Build Me Up Buttercup Baby

I am sorry if you are all tired to seeing copious amounts of squash recipes. I just can’t help it, I am a squash addict. Some people love acorn, some adore butternut but my favorite will always be buttercup. I’m still not quite sure what the difference between kabocha and buttercup is…I tried to do some research but couldn’t find a whole lot. I’ve had some that were stringier and yellow while others have been starchier and more orange. Regardless, I love this squash. Not only is it extremely versatile (sweet, savory, Italian, Thai, Mexican, etc), but it is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Fiber. Pretty eyes, healthy immune system, healthy GI tract = win win (source).

The real star of this show was the Trader Joe’s Bruschetta Spread. I used it as the sauce and it is divine. As Loreli Gilmore would say, I wanted to take a bath in this sauce. So delicious. If you see this, buy it!

Bruschetta

Chicken Pesto Bruschetta Stuffed Buttercup Squash

Stuffed Squash 2Ingredients:

  • 2 oz of pasta
  • 1/2 Butternut squash (or any squash really)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Bruschetta Spread
  • 4 Chicken Pesto Chicken Meatballs (I used Nature’s Promise)
  • Sprinkle of parmesan cheese
  • Seasonings – garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 385
  2. Slice butternut squash in half, take out the seeds and save the other half for another time.
  3. Coat half the squash with nonstick cooking spray and bake face down for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, boil the pasta water. Cook the pasta as the directions on the box.
  5. Take the squash out of the oven, turn over and season with desired spices.
  6. After pasta is done cooking, add Bruschetta spread and chicken meatballs to pasta pot and stir.
  7. Once combined stuff the squash.
  8. Put back in the oven for another 10 – 12 minutes.
  9. Take out, let cool and enjoy!

Stuffed Squash

What is your favorite squash?

Hands down the BEST part of Fall

SQAUSH!!!

Ask any Dietetics major and I am pretty sure that 99% of them would say squash is the highlight of the leaves changing and the temperatures dropping. From butternut, buttercup, acorn, carnival and spaghetti, I most certainly do not discriminate.

Did you know that 1 cup of squash provides you with 1/2 the RDA for Vitamin C and 4.5x the RDA for Vitamin A!? My potential papercuts are shaking in their boots :D (Source)

To say I am addicted would be an understatement. Combine squash with my love of Thai/Chinese food and it is a recipe for greatness!

Thai Peanut Teryaki Pineapple Stuffed Squash

squashthai

Ingredients:

  • 1 carnival squash (or any other squash of your choice!)
  • 3 Aidell‘s Teryaki Pineapple Chicken Meatballs
  • 2 oz Rice Noodles
  • 3 TBSP Archer Farms Thai Peanut Sauce
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, garam masala

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475
  2. Slice the squash in half and deseed
  3. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and season
  4. Place in over for 25-30 minutes
  5. After 30ish minutes have ellapsed, preheat a nonstick pan and boil pasta water
  6. Cut meatballs & brussels sprouts up and place on heated nonstick pan; sautee until browned
  7. Once the pasta water comes to a full boil, cook pasta for amount of time on the box
  8. After pasta has cooked and meat is browned, drain the pasta and add meatballs & brussels sprouts into the pasta pot
  9. Top with Thai Peanut Sauce and mix thoroughly
  10. Take squash out of the oven and stuff with pasta mixture
  11. Put back in the over for another 10ish minutes (I usually do the dishes!)
  12. Enjoy :D

closeup

If you are not a huge squash lover, well then I hate to say it but friendship over ;) Good thing my roommate loves the root vegetable just as much as I do or there would be serious problems.

What is your favorite squash? Any good recipes?

Follow me on twitter & instagram!

Call It What You Want

Rarely do I ever not know how to name a recipe. That is a skill you acquire when 98% of your classes involve food. However, this meal…it has a too much going on to include make an encompassing name. But thats ok – the recipe still taste great epic. It might have something to do with the fact that I just put everything in a bowl and called in lunch. I’m sure Chelsea would agree with me, right? Call this whatever you want – but you can surely call it delicious :D

Sun-dried Tomato Shrimp Spaghetti Squash Pasta

pasta

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. dried Mostaccioli
  • 1 oz. Athenos sun-dried tomato basil feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/4 cup Vodka Sauce
  • 3 oz. shrimp
  • Spaghetti Squash, shredded
  • Garlic powder, salt, pepper, and basil

Directions:

  1. Fill a medium pot with water and bring it to a boil
  2. Heat a small skillet
  3. Rise both the shrimp and celery. (I use frozen shrimp so I rinse under hot water until thawed)
  4. While the pan is heating, chop the celery
  5. Once the water starts to boil, add dry pasta and let cook to desired preference – 10 minutes for al dente
  6. Spray the pan and season with herbs
  7. Cook celery for a few minutes and then add the shrimp.
  8. After 10 minutes drain the pasta and add to spaghetti squash and vodka sauce
  9. Combine with the shrimp and celery
  10. Top the bowl off with some sundried-tomato basil feta

Oh so random, but oh so delicious.

pasta2

Social Media Updates:

I may or may not have mentioned but I am no on Instagram (which happens to be my latest addiction. Looking at pictures all day? Sign me up!)
Click here to follow me on Instagram or here to follow me on Twitter!

Filled To the Brim

with a happiness that is :)

At the beginning of the semester I tweeted about how this was going to be the BEST semester yet. And so far so good. I’ve reconnected with friends who make me laugh til I cry, enjoyed late nights, epic runs and bonding time with my roommate. Oh and my classes? Fantastic…except for Management but you win some & you loose some.

Oh and my meals have also been pretty stuffed – but then again that is the only way to eat squash in my humble opinion.

Salmon Pasta Bake Stuffed Sweet Squash

sweetsquash

Ingredients:

  • Squash of your choice (acorn, buttercup, sweet squash, etc)
  • 1 packet of salmon
  • Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked pasta
  • Seasonings: Basil, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. Wash & cut the squash in half. Scoop out all the seeds.
  3. Season the squash with desired spices and herbs.
  4. Cook pasta according to the box directions.
  5. Heat a skillet on medium heat.
  6. Wash and cut the Brussels sprouts in half. Cook until golden brown.
  7. In a small bowl combine the cooked pasta, Brussels sprouts, tomato sauce and salmon.
  8. Stuff both halves of the squash and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
  9. Let cool & Enjoy!

To Run Like A Runner

You need to eat like one.

Simple as that.

It kills me to see some people busting their butts by putting in the time to run crazy distances and train hardcore not to see the results they deserve. Or worse – an injury.

I am currently reading Running For Women by Kara Goucher. I must admit, I have a major girl crush. She is so candid in the fact that she struggled with emotional eating when she suffered two injuries. Yet, she came back strong and faster than ever. She is going to London for crying out loud! Her chapter on nutrition really spoke to me. Coming from an athelete, I could relate to her advice/tips more so than a fashion magazine that puts women on a low calorie diet. Running 65-75 miles a week requires lots of fuel, so eating is essential to reduce the risk of stress fractures, injuries and burnout. I don’t have any eating “rules” per say – except two.

  1. 1500 mg of Calcium every day. No ifs ands or buts about it.
  2. Carbs at every meal. Usually 2-4 servings.

When I post reviews/a reciepe – it is usually only one part of my meal. I normally have a couple extra sides to make sure I am getting enough. Thus, I’d thought I would show you a typical lunch for me. Increasing my carbohydrates during lunch has really improved my performance. Enter a little Italian love <3

I think you all can tell I love me some Trader Joe’s & I have loved eggplant ever since I tried it about a year ago. Top the purple vegetable with some tomato sauce, seasonings and cheese and the meal sounds promising. Plus, how can you go wrong with ingredients like this:
Although, the last Italian meal I had from Trader Joe’s was less than stellar so I really had no expectations for this. However, my tastebuds were blown away. Not only was the sauce flavored perfectly with basil & oregano the tomatoes used for the sauce tasted surprisingly fresh. No “tomato sauce from a jar” taste at all. The cheesy had a rich mozzarella flavor that was abundant throughout the eggplant. Oh and the eggplant – well lets just say it was hearty and savory. Not soggy at all. If you have a local Trader Joe’s – this should be added to your list asap. Crazy good. I mean just look at the cheese!

Rating –> 5 Coffee Beans

Alas, no meal Italian meal is complete without some veggies and pasta. My veggie of choice is two sauteed zucchini seasoned with garlic powder, basil & Italian seasoning. The pasta is spinach pappardelle, which taste oh so good. Not to mention I love how wide the noodles are!

And that lady & gents is one of the many ways I like to fuel up.

You Let Me Down Joe

Trader Joe’s just so happens to be one of my favorite grocery stores.

Trader Joe’s just so happens to sell the most amazing frozen foods/meals in my opinion. From stirfried veggie egg rolls, Channa Masala to Quesedillas & tofu nuggets, just to name a few. In a nutshell, they’ve pretty much got food for every cuisine.

Trader Joe’s just so happens to have a new frozen meal that I thought would be perfect for lunch.

As I have mentioned before, I am picky about Italian food since both my grandmother and mother grew up in Italy. Thus, I basically get authentic Italian food on a daily basis when mom makes her sauce. However, the promise of spinach & ricotta stuffed inside pasta shells with gooey cheese melted on top skewed my judgement. I should have just walked away, but alas, this meal went into my basket.

Looks promising, right? Well don’t be fooled. I guess for only 270 calories, it shouldn’t have surprised me to only see 2 measly shells. Sure they were big, but the picture on the box makes it appear like there is more than two….three perhaps. Disappointing really doesn’t begin to describe this Italian classic. Not only was the filling inside the shells extremely bitter, but there also seemed to lack ricotta. Basically there was no ricotta and boatload of spinach. The tomato sauce was bland and tasted like it came from the jar. I guess the only highly of the meal was the nice al dente texture of the pasta and the melted mozzarella cheese. Meh.

Rating: 1 Coffee Bean

Recreating an Oldie

I am very fortunate enough to go to a college with a nationally ranked dinning program. Not going to lie, the food is pretty darn amazing. Sometimes I don’t know what to get for lunch because I am so many options at my disposal. However, there is one meal that is my favorite. Hands down, it never disappoints. Lately, I have been loving salads like no body’s business and had a massive craving for the pasta salad that won my heart. Thus, I decided to recreate the salad with the veggies that needed to be consumed before my next grocery store trip.

Faux Fried Chick’n Pasta Salad

In the bowl:

  • Ronzoni Garden Delights Pasta
  • 1 Tomato
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Caesar Dressing
  • Quorn Chicken Nuggets

Craving satisfied.

What was your go-to/favorite college meal?