Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Salad, Vegetarian

Spring Buddha Bowls with Veggies & Farro

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Ted and I couldn’t get enough of these Spring Veggie, Marinated Chickpeas, & Farro Bowls. It’s the type of meal that you’re sad when you finish the leftovers. These grain bowls are savory yet bright with the dressing, chewy thanks to the farro, crunchy from the radishes and snap peas, and creamy because of the goat cheese and avocado. By marinating the chickpeas directly in the dressing, they absorb some of the flavor. We served this with a piece of crusty bread, channeling our inner sweetgreen during this pandemic. This salad is fun because you can change your veggies and toppings every time. We added pumpkin seeds one night, fresh basil and mint another, and Ted added cherry tomatoes on our third try. We did only spinach for one and mixed greens for another. Mix and match to make it your own!

 

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

Enjoying These Easy Enchiladas

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Now that I’ve made homemade enchiladas, the filling and flavor combinations are endless. These Turkey, Spinach, & Black Bean Enchiladas are hearty, bursting with flavor, and easy to make. I’d consider these enchiladas to be a “lightened up” version since they’re full of lean animal and plant-based protein, use corn tortillas, and you make your own enchilada sauce from scratch in under 5 minutes. Full disclosure: Ted bought a large bunch of cilantro and we’re were purposefully trying to use it up. This recipe is very cilantro heavy since 1). it adds a burst of flavor quite effortlessly; and 2). waste not. If you’re not a cilantro fan, don’t worry! Just omit cilantro, but it do add a flavor like no other.

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Entrée, Italian, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

Meatless Veggie Bowls with Copycat Sweetgreen Dressing

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I’ve been looking for a good “bowl” lately. Maybe it’s generational that we’re the people who meal prep and pack lunches apart from sandwiches. I’m always looking for something that I can make, package and be done, or quickly assemble the night before or morning of. These Eggplant “Meatball” Bowls with Spicy Cashew Dressing do just that. As I’m always striving to copy Sweetgreen’s dressing–if you’ve had them, you totally know what I mean–and this bowl-salad fusion does just that. Roasted veggies, quinoa, and vegetarian meatballs combine for this hearty dish.

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

Delightfully Spicy Harissa Soup

Hearty veggie stew alert! If you haven’t figured out, I enjoy “cleaning out my fridge” and trying to use up every veggie–and sauce–possible. Harissa is a Northern African spicy chili pepper paste, consisting of mostly roasted red peppers. Depending on the style, some can be really mild or wildly spicy. If you use up any veggies in your fridge like onions, peppers, greens, and sweet potato with stuff in your pantry like a can of tomatoes or leftover grains and lentils, you can easily pull together a simple, hearty stew like Harissa Vegetable Soup. By using plant-based ingredients, it’s still high in protein. Plus, it’s a win-win for a deliciously health meal in exchange for cleaning out your fridge and pantry.

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

Lazy Lasagna Soup (Instant Pot)

Ted got me an Instant Pot for my birthday this year, and we’ve been trying to incorporate it into our everyday cooking for quick meals. I’ve been craving my homemade marinara sauce and lasagna, but I didn’t want to make a big pan. Instead, I give you Lasagna Soup. All the flavors of lasagna pulled together for a quick and easy meal. Using chicken breast and chickpea-based lasagna noodles, the soup becomes filling and packed with protein to keep you sated throughout the day. Top with a creamy ricotta-parmesan mixture to get all the feels of lasagna wrapped into a hearty soup.

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

Hearty Roasted Veggie Bowls for Winter

I love a good “bowl.” I think it’s easy to prep and to grab on-the-go. I like using produce that’s in season and rainbow carrots and sweet potatoes definitely fall into this category. Root veggies absorb the minerals from the soil around them. Given their colorful nature, they’re packed with fiber, vitamins like vitamin A, and antioxidants. If you can do three things at once, these Roasted Root Veggie Bowls with Cilantro Pesto are definitely worth it. Roast the veggies while the lentils and quinoa cook. At the end, you have a flavorful bowl served warmed to combat winter’s chill and topped with a fun, different pesto.

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

Creamy Autumn Harvest Risotto

This was an everything-but-the-kitchen sink kind of recipe–couple of Brussels sprouts here, some carrots over there, butternut squash frozen and ready to use. I whipped up a batch of Autumn Veggie Risotto yesterday because we had the most random produce and veggies in our fridge and freezer. The rainy, cold weather and upcoming football game created the perfect setting for a hearty dish. Risotto is comfort food at its finest. No need for heavy cream or cups of cheese to create a rich meal. The continuous stirring breaks down the rice’s starches to give risotto its gelatinous consistency and creaminess. I stirred in some mascarpone cheese leftover from making vegetable bolognese. The flavors of the vegetables speak for themselves accentuated by Parmesan cheese’s sharp bite.

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

Copycat Sweetgreen Strikes Again with Tahini Chicken Quinoa Bowls

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I love me some Sweetgreen. What I love even more is when I find how to hack Sweetgreen’s dressings and create something just as good at home. I give you Creamy Sesame Tahini Quinoa Bowls. They’re sweet and spicy, while also filling and oh-so-hearty thanks to the quinoa and chicken. The Creamy Sesame Dressing is a blend of tahini and sesame oil adding a savory, umami kick to tie things together.

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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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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

Savory Oatmeal Power Bowls for Breakfast

If you like grits, this Savory Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl reminds me a heck of a lot like cheesy grits. I’ve been meaning to make a savory version of oatmeal since my oat recipes are saturated with sweet options for either hot oatmeal or cold overnight oats. Since I haven’t posted an oats recipe in a few months, and this one seems worthy to break the hiatus. It’s cheesy, yolky, and just a bit spicy. Plus, it sticks to your ribs and keeps you satisfied all morning long.

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