Archive for July, 2012

  • Spinach with Black Beans

    Date: 2012.07.17 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    I mentioned previously that I struggle with low carb side dishes.  Unfortunately, when it comes to vegetables I don’t typically venture very far beyond frozen corn and peas (although I did develop weird cravings for asparagus during my pregnancy with JT and I still love it!).  So, we’re trying to explore new frontiers and I’m trying to be a little more creative with using vegetables in my cooking.  I’ve been perusing the www for inspiration and pinning like a madwoman to my South Beach board on Pinterest. I decided to make a yummy balsamic glazed salmon for dinner tonight from my South Beach 30 minute cookbook (one of my go to cookbooks) and literally came up with a brand new veggie/bean side dish on the spot.  For someone who doesn’t usually create new recipes out of thin air I was pretty impressed!  Chris said that both the salmon and the spinach with black beans were winners.  Culinary victory!

    Spinach with Black Beans

    1 TBS olive oil
    2 cloves crushed garlic
    1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
    1 handful of  bacon bits (I use the large Costco bag)
    several handfuls of fresh spinach
    1 dash lemon juice (I get mine in a bottle!)
    2 dashes cheesy garlic

    Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add garlic and bacon bits and cook for 2 minutes.  Add black beans, spinach, lemon and cheesy garlic.  Cook until spinach is wilted and everything is warmed through, tossing several times.  Serve warm.


    In other news, this is what my kids are doing as I type up this recipe…

    and James started solids a few weeks ago- so far he loves avocado and banana!  He is so sweet.  If only he’d take a bottle when I’m at work!

  • Spaghetti Squash, Sausage and Kale Gratin

    Date: 2012.07.12 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    Chris and I decided that it’s time to start losing the baby weight.  Three kids in 4 years has not been kind to either of our waistlines.  Not at all.  So we decided that it’s time to crack the whip and buckle down and get serious and go back on South Beach.  We did the South Beach diet about 6 years ago and we both lost more than 25 pounds fairly easily.  Then we moved and started having babies and slipped back into old habits and convenience foods.  And said yes to chocolate.  And cookies.  And chocolate cookies.  Now it’s time to say goodbye to all that and hello to a healthier lifestyle and way of eating.  Bummer.

    One of the problems we had with South Beach when we did it several years ago is that Chris would much rather have a casserole for dinner than a piece of meat with a veggie on the side, and I always feel like my plate is missing something without a carb as a side dish.  Now that it’s so easy to find recipes online I’ve been looking for easy and yummy meals that will fit the bill- they meet the requirements of the South Beach diet and satisfy my casserole loving man.  I stumbled upon a great blog called Kalyn’s Kitchen, which features hundreds of South Beach friendly recipes.  While perusing her archives I came across this recipe for Spaghetti Squash Gratin and decided that I could add some meat to make it a main dish.  Of course I didn’t have some of her ingredients and I mixed things up to suit our tastes, but we were all VERY pleased with how this turned out- even JT ate a full serving.  This will be going into the regular rotation for sure.  It’s a cheesy, filling, flavorful casserole that tastes much less healthy than it really is!

    Spaghetti Squash, Sausage and Kale Gratin

    1 spaghetti squash
    olive oil
    cheesy garlic (or other seasoning blend)

    1 bunch kale (5-6 cups chopped, you could also use other greens like spinach, collards, or chard.)
    1 pound turkey sausage
    1 large onion, diced (you know I always use frozen diced onion)
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    fresh ground black pepper to taste
    1 T minced garlic
    1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1/2 cup reduced fat feta
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
    1 egg, beaten
    Preheat your oven to 400º. Wash the spaghetti squash, then carefully cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and the gunk and discard. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the squash halves face up on the baking sheet.  Rub the cut sides of  your squash with olive oil, then sprinkle each side with cheesy garlic.  Pour 1/2 inch of water into the pan around the bottom of the squash and roast for 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool, then separate into strands with a fork. (Don’t turn your oven off yet!)

    Meanwhile, wash and dry your kale (a paper towel or salad spinner will work). Remove the large stems and dice or shred leaves into small pieces.

    In a large fry pan, brown the turkey sausage- remove most of the grease if there is a lot in your pan.  Then add chopped onion, oregano, and black pepper and saute until onion is softened- 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 1 more minute.  Add all of the kale to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, tossing regularly until kale is wilted to about half size.

    Gently mix the shredded spaghetti squash into the meat and kale mixture. Toss in the Greek yogurt, feta, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg. Then pour the whole thing into a 2 or 3 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Sprinkle the top with more Parmesan cheese.

    Bake for 30-35 minutes at 400º, or until the mixture is bubbling and browned on top. Serve hot and enjoy a creamy tasting, good for you casserole!


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