Hits (& Misses) of Quarantine Recipes

Happy Monday!

As always, I hope you’re all doing well, especially as it seems things are finally starting to slow down a bit. At least in Boston the weather has finally started to warm up as well, making May my favorite month of quarantine so far. Last week I finished classes, so although I still have a few papers and projects due this week, for the most part I’m done with my junior year. That being said, I’m starting to find a lot more time on my hands, and theres only so many workouts I can do, and so many Netflix episodes I can watch in one day.

Growing up I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, but that has really taken a turn these past few months. At least once or twice a week I’ve been trying new recipes, from meals to desserts to drinks. While some have been amazing and I’ll definitely be remaking them, others haven’t been so great. So, I want to share my favorite (and least favorite) recipes with you all so you can try some out for yourself if you have the time, or even try to improve/alter the ones I didn’t like so much to make them better! I know this isn’t my usual topic of content, but then again, nothing is normal right now, so I might as well take advantage of it.


Banana-Oat-Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8-1/4 cup chocolate chips (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp peanut butter (to taste)
  • Cook at 350º for 15-18 minutes

I saw this recipe on Margot Lee’s Instagram story, and they looked amazing. I tried them myself and I really liked them, but I definitely think there’s room for improvement. The basic flavor of the cookies I really liked, but I think I would like them a bit sweeter and a bit moister. If I tried them again, I would probably add some honey to the batter, maybe some more chocolate chips (or add peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips), or even more banana. Overall, though, I would recommend these and I’ll be making them again!

Vegan Banana Pancakes

Our entire Easter breakfast spread – veggie hash browns, banana pancakes, and quiche cups.

I followed this recipe, and this was by far one of my favorites. We made this for breakfast on Easter Sunday, and I usually am not a big pancake person, but these were amazing. I put extra bananas and maple syrup on top, and they were delicious. Highly recommend, and I will be remaking these – I wouldn’t change a thing!

Veggie Hash Brown Breakfast

We also made this dish on Easter, and although they took a while to prepare and cook, they were definitely worth it. I found the recipe here, and again, I probably wouldn’t change anything about it (unless you prefer different veggies, or something easy to change like that). I used vegan butter instead of real butter, but other than that I followed the recipe as it instructs. I think you could definitely play around with the spices and proportions based on your taste preferences, but otherwise I think the flavor was perfect!

Banana Oatmeal Loaf

  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Bake at 350º for about 15 minutes
  • Drizzle peanut butter on top

This was a recipe I found on Tik Tok (and I can’t find the video link anymore), and although the idea seemed good and the outcome wasn’t horrible, I probably wouldn’t make it again. There really was not much flavor, the loaf was pretty dry, and there wasn’t a good time to eat it (it’s not quite a breakfast, but not really a dessert either). It didn’t taste bad, but I think if I were to make it again, I would add some honey or more banana to sweeten it, and maybe chocolate chips to make it more of a dessert. If you’re able to play around with this one and it turns out better, let me know what you recommend!

Quiche Breakfast Cups

This was our third (and final) dish on Easter, and I followed this recipe. The concept was great, and I’ve seen these before, but I think they could’ve been a lot better. We made two versions – spinach/mushroom/feta, and bacon/egg/cheese. The first issue was that the hash brown crust tended to stick to the pan, so when taking them out, they fell apart pretty easily. It also seemed like the didn’t cook entirely through, so the center was a bit runny. However, the flavor was great and I think by playing around with the temperature and cook time, these problems could be fixed!

Orange Cookies

So far, I think this has been my favorite recipe. My family has always made orange cake, so with a few extra oranges lying around, I decided to try a variation of this dessert, and it turned out great. I followed this recipe, and the cookies ended up tasting just like the orange cake I’m used to! I wouldn’t change anything about the recipe, and would definitely make these again.

Sangria

In a large pitcher, combine:

  • Cut up fruit of your choice – I used: 1 red apple, 1 green apple, 1 orange, 1/2 container blueberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup brandy
  • Fill the rest of the pitcher with any red table wine
  • Let chill overnight, serve with sparkling water on top

Now that the weather’s been nicer, my friends and I have been trying some different summer drink recipes. I grew to love sangria well studying abroad in Spain last semester, so I wanted to try to make my own. It was hard to find a simple enough recipe that still had a lot of flavor to it, so I combined a few different ones I found, and it ended up tasting great! I would definitely recommend this for summer dinners or parties in the future!

Frozen Strawberry-Lime Cocktails

  • 2 shots of vodka
  • 1 hard seltzer, lime flavored
  • 1 tbsp pink lemonade powder
  • Handful of frozen strawberries
  • Handful of ice
  • Blend until frozen consistency, makes 2 drinks

This was another combination of a few recipes I saw that turned out great! There are so many ways to alter this to fit your preferences as well, so I think just the simple idea of a frozen fruity cocktail is great for the summer. Let me know if you come up with any good variations of this!

Cocoa Banana Latte

  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Blend until mixed, then add 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee and stir

This recipe I got from Kenzie Burke’s Instagram, and the idea seemed like something I would love, but it ended up tasting kind of bland. I might try this again with different proportions or flavors, but if you’ve made something similar, let me know how it turned out. I think if it were thicker, maybe by adding ice, it would taste better, but something about the banana flavor in a coffee drink tasted funny.

Whipped Iced Latte

  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp very hot water
  • Hand or electric whisk until light brown and frothy
  • Pour over glass of ice and your choice of milk

This is another favorite, and I’ve been making it almost every day since I tried it. This recipe has been trending on Tik Tok as well, and definitely for good reason! I use brown sugar (and a little bit less than 2 tbsp), but you can also use white, and for the milk I combine almond milk with a splash of coconut-almond milk vanilla creamer. This is such a nice change from hot coffee, especially now that it’s getting closer to summer! It’s a super quick and easy recipe, and I would highly recommend this to any coffee drinkers.


These are my top 10 so far, but I will definitely be trying out lots more recipes in the next few weeks! If any of you are able to try these, let me know how they turn out, and if you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment below! Once I finish all of my school work, I will be much more active with my posts, so stay tuned for exciting content coming up!

xx,

Megan


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What I Eat at Home: Meal and Snack Ideas While Stuck at Home

Good morning!

I’m finally starting to get settled at home after moving back from college, and I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy as well. Now that I’m getting into a more normal routine, I want to start putting out content that will actually be useful during this time. Obviously I won’t be traveling in the coming months so it will be harder (and not as relevant) to post travel content right now. So, this is the perfect time for me to start introducing some other ideas I want to talk about!

Now more than ever I’m looking for new meal and snack ideas, since I’m pretty much preparing everything for myself at this point. I normally cook for myself anyways, but not being able to eat out or order food to-go as easily is putting more pressure on me to get creative so I don’t get sick of eating the same things every day (which I tend to do). I love a routine with my meals, but changing things up a bit is definitely necessary right now since I’ll be eating at home for a long time.

I’m sure lots of you are facing the same struggle, so I just wanted to share some of my go-to’s and some things I’ve been trying out lately to give you a couple new ideas! Most of these are things I’ve been making in my apartment at school, so they’re definitely not gourmet home cooked meals, but for the most part they’re relatively quick to make, and easy to take on-the-go!

Breakfast

I typically eat the same thing every day for breakfast, because I love starting my morning off with a routine, and then the rest of the day I can see how I feel. The first thing I make in the morning is hot lemon water, which helps warm up my body and wake me up a bit before I eat anything. I have pretty bad allergies, so this always tends to clear out my head and soothe my throat when I wake up. Either with my lemon water or shortly after, I’ll have some kind of fruit. I either make a big bowl with berries, banana, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and occasionally yogurt, or I’ll make a green smoothie (spinach, frozen banana, frozen pineapple, almond butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds, collagen powder, and coconut milk). I never know what I’ll be eating the rest of the day, so I like to get my fruit in right away.

After my fruit, I’ll start getting ready for the day, and this is usually when I work out as well (except when I have class). Once I’m set for the day, and usually by now I am hungry again, I’ll make my second breakfast, which is always avocado toast. I crave this every morning and never get sick of it, so it’s definitely a staple in my routine. I make my toast on Food For Life rice bread (double toasted), then top it with mashed avocado, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes – so good! I’ll also typically have an iced coffee with my toast, otherwise I’ll get one later in the day.

Lunch

I normally don’t make a huge lunch, but rather bring a few larger snacks with me to get me through the day. I like to eat more smaller meals instead of three big meals – I find this keeps me energized longer and I don’t feel as full/uncomfortable after a big meal. Here are a few of my go-to lunch snacks (I usually have about two of these throughout the day between breakfast and dinner):

  • Banana-chocolate chip overnight oats: Fill half of a mason jar with rolled oats, then add chocolate chips, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, cardamon, and almond milk (just covering the oats). Refrigerate 3-4 hours, then add sliced banana (and sometimes peanut butter if I’m really hungry) on top!
  • Yogurt and granola: Very simple, but always good and easy on the go. I like coconut milk yogurts, either Chobani or So Delicious, and sometimes LAVA plant-based yogurt. My favorite granola is the Purely Elizabeth Original flavor. If I have the time, I’ll also add some berries, cinnamon, and coconut flakes.
  • Roasted brussels sprout salad: This year I discovered how much I love roasted brussels sprouts, so I always make a huge batch in the beginning of the week and save them to snack on throughout. My favorite salad to pack for lunch includes: spring mix, roasted brussels sprouts, olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, a lemon dressing, and topped with either falafel, a veggie burger, or salmon if I have more time.
  • Apple and peanut butter: This is definitely a more simple and smaller snack, but always a go-to. I will slice up a gala apple, sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and dip it in organic peanut butter!

Dinner

My dinners in college tend to be quick, easy meals that I get in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s. That being said, I’ve found some favorites, and these are becoming even more handy now that I’m living at home and want to limit my trips to the grocery store (so less fresh produce, more frozen meals!). My favorites include:

  • Cauliflower and kale gnocchi
  • Cauliflower rice stir fry
  • Broccoli-cauliflower patties
  • Southwestern and masala veggie burgers
  • Cauliflower pancakes (dip in coconut aminos!)
  • Any frozen veggie mix – so easy to add to rice!

If I’m making a larger meal, these are some of my go-to options:

  • Green lentil pasta with pesto and roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts
  • Green lentil pasta with an olive oil and garlic sauce, mixed with sautéed spinach and heirloom tomatoes
  • Coconut rice with beans, topped with stir-fry peppers and onions, and either avocado or guacamole
  • Veggie tacos with (sometimes rice), beans, stir-fry veggies, and guacamole
  • Sometimes all I want is a huge plate of roasted veggies! I normally add broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and zucchini.

There are obviously a lot more recipe ideas which I can discuss further if you enjoyed this post, I just wanted to start by sharing the snacks and meals I’ve been eating most lately (especially now while in isolation!). I hope this helps give you some inspiration, and I’d love to hear some ideas from you as well. Let me know if you have any feedback or want to hear more, and I hope that this new type of content is interesting for you!

Again, please stay safe and healthy during this time, and I’ll do my best to deliver relevant (but not overwhelming) content for you all. Thank you and I’ll see you next week!

xx,

Megan


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