Cherry Garcia Morning Oats

 

It’s funny that the most popular recipe on my blog happens to be a blend between a classic Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream flavor and a bowl of morning oats. Growing up overweight, I don’t remember ever eating regular ice cream as a kid. In fact, I never even tried Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice Cream until I was in my early twenties! What I do remember is feeling like an outcast for always asking the ice cream parlor for frozen yogurt when all of my friends were eating mountains of cookie dough and mint chocolate chip ice cream. It wasn’t until I tried Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt that I even knew frozen yogurt could taste as good as ice cream.

Thanks to my friends at Ben and Jerry’s for inventing one of my favorite flavors ever, I decided to play off my Chunky Monkey Morning Oats and develop a recipe for Cherry Garcia Oats. This recipe is incredibly easy and sweetened by organic frozen cherries found at Whole Foods. I love how subtly sweet these oats are, especially when combined with the melted chocolate chips. If you do like your oatmeal on the sweeter side, try adding more frozen cherries on top or drizzling honey or agave over the oats.

 
 

Cherry Garcia Morning Oats

Serves 1
Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup of frozen cherries
1 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of chocolate chips
Optional: Honey

Directions
1. Place the old fashioned oats, frozen cherries, water and chia seeds into a small pot and bring to a boil. Once the oats begin to boil, lower to simmer and stir often until the oatmeal thickens.

2. Once the oatmeal has thickened, remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Top with chocolate chips. Feel free to add additional cherries and/or drizzle honey if the oats aren’t sweet enough for your taste.

Nutritional Information (per serving)
295 calories, 11g fat, 50g carbs, 11g fiber, 25g sugar, 8g protein

 

Ten Minute Thai Bowls

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There’s nothing that I love more than an easy dinner recipe that can be whipped up in all of ten minutes, especially when it involves ingredients beyond lettuce. After reading several books about plant-based diets in college, I decided to make it my mission to eat one salad a day. And not just any kind of salad, a big ass salad. As a generation conditioned to eat packaged foods, I set out to pump my body with as many plants a day as possible. While, I'm not vegan or vegetarian, I aim to choose plant-based products as much as possible, leaving animal products like wild caught fish and organic meat and eggs as a protein source to enjoy a few days a week. 

As I develop my skills in the kitchen, nothing pleases me more than creating plant-packed recipes that are satiating, allergy-friendly and customizable to diets of all kinds. Enter these Ten Minute Thai Bowls, complete with gluten-free brown rice noodles, fresh bell pepper, scallions, shredded carrots and snap peas, all covered in spicy peanut sauce! 

To help with portion control I used individual 200 calorie packaged rice noodles made by Thai Kitchen. You can find these noodles at most grocery stores (or something like them) in the international aisle or online! 

 
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Ten Minute Thai Bowls

Serves One
Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients
One package of Thai noodles
Snap peas, chopped
Shredded carrots
Bell pepper, sliced
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons filtered water
Cayenne peper

Directions
1. Cook the noodles according to the package. Do not overcook as noodles become extremely sticky and hard to work with.

2. Line the bottom of a large frying pan with water and bring to a boil. Water sauté the vegetables on medium heat until the veggies are tender. Discard any excess water.

3. Prepare the peanut sauce by placing the garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, water and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly until a light sauce forms. 

4. Place the steamed veggies back in the frying pan, add the cooked noodles and peanut sauce and mix to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat until the flavors have blended then remove from heat.

5. Serve over a bed of lettuce or in a bowl. Feel free to add protein to this dish such as tofu, chicken or shrimp. 

[a tip of two for you]

* This dish makes a great lunch to pack for work. I recommend cooking the dish the night before and putting it in tupperware. You can add lettuce or protein the day-of to give your lunch a little extra umph. 

** If you are allergic to peanuts you can try using a peanut-free option like SunButter. 
 
Nutrition Facts (per one serving)
389 calories, 16g fat, 52g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g protein

 

Lemon Ricotta Breakfast Toast

 

If there’s one thing that I am, it’s a creature of habit… especially when it comes to eating. Whether I plan to or not, I always seem to fall into a trap where I gravitate towards eating the same foods everyday. While not a terrible thing, considering most of it’s pretty healthy, it definitely takes the fun out of eating and deprives my body of getting different nutrients from a wide range of foods. Like working out, it’s important to change up your eating schedule, take a break from some foods and add new ones in. So what did I trade my daily almond butter toast with banana for this week? Lemon Ricotta Toast.

Let me just preface this by saying that this might be my new breakfast staple, because it’s seriously THAT GOOD! Brownie points for using freshly sliced bakery bread (with no added junk!) and organic ricotta.

 What I love most about this breakfast toast is the perfect synergy of flavors we’ve got going on. Crunchy bread, covered with creamy ricotta, drizzled with sweet honey and sprinkled with zesty lemon and sliced almonds. I mean, what more could you want from life? Plus, it’s satiating, it’s healthy, it’s easy to make and it’s downright delectable.

 
 

Lemon Ricotta Breakfast Toast

Serves One
Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:
1 slice of toast of choice
1 tablespoon organic ricotta cheese
1 organic lemon, washed thoroughly
Sliced Almonds
Honey

Directions:
Spread one tablespoon of ricotta on your toast of choice. Zest a lemon with a zester or alternatively use a vegetable peeler. Sprinkle the lemon zest and sliced almonds over the ricotta. Drizzle the toast with honey and squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the toast. 

[a tip or two for you]

* I recommend checking the bread that you buy to make sure that the ingredients are 100% clean. A good way to ensure this is to buy bread from a local or grocery store bakery. 

** When possible use organic ingredients, especially for the lemon in this recipe. Since you are using zest, it's important that you wash the lemon thoroughly before zesting to get all the germs off! 

*** Make this recipe allergy friendly! To make dairy-free sub your favorite non-dairy yogurt for ricotta. To make gluten-free use gluten-free bread. For nut-free omit sliced almonds. 

Nutritional information for this recipe is dependent on your bread type and measurements. 

 

5 Ingredient Vegan Chili

 

With DC weather on the verge of plummeting by more than 40 degrees tonight, I decided that the first snow of the season should be accompanied by chili. Because honestly, chili is always a good idea. As a professional by day and a student by night, time is really of the essence, especially when it comes to preparing meals. One of my favorite things to whip up are big-batch items like chili that can live in my fridge or freezer, made accessible whenever hunger strikes.

Unlike some chili, this 5 ingredient chili is incredibly nutrient dense. It’s packed with de-bloating, belly-filling fiber along with plant-based protein and carbohydrates from the beans, corn and quinoa. Oh, also did I mention that it makes 8 servings? Pretty bomb, huh?

Happy cooking!

 
 

5 Ingredient Vegan Chili

Time: 15 minutes
Makes 8 one-cup servings

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, dry
1 24 oz. jar salsa of choice, I used fire-roasted tomato salsa
1 15 oz. can corn, drained
1 15. oz can black beans, drained
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained 

Directions
1.) Cook the quinoa in a large pot with water, following the directions on the package.
2.) Once the quinoa has cooked add the salsa, drained corn, drained, black beans and drained kidney beans. 
3.) Bring the chili to a boil and then allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot.

[a tip or two for you]

* Feel free to add additional spices to this recipe such as chili powder, dried oregano, etc. 
**Garnish with avocado, shredded cheese, scallions, cilantro, etc.

Nutritional Information (per 1 serving)
231 calories, 2g fat, 49g carbs, 9g fiber, 2g sugar, 12g protein 

 

3 Ingredient Buffalo Hummus

 

The first week of February is here and that means it’s time for Super Bowl Sunday! For anyone who is watching the game or getting together with friends I thought I’d develop a simple healthy recipe that could be thrown together in minutes.

This 3 Ingredient Buffalo Hummus is a little different than your average hummus. While the consistency is similar, it’s made with cannellni beans instead of chickpeas to give off a more neutral flavor. That’s where the buffalo sauce comes in. Packed with flavor, 1/4 of a cup of your favorite buffalo sauce will do it for this recipe. The third and final ingredient is olive oil which will be added to make the dip even creamier.

While you can find buffalo wing sauce at almost every grocery, not all sauces are created alike. Be sure to the check the ingredients and look for a brand that doesn’t use additives and/or questionable ingredients. 

Pair this buffalo hummus with your favorite veggies and chips for a healthy snack option on Super Bowl Sunday. For added decadence, use a fork to drizzle blue cheese or ranch dressing across the top of the hummus and garnish with scallions or chives.

 
 

3 Ingredient Buffalo Hummus

Time: 5 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
One 15 oz. can cannellini beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce

Directions
1.) Drain the can of cannellini beans in a strainer and rinse with water.

2.) Place the beans in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 cup buffalo sauce. Blend the mixture until creamy.

3.) Embellish with drizzled blue cheese or ranch dressing and garnish with scallions or chives

[a tip or two for you]

* use a fork to drizzle blue cheese or ranch dressing over the hummus
** look for buffalo wing sauce that is on the cleaner side with ingredients you can pronounce

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
57 calories, 3g fat, 9g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 3g protein

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

 

If there's one thing that I've learned this week, it's that I could eat endless chocolate chip banana muffins. Inspired by the need for accessible on-the-go snacking, I developed these satiating flour-less muffins to keep in my fridge or freezer whenever hunger strikes.

One of my biggest goals of 2017 was to transition away from refined sugar and focus on eating more natural sources of sugar like coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has a brown sugar taste and pairs perfectly with the cinnamon and banana in this recipe. 

In addition, you'll notice that the flour has been replaced by oat flour which can be made in a blender or mini chopper in seconds. Oats have a much higher nutritional value including plant-based fiber, protein and carbohydrates that processed flour lacks. 

Happy munching! 

 
 

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips

** Make these muffins gluten-free by using gluten-free oats

Directions
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2.) Remove the peel from the bananas and place into a bowl. Mash well with a fork until the banana has an apple sauce-like consistency. Once mashed, add the coconut oil and vanilla extract and mix well.

3.) Add the coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking soda to the wet mix and stir to combine.

4.) Place the old fashioned oats in a food processor or blender and mix on high speed to create oat flour. Once the oats have a flour-like consistency, add them to the batter and mix well. 

5.) Take a sandwich baggie dipped in coconut oil and use it to grease the muffin pan. Once the pan is greased, divide the batter evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of each muffin and place in oven. 

6.) Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Store in a refrigerator or freezer for long lasting muffins. 

[a tip of two for you]

* Feel free to sub honey or any other sweetener for coconut sugar
** If you have a major sweet tooth you can up the amount of sugar or add more chocolate chips
*** To make this into banana bread, cook in a greased loaf pan for 60 minutes on 350 degrees F. 


Nutritional Information (per muffin)
143 calories, 5g fat, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 11g sugar, 2g protein