Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

This recipe is a healthy variation on a rich meat sauce I have been making since I was sixteen.   I have adapted it to make it healthier and to help fuel my runs.   I don't eat red meat or pork any more,  and don't often eat poultry, so this dish is great to ensure my iron levels remain in tact,  and it is not short on flavour or nutrients!

Every time I go to make this dish I pull out the recipe book I have used and loved for over 20 years.  Its so cute and homey and just makes me happy when I use it!

Who uses recipe cards anymore?!!!

Well loved recipe (sorry about the side view!)

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

1 lb of extra lean ground turkey (you can also use ground chicken)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cans of crushed tomatoes (I use no-salt organic tomatoes)
3 carrots peeled and processed
1 tbsp sugar
1 can tomato paste
3 medium onions, chopped
1.5 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. wine (I like an oakey Chardonnay)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 stalks of celery, chopped finely

1. Gather your ingredients. Chop all of your vegetables first!

2. Add your veggies to a cast iron pan (more iron absorption),  saute garlic, onion, and celery until translucent.  Set aside.

3. Brown the meat and drain excess fat.

4. Combine veggies (add carrots too!) and meat,  add seasoning. Cook on medium-low to soften carrots.

5. In a large saucepot, add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, wine, parsley, mushrooms, and bay leaves. Simmer for on low for one hour.

6. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. (I whole wheat spaghettini). Enjoy with a glass of wine and a fresh salad.  Serves 8 (or two hungry runners with lots of leftovers!)

Thanks for reading!

Cucumber,Tomato, and Chickpea Couscous Salad

I have never been much of a fan of the grain couscous but when noticed I had three boxes of couscous in my pantry I decided it was time to use some of it up.  It seems that everytime I go to prepare a dish that calls for couscous,  I end up substituting quinoa instead because I find quinoa much tastier.  This time however,  I was going to use the couscous, in fact this dish has renewed my interest in couscous.

After flipping through several cooking magazines, blogs, and cookbooks,  I was actually inspired by the recipe on the side of the couscous box. It looked really simple to prepare, full of fresh antioxidant-rich ingredients,  so I decided to make a variation of it.

Cucumber,Tomato, and Chickpea Couscous Salad
1 c. cooked couscous
1 c. tomatoes diced (I used about 3 hot house tomatoes)
1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
1 c. green onions (I used a small bunch)
1 c. parsley
1 c. cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil (recipe called for 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. lemon juice (recipe called for 3/4 c.)
3 garlic gloves, crushed
1 tsp. dry mint (I omitted this - I didn't have any)
1 tsp salt (I used sea salt)

1. Gather all of your ingredients for the recipe.  

2. Prepare couscous according to package instructions. It is similar to preparing white rice. Fluff it up with a fork.  I used white because I wanted to use it up, but you could also use whole wheat to add more fiber.

3. Chop all of your veggies.

4. Measure out your olive oil, I recommend a higher quality olive oil to enhance the flavour of the dish.  Next squeeze your lemons. I think I used two whole lemons to make 1/2 c.  I *love* my lemon juicer I got at Target, best seven dollars I ever spent!

5. Add crushed garlic, mint, salt and pepper to taste,  wisk the ingredients. 

6.  Combine couscous with chopped vegetables,  slowly add marinade and mix well.  Serve cold.  I recommend refridgerating this dish overnight,  it really lets the flavours marinade.


This was a delicious light flavourful dish that I will definately make again.  It was perfect for a filling light lunch,  packed with vitamins and protein, perfect for boosting your immune system in the dead of winter!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

I started this blog with the purpose of posting my daily eats, but it hasn't quite worked out that way. I have been working harder at eating cleaner lately, so hopefully I will post more often, so check back if you want more "clean" recipes.

I had to post this recipe. As runners/triathletes, we need carbs. However so many runners complain of weight gain during heavy training due to plates of carbs and breads. I stumbled across spaghetti squash by accident. I went to grocery store looking for zucchini/squash to grill, and accidentally bought the yellow spaghetti squash. I had no idea what to do with it, but I found this informative video about the vegetable.

So from there I searched a few recipes, I really felt like a pasta style dish so I decided to make the Alfredo dish

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

1 medium spaghetti squash
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fat free sour cream
fresh ground pepper
fresh Parmesan
1tsp olive oil

1. Cook the spaghetti squash either in microwave (see video above) or in the oven. I roasted mine in the oven in Pyrex dish with a few centimeter of water at 350F for 1 hour. I also deseeded and halved mine first. Spoon out the squash (it will naturally form strands) into a bowl.

2. Saute minced garlic in a pan (I use cast iron pan - runners need iron) add sour cream and bring to a boil. Grate about 1/4C Parmesan cheese into sour cream mixture. You can also add mozzarella but I wanted less cheese. Do not use pre-packaged grated Parmesan - it does not have the flavour of whole Parmesan. Add a little pepper to taste.

3. Add squash and heat for a few minutes. Serve immediately with fresh parm grated on top. I served mine with a simple spinach salad with Roma tomatoes and balsamic dressing.

Here are some photos of the process
Out of the oven
This is what it spoons out like.. it is really squash!

The Sauce.. mmm....
Voila!! (click on the image, it looks yummy!)

For dessert I had a bowl of fresh Ontario raspberries with a 1/4 of rice dream and a coffee. It was a delicious filling, and satisfying meal!
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and Pine Nuts

Recipe is adapted from Weight Watchers "In no Time" Book.

Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Spinach, and Pine Nuts
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb lean turkey sausage
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs pine nuts
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 16 once pkg whole wheat organic pasta (I used brown rice pasta, and it was good)
1 9 ounce bag baby spinach

1. Bring salted (sea salt) water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. For brown rice noodles, the package said 7-10 minutes, I found they only took 3 minutes. Drain pasta (do not rinse) and keep 1 cup of reserved water.

2. Broil sausage (slightly undercook) and pat dry. Slice into 1 inch diagonal slices.

3. Add sausage into skillet with garlic and pine nuts, and cook until the nuts are toasted and sausage is cooked through (2-3 minutes).

4. Add pasta, reserve water, and spinach to skillet and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.

Rating: 4/5 Hubs really liked this, and it is simple to make. As a bonus the spinach is a good source of iron and folic acid. Serves 6

Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

This bread is for the bread maker, and is wonderful. The recipe yields a 2lb loaf setting on your breakmaker.

4 cup organic whole wheat flour
1.5 cups buttermilk
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 tsp rapid yeast
1/4 C organic molasses
1 egg white