Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up

Happy FriYAY with Low-Carb Pizzas

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It’s Friday, so I’m celebrating with a little quick and healthy ‘za. I feel like the weekend rolls around and we all think we’ve “earned” a little indulgence for the weekend. This Tortilla Pizza with Basil & Sausage is just the way to indulge without feeling gross. It requires ingredients you probably already have on hand like whole wheat tortillas, chicken sausage (I always store some in my freezer), tomato sauce and parmesan cheese — it’s that easy. You can obviously swap out the meat for veggies, but don’t make the pizzas too heavy. For a serving size of two tortilla pizzas, it’s just the right amount of pizza without feeling overly stuffed.

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

Stay Warm & Cozy with These Harvest Bowls

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I made a similar roasted veggie bowl last year with sweet potato instead of squash, but since then, I’ve somehow perfected this. Maybe it’s because the sauce is juuuuust right; I mixed a little hummus and tahini, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard. Besides making the dressing and having the quinoa cooked ahead of time, this bowl is really a one pan meal then. You can roast all the veggies at once, adding kale at the end and then keeping the chickpeas separate is they don’t get soggy. These Roasted Vegetable Harvest Bowls keep you full without feeling overly stuffed and kind of even make you feel like you just indulged at Sweetgreen without leaving your home.

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

Cozying Up with Rosemary Red Lentils

IMG_8543Happy meal prep, Sunday! Besides the balmy weather lately (and it coming up again this weekend), it’s been a bit chilly some night to start off fall and October. I made this one pot dish of Rosemary Sweet Potato Red Lentils and it’s beyond easy to make — it’s another one of those dump and stir kind of recipes. It’s cozy and surprisingly sweet with the sweet potatoes and raisins, but in a good, savory, dish-me-up-more kind of way. Rosemary is perfect for the fall and colder months and using fresh herbs will make your kitchen smell heavenly.

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

Sizzling Skillet Huevos Rancheros

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I haven’t posted a breakfast/brunch recipe in a while, and this one is worthy of a post on its own. Meaning “ranch eggs” or “rancher’s eggs,” Skillet Huevos Rancheros is a one pan meal that’s super easy to make and prep ahead of time. You can cook your eggs to however you like, but I like mine runny so they meld with the homemade rancheros sauce or salsa that you make, the refried beans and avocados. I had leftover spinach and zucchini so I tossed it in, but you can’t even tell. I also used a low-carb whole wheat tortilla from Trader Joe’s, but you can keep it authentic and gluten-free with corn ones. If you prep ahead of time, make the sauce, and store the ingredients separately, so you can easily assemble.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Edible (& Kinda Healthy) Cookie Dough

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The first time I tried Chickpea Cookie Dough, I was like ehhh. The next few times I tried this, I made some changes like less peanut butter, swapping brown sugar for other sweeteners (gotta be more like Toll House, right?) and a bit more vanilla. The changes made me want to grab a spoon immediately; it’s a keeper. I personally think that it’s even better chilledddd. Serve it up on apple wedges, graham crackers or just eat it with a spoon. I personally like the good ol’ chocolate chip version, but play around with it to get your perfect edible cookie dough.

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Asian, Local Finds, Vegetarian

Welcome to East Cambridge, Bon Me!

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Bon Me’s new East Cambridge store is so cute! Bon Me is a mix of food trucks and permanent restaurants throughout the greater Boston area serving delicious Vietnamese-inspired food. I was lucky enough to be invited to a store preview. Each table is decorated with succulents in colorful pots and dainty origami cranes with (fake) tea light candles. Weather permitting, there’s even an outdoor patio and seating area. With a few high tops and plenty of bench seating, the industrial, yet colorful inside was inviting, but to be honest, I was focused more on the food than the decor. I would most definitely get the Bon Me Bap Bowl, a vegetarian take on Korean Bibimbap bowls with pickled vegetables that seem surprisingly fresh. I’m a big fan of veggies and thought this was just enough of a balance. With my old roomie, Dee, as my guest, who’s also obsessed with Bon Me, we ate our way through their new menu, sipped Lamplighter beer and had a grand ol’ time for a Tuesday night. (If you enjoy local finds, check out more here.)

— Bon Me’s East Cambridge Grand Opening is October 19th! —

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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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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

To Brownie or Not to Brownie?

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I didn’t want to call these brownies because I don’t think of these as a true brownies without chocolate chips, so I settled on bars. Plus, are brownies ever really healthy? Maybe, maybe not. (Deep, pondering life thoughts by Annie to be continued . . . .) Whatever I call them — Dark Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Bars — can be a dessert or double up for a snack. Made grain-free using cocoa powder and plant-based chocolate powder as the base, these bars came out darkly dense made tart with raspberries.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Snack, Vegetarian

Cheering for Mango Chia Bowls

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Before mangos disappear forever (or at least until next summer), it’s time to try Mango Chia Pudding. Mango season may have passed, but this is such a refreshing breakfast, snack or dessert. Pick a super ripe and juicy mango and you won’t even think to add any extra sugar or sweetener. The cinnamon pairs nicely and bridges the gap between holding-on-to-summer and oh-wow-it’s-already-fall.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Add a Little Pumpkin Spice to Your Life

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It’s that time of yearrrrrr. It’s officially October, my birthday is this week, AND it’s pumpkin season. I think I like pumpkin things so much since I already have an innate affinity for cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (and ginger and allspice I suppose). I’ve been meaning to try my own Pumpkin Spice Creamer, but I would’ve never thought to make it with coconut milk because I would’ve thought the coconut to be overpowering. Well, it’s not and Amanda at Running with Spoons is genius. Plus, it’s paleo, dairy-free and refined sugar free since it uses dates to naturally sweeten. This creamer pairs well with a cinnamon coffee or try it plain. It adds the flavor, but I will added half my usual serving of plain cream to my coffee to cut the bitterness. So easy and a sure way to use up some pumpkin purée.

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