Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

New Twist on Pesto

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Happy Meatless Monday! I had too much cilantro and arugula hanging out in my fridge. It’s also in the 40’s today. (Um, what’s up, Mother Nature? It’s basically June.) I really wanted a dinner that’s hearty and warm. I whipped up an Arugula Cilantro Pesto to top some ravioli and sweet potato pasta to combat this chilly, rainy weather. The fun part about this recipe is that it’s really a place to start. You start with these basic proportions and add more cilantro and/or arugula as needed, some lime juice here or there and maybe parm; it’s all to taste. It’s the perfect meal prep and now I’ll add it to my freezer to use this summer!

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

CocoNUTS for Chocolate Almond Coconut Oats

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My summer semester is right around the corner. While we have most Fridays off, I’m not looking forward to being gone from 6 am to 9 pm on some days for class and clinical. I’ve been looking at meal preps to ease through the day and free up my mornings, and overnight oats, smoothies or quiche are my go-to. I made these overnight oats during finals last month, and I’ve been prepping Chocolate Almond Coconut Overnight Oats ever since. Chocolate gives a nice decadent burst and the combo of almonds, almond extract, coconut milk and coconut flakes all give a fun twist on your morning. Happy meal prep!

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

Mad for Matcha Breakfast Bowls

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I previously tried Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Packets as prepared and felt like I was drinking grass. Sorry, matcha fans. Maybe it’s just me or the type of matcha I tried, but regardless, I was determined to find a new way to enjoy matcha, I added it to a chia breakfast bowl. Loved it this way! But then again, I also cut the recipe from 1 t down to 1/2 t, so I’m sure this had something to do with my new affinity for matcha. (Note the subtle green hue to the bowl versus that vibrant green associated with matcha.) I’m so happy I found cardamom. It adds such a citrusy aspect to recipes and paired so well with the “greenness” of matcha. If I make this again, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple would also be great toppings in addition to the mango. Load up the fruit and take a break from oats, eggs and smoothies for breakfast. This Matcha Chia Breakfast Bowl is both light and filling and just what you need for a healthy morning detox of sorts.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

The Perfect Paleo Pancakes

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Some mornings, you just neeeeeeed pancakes for breakfast. And on some of those mornings, you need the easiest pancakes ever for breakfast — ones with just bananas and eggs. I usually make my Banana Oat Pancakes when I’m in the pancake mood, but I’ve been curious to try something simpler. Hence the genesis of Paleo Banana Pancakes. I whisked together very ripe bananas, eggs and egg whites. (I have used just 2 eggs, but liked the flavor for the second batch with an egg/egg white mix. You can also put the ingredient in a small food processor or blender if you really want a smooooooth batter.) Topped with some PB2 and maple syrup, these pancakes just hit the spot.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Very Decadent, Yet Very Easy Vegetable Risotto

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I love risotto. I think it’s really fun to make and almost a cathartic process with all the adding, mixing and stirring. It’s been a bit chilly in Boston (or at least I think so after coming from beautifully sunny weather on Sanibel Island), so this seemed like the perfect time to post Vegetable Risotto using zucchini, butternut squash and spinach. To stay in a true vegetarian nature, I used homemade vegetable stock, but have also used homemade chicken stock, which adds just as much flavor (see notes for how to). You’d never know cream or milk haven’t been added in. Mixing in freshly grated parmesan cheese still gives the risotto a decadent taste without being over-the-top and the butternut squash almost melts down to add a creamy texture to the risotto. Can I have seconds yet?

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Curiously Different Quiche Crust

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Looking for a gluten-free and clean eating quiche? Look no further. I tend to make a “crustless” quiche, since a) I don’t think the curst normally stands up 4-5 days post-baking — it’s usually a soggy disaster — and b) I’m cooking for one, so I can’t eat my leftovers that fast. My mom sent me Cooking Light‘s idea to make a Sweet Potato Crust Quiche. I tried it and it was perfection. The crust is really quite easy to make and never turns into that mushy mess that a traditional pie crust does. The sweet potatoes also add a sweetness to the quiche with which you really can’t argue. You just slice up the potatoes, bake the crust, assemble the filling while the crust bakes and then you’re left with this week’s perfectly tasty breakfast.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Crispy, Crunchy Coconut Tofu

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You know when you go out in the summer and all you see is coconut shrimp this and coconut shrimp that? Here’s a meatless Monday take on that — Crispy Coconut Tofu Bowls. I got this idea/recipe from Well Vegan and it definitely came from a plant-based protein roundup from either SELF or BuzzFeed. (Obviously I receive biweekly emails for meal, recipe ideas and cooking tips from both.) After coming back from Sanibel Island, I was still feeling the tropical vibes during this rainy weather and this recipe seemed like the perfect solution. I definitely cut down on all of Well Vegan‘s prep time, simplified the tofu process, lightened it up by baking instead of frying and skipped their added sauce. This recipe looks way more complicated than it is and just requires a little foresight to prep the tofu ahead of time. By swapping a can of full-drat coconut milk for So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, the quinoa still turned out dense, yet fluffy with a very subtle coconut flavor. I must say the best part about this is the toasted coconut flakes and panic that result from the baking process — pure perfection.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Tantalizingly Stuffed Tuna Salad Sweet Potatoes

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Want a yummy easy lunch with mostly pantry ingredients and basic staples? This recipe for Tuna Salad Stuffed Sweet Potatoes is not your mother’s tuna salad. (Sorry, Mom. Still think you make great tuna salads, but this is more of a “this is not your mom’s generations’ tuna salad.”) Protein packed and perfectly balanced, I got this idea for the stuff sweet potato from POPSUGAR‘s macro guide and tweaked Family Food on the Table recipe for a spinach tuna salad to be my own. Using mozzarella and Greek yogurt as the base for the tuna salad, it’s full of healthy fats and protein. I mixed in matchstick carrots (since they’re clearly one of my fridge staples), chopped spinach (ditto), mini cucumbers (sensing a trend?) and fresh lemon juice, pepper and garlic to taste. Placed in an easily baked microwave sweet potato while you assemble the salad, the sweet potato is then topped with avocado and sriracha. (Not sure what to do with potato insides? Try making a sweet potato crust.) Honestly, the best part is that you’re not insanely full after — winning!

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Appetizer, Entrée, One Pot Dish

5 Minute Crispy BBQ Pizza

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I’ve been craving pizza lately and when I say craving, I mean CRAVING. I didn’t feel like making a cauliflower crust, I couldn’t find my go-to naan at Whole Foods, and I didn’t want to make dough from scratch. Instead I found Top This! Whole Wheat 13″ Crust in the freezer section. It was thin, crispy, and had a nice char flavor since it’s grilled. I went a little light on sauce/toppings since I wasn’t sure how this crust would hold up, but next time I make it, I can definitely go closer to the edge and add some more BBQ. The honey sriracha BBQ sauce pairs well with chicken sausage to give you a Crispy BBQ Sausage Flatbread.

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

Buzzing for these Blackberry Cardamom Oats

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So I may or may not have grabbed a handful of this Whole Earth Sweetener packets from Starbucks last weekend 🙈 . . . oops. They’re sitting out for the taking, so I decided why not try them? Not my fault I don’t add sugar or sweetener to my coffee. (Full disclosure: I grabbed three, which I think is a respectable “grab.”) I was grabbing spices to make Indonesian Inspired Quinoa Bowls and saw cardamom hiding out in the back of my pantry. Cardamom has such a nice citrus flavor that I wanted some oats with grapefruit on the side — but the 2.0 version. Thus, I made Blackberry Cardamom Overnight Oats with a Broiled Grapefruit. The grapefruit is amazing! This would be so good on the grill or as a dessert. I foresee myself stalking up on grapefruit during my next grocery run to make this again. Plus, the broiled grapefruit seems like a great standalone side for a brunch or the beginnings of a dessert.

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