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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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Spin on Lemonade & Piña Colada

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This may be my new summer drink, so much so that we made this twice in once weekend. Frozen Coconut Lemonade will be your new favorite drink to cool down and sip a decadent version of lemonade. I made this both as a cocktail and a mocktail. I’d suggest the full-fat coconut milk for a mocktail and using the proportions below for a cocktail. Either way is delicious. It’s sweet, tart, rich, and zesty.

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

Lemony Protein-Packed & Plant-Based Soup (Instant Pot)

I may be the only person enjoying April’s cold spell last month. It was a great time to meal prep lunch recipes for work and sample some hot soups. I quite enjoyed this take on a plant-based soup that with the addition of lentils, is packed with protein. Harissa adds a unique flavor and spice along with lemon, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Using the Instant Pot, this Lemony Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup is rich and creamy without any added dairy and comes together quickly, easily cooking the carrots. squash, and lentils. It’s the soup you need when you’re looking forward to spring on a crisp day.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian

Fresh, Tart Citrus Margaritas

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This is the perfect margarita recipe when you’re feeling tequila, but you’re also feeling lazy. Like my four ingredient margarita, you just need fresh citrus, tequila, and sugar. For whatever reason, I’ve been craving some fresh citrus and tequila during this pandemic and social distancing. Maybe it’s because we had to simply enjoy Cinco de Mayo in the comfort (and safety) of our own apartment or because they just sounded that good with guac and enchiladas. I vacillate with whether I enjoy salt on mine–I do enjoy the modest amount, but not when the glass is dripping in salt that I feel like I’m sipping a tequila-infused ocean–, so I decided to leave this Lemon Grapefruit Margaritas unadorned. Feel free to add a salt or a sugar + zest rim to your marg or even triple sec. However, the beauty of these as that they’re no fuss and made with simple ingredients.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican

Enjoying These Easy Enchiladas

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Now that I’ve made homemade enchiladas, the filling and flavor combinations are endless. These Turkey, Spinach, & Black Bean Enchiladas are hearty, bursting with flavor, and easy to make. I’d consider these enchiladas to be a “lightened up” version since they’re full of lean animal and plant-based protein, use corn tortillas, and you make your own enchilada sauce from scratch in under 5 minutes. Full disclosure: Ted bought a large bunch of cilantro and we’re were purposefully trying to use it up. This recipe is very cilantro heavy since 1). it adds a burst of flavor quite effortlessly; and 2). waste not. If you’re not a cilantro fan, don’t worry! Just omit cilantro, but it do add a flavor like no other.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Comfort Food: Meatballs & Potatoes Edition (Instant Pot)

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I love this recipe for Italian Meatball Stew over Smashed Potatoes. I haven’t had it in a few years, but this is one that my mom made regularly in the slow cooker. I decided to switch things up and use meatballs instead of chicken Italian sausage after spotting meatballs when doing a last-ditch quarantine preparedness run at Wegman’s. (Let me just interject that their prepared beef meatballs are mini and cute and delicious.) I made the potatoes extra creamy using mascarpone instead of EVOO. Using an Instant Pot allows for a much faster simmer compared to a stovetop or a slow cooker. This is quite aromatic and your kitchen will smell amazing during while cooking this stew, only adding to its maximum comfort level during this crazy self-quarantining and social distancing time. If you’re feeling industrious, trying making bread to pair!

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

Delightfully Spicy Harissa Soup

Hearty veggie stew alert! If you haven’t figured out, I enjoy “cleaning out my fridge” and trying to use up every veggie–and sauce–possible. Harissa is a Northern African spicy chili pepper paste, consisting of mostly roasted red peppers. Depending on the style, some can be really mild or wildly spicy. If you use up any veggies in your fridge like onions, peppers, greens, and sweet potato with stuff in your pantry like a can of tomatoes or leftover grains and lentils, you can easily pull together a simple, hearty stew like Harissa Vegetable Soup. By using plant-based ingredients, it’s still high in protein. Plus, it’s a win-win for a deliciously health meal in exchange for cleaning out your fridge and pantry.

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