This fall I joined the Hub City Farmers Market CSA – Fall Farm bag, and am really loving it! I have heard about CSA’s before, and have had friends who have joined them, but 4 servings of produce every week was just too much food and it would have gone to waste. This farm bag is perfect as it supports local farmers with produce that has been picked within the last 24-48 hours and is only $15 per week for 8 weeks. Every Saturday, I select which items I would like in my farm bag, and the bag is actually delivered to my office on Tuesday! It is a very exciting part of my day. This season is almost over, but if you live or work in the the Spartanburg area, I would highly recommend the Hub City Farmer’s Market CSA program for Spring.
Since it is a fall farm bag, we have been getting a lot of fall squashes such as butternut, acorn and of course spaghetti squash! This has caused me to get quite creative with my fresh recipes (exactly the result I wanted out of this program). This week I got a little creative with my spaghetti squash.
If you have never had spaghetti squash, I highly recommend you try it. It is a gluten free option to spaghetti, is a whole food (no added chemicals, preservatives, fat or salt) and actually has way less calories than real spaghetti. One cup of spaghetti has 221 calories, compared to spaghetti squash which has about 40 calories per cup – that is over 5x the calories! And I promise you, the texture and the flavor is way better than bland out of the box spaghetti. Try using spaghetti squash in any dish you would typically use spaghetti noodles (with pesto, marinara sauce etc).
Recently, I have really been obsessed with these “spaghetti squash boat” recipes you see on Pinterest . It’s super easy, just roast the squash, add in your toppings, roast a little more and serve. Check out my BLT Spaghetti Squash Bowl below and don’t be expecting leftovers .. you will want to eat it all!
BLT Spaghetti Squash Boats
- 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 pieces nitrate free bacon (I used Applegate)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 6oz bag baby spinach
- 2oz goat cheese, divided
- Black Pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the both ends off of the spaghetti squash, then cut it in half. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.
- Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and grate fresh black pepper over each half of the spaghetti squash.
- Place the spaghetti squash face side down on a cookie sheet. Bake on 425 for 35-40 minutes.
- While the spaghetti squash is cooking, cook the bacon in a large frying pan on medium-low heat trying not to char it.
- Once the bacon is cooked, place on a plate with a paper towel and pat off the extra grease.
- Add the spinach and halved tomatoes to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
- Once the spaghetti squash is roasted, remove from oven and turn over face side up. Fill the middle of the spaghetti squash with the spinach and tomatoes and top with crumbled bacon and 1oz of crumbled goat cheese.
- Roast for another 5 minutes on 425, and serve!
I have heard from many of our followers that they have gotten spiralizers recently, and I am so excited about that!! I love how you can take one of your favorite pasta dishes, and create it into a healthy low carb dish that literally takes half the time.
This dish is inspired by a recipe I saw on Pinterest. I added some flare and used low carb zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti (which has 45 grams of carb per 1 cup cooked…a cup of pasta is not very much!). Proof that any pasta recipe you see can be transformed into a guilt-free dish by using zucchini or summer squash noodles! What are some of your favorite pasta dishes that you want to make with the spiralizer? Be sure to leave a comment and/or recipe below and we will try to re-create it!
Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Serves: 2 (or 1 and 1 lunch)
- 6oz grilled chicken breast, sliced
- 3-4 zucchini
- 2 Tablespoons julienne cut sun dried tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
- Black pepper
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Spiralize zucchini using the medium sized noodle blade (like spaghetti).
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Add zucchini and sun dried tomatoes and toss to cook about 2-3 minutes.
- While zucchini is cooking, combine the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice & zest, ricotta and black pepper in a small bowl and mix with a fork.
- Add the ricotta sauce to the zucchini noodles and toss to coat.
- Divide the noodles between 2 large bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 of the sliced chicken breast and lemon slices.
- Grate Parmesan cheese over each bowl, serve and enjoy!
Things have really picked up for me and I am totally feeling the full on pressures of working and keeping my head above water with grad school. All while trying to keep a semi normal social life and a balanced exercise schedule. It’s a lot. Things like cleaning and laundry have gone by the way side. I learned in college you should always have at least 14 pairs of decent underwear so you don’t have to do laundry for 2 weeks. Perhaps the rule in grad school is have 21 😉
Right now I’m really looking for easy dinners for those after work, after the gym and before you start studying nights. What I love about this recipe is that you roast both the salmon and the asparagus in the oven at the same time, and takes less than 30 minutes! The flavors and textures pair perfectly together, and it looks so pretty in my Christmas gift from Meaghan!
Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Dinner
For the salmon:
- 3/4 pound salmon, cut into 2 pieces
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the asparagus:
- 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim the ends of the asparagus (they are very woody and stringy when cooked). You can do this by simply bending the asparagus near the white bottom and it will typically snap off the woody ends.
- Place the asparagus in a 9 x 11 pan and add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and ground black pepper. Toss together and roast in the oven for 15 minutes until asparagus is fully cooked (but not crispy).
- Meanwhile, place to the two salmon pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 of the lemon over the salmon pieces.
- In a small cup or mice en place bowl, combine the ingredients for the rub including: dried oregano, sesame seeds, cumin and red pepper flakes. Season each piece of fish with half of the rub.
- Place salmon into the oven with the asparagus once there is about 10-12 minutes left on the timer. Roast the salmon until it flakes with a fork.
- After 15 minutes, remove both the salmon and asparagus from the oven.
- Divide the asparagus in half and place each half on a plate. Top with a salmon piece and enjoy your easy and healthy weeknight dinner!
There you have it! No waiting on different dishes and no multiple cooking methods. Simply roasted in the same oven and finished at the same time.
Happy studying fellow grad students!
Santa was good to me this year! I received many kitchen gadgets (and lots of Fiestaware!!), some of which were on the Healthy Bachelorette Gift Guide. One of the gifts that I immediately put to use was the Paderno Spiralizer. I love this spiralizer because it gives the option of 4 blades (rather than 3 on last years model). It also does not leave a “core” in the middle, making for more food and less waste. I plan on using this spiralizer A LOT this year, especially seeing as I will be starting grad school again in a few days. Spiralized veggies have opened my eyes to so many high carb dishes that I considered only a “treat.” Now I can have them all the time! BONUS: It takes a total of 10 minutes to specialize and cook the noodles. I’ll take it.
One of those “treat” dishes that I love (but never make) is pad thai. I made this awesome pad thai with yellow squash noodles and the flavors were amazing. The sauce doesn’t contain peanut butter as tradition pad thai does, however it has just the right amount of spice and the roasted peanuts on top make for perfect flavor. Enjoy and share your comments below!
Shrimp Pad Thai with Summer Squash Noodles
Yield: 2 + leftovers
For the Sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon thai chili paste
- 1.5oz light brown sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons hosin sauce
- Juice of 1 fresh lime
For the Dish
- 2 summer squash
- 2 carrots, peeled
- Sesame Oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 pound large shrimp
- 2oz bean sprouts
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped roasted peanuts and lime wedges for serving
- To make the sauce, in a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer on very low heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened.
- Spiralize the yellow squash using the shredder blade.
- Spiralize the carrots using the shredder blade.
- In a large pan over medium heat, add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil. Scramble the eggs in a small bowl and add to the heated pan. Cook and scramble until firm and transfer to a large bowl covered with foil.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan and add the carrots and saute using tongs and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add to the bowl with foil.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan and add in the summer squash. Saute using tongs and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add to the bowl with foil.
- Add the bean sprouts and sauce to the bowl with the carrots, summer squash and eggs. Toss evenly and cover.
- Add oil to the pan if needed, and add the shrimp. Cook for 2-5 minutes, until fully cooked, pink and opaque. Transfer to the covered bowl.
- Transfer the contents of the bowl to a large platter and top with the green onions, cilantro, roasted nuts and lime wedges. Serve and enjoy!
Looking for more spiralizer recipes? Check out our Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Chicken and Tomato. What other spiralized recipes are you looking to see this year?
I have been feeling like I have a cold coming on this week, and to make it worse it has also been rainy and cold. When you get sick, do you still crave your mom’s chicken noodle soup? I sure do. Unfortunately, she is about 1,000 miles away – so I had to improvise.
I have made this soup twice already this week and am loving it. The best part? It can be done in steps, and cooks while you chop! No need to do all of the cutting beforehand, you can cut up your ingredients while the previous ingredients cook. This way, the soup is ready when you are. No waiting required.
This soup is truly a one pot meal and has everything you need. The chicken sausage provides lean protein, the corn and potatoes provide carbohydrates and the kale, onion and carrots provide your non-starchy vegetables.
I added some shredded Asiago cheese on top, totally up to you if you want to add that or Parmesan. I will definitely be making this soup again this winter – Enjoy!
Kale and Red Potato Soup with Chicken Sausage
Servings: 2 (or 1 and 1 leftover!)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 red potato
- 1/4 vidalia onion
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 savory Italian flavored pre-cooked chicken sausage (I used Publix Artichoke Parmesan)
- 2 cups chopped kale (I bought mine pre-chopped)
- To taste: black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried thyme.
- Add the broth and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
- While you are waiting for the water to boil, chop the potatoes into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the boiling broth. Reduce heat to medium and let cook while you chop the onion.
- Chop the onion, add into the pot and stir.
- Add your black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried thyme to taste. Stir well.
- While the onion is cooking, peel and chop the carrots and add into the pot. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the frozen corn and let cook. Meanwhile, cut the chicken sausages into half moons and add into your soup.
- Lastly, add in the chopped kale and stir well.
- Reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook for 5 minutes and serve!
Option: Top with shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese.
Did you try this soup recipe? Let us know how you liked it in the comments below!
I love the idea of healthy foods, all mixed together in one awesome and big bowl. Unwrap your fajita and put it in a bowl!! (This is also less messy.)
We love fajita vegetables with all the flavor that they bring..and of course I topped it off with a healthy avocado which brings in a creamy texture and more awesome flavor. This bowl is low carb, as we controlled the portion sizes of the quinoa and black beans. Don’t forget that beans are a carb too! Both quinoa and beans are great, healthy carb options – just watch your portion sizes ladies 😉 I left off the cheese and sour cream that is traditionally put on a fajita, however if you would like to add small portions of low fat sour cream or reduced fat cheese that would be a healthier low-carb addition to the recipe as well.
This recipe is another quick and healthy meal idea for a weeknight dinner. Share with a friend or take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!
Chicken Fajita Bowl
Servings: 2 (to share, or bring for lunch tomorrow!)
- 1 6oz chicken breast, cut in half
- Garlic Powder, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 glove garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup low-sodium canned black beans, rinsed
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced into 8 slices
- Cilantro (optional)
- Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the garlic powder and black pepper over the chicken breasts. Grill the chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Once the chicken is cooked, slice.
- Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small pot. Add in the quinoa and bring to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook according to the package directions (about 20 minutes) until all of the water is absorbed.
- While the chicken and quinoa are cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cover the pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the pepper slices and saute about 10 minutes, until they are tender.
- Once the peppers/onions, chicken and quinoa are cooked, start assmebling your bowl. For each bowl add: 3oz of the grilled chicken slices, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/2 chopped tomato, 1/2 the peppers, 1/2 the onions and 4 avocado slices.
- Top your chicken fajita bowl with some fresh cilantro and enjoy!