Game on!

Three simple and satisfying recipes from health coach Amanda Walton

Story + Photography by Mike Ritterbeck

After having a child in 2008, Bluffton resident Amanda Walton decided to focus on getting back in shape by making significant lifestyle changes. Through diet and exercise, she lost 30 pounds in two years. She now helps others achieve their wellness goals as a nutritional health coach. Walton is the founder of WellFed, a private practice that promotes healthy eating and living through nutritional coaching to community groups and individuals, cooking classes, workshops and professionally prepared healthy meals. She shared the following simple and satisfying recipes with LOCAL Life.

FAST FACTS: Amanda Walton

Five things she can’t live without: Good bourbon, good food, a great book, a sharp knife, live music
Favorite local restaurant: FARM Bluffton
Favorite celebrity: Jason Isbell
Favorite hobby: Running. Since her transformation in 2008, she has competed in several 5Ks and half marathons across the Southeast. She is an active member of the local triathlon community.
Other involvement: She is taking a seat on the board of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra this month and is involved in the new SoundBytes program, which performs special concerts in private homes.

1. Avocado chocolate pudding

4 very ripe Hass avocados (about 2 pounds total)
1/4 cup coconut milk
3-5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 to 3 ounces of dark or bittersweet chocolate (70 percent or higher)
1/4 cup honey (local is preferred) 

Prep the avocados: Cut 1 avocado in half with a sharp paring knife, making sure to avoid the large pit. Separate the avocado halves, and using a spoon, remove the pit. Scrape off any avocado flesh that may be stuck on the pit and place it in the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Scoop the avocado flesh from each half into the food processor or a blender. Watch out for the small hard tip at the stem end, which often comes out easily in ripe avocados and isn’t edible.

Add the milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt to the avocados in the food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend for 30 to 45 seconds until fully combined and the avocado is smooth. Leave the mixture in the processor or blender with the cover on while you melt the chocolate.

Melt the chocolate: Chop or break the chocolate into small (1/2-inch) pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power at 20-second intervals until the chocolate is melted, about 1 minute in total. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir well until smooth and free of any clumps, about 45 seconds. Add the honey to the melted chocolate and stir until completely combined.

Add the chocolate to avocado mixture: Remove the cover from the processor or blender. Quickly add the melted chocolate mixture to the avocado mixture, scraping the bowl with a soft silicone spatula to get every drop (if you try to add the melted chocolate through the tube feeder or the top, you will lose a good amount of chocolate).

Process or blend until smooth: Cover the processor or blender and mix until fully combined, about 45 to 50 seconds. Remove the cover and scrape down the side of the bowl or blender. Cover and process or blend for 1 full minute.

Chill and serve: Scoop the pudding into a large bowl, or if you would like individual servings, scoop about 1/2 cup pudding into each of 4 ramekins or cups. This recipe makes about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups. Cover the bowl or ramekins or cups with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

2. Winter quinoa salad

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (of high quality)
3/4 cup olive oil

Once the quinoa has been cooked and cooled, mix it with the other four ingredients.

For the dressing mix the first four ingredients in a bowl. Once mixed, slowly whisk in the olive oil. Dress the quinoa salad. This can also be topped with grilled chicken, filet or another lean protein. I like to top it with microgreens for that added nutritional punch.

3. Mushroom soup

Red onion, diced
1 bunch spinach
16 oz. mushrooms, sliced (get a good variety here)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef broth (if you want to make this vegetarian, use vegetable stock)
2 tablespoons cream
Parsley, minced

Sauté the onion, garlic and mushrooms until they have released most of their juices and reduced some. Add the broth and the spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Add the cream and parsley, and stir until combined. Enjoy! This recipe is also great with chicken if you want to add some protein.

Health coach Amanda Walton posts weekly menus to her WellFed Facebook page. Choose from five pre-made, gluten-free healthy meals. Walton uses all hormone and antibiotic free meats, organic produce and sources locally, when possible. She can also provide catering for parties and specializes in food intolerances and allergies.


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