0 Spaghetti Squash

Sunday, January 13, 2013
I have been eating a little more "healthy" lately.. for a while that meant I was eating salads and being hungry ALL the time and basically not eating GOOD food. Healthy doesn't have to mean yucky. I have been playing around with substitutions and trying to eat happy. This is what I had for lunch the other day:
Not too bad right? Basically my own variety of chicken parmigiana. It is half a chicken breast with spaghetti squash (which is 40cal/cup) spaghetti sauce and a torn up piece of mozzarella string cheese. Here is how to make spaghetti squash:
Step one: choose a spaghetti squash. These are more commonly available during the fall but once you buy it, it will keep for ever. Okay not forever but if you keep it in the fridge it will last for like 4mos, on the counter it will keep for a month and a half or so. Choose one that is pretty solid in color, they should be a sunshiney lightish yellow. You don't want it to look like it got beat up, pick one that doesn't have any bruising or blemishes. 
Set the oven to 375F and let it pre-heat
Start poking holes in your squash, this is important, if you don't poke holes it could blow up...
Once it is good and holey put it in a baking pan (I used a pie plate) to keep it from moving around and bake it for about an hour
Once it is out you will want to let it sit until it is cool enough to handle. 
You will notice that the outside is hard, kind of shell-like
Cut it in half this way (vertically) if you cut it the other way it wont work. 
This is what the inside should look like, you will want to take the seeds and vertical string gunk out
There. Now this is the part you eat..
It should scrape right out with a fork. 
You will be left with two shell type pieces that you can throw out. 
I packed the stringy bits into four mason jars to be taken to work, microwaved and topped with sauce, chicken and cheese. This stuff can be eaten plain and has a slightly sweet flavor to it but is mostly tasteless so you can top it with whatever you want and it will pretty much take on the taste of whatever you put on it. Top it with spaghetti sauce and it tastes like spaghetti. It has a slight crunch to it but is mostly noodle textured. I am usually really weird about what I will and will not eat, and this passed. I have made it before where I cut it in half and got rid of the "guts" before baking and I think either way  it worked out fine. it is harder to cut in half when it is raw but the guts come out easier so its kind of a wash as far as which way is easier/better. 

Happy Baking =]
Enjoy =]

0 Cheese Sticks

Sunday, January 6, 2013
I LOVE cheese sticks! LOVE them.. Completely, with every piece of my heart. What I don't love: frozen food. What else I don't love: paying $8 for six cheese sticks, then having to share them with everyone at the table while we wait on the main course. My solution? Make them! What I used? String cheese, bisquick, seasoning, an egg. That's it. Oh, and despite my love for pulling them apart and eating them from the middle out to the ends, I made them bite-size to avoid the awkward moment when the crusty bits fall to pieces in your hands and get all over and end up mostly in your lap. Here is how they turned out:
So here is where we start, with string cheese (these might be out of date, if so, it's only by a little bit and there is a definite chance that I am reading this wrong.. most of my food doesn't have packaging so it's a little weird)
Start by cutting the cheese into bite size pieces
Put some oil in a pan and get it heating, you will want med/hi heat (I didn't start the stove until I put in the first cheese bite but starting it and getting the heat going would've been a much better idea- learn from me)
So the way I have this set up is dunk-dunk-drop. Dip the cheese stick in the egg, then the bisquick (with seasoning) then I did it a second time before dropping into the oil. 
First the egg..
then the bisquick/seasoning
Then the oil..
They will need to be flipped/rolled over halfway through
I worked it out to where once one was ready to come out another needed to be flipped and a new one was being added all at the same time. 
OmGod.. yes. These were amazing
dunk them in some spaghetti sauce and you're set, bite size no-touch cheese sticks. Never frozen, no need to share. Deliciousness. Again, I am in love. These were amazing and made for an excellent lunch. I hope as always that this was helpful, that you try this, and that you too fall hopelessly in love.