Pumpkin Custard with Spiced Whipped Cream

A holiday dessert that packs in fall flavors and 10 grams of protein per serving.Pumpkin CustardDisclosure: I received free samples of siggi’s yogurt mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by siggi’s yogurt and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

How do you decide what to serve over the  holidays? Are you a traditionalist? Or a trendsetter? I tend to favor time honored flavors, but I’m  in favor of new twists on classics. A food won’t make the cut to be served on my holiday table, unless it’s delicious. But there’s also this, the health aspect, cause I care about what I feed my family, friends and myself.

So what about making delicious foods healthier? That’s what the Recipe Redux is all about. Come to find out, it’s the story of siggi’s Icelandic yogurt, aka Skyr. In 2004, Native Icelander Siggi Hilmarsson, was filling his own need for the wholesome yogurt native to his homeland (made with simple ingredients and without too much sugar) when he first recreated skyr in his own NYC kitchen. Today siggi’s is a nationwide brand, boasting a fact that makes me a HUGE fan: it has more protein than sugar! Each carton (5.3 oz.)  provides 14 grams of protein. As someone who tries to maintain an optimal intake of protein daily, a key factor in helping to preserve lean muscle mass, discovering siggi’s yogurt is a dream come true!

Siggi’s  makes meeting my  protein requirements at breakfast easier and I like using it  as an ingredient to boost the protein content of foods like smoothies, custards, dips and soup. Here’s my latest creation , Pumpkin Custard with Spiced Whipped Cream…IMG_3107

This custard brings the fall flavors of pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger together in one dessert. Try it with a  molasses cookie, and  it’s a combo you can’t beat. Although I can’t make the claim this dessert is  low in sugar, I am proud to share these facts about the nutritional profile: each serving clocks in at 200 calories and provides 10 g protein,  6 grams fat, 0 grams trans fat, and   25 % of the Daily Value of Calcium. Keep the holidays healthy and stock up on siggi’s yogurt for meals, snacks and to use in this holiday recipe.


Pumpkin Custard with Spiced Whipped Cream

serves 6

by Diane Boyd


for the Pumpkin Custard

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/ 2 cup sugar
  • 2 level tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 containers (5.3 oz each) siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice Skyr
  • Garnish: 1/4 cup crushed pumpkin kernels (optional)

for the spiced whipped cream

  • 3/4 cup whipped cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground


for the pumpkin custard

1. In a medium saucepan combine the egg, sugar and cornstarch. Beat with a wire whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth (the mixture may appear dry at first, but will become liquid as you beat it).

2. Place the evaporated skim milk in a microwave safe measuring cup and heat 2 minutes on high until hot to the touch. (This step will reduce the cooking time.)

3. Whisk the milk into the egg mixture while the pan is set over low to medium heat.

4. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture looks curdled, keep beating with a whisk until the lumps are incorporated into the pudding. (About 20 minutes.)

5. Remove from heat and stir in butter and lemon zest. Allow to cool completely.

6. Add siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice skyr. Stir to combine. Can be made 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Serve with 1 Tablespoon spiced whipped cream and garnish with crushed pumpkin kernels.

for the Spiced Whipped Cream

Beat whipped cream, maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl until soft peaks form.

Powered by Recipage

Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Recipe Redux, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Linguine with Clams and Baby Spinach

Bring health to the holiday table.. let vegetables, like  baby spinach, ante up the color, texture and nutritional value of your favorite pasta meals. 
Linguine with Clams and Baby SpinachDisclosure: I was asked to participate in the  Pasta Fits campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network.  I was compensated for my time. 

While reading the brillantly photographed magazine, Sift , I came upon a wonderful quote, written about pie..It's a survivor, adaptable to place, context, season, or whatever ingredients might be on hand. - Emily HillardThe Anthropology of Pie

In my opinion, the same could be said of pasta.  If you’ve been following the the #pastafits campaign, you’ll recall it began in September,  when kids were heading  back to school. I shared  Fusilli with Broccoli and Peanuts, an easy to prepare recipe  for  after those hectic school days, with a bonus (leftovers pack well for school lunches)!   When  we turned the calendar and fall produce filled my CSA box,  I made a  Warm Minestrone Pasta Salad using fresh butternut squash. This meal was so versatile it could be served at a luncheon, and with a  slight variation, it was tailgate ready. Now it’s time to show you how #pastafits into your holiday spread, by teaming it with colder weather vegetables, in a dish that will usher in the comfort and  joy  of a  homecooked meal that’s both delicious and nutritious.

 The stretch from Thanksgiving to December holiday prep is The Most Wonderful  Time of the Year,  also known as the worst time of year for your waistline. But don’t get Grinchy for fear of  putting on a few extra pounds.  Reseach shows there are potentially effective ways to minimize holiday weight gain, including bringing health to your holiday table with more  fruits and vegetables. Here are three tips to integrate more produce into your holiday spread and keep the holiday spirit high:

1. Use fruit or vegetable purees in place of up to one-half of the fat in holiday baked goods.

2. Use fruits and vegetables as a hidden ingredient; chop, puree, grate or simply add to sauces, soups, pasta, sandwiches, dips, and spreads. Puree vegetables, like broccoli, make terrific  pasta sauces. Try pureed roasted red pepper or pumpkin in a risotto.

3. Use fruits and vegetables  to give an obvious burst of color and texture to sandwiches, soups, stews and pasta. Today  I’m adding fresh baby spinach to create a culinary star in my makeover of linguine with clams.  If it was summer, I’d add ribbons of zucchini. Colder weather creates new choices for  seasonal vegetables  including: spinach, kale, mustard greens, and microgreens. Any of these would work with this recipe; it’s a matter of preference or what you have on hand.

I n addition to using spinach to boost the volume, nutrition and satisfaction of this dish, I’m also substituting  whole wheat pasta for refined semolina. Whole wheat pasta is a great way to incorporate more whole grains into my diet. Maintaining a  healthy body weight while getting older means focusing on  nutrient rich foods and  making every calorie count, especially during the holidays. A one cup portion of whole wheat pasta provides up to 25% of daily fiber requirements.

This season, as you plan your holiday feasts, remember the formula for  healthier meals  in a  matter of minutes = pasta  +  seasonal vegetables + lean protein. Enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season!Linguine with Clams and Baby Spinach

Linguine with Clams and Baby Spinach

serves 4

by Diane Boyd


  •  3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, chopped (whites only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups, dry white wine
  • 1-2  pounds( about  2 dozen)  small littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • salt
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
  • 4 cups raw spinach
  • Instructions

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and  cook until the vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook one additional minute. Add white wine to the pan. Bring to a boil and add clams. Cover and cook until clams open, about 3 to 5 minutes .

2. Transfer steamed clams to a  bowl ; tent with foil to keep warm. Continue to cook wine mixture until it is is reduced to about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of liquid. (This will take about 2o minutes). Add salt to taste.

3. Prepare pasta according to package  directions.  When pasta is done, drain and add to pan with wine sauce; toss. Add in fresh spinach and toss again. Transfer to a large shallow platter. Top with clams. Serve immediately.

Powered by Recipage
Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Natural Pregnancy Cookbook Review + Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

I have a new, favorite cookbook..519ZbXLAiqL

Not what you were expecting?  LOL. Let me explain. The author of this book, Sonali Ruder, creator of the popular food blog, The Foodie Physician, is  rolling out her book this month and asked me to participate in a virtual book tour. I’ m thrilled! Expectant mothers are dear to my heart, and during my career, I was priviledged to work as a dietitian in a perinatal unit.  I ‘m also blessed to have had 2 pregnancies.

This cookbook, written for mothers-to-be, is an excellent resource that combines the sceince of nutrition with the culinary skills necessary to plan and prepare your way through a healthy pregnancy. Sonali’s medical and culinary backgrounds give her tremendous insight, making this  book the go to nutrition in pregnancy cookbook for things like:

• How to plan healthy meals.

• Important  macro and micronutrients and their food sources. 

 • Ideas for meals on  days you’re not up to the task of cooking including:  quick and easy recipes, slow cooker recipes and freezer friendly recipes.  

 • Vegetarian recipes.   

• How to deal with morning sickness, cravings and other common side effects of pregnacy.

• What foods to avoid or limit during pregnacy.

The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook  will help you to  provide the best building blocks for your baby’s growth and development, and  it will get you in the habit of preparing healthy foods that instill positive eating habits at an early age. You will find fabulous recipes that you will continue to prepare long after your bundle of joy arrives.

Now, what’s the allure of this cookbook for a woman  past her childbearing years?  The 125 healthy and delicious recipes! Below is one  I recently made. I suggest you try it for yourself.


Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash

by Sonali Ruder

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped, fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch slices.

3. Toss the slices with the oil, thyme, salt and pepper.

4. Arrange the slices on two lined baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes.

5. Turn the slices over and brush with maple syrup. Bake for another 7 to 10 minutes until done. Serve warm.

Powered by Recipage
Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, product review, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Banana Nut Muffins

Nuts  are a delicious and  good-for-you add-in to baked goods like banana nut muffins.


Is there something about you that’s a little nutty? Moi? Having  4 dogs is a  little nutty.  Right? But  this makes me lucky (afterall, nobody calls me the cat lady).

Nutty or not,  October 22 is  National Nut Day! On this day, we celebrate nature’s nutrient powerhouses, (not to be confused with those of us who are a little loco)! Because the  Recipe Redux couldn’t resist this day falling on one of our post days, they’ve asked us to share a nut filled recipe. Let’s all go nuts!

Here’s a fact that’s a little nutty: there once was a time when nuts were shunned. During the  low -fat craze of the 1990′s, nuts were feared for their high fat content and potential to cause weight gain.   Fortunately, there have been numerous studies pointing to the fact that as long as portions are controlled, including nuts is benefical to health and may even help you lose weight. The good fats in nuts can help you feel full, and satisfy your hunger without raising cholesterol or other blood lipids. Nuts are an excellent source of fiber and provide a long list of nutrients including vitamin E, magnesium, folate and copper . A recent  study from Harvard University and published in the New England Journal of Medicine  concluded, eat nuts, live longer!

I enjoy snacking on nuts and use my hand as a way to keep portions in check. I also add nuts to baked goods , granola  salads and yogurt. Because I had 5 overripe bananas, I choose banana muffins as my nut filled recipe today. These  homemade muffins will  never be rivaled by something store bought. Baking from scratch also has the advantage of putting you in control. So taking control of this recipe, I  substituted low fat Greek yogurt for some of the butter; swapped 100% white whole wheat for some of the white flour; used polyphenol rich maple syrup for some of the sugar and yes, added nuts,  walnuts in particular. From oven to table, my banana nut muffins are made a healthier, without compromising taste or quality. Be sure to check the links at the bottom of this post for more ways to go nuts!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy nuts?


Banana Nut Muffins

makes a dozen

by Diane Boyd


  • 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 cup sifted 100% white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped


1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

3. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and then beat in butter, bananas, maple syrup,sugar, yogurt and vanilla until smooth. Beat in dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in chopped nuts. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.

4. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Powered by Recipage

Posted in Health and Wellness, Recipe Redux, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Giveaway: CHOPCHOP magazine + $25 Cabot Cheese Gift Box

What do you like to cook with your children, grandchildren, neices, and/0r nephews? Tell me for a chance to win!
Giveaway (3)

Disclosure: Cabot Cheese has invited me to help them promote ChopChop magazine mentioned in this post with a giveaway for  the magazine and a $25 Cabot Cheese Gift Box. I am a member of the Cabot Fit team and on the Cabot Cheese Board. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.

What mother hasn’t asked the question, “ How can I get my kids to eat better?”

Today, childhood obesity is the number one health concern of  parents in the U.S. (topping drug abuse and smoking).  Sadly, one in 3 children and teens is overweight or obese, (nearly triple the rate in 1963). This national problem is putting our children at risk for  hypertension, type 2 diabetes, elevated blood lipid levels, liver problems, sleep apnea and some cancers.  Furthermore, obesity can have a negative impact on a child’s self esteem , behavior, friendships, and academic performance. Please note, overweight children can also be  undernourished by over consuming calories but under consuming important nutrients.

As a registered dietitian and mother myself, I am committed to resolving both hunger and obesity. One of my favorite recommendations for  helping children learn to make healthy food choices and establish lifelong healthy eating habits  is to cook and eat  together as a  family!  (Join the CHOPCHOP cooking club free and pledge to cook dinner together once a month for 6 months.) Research has shown that children involved in choosing and preparing meals are more interested in eating what they’ve created. That’s  why I’m so excited about today’s giveaway: a one year subscription to ChopChop Magazine and a  $25 Cabot Cheese Gift Box.

Must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to participate. Contest ends at midnight, Oct. 24, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaway, Health and Wellness, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments