A More Nutritious Bowl Of ‘Spaghetti’

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce and Cheese

This winter squash is a great alternative to pasta for those who are looking for a more nutritious bowl! With less than 200 calories per serving and packed with fiber and antioxidants like beta carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A) and vitamin C, this dish is filled with good nutrition and satisfies a carb craving for the starchy stuff!

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Ingredients (serves 5):

1 3-pound spaghetti squash

1 tsp canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

1 C tomato sauce (I like 365 brand tomato and basil pasta sauce from Whole Foods), or feel free to make your own!

4 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray baking pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Remove pulp and seeds with a spoon. Pour oil in your palms (make sure they are clean!) and rub hands together so that oil coats your hands. Next, rub the oil on the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle dash of salt and pepper on top of squash and turn squash over (face down).

3. Bake spaghetti squash for 25-35 minutes. When the squash is cooked, you will be able to pull the “spaghetti” strands with a fork, but it will be able to hold its form. Continue to do this until all of the squash is out of the skin (I like to pull the strands into a large bowl). Once all squash is in the bowl, pour sauce over squash and stir. Top with cheese. You may need to heat the squash in the microwave for a minute to warm the sauce. Serve and enjoy!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork - it forms 'spaghetti'!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork – it forms ‘spaghetti’!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 167 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 12 mg, Carbohydrates 22 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 9 g, Sodium 399 mg, Calcium 411 mg

Now just stir together and serve!

Now just stir together and serve!

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Chèvre and Basil

Can you tell I had some leftover sun-dried tomatoes and basil from my last dish? I decided to make use of the large quantities in which these foods are often sold and make my favorite pasta dish. This dish contains calcium, lycopene, vitamin C and fiber, and only takes about 20 minutes to whip up! Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and is known to be abundant in tomatoes, giving them their deep, red color. Also, the fiber in this dish keeps you full and prevents severe blood sugar spikes normally seen with refined carbohydrates.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

1 C whole wheat pasta, dry

1.5 oz chèvre

1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

2 Tbsp basil, chopped

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

dash salt

IMG_2099Directions:

1. Bring medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions on box.

2. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to medium-sized pan and warm over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add sun-dried tomatoes, spices and garlic to pan and cook another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Strain the pasta and set aside, reserving about 1/3 C of pasta water. Add pasta water to pan and cook until all liquid has been absorbed (about another 5 minutes). This will make the pasta taste like it is in a thicker sauce!

5. Add remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil to pot used to cook pasta and replace on stove over low-medium heat. Add pasta and vegetables. Add chèvre and basil to pasta and combine all ingredients well. Serve and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Calories 453 calories, Total Fat 27 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Carbohydrates 47 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 77 mg, Sodium 259 mg

 

Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice!

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Oatmeal with Walnuts

This autumn-y oatmeal has been my go-to this month for a quick breakfast before running out the door. I use instant oatmeal (although I am sure it would be tasty using overnight oats, as well) and pumpkin butter for this quick morning meal. Also, just a fun fact: pumpkin butter is not actually butter at all – it is pureed pumpkin, oftentimes mixed with honey and some lemon juice and typically has less than 35 calories per 1 Tbsp serving. That is a lot of flavor for minimal calories! Plus, pumpkin supplies beta carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A.  This pumpkin-y bowl full of cinnamon spice and heart-healthy walnuts is a seasonal way to start your day off right with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a tasty spoonful of beta carotene-rich pumpkin!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 packet instant oatmeal (*I like Trader Joe’s Oats and Flax or Bob’s Red Mill brand)

*Note: If you are interested in a heartier breakfast and looking for a way to increase calcium intake, you can prepare the oatmeal with milk in place of water! 

1/2 oz unsalted walnut halves (about 7 walnut halves)

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin butter (*Try to look for a brand that isn’t loaded with sugar – I like Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Cook oatmeal according to directions on package.

2. Add pumpkin butter and cinnamon and stir into oatmeal. Top with walnuts and enjoy!

(This may be the easiest recipe I have ever posted!)

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 231 calories, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol o mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 100 mg, Calcium 159 mg

Keep It Simple: Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Avocados are my go-to addition to salads, sandwiches and pretty much anything! The creamy texture is satiating while offering heart-healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids. Also, avocados are rich in many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins K and C, folate(B9) and potassium, while offering up a hearty dose of fiber. This simple avocado toast gives me my avocado fix while filling me up in a matter of minutes – great for breakfast on busy mornings or as a snack!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 slice whole wheat or whole grain bread (I like Ezekiel’s Sprouted Grain bread)

1/2 avocado

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Toast bread until browned (If you are using frozen bread, you can place it directly in the toaster without thawing)

2. Mash avocado in bowl. Top toast with avocado mash.

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper over avocado. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 241 calories, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 24 g, Fiber 10 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 237 mg, Calcium 12 mg

Green Eggs, No Ham

Sunny Side Up Eggs with Avocado on Toast

This easy breakfast is filling, delicious and offers protein, healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, folate and potassium. I know the morning can be rough, but this breakfast takes about 10 minutes to make and will keep you full for hours, without compromising your calories.

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Ingredients (serves 1):

2 large eggs

1/4 avocado

1 slice whole wheat bread

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

mashed avocado on toast (also amazing on its own!)

mashed avocado on toast (also amazing on its own!)

Directions:

1. Spray small pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Warm over medium heat.

2.Slice avocado in half and slice one half in half again. Remove fruit from skin and transfer to small bowl. Mash with fork. (*Note: If you save the half with the pit, the avocado will not brown as fast. Store in refrigerator in air tight plastic bag for 1-2 days)

3. Place bread in toaster and warm until toasted and golden brown (about 5 minutes).

4. Crack eggs into pan (or into bowl first, if you prefer, and transfer into pan), add salt and pepper and cover. Cook until white is solid but yolk is still somewhat liquid (about 5 minutes). There should be a fine white film over the yolk.

5. Remove toast from toaster and transfer avocado on top of toast, spreading evenly in a thin layer. Add egg on top once cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 323 calories, Total Fat 17 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 372 mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 711 mg, Calcium 82 mg

*Note: This nutritional analysis includes a bread that is not low sodium and also a dash of table salt. Salt content may vary.

ready to eat!

ready to eat!

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, so you can feel full while loading up on some plant-based foods, like veggies, lentils and grains. Using zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic, this staple packs in flavor, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals. Also, this dish is amazing to have as leftovers – serve it hot the first time and then serve it cold days later with some crumbled feta cheese. Craving some extra protein? I’ve also made this dish using tofu in combination with the lentils, for a heartier meal.

shown with tofu

shown with tofu

Ingredients (serves 5):

1 C quinoa, uncooked

3/4 C lentils, cooked (I like to use lentils that are pre-cooked and vacuum packed. These usually just require 2 minutes in the microwave, or can even be eaten out of the package, cold – just watch out for the sodium content!)

1 medium zucchini squash

1 red bell pepper

2 C spinach, raw

1 small onion (about 1 C chopped)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt (depending on how much salt you prefer)

dash cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp butter (or Smart Balance or other butter alternative)

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

I added yellow squash this time!

I added yellow squash this time!

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on box (*note: you may choose to replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth, which also tastes really good! If you do this, you do not need to add the 1 Tbsp butter – this is used to enhance the flavor when the quinoa is cooked with water)

2. Warm olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

3. Chop onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and mince garlic. Add onion to saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and spices (black pepper, salt, cayenne and garlic powder) and cook another 8-10 minutes. Add garlic.

4. Microwave lentils in microwave-safe bowl according to directions -usually about 2-4 minutes. (*note if you are soaking your own lentils you can omit this step).

5. Add spinach and sauté  until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and lentils to saucepan and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot (or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold!)

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The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 320, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 51 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 42, Sodium 70 mg

me leftover lunch - served cold with feta!

my leftover lunch – served cold with feta!