Legume Lovin’: Part 2

I promised an update on my personal legume challenge, and here it is! (And in case you missed Part 1). 

Two things stand out to me as I write this post:

  1. Weekends can interrupt intentions! Or so it feels like. I can totally relate to my patients who have specific goals around eating healthier and movement, but find weekends are a time of pause. Anyone else feel this way? I think dietitians in the counseling field are really focusing more on body kindness, intuitive eating, and giving oneself a break from overly strict goals. I find myself to be somewhere in the middle, gravitating towards structure during the week and less so on the weekends.


So are weekends really interrupting my goals? Or are my goals unrealistic? What are your thoughts on realistic goal setting?

2.  I don’t like boring food. I could have been more successful in this challenge had I been satisfied with plain beans, giving less thought to the flavor and excitement factor. But I really enjoy altering the ingredients in front of me. By the time Saturday morning rolled around my fridge and pantry were close to empty, and I didn’t want to eat black beans for breakfast just to check the day off, so I took an incomplete and had banana pancakes instead!

Now, on to what I ate!

Monday: roasted cauliflower with a chickpea & vegetable sauté (onions, squash, tomatoes).

roasted cauliflower and chick peas

Tuesday: chickpea leftovers from Monday+ spicy roasted carrot hummus fullsizeoutput_45e1.jpeg

Wednesday: I wanted to try a more convenient product just to see what’s out there. I saw someone at work eating this zucchini lentil pasta from Birds Eye and was suspicious but intrigued. I was impressed that it was only 160 mg of sodium per serving and it had a nice flavor. I had this with leftover chicken and some more vegetables.


Thursday: Made these Pinto Bean Veggie Burgers for dinner


Friday: Leftover veggie burgers for lunch

Saturday we went to the beach and beans just weren’t on the menu. But crabs were!!! IMG_0229

On the way home, we stopped at Taste. I LOVE this place. They have delicious, local food, gifts, and a thoughtful wine selection. Plus a cute, inviting outdoor area to eat and play. I got chicken salad on greens for there – and a bottle of Thibaut-Janisson to go!


Thoughts for the future:

  • More planning. Isn’t this always the case? I’m going to either need to make more and have leftovers OR make sure I have enough ingredients on hand to really amp up my beans towards the end of the week.
  • If traveling, bring the beans. There are several ways to incorporate beans into snacks that can be taken to-go.

I would love to hear your tips on upping your bean game!


Legume Lovin’

Last night I made the most delicious, buttery-sweet cinnamon rolls on the planet.

Joy the Baker…thank you! My sister-in-law is getting MARRIED and asked if I could make mini-cinnamon rolls for their rehearsal dinner. That was the easiest “yes” of the year. So now I get to practice. I’m sorry in advance for the number of boomerangs I will post to Instagram between now and November.

cinnamon rolls icing.JPG

In between letting the dough rise and contemplating dinner ideas, I thought of a personal challenge: To eat at least 1 serving of beans every day for 1 week.     

I know it doesn’t sound hard to eat a serving of beans every day. It shouldn’t be.

But I want to be purposeful about including this awesome food group into my daily menu. They are such a satiating, nutrient dense food, full of protein, fiber, iron, potassium, manganese, folic acid, zinc…blah blah blah.

As a woman of child-bearing age, I know how important it is for my body to get extra iron and folic acid. Yet another reason to eat legumes!

One serving of beans or legumes is considered 1/2 cup cooked. These recommendations are in line with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and as Americans, we are falling way behind on meeting that goal!

Average Vegetable Subgroup Intakes in Cup-Equivalents per Week by Age-Sex Groups, Compared to Ranges of Recommended Intakes per Week

The orange dot is average intake – the blue line is the recommended range.                                 DATA SOURCES: What We Eat in America, NHANES 2007-2010 for average intakes by age-sex group. Healthy U.S.-Style Food Patterns, which vary based on age, sex, and activity level, for recommended intake ranges.

I started day one with garbanzo beans for dinner. I added one can of rinsed beans to some sauteed onion, summer squash, and tomatoes. To add a middle eastern flavor, I used about 1/2 – 1 tsp of the following spices: cumin, garam masala, nutmeg, turmeric, and chili powder. I served it over roasted cauliflower and topped with a sauce.

The sauce was equal parts Greek yogurt and Dijon mustard, 1 tsp Harissa (a chili pepper paste), pepper, salt, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.

Look too funky? To each their own!


It’s important to mention that variety is key. So tonight, we’ll have a choice of black beans, pinto beans, or lentils.

You’ll have to check back at the end of the week to see if I met my challenge!

Do you meet the recommended number of legume servings per week? I would love to hear unique or simple ways you incorporate them.

Wish me luck!


Lemon Squash Bread

AKA: Summer in a loaf pan!

I adapted this recipe from: Creative-Culinary.

Told you I needed new ideas for all the squash from our garden. Also, I’ve been craving something lemony, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

We won’t call this healthy, but an attempt was made to cut the saturated fat and sugar content (a little). And besides, it’s summer, and a holiday weekend, and I have squash that needs to be used!



  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup stevia
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups grated summer squash
For the Glaze:
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour 1 regular loaf pan (I used the leftovers to make muffins)
  3. In a standing mixer, mix butter, oil, sugar, stevia, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and gently mix.
  6. Add squash and stir just to blend.
  7. Pour into prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. (Muffins bake for 25-28 minutes).
  8. Allow the pan to cool; remove the bread and place top down on a serving plate.
Make the Glaze:
  1. Combine the melted butter and powdered sugar and stir until smooth; add the lemon juice and lemon zest and stir to combine.
  2. Pour the glaze over the top; covering it completely.

Happy (almost) Independence Day!