Meatless Wednesday

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Kale & Creminis

2 small acorn squashes, or 1 large,  1/2 cup uncooked millet, or quinoa,  2 tbls. olive oil,  1 shallot, chopped,  1 garlic clove, minced,  1.5  cups cremini mushrooms, chopped,  2 tbls. sherry vinegar, 2 cups chopped kale,  1/4 cup chopped fresh sage, 1/3 cup toasted pecans, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup chopped chives, salt & pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Slice squash in half and scoop out the middle, drizzle with 1 tbls. olive oil and  few pinches of salt and pepper, Roast flesh side down for 20 minutes, flip over and roast for another 20-30 minutes until fork-tender and golden brown.  Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Cook the millet by placing 1/2 cup into a  saucepan, turning the heat to low and toast for a few minutes, do not burn, add 1 cup  of water, pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn heat off and let sit for 10 minutes still covered.  Fluff with fork and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1  tbls. olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped shallot, pinch of salt.  Let that soften then add the mushrooms, garlic, another pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook until the mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sherry vinegar, stir, then add the kale and chopped sage.  Cook until kale wilts down, add the cooked millet, pecans cranberries and chives.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Scoop the filling onto the roasted squash and serve.

This can be used as a side dish or main entrée.

Meatless Wednesday

Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

1 tbl.  olive  oil,  1/2 medium onion (thinly sliced),  kosher salt and black pepper,

  5 oz. baby spinach (6 cups),  10 large eggs beaten (or equal amount egg whites),

1 cup goat cheese crumbled (4 oz.)

  1. Heat oven  to 400 degrees F.  Heat oil in a medium  ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and 1/2 tsp.  each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and sprinkle with the goat cheese.  Cook until the mixture begins to set around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer to the oven and bake until set, 10-12 minutes.
  3. Enjoy with a side salad and crusty bread.

Black Bean Burgers

I have made these burgers for my family and even my meat loving husband liked them.  They are a tasty, healthy,  option to a traditional burger.

(1) 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained,  1/4 cup quinoa,  1/2 cup  water,  1/2 cup bread crumbs,  1/4 cup minced yellow or orange or red bell pepper,  2  tbls. minced onion,  1 large clove garlic, minced,  1-1/2 tsps. ground cumin,  1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce,  1 egg,  3 tbls. olive oil.

  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer until tender and water absorbed,  approx. 15-20 minutes.
  2. Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole in a paste-like mixture.
  3. Mix quinoa, breadcrumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper sauce and egg into the black beans.
  4. Form 5 patties.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  6. Cook the patties in the oil until hated through 3-4 minutes per side.

Serve on a whole grain bun or without the bun.  Delicious topped with fresh raw spinach, cheese, and caramelized onions.  Add a side salad, and sweet potato fries for a complete meal.



Meatless Wednesday


It’s Wednesday again and I have a delicious meatless stuffed pepper recipe that you will love.  Quinoa provides a serving of protein with the health benefits of whole grains.

1 medium onion finely chopped,    2 tbs. olive oil,   2 ribs celery finely chopped,

1 tbs. ground cumin,  2 cloves garlic minced,   10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry),  (2) 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes (drained, liquid reserved),

(1) 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained,  3/4 cup quinoa,  3 large carrots, grated,  1-1/2 cups grated reduced fat pepper jack cheese (divided),  4 large red bell peppers halved lengthwise, ribs removed.

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over med. heat.  Add onion and celery, cook 5 minutes until soft.  Add cumin and garlic, sauté 1 minute.  Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes.  Cook 5 minutes until most of liquid has evaporated.
  2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water.  Cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med.-low, simmer 20 minutes until quinoa is tender.  Stir in 1 cup cheese.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  F.  Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
  4. Fill each pepper half with heaping 3/4 cup of quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish.  Cover with foil, bake 1 hour.  Uncover, an sprinkle each pepper with 1 tbs. remaining cheese.  Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of peppers are browned.  Let stand  5 minutes.  Transfer peppers to serving plates, and drizzle with pan juices before serving.

Add a garden salad and you have a well balanced meal without the meat.  Enjoy.

A glass of heart healthy red wine would go great with this meal also.

Meatless Wednesday Recipe

I will be posting a meatless recipe every Wednesday.  Enjoy better health by eating at least one meatless dinner a week. I promise you will enjoy this meal and not feel deprived.

Vegetable “Meat” Loaf


1 large red pepper,  1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 large green bell pepper,

2 pounds cremini mushrooms (coarsely chopped),  1 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup, 1/2 inch asparagus pieces, 1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil, 1 tbsp. ketchup, cooking spray

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, 2 large eggs (lightly beaten),

4 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese/grated


2 tbsp. ketchup, 1 tbsp. vegetable broth, 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat broiler to high.  Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes.  Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet, flatten with hand.  Broil 12 minutes or until blackened.  Place in a paper bag, fold to close tightly.  Let stand for 10minutes.  Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers  in a large bowl.
  2. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place 1/4 mushrooms in a food processor, pulse until finely chopped.  Transfer to a bowl.  Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining mushrooms.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.    Add oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add mushrooms to pan, sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.  Add mushrooms to bell peppers in bowl.  Wipe pan with paper towels.  Add asparagus and onion to pan, sauté 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally.  Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
  5. Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden.  Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well.  Spoon mixture into a 9×5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray, press gently to pack.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until 155 degrees.
  6. To prepare topping, combine 2 tbsp. ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, brush ketchup mixture over loaf.  Bake an additional 10 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes, cut into 6 slices.   Enjoy with a green salad.

Low-Intensity or High-Intensity Training

For weight loss to occur one must burn more calories than they consume.  In a deficit the calories will come ultimately from fat.  If you eat more calories than you burn you will gain fat.   During low-intensity training a higher percent of fat is burned.  During high-intensity training a higher percent of carbs (glycogen) is burned.

As a percentage this is true.  However, high-intensity training will burn more calories and fat overall when compared to low-intensity training.

Lower intensity training will burn 70% of calories from fat while higher intensity training will burn 50%.  If you work out for 20 minutes, you will burn 100 calories at a low intensity and 200 calories at a high intensity.  Would you rather burn 70% of 100 or 50% of 200?  High-intensity training also improves your V02 max, which improves your fitness level.  This does not improve with low-intensity training.

While not everyone is capable of doing high-intensity training due to their fitness level, age, injury etc. doing small intervals at a higher than your usual intensity will help develop the ability to work out longer at this higher level.  Having said that for some individuals low-intensity, longer workouts are still their best option for safe effective exercise. Those individuals that have the ability to safely workout at a higher intensity should kick it up a notch and enjoy the added fitness benefits.