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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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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Bread, Dairy-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Best No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

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This is just like my no-knead rosemary pumpkin bread; using a wet and sticky dough, there’s no kneading involved. Plus, if you use a Dutch oven, you have the crunchiest bread with such an even crust. I’ve been making this Dutch Oven Bread since last year, and feel like I finally have the proportions, timing, and variations down. Using all white flour, you get a light, airy, and fluffy bread–literally perfect for dunking in extra virgin olive oil with herbs or using for avocado toast. While whole wheat is still good, it’s a bit drier and denser than all white flour. I also enjoy the variation of olives or fresh herbs with minced garlic; the latter makes great bread for a grilled cheese with tomato soup.

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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, 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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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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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Copycat Sweetgreen’s Spicy Cashew Dressing

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I keep trying to hack Sweetgreen’s dressing because everyone knows Sweetgreen’s dressings are the bomb; it’s what makes the salad. Here’s my take on their Spicy Cashew Dressing. It’s full of healthy fat thanks to the EVOO and raw cashews. It’s sweet, tangy, obviously spicy, and has a layer of umami to it. I can’t wait to add this to lots o’ salads and bowls because when you want to eat it with a spoon, it’s that good, right?

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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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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood

Cajun-Style Shrimp & Grits (Instant Pot)

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Shrimp and Grits. This was the meal I continually ordered when Ted and I travelled down South to Savannah, Charleston, and Hilton Head back in November. While not the “classic” version, i.e. the one with heavy cream and butter–also delicious, but not what I want on a daily basis–, this version of shrimp and grits is literally bursting with flavor. Pork andouille sausage was the only type of andouille sausage I could find, but it offers all the fat and salt you need, which is why I omit the butter, heavy cream, and added salt. I opted to mix in more Southern and Cajun vegetables like collard greens and orange and green bell peppers. While not authentic, the peppers melt in your mouth, and the collard greens add a pop of color and nutrients. Plus, this all comes together in the Instant Pot for a one-pot meal.

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