Wednesday, February 3, 2010


When presented with choices sometimes we don't always make the best ones. We really try, but sometimes we just miss the mark. In my previous blog, I talked about forgiveness, but I feel remiss in not discussing the choices that bring us to having to forgive. When I was faced with that decadent slice of tiramisu at Ciao Mambo, last week in Whitefish, my inner angel said, "Abby that really isn't necessary, is it?" Well, that's when my inner hussy said, "Yeah, but you work hard and for once you AREN'T cooking tonight so treat yourself!" My inner angel responded and sighed, "Oh honey, it really isn't necessary, but you will make the choice that is best for you. I trust you."

Too bad my inner angel trusted me, because I listened to the hussy and ate it knowing I would pay the consequences later, but not caring at the time. It was delicious and absolutely decadent and I enjoyed every moment of it. The next day was another story though. I hadn't slept great because of the caffeine and consequently it resulted in a not-so great morning. Maybe you all can relate... But I had no other choice, but to forgive myself for this slip-up and promise to listen harder to my inner angel next time.

Every day we are faced with choices. Some involving healthy versus greasy foods and some having to do with work, relationships, schedules, and activities. Each day is a long string of decisions that may have a large effect or small one. Either way, each selection is important because it brings us closer to our authentic self. Personally, I am choosing the Saints to win the super bowl, to avoid the extra 6 weeks of winter (that damn ground hog), and love; always love. I can't help you all decide what to wear, how to act, what friends to have, but I can help you make smart decisions regarding food.

In this blog, I have several trampi recipes as I call them because we are using substitutions and essentially 'cheating' on the original ingredients. I have included my fabulous Shrimp Scampi and Sweetie Turkey Meatballs both served with Roasted Spaghetti Squash instead of typical pasta saving lots of carbs and calories. Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite pasta substitutions and contains only 31 calories and 5 grams of carbs per cup. Not to mention it is loaded with potassium and antioxidants! It can also be used for breakfast. To demonstrate, I have shared my Spaghetti Squash Scramble.. Bon Appetite with no need for forgiveness with these recipes!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
2 tsp. Olive Oil
2 tbsp. Garlic: minced
2 tsp. Dried Rosemary
1 tsp. Onion Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cut the squash in half length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. 
2. Place each half cavity side up and sprinkle with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh or dried rosemary, onion salt, and pepper. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes. The top of the squash should be brownish and flake easily with a fork when done.
3. To plate, scoop out portions of the spaghetti squash onto each plate using a fork. The spaghetti squash will flake out like noodles. You can eat this alone with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top or with your favorite pasta sauce to keep it simple..

Servings: 4 ( approx. 1 cup)

Nutritional Skinny:

62 calories / 2.6 g fat / 10 g carbohydrates / 2.2 g fiber / 1 g protein

Sweetie Balls
1.25 lbs. ground turkey
1 medium sweet potato; baked until soft
2 tbsp. garlic; minced
1 tsp. Worcestershire
2 tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. Italian seasoning mix
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 egg
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. bread crumbs

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until incorporated. Then using your hands, make into small individual balls rolling them to form balls with your hands. 

2. Heat a large saute pan with olive oil and place the balls in the skillet and brown each of the sides turning the balls as they cook through. 
 3. Once they have been browned, place your favorite pasta sauce over them and allow to cook with the pasta sauce for another 20-30 minutes. We used a vodka cream sauce that was amazing! I also have several sauce recipes in previous blogs for you to check out!

4. Serve alongside roasted spaghetti squash with a salad and you are golden! You can also serve with whole wheat linguine pasta which we did this time!

Trampi Scampi with Spaghetti Squash
7 cloves garlic chopped
Fresh or dried basil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon grilling seasoning mix
Pepper and salt to taste
Bunch fresh or dried parsley
1/3 cup dry white wine
12-14 shrimp uncooked

1. Combine olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and grilling seasoning mix in a pan and sauté until aromatic and garlic is heated through.

2. Put all of the shrimp in the pan and sauté on each side until both sides are pink instead of grey.

3. Once almost done add the dry white wine to the pan and add a pinch more salt and pepper to taste and turn the heat down and allow to simmer and get happy together for 5-7 minutes.

4. Serve over a bed of the roasted spaghetti squash! Delicious!

Spaghetti Squash Scramble
1 cup leftover spaghetti squash
6 eggs
1/2 white onion; diced
1/4 cup low fat cream cheese
1 small tomato; diced
1 tbsp. garlic
1 tbsp. low fat milk
1 tbsp. basil

1. Heat a large skillet and add onion, garlic, and spaghetti squash. Heat until onions are translucent.

2. Add tomatoes and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.

3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl until fluffy and add 1 tbsp. of milk and add to pan along with the cream cheese. Stir all together and add the basil. Cook eggs thoroughly on low heat for 3-5 minutes.

4. Serve alongside whole wheat toast and sliced oranges and this is a smart and healthy start to your day!

If you have leftover shrimp or meatballs, those can also be combined in and are delicious in the eggs for breakfast the next day!

Mental Health Tip: No matter what choices you make everyday, make sure they are authentic and laced with integrity. When given the choice, I choose to make things easier for your friends and loved ones. Even if that just means passing the dish across the table.

Keep your choices healthy and filled with happiness!

~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes in the kitchen

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