I don’t constantly crave pasta, but I definitely do get into a “pasta mood.” To me, pasta is an indulgence, and such a fun dish to make because there are so many delicious and wholesome items that can take simple cook spaghetti to another level.
I spend the majority of today at a Micronutrients Supplement Summit. I had to get up at 6:00am on a Saturday to go (I am an early riser but 6am on the weekend is rough). But I do have to say I am glad I attended. I spent the whole day listening to educators and doctors lecture on the topic of supplements, their usefulness, and where the nutrients these supplements “supplement” can be found naturally. Oh, and they also fed me breakfast and lunch: BONUS!
I have to say my biggest takeaway from the whole event was that if I could obtain most (if not all) of my recommended dietary amounts of nutrients from food, I should. And that is exactly what inspired this here pasta recipe. My goal was to incorporate as many nutrients as I could. Thus, this pasta recipe is filled with fresh vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and salmon. I will save you the laundry list of vitamins and minerals coursing through this dish, but I must tell you it tastes good to be this healthy! Oh, and the pasta took maybe 30 minutes to make. Wholesome, filling, and delicious: done.
1/2 cup mizithra cheese (or grated Parmesan cheese)
Bring water to boil in a pot. Cook spaghetti according to instructions
Cook salmon and cut into pieces with a fork
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Throw in sliced red onion and garlic (minced or whole-I throw the garlic cloves in whole). Cover skillet with lid and let the onion cook for a few minutes.
Throw sliced zucchini and halved cherry tomatoes onto skillet. Gently move the vegetables around in the skillet, and then cover for a few minutes, allowing the vegetables to brown slightly. Remove from heat and place vegetables in a bowl.
In a large bowl, toss 2 tablespoons olive oil, cooked pasta, salmon, and vegetables together with the mizithra cheese. Serve immediately.
Fall is upon us, bring on the pumpkin! That is pretty much the theme I have noticed ever since Starbucks welcomed back the highly coveted Pumpkin Spice Latte. I am personally more of a “Black-coffee-plus-2-pumps-pumpkin-spice-syrup” kinda gal, but I do see the appeal.
Anyways, I figured it was about time I jump on the pumpkin bandwagon and share a delicious recipe! I perused the usual Internet suspects like Foodgawker and Pinterest for ideas on recipes, but I actually struggled to find a recipe that didn’t (a) feed 2 dozen people or (b) involve ingredients I don’t have on hand, like cloves. I have to be realistic here: I will eat all of whatever I make and I will not use a whole container of cloves.
Therefore, last night I found myself trying to create a basic, hearty, and healthy pumpkin bread with my college-buddy-turned-new-NYC-neighbor Shannon. And let me tell you this bread is delicious!
This pumpkin bread is everything I wanted it to be: a subtly flavored pumpkin bread that’s mildly sweet and incredibly soft, with a delicious layer of cream cheese streaking through the middle. Oh, and did I mention this recipe doesn’t involve butter or oil? I think it’s time to get your pumpkin fix.
Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl (makes 4 mini loaves)
For pumpkin bread:
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
For cream cheese swirl:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
For bread: combine pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, sugar, water and yogurt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add these ingredients to the wet ingredients in the other bowl and fold ingredients together until just combined.
For the cream cheese swirl, beat cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth in consistency. Beat the egg into the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist loaf pans with cooking spray. Pour batter into loaf pans until about halfway up the side of the pan. Dollop in cream cheese mixture on top of pumpkin batter. Add more pumpkin bread batter on top.
Next, take a knife and stick it into the batter, swirling it around once or twice (don’t over-mix or the cream cheese swirl with disperse into the batter). Remove knife and place bread loaves in the oven. Small bread loaves will cook in 40-45 minutes. Large bread loaves will cook in 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Once bread has cooked remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
This last week was a doozy for me. You know that feeling that there aren’t enough hours in a day to get things done? I actually think I experienced that firsthand. Usually when life gets a little hectic I tend to naturally reach for something sweet: a cookie, some candy, even a spoon of peanut butter. While these things are all delicious (and tend to make me happier in the moment), they definitely do not lend well to eating healthy. And I can become even more concerned when I realize I have eaten a whole package of cookies/candies/peanut butter.
This was not my approach to food during this bout of busyness. Last week I made sure my meals were nourishing and satisfying, allowing me to maximize my brain power to tackle anything in my path. Now that I finally have a free moment, I want to share my recipe for a de-stressing salad: a salad that is easy to make, wholesome, and light. The ingredients kept me calm and focused during my work, and I ended each day feeling satisfied. I would have normally chopped up the almonds in this recipe, but I did not even feel I had the time to do that (safely, that is-I would like to keep all 10 fingers!).
Easy to prepare, easy to eat, easy to feel healthy after eating this delicious masterpiece! Say bye-bye to stress and hello to wholesome goodness!
De-Stressing Salad (Makes 1 serving)
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 cup mixed greens, rinsed
1/2 cup green beans, rinsed
2 Tbsp almonds
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
pepper, to taste
This recipe is as simple as throwing together all of the ingredients and enjoying! Feel free to alter the amounts of the ingredients/change the ingredients in the recipe to suit your taste preferences. For example, I ran out of cranberries and used slices of apple and it was still delicious!