Recipe Review: Spaghetti Squash & Chickpea Meatballs

Recipe Review: Spaghetti Squash & Chickpea Meatballs by Nutrition Stripped

Hello Foodies! For those of you observing Lent, you may want to try making this recipe on a Friday since it’s vegetarian. It’s also another great recipe to make on Meatless Mondays! Even if it isn’t Meatless Monday or a Friday during Lent, I love to make this recipe because the chickpea meatballs are so nutrient-dense and tasty!

I know that spaghetti squash isn’t exactly in season right now, but I usually don’t have an issue finding any at my local Sprouts or Trader Joe’s. I personally love real spaghetti noodles but sometimes I prefer something lighter. Plus, substituting spaghetti noodles with spaghetti squash is a great way to up your fiber intake for the day. If you have a hard time finding spaghetti squash, you can always make zoodles. As for the marinara sauce, you have the freedom to use any sauce that you want. Since I’m usually in a time crunch, I like to purchase Mezzetta’s Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauce (I prefer the roasted garlic & caramelized onion flavor). But of course you can make homemade marinara sauce if you have more time.

The chickpea recipe calls for so many nourishing ingredients such as walnuts, hemp seeds, and rolled oats. I purchased nutritional yeast seasoning for the first time (I purchased the Bragg Premium Nutrition Yeast Seasoning) to make this recipe and now nutritional yeast seasoning is essential to have in my pantry.

If you like this recipe then you’ll probably like the rest of McKel’s recipes on Nutrition Stripped. She’s a fellow dietitian nutritionist and all her recipes are so nourishing and delish!

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash & Chichpea Meatballs

Until next time,
-Kathleen G, RD

Recipe Review: Spicy Cauliflower & Quinoa Burgers

Recipe Review: Spicy Cauliflower and Quinoa Burgers by Pinch of Yum

Hi friends! I’ve been slightly obsessed with cauliflower lately and wanted to share this tasty recipe that one of my interns recommended. Usually when I crave a burger, I want a real meaty burger with all the fixins. But sometimes I want something on the healthier/nourishing side yet still hearty, like a veggie burger. I’ve tried numerous recipes for veggie burgers and I have to say this is one of the best.

As a dietitian, I am always up for recipes that contain quinoa because it’s a complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids). My favorite part of this recipe is the Magic Green Sauce which has some of the best ingredients ever: avocado, pistachios, garlic, and parsley (too good)!

The spiciness of this recipe is completely up to you. I used both Cayenne pepper and a few dashes Tapatio hot sauce, but you have the freedom to use any other spices (chili powder, cumin, etc). Also, she recommends purchasing this chipotle sauce for the burger but I’ve never used that brand because I always forget to order it. I’ve actually always made the chipotle sauce from this recipe, and the burger still turns out delicious.

The different ingredients in the recipe really compliment each other and the purple cabbage gives a great crunch. Seriously, I hope you try this burger for yourself because it does not disappoint!

Get the recipe: Spicy Cauliflower and Quinoa Burgers 

Until next time,
-Kathleen G, RD

Why I Love Airbnb & Tips on How to Use it

Why I Love Using Airbnb

One of the most important parts of planning my trips are finding a place to stay. Depending on what kind of trip I’m planning, hotels aren’t always the best choice. If I know I’d be spending most of my time out and exploring I wouldn’t want to splurge on a fancy hotel room. If I’m going on a longer trip, I’d want a kitchen to cook some of my meals. I’ve used Airbnbs in multiple cities: New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, etc. Each time I had a great experience!

Our chic Airbnb living room in Boston, Massachusetts

Airbnb is often cheaper than hotels depending on when and where you’re traveling; you have to consider the time of year you are traveling, how many people you are traveling with, and sometimes what city you are traveling to. Some major cities have super expensive hotels and Airbnb often gives you more for your money. Depending on how many people you’re traveling with, Airbnbs can be more accommodating. When I traveled to Chicago and had a group of 6 people, it was cheaper to stay in a studio apartment with 2 beds and a pullout couch vs paying for multiple hotel rooms.

I find Airbnb to be an excellent option because you can always find what you are looking for.  You can find private rooms, studio apartments, entire apartments, and entire homes. I can 99% guarantee you that there will always be a listing available to fit your needs.

Private zen cottage in Oakland, California

I also love Airbnb because you can live like a local! When you see Airbnb ads that say “belong anywhere,” I actually feel like I can! I live in the suburbs of San Diego and before Postmates and UberEATS existed, I couldn’t get any food delivered to my house except for pizza. But I thought it was fun and enjoyed ordering Chinese food delivered to my NYC Airbnb because that wasn’t something I could do at home.

Airbnb also allows to you meet such awesome hosts. A lot of my previous hosts have left snacks and beverages for you. I know that some even cook meals for their guests!

Lastly, I love that there are such interesting and unique listings. I see places likes yurts, tree houses, and boathouses that I would love to stay in if the chance comes up. But I’ve also stay at places that come with awesome features that I wasn’t necessarily looking for (rooftop access and a downstairs game room).

Downstairs game room in Chicago, Illinois (Photo courtesy of Airbnb)

Fun loft bed & my handsome boyfriend at our Airbnb in Washington, D.C.

The only hiccup that I’ve had with Airbnb was once when I was accepted to stay in a gorgeous house in Big Sur, but had the host cancel because she was selling her home. This of course was inconvenient but if a host cancels it will always show up on their profile/reviews so that other users can see that. Other than that incident, I’ve loved each Airbnb that I’ve stayed in.

Tips on How to Use Airbnb

1) Type in the dates of your trip and number of guests. It’s important to add the dates of your trip because listings that aren’t available those dates won’t show up in your search results. You don’t want to find a listing that you love and find out that it isn’t even available for your trip.

2)  Specify the room type you are looking for (private room, entire place, entire home)

3) Price range: I always have a budget when traveling and usually always find something I like within my budget.

4) Utilize other filters: There are more filters you can use to narrow your search such as # of beds. You can filter certain amenities (wifi, TV, ironing board), facility (pool, gym) etc. The filter I use the most is neighborhood. If I wanted to stay in an Airbnb in New York, I can filter to stay in Brooklyn. But you can also narrow your search even more… what part of Brooklyn? Clinton hill? Williamsburg? Bed Stuy?

5) Next, browse through the results that come up and add the listings that you love to your wishlist. I like to have at least 3-5 spaces that I love.

6) Read reviews and make sure you love the location, host, amenities,  etc.

7) Message the host to double check that the listing is available.

8) Once you get accepted, plan your check-in and check-out time.

Airbnb is so user friendly and I definitely recommend it to all travelers! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Happy traveling!
**Note: This blog post is not sponsored by Airbnb.

Until next time,
-Kathleen G, RD