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Holley Grainger’s PB and Strawberry Sushi

Gotta love July… with the sizzling hot summer weather and the start of the back to school excitement.

And, when you think “school,” you think “Oh no I have got to make school lunches again.”

No worries we have you covered. I asked Holley Grainger MS, RD “aka the lunchbox queen” for one of her lunch box favs. Begin this school year with this fresh, fun lunch idea. All you need is 5 minutes and 3 ingredients. Your kids and you will adore this tasty lunch! Thank you Holley!

Holley Grainger’s PB and Strawberry Sushi
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  1. 1 whole wheat tortilla
  2. 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter (can use sunflower seed butter or almond butter)
  3. 1 cup diced strawberries
  1. Place tortilla on a cutting board and spread with peanut butter. Making sure the peanut butter reaches the edges.
  2. Dice the strawberries and place on the edge of the tortilla in a line.
  3. Roll strawberries in the tortilla.
  4. Ensure the edge is “sealed” with peanut butter.
  5. Cut roll into 1 inch squares and arrange on a plate/ lunch box with cut side facing up.
  6. Enjoy! See the smiles on your kid’s faces!
  1. Serving Size: 1
  2. Calories 379
  3. Fat 18 grams
  4. Carbohydrate 42 grams
  5. Protein 12 grams
  6. Sodium 247 mg
Taste Life, with Chere Bork http://cherebork.com/blog/

Here 125 healthy lunchbox ideas from Holley the “lunchbox queen.”

Holley promises that these lunchbox ideas will help you cut back on the mommy/ daddy guilt. They will empower you to try new foods with your child. And they will help your children enjoy many new foods that are tasty and will not break the bank for you.


Holley Grainger, MS, RD is a nationally recognized nutrition and lifestyle expert as well as a wife, mom and business owner. She does her best to keep it real and have fun with her family, readers, and clients all while balancing a sink of dirty dishes, an adventurous teenager, a kindergartener that lives for endless games of hide-and-seek, and a glass of red wine. Holley’s blog, Holley Grainger Nutrition, shares simple, healthy, flavor-packed meals as well as practical and doable nutrition advice. Holley believes in the power of visual communication and storytelling so showing her readers how to do something (versus telling them) makes her a standout online video star (with over 900 videos to her name including ones for brands such as Cooking Light, MyRecipes.com and Southern Living). 

The former nutrition editor for CookingLight.com and MyRecipes.com, she has instructed millions of accomplished and aspiring home cooks on how to make simple, healthy, family-friendly meals through online video, media appearances, speaking engagements, national and local news, and social media. Holley lives in Alabama, with her husband and two young daughters, Ellie and Frances. Make sure to find and follow Holley cooking up new recipes for with her adorable girls on FacebookInstagram and YouTube

Give this recipe a try! Holley and I can’t wait to hear from you!

@cherebork #dietitianlifecoach


Jen Haugen’s Chicken Sausage Scramble

This month I want to highlight Jen Haugen, RDN, LD the Down to Earth Dietitian and mom who adores her family by creating amazing meals to nourish their bodies and soothe their spirits. Her recipes are practical for the busy on the go mom and perfect for you too!

Tired of your same old breakfasts?

Instead of toast and eggs try Jen’s
Chicken Sausage Scramble with lots of scrumptious veggies oozing with tasty nutrition. This dish would be an easy meal to whip up quickly after work too. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?   To save precious after work time, dice the onion, red pepper and sweet potato before you head to work or the evening before. Check out Jen’s You Tube video for her demo of this tasty dish.


Jen Haugen’s Chicken Sausage Scramble
Chicken Sausage Scramble with lots of scrumptious veggies oozing with tasty nutrition.
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  1. Non-stick cooking spray
  2. ½ cup diced chicken apple sausage
  3. ¼ cup diced onion
  4. ¼ cup diced red pepper
  5. ¼ cup diced sweet potato
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  8. ½ cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
  9. Salt and black pepper, to taste
  10. 2 whole wheat English muffins, split, toasted
  1. Coat a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; heat over medium. Add the sausage, onion, red pepper, and sweet potato and cook, covered, stirring often, until vegetables are tender (test a chunk of sweet potato to be sure).
  2. Meanwhile, beat eggs with milk in a small bowl until blended. When the vegetables are tender, transfer them to a plate. Return the skillet to the burner; add the egg mixture and cook, stirring often, until eggs are softly scrambled. Off heat, stir in spinach, reserved sausage mixture, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately with a toasted English muffin half. Serves 4.
  3. Nutrition Facts per Serving: 210 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 240 mg cholesterol, 14 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 410 mg sodium.
Taste Life, with Chere Bork http://cherebork.com/blog/

Jen Haugen, RDN, LD, is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist, speaker and author of the inspiring book, “The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden.”

She has been featured as a food and nutrition expert on media outlets like Food & Nutrition Magazine, Nutrition 411, and Today’s Dietitian. Jen empowers moms to live a more balanced life through workshops, retreats and online courses.  Her goal is to equip moms with tools that bring life into balance all while making meal planning a breeze, boosting confidence in the kitchen, and gardening for healthy plates.  Find her at www.jenhaugen.com.

Give this recipe a try! Jen and I can’t wait to hear how much you love it!


Dairy is a Clear Choice for Clean Eating

“Clean eating” is a phrase that is everywhere but exactly what is it?  

While there’s no official definition set by the Food and Drug Administration for clean eating and not everything you read about it can be backed up by science, there are many personal interpretations of this popular diet-style. For many people, clean eating means a healthy, whole foods approach with minimally processed foods.  Clean eaters often crave a simplified lifestyle that is focused on more balance and well-being too.  It is a diet that focuses on the colors of the rainbow and whole foods without wrappers rather than foods that pop out of a box.  It is all about foods that nourish your body and soul. It is really simple…eating whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean protein, and dairy.

Clean eating is no longer a trend as a survey show that 29% of consumers claim that clean labels impact their food purchasing decisions.*Registered Dietitian Nutritionists would all agree that buying fresh, whole foods at your grocery store, food coop or farmer’s market is a great place to start. Eat with your eyes and eat the color of the rainbow.

In the survey the top two factors indicating a clean label were “no artificial ingredients/ flavors/ preservatives, and “ingredients easily read or recognized.”

If you are eating lots of processed foods you may want to read your labels more closely and become a “food detective” when you are grocery shopping.  When you buy packaged foods read the ingredient list and nutrition label. Example – canned tomatoes you can choose to buy tomatoes with citric acid (a preservative) in them or you can buy canned tomatoes that are only tomatoes without any preservatives.  

While the interest in clean eating seems to have boomed only recently, our fabulous dairy group has delivered “clean eating” all along. Milk has only 3 ingredients: milk, vitamins D and A. While milk alternatives like almond and soy beverage, contain 10 or more added ingredients, including salt, stabilizers, syrups, thickeners and sugar.

Milk is also a local food, taking only about two days to travel from farm to store, while milk alternatives can take weeks to get from the farm to your table. Not all milks are created equal. Read your labels to compare the nutrition of milk to milk alternatives.

Every type of milk delivers the same unmatched nutrition package.  The best news – milk delivers a nutritional win compared to milk alternatives with higher quality protein and often more absorbable calcium.  

Take the advice from Stephanie Cundith, MS, RD, LD  from Midwest Dairy who says, “Rather than spend time and money trying to find the latest, greatest ‘miracle’ food, look to your favorite dairy products including milk, cheese and yogurt for clean, nutritious eating.”

Amen to that!

I did not receive compensation to write this post but am a Midwest Dairy Ambassador and “Cheesehead” from Wisconsin who adores dairy and eats it every single day.

*Source: Food Technology Conference – Innova’s Top Ten Trends for 2016

Here’s to clean eating and living which nourishes your body, mind and spirit!


Midwest Dairy Association – Milk Alternatives

Midwest Dairy Association – Dairy Delivers Clean Labels


Celebrate National RDN Day with RDN Spouse Food Stories

What better way to celebrate RDN Day than to share our beloved spouse food stories!!

Has candy ever hit you in the head?  

Almost every year, my beloved husband Gary buys Halloween candy and does not want me to see the amount he buys so he hides it in his workshop cabinet.  The first year, I opened the cabinet and Almond Joys hit me in the head. Gary was busted. It continues every single year and now he buys Halloween Candy “on sale” for his November hunting trips.

Gary met me as a dietetic intern at my Milwaukee County Internship.

He knew what he was getting into.  It used to drive me nuts when he ate ice cream in bed when we first got married. I shut up and woke up to the ice cream bowl stuck to our vanity counter! Kidney stones ended that evening adventure!  Every night we have a salad or soup or both and then an entrée. I am always trying to fill him up. And, we always use placemats and light candles. I try to make dinner extra special. I asked Gary, “What is your favorite part about being married to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. He replied, “Your attention to details for meals.” I then asked, “What is your most difficult part being married to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?” He replied, ‘Your attention to details for meals.”  Like I said I thought when he met me in that little white uniform and hairnet at Milwaukee County Hospital, he knew food would be extra special in our house!

At least 25 years ago, he wanted to start the “SAD group.”  Spouse. Of. Dietitians.  He even had a T-shirt designed. He thinks it is hard to be married to a dietitian! I just remind him how lucky he is to be married to a dietitian as I cook him yummy meals and I tell him I keep him alive. He thinks he could write a book!  So could I.

I asked my fellow dietitian friends what food habits their spouses have that drive them nuts and also how being married to a dietitian helped their spouse. You will enjoy reading these answers!

Madeline Basler MS, RDN, CDN

Ok, what aggravates me (and I shouldn’t let it, I means it’s not like he’s eating fast food haha), but he mixes everything together in one plate and also eats pasta with strawberries and blueberries and salad all together. Drives me insane.  Looks disgusting!

I think it’s helped him as we have eaten really well since he had a heart attack 5 years ago.  Now since becoming an RDN I am even more aware of what we are putting into our bodies! 

Good for you Maddy!

Twitter: @RDNMaddy

Jen Flachbart, MS, RD 

Jen’s husband before and after he lost 50 pounds!

My husband calls himself “patient zero” now! He was the first of my “weight loss clients” (not by choice!) After we got married and I started doing most of the food shopping and cooking he went from having access to a lot of processed foods all the time to just about none and ended up losing 50 pounds! We both encourage each other to make good choices in our diet these days and I love that he has become almost as passionate about food and nutrition as I am! He now eats a whole food plant based diet, has way more energy, runs all the time and feels great! Although that doesn’t stop him from occasionally inhaling an entire pint of dairy free Ben + Jerry’s Ice Cream, but I choose my battles! 🙂 Here is a before and after picture!

Wow Jen what a success story!  

Twitter: @JenFlashRD 

Sonja Stetzler, MA, RDN, CPC

This picture is from our Blue Ridge bike trip.

It’s the night-eating that drives me nuts! After dinner, after everything is cleaned up and put away, he’ll sneak back into the kitchen and start munching on something like chips or ice cream. 

As far as being married to an RD…yes, his eating habits have certainly improved. He’s eating more fruit and veggies, and sometimes he’ll make a fruit smoothie for dessert instead of eating ice cream.

You are a great influence Sonja!   

Twitter: @sonjastetzler

Kim Kulp, RD

My husband Jack says I’ve taught him to enjoy a greater variety of vegetables and grains, and even the occasional tofu. He’s learned to stop eating when he’s full, not stuffed, especially at restaurants. However, the lesson he likes best, is that dessert can be OK, just not every night!  

I love the cereal box in the bookshelf Kim. And, wow, getting your hubs to eat tofu is admirable. I tried that in our house without success!

Twitter: @KimKulpRD

Mary Lane Carlson

In March of 2015, Ken and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary celebrated by doing the Santiago Pilgrimage. We walked about 70 miles to Santiago, Spain from Tui, Portugal.

As my husband and I transition from child rearing to the empty nest, we are experiencing a surge in our life to be healthier.  That is, getting more physical activity and eating foods that promote health.  We accomplish this by exercising together whether it is walking or trimming trees and by cooking together.  We discuss the upcoming week’s menu (review recipes) and go grocery shopping together.  When time permits, we even take cooking classes together.  When we go out to eat, we split the dish and perhaps order a side salad. This has not only improved our health but also strengthened our marriage. 

What a beautiful way to start the next stage of your life together Mary. 

Karla Moreno-Bryce, MDA, RD

A food habit that my husband has is that he gets carried away with certain snack foods at home and eats more than he intends to. We sometimes have dark chocolate, pretzels, trail mix, or tortilla chips and he sometimes needs a reminder to portion control! But this is also a reminder to myself, which he always tells me too, is to not bring home foods that may be tempting.

According to my husband, being married to a dietitian has helped him have a more balanced, nutritious plant-based diet. Since I do the grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking in our household, this has made it easier on him to make sure he is meeting his nutritional needs.

Karla you are both helping each other. What a team!

Twitter: @kmorenord

Gisela Bouvier, MBA, RDN, LDN

Every time we go out to eat, Richard “HAS” to order a minimum of 2 appetizers. He states we should “wine and dine” every time we go out to eat and doesn’t realize how all of our healthy eating during the week can go down the drain in a single meal. Whether it is the fried calamari, tuna tartar, or appetizer sampler, he always orders one and then some. He then of course likes to eat the largest entree and drink a glass of wine or two. 

Although I complain about his luxury dining, I know that it has significantly downsized since we have been together over the past 7 years. Further, although he always ate relatively healthy, portion sizes, the amount of fat used in his cooking, or lack of fiber weren’t always considered. I help him stay more on track throughout the week. We cook more meals at home and always make certain to include a fresh salad or cooked veggies, lean protein, and high fiber complex carbohydrates at dinner time. He is a food service director and eats very similarly at breakfast and lunch at work as well. 

I definitely know that being married to a dietitian isn’t always easy, but I am sure he would agree it is completely worth it!

Sounds like a food love story to me Gisela!

Instagram: @bnutritionandwellness.

Julia Robarts, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Julia and her husband celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in Puerto Rico.

My dear husband has come a long way since 1987 when we first started dating J The only food habit he has that drives me nuts is his knee-jerk reaction to buying many, many of one item when it’s on sale – leading to 17 boxes of cold cereal, 20 boxes of white pasta, etc. But I can’t fault him for shopping frugally and supporting our bottom line, even if it doesn’t support our other ‘bottom line’ haha.

How has being married to an RD changed him? One word – VEGETABLES. He packs his lunch every single day and has for 25 years. When we were first married he would not put any vegetable of any kind in his sandwich. Now he slathers on avocado, and layers with tomato and lettuce. He pretty much can’t eat his chicken sandwich without it J So, I’ve made him more high-maintenance, but in a GOOD way.

Julia his sandwiches are impressive…all because of you!  

Twitter: @jugglingjuliaRD

Hilary Raciti RDN CDN

So from me (the dietitian) to him- it drives me nuts when he leaves raw meat out in the kitchen for hours to defrost or puts it on the second or third shelf in the fridge… all I can think is contamination and bacteria. He is learning though!  

From him to me: Jared cannot stand when I sometimes eat “darkened” or what he calls “rotten” guacamole. I explain it’s just oxidation but he thinks I’m just disgusting. 

Jared tells me almost daily how much I’ve helped him since we started dating 6 years ago. When I met him he was overweight, but beyond that weight (I believe health at every size) he lived a lifestyle heavy in drinking, take out/delivery and little to no exercise. As we spent more time together I showed him the beauty of home cooked meals, vegetables, physical activity and just cherishing your body. I cannot take all the credit though- jared taught me how to be more flexible and to try various new cuisines.  Sometimes I do get caught in my dietitian head. Together we have gained balance and happiness in this crazy hectic world! 

Instagram: trucenutrition 

Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN


Dustin’s and Courtney’s adventures always involve food!

Habit that drives me crazy: Dustin doesn’t like to have his veggies touching his other foods!! If it’s green it needs its own plate and for packed lunches they need their own tupperware. 

How has he benefited: He eats out significantly less and has cut down on processed/ convenience foods. Believe it or not, living with him has improved my relationship with food and eliminated some restrictive habits I didn’t even realize I had! Way to go Courtney!   

Twitter: @f00dCOURT

Here’s to putting your best fork forward!!

What food habits bug you? And how has being married to a RDN helped your spouse? We call can’t wait to hear.

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day!





3 Aphrodisiac Foods To Zest Up Your Love Life

February is here and love is in the air. Did you know the foods you eat can create more love in your life? Chris Shuff, RD, a Sexual Health Nutritionist, registered dietitian and chef is here with a guest blog post with creative ways to spice up your love life just in time for an extra special Valentine’s day.

He is sharing this easy quick dinner menu with 3 easy recipes that highlight the 3 aphrodisiac foods; red peppers, roasted beet, and chocolate.

Passion Salsa


1 red bell pepper (small), diced into 1/4″ cubes
1 mango, diced into 1/4″ cubes
1 avocado, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
Tortilla chips or lettuce wraps
1/8 tsp Salt
Pepper, to taste
1/4c red onion, diced (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/8 tsp chili powder (optional)


De-seed and chop the bell pepper, mango, avocado and the optional onion and garlic. Place ingredients into a bowl and mix. Season with salt, pepper, and optional chili powder. Pair with chips or lettuce wraps.  Serves two. 

Fun facts:

  • Red bell pepper provides 280% Vitamin C. That’s almost 3 times the amount of a Florida orange. The vitamin C is great for healthy veins and proper blood flow long into our later years of life.
  • This recipe balances sweet, acidic, crunchy and creamy flavors for good love life balance.
  • Pairing with a California Merlot is most desirable.



Power Couple Salad


3 red beets, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
3 oz spinach
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 tsp. pear vinegar (or other fruity vinegar of choice)
1/2 lb organic chicken breast
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 425°F. Preheat sauté pan to medium heat.

Trim cut the top and bottom off each beet, peel and then chop into 1/2″ cubes. Transfer the beets onto a baking sheet, drizzle with ½ Tbsp olive oil and mix to coat the beets evenly with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place into preheated oven, bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for another 15 minutes. Once cooked let the beets cool for 3 minutes and toss with 1 tsp vinegar.

Meanwhile, trim the chicken of any visible fat. Lay your hand on atop the breast and slice lengthwise to make two identically sized 1/4 lb breasts.  Gently rub with ½ tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken in preheated sauté pan for 3-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked throughout. 

To finish, place spinach into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and toss that salad good. I mean it. You want every leaf to have a very light layer of oil. The oil coating will help prevent the vinegar from wilting the leaves prematurely. Then and only then is it ok to drizzle in 2 tsp vinegar. Toss the salad once more. Once the beets and chicken have finished lay them atop the plated salad and enjoy. Serves two.

Fun facts:

  • The beets and spinach are the power couple here. Each can naturally increase our nitric oxide levels that are needed for improving circulation on date night.
  • This recipe provides a balance of earthy, sweet, and savory flavor to keep your love grounded.
  • Pairing with a sauvignon blanc is most desirable.



Dipped Forbidden Fruit


1 big banana
2 peaches, sliced
1 pound strawberries, whole
1 pound  dipping chocolate (you may not use all of this)
1/8 tsp (heaping) ground cayenne pepper


Peel and slice the banana across the middle into 2 pieces.

Split the peach, remove the pit and cut into 6 slices.

The strawberries are perfect just the way they are.

Heat the chocolate using a microwave or double boiler.

If using the microwave, place the chocolate into a light colored microwave safe bowl.  Load the microwave with 8 minutes worth of cooking time on medium-high power. It won’t need that much time. It will just make things a lot easier. Start with an initial burst of 60 seconds followed by 20 second increments making sure to stir between each to determine consistency. Once it’s  melted, add your cayenne pepper, stir, and quickly dip your forbidden fruits. 

If using a double boiler, add 1 inch of water into the bottom pot. Place chocolate into the top pot and begin heating. Stir the chocolate frequently. Once it’s melted just enough, turn the burner to very low, add the cayenne pepper, mix well and dip your forbidden fruits. Enjoy these hot or refrigerate until the chocolate has set.

Whatever method you use; take your time and don’t rush things. Chris promises it’ll be worth the wait. You can always heat the chocolate more but you can’t take the burnt flavor out.

Fun facts:

  • Chocolate is one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs. It has many powers. The taste and thought alone are powerful aphrodisiacs that put anyone in the romantic state of mind.
  • This recipe uses a combination of sweet and spicy for an opposites attract approach to date night.
  • IMPORTANT: save this dessert for the end of the night or make sure not to eat too much! Belly aches are the opposite of romantic on date night.



Meet Chris Shuff, RD

Chris loves surfing and wakeboarding! They are the primary reasons he lives healthy and stays fit. Well, that and he loves feeling his best.

Tell us about your path to becoming a Registered Dietitian

Well, I was interested in architecture for a long time as a kid and had even taken a number of college level courses in high school. Then I took an introductory nutrition course in college. After that it was all over. I saw the progression of obesity and knew it would be a burden on Americans for a long time to come. I wanted to help, knew there was a secure future in it, enjoyed learning the material and was good at the science behind it. I decided to switch my major to dietetics during the course.

Tell us all about your practice, Love & Fire Nutrition! What is your approach to care?

In one sentence, to ignite sex lives and strengthen relationships through health and nutrition! In longer form, I am a hopeful romantic. I believe love and life passions can help save lives, change lives and enrich lives. When someone is pursuing health with a primary motivation of achieving some form of sexual health that’s where I enter the picture. The client goals can vary but I find that the deep set motivations are almost always selfless.

I’m a bit new to the field of sex nutrition. Can you tell me a little about what your professional experience has been like in this field? 

First of all, who’s ears don’t perk up when they hear the term, sex nutrition? The funniest response I get is, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” as if they think they heard me wrong. The next biggest questions I get are, “what is that?” and “what can you do as a dietitian to actually help with that?”. To answer the first, I generally describe sex nutrition as having to do with fertility, libido and sexual performance. To answer the second, I share that it hasn’t been easy but the evidence is there. It all started while I was working with a my career coach and dietitian, Chere Bork. I was contemplating what the next step in life was and it turned out I liked sex and nutrition. Shocking right?! We both agreed the topic sounded fun, unique and right up my alley. I began looking into whether the idea of sex nutrition was actually a valid avenue to pursue. There’s a lot of bogus theories out there but when you’re truly looking there are many efficacious strategies as well. It’s hard but they’re there. As I explored, I found that many people were struggling with these issues. Worst of all, they were struggling quietly. Love, sex and fertility are things we all desire but few people are comfortable talking about them personally, let alone professionally. They are so tied to our identity, especially when they’re dysfunctional, but no one is talking about it. That’s when I knew I had to help.

I noticed on your blog that you have a lot of great advice on how nutrition can improve your sex life, what is your favorite tip? 

Wow, that’s a big one. Honestly, I don’t think I can pick a single favorite but I am really interested in nutrition’s ability to increase nitric oxide levels which are needed for sexual performance. I’ve been following the work of a lead researcher in the nitric oxide field, Dr. Nathan Bryan, who is dedicated to increasing awareness about the subject. Our ability to produce nitric oxide reduces with age and other factors. On top of that, nitric oxide is pivotal for successful arousal in both males and females. For example, a majority of males who don’t respond to the drug Sildenafil (Viagra) are most likely not producing enough nitric oxide and therefore the drug can’t be effective. By improving nitric oxide levels through targeted nutrition approaches the underlying deficit can be corrected and the male can once again enjoy intimacy on a regular basis

For more information and to connect with Chris!


A Colorful Vegetarian Dish for the New Year: Harissa Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas

Guest post by Stephanie McKercher MS, RDN 

This simple plant-based recipe is equal parts colorful and nutritious, making it a great way to kick off the New Year. 

This dish may be a bit lighter but it certainly isn’t lacking in festivity or flavor.  Try serving with your favorite cooked whole grains (I love farro) or pile it into a whole wheat pita pocket if you’re looking for a meal that’s more portable!

Harissa Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas
Author: Stephanie McKercher, RDN

Serves: 3
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes



  • 1 (15 ounce) can drained, rinsed, and thoroughly dried chickpeas
  • 20 small peeled carrots (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon harissa (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 tablespoon runny tahini
  • 1 tablespoon dukkah seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s)


  1. Preheat oven to 400º F and spread chickpeas and carrots on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Whisk together harissa, honey/maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and salt and pepper. Pour over chickpeas and carrots and toss lightly until fully coated. Place baking sheet on center rack of oven and roast until carrots are tender, and chickpeas are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer carrots and chickpeas to a serving dish. Add pomegranate arils, drizzle tahini over top, and sprinkle with dukkah before serving. Enjoy!

Stephanie McKercher MS, RDN is a private practice registered dietitian and virtual nutrition coach based in Denver, Colorado.

Steph creates delicious plant-based recipes and shares mindful living advice on her healthy food blog, The Grateful Grazer, where she strives to prove that nourishing food can look mouthwatering and taste great too.  Connect with Stephanie on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m happiest outside, especially now that my husband and I made the move from the Midwest to beautiful Colorado.  In the winter, I love spending sunny days on the ski hills but really, I live for warmer summer months spent camping, practicing photography, and hiking new mountain trails with our dog, Neil Young.  I call my blog The Grateful Grazer because gratitude has been one of the biggest game-changers on my own path toward health and wellbeing…and I also just really love Jerry Garcia. 🙂

Harissa Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas
Serves 3
A Colorful Vegetarian Dish: Harissa Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1 (15 ounce) can drained, rinsed, and thoroughly dried chickpeas
  2. 20 small peeled carrots (about 2 cups)
  3. 1 tablespoon harissa (I used Trader Joe’s)
  4. 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  9. 1 tablespoon runny tahini
  10. 1 tablespoon dukkah seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s)
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F and spread chickpeas and carrots on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Whisk together harissa, honey/maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and salt and pepper. Pour over chickpeas and carrots and toss lightly until fully coated. Place baking sheet on center rack of oven and roast until carrots are tender, and chickpeas are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer carrots and chickpeas to a serving dish. Add pomegranate arils, drizzle tahini over top, and sprinkle with dukkah before serving. Enjoy!
Taste Life, with Chere Bork http://cherebork.com/blog/