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

Delicious Cilantro & Curry Noodles with Zoodles

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Oh my goodness, can I eat this again? Is it tomorrow yet? I’ve been meaning to pick up some red curry paste since I usually have it on hand, but I’ve honestly been out since maybe the fall? Oops. I was thinking I’d make my crispy coconut tofu bowls for this week, but alas, I was at Trader Joe’s on Monday and their red curry sauce — trying something new! — just called my name. Add the zucchini I intended for the coconut tofu, toss in peppers I had, some brown rice noodles I have from my pantry . . . the rest is history. I folded in a generous, generous amount of cilantro and that paired with lime juice made this dish pop! Thai Red Curry Cilantro Noodles will be your new go-to pasta dish when you want a healthy version on takeout in the comfort of your own home.

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

Bow Down to this Healthy Bolognese

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What a dinner. This bowl of Turkey Bolognese over Zoodles hit the spot. I’m not usually one for a meat sauce, but this was on par for a North End restaurant. (Ok, not quite, but it gives the original a run for its money if you lighten up the dish.) The sauce is really simple to make and can be prep as a one pot dish ahead of time. It can easily be frozen, but does dry out a tad and lose a bit of its sauciness. The carrots and bell pepper add flavor and color to the sauce, while the red wine brings a little acidity and depth. As it’s almost September (– time is litttterally flying), try making this on one of those it’s-just-becoming-cool-and-crisp fall nights.

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Entrée, Italian, Low Sugar, Seafood, Vegetarian

Easy, Yummy Pesto Pasta (& “Pasta”)

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Look at that twirl action! With a mixture of spiralized zucchini, affectionately known as “zoodles,” and tricolor angel hair pasta, this spring pasta dish was packed with homemade pesto. Who says a nice dinner has to be expensive and a chore to make? Pasta is relatively cheap and can be bought in bulk. You can make batches of pesto and stock them in the freezer for future use. I used a can of Whole Foods tuna and spices, herbs and veggies in stock in my fridge and pantry. Viola! I whipped up Pesto Angel Hair Pasta with Tuna to feel a little decadent, a wee bit fancy twirlin’ my pasta and quite cozy as the cool weather rolls back in.

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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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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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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Italian Dinnah

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This smells heavenly. I mean my kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant while these bad boys cooked. Who knew this was so easy? I have a confession to make. This was my first time using my slow cooker. I love that it was a dump in the ingredients kind of recipe with minor prep (for the meatballs), and then I walked away to study for finals about a month ago. I was left with a hearty, yet light dinner (thanks, zoodles). I also don’t think I can buy sauce again. I’ve since doubled the recipe for this, tossed it in the slow cooker, kept some handy in my fridge and froze the rest. On this cold, rainy/snowy/sleety day in Boston, hope this Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs over Zoodles adds a little color (and warmth!) to your day!

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

Sizzling (Meatless) Summer Stir Fry

Summer Vegetable Stir Fry with Crispy Tofu

Again, I’m experimenting with tofu. I’ve become a somewhat regular at a local Thai restaurant around the corner from me in Beacon Hill.  Their tofu is perfectly crispy and golden. Granted, they’re probably deep-frying it to perfection, but that’s another story. However much I simply love this indulgence, I wanted to “clean up” their Pad See You.* Think wide rice noodles, golden tofu, bean sprouts and broccoli in a sweet but spicy Thai basil sauce. Using zucchini noodles or zoodles are the main staple, I added more vegetables and a lighter sauce — the Summer Vegetable Stir Fry with Crispy Tofu was born and it’s a summer keeper.

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

Nothing Fishy About This Pad Thai

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I really like Pad Thai. There’s just something about fish sauce I can’t quite stomach, so that’s why I tried this No Fish Sauce Veggie & Chicken Pad Thai. If a dish is prepared for me with it, no problem. If I have to use it, I just can’t do it. Although the fish sauce does add that tanginess and a richer flavor to Thai dishes, I’d rather omit it. I kept the tanginess and acidity by adding soy sauce. For this vegan/vegetarian Pad Thai sauce, keep the whole dish meatless by substituting the chicken and egg for tofu as your protein, but either way, it’s gluten-free! I added more veggies than the traditional dish and kept it 50/50 with rice noodles and zoodles. The bean sprouts and chopped peanuts add a contrasting crunch to the soft noodles, while the cilantro contributes a whole new level of freshness. Toss in shredded carrots, snap peas and bean sprouts and this dish is packed with a little something extra.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian

No-Cream-Added Creamy Squash Pasta

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Another fall classic — Creamy Hubbard Squash Linguine with Zoodles & Sage. When my mom and I went to buy local orchard apples and pumpkins at Wallingford’s Orchard, we also picked up spaghetti, delicata and hubbard squash. (Hubbard is a light grayish-blue in color, teardrop in shape and similar to butternut squash in taste.) Maybe I just needed a break from pumpkin, or I’ve just been dying to try this delicious squash linguine recipe I found on Pinterest. The puréed squash is rich and creamy, so much so, you’d never know there’s no cream; the sage amplifies natural flavors and resembles thyme in taste. The hubbard and sage sauce might be bursting with so much flavor that it could be a knockout on its own — soup anyone? Having previously roasted the squash, the only thing to do next was to try this linguine recipe. I added in both “zoodles” or zucchini noodles and sautéed spinach for some needed veggies, and whole-wheat linguine for better carbs. The zoodles and whole-wheat linguine seamlessly blend; you’d never know you’re eating zucchini instead of pasta at times. The modifications were delectably perfect, and I can’t wait to have this again.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep

Zucchini Makes Great Asian-Inspired Pasta

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I’ve been trying to find a healthier peanut noodle recipe, and then I realized I already had it. With my spiral vegetable slicer and a modified peanut sauce from the South Beach Diet, I was in business. I needed a novel meal apart from my typical salads, quinoa dishes or Italian-inspired spaghetti squash. This Asian Peanut Zucchini Noodles did just the trick. The edamame and peanuts add just the right amount of crunch to the tender zucchini noodles. The peanut sauce is savory, but not overwhelming; it has just the right amount of kick from the red pepper, but subdued by the creamy peanut butter. All in all, the dish is perfectly balanced, as well as tasty, healthy and satisfying.

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