Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Lounging Around with This Veggie Lasagna


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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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Quick & Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce


Happy meal prep Sunday! Here’s a marinara sauce I made for a veggie lasagna (recipe coming soon!). I decided to make my own because it’s quick, delicious and budget-friendly. I never realized most tomato sauces have sugar as one of the first few ingredients, since sugar brings out the flavor in tomatoes; sometimes those sauces are just too sweet then. It’s hard to find a sauce without any added sugar (Whole Foods’ 365 brand does have a great one). This Basil Marinara Sauce is so easy and literally ready in 20 minutes — plus you get the satisfaction of it being homemade and making it from scratch. With only 5 ingredients, there’s no added sugar or salt, while still bursting with flavor.

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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up

Happy FriYAY with Low-Carb Pizzas


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


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


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


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


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’m slowly becoming a Bloody Mary fan, and even 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 favorite. 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


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


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


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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