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

The Best (Healthy) Buffalo Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

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One word: yum. I totally meant to make buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes because my nursing friend, Jen, would bring those to lunch all the time during clinical, but I went for the sweet potato mash last minute. I even brought leftovers to my parents and I didn’t think my mom was a big buffalo fan and even she approved. As much as I like blue cheese with these and my homemade (and lightened up!) blue cheese dressing, I feel like whenever I buy blue cheese, it just sits in my fridge. I’ve really been trying to buy groceries with the intent to use everything, so I just stuck with plain Greek yogurt to cut the spiciness of the hot sauce and add a little creaminess to the bowl. I also think these bowl are pretty well balance between healthy fats, protein and carbs. I didn’t always have these with avocado slices, but they just add an extra element of creaminess. For a game day, potluck or just meal prep, these Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Bowls are oh-so-good. (Or just make the slow cooker buff chick ahead of time or for salads, nachos, quesadillas, baked potatoes . . .)

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

The One Pot Wonder: Rice & Veggie Detox Soup

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Yesterday was such a gross Monday and today is a rainy, dreary Tuesday. I made a big ol’ batch of this Brown Rice Veggie Soup last night using some pantry ingredients and some of the veggies I need for slow cooker buffalo chicken bowls tonight (recipe coming soon!). The soup just came together with no real plan. It’s so fun to toss in a little of this . . . a little of that . . . and watch everything come together. I added a little vindaloo curry to taste since the soup already smelled like these flavors would compliment the garlic and ginger well. The brown rice and copious amount of veggies make a hearty soup you can’t wait to have.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Low Sugar, Meal Prep

Falling for Farro Bowls

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I really like farro. It’s a chewy grain that’s a nice break from my usual brown rice or gluten-free quinoa options. Farro is high in protein, fiber and vitamins, while low in natural sugar and fat. Plus, it counts as a whole grain. Chipotle has been pretty hit or miss here in Boston (emphasis on miss), and I’ve been craving the flavors of their cilantro lime rice. After making a run to the new Trader Joe’s, I picked up some farro, cilantro and limes and tossed it together for the grain base. I couldn’t decide if I wanted my usual, go-to sriracha topping, so I made one way with it and another with fresh strawberries for an end-of-summer touch. Either way, this Cilantro Lime Farro Bowls with Grilled Chicken are a fun summer take on Buddha bowls.

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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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Entrée, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

The Easiest Flatbread Recipe

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Clearly I need to work on my dough rolling skills, but this was such a fun and easy dinner to make. I saw this idea for a Two Ingredient Flatbread on BuzzFeed‘s Tasty and then the day after on Pinch of Yum‘s Instagram. It was a sign; I needed to make this. That coupled with my pizza cravings, I added fresh basil, mozzarella, red peppers, red onion and zucchini to a flatbread for some homemade ‘za. The flatbread is just self-rising flour mixed with full-fat plain Greek yogurt. Each flatbread packs 10 g protein per serving. Cook two ways: place in a skillet for a naan-like bread or bake as a pizza crust.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

One Pan Grilled Chicken Buddha Bowls

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I’m not even sure what I threw together last night, but this was a great impromptu dinner. Roasted some veggies, already had grilled chicken from Whole Foods, might as well grab an avocado . . . and Grilled Chicken Buddha Bowls with Roasted Veggies are born. Yesterday was a bit chilly and grey and using the oven didn’t sound like the worst idea, even though it’ll be July this weekend. I tossed sweet potatoes, chickpeas and kale in rosemary, garlic and paprika. After roasting in the oven, the sweet potatoes were tender, while the chickpeas and kale were crispy with a crunch. The kale was almost like kale chips, which is never a bad thing. Paired with that perfectly charred taste from the grilled chicken and creamy avocados, these bowls hit the spot. Although grain-free, I’m still calling this a buddha bowl since all these pieces came together in that perfectly assembled way.

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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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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

One Pan Salmon Dinnerrrr

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Mustard Salmon with Roasted Veggies is such a great and quick mid-week dinner. This recipe will be added to the rotating arsenal. I saw a video for this on Facebook from Eating Well. It looked so easy and simple to make that I just had to try it. Since I don’t have a spice grinder and didn’t feel like buying more spices, I tried a marinade that our family friend, Maura, whisked together when we were in Florida. Just EVOO, Jack Daniel’s whole grain dijon mustard (soooo much flavor) and lemon juice. Asparagus, sweet potatoes and salmon are baked in the oven while you poach an egg. While you can skip the egg to make this a true “one pan” dinner, the yolk adds some saucy texture and more protein overall.

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving These Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls

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My mom has been raving about this lentil chili she made this past winter that called for smoked paprika. I keep seeing recipes call for this spice, and I came across a recipe for slow cooker burrito bowls, which — ding, ding, ding! — called for smoked paprika. Given that it’s been unseasonable cold here and that I wanted some meal prep for a busy start of the week, I pulled out the crock pot and made Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls. I totally want to make these with chicken next time, but I’ll need a bit more foresight to thaw the chicken from my freezer. Instead, I tossed in sweet potatoes and made these bowls with brown rice and black beans for a yummy dish. These have a risotto-like consistency and I found myself adding more homemade vegetable broth than expected. The smoked paprika pairs so well with the black beans and sweet potato; it gives the bowls a flavor similar to chorizo, but keeps it vegetarian.

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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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