Dare I say: Pesticides. A chat about whether or not to choose organic!

Organic-Do-Not-Spray
Photo: The Organic & Non-GMO Report

First off, if you feel like you are “all over the place” with your thoughts on this topic, that’s because it’s a very challenging topic to study. It would be “unethical” to do the kind of studies necessary on humans to more definitively say if pesticides, specifically glyphosate [from round up], is safe for humans- that’s why, a majority of the research has been done on animals. Typically, I don’t love research that has only been done on animals but you have to take what you’ve got sometimes! HOWEVER, the fact that it would be “unethical” to do it on humans should tell you something right there. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the health effects of pesticides are not well understood, but their use has been associated with conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and neurological effects. [2]

Definitions: 

Glyphosate: a broad-spectrum contact herbicide to kill weeds in fields prior to the planting of crops. It was also approved for weed control in a variety of non-crop settings. Glyphosate use is the highest of any pesticide in the USA.

GBHs: glyphosate-based herbicides. They are always used as a mixture of glyphosate plus numerous other so called inert ingredients, which are added to alter the herbicide’s physicochemical properties and enhance its herbicidal action. Unfortunately, the full list of these chemicals, collectively known as adjuvants or coformulants, is treated as a “trade secret” by the manufacturers. The composition of GBHs are unknown. GBHs have been shown to be more toxic than glyphosate.

Pros of GMOs + Pesticides: We as consumers often reap the benefits of pesticide use with lower costs and a wider selection of food and clothing. As a way of conserving food supply and lower food costs, they also help to combat hunger and related problems in various parts of the world. [2]

What we know: 

  • Current safety assessments rely heavily on studies conducted over 30 years ago [1]
  • The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) made the decision in 2015 to classify glyphosate as a grade 2A probable human carcinogen followed an extensive review and evaluation of the weight of all available evidence. [1] The outcome was driven by: (1) limited human evidence from case–control epidemiology studies, including high-quality studies reporting a link with non-Hodgkin lymphoma [1]
    •  (2) sufficient evidence from unpublished animal studies, which identified an elevated frequency of rare kidney tumors in male mice, hemangiosarcoma in male mice, pancreatic islet-cell adenoma in male rats, and skin tumours and other non-malignant growths in mice and [1]
    • (3) strong mechanistic evidence, such as numerous studies demonstrating that glyphosate is genotoxic and can induce oxidative stress in humans, human cells, non-human mammals and non-mammalian species. Some of these studies also suggest increases in lymphoma in male mice exposed even to the lowest doses evaluated (14.5 mg/kg/day). [1]
    • HOWEVER. Joint meeting on pesticides residues (JMPR) of the WHO used the IARC hazard assessment evaluation (the one mentioned above, concluding that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen) to establish a safe level of exposure for humans JMPR would not exclude the possibility that glyphosate is a human carcinogen, but concluded that it ‘is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet’. [1]There is a lotttttt of drama with the conclusion JMPR came to as far as establishing a safe level of exposure. They drew their conclusions based only on studies of glyphosate alone; studies of GBHs were not included in the EFSA assessment.  The problem with this, is that GBHs have been found to be more harmful than glyphosate alone. Also, studies conducted that suggest causal links between glyphosate and cancer in exposed rodents have been dismissed by agencies including the EPA and EFSA due to speculation about a viral infection in the animal colony, even though no adverse health effects of such an infection have been shown [1]

Research:

  • Epidemiology studies suggest associations between GBH exposures and adverse health outcomes including chronic kidney disease and some cancers [1]
  • Unexplained chronic kidney disease has killed thousands of rice farm workers in Sri Lanka and sugarcane workers in Central America; exposure to herbicides including GBHs has been documented in some of these populations. Some have attributed these issues to dehydration [AKA more research needs to be had before the blame can 100% be placed on pesticides alone]
  • A number of studies have evaluated the association between exposures to GBHs and other health effects in humans including cancer. In fact, some of the most compelling studies in human populations suggest associations between GBHs and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. [1]
  • Exposure to large amounts of pesticides is usually more likely for people such as farmers who may frequently touch and/or breathe in pesticides. [2]
  • The effects of long-term exposure to small amounts of these pesticides are unclear, but studies have linked them to a variety of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and neurological defects. [2]
  •  Studies have shown preliminary evidence that chronic, low-dose exposure to pesticides increases the risk of cognitive impairments and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s later in life [2]
  • A study of 50 pesticides and more than 30,000 licensed pesticide applicators linked exposure of seven pesticides that contain chlorinated compounds (including two herbicides, two organophosphate insecticides, and two organochlorines) to increased risk of diabetes [5].  Exposure to pesticides has also been associated with increased infertility in women and developmental problems in children [2]
  • Research also shows that pesticides may have a negative impact on the microbiome. 

Where is it BANNED + why [from organicconsumers.org April 2018]

• Belgium: In 2017, the Flemish government banned individual use of glyphosate and voted against reliciensing glyphosate in the EU. 
• Bermuda: The island outlawed the private and commercial sale of all glyphosate-based herbicides.
• Colombia: In 2015, the country forbid the use of glyphosate to eliminate illegal plantations of coca, often used to make cocaine, due to concern that the herbicide causes cancer. However in 2017, the country reinstituted its controversial fumigation program. But instead of using aerial fumigation, glyphosate is now sprayed manually, from the ground.
• Netherlands: Dutch officials have banned all non-commercial use of glyphosate.
• Sri Lanka: In 2014, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa mandated an all-out ban on glyphosate, following a study linking Roundup to Fatal Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the second-leading cause of death among males in the country. Sri Lanka was the first country to issue a nationwide ban on glyphosate.
• El Salvador: Passed a law banning glyphosate, citing the same study linking fatal chronic kidney disease to Roundup.
• Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi ArabiaKuwaitQatarBahrainOman and the United Arab Emirates, have stopped glyphosate use.
• France: President Emmanuel Macron announced in Novemenber 2017, an outright ban on glyphosate, to take effect “within three years.”

Choosing organic + what it means:

I’m going to say something that you guys probably aren’t going to love + I certainly don’t love it either. While organic farming certifications prohibit the use of glyphosate, organic products do not always end up completely free of glyphosate residue. This is because glyphosate use has skyrocketed in the past decade, and it maintains the ability to adhere to water and soil particles long enough to travel through the air or in a stream to nearby organic farms. It’s presence in the environment is nearly unavoidable. [4]

How we see it:

The lack of conclusive evidence ruling out negative effects of chronic exposure to low doses of pesticides means that we should still work to minimize exposure to pesticides when possible [2]. Would I choose a job where I am working with round up daily and in large quantities? Absolutely not. Do we choose organic when we can? Most of the time but honestly, not always. When we eat out, we know that we aren’t being served all organic, and we are both totally fine with it. Everything comes down to – how much you’re having. Many things become toxic when you over consume. Even vitamins! The problem is that the research is not wonderful as to what that toxicity threshold is for glyphosate and GBHs. “The verdict is still out about pesticides and fertilizers as far as the long-term impact on health. There are so many other variables in the environment. It’s hard to say it’s the pesticide on the peach that was the primary cause of a health-related issue,” says Kathy McManus [Registered Dietitian, Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital].

Our recommendations: We recommend that people eat healthy by eating more fruits and vegetables, whether conventional or organic. Choose organic when you can/if you can, but don’t go broke over it + do not avoid fruits/veggies etc because of the possibility of glyphosate contamination. The benefits outweigh the unconfirmed risks. If you are planning on choosing organic but don’t know where to begin. I agree with Kathy McManus’s, RD from Harvard Health, recommendation to start with the dirty dozen + clean fifteen. The purpose is not to decide for you to choose organic but that if you WANT to choose some foods that are organic, to choose the ones that have a higher pesticide residue [typically those fruits and veggies without a tough skin and more surface area]. If you want to stick with conventional and wait for more research- that’s awesome too! Note: Research has shown that even those fruits + veggies on in the “dirty dozen” list are several orders of magnitude below levels required to cause any biological effect. As a result, the potential for synergistic effects resulting from pesticide combinations is negligible [aka even if you are choosing something conventional from the dirty dozen list, it’s still way under harmful limits]

2018 Dirty Dozen: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers.

2018 Clean Fifteen [these foods had low pesticide residue according to EWG]: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbages, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplants, honeydews, kiwis, cantaloupes, cauliflower and broccoli. 

Organic + Being Judgey

Just don’t judge. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Kind of my personal thoughts on choosing organic or not choosing organic. If you’re buying fruits + veggies no matter what kind- that’s a win! If you follow me on instagram, I talk a lot about my “every day” folder compared to my “once in awhile”. Same goes with choosing organic. The answer is- we don’t know if it’s 100% safe and that’s why we choose organic most of the time! A lot of people don’t want to say “I don’t know”. But sometimes- that is the answer! Can you say 100% that someone’s NHL (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) was not caused by using round up every day of their lives. Chances are, you can’t. What we do know, is that choosing organic over conventional, has likely never harmed/killed someone. Plus, some people choose organic for other reasons (ex: animal welfare, environment, or they prefer the taste). My point: don’t judge anyone’s decision to choose organic or to not choose organic. It’s their body and their prerogative. 

Towards the future:

There is current research oh glyphosate that is to be released from the EPA and FDA in 2019 on safety of glyphosate in diet. 

Want to read a little more?? I found this on Mayo Clinic:

There is a growing body of evidence that shows some potential health benefits of organic foods when compared with conventionally grown foods. While these studies have shown differences in the food, there is limited information to draw conclusions about how these differences translate into overall health benefits. [3]

Potential benefits include the following:

  • Nutrients. Studies have shown small to moderate increases in some nutrients in organic produce. The best evidence of a significant increase is in certain types of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. [3]
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. The feeding requirements for organic livestock farming, such as the primary use of grass and alfalfa for cattle, result in generally higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a kind of fat that is more heart healthy than other fats. These higher omega-3 fatty acids are found in organic meats, dairy and eggs. [3]
  • Toxic metal. Cadmium is a toxic chemical naturally found in soils and absorbed by plants. Studies have shown significantly lower cadmium levels in organic grains, but not fruits and vegetables, when compared with conventionally grown crops. The lower cadmium levels in organic grains may be related to the ban on synthetic fertilizers in organic farming. [3]
  • Pesticide residue. Compared with conventionally grown produce, organically grown produce has lower detectable levels of pesticide residue. Organic produce may have residue because of pesticides approved for organic farming or because of airborne pesticides from conventional farms. The difference in health outcomes is unclear because of safety regulations for maximum levels of residue allowed on conventional produce. [3]
  • Bacteria. Meats produced conventionally may have a higher occurrence of bacteria resistant to antibiotic treatment. [3]

We hope you Enjoyed! Happy Sunday! 

Research

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5484035/ [1]

http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/gmos-and-pesticides/ [2]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791249/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880 [3]

https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/blog/are-you-eating-glyphosate-organic-farming-can-help/ [4]

https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/germany-13-other-countries-say-no-glyphosate-what-about-us

Loaded Veggie + Bean Enchiladas

As you all know, if you follow us on the wonderful world of Instagram, burritos are one of my absolute favorite foods. So why not bundle up a whole bunch, throw them in a pan and call them enchiladas! We made half with ground turkey meat and half with veggies and beans. You can always mix up your personal protein preference.

This was actually our first enchilada go around [homemade] and Patrick said, I really outdid myself aka a definite WIN!! They were so yummy, so easy and great for the whole week.

Note: We had some bell peppers in the house and stuffed them with all the left over ingredients! If you want to do this too, have some extra on hand!

ingredients

  • Tortillas [the only brand we use + LOVE Ole Xtreme Wellness High Fiber]
  • Enchilada Sauce [it was a week night and we opted to use Trader Joe’s brand. It has 220mg of sodium per 1/4 C, not too bad because we definitely did not use that much on each enchilada]
  • 1 small can of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
  • 2lb ground turkey [or your choice of meat/beans]
  • 1 Can of vegetarian refried beans [by choosing vegetarian, you are eliminating the lard/bacon fat that many regular brands contain]
  • You can use taco seasoning of choice [we like hot + spicy or our own homemade seasoning – see below]
  • 2 sliced jalapenos
  • Mexican shredded cheese [can omit or use vegan cheese]
  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 2 diced yellow, red or orange bell peppers
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream to top
  • 2 chopped scallions
  • purple potatoes [about 10 small potatoes- ours were about the size of a ping pong ball. if yours are larger, use less]
  • no salt added canned corn
  • Avocado to top

optional spicy taco seasoning [you can use this to season beans and/or meat]

  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Spray 13 x 9 glass baking dish with olive oil + set aside
  3. Bring pot of water to boil + add purple potatoes. Take them off heat once you are able to easily place a fork through it. Drain + set potatoes aside.
  4. Follow instructions to cook ground turkey meat and add taco seasoning [if you are using beans in place of meat, sauté beans in a pan with taco seasoning as well]
  5. Add diced onion and bell peppers to ground meat [or bean]/taco seasoning mixture and sauté until golden
  6. Add chipotle chilis to ground meat [or bean] mixture
  7. Dice purple potatoes. Ours were small to begin with and we diced them into fours.
  8. Once bean or meat mixture is cooked thoroughly, take your first tortilla and layer with bean or meat mixture, then dollop refried beans, then sprinkle corn, then add purple potatoes. Add your enchilada [open side faced down] on your prepped baking dish
  9. Continue until you use all of the tortillas
  10. Pour enchilada sauce over
  11. Then sprinkle cheese [vegan or regular] to taste on top
  12. Sprinkle sliced jalapenos and chopped scallions on top
  13. Cover with tin foil
  14. Bake for 25 minutes
  15. Take off tin foil, then broil for 2-5 min until top is browned
  16. Allow to cool + enjoy with some delish avocado, hot sauce + Greek yogurt or sour cream!

Baked Zucchini Fries with Spicy Garlic Sauce

We had some zucchini in the fridge and that’s when it hit me – WE NEED ZUCCHINI FRIES STAT!! I wanted to make something gluten free for my Celiac friends! They also happen to be PALEO friendly!

ingredients for fries

  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parmesan [optional]
  • 2 eggs [can replace with almond milk if vegan]

ingredients for spicy garlic sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons regular or vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, more to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons of chili paste or red pepper [optional]

recipe

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 3. Cut zucchini into thick slices and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. 4. In a large mixing bowl, mix almond meal, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan if using.
  4. 5. In a separate shallow bowl crack eggs and whisk together.
  5. 6. Dip zucchini strips into egg, then dredge in ‘breadcrumb’ mix. Make sure they are well coated.
  6. 7. Lay flat on baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping half way to ensure even baking until they are golden brown and crispy.
  7. 9. While zucchini fries are baking prepare the spicy garlic dip.
  8. 7. In a bowl whisk together mayo, roasted garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes [or chili paste]. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Place in serving dish of choice and set aside.
  9. 8. Serve the zucchini fries warm with the roasted garlic dip and other dips of choice.

Recipe adapted from: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

We hope you enjoy!

-The Neilan Family-

Home Made Dog Food: Our Experience with The Farmer’s Dog

Shop The Farmer's Dog Today!

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We have two amazing dogs- Knox [he is a 7 year old German Shepherd/Terrier mix] and April [she is a one year old German Shepherd/Catahoula mix]. Our pups are not just “dogs” they’re absolute family. So of course, their health matters a great deal to us. I’m a dietitian and my husband is a doctor after all- so we know the importance of nutrition + health! Unfortunately, real food for dogs is looked at as kind of an “elite” or “exclusive” or “fancy” thing. When really, whole foods for dogs is just as important as whole foods are for humans and there is a way to make it easy.

We stumbled upon The Farmer’s Dog and it completely changed our life. The Farmer’s Dog is a service that delivers balanced, freshly made pet food with simple recipes, guided by science, and truly driven by love! Meals provided are vet-developed, which we find AMAZING! But before we go into the Farmer’s dog – some more background first! We had always known we really wanted to look into better nutrition for our pups but didn’t know where to begin and often ignored the idea because it seemed like “one extra thing” or just “too much work”.

The Farmer's Dog

HOW IT WORKS. Then, The Farmer’s Dog came along. How it works? You take a quiz on their website so they can learn more about your pup and all the specifics [it was so fun]! Then, you pick which kind of meat you would like them to use and that’s it! All ingredients are specific to YOUR dog’s needs- right down to their calorie and protein needs. Easy ready-to-serve meals are pre-made and pre-portioned. Just open and pour. TALK ABOUT THE HAPPIEST DIETITIAN EVER! I loved this. It took the stress off me. I may know what humans need nutrition wise but dog wise- I know zippo, so homemade dog food has always felt overwhelming to take on on my own. Ingredients are Human-grade USDA aka less processing, natural nutrients, and higher safety standards. Things we believe every pet deserves. The other great part- Your food is delivered to you within days of cooking. Never deep frozen. Never stored on a shelf for months aka you don’t have to worry about mold of food doing bad!

THEIR STORY. Farmer’s Dog is amazing for all dogs but ESPECIALLY those with food allergies! That is actually how The Farmer’s dog started. I had the amazing opportunity to speak with the folks at The Farmer’s Dog on the phone and their mission/how the company started. So now, I will share it with you! The owner’s pup had an issue with allergies- and lots of tummy issues. Their vet had recommended a high end food product (kangaroo meat etc) and it helped symptoms but overall, was not a solution.  The owner of the company looked closer at the dog food and the number of ingredients [as we all know] was insane. Are these brown little burnt looking balls really the best for our pups? He thought no! He started making homemade dog food for his pup and saw more of an improvement than he did with the fancy brands of dry dog food from the store! Then, The Farmer’s Dog was born!

OUR EXPERIENCE. First off, Knox is a GREAT eater and will have anything but he has GERD [so he sometimes throws up foam early in the morning from too much acid build up- meal timing is important for him to avoid this]. April is a very picky eater and when we adopted her she was VERY thin. We often pour her [dry] food and she will walk away. When we started The Farmer’s Dog, from DAY ONE I can’t tell you how much they both loved it. April gobbled it down every. single. day and was SO exciting every time she saw me opening the package. Knox’s GERD issues completely resolved. They both maintained their weight well and their poop was exactly as it should be [much improved from the dry dog food]!! I won’t go into details, but we noticed a big difference.

POST FARMER’S DOG. After two weeks of The Farmer’s Dog. We had figured, well we really need to get rid of our two gigantic bags of dry dog food [The Science Diet]. So lets do that and then we will go back to homemade dog food. ALL OUR PROBLEMS [which aren’t even really problems but even the healthiest dog – we think – should have homemade dog food, you don’t need a health condition as a reason! It’s all about prevention! Same with nutrition for humans. You want to prevent so that you hopefully don’t have to “treat” in the future] but yes, all of our problems came back. April wouldn’t eat her dry food [same as problem prior] and Knox was throwing up some mornings from acid reflux. We even tried adding blueberries, carrots, peanut butter to their food to try and compensate [just to get rid of the dry food] and it didn’t work!

The Farmer's Dog

COST. If we had a small dog, we would 100% use the Farmer’s Dog but we have two large dogs and for us it’s too pricey at the moment. The great part about their company is they also have a DIY program. We have been using the vet-developed plans and making the food at home ourselves. They also have nutrient packs that you can purchase through them to ensure your dog is getting everything they need! Recent research found 95% of recipes online to be lacking in crucial nutrients for dogs. Serious complications from nutrient deficiencies (and, more commonly, overdosing) could arise if a recipe hasn’t been properly calibrated. The Farmer’s Dog provides recipes formulated by their veterinary nutritionists. Here is the link: https://www.thefarmersdog.com/diy.

We are SO excited to offer you 50% off your first order, especially towards a cause we love SO MUCH!! Cheers to happier + healthier pups, that we consider family!

Link:The Farmer’s Dog 50% Off

The Farmer's Dog

Photo’s of Knox + April with The Farmer’s Dog:

img_0938.jpg

Plant Based Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Photo: Yuli Cooks

I adore this sauce SO much! If you guys like creamy as much as I do but want to skip the heavy dairy additions that most white sauces call for, THIS IS THE RECIPE FOR YOU!

Idea: Swap out the mushrooms for peas, broccoli, etc! If you don’t love mushrooms – no fear, switch it up!

ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp of Olive Oil [you can also use 1/4 C of butter if you’d like it more creamy]
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup flour OR 4 Tsp Arrowroot OR 2 Tbsp of cornstarch [whichever you have on hand to thicken]
  • 3.5 cups almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

recipe

  1. To make the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in flour [or arrowroot or cornstarch] until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  2. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in basil, oregano and nutmeg until fragrant, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. We of course, always sprinkle some red pepper on top!

recipe adapted from: damndelicious.net

That’s it! We hope you love!

The Neilan Family

Spinach, Mushroom + Broccoli Lasagna

Sometimes you just need a rich, comfy and cozy meal! CUE LASAGNA! This recipe makes my little Italian heart so happy. I love lasagna to pieces but oddly enough marinara sauce isn’t my favorite to have all the time. So I whipped up this delicious lasagna with a light white sauce. Typically the moment you hear white sauce you think: heavy whipping cream, cheese etc. Not the case! The sauce we used for this recipe had neither! Patrick and I did add cheese to the lasagna so although the sauce is plant based the entire recipe is not; however, you can omit the cheese and add nutritional yeast should my vegans wish to give it a try!

We separated the sauce + lasagna recipe because the sauce is SO amazing- you can use it with plain pasta too.

ingredients

  • whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15-ounce) package ricotta [we used part skim]
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions.
  3. Spread 1 cup mushroom sauce onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 3 dollops of the ricotta cheese on each lasagna noodle, sprinkle spinach + broccoli, as well as mozzarella cheese and Parmesan. Repeat with a second, third and fourth layer if you have enough space, ingredients, and noodles. [we had 4 layers]
  4. Place into oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbling. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until top is browned in spots. Let cool 15 minutes.
  5. Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.

recipe adapted from: damndelicious.net

Enjoy!!

– The Neilan Family –

Chickpea Meatloaf

Looking for a meatless monday idea? We made this chickpea meatloaf with a side of mashed cauliflower, green beans, peas + snow peas. It was delicious and 75% veggie based aka fiber and antioxidant goals.

We love all kinds of meatloaf but this is an absolutely delicious plant based option!

Recipe from: connoisseurus veg

ingredients

For the Chickpea Meatloaf

  • 2-14 oz. cans  [no salt added] chickpeas
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
  • 3 tbsp.  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the Maple Glaze

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce 
  • 1 tsp. paprika

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly oil a 9 inch loaf pan.
  2. Working in batches if needed, place all meatloaf ingredients into food processor bowl and pulse until chickpeas are broken up and ingredients are well mixed, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Do not overblend. If working in batches, transfer each batch to a large mixing bowl when complete and then mix by hand.
  3. Press mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake 30 minutes.
  4. While meatloaf bakes, stir glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.
  5. Remove loaf from oven after 30 minutes and spoon glaze overtop of loaf. Bake another 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Hope you guys enjoy!!

-The Neilan Family-