Tag Archives: spaghetti squash

So You Want to Make A Quick and Healthy Meal? Part 1

12 Jan

Hey guys!

So a little while ago my friend Kevin sent me a message from abroad – Scotland! and asked me which recipes are my go-tos that are pretty quick and healthy for you. I then figured a bunch of you might have the exact same question! So I decided to dedicate a series of posts to it so you guys can benefit, cool? Cool. Thanks!

For those of you who’ve got this down, please share some of your recipes that you love! We all know how hectic schedules can be, and budgets can be tight, so the more recipes and options the better!

With that, here’s four recipes!

1. Veal ParmeseanImageStep 1: Dip each veal cutlet in some milk (this will help keep the breadcrumbs stuck on it).

Step 2-4: Dip each cutlet in the following sequence: flour (use whole wheat for a healthier choice!), egg, then breadcrumbs! (To make your own: take 2 whole wheat slices of bread and tear them into small pieces, then toss them in a food processor until they are a crumb consistency, voila!)ImageImageStep 5: coat the skillet! Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn it to medium heat. Since the veal cutlets will be thin, cook each side for 2 minutes

Step 6: preheat that oven! To about 200 degrees.ImageStep 7: Place each cutlet on a “cookie sheet” or a baking dish. Whatever you’ve got! First put down a little tomato sauce, then the cutlet on top. Place the type of cheese you would like, part-skim mozzarella is recommended, with sauce around the edges where the cheese doesn’t touch. This keeps those parts from burning! Let the cutlets cook until the cheese melts.ImageEnjoy!

Now some of you readers out there may ask, okay so we’ve got the protein and the healthy fat … but where’s the veggies?! Well you’ve got some choices.

1. Steam some broccoli, mixed vegetables, peas, corn, asparagus, cauliflower – your choice! Just make sure you have at least 2 serving portions.Image

2. Sautee your choice vegetables (or just zucchini like my parents do with every italian meal). Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan, turn on medium or medium low heat, and toss is any vegetable you like! If you’re looking for spices to add try: black pepper, salt, oregano, rosemary and basil! My favorite combo 🙂ImageImage3. Have a side salad! If you look back to my post on how to stay healthy over the holidays you’ll see I had a small one at each meal to clock in some more vegetables while I stayed with my parents.Image

2. Easy Chili

I first found this recipe on PB Fingers and decided to make my own version. I must say I’ve always been intimidated by chili, but this recipe was super easy and REALLY delicious. It also gave me leftovers which can be key to have during those busy weeks!ImageImageIf you follow the instructions on her blog page you’ll notice she used can tomatoes – since I didn’t have any, and I like fresh tomatoes, I decided to dice up 2 tomatoes and toss them in.ImageEnjoy!

3. Spaghetti Squash with Vegetables/Chicken

Spaghetti squash is a fantastic vegetable that can be a substitue for pasta! (Just like zucchini! More in a later post 🙂 ) I have used it in a variety of ways: with pasta sauce, with thai peanut sauce, or plain!ImageImageImageHow do you cook the spaghetti squash? Stick it in the microwave for about 8-12 minutes (depending on the size), then slice it down the middle, scoop out the pulp, then take a spoon or fork and go around the inside of the squash. It will come out in spaghetti like strands! Just add it to your pan of vegetables or meat when they’re done cooking for a minute or 2 and you’re good to go!

4. Eggplant CasseroleImageImageThis recipe I found in SELF magazine and everyone I have cooked it for has loved it! It also is so easy!

Step 1. Slice one whole eggplant into 1/2 inch thick pieces (hot dog style)

Step 2. Preheat the oven to 350 and place some oil in a baking dish.

Step 3. Place enough eggplant to cover the bottom of the dish. Then place mushrooms (I use baby bella) on the eggplant, shredded mozzarella cheese, spinach and some tomato sauce on top.

Step 4. Place another row of eggplant on top of this stack and repeat the process until all the eggplant is used or your pan is full!

Step 5. Bake for about 30-35 minutes and enjoy!

That concludes Part 1 of this series of quick and healthy meals! Please feel free to comment or shoot me an email if there is any suggestions or other types of recipe ideas you guys would like to see!

Readers what are some of your favorite go to healthy recipes?

Until next time, 

Natasha

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Quality Time

29 Dec

Good evening readers! As my time at home comes to a close, it’s been bittersweet to make plans knowing I won’t know when the next time I will get to see everyone will be. Today, and now tonight, I have been snowed in due to a big snow storm. I luckily got up and out early this morning and was able to drive home when the storm started. It looked gorgeous. IMG_1832I’ve actually been having a really good string of breakfasts and lunches these last couple of days. I’ve been very happy with myself in terms of both staying on track and enjoying myself with each meal. There’s something about being home that makes so many things feel much less stressful. I’m never feeling guilty or conscious so I find myself sitting down to eat a meal and then not worrying about food at all until I’m definitely hungry again. I’m not worrying about when I’ll get my next workout in, I just take them as they come. I also haven’t been running around with a full schedule trying to see every single last person and not having any time to relax. I’ve have a great harmony of alone time and seeing friends this break. It’s been exactly what I needed.

Without further ado, it’s picture time! Thursday morning I woke up ready for some oatmeal 🙂 so I made some Whipped Banana Oatmeal and topped it with blueberries and raspberries at the end so they would pop a little and melt into the oatmeal. I added a big spoonful of Cinnamon Raisin PB to turn this meal into perfection.IMG_1783 IMG_1791IMG_1790Next I ran some errands with my mom and tried on some fun heels while she was looking at after Christmas sales on Christmas items. IMG_1792IMG_1848I came home, caught up with a close family friend on the phone and got confirmation that her husband who teaches in Newtown is okay. Then it was time to meet up with Lacey to go see Les Miserables. I packed a healthy snack pack to enjoy if I got hungry during the movie.IMG_1794Boy am I glad I packed it! The movie was 3 hours. So I dug into the yogurt during and the carrots on the drive home. I highly recommend this movie. I do not do musicals. Rent bores me, Chicago I didn’t even last 20 minutes. Something about Les Mis moved me though and kept me engaged for the entire time. Definitely a must see movie.

After that I came home, skyped with Kevin for a hot second then whipped myself up some sauteed vegetables and spaghetti squash. I even got to teach my parents all about this wonderous vegetable.IMG_1797 IMG_1800 IMG_1802In the bowl was spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower, feta cheese, my dad’s homemade tomato sauce, yellow squash and spaghetti squash. It was filling and really delicious. Definitely hit the spot with my craving for vegetables.

Right after I finished up dinner my friend Haley arrived and we caught up while stalking One Direction and watching Simple Plan music videos. As Haley noted, “Some things never really will change.” We discovered we both want to move to California this year so we tossed around ideas of moving together. We are thinking about two different areas though and I don’t want to take away from her dream so we will see, but it was really exciting to look at apartments together and discuss logistics. Once Lauren came we continued to catch up until Haley got hungry and it was time to head to the diner.IMG_1803 IMG_1804 IMG_1807Diner trips are always a tradition of ours so it felt good to be right in our old groove. Although my camera died Lauren made sure that we had 3 rounds of photoshoots. I didn’t order anything, but snagged some of Lauren’s french fries. After that we came home, put the pajamas on, and apparently I passed out in the middle of our conversation around 2am. When we woke up yesterday morning my parents were cooking us a 5 star breakfast.photo-3 photo-4 ImageAfter breakfast, I took some time to blog and digest then went for a 4 mile run. Although I felt a little tired, it felt really great after to accomplish it and be active. After that I went home, showered, and started to cook my first ever chili while waiting for Alex to arrive. I followed this recipe from the blog PB Fingers. I didn’t add any meat though and used fresh tomato. My parents didn’t have all the spices so it didn’t have a lot of kick, but Alex and I both enjoyed it.IMG_1811 IMG_1813 IMG_1814 IMG_1818 IMG_1819Alex was clearly very happy to appear on the blog. I topped mine with some grated cheese and some Greek yogurt for a little extra protein. We also had some sides to munch on while we waited.IMG_1812 IMG_1817 IMG_1816 IMG_1815After catching up we decided it was obviously time for some ice cream so off we went to Coldstone. I had trouble deciding, but went with the Chocolate Devotion which has chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownies and fudge. It would’ve been amazing but they put WAY too many chocolate chips in it so I could really only eat about 1/3 of it before giving up. I also asked for the smallest portion, but he ended up making me double that. Whoops!IMG_1820 IMG_1821 IMG_1822We both ordered the same size… haha. Coldstone has never really been my favorite, but Alex was craving it and it worked out well since I didn’t want to have a ton of dessert. It was great to see her and we will both be planning trips out to see each other in the coming months.

As for me, I’m now going to snuggle up to some more Scrubs in my bed and fall asleep reading some more of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Until next time,

Natasha