Category Archives: Special Diet

Zucchini Lasagna

This week’s new-to-us recipe was zucchini lasagna, and it was delicious! Instead of lasagna noodles, I used thinly sliced zucchini and couldn’t even tell the difference! It was so good, we ate leftovers of it twice.  Here’s what I did, for your dining pleasure…

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What You Need:

  • 1/2 lb Italian seasoned ground turkey (or Italian sausage)
  • Zucchini—3 small ones or 1 big one
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 t dried basil
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb chopped mushrooms (approximately)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

What You Do:

Brown and crumble the turkey in a skillet.

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Thinly slice your zucchini lengthwise using a mandolin or a very steady hand and sharp knife.

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Combine the ricotta (and think of Giada de Laurentiis pronouncing it) and parmesan cheeses, herbs, and salt/pepper in a medium bowl.

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Lay one layer of zucchini slices in a Pamed pan.

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Spread half of the cheese mixture over the zucchini. This isn’t a smooth spread, and your fingers will get messy trying to keep the zucchini in place.

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Sprinkle on some sliced mushrooms.

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Sprinkle on half of the turkey.

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Pour on and spread around half of your jar of spaghetti sauce. Note: Don’t buy the huge bottle of Ragu that has the built in “handle”, buy the next size down or don’t use the entire bottle if you do buy the giant one.

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Repeat this process—yes, I know its messy—until you have two layers of everything.

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Top with lots of shredded mozzarella cheese.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is all melty.

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Serve it up! We enjoyed our with steamed broccoli (use the frozen steam-in-bag kind and save yourself a step the dirty dishes) and Caesar salad. Boyfriend also had cheesy garlic bread with his.

Obviously, I used entirely too much sauce, as the first night we had a goopy (but delicious!) mess.

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Leftovers were much better looking, since the sauce was thicker.

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Try this one for yourself and let me know what you think by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. 

Amber

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Filed under Cooking, Diet, Dinner, Food, Health, Special Diet

An Improvised Dinner

Hey there! How did the week treat ya? I’m so tired my eyes are burning! I had big plans to come home and workout today, but I only got as far as putting on my workout clothes…

I wanted to share with you what happened the other night, and how I saved dinner!

The plan was to have BBQ chicken, grilled zucchini, and grilled corn on the cob (for Boyfriend)… On the grill. I got everything ready for the grill, took the chicken out and put it on, closed the lid, and came back inside to get the veggies. When I got back to the grill and opened the lid, I noticed the flame I had left on “High” was looking more like “Low”. I thought it was just the wind keeping it from coming up; but then, right before my eyes, it slowly disappeared!!!

I’m not the griller in this house (he was in the shower), so I went and asked him what was going on—and learned I was out of gas!  OMG!! What am I supposed to do now?!

George Foreman to the rescue!!

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I got that plugged in and hot, put a skillet on the stove for the zucchini, and transferred the corn from aluminum foil to saran wrap.

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It took a little bit of improvising, and a lot of quick thinking on my feet, but dinner turned out delicious!

The zucchini got caramelized and yummy in the skillet…

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And the chicken cooked up evenly and stayed moist.

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I had a giant pile of zucchini with my chicken breast:

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And Boyfriend had a sweet potato with his:

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(That corn is from my parent’s garden, thanks Mom and Dad!)

I’m going to classify this dinner as delicious and successful, even if it didn’t go quite as planned.


Tonight we’re having breakfast for dinner—scrambled eggs with veggies, and hashbrowns and bacon for Boyfriend. I’m wishing I had picked up a watermelon to go with this tonight, but oh-well! 

After dinner is figure-out-which-insurance-plan-to-choose time and then probably early to bed. My to-do list for this weekend is extensive, starting with an oil change tomorrow morning.

Are you a quick on your feet type of person, or do you freak out when things don’t go exactly as planned?

 

Amber

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Turkey Meatballs

Hi there! Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

My weekend was busy. Yesterday was the wedding shower for one of my best friends, and today was full of errands. This weekend definitely went by way too fast!

Tonight I spent a lot of time in the kitchen—and it was so worth it! Right now, our house is filled with the aroma of zucchini bread (I’ll share that with you later this week). 

Dinner was a repeat of a successful batch of turkey meatballs I told you about a few weeks ago.

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What You Need:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 t dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 t dried marjoram, crushed
  • 1 t dried basil, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 T low sugar ketchup
  • 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey

What You Do:

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In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, rosemary, marjoram, basil, garlic, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Add in the onion and breadcrumbs.

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Use your hands to thoroughly mix in the ground turkey.

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Use an ice cream scoop (or your hands) to shape the mixture into balls. Sear them in a non-stick pan with about 1T oil.

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Once they’re browned, pop them in the oven in a Pamed pan for about 10 minutes to make sure they’re cooked through.

Serve them on top of hot pasta and cover them in sauce alongside cheesy garlic bread (if you’re Boyfriend).

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Serve them covered in sauce with whole grain bread on the side (if you’re Girlfriend).

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We both also had a fresh salad with tomatoes, but you probably know what that looks like…

These are so delicious and simple, and the only meatballs either of us has ever liked!

If you try them, let me know what you think!

 

Amber

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Not Your Typical Tacos

Howdy! How was your Monday? Mine was pretty good, I feel like I’m actually learning stuff that will help me do MY job at work! Smile 

Dinner last night was something that we have at least once per week around here… Tacos!

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First look, and you probably think, those aren’t tacos! Where’s your shell? These tacos are not your normal tacos. The first time Chris told me he was making tacos, and what he was using to make them, I thought they sounded weird and not very good… Please do not let the no shell, no salsa, no sour cream thing scare you away from trying these!

No, they aren’t anything like typical tacos, but they are super simple and delicious—which is why we eat them every week! We’ve even started playing around with the meat, and they are delicious made with diced chicken, ground turkey breast, and the classic beef. Try these for yourself, and let me know what you think!

What You Need:

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef or turkey, or boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 14oz can tomato sauce
  • garlic salt
  • romaine lettuce—be lazy and use the bagged pre-cut stuff!
  • 1 large tomato or 2 Romas
  • white onion, diced—about 2 T, depends how much you like raw onion
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded colby-jack cheese

What To Do:

Brown your meat of choice, seasoned with salt and pepper. If using turkey, add a little garlic salt.

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In a separate sauce pan, heat the tomato sauce seasoned with 1-2 T garlic salt (to taste).

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Chop your tomatoes and onion.

Layer it up in a big bowl—that’s it! Really!!

If you’re Boyfriend, you start with a good base of slightly crushed tortilla chips, then lettuce, meat, cheese, tomatoes, onion, and sauce.

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If you’re Girlfriend, you start with a good base of lettuce, then meat, sauce, tomatoes, 2 crumbled Melba toast, and a small pinch of onions.

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Either way, you’re going to scarf it up and continually say how good it is—and you may catch your boyfriend licking the bowl Winking smile

 

Are there any dinners you eat at least once per week?

 

Amber

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Scale Minus 10

Hey, hey!

I am absolutely thrilled to report that I have officially lost 10 whole pounds!! That’s right, 10!!

You might think 10lbs isn’t really all that much (I know I did before I actually did it), but it took some seriously hard work and motivation, and the changes in my body with just 10lbs are amazing! I’ve lost 2 inches off each my waist and hips, and anywhere from 1/2″ to 1″ everywhere else… Do you know how much different my tummy looks with 2 inches and 10 pounds gone?! Its flatter, it looks less bloated/poochy, it no longer holds my pants in place–that’s right, just 10 pounds and my pants are all too big!

What about emotional/mental changes, you ask? Well I feel a lot more confident in myself! I don’t worry about having a spare tire or muffin top showing through my shirts since my pants aren’t snug and my tops fit better. I’m not embarrassed to wear shorts around the house in front of Boyfriend anymore (still holding on going out in public in shorts!)–matter of fact, I’m not embarrassed to let him see my in my undies either, haha.

Speaking of Boyfriend, he has been incredibly supportive of my weight loss efforts! He doesn’t suggest a restaurant or even dinner at home unless its something Amber Diet friendly or can be modified, he encourages me to get my booty on the treadmill (in the nicest way possible), and tells me everyday that he can tell I’ve lost weight–either in my tummy, my face, the way my clothes fit–and how good I look, and to keep it up. Chris: thank you for being so awesome, I love you!!

I know this post doesn’t include a single food pic, is entirely self-centered, and has about five too many exclamation points, but I’m so excited, I just had to share!  

 Hope you’ve all had a great weekend, enjoy your Sunday, and keep cool!

 

Amber

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Random Foodage

Hi there!  Sorry I’ve been mostly MIA this week. My lame excuse is that I started working full time  this week and I’m trying to adjust to my new life schedule. I’ve also felt completely drained the last two days, but today I’m feeling normal again so here I am 🙂

 I know I told you there would be recipes and how-tos, and there still will be… Promise!  In the mean time, I thought I’d show you a few of the things I’ve munched on lately.

This was lunch Saturday... And Sunday

Two egg whites plus one whole egg, on toasted whole grain with mustard (Sunday there was no bread involved)

Spinach with THE dressing
 
 
Also consumed this week were homemade crab cakes for dinner Monday (picture capture: failure), grilled Ribeyes ala Chris Tuesday (picture capture: failure) and tonight we went to Ruby Tuesday for an impromptu date night (again, picture capture: failure).
 
At Ruby Tuesday’s I had Seafood New Orleans, minus the sauce which means I had Cajun seasoned tilapia and shrimps, with grilled zucchini and grilled green beans. Boyfriend had 1/2 rack of ribs with crispy shrimps, fries, and grilled zucchini. He said it was up there in the top three things he’s ever eaten at a restaurant!!  I was thoroughly impressed with Ruby Tuesday’s revamped, totally-overflowing-with-healthy-options menu! Check out these sides options: grilled zucchini, grilled green beans, mashed cauliflower, spaghetti squash, grilled asparagus, steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, and sliced tomatoes–and the always amazing salad bar 🙂 Definitely a go-to place for anyone who wants to eat healthy or is on a restricted diet without feeling like the only thing they can eat on the menu is a salad.
 

Time to set up the coffee pot so it’s brewed and piping hot for me when I get up in the morning, then bed time (yes, I’m an old lady).

 BTW: Cassie at Back To Her Roots is giving away a free t-shirt that I entered to win–I’d say go enter for your chance, but I want the tee so if you don’t enter, my chances are better! haha, You should still go check out her blog, she’s a pretty cool gal!

Amber

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From Italian to Oriental

I have a confession: last night I was too tired lazy to make Chicken Marsala for dinner, and both Boyfriend and I were too tired lazy to eat real food that required a knife and fork. We wanted something that was easy to eat from the comfort of our couch, so this happened instead…

Chris’s Dinner:

I opened a bag of PF Chang’s Meals for 2

 

Tossed it in a pan and put the lid on it, and came back to stir it every couple of minutes

 

Cooked him some 10 minute brown rice and baked a couple of these yummy egg rolls

 

And this is what the finished product looked like

 

My Dinner:

I tossed some chicken in a skillet sprayed with Pam and browned it up, along with a little bit of onion, then grated some fresh ginger in.

I added a bunch of the already cooked cabbage and let it warm up and start to brown just slightly, then added about 1/4 cup of chicken broth to deglaze the pan and give it some moisture back.

 

Even though this was super simple and used the leftover cabbage  from onion burger night, it was delicious!

 

Then we chilled on the couch for the rest of the night like lazy bums.

Today I’m off to Hobby Lobby after I have one more iced coffee…

I need to find decorations for a friend’s wedding shower and also look at cake pans and cake decorating stuff because I think I really want to start making “real” cakes as a hobby (not the kind you bake then ice while it’s still in a 13×9 pan).

Do you have big plans for the weekend? Chris works so we might go watch fireworks somewhere close, but no traveling or lake time for us (which is why we went Wednesday).

Have a happy Saturday!

 

Amber

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