Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Buzzing for This Honey Walnut Banana Bread

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Is there anything better than banana bread in the oven? I was debating if I should go the peanut butter and chocolate chip route or honey walnut, and I settled on the latter (which just means I’ll have to save some bananas to bake up a new kind!). I loved the crunch of the walnuts and floral notes that the honey added. Whilst best straight out of the oven, the loaf freezes well to be enjoyed at a later date, like when you’re skiing up in Vermont. Using Soul Bee powered honey, this Honey Walnut Banana Bread is a fun take on your standard loaf.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Celebrating Toast Tuesday with Lemon Ricotta Toast

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Want a different toast and a clever way to use up that ricotta from lasagna? Here’s Lemon Ricotta Toast. It’s light and satisfying, without being over heavy or filling. I love the bright acidity the lemon juices adds to the creamy ricotta, simply flavors with salt and red pepper flakes. Pumpkin seeds add a delightful crunch, while spinach adds some color and a little extra something-something.
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Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

The Best Bagel Recipe?!

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If you’ve seen these easy bagels floating around social media, they do not disappoint. In honor of it being FriYAY, here’s a bagel recipe to brighten your day. My nursing friend, Jen, tipped me off to Skinnytaste’s new recipe. I loved that Skinnytaste’s is no boil one (because doesn’t everyone want to skip a step?) and comes together in a matter of minutes. I made the recipe even easier by using self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, just like that 2-ingredient flatbread. The bagels still rise and are fluffy, have that golden edge from the egg wash, but with a bit of a tangy flavor. For how quick and easy these are (and healthier!), I think No Boil Bagels are definitely worth that fresh bagel feeling you can get at home.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pass That Peanut Tofu Stir Fry

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Happy Meatless Monday! I’ve been craving stir fry lately, and Peanut Tofu Stir Fry more than hit the spot. I keep making these impromptu meals with random leftovers, but hey, I’m not complaining. I originally bought some ginger, broccoli slaw, cilantro and zucchini to make Asian Peanut Zoodles, but instead of making stir fry, I used some of these ingredients for a take on Sesame Chicken “Noodle” Soup. My old roommate, Dee, is the queen of stir fry, and her steady stream of tantalizing stir fry snaps was enough to make me want in on the action. I tossed together leftover brown rice, the broccoli slaw, red pepper, edemame and tofu in an easy, yet flavorful peanut sauce.

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Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Lounging Around with This Veggie Lasagna

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Mmmm, there’s something about a lasagna baking in the oven that brightens your day. I had a lot of fun making this, since it was a way to use up some produce in my fridge and make my own marinara sauce. Paired with no boil lasagna noodles from Trader Joe’s and my fridge produce, this Veggie Lasagna was delicious and super easy. Mixing veggies directly into the ricotta mixture and using less cheese lightens up this lasagna, while still keeping all of the flavors. I made the marinara sauce, while I sliced the zucchini and peppers, minced the cauliflower and mixed together the ricotta. Then you layer everything, bake it and anxiously wait for it to be done.

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Salad

Copycat Sweetgreen’s Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls

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I love sweetgreen. I love their salad dressings, locally sourced ingredients, clean eating philosophy, and the ease to grab a meal. The only downside is that a salad or bowl runs $10-12. I’ve been craving a sweetgreen, but on a budget. I decided to try my hand at their curry cauliflower bowl that’s offered during the fall; the bowl is: quinoa/farro, arugula, roasted curry cauliflower, cilantro, dried cranberries, roasted chicken, sriracha, & cucumber tahini dressing. While not quite the same since their dressings seem to be top-secret, I basically nailed this with my version of Curry Cauliflower Brown Rice Bowls. I used my own homemade dressing, leftover brown rice from sushi stacks, and roasted cauliflower and chicken. If you make the dressing and rice ahead of time, it’s really an easy meal prep.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Quick & Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

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Happy meal prep Sunday! Here’s a marinara sauce I made for a veggie lasagna (recipe coming soon!). I decided to make my own because it’s quick, delicious and budget-friendly. I never realized most tomato sauces have sugar as one of the first few ingredients, since sugar brings out the flavor in tomatoes; sometimes those sauces are just too sweet then. It’s hard to find a sauce without any added sugar (Whole Foods’ 365 brand does have a great one). This Basil Marinara Sauce is so easy and literally ready in 20 minutes — plus you get the satisfaction of it being homemade and making it from scratch. With only 5 ingredients, there’s no added sugar or salt, while still bursting with flavor.

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

Slowly Savoring This Easy Slow Cooker Chili

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This chili recipe isn’t what you’d traditionally think of as “buffalo chicken,” but the flavors are a welcomed change from your standard beef chili dishes. It’s spicy from the hot sauce and a little sweet from the potatoes, whilst still retaining all the typical chili flavors and spices. It simmered all day as I prepped my nursing work, and I had Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Buffalo Chicken Chili in a blink of an eye. I loved the addition of fresh cilantro to brighten the dish. You can gobble down a bowl and avoid feeling sluggish because its fresh ingredients come together so seamlessly. I had leftover frozen slow cooker buffalo chicken from my bowl recipe that I tossed in for literally the easiest chili ever. (In the market for a new slow cooker? Check out Reviews.com for The Best Slow Cooker.)

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Sinfully Good Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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I love cinnamon rolls, especially ones that are warm and gooey and right out of the oven. Thanks to Minimalist Baker, here’s an idea for ones that are homemade; they’re lightened up with less butter, use almond milk instead of heavy cream or whole milk and have a little whole wheat flour to round them out. I made these from scratch on Christmas morning and my parents gave them a stamp of approval. With a little patience to let the dough rise, these homemade Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect addition to your brunch arsenal.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish, Soup

Making Green Chili for Dinner

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Have you ever tried a Chicken Chili Verde or green chili? It’s so worth it if you haven’t. A green chili is a fun change with white beans, hominy, quinoa and chicken. The salsa verde, a tomatillo-based salsa, limes and cilantro bring a totally different flavor from your traditional chili. Using rotisserie chicken and already prepped salsa instead of tomatillos, this chili is truly a dump, stir and dish up kind of recipe. Top with a little plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), lime and extra cilantro. You’re going to want seconds before you’ve even finished.

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