Spaghetti Squash Casserole

As promised… here’s the recipe! Spaghetti squash is a great low carb way to lighten up recipes that are typically carb-heavy. Fill up on fiber with way fewer carbs!Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Serves 6-9; 6 serv.- about 150 cals each, 9 serv.- about 100 cals each

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt

2 oz. light cream cheese
½ cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese

Place whole squash in baking dish with about ¼ inch water in the dish. Bake at 400 for 45-60 mins or until squash is tender. In a medium sized skillet over medium heat add the butter, onions, red pepper and seasoning. Cook until the onions are soft and tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Using a fork, scrape the insides of the squash (will resemble spaghetti) in a medium bowl.  Combine the squash, onion mixture, yogurt, cream cheese and ¼ cup of the cheddar together and mix well. Place mixture in a Pam-sprayed 8×8 baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 375º for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown on top.

YUMMMMM

*adapted from dandy dishes

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It’s National Nutrition Month!

What are you going to do to celebrate? Can you possibly dedicate an entire month on building healthy eating habits? I think so! It’s the perfect time!

Many blogs and articles are focusing on MyPlate this month using the phrase, “Get Your Plate in Shape.”

Need a reminder for what this means? Check out it out here.

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As you’re forming good habits and getting your plate in shape, try these simple tips (from Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating). Small changes lead to big results, and these tips can help you decrease you total caloric intake without even realizing it!! If your doing the opposite of this, it could also be why you have a hard time losing weight.

1. Pre-plate your food. People eat about 14% more when they take a little and go back for 2nds and 3rds. It’s better for your eyes to see all that you are eating ahead of time.

2. Use illusions in your favor. Eat from an 8-10 inch plate. Drink from a tall skinny cup instead of short fatter cups. Keep cereal and such in small boxes in bags instead of pouring from Sam’s Club sized boxes/bags. We underestimate how much we serve ourselves when using the larger sizes.

3. Make (over) eating inconvenient. Leave your serving dishes at the stove instead of having the meal family style. Only snack at the table and on a clean plate (whew, that will wipe out my snacking…I hate doing the dishes!)

4. Eliminate distractions while eating. Think about how much you consume when eating in front of the computer or the TV. Can you even remember all the foods you had last night? Exactly. Keep eating at the table with all distractions turned off. You will eat less.

5. Keep your comfort food. That’s right. No one is ever satisfied after eating a “diet” cookie or fat free chips. An important component to weight loss is to stay satisfied. Deprivation can be disastrous. Then you start to associate healthy eating with being on a diet and you get resentful. Enjoy your favorite foods, just in smaller amounts.

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These are only a few suggestions from Mindless Eating. I highly recommend this book to everyone! You will learn so much about yourself 🙂

What are you going to do to make National Nutrition Month count?

Lazy Weekend Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Mornings where everyone is at home (including me) and we can have a “special” breakfast are few and far between in this household. So when a rare weekend morning presented itself this past week, I took advantage! One of my husband’s favorite things is chocolate chip pancakes. Typically, I end up making the boxed quick version for him and a whole grain version for myself. This day was different! Not sure what got into him, but when I asked the usual, “would it be ok if I just make whole wheat for everyone?” he replied, “sure!” WHAT?!? Alright! No further questions from me…

This recipe was awesome. So quick and easy! Very few ingredients which I love and so mild that it seems very similar to “white.” (The white whole wheat flour is my secret ingredient :)…so tender and lighter in color)

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes– makes 14-16, approx. 4 in pancakes

Ingredients:

2 Cups white whole wheat flour

1 tsp, baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 Tbl. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 Cups homemade buttermilk (2 Tbl. white vinegar + Skim milk to make 2 C)

4 Tbl. unsweetened applesauce

Mix-ins: dark chocolate chips, bananas, blueberries, pecans

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Let stand about 5 minutes while griddle preheats (I like mine on about 300 degrees). Use a 1/4 cup measure for equal sized pancakes. Add mix-ins and wait till bubbles form to flip. Cook until lightly golden brown on each side. ENJOY! These were a huge hit!

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Visit this site for my equally delicious pumpkin pancake recipe!

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What’s your favorite thing to make on the weekends?

Fantastic Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients:

1/2 C white whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 large eggs, separated

2 Tbl. unsweetened applesauce

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat griddle to medium to medium high (300-350)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

3. In another bowl, combine the milk though vanilla (with just egg yolks). Mix well.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

5. In a 3rd bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff (I look to use my stand mixer for this, but a whisk or hand mixer would work too).

6. Gently fold the egg whites into the pancake batter, mixing until smooth.

7. Spray the griddle with cooking spray (use a 1/4 cup measure for equally sized cakes), and cook each pancake until lightly browned on each side, about 1 minute per side.

Top with pecans if you’d like! Yumm!

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source: adapted from The Curvy Carrot, only a few minor changes made

 

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

Perfect for your skin, digestive system, fighting inflammation, and as a post-workout refuel snack!

Ingredients

1 C frozen blueberries

1 C spinach

6 oz. plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2- 1 C skim milk (or almond or soy)

honey, optional

Directions

Blend all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Add milk to desired consistency.

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Nutrition Facts (without honey)

Calories 269, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol  5mg, Sodium 208mg, Total carbohydrate 39g, Fiber 5g, Sugars 33g, Protein 28g

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