Turmeric-Kissed Date and Banana Smoothie Bowl with Sliced Avocado

Turmeric-Kissed Date and Banana Smoothie Bowl with Sliced Avocado 1

Happy Saturday, guys! SATURDAYYYYY!

Heralding Saturday as amazing is not a revolutionary declaration, I know. Most of us are pretty damn into today. I’m especially excited because here in the D, we’re supposed to have a temperature high of 60 degrees today – 60! In February! Heck yes I will be spending as much time as possible outside today!

And to top it off, I’m presenting an incredibly healthful + scrumptious breakfast recipe that will get us all revving high and ready to take on this beautiful day. Say hiya to the Turmeric-Kissed Date and Banana Smoothie Bowl with Sliced Avocado!!!

Why is this smoothie bowl so rad?

Dark Chocolate Waffles

Dark Chocolate Waffles 1

It’s Valentine’s Day, guys! A day of love!!!!!

Once I look past the hyper-commercial aspects of Valentine’s Day, I love it. Because I do believe that at its unvarnished core, Valentine’s Day is a noble day. At the very least, it’s a great reminder to show the people in your life + yourself that you care about them. And you can show them that you care today AND any other day of the year by making these glorious Dark Chocolate Waffles.

MMMMMMmmmmm, CHOCOLATE.

Chocolate is one of my great joys in life. And since I am my own best Valentine, I’m unabashedly advocating that I consume as much of it as I want today – which is why I included both unsweetened raw cacao AND a whole melted dark chocolate bar in this waffle recipe.

Fennel, Cranberry, and Mint Kale Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette

Fennel, Cranberry, and Mint Kale Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette 1I find comfort foods are critical during these chilly, gloomy winter months in boosting my morale – but so are fresh fruits and vegetables. They remind me that sunnier days are coming! That’s why I love this Fennel, Cranberry, and Mint Kale Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette recipe!

This dish feels like the quintessential winter salad to me. It contains hearty, seasonal elements: fennel, cranberries, oranges. It’s brightly colored and full of vibrant flavor, helping to ease the winter blahs. And the mint adds a freshness that makes spring feel THA T much closer.

Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Veggie Soup

Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Veggie Soup 1

Today I have a recipe that’s going to up the cozy factor in your life. Say hello to Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Veggie Soup!

February is most definitely a time for ultra coziness here in Michigan. We are deep in the throes of winter and weeks and weeks of gray and gloom, so I’ll take all of the warm-fuzzies I can get!

Ricotta Bacon Date Dip

Ricotta Bacon Date Dip 1

We’ve got a good one today, guys: a Ricotta Bacon Date Dip that is creamy, sweet, and savory all in one! Better yet, it’s a snap to make.

It’s not the time for elaborate meals right now. It’s Big Game weekend here in the U.S. (am I as a lay person not even allowed to use the term “Super Bowl”? I never know.)! Time for beer and wings and nachos, silly TV ads and Gaga’s halftime show, betting games like squares! And football, of course.

For many of us, the football is incidental. I am not a football person. But I like having an excuse to loll on the couch in my sweatpants eating insanely rich foods – like dips!

Chocolate Coconut Banana Smoothie Bowl

Chocolate Coconut Banana Smoothie Bowl 1

Today is all about the kind of chocolatey, coconut-y banana-laden goodness that beckons you out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. Chocolate Coconut Banana Smoothie Bowl is IN THE HOUSE!!!!

(I never underestimate the power of a delectable breakfast to motivate me to rise. Awaking with the image of fresh-baked muffins in my head made getting up for class sophomore year a delight. Oh, dorm food days, I do miss you sometimes!)

I’m a wee bit enthused about this one. This Chocolate Coconut Banana Smoothie Bowl recipe contains unsweetened raw cacao powder AND cacao nibs (think a more natural version of baking chips). Unsweetened raw cacao is LIIIIIFE, in my book.

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pine Nut Risotto with Fresh Sage

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pinenut Risotto with Fresh Sage 1 Hello, all! I’m all about promoting healthy eating, but sometimes, we need a treat, right? That’s why I’m sharing this recipe for Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pine Nut Risotto with Fresh Sage with you today!

Really, this recipe is quite healthful in the scheme of things because it incorporates whole ingredients, instead of baddie processed ones. I am huge on the philosophy of whole-foods-based eating (eating meals that incorporate ingredients with natural sources, rather than processed ingredients). I believe it’s much more important than eating low-calorie. So while this risotto probably isn’t exactly low-calorie, it’s clean. Yeah, clean eats!

Classic Roasted Chicken

Classic Roasted Chicken 1Hi guys! Happy Monday!!!!

OK, I know Mondays aren’t especially happy for many of us. I hear you! But you know what will make your Monday so, SO much better? A whole chicken just out of the oven, all golden and crispy-skinned, on a bed of potatoes and onions tender-roasted in the drippings – YUMMMMM.

There are few things better in life, in my opinion, than fresh-roasted chicken. I stand over it at the stove, ripping pieces off of the still piping-hot bird, burning my fingers, dipping the pieces in the buttery pan drippings . . . THE BEST.

Arugula Quinoa Salad with Baked Pears and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Arugula Quinoa Salad with Baked Pears and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette 1

OK, can you BELIEVE that we are already into the THIRD week of the new year? Craziness!

What’s not craziness: this Arugula Quinoa Salad with Baked Pears and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette! It is just plain lovely. But first, I can’t help but muse about the passage of time, and habits, and goals, because they are on my mind a lot lately during this quickly-ensuing January. Maybe they’ve been on your mind, too.

Time really does fly so quickly. The freshness of a new year eventually wears off. New year’s resolutions become less shiny and exciting – and consequently, less enticing to follow. The daily grind wears us down, tempts us to flake out on our goals.

We are all human, and we all slip up on our goals sometimes. I’ve realized that it’s important to remind myself that this is normal. As a recovering perfectionist who was once flat-out rigid in her self-discipline, I have learned the beauty of self-compassion, of giving myself grace when I slip up with habits and goals. The key to overall maintaining challenging endeavors, I have learned, is to remember:

Garlic Roasted Almonds

Garlic Roasted Almonds 1

Happy Friday, my dears! It’s the W-E-E-K-E-N-D! And to celebrate, today I have this Garlic Roasted Almonds recipe for ya. 🙂

Having a Monday-through-Friday day job in corporate America (for now, at least!) that doesn’t quite vibe with my personal interests, I very much savor the weekend, a.k.a. Real Life, as I call it. During Real Life time, I have the space to do all of the stuff that my heart sings at doing, such as developing recipes for this blog (utilizing the precious daylight that is so scarce this time of  year and oft missed when I’m corralled inside my cubicle), visiting new restaurants with my pals, and dozing off in front of the TV in my fleece sweatpants (seriously one of my fave pastimes. I am not a napper except when it’s dark and I’m in front of a TV). And snacking – lots and lots of unbridled snacking.