Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

To Brownie or Not to Brownie?

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I didn’t want to call these brownies because I don’t think of these as a true brownies without chocolate chips, so I settled on bars. Plus, are brownies ever really healthy? Maybe, maybe not. (Deep, pondering life thoughts by Annie to be continued . . . .) Whatever I call them — Dark Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Bars — can be a dessert or double up for a snack. Made grain-free using cocoa powder and plant-based chocolate powder as the base, these bars came out darkly dense made tart with raspberries.

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

Not Gingerly Eating These Ginger Matcha Protein Muffins

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The muffins are back for meal prep Sunday! I tried another recipe from TIU. I liked the Piña Colada Protein Muffins so much that I decided to try a Snickerdoodle version, so here we are with Ginger Matcha Protein Muffins. (I foresee a twist with blueberry muffins in the near future, so you’ve been warned.) I have the Matcha Green Tea packets from Trader Joe‘s so I used those to cut down the “greenness” that matcha sometimes has. I also added some ginger and doubled the bananas to combat this, but the doubled banana made the muffins a bit flat and less likely to rise. I even had my mom taste test them when I went home to surprise my dad for his birthday! They’re yummy, not too sweet and a great pick-me-up.

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

Power Piña Colada Protein Muffins

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Snack time! Who knew muffins could be healthy and filling without leaving you sluggish? I always like doing Tone It Up’s daily workouts and following their weekly schedule and have done so on and off for the last three years. However, I think I do a fairly good job of eating healthy, so I’ve never tried their meal plan. I had a deal with my friend, Steph, that she’d send over the meal plan in exchange for the handful of Beach Babe videos I have. I’d say it was a fair trade. After making Tuna Sushi Bowls, I tried my hand at some meal prep and made  Piña Colada Protein Muffins. I’ve had the equivalent of two muffins as a breakfast or three minis as a snack and I must say — I was surprisingly satisfied. You miss that post-carb/sugar crash. Packed with protein powder and using banana and pineapple as natural sweeteners, these muffins are a great way to grab breakfast or snacks on the go!

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

CocoNUTS for Chocolate Almond Coconut Oats

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My summer semester is right around the corner. While we have most Fridays off, I’m not looking forward to being gone from 6 am to 9 pm on some days for class and clinical. I’ve been looking at meal preps to ease through the day and free up my mornings, and overnight oats, smoothies or quiche are my go-to. I made these overnight oats during finals last month, and I’ve been prepping Chocolate Almond Coconut Overnight Oats ever since. Chocolate gives a nice decadent burst and the combo of almonds, almond extract, coconut milk and coconut flakes all give a fun twist on your morning. Happy meal prep!

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Crispy, Crunchy Coconut Tofu

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You know when you go out in the summer and all you see is coconut shrimp this and coconut shrimp that? Here’s a meatless Monday take on that — Crispy Coconut Tofu Bowls. I got this idea/recipe from Well Vegan and it definitely came from a plant-based protein roundup from either SELF or BuzzFeed. (Obviously I receive biweekly emails for meal, recipe ideas and cooking tips from both.) After coming back from Sanibel Island, I was still feeling the tropical vibes during this rainy weather and this recipe seemed like the perfect solution. I definitely cut down on all of Well Vegan‘s prep time, simplified the tofu process, lightened it up by baking instead of frying and skipped their added sauce. This recipe looks way more complicated than it is and just requires a little foresight to prep the tofu ahead of time. By swapping a can of full-drat coconut milk for So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, the quinoa still turned out dense, yet fluffy with a very subtle coconut flavor. I must say the best part about this is the toasted coconut flakes and panic that result from the baking process — pure perfection.

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

Leap into Spring with this Tropical Coconut Cocktail

Coconut Rum with Basil & Strawberries

Who says you can’t celebrate spring? But then again, it’s snowing in Boston today. Ironically enough, my roommate writes for Insane for Drinks, and she posted about Captain Morgan‘s new flavored rums: coconut, pineapple and grapefruit. By flavored, I mean they smell like fresh juice (and taste like it!); they’re beyond delicious. With two mojitos ideas to come, try Coconut Rum with Basil & Strawberries in the meantime.  I used coconut water for a healthier mixer and the use of fresh fruit and herbs makes it oh-so-refreshing. Your tastebuds will thank you.

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