Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

_DSC5416

 

 

 

_DSC5417

This recipe was amazing- I am SO relieved that all the selections from our Meal Plan have been so yummy.  Jenny Collier is wonderful!  It’s a little scary when you commit to a month of recipes that you’ve never made before.  I did take a moment to look through most- in order to plan which would take more time and therefore should be made on the weekend.  While this recipe was easy to make, it did take some prep time, I was wishing we’d planned it for a weekend instead.

I prepped it while watching Knox and Jason play in the living room, it’s rare that he’s home early with us- so I thought I would get dinner started….  but sorta wished I was over there with them instead!  It started innocently by turning the oven on to roast up the squash.  I told myself, after bath/ bed for the baby– then I could easily finish the recipe and we’d eat in no time, it’d be nice to have squash ready.  Then it sucked me in one ingredient at a time- I only needed to chop the onion and garlic and green onions… shred some carrots… mix the sauce in a bowl… then I would go play with them… then I saw the meat- “I could just get the shrimp peeled and deviened too…. then it would be so easy for later to cook everything”… and finally,  ” well I should also chop up the chicken while I’m at it”.  And then it was an hour gone and dinner was completely prepped, I had 20 good minutes before Knox was too tired to keep his head up, but we ate a great dinner.

I used a recipe as a base for this but altered everything for what I know and love about Pad Thai.  We made our own peanut sauce for dipping as well- it was amazing.  Finish with a bit of lime juice, and it’s perfection:

_DSC5420

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Makes 4 servings

30-45 minutes of prep for cooking squash and chopping ingredients

10-15 minutes of active cooking

Ingredients

2 medium-sized spaghetti squash

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 red onion, chopped

4 carrots, shredded  ( reserve some for serving)

1 bunch of scallions, chopped ( reserve some for serving)

10 large shrimps, diced

2 chicken breasts, diced

canola oil, for cooking

1 lime,  ( for serving)

Sauce

1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp ground garlic

1 tbsp peanut butter

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle each flesh side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place squash cut side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Roast in you preheated over for 45 minutes, until squash is fork tender, then set aside to cool before scooping out the squash “noodles” with a fork.

3. In a small bowl mix together sauce ingredients and set aside

4. In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp canola oil, and saute with your chopped garlic, red onion, carrots, and scallions (and any other veggies you like)

5. Once cooked down, add shrimp and chicken and cook for 5-8 minutes, until protein is cooked

6. Add in spaghetti squash (approx. 3 cups) and sauce mixture, mix well to combine

9. Taste and adjust spices to desired liking*

To serve: Top with extra scallions, shredded carrots and a squeeze of lime.  If you like it saucy add this Peanut Sauce as well:  in a small bowl mix 2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce, 2 tbsp peanut butter and enough rice vinegar, to smooth to desired consistency, using a fork to mix.

Advertisements

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Ok, so this recipe was a HUGE hit.  I can’t even begin to tell you how easy it is, you just need to make this tonight.  It’s full of healthy and cheap ingredients, cooks itself, Knox LOVED it and so did we!  In fact, we loved it so much  we forgot to take a picture but I just had to share the recipe.  The original recipe is called ” Stupid Easy Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs” from the paleopot.com blog.

We aren’t doing “Paleo” but rather the meal plan we have lined up had a link to this recipe, and other Paleo recipes, and we eat like this anyways so it works.  I altered the recipe to our tastes, so it’s got more tomato sauce that has more flavors with onion and garlic.  If you really want to go ” stupid easy” please follow this recipe link! Every time I ate this, it was while feeding it to Knox, who didn’t want me to stop shoveling it in to his mouth, so I was scarfing it down when I could and thusly no photos were taken- sorry!

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 medium spaghetti squash

1 pound of ground Italian sausage

2- 8oz cans tomato sauce

1- 14oz can diced tomato

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic,minced

Olive Oil

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (Oregano, Basil, Thyme)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Use a large 6-7 quart slow cooker
  2. Dump your tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, diced onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning into your slow cooker and stir well.
  3. Cut both your squash in half on the horizontal ( so the halves are taller not wider) and scoop out the seeds, drizzle the flesh side with olive oil and salt and pepper
  4. Place your 4 squash halves face down into your slow cooker, nestle in to the sauce.
  5. Roll your ground sausage into meatballs, nestle them in the sauce around the squash.
  6. Cook on High for 3 hours or cook on low for 5 hours.
  7. Use a large fork to pull the “spaghetti” out of your squash, then top with your meatballs and sauce.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

tortilla_soup

 

Here’s the yummy soup recipe we made over the weekend, super healthy and filling- loaded with peppers and veggies.  It made 6 nice portions, so 2 were frozen and 2 are being eaten as leftovers this week for lunch.  Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup slightly adapted from http://paleomg.com/
 Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 30 mins
Total time 1 hour
 Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
For your chicken
  • 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2.5lbs worth)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
For your soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (14oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 32 oz fluid chicken stock (I used low sodium)
  • 1- 14 oz canned corn
  • juice of 2 limes
  • chopped cilantro, to garnish
  • crushed plantain chips, to garnish
  • sliced avocado, to garnish
  • shredded cheddar cheese, to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place chicken on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pour on some olive oil and then sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts). Once your chicken is done baking, dice up the chicken.
  4. While your chicken is baking, get your soup ready. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat then add your minced garlic.
  5. Add onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and poblano pepper stir to saute.
  6. Once your onions begin to become translucent, pour in your green chiles and diced fire roasted tomatoes, along with the rest of your spices. Mix together.
  7. Then add your chicken and chicken stock to the pot.
  8. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  9. When your soup has simmered, add in your lime juice and a bit more salt and pepper.
  10. Add your soup to a bowl along with avocado, cilantro, and plantain chips ( we skipped the chips) added shredded cheese!

Pesto Chicken Legs on Brown Rice with Green Beans | Meal Planning

This weekend, we got back on track with our meal planning and budget.  We love food, obviously, so it’s really easy for us to go nuts and buy food every other day on a whim to make at home because it sounds good.  Not only was that bad for our budget, but it’s been terrible for our waistline.  I found a great 6 week meal plan on Jenny Collier’s blog.  I spent some time over the weekend going through which recipes sounded good to us, and literally plotted out our entire month of March in meals.  We spent 50% less at the store this weekend on groceries, have had hot delicious meals every night, and leftovers every day to take for lunch.  I’ve even been able to portion out some things to keep in the freezer which I can build in to April’s plan ( cha ching- savings)!  I took her same format and customized it to work for us ( you can download her version through the link):

MealPlan-01

 

I made notes on what we should prep for the next night, and also planned for the longer cook + prep time meals to land on the weekends when we have more time to spend cooking ( date nights!).  So far this has seriously worked for us, we are loving the schedule!  It can seem a bit over board, but for us, we need this discipline or else we’d be getting delivery and spending a ton of money on extra meals for lunches and the like all week long.  This calendar has eliminated the question ” What should we have for dinner?” and ” Do we have anything to make for dinner?” and similarly ” What can we make for dinner?”.  It’s like being back in school with teh lunch calendar in teh cafeteria, except this is good food, made at home, healthy!  The recipes are all found through Jenny’s blog post but we’ll be sharing our versions here as well when we take pictures.  Each has been super simple, fast, budget friendly and DELICIOUS- perfect combo for success.  Now I just need to build in some time to work out and we’ll be golden.  Today I am sharing the Pesto Chicken- I had frozen chicken legs and frozen homemade pesto already so that’s what I used.  You can use chicken breast/ thighs, store bought pesto etc- I didn’t follow this recipe at all, but want to share it anyhow in case you’d like the baked on cheese yummified version here.

Baked Pesto Chicken
(Makes 4 servings, recipe inspired by http://www.kalynskitchen.com)

pesto_chicken copy
Ingredients:
8 chicken legs
salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
1/2- 1 cup basil pesto (I used my homemade pesto, but you can use purchased pesto)
2 cups cooked brown rice, to serve

Green beans ( enough to serve 4), cooked

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Start your rice to cook ( 1 cup dry rice in to 2 cups boiling water, reduce to simmer with lid for 40-45 minutes)
Spray a foil lined 9″ x 12″ baking dish with non-stick spray for easy clean up, then spread 1/3 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay chicken over the pesto, then spread the remaining basil pesto over the chicken.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken legs for 35-40 minutes, uncover and bake 10 additional minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Heat up your green beans as the chicken finishes.Serve hot with extra pesto from the pan over brown rice ( couscous, or quinoa) and steamed green beans ( ours were frozen, not fresh)

 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

souup

Literally the FASTEST and easiest soup I’ve ever made, this recipe is pureed at the end, so chopping does not have to be perfect!  If ever there were a time for fast easy dinners, that are healthy, it is now.  After working all day, we just want to enjoy family time, eating is an important aspect of that.  So if we can make something like this soup, which Knox can eat before bedtime, then it’s really exciting over here!  This soup was tasty, creamy, healthy and filling.  The green onion and grated Parmesan on op truly seal the deal, serve with bread and you’ll be eating within 25 minutes ( only 10 are actively cooking!!).  I did a quick chop of the onions and garlic, got the oil ready, and sauteed them- singing to and chatting with Knox.  While they were softened in the pan, I chopped the base off the cauliflower and rough chopped so everything cooked uniform.  Once the onions were done ( 3-4 minutes) I added everything to the pot, chopped the green onion while it came to a boil, then set to simmer for 15 minutes while I went and played with the baby!  To finish, I used my immersion blender to puree it up and dinner was served!  Love love love this recipe.  I bet you could switch this up to be broccoli instead with cheddar cheese and a hit of cream.  You could also add bright green peas after the puree to add more veggies and bite to this soup.  It’s such a great simple easy base recipe where you can add and edit to create a variety of variations.  If you have the time to roast the garlic, that would add a super amazing flavor depth to this soup.  I added Parmesan to the soup and some half and half and ricotta that we had on hand to give this super healthy original recipe a bit of healthy creamy milk fats ( the baby needs those vitamins!). The original recipe is Vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo and clean eating, if you are in to all that follow the link below!  I hope you enjoy a little more time with your family and make this super weeknight friendly soup today.

 

Adapted from Yummy, Healthy, Easy

4 adult servings, (or 3 adult servings and 3 baby servings)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 onion, rough chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, remove stem and rough chop to same size pieces
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan, 1/4 cup for serving
  • 4 sliced green onions for serving
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a dutch oven pot (or heavy pot), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add cut up cauliflower, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is softened.
  3. Turn off heat, add in the half and half, ricotta, and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, stir to combine.
  4. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend until smooth.
  5. Serve in bowls with grated Parmesan cheese on top, fresh cracked pepper and sliced green onions. Enjoy!

Pickled Veggie Relish

pickledveg

Have you ever been to a really good Mexican restaurant where they bring you those amazing pickled carrots with jalapenos?  Yeah, they’re pretty amazing.  We’ve even posted on this before from our good friend and chef Alejandro!  We had a bunch of veggies that were getting pretty sad, so instead of being wasteful we re-purposed them in to this incredible relish.  We tossed this in to a fresh salad in lou of dressing, topped it on to some baked cod and added it like giardinera to a sandwich!  It’s very versatile and packed with flavor.  The recipe below is a loose version of what we did, use what you have on hand for vegetables- we used carrots, celery, onion, sweet mixed peppers and cilantro.

Recipe/ Directions

2-3 cups vegetables, carrots/ celery/ onion/ peppers

4-6 garlic cloves, rough chop or whole

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, optional

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1-2 cups water

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 tsp salt and pepper, to taste

1.) Chop your vegetables to bite size or relish size pieces ( however you’d like to eat them!)

2.) Place all vegetables, garlic, cilantro, vinegars and coriander, salt and pepper in to a large saucepan, add enough water to cover everything.

3.) Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for about 5 more minutes.

4.) Once cooled slightly, put in to Ball jars to store in the refrigerator, And they’ll keep for about 3 months.

Baby Food | how to

OCt_Solids

This blog is about food, pictures of beautiful food, for food, and all things food- enter BABY FOOD.  Knox has been eating solids for 2 months now, and if you know us at all, I hope you know we have been making everything he eats at home.  Jason and I don’t eat every meal out of a jar, so why would we feed our baby out of a jar, am I right?  I was pretty excited to start making this little guy’s food, he was practically begging for each bite we put in our mouths when we were eating in front of him- poor guy!  I can’t wait till we can just serve him what we’re eating each night, for now we make him his own fruit and veggies purees and combos!  He’s actually inspired us to eat better again, I swear since pregnancy we’ve been spoiling our sweet tooth and ourselves with decadent meals, pizza and the like.  This week we made a great meal plan and have stuck to it.  We do a Sunday food prep as long as we’re home, where I baked sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, roasted acorn squash, washed and packed baggies of grapes, boiled chicken for southwest style wraps ( packaged beans/ shredded cheese/ avocado/ made brown rice with Salsa), baked bacon ( for loaded potatoes), boiled whole wheat pasta and threw together a backed ziti with zucchini slices, and of course made some fruits for Knox.

I do mega batches 1-2 times per month and so far he’s had: apples, pears, acorn squash, butternut squash, cantaloupe, peas, green beans, avocado, sweet potato, parsnips, prunes.  It’s been pretty easy, I’ll do 2 fruits and 2 veggies all at the same time by steaming the sliced fruits in a saucepan with a touch of water and a lid at the same time the squash or potatoes are cooking/ roasting in the oven.  As one item finishes cooking I toss it in the food processor.  For the apple and pears, I remove the skin after it’s steamed and cool- it’s just easier and you don’t lose as much fruit.   Once each item is blended, I pour/ plop it in to an ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.  Once frozen I transfer the cubes to a labelled bag and store in the freezer.  To serve, I place 1-2 cubes ( mix and match!) and microwave in a small bowl with 10-20 second intervals till just warm and smooth.  I’ll stir in some milk to thin it out if necessary, add in rice powder for extra calories.

20140111-115611

photo source

Knox’s favorite, as an example Acorn Squash!

2 acorn squash

Directions

To start, wash the acorns, cut in half then place face down in a rimmed pan lined with foil ( I drizzle with EVOO), bake for 35 minutes @400 degrees.  When cool, scoop out soft flesh in to your food processor and blend until smooth, adding liquid gradually (and adding more if needed to purée). Then pour into freezer cubes and store in freezer.

 

Suggested Combos:
Sweet Potato and Apple

Apple and Cinnamon

Pear and Parsnips

Acorn Squash and Rice

Peas and Sweet Potato

Cantaloupe and Yogurt

Peaches and Cream ( mommy’s milk)