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 Originally made by my cousin, Betsy, when I visited Chicago, I’ve lightened up the original and made it my own.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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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Slow Cooker, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Slowly Cooking This Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

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I LOVE this slow cooker method for making soup. I usually make this in a large soup pot, sauté the veggies in a little oil right there, add broth and let it simmer. By using a slow cooker, you skip the sautéing part and reduce the oil. I made a soup similar to this last fall, tossing whatever I had — apples, sweet potato, regular potatoes, carrots — into a big soup pot along with butternut squash; this time, I did the same thing in a slow cooker (way more fun). Enjoy as the main course or as a side, the result is a sweet, yet savory Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup that’s hands off minus the minimal prep of the produce in the beginning and puréeing at the end.

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

Craving Some Curry Pumpkin Soup

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Happy meatless Monday! Here’s a fun “pumpkin” recipe that you’d never know there’s pumpkin in it: Curry Pumpkin Soup with Swiss Chard. Pumpkin purée is a great way to naturally thicken a soup, make it heartier and add a bit more nutrients to it. I’m a curry fan Red Swiss chard was on sale at Whole Foods and it just looked too pretty not to add. I only had less than a cup of arborio rice, which is normally used for risotto (from vegetable risotto), and I tossed it in; it makes the soup much thicker than traditional rice. Overall, this is quite filling and bursting with flavor. It’s one of those fun dump, stir and simmer recipes that’s easy to meal prep and enjoy during the week.

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

Poppin’ These Protein-Packed Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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This is my second batch of Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins and they keep getting better. I’ve grabbed two before my first Soul Survivor spin class (it was 60 min) and thank God I did. For being kind of bite-size, they fill you up as a snack or a meal. This morning I had two fresh out of the oven along with some Siggi’s vanilla skyr yogurt. I like the crunch of the pecans and the chewiness from the raisins. The mashed banana and pumpkin make these muffins pretty dense, but in a good way. Pro tip — aka how I enjoy them — serve warm with a cup of cinnamon coffee. Happy weekend!

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

Cozying Up with Rosemary Red Lentils

IMG_8543Happy meal prep, Sunday! Besides the balmy weather lately (and it coming up again this weekend), it’s been a bit chilly some night to start off fall and October. I made this one pot dish of Rosemary Sweet Potato Red Lentils and it’s beyond easy to make — it’s another one of those dump and stir kind of recipes. It’s cozy and surprisingly sweet with the sweet potatoes and raisins, but in a good, savory, dish-me-up-more kind of way. Rosemary is perfect for the fall and colder months and using fresh herbs will make your kitchen smell heavenly.

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

Killin’ It with These Korean Rice Bowls

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Happy meal prep with these popping flavors! The spiciness from the meat, the sesame from the spinach, the acidity of the kimchi . . . Although seemingly complicated, I really enjoyed the simplicity of this Korean Bibimbap Bowl. Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish served with seasonal fresh or sautéed vegetables, a red chili paste and an egg. Here’s a healthy (but definitely not authentic) twist using ground turkey, jasmine brown rice and fresh veggies. This is not your traditional bibimbap, since I swapped ground turkey for ground beef. I added a poached egg because I was lazy about cleaning another pan by frying an egg, and I’m trying to perfect my patching technique in the microwave. I found jarred kimchi at Trader Joe’s for quite cheap. Plus, you have it on hand and you’re not fussing about pickling napa cabbage and making something extra.

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

The Best (Healthy) Buffalo Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

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One word: yum. I totally meant to make buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes because my nursing friend, Jen, would bring those to lunch all the time during clinical, but I went for the sweet potato mash last minute. I even brought leftovers to my parents and I didn’t think my mom was a big buffalo fan and even she approved. As much as I like blue cheese with these and my homemade (and lightened up!) blue cheese dressing, I feel like whenever I buy blue cheese, it just sits in my fridge. I’ve really been trying to buy groceries with the intent to use everything, so I just stuck with plain Greek yogurt to cut the spiciness of the hot sauce and add a little creaminess to the bowl. I also think these bowl are pretty well balance between healthy fats, protein and carbs. I didn’t always have these with avocado slices, but they just add an extra element of creaminess. For a game day, potluck or just meal prep, these Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Bowls are oh-so-good. (Or just make the slow cooker buff chick ahead of time or for salads, nachos, quesadillas, baked potatoes . . .)

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Simply Savory Smoked Sweet Potato Shakshuka

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Mmmm, Smoked Sweet Potato Shakshuka. Same shakshuka as before as a base, but updated with some delicious sweet potato and smoked paprika for a more savory version. I love shakshuka because it’s so easier to throw together fast and it’s usually with budget-friendly, simple ingredients. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use two cans of diced tomatoes instead, which you probably have in your pantry. For a heartier meal, add another egg and/or some bread for dipping. I’m thinking a curried chickpea version may be in the distant future . . .

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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, Snack, Vegetarian

Late Summer Peach Muffins with a Pseudo-Streusel

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Happy meal prep! Class is about to start up again after a two week hiatus. Having 9 am to 9 pm class on Mondays is going to be a wee bit rough, so obviously I need some new muffins in my life. I concocted a batch of Almond Peach Protein Muffins since I love fresh, ripe, juicy peaches with almond extract in the summer. Topped with a little brown sugar and chopped almonds, the muffins aren’t overly sweet and hit the spot with just a hint of summer as we move to the fall.

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