recipes

Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash Pasta Recipe

I absolutely LOVE carbs and really can’t imagine life without them, but sometimes I do try to cutback on them a bit.  Pasta is a constant staple in my life, and when I’m trying to cutback on carbs but still have a pasta craving, spaghetti squash “pasta” has become a go-to favorite of mine.  I honestly didn’t think that I’d like it and thought that there was no way I’d be satisfied by it, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Not only is it totally delish and filling, but it’s also a great way to get some more veggies into your diet.  I add more veggies than usual to this turkey bolognese sauce for an added veggie boost, and I’ll use the leftovers with things other than the spaghetti squash – for example, I’ll shove some into a roll, top it with some fresh mozzarella cheese and heat it up for a great sandwich for lunch the next day.

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This is so good that you’ll actually forget that you’re not eating real pasta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (you can just use 1 if you don’t want so many veggies)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (you can just use 1 if you don’t want so many veggies)
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 3-4 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • italian seasoning to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS: 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  With a small knife or fork, pierce the squash all over.  Place squash on a foil-covered baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, then flip it to the other side and continue roasting until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife or fork (about another 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the squash).  Remove from the oven and let it cool down.  When cool enough to handle, cut it in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and scrape the flesh with a fork into long thin strands, and voila…there’s your pasta!

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté until they are translucent, about 5 minutes or so.  Add the carrots and celery and sauté until the veggies get tender, about another 5 minutes or so.  Add the turkey meat and sauté for 2-3 minutes, breaking up the meat as you stir.  Add the marinara sauce – I end up using almost an entire jar but if you like a thicker sauce, add about 3 cups, if you like more liquid, add 4 cups or the whole jar, up to you! Lower the heat to medium-low heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste, and if you want an extra kick of seasoning, add a pinch of italian seasoning as well.

Assemble your spaghetti squash “pasta” on a plate, top with sauce and parmesan cheese and ENJOY!!

serves 6  

 

 

Better than Nutella – Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Protein Shake

If you’re like me and love nutella – you’re going to LOVE this shake. This is without a doubt my new favorite “treat” protein shake. It’s creamy, chocolatey, nutty goodness is so rich and delicious and is great as a meal replacement, post-workout shake, or as a healthy sweet treat for dessert.

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups chocolate hazelnut milk

1 scoop Vega One French Vanilla shake powder

1 tbsp. nutella, almond or peanut butter

1 tbsp. cacao nibs

1/2 banana

Few cubes of ice

Directions: 

Add all the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy!

 

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Not my best photo, but I swear it tastes SO much more amazing than it looks 🙂

Monster Eyeballs – Halloween Cookie Recipe for Kids

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Halloween will be here before we know it, and there’s nothing more fun than decorating and getting ready for it the whole month.  I’m always looking for some fun new activities to do with my nieces and nephew and last year we made these peanut butter monster eyeballs and not only did we have a ton of fun making them, but they were also super delish and everyone loved them!

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 (3-ounce) package miniature M&Ms

preparation:

1. Blend the peanut butter with the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. It may be easiest to use your hands (kids love doing this).

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. Roll the peanut butter mixture by teaspoons into small balls and place on the baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up the eyeballs.

3. Put the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If it’s not quite smooth, heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate, stirring frequently, in a double boiler, over just-simmering water. Avoid overheating, which can cause chocolate to seize up into a stiff mass.)

4. Take the sheet of balls from the refrigerator; use a fork or a toothpick to dip each one most of the way into the chocolate, leaving a round or oval opening of undipped peanut butter on top. (This opening in the chocolate will be the cornea.) Hold each ball over the chocolate to catch the drips, and then return to the wax paper, cornea side up.

5. Place an M&M in the center of the peanut butter cornea to make an iris. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Store the eyeballs in the refrigerator or freezer and serve chilled.

I got the recipe from Epicurious, and you can find all the details on their site  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Monster-Eyeballs-355109

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe

I love fall for many reasons:  The weather is starting to cool down and I get to start wearing my boots and scarves again, the leaves are starting to change colors, and most importantly….it’s pumpkin season! I love pumpkin everything – from pie, to ice cream, to bread, to ravioli, to lattes, I just can’t get enough of it.  Not only is it totally delish, but there are a lot of health benefits to pumpkin as well since they’re loaded with tons of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.  As you know I’m a total shake addict usually have to have my daily protein shake, and one of my favorites is definitely this Pumpkin Pie Protein shake.  It’s great to start your day out with, or as a guilt-free sweet treat in place of dessert.

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Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or whatever other milk you love)
1 scoop of Vega One vanilla or vanilla chai shake powder (or any other vanilla protein powder you prefer)
1/4 cup organic canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; 1/4 tsp. nutmeg; 1/2 tsp. ginger
handful of ice
2-3 pitted, chopped dates (optional)
stevia or honey to taste (optional)
Directions: Dump all the ingredients in your blender, blend until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy!

Healthy Chinese Chicken Noodle Recipe

I love Chinese food, but it’s not something I make at home very often because I usually don’t have half the ingredients that the recipes call for, and always thought that it was way easier to just pick up some takeout from my fav Chinese resto. But, I finally figured out a recipe that’s healthy, easy, doesn’t require a million ingredients that I never have or use, and honestly, it’s pretty damn tasty too!

Ingredients:
1 – 2 2 oz. package(s) Thai Kitchen brown rice noodles (I used 1 pack for 2 of us, but you can use another one if you like more noodles)
1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it!)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 rib of celery, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
Stir fry sauce, recipe below
Optional garnish: 1 sliced green onion, sesame seeds

Directions:
In a small bowl add the liquid aminos, rice vinegar, 1 tbsp. sesame oil and 1 tbsp. ginger, stirring to combine. Add chicken to the marinade, making sure each piece is well coated. Set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions, set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp. sesame oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. Add the chicken and stir fry until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, and keep warm.

Add 1 tbsp. coconut oil (or sesame oil) to the hot pan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper pan, stir fry for 20 seconds. Add broccoli, carrots, celery and 1 tbsp. ginger and stir fry until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add noodles, chicken and stir fry sauce to the pan and stir fry for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add garnishes as desired and enjoy!

Serves 2

Stir Fry Sauce:
Ingredients:
3 tbsp. Bragg liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. rice vinegar

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well to combine.

Stir-Fry Chinese Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables