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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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Meal Prep, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Holy Cow Homemade English Muffins

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This was quite fun! I haven’t truly made bread from scratch before, but I’ve made beer bread or ones using a bread machine. I chose to make Whole Wheat English Muffins post finals and as a study break before my next one. Making bread dough from scratch is actually cathartic even if it’s a bit of a waiting game. I got to properly knead dough to add air to it to make it light and fluffy, while also stretching out the gluten strands to give it its texture, and also “punch” it down to remove the extra air after it rises. The key is to stretch out the dough and not to pound it. (Check out The Kitchn‘s guide for exactly how to properly knead dough.) I saw a recipe for homemade English muffins in Real Simple this winter, but I’ve had a big store-bought batch hanging out in my freezer. Even though these are technically dairy-free, they’re still fluffy and just like English muffins are their signature time in the skillet. I also didn’t have cornmeal for the bottom, but never fear! Just be a bit more weary when cooking the bottom since the cornmeal doesn’t act as a buffer.

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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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Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Better (Butter-less) Greek Yogurt Brownies

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Confession: apparently I don’t have a square baking pan? I realize this every time I need one and never seem to remember to pick one up when I don’t. This explains as to why I baked my brownies in a pie pan and the pieces aren’t perfect squares . . . I made chocolate cookies using Greek yogurt before instead of butter and loved them. Like those, I made Greek Yogurt “Skinny” Brownies, which baked into dense, yummy brownies. These brownies are lower in sugar, low in fat (with the fat being healthier) and more nutrient packed if you use carob over cocoa powder. I tossed in some chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut for texture. I was rationing my chocolate chips and would totally add more for next time! I’ve really wanted a true dessert versus just grabbing some dark chocolate pieces and/or some dates post dinner. I’ve been dreaming of some Halo Top ice cream on top of these brownies — stay tuned. It’s going to be amazing.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

The Easiest, Simplest Omelet

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I found myself making easy, simply omelets in the mornings to use up copious amounts of veggies in my fridge and have been experimenting with different combos. Place omelets are satisfying and oh-so-filling. I’d like to call this one the Simplest Omelet because I found myself making it again and again. I tossed in carrots and spinach with a dash of grated parmesan. I really like sweet, savory and spicy combos. The cranberry or cinnamon raisin English muffin touches on the sweet, the parmesan in the omelet is savory and sriracha adds the spice. Plus, this is a 5 min. breakfast — winning!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Simple, Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

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UM, YUM! I stumbled upon Izy Hossack’s recipe for this Sweet Potato Bread and I’m beyond glad I did. Her site, Top with Cinnamon, is exactly what I love with cooking and food blogs: clean, simple and straight to the point. I tweaked her recipe and used whole wheat flour, added more spice and swapped the oil base. My only compliant is the loaf came out dense and did not rise very well, but this could be because I kept it true to Izy’s original, which is vegan. Despite not very much added sugar, the agave and sweet potato add just enough sweetness that’s accentuated by the spices. The nuts give the bread a hearty crunch. I whipped up a Greek yogurt spread to serve and the tanginess was the perfect balance.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Perfectly Spiced Tofu Scramble

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My New Year’s resolution might be to try new things because I find myself gravitating to recipes I’ve always thought about trying, but never do. Cue a tofu scramble. My only complaint is that I found myself adding copious amounts — for me “copious” is a shake or two — of salt. I rarely salt anything and it seemed strange I was even reaching for the salt shaker in the first place. I got this idea from Minimalist Baker, who is quite a genius with plant based one bowl meals, ones that are 30 min or less or with 10 ingredients or less. With that aside, the tandoori masala spice from Whole Foods was full of subtle flavor; it’s an Indian spice blend of cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger and cardamom. It seems like it would be great to coat some breakfast potatoes. The coconut oil seemed to complement the spices quite well too, as well as the mild kick from the jalapeño. What a different flavor profile for the morning! While I still like my eggs scrambled, Tandoori Masala Tofu Scramble is a savory, protein-filled, one-bowl wonder.

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

Granola, Granola, Granolaaaa

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When I lived in Ithaca, I discovered how easy it was to make granola and it quickly became a staple to snack on and top yogurt, oatmeal and smoothie bowls. Fast forward to living in Boston and I realized I haven’t made granola in a while. I’ve been saving this recipe for Vanilla Cardamom Granola since right around Christmas, but I finally bought some ground cardamom yesterday. (Fun fact: apparently cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice.) It has a very spicy, herbal and almost citrusy profile and reminded me of the flavor in lemon poppyseed muffins. The coconut flakes became browned in the oven, while the pecans are delightfully toasted. I topped my vanilla yogurt this morning with 1/4 c granola as an am snack. It’s light and hearty and oh, so satisfying.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Obsessed with this Avo Eggs in a Hole

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I warned you I’d be on a kick after making the Eggs in a Hole with a Garlic Kale Hash I saw in SELF‘s New Year’s Challenge. (The challenge was active for the month of January and was complete with a meal plan and workouts, but still see if you can check out the recipes!) This time making eggs in a hole, I added some creamy avocado, fresh herbs, a kick and tang from banana peppers and protein in the turkey. Just the right amount of flavor and freshness, I give you Eggs in a Hole with a Spicy Avocado Cilantro Hash.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Going Bananas for Banana Bread

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Mmmm, (Gluten-Free) Banana Bread. I’ve been searching for a butter-free, less added sugar banana bread and saw this version on Minimalist Baker. (MB is all about 1 pot/bowl recipes, ones involving 10 ingredients or less or a meal coming together in 30 min. Great philosophy, right?) Since this version was gluten-free, I decided to go with it. I still cut back on the added sugar, opting for less sweet taste, but the bananas still add their own sweetness.  The almond flour and whole oats definitely add hearty notes to the bread. Have a slice for breakfast with a cup of coffee or one as a snack. I see some banana bread variations in the future…

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