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Haley, Recipes

Spaghetti squash is one of those vegetables that people know or hear about but never seem to get to know. We think pumpkin or butternut, but never spaghetti variety.

Well, it’s time we broadened our cooking horizons and introduced a new player to the team. 

Spaghetti squash is literally as its name suggests, a squash, that when cooked turns into spaghetti-like noodles. Ideal for those with a gluten or wheat intolerance and pasts is a no-go. Or those that are wanting a lower-carb option for their bolognese. 

In this recipe, however, I have modified a pretty popular home-style dish by swapping out one carbohydrate for another. Don’t get me wrong, stuffed, baked, potatoes are great, but it’s autumn and the spaghetti squash is in season. Plus it’s a perfect way to try out a new ingredient. So let’s get to it.

Serves 2-4 | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time | 60 minutes total

Ingredients

1 Spaghetti squash
1/2 C water
1 Tbsp Olive or coconut oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 C kale or cavalo nero, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves. chopped fine
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1/2 C peas
1/2 fresh chilli, chopped fine (optional)
1 C grated cheese
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 Tbsp fresh herbs of choice
Himalayan salt and black pepper to season

Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190c.  
  2. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthways and season the inside with salt and pepper. Place seasoned side down in the baking dish and pour in the water. Place in pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes or until tender when pierced.
  3. While the spaghetti is cooking prep your vegetables. 
  4. To a pan over medium heat, add in oil, onion and garlic and saute for one minute. Add kale and capsicum then saute for a further 2-3 minutes until softened. Season with a little salt and pepper. Remove from heat and into a large mixing bowl. Add peas, fresh herbs, 3/4 of the cheese and wholegrain mustard then mix to combine.
  5. once the spaghetti squash has cooked, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  6. Once cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands and add them to the bowl of ingredients. Mix everything together.
  7. Spoon the mixture evenly back into the squash skins and top with the leftover cheese. 
  8. Place them back into the same oven for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with more fresh herbs and a side of pesto.

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Tania

steve-jobs1 We all need a reset sometimes. Life is busy; we slip into comfortable habits. We no longer think about why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s just habit. This can be great for some parts of our life. Lots of successful people (take Steve Jobs for example) wear the same outfit every day to save them time in the mornings. It helps to give them more brain power to spend on other things. More important things. But in some cases, before you know it, you’re sticking with a habit which seemed like a good idea when you picked it up but that really doesn’t serve you now. Maybe it’s even holding you back from being your most authentic you. And this is where a reset can come in, shake things up, make you reassess things and then build up some new habits that do serve your lifestyle now. At Wellness HQ we definitely slipped into a bad habit trap around food recently. Full-time jobs + side hustles + training + time with friends. Excuses arose and before we knew it, it was the same staples for dinner all the time or the dreaded takeaways. Once you’re in there, in that space of bad habits, it can be really hard to make the shift away. Sometimes you need that extra push; something to help make that mental break so that you can start afresh. There are lots of ways to creating a reset.

– Pledge to do something every day for a month. Hold yourself accountable and let others know so that they can support you in this. Knowing that you’ve only got to get through a month, that your new habit has an end date, can make things seem more much achievable rather than stating that you’ll do something every day for the rest of your life, or never again forever. Most likely once you’ve made it through the month it will have stuck enough that you can keep going.

– Start small and manageable. By achieving small wins you can help motivate yourself to take bigger steps. Want to stop spending so much money on takeaways? Pick a night that you know you have the time + energy to cook and start there. Once you see how easy + fun it is one night a week, look at adding another night.

– Get outside of your comfort zone. Physically removing yourself from the spaces that cause the bad habits can help create that mental shift. Maybe it’s a weekend away so that when you come back to your home you can look at things with fresh eyes. Maybe it’s taking a different path to work so that you’re not tempted by the coffee shop with those delicious brioches.

– Get the support you need. Find out what is holding you back (what is really holding you back) and address that. For me recently it was a lack of inspiration about what to cook. I know that the internet is full of great recipes but that was too much for me to take in. So we started getting My Food Bag to help give me more inspiration around new food to cook (like that delicious looking salad just there). Or perhaps it’s a new Keep Cup to inspire you to make coffee at home.

We all need a fresh start sometimes. Here’s hoping you start building a new, amazing habit today.

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Tania

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAt Wellness HQ we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what ‘wellness’ means to us. And that’s a really big question. It covers what we put in our mouths, how we move our bodies, the thoughts we think, the work we do, how we treat other people… the list goes on and on. Because this list can be so exhaustive, making you question all sorts of things in your life that you consider normal, it’s easy to shy away from the big questions.

Instead, we justify the decision we make.
“I sit at a desk all day long, because that’s what I’m meant to do.”
“I don’t go to yoga because that’s just for flexible people.”
“I eat fast food because I don’t have time to cook.”

For me, wellness means starting small and manageable. There’s no and then getting unmotivated when it all gets too much.

stu-run-ironman2Just ask Stu. He didn’t wake up and decide he wanted to do an Ironman. He did some short distance triathlons, three 70.3 events (half Ironman races) then decided he wanted to take on the next step. By that stage he’d already built up a routine around his training; he already knew what the six weeks before a race felt like; he knew that he had the basic building blocks in place to take on the next challenge. Small and manageable then builds up to conquer things you didn’t know were possible.
I think that a great place to start is our plates.

The old saying, “you are what you eat” is so true. We use the food we eat to build new cells. So why not give yourself the healthiest building materials? But how do we know what is best? There are so many options out there – vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, fasting, cleanses, high-fat-low-carb, no sugar, raw… All purporting to have the science behind nutrition down. They finally made the breakthrough and this time they really have got the understanding as to what to eat. Until the next round of ‘science’ comes out with the newest discovery.
I think just taking a step back, taking a deep breath and being conscious about what we’re eating is the perfect place to start though. Do you ever stop to read labels? To find out what’s actually in your food? To see what a portion size of your favourite snack really is? To see where your meat came from? To listen to your body to see when you’re actually full? For me personally, doing this means that I’m meat free and sometimes vegan. For Stu when he’s training, that means good protein and chocolate milk. Maybe for you, that means something completely different. But stopping to think about what you’re ingesting can only lead to being happier + healthier as you’ll be giving your body what it truly needs.

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Tania
Ben_warrenLast week I went to hear Ben Warren from BePure speak. Being interested in food and nutrition, I was looking forward to it, but I really didn’t expect it to be as informative as it was. First up, Ben comes across as a really nice, relatable kinda guy. Second, it was nice to hear from a nutritionist that wasn’t pushing their own agenda. Well, I guess he was but it actually makes sense to me so maybe I’m more open to hearing about it? Let’s back up a little. To give you some background, Ben recognises that we shouldn’t all be eating one kind of diet. Primal, Plant-Based, Paleo, Vegetarian, HFLC, Vegan – as far as I’ve seen, these all work for some people. But they don’t all work for everyone. Ben talked about different cultures getting the majority of their calories from varying sources – some 80% from fat/protein; some 80% from carbohydrates. Today there exists a continuum between these two and it depends where on that continuum you sit, as to what you digest better. To me, this sits well with the blood type diet idea. For some people, an apple gives them energy for hours; for others it makes them hungrier that before they ate it. He states that it is important to work out your genetic makeup so that you can start pinpointing the foods that give you the most energy. Makes total sense to me. The second part of his manifesto is about the quality of food we’re eating. I think we can all agree that it’s not great. From fruits and vegetables that lose 80% of their water-soluble vitamins (Bs and C) in four days, to bread that has doubled in gluten content in 15 years. We have become so disconnected from our food production system that we don’t even know what real food tastes like anymore. Couple that with NZ soil that is lacking in a whole raft of minerals, how are we meant to try and eat our way to health? Ben’s answer – supplements. Personally I would much rather get my nutrients from food, but it seems like that is bordering on impossible. So he has come up with a range of supplements specifically for New Zealanders, based on what we are lacking here. I also love the fact that he’s promoting a sustainably caught, South Pacific fish oil. I have to say, I’m intrigued. Has anyone out there tried his products or his programmes? I would love to hear your feedback on them. For more on Ben Warren, check out his TED Talk.
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