Butternut Squash Soup

If you’re into fall cooking and love squash varieties, then this soup is for you! There is just something about a cozy and flavorful bowl of creamy soup in the cooler months, isn’t there? It feels and tastes like a hug in a bowl to me. πŸ˜‚ Too much? Okay, let’s get straight to the recipe for y’all rolling your eyes at me.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (use per tbsp separately- instructions given when)
  • 1 medium-large butternut squash
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp sea saltΒ 
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp pepper (add to taste preference)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (add to taste preference)
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence, or add dried oregano, basil, thyme, etc.
  • Optional: fried sage to top, sriracha to top or blend in, parmesan to top, or better yet- parmesan crisps!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Take your butternut squash and cut off the top and bottom. Then cut in half lengthwise. (See below.) Scoop out the seeds and discard (or clean, dry and roast later to avoid food waste).
  3. Take your yellow onion and cut into 8ths. (See below). Place both the butternut squash, skin-side down, and the onion on the parchment paper. Use 1 Tbsp of olive oil and brush to coat both. Sprinkle the butternut squash with sea salt and cinnamon. Place in oven and set timer for 50 minutes.

4. In the meantime, you may air-fry the red pepper for 15-20 minutes at 400F or add this to your baking sheet with 20 minutes left in the oven. Don’t forget to coat in olive oil! πŸ˜‰

5. Once roasted, take a fork to pierce and ensure the squash is thoroughly cooked. Once cooked and cooled a bit, scoop out the butternut squash from its skin and add to a large blender or food processor. Add onion and red pepper then puree. Add the next 4 ingredients (garlic, veg broth, beans and nutritional yeast) and puree again until a smooth consistency is formed (about 3-5 minutes, depending on the tool you’re using).

6. If you have enough room in your blender or food processor, add the coconut cream. If not, transfer the puree to a large pot with 1 Tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat. Warm, add coconut cream and spices, then mix.

7. Once warm- hot, serve in bowls with toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Did you enjoy this bowl of warming, fall joy? If so, then please leave a review below and/or treat me to a matcha! 🍡 You can donate one here.

Thank you in advance for your following and support! For more delicious, healthy recipes, follow me @feed.me.happy and join my email list here!

All my love, πŸ’– Danielle

Tips for Traveling on Your Period πŸ©Έ

Yay for your upcoming trip! ✈️ You must be sooo excited πŸ˜†, and rightfully so- you deserve to get away. But then again, you just realized your trip coincides with your monthly visit. Wa- waaaaaaaa. πŸ‘ŽπŸΌπŸ˜© Don’t worry, lady. I got you with these 10 tips below! πŸ‘‡πŸΌ

Our period can entail low energy, cramps, and a desire to curl up on the couch and isolate ourselves from others. When we travel, our period can throw off our regular “flow” of things. Pun intended. I wrote this blog post to help you prepare for traveling while on your period. I hope my tips improve your symptoms, boost your energy levels, and make your trip the best experience it can possibly be- don’t stress boo!

I’m sure that I have before, but I can’t distinctly recall a time that I’ve traveled while on my period. Part of this could be due to having amenorrhea (no period), for 3+ years, but that’s besides the point. This recent 4 1/2 day trip to San Francisco started out on day 1 of my period- of which day 1 and 2 for me are usually accompanied by low energy & fatigue, 1 night of cramps that wake me up in the early morning, temperature changes, and the desire to marry my couch & Netflix it up. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous that air travel, walking 15,000+ steps a day, and drinking and eating different foods than normal would exacerbate these symptoms, but I went ahead and prepared to the best of my ability and chose to remain calm and carry on with a hopeful and positive outlook.

Let me share with you ladies a few things that worked for me and that you can try and prepare for before you travel on your period. ✈️ πŸš™ πŸš‚ 🩸

1. Pack the Essentials.

Whether you use pads, tampons, menstrual cups or discs, or period panties, pack what you need and then some. I typically use menstrual discs by Flex, and these last for 12 hours without having to change them. FYI: They also claim to reduce cramps for up to 70% of their users. With some of the outfits I wore, I wanted to ensure no leakage, so I also brought tampons as backup. Count what you average per day of your feminine product, then pack that number and some extra for peace of mind that you won’t run out. You can buy more wherever you are (usually), but it’s also nice to not have to worry about finding a nearby drug store. One less thing to worry about.

2. Prepare the defense.

In order to be prepared should symptoms arise, here are some other defense materials to pack:

  • Ibuprofen (this helps with headaches, cramps, and abdominal pain)
  • a heating pad
  • refillable water bottle to stay hydrated on the go
  • electrolyte tabs
  • Magnesium gummies (to ease cramps, tingling legs, headaches, etc)
  • Turmeric Curcumin capsules (to help fight inflammation)
  • Zinc tablets (do not use without RD/PCP approval)
  • Fish Oil capsules (do not use without RD/PCP approval)
  • tea (raspberry leaf, peppermint, green tea, etc.)

3. Hydrate and preload with electrolytes.

Start hydrating 5 days before you travel. Try to consume more water than you normally would (about half your body weight in lbs in oz). Bonus if you drink coconut water with a pinch of salt and/or electrolyte tabs.

4. Absorb magnesium transdermally.

Another way to preload your body with magnesium is by taking a few Epsom Salt baths leading up to your trip to absorb the magnesium transdermally (through your skin directly into your bloodstream). Magnesium oil can also be used on your feet and tummy before or during your trip to quell cramps, headaches, tingling of the extremities and other symptoms.

5. Be mindful of salt and sugar intake on your trip.

While I didn’t restrict on my trip (because vacay mode-duh!), I was mindful not to consume foods too rich in salt or sugar to avoid fueling my cramps. I did drink, but I opted for lower sugar drinks (usually made with gin).

6. Make sure you’re getting enough omega 3s, B vitamins, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc!

These specific nutrients can help reduce period symptoms significantly should you be receiving enough of each. Read my article on “5 Nutrients to Support Your Menstrual Phase” here, and let’s chat about needing to supplement if you don’t receive enough of one of these.

7. Engage in light movement.

There was one night (as expected) when I woke up at 5am EST with moderate cramping. I couldn’t go back to sleep, and I was lying there wide awake in our hotel bed. My husband got up, turned the lights on, and gave me the okay to do my yoga in bed, so that’s exactly what I did.

Even at home, I do this 35-minute Yoga With Adrienne for Women video, and my cramps are usually gone or incredibly diminished by the time I am through. Truly, she’s THAT good. Even if you’re doubled over in pain, this yoga sequence is so gentle and easy on your body, it feels more like stretching and relaxing on pillows than anything. I did this in bed on day 2, and that was the only time I felt cramps. ✌🏼

In addition, light or moderate movement, such as walking, restorative yoga, stretching, etc. can promote blood flow and ease cramps and symptoms. Do what feels good to you!

8. Try Legs on a Wall to relieve heavy legs and cramping.

Legs on a wall, detailed here, can improve circulation, relieve heavy legs, and improve blood flow to your uterus to minimize cramps, among many other things. It is also very calming and be done nearly everywhere. Give it a go!

9. Remain calm!

Usually, we go on vacation to escape the everyday responsibilities that stress us the F out! Try to embrace this time and let go of everything that is plaguing you. Stressing less and planning/booking things in advance can help make your trip way more enjoyable, not to mention, it can help keep your cortisol and blood sugar levels steady Freddy! This means your symptoms will be easier to manage as well.

10. Have your caffeine with anti-inflammatory support.

Did you know that Midol contains caffeine to help support a woman’s energy levels during her period? It sure does! Look it up. I still need my caffeine to feel good during this time with low energy, but I also don’t want to overdo it…

This wasn’t planned, but I stumbled upon a lovely cafe by our hotel that offered a turmeric honey latte. Days 1 and 2 are usually the worst symptom-wise for me, and excess caffeine can really worsen my cramps and bloating, so I try to be mindful of my intake while still getting my energy boost. When I saw the turmeric latte on the menu, my interest was piqued, so I ordered it with soy milk and a shot of espresso (the best of both worlds!). I was already taking two capsules of turmeric curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) to help with inflammation, but I truly believe this beverage also helped start my morning out right.

If you don’t have a shop nearby that offers a turmeric or golden milk latte, you can make your own at your air bnb or go to a coffee shop and ask for warm milk and add your own turmeric, honey, etc. in there. Here is a recipe, but you can also purchase golden milk latte powder for convenience while traveling. The additional shot of espresso helped my energy without being too much to exacerbate my cramps.

Those are my top 10 tips on how to make the most of traveling while on your period. What did you think? Was this helpful? If so, please leave a good review below and/or treat me to my favorite ➑️ a matcha latte here!

Thank you for your continuous support. For more women’s health info, follow me @feed.me.happy on Instagram.

πŸ’– Danielle

Pumpkin Sourdough Bagels

Tis the season to pumpkin-fy everything πŸŽƒ, including my favorite sourdough bagels! I used The Little Spoon Farm’s basic recipe as a guide and readjusted the recipe to balance the wet to dry ingredient ratio. I hope you enjoy these as a lovely morning breaky or as a vehicle for a sandwich!(my hubby’s favorite).

Pumpkin Sourdough Bagels

Time: 14 hours Yields: 8 medium sized bagels

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/8 cup filtered water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice (you can make your own with cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pumpkin spice to top

Directions

  1. Make dough the night before baking (12 hours before forming the bagels). So if you plan to form them at 7am, make the dough at 7pm. To do so, add 1/4 cup sourdough starter to a large bowl, preferably tupperware you can seal/cover.
  2. Warm the water for 20 seconds in the microwave and whisk with the starter.
  3. Whisk in the salt, 2 Tbsp maple syrup (save 1 Tbsp for boiling), pumpkin spice and puree.
  4. Lastly, add the flour 1 cup at a time and mix well. Add the dough to a Kitchen Aid mixer with a bread hook and put on setting 4 for 6 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, knead well by hand for 6 minutes. In order to tell if the dough is ready, work a small ball of dough in your hands. Pull the dough apart slowly to form a window. If you can begin to see through the window without it breaking easily, then the dough is ready. If not, keep working the dough. Note: the dough should NOT be sticking to your hands. If it is, add a touch of flour until this resolves. It should feel similar to wet play dough. If it’s too dry, add 1/8 cup water.
  5. Place dough ball in container and cover. Place somewhere warmer, like a proofing drawer, microwave, or oven. Let sit for 12 hours overnight.
  6. It’s baking time! Reference this video on how to shape your bagels. Do so as you desire, and let those bagels rise for another hour.
  7. With 20 minutes to go, bring a large pot to a boil and preheat the oven to 425F.. Right before you add the bagels to the water, add the last Tbsp of maple syrup.
  8. Add bagels to the rolling boiling water and let sit for 1 min 30 sec on each side. Remove with slotted spoon.
  9. Let dry on parchment paper.
  10. Crack 1 egg and remove/discard yolk. add to a small bowl. Add 1/2 tsp salt and whisk with a fork until consistent and non-clumpy. Brush bagels with egg white generously. Add sprinkle of pumpkin spice to top.
  11. Line large sheet pan with parchment paper. Add your bagels, and bake for 25 minutes.
  12. Remove bagels and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
  13. Enjoy with cream cheese or make a delicious sandwich with them. πŸ˜‹

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave me your thoughts in the comments below! Happy fall y’all! πŸŽƒ

Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Hello all! I have been absent on this blog for a bit because I’ve been workin up a storm at my 3 jobs- 1 of which is nutrition counseling at my own private practice that I founded- eeek! πŸ˜† It’s been very exciting to launch Danielle Cahalan Nutrition, LLC, but it has also been time consuming with behind-the-scenes tasks. I am also working as a per diem (as needed) clinical dietitian at a hospital, and I just put my two weeks notice in for my social media marketing director position of 2 years at All Access Dietetics. That job was wonderful as a student and intern and I am so grateful for the experience and what I learned along the way, but I no longer have the time and attention to dedicate to it.

With all of that said, I will have more time to focus on my private practice, and that includes more recipe development again- yahoo! If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know an e-cookbook is one of the long-term goals. I was unrealistic with my timeline to launch this this past spring, so the new goal is to launch a compilation of delicious and healthy recipes by next summer. 🀞🏼

I’m jumping back into the recipe making’ game with this summer winner- a sweet & light Lemon Blueberry Loaf. I highly recommend pairing it with vanilla ice cream or yogurt with a drizzle of honey on top. Please enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments! I would love to get your feedback. ❀️

Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched, almond flour (3 cups of all almond flour should work just fine too instead of the coconut flour addition)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 lemon squeezed (about 2-3 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 full egg, 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup honey

Other

  • Fresh blueberries (I’m sure you can use frozen too, but I haven’t tested this!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in a small-medium size bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well, until no visible dry clumps are present. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to soak up wet ingredients.
  5. Fold in 1 cup blueberries. Add the batter to the lined loaf pan. Lightly press blueberries on top to make a design or dot the top.
  6. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting. Add lemon zest if you’d like. πŸ‹
  8. Top with whatever you’d like, such as ice cream, yogurt or honey, and enjoy!

Oatmeal Berry Tartlets

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Happy Fri-yay, loves!

Instead of posting my regular Feed Me [Weekly] meal plan today, I have decided to pay tribute to the 3 hours of recipe testing I did earlier to perfect this recipe. I wanted to develop an easy, make-ahead breakfast that could also double as a snack throughout the week. These oatmeal berry tartlets are the perfect bursts of fuel and flavor to kick start or get you through the day.

Oats are known for their ratio of carbs : fiber : protein, averaging at 31 : 5 : 6 in grams. Carbs have gotten a bad rep in the past, but keep in mind that carbs are our body’s first choice of fuel. Carbohydrates not only give us energy, but they keep our mental sharpness in check and on top of things. Fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer while also promoting digestive health, and protein helps repair muscles and tissue. I use the Gluten-Free Rolled Oats from Trader Joe’s. It comes in a 32 oz. bag and lasts me weeks!

I did my best to keep sugar to a minimum with this recipe. The natural sugars from the bananas helped in this pursuit, and I urge you to use browned bananas, similar to when you would bake banana bread. As bananas brown, the sugars concentrate in the fruit itself, resulting in a sweeter taste.

Lastly, I mentioned that I would provide both vegan and non-vegan options; however, I found that I did not need to use eggs, so to my happy surprise, it turned out to be naturally vegan (minus the honey). The honey may be replaced in equal amounts with agave or maple syrup. Enjoy!!

Oatmeal Berry Tartlets

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes, plus 10 minutes to cool

Makes 12 cups

Tools:

  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 muffin tin
  • 12 muffin baking liners

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (for filling)
  • Berry of choice (to top)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon (I added another 1/2 Tbsp because I love cinnamon!)
  • Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp Honey (may substitute with agave or maple syrup)
  • 2 browned, ripe Bananas
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Almond Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tray with baking liners.
  2. Mash the bananas in the small mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the creamy almond butter, 3 Tbsp of honey, and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Mix until evenly dispersed.
  3. Create oat flour by grinding 1/2 cup of oats in a food processor until you achieve a medium-fine texture. Add this plus the remaining 1 cup of oats and the rest of the dry ingredients to a separate, bigger bowl. Mix.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold until just mixed.
  5. Add 2 tbsp to each muffin cup. Press middle down with a small spoon and mold the sides to form an empty tart crust shape. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Add 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt to the middle and top with your berry of choice! A drizzle of honey or nut butter puts it over the top! Enjoy!

 

Feed Me [Weekly]

eggcups-2.jpg
Photo and recipe provided by Monique from Ambitious Kitchen.Β 

Breakfast

Egg Muffins

Ingredients: Eggs, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, almond milk, salt and pepper.

Greek Yogurt+Mixed BerriesΒ 

Ingredients: Nonfat Greek Yogurt, Mixed Berries, Honey (optional)

Lunch

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and green onion.

Chicken Breast+Spinach Salad

Ingredients: Chicken, spinach, strawberries, lemon, and olive oil.

Dinner

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients: Chicken tenders, eggs, flour, Italian breadcrumbs, 2 lemons, butter and olive oil, and chicken stock (optional for stock).

Recipe:

  1. Pat chicken tenders dry. Make sure you get tenders and not breast because the coating will burn if cooked too long.
  2. Dredge tenders in a bowl of 1 cup flour+1 cup Italian breadcrumbs. Add spices such as dried basil, parsley, etc. as you’d like. Dip in a bowl of 3 whisked eggs (add more if needed).
  3. Add to medium high heat with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Cook one side until browned.
  4. Flip tenders and add garlic and lemon juice.
  5. When the 2nd side is browned, remove from heat and place tenders on a separate plate. Save the drippings to make a lemon sauce if desired.
  6. Reheat pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp butter, 1/2 cup flour, and 1 cup chicken stock. Continuously stir and add flour as needed to thicken. Add the juice of one lemon.
  7. Top tenders with sauce and enjoy!

Stuffed Salmon with Baked Sweet Potato

Grocery List:

  • Eggs $1.29
  • Spinach $2.29
  • Tomatoes $1.99
  • 2 containers mushrooms $2.29 each
  • Almond milk $1.79
  • Greek yogurt $3.99
  • Frozen Very Berry Cherry Blend $3.49
  • Quinoa $2.99
  • Avocado $1.29
  • Green onions $1.29
  • 1 pks. Chicken tenders $5.00
  • 3 Lemons $1.50
  • Strawberries $3.00
  • Stuffed Salmon $8.00 (Target)
  • 1 head of Broccoli $1.99
  • Italian breadcrumbs $2.99
  • Chicken stock (optional for lemon sauce)

Total= $50.46!

Enjoy this week’s protein packed meal plan! I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to give me feedback and/or suggestions.