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

Amazing Apple Pie for Breakfast

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I love oatmeal bake. Originally made by my cousin, Betsy, when I visited Chicago, I’ve lightened up the original and made it my own. Last fall, I kept making a pumpkin version. This fall, why not try an apple version? I added apple pie spices, fresh apple chunks and chopped walnuts. Drizzle with maple syrup (which you can’t even tell I added to the pics since it absorbed right in), add a spoonful of vanilla yogurt, and top with raisins and cinnamon sugar, and Apple Walnut Oatmeal Bake will make your kitchen smell heavenly and give your tastebuds a frenzy. Plus, it’s such an easy brunch idea or a meal prep for the week. Happy brunchin’!

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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, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, 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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Asian, Better Than Takeout, 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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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Soup

Snuggle Up with Some Detox Soup

Giada's Detox Broth

This soup smells heavenly. The fresh ginger, cinnamon, garlic, onion and cloves just have the right amount of flavor to offer. The garlic and ginger offer healthy digestion. The hardest part of this soup is the prep. There’s some chopping involved, but once completed, you literally dump everything into the pot and relax. The broth for this soup is originally from Giada DeLaurentiisGiada’s Feel Good Food. Instead of straining the broth and reserving the liquid, I kept the soup as is, added everything I had on hand but the kitchen sink and enjoyed a piping cup of Giada’s Detox Soup.

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

More Pho Soup Fo’ Sure

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Happy Meatless Monday! 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 this with tofu because 1). I had it on hand; 2). I was pressed for time; 3). it’s easy to use and requires no prep; and 4). why not? But for you carnivores out there, you can easily convert this to a “meat lovers” version by adding chicken, beef, pork or shrimp and then substituting chicken or beef broth for vegetable. This soup is light, refreshing, just ticket on a cold day. The sriracha adds just the right amount of spice, the herbs add a freshness and the spices just the right flavor. It’s also so easy to make it your own!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Drinks, Lightened Up

Putting Cream Back in Coffee Creamer

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It’s quite chilly this morning — like -11ºF chilly! Maybe it was the beautiful skiing yesterday, despite the frostbite warning (see my picture below), or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve wanted to make Homemade Coffee Creamer since before the holidays. For whatever reason, I finally concocted some this morning. It seems like most coffee creamers lack any “cream.” Plus, I always seem to crave flavors unavailable around me like gingerbread. So I fixed both problems. Any milk or non-dairy product can be used. (Almond milk is next on my list to try.) My homemade creamer is definitely not as “creamy” or thick as traditional or store-bought creamers because I used non-fat milk, and the flavor is a bit more subtle, but I’m still eager to try more flavors, like French vanilla, hazelnut or cinnamon. The recipe is quite simple: it’s equal parts milk to cream or half & half. Then, you heat the mixture to add any flavor. Sounds like a winning combination on this cold January day.

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