Shrimp Parm Over Spaghetti Squash

It feels like forever since my last post – I’ve been busy busy! I have finals this week, so I am beyond ready for summer to begin. I also found my own apartment – yay! However, I move in this weekend, so I have been scrambling to find time to both study and pack; not easy. Therefore I have been relying on salads and freezer meals recently…a pat on the back to me for, at some point, making extra food and stashing it in the freezer! However, at the beginning of last week I made this yummy shrimp parm recipe. Another delicious and easy recipe from Gina at Skinnytaste! I decided to make spaghetti squash to go with it; however, she used zucchini noodles, or you could use your favorite pasta! I doubled the original recipe so I would have enough for the week. I also added pesto to a few of the leftovers and it was really good, so I may add that next time when I cook the sauce. My spaghetti squashes made a lot of cooked “spaghetti” so I made each serving of shrimp over 2 cups, which was very filling, but feel free to adjust that to your liking. Enjoy!

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Shrimp Parm Over Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from: Skinnytaste

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb jumbo raw shrimp (buying peeled/deveined will save you time! Sadly, I did not do this)
  • 10 cups spaghetti squash, baked (about 5.25 lbs raw)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning and salt, to taste
  • 5 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2.5 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.) Prepare spaghetti squash – see here for instructions!

2.) Preheat oven to 450 F. Spray a glass baking dish or cookie sheet with oil.

3.) In a small bowl, whisk the egg. In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, panko, and grated parmesan. Dry the shrimp, then dip each one in egg and  roll in breadcrumb mixture until fully coated. Place shrimp on baking dish and spray them with oil.

4.) Bake until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through, about 20 minutes, turning the shrimp over about halfway through.

5.) While shrimp are cooking, heat the crushed tomatoes in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbly. Add Italian seasoning and salt, to taste. Once shrimp are done, serve over spaghetti squash and top with sauce, mozzarella, and shredded parmesan.

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 292
Fat 6 g (2 g saturated)
Fiber 8 g
Carbs 36 g
Sodium 741 mg
Protein 26 g

Quick and Easy Veggie Pesto Pasta

Hello everyone! I have had a busy couple weeks…lots of tests and projects for school, a new position at work, and finally some sunny weather! Time is flying by; I can’t believe it’s already the middle of April and almost the end of my first year of grad school. Ah! But I have to say, I’m ready for this semester to be over and the summer to begin 🙂

Due to the hectic schedule I’ve had lately, I’ve needed to make some super quick and easy meals so that I can continue to eat healthy while constantly being on the go. I found a recipe for pasta with veggies and pesto, and since I had all the ingredients, it was perfect! It was delicious and super filling as well; I sort of forgot how yummy pesto makes everything until I made this dish!

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Veggie Pesto Pasta


Adapted from: iFoodreal

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pasta, uncooked
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 bag raw spinach (8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded

Directions:

1.) Cook pasta, drain, and put back into the pot. While pasta is cooking, cut cherry tomatoes into halves.

2.) In a large skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds and then add spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and stir to wilt.

3.) When all the spinach is wilted, move over to one side of the skillet and add the chopped tomatoes. Add half of the pesto, stir, and let cook for a few minutes. Then add broccoli and stir again. Let cook for a few minutes to let the flavors develop.

4.) Add the pesto veggies to the pot with the pasta. Add cheese and remaining pesto and stir everything together. Serve with a little shredded parmesan on top!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 315
Fat 15 g (4 g saturated)
Fiber 7 g
Carbs 32 g
Sodium 407 mg
Protein 13 g

Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad

One of my goals for 2015 is to run a 5k…not a mud run, but an actual RUN. I am not a fan of running, which is why I enjoy doing the mud runs; you get to climb over a bunch of obstacles and only have to run in between them. However, I would like to become a better runner and maybe even enjoy it (maybe). Over Christmas I ran while I was at my parents’ house because I didn’t have a gym to use. It was also in the 50s a few days! Only in New England. I actually was able to run about 2.6 miles comfortably, and probably could have kept going! I was surprised at this, since normally I can run a max of 2 miles and that usually happens on a treadmill. I think I have the strength training workouts from the Amanda Adams program to thank for this 🙂 Anyways, I bring this up because I just signed up for my first 5k – the Narragansett Summer Running Festival! It’s not until July, giving me plenty of time to get ready, but I am doing it with a couple friends and it’s at Stonehill College, so I get to run around my old alma mater. And you get a few Narragansetts at the end. Running actually sounds ok if it ends with a few beers!

I made this delicious pesto bow-tie pasta salad with fresh zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes to bring to my friend’s lake house last summer. Naturally, I left it all in the fridge at home, so I ended up having to eat it all myself (I guess that’s not the worst thing!) I never posted the recipe, but thoughts of running outside and warmer days reminded me of it. I’m sure it would be just as big of a hit in the winter time as it would be in the summer! It would also probably be good served warm. Hmm now I may have to whip up a batch again soon…let me know if you try it out!

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Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad

Adapted from: Joy of Kosher

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bow-tie pasta (or any other pasta you like!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.) Cook pasta until desired doneness. Drain and set aside.

2.) Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, zucchini, and squash and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes.

3.) In a large bowl, combine cooked squash and tomatoes with pasta, pesto, and cheeses. Mix well to combine and add salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or refrigerate until cool and serve chilled.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie!

I will start by saying I love shepherd’s pie. I always have. How can you not love beef, mashed potatoes, corn, and gravy, all in one dish?! My mom also once made it with garlic mashed potatoes, and that just took it to another level. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. However, that’s really the only way that we’ve ever changed it up. I mean, why mess with a delicious meal? Well, you know me, I like to make everything all healthy and nutritious (but still delicious!) 🙂

I found a recipe for sweet potato shepherd’s pie from Tried and Tasty on Pinterest. How had I never thought of using sweet potato before? Genius. I was a little iffy about using tomato sauce instead of gravy, since that seems like a much different flavor from my usual shepherd’s pie. But it got rave reviews, and it was covered in cheese, so I gave it a try. And it was so yummy, and pretty low-cal! I can’t really describe why the flavor worked, but it did. So trust me and give it a try! Next time I may see if I can make my mom’s trusted version with sweet potato but substitute a lighter gravy or something. But that’s a challenge for another day. Enjoy this one!

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Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Adapted from: Tried and Tasty

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lb ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
  • 1/2 med. onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can of corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of sliced carrots, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 3 med. sweet potatoes, cubed (about 1.6 lbs)
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used 1/3 cup sharp cheddar and 1/3 cup reduced-fat mild cheddar)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350. In a medium pot, boil sweet potato cubes until soft; approx. 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your cubes).

2.) While sweet potatoes are boiling, heat olive oil on medium-high in a large pan and saute onions until translucent; 3-5 minutes. Add ground turkey; brown and season with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

3.) Add corn, carrots, and tomato sauce. Heat throughout.

4.) Once potatoes have softened, drain all water and mash. Spoon meat mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish (or 2 8×8 pans) and cover with prepared mashed potatoes.

5.) Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.

**I made this in 2 8×8 aluminum pans, rather than a casserole dish, because I wanted to freeze half. So I put one in the freezer before baking and without cheese, that way I could put it right in the oven some other busy week! Each 8×8 pan was 3 servings.

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 375
Fat 12 g (4 g saturated)
Fiber 8.5 g
Carbs 44 g
Sodium 634 mg
Protein 27 g

Chicken Quinoa Chili

Happy New Year’s Eve! I am excited to see what 2015 has to offer. I’ll be turning 25, finishing another 2 semesters of grad school, and hopefully doing more traveling! I also plan to just enjoy life as it happens, save more money, and make more time for friends and family, despite my busy schedule.

This post about 15 things to STOP doing in 2015 also really struck me, since I could agree with all of them! Especially “stop saying yes all the time;” this is something I’m very guilty of. Looking forward to trying to cut down on these things in the new year.

This week has been freezing here in New England, so I wanted to cook something warm and filling for dinner. I found a recipe for chicken quinoa chili on Pinterest and adapted it a bit. It was delicious and perfect for this chilly weather!

Chicken Quinoa Chili

Adapted from: iFoodreal

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs. chicken breast tenderloins (I used 2 lbs and thought it was a lot)
  • 1 cup frozen diced peppers and onions
  • 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz can black beans, drianed and rinsed
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • cooking spray/olive oil
  • shredded cheese for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray/olive oil and place raw chicken in it. Top with a sprinkle of the taco seasoning and bake about 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is done.

2.) While chicken is baking, spray a large deep skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add peppers and onions and saute until soft, stirring occasionally.

3.) Add remaining ingredients, except cheese, and stir. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is ready (it will look like it has popped open).

4.) Remove from heat, add in cut-up chicken, and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve warm with shredded cheese on top!

**I used my Dutch oven and it wasn’t big enough, so I couldn’t add the chicken since I thought it would overflow. I ended up adding the chicken once I had portioned out the chili into 7 containers. But if your skillet is big enough, I would recommend adding the chicken once the chili is done and then let sit.

Nutrition Info With A Sprinkle of Cheese (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 479
Fat 12 g
Fiber 11 g
Carbs 52 g
Sodium 945 mg
Protein 42 g

Sausage and Sweet Potato with Peppers and Onions

I will start off by saying this is the first time I’ve cooked sweet potato. Which is probably surprising, because everyone loves it and it’s good for you and as a future dietitian I should certainly be eating some sweet potato. However, I’ve always hated things that are sweet but should be salty, i.e. sweet potato fries, kettle corn. Therefore I tried hating sweet potato for awhile, but recently became more open to sweet potato fries (with salt and ketchup, of course). Since fries are not remotely healthy, and regular potatoes are not paleo, I decided I needed to try sweet potatoes in another dish. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a bit; the result was DELICIOUS. I am now on the sweet potato train. It was awesome with the sausage, peppers, and onions, since it added some sweetness. I used mild Italian sausage, but my boyfriend said the sweet potato would have paired better with spicy sausage…I’m also not super adventurous with spice, but I made a bold move with the sweet potato and it worked, so who knows! Maybe I’ll start eating everything with ghost peppers someday (probably not). Anyways, enjoy this easy and yummy recipe!

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Sausage and Sweet Potato with Peppers and Onions

Adapted from: Infertility Thou Art A Heartless B!&@#

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lbs. Italian sausage, ground (or take links out of the casing and crumble)
  • 3 sweet potatoes (I got 2 large ones and a small one)
  • Chopped peppers and onions (I use frozen, so however much you would like)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:

1.) Brown the sausage on a skillet with a little olive oil; set aside in a bowl.

2.) Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potatoes.

3.) Using same skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and cook peppers and onions until slightly soft. Then add sweet potato, stir everything together, and cover skillet with foil. Lower heat to medium low (about 4) and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are soft.

4.) Mix sausage in, add salt and pepper (to taste) and crushed red pepper (optional). Let cook for about 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy! (I garnished with parsley from our garden, but you don’t need that).

Mexican Rice-less Stuffed Peppers

I made these delicious stuffed peppers on Monday after a friend provided me with the recipe…thanks Jess! You should all check out her blog Rookie Running Life; she posts lots of healthy recipes, running tips, and more! The peppers were super easy, and I liked that they didn’t have rice because I didn’t have to spend a lot of time cooking the stuffing. It also makes them pretty low-carb. Genius!

One half of a pepper along with some fruit was filling enough for me. I also tried one with salsa on top and it was really good! I did have about 1 1/2 cups of stuffing leftover, so you could either make an extra pepper or save the extra stuffing to put on salads (which I did). Delicious taco salads plus stuffed peppers = win. Enjoy!

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Mexican Rice-less Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 6 half peppers
  • Print

Adapted from: Rookie Running Life

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 package of taco seasoning (I used low sodium)
  • 3 large red or green bell peppers, halved, de-seeded
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese

Directions:

1) Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Place pepper halves in the dish, facing upright. Bake them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

2) While the peppers are in the oven, drizzle some olive oil on a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Then add in the ground turkey and cook through. Add the taco seasoning once the turkey looks almost done.

3) Add the beans and corn to the turkey mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so.

4) Scoop your turkey stuffing into the pepper halves and sprinkle a good heaping of cheese on top. Place in the broiler for about 3-5 minutes, until bubbly. Watch them to make sure cheese doesn’t burn!