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 Originally made by my cousin, Betsy, when I visited Chicago, I’ve lightened up the original and made it my own.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

Crazy about Carrot Cake for Brekkie

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I’m back on an overnight oat fix (and smoothies, but we’ll get leave that for another time). We’ve had some stressful exam weeks approaching finals so meal prepping has been key. I whipped up a couple jars of some different flavors like Carrot “Cake” Overnight Oats. These are so easy to make, you can enjoy them hot or cold and you have all the flavors of carrot cake without the huge indulgence. I also promise you won’t even realize the carrots are there. They finer you grate them, the more they disappear. (It’s like a zucchini bread turned oatmeal if you still need a hard sell.)

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

Really into Indonesian Bowls

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Sorry I’m not — another bowl recipe. I made March my mission for “Measure March” or “Meal Prep March” and bowls are so easy for this. You get the perfect serving size and a mix of protein, grains and/or veggies. I went for an Indonesian Inspired Quinoa Bowls to “switch” things up. I must say the red curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves added such  nice flavors to the meat. Again, I’m all about those quick meals. Originally calling for ground beef, I used rotisserie chicken for less to prep and less to worry about in terms of cooking — plus I prefer chicken over beef. Sorry to my steak lovers. I shredded the rotisserie chicken beforehand, tossed it with the curry, spices and coconut milk and let it all simmer to perfection, while I made the quinoa and chopped everything for the bowls. The purple cabbage and cucumber add color and a nice crunch. This perfectly makes four servings so get ready for leftovers!

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

Simple, Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

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UM, YUM! I stumbled upon Izy Hossack’s recipe for this Sweet Potato Bread and I’m beyond glad I did. Her site, Top with Cinnamon, is exactly what I love with cooking and food blogs: clean, simple and straight to the point. I tweaked her recipe and used whole wheat flour, added more spice and swapped the oil base. My only compliant is the loaf came out dense and did not rise very well, but this could be because I kept it true to Izy’s original, which is vegan. Despite not very much added sugar, the agave and sweet potato add just enough sweetness that’s accentuated by the spices. The nuts give the bread a hearty crunch. I whipped up a Greek yogurt spread to serve and the tanginess was the perfect balance.

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

Another Kale Recipe, but in a Creamy Ricotta Quiche

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I had some leftover ricotta after making Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, and ricotta adds a whole new level of creamy to this quiche. The nutmeg complements the ricotta, parmesan and kale perfectly. You can definitely add a crust to this quiche, especially if you’ll be serving this that day or eating leftovers the day after. When I make this for the week, the crust is too soggy 4 days out and doesn’t keep well. With a crust or without, either way, Kale Ricotta Quiche is yummy in my tummy.

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

Time for CPS: Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

This recipe is an oldie, but a goodie, and it’s too decadently delicious to not share again. Sometimes, we need a gentle reminder to resurrect the been-there-done-that recipes. This time, I substituted Whole Foods’ Unsweetened Almond Milk for half & half and I can honestly say that I hardly noticed the switch. Whole Foods’ version is much heavier, richer and less watered-down than its Silk or Almond Breeze counterparts. That’s just my take, but I’ve found Whole Foods’ almond milk to be a perfect substitute for cream or half & half. But back to the pumpkin sauce. The nutty, barely sweet and standalone flavor provided by the nutmeg is all you need — unless you’re like me and enjoy a kick, and the cayenne pepper does just that. This Creamy Pumpkin Sauce is rich, flavorful and the perfect fall dish.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Perfect Combo: Peaches & Pistachios

White Peach & Pistachio Granola

I haven’t made granola in a while, but having a snow day during my second week of work with nothing to do, this sounded like my best option. Plus, I’d have a delicious snack come the rest of the week. I went to Trader Joe’s for the first time and found dried peaches when I was looking for mangoes. They’re so delicious. I also had pistachios from the move and naturally White Peach & Pistachio Granola evolved. Toss in some nutmeg and viola! The perfect cold weather snack.

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

Apple Pie in a Bowl

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I wanted something that was filling, healthy but still sweet for breakfast. I saw a recipe for this apple pie oatmeal on Instagram. Why not slowly detox from the Holidays? The chia seeds and oatmeal add substance and protein, while the apples add fiber and vitamin C, and we’ll all need some extra vitamin C to combat the cold and flu season upon us. Another tasty way to transform an ordinary bowl of oatmeal to Apple Pie Oatmeal.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Local Finds, Low Sugar, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Awesomely Easy Applesauce

IMG_5107If you were like me and bought apples at local orchards and leave with a gorgeous bag of fresh apples, you’ve probably already tackled apple chips or apple crisp — what’s left? Homemade applesauce. Yummm. Even better, take that applesauce one step further and add ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. The cinnamon and cooking apples make your kitchen smell oh-so-inviting. I can honestly say I’ve never made applesauce from scratch before, and I expected a labor-intensive and arduous afternoon. I encountered quite the opposite. Using a food processor cut down on chopping time, and the apples cooked much faster than I anticipated. In fact, this was quite simple. The flavors from apple pie or crisp are all there. Use this Spiced Applesauce with Golden Raisins as a delicious substitute for a dessert, garnish with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you have a healthier, yet deliciously tasty dessert or eat the applesauce plain and have a simple snack Continue reading “Awesomely Easy Applesauce”