Monthly Archives: February 2012

A New Dish a Week Project: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Have you ever eaten spaghetti squash? If you haven’t, you really should give it a try. To me, it’s just like eating pasta. We’ve been planning on making homemade lasagna with homemade noodles for a week or so and then we realized that the pasta machine is packed up in one of the few remaining boxes in the old apartment’s storage closet (ooops!) So, today after work we were going to go to the grocery store and pick up a box o’ noodles! Well, then work happened and here it is 9:00PM and Andrew’s still at work (poor guy). Luckily, I had a back-up plan; spaghetti squash! It was awesome.  I realize it looks like a complicated recipe because of all the steps, but I promise it’s not! In the end it comes out not as beautifully as a stack of freshly made lasagna with handmade noodles, but I guarantee it tastes just as good!

Ingredients:
1 Medium-Sized Spaghetti Squash (if you have too much, you can always make something else with it!)
1C Tomato Basil Sauce (marinara will do, pasta sauce will do, etc we used low fat tomato-basil)
1C Ricotta (we used part-skim)
3oz. Mozzarella Cheese (we used part-skim and 1 oz shredded, 2oz. sliced but it doesn’t really matter)
2t Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Squash, diced
1/2 Zucchini, diced
1C Broccoli, diced
1/2 Red Pepper, diced
Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Italian Seasoning, Red Chili Pepper Flakes (to taste, and any other spices!)

Steps:

(Source)

 

 

To preface this, we used a loaf pan, something like this would do —>

 

 

1. The first thing that you’re going to want to do is cook the spaghetti squash. It is usually easiest to do this in the microwave, however we used the oven. To use the oven, preheat to 375 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash down the middle length-wise (you will need a sharp and large knife- think cleaver!)
2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts, leaving the inner squash intact.
3. Place the two halves rind-side-up on a baking sheet and into the oven.
4. Roast for about 30-45mins (our gas oven took 30mins).
5. To check to see if it’s done, stick a knife into the rind-side of the squash. If it slides in easily it is done.
6. Set squash aside to cool down.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if you’re doing this all at once, you obviously want to just decrease the temperature of the oven)
8. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Allow olive oil to coat pan. Add in diced vegetables.
9. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Be sure to stir the vegetables around so they are evenly coated.
10. Add in seasonings and stir again to coat.
11. Add the marinara sauce to the vegetable mixtures and stir. Put heat on low or simmer.
12. In a small bowl mix ricotta and 1oz of shredded mozzarella. If you’d like to add spices to the cheese mix, you can do so now.
13. When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove the “spaghetti”. The easiest way is to run the fork down the inside of the squash length-wise. Scoop “spaghetti” into a dish.
14. Scoop about 1/4 of the vegetable sauce mix into the bottom of your loaf pan and spread evenly.
15. Scoop in 1/3 of the spaghetti squash on top and spread evenly.
16. Scoop in 1/3 of the ricotta mix on top and spread as evenly as possible (the easiest way is to use the back of a spoon to smooth it out- it doesn’t matter much if it’s not in a completely even layer).
17. Repeat Steps 14-16 3 more times.
18. If you follow the above proportions, you will end with a layer of sauce on top.
19. Place the remaining 2oz of Mozzarella evenly on top of the final layer of sauce.
20. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.
21. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese is beginning to bubble.
ENJOY!

Makes 3 big Servings. Per serving:
Calories: 303
Fat: 11g
Sodium: 280g
Carbs: 17g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 21g

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Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

A New Dish a Week Project: Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus, Chili Lime Chicken Burger, and Ranch Smashed Potatoes. YUM

Ok, I’ll admit it. We haven’t been the best at posting our new recipes up here on the blog. We do have a couple to fill in and will hopefully do that soon. But for today, let’s talk roasted asparagus. You just can’t go wrong with roasted asparagus. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy. And you can customize it to your liking!

To the right you’ll see my dinner from last night. It was similar to Andrew’s except he had steak instead of the Chili Lime Chicken Burger (I saved my steak for today mmmm). I love having a backyard and patio so we can grill- it’s just awesome! Anyway, back to roasted asparagus.

Ingredients:
1/2 bunch of asparagus
2 teaspoon olive oil
Seasonings of your choice (we used cracked pepper, and a special mix of citrus salt that our friend, Aileen made– awesome. Will have to get the recipe!)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Rinse the asparagus. Cut about 1/2 inch of the touch base off all spears
3. Lay asparagus horizontally and cut all in half
4. Toss the asparagus into a large bowl. Add olive oil and seasonings
5. Spin, Shake, and Toss the bowl to make sure the asparagus is evenly covered with all the goodies that you added into the bowl. You should get a whiff of a wonderful spice and evoo fragrance
6. Dump the asparagus out on a baking sheet (no need to oil or spray since the asparagus has oil on it)
7. Make sure asparagus is spread out evenly in a single layer
8. Roast in oven for 8 minutes
9. Remove pan and give it a quick shake or two to move the asparagus around
10. Return to oven and roast for another 8 minutes
11. Allow to cool and then enjoy!

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can use it for any vegetable. You just have to adjust the time of roasting to your desired crisp (or soft)ness.

For the Whole Batch (asparagus and olive oil):
Calories: 98
Fat: 7.2g
Carbs: 7.4g
Fiber: 4.0g
Protein: 4.2g
Sodium: 4.0mg

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

When I (Meghan) was younger, my brother and I used to watch Penn State football with my parents. We used to always watch the Rose Bowl (obviously more closely when PSU went). It was like this untouchable just out of reach oasis. I used to look at it and dream of visiting it and walking up to it, sitting in a seat in the stadium. We watched the Rose Bowl parade every year, gawking at the thousands upon thousands of flowers that were used to construct such intricate and amazing floats.

When I was 19, I met Andrew in Costa Rica.

When I was 26, I started dating Andrew. When I was 26.5 Andrew took me to California, where his parents still live in La Canada.. about 20 minutes from Pasadena. Andrew drove me down the road with the painted pink stripe which marks the Rose Bowl Parade route. He drove me to the Rose Bowl. Who is this strange being that grew up THIS CLOSE to the Rose Bowl? Unheard of. For New Years that year, we sat in the stands at the start of the Rose Bowl Parade. We saw every float… about 10 yards away from us. We got to walk up next to and reach out and touch the floats. Then, dream of all dreams, there I was… sitting in the stands, watching the Rose Bowl game with Andrew and his parents. It was a complete dream come true. 

Now, almost three years later, here I was standing in the cold with Andrew in the pitch dark, a few 100 yards from the Rose Bowl, getting warmed up to run a half marathon. Andrew’s first half marathon. My first “not within driving distance” half marathon. what has happened to my life? It. is. awesome.

Haha, no really! We had an absolutely wonderful time. The route was gorgeous and I still sitting here typing this post can’t believe that I was running from the Rose Bowl, down the parade route, past Caltech (where one of my college friends cheered us on- thanks, Mike!), and back around through Old Town Pasadena, over a historical bridge, past palm trees, and around the Rose Bowl once more to the finish line. I loved every second of it and I wouldn’t have rather done it with anyone else. Andrew grabbed my hand at the 13 mile mark. We ran the last 0.1 miles together, holding hands, and crossed the finish line. I am gushing with pride right now. I could not be prouder of Andrew. He was amazing. On to the next one!!!

(Oh and it did help that we got to see Teddy from Grey’s Anatomy too– I mean come on! I love California!)

Categories: Running & Biking | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Love the Run You’re With 5K

A few weeks ago, we signed up for the first of Pacers’ Running Race Season; the Love the Run You’re with 5K. Our goal was to finish. As you are aware we’ve been training to run and bike other races, so we figured we could probably handle a 5K (3.1 miles for you non-k speakers). The course, which was rather boring, took runners down Joyce Street and up Army Navy Drive before busting a u-ey and heading back the way we came. Quick. Dirty. Up and Back. It wasn’t beautiful, it wasn’t especially challenging, although there were a bunch of hills (and one at the start that sucked). We were ready. We got up to 5 miles on our new half marathon training plan, so we knew we could do it.

The race was on Sunday. We moved Saturday (to the cute little house we blogged about last). So, we were exhausted, but still excited. We went to bed early (thanks to the moving). When we got up this morning wouldn’t you guess– SNOW on the ground! After all the crappy so-called winter weather we’ve been having (aka NONE and 60s), it snowed. And it was about 25 degrees out. We gritted our teeth, got dressed, and headed on over to the start. I would say just about all of the 1500 or so folks signed up still showed up but they were crammed into shops all over Pentagon Row. It was here where I digress; I love, absolutely LOVE races. How many other events can you see so many people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities, come together at the “butt crack of dawn” in the freezing cold to run 3.1 miles on a street with 1500 people they don’t know? It’s truly awesome.

Well, we got in our run and had a great time- even ran the last 0.1 miles holding hands and sprinting (you should try it sometime it’s really fun)! We got our commemorative blankets, we met up with our friends Rachel and Jason, and we headed over to Champs for our free beer (yes before 10AM) and some delicious brunch. It was all accompanied by a DJ and karaoke folks at the after party. A few girls even sang Whitney Houston songs… too soon?

We are now trying to unpack and repack and get pumped for next week’s half marathon in Pasadena, CA! Here we goooooooo 2012!

Categories: Running & Biking, Washington, DC Area | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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