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

Outrageously Tasty Oat Muffins

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I haven’t posted in while partly because I’ve been adjusting to working full-time as a nurse practitioner and partly because sometimes you need a break to find joy again. These Oat Muffins  are worth coming out of a recipe hiatus. They’re a spin on your classic bran muffins, but easier to make since I, for one, am more likely to have oats on hand instead of bran. Mix in walnuts, cranberries, and coconut for a heartier option. Using unsweetened applesauce and vanilla skyr yogurt, you can’t even tell these muffins are oil-free. Enjoy as breakfast or as a snack. (Ted even added chocolate chips and almond butter.) They’re so tasty that before you know it, you’re left with two muffins to use for photos–oops!

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

Lemony Oatmeal Bake with Maine Blueberries

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A breakfast just in time for the end of summer. These are the blueberries from my parent’s house in Maine. We have blueberry bushes in the backyard and I always associate picking them with mid to late August, nearing the end of summer. These blueberries tend to be a bit tart, so baking them seemed ideal. Last summer and this summer, I liked to meal prep my breakfast to give me more time to sleep and less time assembling and cooking in the mornings before work. Oatmeal bake has been a staple, topped with Greek yogurt and drizzled with maple syrup. I love using my Maine blueberries and the bright addition of citrus for Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Bake.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican

Enjoying These Easy Enchiladas

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Now that I’ve made homemade enchiladas, the filling and flavor combinations are endless. These Turkey, Spinach, & Black Bean Enchiladas are hearty, bursting with flavor, and easy to make. I’d consider these enchiladas to be a “lightened up” version since they’re full of lean animal and plant-based protein, use corn tortillas, and you make your own enchilada sauce from scratch in under 5 minutes. Full disclosure: Ted bought a large bunch of cilantro and we’re were purposefully trying to use it up. This recipe is very cilantro heavy since 1). it adds a burst of flavor quite effortlessly; and 2). waste not. If you’re not a cilantro fan, don’t worry! Just omit cilantro, but it do add a flavor like no other.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Comfort Food: Meatballs & Potatoes Edition (Instant Pot)

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I love this recipe for Italian Meatball Stew over Smashed Potatoes. I haven’t had it in a few years, but this is one that my mom made regularly in the slow cooker. I decided to switch things up and use meatballs instead of chicken Italian sausage after spotting meatballs when doing a last-ditch quarantine preparedness run at Wegman’s. (Let me just interject that their prepared beef meatballs are mini and cute and delicious.) I made the potatoes extra creamy using mascarpone instead of EVOO. Using an Instant Pot allows for a much faster simmer compared to a stovetop or a slow cooker. This is quite aromatic and your kitchen will smell amazing during while cooking this stew, only adding to its maximum comfort level during this crazy self-quarantining and social distancing time. If you’re feeling industrious, trying making bread to pair!

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Entrée, Italian, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

Meatless Veggie Bowls with Copycat Sweetgreen Dressing

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I’ve been looking for a good “bowl” lately. Maybe it’s generational that we’re the people who meal prep and pack lunches apart from sandwiches. I’m always looking for something that I can make, package and be done, or quickly assemble the night before or morning of. These Eggplant “Meatball” Bowls with Spicy Cashew Dressing do just that. As I’m always striving to copy Sweetgreen’s dressing–if you’ve had them, you totally know what I mean–and this bowl-salad fusion does just that. Roasted veggies, quinoa, and vegetarian meatballs combine for this hearty dish.

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Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

Meatless Eggplant “Meatballs”

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The idea for meatless meatballs has been in my head for some time. I keep circling back to ideas for eggplant or lentils, and settled on trying Eggplant “Meatballs” complete with cannellini beans. Just like you’d make regular meatballs, they have panko and Parmesan as breading and an egg to bind. By baking them, they stay moist in the center with a crispy outside. While I didn’t try them with sauce yet, I think the crispiness will hold its own. All I can do is envision these with some basil marinara sauce or simmering in a vegetable bolognese or turkey bolognese.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep

Umami-Packed Chicken & Lentils

Do you ever finish a meal and then think, “Wait, is there more?” That’s how this meal was because it’s that good, and another meal prep option. Black garlic is at the heart of this bringing an umami flavor into play. Simply roast the vegetables and chicken, while quinoa and lentils cook. Assembly is easy, making Garlic Chicken with Veggies, Quinoa, and Lentils a fantastic dinner or a nice lunch on the go.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hearty Roasted Veggie Bowls for Winter

I love a good “bowl.” I think it’s easy to prep and to grab on-the-go. I like using produce that’s in season and rainbow carrots and sweet potatoes definitely fall into this category. Root veggies absorb the minerals from the soil around them. Given their colorful nature, they’re packed with fiber, vitamins like vitamin A, and antioxidants. If you can do three things at once, these Roasted Root Veggie Bowls with Cilantro Pesto are definitely worth it. Roast the veggies while the lentils and quinoa cook. At the end, you have a flavorful bowl served warmed to combat winter’s chill and topped with a fun, different pesto.

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

Bread Soup!

Ribollita is a Tuscan vegetable and bean soup using leftover bread to make a hearty stew-like meal. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat bread? When you’re always dipping bread into your soup, why not just pop it right in? Since moving to Boston’s North End (also known as the city’s “Little Italy”), Ted and I have been on a mission to find the best pizza and the best loaf of bread. We’ve started to frequent Bricco, an Italian bakery selling artisan breads. After picking up a whole wheat loaf, it only seemed fitting to make Tuscan Bread and Bean Soup. The bread breaks apart to delightfuly thicken this soup. Flavored with parmesan and full of veggies, this will be a new cold weather staple.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Autumn Oatmeal Bake with Pumpkin & Figs

It’s fig season! Bet you thought I was going to say pumpkin? That, too. I made a berry coconut oatmeal that became a summer staple, and with fresh figs in season and pumpkin filling the grocery store shelves, this only seemed like the natural progression. Although fall is officially here, we’re having a heat wave in Boston. Thus, it only seems fitting to enjoy this morning’s Pumpkin Fig Oatmeal Bake cold with some Greek yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a little almond butter.

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