The first day of spring gave us our last burst of winter, here in NJ.  Today's recipe is a great way to warm up during these last few freezing nights!  This recipe is a copycat of the famous Skyline Chili restaurant recipe.

I can't usually wait til the next day to eat it-- it's sooo yummy! Can be served with gluten free pasta, or over rice, and without cheese depending on your dietary restrictions.

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups crushed tomato ( or 1-15oz can)
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Add beef and water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a simmer while stirring until the ground beef is in very small pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes 
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Continue to simmer on low, uncovered, for 3 hours. Add water as needed if the chili becomes to thick.
  4. Refrigerate the chili overnight, and the next day remove the layer of fat from top before reheating and serving. 

Today's recipe was submitted by the fabulous WBC doula Cornelia Mazzan, she can be reached at cornelia@wisebirthchoices.com


Today's recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.  Prep time approx 10 minutes.  Cook Time approximately 30 minutes.    This is a great lunch option, too.  Make a large batch and eat throughout the week.

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 white onions
3 cloves or 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
½ cup red lentils*
2 cups of water or broth**
1 – 10 oz package frozen spinach or 10 oz fresh (one bag)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups water (approximate) Depending on brand of rice 
2 cups basmati rice

Directions *If you choose to use larger lentils it will increase the amount of cooking time.
**If you choose to use a broth, vegetable or chicken is suggested.

1. Saute Onion in a deep skillet over a medium heat until onions become translucent.  
   Add garlic and saute for another minute.
2. Add lentils and water/broth and bring to a boil then reduce to low and cover for
   approximately 20 minutes until lentils reach desired tenderness.  
   (It may be necessary to add more fluid while cooking.)
3. Begin to cook rice.
4. If using frozen spinach:  While lentils are simmering, cook frozen spinach in
5. Once lentils are desired tenderness, add spinach, salt and cumin.  
6.  Add additional toppings/seasonings to taste.

Today's recipe is contributed by the Fabulous WBC doula Anna Gourlay-Irons.  Anna can be emailed at anna@wisebirthchoices.com

Soup is the most versatile meal for families with a #newbaby.  This is a great option to prepare as a gift for that new family you are visiting, too!

Just ladle into a mug and you can eat it anywhere at any time.  Keep it in the refrigerator and microwave a cup throughout the day.  

If you dice the ingredients small enough, you won't even need the spoon! (Great for those times when you only have one hand!)

Today's recipe comes from the SheKnows blog site.  They have a cool daily recipe blog that can be delivered to your inbox.

Tomato Escarole Orzo Soup

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can green beans
  • 2 cups chopped escarole leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • Parmesan, for garnish
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

  1. To a pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion, and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  2. Add in the minced garlic, and cook for an additional minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, vegetables and seasonings. Mix well, then cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the orzo, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls, garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, and serve warm.

Original post can be found on the SheKnows website  

Cranberry Nut Muffins

Last week, the staff of Wise Birth Choices had a information table at the Princeton Holistic Family Expo. Being the doula I am, I made muffins for us to enjoy while we set up our booth.  

I wanted to do something seasonal and festive but also easy to eat.  I adapted a cranberry nut bread recipe into muffins.   They were a huge hit with the gals and with Dr. Kyle Klim, of Integrative Wellness Group in Belmar NJ, who may have done a couple of muffin drive-bys, while also tabling at the same expo.  

Well I had a few leftover from the fair and have been grabbing one each morning on my way out.  I normally skip breakfast but these are so convenient and delicious to grab and eat on the go!  I am making it a point to make a batch of muffins every weekend for myself for an easy breakfast and snack.  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray or line muffin tin.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. 
Add the cranberries and walnuts, and stir to coat with flour.  
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, oil and orange juice.  
Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until just blended. 
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin.  
Bake for 25- 30 minutes.   

I stored the leftovers in a ziplock in the fridge.  This will make 12 muffins.
Todays recipe is submitted by the Fabulous WBC Doula Sara Sandstrom. 

Adapted from-


Harvest Vegetable Chowder

This vegetarian chowder has a great flavor and provides all the warm fuzziness that comfort food should provide.  Quick and tasty, my family loves when they come home and this is cooking on the stove.

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ c potatoes diced
  • 6 c vegetable broth
  • 1c pumpkin puree
  • 1c corn
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp sage
  • ½ c light cream
  • salt/pepper to taste

  • Heat butter in soup pot. 
  • Add onions, garlic and potatoes. 
  • Saute until onions are done. 
  • Add veg broth and bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 min. 
  • Add pumpkin puree, corn and herbs. 
  • Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. 
  • Remove from heat, stir in cream.
  • Blend with hand blender.

Today's recipe is contributed by the Fabulous WBC Doula Jill Dillner. Jill can be reached at jill@wisebirthchoice.com

In a house with food allergies, this is a flavorful and easy dinner option.  Allergy-friendly turkey/black bean burgers! 

This is a great "make today and freeze for later" meal.  I personally cook them prior to freezing, giving me a quick no-cook dinner option.  Great when you need something fast. You could also make the patties and freeze them raw. Just remember to wrap them in parchment paper prior to freezing, so they are easy to separate.

I ran the recipe through my nutrition app. 166 calories per 4oz patty. It's a great recipe for women who are trying to lose weight postpartum. Enjoy ladies!

1 can organic black beans
1.3 lbs ground turkey
1/2 an onion - diced small
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp water
Cumin, salt, pepper to taste or any other seasonings to taste

  1. Mix chia seeds and warm water and set aside to gel** 
  2. With a fork or potato masher, mash the black beans into a chunky paste
  3. Add ground turkey, onion, seasoning and chia seeds
  4. Mix until well blended
  5. Form into patties and pan-fry them

**How to use Chia from Leigh-Chantelle from Viva la Vegan! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe7ErAOWLeE0 

Today's recipe is from the fabulous WBC doula Sarah Zadoyko.  Sarah can be reached at sarah@wisebirthchoices.com

This soup is a favorite with my family & our postpartum doula clients. This soup is perfect for the cooler nights and for an easy comfort food meal.  And we all know we need chicken soup since cold & flu season is upon us!  

To save time, just use pre-cut veggies, boxed broth and rotisserie chicken.  (Most grocery stores will have all three veggies diced and packaged together as mirepoix) 

You can also choose to take your time making homemade broth, poached chicken, and find all of the chopping and peeling therapeutic.   If you have the time, it is worth it for that old-fashioned homemade flavor!


3 cloves garlic minced
1 large onion diced
3-4 stalks of celery chopped
3-4 carrots peeled (if you desire) and sliced
  (or all 3 already diced in 1 package Mirepoix)
Shredded or cubed Cooked Chicken (I like to pick apart a rotisserie chicken, but you can also poach your choice of chicken parts and then shred or cube)
4-6 cups of chicken stock
Kale (I use bagged kale, just be sure to pick out the thick ribs and stems)
1/2 bag Egg noodles (whatever width you prefer)
Salt, pepper

Sauté the garlic, onions, carrots & celery in oil of choice until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour in broth & chicken pieces.  Bring to a simmer.  

Add noodles.  

Once noodles are soft, add the kale to the soup. The kale will wilt pretty quickly so add as much as you'd like in batches.

Cook for 5-10 minutes or until desired Kale wilt:)  

Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

I like to make a large pot of this and make individual serving sized portions in sandwich sized freezer bags. Just pour, seal and freeze.  If you do plan on freezing a portion, cook noodles separately.  Otherwise they may get too mushy from freezing.

Contributed by the Fabulous Doula Sara Sandstrom.  Sara can be contacted at sara@wisebirthchoices.com

Today's recipe is Paleo-Friendly and prep is 5 minutes! Cooking time is around 30 min.  Serve with a green veggie and / or Cauliflower Rice for a quick complete meal.

1 package chicken thighs, 6-8 pieces
Curry powder
Coconut oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 can of coconut milk for optional sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rinse and drain chicken thighs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat large skillet 
Add 2Tbsp coconut oil
Dust flat side of chicken generously with the Curry powder
Season with salt & pepper
Place chicken in hot pan, flat side down, for 8-10 minutes or until browned on that side.
While they are cooking, dust the other side with the spice powder, salt & pepper.
When done, flip and brown on the other side.
Once browned on both sides, place skillet into preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can remove the chicken from the pan onto a plate. Put the pan back on the stove on low heat, add a can of coconut milk and stir to create a delicious sauce. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often while scraping the bottom of the pan.

Serve with a green veggie and / or Cauliflower Rice for a complete meal.

Serves 4

Contributed by the Fabulous Doula Cornelia Mazzan.  Cornelia can be contacted at cornelia@wisebirthchoices.com