Italian Chicken Sausage Marinara on Spaghetti Squash

 
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In light of feeling like a sausage and overcoming it, I decided to cook with sausage! If you haven’t already read my Sausage and Turtle article in the Real Life Topics section, head over!

This recipes is tasty and very low calorie-320 calories to be exact. It requires only one pan and the oven. Its delicious.

 
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Prepping the Squash

To prep the Squash, cut it in half-long wise.

Scoop out the guts and cover it/rub it in about a tablespoon of avocado butter.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees

Once the oven is ready, put the squash in the oven and let it cook for about 25 minutes or until the edges are soft and slightly brown.

Shred the squash with a fork

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Instapot Marinara

You do not have to use an Instapot for this recipe, however if you have one, it will add a depth of flavor and reduce your cook time.

While I used Italian Chicken Sausage in this recipe, I traditionally use Ground Italian Chicken and feel that the ground chicken makes this sauce have a more robust flavor personally.

Ingredients needed:

Tomato Sauce-1 Can

Plum/Roma Tomatoes-3 to 4

Canned Diced Tomatoes-1 Can

Tomato Paste-1 to 2 Tbls

Chicken Broth-1 Cup

Ground Italian Chicken/Chicken Sausage-1lb

Onion-1 whole onion

Minced Garlic-1 to 2 Tbls

Pappy’s Seasoning

Oregano

Fresh Basil

Add all the ingredients in the Instapot or if you are cooking on the stove top, into a large saucepan.

If you are cooking on the stove top, cook about 25 to 30 minutes, season to taste.

If you are cooking in the instapot, set it to Pressure Cooker for 10 minutes and do a Quick Release.

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Chow Down!

Ladle the sauce onto your squash and dig in.

I like to add Trader Joe Almond Mozzarella Shreds on top.

Enjoy your low calorie, 25 minute dinner!

Blueberry/Raspberry Almond Butter Honey Drizzled Pancakes-Whew, that’s a mouthful!

These pancakes are 350 Calories! Take five minutes to make. They are dairy free, gluten free and delicious.

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I love this for breakfast, its easy, fast, low calorie and delicious.

Here is what you will need:

  • Trader Joe Frozen Dairy Free, Gluten Free Pancakes

  • Honey or Agave Syrup

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Almond Butter or you can use Avocado Butter

The pancakes come in packs of three, they are 240 calories for the trio and take about 1 minute and 30 seconds in the microwave to cook. Once they have been cooked, spread about a tablespoon of almond butter or avocado butter on the three pancakes-only use on tablespoon for all three pancakes, not a tablespoon per pancake. Then top your pancakes with a few of your raspberries and blueberries. Drizzle honey or agave (about a teaspoon or two) onto the pancakes. And viola! You are ready to have a healthy, low calorie balanced, tasty breakfast!

Enjoy your tasty gainz!

Time Saving Grocery hacks

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Say it with me:

Trader Joes, Trader Joes, Trader Joes-and no this isn’t sponsored. Trader Joes will save your life when it comes to eating healthy with convenience. They will save your hours on meal prep, hours over the stove and everything is delicious. If one is nearby, start shopping there. Although it presents its self as a boutique style grocery store, Its affordable.

First and foremost, you need to have staple items in your kitchen in order to cook at home regularly.

My list consists of:

  • Pappys Seasoning (you need this, it will change your life-it makes everything taste AMAZING-its zero calories too)

    • Where to get it: online or in Winco

  • Olive Oil Spray

    • Where to get it: Trader Joes

  • Coconut/Avocado Butter

    • Where to get it: Fred Meyers

  • Vegetable Oil, Worcestershire, Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard, Minced Garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar.

    • Where to get it: Any grocery store

  • A Spice Rack

    • Where to get it: I got mine off Amazon

These items will allow you to cook most things and should not cost you more than $50.

Once you have your basic staples in your kitchen, you need to have items that are easy to cook and meal prep.

This is where Trader Joes saves the day.

They have 2lbs of frozen chicken (Cost is $7) that you can throw in the pan as is and it will cook in 15 minutes. It will be the most tender, juicy chicken you have ever tasted. This was a game changer for me-no more defrosting, waiting 30+ minutes for the chicken to cook-just to turn out dry and gross.

You need this in your life, it will make things so much better when you are meal prepping and when you need to cook dinner quickly.

I also buy from Trader Joes, frozen roasted potatoes, frozen grilled asparagus, microwavable brown rice (this cooks in three minutes and is so fluffy), frozen vegetable spring rolls, frozen cauliflower fried rice, frozen chicken gyoza, frozen kung pao chicken, frozen edamame, frozen dairy free/gluten free pancakes. All of these frozen items taste fresh and take minutes to cook. They are low calorie, dairy free and can be used as lunch for the next day.

While I am obsessed with their fresh frozen food, I also love their produce section and buy blueberries, raspberries, spaghetti squash, onions, sweet potatoes, peppers, tangerines, bananas, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli. These are all great easy to make sides/snacks.

Once I finish in the produce section/dairy section, I head over to the canned goods and get some marinara sauce, roasted red pepper spread (this is great to throw on chicken for an easy dinner), red curry, harissa, chicken stock, almond milk and almond cheese style shreds.

This is what I regularly have in my kitchen besides a few items I get from Fred Meyers/Winco:

Ground turkey

Ground Italian chicken

Cod/Salmon/Shrimp-Seafood

Breadcrumbs

Avocado butter

Dave’s Powerseed bread

Almond Butter

Honey/Agave

Almond Yogurt

Having these items in my house makes every meal easy and dinner never takes more than 25 minutes, meal prepping only takes me two hours max, breakfast is grab and go.

Once you have these items in your kitchen you can make meals like Turkey Meatloaf bites, Spaghetti Squash with Italian Chicken Marinara, Roasted Red Pepper Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus. These meals are low calorie, filling and delicious.

Now that you know the basics of what I like to stock my pantry with, head over to my recipe page to check out how I put together some of these dishes!

Signed,

Girl who loves to eat

 
 

Carbs are not the enemy

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Heres the thing…

Most people think carbs are all bad for you. They aren’t. Simple carbs are bad-but wont destroy your ability to lose weight if you have them in moderation. However, complex carbs will rocket you towards your goal. Now-if you are new to this, you are probably asking yourself, WTF are complex carbs?

And if I’m being honest, when I started out, I had no idea what a complex carb, the easy short answer:

Complex carbs take longer for your body to break down.

The website below is great for learning about the difference between types of carbs.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/good-carbs-bad-carbs/

All carbs need to be consumed in proper portion sizes and in moderation. So, what types of food are complex carbs?

  • Sweet Potato

  • Brown Rice

  • Lentils

  • Quinoa

And many more! If you google Complex carbs, you will get a slew of results.

I try to have most of my meals with a protein and a complex carb. You will feel fuller for longer and will be consuming healthy, balanced meals.

To maintain a healthy life style, your diet needs to be something that is sustainable.

And you need to eat carbs!

While intermittent fasting, keto, paleo works for some, (and please do what works best for you!) I find that what works for me is eating throughout the day. And I know, you are thinking, that’s cheating.

Let me explain.

I can only consume 1500 calories per day If I want to lose 1lb per week. I break up my calories throughout my day, starting with breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and an after dinner snack. But all my meals and snacks add up to 1500 calories; I get to eat all day long, feel full and still lose weight. Now this takes a considerable amount of meal prepping, calorie counting and planning but its worth it. Its sustainable and I have tips/tricks/cheats to save you time, because like most of you, I have a full time job, family, significant other and life stuff that doesn’t leave me hours to dedicate towards what I am going to eat every single day. Head over to my Time Saver Grocery Hack page for more info!

Long story short, carbs are not the enemy and you do not have to starve yourself!

Sincerely,

Carb Lovers

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet/get cleared to work out if you have concerns. I am not a doctor and I dont have any formal education on this, this is based off of my life experiences.