in them not listening to their bodies. Or, it leads to a meal time battle because the parents want them to eat and the kids just don't want to eat. By setting a specified snack time, it allows them to have something to eat so they don't get overly hungry (I'm looking at you hangry's) but they still won't be too full when meal time rolls around.
If snacks are at a scheduled time, this allows you to avoid the constant "I want a snack" because you can say, "snack is at ten o'clock". That also means that the "kitchen is closed" when it is not snack or meal time. Although this can be a struggle to overcome at first while making the snack time routines, it takes a load off parents. This way they're not constantly doling out snacks throughout the day.
Choosing a time to line up with snack times at daycare or school tends to work really well if it's an option for your family. Kids will come to look for a snack at those scheduled times as a result of their bodies regulating to that time - so the more consistent you can be, the better. When you are trying to set the time, you want to aim for offering food roughly every 2 to 3 hours, when they are awake. This timing is important because it allows time for hunger to build between eating. You want to time the meals and snacks to allow success at those times for eating to their hunger or fullness.
So really, what do you have to lose? Give scheduling your snack times a try and if you stick with it as a family, you will reap the benefits.
Need some more help with sorting out snacks for your family? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at email@example.com
Jill Wallace, RD, CH
Mom, Registered Dietitian and Chartered Herbalist writing about nutrition. Have a topic you want to read about? I would love to hear your idea. Email firstname.lastname@example.org