Coriander-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas from www.eatsrealfood.com

Coriander-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

These Coriander-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas are the perfect crunchy snack that won’t weigh you down.

It’s finally starting to feel like fall here in LA, and by fall I mean a chilly 75 degrees. Yes, I have become like the rest of the Angelenos who thinks 70 degrees means throwing on your North Face and Uggs. It’s sad but I wouldn’t have it any other way :) And I am LOVING this weather! I love you, fall.

Coriander-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas from www.eatsrealfood.comFootball season is also among us. Can I get a WHO DAT for all of my Saints fans out there?! As we all know, it wouldn’t be a true football game without snacks and beer. Such snacks are typically not the best for us and we tend to overindulge unnoticed when the TV screen is in front of us. I too, am guilty of enjoying fun appetizers and party snacks on occasion and I think that’s totally allowed. But that doesn’t mean we can’t bring some healthier snacks to the table AND feel good about eating them.

Coriander-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas from www.eatsrealfood.comThis month’s Recipe Redux challenge is about “Spooky Spices” – those spices that have been lurking in the back of your spice drawer covered in cobwebbs. I knew exactly which spice I was going to use: coriander.

Coriander-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas from www.eatsrealfood.comI actually like coriander but I tend not to use it too often, hence, why there was practically a full bottle when I pulled it out of hiding! Coriander also has some health benefits that may help reduce skin inflammation and indigestion, just to name a few. I had a can of chickpeas screaming to be made into roasted, crunchy balls of goodness.

Coriander-Spiced Roasted ChickpeasThese Coriander-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas are the perfect snack whether you’re watching football or not. They are full of fiber, protein and healthy fats to keep you satisfied without the guilt. So just in case you want to avoid eating one too many potato chips, make a batch of roasted chickpeas for the win!


Pumpkin Oat Bake from www.eatsrealfood.com

Pumpkin Oat Bake

This Pumpkin Oat Bake is a comforting fall breakfast that can be made ahead of time for quick and nutritious eats.

Pumpkin Oat Bake from www.eatsrealfood.comThis is just the beginning of my pumpkin obsession. I plan on taking full advantage of the seasonal favorite by throwing it into anything I can. If you missed it, check out my Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding for a quick and delicious breakfast or dessert.

This recipe is adapted from Kath’s Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal, which is truly delicious! I decided I wanted less oats in my baked oatmeal and more moisture so I slightly tweaked a couple of ingredients and ratios.

Pumpkin Oat Bake from www.eatsrealfood.comI replaced the egg with unsweetened applesauce, not like there’s anything wrong with some fat (you need it!), but I had some applesauce in the refrigerator that needed to be used up. Less oats and slightly less milk and I achieved the texture that I wanted :)

Pumpkin Oat Bake from www.eatsrealfood.comI added in some currants, thanks to Arianna Trading Company, for the sweetest currants I have ever had. These organic Greek currants are made with just two ingredients: dried organic Vostizza currants and organic sunflower oil. I couldn’t believe how sweet these were without any added sugar – amazing!

Pumpkin Oat Bake from www.eatsrealfood.comMix all of the ingredients together and bake in the oven. Your kitchen will smell of pumpkin goodness and you will love it! This Pumpkin Oat Bake is super easy and makes for quick breakfasts during the week if cooked the night before. Serve warm or cold and add your favorite toppings – mine include nut butter and/or pure maple syrup.

Pumpkin Oat Bake from www.eatsrealfood.com

National Pork Board + Napa

Disclosure: My trip was paid for by the National Pork Board. I was not compensated for this post, as always, all opinions are my own.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few short days in St. Helena, CA (Napa Valley) for the Advisory Panel of Registered Dietitians, sponsored by the National Pork Board.

St. Helena, Napa ValleyWhere do I begin?? The trip was such a whirlwind of great pork information, culinary education/cooking, wine tasting, amazing food, and even more amazing people and new RD friends. All in-class lectures and production were at the Culinary Institute of America.

Culinary Institute of AmericaWe stayed at the Southbridge Napa Valley hotel in St. Helena. A cozy hotel with Napa inspired atmosphere, equipped with a beautiful spa, fitness center and (real) olive trees. What I loved most about this hotel is they offered complimentary fresh apples and water. I drink water like it’s my job and get dehydrated easily, so having water available at all times was a relief. And those cookies left on my bed? Delicious!

Southbridge Napa ValleyOur first night, we got right into what Napa does best: WINE. We learned all about Napa Valley wines from Traci, CIA Wine Instructor, at the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies. There is SO much that goes into wine making, including going way back to the history of it all. We tasted six wines. As we happily sipped, we were to describe the flavors, acidity and depth of each wine. I’m usually not a Zinfandel fan, but the Stonybook Mountain Zinfandel won over my palate.

Napa Valley WinesWine studies was followed by a few small dishes, made in the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant of the CIA. My lack of food photos during the trip was mostly due to poor lighting and the fact that I realized I should’ve taken more photos after I had finished eating, oops. I did happen to capture this goat cheese fig cheesecake just in time! The walnut crust was the best part.

Goat Cheese Fig CheesecakeThe majority of our second day was spent at the CIA for lectures, recipe review and hands-on production in Greystone teaching kitchen. Most of you probably don’t know this, but I would’ve gone to culinary school if I hadn’t become a dietitian. Cooking at the CIA was totally surreal, a dream really. I didn’t mind wearing the goofy chefs hat one bit!

Culinary Institute of AmericaWe split up into four groups to make four different pork dishes each. Shout out to group #1 – we rocked it! I made my first ever Rice Paper-Wrapped Salad Rolls with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce. Prepping all of the components was definitely the most challenging part of the dish. I’ve always thought those rice paper wraps were so darn intimidating! After filling and rolling (thanks to help from my teammates), we realized how easy it was to make your own. I’ll definitely be experimenting in my own kitchen.

RDs

Rice Paper-Wrapped Salad Rolls w/Hoisin-Peanut SauceAll of the pork dishes looked and tasted great. I think we’re allowed to call ourselves chefs? ;)

Pork Dishes at the CIAPork Dishes at the CIABut then came on the large and in charge pork-food coma…only after we enjoyed some of the delicious baked goods from the baking and pastry arts students. YUM.

Shunsuke Takaki Baking CenterAfter more pork learning (more to come on the blog later), we ventured over to Long Meadow Ranch – America’s first combined winery and olive oil producer. They make some of the best organic extra-virgin olive oil and wine I have ever tasted. We got a great tour of the winery and the magic behind that amazing olive oil.

Long Meadow Ranch WineryLong Meadow Ranch We had dinner at Farmstead (owned by Long Meadow Ranch), a farm to table menu showcasing seasonal ingredients. Dishes were served family style and the wine kept flowing. The kale salad was INSANE you guys. I want to be eating that stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Again, apologies for no food photos, no filters could do the food justice.

Farmstead RestaurantThe night was filled with incredible food and awesome new friends. Thanks to my fellow food blogger/RD friend, Megan, I wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for her!!

RD Food Blogger from www.eatsrealfood.comUntil Next time, Napa!

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding from www.eatsrealfood.com

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding for October Unprocessed

It’s October and fall has officially arrived. It’s time to dive head first into everything and anything pumpkin, am I right? Sure, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes and candy corn are fun and festive, but do they actually contain any real pumpkin in them at all? The answer is likely no. This is why I’d like to share with you my Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding, just in time for October Unprocessed.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding from www.eatsrealfood.comI am excited to participate in Andrew’s October Unprocessed challenge this year, eating clean and wholesome for one whole month. I tend to eat clean the majority of the time, hence my blog, Eat Real Food, and I encourage you to do so as well. But this challenge really brings mindful eating into play. So what does eating real food mean to me? Foods that are minimally processed and eaten in its purest form. For example, foods that contain artificial flavorings, preservatives or additives are definitely not clean.

Want the recipe for Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding? Head on over to Eating Rules, where I am guest posting for today’s October Unprocessed recipe.