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

New Twist on Pesto

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Happy Meatless Monday! I had too much cilantro and arugula hanging out in my fridge. It’s also in the 40’s today. (Um, what’s up, Mother Nature? It’s basically June.) I really wanted a dinner that’s hearty and warm. I whipped up an Arugula Cilantro Pesto to top some ravioli and sweet potato pasta to combat this chilly, rainy weather. The fun part about this recipe is that it’s really a place to start. You start with these basic proportions and add more cilantro and/or arugula as needed, some lime juice here or there and maybe parm; it’s all to taste. It’s the perfect meal prep and now I’ll add it to my freezer to use this summer!

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Crispy, Crunchy Coconut Tofu

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You know when you go out in the summer and all you see is coconut shrimp this and coconut shrimp that? Here’s a meatless Monday take on that — Crispy Coconut Tofu Bowls. I got this idea/recipe from Well Vegan and it definitely came from a plant-based protein roundup from either SELF or BuzzFeed. (Obviously I receive biweekly emails for meal, recipe ideas and cooking tips from both.) After coming back from Sanibel Island, I was still feeling the tropical vibes during this rainy weather and this recipe seemed like the perfect solution. I definitely cut down on all of Well Vegan‘s prep time, simplified the tofu process, lightened it up by baking instead of frying and skipped their added sauce. This recipe looks way more complicated than it is and just requires a little foresight to prep the tofu ahead of time. By swapping a can of full-drat coconut milk for So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, the quinoa still turned out dense, yet fluffy with a very subtle coconut flavor. I must say the best part about this is the toasted coconut flakes and panic that result from the baking process — pure perfection.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Keen on Rainbow Quinoa Salad Bowls

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I’ve been on a colorful salad and bowl kick lately. This Rainbow Quinoa Salad did not disappoint. Can you sense a taste trend here? I also really liked this Peanut Ginger Dressing and it was very easy to make. I made this salad dressing combo during the week when I had exams and presentations and had my last serving today. Can I already have another? I used a combination of yellow and red bell peppers to give a more colorful kick and balance the other colors. Served cold, it hit the spot during this warm, toasty April week.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Fresh Mules Just in Time for Happy Hour

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My friends over at Copper Mug wanted a healthy Moscow mule made with kombucha, just fresh juice or something all natural. (BTW, they have gorgeous copper ware like mugs, martini glasses, jigger — you name it.) I settled on trying to incorporate Kombucha Gingerade since it’s low in sugar, uses fresh ginger juice and packed with probiotics. The fresh ginger gives is an extra kick. Still want to sip on a cocktail post-holidays, but want a “detox?” Sip on this Kombucha Gingerade Moscow Mule — just in time for happy hour.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Salad

Tangy & Fresh Thai Salad

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To be totally honest, I never really measure salad dressings. I kind of dump, pour, mix and combine like a mad scientist concocting a new compound. The resulting Spicy Peanut Dressing was tangy and acidic from the vinegar and lime juice, but still savory and spicy, both of which I really enjoyed. The flavors complement the fresh herbs quite well. Sometimes, I think kale is really leafy and green, but when chopped, mixed with fresh herbs and topped with the right dressing, kale is pretty benign and makes for a great base. I also am a firm believer that everything tastes better bite-size and chopped. I used a plain rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods for a quick and easy meal. Plus, it beats firing up the oven or stove during the summer. Just chop and combine for this tasty Chopped Thai Chicken Salad.
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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad

Bringing BBQ Salads Back

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I’m coming out of a hiatus! With my full-time job wrapped up and my fun-employment commencing, i.e. taking care of business for the month for August before my nursing program begins, I’m finally writing these joyful introductions for my blog posts — like this one for a BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. After a trip home to Maine and a stop at Stonewall Kitchen in Portland, I picked up their Honey Sriracha Barbecue Sauce in anticipation of making a BBQ chicken salad. The BBQ sauce is packed with heat and subtly sweet. The dressing was inspired by a local Mexican restaurant and was the perfect combo of light and fresh to complement the BBQ flavor. Say hello to your new favorite summer salad.

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

Celebrate Summer with a Summer Quinoa Salad

IMG_2522.JPGSummer’s officially here! Sadly, my apartment lacks a grill, but I was inspired by a recipe in Cooking Light for a charred Brussels sprouts, radish and apple salad. Why not char some pineapples and peppers to give the feeling of grilled summer kabobs? It’s fresh, easy and simple — my kind of style. I went to Martha’s Vineyard to do a home visit for work since we visit participants in their homes for healthy aging and longevity research. As we killed time for our ferry back to Boston, we feasted on our lunches. How picturesque — eating Charred Bell Pepper & Pineapple Quinoa Salad by the water. Happy meatless Monday!

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Mexican, Salad

Let’s Get Chopping: Chopped Mexican Salad

Chopped Mexican Salad with an Avocado Cilantro Dressing

I went to Border Cafe in Cambridge with my coworkers for some good food, chips and guac and cheap margs. I got a the Route 66 Chop Salad there that I’ve been dying to make a copycat. Thus, I give you my Chopped Mexican Salad with an Avocado Cilantro Dressing.  I enjoyed the charred flavor from the grilled chicken paired with the fresh cilantro and tart but rich avocado-based dressing. You’d never know this Avocado Cilantro Dressing didn’t have Greek yogurt, sour cream or something rich and decadent added to it. Nope, just some avocado to do the trick. It doesn’t need anything else to be delicious. I lightened up my salad and omitted the cheese and any crisply fried tortilla chips. I will be bold and say I think any salad is better chopped. It’s less messy to eat. Plus, there’s something fun about it being chopped. Don’t sure what I mean? Try your next salad chopped.

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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Refreshingly Easy Ginger Basil Spritzers

Ginger Basil Spritzers

Happy Thirsty Thursday! Sip on a beyond refreshing drink invented specifically for hot weather. The spiciness from the ginger pairs with the freshness from the basil and citrus notes from the prosecco and limes. (This would be equally delicious with sparkling water in replace of prosecco.) I like bubbly drinks, so trying this spritzer from Cooking Light was a no brainer. If you can’t beat the heat, then at least try to enjoy it while sipping on a Ginger Basil Spritzer. It has to be five o’clock somewhere, right?

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