Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lasagna Roll

If you love pasta and cheese and cheese and pasta, then you will love this recipe. It was delicious. And the green from the spinach makes this dinner look beautiful! I would recommend making a salad to go with this meal. Having the 1 lasagna roll - which is the serving size - might seem a little small, but balancing off the meal with a salad would make this great. Also, this recipe lends itself for you to add additional items to make this meal hearty. I would recommend adding squash, zucchini, and even ground turkey, since this is a veggie dish.

10 servings | Cals: 240 | Pro: 15 g | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Fat: 8.5 g | Saturated fat: 3.5 g | Cholesterol: 18 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 4 g | Sodium: 460 mg | PointsPlus: 6 | PreviousPoints: 5 |

  • 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (about 8 minutes), well drained
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (no sugar added, I like Ragu Lite or Amy's Pasta Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups baby spinach, loosely packed and chopped well
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim, shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (small curd if possible)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add 1 1/4 cups marinara to a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole dish.
In a large skillet, add oil and heat to medium-low heat. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chopped spinach and saute until wilted, about 3 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine garlic, spinach, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, cottage cheese, egg white, oregano, salt and pepper.
On a work surface, lined with parchment paper, arrange lasagna noodles flat, add 1/4 cup cheese and spinach mixture to each noodle, spread evenly to cover noodles. Start rolling the noodle at the end closest to you. Place lasagna rolls seam side down, not quite touching, in the prepared casserole dish. Evenly spread 1 cup marinara over rolls, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is hot and bubbly. If desired, serve rolls with additional heated marinara. 

Three Cheese Ziti w/ Turkey

I've finally had a chance to start cooking, which has made me a much happier camper. During my high school years, ziti was a recipe that my mom would turn to every week. It was easy, great flavors, and produced a lot of leftovers. Although the ziti was delicious, it was full of calories. This recipe made it feel just like home but with a healthy twist. Delicious comfort food. And the best part - leftovers!

Servings: 8 | Calories: 289 | Total Fat: 7 g | Previous Points: 5 | Points Plus: 6 | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 | Cholesterol: 20 mg | Sodium: 228 mg | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Sugars 3 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Protein: 15 g

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey, (optional, if you prefer meatless)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara, no sugar added
  • 4 cups cooked ziti or penne shells (cook according to package, about 2-1/2 cups dry shells)
  • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, low fat
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
In a large skillet add ground turkey, diced onion, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up meat as you go, cook until turkey has lost its pink color. Drain any fat from turkey and add the entire jar of marinara sauce, stir.
Cook ziti or penne shells according the package instructions, al dente is preferred (firm but not hard). Drain and add to cooked turkey and marinara.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, ricotta and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and oregano.
In a large casserole dish or 9" x 13" pan, add 1/2 turkey mixture (cooked turkey, marinara and cooked shells), top with half cheese mixture, repeat.

Cook uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole

So I've noticed this recipe a lot, and I have always been wanting to try it, but for whatever reason, I never had any of the ingredients. Well I ended up having a loaf of bread in the pantry, and since this recipe takes 9 slices, it was an excellent choice. This is an excellent item for Sunday morning brunch. Get up, put everything in the slow cooker, go work out, and then come back for some delicious (and healthy) food! Thanks Skinny Ms.!

Yields: 9 Servings | 1 Serving: 2 Triangles | Calories: 227 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Previous Points: 4 | Points Plus: 6 |Cholesterol: 9 mg | Sodium: 187 mg | Total Carbohydrate: 34 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 19 g | Protein: 9 g

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk, (almond or soy will also work)
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 9 Slices whole grain bread
  • 3 cups finely diced uncooked apple pieces (Honey Crisp or Gala are both great in this recipe)
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup diced raw pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Add the first 6 ingredients to a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Lightly spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Add all the filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to coat apple pieces, set aside.
Cut bread slices into triangles (that's in half, just triangle shaped). Place one layer of bread (6 triangles) on the bottom of the slow cooker, add ¼ of the filling and repeat until there are 3 layers of bread. Add the remaining filling to the top.
Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and cook on high 2 to 2-1/2 or low 4 hours, or until bread has soaked up the liquid.
3 Bananas (diced) can be substituted for apples.

Note: Drizzle with 100% pure maple syrup if desired.
This is a good candidate for putting it in the fridge and warming it up the next day for breakfast. Unfortunately though, the way that the recipe is designed, the egg mixture goes on the top of the bread, creating a trickle down effect, so some parts are soggier than others, and for me, I am NOT A FAN of mushy textures like flan and things like that, so there were parts of the casserole that I didn't enjoy that much. But overall, the meal was delicious. Great flavors!

The Start of Marathon Training

The day finally came! The reason why I even started this blog. Yesterday, I started marathon training. I've been telling everyone that will listen to me. Of course when I say, "I started marathon training," the immediate return question is, "How many miles did you run?"....hahahahahahahaha. Only 3 miles. But it was a great 3 mile start. Felt good being out there, following a training plan.

The plan that I'm using is marathonrookie.com. Can I tell you that it was difficult to search the internet for a marathon training plan? Most of the things that I did find, I had to pay money for, and then the other collection of training plans seemed too rude. What I mean is like they seemed they were yelling on the computer screen that you shouldn't attempt this plan if you can't run this long. I don't care if you're just walking, you should try and encourage everyone set a goal and accomplish that goal.

So for this marathon, I have 2 goals:
1) Finish it - That's the ultimate goal! The amount of people that start a marathon, do not finish it, and I want to finish it.
2) Sub 4 hrs. - I know, this sounds crazy to try to have this kind of goal for my first marathon. The average time for a woman my age in 2010 was 4:48. I'm saying that I'm going to do it 49 minutes faster than the average. Haha...good luck to me.

I think it's getting the right mindset. Another thing that I also started on Monday was MFP. Well, I restarted MFP. I believe I had a streak of over 430 days, and then it died on Friday. It probably should have happened a while ago. I was only checking in to put one, maybe two foods down just to keep the streak, but then I would be eating bowls of ice cream and handful of chocolate nuts and everything. This start of the marathon training gave me the right start to say, you need to recommit yourself to your body, living a healthy lifestyle, and wanting to be the best that I can be.

Well as the time goes on, I will keep up the blog, so you see how doing my first marathon goes. I hope that I don't turn people away from the idea of a marathon, but there aren't many blogs that showcase the beginnings of the blog. Usually they are geared more to the end. So that is the commitment I am making to you, reader.

So have fun and Happy running!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Excuses Don't Burn Calories

Saw this on pinterest today, and I thought it was an excellent poster. We can come up with every excuse of why we shouldn't work out, but how about coming up with a reason to work out. If you want to feel good about myself, then the enemy aren't clothing designers, and the enemy aren't your genetics, it is all those times when you beat yourself up and told yourself that you are a failure.

You are not a failure...

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

I've made this several times, and it's GREAT! Quick, easy, and if you can get the tilapia on sale, then this becomes a cheap meal. Just add steamed veggies and black beans.

Number of Servings: 4


    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
    2 tablespoons butter, softened 
    1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise 
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
    1/8 teaspoon dried basil 
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
    1/8 teaspoon onion powder 
    1/8 teaspoon celery seed
    1 pound tilapia fillets


Serve with broccoli and brown rice.


Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook the fish.
Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 177.1
  • Total Fat: 10.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 63.4 mg
  • Sodium: 232.6 mg
  • Total Carbs: 1.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
  • Protein: 19.6 g

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Healthy Coleslaw

Here is a quick and easy recipes from a member on sparkrecipes.com for healthy coleslaw. This was easy to make, and it is a great way to provide something healthy for all those BBQs you will get invited to over the summer. The key to this recipe is to give enough time IN THE FRIDGE. It is sooooooo much better cold. So if you have a function in the afternoon, make this side dish before you go out and do your morning exercise. It will be perfect by the afternoon.

    Ready Pac Coleslaw (or shredded cabbage/carrots) - 7.5 cups
    Low Fat Mayo - 3 tbsp
    Apple Cider Vinegar - 3 tbsp
    Sweet Mustard - 2 tsp
    Splenda - 2 packets
    Salt - few dashes
    Optional: Raisins  - I think this is a weird option. Who eats raisins in their coleslaw?? I think for the sweetness, just reduce the amount of vinegar.


In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, apple cider vinegar, sweet mustard, salt and Splenda. Add two cups of the coleslaw (or cabbage/carrots), and toss thoroughly. Keep adding small amounts of the coleslaw to the mix, making sure to toss thoroughly, until everything is mixed together. Refrigerate for 3+ hours before eating for best taste. Optional - for added sweetness, sprinkle raisins on top.

Makes five 1.5-cup servings.

Number of Servings: 5

National Running Day - A Day Late

Yes yes...I'm a day late on the National Running Day. I figured since this blog will soon be nothing about running, I should have posted something, but I just didn't have the time. I did run yesterday though...

I went to runningday.org just to find out more information about the day. It is held the first Wednesday in June, and it allows runners, new or veterans, to celebrate the sport. Growing up, I always had a love-hate relationship with running. The only time I would ever run would be because I was playing a sport (i.e. soccer, basketball, etc...). I never just went and ran. And the times that I would, I would do it, maybe once or twice, and then find excuse after excuse to never do it again. I always called myself a sprinter. That's what I was good at, but when it came to long distances...haha....I'll meet you back here at start. If running wasn't intertwined with a sport, like the 1 mile for the fitness test, it was a state of embarrassment. My classmates finishing the mile in under 10 minutes, and I was still going. My only goal during the mile run was not to get lapped. It was discouraging as the teacher just shook their head as they wrote down my lap times and then at the end, forcing the other kids to "cheer" me on. That was the last thing I wanted. People to notice that I was the slow one.

Now, I've been running for the past 10 months. What got me started was my wife. One day, I was standing in front of the mirror, and I was complaining that my legs weren't looking any thinner. At that point, I had lost 40 lbs, but I felt that it was all in my upper body. She looked at me, and said, "Maybe you should start running." And so I did. I picked my first goal of the Long Beach Half Marathon, and now, three half marathons down and planning on starting my training for the Full marathon.

I look back now at my childhood and even through high school and college where my coaches "highly recommended" that we should be running and training in the off-season, that I wish I had believed in myself more back then. I wish I knew that I could have prepared myself for that 1 mile or the 3 mile run for lacrosse in college. I could have done that. I could have accomplished that.

Do I think I missed out? No. I still participated sports and made Varsity and loved every part of the practices and games. What I think I missed was enjoying the ride. I'm glad now that I have confidence in my ability as an athlete. I love telling people that I went running and I ran 8 miles. I just did it. Just because I wanted to. And as I try to encourage other people to start walking/running or just working out, I just tell them that it takes a plan and an ounce of determination. If you start with a plan that isn't daunting and manageable, then there is no way the excuses can creep in and sabotage you.

So I say make it National Running Week!! Oh...never mind. I just looked it up, and we totally missed that week. Ooops... Regardless, summer is coming (unless you live in Southern California, then summer seems delayed right now), and our goal is to feel great in our clothes. = )