Entrée, Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Lazy Lasagna Soup (Instant Pot)

Ted got me an Instant Pot for my birthday this year, and we’ve been trying to incorporate it into our everyday cooking for quick meals. I’ve been craving my homemade marinara sauce and lasagna, but I didn’t want to make a big pan. Instead, I give you Lasagna Soup. All the flavors of lasagna pulled together for a quick and easy meal. Using chicken breast and chickpea-based lasagna noodles, the soup becomes filling and packed with protein to keep you sated throughout the day. Top with a creamy ricotta-parmesan mixture to get all the feels of lasagna wrapped into a hearty soup.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Roasted Vegetable Soup in Time for Winter

My mom has made this soup, which became a spontaneous meal with friends for Ted’s birthday on Saturday. Roasting the vegetables before assembling the soup allows all the natural flavors to come alive. Your kitchen will also smell amazing, I promise. I whipped up a batch for lunches this week, and on the day I happened to make this, Ted’s friends came over with some freshly baked bread and charcuterie boards purchased in our neighborhood, Boston’s North End, for an impromptu birthday dinner. The Roasted Tomato Eggplant Soup was the perfect veggie main course after indulging in cheese, prosciutto, salami, and fresh bread. Dipping warmed bread directly into the soup is highly encouraged, and only adds to the heartiness of this all-veggie, flavorful soup.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Savory Rosemary Pumpkin Bread (No Knead!)

This No-Knead Rosemary Pumpkin Bread could be a savory addition to your Thanksgiving table. I love this with dinner as a side or in the morning as toast. I made this recipe last winter at a ski house and a few times at home. It seems complicated because you have to let the dough rise twice, but there’s no kneading involved. Because the dough is so wet and sticky, the theory is that the gluten doesn’t need help forming via kneading; instead the dough comes together on its own. The hardest part of this is planning because you have about 3 hours of time where the dough needs to sit. The original recipe for this calls for a spiced version with walnuts and cranberries, but I prefer the addition of whole wheat flour and fresh rosemary. I’ve baked this as one round loaf, two smaller loaves, and in a Dutch oven. I love all three, and recommend a Dutch oven if you prefer your bread perfectly crisped and crunchy on top with a soft center.

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

Bread Soup!

Ribollita is a Tuscan vegetable and bean soup using leftover bread to make a hearty stew-like meal. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat bread? When you’re always dipping bread into your soup, why not just pop it right in? Since moving to Boston’s North End (also known as the city’s “Little Italy”), Ted and I have been on a mission to find the best pizza and the best loaf of bread. We’ve started to frequent Bricco, an Italian bakery selling artisan breads. After picking up a whole wheat loaf, it only seemed fitting to make Tuscan Bread and Bean Soup. The bread breaks apart to delightfuly thicken this soup. Flavored with parmesan and full of veggies, this will be a new cold weather staple.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Creamy Autumn Harvest Risotto

This was an everything-but-the-kitchen sink kind of recipe–couple of Brussels sprouts here, some carrots over there, butternut squash frozen and ready to use. I whipped up a batch of Autumn Veggie Risotto yesterday because we had the most random produce and veggies in our fridge and freezer. The rainy, cold weather and upcoming football game created the perfect setting for a hearty dish. Risotto is comfort food at its finest. No need for heavy cream or cups of cheese to create a rich meal. The continuous stirring breaks down the rice’s starches to give risotto its gelatinous consistency and creaminess. I stirred in some mascarpone cheese leftover from making vegetable bolognese. The flavors of the vegetables speak for themselves accentuated by Parmesan cheese’s sharp bite.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Veggie & Pesto Packed Primavera Pasta Salad

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The warm weather has finally rolled in, and it’s beginning to feel like summer. Verdant grass, trees, and flowers call for vibrant veggies to be used. I’ve been craving pasta and also pesto lately, so it only makes sense to use both for a pasta salad. In this Primavera Pasta Salad, your veggies can be a combination of fresh and frozen. I usually have frozen edamame and peas on hand in my freezer among some others (like cauliflower pieces and cauliflower rice). Fresh asparagus, peppers, and celery add a bite and a crunch. Add lemon juice, pesto, and spices for a summery and bright take on pasta salad.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Summer Caprese Bowls with Shrimp & Zucchini Ribbons

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Summer is about fresh veggie and herbs. I can’t think of a better way to use tomatoes, zucchini and basil than in a Summer Caprese Zoodle Bowls. This is a take on the simple mozzarella, tomato and basil Italian salad using ribboned zucchini as “noodles,” a mixture of creamy ricotta and fresh mozzarella, and succulent tomatoes. This would be so amazing with some crusty bread dipped in EVOO. It’s a deliciously different version of your classic caprese dish.

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

The “Feel Good” Italian Sausage Soup

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

A Creamy, Tomatoey, Pumpkiny Sauce

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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

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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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