Banana Oatmeal Bites, Protein Powder Variation

bananabites1As much as I would love to be an early morning person, I’m just not. That snooze button is just a little too appealing as the weather starts to cool, making it hard to pull the covers off in the morning to get out of bed. I pride myself on being able to put together a ‘real’ breakfast most mornings (usually consisting of some kind of egg combination), but sometimes I just don’t have time and I’m on the run. Whether you need a breakfast grab and go, another component to your lunch, or just a pre-workout snack… I think I can help you out here.

These are a great sliver of ‘a little bit of everything’. Toasted almonds, cinnamon, oats, chocolate, and bananas. Those aren’t just some appealing ingredients, those are ALL the ingredients. Liking this already aren’t you?! A cross between baked oatmeal and a slice of banana bread- and that’s really all there is to it.

Please make these 15 minute snacks and eat them on your way out the door tomorrow morning, and by ‘them’, I mean 3-4. They’re healthy, it’s cool.

Banana Bites

1 cup steel-cut oats

2 bananas, mashed

2 shakes of cinnamon

1 handful of chocolate chips

1/4 cup of almonds, toasted

***looking for more variations? Add your protein powder (2 serving cups from the bag) or some shredded coconut (1/4 cup)!

1. Pre-heat oven to 350.

2. Toast almonds,  you can do this by spreading them on a pan until lightly golden brown (about 5-7 minutes), or you can do this in a skillet, stirring until golden.

3. Mash bananas with a fork, add the rest of your ingredients (pick what you want, ditch what you don’t!) well.

4. Place a large spoonful (about 1 tbsp) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes until set and starting to turn golden brown.

One Dish Baked Spaghetti Squash

spaghettisquash2I realize I’m a little late on the spaghetti squash bandwagon, but the whole ‘getting married’ thing has caused quite the food distraction. No fear, I’m back… and more importantly, the holiday season is around the corner… treats, yes! But, before we load up on the sugar and butter in a few months, let’s go back to eating well (and returning to the gym since it’s been 7 days, the longest absence for me in over a year) since life is finally returning back to normal. I probably gained 10 lbs last week on our honeymoon, ha, so let’s health it off 🙂

Spaghetti Squash, I’ve had my doubts. I love pasta, any pasta, all pasta. I’m a lover of anything Italian, so how do you replace pasta….especially with a fruit. Ya, you read it, squash is a fruit…I Google’d it. Don’t worry, I thought it was a vegetable too. The only reason I even tried spaghetti squash is because we were given a few from a friend (sound familiar??). I would never pay $3.50 for them in a store, that seems silly, and I can buy a box of pasta for cheaper than that…in fact I can buy a package of Gluten Free pasta for that!! #ImCheap

I had my doubts during this entire meal process. I was most definitely sketch about the consistency that the squash would have regardless of the countless articles I’ve read all stating the same thing. Well, whatever, Let’s give this a go.

Bake the squash. Cut the squash. Bake the squash. Fork the squash. Pffft. Got this.

I baked the squash, I cut the squash, I baked it again, then I forked the squash. Finally I ate the squash.

OK.

Well I’m stupid. Stupid for doubting.

This was awesome. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not pasta, but this is a darn good second place. I would pick this over GF pasta any day. It has the perfect firm consistency of angel hair pasta and takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in, and guess what….cheese can finally be melted on a fruit. It definitely looks a tad different than a regular bowl of pasta, but it’s a definite must to put into your rotation. I’m for sure advertising my new found love for this fruit to my non-meat eating friends.

*In case you were wondering, or counting calories/carbs regular pasta in a serving contains about 200 calories and 35 carbs, spaghetti squash has about 50 calories and 10 carbs. Awesome side note, spaghetti squash also has 8 times more protein, and naturally twice the vitamin and minerals. *

Super happy to proclaim that I was pleasantly surprised by this test recipe. I kept it simple with some of my garden ingredients, but the next time I’d love to try it with a homemade Red Sauce or perhaps my White Wine Tomato Sauce. As always, play with your food! Treat this as any old pasta dish and use whatever sauce or combo you see fit. This makes alfredo sound a tad more reasonable now doesn’t it?! 🙂

EAT THIS.

One Dish Baked Spaghetti Squash

1 Spaghetti Squash (a small will feed 2)

1 small white onion, diced

1 cup of mushrooms, sliced

3 small tomatoes (or 2 large), diced with juices

1 sprig of oregano chopped ( or 1/4 tsp of dried)

2 tbsp butter

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 cup white wine

several basil leaves, chopped or sprinkle 1/4 tsp on each dish

mozzarella cheese to top

1. Preheat oven to 375, place the entire squash on a pan in the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes. You will know it’s done when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork.

2.  While the squash is baking, dice your onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and herbs.

3. Sliced the squash in half, longways scrap out the seeds gently, and place back in the oven for 7-10 minutes side down.  You don’t want to over-bake, it will turn mushy, make sure the consistency stays firm like pasta.

4. While the squash is baking the second time, in a saute’ pan add your butter, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper on low-medium heat. Once the pan starts to become dry, add your wine.

5. When you pull the squash out, take a fork and you’ll be able to easily scrap out the squash. Add the squash to your saute’ pan for about 3 minutes moving the squash around to coat..

6. Serve each dish topped with basil and cheese. spaghettisquash1