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spaghetti squash and salad

I went to my favorite produce mart today, Russo’s.  If you live in the Boston area, it is a must visit!  They have all of the produce you could possibly imagine, and it is cheap!  Not everything is local, so I at least try to buy produce that is from the USA.  It is tough to buy local produce around here in the winter, but I really try in the summer!

Anyways, I bought all of the fruit and veggies I need for the week, but I had 2 favorite purchases!

First, was the bag of older bananas that I got for .98 cents!!

That’s right, 10 bananas for .98 cents!  And, they aren’t even that ripe!  I bought some good bananas for the week, but I purchased these babies so that I can cut them all up and freeze them.  I love adding frozen bananas to my smoothies, instead of normal bananas because they give it a little bit more thickness.  These 10 bananas will keep me going for a while – I would have bought more if I had a bigger freezer – what a great deal! 🙂  Look for this type of stuff at your local grocery store because normally the fruit that they put in the “damaged” bin is not really that damaged.  I have bought apples and pears before as well – just cut off the bruised parts and save yourself loads of money.

My 2nd favorite purchase was a spaghetti squash.  I have only made spaghetti squash once before, and it turned out great, so I decided to try again.

Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp dried basil (or fresh, if you have it)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

I cut my squash in half and scooped out the seeds inside, then placed it face down on a cookie sheet.

I saved a few seeds to toast and use on my salad!

Sprinkled with salt and paprika before toasting.

I baked it in a 400°F oven for 35 minutes and it came out perfect!

Once cooked enough that you can easily stick a fork into the squash, it is ready to be turned into spaghetti!

Take one half of the squash and scrape out the insides with a fork.  It will easily come out and look like spaghetti.  Repeat with the other side.

I mixed my spaghetti squash up with a little butter, salt, pepper, basil and Parmesan cheese.

I also cut up some grape tomatoes and tossed them in my spaghetti.

Along with my spaghetti squash I had a great salad!

Remember when I made stuffed peppers for some friends and served it along with whole grain bread?  Well, the next day I put the leftover bread right into the freezer to save for homemade croutons!

Tonight, I thawed the bread, cut it up into squares and tossed them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  If you remember, the bread was already brushed with italian seasoning before freezing.

I then toasted the chunks of bread in my toaster oven until they formed crispy croutons!

I used a bed of romaine lettuce and garnished it with freshly dried apple slices (by me!), unsweetened dried cranberries, toasted seeds from my squash and homemade croutons.  I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing.

And all together!

All served with some Malbec, which was delicious!

It was a light meal, which normally would be great, but tonight I am still hungry!  Off to find some snacks. 🙂

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a lazy day

A great lazy saturday!  Well, kind of – I had a super productive morning cleaning my whole condo, phew!  And didn’t make it to the gym until 11:30.  I love to be busy, but I also love weekends at home with nothing to do!  Before heading to the gym I snacked on 2 pieces of millet toast, one with almond butter and one with Crofter’s blueberry superfruit jam, and some hot tea.

I had a great long workout with a 7 mile tempo run on the treadmill in 65 minutes, and a total body weight session!  A few people have asked how I know what type of weights to do at the gym because it is overwhelming, especially on a saturday morning in a crowded gym!  I like to make up my workout before getting to the gym so that I know exactly what I am going to do and get in and out in a timely manner!  I usually write my workout down and bring it with me.  Some people look at me funny, but it helps me, so I don’t care!

Shoulders, Chest, Triceps, Legs & Abs

I did some circuit training to get in all of these areas in a timely manner.

  • Overhead Press with Squats (3 sets of 12, 10 lb weights)
  • Dips and V-ups on the bench (3 sets of 12)
  • Front & Side Raises with Lunges (3 sets of 12 each side, 7.5 lb weights)
  • Upright Row with Deadlifts (3 sets of 12, 18 lb bar)
  • Tricep Kickback with Calf Raises (3 sets of 12, 12.5 lb weights)
  • Chest Press (3 sets of 12, 12.5 lb weights) and Bicycles (3 sets of 15)
  • Leg Extension Machine (3 sets of 12, 30 lbs) and Leg Ups (3 sets of 12)
  • Plank (1.5 min)
  • Pushups (30)

Remember to always start with a 5 minute warm-up and end with a cooldown!

You should also remember to eat some for of good quality protein withing 30-45 minutes after you finish your workout.  This will fuel your muscles and allow them to come back stronger!  So, after my workout, I whipped up a protein smoothie with a protein powder I wanted to try out.  Luckily, I only got a sample pack because it has a chalky taste.  Nevertheless, I drank the smoothie to get in some protein!

Banana Vanilla-Cinnamon Protein Shake

  • 1 packet vanilla protein powder
  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup almond milk (you can use any type of milk here!)
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 t agave nectar
  • handful ice cubes

Blend together, serve in a fun glass and enjoy!  The frozen bananas and the protein powder gave this smoothie a really thick texture, which reminded me of a milkshake!  But, still a little chalky with the protein powder – bummer!

Lots of cooking on the agenda for the day, including some coconut milk yogurt, granola, cookies and spaghetti squash for dinner!

See ya later!