Nature’s Pride Honey Butternut n’ Goat Cheese Bread Pudding


I’m happy to introduce my tasty Nature’s Pride bread recipe for Foodbuzz. I created this tasty dish last night…September has me yearning for hearty meals and I thought this butternut squash bread pudding would be a great way to get you in the mood for Fall…the leaves turning…the pumpkins and corn stalks appearing…

I opted for a slight variation on the basic bread pudding, as I decided to include some extra fiber and nutrients in the Rainbow Swiss Chard, ground flax seeds and ground almonds which add a nice subtle yet extraordinary flavor to this sweet butternut squash.  I also used almond milk, which has a nice n’ sweet taste yet is not to heavy to weigh down the pudding base.  And why not top it off with a bit of goat cheese?  You simply can’t go wrong with this recipe..it’s sure to please a crowd and tastes great every time…

Happy Fall!


Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 6 eggs
  • 2  ½ cups almond milk
  • 5 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. spicy mustard
  • 10 pieces Nature’s Pride Soft Honey Wheat bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
  • ¾ cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 lb. Rainbow Swiss Chard, chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Gently toss squash with 2 Tbsp. olive oil; set on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, chili powder, ground flax seeds and ground almonds; bake until squash is tender approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Add almond milk, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and a sprinkle of sea salt; whisk to blend. Add Nature’s Pride Soft Honey Wheat bread pieces; gently fold into egg mixture. Set aside for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, approximately about 5 minutes. Add Rainbow Swiss Chard; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until Swiss Chard is wilted, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Prepare a baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Transfer half of bread from egg mixture to the prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of Swiss Chard over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and Swiss Chard; sprinkle with half of the goat cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, Swiss Chard, squash, and goat cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.
  • Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, approximately 25 more minutes.
  • Preheat broiler; broil pudding for 2 minutes.  Remove from broiler and sprinkle with fresh basil.  Cool and serve.
  • Enjoy!
Advertisements

The Great Gluten Free Recipe Contest

I was recently contacted by Amy’s Organic and Lundberg Farms, who are hosting a unique recipe contest.  Both Amy’s and Lundberg are dedicated to serving the gluten free community and invited me to share how I use their tasty products.  Here is my delicious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free and Vegetarian Recipe.

I hope you’re hungry, because it’s delish!


Sweet Potato, Rainbow Chard and White Bean Pasta

Serves 4

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Lundberg Brown Rice Penne Pasta
  • Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • ½ sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 bunches rainbow Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated; cut crosswise into 1 inch slices
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. of chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

    1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water.
    2. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce in a small pot over medium-low heat; stir frequently.
    3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks and onion; cook until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sage; stir for 3 minutes.
    4. Add Swiss chard, beans and sweet potato; cook covered until potatoes are tender, approximately 10 minutes.
    5. Add the reserved cooking water; simmer and stir until potatoes are tender, approximately 5 minutes.
    6. Add cooked pasta, balsamic vinegar, chili powder and nutmeg.  Gently toss to combine.  Sprinkle with fresh basil, crushed red pepper, golden raisins, sea salt and black pepper.
    7. Divide the cooked pasta among individual bowls.  Top with Swiss chard mixture and Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce.
    8. Serve warm or cold.
    9. Enjoy!

Be Sure To Check Out My Eggland’s Best eggs recipe on the Eggland’s Best website!

Lucious Leafy Greens

greens

Many of my clients considered ‘leafy green veggies’ unappetizing before they came to me for counseling.  The first thing that came to their minds when I mentioned ‘leafy green veggies’ was “Well, I eat Iceberg Lettuce”! O boy, I thought…we’ve got some work to do and this is going to be fun.  This is what I love about being a Nutritionist.  I truly love making a difference in the way my clients eat and make them realize that this pale lettuce, once so ubiquitous in restaurant salads, does not have the power-packed goodness of other delicious greens.

Before my clients came to me for counseling, they either forgot about these nutrient-rich, flavorful foods or got scared off by the idea of preparing them.

Learning to cook and eat greens is essential for creating lasting health.  It is a simple, easy way to boost your daily diet.  The next time you are at the farmers market or in your local food store, be sure to add some of the following greens to your shopping list: Arugula, Bok Choy, Broccoli Rabe, Cabbage, Collards, Chicory, Dandelion, Escarole, Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Watercress and many other varieties of lettuce.

Leafy green veggies help strengthen our respiratory and circulatory systems.  They are high in magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.

Leafy green veggies are packed with folic acid, chlorophyll, fiber and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.  Moreover, they help with blood purification, cancer prevention, improving circulation, strengthening your immune system and improving gall bladder, kidney and live function.  They are also a great ally in the Fall when cold season begins because greens can help clear congestion and reduce mucus.

Surprisingly, greens are not as complicated as they may appear  Try a variety of cooking methods such as boiling, sauteing in olive oil, steaming, blanching, roasting or chopping up for salads and snacks.  Chopping raw veggies for salads and snacks takes only a few minutes to rinse and prepare.  Cooking greens takes a couple of minutes of prep time and about two minutes of cooking time.  You can experiment with cooking your greens with seeds, nuts, beans, butter, tofu, seital, tempeh, chicken, turkey, fish, ground meat, eggs, etc.  Green veggies are easy to add to homemade or prepared soups or stews right before serving.

Try to get into the habit of adding these green veggies to your diet as often as possible.  While veggies are the scarcest food in the American diet, leafy green veggies area is lacking most of all.

Give some of these green leafy veggies a try and see how you feel!  Let me know what you think about the different flavors and textures of these delicious greens…I’m interested to hear!

Uproot from the Green Basics

While everyday veggies such as broccoli and spinach are great for your health, be adventurous and try these other dark greens that pack a flavorful and nutrient-dense punch.

  • Kale- This leafy green is easy to grow and thrives in cold temps.  The beautiful leaves provide an earthy flavor and excellent nutritional value.  I love making ‘kale wraps’ where I wrap kale leaves around my fish and chicken for a fun finger food!
  • Collard Greens- A staple of traditional Southern cooking, this nutritional powerhouse provides vitamins A, C, calcium, iron and magnesium.  Collard greens are delicious to bake with and I love adding collards to my baked fish recipes.
  • Bok Choy- This veggie has a light, sweet flavor and a crisp texture.  Toss some bok choy into stir-fries, Asian dishes or soups.
  • Escarole- This curly Italian green has a bitter taste.  As you remove the leaves, you will experience different degrees of flavor! As the leaves are peeled back, they continue to lighten in shade and bitterness.

Super Foods on a Budget

eb71da0d96d86566

In this day n’ age…the economy isn’t looking too shabby.  We all have to learn to cut back on certain things, however, we should not be cutting back on our nutritious foods as we must continue to feed our bodies with healthy super foods everyday.  Here are a few of my favorite super foods that will keep you on (or hopefully under) your budget!

Swiss Chard

  • An excellent source of beta carotene (an antioxidant and pre-cursor for vitamin A), vitamin C, and a good source of potassium and magnesium.  Research has shown that vitamin C and beta carotene may prevent the oxidation of LDL “Bad” cholesterol and therefore may decrease risk of heart disease.  Moreover, research has also shown that magnesium and potassium may lower blood pressure levels.  Swiss Chard is reasonably priced- a bit more expensive then some of your other greens, but still about $2/bunch.

0a59afcfbe18d43e

Kale

  • This dark, leafy green is loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, and calcium.  Not to mention a good source of potassium and magnesium.   Like most greens it is usually fairly cheep at $1.50/ bunch.

13c34b56f8c32ebc

Spinach

  • One of the best green leafies out there- it’s an excellent source of folate, antioxidant vitamins A (formed from beta-carotene) and C, and a good source of potassium and magnesium.  Studies show that folate can help prevent heart disease by lowering levels of the amino acid homocysteine.  Plus, you can usually find it year round for less than a $1/bunch.

250px-broccoli_and_cross_section_edit

Broccoli

  • An excellent source of folate and vitamin C, a good source of fiber, calcium, Vitamin A, potassium and vitamin B6.   If that isn’t enough broccoli is also packed with phytonutrients, compounds that may help prevent heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.  Plus, it’s low in cost and calories.

Tomatoes

  • An excellent source of vitamins  A and C, a good source of potassium and contain the antioxidant lycopene.  Depending on the type of tomato, they can be pricey, however, review your choices in the food store and purchase the cheapest, best quality tomatoes.

daf5cea0cae82762

Parsnips

  • A good source of vitamin C, fiber and folate.  Fiber helps promote heart health by reducing levels of LDL “Bad” cholesterol and that vitamin C decreases risk for heart disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL “Bad” cholesterol.  These fun veggies are close in price to carrots, perhaps a few cents more, but still fairly cheep.

68c1b174189d6794

Avocados

  • Rich in monounsaturated “GOOD” fats and contain potassium and folate.  Research shows that monounsaturated fats can lower LDL “Bad” cholesterol.   Avocados add the perfect touch to any meal and for the inexpensive price, you can’t beat it!

e058c6874645fa901

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

  • Omega 3’s are known to lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may help with depression, memory loss and Alzheimer’s.  Most prevalent in fatty, cold water fish such as WILD (not farmed) salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring.  Also found in fortified eggs, flax seeds and walnuts.  All of these super foods are high in monounsaturated fats, which is a huge benefit since this can lower cholesterol.  Fresh fish can be quite pricey, however, for the nutritional punch these Omega 3’s provide–it’s worth the extra cash–treat yourself!

Bananas

  • Loaded with Potassium and fiber, these yellow treats are not just a monkey’s favorite.  Not to mention they are about 20 cents a piece–a dollar can get you a banana for every day of the workweek!

be790eeb8381b9bc

Steel Cut Oats

  • High in fiber and complex carbohydrates, oats have been known to lower cholesterol-and boy are they cheap! A dollar can buy you more than a week’s worth of warm, satisfying steel cut oats!

Sardines

  • These relatively cheap little fish come with big benefits such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.  And, because they are low on the food chain, they do not accumulate mercury.

68adf4e6e5e273b0

Whole Grain Pasta

  • A delicious complex carbohydrate that is high in protein and B vitamins-not to mention it’s one of the cheapest staples you can buy!

6aa7e947a1053bd6

Tofu

  • This inexpensive protein source is not just for vegetarians and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.  It’s high in B vitamins and Iron, but low in fat and sodium, making it a healthful addition to many dishes.

bb08c5ed1a866264

Beets

  • These purple guys are sweet to the palate while their rich flavor and color make them nutritious for our bodies; they are powerhouses of folate, iron, and antioxidants.  Look for fresh beets in your food store, most beets are reasonably priced and found near the root veggies.

Nuts

  • Packed with good-for-you fats, both unsaturated and monounsaturated, these are a good source of essential fatty acids, protein, and vitamin E.  Because they are so nutrient-dense, you only need a handful or two to reap the nutritional benefits.  Although macadamias and pecans can be costly, nuts such as walnuts, peanuts and almonds are low in cost.

8dc74b6d5bfb50b21

Wild Rice

  • This gluten-free complex carbohydrate is a whole lot better for you than “white” rice and it’s low in fat, and high in protein and fiber.  This rice is loaded with B vitamins and potassium, not to mention the delicious, nutty, robust flavor.

Garbanzo Beans

  • No only are they a great source of protein and fiber, but they are high in iron, folate, manganese and fiber, and may help reduce cholesterol levels.  If you don’t like Garbanzo beans–try another-lentils, lima, black-the varieties are endless.  Additionally, with beans, you’re getting your money’s worth because they are much cheaper to purchase than animal proteins.

f624463242a3620c1

Blueberries

  • Packed with phytoflavinoids and antioxidants, these berries are also high in vitamin C and potassium, which are anti-inflammatory and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.  The darker the berry, the more antioxidants they have.  And remember, frozen fruits are just as good as fresh.  Fresh berries get a bad rep for being pricey, however, their frozen friends are just as delish and good for you, not to mention cheaper! Head to the freezer isle if the fresh berries are too pricey.

What do you consider your Super Foods? How do their prices fair against the ones I have listed above?  Have you had to cut back at the food store due to our current economic times?