Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

The Best Bagel Recipe?!


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

Cozy Up with Some Coconut Chia Pudding


Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a little “dessert” to color your day. My parents and I went to First Watch for brunch whilst in Ohio, after such a favorable outing when we were in Florida last May. My mom ordered the AM Superfood Bowl, which consisted of a coconut milk chia pudding topped with bananas, berries and blackberry perseveres and homemade granola. It was delish — literally dessert for breakfast. I usually make chia pudding with almond milk, but full-fat coconut milk was a welcomed surprise. On a whim, I added a pinch of cardamom and the citrus flavor added some levity and brightness to the dish. Enjoy as a snack, topped with fruit and granola for breakfast or with some chocolate for dessert, Coconut Chia Pudding is just one of those things you’ll enjoy again and again.

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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


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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Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Vegetarian

“Loaded” Sweet Potatoes for Breakfast


What a fun way to switch up your breakfast options! I came home from a Soul Survivor class, aka a 60 min spin class, and was starving. I was tired of my usual eggs or oats for options, so I turned to sweet potatoes. Loaded with nutrients, I popped a sweet potato into the microwave, scooped out the insides and mixed them with some yogurt and protein powder (due to the post-spin nature). Drizzle it all with some nut butter, top with some bananas and sprinkle with whatever toppings — I liked nuts for a crunch and dried fruit’s texture. This Loaded Breakfast Sweet Potatoes is satisfying and a welcomed change to your breakfast routine.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegan

The New Immunity Latte


Happy post-turkey day! I originally made this when fighting a cold a few weeks back, and the spiciness of the ginger and cinnamon opened my stuffed-up airways. But now that you’re fighting off that food coma and perhaps even that Thanksgiving’s Eve hangover, here’s an immunity drink to ward off feeling rundown and settle that stomach: a Ginger Turmeric Latte. This tea is packed with ginger, turmeric and cinnamon, all of which may combat inflammation and aid in digestion. Combine the tea with your favorite milk to enjoy as a mild latte or sip as is for a yummy, stronger tea.

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

Amazing Apple Pie for Breakfast


I love oatmeal bake. Originally made by my cousin, Betsy, when I visited Chicago, I’ve lightened up the original and made it my own. Last fall, I kept making a pumpkin version. This fall, why not try an apple version? I added apple pie spices, fresh apple chunks and chopped walnuts. Drizzle with maple syrup (which you can’t even tell I added to the pics since it absorbed right in), add a spoonful of vanilla yogurt, and top with raisins and cinnamon sugar, and Apple Walnut Oatmeal Bake will make your kitchen smell heavenly and give your tastebuds a frenzy. Plus, it’s such an easy brunch idea or a meal prep for the week. Happy brunchin’!

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Slow Cooker, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Slowly Cooking This Creamy Butternut Squash Soup


I LOVE this slow cooker method for making soup. I usually make this in a large soup pot, sauté the veggies in a little oil right there, add broth and let it simmer. By using a slow cooker, you skip the sautéing part and reduce the oil. I made a soup similar to this last fall, tossing whatever I had — apples, sweet potato, regular potatoes, carrots — into a big soup pot along with butternut squash; this time, I did the same thing in a slow cooker (way more fun). Enjoy as the main course or as a side, the result is a sweet, yet savory Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup that’s hands off minus the minimal prep of the produce in the beginning and puréeing at the end.

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

Poppin’ These Protein-Packed Pumpkin Spice Muffins


This is my second batch of Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins and they keep getting better. I’ve grabbed two before my first Soul Survivor spin class (it was 60 min) and thank God I did. For being kind of bite-size, they fill you up as a snack or a meal. This morning I had two fresh out of the oven along with some Siggi’s vanilla skyr yogurt. I like the crunch of the pecans and the chewiness from the raisins. The mashed banana and pumpkin make these muffins pretty dense, but in a good way. Pro tip — aka how I enjoy them — serve warm with a cup of cinnamon coffee. Happy weekend!

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Edible (& Kinda Healthy) Cookie Dough


The first time I tried Chickpea Cookie Dough, I was like ehhh. The next few times I tried this, I made some changes like less peanut butter, swapping brown sugar for other sweeteners (gotta be more like Toll House, right?) and a bit more vanilla. The changes made me want to grab a spoon immediately; it’s a keeper. I personally think that it’s even better chilledddd. Serve it up on apple wedges, graham crackers or just eat it with a spoon. I personally like the good ol’ chocolate chip version, but play around with it to get your perfect edible cookie dough.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

To Brownie or Not to Brownie?


I didn’t want to call these brownies because I don’t think of these as a true brownies without chocolate chips, so I settled on bars. Plus, are brownies ever really healthy? Maybe, maybe not. (Deep, pondering life thoughts by Annie to be continued . . . .) Whatever I call them — Dark Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Bars — can be a dessert or double up for a snack. Made grain-free using cocoa powder and plant-based chocolate powder as the base, these bars came out darkly dense made tart with raspberries.

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