Tagged: spaghetti squash

Real Food Recipe Roundup #3 – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!

Lolz.

I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.

Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!

If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    (or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
    (you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese.  Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.

Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.

Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!

For the Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
    (Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.

Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!

chicken pesto meatballs with baked spaghetti squash

Meal Plan Monday & A Fun Frittata

Hey, dudes!! Happy Monday!! I can still say it’s happy because it’s early. Heh.

I hope you all had a nice weekend! Did you do anything exciting for Valentine’s Day?  Our cooking dinner plans didn’t work out as anticipated so we wound up going out to dinner instead, but we had a loveerly time. We also snagged this preggo some froyo!! (Peanut Butter and Coffee flavored froyo topped with peanut butter chips and peanut m&ms. I have a problem.) Then we rented Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters and We Are The Millers and snuggled. I would recommend both movies to anyone who hasn’t seen them. Sooooooooooooo good and HILARIOUS!!!

Anywho, I’ve finally jumped onto the Sunday Food Prep bandwagon a la The Lean Green Bean! It was great to actually have the time this weekend to get soooo much stuff ready for the week. I’m really looking forward to just grabbing stuff when I need it, having my veggies all chopped up for salads throughout the week, and even having parts of my dinners ready to go! It took me about 3 hours to get all of this done. I set my tablet up in the kitchen and put on a few episodes of Bones that I was behind on – so I probably could have gotten it done even faster had I not let myself get distracted by the show here and there. I just didn’t feel like hanging out in the kitchen in silence. Either way, Here is what I prepped:

Sunday food prep

 

  • One dozen turkey meatloaf muffins
  • 40 banana chocolate chip protein mini muffins
  • A frittata with Canadian bacon, bell peppers, scallions, and cheddar cheese (6 servings – recipe below)
  • 1 roasted spaghetti squash
  • 4 baked sweet potatoes
  • 1 cucumber, 1 yellow bell pepper
  • Oat flour

And hereeeeeeeeeeee is my meal plan for the week! We’re going to visit Bill and Susan and my Poppa Bear in New Jersey this weekend, so I only needed to worry about dinner Monday- Thursday and then when we’re home on Sunday night. Though I am SO looking forward to cooking up a storm Saturday night with my dear Susie! In addition to other tasty bites she has formally requested my kale salad – which I can’t wait to devour!

Monday
Meatless MondayMinestrone Soup with Garlic & Mozzarella English Muffin Melts

Tuesday
Tilapia Tacos with Southwest Slaw

Wednesday
Mini Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Frozen Veggies ( I always have a stockpile of the Green Giant Healthy Weight Blend. It’s snap peas, carrots, black beans, and edamame. Johnny and I both love it!)

Thursday
Grilled Pesto Chicken with Tomatoes, Green Beans, and Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

Sunday
Shrimp Scampi
(My latest pregnancy craving, people. All I want to do is eat shrimp all the time!!)

And just for funsies – here’s the recipes for my super simple frittata! It’s packed with protein and surprisingly low in calories!! Perfect for mommies-to-be! *wink wink* I enjoyed mine with half of a whole wheat english muffin with a little smart balance to make it a complete breakfast! If you’re not a meat eater this would be just as delicious without the Canadian bacon, I was just in the mood for it this week!

Scallion & Bell Pepper Frittata

  •  6 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions, diced
  • 5 slices Canadian bacon, diced
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Add the Canadian bacon to a small, dry skillet over high heat. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes or until the Canadian bacon starts to brown. Add the bell peppers and cook about 5 minutes more or until the peppers start to char. Remove from heat.

Spray an 11×7 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Add the Canadian bacon and pepper mixture to the bottom of the pan. Top with the egg mixture, scallions, and cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until set. Let cool before slicing into six servings.

frittata

Nutrition per serving (calculated on MyFitnessPal):
186 calories
5 grams carbs
10 grams fat
18 grams protein
1 gram fiber
2 grams sugar

That’s all for today, folks!! But don’t forget to come back for What I Ate Wednesday and my grand link-up premier this Thursday for my Real Food Recipe Roundup!!

 

 

Weirded Out & WIAW #4

Good morning! I hope you are swell! I wish I could say that I was, I’m feeling a bit under the weather today. 🙁
I always get kind of sick when the seasons change. Hopefully this won’t be too bad. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Feeling a little sick didn’t keep me from the gym last night, though, and I got totally creeped on! BLAH! (Has this ever happened to you?!)

The gym was much less crowded than normal last night, which made me very happy. I decided to hang out in the corner of the free weight area so if anyone wanted to use the benches (which were, literally, all empty) I wouldn’t be in their way and I could do my split squats and squat presses without interruption. Then, of course, some fairly (OK – ridiculously!) muscly man decided out of all of the empty benches the one right next to me was the most appealing. He proceeded to stretch, leaning closer and closer towards me, with a great big smile on his face. I had my headphones in and avoided eye contact, trying really hard not to be super rude (even though he was). The he decided while I was doing squat presses that some chest flys were a great idea. Had I not decided then to move on I would have gotten chest flied right in the face.

*sigh*

Gym etiquette people!  Aren’t headphone the international ” I don’t want to be bothered” symbol??

What are your gym peeves?

I also can’t stand when people are talking on their cell phones while walking on the treadmill!


On to What I Ate Wednesday!! Big thanks, as usual, to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for making this fun link-up possible!

Here’s what I ate yesterday! At least my dinner totally stuck with the green theme!!!

Breakfast: 1 cup Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat with 12 walnut halves, 1/2 cup mixed berries, and 1 cup skim milk. Yogi skin detox tea.
Snack: 1 slice Wegmans 98% fat free deli turkey and 1 part-skim string cheese.
Lunch: Leftover chicken parm with spaghetti squash mixed with smart balance, parm, and (maybe too much) garlic.
Snack: 1 square Wegmans dark chocolate with almonds, coffee with skim milk and 1/2 of a splenda packet (the coffee was an attempt to get rid of my garlic breath! it actually kinda worked…though gum would have been best!).
Pre-Workout Snack: 3/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon peanut butter.
Dinner: Turkey Taco Salad! 1 1/2 cups spinach/arugula blend, 1/2 orange bell pepper, 1/2 roma tomato, 1/4 of an avocado, 2 tablespoons diced white onion, 2 tablespoons shredded taco cheese, 1/4 cup ground turkey taco meat, 1/4 cup Wegmans garlic & lime salsa, 1 1/2 crumbled hard taco shells.
Tea Time: Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea – my favorite before bed time. I also curled up with my Sookie Stackhouse book. The newest one comes out in May I think?? I am obsessed with True Blood and I LOVE these books!! Anyone else out there read them??

 

cereals

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Shrimp, Shrimp, Shrimp

Seriously, I love shrimp so much. They’re delicious AND good for you – two of my favorite things. 🙂 So finally, here’s shrimp recipe I promised you on Monday. I hope you love it (but don’t devour it as fast as I did…you’ll be sad when it’s all gone)!

Garlic Shrimp with Parmesan Spaghetti Squash and Simple Arugula Salad

nomshrimp

serves two

For Shrimp

  • 1/2 lb shrimp of your choice, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter or olive oil (I used smart balance)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

For Arugula Salad

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

To start, slice the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out any seeds and guts (just like you would a pumpkin for Halloween!). Place the squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish. Fill the dish with water so it’s about 1/4 of the way up the sides of the squash. Microwave in 6 minute intervals until the squash interior is tender and the outside can be pierced with a knife with little resistance. (I’ll typically do 3 rounds of 6 minutes for perfect squash!)

While the squash is cooking, in a small dish combine all of the salad ingredients except the arugula. Whisk well to combine. Set aside. Toss with arugula just before serving.

When the squash is cooked, scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to remove the flesh from the skin. This is how you’ll get your “spaghetti” strands from it. Combine the squash with butter, garlic, oregano, and parmesan.

For the shrimp, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and let heat for 2 or 3 minutes until fragrant. Turn the heat to high and add the shrimp. Let cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side. Add the wine and lemon juice and let cook for about 3 minutes more until the liquid reduced to coat the shrimp lightly. Add the lemon zest at the last moment when the shrimp are opaque and pink and gorgeous.

Serve the shrimp over the squash with the arugula salad (though really you could serve it with the shrimp on the salad and the squash on the side…or you could mix it all together… or serve it on a boat….or with a goat….or on a train…okay I’m done now, but you get the picture…the choice is yours!) and enjoy.