Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Italian Pie

I am so excited to share with you this amazing recipe that I made last night adapting it from a recipe found on Pinterest.  It is healthy and incredibly yummy!  Even my husband was raving about it.  I had it for lunch today and it was just as good re-heated in the microwave.  So without further ado . . . .


1 medium spaghetti squash
1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes, partially drained
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Place cut side down in a baking dish.  Poke all over with a fork.  Cook until tender, 30 - 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook turkey, chopped onion and minced garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain and return to skillet.  Add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta and egg stirring until smooth.

Remove squash from the oven.  Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.

Using a fork, rake squash pulp until it looks like spaghetti removing it from the shell.  Place on a paper towel and gently dab with a second paper towel to remove some of the moisture from the squash.  

Arrange the spaghetti squash in the bottom and up the side of the pie plate like a crust.  Gently spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the squash.  Using a slotted spoon, put the turkey and tomato mixture over the cheese.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Cut into six slices.  

Serving size: 1 slice
Servings per pie: 6
Calories per serving: 316 (I entered all the ingredients into the calculator tool on My Fitness Pal)

I served this delicious pie with a side salad and a piece of garlic toast.  
Spaghetti Squash Italian Pie is a must try!!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Talking Myself Into It

Talk yourself into it, not out of it.     ~Dolvett Quince
I’m laying in bed – my soft warm bed with the Memory Foam mattress and heavy denim comforter.  I should get up.  My bed is so warm.  I need to get up.  The sheets are so soft.  It’s January 31st.  The last day of the month.  It has to be now 
My goal for myself is to participate in an organized 5k every month.  January is a hard month.  There are not many 5ks in my area (It’s cold in Pittsburgh this time of year!).  My schedule did not match with the few that were out there so I was forced to go with a Virtual Race.  A Virtual Race is one where you register for the event, but then you can run it anytime and anywhere that you want within the given time frame. 
I registered for the Cutch’s Crew 5k in support of Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutcheon’s Foundation.  You can run the race anytime between January 1st and May.  For me this would serve as my January 5k (check out this great event at https://www.facebook.com/cutchsvirtual5k/?fref=ts).
Before I knew it, it was January 31st.  How did that happen?  It was a beautiful day and my plan was to run after church. 
Off to church we went!  We were all happy.  My kids were getting along.  It was a great worship service.  What a great morning!
“Hey – Let’s stop for lunch at Moe’s!”  someone asked on our drive home.
We all responded in unison, “Welcome to Moe’s!”  My husband pulled into the parking lot.
As I sat in Moe’s eating an insanely large burrito, I remembered that I was supposed to be running a 5k when I got home.  There was no way that I was going to be able to run after ingesting the deliciously overstuffed lunch I was shoving in my face.
Upon arriving home I figured that an hour long nap would be the perfect way to digest.  I turned on my alarm and crawled into bed.  One hour passed.  My alarm jolted me out a deep sleep.  I’ll just lay here for a few minutes I thought as I pressed the “off” button.  That one hour turned into two hours.  The sun was beginning to set.  My bed was so soft and warm.
No one will know if I don’t run this race today.  No one will know if I don’t meet my goal of one 5k a month.  What difference does it truly make?  Eleven out of twelve months.  No big deal.  I was very quickly talking myself out of going for a run. 
Then I thought about my sister who gets up at 4:30AM every weekday to fit in her workout.  I thought about my running friends on facebook who were also striving to complete a 5k a month.  I thought about the example that I was setting for my kids.  In the car on the way to church I had talked about needing to get this 5k done today.  They would know if I didn't go for a run.
Motivation - My sister gets up at
4:30AM to get her miles in! 
I threw the warm soft covers off half of my body allowing one foot to drop to the floor.  Slowly I peeled the covers off the rest of me and stood up.  Brrrr!  I shivered.  My body longing to crawl back under the covers.  Nope!  I was going to do this.
Looking at the clock, I realized how late it had gotten.  I wanted to enjoy the beautiful day!  Scrambling, I threw on my workout clothes and headed out the door. 
My lungs were instantly filled with the invigorating  air.  My feet pounded on the pavement in time to the music filling my ears.  The bright sun hit my face filling my heart with joy.
It would have been so easy to talk myself out of this run.  My tired body.  The warm bed.  The lazy Sunday afternoon.  I have done that many many times.  But what I have learned is that I feel so much better when I talk myself into exercising.  I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.  It amazed me how easy it is to forget that.  
When I was watching the Biggest Loser a few weeks ago, Dolvett was talking to his Team as they worked out.  He was pushing them to their physical limit.  Team members began to waiver wanting to quit.  Dolvett continued to push repeating louder and louder - Talk yourself into it, not out of it.  Talk yourself into it, not out of it.  TALK YOURSELF INTO IT, NOT OUT OF IT!  What wise words.  But how do I do that when all of the reasons to not do "it" are screaming so loud in my head?  The answer, I have found, is to start listing all of the reasons I should.  Though quiet at first, that voice of confidence and enthusiasm will rise above the voice of negativity and push me into motion.  My kids.  My health.  My happiness.  My family,  My friends.  
Wise words from Dolvett!  
Self-talk plays a HUGE role in our health.  What are you telling yourself?  Are you putting yourself down or filling your head with excuses?  Be a cheerleader!  Cheer yourself on.  Tell yourself that you can do it.  You're a super star. A stud!  You can do this.  Tell yourself you can and you WILL!