Product Picks

I'm on a constant quest to try new foods, and products! Here are a couple of recent options that were a hit. 

 Cotton Candy Grapes from the Grapery

Cotton Candy Grapes from the Grapery

UNIQUE + DELICIOUS CANDY GRAPES

These Cotton Candy grapes from the Grapery are full of flavor and delicious. They are super sweet and definitely have a cotton candy-like taste. 

In my opinion they are worth putting on your shopping list and can even double as a dessert. 

The Grapery website explains more about the way that these grapes get their unique flavor, its really interesting and worth a read, click here! And don't wait, they are only available for a short period of time, according to their website now through September 20. 

 Pressed By KIND Bars

Pressed By KIND Bars

ON-THE-GO FRUIT

Sometimes schedules call for on-the-go options and Pressed by KIND bars are a perfect way to add in fruit on busy days or in lunch boxes! Plus the bars have a simple ingredient list and each has 2 servings of fruit per bar.

For example, the Cherry, Apple, Chia bar ingredient list is literally - cherry, apple, and chia. There is not any added sugar or sweeteners, which is great! Each bar has 130 calories and delivers 3 grams of fiber. 

They are also available in additional flavors including: Mango Apple Chia, Dark Chocolate Strawberry, Dark Chocolate Banana, Strawberry Apple Cherry Chia, and Pineapple Banana Kale Spinach. You can order Pressed by KIND bars direct from KIND Snacks website or look for them in grocery stores, Target, and more.  

 Green Giant Riced Veggies 

Green Giant Riced Veggies 

INNOVATIVE VEGGIES

One of the newest ways to enjoy veggies is 'riced' veggies. The texture of veggies when they are chopped fine is so interesting and especially cauliflower, takes on the texture of almost being rice-like. 

You can make your own riced veggies but these frozen bags are super convenient! Plus they come in great flavor combinations like pictured here, Cauliflower with Lemon and Garlic. 

Once cup of riced veggies has only 30 calories and is a perfect side dish! Or try plain riced cauliflower as a stand-in for rice with stir-fry or even made into a fried 'rice' dish. Look for riced veggies in the freezer section of the grocery store. Click here for more information on Riced Veggies from Green Giant. 

Note: These product picks are not an advertisement, just products that Creative Nutrition Solutions owner and registered dietitian, Molly Morgan loves! 

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Back to School Lunch Favorites

Packing lunches is back on the to do list of many people! Here are some tips and products to help keep school lunches interesting! 

Opt for Fun Lunch Boxes

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Lunch boxes like Yumbox (pictured here) are perfect, especially for little guys and girls. These would be best for ages K - 5 as far as portioning and the amount of food you can fit into the box. 

One of the best parts of this design is there is just one easy to use flap that they need to open to get into their meal! And the Yumbox is truly is leak proof; we have been using this style lunch box for two years without any leaking issue.

Check out the Yumbox site for different styles, colors, and designs, visit: https://www.yumboxlunch.com/

Wrap it Up

Wrap it Up!

Wraps for lunch are a great way to use up leftovers and have a lot of variation in a lunch. For example, grill extra chicken the night before, then cube that up for lunch the next day.

Opt for whole grain wraps and also load the wrap up with plenty of veggies for filling!

To make lunch preparation easier in the morning, start the week with a container of chopped wrap fillings like cucumbers, carrots, peppers, onion, and spinach. This will help lunch come together quickly in the morning. 

Pack a Parfait

Yogurt Parfait

A fruit and yogurt parfait can make a filling lunch or addition to a lunch! Fill reusable containers with layers of Greek or Icelandic yogurt (e.g. Chobani, Siggis), fruit, and granola (e.g. KIND Snacks Healthy Grain Clusters).  Even consider a drizzle of Barlean's Omega Swirl Oil for a boost of healthy fats. 

Try parfait combinations like:

Vanilla yogurt + blueberries + oats & honey granola
Vanilla yogurt + banana + peanut butter granola
Mango yogurt + diced mango + maple granola

On the Go Lunches

Fueling the Athlete

Creating a winning combination for lunch to fill and fuel up an athlete can be a challenge! Check out the Fuel2Win for On the Go lunch ideas! Click here to download the handout. 

Also check out delicious recipe ideas like PB Chip Energy Bites which could be a great addition to a lunch! 

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Dinner Idea: Mango Ginger Chicken

Are you in need of quick dinner ideas? Grab this delicious Mango Ginger Chicken recipe from my Olum's Cooking project. Click here for the recipe video and recipe. 

 Mango Ginger Chicken - Quick and Easy! 

Mango Ginger Chicken - Quick and Easy! 

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Quick Salad: Mexican Quinoa Salad

This salad recipe has a homemade jalapeno vinaigrette dressing that is absolutely delicious and not too spicy! Plus it is really beautiful and colorful. 

Grab this recipe and watch the recipe video from Molly's cooking project with Olums: https://youtu.be/oJPCQnuarBQ

 Mexican Quinoa Salad with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

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Game Day Snack: Red Hot Chicken Fingers

Looking for an appetizer that is perfect for game day snacking? Try this Red Hot Chicken Finger Recipe with Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip from Molly's cooking project with Olum's. 

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Meatless Monday Recipe: Falafel with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

Eating meatless at least one day a week can help the environment and better your health. If you have never tried falafel, it is worth a try! Falafel is a Mediterranean dish that is chickpea-based or sometimes made with fava beans. 

Serving up falafel with whole grain pita bread, veggies (e.g. lettuce, tomato, kalamata olives, cucumber), feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce! 

Making your own tzatziki sauce is easy and tastes even better if you can make it up ahead of time, at least the night before! It will allow the flavors to come together better, although if you are short on time you can make it with the falafel, the flavors will just be a little less intense. 

 Falfel (Photo Source: iStock)

Falfel (Photo Source: iStock)

Falafel with Homemade Tzatzki Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients - Falafal:
1 can (15-ounces) chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 medium shallots
2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (plus more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil (for cooking) 

Ingredients - Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded cucumber (pressed to remove water)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
 

Directions: 
1. In a food processor add: chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, tahini, cumin, salt, pepper, and coriander. Pulse to blend and scrape down the mixture as needed. The dough should be crumbly.

2. Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time (you may not need the full 1/4 cup), until the mixture is somewhat firm and you can shape into a ball. 

3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or more). 

4. After the falafel dough is chilled, scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of the mixture and gently form into patties (makes about 12).

5. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Working in batches, add 3 - 4 of the patties cook for about 2 - 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from skillet and then repeat for the remaining falafel patties. 

6. In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the tzatziki sauce ingredients. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate.. 

Serving suggestion: Serve falafel with pita bread, chopped veggies, kalamata olives, and homemade tzatzki sauce. 
 

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers and Homemade Pickled Red Onion

If you are looking for a homemade veggie burger recipe, this recipe is full of flavor! What is great about it too, the base of the burger is sweet potato, rice, beans, and pecans can then be spiced up to your preference. Instead of the cumin you could use onion powder and garlic powder, or even try an Indian-style veggies burger with curry powder!

 Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

The only trick to making the burgers is to press the mixture firmly together when forming them into patties, as the mixture will be a little sticky. Then during cooking, when you go to flip them half-way through, press them gently with a metal spatula before flipping and it helps them stay together. 

As a side note, the homemade pickled onions are a great addition as well and are quick and easy to make!  

 Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Home-made Pickled Red Onion

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Home-made Pickled Red Onion

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

Serves 12

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinshed
1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup scallions, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprkia
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
2. Add the black beans to a large mixing bowl and mash. Then add remaining ingredients and mix well. 
3. Use 1/3 cup of the burger mixture to hand form patties. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
4. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, flipping carefully half way through. 

Serving suggestion: Serve on mini rolls topped with sliced tomato and pickled red onions (As pictured above)! Other topping ideas: sliced avocado, lettuce, fried egg, cheese, Dijon mustard, etc. 

Nutrition Facts (per burger): 125 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat,  5 milligrams cholesterol, 180 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 4 grams protein 

Homemade Pickled Red Onions

Serves 12

Ingredients:
1  red onion, sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions:
1. In a small sauce pan combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. 
2. Place the sliced onion in a glass container and top with the boiling mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Let the onions marinade for at least 20 - 30 minutes. 

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Korean BBQ Cauliflower

During my travels for work in Ottawa, there is a favorite restaurant of mine (Pure Kitchen) that serves Korean BBQ Cauliflower that is so delicious! I have been trying to replicate that dish at home and I finally have gotten pretty close. If you try this recipe, I hope you love it as much as I do and would love to hear from you. 

The Korean BBQ Sauce recipe calls for Gochujang which is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment made from chili powder, glutinous rice, meju (fermented soybean) powder, yeotgireum (barley malt powder), and salt. You can typically find this in the Asian food aisle at the grocery store. If you can't find it, you could use red chili paste instead!

 Korean BBQ Cauliflower

Korean BBQ Cauliflower

Korean BBQ Cauliflower

Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 small heads of cauliflower, chopped into florets (about 8 cups)
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 medium scallions, sliced
1 cup Korean BBQ Sauce (See below)

Korean BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 cup lite soy sauce or gluten-free
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Gochujang or chili paste
1 tablespoon corn starch - blended with 2 tablespoons water

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
2. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking tray and spray lightly with olive oil. Roast the cauliflower florets for 20 - 25 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. 
3. In a small sauce pan, whisk together all of the Korean BBQ Sauce ingredients - except the corn starch. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes more. 
4. Stir 1 teaspoon of the corn starch and water mixture into the sauce and stir, allowing the sauce to thicken. Note: use more of the corn starch and water mixture if needed.  
5. Heat a skillet and add the roasted cauliflower and about 3/4 of the prepare Korean BBQ Sauce. Stir to coat the cauliflower generously with the sauce.
6. Transfer the cauliflower and drizzle with remaining sauce. Top with sliced scallions and serve. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 90 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 470 millgirams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar, 4 grams protein

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NEW: Fuel2Win

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Molly Morgan has launched a new project, Fuel2Win. The idea for Fuel 2 Win has been evolving as Molly Morgan, has worked with hundreds of pro, elite, college, and youth athletes. She has found that athletes, parents, and coaches are in need of practical evidence-based sports nutrition resources to guide them on what to eat to maximize performance. 


Checkout the Fuel2Win site for: downloadable handouts, tips, recipes, product suggestions, athlete interviews, answers to athletes questions, and more!

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Caramel Apple Cheese Ball

Grab this delicious Caramel Apple Cheese Ball recipe that Molly made for her client, Olum's. See the recipe video below and get a copy of the recipe: https://www.olums.com/cooking.html

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