It’s Tuesday night. The week has just started, and you have a million things on your brain. Between the chaos of work and the michegas that is your personal life, the whole shaved-head-and-life-of-solitude thing is starting to sound pretty good. You take a look around your messy apartment, stop at your fridge, and it hits you: you’re going to have to eat at some point. Fear not, friends. This veggie flatbread recipe is here to save you. Start to finish, it takes 15 minutes or less.
There are two shortcuts that make this recipe so speedy. The first? Store-bought pasta sauce. I know, I know — blasphemy! It’s so easy to make good pasta sauce that buying it pre-made just isn’t necessary. Still, when my hanger has reached its peak and I lack the spiritual strength to summon my inner Mario Batali, jarred pasta sauce is a lifesaver.
The other shortcut for this recipe is one of my pantry staples: low-carb lavash. I buy packs of these things two or three at a time. They’re soft and pliable, great for making wraps and roll-ups. Baked in the oven, the thin bread browns and crisps like a dream. At around 100 calories each, a low-carb lavash is a healthy alternative to a thin restaurant crust.
This veggie flatbread always satisfies my pizza cravings. Augment that jarred pasta sauce with some chili flakes and fresh basil, add some melty cheese, and finish with beautiful, fresh vegetables. As always, make whatever swaps you like — artichoke hearts, Brussels sprouts, and bell peppers would be wonderful here. For a bit of extra protein, try adding chicken or shrimp. And if you have homemade sauce on hand, all the better — use that instead. Read more… →
I have some version of this strawberry salad for lunch almost every day. I love salads like this for a couple of reasons.
1. Size matters: This thing is ENORMOUS. It’s not some piddling side salad that will leave you feeling even hungrier than you were before you ate. This is a salad mountain, my friends. After this meal, you’ll feeling full and satisfied — not deprived.
2. Looks matter too: Honestly, what a gorgeous meal. You’ll get compliments on it, I promise. And guess what? Those colorful veggies aren’t just pretty. All those beautiful colors mean nutrients. This strawberry salad will do nothing but good things for you.
3. Simple and convenient: Like I said earlier, I make a salad like this for lunch every day. I’m a working woman, so that means I have to make it travel. It’s super easy. In the morning, I toss the dressing ingredients together in a little bottle. I put the mixed greens in one container and the chopped vegetables in another. Done and done. When I get hungry, I plate it. It doesn’t get much easier (or cheaper!) than that.
I really like this version because the strawberries and chopped almonds make the salad just a little bit special. In spite of the cold weather, it makes me feel like spring is just around the corner. The lemon-basil dressing is the perfect complement to the flavors of the salad. It’s bright and clean and subtly sweet — just the thing for those juicy strawberries.
Here’s the recipe. Read more… →
In the last couple of years I’ve developed a deep, abiding love for Korean food. This is only worth noting because, like pesto and hummus, Korean food is something I hated once upon a time. It’s probably because I received an intense introduction to it — I had my first bite of Korean food in Seoul. Absolutely nothing was in English (it WAS Korea, after all), so I could only guess at what I was eating.
Since then, I’ve grown to enjoy all kinds of Korean dishes. However, when I was in the Seoul, only one dish seemed safe: bibimbap. I ordered it at nearly every meal. Literally “mixed rice,” bibimbap is a homey, comforting dish. A variety of vegetables are placed on top of rice — often with meat or seafood of some kind — that has been seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. An egg (sometimes fried, sometimes raw) is the final piece. Then you mix everything together with a spoon and add Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang) to taste.
Ooo. It’s good.
If you ask me, it’s the sweetly spicy flavor of gochujang that makes this dish so delicious. You should be able to find gochujang in your local Asian grocery store. Otherwise, it’s absolutely worth ordering online. Gochujang tends to be quite high in sodium, so I recommend going for the version with the least amount possible. Most varieties range from 400 to 700 mg of sodium per tablespoon, but I was able to find a bottle with just 230 mg. The combination of gochujang, sesame oil, and soy sauce makes the dish nutty, salty, spicy, and sweet all at the same time.
Bibimbap is traditionally made with jasmine rice, but I used brown rice for a slightly healthier option. Part of the beauty of bibimbap is that you can use whatever ingredients you have in your fridge, so it’s a smart way to finish leftovers or any produce that’s on the verge of going squishy. I love it with bibimbap’s traditional add-ins like zucchini, carrots, and sprouts, but you can use whatever veggies you’re in the mood for.
Read on to see how I make this super healthy (and super tasty) dish. Read more… →
I’ve really been doing my best lately to cook with what I have on hand. I have a bad habit of getting carried away at the grocery store every week — it’s a natural result of my nonstop quest for new recipes and dishes. This week though, I think I’m doing well. I poked around my kitchen and made these black bean and cheese quesadillas. They’re just the thing for a Meatless Monday when you’re feeling lazy. The ingredient list is short and sweet, filled with things you probably have in your pantry already: black beans, cheese, and tortillas. That’s pretty much it.
A lot of people prefer to make quesadillas with flour tortillas, but I always use corn tortillas whenever I’m cooking Mexican-inspired dishes. Corn tortillas are usually the better choice. They’re much lower in calories, fat, and sodium than flour tortillas (although I should note that flour tortillas are higher in fiber and protein). Low-sodium canned black beans make life easy — no need to soak them overnight, and no need to worry about consuming a ton of salt. I used fat-free cream cheese to bind everything together, but as always, you should feel free to substitute with whatever cheese you like. Use what you have!
These black bean and cheese quesadillas are great for lunch on the go. You can prepare the bean filling in advance, and warm the tortillas in the office microwave for a satisfying mid-day meal. At home, they cook up on the stove in a matter of minutes — ideal for those nights when you don’t have the time or energy to make anything fussy. Serve it with salsa and a green salad to round out your dinner.
Quick, easy, and guilt-free. That’s what it’s all about. Read more… →
During my heavier college days (aka “the Before Time”), I used to get Chinese takeout at least once every two weeks. My standard order was pan-fried noodles with beef and broccoli, a large shrimp fried rice, scallion pancakes if I was feeling fancy, and a large order of crab rangoon. I would eat all of this food in the course of one night.
I wish I were exaggerating.
The crab rangoon were arguably my favorite part of the meal. The combination of crispness and creaminess made for an awesome late-night snack. The funny thing is, there was actually very little crab in them. They were pretty much just pockets of cream cheese deep-fried in oil. I probably should have felt ripped off every time I ordered them, but really, “cream cheese deep-fried in oil?” Exactly what part of that is supposed to be a problem?
The answer, of course, is how awful they are for you. My healthier version of this appetizer is inspired by those beloved crabless crab rangoon. There’s not a bit of crab to be found in this recipe. This makes it a great option for vegetarians. Not to worry though — you can easily incorporate crab meat into the filling if you like.
Flavored with plenty of ginger and garlic, cream cheese is folded into wonton wrappers that are baked instead of fried. Served with a spicy orange dipping sauce made with sugar-free marmalade and plum butter, these crab rangoon will satisfy your Chinese cravings without all the grease and fat. Here’s how to put them together.
Read more… →