Low-Fat Lasagna

Happy Sunday!

This past week I made one of our favorite meals – lasagna! This is a pretty easy and healthy recipe that I haveย modified over the past year. I add different veggie to it each time, depending what I have in the fridge and the season. It’s a great way to enjoy a family favorite but still sneak in those hated vegetables!

Ingredients for low-fat lasagna:

  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles (I only had regular noodles this time)
  • 15 oz cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder

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First, chop up the carrots and broccoli and place them in a large pan on the stove top. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Add in your red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to taste.

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Once the turkey is browned, add in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for a few minutes.

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While the meat mixture in simmering, place cottage cheese and 3/4 mozzarella cheese into a class bowl.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Now it’s time to layer the lasagna! Start by taking a cup of the meat mixture and pouring it into the bottom of a 9×13 greased casserole dish. Then add four noodles. Next, add half of the cottage cheese mixture, followed by and 3/4-1 cup meat mixture. Add four more noodles and then the rest of the cottage cheese mixture. Pour 3/4-1 cup meat mixture with the last four noodles on top of that. Now, add the rest of the meat mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

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Place the lasagna dish on a baking sheet in the oven in case any of it leaks from the top. Cook it at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving. It would also be great paired with garlic bread ๐Ÿ™‚

We absolutely love this dish and it provides leftovers for almost half of the week, too!

Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It has been awhile since I’ve made a dessert so I decided this afternoon I would try out a new recipe I saw on Pinterest! It comes from the blog Ambitious Kitchen. Of course, this cookie contains peanut butter for my husband but what it doesn’t include surprised me a bit. This cookie is flourless and calls for no butter or substitute so in a way, can be considered a “healthy” cookie in my book ๐Ÿ™‚

The ingredients for this recipe are items already found in most kitchens, which makes this recipe that much better!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar (I used dark but light works, too)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees while you prepare the dough. First, mix the oats and baking soda in a small bowl and place aside. Then, combine the eggs, peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in the mixer until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients. Once mixed, fold in your chocolate chips.

Because this batter is a bit sticky, I used a cookie scoop to place the mixture onto a cookie sheet. Once you have the batter placed on the pan, take the back on the scoop and pat the balls down a tad before placing them into the oven.

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Bake for 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies might look a little undercooked when you take them out but they will continue to cook once you remove them. This recipe makes about 16-20 cookies.

I know I will definitely be using this recipe again because they were simply delicious!

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Adventures in Key West

Happy Monday, everyone! I finally had some free time this morning to write about our recent trip to Key West! I had been here once before but it was my husband’s first time visiting.

We decided to ditch the Iowa winter for a few days and head to sunny Florida! Key West was in a “cold spurt” for most of the days we were there (highs around 65 degrees) but, coming from -10 degrees in Iowa, we didn’t mind one bit ๐Ÿ™‚

However, we did get a kick out of the locals down in Key West running around in their winter coats and hats!

We didn’t get to do any water sports while we were down there due to the cooler weather and high winds but that didn’t stop us from eating and exploring our way through Key West! The food was absolutely amazing! We had everything from brick oven pizza to BBQ to seafood. My husband and I were trying to decide on a “favorite” restaurant but soon came to the conclusion there wasn’t just one we could pick. From watching the Seahawks play in a local bar, Flap Jacks to a half pound monster cookie sundae at Mattheessen’s – everything was delicious!

One of our favorite restaurants for breakfast would most definitely have to be Pepe’s. A local boutique owner suggested this place and it did not disappoint! This is a local’s hangout but is becoming more known to tourists as well. The outside was deceiving but the food was amazing! Pepe’s is said to be the oldest restaurant in Key West so I’m sure you can imagine what the outside looked like but the history that filled the walls on the inside was a fun way to start our day ๐Ÿ™‚

When we weren’t eating our way through the island, we were exploring the beautiful town! Key West is so small that we were able to walk to most of the sites we wanted to visit. However, if you aren’t up to walking, motorized scooters and bike rentals are available on almost every corner! We were able to see the Southernmost Point, Mile 0, and even a few Carnival cruise ships while we were there! But the best scene in Key West has to be at sunset from Mallory Square. We went here every night to catch the sun going down and it never seemed to get old ๐Ÿ™‚ Not only do you get to see the sun set but there are also some amazing street performers for entertainment. Definitely a spot to hit if you ever find yourself in Key West!

Key West is a small island with tons of character! The homes here were stunning cottages painted in all types of fun colors. And the buildings that line the mail drag (Duval Street) are just the same! I can definitely see us visiting again sometime in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Good morning all! As promised, I’m going to be sharing the recipe we made last night – baked spaghetti squash casserole! This was my first time cooking with spaghetti squash but it actually turned out to be much easier than I originally thought and it tasted even better!

I wasn’t sure if I would like the spaghetti squash but it actually didn’t have much flavor which allowed for all the other flavors in the dish to stand out. I used a recipe from Eat Yourself Skinnyย blog but changed a few things!

The ingredients I used included:

  • 2 ripe spaghetti squash
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Italian seasoning (to taste)
  • Garlic powder (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

This recipe was actually pretty easy to follow but did take a little time to prepare since you have to bake the spaghetti squash before you can bake the casserole. You could most definitely make the casserole up on a weekend, cover, and put in the fridge to make on a week night though for a simple and fast meal!

First, cook the spaghetti squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Check my blog postย to see more details on how to cook the spaghetti squash.

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Once it is done, let the spaghetti squash cool for a few minutes before you scoop it out. Place the strands of squash into a glass bowl so it will be easier to put the casserole together.

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While the spaghetti squash is in the oven, chop the green and red pepper. Place the chopped pieces into a large pan on the stove top on medium heat.

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Add the ground turkey with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper to taste. Cook the mixture until the pink is out of the turkey then drain.

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Place the mixture back on the stove top and add your tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Bring the whole thing to a boil then simmer until the squash is done cooking. Add in the Parmesan cheese to the mixture right before the squash is finished baking.

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Spray a 9×13 glass cooking pan and place 1 1/2 cups of the meat mixture on the bottom. Next, layer about 2 cups of the spaghetti squash strands on top of that. Continue with another 1 1/2 cups of the meat mixture before layering the rest of the spaghetti squash. Use the final amount of meat and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover the whole thing with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and bake for an additional 5 minutes of until the cheese is melted.

Now you have your baked spaghetti squash casserole, enjoy!

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Happy weekend everyone!

After being gone on vacation for a few days, we have been ready to enjoy some home cooked meal! Tonight I decided to try something completely new for our household – baked spaghetti squash casserole. I will post this recipe later this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I could make the baked spaghetti squash casserole, I had to do research on spaghetti squash seeing as I have NEVER made this or consumed it! After learning more about it, we headed to the local grocery store to find it. Surprisingly, it was extremely easy to make!

I threw the spaghetti squash into the microwave whole for about a minute so that it would be easier to cut. First, cut off both ends and then make a cut straight down the middle length wise.

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Your spaghetti squash will then resemble the inside of a pumpkin. Use a spoon to scoop all the seeds and guts out of the middle. Then place each half, face down on a baking sheet. Cook the spaghetti squash on 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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Once it is done, let the spaghetti squash cool for a few minutes before using a fork to pull up the angel hair like strands of squash. Place the pieces into a large bowl.

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It was actually a lot easier to scoop out the squash than I had anticipated ๐Ÿ™‚ Not bad for my first time if I do say so myself! Enjoy!

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Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

It is finally Friday and we celebrated by trying a new breakfast recipe for supper tonight! I found this website from the Gimme Some Oven blog and it was absolutely delicious! My sister came over for supper and she even approved ๐Ÿ™‚

The ingredients needed:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • Melted peanut butter for topping

The first thing I did was mix my dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) in a glass bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, peanut butter, milk, vanilla, and honey. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry one. Mix well. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.

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Now the pancakes are ready to cook! I made small to medium size pancakes and this recipe made about 11 in total! I cooked them for a couple minutes on each side. Once they are done, drizzle a little melted peanut butter on top and it’s complete!

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Cajan Shrimp Tacos

Hello everyone, what a busy week it has been!ย I haven’t had much time to make meals this week but over the weekend, we tried out this new recipe! My husband told me he was in the mood for tacos, so I decided to try out shrimp tacos since I have been on a kick lately! They were AMAZING ๐Ÿ™‚

They were pretty easy to make up, too!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat taco shells
  • 16 pieces precooked shrimp
  • Taco sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • 1/2 bag whole grain brown rice
  • Cajan seasoning

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The first thing I did was cook the shrimp on the stovetop. I made sure to season them with plenty of cajan seasoning ๐Ÿ™‚ While they were cooking, I popped the rice in the microwave for 90 seconds. Next, I set four taco shells in a pan and put one scoop of rice into each shell. I then added four pieces of shrimp to each of the four tacos. On top of that, I added a small scoop of cheese. Last, I topped it with a spoon full of taco sauce and placed the pan into the oven at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes. This step isn’t necessary but made everything nice and toasty and so worth the extra time!

When they were done, I topped the tacos with a little lettuce and they were ready to eat ๐Ÿ™‚ We will definitely be making these beauties again soon!

Enjoy!

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