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, 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, Entrée, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Raving for this Veggie Ravioli Soup

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Happy Soup Sunday! You know when it’s still kind of chilly out, but you also want it to be warm and you still want your meals to mesh? I’m feeling the same way. It’s “spring” in New England, but not super. The daylight is longer and the snow from a late storm is melting, but it’s not quite light jacket weather. I think of spring and summer as lots of fresh garden veggies — tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, leafy greens, etc. I wanted a hearty “winter” soup that began to bridge the gap to spring. My mom and aunt always made a tortellini soup that’s extremely easy, but also satisfying. I chose to stick with peppers, zucchini and fire-roasted tomatoes for an added a flavor. (You can also add spinach, kale, carrots or potato.) Alas, the Beacon Hill Whole Foods has a bigger ravioli selection, so I chose to swap ravioli for tortellini. Again, using the rest of the homemade vegetable broth from the Buzzfeed’s Tasty recipe that I froze, I tossed all the ingredients in and had Vegetable Ravioli Soup piping hot in about 20 min.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Slow Cooker

Slowly Cooked to Perfection Coconut Curry Chicken

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I’m on a slow cooker kick, especially with these one bowl meals. (Well, this isn’t quite a one pot dinner, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t easy.) Mmmmm, delicious Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken. Especially with exams coming up, it’s so easy to let the chicken cook all day and then just whip up the bowls at night. I used frozen cauliflower and peppers for less chopping and to save time. It’s so easy to have frozen veggie on hand! I always have cauliflower stocked in my freezer. Let the rice cook while the coconut curry chicken warms and you can kick back and relax (or in my case study).

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

Tasty Taco Tuesday

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Love me a one pan meal. I’ve been craving tacos after I saw the idea on BuzzFeed for one pot meals (see the first entry if you’re curious). I haven’t made anything taco related in a looooong time — not since Not Your Average Taco Salad. Whole Foods had a sale on lean ground beef yesterday so I knew the timing was perfect. I made my own taco seasoning courtesy of Gimme Some Oven while the meat browned. The hardest part of this was chopping the onion, peppers, zucchini and jalapeño, which in actuality isn’t that hard. The veggies plus spinach pack in more nutrients than your traditional taco. You mix everything together and assemble without missing any of the taco flavors. Happy Taco Tuesday with these Taco Skillet Bowls.

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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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Appetizer, Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Cauliflower Pizza Crust for the Win

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I love Cauliflower Pizza Crust. This was another great Pinterest find. This recipe has been in my kitchen circulation for about 3 years now. Carbs have gotten such a bad rep, but I still like to dabble with different options like gluten-free. The only downside to this gluten-free curst is that it can be paaaaacked with cheese. Don’t get me wrong — I love cheese. It’s absolutely delicious, but I’m a firm believer in moderation. I cut back on the cheese and the crust was still a “crust.” I’ve cooked this crust many ways — on foil, on a pizza stone, directly on a baking sheet — and using the Silpat allowed for a crispy crust that perfectly browned on the bottom and was much more like a “true curst.” Who wants another slice?

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