Chocolate Covered Strawberry Almond Butter Cups

A glorified Valentine’s Day chocolate covered strawberry

Considering chocolate covered strawberries are basically only consumed on Valentine’s Day (okay, and maybe New Years, but that’s a bit of a stretch), I knew they had to be the hidden star of my V-day themed dessert. Instead of replicating the exact treat that I could purchase anywhere, I decided to get creative. As a girl who loves her layers, and thinks that almond butter is just about the perfect addition to any meal, snack, or dessert, my mind immediately led me here: chocolate covered strawberry almond butter cups. These three-layer treat are the perfectly creative dessert to cap off your meal with and the reinvented version of the oh so classic and (dare I say it?) kind of boring original. Make for your friends, loved one, or yourself – everyone will enjoy!

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Cauliflower Gnocchi with Ribeye Steak and Vegetables

Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget

Among many things, Valentine’s Day can be expensive – there is no getting around it. If you’re like me and you’ve already decided there is 0 chance you are spending money on a prefix menu just because its February 14th, I’m assuming you’re heading to your kitchen to whip something up. While we all (hopefully?) love to celebrate love, and want to spoil the person we are cooking for that night, whether it be a significant other, a friend, or hell, ourselves, a lot of us are on a serious budget. Who says you need to spend a ton of money for a delicious meal? Not I. For those of us who are watching our costs this Valentine’s Day, I’m here to help with a meal that costs less than $15 per person (assuming you already have the pantry staples). Hell, that’s comparable, and way more impressive, than Chipotle pickup. You’re welcome!

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Grainless Pistachio Coconut Granola

Dare I say better than the bagged options?

This weekend I found myself in a very unfamiliar situation: without any granola in the apartment. As someone who loves to add some type of crunch to all of my yogurt parfaits and needs that extra fuel, granola is something I rely on heavily. (That being said, I am especially pick about which ones I purchase and consume). Surprisingly enough, I have never attempted at making my own. Sure, I’ve heard it’s easy, and I know it’s delicious based on some of my friend’s creations that I’ve tried, but I’ve never been the one mixing the ingredients for a fresh new parfait topping. That is, until this past Sunday morning. Opening my fridge to tons of tasty yogurts and beautiful fruits and realizing I had nothing to top it with, I decided to get creative. Considering I always have a stocked pantry, it wasn’t too hard to whip up a combination I loved. I’ll still be purchasing a few of my favorite brands going forward, but, this one will definitely be added in to my rotation!

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Avocado & Smoked Salmon Cucumber “Boats/Toasts”

The new GF breakfast option you didn’t know you needed

As a gluten-free gal, I am constantly missing what I call the “crunch factor”. For me, this one craving is what I find hardest to fulfill when not enjoying all things gluten and, interestingly enough, it is most commonly missed with my breakfasts (hence the reason why I typically turn to all things granola). Never the less, I find myself missing all the glorious toast combinations that fill my IG page and breakfasts of my past. Reminiscing over the delighted feeling that came over me when I discovered the idea of sweet potato toasts, I realized that there are plenty of other vegetables that can not only replace this bread base, but also pack some serious crunch. One of my favorite toast/bagel combinations of avocado, smoked salmon, and cucumber immediately came to mind. Then, ding went the lightbulb. Welcome to the world, cucumber boats (or toasts… unsure what we’re going with yet). This breakfast, or snack, provides all the things my morning self is searching for. Plus, slab on some cream cheese (of which my kitchen was not stocked with), and now you’re really talking. The cucumber boat/toast is your easel and you are Picasso! Get painting.

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Celery Pulp Pizza Crust

A Waste-Free Celery Juice Movement

By now, if you are following any type of wellness / healthy food Instagram or blog, or happen to be looking to purchase celery and realizing that every store is oddly sold out of the organic product, you are aware of the celery juice movement that has taken those looking to detoxify by storm. Curious why so many people are drinking celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and swearing by it? It would be wrong to follow that question with anything other than acknowledgement of the Medical Medium and his belief’s. But, if you’re curious why I’ve been doing it for ~2 years now, check out my youtube video (below) that includes a tutorial on how I make my juice, why I drink it, and the benefits I’ve seen. Once you’re all caught up on that and potentially try juicing yourself, you’ll notice one specific thing that drives me crazy: you are suddenly left with an abundance of celery pulp. So, in the no-food-goes-to-waste mentality that is my life, I decided I needed to create something with this new form of vegetable. Since cauliflower pizza crust took the world by storm in a similar celery-juice style movement last year, I was inspired to use this pulp in a similar fashion. Alas, I present you with a celery pulp pizza crust. Is this going to replace your late-night craving for good old NY style pizza? Hell. No. I’m not even going to try to say they are comparable so don’t go in with those expectations! Similarly to my take on zucchini noodles: this is not a replacement of one of your favorite foods, but a different meal all together. Throw out the comparison, not the pulp!

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Homemade Bone Broth

My Liquid Gold

If you’ve been following the wellness scene for the past few years, you’re well aware of the hype over bone broth. Between all the benefits it reaps, to the trendy new ways to drink it, to storefronts in NYC dedicated to selling just this liquid, it has a serious and devout following. Personally, I love it. I find it extremely beneficial to my overall health, enjoy the taste, and love drinking something that makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. However, it can get expensive! Also, something I personally struggle with, is that 99.9% of broths are made with garlic and onion, two FODMAP foods I cannot fully tolerate (yet). Because of these two factors, and the continued theme of my ill feelings towards throwing any food in the garbage (even if it is scraps), I often make my own broth. This whole topic seems intimidating in and of itself so whenever I post on my IG stories that I make my own I get a ton of questions with the overall trend of how difficult it must be. Honestly, its one of the easiest things I make in my kitchen! Not only are you using a slew of leftover ingredients, which means there is no grocery store trip required, but it also cooks itself. Seriously! You’re left with a massive bowl of gorgeous liquid gold that you can either enjoy right then and there or pop in the freezer for later use (either individual mugs or thrown into soups). It is hands down the most versatile and favored item I always have in stock.

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Gluten Free Low FODMAP Meatloaf

The rib-warming deliciously healthy dinner

I recently was on a walk with my friend catching up on life and discussing potential new recipe ideas when she turned to me out of the blue and said, “I’ve been dying for a simple meatloaf recipe.” Although it was something I never really had considered creating, nor something I grew up eating, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind for the rest of the day. When deciding what to cook for dinner it became a very easy decision: meatloaf, duh. I accepted the challenge (that my friend was unaware she was putting on me) and questioned why the heck I had never made meatloaf before. This insanely easy recipe will definitely be a staple for every single cold and cozy night this year.

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Pistachio Golden Raisin Gluten Free & Vegan Biscotti

The Outcome of my Obsession with British Bake Off

So, I have something to admit… I am absolutely 110% obsessed with the Great British Bake-Off show. I mean, obsessed. I cannot and will not be stopped. As someone who doesn’t consider themselves a baker (way to scientific for me, I prefer the “art” of cooking aka I cannot follow instructions), I was surprised at how much I loved this show. But between the British accents, the un-American way the participants actually help each other during the competition, and the incredible cakes, pies, breads, cookies, etc. that are created, I am in awe. I recently was watching an episode where they were baking biscotti and it made me realize that it had been far too long since I had one of my favorite treats. Ever since adapting this gluten free diet, my love affair with biscotti had been but on the side burner. So, feeling ever so adventurous and strapped with the misbelief that I too was a “star baker” (British bake-off joke, if you don’t get it then I suggest you watch), I set out to create my own recipe. Shockingly, they turned out pretty freaking delicious. Maybe I have a third career!? Kidding. I know very well I do not. Back to the TV I go!

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Vegetable Ratatouille

My kitchen’s new favorite delivery – Misfits Market

From following me, you know there are two things I care deeply about: food waste and making healthy living and eating approachable and accessible. Living in NYC has its absolute perks, but often times I feel this nostalgia for nature or anything not growing from concrete. With that, I miss the accessibility to farms. Sure, we have a ton of great farmers market’s in NYC, but often times I am traveling during the weekend or shopping at hours of the day when they are not open. I’ve heard of CSA deliveries and all that jazz, but I also never know the exact weeks I will be here in need of groceries and can’t find myself able to commit to a full season of produce. Along with the constant desire for more organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables, I am always finding ways to waste as minimal amount of food as possible. Scraps in the fridge that most people would throw out? You better believe those are being tossed into a bowl and called “lunch” in this apartment. While I feel I am not alone in that mentality or act (or at least I hope not), there are unfortunately many people who wouldn’t eat certain produce because of a small imperfection. Bruise on an apple? Some may toss it. Me? That is getting chopped up, placed in my instant pot, and immediately repurposed into my fall apple butter that goes so perfectly with just about every breakfast.

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Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

The Fall Lunch for Everyone

Soup is good for the soul, there is no denying that. But why, I often ask myself, do I so frequently forget about its incredibly effortless ability to prep and absolute deliciousness? I’m not sure why soup isn’t a part of my meal prep more often, but this one right here is definitely going to be in the mix going forward. The warming spices of the curry with the thickness form the squash and coconut milk make this the perfect fall or winter staple. Plus, since one cup of soup isn’t usually enough food for me to be considered a meal, the hearty rice base rounds this dish out to the perfect lunch (or dinner side). Dairy and gluten free, vegan, and whole30/paleo approved. This soup really covers just about everyone!

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