There’s more than one reason to think February 2020 is a special month: for one, we get a whole extra day this year with “Leap Year” happening once again after a four year hiatus. But like every other February (even the ones without Leap Days), this month also features Valentine’s Day. We of course know that holiday is is all about love. In fact, we’re declaring Self-Love as Allergic to Salad’s February Theme of the Month. While the definition of self-love may vary a bit from person to person, we think it’s important to practice loving ourselves with mindful eating and body-positivity.

At Allergic to Salad, we don’t believe certain foods are inherently good or bad; it is possible to foster a positive relationship with all food, including special occasion desserts. This goes hand-in-hand with with Valentine’s Day, which is intertwined with the promise of tasty treats like chocolate. So this month we’re featuring one of our most loved dessert recipes: Black Bean Brownies. The  beans in our batter make these baked goods a bit healthier than usual with the added fiber, protein and folate. Other than making healthier goodies, some ways you can practice mindful eating and promote body-positivity include:

  • Making eating fun! Whether it’s a vegetable or a cupcake, seeing food as fun rather something to fear creates a positive relationship with nourishing our bodies.
  • Acknowledge and normalize different body types. People come in all shapes and sizes, just like we all have different talents. Celebrate your own abilities, and encourage others when they demonstrate their skills.
  • Focus food choices on nutrition and loving your body, rather than on looks. Make decisions about what to eat based on health rather than diet or looks.
  • Enjoy treats. Make the occasion special by using all five senses to savor the food. Mindful Schools has some great suggestions such as tasting the food on the tongue before chewing, and taking just one bite at a time.
  • Make cooking and eating a time to socialize. Connect and share with loved ones rather than a binge in front of the TV.

So this Valentine’s Day, why not make your own chocolate treats together and share both the cooking and the noshing with those you love? Or have a mindful treat as a part of some me-time: it’s a great way to practice self-love.

Chickpea Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles

Course dinner
Keyword pasta, veggies, zucchini


Chickpea Bolognese

  • 1 1/2 cups diced red onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 cup cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • Sea salt

Zucchini Noodles

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 tbsp parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Chickpea Bolognese

  1. Chickpeas must first be rinsed with water, drained thoroughly and chopped.

  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, adding the onions, chickpeas, garlic, and carrots, sautéeing the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Then, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan as needed, to prevent vegetables from sticking to the pan.

  3. Add the mushrooms and sautée until some juices have let out. Then, add the tomato sauce, organo, parsley, and diced tomatoes and let sauté for about 2 minutes. This will then be added over the zucchini noodles as a fantastic sauce.

Zucchini Noodles

  1. A spiralizer would be recommended for this, in order to get the same shape as noodles for the zucchini. Once you have the spiralizer, slice off the ends of the zucchini and place it on the spiralizer, turning it around and allowing the shape of the zucchini to just spill out.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pain over medium heat, adding garlic and sautéeing for about 1 minute. Then, add the zucchini noodles and toss them around for a minute and turn off the heat. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top, along with the chickpea bolognese that was first prepared, and voila!

We hope you a sweet time with friends and family this February,

Team Allergic to Salad ❤️

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