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Nov 18, 2011

Coal Miner's Spaghetti

Easy and quick enough for a week night meal, this Spaghetti Squash recipe warmed and filled us up. You'll want to start cooking the squash ahead of time.

Adapted from Rachael Ray
Spaghetti Squash Prep
  • Simply cut it in half and bake it at 350 for 45 minutes. When cool, using a spoon, gut out the seeds. Then using a fork, twist out the sides of the squash. It looks just like spaghetti!
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cooked and twisted out
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or natural chicken broth)
  • 1/4 boiling water
  • 8 oz proscuitto, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (miced is fine, too)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • handful parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • In a large skillet warmed to medium, saute proscuitto in 1 tsp olive oil until it browns, about 3-5 minutes. Add remaining olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and saute 2 minutes. Add wine to the pan and reduce by half, about 1 minute.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat together egg yolks and while whisking vigorously, stir in boiling water.
  • Add spaghetti squash, egg mixture, parsley, salt and pepper, and toss 2 minutes. Garnish and serve.

Nov 16, 2011

Swedish Meatballs with Garlic Seered Brussels & Zucchini

I had the privilege of speaking with PCOS Diva, Amy Medling. I Learned a LOT about PCOS cooking this past week and have changed the direction of some of my recipes. My husband was rather sad thinking that we might not be able to enjoy his favorite, Swedish Meatballs. We've made it PCOS friendly here. He is able to enjoy his with egg noodles. I just enjoyed my meatballs and veggies. YUM!

Adapted from SkinnyTaste
For Meatballs
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup rosemary, chopped
  • 1 lb 93 % lean beef (look for organic if possible, no hormones added)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups natural beef stock
  • In a deep sautee pan, heat oil on meduim and add onions and garlic until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add rosemary and cook until soft. Let cool a few minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, onion mixture, and salt and pepper. Mix well and form into balls with your hands, about 1/8 cup each. Measure into a 1/4 cup and half.
  • Add beef stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce and slowly drop meatballs into the broth. Cover and cook about 20 minutes.
For Brussels and Zucchini
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 5 oz brussels, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced then halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Heat oil in a sautee pan on medium heat. Add garlic and sautee for 3-4 minutes. Add brussels sprouts and zucchini. Cook until slightly tender, stirring through, about 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 3-4 more minutes. Let cool and serve.

Nov 9, 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake Pumpkin Squares

We love anything cheesecake in my house, especially my husband. I love anything pumpkin and who doesn't like chocolate?? This was the perfect sweet ending to our Autumn Penne Pasta. Carbs come from graham crackers, but are made with whole grain and have good protein and fiber in them and surprisingly low in sugar. Other sugars come from the devil itself, sugar! Yes, real sugar in this one, folks. Tried making it with a full cup of splenda and it just wasn't up to my standards. Compromised a bit with half splenda and half sugar. The results were to. die. for.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

For Crust
  • non stick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs, crushed
  • 1 tbsp light butter
For Filling
  • 2 packages light cream cheese ( 8 oz.) softened
  • 1/2 cup splenda
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 large egg whites 
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted (I used a pinch more!)
  • Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8-inch square baking pan with enough parchment paper to have overhang on all sides and coat with cooking spray. 
  • With a fork, mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter until evenly moistened and press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  • Mix cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth. Add splenda, sugar, pumpkin puree, egg whites, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix until thoroughly until combined and set aside. 
  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture to chocolate, stir and set aside.
  • Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into pan and drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture. Using a knife, swirl chocolate mixture gently through filling to create a marble effect.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes or until cheesecake is set but slightly jiggles when gently shaken.
  • Cool in oven turned off (I open door) for 1 hour. Remove and chill at least 2 hours, or until firm.
  • Using parchment paper overhang, transfer cake to a work surface. Using a knife dipped in water, cut into squares and serve. 

Nov 8, 2011

Chicken & Zucchini in a White Wine Sauce

Simple and quick, this dish is great for a quick week night dinner. The zucchini could really be substituted for any other veggie, I just had zucchini in my refrigerator. The hubby asked for seconds which made me smile as I tucked the recipe away in my arsenal. The butter makes this recipe, so don't skimp, just use light! No leftovers from this one, double the recipe if you've got kids.

Adapted from SkinnyTaste
  • 8 chicken tenderloins (more for bigger families)
  • 1 tbsp light butter (I use smart balance EVOO, delish!)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 12 oz sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup lower sodium chicken broth (could use fat free, too)
  • 1-2 tbsp corn starch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Heat skillet to medium-high heat. When hot, add 1/2 tbsp butter and olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in skillet, cooking for about 7-8 minutes on each side, until chicken is no longer pink throughout. Keep warm and set aside in separate dish.

  • Add 1/2 tbsp butter, olive oil and garlic to same skillet. After a few minutes, add zucchini, salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes or until golden.
  • Add wine, chicken broth, parsley, and cornstarch. Stir to break up any bits from the pan. Bring heat close to a boil then reduce to low, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, until liquid has thickened.
  • Top the chicken with the zucchini sauce and serve.

Autumn Penne Pasta with Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

I made this for my 'cheat day' dinner and didn't change a thing. If you're looking for lower carbs, the meat and veggie mixture is thick enough to enjoy without the whole wheat penne noodles. We seriously had leftovers for days and raved each time we ate it!

Adapted from SkinnyTaste

  • 1 sweet pork sausage link, casing removed, crumbled
  • 1 1b 93% lean ground turkey
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin (or 4 tbsp minced garlic)
  • 10 oz brussels sprouts, stems removed, sliced thin
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, diced small
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (more if you want a kick!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz whole wheat penne noodles
  • In a VERY LARGE, wide skillet, add 2 tsp of oil over medium heat then add garlic and cook until golden. Added shredded brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and saute until slightly tender, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside in another bowl.
  • In the same skillet, add remaining 2 tsp of oil over medium-high heat and add onion, carrots, and celery, stirring well to coat with oil. Cook until the vegetables turn golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, sausage, turkey, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30-40 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  • While sauce is simmering, boil pasta in a large pot of salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce/meat mixture. 
  • Add brussel sprouts, toss and serve with parmegiano-reggiano cheese and ricotta cheese to top (optional).

Nov 5, 2011

Sweet Potato Harvest Fries

To go with our Harvest Turkey Burgers, we whipped up a sweet and spicy concoction of fall taste to make your taste buds dance. Nuff said.


  • 1 large sweet potato, cut like fries
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2-3 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut sweet potato down to the size that you like to enjoy fries. 
  • In large bowl toss all ingredients until evenly coated. 
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly spread out fries so most of them aren't touching each other.
  • Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes or until slightly crispy.

Harvest Turkey Burgers

We weren't ready to put our grill away for the season and decided to put it back in the game last night. These turkey burgers are a great seasonal burger and I just felt all 'fall-like' inside as I ate it! Only carbs come from the veggies which have too many health benefits to leave out. I served my hubby's on a crusty Kaiser roll and I fork and knived mine. We were so ready to devour the burgers that we definitely forgot to photograph the finished product. So, if you make them, send me your shots!

Adapted from Rachel Ray

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, stripped and chopped fine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 small zucchini, freshly grated
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup reduced fat creamy ranch or herb dressing
  • rolls (optional)


Preheat grill or skillet (we grilled). Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl and form into 4 large patties. Just before placing on grill, spray patties with non-stick spray and grill 8-9 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve on a roll or by itself with lettuce, tomato, and creamy ranch dressing.

Crockpot Pork with Mushrooms-Asian Style

Loved this one for it's versatility, yummability, and it's one pot wonderness. I know most of those are not words, but this meal is so easy, delicious, and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Spicy pork marinated in Asian sauces and spices left my husband wanting leftovers for the next few days. Since we like things spicy in my house, we added lots of Sriracha sauce at the end for a nasal cleansing experience.


  • 2 lb lean boneless pork sirloin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp splenda
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic (or 3 heaping tbsp minced garlic)
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh grated ginger root (use more if you like the flavor)
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
For Topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 tbsp Sriracha sauce (Got mine at Wal-Mart on the Asian foods aisle)
  • Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper and heat in a medium-high warmed skillet. Spray the pork with a little oil and brown on all sides for about 7-8 minutes.

  • In crock pot, combine broth, soy sauce, vinegar, splenda, sesame oil, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, and ginger. Add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low.
  • Thirty minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork and set aside to rest. Add the mushrooms to the crock pot, cover, and cook on low for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the pork using two forks.
  • When mushrooms are tender, add the shredded pork to the crock pot and mix well.
  • Serve over brown rice or just as is. Top with scallions, cilantro, and sriracha sauce.

Oct 31, 2011

Parmesan Crusted Spinach Chicken Rollatini

I just love Italian food and since I can't have my favorite, Baked Ziti, on nights when I'm craving tomato sauciness, these roll ups hit the spot. If you're not watching the carbs so much, feel free to add bread crumbs to the dipping process after chicken has been coated with egg whites. I served this over pasta for my hubby and I had nice greek salad to top it off. I had leftovers for a few days and had the Teacher's Lounge smelling yummy when I re-heated the next day. Give it whirl!

Adapted from SkinnyTaste
  • 6-8 thin chicken cutlets (I just sliced my regular chicken breasts in half)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 tbsp egg whites or egg substitute
  • 5 oz frozen spinach, thoroughly squeeze dried
  • 6 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese 
  • 1/4 low-fat shredded mozzarella
  • 6 oz part skim mozzarella (I used Polly-O)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup no sugar added marinara sauce (I use Trader Joe's Traditional Marinara Sauce)
  • salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste
  • Season cutlets with salt, pepper, and garlic salt then preheat oven to 450. Lightly spray baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Place 4 tbsp egg whites and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan into two separate bowls.
  • In another bowl, combine shredded mozzarella with spinach and remaining parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp egg whites, and ricotta cheese.
  • Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of spinach-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down.
  • Dip chicken in egg whites then in grated parmesan and place seam side down in a baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken. When finished, cover with more grated parmesan to fill in empty places. (optional)
  • Bake 25 minutes and remove from oven. Top with sauce then a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  • Return to oven and bake for 3 more minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve with a bit more sauce on the side.

Oct 30, 2011

Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball

My parents recently moved to Alabama and right next door to a farm that produces all kinds of yummy goat cheese. I thought of both of them when I stumbled upon this recipe because it contains two of their favorite things. Pistachios for dad and goat cheese for both. I imagine mom's will taste much better because of the fresh product next door, but until I get down there to visit and sample her farmer neighbor's goat cheese, Trader Joe's will suffice. This is the perfect in-between commercial snack for my family on Thanksgiving Day. No carbs and minimal sugar, so eat your heart out!

Adapted from Family Circle

  • 4 oz plain goat cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz neufchatel cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp natural honey (try to go local)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
  • In stand mixer, blend cheeses, honey, and thyme on medium until combined.
  • Using a spatula, transfer the mixture to a work surface and form it into a ball. Roll the ball in the pistachios and refrigerate 1 hour. 
  • Re-shape the ball after cooling if needed. Serve with your favorite cracker or baguette bread.