Autumn squash soup

A chilly fall day calls for a hot bowl of homemade soup.

Squash is abundant in all the grocery stores, and butternut squash is one of my favorite varieties. I have made this soup before with roasted butternut squash as well as roasted acorn squash, but this time I used yellow squash instead. All three taste fabulous in this versatile recipe.

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A double feature – Pumpkin “pie” fudge loaf AND Pumpkin spice walnut muffins

If you like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and healthy desserts – these are for you.

The first recipe is for a very moist and fudgey pumpkin bread. It has a consistency similar to pumpkin pie, with a bit of a cakey texture. It’s absolutely delicious while managing to also be low in sugar, dairy free, and egg free. Toast some up at breakfast or serve it with a dollop of cool whip at dessert – either way, you win.

The second recipe is for the EASIEST pumpkin spice muffins you could ever make. It’s literally 3 ingredients, including the walnuts I added (which are completely optional by the way).

This Basic B knows what’s up.

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Loaded protein pancakes

My husband and I LOVE breakfast foods, especially pancakes and waffles. On the down side, they have little to no nutritional value – especially protein.

For me this is a big no-no. Since I work out regularly and lift weights, I need to eat enough protein to remain full, fueled, and ready to build muscle. This pancake recipe uses hemp, a plant-based protein. Though I prefer the taste of standard whey protein, it often gives me an upset stomach where hemp does not. The vanilla flavored hemp has a pleasant taste, and it blends in seamlessly with the Bisquick powder to create a mildly sweet pancake with great texture.

With a mix-in of chocolate chips, blueberries, or whatever else you want to toss in there – these pancakes will keep you full & energized and are super tasty.

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Lemon chicken stew

Unfortunately, kids have germs. And now that I’m teaching again, I’m surrounded by kids. Welcome to my first upset stomach of the school year.

Whenever I’m having tummy troubles, I eat chicken soup for lunch and dinner. But I HATE most canned soups – they have practically no flavor and barely any chicken. I prefer to make my own in the crock pot – it’s relatively little prep, I can add a substantial amount of protein, and I can season it the way I want to.

My favorite type of chicken soup is Greek Avgolemono. There’s something about lemon and chicken that pairs so well together. I love that the soup is thick, almost like a stew.

I decided to make this lemony chicken stew as a spinoff of standard chicken noodle soup and greek avgolemono soup. I kick it up a notch with some Italian dressing seasoning, two different kinds of pepper, and some protein pasta. It’s soothing enough to heal a troubled tummy but tasty enough to eat when you’re feeling great.

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PB&J greek yogurt parfaits

This is the second day of school with my kiddos and the hectic bustle of the school year has officially hit me. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s exhausting – So I’m keeping this brief and cutting to the chase.

Who doesn’t love a peanut butter & jelly sandwich?! This epic dessert takes the delicious nostalgia of a PB&J and turns it into a sweet, creamy, & crunchy treat. The best part is that it contains 18g of protein and is only 280 calories per serving (this recipe makes 2) – so it will keep you feeling full without destroying your diet. And it’s totally giving me a much-needed energy boost right now. #winning

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Backyard BBQ coleslaw

As the month of August approaches its end, I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much outdoor time and BBQ fun as I possibly can.

A typical American BBQ usually has the same side salads over and over again – potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, etc. – all of which are dressed in mayonnaise. Unfortunately, mayo is one of the only foods that I really hate. So when I go to BBQ’s, I end up eating burgers and wings with no side dish, except for maybe corn on the cob. Lame!

I love those classic BBQ sides when they are dressed in a vinaigrette rather than all that mayonnaise goop. It’s just so much lighter and more refreshing – not to mention much healthier and fewer calories. This coleslaw recipe is definitely one of my go-to’s when I’m having a BBQ.

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Spicy chick peas & zucchini noodles

I’ve been all about farmer’s markets this summer. There are a few that run weekly fairly close by, and I’ve been making it a point to go and load up on freshly grown produce (among other things).

I prefer to eat a bit lighter during the summertime. Maybe it’s because it’s hot out, or that I’m sweaty, or not as hungry – who knows. But I always see summer as the opportune time to start taking healthy eating a little more seriously and to add a hefty amount of fruits & veggies to my diet.

I have been buying a ton of zucchini. It’s pretty versatile, and can be prepared in a lot of different ways – all of them delicious, and all of them super filling.

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Fresh herb pasta salad

As of late, the heat and humidity in New York has been unbearable. I usually eat hot food for dinner, but over the past two weeks I’ve been making a lot of different side salads to avoid heating up my house with the oven on. This version of pasta salad uses fresh basil and lemon thyme from the garden, which is a complete game changer. You just don’t get the same punch of flavor from dried herbs as you do with fresh ones.

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2-Ingredient smokey BBQ air fryer chicken drumsticks

I absolutely LOVE eating chicken on the bone. When made properly, battered and fried chicken is incredible – the perfect balance of crunchy and juicy.  Though delicious and deserving, I feel like fried chicken gets a ton of praise while roasted chicken is overlooked and extremely underrated.

When chicken is roasted to perfection, the peppery seasoned skin develops this beautiful crispness that locks in the moisture of the meat. It’s basically what dreams are made of. That crispy, crunchy, well-seasoned chicken skin is probably one of my favorite things to eat.

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