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

Raving for this Veggie Ravioli Soup

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Happy Soup Sunday! You know when it’s still kind of chilly out, but you also want it to be warm and you still want your meals to mesh? I’m feeling the same way. It’s “spring” in New England, but not super. The daylight is longer and the snow from a late storm is melting, but it’s not quite light jacket weather. I think of spring and summer as lots of fresh garden veggies — tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, leafy greens, etc. I wanted a hearty “winter” soup that began to bridge the gap to spring. My mom and aunt always made a tortellini soup that’s extremely easy, but also satisfying. I chose to stick with peppers, zucchini and fire-roasted tomatoes for an added a flavor. (You can also add spinach, kale, carrots or potato.) Alas, the Beacon Hill Whole Foods has a bigger ravioli selection, so I chose to swap ravioli for tortellini. Again, using the rest of the homemade vegetable broth from the Buzzfeed’s Tasty recipe that I froze, I tossed all the ingredients in and had Vegetable Ravioli Soup piping hot in about 20 min.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish, Uncategorized

Tasty Taco Tuesday

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Love me a one pan meal. I’ve been craving tacos after I saw the idea on BuzzFeed for one pot meals (see the first entry if you’re curious). I haven’t made anything taco related in a looooong time — not since Not Your Average Taco Salad. Whole Foods had a sale on lean ground beef yesterday so I knew the timing was perfect. I made my own taco seasoning courtesy of Gimme Some Oven while the meat browned. The hardest part of this was chopping the onion, peppers, zucchini and jalapeño, which in actuality isn’t that hard. The veggies plus spinach pack in more nutrients than your traditional taco. You mix everything together and assemble without missing any of the taco flavors. Happy Taco Tuesday with these Taco Skillet Bowls.

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

Down to Detox Winter Veggie Soup

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I made my own vegetable broth! It’s so easy thanks to Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Save veggie scraps, toss them in the freezer in a ziplock, and once the bag is full, you add the scraps, fill with water and simmer your broth to perfection. I’ve also done this in a slower cooker with a chicken carcass, carrots, onion and celery to make chicken stock — another easy 8 hr option. Plus, it’s great since you can manage how much sodium is in the broth; I added 1 teaspoon of salt for the whole batch, which is about 150 mg of sodium per cup of homemade veggie broth. I made this broth during the week while studying and I’ve been accumulating excess veggies leftover from Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Brown Rice Bowls and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna ever since. I decided it was Soup Sunday and made a Winter Veggie Detox Soup with what I had piling up in my fridge. Winter produce that’s in season are lemons (or any citrus), kale, and sweet potatoes. I used fresh and ground spices to rev up metabolism, aid with digestion and help with inflammation. Not sure if it’s so tasty from sautéing lemon slices in fresh garlic, ginger and coconut oil or if it’s the flavors from the turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon, but for totally winging this soup, it’s pretty darn good.

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Asian, Entrée, Gluten-Free, 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, 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, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Easiest Weeknight “Pasta”

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Happy meatless Monday! I’ve been a little absent with school this past semester. Since we have one less class and one less clinical day, I hope to get more things written up and posted that I’ve already added to Instagram. To kick things off, here’s Vegetarian Sweet Potato “Spaghetti” using sweet potato noodles as the base. What an easy meal to whip together — sauté some veggies, open a can of beans, toss in the noodles and top with sauce. Now that I have a heartier spiralizer (thanks to the Inspiralizer from William Sonoma), I can’t wait to try making these at home!

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Entrée, Gluten-Free

Buffalo Chicken Boats FTW

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Need a way to consume all of that end-of-the-summer zucchini? These Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats will complete your life. I lightened these bad boys up with cauliflower, zucchini and celery to the buff chic mix and paired with my healthy (or at least healthier) Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing. Cut down on time and use the meat of a plain, roasted rotisserie chicken. It’s ok to indulge every once in a while, especially when it’s roasted chicken and veggies. So have one boats — or two!

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