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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I’m back – and I’ve brought healthy blondies with me!

After a nearly 8 month hiatus from food blogging, I have returned. Me leaving ya’ll stranded wasn’t planned – this year has been really rough so far. The school year was super hectic, my family mourned two losses, my house is under construction, and I’ve had some health issues. With all that being said, everyone and everything is OK and life is slowly starting to fall back into place. HOWEVER, this isn’t a pity party – it’s a goddamn food blog. And that’s what I’m here to do – talk about food I make, food I eat, and food I want to eat.

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Harvest bread

This is kind of embarrassing figuring I’ve been baking since I was a child, but I have never baked bread before. Like, a real loaf of actual bread. Just banana bread, and variations of that.

Since starting my healthier lifestyle, I have cut bread out of my diet except on cheat days. Then I realized I could make bread, and alter the recipe for my dietary wants and needs.

Enter: proteinpow

This website is loaded with recipes – just search for something you want to eat, and it will automatically return a bunch of lower-carb, lower-sugar, and higher protein versions of how to make that particular food.

Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t get this exact recipe from protein pow. However, I did browse other recipes on the site to get ideas for which ingredients I should be swapping out. This isn’t completely sugar-free or low-carb, but it is a healthier version of wheat bread that is loaded with cranberries and seeds with just a hint of pumpkin.

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Pumpkin pie protein shake

It’s that time of year where pumpkin-flavored items are dominating the grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, and coffee shops. You can’t escape it. And you don’t want to, because it’s delicious. Call me basic, I don’t care.

Most of those delicious pumpkin treats are loaded with sugar, and have little nutritional value.

Here is where I step in, introducing you to a thick & creamy shake that tastes like pumpkin pie. It’s also loaded with protein and fiber to keep you full, and doesn’t contain a ton of added sugar. Oh, and it’s also vegan. You’re welcome.

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[Dairy free] chocolate banana oat bread

Bananas are something I purchase every week. I wait until they’re very ripe, and I usually freeze them for protein shakes. But this week, I had a real craving for banana bread.

My husband’s aunt makes the most delicious banana bread I have ever tried. Whenever I make banana bread, I use her recipe. It’s the perfect consistency, it isn’t too sweet, and it has just the right amount of banana flavor. So I started to make her recipe, and realized there was one problem: I didn’t have the correct amount of ingredients at home.

I had to switch things up. Since I had to do this anyway… I figured I would turn this into a healthier version of my favorite. The result was awesome.

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Lemony black bean salad

Cilantro has been growing like a weed lately out in the backyard. Since I don’t use it too often in my cooking, I tried giving some of it away. A friend of mine agreed to take some, but then forgot to grab it on her way out the door. Now I have handfuls of cilantro that I need to use.

The humidity has been so overwhelming. I still don’t want to have to turn on the oven, or stand over a hot stove. So this cilantro needed to find its way into a salad.

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The post-workout “milkshake”

As some of you already know, I have a hard time resisting sweets and I’m constantly craving dessert-like foods. However, I can’t eat foods like this as often as I’d like to.

One dessert I absolutely love is ice cream. I can’t get enough of it – especially if it’s in the form of a frozen, thick shake. As a kid I lived around the corner from a Carvel, and my brother and I would always get large vanilla thick shakes (I was not aware of being lactose-intolerant yet).  I enjoyed this tremendously.

As an adult, I can no longer get these awesome shakes whenever I please… so I have to substitute with something a bit healthier and less sugary (even though its OK to just go out and get the shake sometimes). In the past couple of months, I learned a lot about the importance of increasing my protein intake. Protein helps you build muscle, stay lean, gives you energy, and keeps you feeling full for a longer amount of time. So I decided to improvise, and make a protein-based “milkshake” for when I come home from the gym. The best part is that it’s completely dairy free – so if you are also lactose-intolerant there is no need to take a pill, and if you are vegan you can still enjoy this drink without guilt!

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