Easy Low Carb “Spaghetti” Dinner

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Who wants spaghetti with meat sauce?! 😍🙋🍝 Well not exactly! 😉 This is a healthier, vegan version also lower in carbs by using spaghetti squash! 😊👊💥 I honestly love spaghetti squash there is so much you can do with it… Mac n cheese, pad Thai, stir fry 😱 Yummy!! This was part of my meal prep for the week and was super easy! 😋

I sautéed these veggies first:

1/2 diced onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 diced yellow pepper (my fave)

1 large sliced zucchini

Saute in extra virgin olive oil

Then add tomato sauce, spaghetti squash plus herbs. I prefer to use organic, no sugar added tomato sauce with few ingredients and low sodium then added roasted spaghetti squash with chopped parsley and basil! 🍅🍆🍃

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I usually roast my spaghetti squash cut side up at 425 degrees for 45 minutes then remove with a fork! I can’t wait to eat this for lunch today!! Once you start making half of your meals veggies you automatically look for svelte!

You could add almond mozzarella cheese, part skim mozzarella or parm. Other veggies that work in this dish are mushrooms, spinach or kale! For more protein you could even vegan or low fat turkey sausage or meatballs! Enjoy!

Quinoa, Kale & Hemp Protein Cakes with Avocado Salsa (Vegetarian, vegan, GF)

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I am not sure if any of you are aware, but I love makes little cakes of deliciousness preferably with vegetables and protein. This yummy cake variety is vegetarian and can be modified to be vegan as well. Not to mention they are so tasty, filling and the avocado salsa is to die for!! 🙂

I made this recipe with red quinoa which is full of fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and protein. I also added kale which is rich in vitamin K, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. The avocado salsa adds so much flavor and includes vitamin C, phytonutrients, omega fats, potassium and fiber! Almost like deconstructed guacamole… and who doesn’t love guacamole right?! duh! Avocados are a huge food trend right now not only due to their buttery and creamy texture, but also because they are heart healthy and work to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL), which prevents heart disease. ❤

I use these cakes as part of my lunch meal or can be used as a snack during the day to ward off that crazy hungry feeling many of us get mid-afternoon! If you want to vary the cakes you can always switch the different types of peppers, use swiss chard instead of kale or use a different variety of quinoa. Also, to make this recipe vegan use a flax egg in substitution for the egg, which is 3 tsp water to 1 tsp Flax seed or you can use chia seeds… both of which are rich in omega 3 fats, which have been shown to lower triglycerides (the nasty fat in your blood!)

Ok here goes:

Ingredients:

1 Cup Cooked Red Quinoa

3 Cups Raw Kale

2 Tbsp. Hemp Protein Powder ( I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 Egg (or flax egg)

1/2 Yellow Pepper diced

1 White Onion diced

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 Ripe Avocado

1 Diced and Seeded Fresh Tomato

4-5 Sprigs Fresh Cilantro

1 Lime

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Jalapeño

3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 2tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

1. Wash & rinse kale then remove from stems and chop.

2. Cook quinoa following directions. You will only need one cup cooked for this recipe.

3. Dice 1/2 white onion, 1/2 yellow pepper and 1 glove garlic.

4. Heat skillet to medium heat and add 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Saute onion, pepper and garlic for 3 minutes until softened.

5. Add kale, cumin, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and italian seasons and sauté kale until tender.

6. In a medium bowl mix 1 cup cooked quinoa with cooked kale, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp hemp protein powder and additional seasonings if desired.

7. Form 4 patties out of quinoa and kale mixture and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set up.

8. While patties are chilling prepare avocado salsa. Add diced avocado, diced jalapeño, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1/2 diced white onion, diced fresh tomato (seeded), juice from one lime and chopped cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

9. Remove quinoa and kale cakes from refrigerator.

10. Reheat skillet to medium heat and add 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.

11. When skillet is heated through add quinoa and kale cakes to the skillet and brown on each side for 4-6 minutes until heated through.

12. Place cakes onto a platter and top with 2 tbsp. Avocado Salsa.

13. Squeeze extra lime juice if desired and devour! 🙂

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Nutrition Facts:

Makes 4 Servings

Nutrition per Serving: 195 calories, 10g fat (18g Monounsaturated, 5g polyunsaturated and 5g saturated fat), 20g carbohydrates, 7.5g protein, 7g fiber, 52.5mg cholesterol

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Love,

Jessica

Almond Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce

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Mahi Mahi has never tasted so good! This crunchy coating tastes amazing and it’s not even fried! Fish is a great choice for adding lean protein into your diet because it also includes omega 3 fatty acids that help prevent blood clotting, reduces triglycerides and combats depression. Plus its low in cholesterol, high in protein, low in fat, quick to prepare and super delicious! There are also tons of ways to prepare fish either grilled, brolied, baked, steamed or raw forms such as sushi, sashimi or one of my faves ceviche, which involves fish being cooked by the acidity of citrus fruit.

The recipe is particularly awesome because it also includes heart healthy fats such which are found in almonds and has a tropical vacation in the Florida Keys feeling with added coconut and lime juice. There is currently a big hype on almonds and that is due to the fact they are high in fiber, low in carbs, high in protein and help reduce bad LDL cholesterol, while increasing our good HDL cholesterol.

This sauce though is really the star of this dish! You can use this sauce to top on fish, chicken, grilled shrimp, use as salad dressing or veggie dip! Trust me once you make this sauce you will try to find foods to use with it!

Ingredients:

Two 6 oz. filets Mahi Mahi

1 ounce dry roasted almonds

6 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

1 jalapeno

2 garlic cloves

2 limes

3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. water

6 oz. non fat plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. Light mayo

1 egg

Olive oil cooking spray

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Blend almonds and shredded unsweetened coconut in a food processor with fresh ground black pepper and set aside
  3. Scramble one egg with 1 Tbsp. water in a dish for dredging also season with salt and pepper
  4. Dip fish filets into egg batter then into almond coconut mixture and place on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray
  5. Spray mahi mahi filets with olive oil cooking spray before placing in the oven.
  6. Bake mahi mahi for about 20 minutes or until fish is golden brown and cooked through.
  7. While fish is cooking prepare yogurt sauce:
  8. Blend yogurt, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, mayo, salt, pepper and juice from one lime in a food processor until smooth.
  9. Once fish is removed from the oven top with fresh lime juice, Jalapeno cilantro sauce and fresh cilantro for garnish.
  10. Enjoy! 🙂

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Nutrition Facts:

Makes 2 servings

Nutrition per serving (1 mahi mahi filet 6 oz. and includes 3 Tbsp. Jalapeno cilantro sauce):

455 calories, 28g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 42g protein, 4 g fiber and 130mg cholesterol.

Love and Best Wishes,

Jessica