I always see them in the grocery, crates piled high with the bulbous, vibrant yellow vegetables. Obviously I’m attracted. It’s like Peacocking 101. Inevitably I buy one, reassuring myself that I’ll figure out a way to use it.
So why is it still sitting on my counter one week after aforementioned shopping trip? Because every time I even halfway think of using it, my mind has already thought of eight excuses not to. They’re too hard to cut; it’ll take too long to bake; it’s huge and I’m one person; it doesn’t even actually taste like spaghetti.
Consider this recipe my response to some of those annoyances. Yeah, you still have to cut and bake it, but with a sharp enough knife and a little forethought, you shouldn’t be in the woods for long. And, since it’s a (cheese-filled) side dish, it doesn’t even matter that spaghetti squash actually tastes nothing like spaghetti.
Nothing like having your cupcake-shaped cheesy veggies and eating them too.
Broccoli Cheddar Spaghetti Squash Cups Makes: 6 cups | Calories per cup: 62
Fat: 2.0 g (Sat Fat: 0.8 g) | Carbohydrate: 7.2 g | Fiber: 1.3 g| Protein: 4.4 g
ingredients: half of a small spaghetti squash
1 C frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
1/2 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 T fat free cream cheese
1 t minced garlic
1 large egg
1 t salt
1/2 t cracked black pepper
3 T Italian breadcrumbs
directions: 1. To cook the spaghetti squash, slice it in half lengthwise and place on a baking dish cut side up. Bake for an hour in a 350° oven, until the flesh is fork tender. Once cooked and cooled, scrape out the inside using a fork. Half of a squash should yield about 2 cups. 2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cooked and shredded squash, broccoli, cheddar cheese, cream cheese and garlic. 3. In a small bowl, scramble the egg and then pour into the squash mixture. 4. Season the squash with the salt and pepper. Add in about half of the breadcrumbs. 5. Divide the squash mix evenly between six greased muffin tin cups. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining breadcrumbs. 6. Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned. 7. Let the muffins cool before loosening from the cups using a small knife before removing from the muffin tin.
Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s taken almost a year of blogging for me to come up with this recipe. I mean, I’m constantly looking for ways to incorporate more chocolate into my diet, and if I can disguise it as something healthy by combining it with oatmeal, wouldn’t it be insane not to?
Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Bake Calories: 368 | Fat: 8.1 g (Sat Fat: 2.9 g) | Carbohydrate: 53.9 g | Protein: 26.3 g
1/2 C fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 C milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/4 C liquid egg whites
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet Splenda
1 t cinnamon
1 t instant coffee or espresso
1/2 T mini chocolate chips
1/2 C dry oats
1/2 small banana, sliced
directions: 1. The night before, whisk together the yogurt, milk, liquid egg whites, cocoa powder, Splenda, cinnamon, and instant coffee in a small mixing bowl until there are no lumps.*
2. Stir in the mini chocolate chips and oats.
3. Pour the oat mixture in a small baking dish coated with PAM. Top with sliced bananas.
4. In the morning, bake the oatmeal for 30 minutes in a 375° oven.
*note: if you want to try making this the morning of, simply spread the oats in the bottom of the baking dish and pour the liquid mixture over it before baking
The end of a semester means the beginning of having more time for things like blogging, watching movies, and slender movie watching snacks like today’s recipe. Feel free to cozy up to a lil bowl of these baked parmesan edamame and rejoice in the fact that something so crunchy and delicious has 11 grams of filling protein and requires that you lick your fingers after eating.
Baked Parmesan Edamame
Calories: 121 | Fat: 3.9 g (Sat Fat: 0.9 g) | Carbohydrate: 9.2 g | Protein: 11.3 g
ingredients: 1/2 C frozen shelled edamame (this means out of the pods)
1 T shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
PAM Original nonstick spray
directions: 1. Preheat your oven to 400° and coat a small baking sheet with PAM. 2. Pour your edamame in a colander and run cold water over them until thawed. Pat dry with a paper towel. 3. Spread the edamame in the baking sheet in an even, single layer. Lightly spray with PAM. 4. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese evenly over the edamame and season with salt and pepper. 5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes or so until the edamame have crisped up.
I, like many humans, am victim to cravings. Most of the time these come in the form of cheeseburgers or chocolate, but after a weekend like this last one (three days of beer, Mexican food, tequila, and family style pasta platters), I want an IV of vegetables straight to the vein.
Senior weekend, we’re done. It’s not you, it’s me.
Yep, we’re moving on. It’s a new week and Meatless Monday is never a bad way to get back on the slender track. Today’s recipe is ideal for tofu novices, as its marinade and cooking process are about as easy as can be. Better yet, it’s the perfect opportunity to use up the scraps of vegetables left in your fridge. Waste not, want not.
Baked Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry Calories: 277 | Fat: 6.7 g (Sat Fat: 0.8 g) | Carbohydrate: 30.5 g | Protein: 22.3 g
ingredients: 1/4 package extra firm tofu, pressed
1/2 T chopped garlic
2 T teriyaki sauce
1 T stir fry sauce
chopped vegetables of choice– I used 1/4 C each of mushrooms, onions, asparagus (from frozen), broccoli (from frozen), bell pepper, and baby carrots
1/4 C liquid egg whites
1 package Tofu Shirataki noodles, drained according to package instructions
sriracha, to taste
directions: 1. Slice your tofu into 1″ squares. In a small container, combine your teriyaki sauce and garlic. Add tofu and toss to coat. Let it marinade in the fridge for at least an hour. 2. Preheat your oven to 400°. Place your tofu squares on a small baking sheet coated with PAM and bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through. 3. While your tofu is baking, coat a large nonstick skillet with PAM and stir fry your vegetables over medium heat until softened. 4. Push the veggies over to one side of the pan and pour the liquid egg whites in the empty section. Scramble and then stir cooked eggs into the veggie mix. 5. Add the remaining teriyaki sauce, stir fry sauce, and noodles; toss to coat. Lower the heat, and cover until tofu is ready. 6. Top your noodles with the baked tofu squares, a drizzle of sriracha and enjoy!
You’ve probably already noticed, but I’m not real big on frozen dinners. Most days, I’m pretty willing to put forth the bit of foresight and planning in order to prepare fresh, homemade meals for myself… And then there are the times when I’m being a human and things don’t go as planned, or I have to make time for things that are more important than my budding domesticity.
Enter: the frozen meal.
I picked out this little guy at Central Market in the beginning of my Meatless Monday adventure. I had a feeling that there would come a moment when Monday evening just wasn’t the most opportune time to be experimenting with foreign proteins like tofu and tempeh.
Of course I didn’t blindly choose this box. Word to the wise, never purchase any processed or pre-prepared food without checking out the nutrition label. I flipped this frozen find over and noted that it had 240 calories, 5 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbohydrate (5 of which are from fiber), and 11 grams of (vegan) protein. Into my cart it went with the Slender Student seal of approval.
The best part about finally ripping into this bad boy was realizing that our microwave was broken just as I was ready to heat it up. Fortunately, there were oven directions and I wasn’t quite starving (yet). I popped it in the oven at 375º for 35 minutes. While that was baking, I quickly sautéed some frozen broccoli and asparagus with baby kale to have on the side. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, I sprinkled a tablespoon of fresh Parmesan cheese over top and let it brown a bit.
Overall, this was a pretty satisfactory frozen dinner. The tomato sauce tasted fresh, not fakey. The meatballs had a hearty texture and their flavor was slightly reminiscent of falafel. I was disappointed by their number and size, but for less than 250 calories, I’ll take it. The noodles were mushy, but that might’ve been because of the whole oven situation. Now, I’d be lying to you if I told you this low calorie meal held me over until bed, but its moderate protein content made it the perfect pre-game for my chocolate Greek froyo so I’m really not complaining.
I’ll definitely be trying more of Amy’s Kitchen Light & Lean meals and with finals coming up, you can bet my freezer is stocked.