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

The Best Grain-Free Oatmeal & Porridge

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This is actually like porridge! I’ve been a little oatmeal’ed and overnight oats’ed out, but after all these brisk mornings, I wanted something with the same feel. You may be skeptical when mixing together flaxseed and chia seeds and nuts and coconut . . . but it is! Trust me. I was surprised too. I popped this concoction in the microwave thinking it wouldn’t absorb the milk and become fluffy quite like oatmeal does, but the result is like steel-cut oats or cream of wheat — just less gnarly and grainy; this Grain-Free Porridge with Fresh Figs has a much smoother and lighter finish. I had the last of my fresh figs left, so naturally I topped porridge with those and the some dried cranberries for a late summer, early fall feel.

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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, 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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Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Mmmm, Yummy Yogurt Bark

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I don’t even know where to begin. This yogurt bark was great and easy and fun to make. I see many variations cropping up in the near future, like peanut butter banana or strawberry mint or… Like I said, it’s so easy, I’m going to have to gobble up this batch so I can make another. I’ve been looking for something other than dark chocolate to satisfy my sweet teeth and stumbled upon the idea for yogurt bark. Tossed in everything but the kitchen sink, not so patiently waited for this to chill and voila! Vanilla Yogurt Bark. You’ll forget it’s not chocolate, but a delicious frozen treat.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving Cranberries & Applesauce

Cranberry Cinnamon Applesauce

I always associate applesauce with the kind in your elementary school lunch or when you’re sick. This is applesauce for grown-ups. If you haven’t noticed, I took pictures of the Cranberry Cinnamon Applesauce in tupperware — it was that hard not to immediately consume. Bursting with cinnamon, the combination of the sweet Gala apples and tart cranberries is truly decadent. To top it off, this version has no added sugar (thanks, Aloha), you literally chop the apples and dump them in a pot and your kitchen may or may not smell like a Yankee candle. So take a bite of this naturally sweet and insanely delicious applesauce.

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

Power Up with This Superfood Tea

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I was recently asked to write a post on how I stay healthy through the winter. Not like there’s any special formula. Just good luck in some case, but I do believe there’s something to be said for eating well to prevent sickness.  I saw this superfood tea on Aloha‘s recipes and decided to give it a spin. My twist added unsweetened cranberry juice and real tea. My grandmother would make a special tea this one every Christmas and this quite reminded me of it. This Cranberry Orange Tea with Ginger can be served alone, with green, red or black tea, hot or cold. I suppose you could even add the mix to seltzer for a sparkling take. Either way, it’s tart, slightly spiced and very light. Packed with antioxidants from the cranberries, vitamins from the clementine, and ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties, this tea will have you sipping on it again and again.

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

Tart & Spiced Holiday Moscow Mules

IMG_5678Another tasty take on a Moscow mule — a (Christmas) Cranberry Moscow Mule. The copper mugs are just so fun, they’re begging to be used after making the lovely Apple Cider Moscow Mules. A splash of diet ginger beer and cranberry juice give the classic drink a balance between spice and tart. Omit the vodka for a tasty mocktail. If you’re feeling exceptionally festive, garnish with fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary. While Christmas has passed, at least you have another option to ring in the New Year. Cheers!
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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving a Cranberry Quinoa Salad

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This Cranberry Quinoa Salad is vibrant, fresh and intensely colorful. Something about citrus and cranberries screams the holidays. This salad is a fresh take on the classic dish of cranberries and oranges. The sweet pomegranate seeds and orange wedges balance the tart cranberries. The quinoa adds sustenance, while the fresh mint adds flavor. Pair with a roasted chicken (we had orange-citrus and rosemary marinade with this salad and fresh butternut squash), add in nuts for more of a meal, or enjoy with a cup of soup. This salad is a perfect addition to your holiday entertaining — even the colors beckon you to add this to your entertaining arsenal, lunch rotation or just as a fun, colorful and delicious side to any meal.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian

Crazy for Scones

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I love scones. I may or may not be still in a cranberry pistachio phase, which inspired this Orange Scones with Cranberries & Pistachios recipe. (if you’re not convinced, see my Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pistachios & Cranberries). I usually bring scones as a hostess gift, as a “thank you” or just because. I made this today as a special thanks for someone, who has helped me do some medical soul searching over the years. For those of you wondering, scones are a traditional English baked good that are both lightly sweetened and served with tea. Making scones from scratch are not as difficult as one may believe. There’s three basic butter rules that must be followed to ensure you’ll have perfectly delicious scones:

  1. The butter must be chilled.
  2. The butter must be “cut in” the dry ingredients with a pastry blender (easiest — like one here), a fork or even two knives (I think this is the hardest way). A pastry blender gives you the most leverage, it’s efficient, and prevent the butter form melting.
  3. The butter must resemble pea-sized pieces once cut in.

“Cutting in” the butter ensures the fat will be evenly distributed amongst the dry ingredients. It almost creates pockets of butter throughout the dough. I lightened up the traditional recipes and replaced heavy cream with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cut the flour 50/50 with whole-wheat, and substituted egg whites for eggs. The orange zest adds in such an unique freshness, the fresh cranberries a tartness, and the pistachios a salty, yet nutty perfection. As breakfast or brunch, as a holiday treat or with a cup of coffee or tea, these Orange Scones with Cranberries & Pistachios are sure to please.

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Gluten-Free, Salad, Side, Vegetarian

Breezing through a Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

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Bet you can’t guess where I found my inspiration for my Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pistachios and Cranberries recipe — Pinterest (obviously). I’ve come to like Brussels sprouts. For Thanksgiving at my dad’s parents’ house, I would go to their garden, bursting with late fall veggies, and my task would be to pick the Brussels sprouts to have for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course I would painstakingly pick them, but I would never eat them; I didn’t even get to enjoy my labors then, but I love this salad; it’s light, different, innovative and totally tasty. I made a few changes — I served this raw instead of cooking everything in a skillet. I like the crunch and flavor of the Brussels sprouts this way. Plus, transforming them from their solid form to a shaved one, you wouldn’t know you’re eat Brussels sprouts. For some color, my mom thought shredded carrots would make a nice addition. The pistachios are a decadent and unusual crunch, the parmesan — flavor and the craisins and fig balsamic (a local purchase from Ithaca) — a needed sweetness to combat and balance the salad’s earth tones.

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