Dairy-Free, Dessert, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Spin on Lemonade & Piña Colada

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This may be my new summer drink, so much so that we made this twice in once weekend. Frozen Coconut Lemonade will be your new favorite drink to cool down and sip a decadent version of lemonade. I made this both as a cocktail and a mocktail. I’d suggest the full-fat coconut milk for a mocktail and using the proportions below for a cocktail. Either way is delicious. It’s sweet, tart, rich, and zesty.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Lemony Protein-Packed & Plant-Based Soup (Instant Pot)

I may be the only person enjoying April’s cold spell last month. It was a great time to meal prep lunch recipes for work and sample some hot soups. I quite enjoyed this take on a plant-based soup that with the addition of lentils, is packed with protein. Harissa adds a unique flavor and spice along with lemon, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Using the Instant Pot, this Lemony Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup is rich and creamy without any added dairy and comes together quickly, easily cooking the carrots. squash, and lentils. It’s the soup you need when you’re looking forward to spring on a crisp day.

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Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Salad, Vegetarian

Spring Buddha Bowls with Veggies & Farro

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Ted and I couldn’t get enough of these Spring Veggie, Marinated Chickpeas, & Farro Bowls. It’s the type of meal that you’re sad when you finish the leftovers. These grain bowls are savory yet bright with the dressing, chewy thanks to the farro, crunchy from the radishes and snap peas, and creamy because of the goat cheese and avocado. By marinating the chickpeas directly in the dressing, they absorb some of the flavor. We served this with a piece of crusty bread, channeling our inner sweetgreen during this pandemic. This salad is fun because you can change your veggies and toppings every time. We added pumpkin seeds one night, fresh basil and mint another, and Ted added cherry tomatoes on our third try. We did only spinach for one and mixed greens for another. Mix and match to make it your own!

 

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian

Fresh, Tart Citrus Margaritas

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This is the perfect margarita recipe when you’re feeling tequila, but you’re also feeling lazy. Like my four ingredient margarita, you just need fresh citrus, tequila, and sugar. For whatever reason, I’ve been craving some fresh citrus and tequila during this pandemic and social distancing. Maybe it’s because we had to simply enjoy Cinco de Mayo in the comfort (and safety) of our own apartment or because they just sounded that good with guac and enchiladas. I vacillate with whether I enjoy salt on mine–I do enjoy the modest amount, but not when the glass is dripping in salt that I feel like I’m sipping a tequila-infused ocean–, so I decided to leave this Lemon Grapefruit Margaritas unadorned. Feel free to add a salt or a sugar + zest rim to your marg or even triple sec. However, the beauty of these as that they’re no fuss and made with simple ingredients.

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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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