Mediterranean Banza Bowl

Alright, you guys, you need to make this ASAP! And this is not a false alarm. This bowl is super delicious, full of fresh flavors and different textures. Make it and your tastebuds will thank me.

I am an ambassador with Banza (what does that even mean? I don’t really know…but I’ll take the fancy title) and they sent me a bag of their new chickpea “rice”. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little skeptical. Come on now, why we gotta be messing with rice? There’s absolutely nothing wrong about eating rice (because there’s no morality attached to food) and rice provides nutrition that other grains don’t. Variety is the spice of life and the thing that ensures we get all the nutrients we need.

 
Mediterranean Banza "rice" bowl
 

Anyways, so I was little irritated that they were trying to replace rice. But THEN I tried it. And loved it. It definitely doesn’t replace rice, but it’s another delicious food to add to my life. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t eat many chickpeas/beans, so Banza products allow for me to have more food groups in my life more easily. So I would encourage eating rice AND this Banza rice, because both are delicious. I’d compare it to orzo pasta, and I’m a fan or orzo recipes.

 
Mediterranean Banza Bowl
 

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make all the components one day and then keep them in your fridge for several days of lunches or dinners. Woohoo for easily assembled meals!!

I’m going to do some more recipe testing with the rice and I’m super pumped about it…okay, I need to tone it down a bit. But I really did enjoy it.

 
Mediterranean Banza "rice" bowl
 

In other news, Isaac had the flu this past week, so we’ve quarantined him and I’ve been solo parenting. Phew it’s hard work! Single moms, you are super heroes…Thankfully after several days of doing it alone and hanging out by myself in the evenings, my in-laws came to watch Cam for a few hours so I could workout out 🙌🏻 and get some coffee and work on this post. It’s the little self-care actions in life that make all the difference. 😉I’d love to hear what you guys think of Banza’s new rice, this recipe, and what you’ve been up to lately!! Thankful for all of you and your support. 🤓

 
Mediterranean Banza "rice" bowl
 
Mediterranean Banza Bowl

Chicken souvlaki recipe comes from GimmeSomeOven and is one of my favorite recipes

Nighttime snacking

A topic that has come up several times in recent client sessions is that of nighttime snacking. I find that so many of my clients experience guilt and shame over wanting and eating a nighttime snack.

 
Nighttime snacking: is it really a problem?
 

In a culture that constantly reinforces the belief that we need to manipulate our body size and therefore eat as few calories as possible, it makes sense that they would also discourage eating at night. Why would you add calories to your day? (because calories are energy and help my body perform all of its tasks) Why would you eat a snack simply because it sounds good and not necessarily because you are hungry? (because food is more than just fuel) Why not just go to sleep so you can forget about your hunger? (because hunger isn’t something to be ignored or put off) Isn’t nighttime eating just emotional eating, and isn’t emotional eating is the worst possible thing someone can do? (um, nope, it’s not, but that’s a topic for another post…) And all of these beliefs then cause a lot of false guilt when we want a snack to top off the evening.

We need to stop pathologizing nighttime eating. Just as our body and brain seek out food during the day, it’s going to need and seek out food at night, regardless of the fact that our culture says dinner is the cutoff for food intake. There are a lot of reasons you could be seeking out a snack at night. Maybe it’s because you didn’t quite get enough during the day. Or maybe your body simply needs more fuel (if you eat dinner at 6 and are going to be up until 11:30, your body WILL need more fuel). Or maybe you will wake up in the middle of the night hungry if you don’t have one 🙋. Or maybe you simply just enjoy eating a snack before bed 🙋🙋. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a snack or a sweet treat in the evening. And simply because you want a snack or sweet after dinner despite not being very hungry, doesn’t mean that it’s a harmful emotional eating experience. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re going to wake up hungry in the middle of the night, eat. If you aren’t going to be able to think about anything else other than that chocolate chip cookie until you eat it, then eat. Depriving yourself of your nighttime snacks or telling yourself you “shouldn’t” is only going to backfire in the long run.

 
Nighttime snacking
 

If your nighttime eating feels chaotic and or leaves you feeling sick, then it’s definitely something worth looking into. But let’s not making something that’s not a problem into a problem. Enjoy that bowl of popcorn, cup of yogurt, graham crackers and peanut butter, cookie, or ice cream and then move on to other enjoyable things like connecting with a significant other, watching tv, reading a book, or sleeping. Let’s get rid of the belief that we shouldn’t need to eat after dinner and the unhelpful guilt that follows.

Apple Crumble Snack Bars

I’ve got your next week’s snack for ya right here.

I’m one of those people who can’t go very long without food. And I’ve NEVER been one of those people who forgets to eat. Like how is that even possible?? And with pregnancy and breastfeeding, snacking has become even more essential. And although I’m craving savory foods most of the time for my meals, I’ve been craving sweet snacks. So since having Camden, I’ve been making some sort of sweet food (or two) each week to snack on between meals or to finish my meals with. This pumpkin banana bread is by far my favorite pumpkin bread recipe (I swap out coconut oil for the vegetable oil). Slather it with peanut butter and you’ll be in heaven. And these brownie bars….holy moly they’re delicious. They remind me of the little debbie Cosmic brownies. Yes, please!! 🙋

 
Apple crumble snack bars
 

These bars can technically be eaten alone (or topped with vanilla ice cream), but I prefer them out of the fridge topped with full fat plain yogurt and a drizzle of peanut butter and honey. The yogurt really balances out the flavors well. I wish I could explain it scientifically or in more specific descriptors, but I just know when food tastes good, not necessarily WHY it tastes good. And I’m working on broadening my vocabulary. 🙈

 
Apple crumble snack bars
 

I made these with oats, flax seeds, and walnuts to help with my milk supply. I’m wanting to do more research on how maternal diet impacts breastfeeding, but haven’t yet been able to do the full research I am wanting. Would that be helpful or interesting? Or are you like, Ashley, I do. not. care.? I think there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to maternal diet that then causes a lot of fear and stress that doesn’t need to be there.

 
Apple crumble snack bars
 

In the meantime, enjoy these bars as a breakfast, after meal dessert, or snack. If you make them, let me know and snap a picture and use the hashtag #donuteatingdietitian.

apple crumble snack bars.png

Recipe adapted from ImmaEatThat.