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

The Perfect Herby Tahini Sauce for Dipping

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I saw a recipe for fish, rice, and this herby sauce and I was intrigued. I love fresh herbs. They had a bright vibrancy and flavor to any dish. Also, just look at that color! I tend to gravitate toward basil and cilantro, sometimes mint, but usually not parsley, so I wanted to give this a try. Like a pesto, this Parsley Tahini Sauce is perfect for dipping or thin to make a sauce. The tahini is nutty and bitter balanced with the acidity of lime juice and the greenness from the parsley. We grilled shrimp and zucchini and the charred flavor from the grill perfectly balances with this vibrant, nutty, and sour sauce.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Dressing Up Quinoa & Lentils

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Do you ever make something and you’re actually excited for your leftovers and to eat it again? That was this. I give you Cilantro Lentils & Quinoa with Raisins and Walnuts. This can be a side or a base to a meal. You can mix in feta or goat cheese. This would go quite well with roasted root veggies. Pair with grilled chicken. You literally can’t mess it up. I roasted potatoes, beets, and spinach and added some feta for a meal or kept it cold and mixed it into a spinach salad with a lemony vinaigrette. It works well with parsley instead of cilantro for all of you who are cilantro adverse, but fresh herbs with lemon juice and lemon zest keep this light and bright.

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Bread, Dairy-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Vegetarian

Cast Iron Skillet Honey Cornbread

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Since it’s been a chilly spring in Boston, we’ve been eating chili and cornbread. My grandparents lived in Belfast, Maine, and this recipe was my grandmother’s, which is why my family recipe is called Belfast Corn Muffins. They’re best served hot and right out of the oven. I made some tweaks by baking them directly in a cast iron skillet and drizzled honey on top, hence why I named these Skillet Honey Cornbread. With the summer upon us, these could be a staple for a barbecue, accompany the grill, or coming up for the Fourth. Honey highlights the natural sweetness and baking in a skillet gives it a crispier edge.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

Eggs & Prosciutto for Dinner

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I love eggs, and I love any time that I have an excuse to eat eggs for dinner. Eggs, Chickpeas, & Prosciutto in a Creamy Tomato Sauce was the perfect impromptu dinner. Ted and I saw this recipe, while we had prosciutto and soppressata to use up from a local  salumeria called Bricco in Boston’s North End. This seems like a fitting meal, as we leave the North End for the other side of the harbor in Charlestown. We ate this as a dinner, and I added more spices and red pepper for a quick. I cut the heavy cream in half and swapped for almond milk, again, because that’s what we have on hand in our fridge. Plus, almond milk is a bit healthier than heavy cream. Pair with this bread to soak up the juices and that runny yolk. Oh, and don’t be like me and only add 7 eggs; apparently I miscounted!

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

Lemony Protein-Packed & Plant-Based Soup (Instant Pot)

I may be the only person enjoying April’s cold spell last month. It was a great time to meal prep lunch recipes for work and sample some hot soups. I quite enjoyed this take on a plant-based soup that with the addition of lentils, is packed with protein. Harissa adds a unique flavor and spice along with lemon, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Using the Instant Pot, this Lemony Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup is rich and creamy without any added dairy and comes together quickly, easily cooking the carrots. squash, and lentils. It’s the soup you need when you’re looking forward to spring on a crisp day.

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Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Salad, Vegetarian

Spring Buddha Bowls with Veggies & Farro

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Ted and I couldn’t get enough of these Spring Veggie, Marinated Chickpeas, & Farro Bowls. It’s the type of meal that you’re sad when you finish the leftovers. These grain bowls are savory yet bright with the dressing, chewy thanks to the farro, crunchy from the radishes and snap peas, and creamy because of the goat cheese and avocado. By marinating the chickpeas directly in the dressing, they absorb some of the flavor. We served this with a piece of crusty bread, channeling our inner sweetgreen during this pandemic. This salad is fun because you can change your veggies and toppings every time. We added pumpkin seeds one night, fresh basil and mint another, and Ted added cherry tomatoes on our third try. We did only spinach for one and mixed greens for another. Mix and match to make it your own!

 

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican

Enjoying These Easy Enchiladas

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Now that I’ve made homemade enchiladas, the filling and flavor combinations are endless. These Turkey, Spinach, & Black Bean Enchiladas are hearty, bursting with flavor, and easy to make. I’d consider these enchiladas to be a “lightened up” version since they’re full of lean animal and plant-based protein, use corn tortillas, and you make your own enchilada sauce from scratch in under 5 minutes. Full disclosure: Ted bought a large bunch of cilantro and we’re were purposefully trying to use it up. This recipe is very cilantro heavy since 1). it adds a burst of flavor quite effortlessly; and 2). waste not. If you’re not a cilantro fan, don’t worry! Just omit cilantro, but it do add a flavor like no other.

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

Comfort Food: Meatballs & Potatoes Edition (Instant Pot)

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I love this recipe for Italian Meatball Stew over Smashed Potatoes. I haven’t had it in a few years, but this is one that my mom made regularly in the slow cooker. I decided to switch things up and use meatballs instead of chicken Italian sausage after spotting meatballs when doing a last-ditch quarantine preparedness run at Wegman’s. (Let me just interject that their prepared beef meatballs are mini and cute and delicious.) I made the potatoes extra creamy using mascarpone instead of EVOO. Using an Instant Pot allows for a much faster simmer compared to a stovetop or a slow cooker. This is quite aromatic and your kitchen will smell amazing during while cooking this stew, only adding to its maximum comfort level during this crazy self-quarantining and social distancing time. If you’re feeling industrious, trying making bread to pair!

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Entrée, Italian, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

Meatless Veggie Bowls with Copycat Sweetgreen Dressing

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I’ve been looking for a good “bowl” lately. Maybe it’s generational that we’re the people who meal prep and pack lunches apart from sandwiches. I’m always looking for something that I can make, package and be done, or quickly assemble the night before or morning of. These Eggplant “Meatball” Bowls with Spicy Cashew Dressing do just that. As I’m always striving to copy Sweetgreen’s dressing–if you’ve had them, you totally know what I mean–and this bowl-salad fusion does just that. Roasted veggies, quinoa, and vegetarian meatballs combine for this hearty dish.

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

Delightfully Spicy Harissa Soup

Hearty veggie stew alert! If you haven’t figured out, I enjoy “cleaning out my fridge” and trying to use up every veggie–and sauce–possible. Harissa is a Northern African spicy chili pepper paste, consisting of mostly roasted red peppers. Depending on the style, some can be really mild or wildly spicy. If you use up any veggies in your fridge like onions, peppers, greens, and sweet potato with stuff in your pantry like a can of tomatoes or leftover grains and lentils, you can easily pull together a simple, hearty stew like Harissa Vegetable Soup. By using plant-based ingredients, it’s still high in protein. Plus, it’s a win-win for a deliciously health meal in exchange for cleaning out your fridge and pantry.

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