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Tag Archives: Cooking

Spaghetti Squash Cakes, Sliders, and Pizza!

2 Aug

Remember that spaghetti squash I posted about yesterday? Well I have some fun creations for you all to try out next time you cook one.

There was a fun burger contest I was competing in on Instagram, and the day’s theme was sliders. I decided to get creative with my leftover spaghetti squash.

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Yep, for part of my creation, I decided to try to make some Spaghetti Squash Cakes. Wow, I could have eaten them all just plain like that! But I resisted (at least most of them) so I could create my desired product. Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders.

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These were so delicious. And so quick and simple! If you’re like me, and made my delicious turkey meatballs, and froze them for when wanting them (great food prep idea for quick meals), then you are basically set to go! Coupled with my homemade tomato basil sauce from yesterday, and you’ve got yourself some delicious yet healthy sliders.

But then another idea came. Why not make all the mini patties, into one, big patty. Or shall I say, pizza crust? :)

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Yes I sure did! I made a personal spaghetti pizza with some more spaghetti squash, by doubling my patty recipe! Using the same exact ingredients, but just in a new way! With so many different meal options, why not make my homemade turkey meatballs and tomato basil sauce, and freeze to have on hand?!

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Spaghetti Squash Cakes
Makes about 8 mini patties
-1 cup spaghetti squash,cooked
-1T coconut flour
-1T ground flaxseed
-1 egg white
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp each: garlic salt, onion powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Heat non stick pan on stove over medium heat. Form small patties with hands and place on hot pan. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Eat plain, as a side to a meal, or make my sliders or pizza below!

Spaghetti Sliders
-1 recipe of Spaghetti Squash patties, see above
-1/4 cup homemade tomato basil sauce, here (or any tomato sauce)
-4 Spinach and Sundried Tomato Turkey Meatballs, here
-1 big handful sauteed spinach
-1/4 cup low fat crumbled feta cheese (or cheese of choice)

Directions: Make patties according to recipe. Place half of the patties on a plate. Layer with sauteed spinach, tomato sauce, one small meatball, and feta cheese. Top with other patty. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Pizza-makes 1 big personal pizza
-2 batches of Spaghetti Squash Patty ingredients, above
-1/2 cup homemade tomato basil sauce (or tomato sauce of choice)
-2 spinach and sundried tomato turkey meatballs, crumbled into bits
-1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
-a few fresh basil leaves
-sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ingredients for two batches worth of spaghetti squash patties in bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread out onto a piece of parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray. Flatten to desired thickness. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until reaching desired crispness. Remove from oven and top with spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle crumbled meatballs and feta cheese, and top with basil leaves. Add sea salt and pepper to taste

Spaghetti Squash Benefits
1) Rich in vitamin C
2) Contains vitamins A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin K
3) Rich in minerals that lead to good healthy, the dominant being manganese. This aids in healthy bones, tissues, and sex hormones, and also plays in metabolism and regulation of blood sugar.
4) High in fiber, leading to satiety and decrease of cardiovascular disease
5) Only 42 calories in 1 cup compared to about 200 in a cup of spaghetti.

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce on Spaghetti Squash

1 Aug

Have you tried Spaghetti Squash before? If not, I highly recommend it!

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Not only do I truly like it better than spaghetti, but it is so much healthier. My mom was very iffy before trying it, as she is not always into my “healthy recreations”. But she is now a full supporter of the lovely squash. She gets so excited every time she comes home to one in the oven. With it being so much lighter than regular spaghetti, it allows you to fully enjoy whatever toppings you put on it. Which brings me to the main part of this post, my homemade sauce.

I love spaghetti sauce. Actually, anything with tomatoes. Salsa, tomato sauce, marinara sauce, even just plain sliced tomatoes with some salt and pepper! But with some store bought sauces being filled with so many unneeded ingredients, I decided to come up with my own recipe that I could revisit every time I wanted some.

Side Note: I finally got an actual camera! Yes, all the pictures until now have been from my Iphone! I could not be more excited to finally begin taking photography again whether it be food or other thing..like my pup!

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But back to the main focus :) This spaghetti sauce recipe is so simple, it certainly does not take a personal chef to make it! And guess what? without counting seasonings, it only has FOUR ingredients!  Served with spaghetti squash, and you have yourself a meal. Don’t know how to make spaghetti squash? That can be learned below as well :)

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
-1 cup red onion, diced
-1 15oz can Tomato Sauce
-1 14.5oz can Diced Tomatoes
-1 6oz can Tomato Puree
-1T fresh chopped Basil
-1 clove of Garlic
-1 tsp each: dried Parsley, Oregano, Thyme
-1/2 tsp garlic salt
-Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place minced garlic clove and onion in pot on stove, and sauté until onion is transparent on medium heat.  Add in all other ingredients, and stir to combine. Allow to simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes. Serve on spaghetti squash or other desired food. Keep in sealed container in fridge for up to one week.

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Spaghetti Squash
-1 spaghetti squash
-olive oil spray
-seasonings of choice (garlic salt, sea salt, pepper, season salt, onion powder)
-sauce of choice (marinara, meat sauce, Alfredo, pesto, homemade sauce, simple olive oil)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut squash in half long wise. Take out seeds from middle. Either wash seeds for baking separately, or throw away. Lightly coat flesh of both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Put flesh side down on baking tray. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes (depending on size). If wanting more aldente “spaghetti” texture, check after 30 minutes. Take out of oven. With fork, begin to scrape out insides, going length-wise down the entire half of the squash. It will begin to come off as string-like “spaghetti noodles”. Continue to do so until all flesh is out of the hard outside shell. Toss shell or use as serving bowl. Prepare “noodles” with one of the following additions: 1)with one tablespoon or two of olive oil, and delicious seasonings of choice for a light side 2) toss with homemade sauce above for a real taste of spaghetti, 3) with any other sauce of choice, like Alfredo, pesto, or a homemade sauce. Top with any additional veggies or protein as desired. My turkey meatballs would be delicious for this :)

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)

Spaghetti Squash Benefits
1) Rich in vitamin C
2) Contains vitamins A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin K
3) Rich in minerals that lead to good healthy, the dominant being manganese. This aids in healthy bones, tissues, and sex hormones, and also plays in metabolism and regulation of blood sugar.
4) High in fiber, leading to satiety and decrease of cardiovascular disease
5) Only 42 calories in 1 cup compared to about 200 in a cup of spaghetti.

Source: LiveStrong.com

Frozen Red Velvet Dessert

30 Jul

Red Velvet. Something everyone seems to absolutely adore.

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Yet did you know, that it is simply just chocolate cake with red food coloring? I think it is actually the cream cheese icing that tends to go on top of the cake that everyone actually loves.

But I love chocolate. All kinds. So naturally, I also love red velvet cake. Of course, I love making smoothies and shakes for a night time treat, and this time, red velvet was the choice of focus. I’ve posted a red velvet shake before on here, but this one is a little bit different, and certainly served differently!

Yes the ingredients are a bit different too, but instead of enjoying my shake as normal, I decided to have patience for once, and plan ahead. I made this during the day time, and then put it in the freezer for about an hour. The result was amazing. It was like icecream in a cup. Let it sit out for just a few minutes to dethaw a little, and then begin to break it up with your spoon. Not to mention the topping of a sweet cream that tasted similar to the frosting we all love.

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It tasted sinful. But it was oh so nutritious. Do you like chocolate? Come over to the red side. Add a little color in your typical chocolate shake.

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Frozen Red Velvet Dessert
-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1 frozen banana, very ripe
-1 scoop natural chocolate protein powder (can omit or use vanilla)
-1.5T unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese (or 2T cream cheese)
-2T rolled oats
-1/2 tsp butter extract (can sub in vanilla)
-Sweetener to taste (I used 1 packet stevia)
-Optional: red food coloring (for color), 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (for extra thickness)

For Cream Topping:
-2T low fat cottage cheese
-2T Greek yogurt
-1T honey
-1/4 tsp butter extract (or vanilla)

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste to gauge the amount of sweetener you prefer. Pour into cup and place in freezer, covered, for about one hour. Use blender to “cream” together 2T Greek yogurt, 2T cottage cheese, 1/4 tsp butter extract, 1T honey (or stevia). Set aside in fridge until desiring the shake. When ready to eat, take your cup out of the freezer and allow to sit for about 5 minutes (or simply nuke in microwave for just about 20 seconds). Top with “cream” and cacao nibs (or chocolate chips) if desired.

Cocoa Benefits
1)Decreases blood pressure
2)Improves cholesterol levels
3)Prevents heart disease
4)Rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant

Pumpkin Peanut Butter

29 Jul

Ever since I was a child, I have loved peanut butter. It’s one of those things I don’t think I could ever get sick of. I use to sit on the couch after school with a banana and an entire jar of peanut butter. Spoonful of peanut butter on to the banana, take a bite, spoonful of peanut butter on to the banana, take a bite, repeat continuously. Banana is gone? No problem, I would just start eating spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Thankfully I’ve learned the meaning of moderation now, at least most of the time :)

As I was enjoying some peanut butter yesterday, a brilliant idea came to me. Why not made a more creamy and light tasting butter by adding pumpkin?! It only made sense as I love my pumpkin.

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The result was incredible. It give the typical heavy and rich peanut butter, a more refreshing, mousse like texture. And guess what? It cuts the calories and fat down in a natural way! The addition of pumpkin lends that lovely taste of fall inside that spoonful of delicious nut butter<3

This is absolutely delicious on toast, as a dip for apples, a mix-in to oatmeal and yogurt, of just by the spoonful!

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter
-1 cup homemade peanut butter (or any natural peanut butter)
-1 cup pumpkin puree (or decrease to 1/2 cup if wanting a richer taste)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-Optional: 1T honey or stevia
-Optional: 1/4 tsp seal salt (if butter is not already salted)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Store in fridge.

Note: Turn it into a sinlessly sweet butter with the addition of sweetener and extract, or enjoy as your typical savory peanut butter by just adding pumpkin.

Note: Want a really low calorie option? Instead of 1 cup peanut butter, use peanut flour and almond milk to make 1 cup worth!

Note: Want a really low calorie dip? Use peanut flour mixed with water or almond milk in place of the peanut butter! (But don’t be afraid of all the healthy fats, they are good for you!)

Peanut Benefits
1)Rich in energy, containing many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins
2)Good levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids
3)Good source of dietary protein
4)Great source of resveratrol, an antioxidant found to protect against cancers, heart disease, and fungal infections
5)Excellent source of vitamin E, which maintains and protects cell membranes and skin
6)Packed with B vitamins

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Carrot Cake Mugcake & Notella Covered Strawberry Mugcake

10 Jul

Yes, two last mugcakes that I wanted to share. I promise, after this I will stop. They are just so good and easy! I usually can’t wait for desserts to get done baking before I just snack on other things, so these work perfectly for me.

The Carrot Cake mugcake was inspired by a friend I have met through instagram. He is an amazing Texan chef, and trains hardcore as he is an incredible triathlete. If you haven’t been to Jason’s website, you should go check him out here! Anyways, he liked to make jokes about these mugcake creations, as he likes to keep his food real and would rather bake a dessert (I guess it makes sense, he is a chef!). BUT, after my many mugcake creations, I think I tempted him a little bit, and he told me if I could make a dairy free mugcake (preferably carrot cake or pecan pie), he would make it and eat it! I instantly got into the kitchen. I knew I needed to make one so he would finally have one.

What resulted was a delicious, carrot cake mugcake that even my mother said was the most delicious one so far (well, an equal competitor to my pina colada one which I’ll be posting soon).

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Carrot Cake Mugcake
-2T coconut flour
-1 ground flaxseed
-4T almond milk
-4T egg whites
-1/2 small ripe banana
-4 baby carrots, cooked
-1T each: chopped walnuts,shredded coconut, honey
-1/2 tsp baking powder
Directions: Combine all ingredients in blender except nuts and coconut, and blend until smooth. Add in nuts and coconut. Pour into mug and cook in microwave for 1.5 minutes. Top with Coconut Cream if desired!

Coconut Cream (Dairy-Free)
Option1: Whip the contents of canned coconut milk until stiff
Option2: Blend 2T soft tofu, 1T honey, 1/2 tsp coconut extract

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Remember that healthy version of nutella I made, called not-tella?! Well, I made a chocolate strawberry mugcake as well one day, with that delicious “not-tella” taste! If you haven’t seen it yet, you better go check it out soon right here. If you are wanting a fruity yet chocolate-y (I know it’s not a word, but it fits in my lifestyle great) mugcake, this one is for you! If you want the sweet taste of carrot cake, that the first one is for you! For me, I had to compromise and make one for dessert one night, and one the other night:)

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Not-tella Covered Strawberry Mugcake

For Cake:
-2T hazelnut flour
-1T flaxseed
-3T egg whites
-1T Greek yogurt
1tsp baking powder and stevia
**Separate into two small bowls
In one: add 2 mashed up strawberries+1T water
In other: add 1 tsp cocoa powder+1T almond milk

*Spray mug. Place strawberry “batter” in first, then chocolate batter on top. Cook for 2 minutes.

For Strawberry Cream:
-2T Greek yogurt
-2T ricotta/cottage cheese
-1T almond milk
-2 strawberries
-Sweetener to taste, pink food dye optional
*Blend altogether until smooth

Not-tella Dip/Spread
-For every one-cup fresh nut butter, blend one very ripe banana and 2T cocoa powder in until smooth (can add milk or water if desiring a thinner consistency.

*Assembly: Place half strawberry cream on plate. Place mugcake on top. Top with rest of cream. Place a spoonful of “not-tella” spread on top along with a not-tella dipped strawberry. Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Balsamic Salmon

9 Jul

I love salmon. I go through periods where I’ll eat it 3 times a week! Well, that is when I’m home from college. I use to have it all the time when I lived at home, but up at college, it’s a little more tough to fix delicious, fresh salmon or dinner (busy college girl problems).

I got in a rut of fixing it the same exact way every time, some olive oil, herbs, garlic, and sea salt. Simple yet delicious. But I wanted to spice it up the other night, and try a new flavor on my salmon. See, many times when I’ve made salmon, I have also had a little side salad on my plate with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Why am I telling you this? Well I usually pour too much balsamic vinegar on my salad, and it spills out on my plate over to the salmon. At first I thought, oh no, now it’s going to have a vinegar taste. But to my delight, it was delicious with the balsamic taste! And that is how this recipe was inspired.

I decided to take this sweet and savory taste of balsamic vinegar, and add a bit of spice with hot sauce and ginger. It was one of my best salmon dinners yet.

Salmon is a great protein to include in your diet, as it is not only high in protein, but also a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The only warning is that farm raised salmon can contain high levels of mercury, so I always make sure to buy Wild Alaskan salmon.

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Sweet and Spicy Balsamic Marinade:
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1T hot sauce (or sriracha sauce)
-1T olive oil
-1 tsp sea salt, ginger powder, and basil
*Amounts for one big piece of salmon (about 8oz). You can double or triple ingredients as needed.

Directions: Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Mix all marinade ingredients together. Made an aluminum foil “tray” by folding a piece of aluminum foil up on all sides (so no liquid spills out). Place 8oz piece of salmon skin side down on foil, and pour marinade over. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, or you can proceed to cook right away. Place in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until done all the way through. Paired great with a side salad and sweet potato.

Salmon Benefits
1)Omega 3 fatty acids: protects heart health
2)High Quality Protein
3)Essential Amino Acids
4)Vitamin A
5)Vitamin D
6)Vitamin B6
7)Vitamin B
8)Vitamin E: powerful antioxidant that lowers risk of heart disease
9)Appreciable amounts of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus

Source: WildForSalmon.com/health-benefits

Homemade Barbeque Sauce

5 Jul

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day!

Who doesn’t like good ole’ Barbeque? That pork and chicken, smothered in BBQ sauce, mmm.

What guess what that delicious, tasty barbeque sauce is made of? TONS of sugar, mainly in the forms of either molasses or white sugar. What’s wrong with that? Well in small amounts, nothing is truly wrong with sugar or molasses unless your following a strict no sugar diet. But see, typical barbeque sauce doesn’t contain tiny amounts of barbeque sauce. It contains a whole lot of the stuff. Usually being one of the first ingredients listed which means it’s one of the main ingredients!

A serving size on a barbeque sauce bottle is typically one tablespoon. I am almost certain that no one enjoys a good barbeque dinner with only one tablespoon of sauce. Without mentioning exact numbers or amounts consumed, let’s just take it for granted that a typical BBQ meal is not the healthiest. Tons of sugar and calories, and not good ones.

So why am I saying all of this? Because I love a good old barbeque dinner, and I wasn’t willing to give it up. But I was willing to find a better solution. And that is when I went to work. The sauce ended up being delicious, still having that barbeque sauce taste, yet not near as much sugar or calories. Now I call that a win.

Homemade barbeque sauce, pulled chicken, all stuffed in a tomato. It was a great way to celebrate the fourth of July for lunch! How did you spend your Independence Day?!

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Homemade Barbecue Sauce
-1 8oz can tomato sauce
-1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
-2T liquid aminos (or normal soy sauce)
-1T dijon mustard
-1T apple cider vinegar
-2 tsp stevia
-1T molasses or honey (or more stevia to taste)
-1/2 tsp instant coffee grains
-1 tsp each: cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt
Optional: dash of liquid smoke (makes for a great taste!)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pot on the stove, and cook on a medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Store in jar in the fridge. Keeps fresh for about one week!

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)

Source: fitday.com