Another Monday

My how the weeks are flying by… tomorrow is February!!  It sure didn’t feel like it yesterday – 65 degrees and sunny.  It made me really crave Spring, but somehow I’m sure the groundhog will see his shadow on Wednesday and our miserable winter weather will return for 6 more weeks. 

I’m off to a good start this week with another well-stocked refrigerator after several hours of Sunday prep.

… although I can’t say that I’ve only eaten my perfectly-portioned meals today.  The first thing I did when I got to the office was try a big piece of cake and a brownie that someone brought in to share.  Why is it I can’t say NO?  I think I have a split personality – obsessively Healthy Rebecca and Obsessed with Sugar Rebecca.  Hmmm…

I made several new recipes for this week.  First, the Apple Pecan Breakfast Pilaf.  Here are my ingredients:

I did not have pecans or brown rice, so I instead used walnuts and quinoa.  I was also left wondering if the 1 cup of coconut milk was a typo, or if it should have specified what type of coconut milk – the thin variety (like regular milk), or the thick canned variety.  1 cup of the liquid type seems like it would be way too runny, but 1 cup of the canned would be 450 calories!  So I used 1 serving of the canned, which is 1/3 cup.  I sampled the finish product before portioning it out and it was pretty tasty and kind of like thick oatmeal, although my husband didn’t care for the natural flavor of the quinoa with the fruit and coconut milk.  So I guess I’ll have to finish all of these myself:

 

Next, I had some pureed spaghetti squash leftover from work and decided to make a Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese

YUM YUM YUM!!  Even my husband liked this one.  Here’s the recipe I found online and then modified to make it healthier:

Squash Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole-wheat pasta (elbow macaroni or spirals work best)
  • 20 ounces fresh or frozen pureed winter squash
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 ½ cups sharp low-fat grated Cheddar
  • 2/3 cup grated Monterrey-jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard or mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place the squash and milk into a large saucepan.  If using frozen, start by cooking over low heat and mixing until the squash is thawed. Then turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cheeses, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir well to combine.  Be sure to break up any clumps of squash so it’s evenly distributed. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.

*****

Lastly, I made my own version of the California Cilantro Chicken Burrito Bowl.  Mine is more like Cilantro Chicken with Avocado & Black Beans Bowl.  I had a bunch of random veggies leftover from last week that I wanted to incorporate into this dish:

This dish was pretty good, but did not “wow” me.  I ate it cold, because some of the ingredients (such as avocado) wouldn’t taste right heated.  I might make it as directed next time and see if I like it better.  I was trying to cut down on the carbs also by omitting the rice.

Dinner is supposed to be Edamame Cashew Ginger Stir-Fry, but my husband and I will be out running errands, so I might end up eating on the run.  So I’ll review this recipe later this week!

If you read yesterday’s blog, you might have seen that I also had a sugar-free chocolate coconut brownie on the menu.  We ended up finishing these off yesterday – YUMMY!  But for those who wondered, the recipe is simple… 1 box Pillsbury sugar-free bownie mix, made as directed except sub the oil for coconut oil, and add a 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut.  They taste like a cross between brownies and fudge.  If you wanted to cut down on the fat content, you could also sub part or all of the oil with unsweetened applesauce, but they’ll turn out more cake-like.  Most of the boxes now offer substitution tips for healthier options.

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3 thoughts on “Another Monday

  1. The Squash Mac & Cheese sounds really good! I’ll have to give that a try!!

    I made what I like to call “Puzzle” soup Friday night…..I took lean ground turkey and browned it, added garlic and red onion and sauteed that till onions were tender. I then added zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, 1 can of unsalted tomatoes, whole grain spiral pasta, low sodium chicken stock and slew of various seasonings (no salt)….it turned out great and I finished it off today after sharing it with friends and having 3 meals (on different days of course) of it myself…lol

    Your brownie recipe sounds great too! I was watching Hungry girl on the Cooking Channel on Sat. and she made a brownie/muffin out of 1 box of choc. cake mix, and 1 can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) and that’s it!! Mix well till combined and scoop into baking cups and bake. Only 180 cal, per muffin!

    OH, also on the Breakfast Pilaf, I get the frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s it’s fabulous in that and I don’t use the whole cup of coconut milk either, it’s too much.

  2. she may mean the So Delicious brand of coconut milk which is sold in cartons and now Jillian Michaels is the spokesperson for them, I’ve found them at Supah Walmart in Florida, but not up here in IL. I get it here in IL at Whole Foods or Jewel. It’s not like the coconut milk in a can at all.
    Turtle Mountain is the company that makes it. They also make the BEST coconut milk yogurt too. We use it in place of dairy-my husb is dairy allergic and I try to not have too much dairy cause I’d eat cheese every day if I could do it and not clog my arteries or my clothes.

  3. Pingback: MacGyver Meals, Part 2 « Rocky Top Rebecca

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