Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cue That Summertime Cilantro Lime “Rice”

I think I just found my new summer staple: Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. If you’re lazy like me, Trader Joe’s was worth the $2 investment and ease of prep. To keep it even simpler, I chopped the stems and leaves together; cilantro adds that bright, fresh taste to the “rice” and pairs so nicely with fresh lime juice. Think a knock-off of Chipotle’s rice that you want to eat by the spoonful.

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

Hearty, Feel-Good Plant-Based Curry Soup

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Want a soup that immune-boosting? Stress-relieving? Energizing? Anti-inflammatory? According to Daily Harvest‘s Carrot + Coconut Curry Soup, it’s all of those things wrapped into a yummy bowl of soup. I tried Daily Harvest on a whim, and it didn’t disappoint. Completely fresh ingredients delivered to your door as soups, smoothies, overnight oats, chia parfaits and grain bowls. You add liquid (if needed) and heat them up or blend them. I enjoyed their soup so much (that besides ordering it again), I tried making a big-batch copycat version. This didn’t look quite as colorful and delectable as Daily Harvest’s, but it’s a pretty damn close copycat. Zucchini Coconut Curry Soup is a hearty, plant-based soup packed with veggies, spices and flavor, and I added cubed tofu for some protein. I let julienned zucchini star along with carrots, peppers, cauliflower and spinach. Fresh ginger and cilantro add fresh flavor to the curry. This soup must be good when I sent two servings home with my parents and got my mom’s approval. Happy Meatless & Marathon Monday here in Boston! Grab a cup of soup to stay warm on this rainy day!

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

Lounging Around with This Veggie Lasagna

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

Copycat Sweetgreen’s Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls

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I love sweetgreen. I love their salad dressings, locally sourced ingredients, clean eating philosophy, and the ease to grab a meal. The only downside is that a salad or bowl runs $10-12. I’ve been craving a sweetgreen, but on a budget. I decided to try my hand at their curry cauliflower bowl that’s offered during the fall; the bowl is: quinoa/farro, arugula, roasted curry cauliflower, cilantro, dried cranberries, roasted chicken, sriracha, & cucumber tahini dressing. While not quite the same since their dressings seem to be top-secret, I basically nailed this with my version of Curry Cauliflower Brown Rice Bowls. I used my own homemade dressing, leftover brown rice from sushi stacks, and roasted cauliflower and chicken. If you make the dressing and rice ahead of time, it’s really an easy meal prep.

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

Positively Perfect One Pan Veggie & Sausage Roast

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I found these cute, petite rainbow carrots at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and knew I wanted to make a veggie roast. The summer I was in Munich, it was quite unseasonably cold and rainy. My friend, Katie (aka Katinka), roasted Bavarian pork sausage, apples and potatoes. This is my take on it: Roasted Rainbow Veggies with Apple Chicken Sausage. The leeks get crispy like Brussels sprouts and the carrots, zucchini and sweet potatoes are tender after the roasting. The dried thyme makes your kitchen smell AWESOME (emphasis on awesome clearly), and the apple sausage is a sweet, savory addition to balance out the garlicky cauliflower mashed potatoes and sweetly cooked veggies. This may be the easy one pan dish and the quintessential fall meal.

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Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Side, Vegetarian

The Low Carb Mashed “Potatoes”

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I’m not sure why I haven’t posted these yet. I love Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. They’re low carb, so much easier than normal mashed potatoes and taste like the real deal. I used  frozen riced cauliflower since that was the easiest for me, but any type will do. Just cook the cauliflower, mix in cottage cheese for creaminess and then garlic and EVOO for flavor. Blend them together and viola! Mashed “potatoes.”

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

You Won’t Even Know There’s Cauliflower in This Smoothie

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Don’t hate it until you try it: Raspberry Açai Cauliflower Smoothie. I’m a sucker for trying new food items, especially when I see these unsweetened açai purée packets continually pop up on multiple nutritionist recommended grocery lists. Açai (“ah-sigh-EE” but don’t even ask me to correctly pronounce this; I still butcher the name) is chuck full of nutrients and antioxidants due to its deep purple color — similar to blueberries and blackberries. Look for unsweetened packets in the freezer section making them easy to store and easy to have on hand. You can find them at Trader Joe’s for $4.49 or Whole Foods for $6.99 (at least that’s what it’s going for in Boston proper aka Beacon Hill). Since the purée packets are unsweetened, I added banana and frozen pineapple for some natural sugar. Frozen cauliflower adds nutrients and texture, and you can’t even tell there’s cauliflower in this thing.

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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, Dairy-Free, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Protein-Packed Plantbased Stir Fry

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Happy Meatless Monday! This colorful stir fry packs 30 g of protein when using 1 egg and 3 T egg whites. Not bad for eating meatless. I got this idea for a Colorful Veggie Stir Fry with Tofu from PopSugar. I’ve realized I don’t get enough protein a day (like most women), and I’ve been trying to consciously add more protein to dishes when I can. My existing diet seems to revolve mostly around veggies and grains (not a bad thing! But hey, carbs), so I’m trying to make a transition to one of a more balanced “macro” diet, but thus, incorporating more protein. Macronutrients can be broken down into carbs or carbohydrates, protein and fat. A macro diet doesn’t focus on calories alone, but the types of calories you’re eating and the certain percentage of how those calories compare. For the stir fry, I added in eggs and tofu. I tried both a steamed veggie (less oil, i.e. fat) and stir fry veggie option. Honestly, they had about the same in flavor and the steamed option was faster and more convenient using your handy microwave. The flavor really comes from the soy sauce for the tofu and sriracha to top. My favorite method was the steamed veggies with scrambles eggs because it was just SO EASY, but I included both below. (Looks complicated, but I assure you it’s not.) I already know what I’m having for lunch the next two days. Also great for meal prepping!

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

Slowly Cooked to Perfection Coconut Curry Chicken

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I’m on a slow cooker kick, especially with these one bowl meals. (Well, this isn’t quite a one pot dinner, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t easy.) Mmmmm, delicious Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken. Especially with exams coming up, it’s so easy to let the chicken cook all day and then just whip up the bowls at night. I used frozen cauliflower and peppers for less chopping and to save time. It’s so easy to have frozen veggie on hand! I always have cauliflower stocked in my freezer. Let the rice cook while the coconut curry chicken warms and you can kick back and relax (or in my case study).

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