all up in my bisque-ness.

There are few foods the husband has consumed in his past that he still talks about to this day: A lobster souffle he made himself when he was younger (just let me know when you’d like to make that for me, too, dear), gazpacho, his sister’s creme de menthe cake, his grandma’s Swedish meatballs, steak from Ruth’s Chris (pre-flexitarian days) and tomato bisque (not to mention the umpteen frozen pizzas and pizza rolls that he craves on a daily basis, but that’s a different story). So, when we were planning our week’s meals last week, it was no surprise when he requested tomato bisque to be put on the menu.

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In case you haven’t noticed, it’s nearly summertime. Memorial Day weekend is NEXT weekend, people! And you know what that means — the potluck/party/cookout season is upon us. For a meat-free eater, this can be dangerous territory. The grill is topped with juicy burgers and hot dogs, the pasta salads are chock full of chicken, the dips have bits of bacon and beef… and it all looks so tempting and delicious. Le sigh. And with Memorial Day on a (Meatless) Monday, it’s extra difficult to avoid justoneteensybite of a meaty dish. I mean, who wants to eat just coleslaw and watermelon, am I right?

Luckily, there are plenty of tasty, meat-free dishes you can tag along to your next potluck or party that will please everyone, and won’t have you leaving with an empty stomach. Here are a few of my favorites:

greek 7-layer dip.

This Greek 7-layer dip — a Mediterranean take on Mexican 7-layer dip — is to. die. for. Kalamata olives, feta cheese, roasted red peppers? Yes please.

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brussels sprouts & couscous.

There’s no need to get fancy on Meatless Monday (unless you want to, of course). Sometimes, all it takes are a few meat-free ingredients to toss together a tasty meal.

I happened upon the winning combination that is sauteed brussels sprouts and couscous one night when there wasn’t much else in the fridge or pantry for dinner (isn’t that how it always happens?). Little did I know that I’d end up loving this dish so much I’d make it, no joke, about once a week. It’s super simple to make, takes no time at all to toss together and renders just enough of that umami flavor that’s often lacking in other meat-free dishes.

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stuffed pretzel deliciousness.

YOU GUYS. I did it. I really did it.

For the past few weeks I’d been devising a secret plan to figure out how to stuff a sandwich into a pretzel, or how to make a pretzel-covered corn dog, or how to put pizza fillings inside a pretzel stick, or how to make a pizza crust that tasted like a pretzel… and I couldn’t do it. No matter how hard my brain muscles worked and I squinted at myself in the mirror so as to inspire some sort of magical stuffed pretzel-making revelation, I only ended up with a headache and more eye wrinkles. Or crow’s feet. Whatever they call them.


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