Spiced Pear Baked Oatmeal

For this month’s recipe redux, I took a little different approach to the theme – good luck foods. Sauerkraut at New Years was commonly enjoyed by my family, minus myself , who couldn’t get over the smell of it cooking to actually give it a try… Ha! I know black eyed peas are another good luck food, but they are tough to flavor without bacon/ham/pork, which isn’t my thing as a vegetarian. Round foods are also considered good luck – so I thought, why not bake oatmeal in a skillet?! Can that count as round? In some cultures, it’s tradition to hide a trinket or coin in your pudding or cake as a sign of good luck for whoever receives it in their piece. Why not hide a little something in these oats for someone to find on New Years morning? (Warning your guests beforehand of course!) Plus, what better way to start off the new year on a healthy note than with this hearty vegan breakfast? Sounds like a great idea to me!



Pear Oatmeal

Spiced Pear Baked Oatmeal

(Serves 6-8, Vegan)


  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3 pears, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Dash of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease cast iron skillet with cooking spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients except pears in a large bowl. Stir until well combined.
  4. Pour oat mixture into skillet and spread evenly in the pan.
  5. Arrange sliced pears over the top of the oats.
  6. Cook at 350 degrees for ~40 minutes.

Serve warm with a dash of cream or your favorite plant-based milk and a side of hot coffee or tea.

What is your favorite good luck food? Click the link below to see what the rest of the Recipe Redux bloggers make to ring in the good luck with the new year!!


Row Baby Row Workout

One way that I am staying on track for healthy eating and exercise this holiday season is through the Elf for Health challenge coordinated by Lean Green Bean and Nutritionella. Not only are the challenges fun to do, but it has been a great way to interact with a few new people via social media! You can join in on the fun too!

elf for health

Today’s challenge was to try out a new workout. Here’s one that I did recently that I really enjoyed! Feel free to try it out. 🙂 If you don’t have access to a rowing machine, feel free to substitute with 10 minutes of jump rope or a 1/2 mile run.

rowing workout

Click on the widget in my side bar or this link if you are interested in learning more about the Elf for Health Challenge or signing up on the next round!

10 Link Tuesday: Bring On the Cold Weather, Chicago!

Pancake Tuesday

  1. I will definitely be making a cup of this boozy skinny hot chocolate from Fit Foodie Finds this winter!
  2. I’ve always wanted to do a clothing exchange with friends!
  3. I’m drooling… –> butternut squash & mushroom enchiladas with tomatillo sauce!
  4. These trail mix muffins from Savoring the Thyme sound like a perfect on-the-go breakfast.
  5. I can’t even deal –> hard cider cinnamon spice cupcakes with caramel whiskey apples and whiskey buttercream
  6. Planning on trying out this upper body and core strength circuit from It’s Progression this week. 🙂
  7. This blueberry chai granola smoothie sounds amazing. 
  8. I tried this kettlebell workout over the weekend and really liked it!
  9. I used to love sloppy joes when I was little, can’t wait to try out this vegetarian version –> loaded vegetarian lentil sloppy joes
  10. This cranberry and peach galette looks almost too pretty to eat!

Savoring the Season

This weekend, Will and I took a bit of time to slow down and enjoy the last vestiges of fall here in Illinois. Since the weather was so nice, we had to take advantage. On Saturday, we took a long hike in the Des Plaines forest preserve outside of Chicago with Honey. The air was just a little chilly, but perfect for walking with long sleeves and a scarf (my favorite kind of weather!). Moving to the city has been a lot of fun, but there is something so refreshing about reconnecting with nature for a bit. (Especially for a small-town Pennsylvania girl like me!)




Did you do anything fun this weekend? What are your favorite fall activities?

5 Healthy Budget Friendly Foods to Add to Your Cart

Budget Friendly Foods

Over the course of my career as a dietitian, I have heard the excuse that healthy eating is too expensive dozens of times. It’s not true! Yes, you may have to plan your purchases a little more carefully, but healthy eating can indeed be done on a budget. Today, I just wanted to share a few of my favorite budget-friendly, healthy foods that I put in my shopping cart almost every week. One thing that can often be a life saver when you are trying to pinch pennies from your grocery budget is to find a store with a good variety of staples in bulk bins. When you can select how much of more expensive foods, like nuts, that you want to buy, you save! Bulk bins often contain other healthy foods like oats, beans, quinoa, rice and more which can be purchased in the quantity you choose with a smaller price tag.

Dried Beans: With just a little prep on the weekend, beans (especially dried) can be a super cheap protein option for those looking to lower their grocery bill. For just around a dollar, you can buy a pound or more of dried beans which is up to 6 servings of this high fiber food.

Winter Squash (Seasonal Vegetables): When buying fresh produce, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you buy those that are in season. The added bonus is they are usually fresher too! Personally, I would rather buy fresh vegetables, but you can also save if you buy frozen or canned for a good price. If buying canned, just make sure they didn’t add a lot of sodium in the process.

Sweet Potatoes: I have a serious addiction to sweet potatoes. They are an easy, healthy way to add some carbohydrates and fiber to my meals. Plus, they are delicious and loaded with vitamin A, as well as super cheap.

Oatmeal: A bowl of overnight or hot oats is my ideal breakfast. You can buy rolled oats for about a dollar a pound – so cheap! They also happen to be health with lots of soluble fiber. Plus, they can be dressed up in hundreds of ways (like these!) so they never get boring!

Apples (Seasonal Fruit): No matter what the season, you can bet that apples and bananas will be cheap! Both are great options, but if you are looking for something different, check out what’s in season for the freshest and cheapest choice.

What are your favorite/go-to budget friendly, healthy foods?

Lovely Labor Day Weekend

Hi Friends! I hope you had a lovely, long weekend. Will and I took a whirlwind of a trip to my hometown in Pennsylvania, then Pittsburgh, and finally… Cleveland! It has been much too long since I had the chance to visit with my family and some of our good friends from our dietetic internship. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend one of the last weekends of summer. Here’s a quick recap of a few things we did…

IMG_0145Enjoyed dinner and a brew at Voodoo Brewery in Meadville with my Dad and brother, Dean.


IMG_0170  Window shopping in Volant with my cousin Emily and her little one, Andrew.

IMG_0214Spent the afternoon with Charis, Tony, Leann, and Cillian in Pittsburgh!


Enjoyed this delicious pumpkin curry from the Smiling Banana Leaf with Erica!

IMG_0223Ice cream made from grass fed milk at Mitchell’s in Cleveland with Neal and Chris. (Seriously, some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted!)

IMG_0226 IMG_0227 So glad I got to know these guys during my dietetic internship a few years ago!

Here’s to a short work week! What did you do over the long weekend?

5 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Hello! We survived another Monday! After such a beautiful weekend, it was hard to drag myself back to the office yesterday. Luckily, it will be a short week since I am planning on driving home to Pennsylvania on Friday – it has been way too long since I’ve been home! Anyways, instead of my usual Tuesday round of favorite blog links, I wanted to share a little about some of the things I have been loving of late.

1. After months of debating, I finally took the plunge and invested in a Canon Rebel DSLR. I have a lot to learn, but I am excited to start taking and sharing higher quality pictures!

rebel camera

(Image Source)

2. My new scarf from fashionABLE. After reading about the company on Jenna’s blog, Eat Live Run, I knew I wanted to purchase something to support them. Fashionable provides a viable small business opportunity for vulnerable women in Africa. Each scarf is handcrafted by one of them. Check out their website to learn more about this awesome company!


3. Pumpking by Southern Tier just made an appearance! This is one of my favorite beers and it is only available during a few months in the Fall but even then, it is still hard to find. We happened to come across it on our weekly grocery trip to Whole Foods and had to pick some up, for a treat. 🙂

IMG_0081 4. The farmers market is exploding with awesome produce right now! Here’s a glimpse of some of the great things we picked up this week including: peaches, broccoli, eggplant, lettuce, corn, purple carrots, tomatoes and more!


5. I can’t get enough overnight chia oats (<—recipe)! Sunday evening, I mixed up a batch and added some figs and walnuts when I got up in the morning. It was a great way to start my week off right!

IMG_0110 Have you found anything good at the farmers’ market lately? Did you do anything exciting this weekend?