healthy eats. spaghetti squash

Looking for a healthy alternative to the traditional pasta dish? Use spaghetti squash!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, grilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds from middle until forms a shallow bowl
  3. Rub each side of squash with 1 tbsp. evoo and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Place squash on pan face down. Place in oven and cook for 25 minutes
  5. While squash is cooking, dice the onions and grilled chicken. Place in pan with remaining olive oil and drained black beans
  6. Cook contents of pan until heated thoroughly, approximately 5 minutes
  7. Place into a bowl and add buffalo sauce. Mix together.
  8. Remove squash from oven after 25 minutes. Scrape squash with fork to make into “spaghetti”.
  9. Leaving spaghetti squash in the shell, add chicken, bean, onion mixture into spaghetti squash bowls.
  10. Sprinkle with cheese on top and place back in oven for five minutes
  11. Remove and Enjoy!!
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An un-fig-ettable food

Although figs have been around for centuries, this wonderful fruit has recently entered my life and has quickly become a delicious and healthy addition to many of my meals and snacks.

Spring Salad with figs from Open Door Tea in Stratford, CT

Figs provide the body an array of health benefits. They provide fiber, antioxidants, and a rich supply of vitamins and minerals! For example, a 1/2 cup serving of figs [approximately, six figs] offers less than 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 230 milligrams of potassium, 4.7 micrograms of vitamin K, and small/trace amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, vitamin A, and copper- all for 74 calories!!

So how do these nutrients impact health?

Fiber aids in digestion, helping to relieve constipation. Fiber also plays a role in helping to lower cholesterol and blood sugar- reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants help protect your body from free radicals by donating electrons. Free radicals, in the easiest terms possible, are atoms with unpaired electrons leaving the body vulnerable to disease and aging. Potassium helps support muscle and heart function and Vitamin K supports blood clotting.

While they can be on the pricey side, you can wait to buy them in season [June to September] for a lower cost. Figs can be eaten dried or fresh, they go well with many dishes. They make a great salad topping [see above]. In addition, they pair well with oatmeal, yogurt, and chicken salads. My personal favorite is figs and goat cheese with a balsamic dressing.

Like I said, they are un-fig-ettable!

Follow me on instagram @filisitee_foods for more recipes and health tips!

healthy eats. Blueberry vanilla smoothie

Although the weather is getting colder and the incentive to drink cold beverages is steadily decreasing, I️ have become hooked on smoothies as my go-to breakfast choice. Smoothies provide you with an endless supply of nutrients and health benefits. Plus, with all the different combinations available you’ll never be bored!

This particular smoothie, a blueberry vanilla smoothie, provides you with a ton of antioxidants, protein, healthy fat sources, and enough energy to start your day off on the right foot!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 scoop pea powder (I️ use Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla Flavor Powder)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • ice cubes, if you would like it colder

Directions: 

  1. Rinse off blueberries
  2. Combine all ingredients into the blender
  3. Blend ingredients until it reaches a smooth consistency
  4. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Serves: 1 person Calories: 240            Serving Size: 1 Cup 

healthy eats. Roasted Maple Butternut Squash

Who doesn’t love Autumn!? Weather is cool, there’s hiking, apple picking, and pumpkin carving galore, leaves are changing color, and the foods in season are irresistible.

Butternut squash is harvested in the fall and offers numerous nutritional benefits such as Vitamins E, A, B6, & C, Potassium, and Folate. Butternut squash can be enjoyed in so many ways [savory or sweet, what do you prefer??] So instead of diving into the Halloween stash meant for trick-or-treaters on Tuesday I made this sweet dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut off the ends of the butternut squash
  3. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds
  4. Cut the butternut squash in half once again
  5. Peel the four pieces of the butternut squash
  6. Cut the newly peeled butternut squash into cubes [think size of a stamp]
  7. Place butternut squash, olive oil, and maple syrup in a bowl
  8. Toss mixture until butternut squash is completely coated
  9. Place the coated butternut squash onto a greased baking sheet
  10. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper
  11. Cook in oven for 40 minutes, until butternut squash is soft
  12. enjoy!

Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cook Time: 40 minutes     Total Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 2-3 people           Calories: 275                      Serving Size: 1 Cup 

healthy eats. Zucchini Fries

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Who doesn’t love french fries. The warm, crispy, and satisfying taste of this popular side dish has won over the hearts of people all over the world. However, french fries are high in fat, calories, and sodium. Diets high in these three things increase your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity-related problems.

A healthy alternative to this fan favorite are zucchini fries. Zucchini is low in calories and high in vitamins, phytonutrients, and minerals. Zucchini can be eaten both cooked and raw and is a great addition to many meals! Opting for zucchini fries versus the standard potato french fries will give your body the antioxidants it needs to help fight off free radicals, while limiting your fat, sodium, and caloric intake.

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free breadcrumbs work just as well)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut the zucchini into 1/2 – inch sticks [approximately the size of a tube of lipstick]
  3. Place the zucchini sticks into a mixing bowl
  4. Add the greek yogurt and panko crumbs into the bowl
  5. Toss the mixture until the zucchini is coated thoroughly
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7.  Place the coated zucchini sticks onto a greased baking sheet
  8. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes, until sticks are nicely browned
  9. enjoy!

healthy eats. Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

8704841865_72327c1366_zThis healthy dinner option combines a mix of flavors into a one-of-a-kind meal for under 400 calories. It is easy to make with limited ingredients, preparation, and dishes to wash!

Salmon, a powerful food known to promote eye and heart health, as well as cognition and memory, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, protein, vitamin b6, vitamin d, and vitamin b12.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound salmon
  • 3/4 c vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pineapple, diced into large squares
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farhenheit
  2. Place the salmon into a greased baking dish
  3. Pour the vegetable broth over the salmon and lightly season with salt and pepper
  4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes; the salmon should be a light pink inside and will flake easily with a fork
  5. While salmon is baking, mix together the lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, sugar, diced pineapple, diced tomatoes, and the basil into a bowl and store in the fridge until time to serve
  6. Once salmon is done baking, take out of the oven and discard the vegetable broth
  7. Place the salmon back into the baking dish to be served
  8. Serving size: 4 ounces of salmon with 1/4 cup of pineapple salsa
  • Optional Sides:  
    • Cook 1  cup of brown rice, made with 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/2 cup water until absorbed
    • Steam 1 cup of mini carrots with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon until soft

Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes  Total Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4 people              Calories: 350