Arugula Tomato Salsa Fresca (15 min quick sauce)

In Southern Italy, we make many sauces fresh by just throwing tomatoes in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and herbs, then letting them sauté, then mixing that over pasta. No need to let anything stew for a long time, and they are fresh, easy, tasty, and everything you’d want in a sauce. Try this recipe and feel free to improvise by adding more vegetables or the ratio of ingredients.

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Basil Cream Alfredo (5 ingredients)

This quick and delicious basil cream Alfredo will soften any dish. My favorite is to have it over pasta or dolloped on pizza like a soft cheese, but it can also be enjoyed over any grain or vegetable dish. It’s garlicky, creamy, smooth, spicy, and everything you’d expect in a cream sauce/spread, minus the high fat. A few scoops of this over some macaroni, and you’ll have energy for hours. Nothing beats that basil edge either. Add the optional oregano leaves and tomato for a meal huge on plant based power and flavor.

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Moist Carrot Cake with Caramel Glaze

This carrot cake is almost fudgey- that’s how moist it is. You could make it gluten free, or not (I used gluten free flour) and it will hold well. The coconut flour really helps it retain that wetness. Once slice of this cake is so absolutely filling that you will be satisfied at that, making it a great breakfast cake. The caramel glaze is truly one of my sweetest and most indulgent creations, and I couldn’t help eating it by the spoonful. This cake is healthy, sweet, soft, thick, *fudgey*, and has a great balance of rich flavors from the carrots, cinnamon, and coconut sugar.

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Blueberry-Avocado Nice Cream

Happy to see that it’s blueberry season, and they are everywhere at half the price I usually pay. When I buy berries and bananas, they go right in the freezer. I wash the berries off first and remove any stems. I wait until the bananas are ripe and the skins are brownish, peel and chop them in thirds, then I place them in big freezer bags. This is how I make my nice cream smoothie bowls, just throwing some of the frozen ingredients in the blender with a fresh peach or pear, orange, avocado, etc. It’s that easy, almost, except for coming up with just the right combination.

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Chickpea Bolognese

This chickpea bolognese is a hearty, rich tomato sauce that will add so much flavor and bite to your pasta, or anything else you top it on. The chickpeas provide the perfect consistency and texture, and are such a great meat substitute because they are tasty, high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Unlike many of my other sauces, this one doesn’t require any fresh tomatoes. The nature of it is meant to be thick, so I used canned tomatoes and paste. A scoop of this goes a long way. And, you may be able to fool a carnivore or two with this sauce, or at least show them how delicious and cheap using plant based foods is as an alternative. What I also love about this dish is that it’s twice as filling, given the nature of the chickpeas and the tartness of the tomato. A great meal for kids, but also beautiful enough for adults, dinner parties, and at home solo.

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Lavender Blueberry Biscotti

Another biscotti recipe, and they just get better and better. This is my first time using culinary lavender, and I’m so impressed with the results. The lavender is not overpowering, but light, sweet, refreshing, and complementary with the blueberries and a glass of lemonade. I almost didn’t bake this morning because it was so hot in my apartment, and I didn’t want my kitchen to turn into a sauna. But, I really wanted to try out the lavender in biscotti. Just think of the smell of lavender and the taste of blueberry…and that’s how smooth these are. De-stressing while I eat on this sunny Saturday that I get to lounge around with my cats. This recipe is very low in sugar, easy, and healthy.

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