Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spaghetti Squash and Cannellini Meatballs

I am so excited about this recipe. Spaghetti squash and vegetarian meatballs! For those who shy away from anything with the word vegetarian, do not quit on me now, keep reading. These are extremely delicious and healthy. This whole recipe is a healthier alternative to your typical spaghetti and meatballs.
 I love, love, really love spaghetti squash. If you have never had it, you are missing out! It is the perfect substitution for noodles. Actually I prefer it over noodles. I cannot remember the last time I actually had spaghetti. Spaghetti squash has a pretty neutral taste and has a crispy crunch-like texture once cooked. They are fairly easy to cook, they just take a little time.
The meatballs take a little more effort than my previous recipes, but they are completely worth it!
Here is what you will need:

Spaghetti Squash
1 Large Spaghetti Squash
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Cannellini Meatballs
2 Cans Cannellini Beans - Drained and Rinsed
3 Large Carrots
2 Stalks of Celery
1 Onion
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Canola Oil
3 cloves of garlic
3/4 Cup of Croutons (crushed)
5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
Salt to Taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Cut squash in half - longways ( I find it easier to cut the stem end off to create a flat surface and then cut it longways)
3. Deseed the squash
4. Brush approximately 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over the inside of the squash
5. Cook for about 40 minutes

Meanwhile while cooking:

6. Mince garlic
7. Mince the vegetables

8. Heat saute pan
9. Add canola oil when the pan is heated
10. Add vegetables and saute until they are tender
11. Add garlic and saute for approximately 30 seconds
12. Salt to taste
13. Take off of heat to cool
14. Combine cannellini beans, basil crouton into a food processor until the beans are an even texture
15. Combine bean mixture and vegetable mixture until a bowl and mix until evenly distributed
16. Form mixture into 1 tablespoon sized balls and place on baking sheet
17. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until slightly browned
18. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce

Nutritional Information
The recipe for the cannellini meatballs makes about 26 1 tablespoon sized balls. Each ball has about 30 calories, 1.1, grams of fat, .06 grams of saturated fat, 1.2 grams of protein 
The particular squash I used can serve up to about 5 - each serving has 80 calories, 2.6 grams of fat. .2 grams of saturated fat, 1.4 grams of protein
Spaghetti Sauce (Central Market) 1/2 cup has 60 calories, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of protein

In total one serving with 3 cannellini balls has 230 calories 4.7 grams of fat, .26 grams of saturated fat, 4.6 grams of protein

Monday, January 9, 2012

Black Bean Pizzas

I have been experimenting with recipes all week, which has led to an empty kitchen. I had some moldy bell peppers, half an onion, and some cilantro. My veggies are running low. On top of not having a lot of fresh produce to work with, I did not feel like cooking. I used all of my cooking energy on testing recipes. I decided to put together black bean pizzas. I cooked this recipe up one day when my cousins were over, I wanted them to be involved and have the ability to make their own dish. This recipe is perfect for young kids and is completely customizable. My pizzas were a bit more bare than they are usually, so I am going to give you the recipe that I cooked tonight and then also give you suggestions.


Medium wheat tortillas (We typically eat one each)
1 can of refried black beans (or normal)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1-3 tablespoons of water
1 lime (juiced)
1/4 cup of low fat Monterrey cheese or Mexican style cheese per pizza
1/2 red onion
1/2 avocado (diced)
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Run refried black beans (or regular), lime juice, and garlic through the food processor
3. If the beans are too thick to spread, add a tablespoon of water at a time until you reach a smooth spreadable consistency.
4. Place tortillas on a nonstick baking sheet
5. Spread black beans evenly across the tortilla (approximately 4 tablespoons per tortilla)

6. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese and onions

7. Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes (until cheese is melted)
8. Once you pull the sheet out of the oven, top the pizzas with cilantro and avocado

 Serve with your favorite salsa for more flavor!

I normally load these up with vegetables. I will add bell peppers, jalapenos, carrots, spinach, and/or tomatoes, this recipe also works great for left over chicken. If wish to substitute or add any of these ingredients, just add them on before you bake them.

Nutritional information
Each Pizza has approximately
320 calories
9 grams of fat
4.5 grams of saturated fat
18 grams of protein

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy New Year! I hope every one's year has started out wonderfully! How are your resolutions coming along? If you made a resolution along the lines of eating healthier, well, I can help you with that! I am not posting as much as I would like, so my resolution is to increase my posts! With this in mind, I decided to whip up a quick post. I decided this after eating leftovers for dinner and running a couple of errands. With dinner already in my belly and half of my kitchen being occupied, (Jared trying to put together an awful piece of furniture)
Jared enjoying a honey stick
I decided to make some more hummus. (I made some three days ago and we ate it all.) Hummus is one of my favorite dishes. I just love it! It is so versatile, delicious and nutritious. I pack it in my lunch with fresh veggies and chips or I use it as a spread in my wraps and sandwiches. I prefer my hummus thicker in consistency than normal, but this means it will have more calories. Many recipes call for water, mine does not, but if you prefer a lighter hummus just add a bit of water. I also roasted my garlic instead of using raw garlic. By roasting the garlic, you will get a much more milder garlic flavor without the harsh after bite. I chose this recipe tonight because it is very easy to make (perfect for only having half of a kitchen!)

Start off with roasting your garlic - I did not fully roast mine, I just baked it for about 10 minutes to get rid of the bite.

Roasted Garlic
3 large garlic cloves (unpeeled)
1/4 tablespoon olive oil

2 cans of chickpeas (rinse & drained)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 lemons juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of paprika (or to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. lightly coat garlic in olive oil

 3. Bake for about 10 minutes until slightly golden

While the garlic is in the oven:
1. Juice lemons
2. Rinse and drain chickpeas
When your garlic is ready & cool enough to handle:
3. Peel Garlic
4. Combine all ingredients into a food processor until it is an even texture

5. If you prefer your hummus thinner add a tablespoon water at a time until your desired consistency. Because    you are watering it down, you may want to add more garlic, salt and or paprika.
6. Enjoy!

If you are using raw garlic, use only 1-2 cloves, especially if you are planning to save the hummus.

Nutritional information
This recipe make approximately 13 to 14 servings - 2 tablespoons
Each serving has
85 calories
5 grams of fat
.5 grams of saturated fat
2.5 grams of protein