Cooking

THM Stuffed Acorn Squash (E)

This was a pretty easy and very tasty recipe that was perfect for a November dinner. I tweaked the recipe I found here to be THM friendly by skipping the higher fat items, keeping this meal high in healthy carbs, but low in fat. All nutrition info will be listed at the bottom. 🙂

THM Stuffed Acorn Squash (E)

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup quinoa (I used red for color and flavor preference)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 slices of sprouted wheat bread, toasted and cubed
  • Ripped up handful of kale
  • 1 Tbsp+ extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 2 Tbsp chicken broth
  • Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, poultry seasoning, and ginger to taste

I apologize again for never ever measuring spices! I am a shake and eye ball kind of girl but I used in the neighborhood of 2 tsp of salt, 1.5 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of garlic powder, rosemary, and poultry seasoning. I just added a shake or two of ginger.

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the acorn squash in half (without losing a limb) and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Spray or brush the cut sides of the squash LIGHTLY with oil. I sprayed mine very minimally.
  4. Put the chicken breast and squash in separate pans and pop them into the oven (don’t prep the chicken,  just cook it).
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  6. As soon as you put the squash & chicken in the oven, start cooking the quinoa.
  7. Chop and prepare any veggies.
  8. Start sauteeing the onions in 1 Tbsp of oil. When they start to carmelize, add the fresh garlic and the mushrooms. Season, season, season.
  9. Add the cubed bread, liquid aminos, broth, and handful of kale – heat through.
  10. When the quinoa is finished, add that and set the stuffing aside.
  11. Remove the chicken and squash from the oven when fully cooked.
  12. Cube the chicken and add it to the stuffing mixture.
  13. Stuff the acorn squash (really pile it on!) and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Drool. Eat. Enjoy every bite.

Nutrition info:

Serves Four

Calories – 366.

Fat – 7.9 grams (that includes the chicken, which should not be counted if you are a THM). Saturated fat – 1.4 grams. Polyunsaturated fat – 1.3 grams. Monounsaturated fat – 3.5 grams.

Carbohydrates – 45.6 grams. Fiber – 3.5 grams. Sugar – 3.7 grams.

Protein – 32 grams.

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Cooking · Food

Amazing Zoodles

I promised a post yesterday about zoodles (zucchini noodles), but I got busy with a bunch of other things and never got around to it. Sorry! If you have cable (or TV with commercials), you have probably seen the ads for the vegetti, which makes noodles out of vegetables. If not, no worries! I found it for you:

I have been coveting a vegetti for a while now, because I love zucchini, and pasta dishes are not something I eat with wheat pastas anymore. Dreamfields turned out to be a big, fat lie, so I was right back to chunking zucchini or using spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is awesome, by the way, but not quite the same as real pasta in texture.

Alas…my amazing, wonderful, spectacular friend, Melissa, bought me a Paderno vegetable spiral slicer last week for my birthday. This is infinitely superior to a vegetti, so I consider myself very blessed and grateful, indeed!

Image Courtesy of Amazon
Image Courtesy of Amazon

I have already used this baby THREE times since Saturday. I have eaten five whole zucchini in this time, smothered in chunky garden sauce and a little bit of ground turkey. On my agenda this week is alfredo sauce with grilled chicken breast. Why? BECAUSE I CAN. Guilt-free, veggie noodle deliciousness!

As you can see, the zoodles are very spaghetti-like, perhaps a bit thicker. You can use other vegetables, but I have a healthy obsession with zucchini and I really like saying, “zoodles.” If you can eat potatoes and sweet potatoes, there are other blades to make curly fries. YUM!

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You can eat the zoodles raw, but they are also a breeze to cook. If you like them with a bit of crunch, sautee them for about 5 minutes at medium-high heat with a little drizzle of EVOO. If you want them softer, toss them in the microwave and steam for 4 minutes, drain the excess water before adding sauce.

Your choices for topping these are endless. Zoodles pair beautifully with all kinds of meats, sauces, and seasonings. Zucchini is flexible like that. Needless to say, I am in LOVE!

Cooking

Overnight Peach Oatmeal (THM E)

Peach Oatmeal

 

 

I love oatmeal and I love my crock pot, as you all know. So when I can combine things I love, it makes me *really* happy! This recipe is easy and tasty. You can swap out the fruit for other kinds you enjoy. My family likes apple, raisin, craisin, blueberry, etc.

You will need:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups almond milk (regular milk works, too)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 peaches, peeled and sliced (you can use canned peaches if they are in their own juice, not syrup)
  • 2 quart crock pot
  • Sweetener of your choice in the morning

Pour all of your ingredients into the crock pot, give them a little stir, set the heat on low, and let it cook for 5-6 hours. I sweeten individual servings in the morning because we all enjoy different levels of sweetness and use different sweeteners. I also add a splash of almond milk to mine right before eating. YUM! Yields 3-4 servings, and the recipe easily doubles in a large crock pot.

I am a night owl, so I just turn the crock pot on when I go to bed between 1:00 and 2:00 AM. Five hours is the right time for mine, as I like the brown, crunchy bits on the side. Some can cook as long as 7-8 hours with the warm feature (if your crock pot has one). You can also purchase a Christmas tree light timer and set that for perfect oatmeal in the morning (if you do not have a timer built in to your slow cooker, and you go to bed during reasonable bedtime hours). They are cheap – around $10 – and work perfectly!

If you are concerned about the oatmeal burning, you can place the smaller crock into a larger one (like the 2 quart into the 6 quart slow cooker) and surround the smaller crock with water, like a double boiler. I never do this because I like those brown, crispy bits. Just offering options! 🙂

Cooking

Perfect Mashed Cauliflower (THM S)

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This recipe is DELICIOUS, if you like cauliflower, and if you are not on a diet that limits fat. Fat is my third favorite “F” word. One of them is “Friday.” You can use your imagination on the other one…I am working on it, ok? 😉

This recipe is NOT low fat, as I was heavily hinting at above. It’s healthy depending on your perspective on the subject. If you are going to eat this with something sugary/carby, that would be bad. If you plan to eat a sensible, low-carb meal, it’s very healthy! You will need a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, I can make no guarantee about how creamy it will turn out.

On to the recipe! You will need:

  • Two 12 oz bags of frozen cauliflower (I use these because they are convenient, affordable, and steam nicely)
  • 3-4 Tbsp cream cheese (you can use reduced fat)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes (optional) to taste

Pour the frozen cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl. Add a tiny bit of water, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Remove and drain well in a colander. You can even press down on the cauliflower a little bit to get extra moisture out. Dump the cauli and remaining ingredients into your food processor. Use the blade that reaches nearly to the edges of the processor…you want this well-blended and very creamy, with no lumps. Pulse a few times to make sure the cream cheese and butter start to melt in, and then set that puppy to “ON” and let it go to town.

After a minute or two, you should have very creamy, super yummy mashed cauliflower. Feel free to add it to another serving dish, or you can be lazy like I am and just spoon it right from the processor. It’s YUMMY! So very, very yummy! I barely miss mashed potatoes.

It is also really good with a clove of garlic. I steam the clove with the cauli and then blend it right in. Your breath will smell like garlic for hours after – fair warning. Obviously, if you use fresh garlic, skip the garlic powder.

This recipe makes 4 large servings, or 6 smaller servings.

Cooking · Food

Braised Leg Quarters with Brussels Sprouts

I whipped this up last night in a frenzy of “oh crap, I took meat out to thaw but forgot to put it in the crock pot.” I am sure I am not alone in that. I had good intentions, but a busy morning, and it was nearly dinner time before I realized I never started dinner. It was a happy accident, however, because this dinner was really yummy.

I am not technically sure if I am allowed to call it braised, but I am going with it. Just humor me. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 packages Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (or more, go crazy!)
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, oregano to taste*

 

Preheat your oven to 375. Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat it up. Season the leg quarters well, and then fry them in the oil to nicely brown the skin. This is a bit of work, but the end result is really, really yummy. You don’t want pale, unseasoned skin…trust me.

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While you have those frying, add the Brussels sprouts, garlic, onion, chicken broth, and some more seasonings to a dutch oven or other covered baking dish. I used my Pampered Chef Deep Baker.

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Arrange your browned leg quarters on top, cover, and bake for one hour. I set my timer for 40 minutes and started a batch of red quinoa during the last 20 minutes of cook time. The flavor was pretty awesome on this and the chicken was tender and delish. I will definitely be making it again, because getting my kids to rave about Brussels sprouts was a major win. Also, it’s pretty easy. Ten minutes of effort and then sitting around waiting for it to finish.

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YUM!