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

Bread Soup!

Ribollita is a Tuscan vegetable and bean soup using leftover bread to make a hearty stew-like meal. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat bread? When you’re always dipping bread into your soup, why not just pop it right in? Since moving to Boston’s North End (also known as the city’s “Little Italy”), Ted and I have been on a mission to find the best pizza and the best loaf of bread. We’ve started to frequent Bricco, an Italian bakery selling artisan breads. After picking up a whole wheat loaf, it only seemed fitting to make Tuscan Bread and Bean Soup. The bread breaks apart to delightfuly thicken this soup. Flavored with parmesan and full of veggies, this will be a new cold weather staple.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Autumn Oatmeal Bake with Pumpkin & Figs

It’s fig season! Bet you thought I was going to say pumpkin? That, too. I made a berry coconut oatmeal that became a summer staple, and with fresh figs in season and pumpkin filling the grocery store shelves, this only seemed like the natural progression. Although fall is officially here, we’re having a heat wave in Boston. Thus, it only seems fitting to enjoy this morning’s Pumpkin Fig Oatmeal Bake cold with some Greek yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a little almond butter.

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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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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Toasted Coconut & Spiced Carrot Oatmeal For Breakfast

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Too many carrots from your garden? Have them for breakfast as a Coconut Carrot Oatmeal Bake. What can I say? I love cardamom and the citrusy flavor it gives to the cinnamon, ginger, carrots & apple. Like my other oatmeal bakes, this is lightened up with   applesauce instead of butter, coconut milk and egg whites. I love the crunch from the walnuts and carrots, and sweetness from the raisins and apple. Oatmeal bake is a great meal prep and if you can use your over in the summer, you can still enjoy the end result hot or cold. Add a little yogurt and maple syrup for a deliciously easy breakfast.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

Mango & Chicken Bowls with Coconut Cilantro “Rice”

Remember that cilantro lime cauliflower rice? I had a special plan for it for these Curry Chicken Bowls with Mango & Coconut Cilantro “Rice.” You know me; I’m a big fan of fresh, light meals that are still filling. This combination of sweet mango with fresh cilantro and coconut “rice” seemed fitting after a quick vacation on Sanibel Island, Florida. If I had a grill, this bowl would be complete with the charred, smoky flavor grilling the chicken would add. But alas, baking the chicken still kept it juicy and an easy meal prep.

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

Perfectly Spiced Harissa Chicken Buddha Bowls

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It’s a meal prep Sunday recipe: Harissa Chicken Bowls. This might be a new staple. Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste that goes perfectly with chicken. You can make it from scratch or you can be lazy like me and use a pre-made one like Trader Joe’s. Greek yogurt cuts the spiciness and adds a little tang. I love how fresh these bowls are by using cucumbers, chickpeas and cauliflower as the “rice.” You could also try some avocado tzatziki for dairy-free action and added creaminess.

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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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Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

The Best Bagel Recipe?!

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If you’ve seen these easy bagels floating around social media, they do not disappoint. In honor of it being FriYAY, here’s a bagel recipe to brighten your day. My nursing friend, Jen, tipped me off to Skinnytaste’s new recipe. I loved that Skinnytaste’s is no boil one (because doesn’t everyone want to skip a step?) and comes together in a matter of minutes. I made the recipe even easier by using self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, just like that 2-ingredient flatbread. The bagels still rise and are fluffy, have that golden edge from the egg wash, but with a bit of a tangy flavor. For how quick and easy these are (and healthier!), I think No Boil Bagels are definitely worth that fresh bagel feeling you can get at home.

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