Archive for the 'Healthy Eating' Category

Berry-Licious Baked Oatmeal for Snowy Mornings

Feb. 22nd 2015

When Mother Nature dumps an insane amount of snow – over 91 inches – within a few weeks, you simply have to embrace it.

My perfect snow day includes a simmering pot of soup and a great read by the fire. After the storm, when the sky is brilliant blue against the stark whiteness of the snow, this Baked Oatmeal is the bomb before heading out snowshoeing.

Here’s to embracing winter!

Baked Oatmeal 7


Baked Berry-Licious Oatmeal
Hearty and slightly sweet this Baked Oatmeal is morning comfort food for body and soul.

2 cups rolled oats*
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup maple syrup (optional)**
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups coconut milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
3 cups frozen mixed berries
2 bananas sliced
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.
Grease 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil.

Combine oats, 1/2 cup of the pecans, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in maple syrup, coconut milk, coconut oil and vanilla. Place sliced bananas on bottom of dish. Layer berries over the bananas. Spread oats on top of berries. Slowly pour coconut mixture over oats. Smash down a bit with the back of a spoon to ensure all of the oats are coated by the coconut milk mixture. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chopped pecans and flaked coconut on top. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden in color.

*Make sure you use regular oats and not instant oats. I love Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats in this recipe.

**I’ve made this recipe both with and without the maple syrup. Either way it’s delicious!

This healthy breakfast also makes a wonderful snack.

Oats are one of my favorite grains. Energetically, they warm and strengthen the body which is so important during the winter months. Oats lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar and help to regulate thyroid function. Considered an adaptogen, they help to keep the body in balance by improving our response to stress. Throw in those antioxidant rich berries and you have a breakfast practically guaranteed to give you super powers!






Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Breakfast / Brunch, Brunch, Conscious Eating, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Winter | Comments Off

Raw Peach & Blueberry Crisp

Aug. 24th 2014




Maybe it’s because I grew up in the South. Or it could be because those little orbs have such sunny, happy colors. To me, nothing signifies summer more than a peach, so juicy, you have to stand over the kitchen sink to eat it.  If I were stranded on a deserted island with only one food, please, please make it a peach!

Peaches are not only delicious, they are good for you too!  Did you know that peaches contain calcium?  Combine peaches with kale for a super calcium boost!  In addition to the calcium, peaches are an excellent source of vitamins A & C.  A cooling food, peaches are perfect for hot summer days.

I threw together this guilt-free Raw Peach & Blueberry Crisp for a gathering of friends. It was the perfect finish to a lovely dinner.  Unlike most traditional fruit crisps, this one is low in added sugars and gluten-free. If you want to make it vegan, substitute maple syrup for the local honey.

It also makes a lovely “dessert for breakfast” topped with a bit of Greek yogurt.



Raw Peach & Blueberry Crisp

4 cups sliced peaches (about 7 peaches)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 teaspoon local honey

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Combine the lemon juice, vanilla, honey and cinnamon. Gently toss liquids with sliced peaches and blueberries. Place in square glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle nuts on top of fruit.                                                                                                                                                           

~ adapted from Whole Foods Raw Berry Crisp

Enjoy with the sun on your face and the warm breeze in your hair…..





Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Dessert, Healthy Eating, Recipes, summer | Comments Off

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Jun. 24th 2014

Would you believe today’s featured recipe took a year to post?  After preparing this family favorite for my daughter’s Cinco De Mayo themed bridal shower last year, I received a bunch of requests for the recipe. Perfect! I’ll send it out to my newsletter subscribers and post it on the blog! Several batches were prepared throughout the summer and immediately enjoyed. It was early September before I made a batch to photograph. Then it got cold. So here it is a year later. Some things are worth the wait. Southwestern Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette is one of those things.  

Light, fluffy quinoa. Black beans. Fresh veggies. Honey lime vinaigrette. Oh Yeah! This salad will rock your world. Did I mention that I love, absolutely love, quinoa? Dearest quinoa let me count the ways… You cook up light and fluffy in just 15 minutes. Many mistake you for a grain, but you are really a seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant. Your relatives include beet, chard and spinach. A protein powerhouse, you contain all nine essential amino acids. You have more calcium than milk. Got Quinoa? Manganese, magnesium, B2 and vitamin E Rich with flavenoids and phytonutrients, you are an anti-inflammatory warrior. Easier to digest than grains and you are gluten-free. It is no surprise that quinoa is considered a “superfood”! Make this salad for Cinco De Mayo, a family cook-out or weekday lunches.   DSC_0060   Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Viniagrette Salad Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa, uncooked 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup diced red bell pepper 1 cup diced tomato, diced 3/4 cup peeled and diced jicama* 1/4 cup diced red onion 1 cup chopped cilantro 1 jalapeno pepper (or Anaheim), seeded and finely diced Kernels from 1 ear raw organic/local corn cut from cob* 1 avocado, chopped (optional for garnish) Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice 1/4 cup oil 1 1/2 tablespoons local honey To Prepare Salad: Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Quinoa has a natural bitter coating that dissolves with rinsing. Rinse and repeat. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked quinoa, black beans, diced bell pepper, jicama, tomatoes, onion and jalapeno. Stir in the fresh corn and chopped cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and honey until emulsified. Pour vinaigrette over quinoa, coating well. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve topped with chopped avocado, if desired. Serves 4 * Jicama resembles a brown turnip from the outside and an apple from the inside. It is juicy, crunchy and slightly sweet. Jicama is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Use jicama to liven up salads and crudite platters. *To ensure your corn is non-GMO, buy organic or ask your local farmer about his farming practices. GMO corn can be found at some grocery stores and you have no way of knowing if what you buy is genetically modified or not. The beauty of this salad is its flexibility. You’re not a fan of cilantro? Use flat-leaf parsley instead. Do hot peppers give your beloved heartburn? Use super mild Anaheim peppers instead or leave them out entirely. Think of the recipe as a framework. Feel free to get creative. This post was originally sent to my newsletter subscribers in May.  Now that summer is officially here, I thought it might be a good idea to post here as well.  

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Dinner, Healthy Eating, Lunch, Recipes, Spring, summer, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Burger Heaven

Sep. 11th 2013

Playing around on Pinterest the other day I was dismayed to see all the pumpkin recipes. The calendar may say September, but it’s pretty darn hot here. I’m boycotting heavy fall foods and savoring the last morsels of summer fare.

This is my go-to burger and it works equally well for cookouts, tailgating parties or weeknight dinners. Simple, easy and more flavorful than the average beef patty, this healthy version of the American sandwich even has a few omnivore fans. Head out to the farmer’s market (or backyard garden) for the tomatoes and basil…it really does make a difference.

Marinated Portobello Burger

4 portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed
1 large ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
ripe tomato, sliced
lettuce – I used baby romaine and spinach
4 sandwich buns

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced

Using a paper towel, coat grill rack with olive oil. Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.

Place mushrooms in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Cover with marinade and let sit 30 minutes, turning once.

Grill mushrooms 8-10 minutes on each side. Toast buns if desired.

While mushrooms are cooking, whip up the pesto.  True confession: I sometimes pick up a container of Bear Pond Fresh Pesto at Whole Foods.

Pesto -slightly adapted from Vitamix 
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (Parmesan, made from cow’s milk,  is the traditional choice and would be absolutely acceptable.  I just prefer the sharpness of pecorino romano, made from sheep’s milk.)
4 garlic cloves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
fresh ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in Vitamix or food processor and blend until smooth. Hint: Freeze leftover pesto in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, place in freezer bag. Great way to add a tablespoon of pesto to soups and sauces.

Spread pesto on top and bottom of buns. Assemble burger with portobello, mozzarella, tomato and baby lettuce. Accompany with ice cold beverage of choice.

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Dinner, Dinner, Healthy Eating, Lunch, Recipes | Comments Off

Smooshed Avocado Toast – Oh How I Love Thee

Jun. 4th 2013

I’ve been obsessed with Smooshed Avocado on Ezekiel toast for quite some time.  It is one of my go-to breakfasts when the weather gets warm.  Not only is it quick, easy and portable but best of all…it’s super healthy!

Why I love avocados and random fun facts:

  •  “alligator pear”
  • Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse providing a good amount of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E and B vitamins, except B12.
  • Avocados are a phenomenal source of potassium.  Phenomenal as in as much potassium as 2 bananas!  Other beneficial minerals that avocados contain include copper, magnesium and manganese.
  • Avocados are perfect for keeping blood sugar steady as they are low glycemic.
  • Added to salads and salsas, avocados triple the absorption rate of  fat soluble carotenoids (powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients).  Carotenoids are instrumental in fighting cancer, heart disease and macular degeneration that result from damage caused by free radicals.
  • During the 90′s low-fat/no-fat craze, avocados got a bad rap.  Yes, avocados are high in fat – the heart healthy mono-unsaturated fats that the average American lacks in their daily diet.  Regular consumption of avocados has been shown to reduce total cholesterol, LDL (lousy cholesterol)  and triglyceride levels while raising HDL (happy cholesterol) levels.

Go ahead and pick up a couple of avocados at the store.  You don’t need to worry about whether it’s organic or not.  The thick skin protects the fruit inside.

Smooshed Avocado on Sprouted Grain Bread

Smoosh about 1/2 onto a toasted slice of bread*.  Top with a sprinkle of sea salt.  Tomato slices are pretty awesome too!

*I prefer sprouted grain breads like Ezekiel, but if you have a more traditional palate, ensure that your bread is free of  the toxic chemical potassium bromate by avoiding anything that says “enriched flour”.

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Brunch, Healthy Eating, Recipes | Comments Off

Are You Hungry?

Apr. 8th 2013

1 in 5 children in the United States don’t have enough to eat.  They don’t know when or where they will get their next meal.  Think about that for a moment.  1 out of every 5 kids hungry right here in the “land of plenty.   1 out of every 5 kids hungry  in a country that actually throws away close to half of the food it produces.

What about SNAP, formerly known as food stamps?  Those that can’t afford to buy groceries can get assistance through SNAP, right?  Did you know that SNAP participants are allotted only $4.00 daily?

Why is this issue so important?  From ShareOurStrength:

  • Children who are hungry have difficulties concentrating and performing in school.
  • Children who regularly do not get enough nutritious food to eat have significantly higher levels of behavioral, emotional and academic problems and be more aggressive and anxious.
  • Teens who regularly do not get enough to eat are more likely to be suspended from school and have difficulty getting along with other kids.
  • Children who struggle with hunger are sick more often, recover more slowly, and are more likely to be hospitalized.
  • Children who face hunger are more susceptible to obesity and its harmful health consequences as children and as adults.
What can you do?
Tell Congress that children in America should not go hungry.  Link
Watch the documentary  A Place At the Table  as it chronicles three families who suffer from food insecurity.
Can you eat healthy, nutritious meals on just $4.00?  Give it a try!





Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Conscious Eating, Healthy Eating | Comments Off

Ditch the Winter Cleanse

Jan. 25th 2013

It’s super trendy and it seems that everyone is doing it these days. Cleansing. Not me. Nope. Cleansing in the midst of winter feels counterintuitive. I truly believe that if it feels wrong, then I should honor those feelings. I have a hunch I’m not the only one that has said “no” to the mass messages of starting the New Year with a cleanse.

Many cleanses are liquid based – Master Cleanse and juice cleanses for example. Others rely heavily on raw foods. Neither of which will keep me from shivering all day long when the high is forecast to be 17 degrees! Give me soup, roasted vegetables, warming spices and the occasional hot chocolate (made with almond milk of course). I advocate eating clean during the winter and cleansing in the spring which follows the natural rhythms of the seasons and is better for our bodies.

Here are my top tips for eating clean during the winter:

  1. Drink water. Especially first thing in the morning. It helps to flush all toxins out of our cells. Do this every day! Adding lemon gives you a nice dose of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and supports detoxification. I recommend  heating your water and letting it cool slightly before adding the lemon, as the heat will compromise the vitamin C.
  2. Cook at home.  Roast, steam, stir-fry.  Incorporate healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil and avocado to reduce winter dryness.
  3. Use warming spices like cinnamon, turmeric, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and ginger to add flavor and ignite your inner fire.
  4. As it is the season of reflection and going inward, try journaling either first thing in the morning or just before bed.  Turn off your inner editor and just let the words fly.  No need to worry about grammar or spelling.
  5. Get plenty of sleep. Winter is a time for hibernation. Fall into the groove by going to bed a little earlier.
You’ll be amazed at how good you feel!

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Conscious Eating, Healthy Eating, Winter | Comments Off

Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Quiche – Gluten Free

Nov. 15th 2012

This recipe started as a butternut squash, kale and goat cheese frittata from the most recent issue of Vegetarian Times.  The kale wasn’t a big hit with everyone, so the next evolution of the recipe used spinach and gruyere.  It was then that I realized I’m not really a fan of frittatas – or omelets either.  Actually eggs really aren’t high on my list of  “must have” foods.  But the lovely quiche, with it’s fluffy custard and endless combinations of vegetables and cheeses – now that’s an egg dish I can dig in to!

Cook the onion over moderately low heat until it softens and begins to brown.  Add spinach and saute until just wilted.  If you like your spinach cooked a bit more, feel free.  I always tell my client to view a recipe as a guideline – feel free to substitute, omit, add and adjust to suit your tastes.  Works for most everything except baked goods.

Nourishing Tip:   Always roast an extra butternut squash.  Add it to soups, salads and this quiche recipe during the week to cut down on prep time.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Quiche – Gluten Free

1 cup diced onion

3-4 cups roasted butternut squash

7 ounce package of baby spinach

4 organic eggs

2 cups organic half and half

5 sage leaves, fried

1 cup shredded gruyere cheese

olive oil

black pepper – optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil 9 or 9 1/2 inch deep dish pie plate.

Cook onions over medium low heat until they are soft and beginning to turn brown.  Toss in spinach sauteing until wilted.  Line bottom of pie plate with spinach and onion mixture. While the skillet is still hot, add a smidge of olive oil and the sage leaves.  Cook for about 2 minutes or so, turning about halfway.  You want the leaves to be dark green and crispy. Next, place roasted butternut squash on top of spinach.

In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs until well blended.  Add 2 cups of half & half and mix.  To the egg and cream mixture add the gruyere cheese and fried sage leaves, crumbled.   Season with pepper if desired.  I never add salt because the cheese contains a fair amount of sodium.

Place quiche in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until just set.  Let cool before slicing and serving.

A simple salad of mixed greens, pumpkin seeds and diced pear tossed with a white balsamic vinaigrette would be a wonderful accompaniment to this rich and savory quiche.

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Autumn, Blog, Healthy Eating, Recipes | Comments Off

Size Does Matter

Sep. 17th 2012

I found myself at a local market that boasts “the best salad bar on the Northshore” on my way to the hospital to visit a dear friend and her newborn child.  It had been five days since she was admitted.  No one should have to eat that much hospital food!  My mission was to bring something she would actually want to eat.

The salad bar offerings were healthy and fresh without a lot of the mayonnaise based salads commonly found.  The containers, however, were huge!   As I made my way around the salad bar filling the container, I realized that I had just constructed what could possibly be the world’s biggest salad.   Okay, maybe not the world’s biggest, but certainly too big for just one person.  I grabbed extra utensils and justified the super-sized salad with the thought that if the hubby was around, there would be plenty to share.

Here’s the lesson.  Size matters.  The larger the bowl, the plate or the cup – the more you will eat.

While I was attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, one of the popular books at that time was Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.  In Mindless Eating,  Wansink’s research illuminates the fact that if it is there, we will eat it.  In one experiment, moviegoers were given either a medium or very large bucket of popcorn.  Those given the very large bucket ate 50 percent more than those given the medium size bucket.  Both groups reported eating the same amount of popcorn.  In fact, in another experiment, moviegoers were given 14 day-old popcorn in either medium or large buckets.  The large bucket people ate 31 percent more stale popcorn than those with medium buckets.  Again, both groups reported eating the same amount.  Experiment after experiment, Dr Wansink found that the larger the plate, the more people ate.

So, how can we overcome the tendency to overeat when faced with today’s extra large plates and bowls?

  1. Eat at the table.  When we eat in front of the television or computer, our attention is focused on what we are watching, not on how much we are eating.
  2. Give Thanks.  Pause before diving in to your plate and give thanks to the farmers who grew your food; the animals that gave their lives for your nourishment; the truck drivers who transported the food; and the store employees who stocked the shelves.
  3. Take a breath.   A deep breath relaxes the nervous system and physiologically  prepares your digestive system to absorb more nutrients from the food you eat.
  4. Slow down.  If you eat fast, try keeping pace with the person who eats the slowest.  Remember, it takes 20 minutes for your brain to figure out that you’re no longer hungry.
  5. Practice being fully present.  Really look at your food – colors and textures.  Take in the aroma.  Notice how it feels on your tongue.  What is the initial taste sensation?  What is the lingering taste sensation?  This can be a fun way to teach mindfulness to young children.
  6. Reduce plate size.  Using a 10-inch plate instead of a 12-inch plate will reduce consumption by about 20%.  Most people eat about 90% of what is on their plate.
  7. Learn what 80% full feels like.  Hint:  satisfied not stuffed.
  8. If you think you want seconds, wait ten minutes before refilling your plate.
  9. Dim the lights, light a candle, put on soft music and enjoy the conversation and company at the table.
Eating wholesome, freshly prepared foods with people whose company you enjoy is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Savour it.




Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Conscious Eating, Healthy Eating | Comments Off

Summer’s Last Hurrah – Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Sep. 5th 2012

September brings a glimpse of the changing season with brilliant blue skies and cooler nights.  But the warm days keep me in a summer state of mind.  Light and tasty summer rolls are perfect for those days when you aren’t quite ready for heavier fall foods.

Got a football game on the calendar?  These are a great alternative to ho-hum cheese and crackers.  Julienne vegetables, fresh herbs, avocado to make it super yummy – all rolled up like a burrito in rice paper wrappers.  Drizzle a bit of peanut sauce and it’s a party!

Summer Rolls 

Rice paper wrappers

Assorted raw vegetables:  yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, red bell pepper, cucumber, bean sprouts, pea shoots, leaf lettuce and avocado -

Fresh herbs – I used mint, basil and cilantro.

Grilled chicken or shrimp (optional)

One of the things I love about making Summer Rolls is that you can use whatever raw vegetables and fresh herbs you have on hand.  Don’t like red bell pepper?  Don’t use it.  Not a fan of cilantro?  Skip it.

I like my Summer Rolls vegan, but if you want to add grilled shrimp or chicken go for it.

Take your rice paper wrapper and soak it in water for about 20 seconds. A dinner plate works well for this. Carefully lift the wrapper from the water and lay flat.  Arrange the julienne vegetables on the wrap so the tips of the vegetables are near the edge and down the center.  Sprinkle fresh herbs over vegetables.  Fold the bottom up and roll like a burrito.  It may take a little practice to figure out the right amount of filling.  The wrappers tear easily.  Too tight and they rip.  Too loose and everything falls out on the first bite.   A couple of practice rolls and you’ll have the technique mastered!

Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Pinch red pepper flakes

1/4 cup coconut milk or water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan whisking in coconut milk last.  Heat over medium setting until sauce thickens.  You may need to increase liquid if it gets too thick.  Serve warm or cold.

Posted by Deborah Buell | in Blog, Healthy Eating, Recipes | Comments Off

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