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3 New Mashed Potato Recipes Get Pimped for Thanksgiving

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

There is one serious food rule in my family: if my Grandpa asks you to pass the mashed potatoes do not serve yourself on the way over to him. He called that a “mashed potato short stop” and proclaimed if you “short stopped” in the Army the penalty was a scoop of mashed potatoes in your face.

My family takes mashed potatoes very seriously, and even though my Grandpa passed years ago we still uphold his “no mashed potato short stop” rule and have a deep respect for the honorable dish at our Thanksgiving table.

I made a dedication to embark on this makeover with an equally serious devotion. You can remake a mash, but you better be sure it is delicious and worthy of its own set of beloved table rules.

As far as I’m concerned if you start a vegetable mash with extremely fresh ingredients you will end up with something delicious. It seemed only logical then to begin this makeover with a trip to my local farmers market.

Off I went without specific recipes in mind. I allowed the seasonal bounty to inspire. I came home with veggie loot to brag about and knew I was well on my way to a delicious party of mashes.

What resulted were three thanksgiving table-worthy mashes: a twist on the traditional, a Paleo mash, and a whizz-bang-boom masterpiece!
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Eat 120-Calorie Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo to Pimp Your Pasta

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

If I had a dollar for every time Fettuccine Alfredo came up in a nutrition session with a client I would be a very wealthy woman. It seems to be the dish that is the ultimate counterpoint to healthy eating, the sin that must be confessed. That steamy bowl of rich creamy pasta is not sensible – it is evil, ridiculous, void of common sense, and completely and utterly delicious!

Unfortunately, one bowl piles in about a day’s worth of calories and fat. ONE BOWL has approximately 1200 calories and 75 grams of fat!

The original recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo was created nearly 100 years ago by a man named Alfredo di Lelio in Rome. He created the recipe to please his very pregnant wife who struggled with morning sickness. Butter, heavy cream, cheese, and pasta to the rescue!

This morning sickness cure can now be purchased jarred or frozen and is on nearly every Italian restaurant menu across the country. Fettuccine Alfredo is an indulgence that we tend to “indulge” in way too often.

Now you can have your Alfredo and eat it too. Just make it at home. The Abra Pimped way.
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We Pimped a Homemade Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Tis’ the season to consume many, many, many pumpkin spice lattes. A now ubiquitous beverage of fall, this Starbucks flavored java is loved the world over.

Last month there was a reported pumpkin spice syrup shortage at hundreds of Starbucks around the country; lovers of this beverage were outraged! It was the Pumpkin Spice LattePOCALYPYSE! Happily for the PSL fans (that’s what they affectionately call this fall beverage) the syrup was replenished and drinking resumed.


But wait! I am so sorry to burst your pumpkin bubble, but do you know really know what you are drinking? Espresso, steamed milk, and pumpkin spice syrup, yes, but what is in that pumpkin spice syrup? I for one, wanted to know. Starbucks isn’t terribly forthcoming about ingredients. Their website is extremely helpful with fat and calorie counts, but when it comes to actual ingredients one must dig deeper to come up with the truth.

I emailed them (which quite honestly, is very simple to do on their website) and asked for the ingredient breakdown. I received this:

Sugar, Condensed Nonfat Milk, Sweetened Condensed Nonfat Milk, Annatto (E160b, Colour), Natural and Artificial Flavours, Caramel Colour (E150D), Salt, Potassium Sorbate (E202, a preservative).

This list did not make a holistic nutritionist very happy. The first ingredient is sugar, then more sugar in the form of sweetened condensed milk, and numerous coloring agents and preservatives. Then the big whammy, under the guise of “natural and artificial flavors” are hidden health disastrous ingredients that legally do not have to be listed. Ingredients like Vanillin instead of Vanilla (synthetic vanillin primarily comes from wood pulp, a bi-product of the sulphite process. Yum!) are considered “natural ingredients.”

Well fear not pumpkin addicts, this is a truly simple and luscious drink to make at home. You will save calories, fat, and yucky franken-food ingredients, AND save yourself a pretty penny!

Consider the Pumpkin Spice Latte Pimped!
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Pimp That Recipe: Caramel Apples for Fall

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Fall is not fall without caramel apples. At least to me. Crisp tart apples and sticky sweet caramel. Yum!

As a child, October meant caramel apples. We would travel to the farmers market to pick out the perfect caramel apple for the ride home. This much-anticipated treat was homemade by the farmer’s wife, with a fresh apple picked from the tree and dipped in a simple caramel sauce, made from sugar, heavy cream and sometimes butter. Then, as Halloween neared, my mother would come home with a big bag of apples and get to work on her own caramel apples for the family.


What was once the simplest and purest treat has turned into the simplest, fastest pre-packaged (and full of scary stuff) treat. Walk down the apple aisle of any grocery store this month and you will find “caramel apple wrappers” and packaged  “old fashioned caramel dip.” Although convenience has its place in today’s hustle and bustle world, I wonder if you have ever read the ingredients in that easy-to-grab dip?
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Pimp That Recipe: The Ultimate (Healthier) Chocolate Chip Cookie

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

What is more delicious than warm chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven? Not much I tell ya, not much. We all should have a reliable, delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe in our back pocket to wow impromptu guests and convince our kids that we are, indeed, super mom.

Trouble is most cookie recipes begin with ingredients that need..well.. pimping! I encourage you to push beyond your baking comfort zone to try this nutrient dense, crazy delicious treat. The ingredients here should easily be added to your arsenal of real food, health promoting pantry staples.

So let’s pimp that recipe!
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