Bread, Dairy-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Side, Vegetarian

Fall Take on Cornbread with Pumpkin Cornbread

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Pumpkin Cornbread may be my new favorite cornbread recipe. Sometimes cornbread can dry out a wee bit as it cools or when served as a leftover. Not this version. The pumpkin blends seamlessly, and you won’t feel overwhelmed by a pumpkin flavor. Paired with extra virgin olive oil, the cornbread isn’t dried out. We enjoyed this with buffalo chicken chili. Plus, both the chili and cornbread use pumpkin purée, so you won’t feel guilty about opening a new can or having any leftover sit in your fridge (or check out more recipes using pumpkin). You’ll find yourself grabbing piece after piece, just like Ted when he ate half the pan! 
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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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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ending Summer with an Iced Matcha Latte

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I like an extra dose of lunch-time caffeine, but lately, I’ve shied away from more coffee. I’ve gravitated toward tea lattes: chai in the winter and matcha (or green tea) in the summer. Matcha is a finely ground powder from green tea leaves. It can have an earthy, bitter taste depending on the matcha you buy; the more expensive matcha tends to increase in its green color and vibrancy. While the green color can be off-putting at first, paired with milk and a little sweetener, Iced Matcha Latte has a mild taste and is quite refreshing. Compared to its Starbucks counterpart that has a whooping 30 g of sugar, try making this at home, experimenting with milk (coconut milk is lovely!) and sweeteners.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Seafood, Vegetarian

Time to Dip Grilled Shrimp & Zucchini in a Tahini Parsley Sauce

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I can’t rave about this parsley tahini sauce enough. When we first made it, it was in this setting: Grilled Shrimp & Zucchini with Parsley Tahini Dipping Sauce. The char from the grill and that smoky flavor pairs so well with the bitter umami of the tahini and bright citrusy parsley. Grilled shrimp is such a summery choice. Plus it’s super fun to dip things. Brings my back to my childhood days when chicken nuggets were the best thing. We paired this with Trader Joe’s multigrain medley, which I highly recommend stocking up on if you have TJ’s near by. We’ve since had it on (beef) burgers, turkey burgers, with chicken, with just grilled veggies.

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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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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Perfect Herby Tahini Sauce for Dipping

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I saw a recipe for fish, rice, and this herby sauce and I was intrigued. I love fresh herbs. They had a bright vibrancy and flavor to any dish. Also, just look at that color! I tend to gravitate toward basil and cilantro, sometimes mint, but usually not parsley, so I wanted to give this a try. Like a pesto, this Parsley Tahini Sauce is perfect for dipping or thin to make a sauce. The tahini is nutty and bitter balanced with the acidity of lime juice and the greenness from the parsley. We grilled shrimp and zucchini and the charred flavor from the grill perfectly balances with this vibrant, nutty, and sour sauce.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Dressing Up Quinoa & Lentils

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Do you ever make something and you’re actually excited for your leftovers and to eat it again? That was this. I give you Cilantro Lentils & Quinoa with Raisins and Walnuts. This can be a side or a base to a meal. You can mix in feta or goat cheese. This would go quite well with roasted root veggies. Pair with grilled chicken. You literally can’t mess it up. I roasted potatoes, beets, and spinach and added some feta for a meal or kept it cold and mixed it into a spinach salad with a lemony vinaigrette. It works well with parsley instead of cilantro for all of you who are cilantro adverse, but fresh herbs with lemon juice and lemon zest keep this light and bright.

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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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Bread, Dairy-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Vegetarian

Cast Iron Skillet Honey Cornbread

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Since it’s been a chilly spring in Boston, we’ve been eating chili and cornbread. My grandparents lived in Belfast, Maine, and this recipe was my grandmother’s, which is why my family recipe is called Belfast Corn Muffins. They’re best served hot and right out of the oven. I made some tweaks by baking them directly in a cast iron skillet and drizzled honey on top, hence why I named these Skillet Honey Cornbread. With the summer upon us, these could be a staple for a barbecue, accompany the grill, or coming up for the Fourth. Honey highlights the natural sweetness and baking in a skillet gives it a crispier edge.

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