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, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker, Soup

Slowly Savoring This Easy Slow Cooker Chili

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This chili recipe isn’t what you’d traditionally think of as “buffalo chicken,” but the flavors are a welcomed change from your standard beef chili dishes. It’s spicy from the hot sauce and a little sweet from the potatoes, whilst still retaining all the typical chili flavors and spices. It simmered all day as I prepped my nursing work, and I had Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Buffalo Chicken Chili in a blink of an eye. I loved the addition of fresh cilantro to brighten the dish. You can gobble down a bowl and avoid feeling sluggish because its fresh ingredients come together so seamlessly. I had leftover frozen slow cooker buffalo chicken from my bowl recipe that I tossed in for literally the easiest chili ever. (In the market for a new slow cooker? Check out Reviews.com for The Best Slow Cooker.)

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish, Soup

Making Green Chili for Dinner

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Have you ever tried a Chicken Chili Verde or green chili? It’s so worth it if you haven’t. A green chili is a fun change with white beans, hominy, quinoa and chicken. The salsa verde, a tomatillo-based salsa, limes and cilantro bring a totally different flavor from your traditional chili. Using rotisserie chicken and already prepped salsa instead of tomatillos, this chili is truly a dump, stir and dish up kind of recipe. Top with a little plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), lime and extra cilantro. You’re going to want seconds before you’ve even finished.

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

Mad for this Homemade Massaman Curry

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Not my prettiest of shots, but man, the flavors are there. I love ordering Chicken Massaman Curry when I’m feeling Thai takeout (or the original version of Basil Drunken Noodles or No Fish Sauce Pad Thai), but sometimes, you need all the flavors without the delivery fees. It’s savory, a bit peanut buttery and just plain good curry. Compared to takeout, this curry is less salty, swaps brown for the usual white rice and cuts the fat by using less oil and light coconut milk. I also added a bit more nutrients and flavor with sweet potato instead of potatoes. I saved time using pantry staples like pre-made red curry paste and canned diced tomatoes. I also had rotisserie chicken to use for the week, but I may have to try this with tofu next time. This curry dish is really quite easy using what you probably have in your pantry. Plus, it’s a fun dump-and-run kind of dish, which lets the flavors meld and heighten all on their own.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Low Sugar, Meal Prep

Falling for Farro Bowls

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I really like farro. It’s a chewy grain that’s a nice break from my usual brown rice or gluten-free quinoa options. Farro is high in protein, fiber and vitamins, while low in natural sugar and fat. Plus, it counts as a whole grain. Chipotle has been pretty hit or miss here in Boston (emphasis on miss), and I’ve been craving the flavors of their cilantro lime rice. After making a run to the new Trader Joe’s, I picked up some farro, cilantro and limes and tossed it together for the grain base. I couldn’t decide if I wanted my usual, go-to sriracha topping, so I made one way with it and another with fresh strawberries for an end-of-summer touch. Either way, this Cilantro Lime Farro Bowls with Grilled Chicken are a fun summer take on Buddha bowls.

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

One Pan Grilled Chicken Buddha Bowls

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I’m not even sure what I threw together last night, but this was a great impromptu dinner. Roasted some veggies, already had grilled chicken from Whole Foods, might as well grab an avocado . . . and Grilled Chicken Buddha Bowls with Roasted Veggies are born. Yesterday was a bit chilly and grey and using the oven didn’t sound like the worst idea, even though it’ll be July this weekend. I tossed sweet potatoes, chickpeas and kale in rosemary, garlic and paprika. After roasting in the oven, the sweet potatoes were tender, while the chickpeas and kale were crispy with a crunch. The kale was almost like kale chips, which is never a bad thing. Paired with that perfectly charred taste from the grilled chicken and creamy avocados, these bowls hit the spot. Although grain-free, I’m still calling this a buddha bowl since all these pieces came together in that perfectly assembled way.

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

The New Trend: Kelp Noodle Bowls

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Kelp noodles are so fun! I never knew they existed until I saw this recipe on TIU. These noodles are super low in calories and carbs and virtually without fat. The noodles have a crunch, an al dente texture and a nondescript taste. They kind of remind me of tofu in the sense that they take on whatever flavors you’re cooking with. I tried my hand at Chicken Kelp Noodle Bowls. I added fresh ginger root, garlic, scallions, soy sauce and lime juice for a fun Asian flair. Toss kelp noodles with chicken cooked in coconut oil and shiitake mushrooms, you have such a fun and decidedly different weekday meal. I liked these so much that I went back to Whole Foods to grab more, but they’re out. I’ll have to make these next week with shrimp — stay tuned!

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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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