Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

The “Feel Good” Italian Sausage Soup


Can we talk about these color? Ermahgawd, this soup was almost too pretty to eat. Having a cold, this warm and hearty veggies made Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Soup hit the spot. The only downside to these beautiful, rainbow veggies is that the purple carrots and potatoes give the broth a purple, rosy hue, but I’m not complaining. For not knowing what I was going to cook this past Sunday, this came together quite nicely. The soup is basically veggies, Italian chicken sausage, some Italian spices and homemade veggie stock. Let it cook and simmer in a slow cooker until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  (In the market for a new slow cooker? Check out Reviews.com for The Best Slow Cooker.)

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Celebrating Toast Tuesday with Lemon Ricotta Toast


Want a different toast and a clever way to use up that ricotta from lasagna? Here’s Lemon Ricotta Toast. It’s light and satisfying, without being over heavy or filling. I love the bright acidity the lemon juices adds to the creamy ricotta, simply flavors with salt and red pepper flakes. Pumpkin seeds add a delightful crunch, while spinach adds some color and a little extra something-something.
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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pass That Peanut Tofu Stir Fry


Happy Meatless Monday! I’ve been craving stir fry lately, and Peanut Tofu Stir Fry more than hit the spot. I keep making these impromptu meals with random leftovers, but hey, I’m not complaining. I originally bought some ginger, broccoli slaw, cilantro and zucchini to make Asian Peanut Zoodles, but instead of making stir fry, I used some of these ingredients for a take on Sesame Chicken “Noodle” Soup. My old roommate, Dee, is the queen of stir fry, and her steady stream of tantalizing stir fry snaps was enough to make me want in on the action. I tossed together leftover brown rice, the broccoli slaw, red pepper, edemame and tofu in an easy, yet flavorful peanut sauce.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Creamy, Tomatoey, Pumpkiny Sauce


Need a break from marinara sauces, pumpkin sauce or creamy, Alfredo-like sauces? Look no further. This Creamy Tomato Pumpkin Sauce is the perfect blend of garlic, tomatoes and “cream.” When I was little, it would be the dead of summer, and my mom would harvest tomatoes from our tiny garden. She’d chop up tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic, sauté the three into an easy sauce, and sever over pasta; I think this is where I got my inspiration. With leftover pumpkin and yellow squash, a simple sauce emerged fresh heirloom tomatoes (those colors!), carrots and a little garlic. A splash of almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer) adds a new dimension to the sauce to perfectly prepare it for pasta.

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Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Lounging Around with This Veggie Lasagna


Mmmm, there’s something about a lasagna baking in the oven that brightens your day. I had a lot of fun making this, since it was a way to use up some produce in my fridge and make my own marinara sauce. Paired with no boil lasagna noodles from Trader Joe’s and my fridge produce, this Veggie Lasagna was delicious and super easy. Mixing veggies directly into the ricotta mixture and using less cheese lightens up this lasagna, while still keeping all of the flavors. I made the marinara sauce, while I sliced the zucchini and peppers, minced the cauliflower and mixed together the ricotta. Then you layer everything, bake it and anxiously wait for it to be done.

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

Copycat Sweetgreen’s Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls


I love sweetgreen. I love their salad dressings, locally sourced ingredients, clean eating philosophy, and the ease to grab a meal. The only downside is that a salad or bowl runs $10-12. I’ve been craving a sweetgreen, but on a budget. I decided to try my hand at their curry cauliflower bowl that’s offered during the fall; the bowl is: quinoa/farro, arugula, roasted curry cauliflower, cilantro, dried cranberries, roasted chicken, sriracha, & cucumber tahini dressing. While not quite the same since their dressings seem to be top-secret, I basically nailed this with my version of Curry Cauliflower Brown Rice Bowls. I used my own homemade dressing, leftover brown rice from sushi stacks, and roasted cauliflower and chicken. If you make the dressing and rice ahead of time, it’s really an easy meal prep.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker, Soup

Slowly Savoring This Easy Slow Cooker Chili


This chili recipe isn’t what you’d traditionally think of as “buffalo chicken,” but the flavors are a welcomed change from your standard beef chili dishes. It’s spicy from the hot sauce and a little sweet from the potatoes, whilst still retaining all the typical chili flavors and spices. It simmered all day as I prepped my nursing work, and I had Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Buffalo Chicken Chili in a blink of an eye. I loved the addition of fresh cilantro to brighten the dish. You can gobble down a bowl and avoid feeling sluggish because its fresh ingredients come together so seamlessly. I had leftover frozen slow cooker buffalo chicken from my bowl recipe that I tossed in for literally the easiest chili ever. (In the market for a new slow cooker? Check out Reviews.com for The Best Slow Cooker.)

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Summer Stew for Any Occasion


This was a summer stew I made, but froze two servings to pull out when I needed a quick meal. I did just that on the 30th after traveling to Maine and Ohio for the holidays. I enjoyed a bowl sans toppings on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to stay warm during this arctic blast of weather. Since the stew was summer inspired and based, you can really taste the lemon juice and appreciate summer produce like kale and zucchini. The sweetness from the raisins and sweet potatoes balance the bitterness from the quinoa and kale and acidity of the lemon juice. I added almond milk for a splash of creaminess. I love that this has garlic, ginger and turmeric, which are anti-inflammatories and aid in digestion — just what we need post-holiday binge and indulgences. Serve hot and savor that bowl of Turmeric, White Bean & Quinoa Stew.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

Passing 2017 with a Potato Thyme Quiche


Have to close out 2017 with a bang, right? This Thyme Potato Crust Quiche was a winner. Remember my sweet potato crust quiche? Here’s a take on that. I love breakfast potatoes and hash browns for brunch. I’m not sure what it is about the starchy side, but I associate seasoned potatoes with breakfast. I made a potato crust for this eggy dish and added thyme to complement the sharpness of the parmesan and give flavor to the potatoes. For a quiche, it’s really filling from the potatoes, and adding a dash of hot sauce (or ketchup) does juuuust the trick.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish, Soup

Making Green Chili for Dinner


Have you ever tried a Chicken Chili Verde or green chili? It’s so worth it if you haven’t. A green chili is a fun change with white beans, hominy, quinoa and chicken. The salsa verde, a tomatillo-based salsa, limes and cilantro bring a totally different flavor from your traditional chili. Using rotisserie chicken and already prepped salsa instead of tomatillos, this chili is truly a dump, stir and dish up kind of recipe. Top with a little plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), lime and extra cilantro. You’re going to want seconds before you’ve even finished.

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