Pesto Hummus

Is anyone else trying to eat a little healthier this year? Homemade hummus is incredibly easy and uses such simple ingredients! It is also so versatile; I add it to salads, spread it on sandwiches and of course dip veggies in it for a healthy snack. You know what is better than regular hummus? PESTO hummus! That’s right, just add a little pesto to your hummus and you have a delicious crossover that anyone will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sprinkle sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy
  2. Add extra olive oil if consistency is too thick
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week

Banana Almond Butter Bites

Have you ever had the Gone Bananas from Trader Joes? They are basically frozen chocolate-covered banana slices. I like the flavor and they’re a relatively healthy dessert but I always feel like I was chewing on ice when I eat them. So I decided to iterate! The key is to slice the banana nice and thin to eliminate the ice-chewing sensation. I then spread a bit of almond butter between 2 slices, did a half dip in melted chocolate and (surprise, surprise) sprinkled a bit of sea salt on top.

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas (ripe but not over-ripe)
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. Slice bananas into thin discs (~30 per banana)
  2. Spread a bit of almond butter on one banana slice and top with another slice, making a sandwich
  3. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  4. Repeat with remaining banana slices
  5. Place baking sheet in freezer for 1+ hour
  6. When the hour is up, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30 second increments until smooth
  7. Dip half of the banana sandwiches in the melted chocolate, return to the baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt (I like to dip half of the banana sandwiches, pop them back in the freezer for ~15 minutes and then do the other half because the bananas get mushy FAST. The chocolate also hardens quickly so be quick with the sea salt sprinkle!)
  8. Once all bananas have been dipped in chocolate, freezer for 1+ hour and enjoy!

Store extras in a container in the freezer!

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, this recipe title is quite long. But all of the descriptors are important! The brown butter makes this cookie taste nutty and almost toffee-like; the oatmeal give it a great chewy texture; and the chocolate chips are self explanatory. The longer name of this cookie is “Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie with a Sprinkle of Sea Salt” but that pushed it over the limit. But seriously, don’t forget the sprinkle of sea salt.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 cups oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Brown the butter- place butter in a stainless steel sauce pan over low-medium heat. Stir frequently until brown bits start to form at the bottom (~10 minutes). Butter should smell nutty when it is done. Remove from heat and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon
  4. In a large bowl, cream together brown butter, white sugar and brown sugar
  5. Slowly fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients
  6. Fold in chocolate chips and then oats
  7. Use a 1 tbsp cookie scoop to dollop dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Sprinkle each mound with sea salt
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Remember my banana coffee cake? Well, I figured it was time to try a pumpkin coffee cake! This twist on the fall classic uses the same streusel topping, with the addition of pumpkin pie spice. I served this bread for dessert with olive oil ice cream and it was a perfect fall treat but would be great for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning!

Ingredients

For the pumpkin bread

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the streusel topping

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter (cold)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and oil
  4. Using a rubber spatula, slowly fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
  5. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in batter
  6. In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the streusel ingredients (should look like crumbs)
  7. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter
  8. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Pumpkin Granola

I have been on a major granola kick lately. It is so easy to make, uses ingredients that are always stocked in my kitchen and makes my apartment smell AMAZING. Seriously, better than any fall candle I’ve found. My favorite way to eat granola is on top of apple slices with a smear of almond butter. It is the perfect hearty snack.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1.5  cups raw pecans, roughly chopped 
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, pecans, brown sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice
  3. In a small saucepan, mix coconut oil, maple syrup and pumpkin puree over low heat until combined
  4. Let cool slightly and pour mixture over dry ingredients. Mix until combined
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spread oat mixture between the two sheets
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown (will get more crispy when it cools)
  7. Store in an airtight container and store in your pantry or on the counter for up to a few weeks

Maple Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese

Now that it is fall, I constantly find myself leaving the grocery store with multiple types of squash. Usually some combination of butternut, spaghetti or delicata. Butternut squash can be intimidating because it does take some prep (peeling, cutting, removing seeds, etc.) but I was so happy with how this recipe came out that I can’t wait to make it again. The maple syrup creates a rich, caramelized flavor and the goat cheese adds a great tanginess. I cooked half of this in the air fryer and I roasted the other half in the oven and the air fryer did turn out better (more caramelized) but the oven works well too.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1-2 oz goat cheese

Directions

  1. If using the oven, preheat to 400
  2. Peel the skin off the squash, cut off the ends, scoop the seeds out with a spoon and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  3. Place cubes in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper
  4. If using the air fryer, cook at 400 for 20-25 minutes
  5. If using the oven, cook for 40-50 minutes
  6. Add goat cheese prior to serving

Everything Bagel Chicken

I LOVE Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning. I eat it with eggs, avocado toast and most recently, chicken! The flavors pair so perfectly and mixing it with the panko gives the chicken a wonderful crispy texture. I cooked these in the air fryer but have also made them in the oven and they turned out great. These were made with chicken tenders but you can also use breasts, just increase the cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken tenders
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons everything but the bagel seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Few grounds of pepper

Directions

  1. If using an oven, preheat to 425
  2. Remove chicken from package
  3. Whisk the egg(s) in a bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients
  5. One tender at a time, coat first in whisked egg and then in panko mix (I like to use tongs but feel free to use a fork or just your hands). Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  6. If using an air fryer, spray both sides of chicken with olive oil and bake at 400 for 5-6 minutes per side
  7. If using an oven, bake on baking sheet for 20-25 minutes

I love these on top of a salad but they are also great with air fryer sweet potato fries!

Fall Harvest Salad

My go-to order at Sweetgreen is their Harvest Bowl. The combination of kale, wild rice, apples, sweet potatoes, chicken, goat cheese and almonds is perfectly hearty and satisfying. I’ve attempted to recreate this bowl at home a few times and I think I have it figured out! I modified the ingredients a bit but the result is pretty close to perfect. If you have leftover quinoa and/or butternut squash, this recipe comes together in under 10 minutes. If you have to cook those, it takes a little longer but still worth it!

Feel free to play around with the ingredients! I didn’t add chicken but the Sweetgreen salad does. I also subbed butternut squash for sweet potatoes but either would be great. And I used pecans but walnuts, almonds, etc would also work. The Sweetgreen salad uses a balsamic vinaigrette but I made a quick lemon dijon dressing and it was perfect.

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 cups baby kale
  • 1/3 cup quinoa (or rice)
  • 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash (or sweet potatoes)
  • 1/2 apple, cubed (I used honeycrisp)
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans (or almonds)
  • 1 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dijon
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients

  1. Layer the ingredients! I usually start with the kale and quinoa, add the squash and apples and then top with the pecans and goat cheese
  2. Drizzle the dressing and enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Brussels Sprouts

I love crispy roasted brussels sprouts but usually keep it simple with olive oil, salt and pepper. This is a great alternative when you want a more flavorful side dish! Just make sure to roast the brussels sprouts long enough that they get brown and crispy. I ate mine in a bowl with quinoa and shredded chicken!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Brussels sprouts (one standard bag)
  • 3 tablespoons high-heat oil (canola oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon if using jarred garlic)
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Rinse and dry brussels sprouts
  3. Slice off the base of each sprout and then cut in half (you can leave smaller ones whole)
  4. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil, add sliced brussels sprouts, coat in 3 tablespoons high-heat oil, sprinkle with salt and mix thoroughly
  5. Cook for 45 minutes or until browned, stirring halfway
  6. When the brussels are close to brown, begin preparing sauce
  7. In a small saucepan, combine, soy sauce, maple syrup, sriracha sauce, lemon juice and garlic
  8. Reduce for roughly 5 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken
  9. Transfer brussels to large bowl and slowly drizzle sauce over, stirring as you go
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Banana Coffee Cake

Yes, this technically is the third iteration of banana bread that I am posting on here. First there was the hearty chocolate chip banana bread, then there was the zucchini banana bread and finally, here is the banana coffee cake! I always buy bananas and inevitably a few get too ripe to eat straight so, what else can I do but whip up some banana bread?

This bread is a delicious crossover between banana bread and coffee cake, meaning it makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert! The cinnamon crumble on top truly makes the bread pop. Eat it right out of the oven or zap it in the microwave for ~20 seconds with a smear of butter and you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the streusel

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter (cold)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas
  3. Mix in melted butter, sugar, egg, maple syrup and vanilla
  4. In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  5. Slowly add flour mixture to banana mixture (I do 1/3 at a time) until just combined
  6. Pour batter into an 8×4 loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray
  7. In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients with a fork (should look like crumbs)
  8. Sprinkle streusel mixture over batter
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  10. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan