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

Homemade (Almost) Better-than-Takeout Curry Noodles

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This may not be my most photogenic dish, but it’s one I made to satisfy my Thai take-out craving (and my wallet), and I found myself looking forward to my leftovers. These Curry Chicken Noodles are so easy to tailor based on any curry or veggies that you use. The same goes for noodles; you can use boring spaghetti for the same effect or wide rice noodles or thick udon or ramen-like Chinese noodles.

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

Lightened Up Lasagna

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I have a confession. Well, actually I have two I suppose. The first is that I don’t own an 8×8 or 9×9 pan so hence why my lasagna looks like a pie (and sheet pan was way too big for this). Might need to change that… The second is that I haven’t made lasagna since moving to Boston. Crazy, right? After assembling and making Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, I realized I’ve been missing ricotta in my life. I made a homemade red sauce in the slow cooker (recipe here, minus the meatballs and plus a hearty amount of red pepper flakes) and cooked the spaghetti squash ahead of time. The key to keeping this a true lasagna is removing the excess water from the spaghetti squash. Then you can really pack the squash to make a thick layer  Then you can layer to your heart’s desire. This lasagna is lightened up with less cheese, chicken sausage and swapping noodles for spaghetti squash. Ignore the poorly plated end result because a) it was too dark to take a picture of the whole pan and b) the slice is an odd shape thanks to the pie pan, but I assure you that it’s truly fullllll of flavors.

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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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Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

The Simply Sensational Shakshuka

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I went out to brunch with my friends, Ali and Sam, and naturally Saturday brunch means being basic and heading to Newbury Street. We settled on Stephanie’s, somehow all ordered a side of home fries (apparently sharing wasn’t an option) and sipped on their spicy house-made Bloody Mary’s. (I’m slowly becoming a Bloody Mary fan, and even I want to buy their mix, so I’ll just let that sink in.) We were looking for a savory kind of breakfast — something hearty and filling. I tested out their shakshuka and am so glad I did. So glad, in fact, that I decided to recreate it at home. This looks complicated, but I promise you it’s not. The chopping is a bit time consuming, but otherwise it’s a dump and step back while this cooks kind of recipe — my favorite. I added in more finely chopped veggies for nutrients and depth, but the real flavors are the tomatoes and the spices. Any tomatoes work, but heirlooms are just so pretty and in season now. It would be so easy to serve as a brunch or dinner and you can tailor the poaching of the eggs to being over easy or soft/hard boiled. I’ve already stocked up on the ingredients to make Shakshuka a second (and a third) time.

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

Crazy for These Colorful Cabbage Bowls

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Sriracha Beef Cabbage Bowls for the winnnnnn! I’m trying to make bowl salads or salad like dishes since I’ve become bored from the same old same old. Don’t get me wrong. Certain salads become classics and a staple for a reason, but you need some variety every now and then. Plus, this cabbage bowl is so colorful, it’s hard to resist not diving in fork first. I also never seem to buy beef. Not sure why, but maybe it’s a price thing, but I found some 90% lean beef at Roche Brothers and it was a sign. Literally a sign I needed to test out these cabbage bowls. SO GOOD. I tossed in my own fresh herbs, fresh ginger and hoisin sauce for flavor. Somehow these bad boys are both filling and light all at once and I’m definitely adding these ingredients to my grocery list to make them again.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Seafood, Vegan, Vegetarian

Clinging to Summer with Summer Stir Fry

Summer Stir Fry

This dish was bright. I’m not sure how else to describe accurately describe it, but I think bright has just the right connotation: vibrant, citrusy and light. With summer (quickly) coming to an end and late summer vegetables in abundance, I give you Summer Stir Fry. I was inspired to slice the ears of corn into medallions after seeing Martha do it. (Ms. Stewart and I are obviously on a first name basis.) Shrimp always seems to be a lighter option than chicken or steak and it’s a fun way to incorporate seafood. The summer veggies and shrimp were tossed with a lovely Garlic Scape Pesto in Curry from the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. Plate with baby spinach (and maybe some crusty bread and white wine) and bon appétit!

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Mexican, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Gotta Try Sofrita Salad

Copycat Sofritas Salad

The ingredient list looks intimidating, but really the whole process is quite simple: make the sofritas, chop the salsa and assemble the salad. Easy, right? After taste-testing my mom’s Sofrita Burrito Bowl from Chipotle last fall, something about the lightness of tofu sounded great for a hot, summer day. I cooked the tofu with the same spices you would for chili and added it over chopped iceberg lettuce, avocado and red bell pepper. Throw together a homemade salsa. (You can literally throw in everything washed, whole and as is — i.e. full cherry tomatoes and cilantros with stems if you’re feeling exceptionally lazy and/or crunched for time.) Everything comes together as light and fresh for this Copycat Sofritas Salad. Happy Meatless Monday!

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Stir It Up with Veggie Stir Fry

Vegetable Cashew Stir Fry

I haven’t made a stir fry in a long time, and this Vegetable Cashew Stir Fry sure didn’t disappoint. Obviously I found this on Pinterest, but I really liked the idea of serving this over rice noodles instead of rice. I have so many rice noodles left over and begging to be used after making the No Fish Sauce Pad Thai and Pho Soup. To make it easy, I used vegetables already cut and combined from Whole Foods and added red pepper, edamame and cashews to the mix. You can easy opt out of a Meatless Monday dish and add in beef, chicken or shrimp; tofu would even work well here — keep it meatless! You’d be amazed at how quickly this came together and how easy it is to have fresh stir fry for dinner.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Salad, Seafood, Vegetarian

Scrumptiously Colorful Spicy Shrimp Salad

Spicy Shrimp Avocado Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing

So I’m pretty sure this meal came together in under 20 min. last night. Forget the salad for a second. How have I never made this Ginger Miso Dressing?! It’s life changing. I can’t believe I’ve never bought miso until now. The flavor profile is amazing. I see some miso soup in my future…But back to the salad. It’s fresh, light, has a crunch, but’s still creamy and most important is packed with flavor. (You totally thought I was going to say nutrients, right? That too). Substitute chicken for shrimp or exclude the shrimp for a vegan dish. I’m addicted. Thank goodness I found a Pinch of Yum‘s version on Pinterest. This Spicy Shrimp Avocado Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing was totally a winner if I do say so myself.

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Appetizer, Entrée, Local Finds, Vegetarian

Simply Savory Kale Flatbread

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My mom discovered this recipe for a kale flatbread a couple summers ago in Southern Living; after some modifications, it’s too good not to share. Even my carnivore of a boyfriend approved and heartily inhaled one flatbread I made for dinner last winter (but probably along with one containing some form of meat). My parents and I traveled to Ohio this past weekend to visit my dad’s mom, and we made the flatbread for dinner on Friday night. My aunt and uncle grew curly kale in their garden and it’s thriving. Oh my goodness, the plant was so huge that it looked like a small 3 foot bush (see pictures below). Naturally we just had to incorporate abundant amounts of their homegrown kale into a meal, and we knew the Kale & Rosemary Flatbread was one such recipe that would do the job quite well. The rosemary adds a fantastic flavor and a fresh, yet savory element, especially along with the creamy fontina cheese and pungent parmesan cheese. In fact, there’s so much flavor that you forget your only topping is really just kale. So enjoy. Indulge a little, and pass that Kale & Rosemary Flatbread.

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