Tuesday, November 14, 2017


With fresh, bursting garden flavors, it's the perfect summer side dish or appetizer for your dinner parties! Psstt... wanna know a secret? It makes you look really fancy without trying, too! 

This is one of my absolute favorite side dishes. Although I'm not even sure why I call it a side dish since more often than once I have eaten the whole thing as a dinner in itself. I really got hooked on this in an attempt to use reduce wasting what my summer garden was producing the most of - tomatoes and basil.

Now, I know it's not summertime right now but since I'm trying to get this blog up and running (thanks to my loyal, from-the-start followers!) I'm backtracking on a few recipes and sharing all I can with you guys!

This dish only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish (I mean I even included the veggie washing time) and gets on the table in front of hungry mouths in no time. Sweet, juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese, strong herb flavors and a tangy balsamic drizzle come together in this oh-so-pretty impressive plate.

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Caprese Salad
Impress your guests with this 10 minute, bold-flavored favorite!
  • 1 Large Ripe Tomato
  • 1 Mozzarella Cheese Ball
  • 6 Large Basil Leaves
  • Balsamic Glaze
1. Wash all your produce & herbs.
2. Cut your tomato into 6 even slices. Set aside.
3. Cut your mozzarella cheese ball into 6 even slices. Set aside.
4. Layer your tomato, cheese and basil leaf on a plate then repeat until remaining ingredients are used.
5. Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze and use extra basil to garnish. Serve chilled.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 Servings

Thursday, November 2, 2017


A healthy take on the classic Philly and so good you won't want to put the fork down. It's a thrown together meal the whole family will love! 

Let's flash back to this past summer when my fiance and I were planting a few starter plants in a little raised bed in our little backyard. The garden is about 3ft by 3ft, the boards are rotting and it stops getting sun by about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Given those circumstances, and most importantly my inability to keep anything alive (#BlackThumb), we never thought this garden would produce anything.

Odds against us, we planted one of each of the following; tomato, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, green pepper, basil, eggplant, parsley & dill.

I know what you're thinking, "that's 9 plants in a 3x3 garden". Yup, gardening lesson #1.

Now, it's early November, our temps are still reaching the high 70's and here's what's happened;
  • We pulled out the entire zucchini plant after 1 harvest. It legit took up the entire garden. 
  • We got 42 tomatoes from ONE PLANT. ONE
  • 7 eggplants were picked, 2 were eaten. Decided I'm not a huge fan & donated the others.
  • I lost count of the cucumbers but I'm pretty sure we ate them with every meal. Cucumber omelettes? It grew like crazy and ended up killing some of the grass beside the garden bed. 
  • I made 2 jars of basil pesto from the basil and put it on anything/everything/maybe ate it plain.
  • Still usin' that parsley!
  • The dill died back in August. Shout out to a big ole' caterpillar fam for that one.
  • And last but not least, I initially lost hope on the peppers, but turns out they're late bloomers and now they won't stop growing. I have 6 currently sitting on my kitchen counter. 
Jump ahead to the present and the reason I rambled about all that. I'm sharing this recipe with you because I have mad green peppers (and like 7 more on the plant) and I just might put this recipe back on the meal plan for next week. It's SO good.

I used Boar's Head Official Roast Beef (it's my absolute favorite) but you could sub in another roast beef or even turn these into Chicken Philly's! I also prefer the "Extra Thin" sliced provolone cheese to help cut back on some calories, while still keeping the flavor.

I love getting tagged in your recipes, so use @Lightweightplate on Instagram to know me know what you think!

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Bold cheesesteak flavors come together in a healthy spin on your Philly favorite!
  • 3 Large Green Peppers
  • 3/4 lb Low Sodium Roast Beef (Sliced Thin)
  • 1 cup White Button Mushrooms (diced)
  • 1 medium Vidalia Onion (sliced thin)
  • 3 pieces Provolone Cheese (thin sliced)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Cut peppers in half and remove seeds & stem, then place in a large oven safe pan open side up.
3) In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, onions & garlic in olive oil over medium heat until caramelized, about 10 minutes.
4) Roughly tear the roast beef slices by hand a few times to make smaller pieces and add to skillet. Cook mixture for about 2 minutes until all flavors have blended.
5) Scoop mixture into peppers and top each 1/2 pepper with 1/2 slice provolone cheese.
5) Cook in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese has browned and peppers have softened.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 halved peppers

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


A little salty, a little savory and the perfect grown up excuse to eat Ramen Noodles like you're still a broke college kid. 

This bowl seriously warms your belly and gives you that "mmm" comfort feeling. It only takes about 20 minutes to throw together and since it's completely customizable, perfect for a "clean out the fridge" night!

So, last night, I did a different kind of dressing up for Halloween ... I tried on wedding dresses. I'm getting married in May and I'm sorta freaking out over not having a dress.

Conversation once a week with randos:

"Oh my gosh! Have you found your dress?!"
"You're running out of time!"

I get ittttt, people. So instead of our traditional candy giving, pumpkin carving, s'mores by the fire kind of night I sipped champagne in a dressing room, probably said "Nope, next!" 27 times and I still haven't found "one".

I'd rather be in bunny ears handing out overpriced sugar bombs.

Anyway, I knew I had those lovely wedding dress plans last night so needed something super quick  to scarf down before heading to my appointment. I also wanted something that could reheat easily for my fiance when he got home from work, because #FutureWifePoints.

In this recipe I used leftover pulled pork I had in the freezer, but you could easily sub in chicken, steak or any other protein you have on hand. If you don't eat meat just leave it out altogether and use the egg as your protein source.

You guys know me, I like to keeps things low cost and quick, so for the broth I mixed pre-boxed Swanson vegetable broth, a low-sodium soy sauce and literally just scooped out some of the dry mix in those individual instant Miso Soup packets. Y'all, the flavor was unreal. Like I really wanted to drink the broth with a straw.

This bowl is packed with veggies, too - spinach, bean sprouts, seaweed and mushrooms. It all comes together in a delicious, slurp-able, grown up version of your favorite college staple.

I packed up my leftover serving into a mason jar and reheated it for lunch today. The guy in the office next to me said, "Did you make that? That looks pretty legit." I'll take that as another vote of approval :)

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Homemade Ramen Bowls
A quick, cost efficient, grown up version of your favorite college staple!
  • 2 3oz Packages Ramen Noodles (discard seasoning)  
  • 32oz Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Instant Miso Soup Packet Mix
  • 2 cups Pulled Pork
  • 1 1/2 cups White Button Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Bean Sprouts
  • 3 Soft Boiled Eggs
  • Optional: 3 Seaweed Snacks
  • 3 tbsp Green Onions (chopped)
  • Olive Oil
1) In a medium sized pot, saute the sliced mushrooms and minced garlic in the olive oil until mushrooms are soft and garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
2) Pour in the vegetable broth, soy sauce and dry miso soup mix and bring to a soft boil.
3) Add in pulled pork and spinach leaves until wilted.
4) Continue heating until all ingredients are warmed throughout.
5) Scoop mixture into bowls, then ladle liquid over until just covering.
6) Top with bean sprouts, green onions, halved soft boiled egg and seaweed snacks.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 Servings