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.
my Halloween inspired dinner
Since I was away majority of October, I feel like I missed out on not only all of the pumpkin flavored food, but also the hype surrounding Halloween. (True story, I didn’t really realize it was Halloween today until midway through the afternoon when I saw a kid in a costume while running an errand). So, safe to say, I am not a big Halloween gal in this stage of my life. That being said, I wanted to celebrate somehow – in addition to contradicting my food beliefs and handing out classic Snickers and M&M like candy to little kids. Obviously, my celebrating turned into creating a new recipe for dinner. Along with my desire to make a dish that featured pumpkin and the color orange, I also have felt this deep anger towards the fact that I haven’t been able to get my hands on any of the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi since it was released (what feels like years ago). Combining all of these random thoughts I had during my yoga class this morning, it came to me: I was going to make my own god damn gnocchi for dinner and you better believe it was going to be orange! Hello, my favorite vegetable, sweet potato to the rescue. Not only did I feel really freaking important and chef-like while making this dinner, because I hate to admit I’ve never made homemade pasta before (sorry!), but it is also absolutely delicious. Fall flavored, cozy, rib warming, I want to take a nap in this bowl, kind of dinner. I’ll let you see for yourself! Plus, not like I follow all of these, but I’m just going to through it out there: this meal is vegan, gluten and dairy free, paleo, and Whole30 compliant…
When you’re not quite sure if its Summer or Fall
As the seasons are changing and we’re all screaming “YAY FALL” and excited for the lower temperatures, pumpkin spice everything, and change of leaf colors, there is still a part of me ever so slightly holding on to the summer and warm weather. This meal is the perfect depiction of my exact emotions. With the main touches of fall flavors with the pecans and butternut squash, it still has that small hint of summer through the pomegranate seeds and the nod to barbeques with the baby back ribs. Food has never better expressed my current emotions. This meal was a hit for the dinner party I threw this past weekend. From age 26 to 85 and both males and females, everyone was licking their fingers (quiet literally, thank you ribs). Quick, invite some friends over and get cooking. You won’t regret it!
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The “I don’t feel like cooking or cleaning” dinner
As you know by now, I am all about easy, quick, healthy, and delicious dinners. When I was working in the corporate world and would get home after a day spent in the office, laboring over a dinner and then cleaning (what felt like a thousand) dishes was the last thing I wanted to do. While I no longer feel that way, I am here to help you. So, what is better than a dinner that only dirties one dish in the cooking process? I’d say just about nothing. But, to make this beauty even more incredible, she is filled with flavor and one of the lighter meals I’ve ever felt truly satisfied and full from. A triple win and your new go-to “I just got home from work but am having some girlfriends over from dinner and would rather eat McDonalds than have to spend time cooking in the kitchen” meal.
Close your eyes and pretend you’re in California for a second
As part of my ode to Taco Tuesday and the promise of switching things up each week, I recently tossed a new combo into the ring: these shrimp tacos. Boy, they did not disappoint. If you’re like most New Yorkers and intimidated by the act of cooking shrimp for the fear it will stink up your apartment, I promise, it’s not that bad! Plus, this avocado crema makes it all worth it. The perfect creaminess on top of a perfectly charred tortilla with some juicy shrimp. For a second, you can close your eyes and convince yourself you’re actually in California and not this muggy still feels summer when will it ever be fall city. We can dream, right??
My go-to pantry clean out meal
You know the nights where you get home and realize you are starving but have absolutely nothing in your fridge to make dinner out of and you just refuse to pay the absurd price of NYC delivery? (I mean really, after the tax, tip, delivery fee, etc, I want to scream). Well, I’ve been there. Many and many of times. Each time, I check my pantry and freezer to assess the essentials I always have on stock and, more times than not, end up making this exact dish. It was at first a random combination I happened to have on hand that I questioned, “will this work, or am I crazy?” and has now become a staple in my budget friendly lifestyle. Don’t knock it until you try it!