Couscous…

I am in love with this ancient grain, it is a nice change from quinoa and rice and goes perfectly with veggies!  This is super easy to make because you put it in a pot with water and let it absorb all of the water until it is light and fluffy.  For 1 cup of couscous it is about 176 calories with less than 1 gram of fat and about 6 grams of protein depending on the particular brand you purchase.
IMG_7250 IMG_7242 For this dish I started by cooking the couscous with water and followed the instructions on the package.  Next I sautéed some red onion with a little extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Next I tossed in some zucchini and the juice of one lemon.  You could add chicken, steak, or any other veggie that you have on hand and it would be delicious!  IMG_7243 IMG_7244 IMG_7248This dish is pretty low in calories and would make a perfect side dish if you are eating meat I would just cut the portion to maybe half a cup instead of a full cup.  The lemon added the perfect kick to the dish and to top it off I added a little bit of a ripe avocado and it was so good I can’t wait to make it again! This was super easy and you could use a variety of different ingredients and flavors to suit your families taste buds!

xo Meg

Acorn Squash…

I have never eaten more squash before in my life than I have this Fall!  It has quickly become one of my fave foods to eat because it’s delicious and so versatile.  You can do so many different things with squash and it is so healthy for you!

This recipe in particular is great because you can tailor it to your taste buds and it got my husbands seal of approval which is difficult when it comes to veggies!  I made two different versions like I do with most of our dinners, one with meat and one without.  Another reason I love this recipe is that it allows you to use your left overs but feels like a brand new meal.  You could literally use any combination of veggies or substitute the chicken for ground turkey or beef.

Chicken Version

1/3c Cooked Chicken Breast

1/4c Baby Spinach

1/4c Left-over Rice or Quinoa

2T Italian Bread Crumb

1/4c Grated Cheese

1T Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste
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Veggie Version

1/4c Baby Spinach

1/4c Mini Bella Mushrooms

1/4c Left over Rice or Quinoa

1T Italian Bread Crumbs

2T Grated Cheese

1T Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

IMG_3670Steps

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice your acorn squash in half scoop the seeds out
  3. Spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides
  4. Place acorn squash orange side down on a baking tray and cook for about 25 minutes
  5. In a bowl combine the ingredients that you want to stuff your squash with (*save some of the grated cheese to top at the end)
  6. Take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut everything up so that you have smaller pieces which will make it easier to fit everything into the squash
  7. After 25 minutes take the squash out of the oven and carefully flip over
  8. Fill squash with your chicken or veggie mixture and top with the grated cheese and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown
  9. Enjoy!

I love this meal so much it is super filling and nutritious, I also made a piece of tilapia to go along with my veggie version and it was great!  You could also use shrimp to stuff into a veggie version which I have tried before and that was really good too!

xo Meg

Vegan Chili…

This recipe turned out soo good I seriously can’t wait to make it again!  My husband wanted me to make him a big pot of chili so that we could freeze some for him to take for lunches later in the month. So I figured I would try and come up with something that didn’t have meat, but still was filling and tasted like chili!

I looked through our fridge to see what we had that I could throw together and  this is what I came up with.  It really is so simple and you can change up the ingredients to really whatever veggies you have on hand.  We always keep taco and chili seasoning packets in our pantry so these are really quick meals when you are in a rush or don’t know what else to make!

Recipe

1 Packet Low Sodium Chili Seasoning

1T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Can Tomato Sauce

1 Can Diced or Crushed Tomatoes

1 Small Butternut Squash

1 Green Pepper

1/2 Can Black Beans

1/2 Can Kidney Beans (can sub with your fave)

Brown Rice

Steps:

  1. Sautee the veggies in olive oil until they have a little color and start to soften
  2. Add in your tomato products and stir on medium heat
  3. Drain and add in all of the beans
  4. Stir in your Chili Seasoning
  5. Turn Heat to Low and cook for about 30 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft
  6. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Approximate Calorie Count

1 cup Chili = 220 calories

1/2 cup Minute Brown Rice Cooked = 112 Calories

Total: 332 Calories


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IMG_5869 IMG_5871 IMG_5873IMG_5885This is now one of my fave meals and it could not be any easier!  If you do eat meat you could easily add in ground turkey, chicken, or beef and it would be a great way to incorporate more veggies into your diet!

xo Meg

Kelsey’s Eggplant Parm…

This recipe is so delicious and full credit for it goes to my youngest sister Kelsey! She made this for me the first time about a year ago and I can’t get enough of it! It is a super simple meal to make but it is so delicious! I was so surprised when she first made it for us, I had never really seen her cook before and it seriously is so amazing, she did a great job!

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When I was at the grocery store I was in search of fresh veggies that we haven’t tried before. I came across purple potatoes and this really cool zebra striped eggplant! I thought that they looked beautiful and they were delicious as well! They both tasted just like the normal versions but its fun to switch it up every now and then!

The first step would be to wash your veggies and then slice up the eggplant into equal sized slices so that they cook evenly.  Then pre-heat your oven, dip each slice into an egg white and then bread with Italian breadcrumb.  Place slices on a baking sheet and bake for ten minutes.  At the ten minute mark take the tray out and flip each slice and continue baking for ten more minutes.  When the second ten minutes are up take out the eggplant and start to assemble the slices with tomato sauce and cheese and then place back in the oven at 400 degrees and wait for the cheese to get nice and bubbly!  Once the cheese melts your are all done!  You can serve this with whole grain pasta or a fresh salad.

When I made this I measured everything out to my specific calorie needs for the day so I used a 1/2 cup of sauce and 1/4 c of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 c of the breadcrumbs. This is a delicious meal and even though I didn’t eat it with pasta I was so full! The recipe will be to feed 2-3 but you can make as much as you want!

I used Rao’s Marinara Sauce which my sister insist upon using with this recipe!  If you don’t want to make your own sauce and want something really quick that you can pick up at most grocery stores.  I highly recommend this sauce it is so delicious and great regular pasta and we even make homemade pizzas with it!

Recipe

1 Large Eggplant

1/2 c Italian Breadcrumbs

1 Egg White

1-1.5 c Marinara Sauce

1/2 c Shredded Mozerella Cheese

4 T Grated Parmigano Cheese

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Thanks kel love ya!!

xo Meg

Tomatoes & Shrimp…

I know shrimp and quinoa again! I just love this combination and it is so easy to throw dinner together with these two as a starting point!  I had a lot of tomatoes left over this week so I needed a way to use them up and of course I waited until the last minute and was starving!

I got the quinoa going and then defrosted the shrimp and added fresh ground pepper and lemon juice, next i started on the “sauce” I diced up two tomatoes that were on the vine from the grocery store.  I started with a little extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic, then when that was hot i threw in the tomatoes and let them heat up.  When the tomatoes were done cooking I took them out and put them in a bowl then I cooked the shrimp and when they were done cooking in the left over juices I put the tomatoes back in and mixed them together.

The next step was of course baby spinach, I have been obsessed with spinach and it is so good for you so I tend to throw it in everything that I can from smoothies to sandwiches its perfect in everything!

I then added in the quinoa which absorbed the lemon juice from the shrimp and the olive oil.  The last step after I took out my portion was just a little grated parm cheese and 1/4 of an avocado.  I don’t know what possessed me to put avocado on this meal but I’m glad I did because it was delic! It added a creaminess to the dish that I would have traditionally gotten from cheese, but this is a great healthy fix for those cheese addicts like me!

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I usually never know what I am doing when I start cooking haha but luckily this one turned out great and I couldn’t wait to eat it for lunch the next day!

xo Meg

Pesto Shrimp & Quinoa…

So let me start with how excited my husband and I were to plant a garden as soon as we moved into our new house.  We couldn’t wait to pick fresh veggies with our daughter and thought that it would be so amazing to walk into our back yard and pick a fresh salad! With little to no research we headed out to Lowes to buy a ton of veggies dirt and stone to build our garden and it turned out so great we were so proud.  We used half already started plants and half seeds, everything was doing great and really growing until we had about three weeks of horrible rain and that pretty much killed everything in our garden we were so upset!

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Before everything died…
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The sickest bug I have ever seen & literally ate all of our tomato plants!

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All that hard work and aspiration for this amazing organic garden! Pretty much the only thing we have left is our basil plant which seems to be doing great, which leads to this recipe that I came up with determined to cook with something that we grew!

I always keep frozen shrimp on hand because they are super quick and easy to defrost, luckily my husband likes shrimp so its an easy meal for us to make.  You could easily substitute whole grain pasta out for the quinoa and that would be delic! I just happened to have this on hand at the moment.

I browsed online for a couple of pesto recipes and ended up making my own version that I loved and shockingly my husband liked too!  The main difference would be the lemon juice that I added but I love the tangy taste that it gives and made the pesto less thick.  You could use this pesto on anything like chicken, spread on french bread with tomatoes, or just on plain pasta.

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Pesto Recipe

1.5 c Basil

1 t Garlic

3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 c Grated Parm Cheese

1 Lemon (juice only)

Salt & Pepper to taste

*combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until your desired consistency!

After I made the pesto i marinated the shrimp in the mixture for a little and then threw them into a frying pan, we had planned on grilling them but it started pouring so that was a no-go! I had started the quinoa in the beginning of my prep and let it cook until it was done.  When my shrimp were done I threw in about two cups of spinach for some extra veggies, then added in my quinoa and it was all done!

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This was really a pretty simple meal and not very time consuming, the best part is if you make extra you already have a great lunch packed for the next day!

xo Meg

My go-to dinner…

For some reason I have been in one of those ruts where I don’t know what to make and it is so hot out that I don’t really feel like making complicated dishes that will have me standing by the stove all night.  I still want something tasty and healthy at the same time.

This is a meal where I usually always have the ingredients and it is seriously so simple but I think that it is delicious and super easy to make.  First what I will do is throw my potatoes in the oven for about 40 mins before we want to eat and then just forget about them until everything else is all done.

I use the individual frozen tilapia fillets.  These are so great because one my husband will eat them and he usually hates fish!  They don’t have to defrost and if you are running low on time or just need something quickly you can literally just throw them in the oven and they will be ready in no time.  I always put low sodium Season All on them and then just bake them in the oven until they are flaky.

The last part is just any veggie that you happen to have on hand I love baby spinach but you could do anything!  It is so easy and quick but delicious and a healthy alternative to throwing a frozen pizza in the oven!

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Thanks for reading!

xo Meg

When in doubt, grill it out…

So last night after I got back from my run I had no idea what to make for dinner and of course we waited to the last minuet… again!  My husband and I will try to meal plan for the week so that we aren’t starving and end up making something quick and unhealthy but it usually only lasts for a week and then we end up forgetting to plan out the next weeks meals.  It was getting late and we needed to figure out something quick but healthy at the same time.  I looked in the fridge and saw that I had romaine lettuce, I forget where I saw a recipe for Caesar salad with grilled romaine and I have been wanting to try it out.  After running in the 90 degree heat creamy dressing was just not going to fly, so I just used some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I also had jumbo portobello mushroom caps and my husband was having a cut of meat which I don’t remember what its called… whoops! We usually always have shrimp in the freezer which are great because they defrost really quickly, I just put them in a bowl of warm water and they quick really fast especially on the grill.

I basically just used a little extra virgin olive-oil, salt, and pepper on everything and threw it all on the grill.  Everything cooked really quickly and it seemed random at first, but was actually a delicious dinner that was light but filling at the same time.  After I grilled my veggies and shrimp i put it all together on top of the romaine, you could also substitute chicken if you don’t like seafood, or just add more veggies if you are vegan.  We also added a sweet potato on the side, I microwaved the potatoes for 5 mins and then cooked them in the oven and they didn’t take nearly as long!

Grilling is another reason I love summer because you can really grill anything and it usually always tastes fresh and delicious!  So when in doubt open your fridge and I am sure you can find something to throw on the grill and you will have a healthy and quick meal in no time!

xo Meg

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Shrimp seasoned with olive oil and old bay

 

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Steak for the hub seasoned with salt and pepper

 

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Looks kind-of messy but so delicious!!