4th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #1 – Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Chili


I’ve moved a lot in my adult life. For never having moved from my childhood home until college, I have had quite the shuffle ever since. In fact, my parents still live in my childhood home and will likely remain there for the next many years (don’t prove me wrong, ma!). Selfishly, I love going to their home, our home, and it actually feels like home to me still.

Moving for college is not only inconvenient because your dorm, sorority, house, or apartment will likely change from year-to-year, but you also have to move everything out in May when summer starts and back in in August when classes resume. Undergrad, therefore, totaled 8 moves in and out during the 4 years. My personal favorite? The 5th story of a 3-story apartment (with spiral staircases). Guess who was on the third level?


Grad school was a little better as I only lived 2 places, yet it was over a very brief 15 month stretch of time. From there, I packed up a few huge suitcases and lived in Italy for a summer with Mr. P while he was on an ex-pat assignment for 2 years. Talk about a long distance relationship.

From there, it was then off to Tulsa, Oklahoma to move into my first home with Mr. Prevention. It was a great first house with a killer kitchen for me and a 3 car garage for him. But, we only stayed a year and a few months. I hated leaving Tulsa. As a Chicago girl, there was something about Tulsa that was so refreshing. I loved the people…my job…and my patients. I miss them to this day and sadly, I’ve never been back. Even more sadly, I haven’t seen anyone other than a few of my old coworkers at a diabetes conference in Indianapolis (and that was just a complete coincidence!).

Next was Ohio and while I wasn’t thoroughly impressed with Ohio as a location, I miss people from Ohio (like Gina, Christin, and Donna). And now, we’re in southwest Michigan…all within the course of 10 years. Pretty crazy.


Every time I’ve moved, I’ve had great intentions of seeing the people I leave behind. I hate goodbyes, so I always convince myself that it’s never a goodbye, it’s always a “see you later!”.

When I left Ohio and Donna, though, I knew it was a “See you later!”, not a goodbye. Donna and I had just formed a relationship that couldn’t be broken and no distance would keep us from keeping close. In the past year since I moved away, Donna and I have seen one another 4 times. She’s here this weekend, in fact. With her hubby.

Last night we went to the beach, talked until too late, drank some great beer, and reheated this Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Chili for dinner as we played round after round of Chronology and Cards Against Humaity. They’re so easy to entertain and even easier to feed…every time Donna is here, all she wants is leftovers. But this chili got a thumbs up from all – even the guys! The 4th annual chili contest is off to a great start!


Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7
Vegan and gluten-free with some heat. This fiber-packed chili is full of traditional flavors and not-so-traditional ingredients, like quinoa. However, the quinoa in this works great...and personally, I love the zucchini addition, too!
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin; cook and stir 1 minute to release the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, bell peppers, zucchini, jalapeno pepper, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, stir in the reserved quinoa and corn; heat through, about 5 minutes. Remove chili from heat and stir in the cilantro to serve.
Recipe from Alma Bye
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 322 Fat: 5.3 Carbohydrates: 56.7 Sugar: 9.1 Sodium: 835 Fiber: 13.0 Protein: 12.3 Cholesterol: 0

 I know we’re exercising somehow today (dunes? bike? walk? run?), especially since I skipped my first Mon/Fri 6am workout for the first time today ;) The rest of the day is TBD, but I’m just glad I’m off work and with my Donna :)

Be well,


Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta


 I think it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Last week Wednesday, Mr. Prevention left for Italy and Germany for work. He was gone over the weekend, so if you recall, Lily and I went to Chicago and spoiled some of our favorite Chicagoan friends and family with Maui Chili. Mr. P didn’t return from his work trip until this week Wednesday. And honestly, I missed him a lot! I think I take him for granted just a bit when he’s laying around the house not doing dishes and begging for pizza for dinner. Who’da thunk it?


This week for me has been insane with work and stuff. Wednesday night, the night Mr. P returned home, I attended the Southwest Michigan District Dietetics Association meeting in Kalamazoo landing me home about 9pm. Seeing as he was jet-lagged he was already in bed. Last night, I taught a diabetes education class and returned home at around 9pm again. I shoveled some corn & black bean salsa in while he all but begged to cuddle. I guess he missed me, too ;)

He shared during pillow talk that “I’ve changed him”. When he expanded on this statement he said, “When I was flying back from Europe, the flight attendant asked me if I wanted chicken and rice or the vegetarian option. I asked what the vegetarian option was and when she said vegetarian Indian food, I said I would have that to eat. When breakfast came around several hours later, she handed me a ‘vegetarian’ breakfast burrito. I totally got slided out of bacon or sausage because she thought I was a vegetarian. I just wanted you to know that before I met you, I would have never even CONSIDERED ordering the vegetarian option of anything.”


It made my heart smile. My little dietitian heart.

What I don’t know is if he would’ve been game for this meal. Mr. Prevention is a little iffy on “savory pumpkin” dishes (I learned this with Pumpkin Lasagna a few years ago), but I have no doubt that if he gave this a chance, he’d absolutely love it. When Lizzie emailed me saying that she made this dish and thought I would love it, too, I was ecstatic! I have friends who know what I like to eat and send me recipe they love! What is cooler than that!? Thanks, Lizzie!

Since Mr. Prevention is in full recognition that I’ve expanded his horizons when it comes to food, I have no doubt that after trying these leftovers, he’ll be a savory pumpkin convert!



Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta adapted from Taste of Home and Emily Bites, suggested by my dear reader, Lizzie

8 oz dry whole wheat pasta 1/2 lb Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced 1 medium onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 cup canned pumpkin 1/2 cup white wine 1 tsp rubbed sage 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes


Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain & set aside.

White pasta is cooking, spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook the sausage, onions and mushrooms over medium heat until the sausage is fully browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Drain if necessary.

Stir in the broth, pumpkin, wine, sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Serve hot pasta topped with 1/4 of the sauce and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon grated parmesan and a pinch of parsley flakes.

Yields 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 371 calories; 9.3 g. fat; 40 mg. cholesterol; 602 mg. sodium; 51.5 g. carbohydrate; 9.8 g. fiber; 19.8 g. protein

Result: Lizzie must know what I like because this was delicious! It came together really, really quickly — a true 20-30 minute meal depending on how fast you can shop an onion and some garlic ;) This reheated great as leftovers the the wine + sage + pumpkin is heavenly! If you think the sausage doesn’t fit, you’re mistaken…delicious!


TGIF! This week has been nuts! I have a date to get my hair done after work and a few more dates with EXERCISE this weekend. I’m thinking a run by the beach before the weather gets too cold!

Happy weekend!

Be well,

Peach Pineapple Crumble


The second I saw white peaches in stores, I bought 3 pounds. I seriously love peaches, especially white peaches.

It just so happened that the first peach appearance of the summer happened to fall during a 10 for $10 pineapple special at Kroger.

Needless to say, I had a ton of peaches and a ton of pineapple. I also had some coworkers I wanted to spoil just a bit before my last day of work.


Kristen asked me this weekend how I organize my recipes, and my method is somewhat unconventional. While there are things like Pinterest to help organize, I do most everything through email, so I go that route.

When I find a recipe online that I want to try, I copy and paste it into an email. I make the subject the title of the recipe and copy and paste the URL for the recipe along side the recipe title. I then send the recipe to myself and label it “recipe” in my Gmail inbox.

I can’t explain it, but this seems to work best for me. I’m able to comb my “stash” for recipe that include certain ingredients, like radishes, or collard greens, or…pineapple and peaches.


I emailed this recipe to myself way too long ago, and thanks to my crazy recipe “organization” I was able to find it. :)

I am not new to crumbles, but the peach + pineapple combination was a first for me and…wow.

The slightly tart pineapple is perfectly complimented by the ever sweet peaches. The tender, soft peaches were offset by the firmer, meatier pineapple cubes. The diced fruit was liberally covered in a sweet, salty, and buttery crumble that only makes fruit taste better. The result is a nutrient-rich, high-fiber dessert that’s perfect for summer’s best.

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Peach Pineapple Crumble slightly adapted from Teenage Taste

4 medium ripe peaches, diced 1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced 3 Tbsp granulated sugar 1 Tbsp cornstarch 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Toss diced fruit together in an 8-inch square baking dish. In a small dish, whisk together 3 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup of flour. Toss the mixture with the diced fruit. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Add the cold butter cubes. Use your fingers to break up the cold butter cubes into the flour mixture. Add the oatmeal and toss together.

Pour the oatmeal mixture over the prepared fruit. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until juices from the fruit bubble up around the sides of the pan.

Remove the crumble from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings (about 3/4 cup each)

Nutrition Information: 261 calories; 8.5 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 176 mg. sodium; 43.7 g. carbohydrate; 4.2 g. fiber; 2.0 g. protein

Result: Simple and refreshing…perfect for summer! I love that crumbles come together in a jiff, but have a very homemade taste. This crumble was not short on the crumble and between the whole heat pastry flour and oats (along with the fruit), this crumble is high in fiber and nutrients. Enjoy!


 We are officially acquainted with a new vet in town (a University of Illinois grad!). Miss Lily made it just over a week before coming down with a major eye issue (inflammation? scleroderma?) and she suddenly developed a hot spot on her forehead (if you Google that, beware – not pretty!). Ugh.

I am biking downtown for the farmer’s market this morning. I must admit, with the heat…the workouts have not been happening, and I can tell in my energy level and sleeping that I need to get back in my routine!

Be well,

Meatless Monday: Crunchy Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries and Goat Cheese


I have no idea why, but when warm weather rolls around, I eat a lot of fun grains/seeds in cold salad form. So simple, refreshing, and healthy. Just this week alone, wheat berries, farro, couscous, and quinoa have made their appearance at my table. While I love the diversity, Mr. Prevention resists the unknown. This salad, for example, he wouldn’t even try (!).

Dietitians…we go nuts for things like this. Nearly every last calorie in this salad is “well spent” on healthy fats, omega 3’s, fiber, and loads of nutrients. Donna stopped over one night last week after her daughter’s flight was delayed and we swooned over this salad and all of its great textures and flavors. Bonus: goat cheese seems to be very “in” right now (I love how food goes through phases of popularity like most anything else) and whether it’s “in” or not…I am a goat cheese lover.


Even though Mr. Prevention refuses trying (some) new things, he did have a great idea yesterday. Before the afternoon heat set in, we went out biking in the country, per Mr. Prevention’s suggestion. This Chicago born and bred girl loves the country being so close by…and I don’t take advantage as much as I should.

Once we had gotten about 5 miles from out house, we passed this HUGE pack of serious bikers. They all had road bikes, helmets, clip-in shoes, onesie spandex outfits in bright colors, and no morning exerciser “hellos”. All business they were. Mr. P and I busted up laughing as they zoomed by us in our mountain bikes (Mr. P shirtless, me in plain’ol workout clothes) and we turned our bikes around, joking that we would tag along.

Maybe you had to be there, but it was funny trying to keep up with this pack…before they had disappeared ahead. Country biking is something I will be doing again soon (and my ankle felt pretty good!). As for Mr. Prevention, he may not be up for trying something new….but in the case of this salad, that simply means more for me :-D



Crunchy Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries and Goat Cheese from The Flourishing Foodie

2 cups wheat berries, dry 3 celery stalks, sliced 1 large shallots, sliced 2/3 cup dried cranberries 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp maple syrup salt and pepper to taste 3 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup sliced almonds


Bring 5 cups of salted water to boil. Rinse the wheat berries in cold water and then add them to the boiling water. After adding the berries, bring the water back up to a boil before reducing the heat. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Strain and set to the side to cool.

While the wheat berries are cooling, chop the celery and shallots. Add them to a large bowl with the dried cranberries.

Combine the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper; whisk until well combined.

Add the cooked wheat berries and then pour the dressing over top and combine with a wooden spoon. Add goat cheese and almonds; toss lightly. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

Yield: ~10 servings (1/2 cup each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 274 calories; 10.9 g. fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 110 mg. sodium; 38.5 g. carbohydrate; 5.7 g. fiber; 6.8 g. protein

Result: I ADORE this dressing. It would go great on just about anything. The celery was a nice surprise with the crunch to perfectly balance the creamy and smooth goat cheese. The cranberries added that sweetness (along with the maple syrup). The wheat berries are hearty and chewy. This is definitely one of the best cold salads I’ve ever made and I love that any grain could be swapped in for wheat berries (i.e. barley, farro, bulgar, etc.). Enjoy!


Monday, fun day! It’s supposed to be another hot day in central Ohio. My tomatoes and zucchini are growing like CRAZY! I will have to post updated pictures soon — they’ve more than doubled in size. Maybe even tripled!

I am hooked on Fifty Shades of Grey like every other woman out there, it seems. Tonight I will have to catch up on the grading I didn’t do this weekend…oops. Two more weeks til the quarter is over…zooming by!

Be well,

Mediterranean Salmon Salad + Weekly Menu


Yesterday was the first Saturday I have thoroughly enjoyed in…too long.

I slept in until…almost 8am. Lily and I played soccer in the backyard. Mr. Prevention and I had breakfast and coffee and ventured out to run errands and grocery shop together. I nearly escaped with nothing added to my cart that wasn’t on the list and when I ran back to get quinoa, he took the cart and loaded up on Powerade. Zero. He loves the stuff.

Still, our grocery bill was only $69 for the week. I was pleased!


I came home and made this salad. I loved this salad.

I knew from the second I saw it on Estela’s blog that this was a salad made for me.

I love salads, but a meal of lettuce alone doesn’t sustain me. And most people have the connotation of healthy and “diets” = salads. Boring, flavorless salads. Bleck. This salad packs lots of nutrition — omega 3’s, fiber, vitamin C, you name it. And it’s filling…because it’s not just lettuce. And I feel satisfied because it’s not just lettuce. But it doesn’t skimp on flavor…TONS of flavor. It was incredible. I haven’t enjoyed a salad this much in far too long.


After lunch, I did some blog photography before pounding out a quick (for me) 5K in 30:08. It felt awesome. I should probably knock on wood, but my ankle is feeling back to 100%.

I got ready and met Donna for martinis and appetizers. How two women can jabber on for 3 1/2 hours and it feels like 30 minutes…it always happens. I had promised Mr. Prevention deep dish pizza, so I came home to start that. While the dough did its thing….twice…we caught up with the DVR and watched some Discovery channel. Nerd alert.

A night in was just what I needed. And the pizza, it wasn’t too shabby either. ;)

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Mediterranean Salmon Salad slightly adapted from Weekly Bite

1/3 cup olive oil 1/3 cup red wine vinegar 1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1 1/4 teaspoon dried basil 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1 tsp Dijon mustard

3/4 lb salmon filet pinch of salt pinch of black pepper 1/4 tsp dried oregano 1 cup dry orzo 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved 1 red bell peppers, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled feta 1 14oz can artichoke hearts (quartered) 5 cups spring mix, lightly packed Dressing (see above)


Whisk all ingredients together for the dressing, set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Place salmon on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil. Sprinkle salmon with salt, pepper, & oregano.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until center is cooked.

Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package directions.

Drain pasta and place in a deep casserole dish.  Pour 1/4 cup of dressing over pasta and gently toss. To the orzo, add olives, red bell peppers, red onions, feta, artichoke hearts, spring mix lettuce, and the remaining dressing.  Toss to gently combine all ingredients.

Once salmon is cooked, flake salmon using two forks. Top salad with flaked salmon.

Yield: 5 servings (1 cup of lettuces with about 1 cup orzo/veggie mix)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 500 calories; 24.6 g. fat; 48 mg. cholesterol; 614 mg. sodium; 45 g. carbohydrate; 5.4 g. fiber; 25 g. protein

Result: This was my kind of salad! So flavor, full of different textures, and not JUST lettuce. Hands down one of my favorite salads. I didn’t use all the dressing that the original recipe called for, so I adjusted the recipe posted here accordingly. I loved the salmon with the feta and olive balanced out by the spring greens. Unique and delicious…healthy, too!


Weekly Menu: April 28th – May 3rd

Other than grading…today has no plans! :-D

Be well,