Archive for ‘Meatless’

January 7, 2012

Tasty Tortellini Salad

I got this recipe from my dear friend Loni.  It is simple, light and diet friendly, stores well to eat later (if there is no dressing on it), and tastes so good!  All you do is mix the following ingredients:

* 1 bag cooked cheese tortellini (I find the cheapest brands in the freezer section)
* 1 bag raw spinach
* 1/2 – 1 diced red bell pepper
* 1-2 diced tomatoes ( I like to scoop out the seeds)
* Parmesan cheese (to taste)
* Your favorite Italian or Vinaigrette dressing

Literally, that is it!  I like to use my chopping method before serving. Enjoy!

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November 13, 2011

Savory Spaghetti Squash

Our good friends gave us a spaghetti squash from their garden.  To be truthful, I had never cooked a spaghetti squash, or really tried one. The name alone should have told me what it would taste like, but still I was unprepared.  It was delicious and did not taste “squashy” but rather like a yummy noodle.  Spaghetti squash screams out savory.  I tried it many ways, but putting brown sugar and butter on it was probably my least favorite alternative.  I tried marinara sauce and butter and parmesan, but my favorite was shredded cheese and real Hormel Bacon Bits (found in the salad dressing aisle).  Your choices are endless because whatever you would enjoy on a noodle, you can also put on spaghetti squash.

From a caloric standpoint, it is a superior choice to pasta.  One cup of spaghetti squash has a mere 42 calories.  Since one cup of spaghetti has 221 calories, you would be saving 179 calories a cup. The vitamins and antioxidants it contains also make it a better choice nutritionally; it is a vegetable after all.  Also, on the glycemic index scale (how the food affects your blood sugar) it is an impressively low 2 out of 100.

I have since cooked spaghetti squash 3 times, and I have determined my favorite way to cook it.

* Set your oven to 375 degrees.

* Cut the squash in half & dig out the seeds. Sometimes I cut off the hard ends first so my knife has an easier time cutting lengthwise.

(* The seeds are similar to pumpkin seeds, so you can roast them after they have dried if you would like.)

* Lay the squash in a casserole dish flesh side up, in about 1 inch of water.

* Loosely cover with tin foil and cook for 45 minutes.

* Take the tinfoil off and cook for about 30 more minutes.  This will help dry up the water. In previous attempts, although the squash was good it was watery.  I find that cooking this type of squash for a longer amount of time helps the noodle become dryer, softer and yummier.

September 14, 2011

Peanut Sauce Salad

I have fixed this many, many times and love it. It makes a lot, so sometimes I halve the sauce and noodles, but still add most of the cabbage. This a very easy way to eat buckwheat and lots of raw cabbage!

It is easiest to boil the water for the Soba Noodles as you make the sauce:

* ½ c Peanut Butter (I use “MaraNatha All Natural,” found in the health food section)
* ¼ c Olive Oil
* ¼ c Soy Sauce (or Bragg Liquid Aminos, also found in the health food section)
* ¼ c agave nectar (a healthier, natural, sweetener found in the baking aisle)
* 2 t rice vinegar
* 1 t garlic powder (you can add more if you like)
(As always, you can lessen the amount of peanut butter and olive oil to lower the calories.)

* Add 1 package of cooked & drained soba noodles (an awesome Japanese buckwheat noodle found in the health food section)  These cook pretty fast, about 3-4 minutes.
* Add 1 package of precut coleslaw mix

Although this is quite good without meat, you can also add chicken. Other things you might want to add are peanuts or cashews, sprouts, green onions, or whatever sounds good to you.  The sauce is delicious, so anything you add will most likely be great!  This keeps really well in the refrigerator.

(The sauce comes from The Green Smoothie Girl’s 101 Healthy Lunch Ideas.)