Staying healthy during such a busy time can be tricky. One of my suggestions is to eat more veggies. That can sometimes be tricky though, especially with kids. Here are five ways we get in more veggies that are easy, and won’t make you feel like a cow grazing on grass all day. These fit […]
Tag Archives | lunch
This guide takes the guess work outof how to pack a healthy school lunch for your kiddos this year.
I love spaghetti squash. It’s definitely earned its place as my favorite vegetable. I generally plan a spaghetti squash dish once a week, and always bake two so I can have some for lunch leftovers. Of course, I now have to fight my 8-year-old daughter for the leftovers, so I may have to start making three. Luckily, spaghetti squash is extremely easy to make.
First: Cut it in half
For years I cut it length-wise. Basically my fingers were in great danger everytime I made spaghetti squash. Then one morning I was listening to the Balanced Bites Podcast, and they suggested cutting it around the middle. Life. Changing. It’s SO much easier and cooks just as well.
Second: Clean it out
Just scrape it out with a spoon just like you do a pumpkin. But a spaghetti squash is smaller and much easier to clean out than a pumpkin.
Third: Season it
I drizzle each half with a bit of avocado oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. That’s it!
Fourth: Bake it
Turn each half of your squash cut-side down on a pan lined with parchment paper and bake it at 400 degrees F for 45- mintues to an hour. You know it’s done when the tops are brown and it’s soft to the touch.
Fifth: Scrape out the “spaghetti”
I always let it cool a bit before I scrape it. To get the “spaghetti” out, just use a fork on the sides of the squash.
That’s it! Easy, nutritious and yummy. Spaghetti squash is also high in fiber and vitamin C so those are added bonuses.
Now what do you do with this delicious vegetable? I’ve listed some of my favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash.
My top pick: Pesto!!
I love pesto! I just make some of my Dairy-Free Pesto (click here for recipe) and mix it in. We serve this as our veggie side dish regularly. Sometimes I’ll add in some chicken and tomatoes for a full meal, but the pesto alone is an amazing dish!
If you love spaghetti but can’t do the pasta, this is a great alternative. We just brown some ground beef with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Then we top it with whatever no-sugar, organic marinara sauce we have on hand or my homemade marinara sauce (click here for recipe). We sometimes stir in a bit of full-fat coconut milk to make it even creamier. If you haven’t tried that, you’re missing out.
Shredded Meat, Tomatoes and Spinach
Something about tomatoes and spaghetti squash go so well together. I add whatever leftover roast I have on hand and a handful of spinach and small tomatoes. Then I warm the whole thing up in the microwave. So fast and easy!
Sausage, Spinach and BBQ Sauce
This is a great dish because it comes together with things I always have on hand. I always keep a jar of my No-Sugar BBQ Sauce (click here for recipe) on hand for meat, dressings, soups, etc. We also keep True Story brand sausages on hand for quick meals. To put this dish together, I add the leftover spaghetti squash, some spinach leaves, a sliced sausage and a bit of BBQ sauce to a skillet and heat it all up together.
Steak, Broccoli and Your Favorite Dressing
Since spaghetti sauce is a veggie, you can almost treat it like a salad, topping it with your favorite salad dresssing. Add in a bit of steamed broccoli and a seared steak and it’s a full meal! My favorite sauce for this is my Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower Hummus (Click here for recipe). I love this stuff with broccoli so this combination is perfect for me. I cook the broccoli in a skillet, then add in the sliced steak when the broccoli is almost done. Then I add in the leftover squash and dressing just to heat everything through.
Ultimate Leftover Plate
I LOVE to combine all my leftovers on a plate. This day I used leftover squash, chicken, roasted veggies and pesto. Really all you need is a meat, some more optional veggies and a sauce. YUM!!
Some of my favorite recipes from others to make with spaghetti squash are:
- Paleo BBQ Chicken Casserole from Real Food With Jessica
- Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein from Little Bits of Real Food, Real Talk
- Spaghetti Squash with Prosciutto and Spinach from The Cookin’ Canuck
- Paleo Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo from Unbound Wellness
What’s your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash?
I meal plan. It’s kind of an obsession/ritual. I also try to keep my meals simple. I don’t want a huge pile of dishes to do after I’m done, plus I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. I generally spend 30 minutes cooking dinner and limit myself to 1-2 dishes that have to […]
Packing school lunches for kids 5-days a week, it’s easy to get burned out and run out of ideas. By Friday I kind of just want to fill each section of their lunch boxes with cheerios and send them a milk chug and a spoon. So to make your life and mine easier, here are […]
I have a confession that may get me kicked out of the healthy community. I do not particularly enjoy eating fish. I am okay with white fish, but I don’t love salmon (one of the healthiest fish due to its higher fat content). Fish provides Omega-3 Fats, which help our heart and reduce overall inflammation. A word about buying fish. ALWAYS buy fish labeled “wild-caught.” This means the fish was taken from its natural habitat after eating its natural diet. “Farm-raised” fish was raised in large groups and fed using grain by-products. This makes farm-raised fish richer in Omega-6 fats which we already get way too much of in the standard American diet.
Because I realize how much I need fish in my diet, I’m always looking for a way I can eat salmon and enjoy it. One thing I do love is Asian food. I decided the best way to eat salmon was to give it some Asian flavor. These salmon bowls are DELICIOUS! They come together really fast and are easy to customize. I love meals like this because I don’t have to try to please everyone. I put out the toppings and everyone can just add what they like. These are also great for company for that exact reason. When I eat these bowls I can honestly say I love salmon.
If you’re going to use rice, start it cooking first.
Then start working on the salmon. I’m not willing to spend a lot of time cooking dinner so I love to cook fish in the oven. I don’t want to have to watch a pan. After it cooks, the salmon easily flakes away from the skin in bite-size pieces. If you REALLY don’t like salmon, you can make this with any fish. Shrimp would be DELICIOUS (a fish I actually do love to eat). Just remember to look for that “wild-caught” label.
While the salmon cooks, prep all your toppings. There is really no wrong way to do this. We use cucumber, carrot, red pepper, spinach, cilantro and avocado but if you want to use something different, go for it.
Then make the sauce. I love this sauce because it only requires one bowl and no cooking. Make and store extra for salad dressing. I like to use tahini, my husband likes peanut butter. Either is delicious. You can also use almond butter or really any nut butter you have on hand. Don’t go out and buy something if you have ingredients that work.
Now just build your bowl how you like it. I like to add a scoop of rice a huge handful of spinach, one whole flaked salmon fillet and then top it with my veggie strips. Then I just drizzle the whole thing with the sauce. My family members pick the veggies they like so there’s not complaining about not liking certain ingredients.
And that’s it! Dinner is ready! Enjoy your fish!!
When my husband and I got married, we’d eat out about once a month. Now before you think we were well-off (because we were dead broke), let me explain what I mean by “eat out.” Once a month we’d make the 1/2 mile walk to the local Smith’s grocery store. Inside the Smith’s was a Chinese restaurant that charged $4.95 for a plate of food. So for less than $10, we had our date night. These days, knowing what I know, I doubt we’d hit up that particular restaurant, but I still remember it fondly. I always got the same thing: chicken chow mein, orange chicken and beef and broccoli. Today I was randomly craving that beef and broccoli. Side note: I didn’t have one craving when I was pregnant, but when I’m not pregnant, I crave random things all the time. The point is, I wanted to eat beef and broccoli and not feel horrible after. So I decided to come up with my own recipe. Here’s how it went down.
I started with a flank steak sliced super thin. Then I marinated this in a delicious, no-sugar, no-soy sauce for about 45 minutes (because that’s how long it took me to get my daughter, get home and start cooking).
Then I cooked my broccoli. This was simple as it was just avocado oil, broccoli, and pepper. How long you cook this is going to depend on your taste buds. I happen to like my broccoli very well cooked. I love when it has some black char on it. Cook it how you like it. How long you cook the broccoli won’t make any difference to whether or not the dish turns out.
Move the broccoli to a bowl and add the meat, marinade and all. This is another thing to cook to your liking. I like my meat rare, so I only cooked it for around 3 minutes or so. If you like it more done, cook it for around 5 minutes.
While the meat cooks, make the delicious sauce. The thickener in the sauce is arrowroot powder. It acts a lot like corn starch.
Add the broccoli back in and once it’s warm, toss the sauce. You’ll only have to cook it for a minute or so to finish the dish.
I ate this plain because I was starving and it smelled amazing, but this would also be delicious over rice.
As I’ve mentioned several times, I love stir fry. Even though it’s May, today I was in the mood for the flavors of fall. That’s what I love about stir fry. You can eat the flavors you’re craving whenever you want.
As usual, start out by cooking the vegetables in salt and pepper. Rather than take the time to cook and dice sweet potatoes on my own, I used these:
These are one of the most convenient things I’ve found. Eating healthy often requires a lot of chopping, so these pre-cooked make it much easier.
Because I used pre-cooked sausages, I just had to cook them long enough to brown the outside and warm the inside. These chicken apple sausages are great to have on hand. We use them in salads, in eggs for breakfast and, of course, in stir frys.
Who says you can only have cinnamon and sweet potatoes in the fall? Not me!
I have another stir fry recipe today. I love stir fry because it’s a great way to use up excess or about-to-expire vegetables and meat. Plus you can flavor the mixture to fit your mood. This day, I felt like curry. This isn’t surprising since I could eat curry every day.
As is the case with most my stir frys, this comes together quickly in one pan. This serves one very hungry person or two people who are just sort of hungry. I tend to fit in the category of a very hungry person, so this is a great lunch for me.
Tuesdays are crazy in our house. We leave the house at 11:45 and don’t get home until about 5:30 p.m. While there are some good protein bars and jerky sticks we can pack to eat on-the-go, nothing beats real, whole food. Yet it’s not always easy to transport or eat healthy food to eat while […]