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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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ending Summer with an Iced Matcha Latte

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I like an extra dose of lunch-time caffeine, but lately, I’ve shied away from more coffee. I’ve gravitated toward tea lattes: chai in the winter and matcha (or green tea) in the summer. Matcha is a finely ground powder from green tea leaves. It can have an earthy, bitter taste depending on the matcha you buy; the more expensive matcha tends to increase in its green color and vibrancy. While the green color can be off-putting at first, paired with milk and a little sweetener, Iced Matcha Latte has a mild taste and is quite refreshing. Compared to its Starbucks counterpart that has a whooping 30 g of sugar, try making this at home, experimenting with milk (coconut milk is lovely!) and sweeteners.

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

The Perfect Herby Tahini Sauce for Dipping

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I saw a recipe for fish, rice, and this herby sauce and I was intrigued. I love fresh herbs. They had a bright vibrancy and flavor to any dish. Also, just look at that color! I tend to gravitate toward basil and cilantro, sometimes mint, but usually not parsley, so I wanted to give this a try. Like a pesto, this Parsley Tahini Sauce is perfect for dipping or thin to make a sauce. The tahini is nutty and bitter balanced with the acidity of lime juice and the greenness from the parsley. We grilled shrimp and zucchini and the charred flavor from the grill perfectly balances with this vibrant, nutty, and sour sauce.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Dressing Up Quinoa & Lentils

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Do you ever make something and you’re actually excited for your leftovers and to eat it again? That was this. I give you Cilantro Lentils & Quinoa with Raisins and Walnuts. This can be a side or a base to a meal. You can mix in feta or goat cheese. This would go quite well with roasted root veggies. Pair with grilled chicken. You literally can’t mess it up. I roasted potatoes, beets, and spinach and added some feta for a meal or kept it cold and mixed it into a spinach salad with a lemony vinaigrette. It works well with parsley instead of cilantro for all of you who are cilantro adverse, but fresh herbs with lemon juice and lemon zest keep this light and bright.

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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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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Spin on Lemonade & Piña Colada

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This may be my new summer drink, so much so that we made this twice in once weekend. Frozen Coconut Lemonade will be your new favorite drink to cool down and sip a decadent version of lemonade. I made this both as a cocktail and a mocktail. I’d suggest the full-fat coconut milk for a mocktail and using the proportions below for a cocktail. Either way is delicious. It’s sweet, tart, rich, and zesty.

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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, 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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