Cinnamon Apple Butter Overnight Oats

The Essence of Fall in a Bowl

Want to know what it tastes like to eat the entire essence of Fall in a bowl for breakfast? I GOT YOU! I promise, this bowl embodies alllll the best parts of fall. Between the cinnamon and nutmeg warming spices and the flavorful apples (if you don’t go apple picking, is it even Fall?), you will not only devour this bowl in seconds, but also feel like you’re ready to take on every changing leaf and pumpkin patch in your future. The apple butter may seem daunting at first, but it is quite possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever made in this kitchen! If you do not have an instant pot, you can do the same method on a crock pot but cook on low for ~3 hours, or on the stove top in a covered pot on simmer for ~20 minutes (you will just have to mash the apples more than the other two methods).

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Greek Lamb Bowls

A Simple 25 Minute Dinner

The other Sunday, after a weekend of traveling and having zero interest in going to a grocery store, I caved and ordered groceries online to our apartment for us to use that upcoming week. When I got home late that night I was excited to see the groceries hanging on our door until I realized that they were in fact not my order but, instead, someone else’s entirely. Since it was too late for the delivery system to do anything, I emptied the bags into our fridge and took note of what we were working with.

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Trader Joe’s. Ahhhh the Mecca of all things affordable groceries. There is something about TJs that makes it impossible for me to leave with just one bag of goods. I constantly go in with a very short list of necessities and end up leaving the store with 3 full bags, a loaded backpack, and the curiosity of how the heck I am going to get home (considering I walk about 15 blocks and 3 avenues to get there). New York City problems – am I right?

I was recently hosting a cooking class demoing some dinner prep and explaining that all of the groceries for that night’s meal were from Trader Joe’s when one of the guests proclaimed that she feels lost in TJ’s and never knows what to buy. Because of that, she suggested I create some type of guide to make it easier for people to attack the store. I also later learned that another one of my friends has never successfully purchased something at Trader Joe’s because every time she enters the store she feels too overwhelmed. Once I heard that, I knew it was time to get working on this guide.

No longer will you leave TJs with a spinning head wondering what the heck you just bought to fill 5 grocery bags. Instead, you will go in prepared and come out on top with a bountiful amount of healthy and delicious ingredients along with a (semi) full wallet. It is a great feeling to know you are bettering yourself by what you put in your body all the while saving money. This guide includes my top 11 tips, what aisles to spend majority of your time in, and some of my favorite products.

At that same cooking class, another guest proclaimed how she was struggling with meal prepping because she was cooking for one. Since I have now heard this from plenty of people, and because I am determined in making meal prepping approachable and achievable, I figured what better place to cook for one with the goal of saving money than Trader Joe’s! In this four day meal plan for one you will find a meal schedule, a master grocery list (of all Trader Joe’s items), and corresponding recipes. The best part about it all? The total bill comes out to just $6 a meal. Yes, you read that right. Quit your matcha addiction and you’ll be fed for the week!

To purchase my Guide to Trader Joe’s and Four Day Meal Plan for One for just $5, please click here to download the full guide!

 

Gluten Free Five Day Meal Plan

Your guide to tackling a gluten free lifestyle!

Everyone loves bread; pizza is notoriously one of the tastiest foods out there. However, some of us, unfortunately, have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or have been tasked with an elimination diet. Cutting out gluten can at first be pretty depressing. How the hell am I going to attack and eliminate this beast that is such a staple in the American diet!? Fortunately, as this “lifestyle” has become more prevalent, there are a ton of great options out there in both restaurant and grocery stores. Also, that is why I am here to help; providing you with a 5-day plan of gluten free meals with corresponding recipes and a master grocery list.

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Whole30 Five Day Meal Plan

Your guide to tackling a week on Whole30!

I am SO incredibly excited to share something with you all that I have been working on for over the past few weeks. As you all probably know by now, I just recently completed Whole30. In my pieces on both my blog and Mindbodygreen, I make it very clear that my number one tip on how to survive Whole30 is meal prepping. Many people respond to this statement saying they don’t know how to meal prep because they don’t know what to make, they don’t have the recipes, or they are overwhelmed in a grocery store trying to make sure they buy the correct amount of food. Well, friends, I am here to help. Behold, my five day Whole30 Meal Plan. This pamphlet contains a meal plan schedule for Monday-Friday with individual recipes for each meal and, most importantly, an organized master grocery list.

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Mexican Turkey Chili

Healthy turkey chili with a spicy kick

Personally, I’m a beef chili person, but when I had so many people ask me whether they could replace the beef with ground turkey in my meat chili recipe (which, yes, you can), I decided it was time to create a new chili recipe for this poultry lovers. In my mind, the a chili with beef deserves to be hearty and simple; hence the minimal ingredients and the doubled beans included in the recipe. However, I decided to amp up the flavor and ingredients for the turkey chili and decided to go a Mexican route, throwing in some canned corn and green chili peppers. Although the recipes may be differ, I promise you, it is still just as easy of a meal to make.

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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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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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