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

Bring Chipotle Home with Chipotle Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

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Happy meal prep Sunday! I saw this video floating around Facebook from Eating Well. I’ve been on a bowl quick lately and seem to favor them because 1. it’s one plate (or in this case bowl); 2. everything is right there — protein, veggies, grain and your own add on’s; and 3. it’s way easier to assemble and fun to eat, especially with a busy schedule. PLUS, they’re so easy to make for weekday meals and easy to recycle leftovers. Here’s a take on a Mexican-inspired Chipotle Chicken Bowls. I didn’t use cheese and swapped sour cream for non-fat plain Greek yogurt. I made my own salsa, tweaked from Steak, Beans & “Rice” with a Fresh Tomatillo Salsa. It’s super fresh with the lime juice and cilantro.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish

Tasty Taco Tuesday

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Love me a one pan meal. I’ve been craving tacos after I saw the idea on BuzzFeed for one pot meals (see the first entry if you’re curious). I haven’t made anything taco related in a looooong time — not since Not Your Average Taco Salad. Whole Foods had a sale on lean ground beef yesterday so I knew the timing was perfect. I made my own taco seasoning courtesy of Gimme Some Oven while the meat browned. The hardest part of this was chopping the onion, peppers, zucchini and jalapeño, which in actuality isn’t that hard. The veggies plus spinach pack in more nutrients than your traditional taco. You mix everything together and assemble without missing any of the taco flavors. Happy Taco Tuesday with these Taco Skillet Bowls.

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Appetizer, Entrée, Lightened Up, Mexican, Snack, Vegetarian

Craving Some Cheesy Quesadillas

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I’ve been craving quesadillas lately. I’m not entirely sure what spawned this craving, but I’m going to blame the nachos I had last week. (I personally blame Nacho Mama for posting all of her mouthwatering nacho finds around the Boston area.) This craving could also be contributed to the fact that I made an impromptu quesadilla while in St. Thomas, complete with pinto beans in the cheesy inside and topped with freshly chopped lettuce and salsa. Man, did that hit the spot. Instead, I give you Black Bean Spinach Quesadilla with a crunchy outsides (thanks, skillet) and a gooey inside full of refried black beans, spinach and cheese. They’re lightened up with plain Greek yogurt for sour cream and corn tortillas for flour. Happy Meatless Monday!

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Mexican, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Gotta Try Sofrita Salad

Copycat Sofritas Salad

The ingredient list looks intimidating, but really the whole process is quite simple: make the sofritas, chop the salsa and assemble the salad. Easy, right? After taste-testing my mom’s Sofrita Burrito Bowl from Chipotle last fall, something about the lightness of tofu sounded great for a hot, summer day. I cooked the tofu with the same spices you would for chili and added it over chopped iceberg lettuce, avocado and red bell pepper. Throw together a homemade salsa. (You can literally throw in everything washed, whole and as is — i.e. full cherry tomatoes and cilantros with stems if you’re feeling exceptionally lazy and/or crunched for time.) Everything comes together as light and fresh for this Copycat Sofritas Salad. Happy Meatless Monday!

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

Let’s Get Chopping: Chopped Mexican Salad

Chopped Mexican Salad with an Avocado Cilantro Dressing

I went to Border Cafe in Cambridge with my coworkers for some good food, chips and guac and cheap margs. I got a the Route 66 Chop Salad there that I’ve been dying to make a copycat. Thus, I give you my Chopped Mexican Salad with an Avocado Cilantro Dressing.  I enjoyed the charred flavor from the grilled chicken paired with the fresh cilantro and tart but rich avocado-based dressing. You’d never know this Avocado Cilantro Dressing didn’t have Greek yogurt, sour cream or something rich and decadent added to it. Nope, just some avocado to do the trick. It doesn’t need anything else to be delicious. I lightened up my salad and omitted the cheese and any crisply fried tortilla chips. I will be bold and say I think any salad is better chopped. It’s less messy to eat. Plus, there’s something fun about it being chopped. Don’t sure what I mean? Try your next salad chopped.

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

Not Your Typical Beans & (Cauliflower) “Rice”

Steak, Beans & "Rice" with a Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Real Simple hit the nail on the head. I saw this recipe and brilliant idea for an updated beans and rice and really wanted to try their take. Plus, I never had reasons to like steak and this seemed like it could be one. Steak, Beans & “Rice” with a Fresh Tomatillo Salsa. I swapped rice for cauliflower rice for a lighter take — super easy! Grab a mini food processor and you easy have salsa and cauliflower rice; two for one. (Quinoa would be a great substitute for rice as well.) I’ve never worked with tomatillos before let alone had one and now I can’t to have them again. The salsa is tart, light, but not too sour all in one. I added some cherry tomatoes to lighten the flavor and add some vibrancy. Grill the steak instead for a colorfully light summer dish. Pair with a Four Ingredient Margarita and you have a dinner sure to impress.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian

Magic Four Ingredient Margaritas

Four Ingredient Margaritas

I don’t know about you, but I like my drinks tart and not sickeningly sweet. Cider, margaritas, cocktails — the less sweet the better. My friend over at Insane for Drinks was kind enough to share Sauza 901 tequila. So good and smooth. None of that cheap stuff they give you for shots in your college dive bar (Salty, I’m looking at you). Plus, JT (i.e. Justin Timberlake) endorses this fine bottle, so obviously it must be good. (Don’t believe me? See here.) Toss in all fresh ingredients and some agave nectar to have a Four Ingredient Margaritas — a lighter take on the classic drink.

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Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Mexican, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Holy Guacamole

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Guacamole is an instant crowd-pleaser, and it’s so easy to make! This recipe allows the natural creaminess of the avocados to speak for itself without any added sour cream, yogurt or mayo; Homemade Guacamole smooth and rich enough as is. The fresh ingredients add enough flavor without overwhelming the guacamole as a whole. This pairs perfectly with your favorite salsa and some blue corn tortilla chips, multigrain tortilla chips or sweet potato chips. This fresh guacamole is so good, you’ll never spend money on that store-bought stuff again!

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Mexican, Seafood, Vegetarian

Summer Salmon

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I really, really like salmon. Not just like, but enjoy eating it. Whenever I go home to Maine, it’s usually one meal my mom can be sure that I will request. Normally, we make a soy-curry based marinade, but thanks to Pinterest, I stumbled upon this new combo two summers ago. We found a new summer recipe and another great idea for salmon. The combination of spices gives just the right amount of kick, while the creamy avocado salsa balances the spice. Even if this isn’t used for salmon, this spice-avocado combination is perfect for any white fish or chicken. Continue reading “Summer Salmon”