Tag Archives: healthy recipe

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

Ingredients:

  • 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.

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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??

Carrot Cake Bars & Miss America

16 Jan

Today was pretty productive, even with having to go into work . I worked, caught up on some of my blog reading, got in a good lower body workout (below), made quinoa pasta and turkey meatballs for dinner and made homemade protein bars for the week.  I must say though, my biggest accomplishment for today was sneaking in pureed tomatoes, peppers and onions into the spaghetti sauce – my fiance is the world’s pickiest eater and for once, he didn’t even notice! The last time I made turkey meatballs I minced onion in them (aka almost impossible to see in meatballs), he realized halfway through and stopped eating them! Sounds like I’ll be able to get him to eat some veggies at least once a week (he’s Italian, we eat A LOT of pasta).  Woo!

As I’m getting ready to watch one of my very best friends, Miss Colorado, compete in the Miss America pageant, I’m also finishing up making some of my favorite homemade protein bars! Jamie Eason is a well-known fitness model and writer, and happens to have some great recipes, including these Carrot Cake Protein Bars – delish! Also gluten-free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to watch the incredible Miss Colorado compete in Miss America! She is a gorgeous girl, has her degree in Nutrition as well and is an amazing friend – she truly deserves this!!!

Today’s workout: supersets

1. Curtsey squats – Great video 😉 But I do the curtsey squat on one side, regular squat and then alternate sides (really gets the heart rate up!)

2. Plie squats

1. Hamstring ball curl – Lay down on the ground on your back with your heels on a medium-large stability ball (smaller the ball, harder the exercise). Using your arms on the floor to stabilize you (and your core), lift your hips up off the ground and hold at the top, the curl the ball in towards your rear. Slowly extend your legs back out and repeat!

2. 3-way calf raises – Straight feet, feet turned in and feet turned out. Works all portions of the gastrocnemius (calf muscle)

1. Reverse squats with back lift – Step back into a lunge, power back forward and before putting your foot back on the ground perform a straight leg lift to work the glutes.

2. Jump squats – ‘Nuff said. Great way to end a workout is to work your muscles to failure… this one does a great job of that!

 

Question :: How do you sneak healthy foods in for your significant others (or more likely, children)?? 🙂

 

Thought for today :://:: “Always remember that the future comes one day at a time” — Dean Acheson