International · Main Dishes · Soups, Stews, and Chilis

Quick and Easy Chana Masala

I haven’t had many strange cravings during this pregnancy so far (except for maybe chocolate milk… but let’s be real, who doesn’t crave that normally?), but one thing I can say is that now that the weather is getting a tiny bit cooler, I want stew every night! Last week I made a crock pot minestrone stew that somehow didn’t make it onto the blog, and this week I wanted something spicy! Chana masala sounded really good.

Continue reading “Quick and Easy Chana Masala”

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International · Salads · Sides

Farmers’ Market Greek Salad

It’s hard to believe that August is almost over, which means that my news feed is already filled with back-to-school ads and tips for getting back into a fall routine.

While Ben and I don’t have any school-aged kids yet, this time of year always feels a bit nostalgic to me. I LIVED for school supplies shopping and getting a new pair of Sambas. I remember my grandma used to take us B2S clothes shopping and we were allowed to buy a whole outfit. I felt so cool in my flared Gap jeans and patterned socks.

Continue reading “Farmers’ Market Greek Salad”

Main Dishes · Salads · Sides · Uncategorized

Happy July!

Happy July! The summer is rolling in FAST and that means HOT. After spending our afternoon at an outdoors event last night, I was craving something cool and light. I had a few extra tomatoes on hand and some balsamic glaze that I had picked up at TJ’s (sample stand impulse buy, anyone?) so this salad basically made itself. I threw in some leftover corn from the other night and also some brown rice to bulk it up a bit.

Caprese with a side of black lab 🙂

On the fourth we will be driving up to Michigan where hopefully we’ll get a reprieve from the heat (or at least the humidity!) This summer has been especially bad so far- not sure if that’s pregnancy-related or if I’m just becoming a normal human being?

P.S. I started using my pregnancy pillow and at first I was like, “this thing is a monster, how do I even use it?” but once I got the hang of it, life = changed. Not sure Ben likes having something the size of another human being in our bed with us!

Caprese and Corn Salad

Ok, on to the recipe!

Caprese and Corn Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Summer, Healthy
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
A light and fresh salad that is perfect for hot July nights!
Ingredients
  • 5 large tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • ¼ cup chopped basil (about 8 leaves)
  • 8 oz mozzarella pearls
  • 1 ear corn, cooked (or ½ cup corn kernels)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • sea salt flakes
  • black pepper
  • optional: 1/3 cup cooked rice or other grain (I had leftover rice so just threw it in to sop up some of the dressing)
  • optional: balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, corn, and garlic.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients (through pepper). Drizzle on salad and toss gently.
  3. Top with additional sea salt, pepper, and balsamic glaze!

Hope you enjoy!

Breads and Muffins · Breakfasts · Desserts · Snacks

Carrot Cake Cookies w/ Cream Cheese Glaze (GF + V)

I absolutely love Easter. Everything about it- the aisles at Harris Teeter filled with egg dyeing kits and chocolate bunnies, the little girls wearing white, wide brimmed Easter hats, and the reverence of the holiday. Our debts are paid, we’ve been set free!

Last year at this time I was going crazy trying to prepare a feast for members of both sides of our family who were visiting. While I absolutely love hosting, our house all of a sudden seemed VERY small. And I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of chatting while making sure the honey ham, potatoes, and gravy would all be hot at the same time.

I had a lot of relief last year by making many of my sides in advance. Made-in-advance meals are essential. But this year, we elected not to host since our house is currently reminiscent of a large storage unit. We are moving in 2 weeks, and figured we’d keep Easter low-key this year. We are going to a potluck at a friend’s house instead.

I knew I wanted to bring something sweet, but also wholesome. The idea of carrot cake crossed my mind, but who has time (in between boxing up the linens) to bake an entire cake? And besides, I find most times I go to parties and no one wants to be the person to cut into the cake, let alone eat a whole slice with so much other good food around.

Enter carrot cake cookies.

Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze

Inspired by a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, these carrot cake cookies are wholesome enough to eat for breakfast, I swear! Minimal oil, no eggs, no butter. Oat flour and flax for staying power, and grated carrots, raisins and chopped walnuts to get that carrot cake texture. I saved about half the batch to freeze for grab n’ go breakfasts at work. Does that make me a meal prepper?

These can also easily be gluten free (using GF oats) and vegan (using almond milk and without the glaze).

To make these a little more “desserty” (and also more like true carrot cake), I whipped up a cream cheese glaze to drizzle over the cookies when ready to serve. The glaze will harden slightly as the cookies continue to cool, but will stay drizzly, not like the gross frosted molasses cookies you buy in a box.

And you will probably have leftover glaze, which gives you complete license to put it on top of your cereal, dip graham crackers, or just lick it out of the bowl.

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These are husband and kid-approved. Well, I don’t really know if they’re kid-approved, since we don’t have any kids, but just trust me on that one.

I promise my next recipe will not include anything carrot.

But in the meantime, enjoy every bite! Recipe below. Happy Easter!

Carrot Cake Cookies w/ Cream Cheese Glaze (GF + V)
Recipe Type: Cookie, Breakfast
Cuisine: Healthy, Gluten Free, Vegan
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Celebrate Easter this year with a simplified version of a just-as-tasty carrot cake! These cookies are made with wholesome ingredients and can be made vegan with just a few subs. Make ahead and freeze for an easy, on-the-go breakfast!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups GF old fashioned oats, divided
  • 1 cup GF flour (or almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 very ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup veg oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond milk if vegan)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • For cream cheese glaze:
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse 1 cup oats until a fine powder.
  2. In a large stand mixer, combine the oats, oat flour and GF flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. In the same food processor, use grating function to grate carrots finely. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk banana, applesauce, honey, maple syrup, oil, and milk. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and raisins. If mixture is too runny, add a little more flour.
  5. Spoon onto prepared baking sheet with 1/4 cup scoop. Bake 8-10 mins until golden brown on top. Cookies will still be soft.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
  7. While cooling, prepare glaze. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and milk until runny. Drizzle onto cooled cookies.
  8. Note: To make ahead, wrap individual cookies (without glaze) in plastic wrap and freeze. Microwave 10-20 sec in the morning for a wholesome breakfast!

He is Risen!

International · Main Dishes · Salads · Sides

Marrakesh Carrots with Cumin-Spiked Yogurt Sauce

Wow, it’s been a while! Just popping in for my (embarrassed to admit) FIRST post of 2018!

How is your year shaping up?

Now that it’s almost spring, I wanted to kick off the season with one of my newest favorites: Marrakesh carrots. I got the idea for this from a cookbook I got for my birthday last year called Bowl and Spoon, written by Sara Forte, the author of The Sprouted Kitchen blog. I guess I’ve had a thing for turmeric lately, because last week I made a version of my sister’s Moroccan Red Lentil Soup which has a ton of it. I swear every mixing spoon in my kitchen is now orange.

Marrakesh Carrots

I mixed things up a little with this recipe, especially in the dressing, where I added in some tahini and red wine vinegar. Plus more spices because I can’t help it. Finished with a cumin-spiked yogurt sauce and feta.

You could serve this for lunch or as a side for dinner. The chickpeas and tahini dressing, plus the protein in the yogurt sauce, give it enough staying power for a meal. I also served ours with warm pita!

Hope you enjoy!

Marrakesh Carrots with Cumin-Spiked Yogurt Sauce
Recipe Type: Salad, Side
Cuisine: Moroccan, Marrakesh, Healthy, Vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
A healthy salad with staying power! Inspired by the flavors of Morocco, this carrot salad is sure to be a hit!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs whole carrots, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped roughly
  • 5-6 green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • For yogurt sauce (optional): Plain yogurt, lemon juice, cumin
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Crumbled feta
Instructions
  1. Use food processor (shredding disc) to shred carrots. Set aside in a big bowl.
  2. In same food processor (S blade), pulse red onion, green onion, cilantro, and a drizzle of olive oil. Add chickpeas and pulse 2-3 times until roughly chopped. Add mixture to carrots.
  3. To make dressing, pulse together remaining ingredients and pour over salad.
  4. Stir in raisins and toss well.
  5. For yogurt sauce, whisk together 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of cumin. Add water as needed to thin. Set aside.
  6. Chill salad until ready to serve, then top with yogurt sauce, chopped pistachios, feta, and more cilantro.
Marrakesh Carrots with Cumin-Spiked Yogurt Sauce

Have a great week!

Breakfasts · Uncategorized

Quick and Fluffy Flourless Pancake for One

Happy Saturday! I had the BEST brunch this morning. I was trying to decide between oatmeal and toast w/ PB, and then I had the idea of doing a variation of the Flour Free Breakfast Pancake from Fannetastic Food. I knew I wanted some hearty oats, so I whipped up my own recipe. The best part about this is that you can add any mix-ins or toppings that you want. I chose pumpkin seeds, raisins, apple butter, peanut butter, chia seeds, banana, and a drizzle of honey!

Hope you enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Quick Fluffy Flourless Pancake for One
Quick and Fluffy Flourless Pancake for One
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Flour free, healthy, breakfast, vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
The perfect Saturday brunch for one! Top with anything you want!
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • dash each of salt and cinnamon
  • dash of stevia to sweeten (to taste)
  • Mix-ins (optional): raisins, chocolate chips, blueberries
  • Toppings: pumpkin seeds, banana, apple butter, peanut butter, honey, chia seeds (whatever you like!)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Heat small pad of butter in skillet.
  3. Pour in pancake batter and cook on medium-low until browned (about 3-4 mins). Flip and continue to cook for 2-3 additional mins.
  4. Top with additional toppings and enjoy!
As seen on insta…
Lunches · Main Dishes

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza

Recipe for crust adapted from pinch of yum’s 3 ingredient sweet potato crust pizza

Happy Halloween! This post has been a long time coming, but since I had an unexpected day at home today (read: possible fracture after dropping a cookie sheet on my toe yesterday morning), I thought it was time to finally get it up.

This sweet potato crust pizza is super easy and adaptable to whatever odds and ends you have on hand! I imagine it would be really tasty with pinch of yum’s BBQ toppings, or traditional marinara. I didn’t have either one available, so I chose a tahini dressing to drizzle over the top! I also topped it with some pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds I picked up at Trader Joe’s (don’t judge me- I didn’t realize they were PS until after I got home and PS is still NOT ok).

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza w/ Tahini Dressing

I like to serve a lil slice of this with some wilted spinach on the side. I imagine this would be perfect to serve before the kiddos leave for trick-or-treating tonight! Recipe below.

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza
Recipe Type: Pizza, Casserole
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Healthy
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
Filling and just sweet enough to satisfy your halloween sweet tooth! This would be perfect to feed the kids just before trick or treating.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • dash of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Toppings for pizza: e.g. mushrooms, spinach, beans, broccoli, mozzarella
  • Tahini Dressing:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • squirt of red wine vinegar
  • hot water to thin out
Instructions
  1. Prepare crust:
  2. Place crust ingredients (diced sweet potatoes, through salt) in food processor and pulse until resembling a loose dough.
  3. Mix in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
  4. Press firmly and evenly in bottom of a lightly sprayed casserole dish (you could also use a pizza pan lined with parchment paper)
  5. Bake at 400 deg for 25-30 minutes until dry.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings and return to oven until tender.
  7. Cool and cut into squares. Serve with wilted spinach or a side salad w/ tahini dressing (whisk all dressing ingredients listed above)

(Note: Pinch of yum suggests inverting the crust after the first bake and baking it again, but that felt way too high maintenance to me so I decided to just bake it one-sided. The result was a little on the soft side, and would probably fall apart if you tried to pick it up like a piece of pizza. If that is really important to you, I’d suggest trying her method!)

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza w/ Tahini Dressing