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Warning: Dangerously addicting baked Zucchini Artichoke Mac & Cheese

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YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

This deliciously healthy baked creation is undoubtedly going to have you hooked for WEEKS, MONTHS even YEARS! The moment this passes your lips, it will be all you’ll think about. Trees will start to form into zucchinis, your pool will start to appear filled with whole wheat pasta, your toothpaste may appear to be mozzarella flavored.

Yes, it’s that good!

At 2:32am last night, I couldn’t sleep because there were workers outside our house working on an exploded underground pipe. They obviously couldn’t care less if I had a 7am Zumba class this morning, because they couldn’t have possibly been any louder. Since, sleep was not going to happen any time soon, I decided to make the most of this extra God-Given time on these creative hands of mine.

2 veggies, some crumbled up garlic-Parmesan pita chips, a whole lot of cheese and a box of whole wheat pasta later; out came this delicious creation!

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz whole wheat pasta
  • Sliced and chopped zucchini
  • Chopped artichoke hearts
  • 2 oz low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 2 slices of Chipotle cheese (for a spicy finish)
  • 2 oz Low-fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tbs whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled Garlic-Parmesan pita chips
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Perfect Noodles:

  • Boil and strain your whole wheat pasta. You want to leave the pasta a bit chewy, because it will soften up in the oven later. No soggy noodles here!

Cheese Sauce

Delicious cheese sauce:

  • Heat your butter on low-medium head. Mix in the cream cheese and the flour. Slowly add the milk, followed by your spices and cheese. When it becomes a thick creamy consistency, add your noodles.

Saute Zucchini

Veggies:

  • Sautee your sliced and chopped zucchinis with about 1 tsp of oil from the artichoke hearts, as well as a hand full of artichoke hearts. If you don’t have artichoke heart oil, olive oil works as well.
  • Add the sauteed veggies to the noodles and cheese sauce

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Baking your addicting cheesy dish:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
  • In an oven-safe dish, spread your mixture evenly.
  • Sprinkle your crumbled pita chips across the top. You can also add some Panko crumbs for a bit more crunch. I also added some more sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top as well.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins (until golden brown on top).

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Don’t invite anyone over to eat this with you. Devour in 5 minutes flat all by yourself. Don’t share with anyone, trust me it’s too good to share.

 

 

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Eat like your ancestors!

Did you know, we consume 50% more meat then we did in 1950!!!!??

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Back in the day, there were no Cheetos, hot pockets or chicken nuggets. Families had their own gardens!

It’s time for our younger generation to take back our health, and learn from our grandma’s and grandpa’s.

All natural & organic is the way to go 🙂

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Flakey low-fat avocado biscuits with Sauted Mushrooms

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I threw together this delicious mini-masterpiece from fridge left-overs!

What’s in it:
Melted string mozzarella cheese
Low-Fat baked flakey biscuits
Sauted honey portable mushrooms
Freshly sliced avocado
A simple Italian side salad

After baking the biscuits in the oven for 5 minutes, I took them out, filled them with the ingredients above, covered them in tin foil, and then baked them again for 5 minutes  this got the cheese melted to perfection without burning the biscuits.

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Bagel Berry Delight :) 2 minute mid-afternoon snack

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Eating small healthy snacks between meals is a great way to get your metabolism up!
This half bagel took 2 minutes to throw together, and is the perfect mid-afternoon snack between lunch and dinner.

The sweetness of the all natural raspberry jelly, combined with the fresh blueberries will give you some more much needed energy (since it’s probably already worn off from lunch.)

1/2 FRESH BAGEL
1 tsp jelly
1 tsp cream cheese
1 hand ful of fresh blueberries

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Olive Oil VS. Vegetable Oil

Since I’m new to this whole cooking thing, I decided to do a bit of research to find out which type of oil would be the healthiest in my cooking adventures. As far as choosing between the two, from a healthy stand-point; olive oil is hands-down the way to go!

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Here’s why:

Olive Oil

Olive oil is an extract from the olive fruit, and is pressed mechanically. It’s is considered a natural oil and is filled with our best friend; “anti-oxidants”. This makes it one of the most nutritious and healthy oils for cooking/baking. Olive Oil has no cholesterol, and is much more flavorful. (Make sure it is stored in a dark/ cool place, otherwise it has the potential to go bad quickly if explosed to heat and sunlight for mass periods of time.)

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is processed in industrial production (not so healthy) using solvents (chemicals) to extract it. The oil must then be refined to remove impurities which also removes any flavor, color or nutrients. Even though vegetables are considered to be healthy, they do have other components, like rancidity. Oil with a rancid property tends to lose their nutritious aspect, and it is less useful for cooking. Although, vegetable oil can sustain a high temperature, while cooking with oils like grape and canola are best used for pan searing and frying.

Summary:

  • Olive oil is mostly used, and it is the preferred oil, for cooking at moderate temperatures, while vegetable oil is preferred for high temperature cooking.
  • Vegetable oil is lighter and thinner, and heats fast for quick cooking, while Olive oil takes more time to heat, and its best used at a moderate heat.
  • Olive oil is the preferred oil for health conscious people.
  • Only selected vegetable oils are used in cooking, while all varieties of olive oil can be used for cooking.

There you go! Next time you’re out at your local health food store, pick up some olive oil and keep it in your kitchen for healthy cooking 🙂

(thank you differencebetween.net)