Asian, Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

Killin’ It with These Korean Rice Bowls

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Happy meal prep with these popping flavors! The spiciness from the meat, the sesame from the spinach, the acidity of the kimchi . . . Although seemingly complicated, I really enjoyed the simplicity of this Korean Bibimbap Bowl. Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish served with seasonal fresh or sautéed vegetables, a red chili paste and an egg. Here’s a healthy (but definitely not authentic) twist using ground turkey, jasmine brown rice and fresh veggies. This is not your traditional bibimbap, since I swapped ground turkey for ground beef. I added a poached egg because I was lazy about cleaning another pan by frying an egg, and I’m trying to perfect my patching technique in the microwave. I found jarred kimchi at Trader Joe’s for quite cheap. Plus, you have it on hand and you’re not fussing about pickling napa cabbage and making something extra.

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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

The Best (Healthy) Buffalo Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

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One word: yum. I totally meant to make buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes because my nursing friend, Jen, would bring those to lunch all the time during clinical, but I went for the sweet potato mash last minute. I even brought leftovers to my parents and I didn’t think my mom was a big buffalo fan and even she approved. As much as I like blue cheese with these and my homemade (and lightened up!) blue cheese dressing, I feel like whenever I buy blue cheese, it just sits in my fridge. I’ve really been trying to buy groceries with the intent to use everything, so I just stuck with plain Greek yogurt to cut the spiciness of the hot sauce and add a little creaminess to the bowl. I also think these bowl are pretty well balance between healthy fats, protein and carbs. I didn’t always have these with avocado slices, but they just add an extra element of creaminess. For a game day, potluck or just meal prep, these Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Bowls are oh-so-good. (Or just make the slow cooker buff chick ahead of time or for salads, nachos, quesadillas, baked potatoes . . .)

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

Mad for this Homemade Massaman Curry

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Not my prettiest of shots, but man, the flavors are there. I love ordering Chicken Massaman Curry when I’m feeling Thai takeout (or the original version of Basil Drunken Noodles or No Fish Sauce Pad Thai), but sometimes, you need all the flavors without the delivery fees. It’s savory, a bit peanut buttery and just plain good curry. Compared to takeout, this curry is less salty, swaps brown for the usual white rice and cuts the fat by using less oil and light coconut milk. I also added a bit more nutrients and flavor with sweet potato instead of potatoes. I saved time using pantry staples like pre-made red curry paste and canned diced tomatoes. I also had rotisserie chicken to use for the week, but I may have to try this with tofu next time. This curry dish is really quite easy using what you probably have in your pantry. Plus, it’s a fun dump-and-run kind of dish, which lets the flavors meld and heighten all on their own.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

Homemade (Almost) Better-than-Takeout Curry Noodles

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This may not be my most photogenic dish, but it’s one I made to satisfy my Thai take-out craving (and my wallet), and I found myself looking forward to my leftovers. These Curry Chicken Noodles are so easy to tailor based on any curry or veggies that you use. The same goes for noodles; you can use boring spaghetti for the same effect or wide rice noodles or thick udon or ramen-like Chinese noodles.

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Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Just a Little Coffeeeeee Buzzzzzz

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I recently ordered a cold brew infuser from Amazon. Over 1,300 people recommended it and it has not disappointed. The coffee is strong and perfectly cold brewed. Plus, it’s easy to use and store. I’ve made this coffee smoothie before using chilled coffee brewed in a traditional way. Using cold brew was so much better; it’s stronger, darker and maintains that classic bitter coffee taste in this Healthy Coffee Frappuccino. At Starbucks, the Grande (16 oz) Coffee or Coffee Light Frappuccinos contains 23-50 g of sugar (whaaaaat!?). This version is naturally sweetened with frozen bananas and a dash of agave. It’s frosty, tasty and satisfies your iced coffee cravings!

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Peanutty “I-Can’t-Believe-They’re-Kelp Noodles” Bowl

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I’m on a kelp noodle kick. This time I switched it up and made a version with shrimp and edamame in a peanut sauce. Yummmm. Even though it’s pretty low-carb, these bowls are packed with protein to keep you feeling full. (If you’re like omg that’s it? Split between 2 servings instead of 3 or add another pack of noodles.) I really like how these noodles have a distinct crunch and adopt whatever flavor profile you’re using. They’re perfect for a Thai-inspired dish, so have at it and dig in to Peanut Shrimp Kelp Noodle Bowls.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Seafood, Vegetarian

Stoked for Sushi Stacks

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I’ve died and gone to sushi heaven. These Tuna Sushi Stacks are to die for. I’ve been eyeing this recipe on Skinny Taste since last summer and have always made a deconstructed version, since the stack never quite works out for me. This time, I went for the full deal — still obviously struggled with keeping the stack neat — and added mango and carrots to my top layer. The sweet addition from the mango was a great decision. I’ve stocked up on mangos lately since Whole Foods has had the 5 for $5 sale. Swapping brown for white rice and adding rice vinegar allows the rice to get “sticky” like you find in sushi restaurants without adding sugar to achieve the same effect. Overall, the sushi stack was tangy, sweet, savory and salty. Also, it’s light, yet filling and satisfies all of your sushi cravings while being homemade and on a budget.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

The New Trend: Kelp Noodle Bowls

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Kelp noodles are so fun! I never knew they existed until I saw this recipe on TIU. These noodles are super low in calories and carbs and virtually without fat. The noodles have a crunch, an al dente texture and a nondescript taste. They kind of remind me of tofu in the sense that they take on whatever flavors you’re cooking with. I tried my hand at Chicken Kelp Noodle Bowls. I added fresh ginger root, garlic, scallions, soy sauce and lime juice for a fun Asian flair. Toss kelp noodles with chicken cooked in coconut oil and shiitake mushrooms, you have such a fun and decidedly different weekday meal. I liked these so much that I went back to Whole Foods to grab more, but they’re out. I’ll have to make these next week with shrimp — stay tuned!

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving These Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls

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My mom has been raving about this lentil chili she made this past winter that called for smoked paprika. I keep seeing recipes call for this spice, and I came across a recipe for slow cooker burrito bowls, which — ding, ding, ding! — called for smoked paprika. Given that it’s been unseasonable cold here and that I wanted some meal prep for a busy start of the week, I pulled out the crock pot and made Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls. I totally want to make these with chicken next time, but I’ll need a bit more foresight to thaw the chicken from my freezer. Instead, I tossed in sweet potatoes and made these bowls with brown rice and black beans for a yummy dish. These have a risotto-like consistency and I found myself adding more homemade vegetable broth than expected. The smoked paprika pairs so well with the black beans and sweet potato; it gives the bowls a flavor similar to chorizo, but keeps it vegetarian.

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Copycat Sweetgreen Falafel Salad

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Ever since moving to Boston, I really like Sweetgreen since you get a salad or bowl that’s healthy and doesn’t truly break the bank. But, I’d like Sweetgreen even more if I didn’t have to leave my apartment to grab a meal. Sometimes, you just want something a bit more instantaneous. Here’s my copycat version of the Hummus Tahina Salad — Falafel Salad with Cucumber Tahini Dressing. I bought some falafels from the freezer section, tossed in ingredients for a salad and whipped up a dressing. I liked SG’s idea of adding breadcrumbs to their salad, so I added some GF breadcrumbs to act like croutons. I also like making regular tahini dressing — raw tahini, lemon, agave and water — and modified this to be the cucumber tahini version. Almost just as easy, but this one requires a bit of blending to make the cucumbers and garlic silky smooth.

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