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Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Vegan or not, these are the best muffins I've ever made. Perfect for a weekend breakfast, or a quick gran and go on a bust school and work morning. 

If you were to only ever make one recipe from my blog, I would beg you to make these muffins. They are incredible! Super soft and fluffy, dense, but not too dense. They're anything and everything that you would ever want out of a homemade muffin. 

Breakfast for dinner is a common meal at our house on Sundays. Most of the time it's muffins and scrambled eggs. Since I'm not eating dairy right now, I knew the muffins would have to be extra amazing to make up for it, since this would be the majority of my meal, with some additional fruit. 

We luckily had all the ingredients for these on hands, since most of them are easy pantry staples. You can sub the milk in the recipe for any milk you want, although I will admit the coconut milk was delicious. 

1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  3. In one bowl, mix the milk and apple cider vinegar, and set aside while you mix the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  5. In the same bowl as the milk and vinegar, add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest. 
  6. Add the wet to the dry ingredients. Don't over mix, a few lumps are fine. 
  7. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the mix,
  8. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into each of the muffin liners. 
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. (Mine were done at 20)

Scrambled Egg Tacos

Scrambled egg tacos are a classic dish that's suitable for both breakfast or dinner. Kick the nutrients up a notch by adding some spinach in with your beans! The kids will never know!

There aren't many meals that I can count on my kids eating 100% of the time. My kids are typically pretty good eaters, but like any kids, they have their favorites, and they have things they definitely don't like. My kids will eat any for of scrambled eggs 100% of the time, and if it's wrapped into a taco, even better. 

Growing up, we hardly ever had scrambled eggs unless it was a Saturday morning, and breakfast tacos happened 0% of the time. It's funny how as a parent I find myself relying on scrambled eggs and breakfast tacos all the time, even though their something that was so uncommon in both mine and Derek's upbringing. 

Breakfast tacos are a great way to sneak some more veggies into your kid's diets. Salsa believe it or not, does count as a serving of vegetables, and you can load up your black beans with some spinach to sneak in even more nutrients. Neither one of my kids were phased by the spinach in these at all. 

2 tbsp. olive oil 
1 (15-oz) can cooked black beans 
1 clove garlic, finely chopped 
4 cups. baby spinach 
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
8 large eggs 
8 yellow corn tortillas

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and heat up on medium. 
  2. Add the beans and garlic; add salt and pepper to the mix and cook until the garlic starts to turn golden brown; roughly for about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add spinach, and lemon juice, toss together until the leaves just barely wilt. 
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, 1 tbsp. of water, also add salt and pepper. 
  5. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. 
  6. Add eggs and cook, stirring every few seconds for about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  7. Lightly char tortillas over a gas flame. 
  8. Fill the tortillas to create the tacos with the cooked eggs; you may add cheese, queso fresco, cilantro, or any other topping you desire to top. 

Gluten Free Almond Flour Pancakes

These gluten free almond flour pancakes are super simple to make, and will be a real crowd pleaser among any of your gluten free friends. 

I don't have celiacs disease, and no one in our household does either, but I've found myself interested in trying out some gluten free recipes over the last few months. With how prevalent gluten intolerances and celiacs disease are now a days, I think it's important for everyone to have a small arsenal of gluten free recipes at their disposal so that if you're having someone over for dinner, you have some tried and true meals that you can make for them. 

I made these pancakes for breakfast Tuesday morning and they were so good. The texture isn't the exact same as a traditional pancake, but they were still amazing. They almost reminded me of these corn toasties that I grew up eating in New York. I don't know if they sell them anywhere else in the country, but they were always my favorite. 

I've been trying to incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into my meals lately, and was super bummed when I realized I didn't grab any fresh berries at the store this week. Then I remembered I had some frozen berries in the freezer and just popped them into a pan and let them cook down on medium heat for a few minutes, and they were the perfect topping for these pancakes. I didn't even add sugar or water to them, just the plain berries. I might need to eat this every morning for the rest of my life. 

3 eggs 
½ cup almond milk or whatever milk you use 
2 tbsp. maple syrup 
½ tbsp. vanilla extract 
1 tbsp. coconut oil 
¼ cup coconut flour 
1 cup almond flour 
¼ tsp. cinnamon 
½ tsp. baking powder 
Frozen berries

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until they all combine well. 
  2. Warm a skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Apply some coconut oil to grease the pan. 
  4. Pour some mixture into the pan; or as much as desired in terms of the size of the pancake you want. Cook the pancakes most of the way on one side, or for about 2 minutes, flip, and cook for another minute. 
  5. Once fully cooked, put them on a plate and top as desired. 
  6. If making the berry topping, place frozen berries in a pan on medium heat and allow them to cook down until they are thawed and warmed through.

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Avocado egg salad sandwiches are the perfect way to get your favorite lunchtime fix, while also nourishing your body with some healthy fats and protein! 

I am not one to typically be all about "diet foods", or foods that are obviously supposed to be one way, but then someone put a healthy spin on it. Like in the case for this egg salad. I've seen avocado egg salad sandwich recipes all over the internet for the last several years, but I never wanted to make it because it just seemed like a gimmicky diet food that probably tasted really bad. 

Then I actually tried it and my mind was blown. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I actually might like avocado egg salad sandwiches more than traditional egg salad sandwiches. And that is coming from someone who really, REALLY loves mayonnaise. This lunch was perfect, creamy, and flavorful, without being super heavy and feeling like you can't eat or move for the rest of the day. I'm super pumped to have this again in the near future. 

1 ripe avocado
2 hard boiled eggs
2 slices of bread of choice. (We prefer Sara Lee Delightful 45 calorie wheat bread)

  1. Hard boil your eggs by placing two eggs into a small pot and covering with water. Bring the pot to a boil, and then let the eggs boil for one minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, place the eggs into an ice bath for a couple minutes to cool down, then peel and dice your eggs.
  2. In a small bowl mash your avocado to a creamy consistency, and salt to taste. 
  3. Add your diced eggs into the avocado and then mix until well combined. 
  4. Spread the mixture onto your bread, and enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli Bowl

Roasted Broccoli bowls are the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal. Serve your broccoli over some quick and easy minute rice and chick peas to hit all the important food groups. 

School is officially back in session for me. I'm back to the grind of: wake up in the morning, get Kyle to school, come home and get breakfast for Kinsley and I, get blog work done while she plays, make the two of us lunch, get her off to preschool, come home and get schoolwork done for two hours, pick the kids up at school, and then come home and Kyle and I do homework while Kinsley plays. It's a very loaded routine, which is why I rely on quick and easy weeknight meals like this to get me through. 

This roasted broccoli bowl was super easy to make last night when I looked at the clock at 4:45 and realized that I didn't have much time to get dinner on the table. All I had to do was roast the broccoli in the oven for 15 minutes, cook up some minute rice on the stove top, and warm up some chick peas in another pot, and then everything was done once the broccoli was ready to come out of the oven! Super quick and easy, and the kids ate it right up! This was the perfect fuel before I headed out for my evening run before the bedtime routine began! 

Serves 4
3 heaped cups of broccoli florets (from roughly 3 broccoli stalks) 
2 teaspoons olive oil 
Black pepper 
1 cup minute rice  
1 can chickpeas, undrained
1 tsp minced garlic
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
1 tsp lemon juice
2 green onions, thinly sliced 
Sunflower seeds

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions
  2. On a large cooking sheet, chop your broccoli into bite sized florets, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in a 400º oven for 15 minutes.
  3. While your rice and broccoli are cooking, pour your chick peas into a pot on the stove, and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Spices don't have to be exact, I did a couple dashes of each one. 
  4. Bring the chick peas to a boil, and let simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has been reduced. 
  5. Once your broccoli is cooked, arrange it in a bowl with the rice and chick peas, and then top it with sunflower seeds, and green onion for garnish. 

Protein Packed Pasta Salad (Gluten Free)

When I made the grand announcement of wanting to transition to a more plant based diet in my 2019 goals post, one of the biggest things people asked me were, "How are you going to get your protein?!" Which is the dreaded comment that all people transitioning to a plant based diet hate! There are so many protein sources out there! Did you know one bunch of broccoli has 17 grams of protein? This pasta dish is one of those protein wonders as well. 

We bought some red lentil pasta when we did our grocery shopping last week (purchased at Walmart, but I've also seen it at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and a lot of other stores too!), and it had 26 grams of protein per serving! Best part? My kids and husband who are very anti whole wheat pasta, had no clue that they were eating anything other than normal white flour pasta. I call that a win. 

We made this pasta salad as a quick and easy dinner when we got home from Idaho last night. It was super quick and easy to make, and Derek and I both loved it. Since it is a pasta salad, you are technically supposed to eat it cold, but we ate it warm and it was delicious. And now I just get to eat the leftovers cold for lunch today. Best of both worlds. 

1 lb. fusilli, cooked 
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, halved 
2 pt. grape tomatoes, halved 
¼ cup thinly sliced basil, plus more for garnish 
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Add the cooked pasta into a large bowl, include some tomatoes, and basil. 
  3. In a different smaller bowl combine the vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic, and oil. 
  4. Add salt and pepper, mix well. 
  5. Add the dressing, and toss well to combine it all together.

Quinoa Carrot Cake Muffins

Breakfast in our house can kind of be a sad situation most mornings. I hate getting out of bed until the last second when I have to drive Kyle to school, so I like having easy things prepped and ready for him that he can just grab and eat when he's done getting dressed.

These quinoa carrot cake muffins are packed with tons of nutrients. You get a boost of vitamin A, fiber, and beta-carotene from the carrots, and then some good protein, carbs, and healthy fats from the quinoa. They're an awesome well rounded treat to get your day going in the right direction.

When making the quinoa for your muffins, 1 cup of dry quinoa yields about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. You need 2 cups of cooked quinoa for the recipe, so you can cook one cup of dry quinoa, and then save whatever you don't use for this recipe to eat with dinner or lunch at another meal.

These muffins definitely have a quinoa texture. If you typically don't like eating quinoa, you probably won't like these muffins. Kyle really didn't like the texture of these, but then Kinsley didn't seem to mind them at all. It really just depends on a person to person basis. I personally really liked these, and find them to be a great alternative to other muffins that are typically empty calories in the morning.

1 egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
4 tbsp. maple syrup
2 cups quinoa
Olive oil Salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
½ tbsp. ground ginger
¼ tbsp. ground nutmeg
Muffin tin

How to cook quinoa: Being a large saucepan filled with water to a boil and then add the quinoa, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove from heat, drain any excess water and set to the side.

Preheat oven to 375°F. 2

Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin with oil or butter.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer or manually mix the flour, baking powder, spices, banana, maple syrup, egg, 1 tbsp. olive oil and vanilla together, blend until smooth.

Then add the quinoa and grated carrot and mix to the bowl, and use a spatula to blend into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Allow it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.