Category Archives: Recipes

Delicious and (mostly) Nutritious Baked Pene with Meat Sauce!


I found this recipe on pinterest and thought it was a good way to get some delicious pasta without going too overboard on my “diet”…yes I used it in quotes because it’s almost a joke at this point.  I actually cut the recipe in half, so if you want to try it out and have enough for more than 2 people, make sure you double all portions!

  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2  (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce (I used vodka sauce, but you can choose whatever is your favorite!)
  • 2 cups cooked penne (about 2-1/2 cups dry shells)
  • 1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cups low fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley

ingredients

Ok, now to the fun part – putting it all together!  Here’s what I did:

STEP 1:  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey, diced onion, and minced garlic until turkey has lost its pink color.  Once it’s done, you can drain any excess fat from the turkey and set aside.  Don’t worry about it getting cold because you’re going to bake it anyways.

meat and onions

STEP 2:  Add the entire jar of pasta sauce, stir.

STEP 3:  Cook penne according the package instructions, al dente preferred.

STEP 4:  After draining, add the pasta to the cooked turkey and sauce

meat and onions with pasta

STEP 5:  In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, 1.5 cups mozzarella, ricotta, and herbs.

cheese mix

STEP 6:  In a 8″ x 8″  pan, add 1/2 turkey mixture (cooked turkey, marinara and cooked penne) and top with the cheese mixture.  You may need to use your fingers to distribute it because its pretty sticky.

pasta first layer

STEP 7: Top with remaining turkey/penne/sauce mixture and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

 

pasta second la yer

STEP 8:  Bake at 375 degreesF for 30 minutes

STEP 9:  Enjoy!  I’m an idiot so I didnt take a picture of the final product…probably because by that time I was foaming at the mouth and ready to eat…but it was delicious!    This meal actually only has about 300 calories per serving and close to 20g of protein!  Not bad for a good, and filling, dinner!  Of course I added garlic bread and a glass (or 2) of wine with my meal, so my meal wasn’t healthy at all, but all I’m trying to say is that it could be healthy if you wanted it to be! Enjoy! 🙂

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Super Easy, Super Clean, Super Healthy Fish Recipe!


I’ve been trying to eat healthy (I said trying, I didn’t say it’s been going well) and decided that I was going to make fish for dinner.  My original plan was to make a fish stirfry with soy sauce and rice and veggies, but I was talking with one of my good friends on the phone, who is a cook, and he suggested I go in a different direction, which happened to also be an “easy clean up”…so basically I was sold.  Below I’ve shared this SUPER EASY recipe:

What you need:

  • White fish of your choice (I don’t know exactly what mine was…whatever was on sale at Big Y)
  • Veggies of your choice (I used frozen mixed veggies)
  • A lemon, or lemon juice
  • White Pepper
  • Dill
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tin Foil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375

Take a piece of tin foil and fold it in half (make sure you leave enough "slack" that once you add the fish and veggies you can still wrap the foil around everything without a problem.   Put the fish in the middle of the foil.

Take a piece of tin foil and fold it in half (make sure you leave enough “slack” that once you add the fish and veggies you can still wrap the foil around everything without a problem.
Put the fish in the middle of the foil unseasoned.

Add veggies - as many or as few as you want to eat.  The more veggies the better in my book!

Add veggies – as many or as few as you want to eat. The more veggies the better in my book!
As you can see, my veggies are frozen – thats fine, they’ll thaw out while cooking, no big deal.

Add seasoning.  I poured some lemon juice over everything then sprinkled with dill and white pepper.  Then some regular salt and pepper.  I didn't use any formal measurements - just "eyeballed" it.  Yes, I realize this could be dangerous, but erred on the side of caution - I'd rather have it be too bland than inedible.

Add seasoning. I poured some lemon juice over everything then sprinkled with dill and white pepper. Then some regular salt and pepper. I didn’t use any formal measurements – just “eyeballed” it. Yes, I realize this could be dangerous, but erred on the side of caution – I’d rather have it be too bland than inedible.

wrap that puppy up!  Make sure you have it wrapped well so no juices will seep out while it's cooking. You could also place it on a baking dish if you're nervous.  I didn't do that though...I like to live on the edge.

wrap that puppy up! Make sure you have it wrapped well so no juices will seep out while it’s cooking. You could also place it on a baking dish if you’re nervous. I didn’t do that though…I like to live on the edge.

Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until fish is cooked through, and voila!  you've got yourself a healthy, simple, easy-clean-up dinner!   As you can see, I also added some brown rice.  (the instructions to cook that are right on the box ;) )

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until fish is cooked through, and voila! you’ve got yourself a healthy, simple, easy-clean-up dinner!
As you can see, I also added some brown rice. (the instructions to cook that are right on the box ;))

So you can alter this recipe to fit your own person tastes!  Add any veggies or spices that you like, and if you don’t like rice, you could have pasta, baked potato or anything else your heart desires for a side!  The world is your oyster!  Bon Apetite!

Beef Stew on a Snowy Winter Night


So one of my best friends came over for dinner last night, which I was pretty pumped about, but was also stressing a little bit because (as usual) I had too many things to do and not enough time to do them in.  So I opted for a crock pot meal.  I had some steaks in my freezer so I figured I’d grab some veggies and and make beef stew…and of course what goes better with a homemade soup/stew than a bread bowl.  Come on,  you know you love bread bowls, everyone loves bread bowls!  (Some people just have enough constraint not to actually eat them.  Luckily for the purposes of this recipe, I am not “some people”).  I tried out a new recipe, so I wasn’t all the way sure it was going to work, but it’s always fun to try out something new.

Here’s what you need:

  • A bunch of beef.  I used strip steaks because that’s what I had in my freezer.  I used somewhere between 1.5 – 2lbs.
  • You also need beef bouillon cubes
  • A bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • A can of diced tomatoes with onions in it
  • 2 cups of water.
  • about a teaspoon of salt, pepper, dried basil, and one bay leaf.

And that’s it!  Then there’s the best part of crock-pot-cooking:   you just literally throw everything in there and leave.  In my case, I went to work, then ran some errands, and was home right in time for dinner.  Walking up the stairwell to my apartment and smelling the delicious aroma of a homecooked dinner was amazing, especially when I realized that it was coming from MY apartment, for once!!

First add the beef to your crock pot.  Make sure you cut it into bite-sized chunks.

beef

Add in 2 cups of water.

Pour in Water

Add diced tomatoes.

Diced Tomatoes

Add the diced onions, potatoes, and seasonings (including the salt, pepper, basil, and bouillon cubes).

onions and potatoesThrow the whole bag of frozen veggies on top of everything.

frozen veggies

Let it sit on the low in the crock pot for 8 – 10 hours, or until you get your desired thickness

cooking

Enjoy it with your favorite red wine!  Liz brought over Root:1, a Cabernet Sauvignon, which I never had before, but is very tasty!

meal

This makes 6 hearty portions, which roll in at about 420 calories each containing approximately 25 grams of protein.  This nutrition information is obviously not including the wine or bread bowls, which would tack on about 1,000 calories…whoops!  This is a filling “meat & potatoes” meal!  We each had a helping and then I portioned off the rest and froze them for future dinners!  I live alone and cooking for one can be annoying, so any time I can make a meal that is easily freezable in single serving portions I’m all over!  The company, the wine, and the food made for a great night, and the best part about crock-pot-cooking is the easy clean up!  Only one cooking dish to clean and our plates!  Sweet!

Eggcellent Breakfast


As mentioned in a post last week, I’ve been trying to be more careful about what I’ve been eating.  Though Doug and Carrie will not believe this after all the food we ate in TX (posts to come on my Austin adventures), now that I’m back in CT I got back into it bright and early this morning.  I got up at regular time this morning (5AM), however I decided to start my day from home since we got a new layer of snow last night night, booooo!  Did I mention I’m the worst New Englander on the East Coast?  Hey, why should I muddle through unplowed roads and parking lots when I have the option to let all of that get taken care of before I hit the streets!

Anyways, back to business here!  The name of the game:  eat at 6AM, but stay full til at least noon…so I needed some protein!  I’m trying to find good ways to stay full without just loading myself with a delicious bagel with cream cheese (which ironically only really keeps me full for an hour or so anyways).  So I decided to go with what I like to call a “breakfast scrambler”.  I used eggs, onion, tomato, and sharp cheddar cheese and followed these steps:

  1. sauté onions in a small frying pan.onion
  2. While the onions are sautéing, I sliced up 2 plum tomatoes and 1 ounce of extra sharp cheese.  I try to stay away from cheese because it can get to be “too much” (in a calorie/fat sort of way) really quick.  But, if I keep it at just an ounce and use sharp cheddar, I can still get the full taste at just over 100 calories!tomatoes
  3. Scramble eggs!  I used 3 medium brown eggs.  I know a lot of people who are dieting prefer to use just egg whites, but not me.  Yes, there are less calories, but there’s also a lot less protein, which is really good for your body!  And actually, there are a ton of health benefits to eating full eggs, as opposed to egg whites (see HERE in this article in Women’s Health Magazine).  I will say that if I have egg whites on hand (egg beaters, or otherwise) I will add them to my eggs just to up the quantity.  But today, 3 full eggs will do the trick.eggs
  4. Once the eggs have finished scrambling, I put them into a bowl, added the tomato, cheese and onions on top and there ya go!  Another quick and easy breakfast and is great for your tummy and heart and keeps ya full!  Great to start the day off on the right foot!!final

Nutrition Info:  335 calories and 27 grams of protein…not too shabby!  MUCH more food, and MUCH more filling than a bagel with cream cheese (which is estimated at approximately 420-450 calories and only 17 grams of protein).  The choice is yours! 🙂

Every Good Day Starts With A Good Breakfast


Lately I’ve been trying to eat healthy (It’s January 10th, isn’t everyone??), but I’m having problems finding something that keeps me full until lunch.  I get up around 5AM and work out, then eat breakfast (usually something like oatmeal, protein shake, or eggs) and then don’t eat lunch until 12:00-12:30…by then I’m STARVING.  In reality I’m starving by 10, but I usually get a coffee around then so my body knows that I’m not actually dying!  Today I decided to try out a new breakfast that is a spin on the old classic:  pancakes!

I started out with 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 egg, 1/2 cup bisquick, and 1/2 cup milk.  (I basically used the regular pancake recipe, but I cut the egg and milk in half, and only used 1/4 of the recommended bisquick – then added in my protein powder to make up the difference).  I also added in a cup of sliced strawberries.  You could add butter, syrup, chocolate chips, etc., but I kept it simple because I’m trying to stay health conscious.

ingredients

Then I mixed all these ingredients together.

mix

Once they were mixed together smooth I spooned them onto my griddle.  (while they were cooking I sliced up my strawberries!)

pancakes

And Voila!   Chocolate Protein Pancakes with strawberries on top!

after

No added sugar, no butter, no syrup, yet still DELICIOUS and very filling!  We’ll see how far this gets me in the day because these are so quick and easy they may have to become a staple!

I’ve listed the nutrition information below.  For someone like me that has already burned some calories in the morning and still needs to make it to lunch, this is the perfect amount of fuel! 🙂

Calories:  440

Fiber:  5.5 grams

Protein:  36.5 grams

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