Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Add a Little Pumpkin Spice to Your Life

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It’s that time of yearrrrrr. It’s officially October, my birthday is this week, AND it’s pumpkin season. I think I like pumpkin things so much since I already have an innate affinity for cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (and ginger and allspice I suppose). I’ve been meaning to try my own Pumpkin Spice Creamer, but I would’ve never thought to make it with coconut milk because I would’ve thought the coconut to be overpowering. Well, it’s not and Amanda at Running with Spoons is genius. Plus, it’s paleo, dairy-free and refined sugar free since it uses dates to naturally sweeten. This creamer pairs well with a cinnamon coffee or try it plain. It adds the flavor, but I will added half my usual serving of plain cream to my coffee to cut the bitterness. So easy and a sure way to use up some pumpkin purée.

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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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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, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Sipping on Simply Homemade Irish Cream

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Ok, happy St. Patty’s plus three weeks, but who’s counting? I made this for brunch that Sunday of the Southie parade. I wanted something cheaper (!), less processed and just overall healthier than traditional Bailey’s Irish Cream. Purchasing alcohol in Beacon Hill is effing pricey. Excluding the small amount of bourbon used, this was about $5ish to make after buying coconut milk and using pantry staples. Plus, it’s about 90 calories per 1.5 oz shot compared to Bailey’s 150 calories. Winning! That’s basically a two-for-one deal.* A little thinner consistency when mixed with coffee, but this Homemade Irish Cream has great flavor, still a kick and a take on your traditional Irish cream. Cheers!

* Note: I’m not encouraging to get over-served on a thirsty Thursday, but more to be cognizant of your indulgences.

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

Really into Indonesian Bowls

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Sorry I’m not — another bowl recipe. I made March my mission for “Measure March” or “Meal Prep March” and bowls are so easy for this. You get the perfect serving size and a mix of protein, grains and/or veggies. I went for an Indonesian Inspired Quinoa Bowls to “switch” things up. I must say the red curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves added such  nice flavors to the meat. Again, I’m all about those quick meals. Originally calling for ground beef, I used rotisserie chicken for less to prep and less to worry about in terms of cooking — plus I prefer chicken over beef. Sorry to my steak lovers. I shredded the rotisserie chicken beforehand, tossed it with the curry, spices and coconut milk and let it all simmer to perfection, while I made the quinoa and chopped everything for the bowls. The purple cabbage and cucumber add color and a nice crunch. This perfectly makes four servings so get ready for leftovers!

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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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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mighty Mango Curry

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Last week Whole Foods had a 5 for $5 special for mangos. Obviously I had to indulge in this deal. While the mangos were ripening on my counter, I came across Recipe Tin EatsMango Thai Red Curry dish. Um, yes please. Sign me up! Was this timing a coincidence? I think not. The original called for fish sauce and while I have no problem eating anything with fish sauce, I literally cannot cook with it to save my life. It would add a tangier, richer flavor, but I did a little modifying and my version is still tasty. I made the mango red curry sauce separate, allowed it to cool and fully thicken into a delectable sauce to then top brown rice and juicy chicken. (Swap the chicken for tofu and sweet potato to be fully vegan and vegetarian! I also tired this over cauliflower rice and it was still so filling.) Mango Red Curry is tangy, not overly sweet, creamy and perfectly spiced.

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

Sinfully Satisfying Sweet Potato Soup

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Ermahgawd, I can’t even sum up all of my emotions triggered from this soup. I’ve never made a bisque without heavy cream, but coconut milk is just as much a wow. It still adds a subtle flavor that’s not too overwhelming. I am also still on cloud 9 after buying an immersion blender so get prepared for some squash curry kale soup coming up. I added cooked carrots for more color and substance and the flavors of the sweet potatoes stand on their own. This Sweet Potato Bisque will be a lunch and dinner favorite this week.

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

Devilishly Delicious Indian Curry Vindaloo

Coconut Curry Vegetables with Brown Rice

Happy Meatless Monday, everyone! I found another winning dish on PinterestCoconut Curry Vegetables with Brown Rice. I’ve never made anything with curry and coconut milk, but I’m so glad I did. The coconut milk gives a creaminess and subtle flavor to complement the spices in the vindaloo curry. It’s hot and spicy, complex and creamy all in one bite. Toss in the vegetables and you’re good to go. I found this article on Time last week about why Indian food is so delicious. (Ok, so this isn’t Indian per se, but it still embodies that complex flavor profile that we know and love.) I knew it was a sign — I just had to make this.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Going Nuts for a Coconut Chai Latte

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I’ve always wanted to make a coconut milk latte. I’ve been saving some coconut milk for that random occasion. This latte was super mild and the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up during the snow flurries today. To add to that, Alex, my roommate last year from Cornell, sent me a care package back in the fall of things from the Ithaca Farmer’s Market — my favorite place. In her package, she tossed in vanilla chai tea, and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s spiced, but not too spiced with just the right amount of vanilla. That tea paired with the coconut milk was just beckoning to be used. I made this two ways: one with coffee (on the top) and one with tea (on the bottom). Choose whichever you like, but enjoy sipping on a cup of Coconut Milk Chai Tea Latte to warm up on a cold afternoon.

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