Tag Archives: spaghetti squash

cheesy noodle dish + blog reading tips

2 Dec

Hi!

This morning Jon and I hit the gym a little late, so I did a really quick interval run.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to get the motivation to kill it on the treadmill, but when I do it’s nice because I get done so much faster and I feel so good!  Unfortunately I didn’t have time for weights or ab work, but later I did spend some time running through my PiYo class for this week.

I also spent some time catching up on some of my favorite blogs over breakfast!

1/3 cup oats, handful of frozen blackberries, 1 tbsp chia seeds cooked in 3/4 cup water for 2 minutes.  Add a couple spoonfuls of soy yogurt and another sprinkle of chias (just for fun:) = best oatmeal ever. creamy. thick. delish.

I hate when I get behind and I feel like I don’t know what’s going on with everyone.  This morning was like catching up with friends…I love all my blog friends:)

One thing I’ve been having a hard time with lately, though, is time.  No matter how bad I want to catch up and comment on everybody’s blogs, I just don’t have enough time.  I can sit for an hour at some point in the day, reading and commenting, and still feel like I’ve only gotten through about half, which for me is about 15 or so. I just feel like I don’t have much more time than that to give to it, especially by the time I post on my own.

I feel like I see so many bloggers who comment on tons of blogs, and I just don’t see how they have time to do it.  Is there a secret that I don’t know about? I use google reader, but by the time I click out of it to comment, I’m not sure how much time it really saves.  What gives?

I’m hoping I’ll get some tips from some of you on how to read and comment on more blogs in less time!

Moving on.

For lunch today I made one of my favorite meals, but in about 1/4 of the time it took me to make it last time!

Cheesy “noodles” and brussel sprouts

Instead of cooking the spaghetti squash in the oven, I poked holes in it with a fork and put it in the microwave for about 12 minutes.  When I took it out, it was just the right amount of softness and I sliced it open with ease. In less than 2 minutes, I had cleaned out the seeds and then scraped out the “spaghetti” strands into a bowl.

this is what it looks like after being cooked and cut in half

and after separating out the strands

While preparing the squash, I placed a bowl of halved brussel sprouts in the microwave with just a little bit of water for about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Next, I mixed together 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp hummus and about 1.5 tbsp water.  I whisked it until it had a smooth consistency.  Last, I combined about a cup of spaghetti squash and 1/2 cup of brussel spouts before pouring the sauce over top and mixing it all up.

I added a dash of black pepper and ground red pepper for some kick!

Delicious!  This is one of my favorite meals.  The credit does not go to me though – I think I originally saw this idea on Heather’s blog, and I think Gena actually came up with the sauce idea.  I know some of you may think it sounds like a crazy idea for a recipe…when I took this to work for lunch last year, my coworkers thought I had lost my mind.  Try it before you knock it though.  It honestly tastes like a big bowl of creamy, cheesy pasta!  Added bonus: it took me less than 15 minutes to make, and it heats up well too if you’re looking for lunch to take to work.

I know some people have a problem with using microwaves.  Honestly, I haven’t done enough research to voice an opinion, but I try to choose my battles.  And right now, that’s one I’m going to choose not to worry about.  If I had more time, I would just cook the squash in the oven, but on days like today I’d rather have microwaved spaghetti squash than none at all!

I’m off to meet a new tutoring student.  This is my first student who is not an adult – he’s a fourth grader!  I’m not used to this, so I’m crossing my fingers it’ll go well.  Hope you all are having a great day!

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countin' the cals..what are your thoughts?

29 Mar

Don’t forget the chia seed giveaway – only a few more days!

Hey all!  How has everyone’s Monday been?  Mine’s been just fine, but I’m glad it’s over and we’re on to Tuesday!  Jon and I are going to my hometown for Easter this weekend, and I am stoked!  My aunt and uncle just had a baby last fall, but they live out of town so this Saturday will be my first time to meet her.   I can’t wait!

I started off this morning with my usual green monster (not pictured, I figure you guys know what my gm looks like.  You don’t need to see it everyday:) – 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, 2 handfuls of spinach and a half a banana.  Okay, are you ready for my shameless plug for my chia seed giveaway? Chia seeds really make all the difference in my morning green monster.  On days that I include them (which is most) I stay don’t get hungry near as quickly as I do on days that I don’t have them.  Plus, I have had a problem with anemia in the past, but between the iron in my spinach and the iron in the chias, I know I’m getting a healthy dose!

Here are my snacks – all packed up and ready to go for the day!  I ended up not eating the carrots and cucumbers and only eating half the larabar because I was just too busy!

Lunch was spaghetti squash with steamed brussels and humnut sauce (1tbsp hummus+1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast+water).

Love this little meal!  This combo was originally posted by Heather, and I have been addicted to it ever since.  It really tastes like a vegan form of mac and cheese – the texture is a little different, but the health value is phenomenal!

Due to a lack of sleep last night, I have been super exhausted all day.  So exhausted, in fact, that Jon and I totally copped out on dinner and went with cereal and peanut butter toast.  So exhausted, also, that I failed to snap a shot of it.  Oops!  We are both huge cereal mixers, and we’ll mix just about anything.  My mixture included Kashi U Black Currant and Walnut + Post Shredded Wheat ‘n’ Bran + Puffins with almond milk.  Not the most fancy dinner I’ve ever had, but it worked!

One thing I wanted to mention tonight is that I’ve started “sort of” counting calories again.  I’ve basically started keeping a rough estimate using Spark People.  I usually just calculate how many I eat up until dinner, and then I have an idea of the range I should stick to from them on.

It seems that it isn’t very “popular” in the world of health food blogs to count calories, and I understand why.  One of my biggest goals with my health is to learn to eat intuitively and not count calories.  However, I am still in the weight loss phase, and I know that lately my portions have maybe become a bit distorted, which is affecting my progress.  So, while I think it is a great ultimate goal to not count calories, it works for me to check in occassionally and just give myself a bit of a reality check.  Just keepin’ it real;)

One other thing I wanted to add is about my recipe for Mexican Fiesta Pasta.  My sister made a batch last night, and one thing she mentioned (besides that she loved it:) was that she used less ground red pepper than I advised, and it was still super hot!  So, I just wanted to mention that if you’re planning on trying it out, you may want to use ground red pepper “to taste” rather than the full 2 tbsp that I recommended.  I’m a GRP addict!

Question for today: What do you think about counting calories?  Do you think there is a negative vibe in the blog world about counting calories?

Have a great night everyone!

vegan love

8 Feb

Happy Monday evening!  Sabai di mai ka (just felt like throwin’ a little Thai in)?  Things are going pretty well here.  Sometimes it is sorta refreshing when a day doens’nt go just like you planned, ya know what I mean? This morning I got up, got ready for work and off I went, thinking that today would be just like any other day.  But by 10 o’clock, it was snowing hard enough that I decided to get a cover for the classes I teach after lunch and go ahead and make the hour trek home.  The bad news is that it turns out I really didn’t need to leave early because the roads never got bad (I feel like an idiot a little bit silly).  The good news is that I miraculously got squeezed in for a doctor’s appointment I’ve been needing to have, and I got a little extra grading done on my research papers.  Score!

I also had an awesome day of eats!  It all started this morning when I decided to have the hubs put a little twist on my usual green monster.  Don’t worry, it was still green:)  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a pic to prove it, but it really was…promise.  This combo was excellent.  I will def. be having it again in the very near future.  I the sweet husband combined:

a couple big handfuls of spinach
chia seeds!
half a banana
1 cup soy milk
1/2 tbsp almond butter
1 big, heaping spoonful of canned pumpkin
sprinkle of cinnamon
ice

Wooooweeeee this was good!  I tell you what, I am hooked on pumpkin.  The flavors of the pumpkin, cinnamon, banana and almond butter totally hit the spot.  I was going to have him add a bit of nutmeg as well, which I think would be a great addition, but we didn’t have any on hand so that will have to wait.  You may have noticed that I left out the usual Amazing Grass.  I really did miss it, but as discussed in this post, I’m trying to cut back a bit.  I may just start having it a couple of mornings a week as a special treat:)

For lunch I swung through Whichwich on my way home.  I hadn’t had a good ole’ tomato and avocado from there in ages, and it totally hit the spot!  I always get the same thing (don’t fix it if it ain’t broken, right?) – tomato and avocado on wheat with lettuce, bell pepper, red onion, pepperocini, pickles and crushed red pepper.  I could so down another one of those right this second….but I won’t.

I snuck in a couple of snacks while grading research papers – first, a tall soy latte from our local coffee shop and then a mix of yogurt, almonds and a few puffins before going to work out a little later.  I don’t usually eat two snacks in the afternoon, but that’s just how it worked out today – like I said, nothing went as planned!

Okay, now for din din.  I got this idea from HEAB the other day, and I just tweaked it a little bit.  After cutting it in half, I put a spaghetti squash in the oven on 375 for about an hour.  After it was done, I scooped out all the insides.  Then I mixed a bowl full of “spaghetti” with some steamed turnip greens (microwave for about 30 seconds with a tad bit of water) and the most amazing, creamy, vegan sauce I’ve ever had!  This sauce, I believe, was created by Mae.  I just remembering reading somewhere about her “humnut” (hummus + nutritional yeast) sauce, and while I didn’t know what proportions she used, I knew I had to try it anyway.  So, I basically just scooped about 2 tbsp of  roasted garlic hummus into a bowl and added 3 tsp of nutritional yeast (my new wonder drug:) and a little water for thinning.  I then poured the sauce over the squash and greens, mixed it all together and topped it off with a sprinkle of black pepper and pine nuts.

(So sorry that the picture is kind of rough.  I only had my iPhone.  Sad.  This meal deserved better.)

Now, I can honestly say this is one of the most indulgent tasting vegan meals I’ve made thus far in my vegan journey, and it was so simple.  It took me longer to type out what I did, than it actually took to do it (not counting oven time for the squash)!  Seriously!  It was to die for.  It really did taste like a healthified version of mac and cheese.  It was so creamy!  I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.

Sorry for the lack of pictures on this post.  Too many words, too little pics.  I’ll do better next time;)  I hope everyone is staying warm and having a great week so far.  I’m pretty stoked because I’ve got overnight oats “doing their thing” in the fridge right now.  It should be a tasty drive to work tomorrow!  Have a good night friends!

BTW…I am so enjoying the Sarah Bareilles station on Pandora right now.  Try it out if you get a chance!

spaghetti squash

12 Jan

Hi all!  How’s your Monday night going?  Jon and I are feeling a little more tired than usual, probably just because it’s the first day of the week.  I did, however, muster up enough energy to try a new food out tonight – one that I’ve been wanting to try forever – spaghetti squash!

I stumbled upon Abby’s blog the other night, and took it as an opportunity to get some fun and fresh meal ideas for the week.  And that I did!  One meal she mentioned having was spaghetti squash.  That was all the motivation I needed to go track one down and give it a try.

I was initially a bit worried about the one hour cook time, but  I somehow managed to work it into my schedule so that it turned out perfect!  I had to stay late at school today, so the second I left I raced home, threw on some gym clothes, tossed the squash in the oven and headed to the gym.

About an hour later, I came home just in time to take it out…and it was perfectly cooked!  I let it cool per Abby’s recommendation, then sliced it in half, scooping out all the insides.  It seriously has to be one of the coolest foods I’ve ever seen!  The only problem I ran into was trying to get all the seeds out.  Any ideas? It seems like there has to be an easier way.

Anyway, I had Jon pick up some “veggie crumbles” at Walmart, and I had an organic marinara sauce waiting in the fridge.  I cooked the crumbles and added it all together, then sprinkled some cubes of avocado on top (gotta have that healthy fat!).

This meal was fantastic.  I will probably have it at least once a week.  Although, there is a downside.  Seeing as how I’m still new at this whole vegan thing, I never considered that there might be dairy products in the soy crumbles.  So, this meal was not as vegan as I thought it was going to be, and while I’ll finish off this batch of crumbles, I won’t buy them again.  Any ideas on how to add protein to this meal?

I’m off to make a new seating chart for my hoodlums, seeing as how I promised it to them a week ago.  Hope you all have a great start to the week!