A Healthy Take on a Foolproof Classic
When playoff football season comes around, I am always looking for comforting, rib warming, and tailgate style food. Unfortunately, most of the food we normally turn to in these types of environments are not ones that agree with my stomach too well. So, I take this time to put a healthy spin on some foolproof classics to not only fill that craving, but satisfy the hungry men that fill our apartment for Eagles games. A lot of people ask how to get their significant other or children to like healthier foods; here is a great starting point. They won’t even know!
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The fix to all my curry cravings
I’m assuming it’s the colder temperatures and the desire to feel grounded, but lately I have been craving all things curry. I’m not talking a once and awhile type thing. It’s been almost a daily calling for the past few weeks; a craving that I am on a constant search to fulfill. With the constant dreams of a delicious curry flavored stew, I figured I am probably not alone and needed to create something for all of us to get our fix in. This delicious, vegetarian (gasp), vegetable chickpea curry is truly one of the easier meals on here to prep and reheat for lunches or dinners during the workweek. Not only does it take minimal work, but I’m a believer that these types of dishes are actually better when eaten as leftovers. Enjoy!
Inspired by a Family Staple with some Hawaiian Flare
Shredded pork has always been a staple in my household. Typically, it is served straight out of a slow cooker or sandwiched in a thick slider bun. A friend recently texted me, “does your mom know she’s still going strong as the pulled pork influencer?”. I mean it; whenever there is a Linville celebration, there is always pulled pork. (True statement I couldn’t eat it for like a year after college since we had it 2X/week at every lacrosse game tailgate for 4 years). So, while this recipe is very different than my mom’s glorious and infamous pulled pork, she was my inspiration. In an effort to continuously switch up our taco game to keep the tradition alive and interesting, I am always looking for ideas for new combos. After my mom recently brought in a pot full of pulled pork for my sister’s holiday party, I knew exactly what direction I was going to take this week’s spread in. With the shredded pork decided as my star, I took a little inspiration from Hawaii and decided to go a tropical route. Turns out, things I love lead me to more things I love. Who would’ve thought!?
The Classic BYO Lunch Staple
Whenever I hear “sad desk lunch” my mind immediately goes to salads. For most people, they’re just not exciting. Listen, I get it. Salads aren’t everyone’s favorite thing nor something most people look forward to. But, this is a salad that almost everyone enjoys (unless you’re like my mom and hate Feta… in that case, sorry!) and won’t leave you with that post lunch at your desk depression of missing the outside world and a real meal. An easy staple to batch-cook on a Sunday to pack for your week ahead all with minimal ingredients & time spent in the kitchen. A win-win!
The other day the craving for lasagna hit me like a freaking mack truck. Even though I haven’t had it in forever, I suddenly couldn’t think about anything but lasagna. This meant one simple thing: lasagna was going to be on the menu for dinner. As someone who is currently avoiding gluten and dairy, I noticed the challenge that was ahead of me. How the F do you make a lasagna that does not include the two primary ingredients? Oh, also, throw in the fact that I am intolerant to garlic and onion. Maybe there was a reason I hadn’t had it in forever… All of that aside, I decided it was time to create something delicious. I wanted a rib warming dinner on this snowy night and lasagna was the vehicle to do so. With some oh-so-sneaky ingredients, and things I never in a million years thought I would purchase (hello dairy free cheese, I’m talking to you), I made a freaking incredible allergen free lasagna. Trust me, I wouldn’t encourage you to be seen purchasing vegan cheese unless I meant it. This thing is freaking delicious. Lasagna, oh how I’ve missed you. Welcome back into my life, beautiful.
The rib-warming deliciously healthy dinner
I recently was on a walk with my friend catching up on life and discussing potential new recipe ideas when she turned to me out of the blue and said, “I’ve been dying for a simple meatloaf recipe.” Although it was something I never really had considered creating, nor something I grew up eating, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind for the rest of the day. When deciding what to cook for dinner it became a very easy decision: meatloaf, duh. I accepted the challenge (that my friend was unaware she was putting on me) and questioned why the heck I had never made meatloaf before. This insanely easy recipe will definitely be a staple for every single cold and cozy night this year.
My kitchen’s new favorite delivery – Misfits Market
From following me, you know there are two things I care deeply about: food waste and making healthy living and eating approachable and accessible. Living in NYC has its absolute perks, but often times I feel this nostalgia for nature or anything not growing from concrete. With that, I miss the accessibility to farms. Sure, we have a ton of great farmers market’s in NYC, but often times I am traveling during the weekend or shopping at hours of the day when they are not open. I’ve heard of CSA deliveries and all that jazz, but I also never know the exact weeks I will be here in need of groceries and can’t find myself able to commit to a full season of produce. Along with the constant desire for more organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables, I am always finding ways to waste as minimal amount of food as possible. Scraps in the fridge that most people would throw out? You better believe those are being tossed into a bowl and called “lunch” in this apartment. While I feel I am not alone in that mentality or act (or at least I hope not), there are unfortunately many people who wouldn’t eat certain produce because of a small imperfection. Bruise on an apple? Some may toss it. Me? That is getting chopped up, placed in my instant pot, and immediately repurposed into my fall apple butter that goes so perfectly with just about every breakfast.
The Fall Lunch for Everyone
Soup is good for the soul, there is no denying that. But why, I often ask myself, do I so frequently forget about its incredibly effortless ability to prep and absolute deliciousness? I’m not sure why soup isn’t a part of my meal prep more often, but this one right here is definitely going to be in the mix going forward. The warming spices of the curry with the thickness form the squash and coconut milk make this the perfect fall or winter staple. Plus, since one cup of soup isn’t usually enough food for me to be considered a meal, the hearty rice base rounds this dish out to the perfect lunch (or dinner side). Dairy and gluten free, vegan, and whole30/paleo approved. This soup really covers just about everyone!
The Perfect Anniversary Dinner Date
As someone who loves the NYC restaurant scene, I am a big fan of date night out exploring either some of the new “must go” spots or returning to some of our favorite local places. However, almost as often, I crave a date night in. There is something about actually putting in the time and effort to make a meal for the person you love and then enjoying it in the comfort of your own home (and the comfort of leggings and a sweatshirt, but that’s another conversation). Joe and I just recently celebrated our eleven-year anniversary of which Joe continuously reminded me that “this really isn’t our anniversary anymore”. I understand that, going forward, we will now celebrate our wedding anniversary, but this day will always have a special place in my heart. So, in the compromise of still celebrating while not making it a big deal, a date night in was established and a more elaborate than usual weeknight menu was prepared. One of Joe and my favorite meals to make is a deliciously juicy crispy chicken thigh. I mean, is there anything better than the perfectly crisped chicken skin? The answer is no. To serve alongside these beauties I decided to create a veggie packed pasta that would use majority of the juice from cooking the chicken as it’s sauce. The smartest idea I’ve had all year? Quite possibly. Date night or not, this dinner is a hit!
Whenever I feel I haven’t spent ample time in my kitchen and just miss the warm welcoming flavors of a home cooked meal, this is what I whip up nine times out of ten. Whether it be a weeknight dinner or a lunch for guests staying with us over the weekend, it always hits the spot. Most likely because it includes just about all of my favorite foods, but also because it is such a comforting hearty meal that you forget how healthy it really is. No matter the reason, I will always crave it.