Tag Archives: gluten-free

Tofu Butternut Squash Tomato Sauce Over Spaghetti Squash

16 Feb

This dish was by far my favorite spaghetti squash pasta yet – and couldn’t have been easier!

Serves: 2


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 uncooked butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/8-1/4 block extra firm lite tofu (lite can be found at larger health food stores)
  • 1 jar reduced sodium spaghetti sauce (we like Prego Heart Smart)
  • Onion powder, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

One. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cut side down in a 13 x 9 microwave safe dish. Add 1/4 cup water to dish. Microwave on high for 10-13 minutes or until tender. Can also bake in the oven.

 Two. While the squash is cooking, heat up a large nonstick skillet and spray with olive oil or canola oil cooking spray. Add mushrooms, onion, butternut squash and garlic; cook over medium heat until tender. Add sauce and seasonings; bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. 


Three. Use a fork and run it across the spaghetti squash to remove the strands. Serve sauce over squash. (Mine is also topped with pine nuts, which I didn’t particularly like – but I think my nuts may have been rancid).

Nutrition Notes :: Spaghetti squash is a great way to make a low calorie pasta dish that tastes delicious and provides additional vitamins (good source of B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, manganese) that pasta does not. Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant and tomatoes (in the sauce) are also contain antioxidants. Soy (tofu) helps to lower cholesterol. Garlic is wonderful for the heart: it has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, decreases plaque build up in arteries and may even lower blood pressure. And yes, jarred pasta sauce can be okay – I just make sure to choose a low sodium version (and if I have the time, puree extra peppers, tomatoes and onion in the sauce for my picky eater fiance). Also, my version is gluten-free – just make sure to check your sauce.

Last, but not least, this dish was great when paired with one of my favorite drinkable treats.


Homemade Almond Butter

24 Jan

Making your own almond butter couldn’t be easier. Those store-bought jars can be super expensive, so this can save some money too! And maybe the best part about making your own nut butters is that (at least with this recipe) you won’t be adding in trans fats like MANY commerical nut butters have to give the product a longer shelf life. Even the ones without partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats), most have palm oil – a saturated fat that is also bad for your heart. We actually won’t be adding in any oil at all.

Ever since I tried almond butter, I haven’t been able to go back to peanut butter – which I used to love. My now ‘AB’  (as I call it) obsession is going strong, I literally eat 1-2 tablespoons per day! Almonds contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats which, when used in place of saturated and trans fats, help lower cholesterol. While fat does contain more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates (9 calories per gram compared with 4 calories per gram in protein and carbs), that doesn’t mean that eating fat makes you fat. Eating excess of anything will cause weight gain. That being said, incorporating healthy fats like almond butter into a balanced diet will keep you full between meals which may actually help you lose weight. Good stuff, I know.

Almond Butter


  • 2 cups whole, unsalted almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar/honey (optional: most of the time I don’t add it)
  1. This step is optional – roasting the almonds. I will say, this does help speed up the blending process! Preheat oven to 350*F and spread almonds out onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until slightly browned.
  2. Put almonds (not honey or salt!) into food processor. It will take a while, but these are the stages it will go through if you do not roast your almonds.

  3.   It’s done once the oils have released from the nuts, the butter will look shiny.

  4.   Stir in the honey and salt by hand. Experiment with other flavors to add in!



Some of my favorite ways to use almond butter: 

  • Stir in a spoonful into oatmeal or other hot cereal, UH-mazing!
  • 1/2 tablespoon on brown rice cake with apple slices
  • Tasty spread on pumpkin or banana bread or the Carrot Cake Protein Bars
  • Spread over a frozen whole grain waffle (watch out for the sodium) with half a banana on top
  • Plop into a protein shake for a filling meal replacement when you’re on the go

Thought :: Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm – – Winston Churchill

Question // What did you add into your almond butter??

Granola & Grime

16 Jan

Thought //::// “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it” — William James

Granola and grime, doesn’t sound like a very appetizing combination does it? Well don’t worry, two totally separate items 🙂 The grime is just my plans to start spring cleaning a bit early. The winter seems to create messes in places one wonders how it even got there. So slowly, starting with my kitchen, I plan to clean out, organize and put a little elbow grease our small apartment which happens to have many nooks and crannies.

Now to the good part, the granola. I’m on a baking kick I guess. But really, I wanted something crunchy in my beloved greek yogurt. Commercial granolas are not only high in calories and fat, but most often not gluten-free, so why not make my own? It’s just about the easiest recipe ever! This time, I made a fairly simple granola since I usually add fruit or my organic blackberry jam to my yogurt.

Simple Homemade Granola

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 T blueberries, dried
  • 2 T. honey/agave nectar
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to  325*. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients and combine well. Pour onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread well. Bake 10-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. The granola will still be soft when you take it out, just look for the oats to begin browning – it will harden once it’s cool. Store in airtight container.

Nutrition Stats (per serving) :: 140 calories // 7gm fat // <1gm saturated // 3gm polyunsaturated // 4gm monounsaturated // 0mg cholesterol // 30mg sodium // 190mg potassium // 23gm carbs // 4gm fiber // 6gm sugar // 4gm protein

Try out different combinations of fruit, nuts and seeds – pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts!

<> Last, I’ve been seeing a lot of blogs using coconut oil and coconut butter in their recipes… I’ll give you my tack on this new fad in a blog coming up! I’ve also been asked to write a guest blog this week – I’ll keep you updated! 🙂

Question :: Before I give my opinion, what have you heard about coconut??

Switching over…

10 Jan

All future posts will be on this site. 🙂

Links to my old posts:

Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Antioxidants & Heart Healthy Desserts

Veggie of the Month – Collard Green Soup

New Year’s Resolutions – How to Reach Your Goals

A Dietitian’s Breakfast – Almond Butter Pancakes

Workout of the Week – Supersets