Have Spaghetti Dinner without committing Carbicide!

If you’re anything like me, you crave carbs 24 hours a day and actually spend at least 2 hours a day eating them. I love, and I mean looooove pasta and it makes it almost impossible for me to be healthy for a full day. There’s something so heavenly about a plate to stringy goodness, a thick delicious meaty tomato garlic sauce, and a mountain of cheese to top it all off. – Ouf. Now I’m hungry, again.

Fear not my carb loving friends, I’ve found a solution to our hip hugging, love handle enhancing problem! Spaghetti SQUASH!

It’s an incredibly delicious alternative to the carby noodles we’ve come to trust. Did I mention it was healthy, carb-less and low calorie???

A healthy plate of goodness. Hold the guilt.

A healthy plate of goodness. Hold the guilt.

Here we go.

Chunky Spaghetti Squash

For the squash:
1 medium spaghetti squash (3-4 pounds) or two small spaghetti squash
1 cup Parmesan or Cheddar Cheese

For the tomato sauce:
Any flavor of Pasta Tomato Sauce (My favorite one is Garlic flavored sauce)
1 lb. Extra lean ground beef
4 cloves garlic
½ Large onion
salt and pepper (to taste)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them.
  2. Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet, add water to cover base of baking pan. Bake for 40-45 Minutes.
  3. Finely chop the Garlic and Onion. Add Garlic and Onion to frying pan with a hint of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add extra lean ground beef and cook until brown. Once cooked, add tomato sauce and lower heat.
  4. After 35 minutes, start checking the squash to see if it’s done. The squash is done when the insides can be poked with gently with a fork. The threads of the spaghetti squash should be slightly crunchy and watery, sometimes called “cucumber-like.” If the squash flesh becomes creamy, it is over-cooked. While over-cooked spaghetti squash will still taste fine, it will not separate into its signature spaghetti-like stands.
  5. Allow the squash to cool for five minutes. Then, using a fork, pull the strands of the squash out of the shell. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place the squash in a serving dish and ladle the sauce on top.
  7. Cheese up that plate and dig in, guilt free!!

There you have it ladies and gents, an alternative to spaghetti. Now you may indulge and conquer your pasta craving!

Calories: 245.2 (per serving) • Fat: 11.9 g • Protein: 14.4 g •
Carb: 21.9 g • Fiber: 5.3 g • Sugar: 4.5 g Sodium: 254.8 mg

Goodbye love handles, we had a good run. See you, NEVER again.

Hello my name is Kathleen, and I’m a Blogger that can cook.

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Recipe – Healthy Peanut Sauce

I made this recipe last night and oh. my. YUM. I just had to share it with you guys.

As usual, I looked up a few different recipes to get some inspiration for dinner and then I just winged it, so please keep in mind that all of the measurements are estimates. I never follow a recipe exactly and I probably have never made two dishes the exact same… that’s probably part of the reason why I’m so terrible at baking! Haha

This recipe is really simple – all you need is one pot to make this sauce. You can vary the amount of water to get your desired consistency. I made mine a little thicker, just because, but I think I will add a bit more water next time. I also used a real lemon for the juice, but you can use the store-bought kind too. They both work the same, I just prefer the natural way.

Ingredients:
1/4 c natural peanut butter
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp reduced sodium soya sauce
3 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
chili powder

To make the sauce:
Turn your element on to medium-low.
Add your peanut butter and let it melt, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn or stick.
Add water, which will instantly make it more liquid.
Stir until the sauce has an even consistency.
While stirring, add your soya sauce, milk and lemon juice. (Here’s where I taste it to determine whether I need more of something. Last night, I found it was very delicious and peanut-y so I left it as it).
Add a dash of chili powder, stir once more and then pour over your dinner!

Makes enough sauce for about 2-3 servings.

I poured the sauce over some chicken, bean sprouts, mushrooms, carrots and celery, mixed all of that up and then served it on a bed of brown rice. I think it would be delicious for Pad Thai or in any kind of stir-fry, with shrimp or tofu. Delicious!

Enjoy,

C
xoxo

Getting Healthy #1

Hello lovelies!

In my most recent years, I’ve become more and more interested in healthy living and exercise. I look at my parents’ generation and what they eat and all of the disease and I know that there is no way to escape these things – especially since there will always be something else.

BUT, I tell myself that I can definitely prolong my life by being as healthy as I can, and taking care of myself, both body and mind.

#1 – Quitting Smoking
My first task was clearly to quit smoking. Mission accomplished!

I never smoked as much as the regular smoker, but I started making excuses for myself and had myself convinced I wasn’t even a smoker. That’s when I knew I had to stop. I would have maybe 1 cigarette a day, on the drive home after work. I loved the feeling of having my windows down, blasting the music and having a cigarette. I would smoke a few cigarettes when out with friends on weekends. I could make a pack last weeks, but I still didn’t like the fact that I was a regular smoker, and lying to myself about it.

My main motivation was my check-up with my doctor. I was ashamed that I would have to admit to her that I had been smoking, so I was determined to quit before then. Also, my dad is a smoker and when I was a little girl, I would beg him to stop because he was “stinky”. I thought, hey, I don’t want to be stinky! I would often smell it on my fingers, or feel the grittiness on my teeth and that was the farthest thing from pleasant. Lastly, being a university student with a mortgage, I told myself that I absolutely could not afford this habit. Time to kick it.

So I quit smoking, just like that. I was lucky because it was easy for me, but I know it’s that that easy for everyone, especially those who have had the habit for much longer. I had only been smoking on and off for about 2 years, but decided to quit before it was too late.

Since quitting (about 5 months ago), I have had about 4-5 cigarettes in total, during social outings with friends, but I am starting to not even crave it in those situations anymore. The first few weeks were the toughest, but it gets easier! I don’t think about it now and I tell myself not to stress about it. That’s important too. The more you stress about it, the more you crave it because you’re constantly thinking about not smoking… I told myself that if I had one, it was okay. It was okay, as long as I didn’t make it a habit.

I’m very proud of myself and I just want to recognized all of those who have either quit smoking, or are trying to quit. It’s not easy, but you can do it!

If you guys want help, support or advice, don’t hesitate to message me.

Good luck!

Love,

C.

 

We’re Working Out!

Hi everyone!

Monday began a new month and I thought it would be the perfect timing to get back into my workout routine. For the past 2 years, I have been exercising regularly, but as a new semester begun, I saw my good habits fade away – and fast. I know that my life will ALWAYS be busy and I will always have an excuse, but I believe that being healthy is a big part of being happy. It’s important to make that time and the longer you maintain certain habits, the easier they will become – good OR bad!

Last week, my boyfriend stumbled upon a workout plan from Men’s Health so we decided it was time to get back into our gym routine.

Our Goal – Long-Term
Our goal is ultimately to be healthy. We plan on working out 4-5 times per week and to keep it up for as long as possible.

Our Goal – Short-Term
For me, a trip down south is usually a good motivation. We’re planning to go to the Dominican Republic in February 2013, so I’m aiming to look and feel good about myself for that point. I’m looking to lose about a few pounds and tone my body.

For my boyfriend, I think he is also using the trip as his motivation. He is mostly looking to build his muscle mass and increase his strength and endurance.

First Week
Yesterday we woke up at 5.45am and headed off to the gym, then off to work. This morning, we did it again. I am so proud of us! Tomorrow we decided would be our “rest day” and we start again Thursday. I love the idea of the rest day in the middle of the week because it helps you look forward to it and motivates you to keep going.

The Perks of Morning Workouts
I am such a fan of morning workouts. There are so many benefits to it, too. While I know that it’s not for everyone, I definitely recommend it for those who can. For my boyfriend and I, it fits in with our busy schedules. We both work Monday to Friday, and I take evening classes, so it’s difficult for us to find that spare time. Often, I’ll be really exhausted after work and want nothing more than to go snuggle up in my bed. Working out in the morning gives me that alternative while also making me feel better about myself, and more positive in general. I feel more awake and productive at work, plus it speeds up my metabolism to burn extra calories throughout the day. That, combined with healthier eating habits (which I’ll discuss in a separate post) make for a great health boost!

I love working out. I always feel like I haven’t worked out hard enough unless I’m sore the next day.

What are some of your workout routines? We’d love to know!

Love,

C.