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

Cha-cha-cha Chia Blueberry Muffins

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I’ve been taking a little hiatus from posting — midterms, the 4th, a summer cold . . . Here’s a recipe for Blueberry Chia Protein Muffins that I made to get me through midterms two weeks ago. I swear I had a childhood blueberry muffin recipe that used orange juice and orange zest. Obviously I had to incorporate that orange flavor into my TIU muffin adaption. It’s subtle and complements the blueberries perfectly.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving a Cranberry Quinoa Salad

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This Cranberry Quinoa Salad is vibrant, fresh and intensely colorful. Something about citrus and cranberries screams the holidays. This salad is a fresh take on the classic dish of cranberries and oranges. The sweet pomegranate seeds and orange wedges balance the tart cranberries. The quinoa adds sustenance, while the fresh mint adds flavor. Pair with a roasted chicken (we had orange-citrus and rosemary marinade with this salad and fresh butternut squash), add in nuts for more of a meal, or enjoy with a cup of soup. This salad is a perfect addition to your holiday entertaining — even the colors beckon you to add this to your entertaining arsenal, lunch rotation or just as a fun, colorful and delicious side to any meal.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian

Crazy for Scones

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I love scones. I may or may not be still in a cranberry pistachio phase, which inspired this Orange Scones with Cranberries & Pistachios recipe. (if you’re not convinced, see my Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pistachios & Cranberries). I usually bring scones as a hostess gift, as a “thank you” or just because. I made this today as a special thanks for someone, who has helped me do some medical soul searching over the years. For those of you wondering, scones are a traditional English baked good that are both lightly sweetened and served with tea. Making scones from scratch are not as difficult as one may believe. There’s three basic butter rules that must be followed to ensure you’ll have perfectly delicious scones:

  1. The butter must be chilled.
  2. The butter must be “cut in” the dry ingredients with a pastry blender (easiest — like one here), a fork or even two knives (I think this is the hardest way). A pastry blender gives you the most leverage, it’s efficient, and prevent the butter form melting.
  3. The butter must resemble pea-sized pieces once cut in.

“Cutting in” the butter ensures the fat will be evenly distributed amongst the dry ingredients. It almost creates pockets of butter throughout the dough. I lightened up the traditional recipes and replaced heavy cream with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cut the flour 50/50 with whole-wheat, and substituted egg whites for eggs. The orange zest adds in such an unique freshness, the fresh cranberries a tartness, and the pistachios a salty, yet nutty perfection. As breakfast or brunch, as a holiday treat or with a cup of coffee or tea, these Orange Scones with Cranberries & Pistachios are sure to please.

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