Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Italian Dinnah

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This smells heavenly. I mean my kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant while these bad boys cooked. Who knew this was so easy? I have a confession to make. This was my first time using my slow cooker. I love that it was a dump in the ingredients kind of recipe with minor prep (for the meatballs), and then I walked away to study for finals about a month ago. I was left with a hearty, yet light dinner (thanks, zoodles). I also don’t think I can buy sauce again. I’ve since doubled the recipe for this, tossed it in the slow cooker, kept some handy in my fridge and froze the rest. On this cold, rainy/snowy/sleety day in Boston, hope this Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs over Zoodles adds a little color (and warmth!) to your day!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Pure Perfection for this Fall Pumpkin Oatmeal Bake

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Happy first day of fall, y’all! Naturally I have to kick off fall with all things pumpkin. You knew it was coming — it’s that time of year. I tweaked my recipe for Oatmeal Bake and concocted this Pumpkin Oatmeal Bake as an easy breakfast and as an early celebration. Plus, it’s so easy to pop a square into a mason jar, add toppings and you have breakfast on the go. My posts may be a bit sporadic because I have my first med surg exam tomorrow and NP school is kicking into high gear. Nevertheless, I forget to keep the healthy recipes coming. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Salad

Tangy & Fresh Thai Salad

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To be totally honest, I never really measure salad dressings. I kind of dump, pour, mix and combine like a mad scientist concocting a new compound. The resulting Spicy Peanut Dressing was tangy and acidic from the vinegar and lime juice, but still savory and spicy, both of which I really enjoyed. The flavors complement the fresh herbs quite well. Sometimes, I think kale is really leafy and green, but when chopped, mixed with fresh herbs and topped with the right dressing, kale is pretty benign and makes for a great base. I also am a firm believer that everything tastes better bite-size and chopped. I used a plain rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods for a quick and easy meal. Plus, it beats firing up the oven or stove during the summer. Just chop and combine for this tasty Chopped Thai Chicken Salad.
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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish

An Excuse for Pizza for Brekkie!!

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Remember I promised a sweet potato crust in the near future? Well, it happened. Better than expected actually. This is most definitely a keeper. Thanks to Popsugar Fitness, the crust is essentially two ingredients: mashed sweet potato and almond flour (and baking soda if we’re getting technical). Turkey bacon adds that amazing smoky, salty and savory flavor with less calories than traditional bacon. To be a true breakfast pizza, the eggs were baked to perfection. The only downside of this recipe is the double baking to cook the eggs, which caused the crust’s edge to just burn in some places. All in all, this sweet potato crust is still pure perfection. Combine this crust with wanting to make a breakfast pizza and you have the perfect storm for brunch. Now I have a winning brunch line up — my quiche * along side this Sweet Potato Crust Breakfast Pizza.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Refreshingly Crisp Cucumber Salad

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This salad is perfectly refreshing. Light, crisp and just different. How many salads have you had that are just cucumber? Plus, spiralizing any vegetable automatically takes it up a notch. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s different a uniquely fun way to enjoy some veggies. Add the flavors of cilantro, fresh ginger and sesame and this Spiralized Asian Cucumber Salad is sure to cool you down. [Note: this is best consumed within 1-2 days of making, but I doubt that will be a problem because you won’t be able to get enough!]

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up

Can’t Get Enough of These “Stuffed” Sweet Potato Skins

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It’s only mid-August, so naturally I’m still on a BBQ kick. Remember that Stonewall Kitchen Honey Sriracha Barbecue Sauce that I picked up after a trip home to Maine? It’s baaaaaack. The sauce is packed with heat and subtly sweet — the perfect pairing with sweet potatoes, right? Sweet potato skins that is. Caramelized onions, tangy BBQ, fresh cilantro are all wrapped into BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Skins. Like the Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats, I lightened up the recipe by adding cauliflower and baby spinach and reducing the cheese. I also have big plans for the scooped out inside of sweet potatoes — I think a sweet potato pizza crust may be in the future. . .

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

Bringing BBQ Salads Back

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I’m coming out of a hiatus! With my full-time job wrapped up and my fun-employment commencing, i.e. taking care of business for the month for August before my nursing program begins, I’m finally writing these joyful introductions for my blog posts — like this one for a BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. After a trip home to Maine and a stop at Stonewall Kitchen in Portland, I picked up their Honey Sriracha Barbecue Sauce in anticipation of making a BBQ chicken salad. The BBQ sauce is packed with heat and subtly sweet. The dressing was inspired by a local Mexican restaurant and was the perfect combo of light and fresh to complement the BBQ flavor. Say hello to your new favorite summer salad.

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

Lusciously Refreshing Layered Smoothie

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Yesterday, Boston was 90ºF and muggy. Not in the mood for a hot, complicated breakfast? Neither was I. This take a little planning to make the chia pudding ahead of time, but all in all, it’s a quick, easy and definitely refreshing meal. Pineapple, raspberries and watermelon are all in season, so perfect timing to buying bulk and freeze. Packed with vitamin C, this thirst-quenching Layered Chia Smoothie refuels, cools and hits the spot.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Celebrate Summer with a Summer Quinoa Salad

IMG_2522.JPGSummer’s officially here! Sadly, my apartment lacks a grill, but I was inspired by a recipe in Cooking Light for a charred Brussels sprouts, radish and apple salad. Why not char some pineapples and peppers to give the feeling of grilled summer kabobs? It’s fresh, easy and simple — my kind of style. I went to Martha’s Vineyard to do a home visit for work since we visit participants in their homes for healthy aging and longevity research. As we killed time for our ferry back to Boston, we feasted on our lunches. How picturesque — eating Charred Bell Pepper & Pineapple Quinoa Salad by the water. Happy meatless Monday!

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

Deconstructed is Still Delicious

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One of my good college friends works near a bar that she and her coworkers frequent on Thursdays and Fridays. The drinks and food aren’t that special, but they’re always in great company. (It’s the place I met my future Southie roomies!) Meeting with Steph and Ali on more than one occasion, we’ll order lettuce wraps to accompany our spirits. Seemingly simple, I decided to try my hand at making them. Instead of wraps, I deconstructed them to make transport and eating easier. The fresh ginger is brightly fresh with a sharp bite, while the edamame and water chestnuts add crunch and texture to Deconstructed Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

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