Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Salad

Chicken Caesar Wrap as a Tastyyyy Salad

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Deconstructed Chicken Caesar Wrap — what’s up? I made this late summer around the same time I went to Nantucket with my friends Leah and Steph. For some reason, it got lost in the potential blog post limbo. I saw Leah Saturday night and she was craving a Caesar salad for dinner, and I remembered this post was lost in limbo. This version of a Caesar “salad” is light, fresh and perfectly chopped. I love my salads chopped now after this is how they were prepped in college. This is totally optional, but so much more fun. I also looooooove this dressing I found a few years ago; it’s creamy because of the Greek yogurt, but still tastes just like Caesar dressing. Adding a little naan on the side makes this salad seem like a wrap without actually having the wrap.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Slow Cooker, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Slowly Cooking This Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

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I LOVE this slow cooker method for making soup. I usually make this in a large soup pot, sauté the veggies in a little oil right there, add broth and let it simmer. By using a slow cooker, you skip the sautéing part and reduce the oil. I made a soup similar to this last fall, tossing whatever I had — apples, sweet potato, regular potatoes, carrots — into a big soup pot along with butternut squash; this time, I did the same thing in a slow cooker (way more fun). Enjoy as the main course or as a side, the result is a sweet, yet savory Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup that’s hands off minus the minimal prep of the produce in the beginning and puréeing at the end.

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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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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

The Best (Healthy) Buffalo Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

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One word: yum. I totally meant to make buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes because my nursing friend, Jen, would bring those to lunch all the time during clinical, but I went for the sweet potato mash last minute. I even brought leftovers to my parents and I didn’t think my mom was a big buffalo fan and even she approved. As much as I like blue cheese with these and my homemade (and lightened up!) blue cheese dressing, I feel like whenever I buy blue cheese, it just sits in my fridge. I’ve really been trying to buy groceries with the intent to use everything, so I just stuck with plain Greek yogurt to cut the spiciness of the hot sauce and add a little creaminess to the bowl. I also think these bowl are pretty well balance between healthy fats, protein and carbs. I didn’t always have these with avocado slices, but they just add an extra element of creaminess. For a game day, potluck or just meal prep, these Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Bowls are oh-so-good. (Or just make the slow cooker buff chick ahead of time or for salads, nachos, quesadillas, baked potatoes . . .)

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

The One Pot Wonder: Rice & Veggie Detox Soup

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Yesterday was such a gross Monday and today is a rainy, dreary Tuesday. I made a big ol’ batch of this Brown Rice Veggie Soup last night using some pantry ingredients and some of the veggies I need for slow cooker buffalo chicken bowls tonight (recipe coming soon!). The soup just came together with no real plan. It’s so fun to toss in a little of this . . . a little of that . . . and watch everything come together. I added a little vindaloo curry to taste since the soup already smelled like these flavors would compliment the garlic and ginger well. The brown rice and copious amount of veggies make a hearty soup you can’t wait to have.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

Homemade (Almost) Better-than-Takeout Curry Noodles

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This may not be my most photogenic dish, but it’s one I made to satisfy my Thai take-out craving (and my wallet), and I found myself looking forward to my leftovers. These Curry Chicken Noodles are so easy to tailor based on any curry or veggies that you use. The same goes for noodles; you can use boring spaghetti for the same effect or wide rice noodles or thick udon or ramen-like Chinese noodles.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Peanutty “I-Can’t-Believe-They’re-Kelp Noodles” Bowl

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I’m on a kelp noodle kick. This time I switched it up and made a version with shrimp and edamame in a peanut sauce. Yummmm. Even though it’s pretty low-carb, these bowls are packed with protein to keep you feeling full. (If you’re like omg that’s it? Split between 2 servings instead of 3 or add another pack of noodles.) I really like how these noodles have a distinct crunch and adopt whatever flavor profile you’re using. They’re perfect for a Thai-inspired dish, so have at it and dig in to Peanut Shrimp Kelp Noodle Bowls.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Seafood, Vegetarian

Stoked for Sushi Stacks

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I’ve died and gone to sushi heaven. These Tuna Sushi Stacks are to die for. I’ve been eyeing this recipe on Skinny Taste since last summer and have always made a deconstructed version, since the stack never quite works out for me. This time, I went for the full deal — still obviously struggled with keeping the stack neat — and added mango and carrots to my top layer. The sweet addition from the mango was a great decision. I’ve stocked up on mangos lately since Whole Foods has had the 5 for $5 sale. Swapping brown for white rice and adding rice vinegar allows the rice to get “sticky” like you find in sushi restaurants without adding sugar to achieve the same effect. Overall, the sushi stack was tangy, sweet, savory and salty. Also, it’s light, yet filling and satisfies all of your sushi cravings while being homemade and on a budget.

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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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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Tantalizingly Stuffed Tuna Salad Sweet Potatoes

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Want a yummy easy lunch with mostly pantry ingredients and basic staples? This recipe for Tuna Salad Stuffed Sweet Potatoes is not your mother’s tuna salad. (Sorry, Mom. Still think you make great tuna salads, but this is more of a “this is not your mom’s generations’ tuna salad.”) Protein packed and perfectly balanced, I got this idea for the stuff sweet potato from POPSUGAR‘s macro guide and tweaked Family Food on the Table recipe for a spinach tuna salad to be my own. Using mozzarella and Greek yogurt as the base for the tuna salad, it’s full of healthy fats and protein. I mixed in matchstick carrots (since they’re clearly one of my fridge staples), chopped spinach (ditto), mini cucumbers (sensing a trend?) and fresh lemon juice, pepper and garlic to taste. Placed in an easily baked microwave sweet potato while you assemble the salad, the sweet potato is then topped with avocado and sriracha. (Not sure what to do with potato insides? Try making a sweet potato crust.) Honestly, the best part is that you’re not insanely full after — winning!

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