Sandy's Kitchen: msquash

Showing posts with label msquash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label msquash. Show all posts
This recipe reminds me a lot like lasagna, except without the pasta. I feel like I am cheating when I eat this because it is really THAT good. Enjoy this healthier version packed with veggies! It can easily be doubled or tripled if you need more servings!

Italian Ground Beef Squash Casserole

2.5 oz 93% lean ground beef, cooked (1/2 Lean)
1/4 cup 2% reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/4 Lean)
1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese (1/4 Lean)
1/4 cup approved marinara sauce such as Rao's (1 Green)
1/2 cup sliced zucchini (1 Green)
1/2 cup sliced yellow squash (1 Green)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp dried basil (1/4 Condiment)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (1/2 Condiment)
1 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese (1/2 Condiment)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with pam and set aside. Brown ground meat and measure out 2.5 oz cooked. Reserve any extra ground meat for another dish.
Combine marinara sauce, garlic powder, salt, basil, and oregano until well blended. Pour sauce over ground meat and stir until combined.
Layer zucchini and yellow squash at the bottom of the casserole dish. Pour ground beef mixture over squash. Spread ricotta cheese over the meat mixture and then add the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 25 minutes.

1 Serving
Per Serving:
1 Lean, 3 Greens, 2.25 Condiments

Shrimp has always been one of my favorite leans to eat off plan or on plan. I especially love shrimp scampi, but as you already know if you order it in a restaurant, be prepared to have a heart attack because it is usually drenched in lots and lots of butter. This is a more healthier alternative with only a tbsp of light butter that is only 5 grams of fat (which is one healthy fat) for one tbsp. I used land o' lakes light butter spread with canola oil. Land o' lakes makes the best butter so I suggest using that butter! Normally the sauce would have white wine, but since it isn't on plan, a good substitute is chicken broth. With a little bit of lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and parsely it came out really good! I needed one more healthy fat besides the butter when using shrimp so I added the two wedges of light laughing cow cheese. It made it even better! Nice and creamy. A true shrimp scampi isn't creamy at all but it still tasted good. If you would like to make this dish with chicken, you only need one health fat so I would use a half tbsp of butter and 1 cheese wedge to make the sauce. It would still make a nice buttery sauce. This was delicious! The zucchini ribbons make a nice substitute for pasta too! One more variation I did since my shrimp cooked down to 5.25 oz (3/4 lean) and I didn't have any more shrimp, I added 1 oz Sargento Italian Cheese Blend (1/4 lean) to complete the lean. Cheese makes everything better in my opinion! Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi and Zucchini Ribbons

9 oz shrimp, deveined, tails off - should cook down to 7 oz (1 Leanest Lean)
1 1/2 cup zucchini ribbons (3 Greens)
1 tbsp light butter (1 Healthy Fat)
2 wedges light garlic and herb laughing cow cheese (1 Healthy Fat)
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (1/4 Condiment)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 Condiment)
1 tsp lemon (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)
1 tbsp fresh Parsley (1/4 Condiment)
1 tsp grated parmesan cheese (1/3 Condiment)

Peel the zucchini with a potato peeler until you reach the core with the seeds. The seeds will make it mushy so try not to include them. (save the core for your salads or another use). I find that the best way is to weigh the zucchinis to get the best measurement. I peeled the zucchinis and weighed them until it reached 270 grams which is 3 servings of cooked zucchini. I find that when I use 3 servings of the cooked weight from the Vegetable Weight Conversion Chart, it comes pretty close to 1 1/2 cups after it is cooked. If you just measure 1 1/2 cups of  raw veggies, the veggies will shrink when cooked and you actually are cheating yourself.  Set aside.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, parsley, lemon juice, chicken broth, laughing cow cheese, and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add zucchini ribbons and cook stirring frequently just until the zucchini is about to get soft about 2-3 minutes. Toss in shrimp and heat until warm. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Serve. Enjoy!

1 Lean, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments and 2 Healthy Fats

My little good news for today is that I finally hit the 30 lb weight loss mark! I am so happy. Yay! :: Happy Dance :: It is a beautiful morning and a wonderful day outside. I wanted to try something different and have my lean and green for breakfast and take it outside and eat it. I decided on the Zucchini Fritters. If you haven't already gotten the Medifast Lean and Green Meal Cook Book, get it now! You can order the book here. It is only $12.95! That is an excellent price for the recipes that are inside this cook book and such a small investment if you are having trouble figuring out what to make for your lean and green meal. The book lays out complete lean and green meals with the number of condiments and healthy fats per recipe as well as nutritional information. You don't have to figure it out yourself! That makes it so much easier to have everything laid out in front of you. The only negatives about this book is that there were only 34 recipes and it is a spiral bound book. I wish there were more recipes, but at least the few recipes I have tried were all good. Also, I have never been a fan of spiral bound paper back type books just because hard cover books last longer but hey for the price, I can't really complain. There was an error with this recipe printed in the book. The book states 1 cup of zucchini, grated is a full green so I added an additional 1/2 cup of red peppers to accommodate that mistake. Also, the book states there are 2 condiments, but I only counted 3.

As for the recipe itself, the zucchini fritters do not really taste crunchy at all. They were eggy and tasted like small veggie omelets or pancakes. The flavor was good, but the texture wasn't what I expected for being a fritter. I would definitely make this again because I love omelets and I love the combination of spices. This is still a good recipe but don't expect it to be crispy!

Zucchini Fritters
Slightly adapted from Medifast Lean and Green Meal Cook Book

2 whole eggs (2/3 Lean)
4 egg whites (1/3 Lean)
1 cup zucchini, grated (2 Greens)
1/2 cup red peppers, chopped (1 Green)
1 tbsp onion, thinly sliced (1 Condiment)
1 tsp olive oil (1 Healthy Fat)
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp onion powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (1/4 Condiment)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)

Grate zucchini; add onion, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, salt, whole eggs and egg whites. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Drop 2-3 tbsp of mixture (per zucchini fritter) into warm skillet. When brown on one side, turn and cook the other side. Stack on an oven-safe plate or dish and keep in warm oven until whole batch is done.

1 Lean, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments and 1 Healthy Fat

I hope everyone has a terrific weekend! It is a beautiful day here in FL. Not too hot or too cold and I can hear the birds singing out my window. A wonderful day to go outside and just enjoy the warm sunshine, but first I wanted to share this recipe with you. I am not sure where you are located, but here in FL it is a great time to grill!

This Grilled Chicken with Summer Squash Relish is so delicious! I could easily eat the grilled chicken alone without the Summer squash relish, but the relish adds a little something extra special to the chicken. The chicken is seasoned with a combination of coriander, cumin and ginger while the relish adds a nice crunch with a subtle hint of lemon and olive oil. So refreshing and yummy! Serve it on a bed of cauliflower "rice" to enjoy a complete Lean and Green meal. If you do not want to be stuck outside in all that Summer heat, you could totally do this in the oven on broil or on an indoor grill such as a George Foreman Grill! It's a lot of food, but that's a good thing right? More for you to enjoy without all the guilt!

Grilled Chicken with Summer Squash Relish
and Cauliflower "Rice"

For the Chicken:
1/2 tsp coriander seed (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp ground ginger (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper (1/4 Condiment)
16 oz raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 Leaner)

For the Summer Squash Relish:
1/2 cup yellow squash, diced (1 Green)
1/2 cup zucchini, diced (1 Green)
1 tbsp red onion, chopped (1 Condiment)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped (1/8 Condiment)
2 tsp lemon juice (1 Condiment)
 1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)
1/8 tsp pepper (1/4 Condiment)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (2 Healthy Fats)

For the Cauliflower "Rice":
2 cups cauliflower rice or grated cauliflower, cooked (4 Greens)

In a small bowl combine the coriander, cumin,  salt, ginger and pepper. Rub the spice mixture over the chicken breasts.
Heat an outdoor grill to medium.
Grill the chicken, turning it over halfway through cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes each side or until cooked through. 
If grilling outdoors isn't an option, you can broil the chicken 4 inches from the heat for the same amount of time. Set aside and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, toss together the yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, cilantro or parsley, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper until well combined.
Portion out cauliflower rice between two plates. Place half the chicken with half the squash relish on each plate.

Makes 2 Servings
Each serving provides
1 Leaner, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments and 1 Healthy Fat
I got this recipe from Cooking With Medifast. There are a lot of good recipes on that website that I am looking forward to trying. This is the first one I tried and it did not disappoint. I was looking for something to accompany my lean tonight so I decided to give this a try. I would've never thought to use the cream of broccoli soup as a coating to make zucchini crispy, but hey it worked. The taste was very good even without the full amount of garlic powder and pepper. I just kind of lightly sprinkled it on. This zucchini is a definite keeper that you can quickly throw together and bake. Yummy!

Faux-Fried Zucchini

1 Medifast Cream of Broccoli Soup (1 Meal)
1½ cups zucchini, thinly sliced (3 greens)
2 teaspoons olive oil (2 healthy fats)
 ¼ teaspoon black pepper (1/2 condiment)
 ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (1 condiment)
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Coat zucchini slices in olive oil.
 In a gallon Ziploc bag, combine the soup and spices.
 Toss zucchini slices in and shake to coat.
Marinate in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Coat a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and lay out zucchini in a single layer.
 Bake for 12 minutes, or until brown along the edges.
Flip slices over and broil for 3 minutes, or until evenly browned.
1 Meal, 3 Greens, 1 1/2 Condiments, and 2 Healthy Fats

I have so much spaghetti squash leftover! What to do, what to do? A mixture of spaghetti squash, zucchini, and tomatoes go well together. Add feta cheese and fresh basil and those veggies are even more amazing! If you do not have feta, you could always use Parmesan cheese. This makes a wonderful side dish! Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Feta and Basil

4 tsp olive oil (4 Healthy Fats)
1/4 cup onion, chopped (4 Condiments)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 Condiments)
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (2 Greens)
1 cup chopped zucchini (2 Greens)
4 cups prepared spaghetti squash (8 Greens)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese (4 Condiments) 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on baking sheet, and bake 45 to 50 minutes in preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and set aside 3 cups. Save the rest for later. Go here for a tutorial making the squash using a microwave.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and zucchini. Cook only until heated thoroughly.

Toss squash with the sauteed vegetables and basil. Divide into four portions. Top each portion with 2 tbsp feta cheese. Serve warm.

4 Servings with
3 Greens, 3 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat per Serving
These are so addictive. They take a long time to make (baking wise), but they are so worth the effort. Also, you may want to get a slicer such as a small hand held mandolin. I got mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond for only $7. They can cost as much as $100, but hey I am on a budget here! My little $7 one works just as well and it slices nice and thin with three different sizes.

 I think these little snacks may be a trigger food for me because they are like small potato chips. I really can't stop eating them. Kind of like Lay's potato chips - you can't eat just one! They shrink to the size of a nickel, but they are oh so good! They give off a sweet flavor that most roasted veggies give, but the low temperature at a longer period of time dries them out to form that crunchiness I crave. You kind of get the benefit of both worlds: sweet and salty. Also, the medifast member who shared this recipe with me suggested trying it with a splenda and cinnamon blend. Yum! I haven't tried that yet, but what a sweet way to eat your veggies! I did find out recently from Nutrition Support that because the nutritional content of the zucchini is still the same after they are cooked (just the moisture is dried out which causes them to shrink), you would weigh the zucchini before they are cooked. You must weigh your zucchini before they are cooked which would give you a very small portion size. Enjoy!

Crispy Zucchini Chips

1 1/2 cups zucchini (3 Greens)
1 teaspoon olive oil (1 Healthy Fat)
1/8 tsp sea salt (1/4 Condiment)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a large baking sheet or two small baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Place zucchini slices in a single layer on parchment paper. Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours until desired crispness, turning zucchini slices occasionally.

Servings: 3 Greens, 1 Healthy Fat and 1/4 Condiment
It's going to be almost 2 weeks on this diet and so far so good. I haven't given up yet. It seems to be controlling my appetite fairly well. I'm not really craving those sugary donuts, cakes, or cookies like I used to so that is a good thing. No... it is a great thing! The only challenge I do have is when I go out to eat, but that can be a challenge for any dieter. I just have to plan ahead by looking at the nutritional info and menu ahead of time. Also, don't be afraid to let the waiter know you are trying to watch what you are eating so that maybe he could suggest something that would be appropriate to stay on plan. Speak out and ask the waiter if it would be possible to substitute certain side items for more veggies or an extra side salad. They may even be able to grill, bake or broil a particular meat you want instead of fried.. You will be surprised how happily they are willing to accomodate you. Now for the recipe...
This dish is not just for medifast dieters, but for anyone who chooses not to eat pasta for whatever reason. Zucchini ribbons are an excellent substitute for pasta and tastes delicious with laughing cow cheese. Laughing cow cheese is wonderful because they are only 35 calories per wedge! I love to eat them with celery, my medifast crackers or even all by themselves. I try to keep a supply of them because they have a long shelf life of about 6 months or so I was told. With this dish, you could even sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on the top to complete the dish. It tastes very similiar to fettccine alfredo except there is very slight crunch. The best part about this dish is that it only take less than 10 minutes to make! I have served it with grilled chicken and shrimp that I season with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning. I think this would be an excellent way to get your kids to eat their veggies if they like that cheesy flavor. I would eat this even if I wasn't on a diet! 

Zucchini Ribbons (Pasta)

2 medium Zucchinis - should yield 1 1/2 cups (3 Greens)
1/8 cup Chicken Broth or water (1/8 Condiment)
2 wedges Light Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow Cheese (1 Healthy Fat)
Salt and Pepper to taste

With a potato peeler, peel 2 medium sized zucchinis to the core (don't peel the center core with the seeds, that part gets mushy). In a non-stick frying pan add chicken broth, salt and pepper and laughing cow cheese. Throw the ribbons in with the broth/ cheese mixture lightly toss until the cheese melts and the zucchini starts to soften - about 3 minutes. The zucchini will cook quickly. Serve hot.

1 serving with 3 Greens, 1/8 Condiment (not including salt and pepper) and 1 Healthy Fat

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