Baked Oatmeal Cups

I love these baked oatmeal cups for a couple reasons; they’re super healthy, they’re easy to make, and they’re versatile-you can mix and match-fill them with whatever you like! These are a simple recipe even your little one can help make! They also last in the freezer up to 3 months, so I like to make a big batch which will last weeks! Perfect for breakfast, lunch boxes, and grab-and-go snacks. For an extra boost of omega 3s- mix in some chia seeds with the oats! I topped this batch with toasted coconut and mango, goji berries-a mildly sweet and savory berry packed with antioxidants and vitamin A, and blueberry, my favorite! Comment below and tell me which kind of oatmeal cups you like the best!!

Prep time: 10 min        Cook time: 20 min         Serves: 12

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 cup coconut or brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup desired fruits
  • *optional* 1/4 cup chia seeds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well
  • Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop 1/4 cup oatmeal mixture into muffin tins. Make sure you get an even amount of milk and oats
  • Bake oatmeal cups for 20 minutes

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RAW VEGAN Strawberry Cheesecake

It’s raw, its vegan, it’s beyond delicious, and it is beautiful!!!! This vegan cheesecake will be sure to have everyone at your next family gathering begging you for the recipe! It’s hard to believe only a handful of vegan ingredients can combine to make this stunning dessert, all while maintaining ZERO refined sugars. It does need to freeze for about 3 hours, so make it before dinner so it can chill and set while you eat. It was so hard to wait, but so worth it! Besides freezing, it takes about 15 minutes to make. It really can’t get any better. This is the perfect recipe to bring to  Mother’s Day brunch tomorrow, especially if you’re looking for a last minute gift idea! When in doubt, go with vegan strawberry cheesecake!!!!

Prep time: 15 min (does not include soaking cashews or freezing)       Serves: 8

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked overnight then drained
  • 2 cups strawberries plus more for decorating
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup dates divided
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • In food processor, combine the pecans, oats, salt and 1/2 cup dates. Blend until the mixture is soft but grainy. Press the mixture into the bottom of a large tart pan
  • Again in the food processor, combine the strawberries, cashews, dates and maple syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add on top of the crust and smooth out. Decorate with strawberry and kiwi
  • Freeze at least 3 hours to set then slice and serve

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VEGAN Veggie ‘Meat’Loaf

Vegetarians, rejoice!!! This is seriously better than any meatloaf out there!! And so much better for you, duh! This bad boy is packed with carrots, celery, onion and lots of healthy grains with flax egg to bind the loaf. It can actually be extra quick put this together if you use instant quinoa which they sell in cute little microwave-safe cups (I know, don’t judge me) but hey, sometimes us moms could use a break, even if it’s just 10 minutes, am I right???!!!! The ketchup and maple syrup glaze is perfect, and it really pulls the whole dish together. The lentils bring this dish the perfect nutty and earthy flavors along with a high nutritional value anyone can benefit from, including your toddler!

On another note, tomorrow is Friday and I am just so freakin’ happy! You know that song by Nelly, ‘it’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m gonna have my some fun!’ Yep, I’m gonna have fun…and by fun I mean sleeping until 7:30 am and not changing out of my pajamas. Once again, no shame 🙂

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 1 hr      Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • olive oil to taste
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire (vegan)
  • 2 cups lentils cooked
  • 3/4 cup brown rice cooked
  • 3/4 cup quick-cook oats
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  • To make the flax egg combine the flax meal with the water in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add in carrots and celery. After 2-3 minutes, add in onions and mushrooms. Cook another 3-4 minutes
  • Add another drizzle of olive oil then add garlic, bell pepper, and tomato paste. Cook 2 more minutes then add salt, pepper, parsley, and thyme and cook until fragrant
  • Add the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2 more minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat
  • In food processor, add the lentils, brown rice, oats, flax eggs, and sautéed vegetables. Pulse 10-12 times until the mixture is slightly chunky
  • Transfer the mixture to a parchment lined loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. To make the glaze, combine ketchup and maple syrup in small bowl. Brush half on top of load, reserving other half for later
  • Bake loaf for 45 minutes, brush with remaining glaze. Slice and serve

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Broccoli and Ricotta Calzones

These delicious, cheesy calzones are perfect for a busy weeknight! They are so easy to make and a great finger food for your little ones!! Plus, who couldn’t use an extra serving of veggies in their life?? I’ve pretty much perfected my calzone making but it’s super fun to play around with different ingredients! You could try your calzone with spinach, broccoli, artichokes, you name it! What veggie doesn’t go great with cheese?! These freeze beautifully as well so feel free to double the recipe and save some for next week!

Prep time: 15 min      Cook time: 15 min     Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • 10 oz frozen chopped broccoli florets
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz mozzarella shredded
  • 1 oz parmasean cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten with 2 tbsp water plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano dried
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Combine thawed broccoli, ricotta, mozzarella, oil, egg yolk, garlic powder, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes in a large bowl
  • Place pizza dough on lightly floured surface and divide into 4 pieces
  • With your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each piece to about 7 inch round on a piece of parchment paper
  • Spread 1/4 of broccoli and ricotta filling over half of dough round, making sure to leave a 1 inch border around the edge
  • Brush the edges with the egg wash and then fold the other half of the dough circle over the spinach mixture leaving the bottom 1/2 inch border uncovered
  • Press edges of dough together and pinch with a fork or fingers to seal
  • With a sharp knife, cut 5 steam vents into each calzone then brush tops with remaining egg wash
  • Transfer calzones onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes then brush with any remaining egg wash and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and bake for another 7 minutes
  • Move to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes then serve

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VEGAN Black Bean Soup

Yes, I eat soup in the summer, all summer long, I have no shame!! People look at me like I’m crazy, and I get it! But, I love soup so much, no amount of hot, humid weather can stop me. I actually used to keep a ‘soup journal’ when I was younger and I would describe and rate the soups I would order at restaurants and places I traveled with my family. I’m quite the soup-conissour, if I do say so myself. Black bean soup has always been one of my favorites. It has such simple, natural ingredients but has so much rich flavor. It really fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer. Plus, the high fiber and protein content is always appealing for us meatless-folk (in my best Southern accent.)

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 45 min      Serves: 6

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 stalks celery chopped fine
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 15-oz cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional garnishes: diced avocado, thinly sliced radish, tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes
  • Stir in the garlic, cumin and pour in black beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook and reduce heat if necessary to maintain a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes
  • Puree 4 cups of the soup in food processor and blend until smooth. Add pureed soup back into pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish as desired and serve hot

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Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding

I need help. I have a serious addiction. I cannot get enough and I have to have it at any cost. It’s chia pudding. I know what you’re thinking…you think you’re addicted to chia pudding too, aren’t you?? Rejoice my fellow chia pudding-addicts, rejoice, ’cause here’s another chia pudding recipe and this one miiight even be better than the first one! On a more serious note, this chia pudding is packed with fiber, over 6 grams!! Say ‘helloooo‘ to digestive-health-heaven! The dietary fiber in chia seeds will help keep you regular and  they have also been found to aid in weight loss by suppressing your appetite!

Prep time: 5 min    Serves: 2-4

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Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chai seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients into food processor and blend well. Refrigerate for at least  3 hours. Top with strawberries or any other desired toppings

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Sweet Potato and Kale Au Gratin

Sweet potato and kale team up to create this healthy and delicious meal everyone is sure to fall in love with! Sweet potato and kale au gratin is the perfect gluten-free and paleo-friendly dish to make for a special occasion or just a regular weeknight. This recipe only has a handful of simple ingredients and is so easy to make it’s a perfect recipe for cooking experts and beginners alike. The leafy, green kale fills this dish with powerful antioxidants, fiber and vitamins such as vitamin K and vitamin A while the sweet potato packs a punch of manganese, copper, and iron! Talk about a dynamic-duo!!

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 35 min      Serves: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose (gluten-free) flour
  • 3/4 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally for about 4 minutes until sweet potatoes are lightly browned. Add chopped kale and stir occasionally until kale is slightly wilted. Add 1/2 cup water and cook, continue stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the kale has wilted and the water has cooked off. Stir in lemon juice then remove from heat
  • In separate medium skillet heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute before adding the flour. Whisk frequently until well combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and 1/2 cup water. Continue whisking 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Transfer the cooked sweet potatoes and kale to the skillet of béchamel sauce and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to baking dish and bake in oven for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving

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