Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Side, Vegetarian

The Low Carb Mashed “Potatoes”

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I’m not sure why I haven’t posted these yet. I love Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. They’re low carb, so much easier than normal mashed potatoes and taste like the real deal. I used  frozen riced cauliflower since that was the easiest for me, but any type will do. Just cook the cauliflower, mix in cottage cheese for creaminess and then garlic and EVOO for flavor. Blend them together and viola! Mashed “potatoes.”

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Slow Cooker, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Slowly Cooking This Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

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I LOVE this slow cooker method for making soup. I usually make this in a large soup pot, sauté the veggies in a little oil right there, add broth and let it simmer. By using a slow cooker, you skip the sautéing part and reduce the oil. I made a soup similar to this last fall, tossing whatever I had — apples, sweet potato, regular potatoes, carrots — into a big soup pot along with butternut squash; this time, I did the same thing in a slow cooker (way more fun). Enjoy as the main course or as a side, the result is a sweet, yet savory Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup that’s hands off minus the minimal prep of the produce in the beginning and puréeing at the end.

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

Down to Detox Winter Veggie Soup

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I made my own vegetable broth! It’s so easy thanks to Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Save veggie scraps, toss them in the freezer in a ziplock, and once the bag is full, you add the scraps, fill with water and simmer your broth to perfection. I’ve also done this in a slower cooker with a chicken carcass, carrots, onion and celery to make chicken stock — another easy 8 hr option. Plus, it’s great since you can manage how much sodium is in the broth; I added 1 teaspoon of salt for the whole batch, which is about 150 mg of sodium per cup of homemade veggie broth. I made this broth during the week while studying and I’ve been accumulating excess veggies leftover from Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Brown Rice Bowls and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna ever since. I decided it was Soup Sunday and made a Winter Veggie Detox Soup with what I had piling up in my fridge. Winter produce that’s in season are lemons (or any citrus), kale, and sweet potatoes. I used fresh and ground spices to rev up metabolism, aid with digestion and help with inflammation. Not sure if it’s so tasty from sautéing lemon slices in fresh garlic, ginger and coconut oil or if it’s the flavors from the turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon, but for totally winging this soup, it’s pretty darn good.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish

Paleo Rainbow Drunken Noodles

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Chrissy Teigen made me add whiskey to this. Just kidding. No, she didn’t, but she recommended adding whiskey to these noodles “drunk.” According to CT, you’re supposed to eat drunken noodles as a hangover cure. Not sure if I quite believe that, but I still modified her version of “Actual Drunken Noodles” from CravingsI saw Pinch of Yum use spiralized veggies for a noodle base in addition to regular rice noodles when she Pad Thai so I figured, why not do the best of both worlds? I spiralized a sweet potato, red pepper and zucchinis. I added a few more eggs and cubed chicken from Pinch of Yum’s version to make this a more hearty, carnivore dish. I think the sweet potatoes really add a lot of sweetness on their own to these noodles, so I really cut back on the brown sugar. If you use regular noodles or spiralize veggies that aren’t sweet potatoes, feel free to add brown sugar to taste. I think the sauce ends up being more of a guessing game in terms of what you really like. On a side note, the fresh basil adds tons of flavor. I feel like I’m not even quite sure about the servings because I’ve been so hungry, I’ve gobbled up a bowl and then some. I would say it serves 2-4 to be safe, but you’ve been warned I was a bottomless pit both times I’ve made this so err on the side of caution, and maybe you’ll be lucky and have more leftovers than expected! Sorry for the off portion control, but you won’t be sorry you tasted Basil Drunken “Noodles.”

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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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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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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Italian Dinnah

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This smells heavenly. I mean my kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant while these bad boys cooked. Who knew this was so easy? I have a confession to make. This was my first time using my slow cooker. I love that it was a dump in the ingredients kind of recipe with minor prep (for the meatballs), and then I walked away to study for finals about a month ago. I was left with a hearty, yet light dinner (thanks, zoodles). I also don’t think I can buy sauce again. I’ve since doubled the recipe for this, tossed it in the slow cooker, kept some handy in my fridge and froze the rest. On this cold, rainy/snowy/sleety day in Boston, hope this Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs over Zoodles adds a little color (and warmth!) to your day!

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

Easy Peasy Eggs in a Hole

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Ermahgawd this is so satisfying. Overall, Eggs in a Hole with a Garlic Kale Hash:

  • Takes 15 min to whip up
  • Can be easily double, tripled — whatever you want
  • Is grainy and hearty, yet somehow still light and full of flavor

Do I need anything else to sell you on this? SELF created a New Year’s Challenge complete with a meal plan and workouts. This recipe for eggs in a hole was in their breakfast line-up and may be my new favorite breakfast; it’s a nice switch from scrambled eggs, shakshuka or breakfast sandwiches. My mom was never a fan of eggs, especially ones with a runny yolk. When I was bragging to my friends how delicious my breakfast was, they couldn’t believe I never had this as a kid. Well, this is “adulting” then at its finest, and it’s never too late to try new things!

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