Spaghetti Squash Bandwagon

Ohhh yeah. I finally found a new health food trend I can jump on board with, spaghetti squash! I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical of this stuff when I first heard about it, and it obviously took me a little while to finally give in, but boy am I glad I did! My skepticism was mostly because I hadn’t tried any type of squash at all until about a month ago when my boyfriend tricked me into it. Seriously, you serve me anything with as much salt, butter and olive oil as he had on this thing and of course I’m going to think it’s good! Nevertheless, I did it. I figured out where it was at the store, found an easy recipe and cooked it up for dinner. It was seriously delicious, but for my budget the squash was a little expensive. I think mine cost upwards of $8. The recipe I found was called Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo.  It was super easy, super quick and super delicious! Well okay, the actual cooking part is super quick, but I cooked the squash for 1 hour before I cut it open and started cooking the actual meal. But if you are like me and you don’t tend to worry too much, I put mine in the oven and left to go to the store to get the rest of the ingredients while it cooked. My boyfriend was dumbfounded by this, but hey…my house was standing when I got home and the squash only had 15min left to cook! I’d say it was a win for me. The recipe I found said you could either make this into 2 servings (half a squash each) to use as the main course, or cut it into 4’s for side dishes. I went the route of the main course and I don’t think I finished half of my half before I was full. I served it with a side of lemon pepper green beans and a green salad.

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo:

YIELD: Makes 2 large servings or 4 side dish servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash

1 Tablespoon butter

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 Tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)

1 Tablespoon cream cheese (I used low-fat)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons extra for topping

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for garnish if you wish

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Poke a few holes deep into the whole squash with a paring knife. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing in half with a large serrated knife. I couldn’t decide if I should put it on a baking sheet or not, I opted not to. Scoop out the seedy inside leaving the spaghetti strands. Use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center.

For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, cooking for another minute while stirring. Whisk in milk until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently pull up the spaghetti strands to coat as much as possible with the sauce. Top with extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Eat up!

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

One of my favorite parts about this dish (besides it being healthy AND delicious) was the lack of dishes I had to clean afterwards! It was amazing.

I’m heading down to Southern Utah this weekend to do some hiking and find the sunshine. I cannot wait! Wish me luck that I come back with a tan!

 

*Enjoy!

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A Successful (Healthy) Pinterest Recipe…Whaaaat?!

Seriously…how many recipes out there have started substituting greek yogurt for everything else that tastes good. Just stop it. I’m pretty sure I saw a  recipe for homemade pizza that called for it…come on! The whole world does not enjoy that weird, foul taste of greek yogurt, especially me. This is even more true when I’m looking for a chicken salad recipe. I have a weird love of chicken salad, but despise egg and tuna salad. I finally came across one of these recipes on Pinterest that did not in fact call for greek yogurt, or any gross variation of it. I was one happy girl. It was so simple, so healthy and so cheap! What’s not to love?!

You ready for this? This recipe makes about 1-2 servings, really just depending on how hungry you are.

  • 1/2 Cup chopped chicken – – I actually used a rotisserie turkey from the grocery store
  • 3 Tbsp Fuji apple chopped
  • 3 Tbsp red grapes chopped
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter

Mix and wrap in a Romaine lettuce leaf.

Yummm

Yummm

See, I told you it was simple. It is also delicious. Rare combination…I know.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! It has been a great addition to my lunch rotation for work as well as keeping true to my I want to be able to wear a bikini this summer health kick!

I got this recipe from Skinny Mom, check out here blog here: http://www.skinnymom.com/

*Enjoy!

Spring – – Is That You?!

Finally! I was able to put on my favorite pair of trail running shoes and hit the dusty trail instead of the treadmill! Okay, so it wasn’t so much a dusty trail as a snow covered trail but hey, I was outside, the sun was shining and it was warm. I’ll take it! Before I moved out here I don’t think I would have even considered running on top of half iced/half melting snow, but I’m totally glad I got outside and did it. It was a completely different experience from any other run I’ve been on, which is exactly what I have been looking for. To give you an idea of what it’s like if you’ve never done it, it’s comparable to running on sand. Which yes, I am aware that people do that, but man is it harder than I thought. Not only that, but about half way through you hit the side of the mountain that the sun beats down on every afternoon, which was a day and night difference from the first half of the run – – shin deep mud puddles. All in all, it was a great 6 mile run. Besides the scenery being pretty impossible to beat, my legs were burning so bad halfway through, by the time my mind could focus on anything else I was finished!

Skid Row Run

The beginning of the trail – “Skid Row”

Lost Prospector Trail Run

Finally made it up the 1.5 mile hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Enjoy!

My First Mountain Run

I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty decent runner, I played sports my whole life and I never gave up that active lifestyle (except for short stint in college…but c’mon!). Unfortunately for me, when I moved to the mountains of Utah from the flat lands of Missouri I was in for a big surprise. No one could have ever accurately warned me what the difference in not only altitude but terrain was going to do to me! Let me start with the biggest issue, I recently started running in New Balance Minimus Trail shoes, which I absolutely LOVE, but running up a rocky mountain in paper thin shoes…see where I’m going with this? Ow! So at that point I was running on what felt like two feet full of broken bones and punctured toes, I felt like it was never going to end! What’s next? OH! Just a mile long hill bring me back up 1200 feet? The best part was, I had no idea this part of the trail was here. I just kept running, painting and heeling over on turns thinking there was no question, this really did go on forever. Let me fast forward through the pain and agony that was the rest of this run. When I finished I checked my Strava Running App to see what I had accomplished in this grueling time frame – – 8 miles in over 2 hours. That was a harsh reality check.