Hope Wissel

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Spaghetti Squash

Thank you Rachel of Wicked Good Spice Mixes Co for today’s recipe.  Perfect timing since I grabbed a spaghetti squash at the farmer’s market.

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds
  3. Brush flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with sale and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Place squash, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender – about 50 minutes
  5. Remove squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle – about 30 minutes
  6. Scrape flesh with a fork to make long squash strands, set aside
  7. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauce pan, over medium heat until simmering about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and shallot, season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and lightly brown – about 3 minutes.
  8. Add reserved squash, toss with tongs to coat thoroughly.  Cook until heated through.
  9. Remove from heat, add cheese a handful at a time while tossing squash to evenly coat.
  10. Serve with Tuscan Bistro Blend, freshly ground pepper and extra cheese.

Need some Wicked Good Spice Mixes to stock your spice rack?  You can grab them online or stop by 502 Baking Company in Brick – they have a supply of items too.  While you are there, pick up a yummy dessert…. They have the BEST vegan peanut butter cookies…..

I’m so ready for fall mainly so I can start cooking again.  Summer in our house means eating out and salads which is okay but I do miss cooking……We don’t have a grill at the condo (too many rules) or I would definitely be grilling all summer long.

Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?  Send it to me and I will send you a gift as a thank you when I post your recipe.

Have a blessed day!

Clear the Clutter, Weigh to Goal

How to STOP Sabotaging Your Diet

Christmas is over and if you are like me…. you have eaten so much over the last few days (okay so maybe it has been the last few weeks).  Now there are leftovers to deal with and the last push to enjoy all those treats before we hit the New Year’s resolutions.  Doesn’t everyone’s resolution include eating healthy or hitting the gym?  Yes, I squirreled.

I have been struggling for several months to maintain my goal weight or even stay within the 2 pound range given by Weight Watchers when I stumbled on this article.  Now I have been told these misconceptions many times, reading them again always is a good reminder…

“Skipping breakfast is harmless and a smart way to cut calories.”

I am definitely a breakfast skipper!  I am usually up early and always say “it’s too early to eat”  or “I’m not hungry.”  It is time to re-train my brain.    Studies show people who eat a smart breakfast daily are less likely to become obese. Your body functions more effectively when it’s well fueled, so you’ll actually burn more calories throughout the day if you feed it in the morning. Plus, you’re more likely to make poor food decisions if you let yourself get too hungry. So start your day with a light healthy breakfast.  Not hungry first thing in the a.m.?  Why not keep a piece of fruit and protein bar handy for a mid-morning meal.

“Eating gluten-free/vegan/insert-buzzword-here foods will help with weight loss.”

No hate mail, please.  I know there are some who need to eat gluten free or vegan for health reason.  I do gluten free to help manage MS symptoms BUT there are some who thing it will help with their weight loss. The simple fact is eating like this does not guarantee weight loss. They can be loaded with calories and fat. Gluten-free foods are sometimes just as carby as their gluten-containing counterparts, and vegan goods may be full of fatty calories. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to foods which work for your personal needs and lifestyle, but some choices are better than others. That’s why it’s so important to check the nutritional info before you order or buy. Pay special attention to calories, serving size, and servings per container!

“On workout days, I can let loose and indulge at meal time, and it’ll all balance out.”

Even if your spin class promises to burn 800 calories, don’t treat yourself to fettuccine Alfredo and cheesecake just yet. It’s common to overestimate the number of calories we’ve burned — everyone burns calories at a different rate — and you could unintentionally negate your hard work. Even if your estimates are spot on, do you really want to cancel them out entirely? If you’re aiming for weight loss, you still need to take in fewer calories than you burn. Either way, you’re better off just increasing your portion sizes to replenish yourself, not reaching for junk food or totally overdoing it. Check out these ideas for what to eat before and after a workout.

“As long as I stick to a clean diet of all-natural whole foods, I don’t need to worry about calories.”

If weight management is a priority for you, then yeah, you’re going to want to keep tabs on your calorie intake. YES, eating whole natural foods is good for you. But it’s completely possible to consume way more calories than you burn in a day by eating these foods. Plenty of natural foods are calorie dense — think avocados, nuts, grains — meaning a small portion has a large calorie count. Eat too much of those, and you could pack on the pounds.  Believe it or not, the same thing can happen with fruits which are packed full of natural sugar.  So eat the good stuff, but watch the portions.

“I’ll order a salad for dinner to save calories for dessert.”

No judgement call here – I’ve done this. Although, it may seem like a smart choice, restaurant salads often pack WAY more calories than you think. So if you’re blindly assuming the giant Cobb salad is a better option than a lean petite filet and a side of veggies, you might want to spend some time checking out the restaurant’s nutritional facts.  The salad dressing alone often contains hundreds of calories! And when it comes to dessert, treat yourself… but split one with your dining companions. Studies have found we enjoy the last bite the most anyway!

What is your best weight loss tip?  Share them with us as we get ready for the New Year…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Mexican Quinoa Bowl

This healthy, gluten-free recipe is a one-pot wonder which comes together in a snap! Skip the sour crean and it becomes a great vegan option.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable broth
  • 1   orange or red bell pepper, stem removed, seeded
  • 1   medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into 3” (7.5-cm) pieces
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 2   garlic cloves
  • 1 can (15 oz/425 g) low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz/411 g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-2 tbsp (15-30 mL) Tex-Mex Rub
  • ¼  cup (50 mL) fresh cilantro leaves
  •  Diced avocado, sour cream and lime wedges (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in the Deep Covered Baker. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the bell pepper into quarters and the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using the Quick Slice, cut the bell pepper (skin-side up) into strips. Slice the zucchini halves crosswise.
  3. Remove the baker from the microwave. Stir in the vegetables, garlic pressed with the Garlic Press, beans, tomatoes with juice, and rub.
  4. Microwave, covered, for 8–10 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid.
  5. Remove the baker from the microwave and let it stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  6. Snip cilantro in a small bowl with the Professional Shears.
  7. To serve, sprinkle the quinoa with cilantro and top each serving with avocado and sour cream, if desired.

Yield:  5  servings of 1 1/2 cups (375 mL)

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 230, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 660 mg, Carbohydrate 46 g, Fiber 9 g, Sugars 8 g, Protein 11 g

Cook’s Tips:

  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder and 1 tsp (5 mL) of ground cumin can be substituted for Tex-Mex Rub.
  • To make this recipe on the stovetop, increase vegetable broth to 1½ cups (375 mL). Combine the quinoa and broth in Rockcrok® Dutch Oven and cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Continue as directed in steps 2 and 3. In step 4, bring to a simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed the liquid. Let it stand 5 minutes. Continue as directed.

Want more recipes to help you change up boring dinners?  Check out Patti’s website where there is over 250 recipes to spice up your dinner menu.  If your wish list is bigger than your wallet, host a party to earn free and discounted products.  Just like to shop, check out the monthly customer specials. 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday – Quinoa Salad with a Kick

Thank you to JEN @THE HAUTE MOMMY HANDBOOK for today’s recipe.

I love quinoa and it has now become a staple in our house.  Hubby even prefers it to rice.  There is always a bag or two in the pantry.   It has lots of protein and when I was strictly vegetarian, it helped give me a little protein boost.

This is a yummy dish packed with protein and the tasty crunch of fresh veggies. This salad is very easy to assemble.   I love the fact this Quinoa salad can be served as a side or as a main course.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Generally, the ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10-12 minutes on low heat. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, pepper flakes, and salt to create the dressing.
  3. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, bell pepper, chickpeas, onions, and celery. Pour dressing over this, and toss to coat. Add cilantro and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes approximately 4-6 servings.

NOTES:

Any fresh, crunchy veggie with sweet notes can be added or substituted in this recipe. I subbed in black beans  because we prefer them BUT beans can be omitted altogether.

What is your favorite recipe?  Share it with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday – Vegetarian Mediterranean Farro Salad

farro-5

 

I have been on the hunt for recipes that are high in veggies plus are quick and easy to prepare.  I found this recipe in my “in box” the other day and it sounded YUMMY!  Now, I am not a feta cheese kind of girl PLUS I can’t have dairy now so the fact that it was optional was HUGE!  I liked that this made enough to divide over a few days to have for lunch or a salad with dinner.

Ingredients:

1 cup farro
1 large cucumber
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup parsley
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1/4 cup feta cheese

Directions

Boil the farro for 10-12 minutes in large pot. (I like the pre-cooked farro from Trader Joe’s.) As the farro boils, chop the cucumber, onion, tomatoes and parsley. (If desired, chop the feta cheese as well.)

When the farro is finished, strain the grain and rinse with cold water for about 30-45 seconds.

Scoop the farro into a large bowl and add the chopped veggies.

Squeeze the fresh lemon on top of the salad and add salt and pepper to taste. (I prefer just lemon and pepper.)

Mix all together and enjoy!

If you haven’t tried farro, it is a GREAT grain to use instead of rice.  Hubby prefers it when it is used with stir-fry or chili, something that has some “juice” or gravy or sauce.  I, on the other hand, love to eat it as a side with just a few veggies.

Share your favorite recipes with us.  I would love to highlight YOUR favorites (and your business).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!