* gluten free, vegetarian *

Classic. Gluten free. Lightened up.

in this case, that means no butter, cream, or even milk added.

don’t doubt me just yet. 🙂

I N G R E D I E N T S:

  • 1 box gluten free pasta of choice
  • 2 c. low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1-1 1/2 c. shredded cheese(s) of choice
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • {yes, that’s s e r i o u s l y  all there is to it}

D I R E C T I O N S:

  • Prepare pasta al dente according to the box. Drain the noodles and set aside.

 

  • Return the pot back to the warm burner and add the chicken stock. Add a generous pinch of pepper and bring to a boil. Then add garlic.

 

  • Once the stock is boiling, add the cornstarch and stir continuously until it reaches desired thickness. (It will produce larger bubbles as it thickens).

 

  • Add the cheese and continue to stir (a whisk works best) until all the cheese is melted. At this point, it should be a creamy cheese sauce.

 

  • Return the noodles back to the pot and stir stir everything together. Lastly, add the basil!

 

  • Serve immediately BUT, also makes for great leftovers!

 

And there you have it!

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N O T E S

  • shredded chicken or crab meat would be an excellent source of additional protein in this dish.
  • cornstarch is an ingredient everyone should have in their kitchen. It serves to help thicken liquids without adding heaviness or extra calories.
  • I did not choose to salt anything in this dish because cheese is naturally salty. No need for excess!
  • To add more color and nutrients, add cooked green peans, peas, or broccoli!
  • I used pasta made of a rice & corn blend. The cheese I used was cheddar, parmesan, and mozzarella. But seriously, use whatever is your favorite! Asiago sounds pretty good too. 🙂

 

Try it! You will be happy you did!

xxx,

M

As we are well into the month of January, we are also in the midst of cold, flu, and stomach bug season. Beside these temporary, productivity-inhibiting ailments alone, we have to also deal with colder temperatures, less sunlight, and not much sun exposure to absorb vitamin D. Our immune systems are already working hard, and barely stand a chance against these pathogens in this season, so do your immune system a favor and give it a vitamin C boost!

This is one of my favorite smoothies because it is a hybrid between an Orange Julius and and an orange creamsicle, two REALLY refreshing things that are full of empty calories (including large amounts of fat and sugar) where mine is just as good, minus all that bad stuff. 🙂

I N G R E D I E N T S:

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • about 1/2 c. vanilla greek yogurt
  • about 1/c c. ice
  • 1/2-1 c. milk of choice (I used almond)
  • 1-2 tsp honey at room temp (preference)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • orange zest
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Blend thoroughly, and enjoy! 

Ps, did you know that one orange contains 97 mg of vitamin C which is 15 mg more than the recommended daily allowance for women (75), and 7 mg more than the RDA for men? (90)

Vitamin C is important for many processes throughout the body such as:

  • aiding in the absorption of iron (important in carrying oxygen in the blood)
  • helping to repair cells and form scar tissue
  • a component in collagen, the body’s building block
  • AND, it’s an antioxidant, which helps protect cells from DNA damage due to free radicals

So, there you have it. Vitamins, protein, hydration, immunity, and a healthy taste of summer in a glass!

Happy blending!

xx,

M

It’s the last week before 16 more weeks of tests, quizzes, and HOURS of study each day. I am relishing in the fact that I can lay in bed a few extra minutes, binge watch Grey’s Anatomy, and not spend a minute thinking about anything academic. In a sense, it’s like hibernating, but my version, unlike the bears’ winter behavior, includes lots of good food.

So this morning, I made a little brunch and this is how I did it!

Baked Eggs & Spinach:

You’ll need-

  • 3-4 good handfuls of spinach
    • (it looks like a lot, but it cooks down immensely!)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • about 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 eggs (preference)

To make-

Add about a teaspoon of coconut oil to a large pan and warm on medium heat. Add the spinach and spices. To determine that the spinach is cooked, you’ll know right away as the leaves shrivel and lose their size. When it’s done, remove from the heat and place in a casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Crack an egg (or two) over the spinach and add the cheese to the remaining visible spinach.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the egg(s) is thoroughly cooked.

Banana Pancakes:

*yes, the entire time I was making these, I was listening to the Jack Johnson song.*

You’ll need-

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (VERY important)
  • generous pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

To make-

Place everything but the almond milk in the food processor. Combine. Then, add the almond milk after everything is combined.

Ladle the pancake batter into a pan or griddle on medium-low heat. They usually take about 2-3 minutes per side. Flip, cook the other side, and enjoy!

I topped mine with fresh berries, but you could also top with greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, BANANAS, cinnamon, or mini chocolate chips. 🙂

 

LASTLY,

 

Herbed Potatoes

You’ll need-

  • 2-3 baby potatoes (already cooked) sliced into rounds
  • about 1 tablespoon of either rosemary or basil
  • salt & pepper to taste

To make-

On the stovetop, heat about a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil along with the herb of choice. Once it heats up, add the potatoes, and salt & pepper. Cook until the potatoes start to brown. That’s it, that’s all!

If you too are starting school again Monday, I wish you the best semester possible! Remember to get enough sleep, fuel your body well, drink lots of water, exercise, and take a little time for yourself each day! Set yourself up to succeed.

Happy eating!

xxx,

M

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Currently wishing I could eat this again…