Spaghetti Squash
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Spaghetti squash is one of those unique vegetables that you can easily transform into a pasta without the use of a spiralizer. With spiralizers being a food trend now (I see zoodle recipes and pins everywhere), you can turn almost any veggie into a pasta. But today we are going old school and using spaghetti squash and a fork to make a veggie noodle “pasta.” So if you didn’t get on the spiralizer band wagon, don’t worry….there is no need today.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is a winter squash that is low in calories and fat and contains vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A,vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber.It can definitely help you cut calories and lose weight when you use it in place of pasta. For comparison, 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories and 1 cup of cooked whole grain spaghetti ranges from 180-200 calories. Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, adding more veggies in your diet is always good for your health!

Baked Spaghetti Squash

 

Spaghetti Squash with Italian Herbs

Ingredients
1 Large Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
Reduced Fat Cheese (if desired)

Directions
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Rinse off squash and use a knife to poke holes in the squash so steam can escape during cooking. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. All squash to cool slightly before cutting open. Cut open, remove seeds and scrape out strands of squash with a fork, set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add garlic, basil, parsley, black pepper and salt.  Stir and heat for a minute or two until fragrant. Add squash strands and mix until warm. Finish with champagne vinegar. Serve and top with cheese reduced fat cheese if desired. For extra protein you can add a little chicken or tofu. (Leftover chicken from the night before makes a great topping)

****Recommendation: Cooking the squash in the oven does take some time so you can do this the night before or pop it in as soon as you get home from work and get in a work out during the cook time. Alternatively, the microwave is another option for cooking.
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Banana Bread
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I hate wasting food and 3 bananas have been sitting in my fruit basket, getting browner and browner every day…. Instead of throwing them out, I decided to make some banana bread. When looking for a good recipe I noticed that a lot of them contained white refined flour, lots of sugar and butter or oil. So I made some simple substitutions to make a healthier banana bread that I could enjoy without too much guilt.

First, I used a gluten free all purpose flour to replace the white flour. But….just because a product is gluten free it does not mean it is healthy! There are a lot of gluten free flours made with mostly refined white rice flour which lacks nutrients, just like regular all purpose flour, so you have to be careful which kind you select. I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour because its main ingredient is garbanzo bean flour. This adds some fiber goodness and other nutrients to the flour mix. Another easy substitution I used was applesauce for oil or melted butter. This decreases calories and fat and adds natural sugar so I am able to decrease the amount of added sugar I use without compromising the taste of the banana bread.

Overall, I was pleased with how well my healthy substitutions worked out and how easy this recipe was to make. I hope you enjoy it!

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Ingredients
Cooking spray
2-3 Over Ripe Bananas – about 1 heaping cup mashed
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl with a fork until fairly smooth. Stir in applesauce and then add and mix in remaining ingredients, adding flour last.  Pour batter into loaf pan and cook in oven for 60 min. Allow to cool and serve.

Gluten Free Banana Bread
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Easy, Healthy and Gluten Free
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The Super Bowl is next weekend so I thought this would be a great time to post a chili recipe. Chili is super easy to make and there are thousands of variations. If you are having people over to watch the Super Bowl, a chili bar with various toppings could be a fun, no fuss, self service way to feed your guests. Just make sure you have healthier topping choices such as avocado, jalapenos, hot sauce and reduced fat cheese or reduced fat sour cream.

In my turkey chili recipe I use lean ground turkey, reduced sodium canned beans, canned tomatoes with no salt added, fresh veggies and spices. I like using a combination of fresh and canned ingredients because chili should be an easy, hassle free recipe where you just combine everything and let it cook. The turkey, beans and veggies make chili full of protein and fiber which can help you feel full and satisfied (and then maybe you won’t munch on all those potato chips during the game 😛 ). You can also check our my “Game Day” board on pinterest for more recipe ideas. And for all the vegetarians out there, I do have a Hearty Veggie Chili recipe you can check out.

Turkey Chili

Ingredients
Cooking Spray
20 ounces Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon Chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Chipotle powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne
1 16 oz Can Reduced Sodium Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 15 oz Can Reduced Sodium Black Beans
1 28 oz Can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
1 Jalapeno – Diced, seeds removed
1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion

Directions
Spray bottom of a 5 quart Dutch oven with cooking spray and turn heat up to medium. Add ground turkey and spices to pan. Cook until turkey is browned, about ten minutes. Add peppers and onion. Cook for another 5 min, mixing well.  Add tomatoes and beans (don’t drain liquid) and cover. Continue cooking on medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 10- 20 more minutes to cook down the liquid to desired thickness.
Easy, Healthy and Gluten Free!

 

 

 

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