Bake Banana Walnut and Coconut Muffins

Banana Walnut and Coconut Muffins recipe

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This past Sunday I went to a friend’s house for the Super Bowl (code for: eat lots of snacks). On the table there was a bowl of guacamole, spinach and artichoke dip, salsa, a taco buffet, pulled pork sliders…and banana paleo muffins. It was a weird addition but my friend had made them the day before and figured she’d put them out in case someone wanted to eat something a bit healthier. I sort of scoffed but eventually tried one because I’m always curious about baked goods. And you guys, they were delicious!

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Prepare Roasted Stuffed Peppers with Chicken and Rice

Roasted Stuffed Peppers with Chicken and Rice recipe

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I remember thinking that colored bell peppers were pricy living in New York at a few dollars per pound, but after moving to Japan, I was shocked to see them selling for $4 each! When I saw them on sale the other day for about a dollar apiece I couldn’t help but buy all that was left. Of course it wasn’t until I got home with my haul that I started to wonder what I was going to do with all these peppers.

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Make Mexican Nachos for the Big Game

Bake these Mexican Nachos at a low oven temperature with layers of cotija cheese, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro and more.

Bake these Mexican Nachos at a low oven temperature with layers of cotija cheese, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro and more.

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Most of the recipes I post in this space are real recipes. What I mean by that is in order for you to end up with the end result, which I’m presenting to you, you actually have to follow the instructions. But these…these are more like an inspiration. And, it might’ve been an excuse of us to have a conversation about nachos. I mean, they might be my favorite game day food ever (right behind this Spinach Dip from last year) because what is more glorious than melty cheese, topped with beans and delicious things like spicy radishes, fresh cilantro and avocado? Nothing!

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Make Farro Pudding for an Easy Dessert

Farro Pudding recipe

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Like rice, farro is such a versatile grain that’s good in anything from soups to salads to stuffings. Because it can be used in a lot of the same ways as rice, it led me to ponder what it might be like substituted for rice in a pudding.

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Make Crunchy Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Crunchy Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe

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The salad is a refreshing break from all of the stews and cozy food you’ve probably been consuming for the entire month of January. I love wintery foods and I suppose this falls into this category simply because of its seasonal ingredients, but to me, when I ate this, I thought of warmer days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very content it’s not hot and mosquitos are flying around; I’m more of a fall and winter gal.

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Pan-fry a Teriyaki Chicken Bowl for an Easy Lunch

Teriyaki Chicken Bowl recipe

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Perhaps it’s my Japanese heritage, but for me, a teriyaki chicken bowl (照り焼きチキン丼) is one of the easiest, tastiest lunches ever. It only requires a handful of ingredients and comes together in less than 10 minutes. Once you’ve made it a few times, there’s no need to measure out the ingredients, and you can riff off the base recipe, adding things like ginger, garlic, hot sauce and black pepper to mix things up.

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Make Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Walnut Gremolata

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata recipe

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For years I despised cauliflower. I thought it was bland and boring and I wasn’t wrong, it is both of those things. But now what I do differently now is embrace it for its “flaws” and instead of avoiding cauliflower, I use it as a canvas to take on any flavor I’m craving. So, instead of leaving it plain, I season the heck out of it, top it with fresh herbs, walnuts, lemon juice and olive oil. Roasting cauliflower (versus blanching) gives it great flavor too. The tops of the cauliflower florets become toasting, giving it really amazing crunchy texture. The interior of the cauliflower is tender and soft yet still with a bit of bite.

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Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread recipe

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I love any recipe that uses up something that would otherwise get thrown away, and banana bread is a perfect example. I’m one of those people who only likes bananas before they start developing spots. This means that I usually only get about halfway through a bunch before I’m unwilling to eat the rest.

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