fresh recipes

Fresh Recipes | Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

As a birthday gift for Jeff, my parents generously gifted him (us) a NutriBullet! They knew that we’d been wanting one and just recently purchased one of their own and fell in love with it, so they decided to share that love.

Fresh Recipes | Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

And since my blender can’t even blend bananas, I was pretty darn excited when Jeff opened up the box last week. I finally got to use it for the first time Saturday morning and thought I had the makings of a perfect smoothie ready to go: spinach, blueberries, coconut, and almond milk. Doesn’t it look great?

Fresh Recipes | Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

And once I turned it on, it didn’t just blend–it pulverized. But, for some reason, the combo was not exactly what I’d been hoping for. It was thick, almost gelatinous, which made it a little hard to swallow.

So, I looked back through the instructions and think I found my error: packing the spinach down instead of loading everything loosely. I also switched out the almond milk for water, wondering if that would make a difference as well.

Fresh Recipes | Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

For take two, I included spinach and blueberries again, plus a little banana for added sweetness and flaxseed. I filled the water to the “max fill” line and pulverized again.

This time the results were fantastic! I cannot believe how smooth the smoothie actually is–it has me completely excited about smoothie making again!

Fresh Recipes | Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

Gracias padres!

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

Serves One

Print recipe!


1 cup spinach

1/2 cup blueberries

1 banana

1 teaspoon flaxseed



Combine all ingredients in a smoothie and pulse until blended.


Time: 5 minutes


Fresh Recipes | Kale, Chicken Sausage, & White Bean Stew

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! After a strange week of coldish weather and two smallish snowstorms, we finally hit the mid-sixties on Saturday! It was glorious!

We celebrated with a trip to Radford for a walk in Bissett Park followed by an appetizer at The River Company, one of my favorite spots in the area. I was sweating in my jeans + sandals!

Fresh Recipes | Kale, Chicken Sausage, & White Bean Stew

On Friday, during the midst of the snowstorm, however, I decided to finally get around to making that soup I’d scheduled to make the previous night but postponed for the snow day: Kale, Chicken Sausage, & White Bean Stew.

Both Jeff and I fell head over heels in love with this creation for one major reason–the homemade chicken broth. After roasting the chicken on Sunday, I’d put the carcass along with an onion, few stalks of celery, and some carrots in a large soup pot, covered it all with water, and let it boil for about 3 hours. I, for once, had the foresight to cook it with the strainer in the soup pot, so I simply pulled it up and dumped the solids and was left with glorious broth. So easy!

And the depth of flavor it added to the soup was simply amazing. Plus, I have quite a bit left over and frozen for next time!

Fresh Recipes | Kale, Chicken Sausage, & White Bean Stew

If you’re wondering about meal planning this week, here is what is scheduled:

Monday: BLTAs

Tuesday: Build Your Own Tacos

Wednesday: Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

Thursday: Pizza (using whatever leftovers we have!)

Fri/Sat/Sun: in DC

Here’s to a great week!

Fresh Recipes | Kale, Chicken Sausage, & White Bean Stew

Kale, Chicken Sausage, & White Bean Stew

Serves 4-6

Print recipe!


1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 chicken sausages, sliced and halved

3 cloves garlic, chopped

32 ounces homemade or store bought chicken broth

32 ounces (2 cans) white beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups kale, chopped

olive oil

salt, to taste

pepper, to tasted

1 teaspoon fennel

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 bay leaf


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron pot.

Stir in onions, carrots, and celery and continue to saute, stirring often, until onions are soft and aromatic.

Add chicken sausage and more olive oil, if needed. Continue cooking until sausage begins to brown.

Stir in garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and then add in white beans, salt, pepper, fennel, smoked paprika, and the bay leaf. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

About 15 minutes before serving, stir in kale and continue to simmer until wilted.


Time: 45-60 minutes



1. Winter Mushroom Risotto

Fresh Recipes | Recipes Around the Web

2. Salmon Burgers

Fresh Recipes | Recipes Around the Web

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Verde

Fresh Recipes | Recipes Around the Web

4. Spring Bounty Potato Salad

Fresh Recipes | Recipes Around the Web

5. Asparagus Spring Rolls

Fresh Recipes | Recipes Around the Web


Fresh Recipes | Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

The obsession with steel cut oats continues!

And this way is probably the easiest prep ever, plus, it can transition easily into spring + summer as it’s served cold. Basically, all you have to do is throw steel cut oats, almond milk (or any milk you’d like, really) into a bowl/jar, add some maple syrup + cinnamon for a little extra flavor, cover, and let sit overnight in the fridge–that’s it!

Fresh Recipes | Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

Fresh Recipes | Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

I was definitely a little skeptical at just how moist the oats would get without actual “cooking” but much to my surprise, the almond milk was all they needed. However, the oats do definitely taste more like a chewy cereal when finished, and less like the super creamy version you’d get it you’d actually cooked them.

Fresh Recipes | Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

Fresh Recipes | Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

I kept the oat to milk ratio exactly the same as if I’d boiled them and ended up with just the right amount of residual milk at the top. But if you want it all to absorb in, you could probably get away with adding a little less.

Fresh Recipes | Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

I can’t wait to try this topped with some fresh farmer’s market berries this summer!

Fresh Recipes | Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

Overnight Cinnamon & Coconut Steel Cut Oats

Serves 1

Print recipe!


1/4 cup steel cut oats, uncooked

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Toppings: coconut flakes, walnut pieces, and raisins


Combine steel cut oats, almond milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a jar or bowl.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Add coconut flakes, walnut pieces, and raisins, and enjoy!

Time: 5 minutes (overnight to “cook”)


Happy Monday folks!

I can’t believe it has been over a week since I’ve been here–one weekend away, and I just couldn’t get things back on track!

We spent the last weekend of February in Charlottesville in celebration of Jeff’s birthday with friends and family. It was so much fun that I forgot to bring my camera! I did manage to snap a few shots with my phone, though the quality isn’t great: Locally made ginger kombucha and vegan beet burgers, anyone? Charlottesville is definitely my foodie crush of Virginia.

Fresh Recipes | Meal Planning Take Two (+ Charlottesville Recap!)


Fresh Recipes | Meal Planning Take Two (+ Charlottesville Recap!)

It was a gloriously warm weekend, but once we got back, the cold came back again and made it pretty much impossible for me to accomplish anything, including cooking + exercising. I was so fed up with myself that I stopped by our local gym on the way home from work on Friday and signed up for a 3 month membership! I went to my first spin class in over a year Saturday morning, and it was so amazing! I’d forgotten how much I love the group atmosphere of those classes, plus the instructor was energetic and super inviting to the newbie. I can’t wait to make it a regular part of my routine this week.

After meal planning two weeks ago, I wanted to check in with you guys about how it went. We started out the week fantastically, making 3 delicious dinners: veggie noodle stir fry, ricotta + spinach stuffed shells, and french bread pizza.

However, Wednesday and Thursday ended up being a huge bust–we ate out both nights–and finally got back on track Friday for our barbecue turkey meatball subs before heading out of town the next morning.

Overall, if we were given a grade, I’d say we earned a C. Not terrible, but definitely not up to my standards either–I’m an all A’s type of girl!

So here’s what’s on the menu for this week in our take two of meal planning:


  • Roasted whole chicken
  • Homemade wheat bread
  • Salad with fresh veggies + olives
  • Make homemade broth for Thursday
  • Make sweet potato burgers for Wednesday


  • Barbecue chicken, bacon (for Jeff only), and avo sandwiches (using leftover chicken/bread)
  • Kale caesar salad


  • Salad using leftover chicken + homemade croutons


  • Sweet potato + black bean burgers (similar to these, but with Mexican spices)
  • Kale caesar salad


  • Kale, white bean, & chicken sausage stew using homemade broth from Sunday


  • Chicken sausage jambalaya a la Jeff

As I type this, the sweet potatoes are roasting in the oven, ready to be turned into veggie patties, and the chicken has been prepped to roast immediately after the sweet potatoes are done. So far, so good! I’m a little worried, however, that we planned out an upward climb for us as the week goes on, which may be what led to our downfall the time before.

One thing I have been consistently great with the past few weeks is breakfast–check back Wednesday for a new steel cut oats recipe!

I’d love to hear how you all manage recipe planning throughout the week!


Fresh Recipes | Noodle Stir Fry

by on February 19, 2014

Fresh Recipes | Noodle Stir Fry

Meal #1 of meal planning was a success! Stir fry is a pretty standard meal in our household, but we usually make it with brown or white rice. This time, we decided to use udon noodles to switch things up a little, and since we plan on making peanut noodles later in the week, we could continue to use our resources without being wasteful.

Fresh Recipes | Noodle Stir Fry

Stir fry made at home can be such a healthy option, unlike it’s take-out counterpart. We usually just pack it full of whatever we have on hand: always carrots, egg, garlic, onions, and ginger. This time, the colorful additions included bok choy, serrano pepper, and cabbage, and then we topped it with green onion, cilantro, cucumber.

Fresh Recipes | Noodle Stir Fry

It was the perfect meal to kick off the week–and to look forward to for a Monday lunch!

Noodle Stir Fry

Serves 3-4

Print recipe!


6 ounces udon noodles, uncooked

2 eggs

1/4 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, grated

1 serrano pepper, chopped

6 tablespoons soy sauce

3 teaspoons sugar

1.5 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chili paste

Canola oil

sesame seeds, for garnish

sliced cucumbers, for garnish

cilantro, for garnish

chopped green onions, for garnish


Cook noodles according to directions.

While the noodles cook, scramble your eggs and set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When hot, add onions and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the peppers, garlic, ginger, and combine.

Add the egg back to the stir fry and combine, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, then add the noodles.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vegetable broth, rice wine vinegar, and chili paste to form the sauce.

Finally, add the sauce and let cook down for about 3-4 more minutes.

Garnish with sesame seeds, cucumbers, cilantro, and green peppers, and enjoy!

Time: 20 minutes

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