Lauren Kelly Nutritionist

Better Health, Better Food, Better You

~Black Eyed Pea Salad~ Thank you Bia from Rich and Sweet!

I just had the pleasure of meeting my dear friend, Bia in person last weekend at a food bloggers conference!  She is not only super talented, but also sweet and SO MUCH FUN!!  Bia was kind enough to share this easy and delicious salad with us!
My name is Bia Rich and i absolutely love to cook and experiment with new flavors. I lived and worked in the restaurant business in NYC for 20 years and now moved to the country in North Carolina. All i do now is cook, garden and take care of my boys, and I’m loving it!!!
Black Eyed Pea Salad
2 cans of black eyed peans, rinsed and drained
1 small sweet onion chopped
1 zucchini diced
2 tomatoes seeded and diced
2 ears of corn off the cob (boil them first for a few minutes)
handful of chopped parsley and basil
1 cup italian dressing( i use the “Good Seasons Italian All Natural Salad Dressing Mix” and mix with mustard, good olive oil and red wine vinegar)
salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together and cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Please go and “like” Bia on her Facebook page, Rich and Sweet and go follow her blog here! Thank you again Bia!

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Ginger Soy Chicken and Kale


I guess I am on a kale kick these days.  Kale is really a powerhouse food.  It is packed with healthy fiber and antioxidants.  These powerful antioxidants help protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress.  Kale also is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin A & Vitamin C, which are both crucial antioxidants that help our bodies boost immunity and fight off diseases.  

So if that isn’t reason enough to be “on a kale kick” these days, I don’t know what is 🙂

The ginger, soy and honey blend perfectly together in this dish.  Next time I am definitely making a double batch!  I bet this would be yummy with some toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top….next time 🙂

Ginger Soy Chicken and Kale

4 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2-3 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts cut up into 1 inch cubes

2 cups of kale 

1 tablespoon olive oil

Place all ingredients except for chicken and kale in a small bowl and whisk until completely blended.  

Place chopped chicken in a ziploc bag and pour half of the marinade into bag.  Make sure the bag is closed and shake it up so all the chicken is covered.  Let marinade for at least a half hour (but even overnight would be great!)

After chicken is marinating, place 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan and saute until fully cooked and no longer pink.  

Add kale and cook until it is still bright green but only a little soft (I like it when it still is a little crunchy).  Add remaining marinade and make sure it is completely mixed. Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (1/3 of dish)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231   Calories from Fat 94 (6 WW points per serving)
Total Fat 10.4g
Saturated Fat 1.3g
Cholesterol 56mg
Sodium 1066mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.0g
Dietary Fiber 1.1g
Sugars 6.2g
Protein 23.3g

* Nutritional information provided by, not 100% guaranteed accurate


Organic Raw Chocolate Covered Banana Bites

I have the most wonderful babysitter ever.  She is more like part of our family than a babysitter.  I am so thankful to have her help.  And my kids ADORE her.

She turned me on to these Chocolate Banana Bites from Trader Joe’s.  They are a little taste of heaven in a box.  And bite sized too!  I love anything that comes in portion controlled servings!!  Here is what they look like:

As good as they are, I wanted to try to recreate them myself, using raw organic chocolate.  They came out FANTASTIC and they were so easy to make!!

Why use raw chocolate?  Raw chocolate is chocolate that has not been processed, heated, or mixed with other ingredients.  Raw chocolate is packed with antioxidants and is without any added sugars or dairy. Natural News has some great information on raw chocolate:

“First of all, a little education on the matter…cacao, which is what chocolate is made from, comes from the cocoa plant which is native to the tropical regions of the Americas. The Maya believed that cacao was discovered by the gods, and they would hold an annual festival in celebration of the gift. The use of cacao is described in ancient texts in various mixtures for culinary, ceremonial and medicinal uses. It is thought that the first European to come across the delicious food was Columbus in 1502.

Raw chocolate is an almost complete foodstuff. It is loaded with more than 300 chemically identifiable compounds, and is higher in anti-oxidants than green tea and wine. It also contains protein, fats, calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, and magnesium, which is essential for the correct functioning of the brain. Cacao contains caffeine, which means that a raw chocolate drink or desert will give you a similar kick to that of coffee, but in a healthier and raw way.”

Ready to give it a try??  Now is the time!


3-4 ripe bananas (not too ripe because they don’t work as well when they are too soft…I know this from experience)

1 1/4 cups coconut oil, warmed to turn from solid to liquid

3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons raw cocoa powder

3 1/2 Tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

pinch of sea salt

  1. Blend all the ingredients except the bananas in a blender until smooth and fully emulsified.  Pour chocolate into a bowl.
  2.  Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parch­ment paper. Slice bananas into coins about 1/2–3/4 inch thick.
  3.  Dip the banana chunks using a fork as a lit­tle chocolate-coating fork­lift, dip­ping them into the melted choco­late. Mine were a little messy because I let the kids help me 🙂 Place choco­late coated bananas on the pre­pared sheet and place in freezer until com­pletely frozen (minimum of 5 hours). Remove frozen banana chunks from the sheet and store in a freezer container.


Maybe make these for your babysitter today?  🙂


Asparagus Mushrooms Edamame & Sun Dried Tomatoes in Balsamic Glaze

I love this recipe so much.  It is filled with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and TONS of flavor!

Edamame are actually immature, green soybeans.  I love them.  They are so versatile and super easy to add to all types of dishes.  They are  a favorite for vegans and vegetarians since they are a complete protein.  Edamame is also packed with fiber, B vitamins, omega 3 fats, iron, calcium and zinc.

This meatless meal is well balanced, easy and just plain old delicious.  I eat this as a meal for myself, but I make a chicken or pork dish to go along side it for my family.

Asparagus Mushrooms Edamame & Sun Dried Tomatoes in a Balsamic Glaze

1 lb. asparagus

1 package sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake)

1 cup organic shelled and cooked edamame

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)

2 TBS olive oil

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

3 cloves crushed garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

fresh parsley

  • Place all chopped veggies and edamame  in a large ziploc bag.
  •  In separate bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper together with wire whisk.
  • Pour marinade over veggies in bag and shake until evenly coated (make sure to close the bag first 🙂 ).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place veggie mixture on baking sheet, top with chopped parsley.  Roast for 45-60 minutes, checking periodically to turn veggies and to make sure they do not over brown.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/6 serving
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130   Calories from Fat 71
Total Fat 7.9g
Saturated Fat 1.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 223mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.0g
Dietary Fiber 3.7g
Sugars 2.1g
Protein 6.8g

*Nutritional information provided by, not 100% guaranteed accurate


Banana Oat Bread (Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free) from Guest Blogger Amee Livingston

Amee is a southern girl, a stay-at-home mom of two, fitness enthusiast, obsessed foodie and soon-to-be published children’s author.  Amee loves to write, create unique dishes and makeover her favorite recipes to adapt to a healthy lifestyle.  Amee shares her passion for eating local and organic, supporting ethical farming practices, growing your own food and keeping recipes as clean as possible.  However, there is room for the occasional splurge for holidays, special occasions and fun treats for kids.   You can visit her blog Amee’s Savory Dish and find her on facebook here.

Banana Oat Bread (Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled down to room temperature
3 large or 4 small very ripe bananas (make sure that they are very ripe for more sweetness)
1/2 cup sucanat (this is a natural form of cane sugar)
1/2 cup natural brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2-2/3 cup unsalted chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Allow your egg to sit out for a bit to come to room temperature.  When working with coconut oil, you need all of your ingredients to be room temperature, so the oil doesn’t start to solidify in your mixture.  Spray 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray (or 18 muffin tins).  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine bananas, coconut oil, sucanat, brown sugar, egg and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed until smooth and well blended (about a minute or so).  Add all dry ingredients (except nuts) in a large bowl and blend with a whisk until well blended (you can also sift together).  Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture while blending on low until all ingredients are incorporated.  Stir in nuts.  Pour evenly into loaf pans and bake for 35 minutes (loaves) and 20 minutes (muffins).


Thank you Amee for this yummy, healthy recipe!


Can you answer this question…honestly?

What is your favorite part of YOUR body?

 Is it difficult for you to answer that?

Why are we so hard on ourselves?  We are so busy comparing ourselves to others and feeling negative that we don’t even appreciate the beauty of what we have.  We need to APPRECIATE our own bodies.

How many of us can honestly say that we LOVE ourselves and our bodies?

Negative self talk not only ruins your confidence, but it can also damage your relationships at home or at work.  Be kind to yourself.  Say one positive thing about yourself each day.

Think it’s too hard to change your ‘tude?  It’s not.  Start by saying “thank you” when someone gives you a compliment. Why is that so hard for us to do?? (Myself included!)

After you tell your friend “thank you” because she said that your hair looks great, or that your top is cute or that your butt looks great in those jeans 🙂 , start fueling your body with HEALTHY foods.  You WILL feel better.  And yes, it really is that easy!


Couscous with baby spinach, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and grilled turkey sausage

How about a healthy, easy one-dish meal?

You came to the right place 🙂  All three of my kids ate this (well my two year old and MOST of it).  It is packed with flavor, vegetables, fiber and protein.  Oh and it’s super colorful and pretty too!

See I told you it was pretty!!

Couscous with baby spinach, yellow peppers, cherry peppers and grilled turkey sausage

1/3 cup couscous (I used whole wheat)

1 package turkey sausage

2 cups of organic baby spinach

1/2 pint organic cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 organic yellow pepper, cut in 1 inch cubes

1/4 cup vegetable broth

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 tsp grapeseed oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

pepper to taste

1/2 tsp oregano

fresh basil, torn (use as much depending on your taste)


  • Cook couscous according to instructions.  I always omit butter or oil if it calls for it and use just plain water
  • Grill sausage in a grill pan or on the grill
  • In a saucepan place oil and garlic and saute on medium heat for 1-2 minutes until garlic softens.  Add spinach, peppers and tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Add vegetable broth salt, pepper, basil and oregano and move to low heat and let simmer for a few more minutes.

  • Once sausage and couscous are fisnihed. combine all together.  Top with shaved parmesan if desired. Makes 4 servings.  ENJOY!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 bowl (1/4 of recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193    Calories from Fat 48 (5 WW points per serving)
Total Fat 5.4g
Saturated Fat 1.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 14mg
Sodium 420mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.7g
Dietary Fiber  2.7g
Sugars 1.1g
Protein 8.5g

*Nutritional information provided by, not 100% guaranteed accurate


Delicious Garlic Butternut Squash

Welcome to another Meatless Monday!

I ate this for dinner with a side of bean salad and I was one happy lady.  I loved how this dish came out.  The garlic paired with the sweetness of the squash was a perfect combination.

Butternut squash is packed with Vitamin A (the beta-carotene gives the orange color) which is crucial for  healthy immune system and vision health.  It is also loaded with powerful antioxidants B vitamins and minerals as well.  This squash is also high in fiber and low in calorie.  That should be reason enough to try it 🙂

Delicious Garlic Butternut Squash

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.
  2. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until squash is just tender.  Makes 6 servings.

from allrecipes

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 bowl (1/6 of recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160    Calories from Fat 34
Total Fat 3.7g
Saturated Fat 1.0g
Cholesterol 4mg
Sodium 269mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.6g
Dietary Fiber 5.4g
Sugars 5.9g
Protein 4.4g


Spring Vegetable Risotto ~Guest Post~

Talk about talented…Jenni aka Mama J of A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll is so creative.  I am so thrilled to have her as our guest poster today.  And man this recipe looks AMAZING!!!


My name is Jenni, some of you know me as Mama J and I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I’m the creator, chef, and photographer behind A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll.  My priorities in life are being the wife to a talented artist/graphic designer husband and a mom to three fantastic kids.  As well as being an artist, I am also the teacher to my three kids who are all homeschooled.

A few years ago a friend thought I should start a blog featuring the funny things my kids said and did. Between that, inquiries for recipes I had made, and needing a place to highlight my photography…. A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll was born.

My love for Julia Child and other PBS cooking shows began as a young child.  In high school I would not only pour over Rolling Stone Magazine, but any cooking magazine I could get my hands on as well. In college I majored in studio art, working primarily in printmaking and drawing. After a day in the studio I would come home to my college apartment and bake homemade bread.

A few years ago my family began a reduced meat diet and are now full-fledged vegetarians. My recipes are mainly focused on natural, from scratch, healthy vegetarian meals. However,  I like to indulge now in then some decadent desserts!

Spring Vegetable Risotto


2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (reserve the stems in a stock pot)

2 tablespoons minced mint leaves (reserve the stems in a stock pot)

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (break off the tough ends and place them in a stock pot)

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts halved, sliced, and washed (place the dark green tops in the stock pot with the asparagus ends)

4 cups vegetable broth (place in stock pot with leek tops and asparagus bottoms )

3 cups water (place in stock pot with leek tops and asparagus bottoms)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

1 1/2  ounces (3/4 cups) grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons lemon juice


1. Place the parsley, mint, and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Bring the broth, water, and reserved vegetable stems and pieces to a boil, partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth, pressing the solids to extract the liquid.  Place the broth back in the stock pot and place on low heat to keep the broth warm.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pot and saute the asparagus spears with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 4 minutes.  Add the peas and cook for 1 more minute.  Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set aside.

4. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the same pot and add the leeks, a little salt and some pepper.  Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the risotto and cook for another 3 minutes.

5. Add the wine and stir until absorbed.  Continue adding the warm broth a few ladles at a time.  Stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more.  Continue adding more broth until the rice is al dente.

6. Off heat add the last tablespoon of butter, the cheese, and the lemon juice.  Gently fold in the asparagus and peas.  Top with the chopped parsley, mint, and lemon zest mixture.

Please go visit Mama J at her blog and go over and “like” her Facebook page.  You won’t be disappointed, I promise 🙂

Thanks again Mama J!!

1 Comment »

~Coconut Scones~

I really do not like coconut.  At all.  I even don’t like the smell of coconut.  There is one exception, and these scones are it.  These scones are THAT good.  There is just a hint of coconut and the shocker is that there is NO BUTTER in them. None.

AND they are still THAT good.

These are perfect for Mother’s Day with a cup of tea (or coffee) or honestly, any other time of any day.


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup sucanat

1 cup fine shredded coconut

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup coconut oil, solid

1/3 cup coconut yogurt (I used soy yogurt)

1/2 cup coconut milk(I used Trader Joe’s light)

Optional: turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, coconut, salt and baking powder. Cut in the coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse meal; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and milk. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Scoop the dry ingredients from from the bottom of the bowl and fold over the wet ingredients. Repeat this just until the mixture is combined. Do not over mix the dough. If the dough is too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time.  My dough seemed like it was too dry and it ended up being perfect.

Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour. Pat the dough into a large circle, about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into eight triangles. Transfer the dough segments to the prepared baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle with turbinado sugar (optional). Bake at 375˚F for 14-16 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool then store in an air tight container for up to three days. Unbaked dough can be kept frozen in the freezer. Simply place the scone segments in a freezer safe container, until ready to use.

Yield: 8 scones

adapted from oh, ladycakes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 scone

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 284
  •  Calories from Fat 139
  • Total Fat 15.4g
  • Saturated Fat 13.6g
  • Trans Fat 0.0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 150mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 31.4g
  • Dietary Fiber 4.4g
  • Sugars 6.5g
  • Protein 3.3g