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14 Jan

This sweet and spicy Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili is a gameday winner and all-around crowd pleaser!

You heard that right, Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili

Note this recipe has been updated to include Instant Pot directions. 

There are about as many opinions about how chili is supposed to be made as there are hairs on your head. Some like it hot, some not. Some like beans, some prefer to leave them out. I, personally, like my chili really thick and meaty. I like the flavors to be complex with a little heat but not so much that I can’t feel my tongue. I also like it to be convenient and I love having leftovers for the next day – which if there is anything we can all agree upon when it comes to chili it’s probably those last two things – convenience and leftovers.

This Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili is all that and more. What makes it particularly amazing is that you get to hide extra vegetables in it. In addition to the usual tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic there’s pumpkin – a great source of vitamin A, fiber and some healthy carbohydrates. Anytime I can hide extra vegetables in a dish I’m #winning at this mom thing. 

My kids beg for this stuff because it’s only slightly spicy and the pumpkin makes it naturally sweet. It also packs well in a preheated thermos to send in their lunch boxes.

A white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili that's topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sliced green onions.A white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili that's topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sliced green onions.

A Whole30 lifesaver

In the past, whenever I did a Whole30 I would make a double batch of this chili because I tended to get really hungry (like man-sized appetite hungry) in the first week or two and I found that nothing beats that hunger like a big bowl of meaty chili made with grass-fed ground beef and topped with creamy avocado. And it freezes beautifully so I would portion it out into pint-sized mason jars and freeze for future meals when I needed something Whole30-friendly and everyone else wanted homemade pizza.

A white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili that's topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sliced green onions and a spoon in the bowl ready to eat.A white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili that's topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sliced green onions and a spoon in the bowl ready to eat.

Weekday, gameday, whatever day

Three nearly indisputable things about slow-cookers and chili:

  1. Slow-cooker meals are perfect for weekdays because there are few things better than walking in the door after a long day at work to a hot meal waiting. Just add a salad and you’re set!
  2. Weekends are great for slow-cooking when you want to get out and play and have a meal to come home to. I’m famous for getting up super early on powder days to get something in the slow-cooker so we can ski all day without having to worry about making dinner. I’ll do whatever it takes to get in one more run.
  3. Chili and football are pretty much synonymous from what I hear (I am not a football fan whatsoever. Not even a little.) But I love a good tailgating party and chilly fall days and holding a bowl of warm and spicy chili up to my half-frozen face and taking a deep breath – inhaling the sweet smell of cinnamon, the spicy chili powder and the fresh lime and cilantro this Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili has to offer.

Slow-cooker Pumpkin Chili is one of those foods that makes you want to just crawl into the bowl. Make you all warm and cozy on a blustery day!

Close up/side angle view of a white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili that's topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sliced green onions. There is a spoon in the bowl so it's obviously time to eat!Close up/side angle view of a white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili that's topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sliced green onions. There is a spoon in the bowl so it's obviously time to eat!

Bonus: It’s Paleo, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Whole30-friendly and even better as leftovers so consider making a double batch and freezing some for a later meal.

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili

This hearty beanless chili is a crowd-pleaser and it just happens to also be Whole30-friendly! The pumpkin adds a touch of sweetness, fiber, and vitamin A and it’s a great way to sneak more veggies into your diet.

  • Author: The Real Food Dietitians
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Paleo, Dairy-Free

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking fat of choice (avocado oil, olive oil or ghee)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds grass-fed ground beef or bison
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 14-oz. can pumpkin puree
  • ½1 cup chicken broth or water* (homemade or store-bought) 
  • 2 ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder (plus more to taste)
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Optional: ¼ ½ tsp of cayenne (for heat)

Suggested Toppings: Diced avocado, fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, lime wedges, hot sauce, sour cream and/or shredded cheese (omit dairy for Whole30)

Instructions

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil and saute the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onions start to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef. Use a spatula or large spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook until meat is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Transfer meat mixture to the slow cooker.
  5. Add remaining ingredients (diced tomatoes through black pepper) and stir. See note below about using more broth with this option. 
  6. Set heat to LOW and cook for 6-7 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Serve with desired toppings.

Instant Pot Directions: 

  1. Select ‘Saute’ on the Instant Pot. Add the oil and saute the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onions start to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef. Use a spatula or large spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook until meat is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (diced tomatoes through black pepper) and stir.
  5. Stir, lock lid into place and set vent valve to ‘Sealing’ position.
  6. Select ‘Manual’ or ‘High Pressure’ setting and cook for 12 minutes. Allow for 10-15 minutes of natural pressure release before flipping the steam release valve to release the remaining steam.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve with additional toppings, as desired.

Notes

*Increase broth to 1 – 1½ cups if using the Instant Pot. If you like your chili thick, we suggest starting with 1 cup and adding more if you get an ‘overheat’ or ‘burn’ error on your Instant Pot during cooking. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6th recipe
  • Calories: 328
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 511mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 26g

How do you like your chili? Spicy? With beans? From a can? (Kidding!) Tell us about in the comments below and get the conversation started

Pin now and make it later!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


Credit: Source link

19 Dec

Need a last-minute appetizer that’s more than just cheese and crackers? Try these easy one-skillet Sweet and Sour Meatballs!

‘Tis the season for parties, parties, and more parties.

But it’s also the season for easy meals, so these Sweet and Sour Meatballs do double-duty as both a weeknight dinner or a hearty party appetizer. They can easily be made up to three days in advance and reheated prior to serving. Try popping them into a slow cooker set on low to reheat before switching them to the ‘keep warm’ setting if you’re serving them at a party, or reheat them in a covered skillet on the stovetop for dinner.

 

Overhead view of ingredients for the sauce to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Overhead view of ingredients for the sauce to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links that will not change your price but will share some commission.

Just 10 simple ingredients

Using pre-made ketchup keeps the ingredient list short and makes making the sauce super simple. If you want to keep these Whole30-friendly, be sure to use unsweetened ketchup (such as Primal Kitchen or Tessemae’s).

A word about substitutions

Though these Sweet and Sour Meatballs are incredibly easy, I know there are times when you need a substitution – whether that’s for an allergy or you can’t source an ingredient – so here’s my short-list of substitutions that I’ve successfully used when making these:

  •  Oat flour or finely ground oats can be substituted for the almond flour. Both are great binders and keep the meatballs tender in the absence of an egg or breadcrumbs.
  • If you can’t find crushed pineapple, you can substitute canned pineapple chunks or rings that have been pulsed in a blender or food processor until they’re the consistency of crushed pineapple. If taking this route, you’ll need to blend enough pineapple to equal 2/3 cup when crushed (with its juices).
  • Apple cider vinegar can be used in place of the rice vinegar in the sauce if you don’t have, or can’t source rice vinegar.
  • Corn starch may be used in place of the arrowroot starch if desired (if keeping them Whole30-friendly isn’t a concern).

These easy one-skillet Sweet and Sour Meatballs are great for weeknight dinners, but they’re also the perfect party appetizer. #Whole30 #realfood Click To Tweet

A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.

Serving Suggestions

If you’re making these Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a quick weeknight dinner (or weekend meal prep) here are some suggestions for serving:

  • Steamed rice
  • Cauliflower rice (make your own from scratch or grab a bag from the produce section or freezer aisle)
  • Rice noodles
  • Shirataki noodles – also called ‘wonder’ or ‘miracle’ noodles (these are a great low-carb option, but note they are a Whole30 ‘grey area’ food)
  • Sautéed shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • Mashed cauliflower or sweet potato (sounds weird, I know, but it’s actually delicious!)
  • Steamed, roasted or stir-fried veggies of choice – green beans, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and sugar snap or snow peas are all great, but so is a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies when you need a serious shortcut!

If serving these Sweet and Sour Meatballs as a party appetizer, I recommend you double the batch, sprinkle them with toasted sesame seeds (I like a mixture of black and white sesame seeds) and thinly sliced green onions just before serving – and be prepared to be asked for the recipe. 😉

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 15 mins.
  • Cook Time: 20 mins.
  • Total Time: 35 mins.
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Egg-Free
A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • lb. ground pork (may substitute ground turkey or chicken)
  • ¼ cup almond flour (may sub oat flour or bread crumbs if not Whole30)
  • 1¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, plus more for garnish

For the Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup ketchup*
  • 8 oz. crushed pineapple, in juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (may substitute apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dried ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. arrowroot starch**

Instructions

To make the meatballs:

  1. Combine ground pork, almond flour, garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, and sliced green onions in a bowl. Mix to combine and divide meat mixture into 18-20 meatballs (about 1 Tbsp. each). 
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat (medium if using cast-iron). When the pan is hot, add meatballs in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned all over. 
  3. While meatballs are cooking, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well to dissolve starch. 
  4. When meatballs are browned on all sides, add sauce and stir to coat each meatball. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes or until sauce is thickened and meatballs are cooked through. Sprinkle with additional green onions and serve. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 5 oz (Meatballs + Sauce)
  • Calories: 395
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Sodium: 362mg
  • Fat: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 21g

What’s your favorite ‘hearty’ party appetizer? Share in the comments below.

Pin it now & make it later!

 


All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


Credit: Source link

12 Dec

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner… Now you can have waffles whenever you’d like with these freezer-friendly, Crispy Grain-Free Waffles.

This post was created in partnership with our friends at King Arthur Flour. 

Leggo that Eggo and make yourself these Crispy Grain-Free Waffles instead.

It’s true that frozen toaster waffles are convenient and they get the job done when you want a quick breakfast or snack, but let’s be honest, they’re not the BEST waffles. Their texture, especially the gluten-free ones, can range from gummy to cardboard-like. And their flavor, well, let’s just say they’re convenient and leave it at that, shall we?

It’s also true that I’m a waffle snob. Growing up, my dad refused to buy frozen waffles, citing their lackluster taste and texture and the high price tag for what you get. Wait, what? I guess the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. 

In all seriousness though, he’s to blame for my waffle snobbery. While all of my friends enjoyed frozen toaster waffles in front of the television on Saturday mornings, my dad had me in the kitchen making sourdough waffles and overnight yeasted waffles with him. As steam billowed from the sides of the waffle iron, he’d lean over it and say “Free facials!” while inhaling deeply and wrinkling his nose in a way that always made me laugh. He loved making waffles and I loved our time in the kitchen, so it’s no surprise that I have a very special connection to waffles – specifically these Crispy Grain-Free Waffles. 

Why these waffles? Because even though they’re free of gluten, grains, dairy, and eggs, they’re every bit as good as the ones I grew up with. After years of ‘healthy waffle fails,’ I finally perfected the recipe and now I’m in the kitchen with my own kids on the weekend offering up free facials. 


These waffles are a grain-free game-changer. 

Seriously, you just have to make these waffles. And once you do, I guarantee you’ll never buy another waffle-d cardboard disk in a cardboard box again. Because these are what waffles are supposed to taste like.

Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. The smell of vanilla and almond, while they’re baking, is utterly intoxicating. A smell that’s un-mistakenly ‘waffle’.

Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, these vegan Crispy Grain-Free Waffles are everything (and more!) #sponsored @kingarthurflour Click To Tweet

Thanks to the super-fine texture of King Arthur Grain-Free Almond FlourKing Arthur Grain-Free Almond Flour, these are the grain-free waffles you’ve been looking for. No more sad, soggy coconut flour concoctions trying to pass as a real waffle. 

Their fine-textured, certified gluten-free ground almond flour seamlessly blends into sweet and savory baked goods. It’s full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats from blanched almonds and has a pleasant almond flavor that makes these Crispy Grain-Free Waffles absolutely irresistible. 

Cook once, eat (at least) twice!

While this recipe already makes a pretty big batch of waffles (about eight) don’t be afraid to double the recipe to make extras. Having a stash on hand in the freezer means you can say goodbye to those waffles in a box and hello to homemade waffles whenever the mood hits – breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Once completely cooled, they can be frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet before being transferred to a freezer-safe bag or container for storage. 

To reheat them, simply pop them back into the preheated waffle iron, toaster, or toaster oven. You can use a microwave but you won’t get that nice crispy exterior that makes these Crispy Grain-Free Waffles so amazing. 

 

Ready, Set, Serve

Here’s the best part. The part where you get to choose your own topping adventure. Pure maple syrup is always a winner, but might I also suggest:

  • Fresh berries or peaches in the summer
  • Thinly sliced pears or sautéed apples in the fall and winter
  • Apple or pumpkin butter and toasted pecans
  • Sliced bananas, toasted walnuts, and chocolate chips any time of year
  • Peanut butter and jelly (maybe go all out and make it a waffle PB&J)
  • Whipped cream and sprinkles for a special birthday treat
  • Pure maple syrup when you just want to keep it simple

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Crispy Grain-Free Waffles

These are the grain-free waffles you’ve been waiting for. Light, crispy and perfectly golden brown. Top with pure maple syrup and fresh fruit for the most heavenly breakfast you can imagine.

  • Author: The Real Food Dietitians
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Vegan, Grain-Free

Ingredients

  • 2 cups King Arthur Flour Almond FlourKing Arthur Flour Almond Flour (172 grams)
  • 1 cup tapioca starch (113 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. flax meal* + 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flax meal and water to make the ‘flax eggs’. Set aside for 5 minutes while the mixture thickens. Skip this step if you’re using regular eggs. 
  2. In a measuring cup, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and allow this rest until thickened and gelled (about 15 minutes).
  3. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
  4. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca starch, and baking powder. Whisk or stir to combine well.
  5. To the dry ingredients, add the almond milk and apple cider vinegar mixture, flax eggs (or eggs, if using), maple syrup, vanilla, and melted coconut oil. Whisk just until batter is smooth. 
  6. Using a ¼ cup scoop (or size recommended by waffle iron manufacturer), pour batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
  7. Serve with pure maple syrup, if desired.

Notes

*May also be labeled tapioca flour

**May substitute 2 large eggs for the flax meal + water, for a non-vegan version if desired

Stored cooled waffles in a covered container or in a sealed zip-top bag on the counter for up to 2 days. May also be frozen for longer storage. Reheat frozen waffles in a waffle iron set to low heat.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 large waffle
  • Calories: 269
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 404mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 5g

What’s your favorite waffle toppings? Let it all hang out and share your most loved toppings in the comments below.

Pin it now & make ’em later!


This post was made possible by our friends at King Arthur FlourKing Arthur Flour. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


Credit: Source link