Make This Today: Shrimp Egg Drop Soup

Shrimp Egg Drop Soup | Photo by Rebecca Boyd

Shrimp Egg Drop Soup | Photo by Becca Boyd

March is a tricky month in Philly. We happily trade our parkas for bomber jackets only to get a blast of icy wind or even (please no) a freak snowstorm. It’s for this reason I love a spring soup. Light in calories but full of fiber and protein, it’s a way to prepare for bathing suit season while staying warm from the downright chilly early spring breezes.

This soup packs an amazing flavor punch. With garlic, ginger, soy, vinegar, sesame, honey and tamari this is umami rich. The broth itself is so flavorful with a delicate sweetness and a hit of spice in the back of your throat from the Sriracha. With a dinner this good (and warm!) to come home to, you can enjoy the extra hour of daylight outside, shivering with your friends.

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Make: The Protein-Packed Squash Soup That Will Actually Keep You Full

Butternut Squash Soup | Photo by Becca Boyd

Butternut Squash Soup | Photo by Becca Boyd

It’s time for an admission of guilt: I used to see the peeled, cubed, cellophane-covered packages of butternut squash and feel superior for buying mine at the farmers’ market and hacking it up myself. This sophomoric thinking sucked up too many minutes of my life, not to mention dulled the heck out of my chef’s knife. Nowadays, I’m happy to pay someone to do the work for me when it comes to squash (and incidentally, broccoli slaw), especially when it leads to a gorgeously healthy dinner like this.

Chockfull of protein and fiber, this stunner will easily keep you full past the usual 10 o’clock bedtime snack pangs and packs easily for a soul-warming lunch the next day. Free from dairy and gluten, this should works for many diets while keeping those healthy-eating resolutions intact.

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Recipe: Make-Ahead Roasted Broccoli and White Bean Salad

Roasted Broccoli and White Bean Salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

Roasted Broccoli and White Bean Salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

Let’s talk about flexible cooking. I’ll use this recipe as an example. This can be made ahead or made to order; it’s delicious warm but also cold; it’s a whole meal in and of itself or a side dish for any meat or fish. Bottom line: If this is prepped and in your fridge, you’re ready for anything.

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MAKE: Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash With Quinoa and Chicken

Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by Becca Boyd

Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by Becca Boyd

I bought a few gorgeous acorn squash at the market and then they sat in my pull-out pantry … for, like, three weeks. I was frozen in indecision, and maybe feeling a little lazy. But eventually, I buckled down to whip up this recipe, filled with healthy (and gluten-free!) grains and lean protein, that checks off all the important meal boxes: light, delicious and downright drool-worthy.

The good news is, though, if you never stop feeling lazy, acorn squash has an even sweeter flavor than butternut and with some salt and coconut oil, it’s quite special on its own. In fact, you can eat it just like you would a sweet potato.

But if the cooking mood does strike you, the recipe below is sure to satisfy.

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Recipe: Thai-Inspired Coconut Chicken with Pasta (Or Zoodles!)

Thai Coconut Chicken and Pasta | Photo by Becca Boyd

Thai Coconut Chicken and Pasta | Photo by Becca Boyd

Have you ever perused a recipe and wondered how the specific combination of ingredients listed could possibly taste good? When that happens to me, I usually feel compelled to make it as soon as possible. Perhaps, unlike me, you shy away from unknown flavors? If that’s the case, you’ll have to trust me on this one. I could eat this sauce straight with a spoon.

This recipe is wonderful applied to zoodles or a gluten-free pasta, but the traditional whole-wheat variety works well, too. While you can customize the noodles or even the vegetables, don’t get too carried away. What I’m trying to say is: Don’t touch the sauce. It’s a perfectly balanced blend of salty, sweet, and spicy with big flavor hits from the garlic and ginger.

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MAKE: The Guilt-Free Muffins Guaranteed to Make Your Mornings Glorious

Morning Glory Muffins | Photo by Becca Boyd

Morning Glory Muffins | Photo by Becca Boyd

It really doesn’t get better for me than muffins, for several reasons: they bake all at once, they’re portable, they can be healthy, and both the kids and the adults in the house can happily (and healthfully) partake. What’s not to love?

These muffins are my take on Morning Glory Muffins, which have become pretty common, though they originated in the ’70’s in a Nantucket restaurant. From my laundry list of ingredients here you will see they’re sort of an “everything but the kitchen sink” combination but the general flavor is simply wintry, what with all that cinnamon.

Using whole-wheat flour and coconut oil means I can feel good about giving it to my kids for breakfast, and though there is some sugar (1/2 c. brown sugar) as well as sweetness from the coconut, remember: It’s divided up into 24 muffins. Hold on I’ll do the math — okay, that’s one teaspoon of brown sugar per muffin. Not bad. Carrots and apples provide more sweetness along with fiber (and great texture). Happy baking!

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You Need to Make This for Dinner: Protein-Packed Meaty Minestrone

Meaty Minestrone | Photo by Becca Boyd

Meaty Minestrone | Photo by Becca Boyd

Ah, Sunday. I love you so much — why can’t there be two of you? These days, Sunday means football, fires, and soup. Giant pots of soup. Sometimes the soup attracts extra diners at my dinner table, but when it doesn’t, we have dinner set for Monday night —and sometimes even Tuesday. I’ve convinced my children that the vegetables in soup just taste like “soup” so they’re on board; my gluten-free, hungry husband can eat as many servings as he likes; and I like that it’s light and healthy. This particular soup has been made too many times to count this fall, and the colors make it fitting for holiday fun.

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MAKE: Creamy (Dairy-Free!) White Bean and Chicken Chili

White Bean and Chicken Chili | Photo by Becca Boyd

White Bean and Chicken Chili | Photo by Becca Boyd

I’ve always liked white chili better than red but I find that most recipes can be a bit heavy. This is a shame, really, because the combination of beans, chicken, peppers and onions is a recipe for success (in both the health and the taste departments). Allow me to show you how beautiful compromise can be: By pureeing white beans you achieve the creamy texture of a heavier chili without any rich dairy products.

This recipe makes a big batch, perfect for Sunday company and football watching. Make sure to have lots of tortilla chips on hand for topping, as we all know that’s the best part.

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MAKE: No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Protein Bites

No-bake chocolate-peanut butter protein bites | Photo  by Becca Boyd

No-bake chocolate-peanut butter protein bites | Photo by Becca Boyd

I know: These chocolate-peanut butter bites look unappealing. I probably wouldn’t make them for anything the teensiest bit elegant, i.e. baby shower, bridal shower, or brunch. What can you make these for? Your hungry husband, your growing children, your after-dinner healthy snack, your bestie who just had a baby, the trillions of relatives staying in your house for Thanksgiving, or for your pre-workout mini breakfast. For those things, this actually couldn’t be more perfect.

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Recipe: The 130-Calorie Make-Ahead Salad to Keep in Your Fridge at All Times

Make-ahead broccoli salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

Make-ahead broccoli salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

I’m all for big salads that hold up in your fridge for days. Why? Well, because if your desire for wholesome, fast food eclipses your need for variety (like mine does), you’ve got a starting point for countless meals as the week wears on. With this broccoli salad, you can add chopped chicken or tuna for a weekday lunch or use it for a little color to round out an otherwise boring dinner plate.

This salad is teeming with autumn’s bounty – not to mention a stellar fiber count (and we all know fiber is a superstar in the weight-loss department). It can be served room temperature and travels extremely well, making it a perfect pot-luck dish. Plus, your gluten-free friends will give you a wink for not showing up with yet another pasta salad. Long story short: This recipe is an all-around winner.

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