Healthy, Quick Goat Cheese Marinara

Here’s a quick, simple dish that’s light and refreshing.

Ingredients:
1 jar marinara (I like the Trader Joe’s organic tomato basil marinara)
Goat cheese (I think the pasteurized one at TJ’s is about 8 oz and I use the whole package)
Fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots)

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350F.

Step 2: Pour marinara in an oven safe casserole dish. Cut up the goat cheese in chunks and spread on top.

Step 3: Bake for 15-20 min just as goat cheese begins to golden.

Step 4: Let cool for 5 or so minutes and serve with fresh veggies! You can either dip the veggies in the dish, or I microwave a plate of veggies, covering them with a damp paper towel, for 2-4 minutes depending on how soft you like your steamed veggies.

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Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese

This is a really great pasta dish perfect for sneaking veggie servings in a delicious way!

Ingredients:

1 lb brown rice macaroni noodles
2 tbsp earth balance buttery spread
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk or almond milk (I used vanilla almond milk and I feel like it made it creamier without adding extra calories)
2 cups puréed butternut squash
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss & gruyere cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

*Alter any of these proportions as need be!! I might add more almond milk to my next batch.

**The butternut purée can be store bought or made my puncturing vent holes in a butternut squash and microwaving for 12-15 min, rotating the squash every 3 min. Once the squash feels soft, cut in half, discard the seeds, and scoop up the inside which should be soft and easy to mash.

Step 1: Boil water and add brown rice pasta. Cook until soft.

Step 2: Melt butter in a saucepan, then add flour slowly while whisking until smooth.

Step 3: Add milk, purée, and cheeses individually and slowly while whisking.

Step 4: Combine sauce mixture and strained brown rice noodles in one big pot. Mix together and serve OR if making this the night before, spread the pasta into a deep baking dish. Spread any left over shredded cheese over the top. When ready, bake the dish at 375F for about 10-15 min just to warm it up and melt the cheese.20130930-104341.jpg

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Juice Cleanse

So one of my best friends has a wedding coming up.  Coming up in 13 days to be exact.  While I’m excited to help celebrate this major milestone and commitment in their lives, I’m also anxious about my bridesmaid duties.  More so anxious about actually fitting in my bridesmaid dress.

I thought I had measured myself correctly for this J Crew, blush pink, sweetheart cut, chiffon number.  However, when I first tried on my dress, it was a struggle to zip up the back!  So instead of doing what the sensible bride suggested (return the dress and order the next size up), I decided I would not let this dress defeat me.

For about 2 weeks, I’ve been clean eating for 2-3 days at a time, allowing a regular meal (even indulging in dessert) on that third day.  I also have been trying to do more strength training and keeping up a cardio routine almost every day.  Good news is, as of today, I fit PERFECTLY into my dress!!  Now I just need to keep it up.  I indulged a little bit too much at the fair last night (corn on the cob, guac/sour cream/sauerkraut hot dog, and strawberry whip cream funnel cake), so I thought I’d try this juice cleanse a friend gave me. 

The juices are pre-made and requires you to drink a certain one every two hours along with 12 oz of water.  I finished my second bottle a little while ago.  I’m waiting on pins and needles to drink the third one in 39 minutes.  I’M HUNGRY!  These drinks only make up 500 calories, so I decided to add raw veggies and fruit with the program.  Since I’m working out on top of this, there’s no way I can survive on 500 cals.  Pushing my body into starvation mode is not my goal, so I guess I’m not doing the true cleanse adding these supplements, but it’s the best solution I came up with.

Anyways, after the second juice I felt pretty great.  Lots of energy and even a little “high”/light headed.  We’ll see this afternoon though!  This cleanse is only 2 days, so I’ll post my results then.  Wish me luck!

Fresh Start

I have an interest in nutrition and fitness.  However, I struggle just like anyone else in this supersized country.  So after a day of lounging and snacking on the couch (and drinking pinot), I decided to start this blog in hopes of tracking my eating and exercise habits to be the happiest and healthiest I can be.