• Feeds

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. 🙂

granola bars

I decided to have a little more fun while my fruit was dehydrating, so I whipped up some homemade granola bars that I found on another blogger website: Katheats.com

They were super easy to make.  I substituted some of my own ingredients in the bars, since I had them on hand.  You could basically use any type of dried fruit and/or nuts you have on hand!

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup craisins, 1/4 cup apricots)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Directions:

    1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

    2.  Mix dry ingredients.

    3.  Mix wet ingredients.

    4. Pour wet into dry.  Stir to combine.

    5.  Pour into a 9 x 9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.

    6.  Bake for 40 minutes.

    7.  Cut into 9 squares.  Wrap individually and freeze for an on-the-go treat!

    These smelled delicious while they were cooking!  Upon taking them out, I dug right in to try a piece and I was a little disappointed.  I would like them to be a tad sweeter.  Next time I will add some agave or honey or brown sugar!  My husband doesn’t agree though, he loves them!

    cranberry-pear cake bars

    I made the most delicious bars tonight!  They were super easy to make, they taste great, and they aren’t completely unhealthy.  I was going through some older issues of my Everyday Food magazine, and came across these.

     

    Cranberry-Pear Cake Bars

    (I switched up a few ingredients to the items I already had in my cabinets)

    makes 16 bars

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 tablespoon fresh grated orange zest
    • 2 firm pears, cored and thinly sliced
    • 2 cups fresh cranberries (if frozen, thaw before using)
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

     

    Below are a few of my organic ingredients that I used in this recipe…I forgot to snap photos of the others…

     

    Directions:

    – Preheat oven to 350°

    – Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper, which a few inches over the sides (for easy removal).  Lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray.

    – In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

    – In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and zest. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined.

    –  Gently fold in pears, cranberries and walnuts – the mixture will be quite thick.

    Local Cranberries

    close up

    Pears and cranberries added

    Walnuts added

    – Scoop the mixture into the lined 9″ x 13″ pan.  Make sure to even it all out so that it will bake evenly.

    Ready to bake

    – Bake until a toothpick placed near the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into bars.

    all cooked

    -After the bars have completely cooled, pull the parchment paper on each side to remove bars.  Place on a cutting board, cut into squares and enjoy!

    Ready to eat!

    This recipe was really easy to make, as many bars are.  Definitely a delicious treat!