Orange Oatmeal Wit Pancakes

No it’s not a typo, I meant Wit and not WITH 😉 Have you ever had a wit beer? It’s a Belgian Wheat Ale and is brewed with at least 25% wheat malt. Often they are fruity and slightly lemony because it’s very common to use coriander and orange peel in the brewing process. This beer style used to be my favorite and now I lean towards sours, but truly I think it depends on the season I’m in as far as what beer style is my favorite.

A stack of lightly orange colored pancakes that have spiralize oranges on them

Anyways…because of my love for breakfast food and this beer style I thought…why not combine them together? These pancakes will fill you up because they use whole wheat flour and oats (hello, fiber!) but still have a sweetness from the orange and the beer. They’re great with syrup added on top but truth be told, I don’t think they need much when they’re already so flavorful. I might put a little vanilla yogurt on top, fresh fruit, or just a little butter. Snag the recipe below!

Orange Oatmeal Wit Pancakes

Lightly orange flavored pancakes that use only a bit of beer so you can drink the rest!

Course Breakfast
Keyword pancakes
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats quick or rolled are fine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup wit beer
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp orange zest


  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl

  2. Mix all wet ingredients and whisk eggs.

  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and lightly spray your pan with cooking spray. Add your pancakes using your best judgement or 1/4 cup for precision. 

  4. Enjoy in your favorite way! 

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag me on instagram @The_Beer_Dietitian!

Roasted Ranch Chickpeas

Hi friends! I hope your week is off to a great start – this weekend went by too quickly. I went to see How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World with my mom this Friday. We enjoyed the movie but I felt like it was missing something. Have you seen these movies? They’re truly great and get you laughing and crying each time you watch. I even used the score from their first movie as the song I walked down the aisle to!

Saturday was all about helping my mom around the house. My parents have a lot of dogs to care for, other dogs that were staying in the kennel, wood that needed to be brought in and a house that needed to be put back in order after new flooring was put in. Honestly, it felt great to have some big chores to do and to move my body. I definitely move far less in the winter so this was a good opportunity.

We also went to a Namaste Fit class at Train Grand Haven! This is a new Crossfit gym in Grand Haven (about 5 minutes from home right now) and while I missed Crossfit – this class showed me my hip was not quite where I thought it was. Read about my hip surgery here if you like. If you’re intimidated at all by the word Crossfit, try one of their community classes so you can meet the coaches and see if it’s a good fit. That said, my mom and I still got great workouts in and a good long stretch session via yoga. Steve and I had the afternoon to do whatever we chose and eventually we landed with some beer and video games.

During meal prep though, which is why you’re here, I wanted to make a crunchy snack that wasn’t almonds or granola. Enter in my $0.59 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans! This is an incredibly simple snack and a half cup serving has a good source of protein and fiber packed in. I hope you try them out! You can vary the spices to whatever you like.

Roasted Ranch Chickpeas

5 minute max assembly time and 30 minute roasting time. An easy snack to make while you’re busy food prepping other things.

Course Snack
Keyword chickpeas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 1/2 cup servings
Calories 150 kcal
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 tbsp Ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 400

  2. Drain and rinse your chickpeas which removes 40% of the sodium

  3. Add your seasonings and oil in with the chickpeas and mix to coat them and bake for 30 minutes on a sprayed pan. Give them a shake at 15 minutes to turn them.

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram.

Low-Sugar Oreo Peanut Butter Energy Bites

It’s almost Valentine’s and Galentine’s day which if you’re not sure what to do for either day, check out my Galentine’s post here and my 35 things to do without food post. But let’s face it, we may want to celebrate with a little chocolate! If you’re looking for a simple energy bite that takes minutes to make but reminds you of Oreos dipped in peanut butter (I can’t be the only one who did that right!?) then look no further.

Energy bites are fun because you can make a huge variety of them, freeze them, and eat them on-the-go. If I made this recipe again (which I will) I would add a couple more things like flax meal and chia seeds to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

So if you’re like me and plan to celebrate Valentine’s / Galentine’s all month long – try these little nuggets of deliciousness and get that warm fuzzy feeling with each bite!

Low-Sugar Oreo Peanut Butter Energy Bites

The main ingredients are oats and chick peas, they have carbohydrates but not a lot of added sugar per energy bite. Great for an on-the-go snack for busy moms with one arm to eat or driving to work and ran out of time for breakfast.

Course Snack
Keyword chickpeas, energy bite, oreos, peanut butter
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Calories 90 kcal
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1.25 cups oats (quick, rolled, or steel cut)
  • 1 15 oz can low-sodium or no salt chick peas drain and rinsed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1.5 servings Oreo pudding mix (I weighed this at 45g)
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter


  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor.

  2. Pulse/puree for about 1 minute

  3. Remove blade and begin forming into small energy balls. Smaller bites will yield about 20 servings and medium bites will yield about 15.

  4. Place spread out on a cookie sheet and refridgerate for about 10-20 minutes (or enjoy as is) and then place them in a container to keep in the fridge or freezer.

Did you make the recipe? Show me on Instagram and tag me @The_Beer_Dietitian!

Cinnamon Baked Grapefruit

If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Facebook, by now you might know that I enjoy the random national holidays and holi-months. I think they’re a fun way for me to think outside of the box when it comes to what I want to write about, what recipes to develop and more. So this month is national grapefruit (and cherry!) month! I thought I would bring in an old favorite of mine, the baked grapefruit.

Have you ever had warm grapefruit? I feel like we often limit ourselves when it comes to fruit out of convenience, transportability, time, and price. These are all legit and practical reasons, but if you stick with the same fruit all year round it gets pretty boring.

Grapefruit (and many other citrus fruit) is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. In one half of a grapefruit, it has 2 grams of fiber (general recommendations for men/women fall between 25-35 grams of fiber per day), and is high in vitamin C and A. Vitamin C is well known for its abilities to help keep the common cold at bay or improve cold symptoms faster.

If you’re not one to pick up a grapefruit and eat it like an orange (me!) then try baking it instead. Note, the spoons in the photo were for decoration…they did not work very well for scooping out that delicious fruity inside. Baking the grapefruit brings in a sweet flavor and I find it has a little less bitterness as well this way.

Cinnamon Baked Grapefruit

Course Snack
Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 50 kcal


  • 1 large Grapefruit
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (you can use more!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350

  2. Slice the grape fruit in half (in order to eat it by scooping out the meat of the grapefruit, put the eye of the grapefruit to the side before cutting it in half)

  3. Sprinkle on the cinnamon, sugar, and drizzle vanilla across both halves

  4. Bake for 15 minutes, take out and enjoy warm. 

Recipe Notes

  • To make it even more filling, scoop out the warm grape fruit and enjoy it over a vanilla yogurt of choice. 

Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and tag me @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram!

Ginger French Toast

If you’re like me and you’ve been working from home more, having shorter days, or are taking time off from work during this polar vortex…you might have more time for breakfast! Now, I always make time for breakfast but my breakfasts over the last couple of days are more like the ones I make on the weekend. They come with a little more TLC. Enjoy!

Ginger French Toast

French toast…but ginger-fied!

Course Breakfast
Keyword breakfast, french toast, ginger
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 personal delicious breakfast
Author Jessi Holden


  • 2 slices your favorite bread (I had english muffin bread on hand)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk, any kind (I used unsweetened almond milk)


  1. Turn your skillet on to medium-heat, use spray so your breakfast won’t stick

  2. Mix all liquid plus ginger.

  3. Dunk your bread and coat it in the liquid mixture

  4. Put on the skillet and cook about 3-5 minutes (depends how hot your pan is) and flip and cook another 3-5 minutes

  5. Continue until you’re done! Top with blueberries or get extra gingery like me and use a ginger syrup on top.

Did you make the recipe? Be sure to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @The_Beer_Dietitian

Rigatoni, Sausage & Broccoli Pasta

Disclaimer: I received a coupon for a free box of Banza pasta in order to enter their #Resolvetoeatmorepasta January Instagram recipe challenge.

I’ve always been someone who loves pasta. When I tried being a vegetarian for a little while, it became more of a staple, weekly (okay maybe daily) meal item because many years ago I did not understand what it meant to be a vegetarian. It certainly does not mean just eat pasta all day! 😉

Fast forward to now and you’ll still find me enjoying pasta but I understand how to balance it into my diet now. One of my goals as a dietitian is to help people enjoy pasta the way I’m able to, instead of restricting themselves away from it and labeling pasta/bread as a bad, non-diet, weight-gain-causing food that they “shouldn’t” eat. I’m an advocate for working on all of these things because our diet culture has been a big factor when it comes to fearing certain foods, namely bread and grains (or the dreaded word…CARBOHYDRATE).

We’ve been taught that if we’re dieting then we shouldn’t have certain foods. That sentence is one of the main reasons why diets don’t work. If you’ve told yourself, “Wow I love pasta so much but I’m on a diet so I can’t have it.” Guess what? You’re more likely to binge on it later and to fear it when you do have than you are to learn to integrate the foods you love into your weekly/monthly meals and still achieve your goals.

Also, because we have moralized pasta/bread as a “bad” food, we tend to judge ourselves and set ourselves up for guilt by saying we “shouldn’t” have it. Not only do we judge ourselves but we may judge others (without even realizing it) by projecting these thoughts on food out there. You can read more about this in my food shaming post.

Now, I’m no fool. I understand that pasta and bread have become “bad” foods in many people’s minds. These are learned behaviors/habits, that’s all. I also understand that people do want to try new things and that they want their pasta in a new way. I’m all about it! If you find a variety of pasta like Banza, which is made from chickpeas, and it helps you to enjoy pasta in your life again…then that’s fantastic! In fact, this could be a way for someone to regain pasta-confidence. The confidence that allows you to eat foods you enjoy like pasta 😉

Banza is a pasta made from chickpeas with 25 grams of protein per serving and 13 grams of fiber. Insert surprised emoji face here! While I thought this was great, I knew that my body would say half a serving was filling enough (especially with what I made to go with it). Steve really liked the pasta (to my surprise) and asked if we could have it again. If you don’t know, Steve is 6’7″ and truly it has taken me some time to remember that his body needs more nutrients/calories than mine and I want to make sure he gets enough food. So for him to fill up on pasta that has more protein, fiber, and nutrients added on top too? Yep, that’s a win for us!

If you want to try a new pasta choice, Banza is a great option for all. You don’t have to be 6’7″, or vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or whatever just to enjoy this option. My only recommendation while cooking it is to make sure you stir it consistently throughout the cook time. Then rinse it after you drain it and don’t be afraid to add a little oil in to help the noodles stay separated. Enjoy the recipe below!

Rigatoni, Sausage, & Broccoli Pasta

Six ingredient recipe made with a plant based pasta to keep everyone full and satisfied. 

Course Main Course
Keyword chick peas, plant pasta
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 box Banza Rigatoni noodles
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 9-10 ounces sausage We used four Johnsonville Smoked Turkey Sausage Links
  • 1 small onion, chopped/diced
  • 1 jalaepeno, keep the seeds and chop whole for spice or slice along the curves to avoid adding the seeds/flesh
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook noodles according to box (note: I should have been stirring them a bit more frequently and when I drained/rinsed them I recommend adding a little oil in. This will help the noodles not stick together)

  2. Chop the broccoli, onions, and jalapeno and slice the sausage on a diagonal to make it look fancier. 

  3. Drizzle a little oil (about 1 tbsp) across your veggies and use a spoon to mix/coat them.

  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add your veggies and sausage, saute for about 5-6 minutes.

  5. Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and place lid on. This will allow the broccoli to completely steam/cook. Leave lid on for about 3-4 minutes.

  6. Remove lid and allow water to evaporate. Takes about 5-6 minutes. When there is a little water left, start sprinkling in your parmesan cheese and turn the heat low. This will naturally start to warm up the cheese and provide enough moisture to make it into a melty delicious mixture.

  7. Serve veggie and sausage combo over your noodles and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Extra ingredients:

  • If you use Johnsonville sausages, we had two remaining. These were sliced and added to eggs during the week for breakfast. 
  • The steps of broccoli/veggie scraps can be placed in a gallon sized freezer bag. Once that bag is full of veggie scraps you can make your own veggie stock (hello, budgeting!)

Are you trying any of these new alternatives to traditional pasta? Let me know which ones or if you have any questions on them!


Slow Cooker: Chicken Gnocchi & Bean Soup

This cold weather has me searching for all kinds of warm and comforting foods. I know some of us associate the word “comfort food” with only things high in sugar, fat, alcohol, etc…but comfort foods can be anything! The literal definition is food that brings you joy or COMFORT.

So if you’re feeling chilly and need a hearty soup that will feed two people for 1 dinner + 3-5 servings of left overs, you’re in luck! Otherwise, cut the recipe in half and make a smaller portion for the two of you. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker: Chicken Gnocchi & Bean Soup

A quick simple throw together meal to warm you up if especially if you’re tired of chicken noodle soup.

Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 cup white beans drained and rinsed from a can
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 5-6 sticks of celery
  • 4.5 cups water
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 cups milk I used 2%
  • 1 package of whole wheat gnocchi or any kind!
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ bag ~ 8 oz of baby spinach or kale


  1. Chop all veggies to desired consistencies/sizes
  2. Place veggies in crockpot with chicken (whole breasts) water, bouillon cube and Italian seasoning

  3. Cook on low for about 5-6 hours
  4. Take chicken out and shred with forks, place back in crockpot. Drain and rinse your beans.

  5. Add in your milk, gnocchi, and beans and put the lid back on
  6. Mince your garlic and saute until you can smell it (a few minutes) then add your spinach and cooke down until it’s wilted 

  7. Add your greens to to the crock pot and let it sit another 20-30 minutes. Gnocchi cooks pretty quickly. Enjoy warm with a little hot sauce!

Recipe Notes

  • I chose to peel my carrots and parsnip even though some people don’t do that.
  • Draining your beans rinses off most of the sodium
  • Left over parts:
    • You can keep left over veggie pieces in a gallon size freezer bag and keep adding to it, once you have half a bag full, you can make a veggie stock/broth.
    • You’ll have celery left over and beans. Use celery with peanut butter as a snack during the week
    • Throw the left over beans on a salad or mixed in with taco meat (smash them up really good!)
    • You’ll likely have some chicken breasts left over unless you used some from your freezer so if you’re not going to use more, wrap them in plastic wrap, then foil, then place in a freezer ziplock or a stasher bag and use for another week.

Did you make the recipe? Take a photo and tag me on Instagram @the_beer_RD

Don’t forget to tell me if you liked it! Come back and report or show me on Instagram/Facebook. 🙂


Fifteen Chili Topping Ideas – Keep it Fresh!

Just cause I love chili, especially this time of year, and I thought you could use some new ideas for ways to change it up. By keeping your foods fresh, as in new and exciting, it keeps your food interesting – and you interested in it!

The other benefit of adding a variety of toppings is that it changes the experience. Is it melty cheese that sounds good? Creamy avocado? Extra pep from something like lime juice? When you change the topping, you’re changing the textures, flavors and aromas which in turn creates a different sensation in your mouth. Eating the same foods all the time gets boring AND forcing yourself to eat something when it doesn’t work for you doesn’t work in the long term (or short term really).

  • Greek yogurt / sour cream – I love the cold creaminess against any chili but especially one with a lot of heat.
  • Crackers – Because who doesn’t like some added crunch?
  • Cheese – Melty…mm mm delicious.
  • Cocoa – Throw in a couple tablespoons to your classic chili for a richer flavor
  • Avocado – Get your filling green & healthy fat fruit out and throw some contrasting color on your chili.
  • Lime / lime juice – I love the zing and brightness that it adds to each bite!
  • Noodles – Steve’s personal favorite and one of the only ways I used to eat chili as a kid.
  • Corn bread – Corn bread covered in chili or dipped in chili gives you some sweetness paired with savory and the two just sing together IMO.
  • Sausage/hot dog – Chop’m up or cover them!
  • Chips – My personal fave is tortilla chips with some white chili or black bean chips with traditional.
  • Mac n’ Cheese – Instead of just noodles, get out your favorite mac and have a little mac with a lot of chili.
  • Shaved carrots / other veggies – I love carrots in chili but it’s fun to add them as a topping. Try it before you hate on it!
  • French fries – I like baking my own out of regular or sweet potatoes and instead of enjoying my veggie on the side I put the main course right over them.
  • French onions – keep’n it French with Steve’s other favorite crunchy/oily (IMO) topping. I don’t looove these but Steve does and it’s another option!
  • Ice cream – Hahaha did I lose you? I’ve not tried this one but I’ve HEARD that just one scoop is all it takes (of chocolate or vanilla) to add cream and contrast to that secret chili recipe of yours.

If one of your 2019 goals is to have a better experience in the kitchen, cooking, eating etc…try one of the toppings above that is new to you (don’t forget to share how it went!)! If you’re making chili like I am this winter, show me on Instagram by tagging @The_beer_rd!