Tag: vegan

Plant Based Cinco de Mayo

Plant Based Cinco de Mayo

It is cool to hear more of my clients trying to eat a bit more plant based. I am happy that they want to incorporate more plants. My concern are the plant based eaters that are filling up on the processed items, more than whole 

Whipped Matcha

Whipped Matcha

Dalgona whipped coffee is all the craz right now. I love coffee but don’t have instant coffee and not going to the store for one item. What I also love is matcha and have it in the house. So whipped matcha it was! When I 

Vegan and GF Carrot Cake

Vegan and GF Carrot Cake

Happy Easter weekend! Whatever your plans may be, I hope that we can remember the meaning behind Good Friday and Easter. What Jesus has done for us, carrying our sins on that cross and being crucified. He then had victory over death with his resurrection. Who all believe have eternal life with him. No matter how tough this current life may get, we have to remember it will be worth it when our forever is with him!

The bunny sometimes takes more of the show, rather than the Lord. I always wondered…”where did the bunny come from with Easter?” According to the History channel, the Easter bunny came over to Pennsylvania by the German immigrants. The immigrants came with stories of an egg-laying hare (a bunny). The rabbit’s ancient symbol represents fertility and new life. The egg represents new life.

I do love eggs, but I also enjoy being challenged with baking vegan (no eggs) and gluten free. I like to try different flours and substitutions. Carrot cake is a fav in the Bittner family plus is popular for Easter. So, I decided to create a healthier version. To like this cake, you must have a taste for vegan foods. Most of my family doesn’t…which saved more cake for me. You can always add your own additions and switches to your liking. I ate a nice solid piece every day of this week and loved it!

Vegan and GF Carrot Cake

Recipe by Chrissie Bittner, RD


Prep time


Cooking time



Carrots in cake? This cake you can enjoy for breakfast!


  • 2 cups GF flour

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • pinch salt

  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2 cups grated carrots

  • 3 flax “eggs” ** (3 tbsp flax meal + 6 tbsp water)

  • 3/4 cup almond milk

  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • toppings: walnuts or coconut

  • Cashew
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked over night

  • 1.4 cup + 2 tbsp powdered sugar

  • 4 tbsp almond milk

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Mix flax meal with 6 tbsp of water. Let sit for 5 minutes or more.

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour the 8 in pans.

  • In a mixer, add flax eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup to blend. Add brown sugar, applesauce, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Mix until combined.

  • Add milk and carrots to mix in.

  • Slowly add in the flour into mix until blended in, but don’t over mix. Fold raisins in.

  • Divide batter between both pans.

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and golden brown.

  • Remove and let cake cool in pans until pans are cool and transfer to cooling rack.

  • If top is uneven, gently even out the cake with running a knife over the top.

  • Ice with frosting. (Vegan recipe below) and top with crushed walnuts.

  • Enjoy and happy Easter!

  • Cashew Icing Directions
  • Drain water from cashews.

  • Add all ingredients together into a food processor.

  • Blend until smooth, scraping the sides. The process will take some time, so be patient!

  • Chill in the fridge or smooth onto the cool cake.


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    Vegan Falafel & tzatziki bowl

    Vegan Falafel & tzatziki bowl

    Being a dietitian, most of my discussions are around food— all day!! Which always makes me remember flavors that I may have been missing out on. Today, my client brought up Zoe’s kitchen and automatically I thought of falafels and their salmon kabobs. Proud to 

    Thai Curry Soup

    Thai Curry Soup

      Soup swap?! Ok count me in! Have you ever heard of a cookie swap? Well a soup swap is similar minus the 100g of sugar. It is actually hard to taste all the soups when there are 10 different types! Everyone else was just 

    Green Veggie Pesto Pasta

    Green Veggie Pesto Pasta

    Earlier this month Banza pasta sent me a box of pasta. They provided a challenge to post different recipes using Banza pasta with the hashtag: #resolvetoeatmorepasta . Here are some other recipes using Banza pasta: vegan mac and cheese and 5 bean soup.

    Usually in the beginning of the year, New Years resolutions means eating healthier. As many people consume white pasta, they may eliminate it in the new year. No need to remove pasta when Banza pasta is made with chick pea flour and filled with protein and fiber! Honestly, you don’t have to remove white pasta if you love it, I just wouldn’t make it a daily meal as it is lower in fiber, protein, and nutrients.

    In my house, we don’t have white pasta since my husband enjoys the Banza pasta with me. We also have quinoa pasta from Trader Joe’s. One time we tried the black bean pasta from Trader Joe’s, I didn’t mind it, but my husband couldn’t eat it (I think it was the stickiness and the color).

    I enjoy trying different pasta flavors out there. Plus, I am not Italian so I am not too picky with my pasta.

    A couple weeks ago my friend and I had a girls night out to Trader Joe’s. This is how adult-ing girl’s night out look when your friends have kids and when I love food shopping. We went at 7 pm and it was the best time to go! My husband won’t go back with me because it is a mad house everytime we go and he gets ran over by carts. Me on the other hand, enjoy taking my time, reading labels, seeing their new items, and thinking of new recipes I can make with their items.

    This pesto wasn’t a new item for them, but it was for me. I got the vegan kale, cashew, and basil pesto and was waiting for the perfect moment to make it….which was tonight. Let me tell you, it was AHHHHMAZZING! You would think you were eating normal pesto with cheese, but absolutely no cheese in this one! I may go stock up and freeze some in ice cube trays next time I go OR may try to make my own in the summer when my family’s farm has an over abundance of basil. In the meantime, I can’t wait months to have this pesto again.

    Pesto isn’t hard to make, but honestly having it already made helped make this dish an under 30 minute dish. The veggies took 25 minutes to roast, the chicken took 10 min to cook, and the pasta took 7 minutes to cook. So when you cook the chicken and pasta when the veggies are roasting, then add everything together with the pesto, it takes less than 30 minutes for a dish full of veggies, protein, healthy fats, fiber, and complex carbs.

    So feel free to recreate this dish and add your favorite veggies and protein source OR keep it just pesto, veggies, and Banza pasta for a vegan and high protein dish.

    Green Veggie Pesto Pasta

    Recipe by Chrissie Bittner, RD


    Prep time


    Cooking time



    Go green with this veggie loaded vegan pesto, chick pea pasta bowl. High fiber, protein, and deliciousness!


    • 1/2 bunch of asparagus, cut in thirds

    • 1 cup broccoli

    • 1.5 cup brussel sprouts, halved

    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

    • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

    • 8 oz chicken, cubed

    • 2 cups banza pasta, dry

    • 4 cups water

    • 1/2 cup pesto

    • S & P


    • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
    • Add veggies to baking sheet, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with S&P. Bake for 25 minutes.
    • While veggies are baking, heat pasta water with a little salt.
    • Once boiling, add pasta and cook for 7-9 minutes.
    • Heat a large skillet with remaining olive oil, add chicken cubes and S&P. Cook and cover for 5 mins, flip pieces, and cook for another 5 minutes, until internal temperature is 165°F.
    • Drain and rinse pasta, add to cooked chicken, cover with pesto, and add veggies. Fold until pesto is covering veggies, chicken, and pasta.
    • Enjoy!

    Lentil Veggie Soup

    Lentil Veggie Soup

      Brrrr… if you see me outside, I will be on a mission to get to the warmest destination—my pre-heated car (best invention) or a warm building. I do not handle cold well at all! I usually have a hot drink in my hand (decaf 

    Vegan Sweet Potato Cream Pasta

    Vegan Sweet Potato Cream Pasta

    Vegan cream sauce made without cashews!

    5 Bean Soup

    5 Bean Soup


    This past week during class, in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, we learned about connecting with your intuition. It is easy to get so busy with the to-do lists, especially around this time of year. We often forget to follow our intuition’s cues and making time for ourselves. My goal this holiday season is to stay in touch with how I am feeling and what my gut is telling me. In the past years, I have tried to fit every holiday party in, buy gifts for everyone, and run around trying to have the perfect Christmas.

    This year, I am taking a different view. I have said “no” to some events, I am not filling my schedule, I have cut down my gift list, and trying to listen to what my body needs: rest, nutrition, fitness, and my social life.

    My family and in-laws have all decided to skip gifts and focus on the kids. With my in-laws, we are doing a white elephant. I love white elephants because it gives me a purpose to regift items that will fit better in someone else’s life. Plus we always have a good time! Last year at our friend’s white elephant, my husband and I gave a lamp that was left in our foreclosed house. We placed it in a trash bag because it was so large. When my friend picked the gift, he opened it and the smell was horrific, he immediately threw it outside!!! But we laughed until we cried and our cheeks hurt. I realized that nice, expensive gifts are not always necessary. The joy of being with loves ones and having a good time means a lot more to me!

    We can’t forget about the real reason for Christmas: Christ’s birth. Christmas is all about the Lord and gifts often distract us from the real reason. For years, I wanted more and more of “things”. Until I realized, that you will never be fulled satisfied with materialistic items in this world. There will always be a new item or style to buy and stay up to date with. It is exhausting trying to keep satisfied. With the Lord, he is the only one that will satisfy our needs and will provide us with exactly what we need, not what we have on our “Christmas list”.

    Being involved in our church has drawn my husband and I closer to the Lord and I look at Christmas with a different view. One of my favorite Christmas events is my church’s (True North) Christmas Eve Eve service (yes it is on Dec 23!). If you are free, come on out! I will be serving with the 3-5 year olds at the 11 am service and attending the 5 pm service. Message me if you want to join, you will not want to miss it!

    Nutritionally, this time of year is hard. Speaking with my clients, I want the fear of food to be eliminated. I tell my clients to enjoy this time of year. I also challenge them to make small changes to have a healthy holiday while enjoying it, for example: instead of 5 cookies, eating 4. Would you want to eliminate your favorite holiday cookie, because I totally would not!!! Which my favorite is gingerbread cookies, you can see my recipe here.

    One tip to a healthy holiday is bringing a healthy dish for you to enjoy and anyone else trying to be healthier. Everyone knows I bring the veggies and hummus, roasted veggies, fruit, etc.

    Second tip is to eating something small and healthy before the party, for example: 1/4 cup nuts, broth based veggie soup, fruit, etc. This 5 bean soup (really 6 bean with Banza chick pea pasta) is perfect to have a few hours before your holiday party. It is full of fiber and veggies, which are usually missing at holidays parties. It will keep you full so you don’t overeat, but still have room for your favorite holiday treats!

    5 bean soup5 bean soup

    5 Bean Soup

    Serves: 7 cups


    1. In a slow cooker, heat olive oil, carrots, celery, onion, garlic for 5 minutes.

    2. Add remaining ingredients (instead of chick pea pasta).

    3. Cook on low for 4 or more hours, until beans are tender.

    4. 5 minutes before serving, add pasta.

    5. Enjoy!


    • 5 cups low sodium veggies broth

    • 1/2 onion, chopped

    • 2 celery stalks, chopped

    • 3 carrots, chopped

    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

    • 1 tbsp olive oil

    • 1/4 cup dried red beans

    • 1/4 cup dried Navy beans

    • 1/4 cup dried Split peas

    • 1/4 cup dried black beans

    • 1/4 cup black-eyed peas

    • 1 tsp dried oregano

    • 1 tsp dried basil

    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

    • 1/2 tsp rosemary

    • S&P

    • 1 1/2 cup uncooked chick pea pasta

    5 beans5 beans

    All About Beans

    • Legume family: lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, soybeans, peas

    • High in fiber: ~7g per 1/2 cup servings; keeps you full longer; decreases LDL cholesterol, heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, and obesity

      • Improve gut health

      • May cause gas from oligosacchardies: reduce with changing the soaking water with the cooking water

    • High in folate: important in production of red blood cells

    • High in protein: add with a grain, like rice, to get a complete essential amino acids

    • Beneficial in fighting type 2 diabetes: high fiber and low glycemic index- where the blood sugar rises slowly.

    • Very cheap and nutritious! Just rinse from the can to reduce sodium.

    • Use it to replace meat in dishes, hummus, spreads, in salads, roast chick peas, the uses are endless!


    Taco Stuffed Peppers

    Taco Stuffed Peppers

    Whether you have a vegan or meat lover in your house, both choices provided to make everyone happy!