Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Creamy, Tomatoey, Pumpkiny Sauce

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Need a break from marinara sauces, pumpkin sauce or creamy, Alfredo-like sauces? Look no further. This Creamy Tomato Pumpkin Sauce is the perfect blend of garlic, tomatoes and “cream.” When I was little, it would be the dead of summer, and my mom would harvest tomatoes from our tiny garden. She’d chop up tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic, sauté the three into an easy sauce, and sever over pasta; I think this is where I got my inspiration. With leftover pumpkin and yellow squash, a simple sauce emerged fresh heirloom tomatoes (those colors!), carrots and a little garlic. A splash of almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer) adds a new dimension to the sauce to perfectly prepare it for pasta.

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

Lounging Around with This Veggie Lasagna

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Mmmm, there’s something about a lasagna baking in the oven that brightens your day. I had a lot of fun making this, since it was a way to use up some produce in my fridge and make my own marinara sauce. Paired with no boil lasagna noodles from Trader Joe’s and my fridge produce, this Veggie Lasagna was delicious and super easy. Mixing veggies directly into the ricotta mixture and using less cheese lightens up this lasagna, while still keeping all of the flavors. I made the marinara sauce, while I sliced the zucchini and peppers, minced the cauliflower and mixed together the ricotta. Then you layer everything, bake it and anxiously wait for it to be done.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker, Soup

Slowly Savoring This Easy Slow Cooker Chili

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This chili recipe isn’t what you’d traditionally think of as “buffalo chicken,” but the flavors are a welcomed change from your standard beef chili dishes. It’s spicy from the hot sauce and a little sweet from the potatoes, whilst still retaining all the typical chili flavors and spices. It simmered all day as I prepped my nursing work, and I had Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Buffalo Chicken Chili in a blink of an eye. I loved the addition of fresh cilantro to brighten the dish. You can gobble down a bowl and avoid feeling sluggish because its fresh ingredients come together so seamlessly. I had leftover frozen slow cooker buffalo chicken from my bowl recipe that I tossed in for literally the easiest chili ever. (In the market for a new slow cooker? Check out Reviews.com for The Best Slow Cooker.)

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

A Risotto Recipe to Warm You Up

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I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet! This risotto is so yummy and comforting now that it’s getting cold. I made this right after the NCLEX — the boards to become a registered nurse — and it was a welcome distraction. There’s something so therapeutic about making risotto with all the stirring and mixing. I had this idea for a pumpkin leek combination and something about it seemed like it needed some bacon. For a curve ball, I used a dry red wine (since that’s what I had), but I think it adds some depth of color to this fall dish. I should also admit I’m not sure if it made a true 7 or 8 cup batch between all my “tastings” oops. . . Here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Leek Risotto with Turkey Bacon to soothe your soul and warm you to your toes.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Piece of Cake Donuts: Only 2 Ingredients

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Happy Saturday! What’s a better way to celebrate the weekend than with freshly baked donuts? It went from summer weather (I ran in shorts and a t-shirt on Monday) to winter creeping in (I may have broken out the scarf and gloves later this week). These Two Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Donuts are surprisingly easy! You just need a donut pan, canned pumpkin and a boxed cake mix. I chose a spiced cake mix to complement the pumpkin spice theme, but you can use any cake mix. Although these donuts may be comparable in carbs and sugar, the fat content is reduced by baking them and using pumpkin to bind the dry ingredients together. They’re best hot out of the oven and with a cup of coffee! At least in my opinion, these donuts are a piece of cake — pun intended.

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

Craving Some Curry Pumpkin Soup

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Happy meatless Monday! Here’s a fun “pumpkin” recipe that you’d never know there’s pumpkin in it: Curry Pumpkin Soup with Swiss Chard. Pumpkin purée is a great way to naturally thicken a soup, make it heartier and add a bit more nutrients to it. I’m a curry fan Red Swiss chard was on sale at Whole Foods and it just looked too pretty not to add. I only had less than a cup of arborio rice, which is normally used for risotto (from vegetable risotto), and I tossed it in; it makes the soup much thicker than traditional rice. Overall, this is quite filling and bursting with flavor. It’s one of those fun dump, stir and simmer recipes that’s easy to meal prep and enjoy during the week.

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

Poppin’ These Protein-Packed Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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This is my second batch of Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins and they keep getting better. I’ve grabbed two before my first Soul Survivor spin class (it was 60 min) and thank God I did. For being kind of bite-size, they fill you up as a snack or a meal. This morning I had two fresh out of the oven along with some Siggi’s vanilla skyr yogurt. I like the crunch of the pecans and the chewiness from the raisins. The mashed banana and pumpkin make these muffins pretty dense, but in a good way. Pro tip — aka how I enjoy them — serve warm with a cup of cinnamon coffee. Happy weekend!

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

Add a Little Pumpkin Spice to Your Life

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It’s that time of yearrrrrr. It’s officially October, my birthday is this week, AND it’s pumpkin season. I think I like pumpkin things so much since I already have an innate affinity for cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (and ginger and allspice I suppose). I’ve been meaning to try my own Pumpkin Spice Creamer, but I would’ve never thought to make it with coconut milk because I would’ve thought the coconut to be overpowering. Well, it’s not and Amanda at Running with Spoons is genius. Plus, it’s paleo, dairy-free and refined sugar free since it uses dates to naturally sweeten. This creamer pairs well with a cinnamon coffee or try it plain. It adds the flavor, but I will added half my usual serving of plain cream to my coffee to cut the bitterness. So easy and a sure way to use up some pumpkin purée.

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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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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup

Buff Chick Chili FTW #TB12

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I was debating licking my bowl since this Buffalo Chicken White Bean Chili is THAT GOOD. I love checking recipes on Skinny Taste, and this chili seemed like a good one to try during and maybe make again for Super Bowl Sunday, since everyone in New England will be anxiously watching this weekend. This chili version is packed with veggies (obviously carrots and celery and I snuck in some puréed pumpkin as well) and with all of the taste of buffalo chicken, but in a more “guilt-free” packaging. I used  a plain, organic rotisserie chicken so then I could use the remaining meat for salads, sandwiches and bowls. (I also saved the carcass to try my hand at making homemade stock! Stay tuned…)  The only downside of this recipe is that it’s on the higher end for sodium, which is why I don’t add any extra salt and chose toppings like plain, non-fat Greek yogurt and chopped celery versus cheese, but do whatever floats your boat — just indulge in moderation!

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