Diner-Style Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash

Coming home to this Diner-Style Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash after school + volunteering + a long bus trip in high heels (!!) last week was such an amazing feeling.

diner-style sweet potato and butternut squash

I’d prepped everything the night before, so by the time I was ready to eat (aka 5 minutes after I got home) all I had to do was heat it up in a skillet- the edges get crispy and AMAZING- fry an egg to put on top, and dig in.

Beyond being incredibly easy, this dish is warming, perfectly spiced, soft + crunchy (love that whole texture sitch), and salty-sweet.

Essentially, it’s the whole package. Easy, quick, healthy, and delicious. This is the kind of meal you make when you come home to an empty fridge and need to get dinner on the table asap OR as a side dish for a nice, real, grown up dinner (because I’ve heard some people make those sometimes).

If you make this Diner-Style Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash, be sure to snap a photo and share it with me on Instagram. I LOVE seeing all your creations, it really makes my day.

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Hash
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato, boiled
  • 1 c. cubed butternut squash (I used frozen and thawed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix olive oil with spices in medium bowl.
  2. Cube sweet potato, then add sweet potato and squash to bowl.
  3. Stir gently until sweet potato and butternut squash are coated in olive oil and spices.
  4. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes in fridge (I left mine overnight)
  5. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

 

Simple Springtime Salad

It is a good morning you guys! I’ve spent that last few days sleeping in, hiking, swimming, and spending lots of quality time in the car with my family. This trip has been so much fun and very grounding (both mentally and physically- I’ve spent lots of time lying on the ground. On the beach, in the mountains, by the pool- you name it, I’m napping on it.) But the point is, I’m feeling all the nature-y springtime vibes, and this Simple Springtime Salad totally embodies that feeling.

Simple Springtime Salad

It is so fresh and hydrating, I swear I’m craving it right now. And it’s breakfast time. Like I’m craving a salad for breakfast? What? But this Simple Springtime salad is absolutely delicious and it makes sense to crave it any time of day. I can’t get enough of the sweet, juicy berries, and once you add the creamy avocado, it just gets even better. And then once you add that zingy, tangy tahini dressing? OMG. Just so beyond.

So make it, devour it, fall in love. And share with me on Instagram!

Simplest Springtime Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 1
 
Ingredients
  • Salad
  • 1 c. mixed greens
  • ½ c. quinoa, cooked
  • ¼ c. blackberries
  • ¼ avocado
  • Dressing
  • ½ tsp tahini
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Dice avocado
  2. Combine salad ingredients in serving bowl
  3. Drizzle dressing ingredients over salad
  4. Toss salad gently
  5. Serve immediately and feel the lovely springtime vibes enter your body
Notes
If you want to mix the dressing ingredients, you can absolutely do that. But I'm lazy and just drizzling the ingredients over the salad without mixing tasted perfect.

 

Egg Muffins

I’ve always liked the idea of egg muffins, because they’re a perfect easy, protein packed breakfast option. However, in my opinion, the fatal flaw is the lack of carbs. So when I have egg muffins, there needs to be some sort of toast or fruit on the side, but that sort of defeats the make-ahead, grab and go nature of egg muffins.

Therefore, I set out to create a “muffin” that rolled all essential components of a meal- protein, veggies, and carbs- into one adorable package. These muffins accomplish that mission perfectly, and they are absolutely delicious.

They crunchy, crisp tortilla provides the ideal contrast to the soft, savory filling. The veggies also provide some fresh, bright notes to balance out the custardy egg. Essentially, these muffins are the perfect balanced meal, both in nutrients and flavor.

If you make these muffins, be sure to comment and/or share with me on Instagram!

Egg Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Lunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped kale
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 small tortillas
  • 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Sauté kale and onion with a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Mold tortillas into ramekins or muffin tins.
  3. Fill each tortilla cup with half of the veggie mixture.
  4. Crack an egg gently into each muffin cup.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes

 

Personally, I can never have enough lunch inspiration, so if you are looking for more easy lunch recipes, be sure to subscribe to the blog to receive a free PDF download of my Week of Lunches guide.

Vegan Pizza: True Food Kitchen Style

As you can see from my last post, I feel head over heels in love with True Food Kitchen on my recent trip to LA. Everything on their menu sounded absolutely amazing, but I ended up getting the wild mushroom and brussels sprout pizza. Normally I’m not a huge cheese person, but the cheese sauce on the pizza was so light and fresh, it was absolutely delicious.

To my complete horror, however, they don’t have any locations near the Bay Area! I looked into using Postmates to deliver True Food from LA to SF, but apparently it doesn’t work like that. But I NEED that pizza in my life, so I got to work trying to recreate it at home.

The most important part of the pizza (and of pretty much everything) was the sauce, so that was what I focused on recreating. But to make sure everyone can enjoy the deliciousness, I took on the additional challenge of making it vegan.

Once I had the sauce perfected, I whipped up a batch of my favorite thin crust pizza dough (see notes for details) and sautéed some broccoli rabe to put my own original spin on things. However, you are absolutely welcome to use any veggies you like, and if you want to be more of a True Food purist, I can vouch for the fact that the mushrooms and brussels sprouts combo was absolutely incredible.

The sauce is deeply savory from roasted garlic and creamy from cashews, with bright notes of lemon to remind us that spring is just around the corner. If you need me you can find me spreading the leftovers on absolutely everything until further notice.

So here you have it: a True Food Kitchen inspired vegan pizza that tastes incredibly close to the real deal.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Vegan Pizza: True Food Kitchen Style
Author: 
Recipe type: Pizza
Serves: Serves 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza recipe (one that makes 4 servings)
  • 8 stalks broccoli rabe
  • ¼ cup vegan cream sauce
  • Vegan cream sauce:
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Quick soak cashews by bringing a saucepan of water to a boil then turning off the heat and adding cashews. Soak for 20 minutes.
  2. While cashews soak, roast garlic for 20 minutes at 350º F.
  3. Drain cashews and add to food processor with olive oil. Process until nearly smooth, then add lemon juice, almond milk, garlic, and salt.
  4. Continue to process until mixture is completely smooth.
  5. Prepare and bake pizza dough according to recipe.
  6. Spread ¼ cup sauce on the pizza.
  7. Sauté broccoli rabe with a drizzle of olive oil, then add to pizza.
  8. Bake for 5 more minutes at 350º F then remove from oven and serve

 

Notes:

I used this recipe from How Sweet Eats for my pizza dough and subbed maple syrup for honey to keep it vegan.

Sauce will make more than you need for this recipe, but it is delicious and you will want to spread the leftovers on EVERYTHING.

Vegan Chili Cheese Dip

Though I tend to eat pretty differently than the rest of my family (mostly vegetarian/vegan/whole foods), I love getting recipe inspiration from my little siblings. I write down their recipe requests, then try to figure out how to make healthier versions of their favorite dishes.

This recipe is inspired by my brother’s request for a chili cheese dip to serve during the Super Bowl. While I’m not a big football person or chili person, I am most definitely a snack person, so this recipe was the perfect challenge.

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Apple Quinoa Bowl

I’ve been reading the blog Imma Eat That for about a year now, and I love Kylie’s emphasis on eating satisfying foods. I find many people focus on what they think they should be eating and forget to pay attention to what they want to be eating/what makes their bodies feel good. At least, that’s true for my personal experience. I’m so grateful to Kylie for helping me get back in touch with my body and cravings.

While reading her blog the other day, I realized I’ve been feeling unsatisfied with my lunches recently. Salads, sandwiches, soups… they all leave me wanting something more. So this week, I decided to concoct a little something special. Especially because it’s midterms week, so I absolutely NEED something delicious to look forwards to during my lunch breaks.

I’m absolutely thrilled to report that I’ve finally found a meal that can give me all those happy-glowy-yummy food feels AND keep me full through 3 hours of school + my 2 hour volunteer shift at my local hospital.

This recipe has so many flavors, colors, and textures- from crisp apple spirals to crunchy sunflower seeds to earthy, hearty lentils- it brings a much needed excitement to those grueling lunch periods in the library.

Whether you’re a student in need of some study fuel, someone who wants to be the #desklunchgoals of their office, or you just love easy, healthy meals, this bowl is for you.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Apple Quinoa Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup lentils
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ½ tbsp chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Add lentils, quinoa, and water to a large frying pan/skillet.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. While quinoa and lentils cook, spiralize the apple and chop the carrot. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can dice the apple instead.
  4. Once quinoa and lentils are almost done, add apple, carrot, cinnamon, turmeric, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds to the pan.
  5. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally, then serve.

Enchilada Pie

Do you have a go-to meal for when you want to impress people? Something delicious you can make perfectly every time? I’m pretty sure that’s the true sign of having your life together.

The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest, wondering what my go-to meal should be, and I got completely overwhelmed by all the 3 course feast ideas that looked as if they’d take 3 hours to make. Like no, the whole point is that this meal looks (and preferably is) effortless.

And that’s when I remembered this gem of a recipe I’d scribbled down in my notebook a couple weeks ago. Originally, I’d planned to create a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce, but when I first tested this Enchilada pie I was busy and hangry and did NOT have time for something as temperamental as enchilada sauce. So instead I just used the salsa I had in my fridge, which was so delicious and easy I’m never going back. And honestly this was also an excuse to use my mini skillet. Like look at that thing! How cute is that??

This meal seriously takes 15 minutes to make (at most) and is quite possibly my new favorite food. The combination doughy tortillas, gooey cheese, and spicy salsa make for some of the best healthy(ish) comfort food I’ve ever had. Pair this with a simple salad and you’ll wow your guests without breaking a sweat.

Enchilada Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Ingredients
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (Use dairy free cheese, such as Parmela Creamery if vegan)
  • ¾ cup enchilada sauce (or be lazy and use salsa like me)
Instructions
  1. Place a mini skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cover the bottom of the skillet with 2 corn tortillas.
  3. Top tortillas with ½ cup enchilada sauce/salsa.
  4. Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese evenly over skillet.
  5. Layer on remaining tortillas, sauce, and cheese.
  6. Remove from heat and broil for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with avocado.
Notes
If you don't have a skillet, you can also use a small round baking pan and bake the enchilada pie for 10-15 minutes. I kept it basic this time around, but I imagine adding some beans or veggies between the first layer of cheese and second layer of tortillas would be delicious. To make gluten free, simply make sure to use gluten free corn tortillas.

Miso Salad

The other day, my aunt wondered aloud if there were any foods she could eat to improve gut health, and before she new it, I was talking her ear off about prebiotics, probiotics, collagen, kombucha, and everything in between. I absolutely love moments like these, when I’m able to use my nutrition knowledge, which sometimes seems unnecessary, to help the people I love.

After I’d showed her my go-to Instagram accounts for gut health (such as shutthekaleup and, of course, my own) and debated the benefits of komucha vs. apple cider vinegar, I headed to the kitchen to make her a probiotic-rich lunch. My aunt loves salads, and, unlike me, favors salty snacks over sweet, so this salty, crunchy miso bowl was the perfect meal to turn her onto some gut-healthy foods.

Miso and tempeh, both made with fermented soybeans, are great foods to help people ease into a probiotic rich diet. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, I think this salad would be delish topped with some sauerkraut or kimchi and enjoyed with a glass of kombucha.

If you’re interested in more simple lunch ideas, subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE downloadable PDF with 5 healthy, satisfying lunches you can enjoy on the go.
And if you make this salad, be sure to take a picture and share with me on Instagram or comment and tell me how it turned out!
5.0 from 2 reviews
Miso Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 12 oz tempeh
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ⅓ cup miso dressing
  • Miso Dressing:
  • 1 tbsp red miso paste
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp agave (can sub honey or maple syrup
  • ½ inch piece fresh ginger, finely minced or grated (can try to sub with 1 tsp ground, but I can't guarantee results)
Instructions
  1. Cut tempeh into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 ºF.
  2. Toast almonds in small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown and fragrant.
  3. Whisk together dressing ingredients. If you find the dressing is too thick, slowly add more warm water.
  4. Toss arugula with dressing, then top with toasted almonds and tempeh.

Tex-Mex Grilled Cheese

You know those rainy afternoons when all you want is to curl up with a hot cup of tea and a grilled cheese sandwich? But you also want to eat healthy and feel lovely and plant powered and glowy? Or perhaps you’re testing out a plant based diet challenge (such as 10 Days to Your Plant Powered Kitchen by Emilie Eats)? Yeah, me too.

And you know what I do on those nights? I make myself this incredible Tex Mex Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Parmela Creamery cheddar cheese shreds!

Parmela Creamery is a total game changer in the world of dairy free cheeses. Their mission is to “accelerate the transition to plant based diets” and create a cheese alternative that is actually GOOD for you.

The cheddar cheese I used in this recipe is GMO free, dairy free, and cholesterol free, AND it is packed full of incredible flavor. There is none of the sliminess or chemically quality I have come to associate with vegan cheeses. The cheddar shreds also melt perfectly, making this vegan cheese grilled cheese sandwich absolutely to die for.

Order your cheese here, and let me know if you try their products or make this sandwich. I’d love to hear your opinion!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tex Mex Grilled Cheese
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 oz. Parmela’s Creamery Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cup favorite salsa
  • ¼ cup guacamole
  • Guacamole:
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup diced tomato
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • Small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Mash avocado in medium mixing bowl, then stir in remaining guacamole ingredients.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Top one slice of bread with 1 oz. cheddar cheese and place in skillet.
  4. Spread 2 tbsp. guacamole and 2tbsp. salsa on another slice of bread.
  5. Once cheese has melted, place 2nd slice of bread (with guacamole and salsa) on top of 1st slice and flip sandwich with spatula.
  6. Cook until both sides are toasted (about 30 more seconds), then serve!
  7. Repeat with remaining ingredients for second sandwich.
Notes
Guacamole recipe will yield more than needed for this sandwich, so save the extra guac for future snacking!

5.0 from 1 reviews
 

I received complimentary samples of Parmela Creamery cheeses for review, but was not otherwise compensated for this post, and, of course, all opinions are my own.

PB&J Quesadilla

Yesterday I babysat for three ten-year-old boys from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and by the end I was completely exhausted. As soon as I got home, I made a cup of tea, put on my comfiest sweats, and curled up in bed for a Grey’s Anatomy marathon.

Babysitting was worth it though, considering I need to fund my Whole Foods trips and overzealous gift buying somehow. However, I am far more reluctant to part with money I’ve worked so hard to earn- causing me to be more mindful about my food budget. And that’s where this thrillingly simple recipe comes in.

This easy quesadilla recipe is the perfect cheap, nutrition-packed power breakfast to give you energy for all the craziness in your life, be it babysitting, studying, sports, your job, or anything else that really takes a lot out of you. Although, now that I think about it- can I still call it a quesadilla if there’s no cheese?? Am I committing some sort of quesadilla sacrilege here? If you think so, you don’t have to call it a quesadilla, but you DO have to make this recipe. I’m pretty sure you and I both know you need to experience all the crispy, gooey, sweet, nutritious goodness that is a PB&J quesadilla.

  1. PB&J Quesadilla
    Author: 
    Recipe type: Breakfast/Lunch
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 1
     
    Ingredients
    • 1 whole wheat tortilla
    • 1 tbsp peanut butter
    • ¼ cup blackberries (use frozen + thawed to save $$)
    • ½ tsp coconut oil
    • ¼ tsp cinnamon
    Instructions
    1. Melt coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.
    2. Once oil is melted, place tortilla in pan.
    3. Spread peanut butter over half the tortilla.
    4. Place ¼ cup berries on top of peanut butter and smush with a fork.
    5. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of berries, fold tortilla, and flip quesadilla.
    6. Cook about 30 more seconds, or until tortilla is golden brown and peanut butter is melty.