Cashew Tahini Raw Nut Balls

A Healthy Whole30 Snack

When it comes to snacking on Whole30, there are mixed opinions. Some believe the whole purpose of Whole30 is to break some of the unnecessary eating habits you have. However, if I’m hungry, I’m going to eat. This does not mean I’m snacking throughout the day, but by no means am I going to starve myself for a food plan (refuse to call it a diet) that I’ve decided to follow. That said, it is extremely difficult to find compliant Whole30 snacks other than fruits and vegetables. So as part of my Sunday meal prep, you better believe I’m also making some grab and go foods for the moments in between meals.

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Banana, Chocolate, and Almond Butter Overnight Oats featuring Aloha

Gluten and Dairy Free Overnight Oats

There are two types of people: you are either one who eats breakfast or does not. Me? I have never in my entire life fallen into that latter category. Not only have I never gone a day without breakfast (truly), but I am also mind blown that there are people in this world who voluntarily skip this meal. What gives!? Maybe I am biased because I would be ready to eat my arm if I went sans food until lunch, but I truly believe that breakfast should be a staple of everyone’s morning. I get it, we’re all busy. We live in some odd world where “being busy” is something we weirdly brag about; “oh my gosh, I was so busy today I totally forgot to eat breakfast”. If you’re someone who’s uttered these words, I’m here to help. Firstly, I am truly curious, how do you forget about a meal!? Secondly, let’s talk meal prep. I believe that some of us are honestly too busy to make breakfast every morning, and that is a totally valid point. However, that by no means gives you an excuse to totally skip the most important meal of your day. My solution? Find a breakfast you enjoy, prep multiple servings of it on a Sunday or weeknight, and pop them in the fridge for the mornings to follow. This doesn’t mean that you’re scarfing down a bar while simultaneously trying to zip up your dress and wondering to yourself five minutes later, “did I eat that bar I just pulled out of the drawer or have I lost my mind?” I’ve been there; eaten something too quickly while distracted doing something else only to later question whether I really ate it or not. Instead, take some time – I’m talking 10 minutes – and enjoy your breakfast. Everyone’s mornings are busy but I strongly believe you can carve out this small amount of time to start your day off on the right track. Now, back to the food. When I prep my breakfasts, I have a few mandatory criteria the meal must meet: I must be excited to eat it in the morning, it must be filling and healthy, it must not take too long to prep (because, heck, we’re even busy on Sundays), and it most likely must include some of my favorite breakfast staples – banana and almond butter. Regarding the last point, what ingredient makes banana and almond butter the true holy trinity? Chocolate, duh. And since I’m not about to douse Hershey’s syrup all over my breakfast, in comes Aloha chocolate protein powder. The perfect ingredient to add in some extra protein to make this breakfast even more filling and to take that flavor profile up a notch. This gluten and dairy free chocolate banana almond butter overnight oat recipe is truly a weekly staple in my kitchen and I thoroughly believe it will be one in yours too!

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Vegetable Ribbon Noodles with Meat Sauce

A weeknight Whole30 staple

Let me start right off the bat by saying in no way, whatsoever, is this meal replacing a delicious bowl of gluten and cheese filled spaghetti and meat sauce from your favorite Italian restaurant. Also, before the naysayers come at me about how quickly this meat sauce is made, this is not your grandmother’s Sunday sauce; this is a quick meat marinara sauce that does not take much time but still tastes delicious. Now that we’re on the same page, let me show you how to make a delicious and fast Whole30 approved dinner that you can surprisingly pull together with some potential staples lying around your kitchen (or am I the only one who regularly has zucchini and sweet potatoes on hand and ground beef in my freezer?).

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@mb_withasideofpb’s Guide to the East Village

As a West Village resident for the past (almost) five years, I feel very passionately about the “West Side” in the constant village debate. Since moving to NYC my group of friends always have a constant back and forth about where we should do anything, and, as the sole resident of the West side, I lose this battle majority of the time. While for awhile I was a little bitter towards the East side (purely #fomo), my love and appreciation has grown immensely. With a great bar and/or restaurant lining every single block, there is an abundance of places to choose from. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the options, my friend Marybeth from @mb_withasideofpb is here to help and make sure you hit all the local favorite spots. Check out her East Village guide below!

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Whole30 Approved Asian Steak Stir-Fry

The perfect meal to batch cook

When people think of Whole30 they think of lame, boring, sad salads. I get it, I thought the same thing as first. Little do these said negative people know that eating Whole30 compliant meals can actually be pretty freaking delicious. Not only delicious, but easy. This meal is so simple, includes a wide variety of ingredients that are easily interchangeable, and is the perfect meal for a batch cooking session. Cook a huge skillet of this stir-fry on a Sunday night and I promise, your hungry Whole30-doing self will thank you every day afterwards. Whether enjoying at work, while your coworkers eye you with envy mid bite of their sad salad mentioned above, or at night, sans that glass of wine that you crave so badly (sorry, I can’t help you there), it will hit the spot.

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No-Bake Raw Coconut Cashew Tahini Bars

The too good to be true healthy dessert

Health kicks or diets can get crazy. A lot of us have been there: you decide to gung-ho cut out a ton of food groups, maybe specifically sugar or dessert, and then realize it is all you can think about. As someone with a serious sweet tooth but also a secret side love affair for all things salty, I combined the two with my new obsession over tahini and made the perfect healthy-fied dessert. No-bake raw coconut cashew tahini bars. Pop these babies in your freezer and have on hand for when you just need that extra something.

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Kale Tahini Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate, and Walnuts

The quickest meal on this site

A few weeks ago I was in Florida with my family and, when I realized we had no lunch plans, I immediately raised my hand to create something delicious for everyone. However, as soon as my hand went up, the sun came out, and I immediately regretted my decision of volunteering to be inside the kitchen during the day (although, I must admit, the idea of driving a car to a nearby suburban Trader Joe’s with extremely wide aisles and a limited line is one of my ongoing daydreams). When I entered the store, I decided that I was going to make the easiest, quickest, and most crowd-pleasing lunch possible. That meant no oven, no stove-top, not even a microwave; this meal had to take me 5 minutes or less. I grabbed a bunch of random ingredients from the produce and pantry aisle and prayed for a successful pairing. I must have had the TJ gods on my side because I have been craving this salad ever since. It is SO easy, so refreshing, and surprisingly filling. A definite new weekday staple in my house.

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Filet Mignon with Roasted Vegetables

The perfect celebratory healthy meal

Nothing screams “fancy as f&#@k” as filet mignon. When it is time to celebrate in this apartment, filet is on the menu. It is also something that is so deceivingly easy to cook but for some reason intimidating to most and therefore seems impressive to whoever you are cooking for (hopefully they don’t read this post and continue to feel special and in awe when they come to your home). With this perfectly seared on the outside and medium rare on the inside steak, you can pair it with some crispy and somehow still soft roasted fall vegetables. Honestly, steak houses get a bad rep for being an unhealthy option. Yes, they throw in an unnecessary bottle of heavy cream to their creamed spinach and fry one too many sides, but, if you keep it simple with a great steak and some roasted vegetables this meal is not only delicious but also incredibly healthy. And, even better, if you are one of the brave souls enduring an either paleo or Whole30 January, then you are in luck! Because this entire meal is approved. People on cleanses/resets gotta celebrate too? Just pourthat extra glass of red wine for your friend who refuses to cut out the booze.

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Rack of Lamb with Crisped Kale, Sautéed Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash Puree

The perfect Christmas dinner

When I think Christmas dinner, I envision sitting at a table with everyone I love, large glasses of wine, laughter encompassing the entire room, and an incredible meal on the plate in front of me. Typically, that meal involves two main things: vegetables and some type of perfectly cooked, fancy, wonderful, meat. Typically, it is a filet mignon or a pot roast. However, I am proposing we all change it up a little bit; its time to give the limelight to one of my favorite meats of 2017: lamb. This year, lamb has been one of my top obsessions. Not that it was ever something I didn’t enjoy (trust me, there isn’t a lamb chop that leaves my plate with a scrap of meat left on the bone), but recently I have found myself craving it hard core. Because of the price, and the fact that most of us are trying to cook on a budget, it is not something that I indulge in weekly. However, it provides the perfect candidate for the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas day. So, if you’re heading into this weekend hosting the holidays without a menu planned, I am here to help. Your family will love you even more.

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@Lets.eat.yall’s Guide to the Seaport District

If there is ever a part of NYC that is so overlooked by the people of Manhattan, it is the South Street Seaport district. Coming from someone who, after living here for five years, has only visited it once, I find myself consistently daydreaming of that one perfect fall day I spent drinking and eating my way down the cobblestone streets. Why haven’t I been back since? Great freaking question. When I met my insta-turn-real-friend Emma of @lets.eat.yall (the ultimate #foodporn account behind a girl who is always in the know of the NYC restaurant scene) and she told me she was moving to this area, I immediately knew she had to be featured on Freckled Foodie & Friend’s Favorites. Not only will I now have a checklist of restaurants to go to in this dreamy secluded spot within our busy city that I have so carelessly ignored, but it will hopefully encourage all of you to also make your way alllll the way downtown. Check out all of Emma’s favorite picks below!

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