Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Hi there!

I have a super tasty and comforting fall recipe to share.  I made this last night and my husband and I both loved it.

I found a recipe online that I used as a guide with some adjustments to make this Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.

Start by slicing the spaghetti squash in half length-wise.  This is seriously the hardest part of the whole recipe.  I put the squash in the microwave for a few minutes to soften it up because I literally got the knife stuck in it on my first attempt to cutting it.

Sliced squash

Scrape out the seeds and fibers from the squash.
Cleaned squash

In a pan over medium heat, saute the onion and minced garlic in some olive oil until lightly browned.Onions and garlic

Add the ground turkey and cook until browned through.Ground turkeyPlace the 2 halves cut side down in a pan and add about an inch of water to the pan. 
In the pan

Roast the squash at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft and can be easily poked with a fork.  Then in a small bowl, mix cottage cheese with garlic salt and parsley.Ricotta and parsley

Once the squash is cooked, let it cool and scrape out the spaghetti strands while leaving about a half inch border.  Add a layer of the cottage cheese mixture to each squash.Ricotta Layer

Add the cooked spaghetti strands to the ground turkey mixture along with the diced tomatoes and simmer.In the pot

Then add a layer of the ground turkey mixture to the squash on top of the cottage cheese mixture.Squash Layers

Repeat another layer of the cottage cheese and another layer of the ground turkey mixture.Ready to bake

Cook for another 15 minutes then add a layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese and broil for 5 minutes until golden brown.  Then enjoy!
Final Squash

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Makes 2 servings

1 spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1.5 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 tablespoon parsley
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squashes in half and remove the seeds. Lay them cut-side down in a roasting pan and add about an inch of water. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork. Transfer to a cooling rack until cool enough to handle.

While the squash is roasting, warm the olive oil in a high-sided skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and cook until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey. Cook until well-browned, breaking up the beef into small crumbles, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering the sauce until the squashes are ready, 5 to 20 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more salt if desired.

Use a fork to shred the inside of the squash, leaving about a half-inch of squash left in the shell. Mix the shredded squash into the tomato sauce. In a separate bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, the parsley and garlic salt.

Use a spoon to spread 1/2 cup of the cottage cheese evenly over bottom of each shells. Spoon a fourth of the tomato-squash mixture over top of the ricotta. Top with another layer of cottage cheese and tomato sauce, using up the rest of both.

Bake the shells for 15 minutes at 400°F. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the tops of the squashes and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and browned in spots. (For a more golden top, run the squashes under the broiler for a minute or two.) Signature

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Scheduling Sunday 3/2

Happy Oscar Sunday!

I do love watching award shows especially the red carpet pre-shows because really it’s all about the fashion in my book.  Plus I haven’t seen any of the movies up for Best Picture except for Her and I’m sorry but have no idea why it’s on the list.  I really wanted to see most of the other nominated movies but never made it to the theater for any.

After resting and icing my foot after todays run, I turned on the E! Live from the Red Carpet and did some food prep for lunches for the week.

Salads and spaghetti squash with ground turkey sauce

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Whole wheat pasta with ground turkey sauce for Steve

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Ground turkey, onion, mushrooms and spices for turkey burgers….

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Also not pictured is some leftover Cooking Light’s Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato soup that Steve made.  Since I am still working late at work and ordering dinner through work, Steve is in charge of making dinner for himself and to use leftovers for lunch for both of us.  He did a really good job last week all on his own but this week I thought I would help him plan just a bit too.

This weeks menu:

  • Monday  – leftovers
  • Tuesday – leftovers
  • Wednesday – Jambalaya
  • Thursday – TBD
  • Friday – Out for dinner
  • Saturday – Salmon
  • Sunday – TBD

This weeks workouts:

  • Monday  – Body Pump class
  • Tuesday – 6 mile hill workout
  • Wednesday – 2.5 mile sprints and Body Pump class
  • Thursday – 10 mile run (MP)
  • Friday – 5.5 Mile Run – Abs
  • Saturday – Rest day
  • Sunday Long Run – 26 miles

Goal is 50 miles again this week!

Thanks for reading!

Sheena

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Wedding Wednesday and getting back on track

Hi there!

This morning I work up feeling better and a little more rested so I went to the apartment clubhouse for a mile warm up.  weather - USEIt was freezing outside so I was glad to get the blood flowing before going to the gym (gym doesn’t open until 5am – boo) and running my 20 minute sprints workout.  I was able to run 2.64 miles in 20 minutes for an overall pace of 7:35.  sprints - USEMuch better than Monday that’s for sure!

I decided not to load super heavy for squats and lunges during class since I plan to run 13 miles tomorrow morning and the goal is 20 seconds faster than marathon pace so about 8:49 overall.  I came across this article this morning and got excited because I am already incorporating some of this with my Sunday long runs and Thursday mid-length runs.  In all honesty, I started running faster then having a walk break for a minute or so each mile to beat the boredom on the treadmill.  I also continue increasing my pace about every 4-5 miles to also help with boredom plus I want to train myself to speed up as I get closer to the end.  Also for any of you getting ready for some spring races here are some tips.

Protein recovery shake Shake - USE

Sweet potato and banana “oatmeal”

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Spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs for lunch Sqpagetti squash - USE

Afternoon snack Silk - USE

Sorry, not trying to avoid Wedding Wednesday but so far I still need to get the big things out of the way.  Like booking the caterer and photographer.  Any advice how to choose?  I grew up in the area I am getting married in but it’s really hard to not be able to meet with them in person.  I have been relying heavily on the knot website to keep be organized with checklist and things like that.  Although I think I had about 80 things overdue yikes!

Maybe I should just pick 3-5 things for each weekend that Steve and I can work on together and check off the list.  I love checking off lists, seriously I make so many so I feel more accomplished checking things of.  That and I can’t remember anything right now.  The budget is always in the back of my mind though, it’s the accountant in me.  I can do numbers just fine!

Question of the day:

What’s some wedding planning advice you can share with a time strapped bride-to-be?

Thanks for reading!

Sheena

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Call Me Crazy!!!

Last night I went to spin class, yes I did a class in the morning and another in the evening on the same day.  I did a total of 40.5 miles combined which is a lot but this spring and summer I was doing several road rides a month from 40-60 miles each.  I bought a road bike back in February after I decided to do the New Orleans Half Ironman with my friend Sarah.  I was taking a spin class 3-4 times a week during the week and I averaged 20-25 miles a class depending on the focus of the class, ie. sprints or hills.  I stayed consistent with the classes until tax season really got busy.  It was definitely a challenge to train for a Half Ironman triathlon during the winter AND tax season (another reason to call me crazy) but I liked the challenge.  I would get up at 4am to run before work, work a 12-14 hour day then go to the gym for a spin class or ride myself then end the evening with swimming.  So I guess you could say a double day workout is NOT new to me.

When I was attending school at Boise State University I would take spin classes at the University’s recreation center and once or twice a month they had endurance spin class which were 90 minutes.  I liked those a lot, it’s good to teach your body endurance and spinning/biking is great cross-training for long distance runners.

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I was tired from work and volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity yesterday afternoon which involved lifting a lot of boxes full of donated books, sorting them and then moving a lot of shelves and wooden bed posts that had been donated.  Oh and ummmm yes we had time for a quick photo.

It was not my normal day of sitting at a desk all day.  So needless to say, I wasn’t feeling like a workout but I’m glad I went!  The teacher was awesome and the class flew by.  It was hard though, I had heard he was a hard teacher but he gave us a new routine for each song that included standing, sprints, hills and lots of hovering!  I loved it!

Before class, I stopped by home to feed the dogs and pop some spaghetti squash, pasta sauce and diced chicken (usually make meatballs but had chicken defrosted) into the Crockpot for dinner.  This is seriously such an easy yet tasty meal.  I literally put it together in 5 minutes, although I will admit Steve had it already cut in half because that is the hard part. Usually I would have cooked it for 3-4 hours on low in the Crockpot but I didn’t get a chance to set it up earlier so I figured it would cook on High while I was at class.  I cut the chicken into small pieces to help it cook faster too so just over an hour and half later it was ready when I walked in the door from class.  Good thing because I was starving! We paired it with some salad and were set.

 

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash

1 Large spaghetti squash washed

1 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce

½ lb. Ground turkey or other meat of choice

1 tsp Minced garlic

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

Cut the spaghetti squash in half around the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes. Place cut sides down in a large crock pot.

Pour the spaghetti sauce around the sides of the squash.  Mix the ground turkey with the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper then form into meatballs.  Add the meatballs to the Crockpot around the squash making sure to cover with some sauce.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. Test for doneness by piercing the squash with a fork, if it goes through the skin easily, it is done.

Use tongs to carefully remove the squash from the crock pot. Use a fork to pull out all the squash, discard the shell.

Serve with the sauce and meatballs from the crock pot. Enjoy!

Steve also had some homemade bread with dinner.  I found a super simple basic quick rising bread recipe that I jazz up with some roasted garlic and sun dried tomatoes.  I will post that recipe soon!

This morning I had planned to run 6-8 miles on the treadmill.  When I got to my apartment’s gym I just wasn’t feeling like running so I walked on the treadmill for 5 minutes.  Still wasn’t feeling a run so I got on the elliptical and started thinking about my runs this week.  I hadn’t done any ½ mile sprints so I decided I could handle that so I got back on the treadmill after 10 minutes on the elliptical.  My run this morning went like this:

¼ Mile 8:30 pace

¼ Mile 8:00 pace

10 chest presses

10 crunches on the ball

10 bicep curls

10 shoulder presses

Repeat for 4 miles increasing pace after each mile.

This was a good and sweaty workout that goes by really fast.  I used 15 lb dumbbells for my quick arm circuit.  I really like breaking up my treadmill runs into ½ mile sprints and some weights because I am able to run at a much faster pace knowing it won’t last long plus I get in some strength training.  I worked up to a 7:00 pace which is awesome for me!

I call that a win-win especially after starting the workout not wanting to run.  Sometimes this is what you have to tell yourself!

Tonight is my work Holiday Party at a local hotel banquet room.  We are having cocktail hour, dinner and then a game and dessert.  I am on my work’s fun committee so I helped set up the game and party.  It’s a simple game but should be pretty entertaining if people participate….since we are accountants we usually depend on spouses/significant others to spice up the fun. I can poke fun at how lame accountants are since I am one although I don’t think I am quite that boning.  I am frugal though!

Anyone else having a holiday party this weekend?

What about a cookie exchange?

Anyone volunteering with their work or on your own?

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