Vegetarian Dishes

Skinny mushroom alfredo for one

“Skinny” Mushroom Alfredo for One

Who says you can’t whip up a delectable gourmet dinner for yourself? A solo supper can be so much more than cold leftover rotisserie chicken or a trip to the drive-through. I often crave pasta and cheese in all its glorious forms, but when I want to enjoy it with less guilt, I opt for lightening up a few of the usual ingredients, like using low-fat milk and stock instead of heavy cream or cream cheese, and reducing the amount of butter with olive oil. Trust me, this lighter version leaves nothing to be desired.

“Skinny” Mushroom Alfredo for One

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Lemon-Walnut Spaghetti

Easy Lemon-Walnut Spaghetti

I LOVE lemon sauce with pasta. Don’t get me wrong—a thick, zesty marinara is always good. But this lemon sauce is to die for. Tart, herbaceous, and nutty. Feel free to toss in your favorite protein or serve alongside a simple veggie, like the blanched haricot verts pictured here.

Lemon-Walnut Spaghetti

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One-Pot Butternut Squash “Mac and Cheese”

One-Pot Butternut Squash “Mac and Cheese”

Nothing says comfort food quite like a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. This recipe is a lightened-up take on this classic dish—a sneaky way to boost your veggie intake and I promise you won’t be sacrificing that hearty, cheesy, gooey deliciousness of the real thing. And with one-pot cooking, clean-up will be a breeze!

One-Pot Butternut Squash “Mac and Cheese”

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Spaghetti squash marinara

I’m a Believer in Spaghetti Squash

I never thought I’d see the day when a vegetable could pass for an acceptable pasta substitute. I was skeptical of the many spaghetti squash recipes I saw on cooking shows, but after finally experimenting with one per my New Years’ Resolution to eat fewer carbs, I was shocked—it’s pretty darn close to spaghetti! In my carb-favoring opinion, the “spaghetti” has a surprisingly firm texture and a subtly sweet and nutty flavor that I don’t mind at all. Plus, one squash yields a TON of “spaghetti,” and at only 30 calories per 1 cup serving, there is zero-guilt in devouring the whole plate.

Spaghetti Squash Marinara With Grape Tomato Bruschetta
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Sweet and Smokey Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili With Cornbread Croutons

Sweet and Smoky (Vegan) Chili With Cornbread Croutons

I don’t know about you, but vegetarian chili usually leaves me wanting more—but not with this recipe. Sweet potato takes the place of a meat because it’s hearty and filling. For that perfect balance of sweet and spicy, throw in smoked paprika, cayenne, and chili powder. Topped with the easiest cornbread croutons you’ll ever make, and you’ve got a delicious vegan chili ready in under a half-hour.

Sweet and Smokey Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili With Cornbread Croutons

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Minestrone with crispy kale

Super Soup!

With that New Year’s diet guilt creeping up again, it’s time to stock the fridge with super foods and lean protein. After indulging in every sugar-coated carb in sight for the holidays, January 1 is a sobering day for your waistline. But you don’t have to deprive yourself of a good meal to get back on track with your diet. Try this recipe that will fill you up and warm you up!  Full disclosure: I’ve never been a huge kale fan, but I’m addicted to it after preparing it in my new air-fryer. In this recipe, the kale adds a crispy, salty crunch to this hearty soup.

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Very veggie pasta

Very Veggie Weeknight Pasta

OK, so you overindulged this Thanksgiving weekend – everybody, just calm down. For a light and satisfying transition back into normal eating, try this super colorful, super easy, and super flavorful pasta dish packed with veggies and lean protein. Psst…there’s a hidden serving of veggies if you use the veggie-based pasta (per 4-oz portion).

Very Veggie Pasta

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Lemon potatoes

Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite side dish

I first had Greek lemon potatoes 3 years ago in a fabulous little Greek restaurant near my old office. I had never thought about pairing lemon with potatoes before, but boy was I missing out on something so comforting and delicious. Ever since, I’ve been trying to recreate the magic of those Greek potatoes at home. My recipe is definitely not as good as the real thing (I don’t know how they do it!), but it’s pretty close. At least, it serves as an elevated side dish to just about any main course.

Greek-Inspired Lemon Potatoes

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Mexican sushi - beans, avocado, cheese

Mexican Sushi

If you love Mexican food and you love sushi, why not put them together? Granted, this creation is a loose application of the word sushi, but you get the idea—they’re bite-size roll-ups of bean, cheese, and avocado goodness! Similar to that addictive umami flavor of sushi, these roll-ups pack a ton of flavor, especially if you use a flavored tortilla: spicy salsa balanced by creamy avocado; the heartiness of the beans balanced by the freshness of lime juice and cilantro; and the crunchy topping balanced by the lusciously smooth filling.

These roll-ups make a fun appetizer for entertaining. Or, make them into a meal by adding a side of chips and salsa and a simple quesadilla. Ole!

Vegetarian Mexican “Sushi”

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Greek nachos

Greek Nachos with Homemade Garlic Hummus

This dish is great for entertaining or as a single-serving supper. The garlic in the hummus, the brininess of the Kalamata olives, the saltiness of the feta—I love working with these classic Greek flavors because each one packs a huge punch and work well together in each bite. Plus, they’re so easy to mix and match depending on what you like. That’s also why I didn’t bother listing exact amounts for most of the toppings in the ingredients list—you can add as much or as little as you like!

Greek Nachos with Homemade Garlic Hummus Continue reading