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

Bread Soup!

Ribollita is a Tuscan vegetable and bean soup using leftover bread to make a hearty stew-like meal. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat bread? When you’re always dipping bread into your soup, why not just pop it right in? Since moving to Boston’s North End (also known as the city’s “Little Italy”), Ted and I have been on a mission to find the best pizza and the best loaf of bread. We’ve started to frequent Bricco, an Italian bakery selling artisan breads. After picking up a whole wheat loaf, it only seemed fitting to make Tuscan Bread and Bean Soup. The bread breaks apart to delightfuly thicken this soup. Flavored with parmesan and full of veggies, this will be a new cold weather staple.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Veggie & Pesto Packed Primavera Pasta Salad

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The warm weather has finally rolled in, and it’s beginning to feel like summer. Verdant grass, trees, and flowers call for vibrant veggies to be used. I’ve been craving pasta and also pesto lately, so it only makes sense to use both for a pasta salad. In this Primavera Pasta Salad, your veggies can be a combination of fresh and frozen. I usually have frozen edamame and peas on hand in my freezer among some others (like cauliflower pieces and cauliflower rice). Fresh asparagus, peppers, and celery add a bite and a crunch. Add lemon juice, pesto, and spices for a summery and bright take on pasta salad.

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

Cozying Up with Rosemary Red Lentils

IMG_8543Happy 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.

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

Down to Detox Winter Veggie Soup

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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.

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

Buff Chick Chili FTW #TB12

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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!

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

Buffalo Chicken Boats FTW

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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!

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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Salad

Best (& Still Quite Healthy) Buffalo Chic Salad

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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.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Soup

Snuggle Up with Some Detox Soup

Giada's Detox Broth

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 DeLaurentiisGiada’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.

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