Spaghetti Squash Bake

I love when recipes are easy and tasty at the same time. Set-it and forget-it type meals also always work. They’re simple, quick to throw together and you can forget about them until the timer goes off.

Spaghetti squash called my name at the grocery store the other night when I went to pick up my beloved butternut so it went into the cart instead. I knew I didn’t just want a bowl of plain squash topped with sauce so I made a baked version instead which worked perfectly.

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(Sorry for a terrible picture. I dug in too quick the first time I ate this)

 

You’ll Need:

1 spaghetti squash

2-2.5 cups of tomato sauce (either homemade or jarred)

1/4 to a 1/3 lb. of ground beef or turkey

1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice the squash in half length wise and place inside-up on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the squash is tender.

While your squash is cooking, prepare the meat for the dish by browning up the ground beef in a skillet on the stove. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until there is no pink. 

When the squash is done, remove from oven and lightly hold top using a towel or pot holder. Using a fork, pull the meat of the squash downwards until all strands have been pulled. Put squash in a baking dish. Do the same with the other half.

Pour sauce, almost all the cheese and meat over the squash and mix well. Top with remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the top begins to crisp a little and the cheese has melted.

Remove from oven, scoop into dishes and serve. This meal reheats well and is also good eaten cold.

 

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Spicy Sweet Stir-Fry

As I sit to write this, it’s 4:54 p.m. and I’m eating my dinner. For anyone who says eating early dinner is wrong, well, I don’t want to be right. I’d be willing to say there’s lots of us hungry people that sit from 4:30-5:30 or even 6:00 waiting until it’s appropriate to eat something and call it a meal. Those people can join me on the quest to make anytime dinner time. Maybe not anytime, but anytime after 4:30 or when it’s close enough to 5.

I’ve actually eaten the same dinner for the last week and a half. This almost never happens because I generally get insanely bored eating the same thing over and over. Case and point: different flavors of oats every day make it seem like something fresh and new.

I’m usually not even a stir-fry person but jeez, this one has knocked my socks off. There’s so many flavors and it’s warm and comforting with a little kick of spice. It’s also incredibly versatile. Like any stir-fry, add what you have. Except the sweet potato. Keep that–trust me. Putting the sweet potato at the bottom allows it to absorb all the sauce and warm up and makes every bite a little better.

There’s no photo because I do not for the life of me know how to take a good picture of something messy in a bowl but when I do (maybe when I make this again..tomorrow) I’ll add one.

Spicy Sweet Stir-Fry

1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) broccoli
6 frozen asparagus spears, broken in half
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 baked sweet potato, skin on (put this in the fridge before hand or make it the night before so it’s cold)
1 piece cooked chicken/serving of any kind of meat you desire, or have it vegetarian style
1-2 tablespoons sriacha
1-2 tablespoons liquid aminos
1 tablespoon peanut flour (optional but encouraged +1 teaspoon peanut butter)
1/2-3/4 cups water
Chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon

Add the spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli and carrots to a deep pan and turn onto medium heat. Pour the water over the vegetables. There should be enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cover with a lid and steam for 3 minutes.

Cut up meat if adding and add it to the pan. Put lid on for another minute.

Drizzle sriacha and aminos over vegetables, and sprinkle with peanut flour and spices except cinnamon. If using peanut butter, add to the middle of the pan. Stir everything up.

Allow mixture to cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Cut cold sweet potato in half and put in the bottom of a bowl. Mash and sprinkle with cinnamon. Remove pan from heat and pour over sweet potato.

Let it rest for 1 minute, then dig in.

Portobello Pizza

I’ve been in a cooking mood lately. Probably because it’s rained every day for the last 3 days and that usually gives off the “stay in the warm house and make things” vibe. 

Let me break something to you: I don’t like pizza. In fact, it is one food I could honestly care less about [*****unless it is mashed potato bacon pizza from a place near me at home. exception to the general rule]. I guess this probably makes me un-American or something (..the irony) but I’m just not a fan. I like the sauce, cheese and toppings part and the crust but I would prefer them separately. Give me some sauce and cheese on a plate with a side of crust, yea, I’d probably enjoy that.

The big portobello mushrooms called to me at the grocery store the other night and the first thing I thought to do with them was make them into pizzas. In my head I figured it could be eaten like one: sliced and bitten in to, I was wrong though. This one needs a knife and a fork. 

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(The first night I put some chicken sausage on top of the mushroom and the second served some chicken up on the side for some protein)

Portobello Pizza (Makes 1):
You’ll Need:
1 portobello mushroom
About 3/4 cup of chopped frozen spinach (could use fresh too)
1/4 cup tomato sauce 
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Protein/Extra toppings of choice–cook ahead of time

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash your portobello and pull out any remaining stem. 

Put in a baking dish (important: juices will run out) and top with spinach, then sauce. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

Remove from oven and top with cheese and your choice of toppings. 

Bake for another 10-5 minutes or until cheese is melty and mushroom is soft.

If you want, sprinkle with your normal pizza toppings, plate it up and enjoy! 

Pumpkin Pancakes (Paleo)

I wish the title bar in WordPress that the option to make numbers with powers because this recipe is also known as P(3)-P to the three. P cubed.

Last night I decided I wouldn’t set an alarm to wake up on this fine Saturday so I got to sleep later than usual.  A nice, lazy, weekend morning where I had not a care in the world. I was all set to make eggs as I do everyday but I was sick of eggs and the can of pumpkin was calling to me from the cabinet.

Since my house was chilly and fall-like I decided to go all out. I attempted a pumpkin latte, made these pumpkin pancakes and made a pumpkin smoothie bowl later in the morning for a snack. I have a mild pumpkin obsession all the time but today it got weird.

Pumpkin latte

These pancakes though? Ugh. The best Paleo pancakes I’ve ever made. They had taste, they didn’t break when flipped and they looked delicious. Perfection.

Pancakes

To Make:
Approximately 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 serving vanilla protein powder (I happened to have this on hand to use as a binder. I’ve made these with coconut flour before too. Usually about a tablespoon/a little less with a pinch of baking soda). **With the “binder” I add until the consistency is not runny but not too thick. About the wetness of regular pancake batter.
Coconut oil for frying
Coconut butter+ vanilla + cinnamon for topping

Turn oven on as low as possible and place a plate inside.

Mix the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, binder of choice in a bowl until everything is well incorporated.

Heat up coconut oil in a frying pan. When it is hot, spoon a thin layer of the pancake batter into the pan. Cook approximately 2 minutes or until the sides begin to brown and the pancake starts forming small bubbles. Flip and cook another 2 minutes.

Put pancake on the warmed plate and repeat with all remaining pancake batter.

To top, melt coconut butter in a pan with a tiny drop of vanilla (optional). When melted, drizzle over pancakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Dig in!

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Easy Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Ever have one of those days where you just don’t feel well. Not sick, just not 100%. Maybe not even 80%. That’s how I felt today. I slept for almost 12 hours last night, didn’t feel like getting out of bed and just lazed around. At least I went for a run…and then cancelled my Crossfit appointment for later on.  I actually spent most of my day staring at this computer screen. Oh well. Sometimes we need to just sit around.

To combat my blah-feeling, I decided to try my hand at making soup. Since I’ve never made soup before, I started a little off, then called my mom who helped me come up with a solution. It came out delicious.

Kick the Blah Soup (also known as Easy Chicken and Vegetable Soup)

You Need:

3 stalks of celery, sliced up thin

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1/2 clove garlic finely sliced

2 large carrots (I used a few handfuls of carrot chips. If you can find those, I suggest them)

3 large handfuls of kale

1 cup of cooked chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)

6 cups of water

Olive Oil

Salt, Pepper and Parsley Flakes

 

To Make:

In a skillet, heat up some olive oil and add all of the vegetables.  Cook until they turn soft and translucent.

Transfer veggies into a large pot and add water. Water measurements can be more or less depending on the size of the pot. It will reduce.

Liberally sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley (probably around 1/2 tsp. each)

Turn pot to high and wait for it to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered for one hour, add chicken and continue to simmer for at least another hour. Taste and add more spice to your preference.

Ladle yourself (and your family) a bowl and enjoy!

Soup freezes really well so save the leftovers or make extra to have on hand!

 

Morning Glory Pancakes

Let me begin by saying, yes, you are in the right place. A new computer means all my programs aren’t currently installed which means a new header is takin’ some time. 

I woke up ravenous this morning and quickly came to the conclusion that pancakes were the only thing that would satisfy my growling stomach. I quickly assessed the food situation and decided to spice up my normal banana/egg pancakes with a little somethin’ extra. I was a little nervous to see how they turned out but they.were.perfect.

I feel like I’m being a copy cat by naming these pancakes Morning Glory Pancakes but is it me, or does every breakfast item with carrots become “Morning Glory”? I think so. I feel like I’ve definitely had different morning glory pancakes/muffins/waffles all including carrots. 

In not being sure what these would taste like, I took a terrible phone picture but I guess it’s better than nothing (maybe not actually…)

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You Need:

1 ripe banana

Somewhere around 1/8 a cup of oats (less than a 1/4 cup..I just sprinkled)

1 egg plus 1 egg white

Half a carrot, shredded

Small handful raisins

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (more if you desire)

Sprinkle baking powder (I didn’t measure this. literally just sprinkled)

Drop of vanilla extract

1 tsp. coconut oil 

To Top:

Honey

Almond/Peanut Butter

To Make:

Mash up banana in a bowl, then add all other ingredients except for coconut oil. *The oats should give the batter more of a pancake-like consistency. You may need more or less depending on the size of your banana. I think it helps to skip measurements and just eye ball on this one.

Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium/medium low heat. When hot, place large spoonfuls of batter into the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the edges begin to turn brown and bubbles form all over the pancake then flip and cook for another 3-4. 

Top with a drizzle of honey or dollop of nut butter (or both!) and dig in! 

 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday (#2)

AKA

What I’ve Been Up To During this Blogging Hiatus:

Well, I fractured my ankle which put a little damper on all things exercising. After a week and a half in a boot, I put on an air cast for a week and can take it off tomorrow (!!!). I can return to running in approximately another week which is super exciting!

Oh. and I graduated from college which is pretty cool.

This photo demonstrates how thrilled I was after sitting in the pouring rain for an hour and a half. I’m glad it was an outside ceremony but I do wish it was a little sunnier!

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Since I moved all my things back home from my dorm room, I found my blender. Well, I actually knew exactly where it was but I never used it since someone would always be sleeping when I woke up at 7.

Behold: the week of smoothies:

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Trust me, there were more. But it was really that one in the first picture that got me going. I discovered a little natural coffee shop that I had to go to and the deliciousness of my smoothie from there killed me for the week. Literally, breakfast has been in liquid form since.

What are these smoothies? Well, generally almond milk, a handful of spinach, a banana,  some kind of other fruit (avocado, blueberries, strawberries…), a small spoonful of flax and/or chia seed and ice! (and maybe one or two had some dark cocoa powder thrown in… 🙂 ).Delicious.

Other meals I have photos of:

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(1). Breakfast for dinner: Sara’s protein pancakes aka the best pancakes ever. (2). Synergy Kombucha. (3). Another breakfast: Egg+white omelet with cheese, spinach and broccoli with a side of grapefruit. (4). Quinoa fried “rice” bowl with broccoli.

*This post was created in participation in What I Ate Wednesday from Jenn at Peas and Crayons*