Granola, Granola, Granolaaaa

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When I lived in Ithaca, I discovered how easy it was to make granola and it quickly became a staple to snack on and top yogurt, oatmeal and smoothie bowls. Fast forward to living in Boston and I realized I haven’t made granola in a while. I’ve been saving this recipe for Vanilla Cardamom Granola since right around Christmas, but I finally bought some ground cardamom yesterday. (Fun fact: apparently cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice.) It has a very spicy, herbal and almost citrusy profile and reminded me of the flavor in lemon poppyseed muffins. The coconut flakes became browned in the oven, while the pecans are delightfully toasted. I topped my vanilla yogurt this morning with 1/4 c granola as an am snack. It’s light and hearty and oh, so satisfying.

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Paleo Rainbow Drunken Noodles

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Chrissy Teigen made me add whiskey to this. Just kidding. No, she didn’t, but she recommended adding whiskey to these noodles “drunk.” According to CT, you’re supposed to eat drunken noodles as a hangover cure. Not sure if I quite believe that, but I still modified her version of “Actual Drunken Noodles” from CravingsI saw Pinch of Yum use spiralized veggies for a noodle base in addition to regular rice noodles when she Pad Thai so I figured, why not do the best of both worlds? I spiralized a sweet potato, red pepper and zucchinis. I added a few more eggs and cubed chicken from Pinch of Yum’s version to make this a more hearty, carnivore dish. I think the sweet potatoes really add a lot of sweetness on their own to these noodles, so I really cut back on the brown sugar. If you use regular noodles or spiralize veggies that aren’t sweet potatoes, feel free to add brown sugar to taste. I think the sauce ends up being more of a guessing game in terms of what you really like. On a side note, the fresh basil adds tons of flavor. I feel like I’m not even quite sure about the servings because I’ve been so hungry, I’ve gobbled up a bowl and then some. I would say it serves 2-4 to be safe, but you’ve been warned I was a bottomless pit both times I’ve made this so err on the side of caution, and maybe you’ll be lucky and have more leftovers than expected! Sorry for the off portion control, but you won’t be sorry you tasted Basil Drunken “Noodles.”

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The Most Colorful Detox Bowls

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So I’m finally testing out my inspiralizer from William Sonoma that I got for Christmas. First thing I tried? Purple cabbage. Ambitious, I know. While not perfectly spiralized, the cabbage came out in thinner strips than I would’ve been able to chop and much longer than if I used a food processor. The cabbage was mesmerizing and has the coolest designs, in case you were wondering because I know you were. Gimme Some Oven came out with this Detox Salad after New Years. While it is DELISH and I’m obsessed with the dressing, I made it a bit hardier so it would more of a meal and less of a side. The Carrot Ginger Dressing is sweet, tangy, sour and so flavorful. I’m in love with the red cabbage in the bowls. It’s much more tender and benign when spiralized. I’m also just extremely biased to chopped salads and this Rainbow Detox Veggie Bowl is no exception. It’s almost too pretty to eat. (But actually eat it because it’s delicious.)

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Beefed Up Pho

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Happy snowy day in Boston! Vietnamese Pho Soup may look intimidating (or strange), but it’s so simple. You make a broth, cook the rice noodles and assemble. I originally made a Vegan Pho with tofu because it’s easy to use and requires no prep, but, like the rest of you carnivores out there, I knew I needed to try a try meat lover’s option… with BEEF. I swapped vegetable for beef broth and did a 1:1 ratio of rice noodles to zoodles. As always, pho is light, refreshing and just what the doctor (or nurse) called for on a cold day. The sriracha and jalapeños add just the right amount of spice, the herbs contribute a freshness and the spices just the right flavor. Dish up a heaping bowl of Beef Pho with Zoodles.

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Obsessed with this Avo Eggs in a Hole

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I warned you I’d be on a kick after making the Eggs in a Hole with a Garlic Kale Hash I saw in SELF‘s New Year’s Challenge. (The challenge was active for the month of January and was complete with a meal plan and workouts, but still see if you can check out the recipes!) This time making eggs in a hole, I added some creamy avocado, fresh herbs, a kick and tang from banana peppers and protein in the turkey. Just the right amount of flavor and freshness, I give you Eggs in a Hole with a Spicy Avocado Cilantro Hash.

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Glowing After These Moroccan Chickpea Glow Bowls

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Remember that Avocado Tzatziki? Obviously it had a purpose — for Moroccan Chickpea Glow Bowls with Avocado Tzatziki 🤗. The original recipe called these “detox” bowls and I can see why. You’re definitely satisfied after eating these, but not in an overly full, stuffed sort of way. The flavors are great! I haven’t experimented too much with Moroccan cooking and spices, but the blend was on point and a nice change from Thai, Indian, Mexican or Italian cuisine. I also tried these swapping the rice for shredded, plain chicken, which works well if you want a carnivore option. The mint in the tzatziki pairs so well with the spices and the jalapeño cilantro hummus adds a nice kick (but you can use any hummus or omit it entirely). The wonderful thing about these glow bowls is you can play around with them, swap ingredients, mix and match and really make them your own.

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Buff Chick Chili FTW #TB12

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I was debating licking my bowl since this Buffalo Chicken White Bean Chili is THAT GOOD. I love checking recipes on Skinny Taste, and this chili seemed like a good one to try during and maybe make again for Super Bowl Sunday, since everyone in New England will be anxiously watching this weekend. This chili version is packed with veggies (obviously carrots and celery and I snuck in some puréed pumpkin as well) and with all of the taste of buffalo chicken, but in a more “guilt-free” packaging. I used  a plain, organic rotisserie chicken so then I could use the remaining meat for salads, sandwiches and bowls. (I also saved the carcass to try my hand at making homemade stock! Stay tuned…)  The only downside of this recipe is that it’s on the higher end for sodium, which is why I don’t add any extra salt and chose toppings like plain, non-fat Greek yogurt and chopped celery versus cheese, but do whatever floats your boat — just indulge in moderation!

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Going Bananas for Banana Bread

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Mmmm, (Gluten-Free) Banana Bread. I’ve been searching for a butter-free, less added sugar banana bread and saw this version on Minimalist Baker. (MB is all about 1 pot/bowl recipes, ones involving 10 ingredients or less or a meal coming together in 30 min. Great philosophy, right?) Since this version was gluten-free, I decided to go with it. I still cut back on the added sugar, opting for less sweet taste, but the bananas still add their own sweetness.  The almond flour and whole oats definitely add hearty notes to the bread. Have a slice for breakfast with a cup of coffee or one as a snack. I see some banana bread variations in the future…

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Exploring Greek Tzatziki

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This dip is light and refreshing. Originally a Greek yogurt dip, tzatziki is traditionally made with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometime lemon juice and fresh herbs like mint, dill, parsley or thyme. It can be used to top gyros, burgers, falafels, salads, “bowls” (see photo below) or a standalone dish. Clearly I took a non-traditional route, swapping avocado for yogurt as the base. I also used mint instead of dill and want to try this again with equal proportions to be more versatile. Even with the “lightened up” swaps, Avocado Tzatziki is still light, so fluffy and especially tasty. I’ve been dipping away with Kashi pita chips and 7 grain crackers, baby carrots and cucumber sticks.

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Keen on Quinoa for Brekkie

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This really does taste like cinnamon “toast” crunch! I had just under 1 cup of leftover cooked white/red quinoa from making Buddha bowls, so I thought I’d give this a try. I saw this idea on Cookie + Kate‘s Instagram before going to bed last night; it seemed like the perfect way to get through our 3 hrs of med surg morning lecture and still make it to an afternoon spin (since I haven’t gone in since end of August 🙈).  Fun fact: I like using nuts from Trader Joe’s; they’re much cheaper and more bang for your buck. What a power breakfast this was! The cinnamon and pecans were quite fragrant and added such a great flavor. I know what I’m making next time I have leftover quinoa — Toasted Cinnamon Pecan Quinoa for breakfast. Side note, I might have to try this in a slow cooker… 

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