Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Lightened Up, Vegetarian

Celebrating Toast Tuesday with Lemon Ricotta Toast

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Want a different toast and a clever way to use up that ricotta from lasagna? Here’s Lemon Ricotta Toast. It’s light and satisfying, without being over heavy or filling. I love the bright acidity the lemon juices adds to the creamy ricotta, simply flavors with salt and red pepper flakes. Pumpkin seeds add a delightful crunch, while spinach adds some color and a little extra something-something.
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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

Passing 2017 with a Potato Thyme Quiche

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Have to close out 2017 with a bang, right? This Thyme Potato Crust Quiche was a winner. Remember my sweet potato crust quiche? Here’s a take on that. I love breakfast potatoes and hash browns for brunch. I’m not sure what it is about the starchy side, but I associate seasoned potatoes with breakfast. I made a potato crust for this eggy dish and added thyme to complement the sharpness of the parmesan and give flavor to the potatoes. For a quiche, it’s really filling from the potatoes, and adding a dash of hot sauce (or ketchup) does juuuust the trick.

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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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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Salad

Chicken Caesar Wrap as a Tastyyyy Salad

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Deconstructed Chicken Caesar Wrap — what’s up? I made this late summer around the same time I went to Nantucket with my friends Leah and Steph. For some reason, it got lost in the potential blog post limbo. I saw Leah Saturday night and she was craving a Caesar salad for dinner, and I remembered this post was lost in limbo. This version of a Caesar “salad” is light, fresh and perfectly chopped. I love my salads chopped now after this is how they were prepped in college. This is totally optional, but so much more fun. I also looooooove this dressing I found a few years ago; it’s creamy because of the Greek yogurt, but still tastes just like Caesar dressing. Adding a little naan on the side makes this salad seem like a wrap without actually having the wrap.

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

Killin’ It with These Korean Rice Bowls

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Happy meal prep with these popping flavors! The spiciness from the meat, the sesame from the spinach, the acidity of the kimchi . . . Although seemingly complicated, I really enjoyed the simplicity of this Korean Bibimbap Bowl. Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish served with seasonal fresh or sautéed vegetables, a red chili paste and an egg. Here’s a healthy (but definitely not authentic) twist using ground turkey, jasmine brown rice and fresh veggies. This is not your traditional bibimbap, since I swapped ground turkey for ground beef. I added a poached egg because I was lazy about cleaning another pan by frying an egg, and I’m trying to perfect my patching technique in the microwave. I found jarred kimchi at Trader Joe’s for quite cheap. Plus, you have it on hand and you’re not fussing about pickling napa cabbage and making something extra.

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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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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

Copycat Sweetgreen Falafel Salad

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Ever since moving to Boston, I really like Sweetgreen since you get a salad or bowl that’s healthy and doesn’t truly break the bank. But, I’d like Sweetgreen even more if I didn’t have to leave my apartment to grab a meal. Sometimes, you just want something a bit more instantaneous. Here’s my copycat version of the Hummus Tahina Salad — Falafel Salad with Cucumber Tahini Dressing. I bought some falafels from the freezer section, tossed in ingredients for a salad and whipped up a dressing. I liked SG’s idea of adding breadcrumbs to their salad, so I added some GF breadcrumbs to act like croutons. I also like making regular tahini dressing — raw tahini, lemon, agave and water — and modified this to be the cucumber tahini version. Almost just as easy, but this one requires a bit of blending to make the cucumbers and garlic silky smooth.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Very Decadent, Yet Very Easy Vegetable Risotto

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I love risotto. I think it’s really fun to make and almost a cathartic process with all the adding, mixing and stirring. It’s been a bit chilly in Boston (or at least I think so after coming from beautifully sunny weather on Sanibel Island), so this seemed like the perfect time to post Vegetable Risotto using zucchini, butternut squash and spinach. To stay in a true vegetarian nature, I used homemade vegetable stock, but have also used homemade chicken stock, which adds just as much flavor (see notes for how to). You’d never know cream or milk haven’t been added in. Mixing in freshly grated parmesan cheese still gives the risotto a decadent taste without being over-the-top and the butternut squash almost melts down to add a creamy texture to the risotto. Can I have seconds yet?

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Crispy, Crunchy Coconut Tofu

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You know when you go out in the summer and all you see is coconut shrimp this and coconut shrimp that? Here’s a meatless Monday take on that — Crispy Coconut Tofu Bowls. I got this idea/recipe from Well Vegan and it definitely came from a plant-based protein roundup from either SELF or BuzzFeed. (Obviously I receive biweekly emails for meal, recipe ideas and cooking tips from both.) After coming back from Sanibel Island, I was still feeling the tropical vibes during this rainy weather and this recipe seemed like the perfect solution. I definitely cut down on all of Well Vegan‘s prep time, simplified the tofu process, lightened it up by baking instead of frying and skipped their added sauce. This recipe looks way more complicated than it is and just requires a little foresight to prep the tofu ahead of time. By swapping a can of full-drat coconut milk for So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, the quinoa still turned out dense, yet fluffy with a very subtle coconut flavor. I must say the best part about this is the toasted coconut flakes and panic that result from the baking process — pure perfection.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Tantalizingly Stuffed Tuna Salad Sweet Potatoes

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Want a yummy easy lunch with mostly pantry ingredients and basic staples? This recipe for Tuna Salad Stuffed Sweet Potatoes is not your mother’s tuna salad. (Sorry, Mom. Still think you make great tuna salads, but this is more of a “this is not your mom’s generations’ tuna salad.”) Protein packed and perfectly balanced, I got this idea for the stuff sweet potato from POPSUGAR‘s macro guide and tweaked Family Food on the Table recipe for a spinach tuna salad to be my own. Using mozzarella and Greek yogurt as the base for the tuna salad, it’s full of healthy fats and protein. I mixed in matchstick carrots (since they’re clearly one of my fridge staples), chopped spinach (ditto), mini cucumbers (sensing a trend?) and fresh lemon juice, pepper and garlic to taste. Placed in an easily baked microwave sweet potato while you assemble the salad, the sweet potato is then topped with avocado and sriracha. (Not sure what to do with potato insides? Try making a sweet potato crust.) Honestly, the best part is that you’re not insanely full after — winning!

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