Peppermint Pattie Cups

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With St. Patty’s Day just around the corner, I knew I had to celebrate the holiday the only way I know how–with dessert, of course! (Ok, and maybe with some green beer or Guinness, too). 
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Carrot Cake Cupcakes (gluten-free, vegan)

20140308-172642.jpgI don’t know how it almost passed me by unnoticed, but I’ve been so crazy busy lately that I nearly forgot that this is a very special week…..

Almonds & Avocados officially turns 2 Years Old!!

And because last year I celebrated the blog’s birthday with Chocolate Caramel-filled Cupcakes, it only seemed appropriate to celebrate this birthday with cupcakes too! That’s right, Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Butternut Squash Tostadas with Avocado Crema

20140301-093408.jpgThere’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t crave Mexican food. I could eat tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never tire of it. Even though Mexican food isn’t known for being particularly healthy, I believe everything is OK in moderation. The problem with that: I just can’t control myself! I’ll eat several veggie tacos and an entire bag of tortilla chips and still crave more. And don’t even get me started on the guacamole….

It’s for that very reason that I like to make my own Mexican-style meals when those pesky cravings strike. That way, at least I know all of the ingredients that are going into my food and I’m able to cut out as much of the unhealthy and fatty elements as possible. Yes, I still eat a lot, but it’s a lot of healthy, whole foods. 

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No-Bake Nutella Pies

20140222-025854.jpgFebruary 21 is a special day in our family: it’s the birthday of my mom, my stepson Kaden, and Kaden’s stepdad! Since this special day happened to fall on a Friday this year, we decided to turn the entire weekend into one long celebration, complete with tons of food, family time, and even paintball. 

I firmly believe that such a special day also deserves an equally fantastic dessert, but then, I usually go out of my way to come up with excuses to make dessert. As much as I love birthday cake, I wanted to prepare something a little different. It didn’t take me long to come up with these amazing No-Bake Nutella Pies. Now, I honestly can’t imagine life without them!!

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Arugula, Lentil, and Sweet Potato Salad

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After the gorgeous and eternally young Christie Brinkley recently shared with People magazine that she snacks on melon and walnuts and eats beans and veggies for lunch and dinner, I was compelled to do the same. Do I expect to wake up one day looking like Christie? Of course not. But I love that the model, who’s been a vegetarian since the age of 13, is extremely health conscious and opted to share her ‘secrets’ with us. Besides, if it’s good enough for her, it’s certainly good enough for me. 

So, in an effort to include more beans and veggies into my meals, I’ve been going through old recipes and coming up with some clean and simple new ones–like this Arugula, Lentil, and Sweet Potato Salad. Not only is this salad extremely tasty, it’s also unbelievably easy to throw together, making it the perfect on-the-go meal. I’ve taken it to work with me nearly every day for the last week and it always leaves me feeling full and satisfied. I think Christie must be on to something…

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