Pizza Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe!

So, I saw this recipe online last week and couldn’t wait to try it. I know it’s not completely paleo, but it is definitely a better alternative for a pizza/spaghetti craving. I was worried it would not taste quite as good as it look, but boy was I wrong. It was AH-MAZING! For someone who does not eat very big meals, I have to admit that I went back for seconds. I would not suggest eating this in abundance only because of the cheese and pepperoni, but on occasion I feel it’s okay. It still has nutritional benefits from the spaghetti squash and ground venison, and it definitely proves that eating grain-free is not boring! I found the recipe at Holistically Engineered, but I changed it up a bit. Here is the recipe I used:

Pizza Spaghetti Squash Casserole:

  • 1 Whole Spaghetti Squash (or 4 cups)
  • 1/2 lb Ground Venison Sausage
  • 3 cups Arrabbiata Marinara Sauce (or your preferred brand/homemade)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 oz Pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I think I only used about 1/4, but however much you want)
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground venison sausage (or whatever meat you choose) until cooked through.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the marinara sauce, eggs, oregano, and garlic powder.
  4. Place the spaghetti squash into a glass baking dish (I used a 8X11.5″). Top with the marinara mixture and cooked venison sausage. Stir to combine with the spaghetti squash and smooth into an even layer.
  5. Top with a layer of half of the pepperoni, a layer of Parmesan cheese, and then a layer of Mozzarella cheese.
  6. Top with the remaining pepperoni and make for 20-30 minutes until set and heated through.
  7. Let sit for a few minutes to firm a little, or eat it while a little runny. Either way is delicious!

Because of the larger glass pan, this about made 8 medium-large servings.

If you’re vegan or paleo and do not want cheese, I’m sure using nutritional yeast would work just fine. Adding veggies (vegan) or some other ground meat (paleo) instead of the pepperoni would be delicious as well! Not sure about the egg replacement, but I’m sure if you’re vegan you know of something you can use!Image

 

Happy Tuesday!

Weekend food pics and Recipes!

So sorry it has been so long since I last posted! I have been busy, and kinda lazy with posts. I have, however, been trying out some new recipes that I have been wanting to try for such a long time, so I wanted to share them with you! Below are are couple of pics:

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Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla.
I got this from Cassey Ho’s cheap clean eats. Oh how I have missed having quesadillas in my life since I quit eating grains! This recipe was so easy, quick and completely grain-less!  It was also DELICIOUS! Cassey’s recipe was double of mine and made 2 tortillas, but I was low on eggs so I just cut hers in half and made 1! Here’s the recipe I used:

Tortilla:
-1 tbsp coconut flour
-1 tbsp water (add more if it’s too thick)
-3 tbsp egg whites
-1/16 tsp baking soda

Filling: (I like my quesadillas plain for some reason)
-3-4 ounces of chicken breast
-Cayenne pepper to taste
-Cumin to taste
-Black pepper to taste
-Shredded cheese to your liking (I used colby jack, but whatever you prefer)
-You can also add in seared veggies or whatever

Just cook your chicken in a skillet til done, add in seasoning and cook til it soaks in to your liking. Mix all of the ingredients for your tortilla together and pour into a pan (swish around so that it covers the pan). When done,  transfer the tortilla to a plate, throw on your cheese and hot chicken, fold over and voila! Delicious quesadilla!!!

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I also finally tried the banana ice cream and some almond flour cookies. I wish I would have taken better pics of these! I have to say though, these were by far the best paleo cookies I’ve ever made! Here are the links for these 2 recipes below:
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Magic Banana “Ice Cream”

Hope you all get a chance to try them for yourself! Enjoy!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Recipe and how much I saved!

What a great Saturday it has been thus far! We went to the farmers market this morning to get some produce,  then my friend and I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things! My main reason for going there, however,  was to get the ingredients to make homemade Larabars! I have recently became addicted to Larabars–especially the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor–and realized how easy and cheap it would be to make my own! I made them and I am beyond excited to say that I saved so much money (and even calories) per bar! Not only did I save, these bars taste EXACTLY like the real thing! They are absolutely delicious! Here are some pictures and a breakdown of my savings:

-Trader Joe’s Price per bar: $1.29 (after tax $1.41)
-Calories per Larabar: 220

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar:
-Trader Joe’s Medjool Dates: $4.49; Calories: 1,265 for whole package
-Trader Joe’s 50% Less Salt Roasted and Salted Peanuts: $3.29 (I only used 2 cups, so for the recipe it’s only about $2.19); Calories: 1,280 for 2 cups

Here’s what I used:
-2 cups of pitted Medjool Dates
-2 cups of 50% less salted Roasted Peanuts

What I did:
-Blend the peanuts in food processor. Remove and put in another bowl.
-Blend the dates in the processor (this will take work! Lots of stopping and moving the dates around with a spoon because the dates are so thick and sticky). Make sure you remove the pits from the dates before blending as well.
-Add the peanuts back with the dates and continue blending until smooth.
-Spoon the mixture into a glass pan and press down to smooth and even out.
-Put in fridge for about 2 hours to form. Take them out and cut into desired size. Then wrap in saran wrap and store in fridge!

What it made:
-16 bars
-159.1 calories per bar
Cost per bar: About $0.46

– After tax I spent $8.48 on both items. What I used on the recipe came out to about $7.28 or $0.46 per bar! If I were to buy 16 of these bars at Trader Joe’s for $1.29, after tax I would spend about $22.50.
-Overall savings, about $15.22. How’s that for thriftiness? Never again will I spend $1.29 on a Larabar!

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Food Pics

Food pics from Tuesday night/Wednesday Morning!

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Tuesday Night’s Dinner: Venison Meatball with Eggplant Parmesan!

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Wednesday Morning Breakfast: Banana Almond Smoothie
Recipe:
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 banana
2 tbsp almond butter

Sorry for the short post, but have been busy today! I will try to post later tonight, if not tomorrow for sure!

Happy Wednesday!

Spinach, artichoke, and pepper jack cheese stuffed chicken and Paleo almond butter pancakes!

Good morning!

I said yesterday that if I had something new and interesting for dinner that I would post it, so here we go! This is literally just spinach,  1/2 of a piece of pepper jack cheese, and artichokes wrapped in a flattened chicken thigh and baked in the oven! Also with some squash, zucchini,  and onions sautéed on the side! My oh my it was DELICIOUS! I brought some of the leftover chicken for lunch today along with a little bit of Quinoa fried “rice.” Mmm I can’t wait for lunch time!!

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Also, for breakfast this morning,  I  once again woke up againnn immediately made my warm lemon water to drink while I was getting dressed for work. Then, while I was packing my lunch,  I made some chai tea, and a paleo pancake which was unbelievably delicious!!! Here’s what I did:
I took 1/2 of a ripe banana and 1 egg, mixed it up In the blender, cooked it on the skillet, and then spread 2 teaspoons of almond butter on top! Angels were singingggg! Delicious an so quick and easy!!!

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Oh, before I forget, I tried this Berrylicious Microwave Minute Muffin last night and it was such a delicious treat! I also made one with dark chocolate chips (just to try) and it was even better! I forgot to take pictures, sorry! Anyway, the first one I made, I followed the recipe and didn’t use any almond milk and it was good, but a little dry. So for the second, I just added a tiny bit to the mixture and it came out so much more moist!! I have definitely found a new breakfast and/or dessert!!!

Recent Vacays and Detox! Benefits of Chai Tea and Lemon Water!

Good morning everyone!

I know it has been a week or so since I have posted, but I have been on yet another–and probably my last–beach trip for the summer. It feels like this past month has FLOWN by because I LITERALLY have either been on a trip, or have had so many things going on every weekend since I finished finals. Between two beach trips, a camping trip, Bayou Country Superfest, and my friend’s wedding, I am exhausted, broke, and ready for a few weeks of laying low. Not to mention, I am so excited to not be surrounded by bad food and alcohol. Fortunately, I have come to that point in my journey of healthy living that I have been able to maintain my clean eating habits throughout the majority of the chaos. Even on my vacations, I have managed to continually avoid fatty foods and bring my own clean food and alcoholic beverages. However, this most recent trip, I did slip up and indulge in a couple of guilty pleasures (they had ice cream at the campground and dangit I just wanted that one strawberry/mango margarita!) Of course I felt horrible after each time. The few times I did this though, I did so in moderation–and definitely made sure to drink plenty of lemon water and eat lots of cleansing fruits (such as apples, berries, etc.) Also, even though I did not necessarily eat that many terrible things, I certainly found that I ate A LOT of food. Definitely A LOT MORE than I do on a normal day, which led me to feeling disgusting once I got home. Thus, I am now spending the day detoxing and flushing all of the crap out of me! Anyway, now that I have rambled on long enough, the point of the story is that every week I have been doing extremely well with keeping my body clean and feeling great, and I am excited that for at least a few weeks (that I know of) I will not have to have that be interrupted by any big events or vacays! 

Some of the things I drank as cleaner alternatives:

  • Water and Vodka, Pure Lemonade Crystal Light packets (with stevia)–also added some strawberries and/or blueberries to make it interesting. There are also other flavors available, and you could also use things like Mio.
  • Water and Vodka with Lemon, Strawberries and Blueberries–SO REFRESHING AND DELICIOUS! Could not believe that I could NOT taste the vodka at all! I hate the taste of alcohol! When I ran out of lemons, I used lime and it was just as delicious!
  • Soda Water, Vodka, a hint of Cranberry Juice, and fresh lime juice.

As soon as I got back yesterday, I went straight to Trader Joe’s to get food to prep for the week.  It’s funny how as soon as you walk into Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, you get this automatic feeling of rejuvenation and energy! This sense of “everyone here shares a common interest in health.” I love it :] 

Anyway, I have been wanting to get on the herbal tea wagon for a while now, but I have never been a tea drinker–cold or hot (yes, living in Louisiana this is a cardinal sin). I’ve read about the endless benefits of drinking herbal tea, but I just couldn’t force myself to do it. Well, I FINALLY got the courage to buy a pack of the Chai Tea from Trader Joe’s to try. Guess what?! It’s ACTUALLY pretty good! Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like heaven in my mouth the first sip, but it wasn’t terrible. And honestly, the more I have drank of it, the more it has grown on me. This is such a great way to start off your day, or to end it by sipping on a cup while curled up in your PJs, watching TV a night. Click here for Benefits of Chai Tea!

I also made it an oath to start my morning off with a glass of warm lemon water before I have any breakfast. Of course I know the benefits of lemon water in general and I drink it like crazy; and I had heard before about drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning, but never took the time to try it. After reading about the various benefits, I felt like I had no choice but to make it a part of my morning routine. Here are some benefits of lemon water in general and warm lemon water in the morning. If you google “Benefits of drinking lemon water”, there are other sites that give lists of added benefits! Just go ahead and check it out for yourself!!

With that said, I started this morning off with a glass of warm lemon water. Then, on my way to work, I ate 1/2 of a banana with 1 teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Crunchy Almond Butter. Once I got to work, I started sipping on my Trader Joe’s Chai Tea (I added a tiny bit of almond milk and a little bit of honey to sweeten it–I have to work my way in). 

Here’s what I brought for the rest of the work day:

  • Mid-morning snack–Container of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
  • Lunch: Homemade Romaine Salad with Lite Italian Dressing
  • Afternoon/Pre-workout Snack: Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar (Ingredients: Dates, Peanuts, and Salt)

I’m going to go to spin class after work, and then I’m not quite sure what will be for supper yet. But, if it’s something special I’ll be sure to post pics!

Have a great Monday!