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, Lightened Up, Local Finds

Yummy in Mah Tummy Low-Carb Wraps

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Oh hey, Collard Green (Goddess) Wraps. Where have you been all my life? There wasn’t too much green about this. I saw this recipe floating around as a low-carb alternative to wraps, and I knew I just had to try these. These wraps aren’t hard to make, but just require a bit of patience, prep for chopping and time to assemble. You can add such different flavors by mixing up the hummus, the protein (swap chicken for tofu, turkey, beef, etc.) and the herbs. Plus, it’s near the end of collard green season, and stores are bursting with these huge, beautifully dark green leaves.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Crazy for Kung Pao Veggie Bowls

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I’ve been making a lot of bowls lately. I think they’re balanced between veggies, protein and grains. I also think Fit Foodie Finds is the queen of all things bowls. I pulled from her blog again to make Kung Pao Veggie Bowls. They’re fresh, light and colorful — and pretty darn easy to make. I decided to grate/julienne the broccoli stem, which cooks down and softens so you can’t even tell it’s part of the veggies! Can’t wait to make this again trying chicken, tofu or beef. In honor of both meal prep Monday and meatless Monday, here’s another bowl to add to your arsenal.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Soup

Beefed Up Pho

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Happy snowy day in Boston! Vietnamese Pho Soup may look intimidating (or strange), but it’s so simple. You make a broth, cook the rice noodles and assemble. I originally made a Vegan Pho with tofu because it’s easy to use and requires no prep, but, like the rest of you carnivores out there, I knew I needed to try a try meat lover’s option… with BEEF. I swapped vegetable for beef broth and did a 1:1 ratio of rice noodles to zoodles. As always, pho is light, refreshing and just what the doctor (or nurse) called for on a cold day. The sriracha and jalapeños add just the right amount of spice, the herbs contribute a freshness and the spices just the right flavor. Dish up a heaping bowl of Beef Pho with Zoodles.

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Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

The Simply Sensational Shakshuka

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I went out to brunch with my friends, Ali and Sam, and naturally Saturday brunch means being basic and heading to Newbury Street. We settled on Stephanie’s, somehow all ordered a side of home fries (apparently sharing wasn’t an option) and sipped on their spicy house-made Bloody Mary’s. (I don’t even like Bloody Mary’s and I want to buy their mix, so I’ll just let that sink in.) We were looking for a savory kind of breakfast — something hearty and filling. I tested out their shakshuka and am so glad I did. So glad, in fact, that I decided to recreate it at home. This looks complicated, but I promise you it’s not. The chopping is a bit time consuming, but otherwise it’s a dump and step back while this cooks kind of recipe — my fave. I added in more finely chopped veggies for nutrients and depth, but the real flavors are the tomatoes and the spices. Any tomatoes work, but heirlooms are just so pretty and in season now. It would be so easy to serve as a brunch or dinner and you can tailor the poaching of the eggs to being over easy or soft/hard boiled. I’ve already stocked up on the ingredients to make Shakshuka a second (and a third) time.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Salad

Tangy & Fresh Thai Salad

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To be totally honest, I never really measure salad dressings. I kind of dump, pour, mix and combine like a mad scientist concocting a new compound. The resulting Spicy Peanut Dressing was tangy and acidic from the vinegar and lime juice, but still savory and spicy, both of which I really enjoyed. The flavors complement the fresh herbs quite well. Sometimes, I think kale is really leafy and green, but when chopped, mixed with fresh herbs and topped with the right dressing, kale is pretty benign and makes for a great base. I also am a firm believer that everything tastes better bite-size and chopped. I used a plain rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods for a quick and easy meal. Plus, it beats firing up the oven or stove during the summer. Just chop and combine for this tasty Chopped Thai Chicken Salad.
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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad

Crazy for These Colorful Cabbage Bowls

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Sriracha Beef Cabbage Bowls for the winnnnnn! I’m trying to make bowl salads or salad like dishes since I’ve become bored from the same old same old. Don’t get me wrong. Certain salads become classics and a staple for a reason, but you need some variety every now and then. Plus, this cabbage bowl is so colorful, it’s hard to resist not diving in fork first. I also never seem to buy beef. Not sure why, but maybe it’s a price thing, but I found some 90% lean beef at Roche Brothers and it was a sign. Literally a sign I needed to test out these cabbage bowls. SO GOOD. I tossed in my own fresh herbs, fresh ginger and hoisin sauce for flavor. Somehow these bad boys are both filling and light all at once and I’m definitely adding these ingredients to my grocery list to make them again.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Staying “Toasty” in the Snow

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Yesterday was a good day; a very solid assortment of food kind of day. Despite the blizzard pummeling the Northeast, Boston was graced with a couple inches to still have the feel of winter without being overwhelming. (Btw, thank GOD Boston was spared. We had enough snow last year to last a decade.) I went to the gym yesterday morning, but was saving my big meal for brunch to go with my roommate and one of my best friends from college. I needed something satisfying, savory and that would hold me until we commenced for brunch. Cue the Basil Sriracha Avocado Toast. We had a successful meal at The Tip Tap Room in Beacon Hill. We sipped on mimosas, Blood Maries (just Perin) & bourbon cocktails (see pictures below). We sampled the Everything Bagel Breakfast Sandwich, the Smoked Cheddar & Corn Griddle Cakes with Bacon Maple Syrup (they tasted like cornbread pancakes — delish) and the Tip Tap Signature Omelet packed with brie, asparagus and shiitake mushrooms (pictured below). Given it was snowing and we wanted to stay warm, I also concocted some Blizzard Sangria. Think a quick and easy cranberry and citrus sangria. To put the icing on the cake, toss in a slice of Ernesto’s Caprese pizza for dinner in the North End. Sounds like a good Saturday, right?

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Refreshingly Easy Ginger Basil Spritzers

Ginger Basil Spritzers

Happy Thirsty Thursday! Sip on a beyond refreshing drink invented specifically for hot weather. The spiciness from the ginger pairs with the freshness from the basil and citrus notes from the prosecco and limes. (This would be equally delicious with sparkling water in replace of prosecco.) I like bubbly drinks, so trying this spritzer from Cooking Light was a no brainer. If you can’t beat the heat, then at least try to enjoy it while sipping on a Ginger Basil Spritzer. It has to be five o’clock somewhere, right?

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Make Your Greens Even Greener

Creamy Basil & Spinach Dressing

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d share a favorite over at Moosewood in Ithaca, NY. The few times I went there, I tried their “house” dressing and never once strayed from my selection. My mom bought me one of their cookbooks to remember my time at Cornell and of course it had the recipe for their famous green dressing. The Creamy Basil & Spinach Dressing doesn’t taste “green” at all and is bursting with flavor. Go ahead and give this favorite a try, and I promise you won’t be making a change any time soon.

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