Monthly Archives: January 2014

Leaving on a Jet Plane

It can be a challenge to find healthful food when you are travelling.   The food that is available on the plane is typically heavy, meat ridden and awful.  Even finding something healthy in the airport can be a challenge.  Vegetarian options tend to be heavy with dairy or completely bland.  I’ve stopped fighting the battle to find healthy options in the airport, and I’ve taken to carrying on a bento box meal whenever possible.

 This quinoa salad is packed with healthy veggies and flavor.  It combines classic Mediterranean flavors like olives, lemon, olive oil, parsley and feta.  I’ve added some shrimp in this version as well.  This is vegetarian if you omit the shrimp and vegan if you omit the feta.

 mediterranean salad
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Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a wonderful low calorie and vitamin-rich substitute for pasta.  With a calorie count of only about 40 calories per cup, and richness in fiber, beta carotene, potassium and folic acid, spaghetti squash blows pasta out of the water from a nutritional perspective.  When cooked, the the meat of the squash pulls apart in spaghetti-like strands.  It has a very mild, neutral flavor, so it it a great base for flavorful sauces.  I like to serve it “baked pasta” style with plenty of tomato sauce , some veggie meatballs or veggie ground beef, and a little cheese on top.

italian stuffed spaghetti squash

Italian Baked Spaghetti Squash
Serves 2
You can cut some calories and amp up the health value of a traditional baked pasta dish by replacing the pasta with spaghetti squash.
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  2. 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
  3. 6 veggie meatballs or 2 veggie burgers, grilled and crumbled
  4. 4 TBSP grated cheese (mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan are all good choices)
  5. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper, and place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and use a fork to tease apart the meat of the squash into spaghetti-like strands, leaving the skin of the squash in tact.
  3. Add half of tomato sauce and veggie meatballs to each squash half and stir to combine.
  4. Top each squash half with 2 TBSP of cheese and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  5. Serve immediately.
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Tortilla Soup

This vegan soup is a wonderful, healthy, low calorie and low fat meal that is a great antidote to holiday indulging.  The soup is delicious on its own, but what really takes it to the next level is serving it with a selection of different toppings/ condiments on the side.  You can serve this soup year-round; in the summer I take advantage of fresh corn, in the winter I use hominy instead of corn.  

If you aren’t familiar with hominy, it is corn that has been soaked in an alkali solution, which causes it to swell to 2-3 times it’s normal size.  The flavor of hominy is not as sweet as fresh corn, it tastes more like the corn flavor in a corn tortilla or a tortilla chip: slightly sour and more mineraly than fresh corn.  The texture of hominy is it’s best feature, it has a lovely chewy bite.

condiments for tortilla soup

tortilla soup

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