Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Creamy Autumn Harvest Risotto

This was an everything-but-the-kitchen sink kind of recipe–couple of Brussels sprouts here, some carrots over there, butternut squash frozen and ready to use. I whipped up a batch of Autumn Veggie Risotto yesterday because we had the most random produce and veggies in our fridge and freezer. The rainy, cold weather and upcoming football game created the perfect setting for a hearty dish. Risotto is comfort food at its finest. No need for heavy cream or cups of cheese to create a rich meal. The continuous stirring breaks down the rice’s starches to give risotto its gelatinous consistency and creaminess. I stirred in some mascarpone cheese leftover from making vegetable bolognese. The flavors of the vegetables speak for themselves accentuated by Parmesan cheese’s sharp bite.

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

Smoky Vegetarian Mexican Soup

First soup to celebrate the crisp autumn air! It only seems fair to kick off soup season with Smoky Corn, Red Pepper, & Brown Rice Soup. It’s deliciously “smoked” thanks to smoked paprika, but a hearty Mexican soup with corn, beans, and rice. Make this a one pot meal by easily cooking the rice right in the soup. This soup was so tasty with some nonfat Greek yogurt (swap for sour cream!), a little lime juice to brighten it, and some sweet potato chips to add a little sweet and salty to the smoky heartiness.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Veggie & Pesto Packed Primavera Pasta Salad

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The warm weather has finally rolled in, and it’s beginning to feel like summer. Verdant grass, trees, and flowers call for vibrant veggies to be used. I’ve been craving pasta and also pesto lately, so it only makes sense to use both for a pasta salad. In this Primavera Pasta Salad, your veggies can be a combination of fresh and frozen. I usually have frozen edamame and peas on hand in my freezer among some others (like cauliflower pieces and cauliflower rice). Fresh asparagus, peppers, and celery add a bite and a crunch. Add lemon juice, pesto, and spices for a summery and bright take on pasta salad.

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

Bountiful Black Bean Soup

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It’s spring in Boston! Meaning it’s moving to be consistently above freezing during the day. Here’s a bright, vibrant soup to transition from those cold, bundled up winter days to I-just-need-a-light-jacket. Black Bean Soup is a pantry staple. Chances are you have a can of black beans or a bag of dry black beans sitting around in your pantry. Add some veggies and spices, top with avocado, Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and some lime juice for a colorful, light, yet filling soup.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Summer Caprese Bowls with Shrimp & Zucchini Ribbons

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Summer is about fresh veggie and herbs. I can’t think of a better way to use tomatoes, zucchini and basil than in a Summer Caprese Zoodle Bowls. This is a take on the simple mozzarella, tomato and basil Italian salad using ribboned zucchini as “noodles,” a mixture of creamy ricotta and fresh mozzarella, and succulent tomatoes. This would be so amazing with some crusty bread dipped in EVOO. It’s a deliciously different version of your classic caprese dish.

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

Delicious Cilantro & Curry Noodles with Zoodles

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Oh my goodness, can I eat this again? Is it tomorrow yet? I’ve been meaning to pick up some red curry paste since I usually have it on hand, but I’ve honestly been out since maybe the fall? Oops. I was thinking I’d make my crispy coconut tofu bowls for this week, but alas, I was at Trader Joe’s on Monday and their red curry sauce — trying something new! — just called my name. Add the zucchini I intended for the coconut tofu, toss in peppers I had, some brown rice noodles I have from my pantry . . . the rest is history. I folded in a generous, generous amount of cilantro and that paired with lime juice made this dish pop! Thai Red Curry Cilantro Noodles will be your new go-to pasta dish when you want a healthy version on takeout in the comfort of your own home.

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

Savory Soba Noodles with Shrimp

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Happy Memorial Day! This may be my new favorite “pasta salad-esque” recipe: Soba Noodles with Carrots, Asparagus & Shrimp. The colors are vibrant, the veggies are different, and I love the amount of fresh basil in this. Serve hot, warm or cold, any temperature will do to enjoy these soba noodles. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour (check packaging to ensure they’re gluten-free) and higher in fiber and protein compared to your standard pasta. Paired with edamame and shrimp, the protein and fiber will fill you up and satisfy your pasta cravings.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep

Meal Prep These Rainbow Veggies & Chicken Buddha Bowls

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This might be my new favorite meal prep. If you have the brown rice and chicken cooked ahead of time, it’s beyond easy to steam some colorful veggies, combine, and add a yummy sauce. I haven’t really used coconut aminos before, but it’s fermented coconut sap with a dash of salt for a slightly sweeter version of soy sauce, but with only a fourth of the sodium. A dash of coconut aminos with some sriracha made a quick and easy blend of sauces. I like steaming the vegetables because it’s so much faster, less oil and clean up are involved, and the veggies are still as tender as ever. Here’s Rainbow Chicken Buddha Bowls, packed with veggies, whole grain and lean baked protein to brighten up your meal prep days.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy & Savory Roasted Veggie Farro Bowls for Meatless Monday

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This is a meatless meal prep recipe that I can’t believe I haven’t posted sooner, but midterms happened and life. . ., but this is one of those recipes that you’re bummed when your leftovers are gone. I love the chewiness and whole-grain nature of farro, and it’s quite easy to prepare. I had leftover rainbow carrots, haricot verts (think green bean’s skinnier cousin) and rainbow potatoes from slow cooker Italian sausage soup. Roasted in the oven with a little Salz und Pfeffer, rosemary, red pepper flakes and garlic was the right choice. Toss with farro, pistachios, dried cranberries and a quick “dressing” of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Then, you have the perfect Roasted Vegetable Farro Bowls with Cranberries and Pistachios. It’s tart and fresh with the vinaigrette, savory from the veggies and full of texture thanks to the farro, pistachios and dried cranberries.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

The “Feel Good” Italian Sausage Soup

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Can we talk about these color? Ermahgawd, this soup was almost too pretty to eat. Having a cold, this warm and hearty veggies made Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Soup hit the spot. The only downside to these beautiful, rainbow veggies is that the purple carrots and potatoes give the broth a purple, rosy hue, but I’m not complaining. For not knowing what I was going to cook this past Sunday, this came together quite nicely. The soup is basically veggies, Italian chicken sausage, some Italian spices and homemade veggie stock. Let it cook and simmer in a slow cooker until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  (In the market for a new slow cooker? Check out Reviews.com for The Best Slow Cooker.)

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