Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vibrant & Bright Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While I do not claim for these cookies to be true Anzac biscuits, the basis for the ingredients screamed like an Annie cookie. Without eggs, the cookies held up quite well despite lacking eggs when families sent these biscuits to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps–hence Anzac–circa WWI. The true recipe calls for oats, flour, sugar, butter, “golden syrup,” and coconut. I found a recipe for these in Sweet, and I decided to tweak these to be my own. I call them Coconut Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins & Lemon. They’re still sweet (despite using only 3/4 c sugar instead of almost 2 c), bright from the cardamom and lemon zest, and perfectly chewy thanks to the oats and raisins. They’re like an updated version of your grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies.

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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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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Veggie & Pesto Packed Primavera Pasta Salad

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The warm weather has finally rolled in, and it’s beginning to feel like summer. Verdant grass, trees, and flowers call for vibrant veggies to be used. I’ve been craving pasta and also pesto lately, so it only makes sense to use both for a pasta salad. In this Primavera Pasta Salad, your veggies can be a combination of fresh and frozen. I usually have frozen edamame and peas on hand in my freezer among some others (like cauliflower pieces and cauliflower rice). Fresh asparagus, peppers, and celery add a bite and a crunch. Add lemon juice, pesto, and spices for a summery and bright take on pasta salad.

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

Cleansing Ginger Soup to Kick Off 2019

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Happy New Year! After a hectic semester and a hiatus from blogging, I’d love to bring you this cleansing Ginger, Tofu, & Shiitake Soup. This reminds me of a milder version of pho and hot and sour soup. It’s light, refreshing, and just what I needed after the holidays filled with Christmas cookies and lots o’ spirits. 

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy & Savory Roasted Veggie Farro Bowls for Meatless Monday

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This is a meatless meal prep recipe that I can’t believe I haven’t posted sooner, but midterms happened and life. . ., but this is one of those recipes that you’re bummed when your leftovers are gone. I love the chewiness and whole-grain nature of farro, and it’s quite easy to prepare. I had leftover rainbow carrots, haricot verts (think green bean’s skinnier cousin) and rainbow potatoes from slow cooker Italian sausage soup. Roasted in the oven with a little Salz und Pfeffer, rosemary, red pepper flakes and garlic was the right choice. Toss with farro, pistachios, dried cranberries and a quick “dressing” of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Then, you have the perfect Roasted Vegetable Farro Bowls with Cranberries and Pistachios. It’s tart and fresh with the vinaigrette, savory from the veggies and full of texture thanks to the farro, pistachios and dried cranberries.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Celebrating Toast Tuesday with Lemon Ricotta Toast

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Want a different toast and a clever way to use up that ricotta from lasagna? Here’s Lemon Ricotta Toast. It’s light and satisfying, without being over heavy or filling. I love the bright acidity the lemon juices adds to the creamy ricotta, simply flavors with salt and red pepper flakes. Pumpkin seeds add a delightful crunch, while spinach adds some color and a little extra something-something.
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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Summer Stew for Any Occasion

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This was a summer stew I made, but froze two servings to pull out when I needed a quick meal. I did just that on the 30th after traveling to Maine and Ohio for the holidays. I enjoyed a bowl sans toppings on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to stay warm during this arctic blast of weather. Since the stew was summer inspired and based, you can really taste the lemon juice and appreciate summer produce like kale and zucchini. The sweetness from the raisins and sweet potatoes balance the bitterness from the quinoa and kale and acidity of the lemon juice. I added almond milk for a splash of creaminess. I love that this has garlic, ginger and turmeric, which are anti-inflammatories and aid in digestion — just what we need post-holiday binge and indulgences. Serve hot and savor that bowl of Turmeric, White Bean & Quinoa Stew.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Lemonade with a Kick

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My mom had a pitcher of this going when I was home in Maine last week. Naturally I came home with a cold and whipped up a batch of Cayenne Lemonade to clear the airways and stay hydrated. It’s also great mocktail, especially with a 1:1 ratio of lemonade and seltzer for a fizz. I realize that the recipe is completely subjective; my mom made hers sweeter and mine came out a bit more tart. Toss in some lemon slices and cucumber and you have the simplest drink to feel like every day is a spa day.

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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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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

One Pan’s the Way to Go

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Roasting veggies always seems to be winter thing, but what happens when you toss in some spring asparagus, fresh rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest? A bright, easy dinner. One pan kind of easy. Also great when you’re in a rush and can just pop everything in the oven and let it run its course. Roasting the chicken keeps it oh-so-juicy and prevents it from drying out. Before you know it, you’ll be savoring that One Pan Lemon Rosemary Chicken & Veggies saying, “that was easy.”

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