4 Email Newsletters I’m Using to Up My Cooking Game

If you’re anything like me, coming up with 5 or 6 meals on Sunday before heading to the grocery store is a little bit like pulling teeth. You can only eat spaghetti, tacos and burgers so many weeks in a row before you need new ideas. In an attempt to add some new options to our meal planning, I signed up for a few email newsletters that promised to send recipes straight to my inbox.

I’m pretty impressed with the results so far; we’re definitely upping our culinary game. These are 4 worth signing up for:

1. Bon Appétit Newsletter

While Bon Appétit is a well-known print publication, they also have a collection of recipes online and you can sign up for their email newsletter, which is exactly what I did. Now, I get an email or 2 a day filled with recipes and background knowledge about the ingredients they use, as well as restaurant news and food trends. My one complaint is their constant ads for both the magazine and kind of random kitchen products, but the newsletter and website are free, so I get it.

I haven’t made anything from Bon Appétit yet, but I’m looking forward to making this simplified Italian wedding soup.

2. Chelsea’s Messy Apron

I didn’t realize just how many of the recipes I have pinned on Pinterest are from Chelsea’s Messy Apron until I started browsing through her blog. After signing up for this newsletter, I got a welcome email right away with 20 easy weeknight dinner recipes, which was exactly what I was looking for! I also get an email when a new recipe is published on the blog and tonight I made Chelsea’s latest recipe, Bruschetta Chicken. I love that these recipes have simple, healthy ingredients and they’re so flavorful.

3. The New York Times Cooking

The New York Times cooking includes not only an email most days, but also a Pinterest-style “recipe box,” where you can save and organize recipes from not only The Times, but other websites as well. We tried the fettuccine with asparagus, which was simple and delicious.

The New York Times Cooking does charge $1.25 a week to use their online recipe collection after a free trial. My free trial just ended and I haven’t decided if I’m going to pay for the service. If this was free, it would be #1 on this list, hands down.

4. A Couple Cooks

I found A Couple Cooks on Instagram and later subscribed to their newsletter. They focus on vegetarian recipes, which I love for lunch meal prep. Each week, I receive an email with the links of the week, which are a collection of new recipes and other news about what Alex and Sonja are up to. They’re currently promoting a cookbook, so it’s also included in the weekly round up. I love that they invite other food bloggers to contribute recipes, so there’s a great mix of styles of cooking.

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

I’m constantly looking for snacks I can make Sunday to play double duty for me during the week. Some days, I need something quick before I go to the gym in the morning. Others, I eat breakfast at home but then need a snack at work.

A handful of almonds and craisins are an easy solution, but I like to add a little variety every few weeks. Last month, I made Oh She Glow’s Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (which last two weeks if I freeze half the batch). This week, I was searching Pinterest for something similar.

Oatmeal-based energy bites caught my eye. All had similar base ingredients: oatmeal, nut butter and honey. Most also included protein powder, soaked dates and chocolate chips, which seemed a little too complicated for Sunday night meal prep.

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Directions

Instead, I mixed up these cinnamon raisin oatmeal bites, and they’re pretty good! I posted a picture on my Instagram story and asked if you’d be interested in seeing a recipe. The majority of you said yes, so here it is!

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

These are super quick to make. I ended up mixing them together on Monday morning before work. The recipe makes about 15 bites. That was perfect for me, because I had 3 for each day. And yes, there are really 6 ingredients, but I don’t think the cinnamon counts!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 oz box raisins

Directions

  1. Add the oats, flaxseed, honey, peanut butter and cinnamon to a food processor and mix. The ingredients will come together into a texture similar to a pie crust.
  2. After everything is mixed, add the raisins and process for just a few more seconds.
  3. Take the rough dough and shape into 15 bite-sized balls. Place the bites onto a cookie sheet.
  4. Cover the bites on the cookie sheet with a dish towel and stick them in the fridge for a few hours. After they set, you can transfer them to a container and keep them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Texture

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Directions

A serving of three bites has about 11 grams of sugar, which seems high until you consider that about 1 gram is from the peanuts in peanut butter, 4 are from the natural sugar in grapes and the remaining 6 are from the honey. If you’re worried about the amount of sugar, decrease the amount of honey and add a touch more peanut butter!

5 Ingredient Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites | Honey

You can easily add in protein powder, chocolate chips or other dried fruit to make these to your taste. Cody has already said he’s going to make them without honey and see how it goes.

Do you have a snack that’s both breakfast and desk appropriate that you love? Let me know on Facebook or in the comments below!

6 Recipes to Try This Spring

Warmer weather and spring veggies have me craving new, fresh recipes. Here are 6 I’m excited to try this season!

1. One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta – Love & Lemons

There is nothing I love more than one pot pasta recipes. They’re easy and yummy. This one is filled with tomatoes, pepper, zucchini and more. In a few months, we can make this right out of the garden, but for now the grocery store will do. I’m going to make this my lunch meal prep for the week.

Update: This recipe worked great for a whole week worth of lunches! I used 2 small zucchini, a pint of cherry tomatoes and 16 ounces of whole wheat pasta with 5 1/2 cups of water. Next time, I’ll add even more spices to really jazz things up.

2. Blackened Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce – FoodieCrush

At this time last year, my roommates and I were spring break-ing in Florida, eating fish tacos with mixed drinks at beachfront restaurants. This year, not so much. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy fish tacos at home!

3. Slow Cooker Thai Curry Chicken – Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

I’m not going to put away the slow cooker just because it’s getting warmer. I’m excited to try this recipe! I love when I can make rice and add whatever has been cooking all day with no effort on my part to make a meal.

4. Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Power Salad – Little Spice Jar

This is a great side dish or a main meal. When I made it, I used less scallions and didn’t include dates. The flavors had a chance to blend overnight and it was even better as leftovers.

5. Glowing Green “Pasta” Primavera – Oh She Glows

Everything on Oh She Glows is delicious and unlike some vegan recipes, you can’t tell it’s vegan. I always love the sauces Angela creates and this sun-dried tomato basil-hemp pesto looks amazing.

6. Southwestern Veggie Wraps – Oh My Veggies

I love wraps, I love sweet potatos and I love black beans. These wraps look like an easy dinner with enough flavor and filling to make up for the meatless-ness.

My Favorite Things: 5 Summer Recipes I Love

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My relationship with food is a healthy one. I love fruits and veggies; shopping at the farmers’ market and contributing to the local food cycle is one of my favorite parts of summer. Bread is one of my favorite foods, and I love The Bread Basket‘s cranberry walnut boules. I am very much an omnivore; while I love meat, a vegetarian or vegan recipe doesn’t scare me. My diet is balanced, but my weakness is definitely ice cream, especially Lake Effect‘s!

Now that you know a little bit about how I eat, here are my favorite warm-weather recipes:

  1. Grilled Zucchini: There’s no recipe for this one, just add olive oil, salt and pepper to sliced zucchini and throw it on the grill. So good!
  2. Oh She Glow‘s Empowered Noodle Bowl with Thai Peanut Sauce: To be fair, I’ve never tried the Orange-Maple Miso version of this recipe. But why would you, because this peanut sauce is absolutely amazing. Get the recipe here.
  3. Inspiralized‘s Pesto: This pesto is so easy and we’ve made it twice this summer with basil from our garden. A version similar to our favorite is located here.
  4. Cucumber Salad: We have cucumbers growing out of our ears, so we eat this salad of cucumbers, red onions and dill constantly.
  5. Cowboy Caviar: Any combination of beans, corn and cilantro is going to be amazing with tortilla chips. I could make this for lunch everyday and be pretty content! Here’s a great version.

What recipes do you make over and over when the days get longer and the grill comes out? Let me know so I can love them too!