Best Food Facts is pleased to introduce Abigail J. Dougherty, RD, LD/N. Abby, who blogs over at Soul Of Health, was kind enough to share some of her all-time favorite pumpkin recipes. Click to read more about the star ingredient.
What inspired you to become a blogger?
I feel that nutrition can get overcomplicated with all the information that is out there today. When I started blogging, I really wanted to do it to show that living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be fancy or complicated, but that it can be simple. I wanted to inspire my readers to make small healthy changes that can truly last a lifetime. I also wanted my blog to be a place that they could go to find inspiration, healthy recipes, practical nutrition tips and all around good advice.
What's your favorite food to make?
Spaghetti! I love how simple it is and how many different variations you can make. Toss the sauce with whole grain noodles, spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons and you have a nutrition-packed meal. It’s a family favorite and usually we always have a ton of leftovers for the week – A winner in my book!
Can you offer one piece of advice to beginning bloggers and/or novice cooks?
Keep going! When I met my husband, I couldn’t cook eggs or write to save my life. If someone had told me 10 years ago this is where I would be in life – blogging about healthy cooking and thoroughly enjoying it – I probably would have laughed in his or her face. Regardless of how far you have to go, keep trying! We all fumble, make mistakes and cook food that isn’t fit for our pets. Just keep trying… and write about it! People love to know they are not the only ones who struggle.
Speaking of embracing mistakes, what is your biggest food flop?
Ohhh gosh, which one? I try to only cook and bake meals that are pretty fail-safe. I really run into trouble when I’ve never tried a recipe and I still try to get creative and make changes. I baked some Lemon Zucchini Bread a few months ago that I modified without trying the recipe as is. WOW! I ended up trying to make the bread into biscotti because it didn’t rise at all, and it was rock hard. My husband assured me they tasted great (if you could actually bite into them). Oops! The new rule in my kitchen is: only adapt a recipe that has been tried at least once.
Is there a quote you live by?
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest of intentions.” ~Oscar Wilde
There are so many choices out there when it comes to food and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. How do you choose the food that is best for your family?
I try to stick to the basics as much as possible, and keep it simple. If a recipe has too many ingredients, I usually will feel overwhelmed before even trying to make it and that is definitely not a recipe for success; pun intended.
I look for recipes with short ingredient and instruction lists and foods that I generally keep in my pantry. I usually won't post a complicated recipe either. After all, if I don't want to make it, I doubt my readers will either.
I have a list of healthy family favorites written down (and in my head) for when I am running out of ideas or feel overwhelmed. These are my default meals. I encourage my clients and readers to do the same and help them make a plan!
And let’s face it; if your family does not like kale (or insert disliked fruit or veggie here), they are not going to eat it. Of course, don’t give up on the first try but buy and prepare foods that you and your family ENJOY, not what you think you’re supposed to eat. With all the wonderful options available now, you’re bound to find one vegetable that your whole family will love!
Excellent advice - thanks for sharing, Abby!