Happy 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.
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 . . .)
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.
I made my own vegetable broth! It’s so easy thanks to Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Save veggie scraps, toss them in the freezer in a ziplock, and once the bag is full, you add the scraps, fill with water and simmer your broth to perfection. I’ve also done this in a slower cooker with a chicken carcass, carrots, onion and celery to make chicken stock — another easy 8 hr option. Plus, it’s great since you can manage how much sodium is in the broth; I added 1 teaspoon of salt for the whole batch, which is about 150 mg of sodium per cup of homemade veggie broth. I made this broth during the week while studying and I’ve been accumulating excess veggies leftover from Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Brown Rice Bowls and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna ever since. I decided it was Soup Sunday and made a Winter Veggie Detox Soup with what I had piling up in my fridge. Winter produce that’s in season are lemons (or any citrus), kale, and sweet potatoes. I used fresh and ground spices to rev up metabolism, aid with digestion and help with inflammation. Not sure if it’s so tasty from sautéing lemon slices in fresh garlic, ginger and coconut oil or if it’s the flavors from the turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon, but for totally winging this soup, it’s pretty darn good.
I was debating licking my bowl since this Buffalo Chicken White Bean Chili is THAT GOOD. I love checking recipes on Skinny Taste, and this chili seemed like a good one to try during and maybe make again for Super Bowl Sunday, since everyone in New England will be anxiously watching this weekend. This chili version is packed with veggies (obviously carrots and celery and I snuck in some puréed pumpkin as well) and with all of the taste of buffalo chicken, but in a more “guilt-free” packaging. I used a plain, organic rotisserie chicken so then I could use the remaining meat for salads, sandwiches and bowls. (I also saved the carcass to try my hand at making homemade stock! Stay tuned…) The only downside of this recipe is that it’s on the higher end for sodium, which is why I don’t add any extra salt and chose toppings like plain, non-fat Greek yogurt and chopped celery versus cheese, but do whatever floats your boat — just indulge in moderation!
Need a way to consume all of that end-of-the-summer zucchini? These Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats will complete your life. I lightened these bad boys up with cauliflower, zucchini and celery to the buff chic mix and paired with my healthy (or at least healthier) Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing. Cut down on time and use the meat of a plain, roasted rotisserie chicken. It’s ok to indulge every once in a while, especially when it’s roasted chicken and veggies. So have one boats — or two!
I stumbled upon this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs as a Super Bowl appetizer, but then was too busy with my micro homework to make this in time. If it can’t be an app, then a salad sounded light but also hearty and satisfying. I really like Skinny Taste and her healthy twists on classic and popular dishes. Naturally, she had a “Skinny” Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing to accompany. What pairs well with blue cheese dressing? Celery, carrots, cucumbers and avocado — toss that into the salad. Inspired by my Bang Bang Cauliflower, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites sounded like a natural addition to the metals. It all comes together even better than imagined. I had my coworkers jealous of my lunch. Seriously, Chris wanted to steal it. Get yours jealous too with the Buffalo Chicken Salad.
This soup smells heavenly. The fresh ginger, cinnamon, garlic, onion and cloves just have the right amount of flavor to offer. The garlic and ginger offer healthy digestion. The hardest part of this soup is the prep. There’s some chopping involved, but once completed, you literally dump everything into the pot and relax. The broth for this soup is originally from Giada DeLaurentiis‘ Giada’s Feel Good Food. Instead of straining the broth and reserving the liquid, I kept the soup as is, added everything I had on hand but the kitchen sink and enjoyed a piping cup of Giada’s Detox Soup.
Open Faced BBQ Chicken Sandwich with an Apple Slaw (& Spicy Garlic Sweet Potato Fries). Try saying that title five times fast. I lightened up your traditional sandwich by making it oped faced and adding multigrain bread. Who has BBQ without fries or chips? Not me. I added some baked sweet potato fries tossed with garlic and spicy red pepper flakes. The apple slaw is worth trying alone. If you’re feeling particularly creative, I’d add some lemon zest to the slaw for that extra pop of flavor, which I did not do. but that’s why there’s next time . . . The slaw is light and fresh with a bit of crunch to balance the acidity and tanginess from the BBQ sauce. With sweet apples and fresh lemon juice, you won’t be able to take just one bite!
I had this Apple, Spinach, Cucumber & Mint Smoothie on a sunny, 86° day. Before you write this off for its quite green color, try this hydrating drink on a hot, summer day. I originally made this with kale, more celery and no mint, and it tasted like I was drinking grass; the smoothie turned out waaaay too green. However, baby spinach has a much milder taste, and the mint added a fresh kick. When I make this again, I would add frozen banana instead of the yogurt. This was a different take and a welcomed departure from the classic fruit smoothie. Before you dismiss the green smoothie for its color, give it a try!