Category Archives: Italian

Creamy Avodado Pesto!

This turned out so delicious! I had mine with zucchini “noodles”, microwaved for 1 minute before serving the pesto sauce on top, and it was decadent and so tasty!! This recipe is both oil and nut free. I did use some low fat cottage cheese for added protein, optional, or subs for lentils or nut of choice.

Creamy dreamy yum!!

1 avocado
1 sprig thyme
1cup basil
2/3 cup cottage cheese
3 cups spinach
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon

Blend the above well until creamy as desired.

Serve over pasta or spiralized zucchini to your choosing. I spiralized my raw zucchini, then microwaved for 1 minute to keep crispy but warm and then served pesto over it, and the result was just perfect!

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Spaghetti Squash and Lean Turkey Meatballs

Soo, can you tell I’m obsessed with spaghetti squash yet? It’s just, the rich flavors of italian food and the comfort factor of pasta… and yet why not ditch nutrition-less processed grains for nature’s noodles?? And get you beta carotene and good carbs in the process. So without further ado, my healthified version of spaghetti and meatballs!!

Make your squash:
Either puncture and microwave for about 8 minutes, then scooping out seeds after it cools or
Cut in half, scrape out seeds, and roast cut side down at 400 for about 30min
Let cool enough to remove noodle-flesh, set aside.

Mix in a bowl:
1lb ground turkey
1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Salt, dash
Pepper, about 1/8 tsp
Crushed red pepper, at least 1/8 tsp 😉
Oregano- 1tsp
Garlic powder 1/2 tsp
Parsley 1/2 tsp
Mix well and form into 1-1.5in meatballs, set aside.

Saute in olive oil in a large saucepan:
4-5 cloves garlic minced
1/2 onion chopped
Fresh basil 1/2 cup chopped
Then add:
Black pepper
Stewed tomatoes 1 can
Marinara sauce 1 jar

Once boiling, reduce heat and add meatballs. You just plunk them right on top all in one layer, it’s ok if they are not fully submerged in sauce, this way you can keep and eye on them and make sure they are staying together well.

Cover and simmer 20-30 stirring gently occasionally.

Then just serve and enjoy. This is so satisfying and so good for you 🙂

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Easy Healthy Pizzas!

I got this idea from my new favorite youtube channel, LeanSecrets.com, linked below. This gal is full of energy, humor, and helpful advice, just spreading knowledge about health, fitness, and nutrition.

http://www.leansecrets.com/the-best-healthy-pizza-period/

All you need:
-2 brown rice tortillas (i got mine at Trader Joe’s)
-tomato/marinara sauce
-some low fat cheese (I used a sprinkle of low fat mozz, and another of fat free feta!)
-herbs of choice (fresh basil, garlic powder, parsely, and crushed red pepper for me)
-Veggies of choice, chopped well (onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives for me)

Preheat to 375, make your little pizza using lots of veggies and only a little cheese, bake for about 10min, until the edges turn brown, I added less than a min on broil to get the cheese bubbling!

Simple, quick, healthy, satisfying. The fresh herbs and fresh veggies are the key to not needing too much cheese with maximum satisfaction!

The only thing I’d do differently next time is load them up with even more veggies, I was surprised how well the crust held up being so thin!!

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Re-mix ! Pasta-less veggie ‘lasagna’

This is similar to my hearty spaghetti squash lasagna, but this one isn’t vegan, just vegetarian. I’m a cheese lover, what can I say 🙂 This one is more traditional using both ricotta and marinara sauce.

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 steamed zucchini sliced thin (could be sliced long-wise and made into a layer as well)
1/2 15 oz container of ricotta
1/2 jar tomato/marinara sauce of choice
Handful low fat shredded mozzarella
Fresh spinach (could do multiple spinach layer as well)
2 veggie burger patties (or meat/meat substitute of choice; i may try mashed chick peas next time!)
Garlic powder (fresh garlic would be even better)
Thyme
Crushed red pepper
Nutmeg

Knife a few holes into the squash.
Microwave on high 6-7 min until soft, let cool. Preheat to 375.

Layer spaghetti quash, zucchini, ricotta, seasonings, crumbled ‘meat’, then tomato sauce (I did in that order). Then the other half of spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, fresh spinach, shredded mozzarella.

There are many variations I want to try next time around, some mentioned in the ingredients above. Be creative! Experiment with fresh herbs as well, I just didn’t have any on hand.

Bake at 375 for 22 min covered, uncover and broil an additional minute.

EAT 🙂

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Hearty Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”

OK, I did not know what to call this one, because for one, it looks nothing like lasagna. For two, I wanted to call it “cheesy” but it is vegan and there is no actual cheese in it! It also is not spaghetti, as there are no grains or flour used in this recipe of any kind! “Yet vegan veggie squash casserole” doesn’t quite do justice to the rich and savory and lasagna-esque quality this meal has! The combination of squashes makes it creamy and the spicy savory combination of seasonings are SO good!! Best of all, you can eat like half of this entire recipe without any guilt, because it is incredibly low in both carbs and fat! Mostly veggies and some tofu here for protein!

You could also make something similar with a heartier tomato base, or even use some ground meat/”meat” to give it a more traditional lasagna taste. However, I love the colors and textures of a lighter more squash colored dish 🙂

So without further ado, check it out and try it for yourself!

You need:

1 small spaghetti squash
1/2 pack firm organic sprouted tofu
2 cups pre-roasted butternut squash cut into cubes (spray with olive oil, some cinnamon/nutmeg, and roast for about an hour at 375 tossing midway)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Garlic 4 cloves
1/2 onion
Bag fresh spinach
4tbs cilantro
1 heirloom tomato
1tsp oregano
2tbs crushed red pepper flakes
1tbs dried parsley (or 3tbs fresh, basil would be good too)
1 slice tofutti American
(Shredded vegan cheese would be great)

Instructions:

I used a smallish spaghetti squash. Poke some holes in it with a sharp knife (carefully), put on a microwave safe plate and heat for 7 minutes. You could also roast it in the oven for like an hour at 375, but this saves so much time!

Cut in half carefully using oven mitts and set aside to cool enough to handle.

Then take your tofu and mash it. You could also blend/puree it, but it makes a nice “ricotta”-esque texture simply using a hand held potato masher. Then cut the skin off of around 3/4 cup of the butternut squash and add the pieces to the tofu mash. Mash them together. Add your pepper and nutmeg.

Then begin sautéing your onion in the coconut oil for about 5 minutes, add in the garlic for another minute. Then throw in your bag of spinach, and tomato (or tomatoes to your preference!), and any other veggies that spark your fancy. You could do mushrooms, kale, eggplant… Just put the harder veggies in the pan prior to softer ones to get them cooked evenly.

Then remove heat when just slightly tender, add the remainder of your roasted butternut squash, and stir in your oregano, red pepper, and parsley.

Next, scrape out the seeds and “gooey” middle of your spaghetti squash. It is kinda like the inside of a pumpkin, and be careful not to scrape too hard and remove the actual squash flesh. Just get the slimy stuff and seeds out. (seeds can be roasted or eaten as is, yum, they taste like pumpkin seeds!)

Once that is done, use a fork and scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash in a vertical downward motion into a pan. I used an 8in pie tin, but any shape works. Scrape all those strands into the pan, then incorporate your tofu mash into the spaghetti squash. Once that is combined evenly, pour on your sautéed veggies and stir in well.

Top with fresh cilantro, and 1 slice tofutti cheese broken up into little pieces spread out evenly.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 20 min, then broil for 10 min to get your vegan cheese a bubblin!

Let cool and savor the flavors!

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