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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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Lemonade with a Kick

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My mom had a pitcher of this going when I was home in Maine last week. Naturally I came home with a cold and whipped up a batch of Cayenne Lemonade to clear the airways and stay hydrated. It’s also great mocktail, especially with a 1:1 ratio of lemonade and seltzer for a fizz. I realize that the recipe is completely subjective; my mom made hers sweeter and mine came out a bit more tart. Toss in some lemon slices and cucumber and you have the simplest drink to feel like every day is a spa day.

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"How To" Guides, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Not in a Pickle Over Here!

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Want literally the easiest way to make pickles ever? I tried this two summers ago and I’m surprised I haven’t posted this sooner. Easy Fridge Pickles! You skip boiling the brining solution and just add everything straight to the jar. Top sandwiches or eat straight out of the jar. I’ve made dill pickles, sweet pickles, spicy pickles. They’re so easy to tailor and fun to make.

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

Stoked for Sushi Stacks

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I’ve died and gone to sushi heaven. These Tuna Sushi Stacks are to die for. I’ve been eyeing this recipe on Skinny Taste since last summer and have always made a deconstructed version, since the stack never quite works out for me. This time, I went for the full deal — still obviously struggled with keeping the stack neat — and added mango and carrots to my top layer. The sweet addition from the mango was a great decision. I’ve stocked up on mangos lately since Whole Foods has had the 5 for $5 sale. Swapping brown for white rice and adding rice vinegar allows the rice to get “sticky” like you find in sushi restaurants without adding sugar to achieve the same effect. Overall, the sushi stack was tangy, sweet, savory and salty. Also, it’s light, yet filling and satisfies all of your sushi cravings while being homemade and on a budget.

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Copycat Sweetgreen Falafel Salad

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Ever since moving to Boston, I really like Sweetgreen since you get a salad or bowl that’s healthy and doesn’t truly break the bank. But, I’d like Sweetgreen even more if I didn’t have to leave my apartment to grab a meal. Sometimes, you just want something a bit more instantaneous. Here’s my copycat version of the Hummus Tahina Salad — Falafel Salad with Cucumber Tahini Dressing. I bought some falafels from the freezer section, tossed in ingredients for a salad and whipped up a dressing. I liked SG’s idea of adding breadcrumbs to their salad, so I added some GF breadcrumbs to act like croutons. I also like making regular tahini dressing — raw tahini, lemon, agave and water — and modified this to be the cucumber tahini version. Almost just as easy, but this one requires a bit of blending to make the cucumbers and garlic silky smooth.

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

Glowing After These Moroccan Chickpea Glow Bowls

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Remember that Avocado Tzatziki? Obviously it had a purpose — for Moroccan Chickpea Glow Bowls with Avocado Tzatziki 🤗. The original recipe called these “detox” bowls and I can see why. You’re definitely satisfied after eating these, but not in an overly full, stuffed sort of way. The flavors are great! I haven’t experimented too much with Moroccan cooking and spices, but the blend was on point and a nice change from Thai, Indian, Mexican or Italian cuisine. I also tried these swapping the rice for shredded, plain chicken, which works well if you want a carnivore option. The mint in the tzatziki pairs so well with the spices and the jalapeño cilantro hummus adds a nice kick (but you can use any hummus or omit it entirely). The wonderful thing about these glow bowls is you can play around with them, swap ingredients, mix and match and really make them your own.

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Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Salad, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Exploring Greek Tzatziki

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This dip is light and refreshing. Originally a Greek yogurt dip, tzatziki is traditionally made with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometime lemon juice and fresh herbs like mint, dill, parsley or thyme. It can be used to top gyros, burgers, falafels, salads, “bowls” (see photo below) or a standalone dish. Clearly I took a non-traditional route, swapping avocado for yogurt as the base. I also used mint instead of dill and want to try this again with equal proportions to be more versatile. Even with the “lightened up” swaps, Avocado Tzatziki is still light, so fluffy and especially tasty. I’ve been dipping away with Kashi pita chips and 7 grain crackers, baby carrots and cucumber sticks.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Vegan, Vegetarian

Oogling over Spicy, Peanutty Udon

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Peanut noodles are never a bad idea. I really wanted take out on Sunday after a Saturday night of debauchery, but decided it was 1) expensive, 2) too long to wait 60-75 min and 3) unhealthy, so I pulled up my Pinterest, checked my pantry and settled on making homemade Spicy Peanut & Kale Udon Noodles instead. This satisfied my gluten and takeout craving, while packed nutrients from the kale and sweet potato. The cucumbers and scallions add a nice, hearty crunch, since I didn’t have any chopped peanuts on hand. Overall, this came together quite well, and I’m so happy  I used up my fridge/pantry arensal vs. ordering take out. Plus, it’s just that much more satisfying when you make it yourself. I think this is when the phrase “better than takeout” comes into play.

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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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