Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegetarian

Social Distancing with Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread for Sunday Brunch

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You’ve been warned. I said I’d end up baking during these crazy pandemic times. After irrationally craving cinnamon rolls–it is a Sunday morning–, I settled on making a version of Joanna Gaines’ cinnamon swirl quick bread from her cookbook, Magnolia Table. As a Christmas present, I’ve looked through this cookbook, but haven’t had a time to tackle any recipes. Given my brunch cravings and the copious time on our hands, I settled on making Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread, but a lightened up version of this classic. I still think it’s crazy that the original recipe for this bread was supposed to have 2½ c sugar and a third of a cup of oil. Here, we use just under three-fourths cup sugar, less than a tablespoon of oil, and mix coconut and raisins. It’s perfect right out of the oven, but I recommend it cooling longer than we did, since we were a bit too eager to slice it up, thus left with some crumbly pieces. Ted and I enjoyed this warm, served with a cup of coffee and a side of Greek yogurt and strawberries (see first photo after recipe!). It was the perfect stay-at-home Sunday brunch.

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Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Bread for Breakfast

March has been a weird month. As a nurse practitioner, it’s the year of the nurse. However, with the coronavirus pandemic knocking on our door (or literally at our door), I wasn’t expecting the year of the nurse to be quite like this. I deal with stress by cooking and baking. You should maaaybeee expect some baking recipes to come. I started on this sweet potato bread recipe before the pandemic broke out, and man, this breakfast bread is good. After some tweaks, it’s finally ready to share. Oats and almond flour are the “flour” or grains and applesauce and Greek yogurt act as the butter and oil. Have you had Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf when it debuts each fall? This Sweet Potato Breakfast Bread is that good, but a little healthier for you. It’s spiced, just the right amount of sweet, and pairs oh-so-well with your bitter cup of coffee in the morning or a mug of tea.

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

Glowing Skin Recovery Mango Tahini Smoothie

I’ve been on a spin kick lately, going 2-3 times per week since after Christmas. I’ve enjoyed drinking a smoothie after this intense exercise since it’s hydrating and nourishing, especially when I’m not hungry or in the mood for “whole” food for a bit after that type of rigorous exercise. This Mango Tahini Smoothie has good-for-your-skin vitamins from mango, healthy fats from tahini, and antioxidants and vitamin C from the orange. I swapped cauliflower in for banana, since mangos are already sweet enough. Brightened with cardamom and cinnamon, this smoothie is a refreshingly cozy way to start your day and recover from some welcomed sweaty exercise. Continue reading “Glowing Skin Recovery Mango Tahini Smoothie”

Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Munchin’ on Mushroom Pho

Oh, pho. It’s the perfect type of soup when you want something high in nutrients with a bright, fresh taste–especially when one has a cold (like I unfortunately do). Pronounced fuh, pho is a Vietnamese soup of broth, noodles, protein, and herbs. I’ve made a tofu pho and beef version with zoodles, but have been craving a version without the meat. A while back when I was visiting Philadelphia, my mom and I enjoyed a meal at V Street, were we had BBQ carrots that were wonderfully savory and “meaty.” With that as an inspiration, sautéed mushrooms and carrots act as the “meat” in this Mushroom Pho with Black Rice Noodles giving it a rich flavor. It’s brightened up with fresh Thai basil, cilantro, and lime juice, while black rice noodles give it a unique twist and a chewy texture.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Christmas Stollen on Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas! I promise you that if you make bread, Christmas Stollen is an easy bread to tackle. I’m a little too organized, so I simplified the steps and the ingredient groups. You just need to prep accordingly to let the nuts and fruit soak and allow the bread to rise. Stollen is a traditional German bread made with dried fruits, candied citrus, nuts, and spices dating back to the late 1300s or early 1400s from Dresden, Germany. Our neighbors use an old recipe and gift us Stollen each Christmas that we swap for our homemade cut-out cookies and Spritz. We munch on Stollen on Christmas morning as we open presents and enjoy each other’s company. I kept this version simple using the dried fruit and sliced almonds that I had, but I’d highly recommend buying or making your own candied citrus. By using yeast instead of making a quick bread, this Christmas bread becomes dense and chewy.

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

Latte Oats for Breakfast

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I haven’t posted an oatmeal recipe in a while. I’ve recently gone back to steel-cut oats to switch it up from my traditional and usually stock old-fashioned oats. I also have an important PSA: if you don’t have a milk frother, go out and buy one. It’s life-changing. That’s a gross hyperbole, but I have noticed I’m quite excited every morning before my cup of coffee. I’ve been using one by Nepresso that does both cold and hot foam. Full disclosure that I received this as a present, but it’s wonderful nonetheless. Adding frothed vanilla almond milk interestingly tastes like marshmallows. While not a “latte” in a traditional sense, Cinnamon Oatmeal Latte are a delicious alternative to your sweet or savory oats, and another way to invigorate your morning.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

An Unexpected Latte

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This Ginger Avocado Latte is the most unexpected sort of latte. It’s not how you’d think of a latte in a traditional sense. There’s no coffee or caffeine. The avocado just adds a frothy, creamy goodness. Play around with flavors of the fresh ginger like cinnamon for some spice or cardamom for a citrusy addition.

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

Toasted Coconut & Spiced Carrot Oatmeal For Breakfast

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Too many carrots from your garden? Have them for breakfast as a Coconut Carrot Oatmeal Bake. What can I say? I love cardamom and the citrusy flavor it gives to the cinnamon, ginger, carrots & apple. Like my other oatmeal bakes, this is lightened up with   applesauce instead of butter, coconut milk and egg whites. I love the crunch from the walnuts and carrots, and sweetness from the raisins and apple. Oatmeal bake is a great meal prep and if you can use your over in the summer, you can still enjoy the end result hot or cold. Add a little yogurt and maple syrup for a deliciously easy breakfast.

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

Enjoy This Creamy, Chilled Take on “Golden Milk”

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I’ve been on a mission to find a hot, turmeric latte in Boston, but after this smoothie, I’ve been doing it all wrong. Minimalist Baker gave me this idea, but I decided to use golden beets (my new favorite root vegetable!) and frozen mango to add more of that golden color, extra nutrients and a bit of sweetness. Just like that cleansing ginger smoothie, I tossed in whole ginger root for a spicy bite. With all the spices you’d find in golden milk and a creamy coconut base, this Golden Milk Smoothie is going to be a chilled version of your turmeric staple.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegan

The Best Homemade Spicy Ginger Tea

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This is my new favorite tea. But really. It’s easy to make and bursting with spice. I’ve been making a variation of this tea since the New Year, and I think I finally perfected the recipe in the last few weeks. I’ve been sipping on cups of tea as is, with some almond milk for a latte-like treat or in addition my plain, black coffee a little coconut creamer in the mornings for a dash of flavor and depth (add 1-3 teaspoons!). Ready in 15 minutes, you’ll be so excited to sip on some homemade Spicy Ginger Tea.

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