Recipe Roundup: It’s soup season!

Something about this time of year makes my soul feel at peace. Or, rather, some things, plural. How I love the blazing fall colors, the nip in the air, the comfort of fuzzy cardigans and infinity scarves, and the desire to turn inward in body and mind and cozy up with a blanket and a book. And of course, how could I forget my professed love of soup season?

It may seem such a silly thing to pledge your undying devotion, but there’s something about a warm bowl of soup that makes everything right with the world. It’s hearty, comforting, warming, full of flavor — any kind of flavor you can dream of. And for me, many soups are inherently full of nostalgia. Especially chicken noodle soup.

I grew up in a family that treated the day after Thanksgiving as its own holiday. It was sacred, and the routine never varied: Up came the Christmas decorations, on went the holiday music, and into the kitchen we went for leftover turkey soup. And in the days before DVDs brought the magic of children’s Christmas specials on demand, we’d turn to the newspaper to check that night’s TV schedule for the first of the season’s holiday showings.

Now, no matter what time of year, whenever I smell turkey or chicken noodle soup I am there in my parents’ home listening to Bing Crosby or Manheim Steamroller, hanging my favorite “lovebirds” ornament on the tree and wrapping the banister in tinsel, waiting for the homemade noodles and creamy broth of the evening’s turkey soup.

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Recipe Roundup: 2 one-pot wonders and vegan ribs (what???)

For years I hated cooking because the ratio was all wrong: Why spend an hour in the kitchen making dinner plus a half hour cleaning up afterwards when it only takes 20 minutes to eat? That’s 90 minutes of work for 20 minutes of enjoyment. (And if you’ve got picky eaters who pitch a fit at the table every freaking night, that 20 minutes is likely to be the worst 20 minutes of your entire day.)

But then along came the one-pot meal. It’s similar to slow cooking in that you throw everything in the crock pot and let ‘er rip, but it doesn’t take all day and there’s only one pot to clean. WINNING. Plus, there are so many more ingredients you can cook on the stove that you can’t in a slow cooker (but let’s be honest, the only ingredient I really care about is pasta).

I’ll be sharing many more one-pot meals as I test them out (cuz it’s SOUP SEASON, Y’ALL!!), so to round out my round up I’m throwing you a curve-ball: Vegan barbecue ribs. Oh yeah. I went there. And I highly recommend that you go there, too. Scroll down for more.

One-pot wonder tomato basil pasta

Image courtesy of ApronStringsBlog.com

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Recipe Roundup: 3 new twists on old favorites

Whenever you change your diet, no matter how in love with your new lifestyle you may be, eventually you find yourself craving old favorites. Whether or not you decide to cut yourself some slack and indulge in a family fave (which is always my plan of action and a good way to maintain balance and not start to resent a diet), there are plenty of ways to find a substitution and turn a new dish into a new favorite.

With that in mind, here are three recipes that put a new spin on a classic dish.

Tofu Basil Ricotta

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Image courtesy LuminousVegans.com

I’ve never been a big fan of ricotta cheese; it’s way too much dairy and far too little flavor for my liking. But a homemade basil “ricotta” from tofu? Now we’re talking. Continue reading

Recipes: 2 no-bake oatmeal treats and 1 decadent fudge

Lately I’ve had quite a sweet tooth, and I haven’t been shy about indulging it. Which is lucky for you, my friends, because I’ve got three mouth-watering sweet treats that are not only easy to make, you won’t feel guilty about eating them. They’re all made of whole-food, plant-based ingredients and can be ready to eat in a half hour. Enjoy!

For more recipe recommendations, check out the Healthy Little Changes Recipes page.

Cinnamon caramel apple energy bites

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Image courtesy of thenymelrosefamily.com

According to Pinterest, energy bites are all the rage. In real life, I have no idea if this is true or not. But the array of oatmeal-packed goodness filling my Pinterest feed has inspired me to try more than one. One of my favorite recipes is cinnamon caramel apple energy bites from thenymelrosefamily.com. Just four ingredients — none of them sugar — and you’re on your way to tasty town.

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Recipes: Whole foods Italian, 3 ways

There’s something so comforting about Italian food — and I’m not even Italian. Must be the noodles. Or the warm, savory sauces. Or the fresh basil and parsley. Or the cheese — oh, the cheese! I’m just not ready to go vegan yet because I can’t say goodbye to the cheese.

But I digress. Whether you prefer your Italian food the traditional, full-fat way or you’re trying to go more whole-foods, plant-based, there’s bound to be a recipe you and your family will love. Here are three we just can’t get enough of. And as always, check the Healthy Little Changes Recipes page for more mealtime inspiration.

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A whole day of whole foods

One of the biggest hurdles to switching to a healthy foods lifestyle is, quite obviously, knowing how to eat. More specifically, it’s hard figuring out how to get from where you are to where you want to be — or even what that ideal looks like.

There are a lot of really great diets out there, but even more that are just nonsense recycled year after year. (I mean, you do realize that Paleo is just the Atkins diet with new marketing, right?) What makes sense to me is whole foods and clean eating. There are a lot of ways that people define these two terms (check out 100 Days of Real Food for some great info), but basically it just means you try to eat actual food that’s grown out of the ground, plain and simple. Nothing processed, no chemicals, and often without any animal products. The goal is to keep the food in as close to its natural state as possible, because the more you break down a food item, the more nutrients it loses. Continue reading