April 11th, 2013
As promised, here’s my butternut squash mac n’ cheese recipe. Perhaps I should have gotten out my better camera to snap a few pics, but then again, I think there are a billion more beautiful posts about butternut squash mac n’ cheese. That’s okay. It’s up to you to decide which one actually tastes better, and that’s what counts, right?
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups mashed butternut squash
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta of choice, such as macaroni or shells
- 3 cups fresh kale, torn into small pieces (optional, peas might also be good)
- 3/4 c unsweetened original almond milk (or dairy would work too)
- 1 TBS cornstarch
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- pepper to taste (don’t be too shy with this)
- 2 oz cheddar cheese, diced (I used Cabot’s Sharp Light Cheddar, but I wouldn’t recommend totally fat free.)
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (I actually forgot to add this, dangit, but I think I’d be good.)
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut your squash in half. Roast the squash for 25 minutes face down and 25-35 minutes face up, or until soft and done. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes while you start on the other steps.
- Boil water in a large pot and cook pasta according to package directions. About halfway through cooking the pasta, add the kale to the pot as well.
- Using a food processor (a blender might also work), puree the squash until smooth.
- In a saucepot, heat your almond milk and whisk in the cornstarch until blended. (Important: If you’re using a non-stick pot, whisk these in a bowl before adding them to your pot.) Once the mixture begins to simmer, add the butternut squash, garlic, nutmeg, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir and return to a simmer. Next, stir in the cheese and dijon mustard. Continue stirring until cheese melted.
- Drain kale and pasta, return to pot. Add the squash mixture to the pasta and gently stir until well combined.
I really enjoyed and recommend this hot and fresh; however, I really enjoyed the cold leftovers the next day.
- Have you tried butternut squash mac?
- Are you down with squash in spring, or is it fall/winter only for you?
March 27th, 2013
I’m baaaaack! I flew out to Vegas on Thursday, and though I returned on Monday, I got back super late. I needed to hit the hay and sleep in as late as possible before getting up for work yesterday, so that left no time for blogging. No worries; there was still plenty of time for eating and even a wee bit of time for exercising.
I kicked off the day with a 25-minute cardio DVD and this pilates/cardio YouTube video
. Not bad for a rush workout!
And now for the WIAW eats…
Pre-workout: rice cake
Post-workout: 2 eggs and a beautiful Harry & David grapefruit
Snack: fiber cereal and unsweetened almond milk
Lunch: Though a green smoothie was planned, I didn’t have time for that. Quick meal to the rescue!
Snack: pb & nana and 10 almonds a few hours later
Dinner: Mexican Polenta Bake (vegan, GF)… there might have also been a little ice cream thrown in after dinner
Mexican Polenta Bake (serves 3, super easy)
- tube of polenta
- 1 tsp + 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- large bell pepper, diced
- medium onion, diced
- 1 can black beans, drained
- approximately 1 cup salsa
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil an 8×8 or 10×10 dish (I used my Pyrex.) with about 1 tsp oil, or coat with cooking spray.
- Slice polenta in 1/4 inch slices. Line bottom of dish with polenta. Overlapping will be necessary.
- Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook until softened, approximately 6 minutes. Add canned beans, and then stir in the salsa. (I used a basic chunky, medium-heat salsa.)
- Pour vegetable mixture over the polenta. Cover and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 additional minutes.
March 5th, 2013
As promised, today I bring you muffins! These are so carrot-packed, they remind me of this guy. (Does that make them kid-friendly?)
These muffins are also super healthy, making them a perfect way to start your morning… or break up your afternoon and end your evening if you’re my husband. He ate three on Sunday.
Yes, this would be the same hubby who doesn’t like sweets, so keep in mind that these are not super sweet bakery-style muffins. They’re just plain good.
As you’ll notice, they also have an extra punch of protein and healthy fats. Told ya they were healthy…
Carrot Raisin Muffins
- runny chia or flax egg (1 TBS chia seeds & 3 TBS water)
- 2 cups flour (I used 1 regular whole wheat and 1 whole wheat pastry flour.)
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior.)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger (heaping)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups freshly grated carrots (fresh matters)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup walnuts (or more if desired)
- 1 cup milk (I used skim dairy, but almond would have been great too.)
- 4 oz unsweetened applesauce
- 2 TBS maple syrup
- 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
Directions ~ makes 12 muffins
- In a medium bowl, make your runny chia egg and set aside. Grate your carrots. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a second large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. (flour through pumpkin pie spice)
- Return to the medium bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Mix gently.
- Add wet to dry, and stir until mixed. Fill a greased muffin tin with the mixture.
- Bake at 350 F approximately 18-20 minutes, checking with a toothpick.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan about 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
I hope you like them as much as I do! According to my best estimation, they’re about 156 calories per muffin.
- Baked anything good lately? Would you eat a carrot muffin?
February 26th, 2013
Ever have a couple ingredients you’ve been wanting to use, a fridge of leftovers, and a dinner to make? Yup. We’ve all been there, haphazardly throwing things together and hoping for the best.
Sometimes it flops, but other time, it works oh so well. Luckily, Sunday night was the latter.
I had a hard time naming this recipe. In fact, I didn’t measure ingredients or have much of a plan when I started. Whenever I decide to make it again, I’ll be sure to update with real measurements. Actually, I’ll also be doubling the recipe!
I know the pictures don’t do it justice, but if I had known it would be so tasty, I would have retrieved the better camera!
Kitchen Sink Enchilada Tacos (serves 2-3)
- 2 small/medium chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 jalapenos, diced
- 8 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1/2 can diced tomatoes with juices
- 4 or 5 chipotle peppers, diced
- 1-2 tsp cumin
- shredded cheese to your liking (I used about 3/4 cup lite Mexican blend)
- 5 small wraps, TJ’s Reduced Carb tortillas are perfect
- Bring a medium pot of water to boiling. Add chunks of chicken and boil until thoroughly cooked, approximately 15 minutes. You can do this while defrosting your spinach or chopping the vegetables.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium, and add onion. Cook 3-4 minutes, and add jalapeno. Continue cooking until vegetables soften. Add the spinach, diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers and cumin. Stir and let simmer on low or medium-low.
- Once chicken has cooked through, remove it from the pot and shred or cut it into small pieces. Add the chicken to the veggie pan.
- Although I baked my wraps in a square Pyrex dish, I think these would be just as good simply wrapped as soft tacos. They’re not saucy enough to justify baking, but I happen to think most things taste better out of the oven. Don’t forget the cheese!
By the way, these were the two fun ingredients I wanted to use. One is from TJ’s, and one isn’t. Both are friggin’ amazing. Yup, I think I’ll double this recipe next time I make it.
- What was your last kitchen sink meal?
February 15th, 2013
***I think I’ve finally fixed my blog. If you missed the other posts this week, check ‘em out!
Happy Friday! My days have passed soooooo slowly this week, but for some reason, the week itself has gone by quickly. Funny how that works, eh? Perhaps it’s because I’ve been munching on this beauty all week for lunch – well, except for Tuesday as you may have noticed from my WIAW post.
It’s just a hummus and veggie wrap, but I made it with homemade hummus. Never made your own? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. I’m not trying to be cheesy here; that’s actually a mnemonic device for the recipe.
- 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed, drained)
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 3 TBS tahini
- water (I used only 1/4 cup since I wanted it thick for my wrap, so add to your liking.)
- Whip it. Whip it good. In a food processor, of course.
- This is a very basic recipe. It commands in a flavorful wrap or some spiced up mix-ins.
- I like hummus with garlic, so I usually add a clove. Kevin brought some of this to work for snack, so I omitted the garlic. I’m sure coworkers won’t be happy if you add too much!
- Many people like lemon juice, about half a freshly sqeezed lemon. Personally, I’m not a fan.
- Make it your own! Try new ingredients. I’ve listed some hummus links below to inspire you.
And now I’m really looking forward to lunch! Have a great weekend.