Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sabbatical Challenge Day 2 - Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Today I tried another dinner recipe. The original pin was from 'The Comfort of Cooking Blog' but I have to admit I changed this recipe quite a bit. I didn't like all the ingredients but I adopted a version from the recipe above.

I am going to post how I did mine because this is my blog and I can do what I want to!

What you will need:
Serves 4
- 1 spaghetti squash (1 medium or large)
- 1 pound of ground beef (I used ground turkey)
- 1/2 cup of light or fat free sour cream
- 1/3 cup of salsa of choice
- 2 ounces of shredded cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top)
- Salt and pepper to taste

Start by pre-heating your oven to 375. Cut the squash in half and clean out insides of squash. Place sides meat up on a cookie sheet. If you want spritz the open sides with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 1 hour.

Once the squash is done baking take out of the oven to let cool. While the squash is cooling, brown your ground beef (or turkey). Set aside

Feel free to add some spices while you ground your meat
Once you have ground your meat, you can start peeling the squash. Make sure it's not too hot to the touch. Take a fork and pull apart the meat of the squash. It will com apart easily. Add all the meat to a large bowl.

The squash will still be a little warm so be careful

Once you have completed both sides of the squash, add your cheese, sour cream, salsa, and ground meat to the bowl and mix.

I add a little hot sauce to ours to give it a kick
Once all the ingredients have been mixed together, place servings in baking dish. I use a 9x9 glass baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top and put back in the oven to melt the topped cheese. Serve and enjoy!

If you want to make a variation of this, feel free to add diced onion, garlic, corn and black beans to your bowl. You can add anything you want to this. I like to keep my version lowcarb so I do not add corn or black beans. If I have extra veggies I will add some bell pepper or onion to the ground turkey as I cook it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sabbatical Challenge Day 1 - Eggplant Pizzas

I have vowed that during my sabbatical I will not find myself sitting in front of the television watching Netflix! Instead I am trying different pins from my over 2,000 Pinterest pins!

My first attempt was Eggplant Pizzas. I got this recipe from Kayln's Kitchen via a Pinterest Pin and she adopted her recipe from Julia Child's version. I modified mine a little but for the most part it was similar to what Kayln's Kitchen had posted.

What you need: 
- 1 eggplant (I used one about 10 inched long and just under a pound)
- Olive oil (about 1tbs for brushing eggplant before roasting, and about 1tbs for sauce)
- Salt
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 can of petite diced tomatoes with liquid 
- Dried Italian seasoning (1/2 tsp for sauce plus 2 tsp for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting)
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/3 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional - for sprinkling on after baking)
- About 10 fresh basil leaves (optional)

Start by slicing the eggplant into about 3/4 inch slices. Place slices onto two paper towels. On each side of the eggplant, generously cover in salt. Let eggplant sit for about 30 minutes. (This is to draw out the water of the eggplant.) Once the eggplant has sat for 30 minutes dab off the water and salt on both sides.

You can see the salt draws the water out of the eggplant

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil. I used about 1tbs for both sides. Next, sprinkle the tops of each slice with dried Italian seasoning. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes turning the eggplant pieces about halfway through.

Sprinkle dried Italian Seasoning on the top of the eggplant

While the eggplant is roasting, start your sauce by using about 1tbs of olive oil to heat the garlic (do not brown).

Do you like my wooden spoon? It doubles as a drumstick!

Once the garlic is heated, add the can of petite diced tomatoes (with the liquid). Add the dried oregano and Italian seasonings to the sauce and let simmer stirring occasionally. In a bowl measure out your cheeses and mix.

Once the eggplant has roasted for about 25 minutes (and has been turned once during roasting), turn your oven to broil. Add a generous amount of sauce to each eggplant. If you are using basil leaves add these next to each eggplant slice. Add your cheeses to each eggplant slice. Return to the oven and cook about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add red pepper flakes before serving (optional).

Verdict is that my husband and I loved this healthy recipe. Add a chicken breast and you have a nice low carb healthy meal. It was very filling and easy to make. I will be making this again :)