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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Dessert, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Better (Butter-less) Greek Yogurt Brownies

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Confession: apparently I don’t have a square baking pan? I realize this every time I need one and never seem to remember to pick one up when I don’t. This explains as to why I baked my brownies in a pie pan and the pieces aren’t perfect squares . . . I made chocolate cookies using Greek yogurt before instead of butter and loved them. Like those, I made Greek Yogurt “Skinny” Brownies, which baked into dense, yummy brownies. These brownies are lower in sugar, low in fat (with the fat being healthier) and more nutrient packed if you use carob over cocoa powder. I tossed in some chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut for texture. I was rationing my chocolate chips and would totally add more for next time! I’ve really wanted a true dessert versus just grabbing some dark chocolate pieces and/or some dates post dinner. I’ve been dreaming of some Halo Top ice cream on top of these brownies — stay tuned. It’s going to be amazing.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tastily Vibrant Tropical Smoothie

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Tropical Turmeric Smoothie Bowl seemed like the perfect combo due to its tropical flare to pretend it’s spring up in the Northeast. Pineapple, mango, banana . . . feeling like you’re on a beach yet? Also, do you guys like my sad attempt at “plating?” 😂 That aside, this smoothie was delish. I saw the idea for adding ground turmeric to smoothies from Gimme Some Oven and thought I needed it to fight the Monday blues from studying pharmacology. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. I turned the smoothie into a bowl because I found DRAGON FRUIT!! It was my first time working with dragon fruit, and I must say, the interior fruit is so mild and melon-like in comparison to its vibrant, funky exterior.

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

Going Bananas for Banana Parfaits

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Who said you need to buy sweetened yogurt when you can make your own, even better, Banana Walnut Parfait? Flavored yogurt tends to have as much as 25 g of sugar PER SERVING.Don’t believe me? Check out Yogurt With More Sugar Than a Twinkie via Huffington Post. A delicious snack, light breakfast or dessert, this parfait has less added sugar using plain Greek yogurt as a base, adding only a pinch of agave nectar and plays off of the banana’s natural sweetness.

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"How To" Guides, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Poppin’ Popcorn

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Popcorn ready in under 5 min? Um, yes please. Where do I sign up? I was sick of buying bagged popcorn, but I do have a serious addiction to Skinny Pop. I can easily eat at least half a bag per sitting. I wanted the Skinny Pop taste with less of the binge and less of the cost. I picked up a big bag of popcorn kernels at Whole Foods for the same price as a Skinny Pop bag and the kernels lasted me a couple months. Granted, I’ve tailored this recipe to a single serving to prevent me from eating the whole thing, but this can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, whatever. Everything is done on the stove, which requires a bit of “tossing/shaking,” coordination, but NBD. You’ll love this Easy Stovetop Popcorn; your tastebuds (and wallet) will thank me.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Amaaaaaazing Macchiato

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I’ll keep this one short and sweet. I tried Starbucks’ Iced Coconut Milk (Caramel) Macchiato this summer and I was hooked. I prefer it not mocha or caramel, even though both are worth the indulgence. Since it’s going to be 60°F in Boston today (crazy, right?!), thought I’d indulge in a homemade coffee treat post-spin. I didn’t have espresso, so I brewed strong cup of coffee instead, layered over unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened better half (coconut cream & almond milk creamer) from Califia Farms and added a dash of agave. I think next time, I’ll leave it bitter & unsweetened, but regardless, this Copycat Starbucks Iced Coconut Macchiato is the perfectly creamy & decadent drink 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻  [UPDATE: this caffeinated drink was featured on the feedfeed — check it out!]

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

Granola, Granola, Granolaaaa

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When I lived in Ithaca, I discovered how easy it was to make granola and it quickly became a staple to snack on and top yogurt, oatmeal and smoothie bowls. Fast forward to living in Boston and I realized I haven’t made granola in a while. I’ve been saving this recipe for Vanilla Cardamom Granola since right around Christmas, but I finally bought some ground cardamom yesterday. (Fun fact: apparently cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice.) It has a very spicy, herbal and almost citrusy profile and reminded me of the flavor in lemon poppyseed muffins. The coconut flakes became browned in the oven, while the pecans are delightfully toasted. I topped my vanilla yogurt this morning with 1/4 c granola as an am snack. It’s light and hearty and oh, so satisfying.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Going Bananas for Banana Bread

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Mmmm, (Gluten-Free) Banana Bread. I’ve been searching for a butter-free, less added sugar banana bread and saw this version on Minimalist Baker. (MB is all about 1 pot/bowl recipes, ones involving 10 ingredients or less or a meal coming together in 30 min. Great philosophy, right?) Since this version was gluten-free, I decided to go with it. I still cut back on the added sugar, opting for less sweet taste, but the bananas still add their own sweetness.  The almond flour and whole oats definitely add hearty notes to the bread. Have a slice for breakfast with a cup of coffee or one as a snack. I see some banana bread variations in the future…

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Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Entrée, One Pot Dish, Salad, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Exploring Greek Tzatziki

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This dip is light and refreshing. Originally a Greek yogurt dip, tzatziki is traditionally made with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometime lemon juice and fresh herbs like mint, dill, parsley or thyme. It can be used to top gyros, burgers, falafels, salads, “bowls” (see photo below) or a standalone dish. Clearly I took a non-traditional route, swapping avocado for yogurt as the base. I also used mint instead of dill and want to try this again with equal proportions to be more versatile. Even with the “lightened up” swaps, Avocado Tzatziki is still light, so fluffy and especially tasty. I’ve been dipping away with Kashi pita chips and 7 grain crackers, baby carrots and cucumber sticks.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Lusciously Refreshing Layered Smoothie

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Yesterday, Boston was 90ºF and muggy. Not in the mood for a hot, complicated breakfast? Neither was I. This take a little planning to make the chia pudding ahead of time, but all in all, it’s a quick, easy and definitely refreshing meal. Pineapple, raspberries and watermelon are all in season, so perfect timing to buying bulk and freeze. Packed with vitamin C, this thirst-quenching Layered Chia Smoothie refuels, cools and hits the spot.

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