Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bowls

Growing up in an Italian family pizza or pasta was on our dinner menu every week–no joke! I didn’t mind because I love both and if you ask me to choose…I don’t think I can. The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to either! You can have your pizza and eat your pasta, too. Spaghetti squash is such an inexpensive ingredient and you can get 3-4 dinner’s out of this bad boy. Squash is much lower in carbohydrates than your regular pasta noodles and packs more nutrition and fiber, too. I hope you try this out for your next Italian dinner night!

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Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bowls

Servings: 3-4 entree sizes

Ingredients:

  • I medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup peppers
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • Italian sausage (vegetarian)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Microwave spaghetti squash for 2 minutes and then slice in half using a sharp knife.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Place face down on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until edges are golden.
  5. Remove from oven and fluff insides with a fork.
  6. Add your sauteed veggies, cheese, and favorite sauce to each of the halves.
  7. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This dish can be eaten straight from the spaghetti squash boats or plated in a bowl. Enjoy!

 


Butternut Squash Mac N’ Cheese

Macaroni and cheese was a meal that I loved when I was growing up. No, I’m not talking about the out of the box kind, but my mom’s homemade recipe. Her recipe called for various cheeses, milk, butter, and a little flour. Every bite was creamy and delicious. So with vegetarian/vegan diets I’ve been trying out “cheezy” sauces to replicate this childhood meal. I  love this sauce recipe because it sneaks in some veggies and it’s such a vibrant color. Next time you want to have some mac n’ cheese, give this healthier recipe a try!

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Butternut Squash Mac N’ Cheese

Servings: 5-6 entree portions

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of your favorite pasta (I used Banza brand)

Cheese sauce: (Adapted from Oh She Glows Cookbook)
1 cup roasted butternut squash
1 tbsp butter (oil would work too)
3/4 cup milk (I used almond)
1 tbsp cornstarch (to thicken)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (more on this later)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic and onion powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
Ground salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut and cube your butternut squash. Place on a lined baking sheet and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  2. While the squash is roasting, heat the water in a large pot for your pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  3. Once the squash is done cooking, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Place all sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. You may need to do this in batches.
  5. Add the cooked pasta + sauce ingredients back into the pot and mix until pasta is well coated.
  6. Optional, but I recommend: roasted veggies, crispy chickpeas, tempeh, or a fried egg.

 


Zoodle Stir-Fry

About a year ago I bought the most amazing and fun kitchen gadget. A zoodle maker or Inspiralizer! I bought mine off of Amazon and I use this at least once a week. I have different settings so I can switch up what my “noodles” look like. This recipe is super simple and one of my go-to’s on those busy evenings. You’ll want to keep this recipe close by!

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Zoodle Stir-Fry

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini or sweet potato would work
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked soba noodles (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp water to thin

Directions:

  1. Saute all the vegetables and edamame in a saute pan with 1 Tbsp of oil.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking; wash the zucchini and slice off both of the ends. Make your zoodles!
  3. Combine all the peanut sauce ingredients (soy sauce thru water ingredients) and whisk together.
  4. Add your zoodles 1 minute before removing the veggies from the saute pain. Pour about 1/4 cup of your sauce on top of the mixture and toss well.
  5. Top with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning or toasted sesame seeds.

Favorite Trader Joe’s Finds and Weekly Food Shopping List

Food PostsFor those of you who have been following along my food adventures, you’ve come to realize my favorite food store and happy place—Trader Joe’s! I will forever thank the genius behind this grocery chain because I will usually leave the store with a new food product to try out. Fun fact: Trader Joe’s was originally called Pronto Markets until 1967 and the rest is history! Why do I love Trader Joe’s so much?? First and foremost I appreciate how much they value their products and how they want to give you the best without paying an arm and a leg for it! Another great aspect of TJ’s is that if you try something new and are not 100% sold on it, you can bring it back! No questions asked. Lastly their, vegetarian products and wine selection is one of the best I’ve seen and it helps me stay within my food budget for the month.

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So let’s take a walk through the store and I’ve created a list of food products that you’ll find in my cart almost every trip!

  1. Chocolate covered espresso beans (if you love coffee + chocolate then you need these in your life)
  2. Tofu/Tempeh/Soy Chorizo (I’m telling you TJ’s soy chorizo is life changing and I’ve had meat eaters rave about this meat substitute!)
  3. 3-pack of zucchini (great for making zoodles or adding to my lunch/dinner)
  4. Cruciferous crunch mix (this bag packs a ton of nutrition—composed of kale, shredded brussels and purple cabbage. I add this to my power bowls for the week typically)
  5. Almond cheese and their cheese in general. You can never have too much cheese.
  6. Greek yogurt (Their vanilla bean yogurt to this day is my absolute favorite! Recently, I’ve been seeing some fun flavors like watermelon + cucumber, matcha, and grapefruit + citrus)
  7. Almond milk (Can’t beat this price of $2.99)
  8. Trail mix (Funny that I would like trail mix 😉 I particularly like their omega trex mix)
  9. Seasoning! I cannot find another place that sells spices as inexpensive as Trader Joe’s. I pick up Everything But The Bagel, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Pumpkin pie spice, 21 seasoning, onion mix, chili lime seasoning…to name a few)
  10. Nut Butters. I always grabbing a jar of their natural salty smooth peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter. 
  11. Farro, quinoa, and pasta (You’ll find these in my lunches, dinners, etc)
  12. Wine! (My two favorite white wines are Honey Moon and Belles Vignes. I Thee Red is my go to red blend.
  13. Frozen section: I will always have a bag of riced cauliflower, tri-colored cauliflower, frozen mango, vegetarian meatballs, frozen veggie medley, and their cauliflower gnocchi.
  14. Plantain chips and crispy ranch flavored chickpeas. Great for snacking during the week!
  15. Non-food items: Plants, cards (only $0.99), body scrub, body butter, lotion, and soap!

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Trail Mix For The Sole Shopping Tips: How To Stay Within Budget

  1. Buy what is in season or buy frozen.
  2. Meal plan for the week! Take some time to decide what you want to make that week and create a list. This will help you stay on track and not put random items in your cart.
  3. Always add color to your cart. Pick up 2 different kind of fruits and 2 different kinds of vegetables that you can add to your meals. This will help prevent boredom and also encourage you to try some new produce.  
  4. Try some of the store brand products (likely cheaper than brand names and taste/work just as well).
  5. Assess your pantry (See what you already have at home and what you can make with it! 
  6. Try to limit prepared foods and make it yourself! You’ll be glad you did and so will your wallet.
  7. Coupons!! Take a peak and see what coupons are out there. Some weeks I don’t find anything, but other weeks I can use 5 coupons a trip. 
  8. Grains: Choose whole grain breads, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, high fiber cereals etc. These will keep well in your pantry, too.
  9. Dairy products: Try Greek yogurt (packs 2x the amount of protein than regular), cottage cheese, and low fat cheeses.
  10. Canned goods: chickpeas, black beans, low sodium canned vegetables, or low sodium soups for those busy nights.

Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Bread

Makes: About 10-12 slices (depending on the thickness of your slice)

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Preparation: 15 minutes

Bake time: 35-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small roasted sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp balking flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon + salt
  • Toppings: Dark chocolate chips, shredded coconut, nuts etc.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Mash the potato and applesauce together. Add all the wet ingredients and mix well. Then add the almond flour, baking powder and spices. Pour batter in a lined bread pan and spray with oil. Bake for 35-45 minutes.

This bread is so delicious and goes great with a nice drizzle of your favorite nut butter! Plus it’s a healthier take on the typical sweet breads and the perfect snack or breakfast!