Category Archives: healthy

No Noodle Lasagna

I have had very little appetite ever since I became a single mother. I have to actually push myself to eat. I know this will change so I am not worried (much). Until then you may not see many posts of recipes. This one doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out but, making it the other day was O.M.G. AMAZING!!!!!! Every bite was filled with pure taste and made me grown with mmmmmmm YUM.

Simple No noodle Lasagna

  • 2 large zucchini – about 6-8 inches each

I really like using zucchini, cut in thin strips, in the place of noodles. With this recipe I took a minute to thinly slice and then place the slices on a few paper towels in case they needed to weep (ok, I lied, I’m not rich enough for paper towels, it was a rag).

zucchini-noodles-1

  • 1 lb. Lauras lean ground beef, 4% fat or like in my household a mixture of this ground beef and ground turkey
  • 1 cup minced veggies – I used minced carrot, celery, spinach and mushrooms (yes, I have children that cringe at mushrooms even though they are my favorite)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt *important try not to leave out the salt if you are using mushrooms.

cook in a skillet till no longer pink, then set aside.

In a pot sauté

  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 1 cup peppers diced- I used a my blend of red, green, orange, yellow and poblano
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 -2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil ****** fresh is always best*****
  • pinch of cayenne

until onions are translucent and your house smell like supper 🙂 My mom taught me that every meal should start with an onion.

  • Add 2 jars of those tomatoes you put up during the summer or if you don’t have that then 2 large cans of tomato sauce will work.

At this point you can add your meat mixture in and heat the whole thing until nice and hot. Taste it, is it good, does it need more salt, or garlic? You could take a break now and have a little lunch, maybe some miracle noodles and a bit of this wonderful sauce, yum.

  • part skim ricotta cheese 1-2 cups worth depending on how thick you like this layer.
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of choice

pyrex

I get out my big Pyrex pan and put a bit of sauce on the bottom (just enough to coat so nothing sticks). I layer my zucchini like noodles and spread ricotta over it. Then I spread about 1 cup of sauce over that. Layer again and if lucky again and again ending with sauce. This is where I bake mine at 350*F for about 30-40 min then place the 1-2 cups shredded cheese on top and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes. Please please please let cool for about 45 min. Lasagna is one of those dishes that get better as they cool and even better the next day.

lasagna-2a

Our household had ours with a caesar salad minus croutons. everyone walked away happy. No child thought I was serving only rabbit food or my usually yucky healthy food. If my kids had it their way they would eat pizza for every meal!

Caesar-Salad2

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The Intertwined Bucket List

My family is totally amazing and often times crazy with their “do it or you should just go curl up and die” attitude.

When My Great Grandfather turned 90 we celebrated his life with a huge party. His health was not great and he was in a wheel chair. None of that stopped us from swinging him around the dance floor and I can still see the smile on his face from that day. But, what I remember most about my great grandparents is that they were so full of life. It has been about 10 years now since they have been gone and I still feel them impacting the way I do things.  The presence of their attitude has yet to leave me. Often I find myself smiling when I know I have done something the way one of them would have (it is kind of long running joke to be a little quirky like my great-grandfather).

The loss of such people in my large and extended families lives has really had a dramatic effect.  I hope one day that my children’s children’s children say such a thing about me.  It has members of my family exploring the planet, living out their passions, loving fully and of course marking things off that great and powerful “BUCKET LIST”.

FOR EXAMPLE

My 84-year-old great-uncle and ____ year old, gorgeous great-aunt (shhh, it is never polite to speak of a woman’s age). Have done more in these last few years than I have in my entire life and they are not stopping. Retirement is usually known for its lazy days, retirement homes with shuffleboard games, and dwindling pensions/social security to fund it all with. Not for my relatives! Instead of sitting back they decide to do a 5K run.Shoe print

It is not just that they have decided to do it that is so very inspiring.   (learn more about the 5K run here)

These two people have managed to put a bee in everyone’s bonnet (love that saying). This seemingly harmless 5k run has turned into a family event. It has motivated those of us that have forgotten to push ourselves into joining in on the excitement. The pride of supporting others, the strength of enduring and overcoming, the sheer adrenaline for encouraging others,  among other things has all started to snowball in this family. Plans are in the works to join in, little did I know placing a “fulfill bucket list” was going to be placed at the top of my own personal Bucket List.

It all just make me realize that we are all so intertwined. One persons life fishes in and out of yours creating a web that makes you stronger. A give and take relationship if you will, that fuses you together and what you are left with is nothing short of amazing. I know I am so lucky to have the people in my life that constantly re-enforce such behaviors of love, care, devotion, compassion, understanding, support, nurturing, growth, learning, and just overall living a good life.

I am so proud of my family for doing what they do. Family is the tendrils that start us growing into who we become. I know not all family is traditional. Mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, whatever kind of people who establish those beginnings. As a parent I think about all of this so often. The kind of mom I am and what my background does for me or my children. People like my Great Aunt and Uncle remind me how I need to focus my energy into doing even those things I only think about.  How about you?

Have you positively helped build someone else’s web today? Have you thought about your Bucket List (I have 2, more on that another day) and what you could accomplish in your lifetime?

Morning with Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino

Every morning for me is a coffee morning no matter if it is hot black and decaffeinated or hot and  loaded with sugar and artificial flavors.

I am totally gaga for pumpkin spice cappuccino, but try to enjoy them as a treat on those days when I feel I need a real emotional yet physical pick me up. When I was dating it was like flowers to me. I would bat my eyes and say things like pweeze to get that response from my fiancé that had him rushing off to fulfill my want. I hated that I had to ask, although if he would have brought me one every day those steamy hot cups of joy never would have meant anything to me. I am one mixed up lady like that! Some times I don’t know what I want and other days no one can do anything right (not even me).  I pride myself on being practical and level-headed, the home maker that has it all under control, yet more and more I realize I am just one of those girls that want to be cherished, thought of as sweet and kind one that has someone running off to get me a pumpkin spice cappuccino the moment they come back in season with a smile and giddy excitement as presenting me with my beloved treat

.cappaccino

Now that I am alone, I can’t expect to have anyone bringing me treats so if I want some pumpkin spice cappuccino  I will have to enjoy them ala carte so to speak. One thing I have started to realize is that in no way are those tasty cups of hot spice good for you. The thing about treating yourself is that you don’t want to give yourself things you know aren’t up to your standards sooooo, I have decided to make a better version using things that taste really good but with way less junk than the original.

PumpkinSpiceULTRA HEALTHY PUMPKIN SPICE CAPPUCCINO MIX

1 scoop Organic whole food pumpkin powder by activz (I recomend the 10.1oz) Nutrition info is on the smaller 8.1oz container
*Please read up on the health benifits are to this wonderful powder

2 Tablespoons packed Truvia brown sugar

1 packet stevia in the raw

Powdered milk of your choice ( milk, soy milk , coconut milk) each one will be a different amount  but I used about 1 cup of milk/soy and only about 1/2 cup if using coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla powder (if you have vanilla beans you can so make your own I just have not had good luck with my vanilla beans the last 3 times I have gotten them so I had to buy this. It lasts a long time unless you are a vanilla nut)

*Now I like my stuff spicy, so if this doesn’t work for you please do less  and as always you could do some cinnamon and just pumpkin spice, I personally LOVE fresh ground nutmeg and think it makes all the difference in the foods I eat.

2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1.5 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (do not use fresh)

1/2 Tablespoon fresh grated nutmeg

This is where you can get creative, you could add a good quality instant coffee (what amounts to 6 finished/brewed cups worth) and make an amazing gift for someone you love or just for yourself ( always love yourself too, you deserve it) but I like to just put it in my morning coffee like a creamer and wala.

I put all the powders in my blender to make sure it was very well incorporated, then into a Fido jar with a chalk label. I wrote on mine what it was and how much to use. For me, I start with 2 Tablespoons and go up from there. I have never used more than 1/4 a cup per large coffee (again I don’t have instant coffee in mine, please adjust if you do).

So you are asking why not just run off to the gas station(sorry this mama can’t afford Starbucks) to buy your cup of steamy sweet goodness verses spending a small fortune for supplies (yes yes I know) …..drum roll please

You will have replaced that cappuccino coming in at a whopping 200 calories for a 12oz cup to a whole 89 calories for a 16oz cup if you do coconut milk it is even less but don’t forget to adjust because you will only need half of the powder in your coffee.  That is a **10 min. walk verses a 30 min. walk to burn off that coffee and if you are like me and tend to have more than one well goodness there goes the day just walking. The mixture you have created has great health benefts also (can you say that about your artificial powder coffee?).

** this always depends on your weight as a slimmer person will burn less calories than a heavier person. I went with an average of 150lbs for this example (I am in no way telling you how much I weigh 😛 ).