Tag Archives: fiber

A Cool Summer Snack

Sorry I have been so absent, but now I am back!

It is finally here in Tennessee…summer. We waited patiently through a freezing winter, and now we are hotter than hot! I have been trying to keep cool with lots of water and some cooling snacks. Plain ole watermelon is on the top of my list, but sometimes you need something different. I won’t go into my fiber spiel again, but hummus is loaded with it. It is also a great source of protein. It has olive oil to help provide those healthy fats. Eating the dip with fresh vegetables also helps cool you down by upping your water intake. I use great northern beans in hummus because it helps make it a little more creamy if you are using the blender, but you can use garbanzo beans as well. 

You have also probably heard about using essential oils for health by now, but I love them. In this recipe you can use oils or herbs. I like using the oils because you get a little extra bonus from the oils. Lemon oil can help with mood and is cleansing for the body. Rosemary oil is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial.

Rosemary Lemon Hummus

1 can organic, no added salt great northern beans (drain ½ the juice)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP Tahini

Juice of half a lemon

2 drops doTERRA lemon essential oil

2 drops doTERRA rosemary essential oil (or 2 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary)

1 tsp salt

 Place all ingredients in the food processor or blender and process until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes at least prior to serving. Serve is sliced veggies or pita chips.

If you are interested in purchasing some oils, they are available at mydoterra.com/marywalkerhall. Be aware that not all essential oils are safe to ingest. Look for certified pure therapeutic grade (CPTG).

Recipe adapted from doTERRA living magazine, Spring 2014.


In Need of Something Warm

It is supposed to be spring! It is March, and it was in the 60’s on Saturday! But today, it is in the 20’s, and all the trees and the street are covered in ice. Welcome to Tennessee weather. Snow and ice makes me want two things… snow ice cream and soup. Unfortunately we didn’t get enough snow to make snow ice cream, but I did have ingredients for soup.  I wanted something hearty and easy, so I decided to make black bean soup.

Black beans are full of my favorite nutrient (fiber). There are 7 grams of fiber per half cup. It has both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps decrease gastric transit time (or decreases the amount of time it takes for food to move through your digestive tract). Basically it helps prevent constipation. Soluble fiber helps you feel full longer and helps with blood sugar control. Soluble fiber is also heart healthy because it helps to absorb some of the excess cholesterol moving through your digestive tract. Now do you see why fiber is my favorite?!?!

Black beans are also high in antioxidants. Canned tomatoes are also in this soup. When tomatoes are cooked or canned, increases the availability of the lycopene in the tomatoes. Lycopene is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are used in making vitamin A. Lycopene is touted for being protective against cancer, heart disease, and blindness from macular degeneration.

Enjoy your warm and filling (and healthy) soup!


Black Bean Soup

½ Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 – 4 oz can diced green chilies (or more if you like it hot)

2 – 15 oz cans black beans, do not drain

1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes, do not drain

2-3 cups chicken broth (more broth if you want a thinner soup)

2 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

note: Always try to use no added salt and organic when able.

Optional toppings: sour cream, Greek yogurt, lime wedges, diced onion, diced fresh jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, hot sauce

 In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until slightly soft. Add green chilies and garlic. Cook for 3 more minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Add back to pot. You can also use an immersion blender instead or adding soup to the blender.  Cook for 10 more minutes. Serve with desired toppings.  Can be easily frozen. 

New Year’s Day Traditions for Good Luck and Wealth

Growing up in my family, you better eat black-eyed peas and greens on New Years Day. Black-eyed peas are for good luck, and greens are for wealth. I especially love that we start the New Year with two healthy foods.

Black-eyed peas are a good source of soluble fiber. This type of fiber is beneficial for your heart.  Fiber also helps you stay full longer and helps with blood sugar control.  They are also an excellent source of thiamine (a B vitamin), which helps with neurofunction and digestion.

There are a wide variety of dark leafy green vegetables, but we usually eat turnip greens on New Years. Turnip greens are loaded with vitamin K. Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting and helps prevent bone fractures. Turnip greens are also high in bone helping calcium. They have antioxidants like vitamin C, A and beta-carotene. Greens, like black-eyed peas, are also high in fiber.

Have a happy, healthy and full year!

Sautéed Turnip Greens

A large bunch of cleaned and dried Turnip Greens (or collards, kale, beet greens or mustard greens)

1-2 cloves minced garlic

1 Tbsp oil

½ tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the oil and the garlic in the pan until the garlic is fragrant. Add red pepper flakes. Add the greens in handfuls allowing each bunch to wilt slightly. Cook until the greens are tender and some of the bitterness is cooked out. Salt and pepper to taste.

Post Thanksgiving Chili

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, but if you are anything like me, you are sick of eating leftovers! I was ready for something totally different. Since it has been so cold here, chili has been on my mind. This chili is loaded with vegetables. Sweet potatoes are another one of my favorite foods of the season, and this recipes has pumpkin too. With both of the bright orange vegetables, this chili is full of beta-carotene and antioxidants. The mushrooms help give a meaty texture with out adding as much beef. Mushrooms are one of the coolest vegetables in my opinion. You can increase their vitamin D just by setting them in the sun! Portabellas are my favorites from a flavor standpoint. Between all the veggies and the beans, this chili has a lot of fiber. Enjoy your chili!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

1 Tbsp canola oil (divided)

1 large yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 jalapeños, diced

1 lb. lean ground beef

8 ounces portabella mushrooms, finely chopped

2 tsp cumin

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp chili powder

1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with no added salt

2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

32 ounces of beef or mushroom broth

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree

½ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

toppings: cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, or pickled jalapenos

Over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic and peppers in 1 ½ tsp of oil. Cook until veggies are tender. Add to slow cooker.

Add the other 1 ½ tsp of oil to skillet. Add beef, and spices. Cook until meat is cooked through. Drain and add to slow cooker.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low covered until potatoes are tender.

Cook the last 30 minutes with lid off to allow chili to thicken. Top with optional toppings and enjoy!

Note: I assemble mine in the slow cooker the night before and put it in the fridge overnight. The next day I just put the pot in the slow cooker and turn it on before heading out to work.

Adapted from www.ourbestbites.com/2012/10/black-bean-and-sweet-potato-turkey-chili/

Favorite Cranberry Sauce

I have two favorite thanksgiving foods… cranberries and pumpkin. Well honestly I have many more favorite foods that we eat each year at Thanksgiving, but these are my favorites that I only eat around this time of year. I love cranberry sauce of all kinds from simple to complex. Every year I get asked to make one specific recipe for Thanksgiving Day.  It is loaded with fruit, cranberries and pecans. It is chunky, thick and delicious. The best part is that there are usually leftovers which means I have some extra to bake on top of Brie or to put on crackers with goat cheese or cream cheese. Last year I made a double patch so I had some leftover to put in the freezer. I could pull it out and have cranberry sauce deliciousness throughout the year.

Not only is it delicious, but this recipe is loaded with lots of good for you nutrients. I know I mentioned this before, but cranberries are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect against free radicals that can cause damage to our bodies. Cranberries and the other fruits in this sauce are also loaded with fiber that helps keep our guts happy.  Cranberries are also probably best known for being protective again urinary tract infections in research studies. So enjoy your cranberries and be happy, healthy and full this Thanksgiving!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

1 cup water

½ cup honey or sugar

1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries

1 orange, peeled and pureed

1 apple – peeled, cored and diced

1 pear – peeled, cored and diced

1 cup chopped dried mixed berries and cherries

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to simmer, and stir in cranberries, pureed orange, apple, pear, dried fruit, pecans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-sauce-extraordinaire/ .