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.

photo 1

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.

photo 2

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.

photo 3

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.

photo 4

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?

Advertisements

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.

photo 5

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

photo 3

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.

photo 1

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.

photo 4

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.

photo 2

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?

Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash

Hey ya’ll! I have survived my first final. It was really easy to be honest, but my make-up exam was kind of hard, which was shocking. It was all short answer, which the test is usually multiple choice, a few short answer, and a case study. Instead it was all short answer and a case study. Hopefully I did well. If not, it isn’t the end of the world since I rocked the final. So I have something super special to share with ya’ll: my recipe for tofu spaghetti squash pad thai. Maybe one of the greatest things I have ever experienced (let me rephrase that: greatest healthy thing).

photo

Tofu Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
1 red onion
1 spaghetti squash
1 c of carrots (already in thin stick form)
1 c bean sprouts
1/4-1/2 c of liquid egg whites
1 clove of garlic
crushed peanuts
a few pieces of cilantro

Peanut Sauce
2 tbsp white rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 lime
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp of PB2 prepared with 3-4 tbsp of water

photo(1)1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and slice your spaghetti squash into half. Carve out the middle of the squash that contains all of the seeds and discard into the trash.

2. Place squash on a baking sheet or in a pyrex dish with the skin facing the dish and cook for 40-60 minutes until soft.

3. Meanwhile drain tofu of all water and slice into extremely small pieces (or if you want larger chunks don’t cut down into fine cubes).

photo(13)4. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and toss in tofu (you can use 1 tbsp oil if you want it more crisp/fried like). Cook until light brown on sides.

5. Remove tofu from pan and toss in chopped red onion (you don’t have to add all of the red onion, I just added as much as I wanted there to be in the dish).

6. Cook for a minute or two, then add in chopped garlic (stir continuously, so it does not burn).

7. After a minute has gone by, add in the carrots and bean sprouts. You may need to spray the pan again with the non-cook PAM or add in some water, so the pan doesn’t burn.

photo8. Toss in the tofu to re-heat and mix with all the vegetables.

9. Move mixture to the side of the pan and add in the liquid egg whites. Wait until the liquid starts to solidify before moving around to turn into scrambled eggs.

10. Then mix all the ingredients together and then remove pan from flame to place on a burner for the meantime.

11. In a small saucepan or pot, add in the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, PB2, juice of one lime, and a clove of garlic.

12. Heat on medium and stir until the brown sugar and PB2 completely dissolves.

13. Place vegetable/tofu mixture back on a flame to heat back up then pour the cooked sauce into the mixture. Stir until everything is thoroughly coated.

14. By this time the spaghetti squash should be done cooking, so remove from oven and let cool. Once the squash is cool you can use a fork to pull the “noodles” from the squash. Once you have the amount you want, throw the “noodles” into the vegetable mixture and stir well.

photo(2)15. Pour however much you want into a bowl and top with a handful of crushed peanuts and around 6-7 cilantro leaves. Then enjoy!

Seriously this is one of the best meals I’ve made for myself. I have a love for all types of Asian food, so when I realized I could utilize spaghetti squash as noodles in pad thai my world completely changed. The richness of the peanut sauce meshes well with the freshness of the cooked vegetables. You can’t even tell that the noodles are spaghetti squash. I think it is the sauce that really ties it all together. I even had so much that I have had leftovers for two days. Also I didn’t use all my noodles, so I made spaghetti squash mac n cheese, which I will obviously have to share with ya’ll another day.

photo(3)I think another thing that I like so much about this dish is all the wonderful colors in it. The cilantro brings a nice pop of green to the dish while it has a lot of warm colors in it such as the red from the onion, the orange from the carrots, and the yellow from the squash. Wow I sound like an art freak to be honest. What can I say I have transitioned from oils and pastels to food. Okay, no I am still doing art because I love it, but now I just have another medium to work with: fresh food. This dish is definitely a hit. Even the non-vegetable eaters would probably love this. The true test is to use it on a guy (not saying that all guys don’t eat vegetables, just most)!

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Thursday evening. Mine will be spent curled up in bed reading a book. I just finished Night Circus and it was fantastic!

Have you ever had spaghetti squash?
What have you done with it?

WIAW (Life Without Plastic Bags)

Hey ya’ll! It is that time of the week again when bloggers around the world share what they are eating. It is one of my favorite link-ups, known as What I ate Wednesday. I bet there are other goods ones out there, but I just love to see what everyone is eating to get inspiration for recipes and blog posts. Thanks to Jenn for hosting this fantastic day! Seriously pure genius for coming up with it!

photo(3)Since school is pretty much over for me, I ended up going to my mom’s to study for finals and what not. Well I decided that I was going to cook up a storm in the house and make a ton of new recipes to share with ya’ll. So I drove over to the local HEB in my neighborhood to load up on groceries, but little did I know that there are NO more plastic bags (disclaimer: Yes, I actually knew, but I forget because this is sort of ridiculous). I’m all for helping the environment, but they should have plastic bags on hand just in case people forget. I have a million reusable bags, so I’m not going to spend money to buy another one just so I can carry my groceries like a normal person. Nope, I totally put everything back into my cart and rocked the no bag look. I got some stares.

photo(6)I was not going to let the plastic bag problem stop me. Although once I got to my house, I got reusable bags to help get everything out of the car. Now to the yummy part of the story. For breakfast I had chocolate covered strawberry cheesecake oats. Umm yes. I have an obsession with cheesecake oats (fat free cottage cheese + oatmeal). It seriously makes the oatmeal have a creamier and richer flavor to it.

photo(5)Close up, in yo face. You can’t go wrong with chocolate chips and strawberries. I have so many oatmeal recipes to share with ya’ll, it is ridiculous. I need to step up my oatmeal sharing game. Heck, I have so much to share with ya’ll. Maybe I’ll start posting two-a-day. That is a lot of effort for me, so probably not. Senioritis problems. You would think that maybe my second senior year I wouldn’t be so lazy, but no I think I’ve just gotten lazier as time goes on. At least graduate school will whip me into shape.

photo(4)So my family calls me snacky or snack monster, which is actually pretty nice I think since it could definitely be a lot worse. Hello, my name is Lindsay and I am addicted to snacks. I actually have an awesome post planned for the near future about healthy snacking. Since I love to snack, I decided that I need to come up with more healthy choices for snacks. Therefore apple nachos have come into the picture. You can do a ton of varieties with these bad boys. I decided to go the chocolate and caramel route, but you could definitely do granola, chocolate chips, etc. Pretty much anything goes good with these bad boys.

photo(2)Yes, I am one of those weird people that love salads. I could eat a salad for lunch and dinner if I could. The key to having a good salad is building it up with tons of healthy toppings. This is my healthy version of a Waldorf salad. It has grapes, apples, walnuts, celery, and chicken in it. Such a winning combination. Usually there is a type of gross cheese in it (yes, there are some gross cheeses out there), so I went sans cheese on this one.

photo(1)Three cheers for another healthy snack. I saw this on Pinterest a while ago, but it was for camping. Who needs to go camping to make a delicious treat like this? Not me. I made my version of a banana s’mores with marshmallows and chocolate chips. It was delicious. I will share how to actually make this when I post about healthy snacks, but just looking at it is making me drool and want another one. Like the apple nachos, you can do tons of combinations with this one.

photoYou know just staring at this picture you want the recipe. Too bad you are going to have to wait a few days. I’m trying this whole thing were I am organized about my blog posts, and so far it is going pretty well. It just means that I won’t be posting up this recipe yet. However it is spaghetti squash pad Thai with tofu. Yes, it is as amazing as it looks. I’m seriously getting excited just looking at it because it is a beautiful dish. Plus I remembered I have leftovers in the fridge! Go me.

photo(7)MWAHAHA the snack monster has arrived. This is a not-so healthy, but not-so fattening snack. I have a passion for snowcones. Maybe a deep love too. I love going around to try all the snowcone stands in Austin. I have discovered a few more to try out and review, but this is from one of my favorite stands: Casey’s New Orleans Snowcones. You know I have to represent the city I was born in, so I’m a loyal customer. Plus these are just so darn good. This one is a strawberry cheesecake snowcone. The flavors are so rich in it and the ice is soft. I really despise when there is hard ice that doesn’t soak up the flavor. Lame.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday! I’m currently studying for my Medical Nutrition Therapy final and make up exam. Yes, I have two exams tomorrow in the time period for one final. I think I can pretty much rock it. Although my make-up exam is on enteral and parenteral feedings + some other lovely junk about the GI system, so it is not the most pleasant topic. Hope ya’lls day is less gross than mine!