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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Chicken Chili Nachos

Chicken Chili Nachos

This is one of those meals that looks really messy, but nevertheless is totally delicious. It is also one of those meals that you think is really bad for you, but actually with a few tweaks, can be loaded with good stuff that you don't have to feel guilty about eating - YAY!

After a long bike ride with the family yesterday we were ready for something delicious and satisfying for lunch, that could be put together quickly - this totally fit the bill. 

Start with a can of prepared chili.  I used Trader Joe's canned Chicken Chili, which is a favorite in this house.  Then grab a can of black beans from the pantry, rinse and drain.  Add the can of chili and the black beans to a pot on medium heat and cover. (Adding the black beans is a great way to stretch the can of chili to feed four people and reduce the sodium content per person as well).

Then turn on the broiler and get a large tray and cover it with your favorite corn tortilla chips. Top with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese and a layer of mozzarella cheese.  Put it in broiler, but keep a close eye on it, as you want the cheese to brown nicely, but not burn!

Meanwhile chop up some fresh cilantro, dice up some avocados and lastly bring out that tub of plain Greek yogurt from the fridge. Yep, you thought that white dollop on top was sour cream, but not in this house. We have made the full switch to plain Greek yogurt as a substitute and actually it's delicious creaminess brings perfect balance to this meal, and is healthful, adding extra protein and good bacteria for your gut for better digestion, among other things.

Take the chips out from the broiler and you are good to go!  Simply put some of the nachos onto a plate and then top them with some chili, some cilantro, some avocado, and a nice healthy dollop of Greek yogurt and you are in the delicious Chicken Chili Meal heaven- enjoy!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Spaghetti (Squash) and Tomato Sauce

It's that time of year again:  Spaghetti Squash Season!  I would eat real spaghetti every single day if I could do that and not gain weight, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet, SO - until then this is my favorite pasta substitute.  It's nearly as good and definitely as versatile.  Treat it like pasta and it will behave like pasta!   Cook it Al dente and the strands will stay in tact, the sauce will stick, and you will be able to twirl it up into a fork just like real spaghetti!

Today I kept it super simple, fast, and easy.   It's fast and easy because I cooked it last night, so it's just sitting in a pyrex in the fridge waiting to becomes a delicious meal.  So this is how I do it....

I buy the Squash whole, bring it home, wash it, dry it, poke it all over the place with a sharp knife, cook it in the microwave for 6 minutes.  Then I turn it over and cook it for another 6 minutes.  (less time if it's small, perhaps more time if it's huge!)  Then I let it sit in the microwave cooling down for about an hour.  Then I pull it out, put it on a large cutting board, get my big sharp knife and cut it in half lengthwise.  I use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds, toss them into the trash, then grab my fork and start pulling the squash strands down and out of the squash and into a large bowl.  Cover it, put in fridge, now it's ready whenever you are.

So today all I had to do was scoop about 1.5 cups onto a plate, pour my sauce on right from the jar, sprinkle on the cheese, cut some Cilantro to go on top and then microwave that for 1 minute and it's mealtime :)

By choosing Spaghetti Squash over Spaghetti I am saving a ton of Calories and a ton of Carbs.  OK, not a ton, but A LOT!

1 cup of Spaghetti:  221 Calories & 43 Carbs

1 cup of Spaghetti Squash: ONLY 31 Calories & 7 Carbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By eating the Spaghetti Squash I'm also getting some great antioxidants: Vitamin A & Vitamin C, and also Lutein & Zeaxanthin, which protect the eye from age related diseases.

If protein is your thing, however, you'd get a lot more of that from the Pasta, so their are pros/ cons of making this switch.  For my priorities, this is a great deal!  

Here is a great article if you re interested in more details on the nutritional differences.

Thinking for tomorrow.....maybe a Peanut Satay Spaghetti (Squash) will be just the thing!  

Eat well and enjoy!