Herbed Lemon Quinoa and Cannellini Bean Dish

I have so much to tell you. Seriously, get ready. And… it’s good news.

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1. I cycled today for fifteen minutes pain free. Oh, hey, God. Thanks. Prayers are answered.

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2. I cycled on the COOLEST thing. It this stationary bike but it has a screen that makes it look like you’re playing a video game. You’re racing against opponents, overlooking the ocean, and the handlebars even move! Win.

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So, I’m officially addicted. I was sweating within minutes and haven’t felt this great in a long time. Let’s go, spiffy, high-tech bike. You and me, again tomorrow.

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On a food-related note, this dish is super full of flavor. Herbs and lemon and deliciousness.

Herbed Lemon Quinoa & Cannellini Bean Dish
Adapted from Food and Wine

1/2 c quinoa
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp lemon juice (ex: bottled lemon juice)
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/2 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Pinch of black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon + juice of half lemon

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. In a small skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, and onion. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring. About 5 minutes in, and the 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.
3. Add cannellini beans to onion mixture, and add thyme, parsley, and pepper.
4. Combine quinoa and bean mixture, then add lemon zest and fresh lemon juice.

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Spinach Orzo Bake

Apparently “pumpkin everything” is  back. M&Ms, lattes, candles, ice cream, beer…

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When did it become pumpkin season? I’m still wearing white shorts and neon nail polish.

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I am, however, digging my new candle. It makes my entire apartment smell like a coffee shop. I was afraid it would be overwhelming or too strong or just plain ol’ bad but no. It is the best thing ever.

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Let’s call my coffee candle a transition from summer to fall. Coffee is appropriate for all seasons, but I feel like it’s a little more autumny. This dish, however, is all summer.

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Spinach melts from the heat of the orzo, feta gives a salty bite, and fresh squeezed lemon provides a refreshing splash across this dish.

Spinach Orzo Bake
Adapted from Maple Spice

1 c orzo
1 1/2 c spinach, torn and tightly packed
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 c black olives, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic pepper
1/4 c feta
Juice of a lemon
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Cook orzo according to directions.
2. Add spinach to orzo when hot to allow it to wilt slightly.
3. Add remaining ingredients.
4. Bake on 350°F for 15 minutes.
5. Add more lemon juice on top.

Creamy Dill Pasta Salad

Oh, July.

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July is fireworks and sparklers. Picnics and lemonade. Watermelon and peaches.

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I’ve gotcha covered for the picnics. This creamy dill pasta is light and refreshing with a lemony-dill kick to keep you energized for the long strolls and frisbee tossings.

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These green onions and parsley are grown locally, and man are they fragrant and delicious. Opt for local, people. Save the world. And if you’re reading this blog, that means you might (possibly? hopefully? PLEASE?) be interested or just aware of vegetarianism. Do it. One meal a week. One a day. Every meal. Whatever you can, save the animals. Or, just.. buy locally. Whichevs.

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Creamy Dill Pasta Salad

1 c pasta
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley
3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dill
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. Combine pasta with onions and parsley.
3. Whisk together yogurt, olive oil, dill and lemon juice, and combine with pasta.

Lemony Pesto and Kale Tortellini

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could major in something awesome?

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Like, “Hi, my name is Kaylie and I majored in Food with concentrations in Baking, Cooking, and Wine.” Or “I majored in Yoga with minors in Bartending and Island Hopping.” Or “I majored in Crafting with minors in Reading and Piano.”

But no, we have to major in things like Business and Political Science and Chemistry in order to get a job. And then sometimes you still don’t get a job. Tough luck, this world.

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Despite the fact that I majored in Exercise Science and minored in Spanish, I’m going to pretend with my blog alter ego that I majored in Food with concentrations in Baking, Cooking, and Wine. I excelled in Cooking and slid by in Baking and Wine. But that’s okay.

So, with my Bachelor of Science in Food, I am sharing this fabulously delicious recipe with you. Consider yourself lucky and well-fed. My boyfriend has these amazing friends who share food with me sometimes. Homegrown kale to me is like candy to a child.

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did find a worm in the kale, but I got past it and stuck some yummy kale in this perfect marriage of citrus and pesto and pasta.

Lemony Pesto & Kale Tortellini

1 package Biutoni 3-cheese tortellini
2 cups kale, torn
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3-4 tbsp pesto

1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. In a bowl, combine kale and parsley.
3. Drain pasta and add to bowl.
4. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and pesto.

Lemonade Cupcakes

When we have family gatherings, I get to make the dessert. Usually that’s a good and fun thing, but sometimes? Disasters happen.

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We all know I am not the best baker. I have friends who are way better than I am. Take this girl for example. She can throw butter and sugar into a bowl and magic happens. I throw butter and sugar in a bowl and people run for the hills.

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It’s okay, though. Future Registered Dietitians don’t need to be eating so much cupcake batter and frosting and baked goods. This is nature’s way of saying, “People don’t listen to fat dietitians.” Yes, World, you are correct.

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However… after making a fail batch, I made a good batch. A good batch of cupcakes with a good batch of frosting. And? They’re beautiful. Just saying. Pink rose cupcakes for Mother’s Day/my grandmother’s birthday is just perfection.

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Lemonade Cupcakes

Cupcakes adapted slightly from Babble and buttercream adapted slightly from Martha Stewart

Cupcakes:

1 c butter, at room temperature

2 c sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp lemonade concentrate (or lemon juice)

1 c milk

Frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 c confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp + 1 tsp milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 drop red food coloring

Sprinkles, if desired

Cupcakes:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a large bowl, rub lemon zest into sugar, then beat with butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together.

4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk and then lemonade (ex: flour, milk, flour, milk,flour, lemonade, flour). Beat until just combined.

5. Grease muffin tin (or use liners) and pour cupcake batter in until 3/4 way filled.

6. Bake for 16-18 minutes (or longer if needed), until toothpick comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool completely then frost:

Frosting:

1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy.

2. Add vanilla, confectioners sugar, and milk and beat until smooth. This makes a thick frosting, which I prefer. If desired, add more milk.

3. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes. I used Wilton’s 1M tip and swirled from the inside out, creating a rose pattern. Add sprinkles (or strawberries) if desired.