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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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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Crockpot apple butter

This is the perfect time of year to go apple picking, especially in New York. The weather isn’t too cold yet, the trees are finally turning their gorgeous fall colors, and the holidays that require apple and pumpkin-themed desserts are right around the corner.

18 lbs of apples later, and I realized I may have went a bit overboard.

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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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Summer time = ice cream cravings

ALMOND COCONUT ICE CREAM
                     ALMOND COCONUT ICE CREAM

 

Actually… if you are anything like me, you have ice cream cravings year-round.

However, there are two problems I face:

  1. I am lactose intolerant, and
  2. I am trying VERY hard to eat healthy.

Here is a little background on myself, and this current dilemma I’m facing…

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