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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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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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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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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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Christmas Stollen on Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas! I promise you that if you make bread, Christmas Stollen is an easy bread to tackle. I’m a little too organized, so I simplified the steps and the ingredient groups. You just need to prep accordingly to let the nuts and fruit soak and allow the bread to rise. Stollen is a traditional German bread made with dried fruits, candied citrus, nuts, and spices dating back to the late 1300s or early 1400s from Dresden, Germany. Our neighbors use an old recipe and gift us Stollen each Christmas that we swap for our homemade cut-out cookies and Spritz. We munch on Stollen on Christmas morning as we open presents and enjoy each other’s company. I kept this version simple using the dried fruit and sliced almonds that I had, but I’d highly recommend buying or making your own candied citrus. By using yeast instead of making a quick bread, this Christmas bread becomes dense and chewy.

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