The Whimsicalist

on food, travel + other whimsical things

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Perfect Baked Chicken with Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking.

Baked chicken?  You’re sharing a recipe for baked chicken?!  You may as well be sharing a recipe explaining how to boil water!  (Don’t worry, I’m not offended.  I’d probably be asking the same question if I were you.)

But!  I wanted to share this delicious, straightforward recipe with you because chicken breasts and I became well acquainted while I was on the elimination diet.  Oh, and because I have a serious thing for roasted carrots and parsnips this winter.

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Apple Banana Smoothie with Almond Butter and Coconut Flakes

I have an embarrassing confession to make.  I didn’t like peanut butter until college.

That’s right, I spent the first 20 some odd years of my life avoiding peanut butter, almond butter, and [insert any other nut butter here] like the plague.

My mom tried everything.  She really did.  Surely I’d like the classic kid favorite, peanut butter & jelly?  Nope.  Banana and peanut butter?  No thanks.  Bumps on a log?  Gross.  Peanut butter on a bagel?  Why ruin a perfectly good New York bagel?!

And then all of a sudden, everything changed one fateful night in college.  I was at Boston College’s Relay For Life, and my roommates made me a delicious PB&J.  I don’t know whether it was because I was starving or sleep deprived, but man.  That.  Sandwich.  Was.  EVERYTHING!

And it’s safe to say I’ve made up for my nut butter-deprived childhood and then some… I could very happily (and often do) eat almond butter by the spoonful.

Anyway, this almond banana smoothie with almond butter reminds me of what I imagine a normal childhood tastes like: apples and nut butter, with a hint of sweetness from the coconut flakes and a very sneaky serving of rich, leafy greens.

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Kidney Beans and Rice with Avocado and Green Onions

Rice and beans go together like… well, rice and beans.  It’s a popular food combo in many cultures around the world, and for very good reason.  It’s affordable, it’s low in fat, and it has tons of good-for-you nutrients that will keep you full and energized long after you finish chowing down.  Plus, it’s an easy meal to throw together with some vegetables and spices for a quick weeknight dinner or lunch.

I became well acquainted with this dynamic duo while I was on the elimination diet since it was delicious and easy on the stomach.  Here’s the scoop.

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Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad with Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

This is one of my favorite quinoa dishes, hands down.  Quinoa sweet potato salad with walnut and dried cranberries mixed in?  Count me in.  It’s basically fall on a plate.  Plus, it’s an easy weeknight dinner that makes for killer lunch leftovers.

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Berry Banana Smoothie with Almond Milk

Guys!  It’s 2015!  How did that happen?  Wasn’t Y2K, like, yesterday or something?  No?  It was 15 years ago?  Oh, okay.  Just checking. (!!!)

I digress.  In other news… Raise your hand if you made a health and wellness-related resolution!  (I see you! But not really, ’cause that’d be creepy.)

If you did make such a resolution, this post will be right up your alley.  If you didn’t, this post will still be right up your alley, because smoothies are delicious and I’m coming at you with one of my favorites: a berry banana smoothie with almond milk and other goodies.

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