Laura Alberts
Baird & Warner

Here are some things you can do while
Sheltering In Place. Enjoy!

Healthy Recipes

mexican quinoa

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

4 Servings
Total Time 40 minutes
370 Calories



  • 2 tbs. olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 tbs. garlic, minced

  • 2 cans black beans

  • 1 can tomato sauce (no sugar added)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

  • 1 tbs. chili powder

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1 1/4 cups water

  • Sea salt, to taste



  • Heat the olive oil over low heat in a medium skillet. Add in the diced onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for five to seven minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in the black beans, tomato sauce, quinoa, water, and spices. Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until the quinoa is tender.


sweet potato breakfast boat

Sweet Potato Breakfast Boats

Makes two servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes



1 sweet potato
1/2 avocado
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup salsa
Salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a fork to poke holes all around the sweet potato. Place it on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on size.

Alternatively, microwave the sweet potato for eight to 10 minutes, until cooked through.
Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. With the fleshy parts facing up, cut a slit lengthwise down the middle of each half. Use two forks to split open the sweet potato halves so you’re left with little pockets.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the cumin and cayenne. Fill each sweet-potato boat with the avocado, followed by the black beans, corn, and salsa. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Excerpted from 
Frugal Vegan. by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee.
Published by Page Street Publishing Company.

9 Healthy Food Swaps

You don’t need to transform your whole diet to eat healthier. These small shifts can make your meals more nutritious — and more satisfying.

Maybe you’re aiming to eat less dairy or include more protein in your diet. Perhaps you’re looking for a gluten-free option on pizza night. Whatever your goals, there are many clever ingredient swaps that can help you eat a healthier, more diverse diet that’s still full of the things you most enjoy.

Unless you have a food sensitivity or allergy, there’s usually no need to remove certain ingredients from your diet altogether. And you don’t need to eliminate gluten or dairy to enjoy gluten- or dairy-free alternatives. You might find that making one or two of these swaps is simply an effective way to include more variety in your meals, or to cook for family and friends with certain food restrictions.

Plus, knowing what ingredients make good replacements can increase the odds you’ll use what you have in your kitchen, which can help you reduce food waste and avoid unnecessary grocery-store trips — all while enjoying nutritious, flavorful meals.

1. Avocado

Substitute for: Cheese, eggs, butter 

This trendy fruit is more than just a toast topping. Substitute sliced avocado for cheese to create a dairy-free sandwich with a dose of healthy fats. To make plant-based baked goods, use 2 to 4 tablespoons of mashed avocado in place of each egg, or trade an equal amount of butter for mashed avocado, but be prepared for a slightly softer texture. Try the recipe for our Avocado Chocolate Mousse With Cacao Nibs below.

2. Almond Flour

Substitute for: All-purpose flour

A great ingredient for gluten-free baking, almond flour has a higher fat content than all-purpose flour (which is usually highly processed), so baked goods are often more tender. This makes almond flour an ideal substitute in most quick-bread recipes, like pancakes and muffins, but less optimal for chewier yeasted breads. Try our Almond-Flour Pizza (see below), and for two almond-flour cookie recipes, go to “Healthy Swaps for Joyful Holiday Baking”.

3. Cacao Nibs

Substitute for: Chocolate chips

These crushed raw cacao beans are like minimally processed chocolate chips, which often contain added sugar and other additives. Nibs are crunchier and less sweet, and they deliver fiber and antioxidants. Sprinkle cacao nibs on your oatmeal, or try our “Chocolate–Banana Energy Bars”.

4. Coconut Milk

Substitute for: Heavy cream, milk, half-and-half

If you’re trying to limit dairy, coconut milk is a tasty plant-based alternative you can use in most recipes that call for whole milk or cream (though it will add a slight coconut flavor). Add a splash of canned coconut milk to your morning coffee, or use it to lend a creamy texture to your favorite soup. This “Creamy Vegetable Soup” is a great place to start

5. Greek Yogurt

Substitute for: Sour cream, mayonnaise, eggs

Offering more protein than sour cream and mayonnaise, plain full-fat Greek yogurt is a fine substitute for either in myriad recipes, including dishes like tuna salad and pasta salad. You can also try using ¼ cup Greek yogurt in place of an egg in quick breads, or whip up a protein-packed veggie dip like our  “Spinach Yogurt Dip”.

6. Kale

Substitute for: Iceberg, romaine

If you make most of your salads with iceberg lettuce, consider reaching for kale instead. This dark leafy green is more flavorful and delivers considerably more nutrients, including a dose of fiber, health-boosting phytochemicals, minerals like calcium and manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K. Try our Kale Caesar With Parmesan Crisps (see below) or find some other ways to use kale at “How to Cook Kale”.

7. Maple Syrup

Substitute for: Sugar, pancake syrup

Pancake syrups are often made with high-fructose corn syrup, additives, and preservatives. Pure maple syrup, produced from maple-tree sap, delivers more minerals and antioxidants. Though it chiefly consists of sucrose, its glycemic load is lower than table sugar’s and may cause less of a blood-sugar spike. Try using a small amount to sweeten our “Easy Party Mix”.

8. Nutritional Yeast

Substitute for: Parmesan cheese

A deactivated yeast containing protein and B vitamins, nutritional yeast tastes like cheese but is a dairy-free alternative to Parmesan. Though it doesn’t impart the same melty texture, it can be a good option when you just want the cheesy flavor, like in our pesto (see below). You can also try sprinkling a bit on homemade popcorn or kale chips for a savory boost.

9. Sweet Potatoes

Substitute for: White potatoes

Packed with antioxidants and vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes can be used in place of white potatoes in many recipes. They have a lower glycemic load than regular potatoes, and research suggests they may help reduce insulin resistance. Bake them whole, cube and roast them, or try them steamed and mashed for a naturally sweet side dish. Find a variety of sweet-potato recipes at “Earthy Goods: Sweet Potatoes”.

Exercise at Home

Shelter in Place Exercise

15 Easy Workouts
That You Can Do From Home

Sit Ups

Basic, but effective. Aim for 20 to start, and work your way up to 50 once you’re a pro. Do not tuck your feet under a chair or table for assistance, to get the maximum effect


These bite-size versions of the whole enchilada isolate smaller, deeper abdominal muscles in their motion. Shoot for three sets of 20


Lie on your back feet in the air, knees bent. Place your hands behind your head. Begin pumping your legs in the classic bicycle motion, vigorously, for one minute

Jumping Jacks

Time to get your heart rate up. Making sure to raise your hands over your head each time, and keep the cardio going for at least one minute


Back straight, feet slightly turned out. Drop your seat to knee height. Do two sets of 10. Advanced/Dad version: do these with your kid on your back


This is the best quad toner in town. Start standing with your feet parallel. Take a big step forward with your right leg, landing with your knee bent and over your toes. Allow your back knee to drop down toward the floor while swinging your left arm forward for balance. Push off your right front foot to return to standing. Do two sets of 10 on each side

Squat Jumps

Bend your knees as if you are going into the squat position, tucking your arms like a downhill skier. Spring off the floor and straighten your legs in the air, before landing in a squat once again. Advanced version: When you push off the floor into a jump, add a half-twist so you land facing the opposite direction. Do two sets of 10

Push Ups

Drop and give us 20. Let your child sit on your butt for extra weight resistance


Lie on your back, knees bent, feet close to your butt. Push through your heels as you raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Repeat 10 times


Hands down the best overall bodyweight toning move you can do. Rest on your elbows and toes, keeping your back and legs straight. Hold for one minute

High Knees

Jog in place for one minute, lifting each knee as high as you can

Bavarian Split Squats 

It sounds hardcore, but it’s just a regular squat with one leg resting on a chair seat or low table behind you. Focus on keeping your weight over your forward leg, and don’t let your knee bend further than your toes. Two sets of 10 on each side


Sit in a sturdy chair, hands holding the front edge of the seat. Push your butt forward until it is it suspended in front of the seat and your weight is being supported by your arms. Bend elbows and drop your hips toward the floor. Straighten. Do two sets of 10 dips

Calf Raises

Face a wall and place your palms against it for balance and support. Rise up onto your toes and back down. Repeat 20 times. Advanced version: Let your kid ride piggyback for extra resistance

Dead Lifts

A modified version of the gym classic, you’ll need a heavy, low-to-the-ground object for this, such as two gallon-size jugs of water, dumbbells, or a duffel bag filled with shoes. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, reach down and grab hold of the weighted object on the floor in front of you. Return to vertical position. Lower down; raise back up. Do 20 times.


Fun Crafts


Easy-to-Make Zesty Lemon Wreath

Materials Needed

  • silk greenery
  • silk filler flower
  • faux lemons
  • 16" wire wreath form
  • wire cutters
  • hot glue gun & sticks
  • floral wire
  • wooden floral picks

Prep Stems

Start by snipping the greenery bundles into multiple, smaller sections (Image 1). Choosing a broad-leaf-greenery variety, like faux magnolia leaves, will help provide a base for the garland while also filling in holes. For this project, we paired the magnolia leaves with silk pothos greenery and silk smilax. Separate the faux clippings into easy-to-grab piles (Image 2).

Create Garland

Begin creating the garland by working in sections. Combine the greenery sprigs into a small bunch, placing the broad-leaf greenery at the back (Image 1). Bind the stems together using floral wire (Image 2). Continue this pattern until you have enough garland to cover the wreath form (Image 3).

Attach Garland

Attach the garland to the wreath form using floral wire. Secure the greenery in multiple spots around the wreath to ensure it stays put.

Fill in Holes

Fill in any holes by gluing in loose stems of greenery. Optional: Add in accents of wispy greenery throughout for a free-form feel.

Add Accent Blooms

To create dimension, glue in white accent blooms using a hot glue gun. Continue all around the wreath.

Insert Lemons

Insert wooden picks into the base of each lemon (Image 1). Here, we’ve used lemons in a variety of sizes to add visual interest. Cut each pick to around 2-3 inches and glue into the garland. Add in the fruit in all directions and groupings. (Image 2). The more lemons, the merrier!