Dairy-Free, Entrée, Low Sugar, Meal Prep

Falling for Farro Bowls

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I really like farro. It’s a chewy grain that’s a nice break from my usual brown rice or gluten-free quinoa options. Farro is high in protein, fiber and vitamins, while low in natural sugar and fat. Plus, it counts as a whole grain. Chipotle has been pretty hit or miss here in Boston (emphasis on miss), and I’ve been craving the flavors of their cilantro lime rice. After making a run to the new Trader Joe’s, I picked up some farro, cilantro and limes and tossed it together for the grain base. I couldn’t decide if I wanted my usual, go-to sriracha topping, so I made one way with it and another with fresh strawberries for an end-of-summer touch. Either way, this Cilantro Lime Farro Bowls with Grilled Chicken are a fun summer take on Buddha bowls.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, 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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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Salad, Seafood, Vegetarian

Easiest Savory Sesame Salmon Salad

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My dad flew out of Boston this weekend, so naturally my mom sent down some salmon and chickpea fesenjan from Minimalist Baker (delish, btw) down from Maine. I had some leftover bok choy and scallions in my fridge, which are the makings of a perfect salad.  Sesame salmon and tahini go oh, so well together. I whipped up an easy dressing and had the best lunch: Sesame Salmon Salad with a Tahini Dressing.

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

Simply Savory Sesame Chicken

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There’s been two things going on with me: 1). I’ve been trying to meal plan and meal prep lately, especially since we had a busy exam schedule this week; and 2). I’ve been craving some really greasy Chinese foods. Ok, maybe not really greasy, but something sweet, salty and savory with an Asian fusion all wrapped into one. I got this idea for Asian meal prep bowls from Damn Delicious, which I especially like because she includes nutritional facts for each serving. I had ingredients for sesame chicken (since Damn Delicious makes a teriyaki chicken) and used Skinny Taste for the chicken, but swapped ground chicken for chicken breasts. I popped everything in the crock pot while studying on Monday, let it brew while reviewing cardiac nursing and dished it up just in time for dinner. Garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, these Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Brown Rice Bowls are *almost* better than take-out.

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

The Most Colorful Detox Bowls

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So I’m finally testing out my inspiralizer from William Sonoma that I got for Christmas. First thing I tried? Purple cabbage. Ambitious, I know. While not perfectly spiralized, the cabbage came out in thinner strips than I would’ve been able to chop and much longer than if I used a food processor. The cabbage was mesmerizing and has the coolest designs, in case you were wondering because I know you were. Gimme Some Oven came out with this Detox Salad after New Years. While it is DELISH and I’m obsessed with the dressing, I made it a bit hardier so it would more of a meal and less of a side. The Carrot Ginger Dressing is sweet, tangy, sour and so flavorful. I’m in love with the red cabbage in the bowls. It’s much more tender and benign when spiralized. I’m also just extremely biased to chopped salads and this Rainbow Detox Veggie Bowl is no exception. It’s almost too pretty to eat. (But actually eat it because it’s delicious.)

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Soup

Beefed Up Pho

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Happy snowy day in Boston! Vietnamese Pho Soup may look intimidating (or strange), but it’s so simple. You make a broth, cook the rice noodles and assemble. I originally made a Vegan Pho with tofu because it’s easy to use and requires no prep, but, like the rest of you carnivores out there, I knew I needed to try a try meat lover’s option… with BEEF. I swapped vegetable for beef broth and did a 1:1 ratio of rice noodles to zoodles. As always, pho is light, refreshing and just what the doctor (or nurse) called for on a cold day. The sriracha and jalapeños add just the right amount of spice, the herbs contribute a freshness and the spices just the right flavor. Dish up a heaping bowl of Beef Pho with Zoodles.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Vegan, Vegetarian

Oogling over Spicy, Peanutty Udon

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Peanut noodles are never a bad idea. I really wanted take out on Sunday after a Saturday night of debauchery, but decided it was 1) expensive, 2) too long to wait 60-75 min and 3) unhealthy, so I pulled up my Pinterest, checked my pantry and settled on making homemade Spicy Peanut & Kale Udon Noodles instead. This satisfied my gluten and takeout craving, while packed nutrients from the kale and sweet potato. The cucumbers and scallions add a nice, hearty crunch, since I didn’t have any chopped peanuts on hand. Overall, this came together quite well, and I’m so happy  I used up my fridge/pantry arensal vs. ordering take out. Plus, it’s just that much more satisfying when you make it yourself. I think this is when the phrase “better than takeout” comes into play.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegetarian

Ra Ra for Revitalized Ramen Bowls

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I’ve been craving ramen. (If anyone wants authentic ramen in Boston, head to Porter Square and go to Yume Wo Katare. Be warned it’s cash only, the portions are huge and it’s definitely not healthy, but some of the best ramen I’ve had.) After having that this summer, I wanted a healthier, at home twist. This ramen (thanks to Lotus Foods at Whole Foods) was really fun and easy — plus it’s gluten-free, since it’s made with rice. I chopped up the veggies while the egg was heated to a soft boil, dumped in the veggies with the ramen noodles,  waited 5 minutes, topped with the egg and sesame seeds and dug in. Side note, but you can tell I struggggggled peeling that soft boiled egg. Lotus Foods had a much lower sodium content then other brands. (To ditch the high sodium altogether, I’d recommend making your own broth, but that gets a bit more complicated than “easy” ramen at home.) Regardless, these Black Rice Ramen Bowls hit the spot when you want the ease of takeout, but the “healthiness” of homemade.

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

Coming in Hot with Hot & Sour Soup

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In the wise words of Flo Rida, “Oh, hot damn.” This is AMAZING(ly easy). I saw this recipe recently posted on Gimme Some Oven and was so excited to try this. I’ve always wanted to make this at home, but never quite new where to start. This soup is surprisingly simple and not too unhealthy for you if you overlook the sodium — hence why I try to use low sodium options and add soy sauce accordingly. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms so I chopped them into small pieces vs. keeping them in long slices; I didn’t want to skimp on these to keep the flavor authentic. This recipe lets you play around with how hot, sour or salty you like. I kept mine plenty sour and plenty spicy. Plus, I had a cold when I concocted this and it’s a sure way to clear the sinuses with the extra kick of sriracha. I love this. Can’t wait to add Hot & Sour Soup to my recipe arsenal.

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