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Halloween healthy eating tips for adults

Halloween healthy eating tips for adults | www.ricottaandradishes.com

This year Halloween falls on a Friday. I can’t think of anything more perfect! There’s time to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, watch some Treehouse of Horror reruns, get all costumed up, hit a house party and then enjoy some leftover mini chocolate bars back at home before hitting the hay. The icing on the cake: not having to worry about getting up early the next morning!

Unlike other holidays that have an underlying meaning that you can focus on (giving, thanking, worshiping, etc.), Halloween is about one thing: candy.  Oh yeah, and the scary stuff and costumes.  But mostly candy.

Whether you have kids or not, chances are you participate in the candy part of Halloween in some way.  It’s a fun holiday, but if you’re trying to eat healthy it can pose a few challenges.

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Curry roasted pumpkin seeds

Curry roasted pumpkin seeds | www.ricottaandradishes.com

I have one word (ahem, hashtag) for you today: #TGIF!

That is all.

I’ll keep this post short and sweet because it’s Friday and I bet you have better things to do than sit here and read about pumpkin seeds!  (I don’t, however, but that’s just me. *starts Googling pumpkin seeds*)

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Spaghetti squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti squash pad Thai | www.ricottaandradishes.com

Haaaaaaappy Thanksgiving! Today I bring you a healthy yet filling recipe that happens to be the perfect antidote to a weekend filled with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Heck, you can even make it using leftovers if spaghetti squash happened to grace your dinner table this weekend. That recipe is spaghetti squash Pad Thai!

Like our good friend zucchini “noodles”, spaghetti squash is just begging to be dressed up like, and served in place of, pasta.  Once it’s cooked, the flesh naturally pulls apart into long, thin strands that look just like–you guessed it–spaghetti.  Nature really amazes me sometimes! (Check out my tips on cooking with spaghetti squash if you’re new to the vegetable.)

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Radicchio, endive and pear salad with blue cheese and walnuts

Radicchio, endive and pear salad with blue cheese and walnuts | www.ricottaandradishes.com

Thanksgiving is almost upon us.  Gah!  How did that happen?!

Every year it sneaks up on me without fail.  Not that I ever actually cook for the holiday…instead, we just show up and eat.  How nice, I know :)  But still.  It feels too soon!

I say we move Canadian Thanksgiving to late November like our American friends!  Sure, with our shorter growing season it makes sense to celebrate the summer’s bounty now, but being able to enjoy all the Thanksgiving-related food media, TV specials and other good stuff at the same time would be nice.

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How to cook spaghetti squash

How to prepare spaghetti squash | www.ricottaandradishes.com

Like our good friend zucchini “noodles”, spaghetti squash is just begging to be dressed up like, and served in place of, pasta. Once it’s cooked, the flesh naturally pulls apart into long, thin strands that look just like–you guessed it–spaghetti. Nature really amazes me sometimes!

If you’re aiming to boost your vegetable intake or simply want to reduce the amount of processed carbohydrate products you consume, spaghetti squash will be right up your alley. It has a pretty outstanding nutritional profile as well – it’s rich in vitamins and dietary fibre, high in health-boosting plant compounds including carotenoids and low in calories (only about 40 calories per 1 cup). [click to continue…]

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Curry roasted cauliflower and root vegetables

Curry roasted cauliflower and root vegetables | ricottaandradishes.com

You can’t beat the convenience of one-pot/pan dishes, especially a lazy one like this medley of roasted vegetables seasoned with curry powder. It’s a scientific fact: the less prep work and clean-up needed, the more likely you are to commit to making a home-cooked meal.  Well, maybe it’s not scientific.  Just common sense!

Roasting is one of my favourite ways to cook vegetables, especially when the weather starts to get cooler. You don’t need much oil and the end product has a deep, rich flavour that can’t be replicated by other cooking methods.

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WIAW #5: A Day of Business Travel

What I Ate Wednesday #5 - a day of business travel

If there’s one thing that can throw off a solid pattern of healthy eating, it’s travelling! Even a quick trip from Toronto to Baltimore (total airtime of just 1.5 hours), which I recently took for work, equates to 8 hours, 2 meals and 1 snack.  And that’s just part of one day.

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Wild rice and bean soup

Wild rice and bean soup | www.ricottaandradishes.com

Do you find yourself reaching for richer, more filling foods–think chunky stews, rich casseroles and creamy pastas–when it’s chilly outside? I most definitely do, and this craving has come earlier than usual thanks to Mother Nature’s unexpected cold spell.

(Though it’s hard to complain knowing what Albertans were faced with last week. Hint: it starts with an “s”!  Brrrr…)

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Cherry tomato and bocconcini caprese salad

Tomato mozzarella salad

If you live in Ontario and have a vegetable garden (even a small one like mine!), you probably noticed that it took ages for the tomatoes to ripen this year. I don’t have a green thumb by any means, but my guess is that this had something to do with the unseasonably cool summer we had.

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Baked polenta with chicken and black beans

Baked polenta with chicken and black beans

Move over, pasta – it’s polenta’s time to shine!

As far as Italian food goes, polenta is pretty underrated.  This is probably because it is not as common in North America as other Italian-inspired mains like pasta, pizza or risotto.  But as rustic peasant food continues to gain popularity (think beef stew, baked beans, chunky soups, nose-to-tail cooking), polenta seems just right at the moment.

If you’re new to polenta, here’s a quick overview…

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