30 October 2013

Spaghetti Squash Marinara Bake

I just threw some stuff together for this. I have made spaghetti squash several different ways, but never with marinara or tomato sauce. Now Will typically prefers less creamy tomato-like sauces, and I always prefer creamy (of course). So I figured this would be his favorite spaghetti squash recipe. It was. Don't get me wrong, he loves all the others, but since he likes tomato sauce so much, this is his fave.

1 spaghetti squash (cooked, shredded)
marinara pasta sauce
1/2 c shredded Parmesan
1/2 c Panko

To see how I prepare my spaghetti squash, see previous recipes. (Listed below)

Put your shredded spaghetti squash in a big bowl and add as much marinara sauce as you want, it's up to you. Put that in a sprayed 8x8" cooking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then Panko. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 min or until slightly browned on top.

Other spaghetti squash recipes:
"Mac & Cheese" Spaghetti Squash (favorite)
"Skinny" Spaghetti Squash Alfredo (favorite)
Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Tomato Bake
Simple Herbed Spaghetti Squash

We had this with Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes" and mushrooms stuffed with Laughing Cow cheese.

29 October 2013

Mini Pepper Nachos with Corn & Black Beans

These are so amazing! The original recipe called for avocado, but I didn't have any so I omitted that. It also called for cheddar cheese, but I was out so I used part-skim shredded mozzarella. Delicious!

  • 1 c corn (I used canned)
  • 1 c black beans, drained/rinsed
  • 1 c salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb mini peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 c cheddar cheese, shredded (I used mozz)
  • 1/2 c green onions

  • Mix the corn, black beans, 1/4 c green onions, salsa and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet, fill with the filling, sprinkle on the cheese and broil until the cheese has melted, about 4 minutes. I broiled on Low 4 min, then on High for 1 min. Top with the rest of the green onions.
Original recipe found here.

22 October 2013

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup

It's been a while since I had used my trusty crock pot. With a 12 hour days today because of conferences, I knew it was time to break out the crock pot again. But I wanted to stick with something healthy and with plenty of veggies. I came across this healthy soup on Pinterest. It includes lean ground beef, and of course you could leave the beef out, but I think it really added to it! This was so tasty and I can't wait to take leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

The original recipe is doubled for a larger size crock pot. I halved the recipe and it still made plenty! So what I have posted below is the recipe halved - how I made it.

1 lb lean ground beef
½ medium onion, diced
1 (15-ounce) can mixed vegetables, drained
1 (15-ounc)e can Lima beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can niblet corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can carrots, drained
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes and okra
1 c water

Brown your ground beef in a large skillet. Combine beef, along with all other ingredients in the crock pot. I put everything together the night before, put the crock pot bowl in the fridge, so I just had to put it in the crock pot this morning. Cook on Low 5-6 hours.

Original recipe found here.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

Oh my - delicious. I have seen this on Pinterest for a while - claiming that it's like hash brown casserole (a favorite of mine). I tried it. It's amazing and I enjoyed leftovers for lunch today even more! YUM.

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 tbsp light butter
1 small yellow onion, cut in half and very thinly sliced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh thyme
½ c light sour cream
½ c red-fat shredded cheddar cheese

This is how I always prepare my squash: Poke holes in squash with a fork and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for about an hour at 375 degrees. Let it cool off and then slice it down the middle. Remove the seeds and things from the middle. Then just use a fork to shred the strands of squash out. Lately I've been baking and prepping my squash the day before I need it. That way it's all shredded in a big bowl in the fridge ready to go. 

In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter, onions, red pepper and thyme and cook until the onions are slightly brown in color. Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Combine the shredded squash, onions, sour cream and half the cheese together and mix well.  Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Place in oven at 375º for 20 minutes until golden brown on top. 

Original recipe found here.

We had red wine & garlic mushrooms and roasted broccoli with this! I love how the broccoli gets crispy when roasted. 

17 October 2013

Baked Cauli-tots

Another awesome way to use cauliflower!!! These are great. We decided they are almost like a mix of tater tots and cornbread. The original recipe serves them with ketchup, but I ate mine plain! I didn't think they needed anything with the cheddar cheese in there. Oh, I had to buy a mini muffin pan to make these - worth it!

3 c (about half of a head) shredded cauliflower
4 oz (about 1 c) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used light sharp cheddar)
1 egg
¼ c cornmeal
1 tsp salt
a few grinds black pepper
½ tsp ground mustard

I shredded my cauliflower in my Ninja. Use a food processor or something like that. You shred it raw. 

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Spray a mini muffin tin with oil or coking spray. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix together thoroughly. I used a fork. Using a spoon, divide the mixture between the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Original recipe found here.

15 October 2013

Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Yum - definitely one of my favorite stuffed pepper recipes. Tastes just like a delicious pizza but without the crust. Mmmm.

2 c cooked and cooled quinoa (1/2 c dry)
3.15 oz pkg sliced pepperoni, slices cut into quarters
8 oz of perline (pearl) mozzarella, liquid drained (I just used shredded mozz)
3/4 c pizza sauce
1/2 c loosely packed fresh basil, more for garnish
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 c grated Parmesan
4 red bell peppers, sliced in half and hollowed out

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Place red pepper halves in boiling water and cook for three minutes. Remove and let cool so that you can handle them. (I did not do this part and my peppers were not too hard.)

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except Parmesan cheese and bell peppers. Fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture and place in a large baking dish (9x13 or bigger). Repeat until all pepper halves are full. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and peppers are heated through. Enjoy!

Original recipe found here.

13 October 2013

Black Bean & Corn Baked Egg Rolls

These are so yummy. I have made something similar before: Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls with Cilantro Cream Sauce. Those are made with tortillas and chicken (the sauce is amazing), but these are made with actual egg roll wrappers and no meat. Both are delicious. I love how crispy the egg roll wrappers get.

1 can corn (15 oz)
1 can black beans (15 oz, drained/rinsed)
1 1/2 c shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 can diced green chiles (drained, 4 oz)
4 green onions, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pkg egg roll wrappers (about 20)

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers. Mix well to blend. Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and place ¼ cup of the filling in the center. Fold the tip closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center. Continue rolling into an egg roll shape until a small part of the remaining point is still free. Dip a finger in water or beaten egg and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner. Finish rolling and press to seal closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Lightly oil a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the sealed egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning halfway through baking. Serve warm with salsa.

Original recipe found here.

12 October 2013

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

YUM! Delicious. Like I've mentioned before... I am obsessed with sweet potatoes right now.

1-1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 medium to large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp melted light butter
1 tbsp olive oil

Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into 1 & ½ inch thick slices. Boil water in a 3 quart sauce pan with a tsp salt. When the water is simmering, add the potato slices and cook for around 10 minutes, until the slices are getting a little soft.

Oil a large baking sheet and mix together all of the dry spices in a small bowl.

Remove the slices to a cooling rack. You can leave them on the rack until they cool off and the outsides are dry, or if you are in a hurry, blot all of the moisture from the surface of the slices. This is important – they have to be dry on the outside or they won’t get crispy.

Start the oven preheating to 400º Lay the slices of sweet potato on the prepared pan, and use a water glass to gently compress each slice – you want them to flatten out and the edges should get kind of ruffly. Mix the butter and oil together. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of the oil and butter mixture on each slice. Sprinkle some of the spice mixture over each slice, and press onto the surface lightly so that it sticks to the potato slices. Gently turn oven each slice, and repeat the oil/butter and dry spice application as you did on the first side.

Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the bottom of the slices is getting caramelized and crispy. Carefully flip over each slice and roast another 10 minutes or so, until both sides are crispy and the spice mixture has melted together and turned all nicely brown. Serve immediately.

Original recipe found here.

09 October 2013

Buffalo Cauliflower

I've been looking for other ways to prepare our favorite veggies, since we have been eating so much of them. Will and I agreed this was interesting... and in a GOOD way! It's really easy to do too. If you're a fan of buffalo sauce, buffalo wings, whatever... I'm sure you'll love this! We dipped ours in some lite ranch dressing.

1 head of cauliflower

For the batter
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c water
dash of Frank's Wing Sauce (or Frank's Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp dried onion

For the buffalo sauce
1/4 c Frank's Wing Sauce
3 tbsp salted butter, melted
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray (I always use olive oil spray) and set aside. Wash your head of cauliflower and cut into pieces. I made a variety of sizes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients. 
Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter just hardens.

In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients. 
Once the cauliflower are done, remove from the oven and brush with the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.

Put back into the oven and bake for a few more minutes (I think 5-7 minutes was my range), until  the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy. 
Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy! 

Original recipe found here.

08 October 2013

Eggplant Lasagna

This was seriously good and Will thought it tasted like Eggplant Parmesan. The top gets nice and crispy, even though the eggplant aren't pan-fried at all. YUM! I cut the original recipe in half and just made half, which is what I posted below.

1 large eggplant, sliced thinly & peeled (I sliced mine into circles instead of lengthwise)
1 c marinara sauce
3/4 c low-fat ricotta
3/4 c shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/2 c shredded Parmesan
1 c Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8" baking dish and lay out one layer of eggplant in the bottom of dish. Mix ricotta & mozzarella together. Layer half of mixture on top of eggplant. Cover with marinara sauce, and top with some Parmesan. Repeat: eggplant, ricotta/mozz mixture, sauce, Parmesan. Then I did one more layer of eggplant, a little bit more sauce, Parmesan cheese, and then the Panko. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is nice and brown. Enjoy!

Original recipe found here.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini & Squash Bake

Simple. Easy. Delicious!!

2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2-4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup low-fat white cheese (I used lowfat mozzarella)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and both kinds of cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.

When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked.  Serve hot.

Original recipe found here.

01 October 2013

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I never liked sweet potatoes. Even with all the marshmallows on top during Thanksgiving... I just couldn't do it. I recently found out that these days I LIKE sweet potatoes. Will's mom made some roasted sweet potatoes a couple months back that were delicious, then I tried sweet potato fries and they were amazing! So now my mom has a bounty of sweet potatoes from her garden. I made these baked sweet potato fries and they were SO delicious. Super tasty. I like to say my tastebuds have matured. ;) I should try fish again to see if I like that now too!

Another time I made these thinner:

2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 large ones)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp spice of your choice (I had no idea what to use so I just used some Cajun seasoning - one of the suggested spices...)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut up. I did flat sticks kind of, but you could also do rounds or wedges. Put sweet potatoes in a large bowl, and add the olive oil, sugar, salt, and spices. Toss and mix well.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place wire rack on top of it. Spray with olive oil. Lay potatoes on the rack and bake for a total of 25-30 min. After 15 min I flipped them over and continued cooking. I didn't need anything with them, they were so good!

Original recipe found here.

Baked Zucchini Fritters

I thought I'd use my extra time at home (I am sick) to catch up on a couple recipes I needed to post. So I have made 2 other kinds of fritters/cakes before: Zucchini Carrot Cakes with Basil Chive Cream, and regular Zucchini Cakes. Both are amazing. But these are BAKED! Really delicious.

2 large zucchini, grated
1 small red onion, grated
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
a splash of milk

Heat oven to 425°F. With a grater, grate zucchini and onion. Place grated zucchini and onion in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let sit about 20 min. Squeeze out as much water as you can. Add to a bowl and combine whole wheat flour, salt, pepper, milk and egg, mix well.
Drop small to medium-sized rounds on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 16-20 minutes, depending on the size of your fritters. Then flip and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown on each side. Enjoy with whatever sauce you like.

Original recipe found here.