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Tag Archives: Zucchini

Completely Delicious Meatless Zucchini Lasagna

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Many of you may know that Monday was the official launch of Body Pump release 82 at the gym I am an instructor at.  Because I love a theme, and I love to dress for the occasion, I ordered a shirt from the Les Mills web site that matches the Body Pump theme.

I was tracking the shirt online to make sure that I would get it by the time of the launch, and on Monday morning it said that the shirt was in my city!  Naturally, I thought that it was at the house just waiting for someone to pick it up.  When I told Brian that the shirt had arrived, being the loving fiance that he is, he immediately headed to the house to pick up the shirt….and to find that it was not at the house!  It was in town, but it had not been delivered yet 😦 So, I had to complete the launch with just a plain red tank top.  Clearly, the red tank worked fine, but as soon as I got home what was waiting for me??

The Body Pump tank top!

So, I didn’t have it for this launch, but at least I can wear it when I teach my Saturday classes!

Meatless Zucchini Lasagna

In my family, lasagna is that dish that everyone loves but we reserve for special occasions like Christmas Eve.  So, we only end up having the tasty dish once or twice a year.  Well, this weekend while I was planning my meals, I was in the mood for this special dish, so I decided to do a little experimenting with my mom’s traditional recipe, and this is what I came up with!

Yields: 4 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 8 oz of Morningstar Farms Meal Starters (I am seriously loving these things!)
  • 1 cup of low fat or fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt (divided)
  • 1 tsp oregano (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 oz low fat string cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 9×11 glass baking dish

Directions:

First, place a pot of water on the stove to boil while you brown the meal starters and the onion together.  While the meal starters and onion are cooking add 2 basil leaves, 1/2 Tbsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp oregano, and the Italian seasoning.  Once the water on the stove is boiling, place zucchini pieces that are cut into the shape of lasagna noodles (long strips) into the boiling water to cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Mix the tomato sauce with the meal starter and onion mixture.  In a separate bowl, combine the cottage cheese with the remaining spices.

Now, it is time to begin layering the lasagna!  First, put down a light layer of sauce into the 9×11 glass baking dish, then place a layer of the zucchini “noodles” on top so that you cannot see anymore sauce.

Next, spread half of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the zucchini and top with half of the mozzarella or string cheese cheese.

Then, it is time to repeat the steps all over again!  So, place another layer of sauce, then the zucchini, then the cheeses, then one final layer of sauce.  Place in the oven at 400 for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and it is cooked all the way through.  Allow to set in the pan for about 5 minutes before serving.

Last but not least…cut yourself a slice and enjoy!

Nutrition for 4 servings:

Calories:  155  Fat:  4.4g  Carbs:  10.2g  Protein:  17.4g

Tell me what some of your family’s special occasion meals are!! Do you ever “break the rules” and eat them without there being a special occasion??

 

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My First Official Launch and Zucchini Complete Breakfast

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Good morning!

I have to start by saying that last night’s launch was amazing!  We had such a great turnout for all of the classes and we all had so much fun doing it.  I have to admit that I was pretty nervous before teaching my two tracks in the new Body Pump release, but after doing it once, I wanted to get right back up there and do it again!

We are already starting to brainstorm about our next launch in October!

Breakfast

To make things even better, I started my day with a delicious breakfast as well.

I feel like I am constantly searching for a way to incorporate veggies into my breakfast since I typically go for the sweeter stuff in the morning.  This breakfast is a complete meal in that it counts as one serving of veggies, 2 servings of starch, 1 serving of good fat, and 1 serving of protein.  All that you need to do is add a little fruit on top (I think strawberries taste delicious with this little cake!) and you have all of your food groups covered.  This little breakfast cake would be perfect to prepare ahead of time and eat in those mornings when you are on the go.

Zucchini Breakfast Cake

Yield:  4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of zucchini
  • 2 cups of oats or oat flour
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 6-8 packets of stevia (you can do this to taste, it really depends on how sweet you like things)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In food processor or blender place zucchini, egg whites, and almond milk.  Combine the zucchini mixture with all of the other ingredients and mix until combined.  Place in large muffin tins, or in an 8×8 baking pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Store in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!!!

Nutrition:

Calories:  324.9  Fat:  11.6g  Carbs:  60.6g  Protein:  19.7g

Have a great Tuesday!

Food Girl and Tupperware Man

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Happy Hump Day!

I can’t believe that it is already midweek, so far this week is flying!

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I put my millions of bags from the day away, then started right away on dinner.  Since Brian and I both get home around 6pm or later, we are always more than ready for dinner to be on the table as soon as possible.

Last night’s dinner came together quickly, and tasted delicious.

I had about a half of a medium-small sized zucchini that I put through the food processor to make it into noodle-like shapes.  I then steamed the zucchini while I cooked up some Morningstar Farms Meal Starters with some onion and garlic  in a simple tomato sauce.  I topped the zucchini noodles with the “meat” sauce and that was it!  Dinner was served…and consumed immediately.

In order to really allow us to get things done in the most effective way possible, Brian and I both have our “after-work-jobs” mine being Food Girl, and his being Tupperware Man.

My duties include but are not limited to:  preparing dinner, packing lunches, preparing any after dinner snacks that may be consumed, packaging up any leftovers.

Brian’s duties as Tupperware Man include but are not limited to:  emptying out the lunch boxes, cleaning all used tupperware from the day, drying the tupperware so that I can use it to pack the next day’s lunch, cleaning up the dishes after dinner.

So far, it really is a great system, and although I don’t mind cleaning the dishes after I have cooked, it really speeds up the process and allows me to get out of the kitchen and work on other tasks needing to get done before bed.

How Do You Allocate Jobs and Chores in Your Household?

Mediterranean Zucchini Boats…Delicious

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A couple of weeks ago, I saw a recipe for zucchini boats in a magazine, and book marked the idea away in my brain until a later date.  Earlier this afternoon, I was just feeling kind of not like doing much…including cooking dinner, when suddenly this recipe idea popped in my head.  I decided to give it a try…and it was a success!

Zucchini is such a summer vegetable to me.  I love it raw with dip, steamed with salt and pepper, baked with cheese on top, mixed in with marinara sauce, cooked into a quiche, and baked in bread.  Just about anyway you can prepare it, I will eat it.  With the summer weather lingering here in Indiana, a zucchini dish seemed perfect.

Mediterranean Zucchini Boats

Yields:  4 total boats, 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 small-medium zucchinis
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/5 block of tofu (pressed and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat feta

Directions:
Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut each zucchini length wise, and scoop the center out of each half of the zucchini.  Place on a baking sheet.

In a medium skillet heated to medium high heat, place the balsamic vinegar, bell pepper, tomato, tofu, garlic salt, and basil until slightly browned.

Once browned add in the spinach and allow the spinach to wilt.  Once the spinach is wilted, add in the cottage cheese and combine thoroughly.

After the cheese, tofu, and vegetable mixture is thoroughly combined, scoop even portions into each zucchini boat. Top each zucchini boat with the feta cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  This meal was delicious, light enough to be summer meal, but filling enough to be a dinner.  Quinoa makes an excellent side dish with this meal.

Nutrition per 2 boats:

Calories–163  Fat–8.2g  Carbs–14.1g  Protein–18.4g

Go ahead…give this meal a try 🙂  You won’t regret it!

Savory Oats for Dinner

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Tonight’s dinner was something that I had been wanting to try for a while.   Savory oats.  I spotted a recipe for an oatmeal hash probably a year ago, but had never given the meal a try.  I’m not quite sure what kind of mood I was in tonight, but these oats sounded particularly good, so I decided to give this idea of oatmeal hash a go.

 

Cod Oatmeal Hash (Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers)

Yield: 2-3 servings, depending on how hungry you are

Ingredients:

  • 1 half chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cauliflower
  • 4 chopped artichoke hearts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 small filets of cod, cooked

Directions:

Place the chopped red onion and rolled oats into a warm frying pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Continue to stir the oats and onion for about two minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Next, add the boiling water, broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke, and zucchini along with the salt, pepper, and garlic.

Allow to simmer on the stove uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Remove the oats and veggies from the stove, and stir in the cod.  Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition for 3 servings:

Calories:  173.1 Fat:  1.6g  Carbs:  13.2g Protein:  29.1g

Nutrition for 2 servings:

Calories:  259.7  Fat:  2.4g  Carbs:  19.8g  Protein:  43.6g

 

Now that dinner is all eaten and in the process of digesting, it is time to relax, create a couple of workout routines for some new group fitness classes I have coming up, and maybe watch an episode of Modern Family.

Good night!

Zucchini Artichoke Quiche

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This morning started out bright and early so that I could make it to church in time to sing.  For breakfast, I had another slice of the zucchini artichoke quiche from yesterday along side a bowl of Greek yogurt mixed with a little barley, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and Nunaturals stevia.  I always feel like Sundays deserve a savory breakfast or pancakes.  To me, those meals just feel more “special” than the average bowl of oats or smoothie, so today’s breakfast was perfect for the Sunday occasion.

 

Last night, after attending the graduation ceremony (which was shockingly quick!), playing some board games with Brian’s family, and snacking a bit we headed out to a nice Italian restaurant in Bloomington called Grazie Italian Eatery.  It was a nice restaurant with a cozy feel and walls full of wine racks.

After looking at the menu for quite a while and asking our waiter a couple of questions, Brian and I decided to split the sea scallops and get two side salads.  And boy was I glad with my decision!  The scallops were perfectly cooked and seasoned with a delicious pesto, and the white bean salad served alongside was the perfect pair.  I think this may be a “fancy” meal that I attempt to recreate sometime!

And now, just as I promised yesterday, here is the recipe for Zucchini Artichoke Quiche

Zucchini Artichoke Quiche (Original recipe from Peanut Butter Fingers)

 

Yields:  8 slices

Cook time: 55 minutes (not including prep)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked pearled barley
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 15 oz can artichoke hearts (non-marinated), drained
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small chopped zucchini

Directions:

Preheat oven to 35o degrees.  Combine barley, two egg whites, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Stir together and spread in the bottom of a greased 9 inch pie plate.  Bake for 5 minutes.

Place artichokes on the bottom of the barley crust.  Top with the rest of the cheese.  Combine the eggs, a little bit of salt and pepper, milk, dijon mustard, and zucchini.  Pour the egg mixture over the artichokes and cheese.

Bake for 55 minutes, and allow to cool and stand for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

Nutrition (per slice)

Calories:  126.6  Fat:  5.2g  Carbs:  10.6g  Protein:  9.5g

 

 

 

Graduation Festivities

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Good Morning!

Last night was full of family, fun, and celebrations.  Brian’s brother graduates from Indiana University today, and Brian’s birthday is on Monday, so we spent the night celebrating both occasions.

The theme of the night was a martini party, and Brian’s brother, Adam, played bar tender making us tasty cocktails all night.  The first drink was an “antioxitini.”  Full of berries and deliciousness.

We enjoyed caprese salad:

Shrimp cocktail-tinis:

An apple-cinnamon martini:

Crab stuffed flounder:

Brenna, my sister was even able to join us!

Attempt number 1

Much better!

Brian’s dad even made a meatball-tini!

 

For breakfast this morning, I whipped up a Zucchini Artichoke Quiche for the family to share…recipe coming soon!

After our delicious breakfast, Brian, his Mom, and I all headed out to Body Pump.  It was Brian’s first class ever, and he did great!  It was a great way to start the day.  Now, it is time to shower and get ready for more graduation festivities.

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!