With the weather getting colder, it’s nice to get to enjoy the warmer, heartier meals like soups and stews that you don’t always feel up to in the summer. This quick, clean-eating take on Italian wedding soup is about to change the game. There is basically no prep involved and you get a delicious, portable, protein and veggie packed lunch.
I go through “food phases” where I want to eat the same ingredients over and over and everyone around me gets sick of them but I don’t. Right now, it’s spaghetti squash. Making spaghetti and meatballs with it is a classic choice for a reason, but spaghetti squash is so versatile that the possibilities are really endless. Since my other current food obsession is almond butter, I had a very sad jar of neglected natural peanut butter in my fridge that was begging to be used up. Enter spaghetti squash pad thai.
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Potato salad is such a must for summer. I feel like it often gets a bad rap, because a lot of them are swimming in so much mayonnaise that they don’t even taste like anything. This salad only has 2 Tbsp mayo, and the dressing incorporates Dijon mustard so it has real flavour.
This is inspired by a Mexican-ish soup in the South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook which was basically just salsa, broth and a chicken breast. I wanted it to be a bit heartier (obviously) and to pack more of a punch nutrition-wise, so I’ve filled it out with vegetables and beans.
A classic revisited. My Mom makes the best healthy Caesar salad, and she’s agreed to share her recipe with everyone. You probably have all of the ingredients for the dressing already. My mom whisks the dressing in a bowl and then soaks her croutons in it. My healthy croutons don’t hold up that well to the soak. I blend the dressing with 2 Tbsp parmesan to amp up the creaminess factor. Both ways taste great! Our family has a bit of a garlic problem (well we don’t think its a problem, but only because we all love it!), so with the garlic I’d say start low and go slow.
With the weather warming up, all I want for dinner is salad. This is a long-time favourite of mine. Its easy to throw together and oh-so-satisfying. I make it with either homemade refried beans or with lean ground beef, depending on which side of the flexitarian spectrum I’m leaning towards that day. I had Steak Tagliata yesterday, so today I went for the beans.
Making your own refried beans is as easy as frying up some garlic in a pan and dumping in the entire contents (water and all) of a can of black beans in. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is mostly gone, add a small handful of minced cilantro and some salt to taste and you’re good to go. For the beef option, just brown 500g lean ground beef with 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chilli powder.
Fresh spring rolls are a popular Vietnamese menu item. They are quite versatile though, with the mild flavour of the rice paper allowing you to really experiment with the contents. Here I used carrots, cucumber and celery, because that is what I had on hand. Next time I want to add sweet red pepper and thinly sliced red onion as well. To make vegetarian, tofu could easily substitute the chicken. I was inspired to make these after seeing a photo of them on Kayla Itsines blog a few weeks back. Kayla recommends making your own sauce, which is usually healthier than a store-bough condiment, but I have a major weakness for hoisin sauce so I used that instead. This is a great, beautiful recipe to have under your belt with summer just around the corner.