BBQ Roasted Chickpeas with Polenta “Grits” (Instant Pot Friendly!)

Happy first day of spring! Are you ready for some sunshine?

Spring is always that season that we love, but it passes so darn quickly. In DC, springtime is absolutely magical. I love how the city comes alive with cherry blossoms and cherry or blossom flavored everything! Seriously, if you have had cherry blossom kombucha or cherry blossom donuts, you are missing out! It is just the best time of year! The worst thing about spring is how fragile it is. Yes, I used the word fragile because it is so true. One minute it is winter (cue today’s Nor’ Easter and 6 inches of snow) and the next, it is blazing hot! The worst last year was when all of the cherry blossoms froze and died RIGHT before peak bloom.

It was devastating.

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My Favorite Places to Eat in DC

Summer is coming.

And hopefully, it will not be as morbid or bloody as a Game of Thrones winter! Fall is actually my favorite season, but there is something about summertime that is always so magical. It is PRIME beach season. It becomes socially acceptable to eat ice cream all the time. The fact that I can wear shorts outside and not be judged that it is not “shorts weather”.

Personal choice that shorts weather is all the time weather.

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Kale Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons

Say hellooooo to your new favorite lunch!

Kale Caesar salad with chickpea croutons to the rescue.

This is everything I want in lunch: crunchy, crispy, tangy, flavorful and ridiculously satisfying. Like, super filling! I love love love it.

Oh and pretty easy too. I need something easy since I spend the majority of any break I take for lunch losing my brain in the internet vortex. Mostly over memes of things like Neopets circa 1999. What a great freaking game.

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Fluffy Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat is definitely the sexiest form of pancake.

I know because I’ve had them all. I am very particular about the pancakes I consume. My dad every Saturday would make stacks and stacks of buckwheat pancakes. I loved going downstairs and eating a huge stack. Then, I might follow that up with a pancake chaser/snack sometime in the afternoon. And then of course, there were the pancakes that I would take in a Ziploc bag to lunch at school. I would eat them cold, smeared with peanut butter.

I was living my best life, even at 8.

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Recognizing Thin Privilege

As a kid, I CRAVED to be thin. Until I enter the later years of college, I was never considered “thin.” Athletic, toned, and, especially when I was a little kid, overweight– but never thin. I would always look at the covers of the magazines my mom would give me and wonder how, even at the age of 6, I was not given the gift of a flat stomach, toned arms, and a fit waist. I glamorized these bodies, even from a young age. They were a ticket to a life that I could only dream about.

I always think that, in the back of my head, I was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that perfect body. Especially as a dancer, I was so self conscious about whether my body was toned and not flabby. I even remember my teacher grabbing my lower belly fat, telling me I had to get rid of THAT. Yet, despite all of my attempts to mold my body to how society thought it should look, nothing worked. Slowly, the methods of my fellow dancers to try to maintain their lean figures — usually with casual disdain, withholding from all kinds of food groups — began to seep into me, a porous, chubby little thing. At the pool, I became more and more aware of my rounded face and my definitely not flat stomach. Psychologically, I became so angry at my sister and my cousins, both of whom had the body type I was desperate for. They all looked so cute in their bikinis while I usually looked uncomfortable in surf shirt.

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Miso Maple Glazed Squash with Brown Rice and Brussels Slaw

Pump up your Monday and squash the competition. These colorful bowls are just perfect meal prep for the week!

Here’s the thing. This bowl is bordering between grain bowl and salad. And, right now, because I am feeling virtuous, I am going to call it a salad.  Here’s the thing, I love salad, but salad with iceberg lettuce and weird dressing? No, I do not love that kind of salad. What’s worse is a salad that is wilted before I even put the dressing on! No thank you! Whenever I make salads, I make them big, colorful, full of different veggies, and I always finish them off with cheese. Always.

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Buttery Roasted Cardamom Carrots with Feta and Pistachios

This post was sponsored by Brummel and Brown

 Hey you! Let me introduce you to my new favorite go to New Year salad. That really should be the alternative title of this post

To be honest, salads can often be, well, so boring. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I pretty much eat a salad every day of my existence. And I love them so much. But I find most renditions of a salad to be completely lacking in flavor and/or heartiness. Have you ever shown up to a restaurant and get a bowl of sad iceberg lettuce, two (why is it always two?!) cherry tomatoes, and maybe a sliver of red onion?

Those salads give salads a bad rap!

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Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash Oatmeal

I do not eat oatmeal enough. And to be honest, that is a real shame.

I always get in breakfast funks. And it is not predictable about what kind of funk I will be in when. All I know is that 1) I will eat a breakfast item nonstop for about 2-3 weeks without getting tired of it. And 2) almost spontaneously, I will get sick of said food and have to relinquish it from my life for maybe six months.

Yeah, the results are pretty tragic.

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Green Chili Tamale Bowls

We are learning how we can get lazy this week. And hey, that is a OK!

Because, serious question, my fellow lads and lassies. Have any of you made tamales before? I have. And they are delicious, but damn they are SO hard to make. The day that I made them, I remember spending hours wrapping the cornmeal with the corn husks and tying them together and steaming them. Yeah, that is a lot more work than I normally want to do in these cases. And honestly, the guacamole and the pico I made were winners compared to the corn tamales that took me hours to make.

So here we are, on a mission to be more lazy.

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