#WIAW | October

Welcome to another What I Ate Wednesday! Let's jump right in!
6:15 AM Peanut butter and banana quesadilla, almond milk and strawberries
11:45 AM Salad with hard-boiled egg and cottage cheese, side of broccoli and honey roasted peanuts
2:00 PM Hummus and hummus chips
6:30 PM Grilled swordfish steak, grilled asparagus and two slices of whole wheat bread with garlic olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Not Pictured:
7:15 PM Little Lad’s Herbal Popcorn

8 PM 1 Reese’s peanut butter cup

Beverages: Almond milk, coffee w/ skim milk, water, seltzer water
See you all back here soon!


Lemon Pasta

Lemon lovers gather round! When a coworker shared this recipe with me I couldn't believe how delicious it looked and liked the originality of something so simple.  She shares and understands my love of lemon, hence the name of my blog.  I recreated this at home one night and found the flavors fresh, yet comforting.  I think this lemon pasta could be served as an entree or topped with grilled chicken, fish or shrimp and would be great to prepare for guests at a dinner party.  I will definitely be making this one again! 

3 lemons
1/2 pound of thin spaghetti
2 shallots, thinly sliced 
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese (optional)
Dill (or other herb) to taste (optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil.  

Zest one lemon and set zest aside. Slice lemons into rounds then cut into quarters.  Place in pot of water to blanch for about 2 minutes. Remove lemons from water with slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towel or a dish towel and pat dry.

Place pasta in boiling water until al dente.  Do not discard pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the lemons and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar.  After a few minutes, add shallots and cook for minutes or until browned and caramelized.  Transfer lemons back to a plate.

In the skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add lemon zest and about 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water.  Add pasta, additional lemon juice and pepper to taste to skillet.

Toss in lemons and stir gently to coat pasta with sauce.  Place on serving dish and top with cheese, dill and a sprinkle of sea salt if using.

Nutrition Facts: 198 Calories, 10g Fat, 28g Carbohydrates, 4g Protein, 6g Fiber, 24mg Sodium, 51mg Potassium


30 Minute Pumpkin Seeds

I don't know how, but every year I manage to forget that pumpkin seeds take next to forever to cook. So this week while carving pumpkins it was 10PM before I said, "I'll make the pumpkin seeds!  Wait, they take AN HOUR?!"  Who has that kind of time?  Certainly not me and my hungry tummy.

I was so happy to come across the Oh She Glows blog post on boiling pumpkin seeds first to speed up the process (and to avoid just increasing the oven temperature because those babies will burn.)  I had so much success with this method I will definitely be doing it again and thought I would share how I made quick, easy pumpkin seeds by 10:30PM. As you can see we had a crazy amount of pumpkins and therefore seeds which means there were some left for the next day or two.  I reheated them up in the toaster oven for a few minutes to enjoy a crunchy, salty protein, fiber and vitamin packed snack.  Truly, is there anything better?

Let me know what you think of this method and I'd love to hear how it works for you! Thanks for reading!

Pumpkin seeds
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rinse and clean pumpkin seeds.  Add seeds to a medium size soup pot filled half-way with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Pour seeds into a strainer and pat dry with a paper towel.

Spread seeds in a thin layer on a baking sheet and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of oil over the top and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Bake for 10 minutes and toss seeds.  Bake for about another 10 minutes although time may vary depending on your oven. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy.

If you have any remaining seeds left over the next day, place them in a toaster oven for a few minutes or microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Nutrition Facts for 1/2 cup serving plain pumpkin seeds: 142 Calories, 6g Fat, 17g Carbohydrates, 6g Protein, 6g Fiber, 6mg Sodium.  Also, a good source of Potassium and an excellent source of Magnesium.


#WIAW | My Dinners This Week

I am not a person who likes leftovers but I also hate wasting food.  I like when I can make something totally different with what I have in the fridge to trick my picky taste buds into thinking their eating something new.  This post isn't a great example of that (I've seen Rachel Ray work some serious leftover magic) but for me it's fun to see what ideas other people have for quick easy dinners so I thought some of you might, too.  This is a somewhat modified What I Ate Wednesday (#WIAW) and just lets me explain my somewhat ordinary, repetitive, yet satisfying dinners I have eaten so far this week.  The struggle is real, people.  Dietitians have to eat, too and we don't always want to cook.

On Sunday I made a salad with the remains of my fridge and pantry. This included the last bits of lettuce, a few fresh berries I had bought for smoothies on their last legs, grilled shrimp from the freezer (yes, the last 5 of them), canned black beans and I made a small cheese quesadilla with the last two tortillas I keep in the freezer and a little shredded cheese.  It was seriously delicious!

Reusing an old photo of a similar salad, forgive me, I was hungry.
I had literally wiped out my stock for dinner on Tuesday so before going to get groceries I ate a bowl of brown rice, beans and grilled corn topped with a little salsa and ranch.  I'll admit it was a somewhat sad little meal and I originally had higher hopes for that dinner but turned out I had no cheese, no tomatoes or lettuce left!  What's a girl to do besides immediately head to the grocery store and go a teensy bit crazy in the produce isle.  No photo necessary, trust me.

Keeping the Mexican theme alive this week, Tuesday I used the remaining rice and beans to make a sort of "burrito bowl on a plate."  I grilled up a piece of salmon and layered it on top of the brown rice, beans and some chopped greens.  I like to keep frozen mango on hand which always makes it easy to whip up my Mango Salsa (see here for the recipe).  

It's amazing how much better I eat the day after food shopping.
 Hope you all enjoyed reading and see you back here soon!


Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Hope you all had a nice weekend!  It was my birthday this past week so I took a few days off from blogging, glad to see you back here!
Enjoy this slow cooker oatmeal recipe which is perfect for busy weekday mornings or relaxing weekends at home.  You can make this with water or milk, or almond milk just be sure to adjust the calories accordingly.  Keep the peel on the apples for added fiber, color and texture.  The smell alone will make sure no one sleeps in too late!

Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal 
Serves 4-6

3 small cored and diced apples
1 1/2 cup steel cut or old fashioned oats
4 cups water (or 4 cups unsweetened almond milk)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir.  Cook on low heat for 6 hours or on high for about 3 hours.

Nutrition Facts: 165 Calories, 1g Fat, 38g Carbohydrates, 2g Protein, 4g Fiber, 11mg Sodium, 120mg Potassium