Jessica’s Pistachio Oat Squares

Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares

I’m excited to share this recipe today – these Pistachio Oat Squares are SO delicious!

It’s spring which means that the best cookbooks are coming out now. You know the ones – they’re brimming with fresh healthy, veggie-ful recipes. This recipe is from Jessica Murnane’s book One Part Plant. If you’re not familiar with my blog pal Jessica, you should go listen to her podcast – she’s hosted all of your favorite food bloggers (including yours truly!) and other inspiring folks who are part of the plant-forward food community.

Her mission is simple – to inspire people to eat one plant-based meal a day. No judgement, no strings. Simple as that. The cookbook reflects her vision with accessible, easy to prepare, yet delicious recipes like these oat squares.

Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares

These are in the “snack” section of her book – Jessica noted that they’re a little too sweet for breakfast but not quite sweet enough for dessert. Well, um… I ate these for dessert and then again the next morning for breakfast – they’re addictive!

While these look so pretty with pistachios, I feel like this recipe would easily lend itself to the use of other nuts if you don’t happen to have pistachios on hand. These were so easy to make – go run to your kitchen now if you’re craving a lightly sweet, nutty, oaty snack!

Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane

This lasagna recipe is next on my to-make list – yum!

One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane

Oh, and go get her book!

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

I have more than a few soba noodle recipes on this site, but I’ve decided that THIS recipe is my new favorite. These noodles are rich, tangy, creamy, sweet and a little spicy, with loads of kale mixed in – I love meals like this for weeknight dinners. The formula is simple: sauce + noodles + seasonal vegetables. Check, check, and check. The sauce can be made in advance and the rest can be assembled fairly quickly.

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

First, let’s talk about this sauce because it’s the main component of this recipe. It’s tangy, nutty, salty, and lightly sweet. It’s sweetened with Truvia Nectar, which is a blend of stevia leaf extract and honey. It has 50% fewer calories per serving than sugar, but I have to tell you that it tastes just like honey… or maybe even a tad sweeter which means that you can use less of it without sacrificing flavor.

I usually use peanut butter to thicken noodle sauces but this time, I’ve used a mix of tahini and almond butter. You can choose to use one or the other, but I think the combination of both gives this tangy sesame sauce a rich flavor without being too nutty.

I get a lot of reader requests for recipes that use alternative sugars so I hope you give this lower-sugar recipe a try!

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

The vegetables I chose here were from my weekend farmers market haul. I picked up kale, garlic chives (you could use regular chives!), scarlet turnips, and black radishes. You can switch out the vegetables however you like (in the summer I would go for cucumbers), but I really loved the combination of these bitter root vegetables with the sweet sauce. Plus – HOW PRETTY ARE THEY?

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

Almost-Spring Recipes

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowls

I think it’s safe to say that no matter what climate you live in, we’re all experiencing a version of spring fever. It’s been exceptionally beautiful in Austin lately which makes me want to cook (or in some cases, just assemble) meals that are light and fresh and full of green things. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve been in the mood for lately. Click on the photos or the links to go to the full recipes.

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowls (pictured above)

These are packed with roasted chickpeas, broccolini, radishes, herbs, and avocado. Serve with a scoop of (nut-free) pea pesto that’s made with hemp seeds and dill.

Avocado and Mango Brown Rice Sushi

Avocado and Mango Brown Rice Sushi

One of my go-to lunches is the take-out sushi at Whole Foods, which is definitely easier and quicker than making it yourself. But I love being able to customize the ingredients – this avocado mango version with peanut dipping sauce is a favorite.

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

Our spring weather has me looking forward to summer, which has me looking forward to pot luck picnics… and this broccoli salad is the perfect healthy dish to bring. It’s made with tahini instead of mayo, and it’s loaded with zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and herbs.

Lemon Edamame Avocado Sandwiches

Lemon Edamame Avocado Sandwiches

And speaking of picnics… here are some very green, very packable sandwiches, made with a creamy lemon-edamame spread.

Minty Green Shamrock Shake Smoothies

Minty Green Shamrock Shake Smoothies

A healthier way to celebrate St. Paddy’s day… or any day that you feel like a creamy green smoothie. These are made with almond butter, banana, spinach (which you can’t taste), and mint.

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

A sweet twist on tabbouleh that uses dried tart cherries instead of tomatoes. It’s tossed with a bright lemony dressing and packed with herbs.

Roasted Artichoke Avocado Toast

Roasted Artichoke Avocado Toast

It’s almost artichoke season around here. Because fresh artichokes take a little bit of work to prep, I like to enjoy the fruits vegetables of my labor in simple ways like these elevated avocado toasts.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Since it’s now quite spring, I thought I’d throw a comfort food recipe in the mix. These cozy sweet potatoes are filled with sweet potato rosemary cashew cream, broccoli, scallions, and hemp seeds.

Spring Broccolini Kale & Quinoa Bowls

For more spring recipes, click here!

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

After such a positive response to this post that I wrote last month, I’m back with some more healthy little tips – this time I’m giving a little sneak peak at what my morning routine looks like. Yours might be more or less busy/hectic than mine – I work from home and don’t have kids to get off to school – but hopefully there are a couple of tidbits in here to inspire.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

1. Wake up & take a sec to cuddle with the dog.

I’m one of those people that doesn’t need an alarm clock because we have 2 hungry dogs that wake us up pretty early. After they’re fed, the little one bounds back in and lays by my head. They say dogs can help lower anxiety so before I get up to start my to-do list, I make a point to pause and take an extra minute to cuddle with the pup.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

2. Fuel up on a protein shake to start the day.

With 15 grams of plant-based protein and 4.5 servings of vegetables,* Burt’s Bees™ Protein + Healthy Radiance is a healthy way to embrace the day. Their formula is carefully crafted from a mix of pea, rice, oat, flaxseed and sunflower seed protein. I mix it with water or almond milk, or blend it into my favorite smoothie. I prefer the vanilla flavor but it comes in chocolate as well. While I drink my shake, I usually finish up that day’s blog post and take a first pass through my email.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

3. Skip the gym and go for a walk outside instead.

I have an old injury that prevents me from doing high impact workouts, but I love to walk. It’s not only great exercise but it helps me clear my head and work through whatever problems or projects I might be working on. I swear more “ah ha” moments happen during my morning walk than any other time of day. Weather permitting, I like to walk as many mornings as I can.

   5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

4. Breakfast!

By at least 10am, I’m hungry for a post-walk breakfast. It’s not always the same, but it usually involves avocados. They say that healthy fats are good for the brain and skin. I make my avocado toast with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and hemp seeds as well.

  5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

5. Take a few minutes to clean up my work space.

Ok, to be honest I wrote this one here as a reminder for myself because I typically have 7 empty glasses and a bazillion post-it notes all over my desk. I’m not a neat worker, but I feel SO much better if I can take 5 minutes to tidy up my desk space before diving into work for the day. Next year’s goal will be to do this clean-up before I end the work day, but for now, baby steps.

Do you have a morning routine that works for you? Let me know!

*Based on vitamin content. 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables would be needed to reach 25% Daily Value of Vitamins A, C, E, K and the B vitamins listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

There’s exactly one thing I love about winter – the colorful produce! I know, I know, the winter is not so bad here in Austin, but I feel for those of you up north because I used to be one of you. I live for warm sunny days so I made this salad of bright winter produce with you in mind – to send some love – and lemons… and well, also some clementines.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

First step: gather as many colorful winter veggies like fennel, radishes, cabbage, carrots, clementines, and mint. I like to slice my fennel on a mandoline, but if you’re using a knife try to slice it as paper thin as you can.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

Next, whisk together this dressing. This one is made with lemon juice, clementine juice, miso paste, ginger, and garlic. It’s pretty zippy. The citrus juices soften the veggies and tone down the bitterness of the cabbage and radishes.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

The inspiration for this recipe came from an unexpected place: method’s new kitchen hand wash :). We’re partnering with them for the next couple of months and, as you know, I’m a huge fan of their naturally derived products. Their new kitchen hand wash is specifically formulated for messy food hands – it works especially well for that slippery layer of olive oil that I’m always trying to get off my hands while making salads like this.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

I love this salad for lunch because all of these crunchy vegetables keep well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days after it’s first assembled. For dinner, add some garlicky chickpeas, some seared tofu, or top it whatever protein you like!

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