Tasty Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Today’s recipe is from my amazing Weight Watcher’s Leader, Michelle.  I am grateful for Michelle’s encouragement and inspiration as I walk my weightless journey.

SmartPoints™ value: 1  Servings: 8

Ingredients

1 medium uncooked spaghetti squash
1 medium uncooked onion(s)
1 medium uncooked zucchini
1 medium yellow summer squash
2 clove(s) garlic clove(s)
15 oz canned diced tomatoes
½ cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup(s) fresh mushroom(s)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Take out seeds. Roast cut side down in 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.
  2. Chop vegetables and saute in non stick pan, sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Season to taste (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning).
  3. Spray 11×13 pan with non stick cooking spray. Scoop out cooked spaghetti squash to cover bottom of the pan. Add sauteed vegetables to the top of the spaghetti squash.
  4. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes at 350.

If there should be any leftovers…. You will want to take them for lunch the next day in one of Thirty One’s thermals..  Try my favorite, the Going Places Thermal.

The Going Places Thermal has a spacious compartment for lunch and snacks as well as a water-resistant thermal lining. The crossbody strap is ideal for taking snacks on the go for long walks, hikes, or any time when you just need your hands to be free to carry other items. A zip-around closure keeps contents sealed and protected, while an interior mesh pocket and exterior flat pocket provide extra storage spaces for other items like cell phones or keys. Holds up to 10 lbs.!  Monogramming and personalization options available.  It is 8”H x 9”L x 5.5”D

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Mexican Pizza Fix

Thank you Hungry Girl for another YUMMY recipe.  I will be honest, I am not a huge fan of portabella mushrooms maybe because I never had the right recipe or didn’t really know how to cook them.  This recipe has changed my mind!

1/2 of recipe (1 pizza-bella): 140 calories, 5g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 379mg sodium, 11g carbs, 3g fiber, 4g sugars, 15g protein.  SmartPoints® value 3*

Prep: 10 minutes    Cook: 20 minutes     MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

2 large portabella mushroom caps (stems removed)
1/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
1 1/2 oz. cooked and finely chopped skinless chicken breast.  (Magic Chicken, anyone?)
1 tbsp. finely chopped bell pepper
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Place mushroom caps on center of the foil, rounded sides down.
  • Place another large piece of foil over the mushrooms. Fold together and seal all four edges of the two foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet. Bake until slightly tender, about 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir tomatoes with seasonings.
  • Cut packet to release steam before opening entirely. Remove foil, and carefully drain excess liquid from the baking sheet. Thoroughly blot excess moisture from mushroom caps.
  • Evenly top with seasoned tomatoes, cheese, chicken, and veggies.
  • Bake until mushrooms are tender and cheese has melted, about 8 minutes.
  • Top with cilantro.

Do you have a favorite recipe using portabella mushrooms?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Carb-Slashed No-Chip Nachos!

I LOVE Mexican food.  The hotter and spicier the better.  Since living with candida flare ups, I need to not only stay away from gluten but also from corn which makes it difficult to enjoy one of my favorites – nachos.

Thank you Hungry Girl for suggesting this AWESOME recipe.  I have been known to eat my bell pepper pieces with salsa, so when I saw this recipe using them to create nachos I was thrilled!

It is easy, so flavorful, and way healthier than downing a plate of smothered fried tortillas…

Prep: 15 minutes      Cook: 15 minutes     MAKES 4 SERVINGS

1/4th of recipe (6 loaded nachos): 150 calories, 5g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 370mg sodium, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 15.5g protein.   SmartPoints® value 3*

Ingredients:

12 sweet mini bell peppers (each about 2 1/2 inches long)
8 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less) or ground turkey
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
2 tbsp. seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup salsa
3 tbsp. light sour cream (optional)
2 tbsp. chopped scallions
Optional topping: sliced black olives

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Slice off and discard the stem end of each pepper. Remove and discard seeds. Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, and lay them on the baking sheet, cut sides down.
  • Bake for 5 minutes. Flip pepper halves. Bake until soft, about 5 more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef (or ground turkey), and sprinkle with seasonings. Cook and crumble for about 5 minutes, until fully cooked.
  • Thoroughly blot excess moisture from pepper halves. Arrange them in the center of the sheet. Top with beef, beans, cheese, and jalapeño pepper.
  • Bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.
  • Top with salsa, sour cream, and scallions.

Doesn’t this sound YUMMY!  I’m sure there won’t be any leftovers for lunch the next day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Weight Loss Myths BUSTED!

Tomorrow is my weigh in day after a week of cruising and enjoying.  Did I walk a lot?  YES!  Did I eat way more than normal? YES!  But it is all okay. Life happens.  I have been back on track since I got home and hopefully this won’t be me….

I have been reviewing some of my past Weight Watcher weeklies to help me get back on track.  Somehow I seemed to have missed the one on “myths”.  I was amazed at how many of these myths are still floating around the internet (Facebook, specifically).

#1 MYTH: Some foods can boost your metabolism.

The truth is there is no evidence any food or drink can do this in the long run.  I have heard all about the benefits of green tea and even hot peppers BUT you would have to eat oodles to get a tiny spark.  I was happy to hear eating breakfast doesn’t boost it either.  I am not a big breakfast person, more like brunch… what food have you heard would boost your metabolism?

#2 MYTH: You shouldn’t eat after 8PM.

Your body is a 24/7 machine.  It doesn’t “close” after 8PM and it is working even while you are sleeping.  As long as you are eating within your SmartPoints (a WW thing) and getting in your FitPoints – you will have weight loss.  It doesn’t mean eat all of the leftover points at 10PM and then go to bed because if you do this too often, it could limit your loss.  Also, don’t go too long without eating because it will lead to overeating when you finally do sit down to eat.

#3 MYTH: Eat certain foods to flatten your belly.

WRONG!  There is no scientific evidence any food can do this.

#4 MYTH: You should cut out carbs.

Okay, I will admit I struggle with this one.  I have heard doctor’s talk about “limiting carbs” but not totally cutting them out.  Specifically carbs in processed foods so is it really the carbs or the processed foods we are eliminating.  Okay, back to the myth….When we avoid any one food category for a long period of time, chances are you will overdo it when you do “allow” yourself to have them.  Eat a balanced meal and allow yourself some of your favorites (in moderation) while you are losing weight.  Are you on a diet or are you changing your lifestyle to a more healthy one?

#5 MYTH: Losing weigh will wreck my metabolism.

WHAT????? I know this is crazy, right?  Now it is possible if you starve yourself and lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time because when you do this, the body goes into starvation mode.  When you have a safe rate of weight loss, your body can adjust to the reduced amount of food and increased activity.

#6 MYTH:  Muscle weighs more than fat.

I have heard this a million times so I know you have too.  The truth is, muscle doesn’t weigh more.  How can 5 pounds of muscle weigh more than 5 pounds of fat?  5 pounds is 5 pounds right?  The truth is muscle is more dense than fat so it seems to weigh more.  I know it is hard to wrap our heads around – I still struggle after all of these years (and 120 pounds lost).

What myth have you heard as you travel your weightless journey?  Is there something you have always heard but aren’t sure it is a myth – ask!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Things People On Weight Watchers Understand

Thursday morning weigh in with my extended family.  I have been on Weight Watchers for years.  I have lost more than 120 pounds and believe it is the best way to lose weight (for me).  Is it an easy road? NO!  Do I get frustrated? YES!  Do I keep going? YES!

If you are on Weight Watchers, can you pick out those who are also adopting this way of life.  No, it is not a diet but a change in the food we eat and the way we look at eating every day.  Those of you on WW will understand today’s blog – see how many you can identify with…

1. Your friends know you always have snacks stashed in your purse (or in the car) just in case.  Anyone need a carrot or a granola bar or maybe even a jerky stick?

2. You’re have a deeply committed relationship with your pedometer or your fit bit.  Have you been known to do the happy dance when you hit your steps goal before sundown?  Or maybe you have walked circles around your living room just to hit your goal before the clock strikes midnight?

3. You know exactly how many ounces of chicken fit in the palm of your hand.  Or maybe you measure tablespoons by the tips of your thumb?

4. And you’ve figured out how to include exercise into every space you spend time in.  Even at the doctor’s office — why not? Parking in the farthest spot away from the store or carrying one thing at a time up the stairs?

5. You’ve considered walking a few extra miles for wine…Yup, that’s me!

6. …or for a little reward when you deserve it the most.  Keep the dessert and give me wine!

7. You have a special lightweight outfit set aside for your weigh-in day each week. Yup, been wearing the same type of outfit every week for weigh in FOREVER and never denim!  Or maybe you have been known to change clothes once you weigh in?

8. You know the feeling of pure bliss after having all your work lunches figured out ahead of time.

9. You’ve grown accustomed to people asking “can you really eat that?”  Yes, that’s chocolate chip cheesecake. And yes, you can have the recipe.

10. You find yourself doing things you thought were impossible effortlessly.  Well, almost.  Maybe the stairs are a little easier.  Maybe you jog more instead of walk.

11. You find yourself talking to strangers about how amazing spaghetti squash really is.  “It’s just like spaghetti. But it’s squash! No, really!”  So guilty of this one and cauliflower rice!

12. Light whipped topping is basically your boyfriend at this point.  You’ve found a million and one ways to use it, and you’re never gonna let it go.

13. More than anything, people can’t put their finger on what’s different about you… …but you look and feel great — of course they noticed!

Whether you are on Weight Watcher‘s or not, I’m sure you can identify at least a friend or two who fit one of these things.

How can you spot a fellow Weight Watcher?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!