Dairy-Free, Entrée, Low Sugar, Meal Prep

Falling for Farro Bowls

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I really like farro. It’s a chewy grain that’s a nice break from my usual brown rice or gluten-free quinoa options. Farro is high in protein, fiber and vitamins, while low in natural sugar and fat. Plus, it counts as a whole grain. Chipotle has been pretty hit or miss here in Boston (emphasis on miss), and I’ve been craving the flavors of their cilantro lime rice. After making a run to the new Trader Joe’s, I picked up some farro, cilantro and limes and tossed it together for the grain base. I couldn’t decide if I wanted my usual, go-to sriracha topping, so I made one way with it and another with fresh strawberries for an end-of-summer touch. Either way, this Cilantro Lime Farro Bowls with Grilled Chicken are a fun summer take on Buddha bowls.

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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, Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian

The Perfect Breakfast: Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait

Zesty Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Parfait

It’s rhubarb season, strawberry season AND hot summer days season. Normally I have the luxury of enjoying fresh rhubarb back home in Maine — straight out of the garden. Thank God Whole Foods in Boston delivered; you can buy individual stalks when in season. My mom and I originally found this strawberry-rhubarb compote recipe from Skinny Taste a couple summers ago. The tartness of the rhubarb is perfectly balanced with sweet and juicy strawberries to make a sauce. This time, I added in lemon zest and a juicy ripe peach. Layer over your favorite yogurt and granola for a Zesty Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Parfait — the perfect on-the-go breakfast! (Or hey — even dessert.)

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

A Tropical Paradise Smoothie

Mango Banana

I just came back from a long weekend on Sanibel Island in Florida. Known for its abundance of shells, Sanibel was a much needed breath of warm weather after the snowiest (and one of the coldest) winters in Boston. I met my parents and family friends there, and my mom had bought honey mangos for the stay. They’re deliciously sweet and rich in vitamin C. The mangos was just begging to be transformed in a smoothie. Given most days were muggy and in the high 80’s, low 90’s, it was only fitting to make a Mango Banana “Green” Smoothie. Bananas, strawberries, spinach and a dose of Aloha‘s 14 superfoods, this smoothies was better than expected. One sip and hopefully you’ll channel some beach vibes like the pictures below of Sanibel and be transported to your own tropical paradise.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Leap into Spring with this Tropical Coconut Cocktail

Coconut Rum with Basil & Strawberries

Who says you can’t celebrate spring? But then again, it’s snowing in Boston today. Ironically enough, my roommate writes for Insane for Drinks, and she posted about Captain Morgan‘s new flavored rums: coconut, pineapple and grapefruit. By flavored, I mean they smell like fresh juice (and taste like it!); they’re beyond delicious. With two mojitos ideas to come, try Coconut Rum with Basil & Strawberries in the meantime.  I used coconut water for a healthier mixer and the use of fresh fruit and herbs makes it oh-so-refreshing. Your tastebuds will thank you.

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

Craving Quinoa for Breakfast

Vanilla Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

I saw this recipe on Skinny Taste at the end of last fall and I was a bit skeptical. Quinoa, at least red quinoa, has that bitter taste to it. I wasn’t sure how it would perform as a breakfast dish. I think we can all agree I’ve explored the oatmeal and steel-cut oats options quite thoroughly, so I thought why not give it a try? Plus, it’s a different gluten-free breakfast option. Cutting the quinoa directly in almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and agave could the quinoa a different twist from its bitter profile. Add fresh fruit and bam! The Vanilla Quinoa Breakfast Bowls were born.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Berry Best Toast

Strawberry Almond Toast

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! A breakfast, a snack or dessert, this Strawberry Almond Toast is obviously simple, but a sweet addition. Also, the red just seemed like an appropriate theme and start to my day. I’ve always found peanut butter to be overpowering, so I wanted to give almond butter a try. I know, I know — who doesn’t like peanut butter? I’ve never been peanut butter’s biggest fan. Almond butter though is an entirely different story. Smooth, creamy, mildly flavored. Slathered across a warm and hearty piece of multigrain toast, topped with fresh strawberries and this toast is the perfect breakfast or snack on a seeing red kind of day.

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

Add a Chill to Your Morning

Mint Chocolate Oatmeal

This Mint Chocolate Oatmeal was refreshingly different and a cool take. It’s most likely something I won’t eat daily for breakfast, but I think this would be a fun Saturday morning breakfast during the holidays. The beauty of using steel cut oats is that you don’t need to blend the oats for a smoother consistency and they give a heartier feel to the oatmeal. I added applesauce to help cut the cacao powder and mint and to give the oatmeal some more “fruit.” The strawberries complemented the chocolate and mint flavors perfectly. I made the Mint Chocolate Oatmeal in honor of the blizzard Juno: something hearty and definitely cozy, but could still give you a chill.

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

Revitalizing Pear Refreshment

IMG_4999Sometimes during the cold weather transitions, we need something to remind us of warmer days. I made this Strawberry, Pear & Cucumber Smoothie after a run today and it was absolutely refreshingly delicious. I had too many ripe pears sitting on my counter, begging to be used. They possess such a juicy sweetness that their addition to a smoothie like the only logical next step. And what a perfect smoothie they made! Throw in frozen strawberries, a cucumber and some ice and oh, it’s like I’m back in summer days, and not this dreary, rainy weather.

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

The Versatile Berries


Poached Berries

Poached Berries are great — so easy to make, full of flavor, and can be made ahead of time. Another recipe my mom showed me (thanks, Mom!). The berries are especially tasty because by poaching them, you remove the hassle of washing each serving and decrease the time fresh berries will perish; instead, everything’s done in one step and viola! fresh berry sauce for days. Based on my new obsession with chia seeds and breakfast bowls, poached berries paired with overnight oats and chia seeds seemed like a natural combination. Poached berries are perfect to top oatmeal for breakfast or Greek yogurt for a snack or dessert. Try this berry sauce for yourself and discover the enormous flavor behind poached berries!

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