ā‰” Menu
Creamy overnights oats layered with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut!

Look guys–I still make recipes! šŸ˜€ The truth is that I’m as active in my kitchen as ever! I still cook several times a week and I’ve never stopped being food obsessed (how could I stop??). Life got crazy and blog posts became fewer, but I sure have missed it! I love sharing food with you guys, especially when it’s creamy, dreamy, delicious, healthy food like this!

Creamy overnights oats layered with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut!

When it’s cold out, I’m all about hot oatmeal. It’s a longtime favorite and I basically never grow tired of it. But when it starts to get warm out, I get excited about a whole different kind of oatmeal!

Creamy overnights oats layered with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut!

There’s lots of ways people make overnight oats. Some eat it hot, some eat it cold…some like it thin, some like it thick…some use chia seeds and some don’t…there’s a lot of variations. Personally I like my overnight oats to resemble a pudding or custard–YUM! Chia seeds and yogurt are a must for me because together they create the perfect thickness in the final mixture.

Creamy overnights oats layered with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut!

Mix the ingredients together the night before thenĀ eat right out of the fridge in the morning and it’s pure heaven!

Dreamy Raspberry Coconut Overnight Oats
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. greek yogurt
  • 3 T. chia seeds
  • 1½ c. milk (use more milk if you want a thinner consistency)
  • 2 t. raw honey (optional)
  • 1 6 oz. container fresh raspberries
  • ½ c. shredded coconut, toasted
Instructions
  1. The night before you want to enjoy your oatmeal, stir together the oats, yogurt, chia seeds, milk, and honey. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. In the morning, mash about ¾ of the raspberries in a small bowl with the back of a fork.
  3. Layer the oat mixture, smashed berries, and shredded coconut into desired serving container. Top with remaining whole berries. Enjoy!

Creamy overnights oats layered with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut!

Raspberries have been a major pregnancy craving of mine (pretty much all berries actually!) so when I was thinking about my first overnight oats of the year I didn’t have to think very hard about potential toppings. I smashed most of the berries up to make a little “jam” for layeringĀ into the oats and then left some whole to throw on top. If jam isn’t your jam then feel free to leave all the berries whole–the taste will be the same!

Creamy overnights oats layered with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut!

Cheers to the arrival of spring and all of the warm weather foods that come with it!

Creamy overnights oats layered with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut!sig

{ 0 comments }

Our Gender Reveal Party!

One of the things I was really excited to do when I found out I was pregnant was to have a gender reveal party. I know most people probably see them as a bit of a corny fad, but the way I see it it’s the first real opportunity we get to celebrate our baby’s life with the people closest to us. It’s also one of those things that you probably only do with the first kid, so we wanted to make it really special!

DSC_0338

I took tons of pictures of the food but forgot to take any of people (typical!), so big thanks to my dad and my friend Emily’s boyfriend Max for remembering to take pictures of the humans. :) Ā Let’s talk food first!

DSC_0228

The party was at noon so I wanted to keep the food light, and per Jason’s recommendation I took a lot of the workload off myself by ordering some food and enlisting my mom’s help for some things too. I made a simple meat platter, cheese and cracker platter, and a citrus mint salad. My mom made deviled eggs (half with bacon and half without).

DSC_0218

DSC_0220

I also made these little veggie cups, which were a cute idea I found on Pinterest!

DSC_0213

And then from Alon’s (a local bakery-cafe) we ordered two sandwiches by the stick: (caprese and smoked turkey) and a deli salad platter with quinoa salad, lentil salad, and roasted red pepper pasta salad.

DSC_0216

DSC_0214

For dessert my mom made some delicious chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with buttercream icing and I made chocolate drizzled rice krispy treats. We had fun making the desserts fit with the gender reveal theme!

DSC_0206

IMG_4207

We also had a little area set up where people could vote whether they thought our baby was a girl or boy and then put on a corresponding pink or blue lei depending on their vote!

DSC_0243

 

DSC_0230

And then of course I had to show what the “old wives’ tales” predicted the gender to be!

DSC_0303

After everyone voted and got some food, it was time for the BIG REVEAL! The way we chose to do it was for Jason and I to find out along with everyone else at the party. The only person who knew the baby’s sex was my friend Emma, who I had delivered the envelope to from the doctor’s office. Based on what was inside the envelope, I asked her to choose either pink or blue confetti poppers to pass out at the party. Then we counted 3-2-1 and everyone popped the confetti to reveal the news!

DSCF2926

DSCF2927

DSCF2929

DSCF2930

DSCF2931

DSCF2933

DSCF2939

DSCF2947

It’s a GIRL!!!

DSCF2976

DSCF2981

DSCF2988

DSCF2992

DSCF2994

DSCF2995

We are so excited!!! My prediction was SO wrong. I had such a strong feeling that it was a boy, so clearly my mother’s intuition needs some work! As soon as we popped the confetti I put on a pink lei. šŸ˜‰ It was really special to share this moment with my family and a small group of close friends. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

DSCF2919

Special thanks to Emma for keeping the huge secret and helping us pull this off!

DSC_0307

Kenny is super excited that he gets to remain our only son. šŸ˜€

DSC_0302

 

Stay tuned for my next post, I’m going to be talking about my experience with pregnancy during the first trimester!

sig

 

 

 

 

{ 1 comment }

Big Life Updates!

Anybody still out there? :) It’s been QUITE some time since my last blog post, and QUITE a bit has happened since then! Ironically, the last thing I told you a few months back was that I needed to give you a huge life update! And then right after that post, I got the biggest news of my entire life! So now it’s really time. We need to officially catch up. And all those small things I intended updating you about seem so trivial in comparison to the big things that have happened–so I’m just going to share the big things!

We bought a house!

IMG_2801

 

 

 

After years of renting, Jason and I decided it was finally time to stop throwing our money away andĀ settle in somewhere! We knew that we wanted to find a safe and comfy neighborhood where we would feel completely at ease starting a family. We ended up in a neighborhood in the town where my parents live! Here are some peeks at the inside of the house after we moved in back in September.

DSC_0557

DSC_0587

DSC_0584

DSC_0547

DSC_0543

We all love it here! Especially our dog, who has a huge backyard to run around in and lots of space in the house to take over!

kenny on a saturday-1

So far it’s been SO fun to own a home, even though it comes with a lot more responsibilities. We had a housewarming party right after we moved in which really made the whole thing feel real!

IMG_3121

I’ll definitely do a house tour post to show you all the rooms and share what we’ve done with the place so far!

And now for our second big update…

We’re having a baby!!!

DSC_0336

 

And can you guess what the pink beads mean?? :) We had a gender reveal party last weekend, which I’ll be doing a post on to share the fun!

Being pregnant has been an amazing experience so far. Jason and I have been taking photos bi-weekly to document the size of the bump! Can you tell that it’s grown?

progression1

 

 

 

I really want to start documenting my pregnancy in more detail and the blog seems like a perfect place to do that! In other words, lots of fun life/lifestyle posts coming soon! I’ve really missed writing here and I’m so excited to get back into it!

sig

{ 0 comments }
A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

I’ve been on a mission for the past few years to eat more seasonally and to really try and appreciate the variety that comes with a season change. I’m really going to miss summer berries, BUT I know that fall brings lots of amazing foods too. I let seasonal ingredients be my inspiration in making this delicious full meal salad.

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

This bad boy is a nutritional powerhouse! I added my favorite fall fruit and vegetable (apple and butternut squash) along with quinoa for fiber and protein, dried cranberries for some tartness, and toasted almonds for that warm, nutty flavor (and the added bonus of some healthy fat!). I happen to love blue cheese so I added that too, but you can certainly leave it out for a vegan version of this meal.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Smoky Maple Balsamic Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 full meal salad
Ingredients
Salad
  • 4 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • ⅓ c. roasted butternut squash (I just dice mine in small pieces and roast in a 400 degree oven with a little coconut oil and salt for about 30 minutes)
  • ⅓ c. cooked quinoa
  • ½ apple (I used a jazz apple, use whatever your favorite is!), diced
  • 1 T. dried cranberries
  • 1-2 T. slivered almonds, toasted (a few minutes in a 400 degree oven will do)
  • 1 T. crumbled blue cheese (optional, but delicious!)
Dressing
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ¼ t. liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Toss together ingredients for salad.
  2. Combine ingredients for dressing in a food processor or blender until it forms a smooth dressing.
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

Allow me a moment to just recognize this dressing. THIS DRESSING, y’all. Perfect balance of sweet and sharp, and the smokiness just takes it over the edge. As a vegetarian I sometimes miss the smoky flavors that a lot of meats have (like bacon!), but I love using liquid smoke occasionally to provide that same amazing flavor. The recipe above makes a bigger batch than you’ll need for one salad. Because you are going to want more. Trust me.

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

This salad would make a great packed lunch because none of these ingredients have a lot of moisture that would make the salad soggy. Pack the dressing in a separate container and you’re good to go!

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

I’ll be seeing you again this weekend with a big life update post! It’s been far too long since I talked about what’s been going on with us!

sig

{ 9 comments }
This easy recipe for stovetop mac and cheese uses greek yogurt to make a deliciously creamy cheese sauce!

Yesterday was really rainy and grey here in Georgia, and to me rainy days call for comfort food. My idea of comfort food has changed a lot since I’ve become more health conscious in recent years, but there are certain foods that will just always feel right. Mac and cheese is one of those foods for me! And while I’m in no way touting this as a health food, I’m happy to share a recipe with you that’s a much healthier option that traditional mac and cheese.

This easy recipe for stovetop mac and cheese uses greek yogurt to make a deliciously creamy cheese sauce!

One of my most popular recipes (it has over 160,000 views on my site!) is my Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese. I love to see new comments and notes coming into my inbox about people trying and enjoying it! Because that recipe is a winner, I decided it would be fun to do a spinoff stovetop version. This recipe is faster to make because it doesn’t require any baking, but it has the same delicious flavor as the original! And if you prefer a more saucy mac and cheese, this is gonna be right up your alley.

Stovetop Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 8 dry oz. elbow macaroni (you can use whole grain or gluten-free if you'd like)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1½ c. milk
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • 1 c. greek yogurt (I used whole milk Chobani but any type should work as long as it's plain)
  • ¾ c. shredded monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers.
  3. Add in the flour and stir briskly with a whisk to form a roux. Let the roux cook for about 30 seconds to a minute while constantly stirring. You're looking for the roux to brown ever so slightly but you don't want it to burn!
  4. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly with the whisk.
  5. When the sauce is completely smooth, add in the salt, pepper, and cheeses.
  6. Stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is very smooth.
  7. Remove from heat and let the cheese cool slightly before adding in the greek yogurt and whisking together until very smooth.
  8. Add elbow macaroni and stir with a spatula until all the pasta is coated in sauce.
  9. Return the pot to very low heat until the macaroni and cheese is warmed through. Taste and add additional salt or pepper as needed. Enjoy!

I highly recommend using mild cheddar cheese for this. Some reviewers on the OG recipe used sharp cheddar and from what I gather that makes for too “tangy” of a final product. I’ve always used mild cheddar for this because the yogurt provides its own sharpness and you want to keep a nice smooth flavor. You could even use all monterrey jack if you want, that would be delicious too!Ā This easy recipe for stovetop mac and cheese uses greek yogurt to make a deliciously creamy cheese sauce!

I’m telling you…this is magical stuff! It’s best when it’s fresh off the stove, but it will reheat just fine later on if you have leftovers. Please comment below if you try it! I hope you love it as much as I do!

This easy recipe for stovetop mac and cheese uses greek yogurt to make a deliciously creamy cheese sauce!

-Lauren

{ 1 comment }
Fresh tomato salad with a tangy greek yogurt dressing!

I don’t know if this is the case everywhere in the US, but right now in Georgia the tomatoes are AMAZING. As much as I love the beauty of seasonal foods, I also kind of hate that in a few months it will be impossible to find tomatoes this good. There’s only one solution…eat all the tomatoes. Right now.

Fresh tomato salad with a tangy greek yogurt dressing!

I came up with this recipe because I wanted a simple way to enjoy these summer tomatoes while making sure thatĀ their fresh, sweet flavor was still the star of the show. I used a combo of red and yellow tomatoes both looked so beautiful at the fruit stand and I find that yellow tomatoes are often even sweeter than the red ones.

Fresh tomato salad with a tangy greek yogurt dressing!

This recipe uses very few ingredients and only takes a few minutes to make…just the way I like my recipes. šŸ˜‰

Tomato Salad with Lemon Herb Greek Yogurt Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • 3 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • ⅔ c. greek yogurt
  • 1 T. chopped chives
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, blend together the greek yogurt, chives, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until the ingredients are well combined.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes on a platter and top with dollops of the greek yogurt dressing.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper to taste (I used about ¼ t. more salt and just a couple dashes of black pepper). Garnish with additional chopped chives if desired.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you already know that greek yogurt is a go-to ingredient of mine. It’s so incredibly versatile, it’s healthy, and it’s delicious. Here all it takes is a little lemon juice and chives to transform it into a delicious dressing. Magical.

Fresh tomato salad with a tangy greek yogurt dressing!

I’m off to enjoy a hike with my sister and doggie on this beautiful Labor Day weekend! I hope you’re all having a relaxing holiday! Thanks for reading!

-Lauren

{ 1 comment }
These caramelized baby bananas make for an irresistible and healthy dessert or snack!

You may or may not know this about me but I have a sweet tooth that is OUTTA control! If I don’t eat enough fruit, I WILL somehow locate a Krispy Kreme doughnut or bowl of Ben & Jerry’s. For that reason I’m always always always looking for healthy dessert recipes. This is one that you MUST try.

These caramelized baby bananas make for an irresistible and healthy dessert or snack!

For this recipe I used my new obsession: baby bananas. Have you ever tried these?? They are like an elevated perfect version of normal bananas. I can’t believe it took me so long to try them.

IMG_2559

I ate that entire bunch on the way to work that morning! Best commute ever. What I’m trying to say is…buy yourself some baby bananas next time you see them. Also, make this recipe.

Caramelized Baby Bananas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 baby bananas (or you can use 1-2 regular bananas), cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ T. maple syrup
  • dash of cinnamon
  • optional toppings: peanut butter, toasted walnuts, nutella, honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat your broiler to high (or 500 degrees).
  2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet (I used a tiny bit of coconut oil) and place the bananas on the sheet, cut side facing up.
  3. Use a pastry brush to brush a little maple syrup on the top of each banana piece.
  4. Sprinkle the bananas with a dash of cinnamon.
  5. Broil in preheated oven, checking often, until the tops are caramelized. This took about 4 minutes under my broiler, but check often so they don't burn!
  6. Remove from the oven and top with peanut butter, walnuts, and any other ingredients you like!

These caramelized baby bananas make for an irresistible and healthy dessert or snack!

I decided to top mine with peanut butter, Nutella, some toasted nuts, and a drizzle of raw honey. Toasted coconut, toasted almonds, or fruit jam would also be delicious options! This tastes like bananas foster and REALLY hits the spot when you’re craving dessert. You don’t even need any toppings at all and this makes such a delicious treat!

These caramelized baby bananas make for an irresistible and healthy dessert or snack!

Every day I don’t succumb to a doughnut is a success in my book. šŸ˜‰ One day down.

-Lauren

{ 0 comments }

This post brought to you by MarzettiĀ® Brand. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Dash of Soul.

Even though I’m a vegetarian, I sometimes have a hard time thinking ofĀ quick and easy ways to make flavorful vegetable dishes. That’s why when MarzettiĀ® reached out to me about their MarzettiĀ® Veggie Drizzleā„¢ Finishing Sauces,Ā I knew I had to try them! They have several flavors but for this tasty vegetable medley I used the MarzettiĀ® Veggie Drizzleā„¢Garlic Parmesan Finishing Sauce. mareztti-0047 The MarzettiĀ® Veggie Drizzleā„¢ Finishing SaucesĀ comeĀ in a bottle that is ready to use. You just pour the sauce right on and you instantly have delicious vegetables. I love that I can use this on busy weeknights to take make dinnertime even faster! I think it would also be great for repurposing leftover veggies too. You could flavor your broccoli with Garlic Parmesan flavor one night and Honey Balsamic the next! mareztti-0061 In this medley I used broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots, but there are different flavors of MarzettiĀØ Veggie DrizzleĀŖ Finishing Sauces that pair well with any vegetable (or blend of vegetables) that you like!

cropped_ebf91ede-5d9c-4fae-98fd-aebbbc5ccb76

I was very impressed with the flavor of this product and would highly recommend it. Life can get very busy and it’s great to have convenient options like this to help out in the kitchen! mareztti-0054 Let me know if any of you tryĀ MarzettiĀ®Ā Veggie Drizzleā„¢ Finishing Sauces, I think you’ll really love it!

-Lauren

Visit Sponsors Site

{ 0 comments }
Healthy and delicious ice cream made from 5 clean ingredients!

I wish I could say I came up with this genius idea. I wish I could. Maybe I’ll just pretend for this post that I did, in case you haven’t heard of it? Ok, I came up with this genius idea. You won’t even believe how creative and smart I am. This simple 5-ingredient recipe is a delicious replacement for ice cream and I have been addicted to it the last few weeks!

Healthy and delicious ice cream made from 5 clean ingredients!

And here’s the embarrassingly simple (and genius, all mine) recipe:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Raspberry Swirl Nice Cream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 frozen bananas, sliced
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries, mashed with a fork
  • 1 T. peanut butter
  • 2 T. granola (optional, but provides a nice crunch)
Instructions
  1. Mix the bananas and vanilla extract in a food processor or high speed blender until the mixture is smooth and fluffy (will take a couple minutes at least).
  2. Fold the mashed raspberries into the banana mixture to make a swirl.
  3. Divide banana mixture into two bowls.
  4. Top with granola, drizzle with peanut butter, and enjoy!

Come and check out my Facebook page for a video on how I made this!

Healthy and delicious ice cream made from 5 clean ingredients!

If you have a sweet tooth like me you will LOVE this. You will love the genius idea that I came up with.

-Lauren

{ 2 comments }

I’m back this week with more food prep! It really is changing our game. I can’t even tell you how many unhealthy choices have been/will be avoided because of the few hours I spent prepping for this week. These ideas will work for either Hammer & Chisel (which we’re loving) or 21 Day Fix. I could have prepped all our meals but I decided to focus on lunch since I feel like that’s our weak spot. Here’s the result!

Food Prep Ideas for Hammer & Chisel or 21 Day Fix!

And here’s what’s on the menu!

Plant-based lunches:

  • veggie bowl of sautĆ©ed broccoli, onions, and mushrooms with vegan cheese sauce topping (3 green, 1 yellow, 1 teaspoon); black bean burger (1 red, 1/2 yellow)
  • caesar salad with [unpictured] roasted chickpeas (2 greens, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 orange, 1/2 yellow);mixed berries on the side (1.5 purple)

Food Prep Ideas for Hammer & Chisel or 21 Day Fix!

I admit, the croutons aren’t an approved food. :) But feel free to leave them out or make your own croutons with whole grain bread!

Food Prep Ideas for Hammer & Chisel or 21 Day Fix!

Omnivore lunches:

  • balsamic marinated flat iron steak (2 reds, 1 teaspoon); sautĆ©ed broccoli, mushrooms, and onions (2 greens); roasted sweet potatoes (2 yellows)
  • chicken cesar salad (2 reds, 2 greens, 1 blue, 1 orange, 1/2 yellow); mixed berries on the side (1.5 purples)

Food Prep Ideas for Hammer & Chisel or 21 Day Fix!

If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to Pin Ā the image below! :)

Herbivore and Omnivore ideas for healthy food prep!

If you’re interested in the nutrition plans I’ve been talking about then just let me know and I can give you more info!

See you next time!

-Lauren

{ 1 comment }