Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Rev Up Your Metabolism with This Detox Tea

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I made a boomerang for this, but sadly, uploading videos to my blog is somehow surprisingly complicated. Thus, you’re stuck with these rainy background photos, whose melancholy nature actually makes you want to drink tea, right? I made this Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tea last spring using local honey in an attempt to keep my allergies at bay. Not entirely sure if it helped for allergies, but I enjoyed drinking the tart tea warm either first thing in the morning or right before bed. I’ve been an on-again, off-again Tone It Up follower for 3 years now, and they recommended a version of this they call “Meta D” with apple cider vinegar (ACV), apple juice, cinnamon and cayenne. (They also have ACV and fruit blends here.) It does boost some health benefits that can’t hurt: cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, ginger helps with digestion and ACV and cayenne rev up metabolism. Here’s a warning, it is quite tart, but try to enjoy without overloading it with honey (aka sugar albeit ). I also really like this not cold, not piping hot, but warm juuuuust right in the middle.

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

Crazy about Carrot Cake for Brekkie

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I’m back on an overnight oat fix (and smoothies, but we’ll get leave that for another time). We’ve had some stressful exam weeks approaching finals so meal prepping has been key. I whipped up a couple jars of some different flavors like Carrot “Cake” Overnight Oats. These are so easy to make, you can enjoy them hot or cold and you have all the flavors of carrot cake without the huge indulgence. I also promise you won’t even realize the carrots are there. They finer you grate them, the more they disappear. (It’s like a zucchini bread turned oatmeal if you still need a hard sell.)

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep

Really into Indonesian Bowls

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Sorry I’m not — another bowl recipe. I made March my mission for “Measure March” or “Meal Prep March” and bowls are so easy for this. You get the perfect serving size and a mix of protein, grains and/or veggies. I went for an Indonesian Inspired Quinoa Bowls to “switch” things up. I must say the red curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves added such  nice flavors to the meat. Again, I’m all about those quick meals. Originally calling for ground beef, I used rotisserie chicken for less to prep and less to worry about in terms of cooking — plus I prefer chicken over beef. Sorry to my steak lovers. I shredded the rotisserie chicken beforehand, tossed it with the curry, spices and coconut milk and let it all simmer to perfection, while I made the quinoa and chopped everything for the bowls. The purple cabbage and cucumber add color and a nice crunch. This perfectly makes four servings so get ready for leftovers!

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

Simple, Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

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UM, YUM! I stumbled upon Izy Hossack’s recipe for this Sweet Potato Bread and I’m beyond glad I did. Her site, Top with Cinnamon, is exactly what I love with cooking and food blogs: clean, simple and straight to the point. I tweaked her recipe and used whole wheat flour, added more spice and swapped the oil base. My only compliant is the loaf came out dense and did not rise very well, but this could be because I kept it true to Izy’s original, which is vegan. Despite not very much added sugar, the agave and sweet potato add just enough sweetness that’s accentuated by the spices. The nuts give the bread a hearty crunch. I whipped up a Greek yogurt spread to serve and the tanginess was the perfect balance.

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

Berry Deliciously Spiced Overnight Oats

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I haven’t made overnight oats in a while and I must say, what a way to get back in the game. It’s (hopefully) getting warmer with spring officially trying to make its way into the New England weather and the daylight slowly growing longer.  Although I usually grab cinnamon and vanilla for breakfast items and/or smoothies, this was different. The combo of raspberries, cranberries, and spices were great. Served hot or cold — you choose just how to enjoy Cinnamon Vanilla Berry Overnight Oats.

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

Simply Cinnamon Macchiato (Dairy-Free)

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Happy FriYAY!! Guys, I loved the Copycat Starbucks Iced Coconut Milk Macchiato version so much I decided to make a cinnamon version. The timing was a bit ironic since Starbucks literally released the exact same version. I can honestly say I haven’t tried the Starbucks version, but mine is still pretty damn good. I brewed Starbucks cinnamon dolce coffee and used an almond milk base since that’s what I usually have in my fridge. Almond milk has a “thinner” consistency than coconut milk, so the macchiato just has a different depth, but all the flavors. I dusted the layers with cinnamon sugar from my trusty cinnamon sugar bear. Excuse me while I go sip on my Cinnamon Dolce Almond Milk Macchiato.

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

Down to Detox Winter Veggie Soup

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I made my own vegetable broth! It’s so easy thanks to Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Save veggie scraps, toss them in the freezer in a ziplock, and once the bag is full, you add the scraps, fill with water and simmer your broth to perfection. I’ve also done this in a slower cooker with a chicken carcass, carrots, onion and celery to make chicken stock — another easy 8 hr option. Plus, it’s great since you can manage how much sodium is in the broth; I added 1 teaspoon of salt for the whole batch, which is about 150 mg of sodium per cup of homemade veggie broth. I made this broth during the week while studying and I’ve been accumulating excess veggies leftover from Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Brown Rice Bowls and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna ever since. I decided it was Soup Sunday and made a Winter Veggie Detox Soup with what I had piling up in my fridge. Winter produce that’s in season are lemons (or any citrus), kale, and sweet potatoes. I used fresh and ground spices to rev up metabolism, aid with digestion and help with inflammation. Not sure if it’s so tasty from sautéing lemon slices in fresh garlic, ginger and coconut oil or if it’s the flavors from the turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon, but for totally winging this soup, it’s pretty darn good.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Soup

Beefed Up Pho

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Happy snowy day in Boston! Vietnamese Pho Soup may look intimidating (or strange), but it’s so simple. You make a broth, cook the rice noodles and assemble. I originally made a Vegan Pho with tofu because it’s easy to use and requires no prep, but, like the rest of you carnivores out there, I knew I needed to try a try meat lover’s option… with BEEF. I swapped vegetable for beef broth and did a 1:1 ratio of rice noodles to zoodles. As always, pho is light, refreshing and just what the doctor (or nurse) called for on a cold day. The sriracha and jalapeños add just the right amount of spice, the herbs contribute a freshness and the spices just the right flavor. Dish up a heaping bowl of Beef Pho with Zoodles.

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

Keen on Quinoa for Brekkie

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This really does taste like cinnamon “toast” crunch! I had just under 1 cup of leftover cooked white/red quinoa from making Buddha bowls, so I thought I’d give this a try. I saw this idea on Cookie + Kate‘s Instagram before going to bed last night; it seemed like the perfect way to get through our 3 hrs of med surg morning lecture and still make it to an afternoon spin (since I haven’t gone in since end of August 🙈).  Fun fact: I like using nuts from Trader Joe’s; they’re much cheaper and more bang for your buck. What a power breakfast this was! The cinnamon and pecans were quite fragrant and added such a great flavor. I know what I’m making next time I have leftover quinoa — Toasted Cinnamon Pecan Quinoa for breakfast. Side note, I might have to try this in a slow cooker… 

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