Lauren Kelly Nutritionist

Better Health, Better Food, Better You

And the winner of the Bob’s Red Mill giveaway is…..

Jenn at Jenn”s Adventures!  Congratulations Jenn and thank you all of you that entered the contest.  Results were chosen through   

Jenn, Bob’s Red Mill will be sending you a package of heart healthy products!!

Stay tumed for my next giveaway….it will be something else that is healthy and good for your body 🙂


Today is the last day to enter my Bob’s Red Mill giveaway!

The contest ends Wednesday February 29 at 12:00 a.m. EST.  The lucky winner gets Bob’s Red Mill Natural Products! We chose to give our winner heart healthy products in honor of National Heart Health Month.

Please follow these simple rules to enter:

  1. “Like” me on Facebook here and write on my wall saying that you are entering the contest.
  2. Share my contest on your Facebook page.
  3. Go visit Bob’s Red Mill Facebook Page and tell them I sent you!


That’s it! Good luck! I know I love Bob’s Red Mill products, and if you haven’t tried them already, now is our chance 🙂


Meatless Monday…Gnocchi, Spinach and Tomatoes with Pesto Sauce

Just because you choose to go meatless on Mondays, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. I love pesto. Pretty much on anything. Home made pesto is so much more fresh, fragrant and overall healthier than packaged pesto sauces. Most importantly, it takes minutes to make. Go for it, you will be happy you tried it!!

I also love gnocchi. In case you aren’t familiar with gnocchi, they are little potato dumplings that can be substituted for pasta. I think it’s good to mix things up in the kitchen anyway 🙂

Gnocchi, Spinach and tomatoes with Pesto Sauce

For the Pesto:
4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 ½ ounces pine nuts
2 ounces parmesan cheese
2 ounces fresh basil leaves , torn

  • Add ingredients to Vita-Mix (or other blender) in the order displayed.
  • Turn machine to Variable Speed 1, then increase quickly to Variable Speed 7.
  • Blend for 1 minute.

1 package gnocchi (I used whole wheat gnocchi made with sweet potato)

1 bag organic baby spinach

1 pint of organic grape tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Cook gnocchi according to package.   Place spinach and grape tomatoes in skillet with oil and saute’ until soft.  Place gnocchi and stir until well blended.  Place everything in large bowl.  Pour pesto on top.  Top with parmesan if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/8 serving
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280 Calories from Fat 190
Total Fat 21.1g
Saturated Fat 3.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 6mg
Sodium 394mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.8g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Sugars 1.4g
Protein 6.6g

Nutritional information provided by, not 100% guranteed

Please don’t forget to enter our Bob’s Red Mill contest by “liking” my Facebook page and sharing with your friends! Deadline for contest is Wednesday February 29 at 12:00 EST, U.S. Residents only.  The winner will receive Bob’s Red Mill heart healthy products! (That’s one lucky winner! 🙂 )


White Bean Kale Vegetable and Sausage Stew

Ok so I know it hasn’t been the coldest winter here in New Jersey, but who doesn’t love some comfort food this time of year?  Not all of our favorite comfort foods have to be loaded with fat.  Here is a perfect example 🙂

Kale seems to be the “it” green vegetable right now. Wonder why? It is packed with tons of calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A , K and C. Diets that are high in Vitamin K help protect against cancer. Kale is just as versatile as spinach, cabbage and chard in a variety of recipes. Yes, it is one of the healthiest vegetables around. It’s also loaded with healthy fiber that helps keep you full and your heart healthy ♥   I know kale doesn’t have the most appetizing reputation, but here is one recipe that will prove that wrong!!

White Bean Vegetable and Sausage Stew

adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package turkey sausage, cut into (1/2-inch) slices
  • 1 zucchini, quartered and cut into (1/2-inch) slices (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 6 cups chopped trimmed kale (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and sausage 5-6 minutes or until sausage is browned. Add zucchini and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add kale and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.

The beauty of this recipe (besides the fact that it is delicious and healthy) is that it can be eaten alone, on top of whole grain pasta or even along side orzo or quinoa.  Now this takes comfort food to a whole new HEALTHY level! 🙂

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/8 of recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456 Calories from Fat 49
Total Fat 5.4g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 7mg
Sodium 180mg
Total Carbohydrates 75.3g
Dietary Fiber 30.0g
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 30.3g

*Nutritional information provided by, not 100% guaranteed accurate

1 Comment »

Please allow me to introduce you to Mimi Marie, from ~Heavenly Healthy~ as this week’s guest blogger

I am so excited for this week’s recipe from Mimi of Heavenly Healthy.  I can’t wait to make this! Thank you again Mimi!!


Mimi Marie is an advocate for obtaining happiness through a naturally healthy and balanced lifestyle. She is a wife and mother to five who strives to make her life a living example that health and fitness can be exciting and fun. She enjoys experimenting with new and healthy foods and is continually adding new recipes and information to her blog.

Tomato-Baked Eggplant
A delicate but decadent blend of eggplant, vegetables and flavorful spices.
4 servings
Prep. Time: About 20 minutes
Cook time: About 45 minutes
1- medium eggplant
1- 15oz. can organic tomatoes
1- 15oz. can organic tomato sauce
1- white or yellow onion
2- medium garlic cloves
5- mushrooms (optional) and 5 kale leaves

1- zucchini

Seasonings- salt, pepper, parsley, rosemary & basil.
¼ cup skim mozzarella cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 400* and grease dish with grape seed oil or your oil of choice.
Peel and slice eggplant into about 1 inch thick slices.
Chop onion, mushrooms, and zucchini, and dice the garlic.
Layer the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake dish with the eggplant first.
Cover eggplant with onions, mushrooms, kale, zucchini, garlic and seasonings.
Top with tomatoes, tomato sauce and cheeses, in that order.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, or until top starts to boil and turn light brown, and the veggies are tender.
If dish seems watery, just spoon out some of the excess liquid. Once it is removed from the oven and begins to cool, it will have the perfect consistency. A large, freshly chopped salad compliments this nicely as a light, clean dinner.
Serve on top of a bed of quinoa for added protein and fiber.
Enjoy! 🙂
Stop by Facebook and “like” Mimi at ~Heavenly Healthy~  and visit her blog at here!


This warm weather makes me crave a salad…Apple Walnut Cranberry Baby Spinach Salad

In honor of February being National Heart Health month, I figured I would spruce up a plain, basic salad. I love salads, but I do end up getting bored of eating the same old kinds. This is where you need to be a little creative. Experiment with different greens, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and cheeses. Be careful with dressings, they are loaded with fat and calories!  That is why I like to make my own.

My Heart Healthy Salad

  • 1 bag of organic baby spinach- B Vitamins, fiber, lutein, potassium and calcium
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts- Vitamin E, plant omega 3 fatty acids, heart healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats, fiber
  • 2 tablespoons dried unsweetened cranberries- Vitamin C and fiber
  • 1 chopped fuji apple- fiber, Vitamin C and beta-carotene
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped- B Vitamins, beta- carotene, folate, potassium and fiber
  • 1-2 plum tomatoes, chopped- Vitamin C, lycopene, beta-carotene and fiber
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained- B vitamins, calcium, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed- omega 3 fatty acids and fiber

Toss all together. Keep dressing on the side to control the portions 🙂

Heart Healthy Balsamic Dressing

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 pinch salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon honey

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, honey and mustard powder. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in minced fresh herbs if desired.

**And don’t forget to enter my Bob’s Red Mill giveaway!  Enter now by sharing my facebook page with your friends and writing on my wall.  Good luck, contest ends February 29 at 12:00 A.M. EST 🙂


Do you want to “leap” into March a little healthier? (Yup, you guessed it…it’s time for our next giveaway!)

This year, we celebrate Leap Year next Wednesday February 29.   Since we only celebrate this day every four years, I thought we should do something extra special to celebrate!!  How about a contest to win some goodies from Bob’s Red Mill!  I love all of Bob’s Red Mill products, and if you haven’t tried them yet, here is your chance!  And since it is National Heart Health Month, why not give away some of Bob’s Red Mill heart healthy products???


Bob’s Red Mill is a manufacturer specializing in unique whole grains, stone ground flours, cereals and baking mixes and also produce a wide variety of high-quality gluten free flours, cereals and baking mixes.  Bob’s Red Mill has the widest variety of whole grains available anywhere- from amaranth to teff- along with cereals and flour made from each of them. We offer myriad hot cereal and oatmeal choices along with a well-balanced blend of gluten free and organic products.

Now you see why I give my family Bob’s Red Mill products?  🙂

How to Enter:

  1. “Like” my Facebook page at Lauren Kelly, Certified Nutritionist, post on my wall letting me know that you are entering the giveaway.
  2. Share my Facebook page and contest with your friends on your Facebook page.  Make sure you tag me to know that you did this 🙂
  3. Go over to Bob’s Red Mill Facebook page and go tell them I sent you.

Contest ends February 29 at 12:00 a.m.    Winner will be selected randomly through and must be a U.S. resident.

Thank you for all of your support and most especially, thank you Bob’s Red Mill for this fantastic giveaway!

Lauren 🙂


Ok, step away from the microwave popcorn…let me explain why….

I know, I know, it’s not going to be very popular with all of you.  I mean, who doesn’t love the smell of popcorn popping in the house?  Well, it is in fact that smell that allegedly can cause lung disease if it’s directly inhaled.  Also, according to many studies, there are toxic chemicals that are in the linings of the bags.  There has been some contradictory research on both claims, but why bother even taking a chance?  If you have an air popper machine, go ahead and use it.  You can flavor with a little salt, parmesan cheese, butter, nutritional yeast, curry powder or even chili powder if you like .  I personally love  Mrs. Dash salt free seasonings on popcorn.

So, what do you do if you don’t have an air popper machine? (Like me!)  You only need 4 things: popcorn kernels, grapessed oil (high smoke point), sea salt and a large pot (oh and a stove top 🙂 )

Take 1 TBS of grapeseed oil and place in bottom of the pot.

Place 1 cup of of popcorn kernels on top of the oil in the pan.  Do NOT turn stove on yet.  Stir kernels to make sure they are evenly coated with the oil.

Place heat on medium and shake the kernels around in the pot until the first kernel pops.   Quickly place the lid on top and wait until all the kernels pop.

Once done, remove from heat and add salt and whatever toppings you like 🙂

Enjoy a healthy snack that you can read all of the ingredients in it (unlike microwave popcorn!)

Stay tuned….I will post later about my next giveaway! It’s a good one!

1 Comment »

Quinoa Avocado Tomato Corn and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette…it’s MEATLESS MONDAY!

Welcome to another Meatless Monday!

Quinoa is the latest “superfood” these days.  I love it.  It’s so versatile and can be used in so many different ways.  Quinoa is loaded with magnesium, iron and calcium.  It is the only grain to have all nine essential amino acids which also makes it the only one to be a complete protein.  It is low calorie, has a lot of fiber and is also gluten free which is perfect for those with gluten sensitivities.

Avocados are packed with fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B vitamins and folic acid.  They also have monounsaturated fats (healthy fats) which help to lower blood cholesterol.

Black beans are also packed with fiber and protein as well.  Tomatoes have antioxidants and Vitamin A and C in them.

What happens when you put all of these nutrition powerhouses together??? One delicious, healthy salad!

adapted from

For the salad:

  • 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • Two 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • One box (14 oz) of frozen corn, defrosted
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1-2 pints grape tomatoes, halved ( I used 1 1/2)
  1. Cook quinoa with the water according to package directions. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine beans, corn, avocado, and tomatoes. Toss with cooled quinoa.

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  •  salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh packed cilantro leaves (optional if you don’t like cilantro)
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.   Pour dressing over salad.  Let refrigerate for several hours or even overnight.  Makes 8 servings.  Enjoy, it really is THAT good! 🙂

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/8 of salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 298 Calories from Fat 147
Total Fat 16.4g
Saturated Fat 1.9g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 53mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.5g
Dietary Fiber 7.6g
Sugars 2.5g
Protein 7.2g

*Nutritional information provided by, not 100% guaranteed accurate


Please welcome my friend Lauren O’ Connor as our guest blogger today!

Lauren O’ Connor, M.S., R.D. is a Nutrition writer and Nutrition Consultant in sunny California.  Lauren’s blog, is designed to provide general nutritional knowledge, healthy recipes & inspirational posts. It encourages success stories and contributions from its readers/fans.


A mother of twin toddlers and nutrition professional, I try to keep my meals simple, healthy and delicious. And, although not all my dishes my please my  little girls, if I can at least gain their interest, that is half the battle (in upping their veggie intake). That is what this raw kale salad did indeed – it struck their curiosity. I got silly grins, “sticky hands” (yes, they reached into the serving bowl) and open mouthfuls of the leafy greens, and then some smirks. Probably a bit mature for their palates, it pleased my husband’s and mine.

Today’s recipe is one that can be varied with the addition of feta (in place of the olive tapenade) and chopped avocado for a smooth, creamy compliment. It serves nicely with marinated grilled wild salmon, and can be delightful with roast chicken, too. It holds up on its own as a healthy mid-day snack. Or as a tasty base for a quinoa salad. And because kale is a strong, leafy green, it can stay in the refrigerator over night and be served the next day – a benefit to busy individuals who can certainly use healthy grab-n-go options.

To make this recipe lower in fat and calories, I’ve adjusted the amount of olive oil from 1/3 cup to 1/8 cup (2 TBS) and added in 1 TBS starch (flour) for viscosity. (Many recipes use as much as 1/2 cup of oil.) You can opt to use the whole amount of olive oil (without the flour) for a nice consistency and satisfying mouthfeel, but just remember to use the dressing sparingly. Hint: start with just a TBS of dressing on your kale blend (and add a little more as needed, but don’t use all the dressing), shake it well a zip-lock bag until nicely coated.

And while I’m at it, there are many great reasons to mix it up with kale. Check out kale on 8 Super Foods Your Heart Will Love.


Makes 4 servings.

  • 4-6 cups loose, chopped, fresh kale
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped coarsely
  • 1 TBS low sodium tamari (soy sauce or Ponzu marinade)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS brown rice flour
  • 2 TBS sliced, toasted almonds
  • 2 TBS olive tapenade

Rinse, stem* and chop kale (or buy pre-chopped). Set aside. In a blender, place garlic, lemon, tamari and flour. Blend on variable speed from low to high until well blended. (Note: VitaMix highly recommended, but not necessary). Slowly drizzle in olive oil at low-speed and continue to blend for another 3-5 minutes. Pour onto kale and mix in well to coat each piece. In a non-stick pan or in toaster oven, toast sliced almonds until light brown. Toss in almonds and olive tapenade. Enjoy!

*Since kale is chopped, stemming is optional, but may be preferred.

Nutrition (per 1/4 recipe) : Cal 140, Fat 11g, Chol 0mg, Sodium 180mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 1g, Protein 3g

Stop by and “like” Lauren at

Please visit Lauren’s blog at

Thanks Lauren for this amazing recipe! 🙂