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Cookies & Cups made these amazing peanut butter honey oat squares (which I tried too, and they are absolutely delicious!). I decided to jazz them up a bit with a few of the things left on hand from hubs’s yearly macaroons. Chocolate and coconut, and wow! did they turn out amazing. Trying not to make them my new daily breakfast (although I think they’re pretty healthy, right??).

chocolate honey almond butter oat bars_ raudette

No Bake Coconut & Chocolate Almond Butter Oat Bars
adapted from cupcakes & cups

1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter!)
1/2 cup honey
2oz bakers chocolate
2/3 cup coconut flakes
2 cups rolled oats

Line a 9×9 pan with foil (or 8×8 if you want thicker bars). Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
Melt the chcolate, almond butter and honey together until smooth, either in the microwave or stove top. Combine mixture with oats.
Press into prepared pan. Place in refrigerator until set. Cut into squares.

This summer is too hot for cooking. But a quick chop of veggies roasted for a few minutes in the oven, seasoned just right? Perfectly easy and delicious on a hot night.

roasted chickpea ratatouille _ raudette

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille
via love and lemons

1 small eggplant (about 1.5 cups, cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 roma tomatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
2 cups chopped zucchini/yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
a few leaves of basil, sliced
(optional): cous cous, cooked millet or crusty bread on the side

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, onions and chickpeas on a baking sheet (it’s ok if it’s a little crowded). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven. Drizzle the vinegar over the veggies and toss them with the minced garlic and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Bake 5-10 minutes longer (or broil 1-2 minutes)… until the veggies are golden brown on the edges but still have somewhat of a bite (you don’t want them completely mushy). Remove from the oven and toss with sliced basil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, if you like. Serve with a grain or protein (pictured with cous cous).

When I’m in a restaurant ordering enchiladas, I almost always go for the cheese filled ones. Creamy and spicy might be my favorite mix. These burritos ended up hitting that craving right on the nose, but with a lot less cheese (!!!). Amazing, right? I’m trying to cut back a bit on the dairy, and this avocado and blended black bean mix went above and beyond.

black bean and avocado burritos

Baked Black Bean and Avocado Burritos
via the kitchn

2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely minced
1 cup sour cream
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 medium avocados, cut in 1/2-inch dice
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray (or olive oil). Combine chipotle and sour cream in a bowl. Purée half the beans in a food processor; add to the sour cream mixture. Stir in the whole beans and corn until well combined. Gently stir in the avocado. Warm the tortillas for a few seconds in the microwave between damp paper towels to soften. Working one at a time, spoon the bean mixture down the center of each. Roll the tortillas closed and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the salsa over the tortillas and top with the shredded cheese. Cover and bake 20 minutes until cheese is melted and burritos are warmed through.

Green Goddess. I never really tasted something that captured that for me until this dish. Lemony green goodness. I’m so looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. I imagine this is just as delicious cold as warm! I’ll be adding it to the list of possible pasta salads, coming to a summer BBQ near you!
{update: this is AWESOME cold and I will definitely be using it as a sauce on at least 10 summer pasta salads this year. Yum!}

broccoli feta pasta_raudette

Broccoli & Feta Pasta
via the kitchn

1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup feta cheese, divided
1 pound pasta

Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam on the stove or in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside. Start your pasta water and cook to al dente (I cooked mine in the broccoli water).
While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook the onion and garlic until it just begins to soften then add the broccoli. Cook for several minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Add the parsley and cook until it’s well wilted. Pour in the lemon juice and simmer for about two minutes. Transfer to a blender and add 1/4 cup of the feta cheese and the 1/4 cup water. Puree until smooth, adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little more water if it sticks and turns to a lump. Puree until as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Taste and add any necessary additional salt and pepper. Serve over your pasta of choice with additional feta to taste.

I’m really really bad about making myself breakfast. Even when I’m home on the weekend. Suddenly it’s 1pm and I’m starving and… argh. I need to get better at this. One thing that’s really helped is overnight oats! It’s just one cup of oatmeal, one cup of your choice of milk, any mix-ins you want, time, and voilà!

raudette overnight oats

I’ve tried and seen a million great options. Here’s a roundup of a few of my favorites:

The first one I tried: Coconut with Coconut Milk (simple and perfect)
Peanut Butter & Banana

Peach Pie
Cinnamon Apple
Raspberry Almond

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla

And my own personal favorite:

Maple & Brown Sugar Overnight Oats
1 cup whole grain oats
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Mix well. Put into an airtight container (mason jars work well!). In the morning, stir and eat!
(sometimes if it’s a chilly morning, I’ll pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so).

Oh. My. I’ve always had a soft spot for sloppy joes, but mixing them up with taco flavor and toppings? Mind blown. And easily made vegetarian by swapping out the meat & chicken broth!

taco sloppy joes
Taco Sloppy Joes
via lemons for lulu

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup chicken broth
14 ounces pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Sour Cream (and any other toppings you’d like!)
4 hamburger buns

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until mostly brown. Add the diced onion and cook until the turkey has browned and the onion is translucent. Add garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Stir. Add broth and salsa. Stir. Add the beans and frozen corn. Reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
Split each hamburger bun. Top each with turkey mixture, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, etc. Enjoy!

Finally! I’ve been meaning to try zucchini noodles for so long and after we finally picked up a spiralizer, I knew it was on. Love this for a meatless Monday! It’s rich and satisfying but not too heavy. Planned on making this with pork chops, but ended up just eating 2 giant bowls instead!

Creamy Red Pepper Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Red Pepper & Chèvre Sauce
via GI365

2 roasted red peppers, about 8 ounces (fresh or jarred)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 pounds zucchini, ends cut off and spiralized or cut into ‘noodles’
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces of soft goat cheese, (usually labeled chèvre)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

Add the 2 roasted bell peppers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, goat cheese and 1 teaspoon salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. For the zucchini noodles: heat a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic; sauté for a minute or two until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the sea salt and zucchini noodles to the skillet and sauté using a pair of non-stick tongs to toss the noodles. Just as the zucchini noodles begin to soften, but before they start shedding water, add the sauce and cook just until the sauce is heated. Adjust the salt to your taste, and serve immediately with the freshly chopped parsley, grated parmesan, extra goat cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.

After a long week, I love to sit down with the husband and enjoy a pint of chocolate or coffee ice cream. And yes, I usually eat the whole pint in one sitting. Well, I stumbled across this little recipe recently and fell in love. It’s incredibly delicious on it’s own, and amazing with just a few mix-ins! I went for Nutella this time, just a spoonful added to my bowl, but any nut butter would be great, along with cocoa, sprinkles, fresh berries, honey, almonds… the options are endless! I have the feeling this will become a weekly ritual.

banana ice cream

And after two small bowls each (it’s so good and there’s no guilt!), we had just enough to fill up a little mason jar and toss it in the freezer for tomorrow night. It just needs a few moments to soften on the counter and voila!

banana ice cream

1 Ingredient Ice Cream
via the kitchn

4-6 ripe bananas

Start with ripe bananas: They should be sweet and soft. Peel the bananas and cut them into half inch slices. Put the bananas in an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight.
Blend the frozen banana pieces in a food processor. The banana will look crumbly at first; scrape down the food processor and keep blending. As the last bits of banana smooth out, you’ll see the mixture shift from blended banana to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate the ice cream. (If adding any mix-ins, like peanut butter or chocolate chips, this is the moment to do it). Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid: You can eat the ice cream immediately, it will be more like the texture of frozen yogurt. We ate most this way because we couldn’t wait!

Nutella, so far, is my favorite mix-in. What would yours be?

Veggie packed, gluten-free (or gluten light, dending on your enchilada sauce), rich, cheesy, spicy magic! The satisying texture of a lasagna with a southwestern bite. This is my kind of comfort food!

mexican inspired casserole

Mexican Inspired Casserole with Roasted Corn & Peppers
via a pinch of yum

2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
1 jalapeno or 2 chipotle peppers (optional – just for more kick)
½ red onion
2 cups frozen corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar & pepperjack blend)
10 medium corn tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 cups red enchilada sauce
cilantro, guacamole, or sour cream for topping

Dice the peppers and mince the onions. Heat a large nonstick skillet with a little bit of oil over high heat. Add the onion and peppers, sprinkle with chili and cumin, and stir, rest, stir, rest until you get a nice browning on the outside of the peppers. Remove and set aside. Repeat the roasting process with the corn, sprinkling with chili and cumin, removing from the heat when browned and roasted on the outside. Sprinkle the roasted veggies with a little bit of salt and toss to coat.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tortillas into thin strips. Put the refried beans in a bowl and mix with a little bit of water to make them easier to spread. Spread a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in order: half of the tortilla strips, all the beans, half of the veggies, half of the sauce, half of the cheese. Cover with the other half of the tortilla strips, veggies, sauce, and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted (I broiled mine for the last 3 minutes to get the top nice and bubbly). Serve with guacamole, fresh cilantro and sour cream!

Sometimes I just don’t have it in me. Sometimes I’m craving something but I want it now and it’s time for a few shortcuts. Wonton soup is one of those things I crave all the time, but with order minimums, there’s only so many times I can order take out and be left with a bunch of other stuff in the fridge (although the husband never minds). I was having another one of those cravings this weekend, grabbed a bag of pre-made wontons, and tossed a few things I had in the fridge and freezer in. Voila! If I did a little more shopping before hand, I might pack this with some more veggies, like bok choy, carrots, broccoli, maybe a bit of cilantro. This is a great base for so many options. Easily made vegetarian or vegan too, subbing out the fish sauce, chicken broth and opting for meatless wontons. Endless possibilities!

5 minute won ton soup

Five Minute Wonton Soup
inspired by the view from great island

4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 package wontons (I used Trader Joe’s frozen chicken cilantro mini’s)
1/3 cup very thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

Bring your stock and water to a low boil, stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Toss in the wontons and let cook for about a minute. Add the mushroom and cook for an additional minute, until the wontons are just done. Remove from heat and stir in in the scallions. Serve hot!