S’mores Banana

Hey ya’ll! Today is such an exciting day. We had our first “snow”. Technically it was only snow flurries, but it was still exciting to wake up and see it snowing out the window. I’m lucky because I get to stay inside, enjoy the weather from the window, sip on my hot chocolate, and study for my advanced nutrition exam. This makes me one happy camper! It also is getting my really excited for the holidays. I can’t wait for Thanksgivukkah! Also as an avid shopper, I’m looking forward to Black Friday, but enough about that! Onwards to the delicious recipe that I’m about to share with ya’ll: Banana S’mores! A healthy alternative to my favorite treat.

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Banana S’mores

1 banana
10-12 mini marshmallows
a sprinkle of chocolate chips
aluminum foil

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.. Unlike how I did it in the picture, you want to peel your banana first before placing it into a sheet of aluminum foil. Once you peel the banana, place it in the aluminum foil, wrapping the foil around the sides of the banana. Then make a deep slice into the banana, so that it spreads open a bit.

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3. You then want to stuff the banana with your marshmallows and chocolate chips. This is the fun part. You can either just do marshmallows and chocolate chips or you can get really creative, such as adding nuts, dried fruit, etc. You can also either limit yourself by only putting a few or you can add a lot.

4. Then place in the oven on a baking sheet. You can either let it cook for 12 minutes or just keep on the oven light and monitor it for when the marshmallows get toasty. I prefer the second option because I get to make it as melty as I want.

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5. Remove from the oven, let cool, and eat out of the aluminum foil wrapper. Enjoy.

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This treat is so delicious and really low calorie. If you are having a sweet craving, but don’t want to spend all the calories in something super fattening then this is the way to go. It provides you a ton of fiber from the banana base and you get the sweetness from the marshmallows and chocolate chips. If you really want it to be s’mores like, you can crumble a graham cracker along the inside of the banana before you place it in the oven. I didn’t miss the graham cracker part because my favorite part of a s’mores is the way the marshmallow gets crispy on the outside, but is extremely soft and melted on the inside. This sort of reminded me of a campfire treat and you could actually make these while camping. Instead of placing them in the oven, you just put them over the fire.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed this recipe because my stomach sure did! I can’t wait to get creative and make all kinds of combinations with my bananas. Now it is back to studying for nutrition. Fatty acids are on my mind. Nerd out.

What would you put in your stuffed banana?
What is the best s’mores flavored treat that you have had?

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (Spaghetti Squash)

Hey ya’ll! It’s Monday. If this were a normal school, I would totally be happy because I would have the entire day off for Veteran’s day to study for my advanced nutrition exam that is on Wednesday, but no I have class from 3-9. Go me. In order to cheer myself up, I have decided to share another recipe with ya’ll with some of my favorite ingredients. One is obviously pumpkin. I think pumpkin is one of the greatest things about fall, besides my birthday of course. The other ingredient is spaghetti squash. Ya’ll know I can’t live without my spaghetti squash. Seriously that thing is a staple in my diet. A good one too. So today I have for ya’ll: Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Spaghetti Squash.

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

1/2 spaghetti squash (if you really don’t like it, you can use regular noodles)
1/2 to 3/4 c of pumpkin (depending on how pumpkiny you want it)
1/4 c of light cream cheese
1/4 c of skim milk
1/3 c of shredded cheese (I used WW Mexican blend)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp of salt
sprinkle or two of pepper
Turkey bacon and green onions for garnish

1. First you will want to cook your spaghetti squash. I heat my oven to 400, stab my spaghetti squash all over with a knife, and then place in the oven for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Then I remove, let it cool, and then split it in half. You only need half of the spaghetti squash or even less than half because it provides a ton of “noodles” for the recipe.

2. Place your noodles in a medium pot and turn the heat on medium low.

3. Add pumpkin, cream cheese, skim milk, shredded cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper to the pot. Continuously stir as the ingredients heat.

3. You want to heat the dish until the cream cheese and shredded cheese has completely melted through. There will be no white chunks in the noodles is when you will be able to tell that it is ready.

4. You can let it sit on low heat while you work on the garnish. Heat a small skillet pan and place two to three slices of turkey bacon on. Cook until crispy. Then chop up into small pieces to place on top of pasta dish.

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6. Split into two or three servings depending on how much you want to eat. It is a pretty low calorie recipe since you are using spaghetti squash instead of actual noodles. This way you don’t need to feel as guilty.

7. You can top each bowl with green onions too, which gives it a nice flavor. Enjoy.

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This sort of looks like a pile of mush that isn’t appetizing in the least bit. However then you realize it is made with cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese? If you don’t like cheese, we probably can’t be friends. Actually that is a lie because one of my friends is allergic to dairy and I still love him. Anyways this dish is cheesy goodness with a light pumpkin flavor. To get it more pumpkin flavored and less cheese like, you will need to add more pumpkin. I thought it was perfect like this because it was a cold day and I was looking for something warm and filling to bring for my dinner that evening to class. The best part about this dish, besides it being super cheesy, is that it is pretty healthy for you. All the cheese and milk was low fat or fat free. Plus the base of the dish is just a vegetable. That is why I love spaghetti squash. You can create any pasta dish that you want without all the unnecessary calories while still getting a good source of fiber. It is a win-win in my eyes.

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Cheeeeeeeeese!

Happy Veteran’s day! I’ll be having fun in class all day, so wooo!

What is the best thing you have made with spaghetti squash?
Have you ever used alternative options for noodles?

WIAW: Westsville in NYC

Hey ya’ll! It is that awesome time of the week again, What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by the lovely Jenn. This week I have something special. My best friend and I met up with another friend of ours from Texas who also goes to Teacher’s College at Columbia. What a small world? We were in a Jewish youth group, BBYO, as youth, so it was a nice catch up, since the other girl was a few years older than us. We ended up going to this super cute place over in Chelsea called Westville. Now let me get on to the food.

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This place is overflowing with cuteness. Look at the menu. It made me feel like I was at school because it was handwritten on lined paper. I thought it brought a lot of fun to the restaurant and gave it a warm, welcoming environment. This was just one menu too. They had a regular menu underneath it. There was so many food options that it was really hard to decide. This menu was so cute though that I obviously had to get the market sides.

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Here is my beautiful plate of market sides. I feel like a bunny rabbit when I look at this plate. It is full of vegetables and tofu. It is also a really colorful plate, which is super important in having a healthy and balanced diet. It keeps you wanting to eat the healthy food by having it bright and colorful. You need variety in your diet in order to stick with choosing healthy choices.

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For one of my sides I got the Asian Style Bok Choy. It was just your regular bok choy that had been sauteed in some oil and topped with peanuts and spicy sauce. It was delicious. I love the way sauteed bok choy tastes. It gets so tender, which is a nice alternative to having to really crunch and chew on something. The sauce was really nice too. It wasn’t overly spicy, which I needed since I’ve been eating so much bibimbap with spicy red paste. I have cleared my sinuses way too much this week. I feel like a new person. Anways, Bok Choy. It was simple, but sometimes you need that in your life.

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This was the soy glazed tofu. I actually like how they presented this part of the dish. I was expecting to have a ton of small chopped up pieces of tofu, but then I was surprised when I saw two long pieces of pan-seared tofu on the plate. It had a light glaze of the soy, which was good because you do not want that overly salty taste to tofu. It was really crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. This was definitely one of the better cooked tofu dishes I have had at a restaurant (obviously nothing can replace my sesame tofu in Austin, but this was really good). This was my protein on the plate to go along with all the fiber that I was consuming. You always need to balance it out.

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This was definitely the star of the plate. Roasted beets with walnuts. I think I was in heaven. I could have eaten an entire plate of this. I forgot how much I loved beets. They are so soft and tender. When you stick them in your mouth, they just melt on your tongue. The walnuts gave a nice crunch to it and added a salty flavor to the sweetness of the beets. I gobbled these up in an instant. You could have gotten them with goat cheese, but I insisted on the walnuts because of the Vitamin E that they contain and they are a healthy source of fat. I will definitely be ordering this market side when I go back to Westville. I could not stop raving about this when I got home and talked to Carrianne. I was like the beets, OMG, so good. Who says that? I know my childhood self would not have. I’m adult Lindsay now who loves all her vegetables (even though when I was little, I actually had a pretty great palate for vegetables).

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Brussel sprouts? Man ya’ll must think I have gone crazy going after all the weird vegetables for dinner. To be completely honest, I was trying to be super healthy anyways because I am currently on prednisone for my arthritis, so I am intense with not consuming any bad things. For those of you that don’t know, prednisone makes you gain weight because it increases your appetite. Luckily every time that I take prednisone, I have never gained weight, but actually lost weight. As long as I stick to my good habits, I know I’m good. Anyways, FOOOOOD. Brussel sprouts. So delicious. What? Lindsay is liking all these vegetables that are usually disgusting. Ummm what? They are so good. Yes, now I’m having conversations with myself because I’m cool like that. These brussel sprouts came with a honey dijon sauce that was to die for. They were perfectly roasted and the sauce soaked into the leaves. It was great. I was so full after my meal because of all the fiber. Definitely a win win! Also all of that food was only 15$. What a steal!

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Isa and our friend Rachel ended up splitting a plate of sides and a salad. They ordered the pesto mash potatoes, which may have been one of the best things I have ever had. Pesto and mash potatoes. What a genius combination. They were so silky and soft. The pesto was mixed perfectly in the mash. They let me have a bite and I was so thankful. They also ended up getting sesame snow peas, polenta, and squash with quinoa. I think they were sad because they didn’t order the french fries (as was I because when I saw a girl across from us with them I was insanely jealous). They enjoyed the mash potatoes and snow peas, but the other two dishes left a little confusion.

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Pardon me for having a super blurry picture. This is the salad that they ended up splitting. It had arugula, pair, shredded mozarella, and a lemon oil sauce. It looked so good. It was also huge. They were like woah, thank god we are splitting this. I definitely would get a salad too next time to split with someone. That was the best way to go about things. Splitting a salad and market sides, that way you got to taste a whole bunch of choices. I can’t wait to go back here another time. Definitely a really great spot to go on a date. It was cute and cozy inside. Our friend, Rachel, said that the drinks were really good too and that the vegetarian burger was to die for. I will obviously be hitting it up for all of the reasons above. It was a nice night.

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I hope ya’ll have a great Wednesday. Mine is pretty eventful. I am getting all my lab testing done in applied physiology lab. That means I have to perform blood pressure, heart rate, skinfold, medical history, physical assessment, and breathing tests on a subject and get graded on it. So far I have gotten a 100 on my two other tests, so I think I am pretty good to go. I’ll leave you with this little gem of a minion. When Isa and I were walking to Westville, we saw this cute little guy in the window of a cake shop. I wanted to go in so bad, but I just wrote down the name, so I could go back when I’m off prednisone and it is a Saturday! Have an awesome day!

What is your favorite vegetable?
Where is your favorite place to go on a date?

Orange Cauliflower and Rice

Happy Halloween to everyone! I am having a pretty boring Halloween compared to my past. I’m just having a night in with the roommates doing school work. Oh the life of a graduate student. Actually I’m doing that because Carrianne and I are going to a crazy concert tomorrow, which I CAN’T WAIT FOR! So to make up for the lackluster Halloween events, I have a delicious recipe for you: Orange Cauliflower and Rice. I do love cauliflower (ya’ll know that from my cauliflower fried rice and cauliflower pizza).

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Orange Cauliflower

3 T Egg Whites
1/4 c of flour
1/2 c of water
1/4 c of corn starch
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped up
3 chopped up green onions
zest of orange + all of juice of orange
2 T of soy sauce
2 T of rice vinegar
1/4 c of orange juice
1 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of brown sugar
1 bag of frozen cauliflower

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1. Cook frozen cauliflower to directions on bag.

2. Mix flour, cornstarch, water, and egg whites into a small mixing bowl until a batter like texture if formed. Make sure that the batter isn’t super thick.

3. Heat 1/4 c of olive oil in a pan while you coat all the pieces of cauliflower until each piece is fully coated.

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4. Place cauliflower in pan until completely cooked and browned. Place cauliflower on paper towel to soak up oil and dry.

5. Heat 1 tsp of oil and the chopped up garlic in a new pan for a minute.

6. Add half of the green onions, the zest, and the juice of the orange into the pan and cook for another minute.

7. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Turn up the heat until it has reached a boil. Turn back down and toss in the cauliflower. Cook until it has been fully coated in sauce.

8. Remove from heat and place over brown rice (I just used Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown instant rice because I’m super lazy).

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9. Throw orange juice, brown sugar, and tsp of corn starch into the same pan. Heat to a boil for one minute, constantly stirring the dish.

10. Drizzle the sauce over the cauliflower and brown rice.

11. You can garnish the dish with the remaining green onions, orange zest, and sesame seeds.

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This dish is so delicious. It actually tastes like orange chicken minus the soft tenderness of the chicken, but the cauliflower is such a good healthy alternative. Chinese food can be packed full with calories, especially the Americanized food items like sesame chicken, orange chicken, and others. By placing a more vegetarian friendly option, you can lower the amount of calories while still enjoying the classic taste of the sauces. It was a nice warm meal to have when I was craving some greasy Chinese. I will definitely have to try this out with other popular Asian sauces. I like making healthy version of my favorite types of food because that allows me to enjoy them on a daily basis instead of just my fat day, which is Saturday.

I hope ya’ll enjoy this! Have an awesome Halloween. I’m catching up on all my missed TV shows while I make notecards, blog, and work on my review paper! Happy Halloween!

What is your favorite Chinese food item?
What are you going to be for Halloween?

Skinny Baked Potato Soup

Hey ya’ll! It is officially fall. The weather is getting chilly and I’m making soup to keep myself warm. I’m so excited that it is Friday. I’m going to the Bronx zoo today, so I am counting down the hours until I leave my apartment to go. I’m such a child, but oh well. I’m awesome. Plus this is my treat for getting an A on my midterm! Lets get to my recipe. I am going to be making a ton of soup recipes these days because it is gonna get freezing and soup is a quick warm thing to have. Today’s soup recipe is Skinny Baked Potato soup.

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Skinny Baked Potato Soup

2 medium russet potatoes
1 head of cauliflower or 1 bag of frozen cauliflower
1 1/2 c of vegetable broth
1 1/2 c of almond milk
1/2 c of fat free sour cream
salt
pepper
green onions

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1. Wash russet potatoes and then stab both with a fork all over. Place into a microwave safe dish and microwave for 5 minutes. Flip over and microwave for another 5 minutes.

2. While potato is being microwave, steam/cook the cauliflower until it is ready to be drained. Once the cauliflower is cooked, place into a blender or large food processor.

3. When potatoes are done, let them cool down and mash them in the container.

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4. Add potatoes, vegetable broth, and almond milk into the blender with the cauliflower. Blend the mixture until it becomes a thick creamy texture. Then pour into a large pot on the stove.

5. Heat on a medium to low heat until starts to bubble up. Then add in the sour cream, a dash of salt and pepper, and as many green onions as you want.

6 Mix well until you see that the sour cream has disappeared. Let heat for a few more minutes then serve into dishes (1 cup portions).

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I topped my soup with a sprinkle of fat free cheese, some more green onions, and a few pieces of turkey bacon. It literally tastes like a baked potato in liquid form. It was so delicious. It had gotten pretty chilly in the apartment, so it definitely warmed me up to eat this. You can’t even taste the cauliflower or the almond milk, so it was great to have healthy swaps that don’t ruin a dish. This makes a ton of servings too. I have a full plastic container waiting for me to enjoy every day in the fridge. It is really filling too because of all the fiber that is in the dish from the cauliflower and potatoes. This is a definite winter staple, so ya’ll should go out and make this immediately. You can get fun with the toppings too. Dress it up like it is your dream baked potato.

What do you like on your baked potato?
What is your favorite soup to have during winter and fall?

Healthy Chicken Pho

Hey ya’ll! I have survived yet another midterm. These midterms are very interesting. Definitely not what I would expect from graduate school. Good news is that so far I have been kicking butt. I have a A++ in one of my classes. Go me! I’m pretty amazing, I think. Anyways I have a delicious recipe to share with ya’ll! It has been getting chilly lately up here in the Northeast, so there is a need to make soup and other warm things to keep me cozy. For today’s soup recipe, I have a healthy chicken pho soup. I love Asian food, so I obviously had to make an inspired soup from my favorite food genre.

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Healthy Chicken Pho

3-4 thin boneless chicken breasts
1-2 cups of bok choy
1 jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic
6 cups of chicken broth
3 green onions
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
2 oz of whole wheat vermicelli

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1. Heat about 1-2 tsp of olive oil in a huge soup pot on medium to high heat. Then add in chopped up garlic for about 30 seconds.

2. In the meantime, chop up your chicken breasts into small pieces. Also prepare bok choy by cutting off the bottom of the stems.

3. Add the chicken and bok choy to cook for about 3-5 minutes until the chicken has become white.

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4. Add the chicken broth, green onions, and jalapeno to the pot and heat to a simmer. You should let this sit and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes.

5. While this is going on, you can cook your noodles in a separate pot. Cooking method depends on the type of noodles you have. Mine you just had to heat the water to a boil, turn off the heat, and let them sit in the water for 4 minutes (I got these noodles at Whole Foods, pretty cheap for a 5 servings of 2 oz of noodles).

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6. Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce to the soup pot. You can then add the noodles to the pot once you stir enough.

7. Remove and serve. You can top it with cilantro and sriracha based on personal preference (but ya’ll know I had to top mine with those goodies).

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Oh soup, you are so beautiful to me, can’t you see? I am in love with pho. While mine isn’t as gourmet or probably as delicious as what I’ve had in some Vietnamese restaurants, this definitely is a pretty good substitute for when I don’t want to pay or have to travel downtown to get some. I think I will be tweeking the recipe around to literally get the perfect soup, but I am happy with this one. I think dumplings would be perfect in it. That is probably what I will attempt to do next. It is a healthy option too. There is no calories in broth and the main calories come from the whole wheat noodles and the chicken. I didn’t put that much chicken in mine because I prefer vegetables over meat. That means I totally overloaded it with bok choy (I’m obsessed with bok choy – if you didn’t know).

I’m off to go work on a project. I hope ya’ll are having a pretty good week.

Have you ever had pho?
What is your favorite Asian dish?

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hey ya’ll! We survived Monday. My last class was extremely painful, but I did it! We even got out 10 minutes early, which was amazing. The funny thing is that the class is so boring that at least 16 students were skipping class. I wonder if the professor knows how boring his class is. Anyways lets talk about food. I love food. Especially spaghetti squash. It is squash season right now and I am completely in my element. I have been coming up with squash recipes left and right, so I’m going to share one with ya’ll today. Let me introduce: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara.

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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

1 c of Spaghetti Squash
2 slices of turkey bacon
1/2 c of peas
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp of butter/margarine
1 pinch of shredded Parmesan

Sauce:
1 egg
1/2 c of egg whites
1/2 c of skim milk
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/8 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of pepper
1-2 tbsp of flour

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1. Preheat oven to 375. Place spaghetti squash in a pyrex baking dish. Either cut the squash in half or poke holes in the entire squash with a fork or knife. Then place in the oven for an hour or until soft.

2. Once cooked, remove, wait till cooled off, and then pull out spaghetti from the squash.

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3. Slice up the two turkey bacon pieces into fine bits. Place them in a pan that is on medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until it has become crisp.

4. Add in the garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add in the butter and peas. This will take another 2-3 minutes to cook through.

6. Remove mixture and place into a dish with 1 c of the spaghetti squash.

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7. Whisk egg and egg whites in a small bowl. Then whisk in milk, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk over medium heat for 2 minutes and then let sit for another 2 minutes. At this point add in the flour to make it thicken.

8. Pour over your bowl of prepared pasta and mix thoroughly. Top with shredded Parmesan.

This dish is so delicious and healthy for you. I love spaghetti squash. It is the best alternative to pasta. Low calorie and packed with nutrients. Spaghetti Carbonara is one of my favorite dishes at classic Italian restaurants, but it is one of the dishes that packs the most fat and calories. I obviously had to come up with my own healthy version that had just as much flavor. This was it. The smokiness of the cooked bacon with the garlic brings a nice flavor to the dish. The peas are very subtle in the dish and just provide a nice texture. The sauce is what really makes this dish. It is creamy and holds the noodles together. Topped with Parmesan it is perfect. I ended up eating this multiple times during the week. I brought it to class at night for my dinner twice, and of course everyone was staring at me yet again. Once it leaked in my backpack because my dish wasn’t sealed tight enough. Now my backpack smells like spaghetti squash carbonara. Oh well.

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Spaghetti squash contains a wide variety of vitamins. It contains a large amount of Vitamin C, which helps with immunity. Other vitamins that spaghetti squash contains is vitamin A, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and Vitamin K. Each of these vitamins plays key roles in your body. It is important to get the RDA of each one every day, so that your body is functioning properly. There are also minerals in spaghetti squash. The dominant mineral is manganese, which helps in healthy bones, tissues, and hormones. It also plays a role in metabolism, regulation of blood sugar, absorption of calcium, and functioning of nervous system. Other minerals in spaghetti squash are potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium, and iron. Also this packs a ton of fiber, which helps with the digestive system and cancer. And that is just the squash! This dish packs a ton of health benefits, so please make this to enjoy it!

Have an awesome Tuesday, I’ll be spending the entire day studying for my Advanced Nutrition midterm.

Do you eat a lot of spaghetti squash?
What is the best dish you have made with spaghetti squash?