Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Refresh with a Green Smoothie

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I’ve been sipping on smoothies since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Thanks to staying connected via social media with a family I babysit, I saw they’ve been sipping on green smoothies packed with lemon, celery, and greens. Inspired by theirs, I experimented with similar ingredients and landed on what I think is the perfect Green Smoothie. It’s tart, while still sweet and totally refreshing. You can’t even taste the spinach or celery thanks to the banana. You get all the benefits from citrus with the clementine and lemon. Ginger adds an extra layer with its zesty bite. I wouldn’t use this as a meal, unless you add something more substantial like milk, yogurt, or protein of some sort. However, it’s a good side or accompaniment and another way to add in fresh fruits and veggies. I’m not a supporter of “drinking your meals,” but I do love a good smoothie as a snack or to recharge after a workout.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Buckwheat & Bananas for Breakfast

I’ve been meaning to try buckwheat and finally found some in the grocery store. Buckwheat isn’t actually a wheat, but a seed. It’s known for its gluten-free properties, higher protein content compared to other grains, and amino acids. As is, buckwheat has an interesting crunch and an almost nutty flavor. I decided to try it for an oatmeal substitute and created Banana Cinnamon Buckwheat Porridge. By “grinding” buckwheat and adding in my caramelized banana trick, you have this thick, hearty porridge. The banana naturally sweetens as cinnamon adds an extra layer of flavor.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Lemony Oatmeal Bake with Maine Blueberries

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A breakfast just in time for the end of summer. These are the blueberries from my parent’s house in Maine. We have blueberry bushes in the backyard and I always associate picking them with mid to late August, nearing the end of summer. These blueberries tend to be a bit tart, so baking them seemed ideal. Last summer and this summer, I liked to meal prep my breakfast to give me more time to sleep and less time assembling and cooking in the mornings before work. Oatmeal bake has been a staple, topped with Greek yogurt and drizzled with maple syrup. I love using my Maine blueberries and the bright addition of citrus for Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Bake.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Curiously Tropical Carrot Smoothie

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I wanted a tropical immune boost once I had smoothie envy from my nursing friends, Lyndsay and Jen, so I whipped up a morning smoothie back in the end of March. This smoothie has been getting me through this quarantine and perfectly transitions into summer. I wouldn’t think to add raw carrots, but they’re so refreshing & vibrant. You taste the mango, citrus, and ginger at the forefront of this drink, that you can’t even taste the carrots! I think I’ll be experimenting with more veggies in smoothies thanks to this Carrot Turmeric Smoothie.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

Eggs & Prosciutto for Dinner

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I love eggs, and I love any time that I have an excuse to eat eggs for dinner. Eggs, Chickpeas, & Prosciutto in a Creamy Tomato Sauce was the perfect impromptu dinner. Ted and I saw this recipe, while we had prosciutto and soppressata to use up from a local  salumeria called Bricco in Boston’s North End. This seems like a fitting meal, as we leave the North End for the other side of the harbor in Charlestown. We ate this as a dinner, and I added more spices and red pepper for a quick. I cut the heavy cream in half and swapped for almond milk, again, because that’s what we have on hand in our fridge. Plus, almond milk is a bit healthier than heavy cream. Pair with this bread to soak up the juices and that runny yolk. Oh, and don’t be like me and only add 7 eggs; apparently I miscounted!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Gooey, “Buttery” White Chocolate Strawberry Blondies (Gluten-free!)

Do you ever make a recipe that you just want to eat and eat? That’s these White Chocolate Strawberry Blondies. They’re gooey, melt, rich, and sweet while using applesauce and almond butter for butter and also gluten-free. As I write about these blondies, I’m literally salivating thinking about eating one. They’re very tasty and the perfect spring or summer treat, packed with fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips.

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Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegetarian

Social Distancing with Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread for Sunday Brunch

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You’ve been warned. I said I’d end up baking during these crazy pandemic times. After irrationally craving cinnamon rolls–it is a Sunday morning–, I settled on making a version of Joanna Gaines’ cinnamon swirl quick bread from her cookbook, Magnolia Table. As a Christmas present, I’ve looked through this cookbook, but haven’t had a time to tackle any recipes. Given my brunch cravings and the copious time on our hands, I settled on making Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread, but a lightened up version of this classic. I still think it’s crazy that the original recipe for this bread was supposed to have 2½ c sugar and a third of a cup of oil. Here, we use just under three-fourths cup sugar, less than a tablespoon of oil, and mix coconut and raisins. It’s perfect right out of the oven, but I recommend it cooling longer than we did, since we were a bit too eager to slice it up, thus left with some crumbly pieces. Ted and I enjoyed this warm, served with a cup of coffee and a side of Greek yogurt and strawberries (see first photo after recipe!). It was the perfect stay-at-home Sunday brunch.

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Better Than Takeout, Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Bread for Breakfast

March has been a weird month. As a nurse practitioner, it’s the year of the nurse. However, with the coronavirus pandemic knocking on our door (or literally at our door), I wasn’t expecting the year of the nurse to be quite like this. I deal with stress by cooking and baking. You should maaaybeee expect some baking recipes to come. I started on this sweet potato bread recipe before the pandemic broke out, and man, this breakfast bread is good. After some tweaks, it’s finally ready to share. Oats and almond flour are the “flour” or grains and applesauce and Greek yogurt act as the butter and oil. Have you had Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf when it debuts each fall? This Sweet Potato Breakfast Bread is that good, but a little healthier for you. It’s spiced, just the right amount of sweet, and pairs oh-so-well with your bitter cup of coffee in the morning or a mug of tea.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Glowing Skin Recovery Mango Tahini Smoothie

I’ve been on a spin kick lately, going 2-3 times per week since after Christmas. I’ve enjoyed drinking a smoothie after this intense exercise since it’s hydrating and nourishing, especially when I’m not hungry or in the mood for “whole” food for a bit after that type of rigorous exercise. This Mango Tahini Smoothie has good-for-your-skin vitamins from mango, healthy fats from tahini, and antioxidants and vitamin C from the orange. I swapped cauliflower in for banana, since mangos are already sweet enough. Brightened with cardamom and cinnamon, this smoothie is a refreshingly cozy way to start your day and recover from some welcomed sweaty exercise. Continue reading “Glowing Skin Recovery Mango Tahini Smoothie”

Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vibrant & Bright Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While I do not claim for these cookies to be true Anzac biscuits, the basis for the ingredients screamed like an Annie cookie. Without eggs, the cookies held up quite well despite lacking eggs when families sent these biscuits to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps–hence Anzac–circa WWI. The true recipe calls for oats, flour, sugar, butter, “golden syrup,” and coconut. I found a recipe for these in Sweet, and I decided to tweak these to be my own. I call them Coconut Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins & Lemon. They’re still sweet (despite using only 3/4 c sugar instead of almost 2 c), bright from the cardamom and lemon zest, and perfectly chewy thanks to the oats and raisins. They’re like an updated version of your grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies.

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