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

A Figtastic Breakfast

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Whole Foods has had a figs sale for the last few weeks and it’s been fantastic. (Perhaps “figtastic” is a better choice?) In honor of meal prep Monday, here’s Figs & Pecans  Overnight Oats. Overnight oats are some of my meal prep favorites, especially in the summer because it’s just as good cold. It’s also quite easy to throw together and uses summer’s fruit produce: figs, strawberries and rhubarb to natural sweeten your no hassle breakfast.

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

“Snickerdoodles” for Breakfast

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It’s meal prep time! I liked the Piña Colada Protein Muffins so much that I decided to try a cinnamon version. (Obviously, we knew this was next because I love cinnamon and add it to a lot of things.) I made Snickerdoodle Pecan Protein Muffins to enjoy as a snack or as a breakfast on the go. Again, I added protein powder* to give these muffins a bit more oomph to get you through your day. The original recipe called for adding dates along with a banana, but I don’t like super sweet things and swapped dates for a little agave instead. The pecans add a nice crunch to the muffins –AND– they keep well in fridge for the week!

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

Granola, Granola, Granolaaaa

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When I lived in Ithaca, I discovered how easy it was to make granola and it quickly became a staple to snack on and top yogurt, oatmeal and smoothie bowls. Fast forward to living in Boston and I realized I haven’t made granola in a while. I’ve been saving this recipe for Vanilla Cardamom Granola since right around Christmas, but I finally bought some ground cardamom yesterday. (Fun fact: apparently cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice.) It has a very spicy, herbal and almost citrusy profile and reminded me of the flavor in lemon poppyseed muffins. The coconut flakes became browned in the oven, while the pecans are delightfully toasted. I topped my vanilla yogurt this morning with 1/4 c granola as an am snack. It’s light and hearty and oh, so satisfying.

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

Keen on Quinoa for Brekkie

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This really does taste like cinnamon “toast” crunch! I had just under 1 cup of leftover cooked white/red quinoa from making Buddha bowls, so I thought I’d give this a try. I saw this idea on Cookie + Kate‘s Instagram before going to bed last night; it seemed like the perfect way to get through our 3 hrs of med surg morning lecture and still make it to an afternoon spin (since I haven’t gone in since end of August 🙈).  Fun fact: I like using nuts from Trader Joe’s; they’re much cheaper and more bang for your buck. What a power breakfast this was! The cinnamon and pecans were quite fragrant and added such a great flavor. I know what I’m making next time I have leftover quinoa — Toasted Cinnamon Pecan Quinoa for breakfast. Side note, I might have to try this in a slow cooker… 

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Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Mmmm, Yummy Yogurt Bark

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I don’t even know where to begin. This yogurt bark was great and easy and fun to make. I see many variations cropping up in the near future, like peanut butter banana or strawberry mint or… Like I said, it’s so easy, I’m going to have to gobble up this batch so I can make another. I’ve been looking for something other than dark chocolate to satisfy my sweet teeth and stumbled upon the idea for yogurt bark. Tossed in everything but the kitchen sink, not so patiently waited for this to chill and voila! Vanilla Yogurt Bark. You’ll forget it’s not chocolate, but a delicious frozen treat.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée

Mmmmm, I Love Fall Dinners

Kale Apple Sausage Fall "Pasta"

I’m not sure what I just created for dinner tonight, but it was delicious. I’m not even sure how to aptly describe all of the flavors involved in this masterpiece; I already know I will not come close to doing this justice. I’m leaving for a gerontological conference tomorrow. Needless to say, my fridge required a creative way to utilize all the produce I still had and not let it go to waste. My aunt and uncle grew the gorgeous kale I used to make the Spicy “Green” Miso Soup. The kale was extremely tender and sautéed so well.  The pumpkin ravioli and apple chicken sausage are findings from Whole Foods. Summon some chopped pecans, spinach and spaghetti squash to have the ultimate fall dish: Kale Apple Sausage Fall “Pasta.” Plus, this is a one pot kind of dish so you’re welcome in advanced for easy clean up. More time to savor the meal!
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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Autumn Granola

Pumpkin Spice Granola

I’ve been dying to make some granola lately. ‘Tis this season and the aromas perforated my kitchen and spelled oh-so-heavenly. More specifically, I’ve been dying to make some Pumpkin Spice Granola. I have big plans for tho granola. I may or may not be resurrecting my yogurt breakfast parfaits to showcase some autumn twists. I’m thinking sweetly spiced pumpkin, some vanilla Greek yogurt and this pumpkin spice granola would go nicely together . . .

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Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Snack, Vegetarian

Get Spicy & Sweet with Spiced Nuts

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Ohh, these are tasty. So tasty, in fact, that I couldn’t stop myself from grabbing one while they cooled. And one more, and maybe just another… The kitchen smells heavenly while these Spiced Almonds, Pecans & Cashews bake. Another winning recipe from the brilliant culinary mind of Giada De Laurentiis in her cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Food, the unusual mixture of spices creates a sweet, yet savory combo that anyone is sure to enjoy.

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

“Forget-That-Oven” Pumpkin Cookies

IMG_4910 If you search “no-bake pumpkin cookies,” most recipes use a pumpkin pie pudding mix and no real pumpkin. Uh, what? No, I would not like pudding in what are supposed to be pumpkin cookies — I think I’ll pass. What happened to going back to the basics? After turning to one of my favorite healthy dessert blogs, I discovered another winning recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie; she used real pumpkin in a tasty, but obviously simple way. I originally made these No Bake Pumpkin Cookies substituting coconut sugar and coconut oil for sugar and vegetable oil (because why not try new things?), but I felt the coconut oil and sugar together overwhelmed the flavor, and the tropical notes did not mix with pumpkin pie spice. Thus, I recommend the recipe below, swapping the vegetable for coconut oil since it’s less refined. I especially recommend using the added chocolate and pecans — a delicious way to have real pumpkin and still have cookies! Continue reading ““Forget-That-Oven” Pumpkin Cookies”