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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tropical Gingered Spaghetti Squash

It's not secret that the Fall season is synonymous with hearty squash and pumpkins, which I adore! They lend themselves to creamy soups, pies and hearty gratins. But there is a squash that doesn't act like the rest, one that doesn't belong if you will.

Are you familiar with the Spaghetti Squash? Upon roasting, a fork is dragged across the flesh releasing long strands resembling spaghetti. It's really a pretty cool to do this the first time. The flavor is distinctly, though mild, squash-esque while still reaping all the nutritional benefits of its more dense counterparts: high fiber, low in calories and great amounts of folic acid to help our body convert food into energy.

In this recipe I added ginger and turmeric for their inflammatory fighting properties and for a tropical taste that kicks in thanks to the coconut oil.

Roast the lesser known Spaghetti Squash and experience the fun of the making long strands. Then toss it all together in this healthy Fat and Happy Gingered Spaghetti Squash dish.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spicy Lentils with Curry Leaves

Today I was given a new Strange Ingredient and I couldn't be more excited to play with ... curry leaves. I've never worked with them before so I'm forging new ground here.

First step was to Google curry leaves. Fascinating to find out that they have nothing to do with the ground curry we all know and love. I certainly made the assumption there was a connection, but you know what happens when you assume....

My first whiff of the curry leaves was powerfully perplexing. Almost unsettling. I read that you might catch a faint hint of tangerine if lucky, but I'd say the aroma is more earthy, smoky and maybe even a more like burnt rubber. Appealing, I know.

At first bite of the lentils, I almost detected a sweet, brown sugar flavor which is definitely not on my ingredient list. Then the flavors bursted and I still can't quite define it; it's a totally funky flavor. The dish is hearty, yet light, spicy and delicious!

After serving a little dish for each of us, I set aside my cup and pulled the whole serving dish in front of me and polished off the remaining lentils. I was hooked.

There are mixed reviews on whether to eat or not eat the curry leaves; I've read they have medicinal properties and are good for the eyes. Either way, go find some curry leaves today then make this utterly flavorful and so delicious Fat and Happy Spicy Lentil dish!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crispy Chickpea Panzanella Salad

My hands down favorite salad is the the classic Italian Panzanella Bread Salad. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and olives mingle with balsamic vinegar, then hearty bread croutons sop up the dressing and release all the flavor in one bite. I can eat my weight in this salad.

Since I decided to lay off gluten for a few weeks, this classic version is off my list. That opened the door for a new, modified recipe! The crunchy seasoned croutons are really my favorite part about this salad so it is important to find an equally yummy crunchy replacement. Crispy chickpeas did the trick. While keeping most of the salad intact, chickpeas done two ways rounded out both the flavor and texture.

The salad comes together in snap, but remember you need time to bake the legumes. Perfect for a light lunch or next to a grilled turkey, chicken or pork, this Fat and Happy Chickpea Panzanella Salad is a winner, gluten free or not!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Garlic Roasted Squash Grilled Cheese

It's that time of year when my backpack starts to get real heavy. Not from schoolbooks but from squash and pumpkins! Nothing says fall more then seeds roasting in the oven.

Roast a squash and you will have the base for a variety of meals from squash soup to ravioli. Today's recipe takes a classic grilled cheese and ups the ante by adding in garlic roasted squash. It's a perfect dish for left over squash or try it with pumpkin too.

Use any squash you prefer, I had butternut squash on hand. It's low in fat, filled with fiber and offers significant amounts of potassium  (important for bone health) and vitamin B6 (essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.)

Add a squash to your shopping  bag and lift from your legs, not your back for this gooey, delectable Fat and Happy sandwich.


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