Remember when there were only three kinds of milk—chocolate, white, and strawberry? And they all came from a cow? Well, it’s a different world now when it comes to milk products. You can choose between such milks as soy, nut milks like cashew and almond, and oat. You could make your own, but it’s a long process and so if you’re feeling lazy or just don’t want to bother there’s a great alternative and that’s Upright Oatmilk, a brand that advertises itself as being even better than just plain oats because it contains 25% of recommended daily value per serving for calcium, 15% of Vitamins A, B12, and D, 1 gram prebiotic fiber, and 8 grams oat protein per serving.
Made with just oats and a blend of key vitamins and minerals, Upright Oatmilk is naturally gluten-free and hypoallergenic. What it doesn’t have is equally important and that includes no dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, nuts, seeds, soy, peas, sesame, corn, oils, gums, emulsifiers, carrageenan, artificial flavors or colors.
The makers of Upright worked with world-leading pediatricians and food scientists to develop our uniquely allergen-free and high-nutrient oatmilk to support heart, gut, and whole-body health.
It’s powder and comes in three flavors—vanilla, chocolate, and original unsweetened.
Normally I don’t like powders because they’re often lumpy but this one, after you add water, comes out smooth. You can drink it as is, use it for smoothies, soups, or as a one-to-one liquid substitute in baking and cooking.
The following recipes are courtesy of Allright Food
Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
2 shots espresso
2 tsp brown sugar
3/4 sachet Upright Instant Oatmilk Original
1 1/2 cups ice
Make your espresso. Add in brown sugar and shake for 20 seconds. Add in ice and oatmilk and shake again. Pour into a glass and add a dash of cinnamon.
Butternut Squash Soup
1 small onion, chopped
4 tablespoons margarine
1 sachet of Vanilla Upright High-Protein Instant Oatmilk
6 cups butternut squash, chopped
3½ cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground chili pepper
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
Saute the onions with margarine in a saucepan.
Add the chopped squash, chicken broth, black pepper, sachet of Upright instant oatmilk, and chilli pepper and bring to a boil.
Cook for 20 minutes, or until the squash becomes tender.
Mix the squash and cream cheese to a smooth consistency using a hand blender. Return to saucepan and heat through.
Pour the soup into a bowl and top with pumpkin seeds for garnish.
Upright Oatmilk Pineapple Smoothie
2 cups of cut pineapple cubes
1 sachet of Vanilla Upright High-Protein Instant Oatmilk
1 cup of ice
Blend everything together, pour into a cup, and enjoy.
Upright Oatmilk Smoothie
1 handful of strawberries
1 handful of blueberries
1 handful of blackberries
1 sachet of Vanilla Upright High-Protein Instant Oatmilk
1 cup of ice
Pour in the strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, Vanilla Upright Instant Oatmilk, and ice cubes into a blender.
Spoiled by her mom’s cooking and too tired to cook herself after working all day Yumna Jawaddecided after getting married to change all that. Calling her mom—there was no Facetime back then–Jawad would have her stay on the phone and tell her step by step how to make a meal. It took just two weeks and from there Jawad, who moved to Kalamazoo, and now lives in Grand Rapids, used her new skills not only to cook for her family but as a springboard to creating Feel Good Foodie, her healthy, quick, and creative food blog. She also keeps an active Instagram account with three million followers.
I came across her blog when researching healthy recipes since I’ve moved on during the pandemic from trying all those dessert recipes I’ve been clipping and saving for years and was very impressed. Besides recipes, she also offers nutritional information, substitutions, how to videos, how long does it take to make the recipe and links to similar recipes. So I emailed Jawad and she responded within ten minutes even though it was late at night but then judging by how often she updates her blog, she may not sleep much if at all.
It turns out that she worked in Branding and Research & Marketing for consumer packaged foods and the retail food industry and eight years ago began sharing recipes on her Instagram account. She now has over two million followers which is pretty amazing. I have like 2000. Her blog has 400,000 visitors a month. So I asked her why she thought she was so successful.
“When I first started sharing recipes on social media, my photos were all taken on an iPhone and it was always the meals I made that day for myself or my family,” she says. “The food wasn’t styled or edited, but it was easy and approachable. I think it resonated with a lot of people seeking ways to eat healthier that was attainable and easy-to-manage. And when others tried recreating my recipes, they had similar results without ‘Pinterest fails’. That encouraged them to try more and share more, which I believe helped me establish credibility in my brand and recipes. And all of that was before I even knew that I was even building a health and wellness brand.”
The Flavors of the World
Jawad has an international background that adds to the creativity of her recipes. She was born in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and also lived in Sierra Leone until age 11. When Civil War broke out there, the family moved to Dearborn, Michigan. After marrying, she and her husband, a cardiologist, moved several times as well before ending up in Kalamazoo and now Grand Rapids She first learned to cook traditional Lebanese food but now has exponentially expanded her repertoire but there’s often a Middle East/Mediterranean aspect to her recipes because of their focus on vegetables and healthy ingredients.
Her culinary inspirations, besides her mother include Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame.
“While not all of Ina’s recipes are low calories/low fat, I love her realness, approachability, and passion for cooking,” says Jawad. “She inspires me to be who I am and allow that passion to come through with my recipes without any fluff.”
Curtis Stone is also another food idol because, she says, he is all about eating unprocessed and unpackaged foods as much as possible, which is actually healthier and cheaper.
“This is something that I focus so much on with my wholesome home-cooked meals,” she says.
And because, as the mother of two children, she likes meals that are quick to prepare, she’s a fan of Rachel Ray.
“Rachel rally popularized the idea of 30 minute meals that made home cooking so accessible for so many people; and that is directly in line with my thinking,” says Jawad.
Currently she adds three recipes a week to her blog—meals she’s been making for her family since she learned to cook 12 years ago. Some are inspired by tradition, others by watching cooking shows, reading food magazines, and following social media and focuses on new approaches creating healthy wholesome meals.
“This includes, for example, trends like quinoa crust breadsticks, or cauliflower pizza or sweet potato toast,” says Jawad. “I keep up with the latest trends and test new ideas myself and then add my own twist to them, usually by making the prep easier or by swapping some ingredients to personalize the recipe.”
Recipe Data Base
She’s also adding to the recipe data base on her blog.
For those who wonder how to incorporate new foods into their kitchen repertoire, she has some tips. When she used to discover new produce at farmers’ markets, she’d ask the grower for suggestions. Now, Jawad uses the vegetables or fruits in a way that makes it more connected to what she knows.
“I recommend experimenting with it in a way that you normally eat other similar foods,” she says. “For instance, since rutabaga is a root vegetable, I would prepare it similar in a similar way to other root vegetables by roasting it because I know I would naturally enjoy that more than steaming it. I would also recommend trying something new in smaller quantities and having others to share it with. It makes the process more enjoyable to try a new ingredient or recipe with other taste testers. When it comes to kids, the same advice applies. But also, I strongly recommend having kids help in the purchase and preparation of ingredients. It gets them more excited about what they make because they feel more invested in the process. When all else fails, mask it in a smoothie or blended soup.”
The following recipes are courtesy of Yumna Jawad.
Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion diced
3 large carrots peeled, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
3 celery stalks small diced
2-3 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1/8 teaspoon turmeric optional
Juice of 1-2 lemons to taste
Place chicken and scraps from the outer layers and end of the onions, carrots, and celery along with a couple bay leaves in a large stock pot. Add bay leaves and 8-10 cups water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove chicken and shred; then strain the chicken broth using a fine-mesh sieve and discard the vegetable scraps and bay leave
Heat oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken, orzo, rosemary, and turmeric (if using). Then return the broth to the stockpot and bring a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the orzo is cooked, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with fresh parsley or mint, if desired.
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the air fryer to 380°F. Peel the sweet potatoes, then slice each potato into even 1/4 inch thick sticks.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl, and toss with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper.
Cook in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of your basket without overcrowding the pan until they’re crispy. I recommend 12 minutes, turning halfway. This may vary based on your air fryer.
Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 eggs beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
½ red onion finely chopped
½ cup mozzarella cheese
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 cup breadcrumbs
Water as needed add moisture
1 tablespoon canola oil
For the Avocado Yogurt Dip
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
½ cup yogurt
½ avocado extra ripe
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in onions, cheese, garlic, and cilantro. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Feel free to add water if the mixture feels too dry. Form the mixture into 6-8 patties.
Frying Instructions:Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Place add quinoa on the heated pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan and cook until the patties are golden color, about 7 – 10 per side minutes.
Baking Instructions:Place the quinoa patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the oil on top of the patties. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for 15 minutes, until golden.
To make the avocado yogurt sauce, whisk together the cilantro, avocado and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the cooked quinoa patties.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: You can also freeze the patties before or after cooking them.
To freeze them prior to cooking, lay them on a flat baking dish in the freezer for at least 4 hours. When frozen, place them in an airtight bag. Thaw in the fridge overnight and cook per instructions.
To freeze them after cooking, simply store them in an airtight bag after they’ve cooled. To re-heat, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
Instead of eggs, you can use a flax eggs. For each regular egg, use 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water.
Any type of shredded cheese can be used in place of mozzarella.
If you prefer not to use breadcrumbs, you can use a gluten-free flour like almond flour or oat flour, or you can also use panko breadcrumbs.
“Satisfy your sweet tooth with a plant-based treat in under 10 minutes,” Jawad says about the following recipe. “3-ingredient chia pudding is the perfect pick-me-up. High in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, this recipe is as good for you as it tastes.”
3-Ingredient Chia Pudding
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ cup almond milk or milk of choice
1 teaspoon honey or other sweetener
Strawberries, blueberries, or other fruit
Pour all ingredients into a Mason jar and mix well. Let sit for a few minutes and then stir again until it is smooth and there’s no clumping.
Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
When you’re ready to eat, top with your favorite fruit and serve.
Looking for a last minute Halloween treat that’s not only yummy, but healthy to counteract all that Candy Corn, caramel corn, and other candies we’re going to overeat? We’ve got good news for you. Catherine McCord has you covered. McCord, founder of Weelicious, a website created as a motivating guide combining her own experiences in creating healthy and delicious meals with fact-based research on children and food.
McCord, the author of Weelcious: One Family. One Meal featuring 140 original “fast, fresh and easy” recipes and Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunchbox, takes one of her childhood favorite desserts—pudding cups and recreates it into Chocolate Tofu Pudding Cups served in small clay flowerpots for a perfect Halloween treat. And honestly, it’s so good, no one will realize that it’s healthy.
Chocolate Tofu Pudding Cups
14-ounce package soft silken tofu (McCord suggests House Foods soft silken or Mori-Nu firm silken)
1/3 cup pure cocoa powder
1/3 cup agave nectar (feel free to use a little more if you want it sweeter)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
24 chocolate wafers (McCord likes using Famous Chocolate Wafers)
Gummy Worms (Okay, it’s candy so we’re open to suggestions for a wholesome substitute that people would want to eat. But until then, either skip the Gummies and lose the great visual presentation or just focus on how healthy tofu is for you,)
4 small clay flowerpots
Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and blend to combine.
Scrape down the sides of the food processor. Blend again to make sure everything is incorporated.
Place 4 whole chocolate wafers in the bottom of the clay pots so none of the pudding goes through the hole at the bottom of the pots.
Divide the chocolate tofu pudding between the 4 pots.
Place the remaining 20 wafers in a Ziploc bag and using a rolling pin, crush into small pieces resembling dirt.
Sprinkle the crushed wafers on top of the pots and then place the gummy worms in the pots.
2 English muffins, cut in half
8 teaspoons pizza sauce
2 mozzarella cheese sticks
3 green olives with pimentos
Preheat oven to 400℉.
Place the English muffin halves on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove muffins from oven and spread 2 teaspoons of the pizza sauce onto each English muffin half.
Peel the mozzarella sticks into strings and decoratively arrange them on top of each English muffin. Slice the green olives into 1/4 inch thick rings and place them on top of the cheese to create eyes.
Bake mummies for 3 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
One Small Garden: Over 300 Delicious, Nutritious Recipes by Lillian and Dave Brummet is a timely collection of recipes now as more and more fresh produce is coming on to the market. Described as the ultimate guide to using fresh fruit and vegetables from backyard gardens to farmer’s markets, the book is guide to using what’s in season to create wholesome meals, the recipes here use the freshest and purest sources of food available.
“I hope to inspire others to buy fresh local food and to cook it in ways that are even better than going out to a restaurant,” says Dave Brummet of Brummet Media who with his wife has also authored the Trash Talk series about green living and saving money and time through better waste and resource management. “We want to inspire people to spend more time feeding themselves quality, nutritious food instead of the lure of expensive over-packaged convenience foods. In your car, which can be rebuilt with numerous replaceable parts, would you try to run it with dirty kerosene? No, so why do we put junk in our system when we have no hope of replacing those parts we might ruin by doing so. How we eat has an impact on our world – it affects equality, poverty, farming practices, the health of the soil, the purity of the water and air – and of course your own personal well-being.”
The book, loaded with lots of interesting tidbits of historical and nutritional information, is more than just a collection of recipes, it’s also a way of learning how to treat yourself to the healthy, delicious rewards of one small garden.
“The most important thing for me is to have a general feeling that I used the time I was given to create a positive legacy–be it through writing, supporting others, donating, sharing garden harvests, greening our property and making a more eco-friendly home, or daily actions such as dedicated recycling and so on,” says Lillian. “Part of being conscious includes self-sufficiency – not being reliant on aid programs, or living in heavy debt to others, looking after one’s health the best one can, etc. So I try to live proactively in my home life, but also in business – with the idea that what I choose to do now will have a ripple effect on the direction our world takes tomorrow. What I choose to buy now, whether I grow organically, what I choose to write about and blog about all has an impact on tomorrow.”
STRAWBERRY WHEAT GERM MUFFINs
Authors’ note: “Perfect strawberries when in season, frozen strawberries can also be used– just chop, thaw and drain before using. This will yield between 18-22 muffins depending on how large your muffin tins are. I prefer to use muffin cup liners that are compostable, which will help reduce the amount of waste heading to the landfill. Feel free to experiment, I have used reconstituted powder milk, rice milk and almond milk for this recipe with great results. White chocolate chips work well with this combination, however I personally prefer dark, flavonoid-rich chocolate.”
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup bran
1 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cup white flour
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Beat eggs briefly then add sugar and beat for 3 minutes. Add remaining liquid ingredients and then use a wooden spoon to stir in the germ and bran. Allow to rest for 10 minutes while you tidy the kitchen and prep the next step. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together, and when the timer goes off – combine all the ingredients together, including the strawberries and chips.
Preheat oven to 400˚.
Place 22 paper liners in 2 muffin tins and spoon out the batter evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean, and the top has a light golden color. Cool completely before serving.