Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

Mango & Chicken Bowls with Coconut Cilantro “Rice”

Remember that cilantro lime cauliflower rice? I had a special plan for it for these Curry Chicken Bowls with Mango & Coconut Cilantro “Rice.” You know me; I’m a big fan of fresh, light meals that are still filling. This combination of sweet mango with fresh cilantro and coconut “rice” seemed fitting after a quick vacation on Sanibel Island, Florida. If I had a grill, this bowl would be complete with the charred, smoky flavor grilling the chicken would add. But alas, baking the chicken still kept it juicy and an easy meal prep.

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

Going Coco Over These Berry Best Muffins

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Last summer, Tone It Up’s Bikini Series introduced me to protein muffins: great as a breakfast, snack, or dessert. I think my favorites are snickerdoodle, almond peach and now these Red Berry Coconut Protein Muffins. They’re dense, bite-size snacks and perfect with your morning cup of coffee. Plus, these muffins are naturally sweetened with banana and maple syrup. While just a hint of coconut, I enjoy the raspberries and strawberries baked into each bite.

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

Hearty, Feel-Good Plant-Based Curry Soup

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Want a soup that immune-boosting? Stress-relieving? Energizing? Anti-inflammatory? According to Daily Harvest‘s Carrot + Coconut Curry Soup, it’s all of those things wrapped into a yummy bowl of soup. I tried Daily Harvest on a whim, and it didn’t disappoint. Completely fresh ingredients delivered to your door as soups, smoothies, overnight oats, chia parfaits and grain bowls. You add liquid (if needed) and heat them up or blend them. I enjoyed their soup so much (that besides ordering it again), I tried making a big-batch copycat version. This didn’t look quite as colorful and delectable as Daily Harvest’s, but it’s a pretty damn close copycat. Zucchini Coconut Curry Soup is a hearty, plant-based soup packed with veggies, spices and flavor, and I added cubed tofu for some protein. I let julienned zucchini star along with carrots, peppers, cauliflower and spinach. Fresh ginger and cilantro add fresh flavor to the curry. This soup must be good when I sent two servings home with my parents and got my mom’s approval. Happy Meatless & Marathon Monday here in Boston! Grab a cup of soup to stay warm on this rainy day!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cozy Up with Some Coconut Chia Pudding

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a little “dessert” to color your day. My parents and I went to First Watch for brunch whilst in Ohio, after such a favorable outing when we were in Florida last May. My mom ordered the AM Superfood Bowl, which consisted of a coconut milk chia pudding topped with bananas, berries and blackberry perseveres and homemade granola. It was delish — literally dessert for breakfast. I usually make chia pudding with almond milk, but full-fat coconut milk was a welcomed surprise. On a whim, I added a pinch of cardamom and the citrus flavor added some levity and brightness to the dish. Enjoy as a snack, topped with fruit and granola for breakfast or with some chocolate for dessert, Coconut Chia Pudding is just one of those things you’ll enjoy again and again.

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy Peasy Indian Chickpea Curry

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Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer is the puréed spinach with Indian spices and a soft paneer cheese dish pictured below. (P.S. I would totally buy this again), and it pairs so perfectly well with whole wheat naan and this Indian Chana Masala. It’s spiced, has a little heat and is balanced with the palak paneer. Grab some naan with dipping or scooping or serve it over rice, and you have a filling, meatless dish.

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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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