Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

ItalianStuffedSpagSquashThis hits the spot when you’re craving lasagna! Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash uses an alternate for pasta. And the best part is your kitchen smells so delicious –  like you’re baking a tray of your favorite Italian dish. Gluten-free and lower in carbs. So good!

RECIPE

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (or chicken, turkey, pork, etc.)
  • 1 tsp. of minced garlic
  •  1 jar of sugar-free spaghetti sauce of your choice (or make your own)
  • 1 tub of ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
  1. Cook your spaghetti squash per instruction on this link: click here.
  2. While that is cooking, make your meat sauce by first browning the meat and garlic, then adding the spaghetti sauce. Set aside.
  3. When your squash is done, cut it into two halves lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and fill each side half way with ricotta cheese, then top with meat sauce until it’s over-filled.
  4. Top with cheese and place under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  5. Scoop out your servings and enjoy with a side of green salad!
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Strawberry Vanilla Lemonade

straw_van_lemonadeMy daughter and I had a free Saturday one day while my husband and son went on a hike. I asked her what she wanted to do and she requested to have a tea party at home. Just the two of us. How sweet. She said she didn’t want to drink tea. She wanted “fancy lemonade.” My parents’ lemon tree happened to have an abundance of lemons that week so I happened to have a zillion lemons on hand. I also happened to have some strawberries in my freezer that I save for making smoothies. Together, we made a sugar-free Strawberry Vanilla Lemonade. Served in champagne flutes, my daughter definitely enjoyed her fancy lemonade on our Mommy & Daughter Tea Party.

RECIPE

  • 4-5 lemons
  • 1-2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of powdered Stevia extract (or other sweetener)
  • 6-8 fresh or frozen strawberries, washed, cleaned and cut in half
  • water and ice
  1. Juice the lemons and pour in a pitcher.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Fill with ice and water.
  4. Add Stevia (or other sweetener). Add more to your preferred sweetness.
  5. Add the strawberries and let them soak for an hour before serving so that the strawberry flavor enhances the lemonade.

K-Cup Guilt-Free Vanilla Cappuccino

capuccinoSo we got a new “toy” in the kitchen and as fun as it is making these individual K-cups of coffee, I decided to play around and find a quick way to make a Guilt-Free Vanilla Cappuccino.

RECIPE

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk (coconut, almond or soy)
  • 2-3 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup
  • coffee
  1. In a mug, heat the milk and vanilla syrup for 30 seconds in the microwave. Then froth with your magic wand. (If you don’t have a frother, it’s okay. It’ll taste just fine.)
    milk_frother
  2. Place your mug (with the heated frothy milk in the mug) under your K-cup brewer and select the 6 oz. cup size.
  3. BAM… Guilt-Free Vanilla Cappuccino!

Feel free to use other sugar-free flavors. Sometimes I add sugar-free caramel syrup with the vanilla to make a caramel macchiato. Other times, I’ll pour my cappuccino over ice in a blender and make a frappuccino. The possibilities are endless!

Morning Muffin in a Mug

This Morning Muffin was all a buzz after Dr. Oz aired it on his show last February. It’s filled with guilt-free ingredients, and surprisingly, I had all the ingredients in my pantry. I love it when this happens! It’s actually very similar to my low-carb hamburger bun I posted a while ago (gluten-free, flourless, no sugar).

So I finally got around to giving it a try and it’s actually not bad. Not very sweet (because it only uses Stevia so it’s sugar-free) but pretty darn good especially when you smear it with butter and you watch it melt on contact. Mmmm! It was quite filling. I couldn’t eat the whole thing yet I wasn’t hungry at all until I realized it was already after lunch. Talk about a power muffin! And it only takes 1 minute to cook.

RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of butter or coconut oil (Just scoop it out of the jar! No need to melt it.)
  • 1/3 tsp of Stevia (or more depending on your preference)
  • 2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • a handful of blueberries
  1. Put all the ingredients in a mug and stir it well, making sure the egg and the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
  2. Microwave the mug for 55-60 seconds.
  3. Turn it over on a plate, slice in half, and butter generously!

For a chocolate option, substitute the cinnamon for 1 tsp. of cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. Or you can check out heathereatsalmondbutter.com’s recipe. (Love her!)

Easy Pistachio Ice Cream

Here’s a super easy recipe for Pistachio Ice Cream. It’s low carb and sugar-free which makes it guilt-free. You might call it cheating but I call it the fastest way to get from point A to point B. I don’t know how else to achieve this green color without it looking fake.

My only suggestion is that you eat this ice cream right away after making it because it’s not so great after it’s been frozen a day or two in the freezer. Although, I would still eat it but it’s just not the same.

RECIPE

  • 1 box of Jell-o sugar-free Pistachio flavored pudding
  • 1 cup of whole milk or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp of almond extract
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of shelled pistachios
  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well-blended.
  2. Throw it all in your ice cream maker.
  3. When it looks like ice cream, mix in the 1/2 cup of pistachios by hand with a spoon.
  4. Serve.

Nut Butters!

One morning, I opened up my cupboard to find something to smear on my guilt-free toasted flaxseed focaccia bread. I knew I had a couple of different jars to choose from, but when did I become a nut butter HOARDER?!

  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Calvé Pindakaas (Dutch peanut butter)

At least they’re all low-carb, gluten-free, sugar-free and full of protein, right? I think my favorite right now is the peanut butter with roasted flaxseed because of the added crunch. What’s your favorite nut butter?

Paleo Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter Cups

Here’s a perfect guilt-free treat to make for Halloween. If you think these Peanut Butter Cups are good, then try these Paleo Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter Cups. They are to DIE FOR (Mwah-ha-ha-ha)! This recipe (which I found on simplylivinghealthy.org) uses coconut butter or manna which is yet another amazing ingredient that is now a “must-have” in my kitchen cupboard. These sweet, nutty treats are low in carbs, gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.

RECIPE

  • 24 whole raw macadamia nuts
  • 6 Tbsp shredded coconut
  • 6 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 6 oz coconut butter or manna, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter or any nut butter you’d like.
  • 24 mini cupcake liners
  1. Line a mini muffin pan with the 24 cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl combine coconut, coconut oil, cacao powder, coconut butter, salt, vanilla and stevia.
  3. Stir ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners evenly.
  4. Using a small spoon place a 1/4 tsp dollop of almond butter on top of each candy, place the macadamia nut on top of the almond butter and press the nut lightly down into the cup.
  5. Put the muffin pan into the refrigerator to chill the candies, about 30 minutes.
  6. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve.